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

Transcript: The ReidOut, January 12, 2021

Guests: Ted Lieu, Charlie Sykes, John Fetterman, Jelani Cobb, Tim Miller, Brad Schneider


House sets impeachment vote against Trump for tomorrow. GOP Representative Liz Cheney will vote to impeach Trump. "New York Times" reports, McConnell is said to believe Trump committed impeachable offenses. House will vote on resolution calling for Pence to remove Trump. GOP Representative Jordan is slammed after contesting Biden electoral votes. Trump again offers no regrets for inciting deadly insurrection at the Capitol. Three House Republicans will vote to impeach Trump. Joint Chiefs of Staff issue memo calling riot an assault on Congress. Illinois Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider is interviewed.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for joining in THE BEAT with Ari Melber tonight during these tough times. I want to tell you, on a programming, of course, impeachment begins tomorrow, a scheduled vote. We have special impeachment coverage on MSNBC from 9:00 A.M. Eastern on. And I will be part of it. I'm anchoring from 1:00 P.M. on on MSNBC.

As for right now, "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid is up next.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: By this time tomorrow, Donald Trump will likely be the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. The House will vote on one article of impeachment charging Donald Trump with incitement of insurrection against the United States government.

And tonight, the walls are closing in. Liz Cheney, the third highest ranking Republican in the House, says that she will vote to impeach Trump, adding in a statement, there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.

Now, again, that was Liz Cheney, daughter of former Republican Vice President and Iraq war cheerleader Dick Cheney. Two other Republicans said that they too will vote to impeach Donald Trump, New York's John Katko and Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

Even Donald Trump's longtime partner in the Senate sees the writing on the wall. The New York Times reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is telling associates he believes Trump did, indeed, commit impeachable offenses and has said to be pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him. Of course, Mitch didn't emerge from his shell to say that himself, like a capo ousting the weakened mafia don, he just let the message get out.

Ahead of tomorrow's vote, the House tonight will take up a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Donald Trump from office immediately. The House is set to begin the first procedural votes at any moment.

That House Rules Committee debate today, Democratic Chairman Jim McGovern and the resolution's author, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, excoriated Trump's Republican supplicant, Jim Jordan, who contested some of Biden's electoral votes last week even after the MAGA mob's assault on our Capitol, but who now says impeachment would just be too divisive.


REP. JIM MCGOVERN (D-MA): I'm glad that all it took for you to call for unity and healing was for our freedom and our democracy to be attacked. But for the last several months, the gentleman from Ohio and others have given oxygen to the president's conspiracy theories.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Even after a mob of violent insurrectionists staged a gallows outside of the Congress, and chanted, hang Mike Pence, even after they tried to force Mike Pence not to do his job, even after five people are dead, we continue to hear these lies and slurs about the 2020 presidential election. Is there anything the president could do that would cause Mr. Jordan not to defend him?


REID: For his part, when Donald Trump came out of hiding today, he accepted zero responsibility for inflaming the insurrectionists nor did he express any remorse or regret for the mob violence that killed a Capitol police officer and saw a second dead a day later and dozens injured. Instead, he said his words on the day of the attempted coup on his behalf were totally appropriate.

For more, I'm joined by Congressman Ted Lieu of California, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, and is one of the co-authors of the article of impeachment, and Charlie Sykes, Editor-at-Large at The Bulwark. I want to thank both of you for being here.

I want to start with you, Representative Lieu. And I ask you this both as a member of Congress and also as a member of our military. As you are watching this nightmare go down and are preparing for the impeachment of the president for a second time, what do you make of the fact that the reporting is that there could be up to a dozen Republicans voting to impeach on Wednesday when, in fact, there are hundreds of Republicans in the United States House, more than 100 of whom voted to overturn the election? Why is it just about a dozen?

REP. TED LIEU (D-CA): Thank you, Joy, for your question. I previously served active duty in the military and I never have thought there would be a day when our commander-in-chief incites an attack on our nation's Capitol, resulting in multiple deaths. So I am grateful we already have the number three Republican in House leadership, Liz Cheney, saying she's going to vote for impeach, and so far, for two additional Republicans. But you're right. There should be over 100 Republicans voting for this impeachment resolution.

It is very simple and straightforward. It's just one article on incitement to insurrection, which is also a felony, it's violation of a federal statute. And the evidence is in plain sight. No one disputes Donald Trump gave that inflammatory speech. No one disputes that this mob attacked our democracy and that people died from it. So I hope that we get a lot more Republicans.

REID: Do you think after this vote goes through, and it seems likely that it will pass, that some of these Republicans themselves who gave speeches on the mall, who were also urging Trump's followers to fight, fight, fight, and were using that kind of Lord of the Rings fight scene language ahead of the siege of our Capitol, do you think some of them should also face some sanctions?

LIEU: Absolutely. No one is above the law, not the president, not the president's attorney and not members of Congress. So, if you're a member of Congress who gave a speech to this mob and you helped incite an insurrection, that's a violation of 18 USC Code Section 2383. The FBI should investigate whether you committed a felony, and, if so, a prosecutor should charge you.

REID: And to add you into this, Charlie Sykes, it also seems to be a violation -- I'm not a lawyer but Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does prohibit anyone who engaged in insurrection and rebellion against the United States from holding any office of the United States. That seems to fit both Donald Trump and his followers, but I want to ask you about these Republicans.

You have Liz Cheney and John Katko. They were the first to break from Trump. You have The New York Times reporting that Kevin McCarthy, who is supposed to be the leader of House Republicans, asking other Republicans whether he should ought to call on Donald Trump to resign. There is also reporting from The National Review's John McCormack that McCarthy had a call with other Republicans in which he warned them not to speak ill of any Republicans who did vote for impeachment because it might put them in danger of their lives. That sounds to me like a supposed leader of the House who understands that his own voting base is dangerous.

CHARLIE SYKES, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE BULWARK: Well, it is dangerous and this is not over. It's not just that the democracy was attacked last week. That attack is ongoing and it may get worse. But I have to say, this is a rather remarkable moment. This feels like a watershed moment, the civil war in the Republican Party just became a very hot civil war.

I would never underestimate the power and strength of Trumpism, but now Republicans have a choice. And they're getting a green light from, of all people, Mitch McConnell and Liz Cheney. So, they're going to have a very stark choice, country first or Trump first?

And that's why it kind of feels like a watershed, because what they're doing is they're passing out hall passes to Republicans, you want to break with Trump, we're going to provide you with some cover. It may only be a few dozen. But keep in mind that we have gone through four years of lockstep support for Donald Trump. No one wanted to put their head up. Nobody wanted to be first. And now, they're looking around, they're realizing, you know what, maybe we can say what we've been thinking for a long time.

So this is a remarkable moment. And, quite frankly, I do think we're going to look back on what's happening right now, the way we looked back on the end of President Nixon's presidency, when you had Republicans go to the White House and say it is time for you to go. Donald Trump is not going to resign. He's not going to go voluntarily, but this is the moment that some of us have been talking about and hoping for a very long time, to be quite honest with you.

REID: Yes. No, I mean, Charles, let's stay with you for just one moment. I mean, let's talk about the raw political calculations of Republicans right now. If Donald Trump is convicted, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and all the other people who look in the mirror and see a president will never have to run against him on a ballot. He'll never appear against them on a ballot. And even while he still controls a cult, obviously a very violent cult around the country, over time, you know, his donors have left him. He's a toxic brand. No business will do -- even Deutsche Bank has dumped him.

In theory, they could emerge at some point. And by 2024, having shaken him off -- I don't understand what the incentive is not to vote to convict. You would get rid of him. That's what Mitch McConnell seems to have decided. He already (INAUDIBLE) judges. Why not dump him?

SYKES: Well, that's exactly what Mitch McConnell seems to be banking and why he's pleased by all of this, because he thinks it's be easier to wipe the stink off. That's going to take a long time to wipe that stink off, but this is the calculation.

I mean, think about where we were a couple of months ago. People were thinking that Donald Trump was going to announce he is running in 2024. He would be the odds-on favorite to be the nominee. He would freeze the party. And you would have sort of the dead hand of Trumpism over the Republican Party for as long as the eye can see. And now it looks more likely that Donald Trump is going to leave in absolute complete disgrace as his support disintegrates.

Now, again, don't underestimate that grassroots support for Trump or the possibility that there will be a spasm of violence in the reaction to this. But now we're going to have this conversation about the Republican Party and whether or not it's going to continue down this path of authoritarianism, whether it's going to be married to the big lie.

And I think that the shock of last week is playing out here. And, obviously, Congressman Lieu is talking about this. Look, you've had a Republican Party that has been willing to look the other way for a long time. But what happened last week was so awful, it was so egregious and they felt it so personally. So this feels like a very powerful, political and historical reckoning.

REID: Yes. And, Congressman, even Alex Azar, who is Donald Trump's HHS secretary, couldn't really even say, you know, that Donald Trump ought to stay in office, like he couldn't even really defend him at this point, even the few remaining people around him that are left.

But I want to talk to you sort of about sort of looking at the next week, starting with Dr. King's birthday on the 15th and then the official birthday that Sunday -- the weekend, the Sunday before, when there are lots of church services around the country, moving all the way to the inauguration. Those dates make me nervous because a lot of this movement is fundamentally racist and race-based. And so I worry about everything, every place, every church, every synagogue in this country, as well as every capital.

Do you have confidence, as a uniformed member of the military and as somebody who works up close to the Capitol police and Secret Service, that these agencies and that the Pentagon, et cetera, are not so infiltrated with Trumpists that they will actually keep the elected president, the elected vice president and members of Congress such as yourself safe? Do you trust these agencies to keep you all safe?

LIEU: I do. And what the American people saw on January 6th was Donald Trump's most fervent supporters beating up police officers. They murdered a police officer. And so law enforcement is very aware that Trump's most violent supporters are coming after law enforcement, and they will try to kill law enforcement.

So I do believe that law enforcement will do whatever they can to maintain safety. I was n a conference call last night with multiple levels of law enforcement, and they're very aware of what happened on January 6th, and they're going to make sure that January 6th never happens again.

REID: Yes. I think we're going to talk about 1/6 the way we talk about 9/11. I don't think that date will ever go away in our memory. It is so horrific. Congressman Ted Lieu, Charlie Sykes, thank you both very much. I really appreciate you guys tonight.

And before we take a break, I want to let you know about a very special guest that I will have next week. Thank you all. A very special guest that I'll have next week, on the eve of the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi joins me for a full hour to discuss the attack on our democracy, impeachment and the road ahead for Democrats. Join me for the speaker, one-on-one, that's next Tuesday, January 19th at 10:00 P.M. Eastern right here on MSNBC.

Okay. And coming up next on THE REIDOUT, the nation on edge, House Democrats receive a chilling briefing on threats to the Capitol.

Plus, the other threat, three Democratic House members test positive for COVID after sheltering with anti-mask Republicans. One of those members joins me tonight.

Back with more of THE REIDOUT after this.


REID: Now, just imagine for a moment if a plot to attack America was organized and successfully perpetrated by a foreign power with its insurgents storming into our Capitol and that further violent and organized attacks were coming in the days ahead, the nation would rightfully be seeing press conferences every hour on the hour. Instead, we heard from the FBI and the Department of Justice for the first time today, six days after the attempted insurrection.


MICHAEL SHERWIN, ACTING U.S. ATTORNEY: We're looking at significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy.

These are significant charges that have felonies with prison terms up to 20 years.


REID: The FBI director, the acting attorney general were not even present for this briefing.

Meanwhile, the nation remains completely on edge over escalating fears of more violence to come, both in D.C. and across the nation. Capitol police have briefed House Democrats on security preparations ahead of the inauguration. According to police, there is an increased threat to the Capitol, one member calling the briefing chilling and horrific.

We're also hearing troubling new reports about several law enforcement agencies. The Washington Post reported a Secret Service agent is under internal investigation for social media posts that accused lawmakers of treason for certifying Biden's victory. And various law enforcement agencies have opened probes into whether their own members took part in the Capitol riot or cheered on the attackers.

I think it's fair to say the peaceful transfer of power is no longer a thing. That ship has clearly sailed.

Joining me now is Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance and MSNBC Counterterrorism and Intelligence Analyst Malcolm Nance.

Now, apologies to the Lieutenant Governor. Normally, I would go to you first out of deference to your position, but I do to go to Malcolm first on this.

The really scary thing happened today that I would like for you to address, the Joint Chiefs of Staff today, Malcolm, issued a memorandum to the entire United States military saying that the violent riot January 6th, 2021, was a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building and our constitutional process. Any act to disrupt the constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath, it is against the law.

NBC reports that metal detectors have been set up outside the House chamber. Anyone going in, including members, now have to go through metal detectors.

That says to me that the call is coming from way inside the house, if the Joint Chiefs have to issue a memo like that, and now Republican members of Congress, who some of them bragged that they are -- have guns, have to go through a metal detector.

Are you worried about the military standing behind democracy on the 20th?

MALCOLM NANCE, NBC COUNTERTERRORISM AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: I am absolutely not. And let me explain to you why.

First off, at the end of the American Revolution, there was almost a revolution itself inside U.S. forces that were stationed at the headquarters in Newburgh, New York. No one was getting paid. People weren't being led out of the armed forces. And George Washington almost had a revolt of his army.

Washington came into a meeting of the people who were actually conspiring to overthrow him as commander in chief and abandon the country. And he gave what's now known as the famous Newburgh Address.

The Newburgh Address appealed to their loyalty as citizens to make the American experiment happen. Every officer in the armed forces is read the Newburgh Address.

I suspect today the document that was written by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff forever in American history will be equal, if not just a little bit below, the importance of the Newburgh Address.

It laid out clearly and specifically that the armed forces of the United States does not only not engage in these activities, but are opposed to these activities, and refer to the people who did it as insurrectionists and insurgents.

The armed forces does not play in this game, to the -- I'm sure to the chagrin of Donald Trump. And all of the people who in right-wing fever swamp have been for months saying that the military is coming to the rescue, Mike Flynn and special operations are going to arrest Nancy Pelosi, not happening.

We will defend the Constitution. The Constitution is the lawful order. And in less than a week, there will be a new president who will command all U.S. forces.

REID: That makes me feel better, because hearing about the Secret Service person -- I have tremendous respect for the Secret Service. They are such great professionals. And they protected the first black president for eight years. So, I know they know what they're doing.

And the military -- I grew up around military folks. And so you want to believe that these two institutions are -- are not -- they're not corruptible. Maybe some ex-military might participate in shenanigans, but we have got to be able to trust that the National Guard, the Secret Service, the uniformed military are going to protect our democracy. That makes me feel really, really -- much better.

So, now I will go to you, Lieutenant Governor Fetterman.

On the issue of police, we have seen investigations, one of -- all over the country in various states, where law enforcement officers who were off-duty were part of the mob. Now that these officers and their unions, to be very specific, understand that there were cop killers in that mob, and that police are also the target of people like the Boogaloo Boys, who are promising they're coming back to D.C., and who have killed cops, now that they understand that, do you think that this unbreakable support between particularly white police officers, to be blunt, and Donald Trump, is that spell broken?

And can we trust -- do you trust uniformed police to protect your capitol, because, apparently, that's also being threatened every capitol?

LT. GOV. JOHN FETTERMAN (D-PA): I do. I do very much.

And this idea -- I think everybody, certainly, by far and above the threshold of a critical mass, was horrified what they saw on January 6. I do. And I don't think anyone's tolerance or margin for any kind of insurrection or any kind of movement in that direction is going to be tolerated.

I think everything's going to be on lockdown. They're going to expect the most extreme kind of attempt. And I don't think it's going to really amount to much of anything. I do not believe that they're -- if there are any sympathizers at this point, they are a tiny, tiny, tiny minority of them.

And I do not suspect they are going to align themselves with a fringe organization that has demonstrated that they're willing to kill members of law enforcement in order to try to advance all of this, which is entirely predicated on a lie that the election was stolen that everyone from the president on down knows wasn't.

REID: So, that is good to hear as well.

So, this brings me to you, Joyce, because we had some failures of imagination. I think one of the main failures of imagination was that you had people, it seems to me, from the FBI down to the Capitol Police, could not imagine that groups of white Trump supporters, of white conservatives could have ever be dangerous, that they're just not dangerous by default, because these are groups of white people.

They presume all sorts of stuff when it's Black Lives Matter groups that are coming. But they presumed these people to be peaceful, even when they were saying, no, we're not peaceful. We're having reports today that FBI had reports that there was going to be war, that an FBI office in Virginia issued an explicit internal warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and war.

That's an internal document that we're getting from the FBI. That was ignored. And I ask you whether or not we can trust the agencies that have been denuded by Donald Trump for the last four years to do their job.

We know that, in the post 9/11-era, Muslims were viciously surveilled, had their -- there was a settlement because mosques were surveilled in Iraq -- these were American Muslims who were surveilled relentlessly. Anti-war people during the Iraq War were relentlessly surveilled, relentlessly infiltrated by the FBI. People who were knitting peace blankets were surveilled.

So, when it's anti-war and when it's Muslims, they go in. Do you trust the current Department of Justice to go in now, ahead of the 20th?

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I do. I trust the leadership in law enforcement and I trust the career people to get this right.

Look, Joy, everything that you're saying confirms what we know, that leadership really matters, and that Donald Trump was a wholly deficient leader. We don't have to look any further than the fact that he perverted intelligence, which depends in the law enforcement sense on getting the facts and using the facts to assess the risk.

And because the risk posed by white supremacist organizations did not fit into Donald Trump's preconceived notions of America, law enforcement and DHS and some of the other agencies lost funding. And they were -- they were essentially forced to relinquish that part of their operation.

But we know that that work survived. We see it in the intelligence bulletin from the Norfolk FBI office. We see it from other agencies that fought to put forward this information.

Now that we have gotten past Wednesday's events, and people are looking at risk in a little bit clear-eyed of a way, I think that we can have comfort that this work will return to normal, that it will be done in the way it needs to be done, based on facts and not bias.

REID: And for -- well, for their honor alone.

Very quickly with you, Joyce, and then to go to Malcolm next.

We now know these extremists, now that they're off regular social media, are moving to the sort of dark Web places, these secret online channels, to try to communicate about coming to D.C.

Can you just talk about the limits that law enforcement have when it comes to American citizens who, even if they're communicating madness online, like, they can't really -- I mean, what can law enforcement actually do?

VANCE: Sure.

When groups like this get deplatformed, they move to more fringe parts of the Internet. And then law enforcement has to chase them down and start over again. And you will hear there is some concern in law enforcement about whether or not they have the tools that they need to keep tabs on domestic terrorist organizations.

Those tools are more abundant in the foreign terrorism spectrum. There's an important conversation to be had when this need to get information and intelligence about criminal activity bumps up against cherished civil rights. And I think that's a nuanced conversation that needs to include all of the equities.

REID: Yes, absolutely.

VANCE: But the reality here is that there's a plethora of investigative tools that can be brought to bear right now.

REID: You're right. We have to have a whole 'nother conversation about the civil liberties impact if we were to create domestic terrorist legislation. We're going to have you come back for that.

But, Malcolm, we now know that the Secret Service has changed the Secret Service detail to bring back Obama era Secret Service to protect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, which I think is a very good thing.

We heard that Democratic members were reminded they can use government money to buy bulletproof vests. So, it sounds like everyone is on very, very high alert.

How do you catch these people, if they are Americans, so they have First Amendment rights, if they can hide in plain sight, as the hairdresser and the florist down the street? How do you stop an insurrection that's launched by American citizens?

NANCE: The week after the election, I was on Bill Maher's show. And I discussed this very point.

We have just entered insurrection. Next week, we are going to leave insurrection. We're going to be an insurgency. An insurgency is where they will go underground and they will operate in a clandestine manner. Their political body will be above ground trying to delegitimize people.

So, how do we deal with that environment where the United States is essentially occupied Iraq in 2003? It's simple. There are two factors that these people are afraid of the most. One is the efficiency of U.S. law enforcement. No matter what you say about cops, we know that some -- there are some really bad cops out there -- most cops really like law and order.

So, if anybody wants to get froggy with their weapons and come out and pretend like they're a militiaman, they're going to quickly determine, find out why we fund SWAT teams. And I trained them. These people are very, very good at what they do.

If there's any shooting to be happening, there's going to be shooting that's going to go both ways, and the professionals are going to dominate.

On the other hand, there is the opprobrium of the people of the United States. In simple talk, we must shame them. These people are no longer patriots. They are insurrectionists. They are insurgents. And at some point very soon, some of them will choose to become terrorists, where they will choose terror tactics and carry out a terrorist operation.

These two factors will break their -- their wills, to a certain extent, and take away their belief that they are the true Americans and sons of liberty. They're not. They're a really bad version of the British.

REID: That -- very thorough.

Lieutenant Governor Fetterman, I'm going to give you the last word on this. You are one of the people who is charged with trying to protect your capitol. There have been threats that all capitols, particularly in states like yours, that were some of the determining states for the Biden/Harris victory.

Michigan -- in Michigan, the attorney general there said she's not there to lie. It ain't safe. Dana Nessel said today: "My job is not to provide state employees and residents and other visitors to our capitol with a false sense of security. The Michigan capitol is not safe."

How do you make sure that your capitol is safe?

FETTERMAN: Well, our Capitol Police are on high alert. And they have already been without a show of force.

And I am not -- I'm not concerned. I certainly would not get to the point where I would say that. But, also, Michigan also had a plot where they had planned to capture and maybe even harm the governor of Michigan. So, circumstances there are a little different.

REID: Yes.

FETTERMAN: But, last Tuesday, there was a demonstration of a couple 100 angry Trump supporters underneath my office balcony.

So, I mean, certainly, the threat is there. I think our Capitol Police are equipped and understand that they have to remain very vigilant to this kind of threat for the foreseeable future, at least until Donald Trump is out of office.

REID: Yes, I think the idea, the bottom line is that law enforcement is going to have to rethink what they think is dangerous.

Black Lives Matter, that ain't the threat, you all. That's not who's trying to overthrow the federal -- the United States government. You're going to have to start looking at those people who are backing Donald Trump to the hilt.

Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, Joyce Vance, Malcolm Nance, thank you all very much. All of you, stay safe.

And coming up: Donald Trump's stunning, but not at all surprising response to the deadly attack at the Capitol that was committed in his name.

Stay with us.


REID: House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senator Lindsey Graham and other politicians proudly boarded the Trump train back in 2017.

The people who styled themselves as principled conservatives traded the core values they claimed to have for Trumpian magic beans and a taste of power, money and judges.

Last week, while bloodthirsty insurrectionists hunted some of those same politicians down, Trump, their dear leader and the man who promised to end American carnage, was too busy to take their calls for help.

What was he doing? According to "The Washington Post," he was just enjoying the show on the TV, transfixed by the fiery televised images of the crisis and buoyed to see that his supporters were fighting so hard on his behalf.

Concern only crept into his lizard brain when he became worried that all of it would prevent Republican lawmakers from overturning the will of 81 million American voters.

Days, weeks and months before the assault, congressional Republicans were more than happy to help keep up this big lie about a rigged election.

Here's Kevin McCarthy days after the election urging all Republicans to keep up the fight.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Republicans will not back down. We will not wait to four years for now to change this. We are going to fight this now. And we're going to change it.


REID: But, today, they're calling on Democrats to turn the page and just move on from the murderous assault.

They're also trying to reconnect with their long-dormant moral consciences. Somehow, by pure coincidence, after the attack, reports of McCarthy's alleged bravery were leaked to Axios.

"According to officials familiar with the call" -- quote, unquote -- Trump refused to accept his support his role in the siege, as he ranted about the election. An exasperated McCarthy had to tell the president: "Stop it. It's over. The election is over."

So brave.

But here's the thing. As they say in the stores, you break it, you own it.

After the break: why nobody's buying the Republicans' new calls for peace and unity.

Stay with us.


REID: While the Republican Party attempts to distance itself from the failed coup attempt last week, remember it was members of that same party fanning the flames ahead of the attack on our Capitol.


REP. MADISON CAWTHORN (R-NC): Call your congressman and feel free. You can lightly threaten them and say, you know what? If you don't start supporting election integrity, I'm coming after you.

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): Basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you've got to go as violent as Antifa and BLM.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): We will not go quietly into the night. We will defend liberty into the future. And we are going to win.

REP. MO BROOKS (R-AL): Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass! Are you willing to do what it takes to fight for America?


REID: Hmm. Joining me now is Jelani Cobb, staff writer at "The New Yorker" and Tim Miller, writer at large for "The Bulwark".

And, Tim, since I basically kidnapped you from Nicolle's show, so I have to go to you first. So thank you so much for being here. I always enjoy watching you on with Nicolle.

I mean, you had people like Lauren Boebert who apparently a year is but a day. She said today is 1776. You had Marjorie Taylor Greene, the QAnon lady, it's our 1776 moment. Paul Ozark, join us on January 6, Biden is an illegitimate usurper.

Like they all were talking revolution, but now they're like, oh, wait. That was me? I didn't mean any of that.

How can the Republican Party, by any stretch of the imagination, try to distance themselves from what happened on the 6th?

TIM MILLER, THE BULWARK, WRITER-AT-LARGE: Well, Joy, Nicolle is happy to run me out. So thanks for having me.

Look, there's no -- there's no way to distance, and, you know, watching those clips got me mad all over again. But I want to just go even a step further than you did, which is we all know that Lauren Boebert and Madison Cawthorn, and Louie Gohmert and Mo Brooks and Ted Cruz incited this insurrection over a completely phony fraud claim they fabricated and the smart ones knew they fabricated. But it went much deeper than that.

On the night before the insurrection, Kelly Loeffler was on stage in Georgia with Donald Trump, and she said that I will vote tomorrow to overturn this election, to raucous applause.

Every Republican supported Kelly Loeffler when she ran on a pro-coup platform in the Georgia run-off campaign. It wasn't subtle. It was explicit. She supported an overthrowing of the election based on fabricated fraud.

There wasn't a single Republican that said, wait a minute, I don't know that I can support somebody that's running for Senate on a pro-coup platform. Not one person said that. She said it on stage with the president. They supported her. Mitch supported her. The NRSC did.

Look, this went all the way down. And so, you know, there are a couple of exemptions, Adam Kissinger, Mitt, of course. But, man, 90 percent of the Republicans in Washington supported the insurrection. It was just a matter of whether they silently coddled it or whether they are actively encouraged and incited it.

REID: Yeah, indeed. On the silently coddled side, Jelani, I put Mitch McConnell, who was happy to let the insurrection whip up what he thought were votes to keep him in the majority but when the Jewish guy and black guy won, suddenly, he's like, I'm sick of this Trump guy. He's got to go, right?

I mean, it's like now that he doesn't need Trump anymore, he got his tax cuts, got his judges and lost his majority because of the result of the Senate race, which he blames on Donald Trump, now he conveniently is like, right side of history, jumping over. It is not credible.

JELANI COBB, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: No, it's not. You know, it's strategic. You understand what the calculations are there. But, you know, the fact of the matter is that people saw this coming from a mile away.

And, you know, to give you another comparison that's really not very deep in history at all, but when we saw the destruction, the bombing of the Oklahoma City building in 1994 and that target, 168 people killed. It was directly connected to the rhetoric that people had been using, anti-government rhetoric, which had become prominent then as now in the Republican Party, and the reckoning with consequences, saying that even if we didn't directly nurture and assist Timothy McVeigh. And what he did recreated a climate in which these kinds of sentiments thrive.

And people seemed to have lost that message. They forgot that that happened, and we find ourselves, a generation later, right back in that same sort of situation.

REID: Well, and I wonder if, you know, the only incentive, Tim, that pulls Republicans out of it are the main incentives, are electoral if they realize there's no base for it. There is obviously a huge electoral base for it, let's just be honest unfortunately. But they all want (ph) big money.

I mean, you have Donald Trump losing his precious open. That's going away. You've got major companies like JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft and Blue Cross and everybody jumping off the ship of the Republican Party. Rick Scott has no idea how he will raise money as the head of the Republican Senate Committee that's supposed to raise money.

At the end of the day, do corporations actually have more ability to reform the Republican Party than any Republican?

MILLER: Yeah. Hey, one cheer for corporate America here on MSNBC.

Maybe they have to step in because the government and the Republican Party has failed, Joy. So, I'll give you the bad news first. As far as the political incentives, they'll remain to stay with President Trump. This has been a bottom-up thing. The mob, the MAGA mob has been the tail wagging the dog for the last five years.

And these senators and these House members respond to their support, their voters. And their voters are going to want them to stand with Donald Trump by a clear majority, despite the fact that he attempted a coup. So, in order to get them to act, it's going to have to be political pressure from D.C. It's going to have to be hopefully even more information about how complicit Donald Trump was, sitting in that White House, as this attack came out to discuss then.

And thanks to not just the corporations pulling out money but de-platforming from big tech finally doing the right thing, Donald Trump can't intimidate them over Twitter like he has been able to do the last four years.

So, look, I don't want to be, you know, Lucy with the football here on Republicans doing the right thing, but if they do, it's going to be because of that kind of pressure, not bottom-up pressure from voters.

REID: Oh, I 100 percent agree with you.

Jelani, final word from the historian here. On the Democrat side, do you think it is important then -- does Joe Biden need to do this big public, you know, inaugural? I mean, because it's -- you know, it's a show of force against a foreign, you know, insurgency or attack on the United States is one thing. He now has to do a show of force against Americans who are attempting -- who attempted to overthrow him even before he was sworn in.

Your final word?

COBB: I think if you remember back not very far in history, in 2008, when Barack Obama was inaugurated, and he got out of the limo. And everyone was terrified, because of the sorts of threats that surged and were swirling around him.

REID: Yeah.

COBB: I think that with him. I think it sets a tone to say that you're not afraid of these people. That said, I think there really need to be comprehensive measures taken. You know, perhaps this doesn't happen in the same way. Perhaps it happens indoors.

COVID also means we're going to have to change lots of things, anyway. I think maybe it's okay if we have an inauguration that looks very, very different from the way it traditionally has.

REID: Yeah. Jelani Cobb, Tim Miller, who's piece is "The attack on democracy is not over, it's still happening right now", recommended you read that on "The Bulwark" -- thank you both for being here. I really appreciate you.

MILLER: Thanks so much, Joy.

REID: Meanwhile, some Republicans -- cheers -- some Republicans refuse to wear masks while sheltering during the insurrection. Now, three Democrats have COVID. One of the lawmakers who tested positive, Congressman Brad Schneider, joins me next.


REID: While they were locked down during last week's riot on Capitol Hill, some Republicans refused to wear masks and even laughed when they were offered them by Democratic Lisa Blunt Rochester.


REP. MARKWAYNE MULLIN (R-OK): I'm not trying to get political here. In fact, I'm just going to leave it alone, but I appreciate you.

But I'll come over there and hug you.

REP. LISA BLUNT ROCHESTER (D-DE): Don't do yourself any favors.


REID: And now, three Democratic members of the House have tested positive for coronavirus, Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, Pramila Jayapal of Washington, and Brad Schneider of Illinois.

And Congresswoman Watson Coleman, a 75-year-old cancer survivor, wrote today that, quote: I got COVID-19 because my GOP colleagues dismissed facts.

Congresswoman Jayapal called out Republicans for, quote, refusing to simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic, creating a super spreader event on top of a domestic terrorist attack.

And Congressman Schneider said in a statement that he is angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff.

And I am joined now by Illinois Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider, who is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Congressman, first of all, how are you feeling?

REP. BRAD SCHENEIDER (D-IL): Joy, thanks. It's good to be here.

I'm happy to report that so far, I'm asymptomatic, but I am really angry to the fact that so many of my colleagues were put at risk, and so, now, three of us have been diagnosed as positive, and I'm just praying for a full, fast recovery for all my colleagues and for everyone in the country dealing with this.

REID: You have every reason to be angry, all three of you do. One of the three of you is a cancer survivor. It was completely, you know, not your fault.

And I want to read a little bit from Leigh Ann Caldwell, one of our reporters, who has this reporting on one of your colleagues. His name is Representative Mike Kelly, who's in the safe room for House member. Representative Annie Kuster tells me she asked Representative Mike Kelly to put on a mask. He refused and said, I can't breathe, which in and of itself is something.

Kelly spokesman denies the exchange happened but he adds the risk to others is minimal because he claims he has antibodies from a March diagnosis. You need to wear a mask even if you have antibodies because there is no science confirming that you are not able to spread it.

Did you get the sense that the Republicans in the room with you just didn't care about COVID, didn't believe COVID is real, or in a sense, felt they had a right to spread COVID if they had it?

SCHNEIDER: I think it's just sheer contempt. As I said in my statement, I think they look at their colleagues, I think they look at not just our fellow members of Congress, it's the staff, the people who work in the Capitol, it's people who fly airplanes and refuse to wear a mask and say, I don't care if you get sick, I only care about myself.

This is pure selfishness and it's not just disrespectful, it's disgraceful.

REID: There is an attempt now -- there are House members that will now be fined if they don't wear masks on the floor, fined members not wearing a mask on the House floor will be included in the House tonight. A senior Democratic aide has told us that there will be a $500 fine for the first offense, a $2,500 fine for the second offense.

Do you actually feel also that yourself, your staff members and other members of Congress, should be able to sue Republican members who deliberately put you at risk?

SCHNEIDER: So, it's a complicated question. Look, I know my greatest exposure was during that five hours we were in the secure space during Wednesday's attack on the Capitol, but I can't say for certain that's where I got infected. I was in the Capitol all day Thursday. I've been driving back and forth to try to reduce my exposure, but I still made pit stops along the way.

But just out of respect for each other, a face mask is not a political statement. A face mask is a simple device to try to reduce the spread of this virus that is causing death and devastation across our country. We could do this if we work together, and that's why I'm so upset about the disregard of my Republican colleagues.

REID: We know that nationwide they're at 22.8 million Americans that have COVID, along with yourself. There have been 379,000 people who have passed away, and we know that Washington, D.C. is now reeling from a new outbreak in the wake of the riot.

Are you concerned that we are not going to be able to get this virus under control, even with vaccines because of the attitudes of people like your Republican colleagues?

SCHNEIDER: I'm very concerned. First, everyone should take vaccine. I had my first vaccine on Monday the 4th. I was exposed on most likely the 6th. And the vaccine doesn't take effect for a couple of weeks, unfortunately, but everyone has to take a vaccine.

But if we don't get people vaccinated, this disease spreads at such a rate. And you mentioned 21 million infected today. Two weeks ago, it was less than 20 million people.

And the faster it spreads, the more people will get sick, the more people will die. If we just work together, if we wear our mask, if we wash our hands, if we keep our distance, if we get the vaccines out in a structured way, and we work as one nation, not Republicans, or Democrats, city or rural, we have to work as one nation to get it done.

REID: Yeah. Absolutely.

Congressman Brad Schneider, wishing you the best, Pramila Jayapal, as well as Bonnie Watson Coleman, thank you all very much. Be well.

SCHNEIDER: Thank you so much.

REID: Feel better.

That is tonight's REIDOUT.



Content and programming copyright 2021 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2021 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.