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Transcript: The ReidOut, January 8, 2021

Guests: Jonathan Lemire, Pramila Jayapal, Ben Collins, Naveed Jamali, Charlie Sykes, Anne Applebaum


Twitter has now permanently suspended President Trump's Twitter account. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has given Donald Trump a choice: resign or face a second impeachment or removal by the 25th Amendment. The move towards the impeachment option is on the express track; three Democrats have already drafted new articles of impeachment, and plan to introduce them as soon as Monday.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST, "THE BEAT": Thank you for joining us here on "THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER". We'll be back Monday night 6:00 p.m. Eastern. Stay safe.

"THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid is up next.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Breaking news tonight: after thousands of 280-character communications to his tens of millions of followers that range from stupid and juvenile to lying and frankly dangerous, Donald Trump has been stripped of the precious. Jack and company have now permanently suspended Trump's Twitter account, finally accomplishing something three wives, multiple legal -- people who are suing him, and his entire White House staff have failed to do, shutting him the hell up. Twitter cited the risk of further incitement of violence and, finally, finally taking action.

Meanwhile, tonight, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has given Donald Trump a choice: resign or face a second impeachment or removal by the 25th Amendment. The move comes after Democratic members of the House held a nearly four-hour meeting today to discuss their options. Pelosi also told Democrats that top military officials are assured her that steps were in place to prevent Trump from initiating any military hostilities, including a nuclear strike. Just take that in for a second.

Meanwhile, the move towards the impeachment option is on the express track. Three Democrats have already drafted new articles of impeachment, and plan to introduce them as soon as Monday. They state, quote, the president threatened the integrity of the Democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power and imperiled a coordinate branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as president.

A growing number of politicians from both parties have expressed an openness to impeachment. And late this afternoon, Alaska Republican senator Lisa Murkowski called for the president to resign immediately, saying bluntly: I want him out.

The rapid momentum toward a second impeachment two days after the Trump mobs stormed the capitol, resulting in five deaths, including a Capitol Hill police officer.

Just hours before the deadly siege, Trump and his family attended a rally where they all encouraged their supporters to, quote, fight.


DONALD TRUMP JR., SON OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: Mark Meadows, an actual fighter, one of the few. A real fighter. Thank you, Mark.




REID: That's Mark Meadows and Kimberly Guilfoyle standing behind him.

And months -- moments after that little party, Trump took to the stage and egged his supporters, urging them to march to the Capitol.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we're going to have to fight much harder and Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us. And if he doesn't, that will be a sad day for our country. We're going to walk down to the Capitol. And we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressman and women, and we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you'll never take back our country with weakness.


REID: A day later, Trump released a heavily scripted and edited video message urging a, quote, peaceful transition of power, not once mentioning his successor.

Now, it's reported that he did so begrudgingly and at the behest of Pat Cipollone, his White House legal counsel, in order to ward off potential legal trouble for Trump once he leaves office.

This morning, Trump showed us who he really is by tweeting on his now suspended account. Quote: The 75 million great American patriots who voted for me, they will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in way, shape or form!

And while Trump was defending anti-Semites and vigilantes, president-elect called for their prosecution.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: These are a bunch of thugs. Thugs. And their terrorists, domestic terrorist. They should be prosecuted.

The difference here is, this had the active encouragement of a sitting president of the United States. He's been an embarrassment to the country. Embarrassed us around the world. Not worthy -- not worthy to hold that office.


REID: The ignominious end of the Trump administration should come as no surprise. For the past four years, Donald Trump has, for all intents and purposes, behaved like a maniac. And will leave the United States the same way he left most of his businesses, in a giant shambolic mess.

For more, I'm joined by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington state, Jonathan Lemire, White House reporter for "The Associated Press", and Neal Katyal, former acting solicitor general.

And, normally, I would go to the congresswoman first. I want to apologize for not deferring to you, Congresswoman, but I have to go to Jonathan Lemire first.

Donald Trump suspended from Twitter. It doesn't seem like it would be the biggest story in the world, but he has used that Twitter account to foment violence, to spread lies to his supporters, including to foment and to advertise the, quote, wild rally that took place turning into a siege on Wednesday.

Donald Trump has in the past said that in the 2017, he said: Without the tweets, I wouldn't be here. I have over 100 million followers between Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, he said proudly. Over 100 million, I don't have to go to the fake media.

He's used to get around people like you.

What you make of the fact that he is now permanently suspended? What does the White House think about it more importantly?


JONATHAN LEMIRE, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Sure, as someone in Trump's inner circle put it to me just in the last few minutes, that this, losing his Twitter account probably hurts the president more than his impeachment. This was indeed, this was uniquely him, and I don't think can be overstated how important Twitter was and still is, was to his rise and is to his presidency.

He now -- on Twitter alone, has over 88 million followers. He used it indeed to get around the mainstream media. But more than that, he used it to as a messaging tool for his supporters.

He also used it as policy. He announced wild policies by Twitter. He announced firings, cabinet member dismissals, by Twitter. He attacked members of his own party on Twitter. He got into international incidents on Twitter.

This was of the life blood of the Trump presidency. So, there's something fitting here as he's under siege from all sides in his last 12 days, that it would be taken from him. His one means to fight back. He portrayed himself as a counter puncher. He labels himself. And now he can't, at least not in the way he would want.

REID: Yeah.

LEMIRE: There's certainly no size -- no shortage of sigh of relief throughout Washington about this. There are members of his own staff, fellow Republicans, supporters of his who believe that his Twitter is what held him back, that he kept getting in trouble for all its advantages, for all the means, ways he used it to communicate. And it also was his undoing.

And certainly, we saw that play out dramatically over the last couple of days as he did incite people to go to this March on the capitol. And as it was happening, he used Twitter to release a video in which he told them he loved them. So, right now, as his potential exit, his early exit from his office is a real possibility, far more so impeachment it would seem than 25th amendment. He now has lost his best way to fight back, to shape the narrative, to try to control the story. And instill fear in the Republicans he needs more than ever.

REID: Yeah, including instilling fear in members of Congress.

I want to go to you, Congresswoman.

And I want to say, you know, Rashad Robinson of Color of Change and also Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have been early and vocal advocates for Twitter to suspend Donald Trump's Twitter account. They called it dangerous and pushed and pushed to have it happen. And people didn't really listen to either one of them.

As somebody who has also put in jeopardy by Trumps tweets, he did advertise the quote wild events of Wednesday in advance on Twitter and used it in including to go after Mike Pence. After which Mike Pence was then targeted. You can see people screaming and threatening him.

What do you make of the fact that he's finally suspended, and do you feel safer without Trump having access to this medium?

We don't have your audio, Congresswoman. We're going to hold on for one second. We're going to try to fix your audio. We're going to try to fix the Congresswoman's audio. So, let's try to see if we can fix that.

I'll come back to you, on the -- oh, we do have you back.

OK, Congresswoman, go ahead. Go for it.

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Thank you. Joy, it was so essential. And you know that we have been trying to take on all sorts of platforms by race, all the questions that concerns that Rashad and other civil rights activists raised for months when I question Mark Zuckerberg.

This is essential. It's late but it's essential. Just as one of maybe a dozen or more members that were stuck in the gallery, even after members were cleared off the floor, the reality is that Donald Trump committed sedition. He incited a violent group of domestic terrorists and insurrectionist to go to the Capitol, and this was the worst and most destructive assault on the U.S. capitol since the war of the 1812.

That's the significance of what we're talking about. These people I heard the gunshots as they were being fired into the chamber. We saw because we were up in the gallery. We couldn't get out.

We saw the barricaded, you know, furniture against the doors, and the reality is that Donald Trump has done this over and over again. You remember joy the summer last summer, when I questioned Bill Barr about the desperate treatment of the armed militia that went in and stormed the Michigan state capitol, versus the way the Black Lives Matter peaceful protesters were treated after the murder of George Floyd.

And those armed militia going in and storming capitols was a precursor to what happened two days ago. I just want to be clear, that there is no way in my opinion that that could have happened without planned assistance from the White House, and perhaps from intelligence agencies whether explicit looking away. or implicit looking away, or even providing of information of where the office of the parliament where the Senate is, where the office of the parliamentarian for the House is, where Jim Clyburn's actual office is, not the office that says the office of the whip, but where he sits with his computer, which was taken from that office.

There's no doubt in my mind that there were people inside the Capitol, inside law enforcement perhaps even other members of the other side that may have been involved in this. So, it is a terrible thing. That's why we're moving quickly to -- if he doesn't resign or if Mike Pence doesn't invoke 25th Amendment which I understand he said he didn't want to do, then I do you believe the House of Representatives will impeach him, and it's necessary for the safety and the security of the country, not to say anything about the accountability, which requires (INAUDIBLE)

REID: That is a big deal. What you said. The idea there had to have been coordination, and the terrorists were able to locate offices they shouldn't have just regular people off the street known where they were.

Let me play really quickly Speaker Pelosi who is going to -- she's taped an interview with 60 minutes. Let me just play a little bit of it. Take a listen.


INTERVIEWER: Does anybody running the executive branch of the government? Who is running the executive branch?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, sadly, the person who is running the branch is a deranged, unhinged, dangerous president of the United States, and a number of days until we can be protected from him. But he has done something so serious that there should be prosecution against him.

INTERVIWER: Well, I gather that the 25th Amendment is off the table.

PELOSI: It isn't. Nothing is off the table.


REID: You know, Neal, let me bring you in.

We know that Speaker Pelosi is going to bring a privileged resolution on impeachment. You can just clarify for us that I assume means they don't have to go through the committee process. I mean, the judiciary committee doesn't have to do the hearings. As they did last time, is that accurate?

NEAL KATYAL, FORMER ACTING SOLICITOR GENERAL: Yes. They are trying to fast track impeachment. Obviously, no final decisions have been made. But I think the house is well right in thinking impeachment right now is important. I mean, it's -- you know, it's very significant to Donald Trump personally that he lost his precious in Twitter. And so on.

But, really, there's something far more important has to happen, which is this person has to be removed from office. There has to be a signal sent so future presidents doesn't act this way. And every person in Congress has to go on the record and say, do they stand with this thug, this -- you know, want to be pretend dictator or not.

And, you know, the excerpts you were showing, Joy, about Trump stoking the violence both before January 6 and on January 6, you know, potentially violated a number of criminal statutes, but at certainly at the very least impeachable offenses. And Trump is now all acting surprised.

I mean, give me a break. I mean, he is shocked to learn he can be held accountable even though he did the responsible thing turning around and hiding in the White House right after he gave the speech on January 6th. I mean, this is ridiculous.

REID: Yeah.

KATYAL: This is not the way any person should behave, let alone the president.

REID: Neil, very quickly, I mean, you were calling for impeachment even before what happened on Wednesday. But now what we are facing is that the Obamas, the former president and first lady, the former President George W. Bush, and Laura Bush, the Former President Bill and Hillary Clinton will all be at the inaugural.

And we're facing a situation, and you just heard a congressman say, it's not clear that there wasn't coordination, whether it was just through negligence on the law enforcement side or active engagement. People that were inside of our Capitol knew exactly how to get to the speakers office, and how to get to offices they shouldn't have known where they were. There were people threatening the life of the vice president of the United States, while he was nearby in hiding.

Is there a way to get impeachment done? Not symbolically in order to punish Donald Trump and send a message. But to get him out so that he cannot run for office again and to do it in expeditious fashion? How fast can this happen?

KATYAL: A hundred percent. The resolutions the indictment are introduced on Monday. There can be a vote on Tuesday. You can go to the Senate on Wednesday for a trial.

And this is not a trial that will take very long. I mean, all the facts are in front of us. Frankly, the blood is in front of us in the U.S. Capitol. And that's I think all you need to know about this president.

REID: And, Congresswoman, is that what you foresee happening? You have been in the meetings with the speaker. Is this a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday done fast track process?

JAYAPAL: Well, Neil is right. It's an hour of debate with the privilege resolution. So, it is very quick on the floor of the House. You know, the evidence is right there. We are the evidence. We were all there. We saw it. There's video of it.

My guess is the Senate could try to delay it. Of course, if they don't want to, it will be up to people like Lisa Murkowski and others who have come out and said they think the president needs to be removed, needs to resign or be removed. That is what's on the table for Donald Trump. He can resign, and, you know?

And that, frankly, we just have to get him out as quickly as possible. You ask if I felt safer that his Twitter has been suspended and, of course, I think that's an essential thing. But this is the man who has access to the nuclear codes. He has full and complete control of all of the intelligence agencies and all the law enforcement.

Joy, the French intelligence and NATO intelligence officials have come out and advised leaders of their countries that this was attempted coup based on the evidence they have seen.

So, I just want to emphasize how deeply unsafe we are and we have 13 days, almost 12 days before the next president will be inaugurated and none of us -- and I say this to you as a woman of color -- none of us know if we can be safe in the Capitol, because we don't know who is protecting us and who is not.

And so, I think this is -- I'm not talking about members of Congress. I'm talking about our staffs. I'm talking about (INAUDIBLE) the population, and then, of course, the country, because that's what this is about, our democracy and our Constitution.

REID: That's absolutely the thing that is frightening, that we did -- as you said, it's not clear whether there are people mixed into the people supposed to be protecting members. Very quickly before you let go, Jonathan Lemire, that -- inside the White House, how much fear is there about how dangerous Donald Trump could become if he's given 12 more days of power?

LEMIRE: Well, Joy, those who are left and it's a very small group. The inner circle on the president has really hallowed out. These are the true believers.

So, I don't know that in that, in the West Wing, there's much of a relief he's dangerous. We have heard testimony now from a number of people who just left the White House. And let's not give them too much credit here. There's only two weeks to go before this administration. That's a pretty convenient time to quit and protest.

But we have seen cabinet members leave. We have seen White House officials leave. The West Wing former communications director was on MSNBC earlier today, warning about what the president could do in 12 days. So, certainly, there are circles. There are Republicans who do worry about what could still happen.

This is a president who is, you know, seemingly who is by our reporting furious at his vice president and members of staff, and members of his party. He's vowing to back primary challenges to any senator who stood up against him in the last week. He is still talking about running again in 2024.

He's still trying to be relevant here. And I think at this point, none of us should make a prediction as to what the next 12 days can hold.

REID: Absolutely. Well, he can plan it on Parler, because he's off Twitter. This is -- I agree with you. He's a maniac. I don't think there's any other way to put it.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, glad you and your staff are safe. Jonathan Lemire and Neal Katyal, we just heard Neal say it. It can be a one, two, three-day thing. It can be done on Wednesday.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, the unprecedented security breach with three top successors to the presidency and the future vice president all in harm's way. With police easily over run by the Trump mob. Why aren't more of the criminals being arrested?

Plus, Trump, the international disgrace. What America lost this week, an esteem, credibility and influence around the world.


REID: Wednesday's Trump-fueled siege at the Capitol has revealed that law enforcement was woefully unprepared, to say the least.

Their failure to defend the Capitol resulted in an unprecedented national security breach, with pro-Trump thugs ransacking the offices of our elected representatives.

Now, we already know that a laptop was stolen from Speaker Pelosi's office. And Politico reports that national security equities may have been among the records stolen. Then there's the question of whether some officers were sympathetic to the insurrectionists they were supposed to defend against.

Naveed Jamali reports in "Newsweek" that a law enforcement official familiar with the groups responsible for this siege says that "their past actions, which have often exhibited pro-law enforcement tendencies, likely dictated the behavior of federal officers on the scene."

Needless to say, the attack could have decapitated the legislative branch of our government. Photos of some rioters, like this one, carrying zip tie handcuffs, suggests that they may have planned to take hostages, reminiscent of the plot against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer last year.

In fact, "The New York Times" has audio of chants from inside the building suggesting that Mike Pence became a target after Trump targeted him in a tweet.

Here's an excerpt from on the -- from the -- on "The Daily" podcast.


RIOTERS: Hang Mike Pence! Where's Mike Pence? Hang Mike Pence! Where's Mike Pence?

SHEERA FRENKEL, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": You hear dozens of people shouting: "Where's Pence? Where's Pence? Find Pence."


RIOTERS: Where's Mike Pence? Hang Mike Pence! Where's Mike Pence? Hang Mike Pence!


REID: "Hang Mike Pence" is what you just heard.

As NBC's Ben Collins reports: "Extremists made little secret of their ambitions to occupy the Capitol in the weeks before the attack."

Most tragically, the siege has now claimed the life of a Capitol Hill police officer, war veteran Brian Sicknick, who died last night after rioters struck him with a fire extinguisher.

So much for blue lives matter.

Joining me now is Naveed Jamali, editor at large for "Newsweek," and NBC News reporter Ben Collins.

Ben, I'm going to start with you.

And I want to start with that breaking news that Twitter has now cut off Donald Trump from one of the ways in which he has incited violence, including inciting the violence on Wednesday, taking him off Twitter.

Do you have any reporting on how that came about?


This morning, a lot of employees met up with some executives at Twitter today. There was meeting at Twitter. And let them have it. And they said they weren't comfortable working there if this guy was still, in fact, on their platform.

And that was it. You know, I think that that's a big part of what happened today.

You know, on Wednesday, I was leaked some internal Slack messages from Twitter. And they said, I think fomenting a coup is a hard line. Like, we can draw a line at what's happening today.

And by the end of today, that was it. Tonight, Twitter said no more Donald Trump on their platform.

REID: And let me just show you fomenting a coup literally means this kind of violence.

This is a police officer basically being crushed in a doorway by the Trump mob. Let's play a little bit of that. And it's disturbing. Just warning you all.




REID: We also saw, Ben, people walking around with police shields, wearing the police uniform parts, meaning they had picked up and taken police uniform pieces.

The D.C. police chief, Robert Contee, claimed in a presser yesterday that there was no intelligence suggesting there could be a breach in the U.S. Capitol.

I have been watching you on TV all day. That sounds like, I hate to say it, bullshit.

Is that true that they had no idea that this was going to get loud and violent?

COLLINS: It would be a massive intelligence failure if they truly believed that.

First of all, I don't understand this new talking point that I'm hearing that they didn't expect these specific people to be anti-cop. The Boogaloo movement is about taking down the government, like, literally going into the Capitol Building and taking down the government.

There -- we spent, like, the last six to seven months reporting on these statehouses being stormed, where they were planning the literal hostage-taking and murder of Michigan's governor. These people planned for this precise thing. We know they did.

The names of the events and merchandise they made were Occupy the Capitol and Storm the Capitol. We knew for a fact that was happening.

And I really want to stress this. The thing they were debating on the Internet was who they should kill, which people they should kill inside the Capitol. They were told that, if Mike Pence didn't overturn this election, that they needed to storm the Capitol and do something about it.

And that's what they were talking about when you heard that Mike Pence audio.

REID: Wow.

COLLINS: They thought that he had the keys making Donald Trump dictator for life, and he chose not to do it.

REID: And to just underscore that, Naveed, you have also been doing a lot of reporting talking with law enforcement. It does not sound credible, to be honest with you, that they had no idea.

Donald Trump was saying, it's going to be wild. As Ben just said, people were all over Parler and 4chan and all of these other things that the FBI can easily monitor and Twitter saying what they were going to do.

And, as you mentioned -- we were talking about this earlier -- you already had a plot to kidnap and try and maybe kill the governor of Michigan. That just happened. So, it's not as if there was no precedent for this kind of behavior.

NAVEED JAMALI, EDITOR AT LARGE, "NEWSWEEK": That's absolutely right.

And that group, Joy, by the way, had connections to Timothy McVeigh. I mean, 20 years ago, the worst domestic terrorist attack by a U.S. citizen on American soil, and the group that Timothy McVeigh was connected to, that met with him, a militia group, is now plotting to kidnap a sitting governor.

And in the 20 years, nothing could have been done prior to that? That just tells me exactly the -- sort of how law enforcement looks at these groups, how they deprioritize the threat. And, look, to Ben's point, I don't think this was necessarily an intelligence failure, in the sense that they didn't know this was happening.

I think that they failed to communicate it back adequately. And, clearly, police failed to take the appropriate steps to counter this. And, as the congresswoman said before, whether this was by design or by default, that's what happened.

So, yes, it was absolutely intelligence failure in the sense that, hey, no one took this seriously. And that's insane.

REID: But no one took this seriously, or they were complicit, Naveed, because it's either no one took it seriously...


REID: ... or there were people inside.

We just heard the congresswoman, Pramila Jayapal of Washington state, say that it wasn't clear to her that there weren't people inside the Capitol Police Department itself who were sympathetic to this, not just looking...



REID: ... not just incompetent, but maybe sympathetic.

JAMALI: That's right.

REID: And, yes, we have -- we know that some of these are sort of ordinary Joes who were sort of weekend warrioring.

We have got a guy in Boise who is now saying he apologizes for storming the Senate floor, he's just some guy.

JAMALI: Right.

REID: You have got insurance salesmen. You have got people who do real estate. You have got a lawmaker, West Virginia lawmaker, who was charged. He recorded himself inside the Capitol. He's the one who was hanging off the wall.

He's -- lawyer saying he's not going to resign his office. You did have, allegedly, off-duty police officers flashing their badges. So, these were some of them of the more ordinary Joes.

JAMALI: Absolutely.

REID: But they weren't all, Naveed.

JAMALI: That's right. And...

REID: Some of these people were known QAnon leaders.

JAMALI: That's right.

And to make it one step further, one of the senior law enforcement officials we interviewed said, look, this needs to be investigated to look at if there was a hierarchical conspiracy. This was -- there was a planning cell.

There was -- the people who were knocking down the door and roaming through the Capitol freely weren't the only ones who organized this. So are we going to investigate those groups?

I mean, look, we did a fantastic job post-9/11 in stopping international terrorists. Bin Laden didn't fly the planes into the World Trade Center. We had no trouble on dismantling al Qaeda and going after ISIS. Why can't we do that here? Why does it have to be just these people and not looking at who radicalized them...

REID: Right.

JAMALI: ... who pushes the ideology, and the leadership? I mean, it's crazy.

REID: And, Ben, I mean, can they just call you? You mean, isn't there a known QAnon, a guy named Jake Angeli, who was a part of this?

I mean, you have identified some of these people just on MSNBC today.


I mean, that's him right there. He's been around in QAnon circles for a long time. And he was on the dais in the Senate there -- as you can see right there in those pictures.

Yes, he's very available. Now, that doesn't mean don't send tips to the FBI. If you know where this guy is, call them. Please, please tell them.

REID: Yes.

COLLINS: But I do want to -- I want to talk about -- give a little teeny bit of history here of how this happened.

A couple years ago, after Charlottesville, militias like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers said, look, we have got to be big tent. We have got to be at the front of the line. And then people can follow us in. That's quite literally what happened here.

But if you had some dumb QAnon supporters who kind of believed in this sort of stuff on the Internet, and showed up because they like the president, they were in this space because of that big tent. The Proud Boys opened this up, radicalized these people over the past few years, and then they wanted to pose as an army for the president.

And that's just what happened.

REID: Yes, very clear. Maybe you should be running security in D.C., instead of the people who are doing it now.

Naveed Jamali, thank you very much. Ben Collins, thank you so much for all your great reporting.

And still ahead: Congressional Republicans created a monster that's now threatening to devour their entire party and, yes, the country, yet none of the enablers seem willing to accept any responsibility for their actions.

But America won't forget, and neither will this show.

Stay with us.


REID: From the moment Donald Trump announced his candidacy more than five-and-a-half years ago, the country was warned what could lay ahead, with some of the strongest warnings coming from Republicans.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I think he's a kook. I think he's crazy. I think he's unfit for office.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): This man is a pathological liar. The man cut cannot tell the truth, but he combines it with being a narcissist, a narcissist at a level I don't think this country's ever seen.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Leaders cannot say whatever they want, because words have consequences. They lead the actions that others take. And when the person you're supporting for president is going around saying things like, go ahead and slap him around, I will pay your legal fees, what do you think's going to happen next?


REID: But all that huff-puffery didn't seem to stop those same Republicans and the rest of the party from becoming helpless lemmings, sycophants to a man more obsessed with serving his ego than the country he was supposed to lead.

And, as Donald placidly leaves the presidency in just 12 days, the Republican Party has reaped what they sowed, losing control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, and being forever stained by the atrocities that took place over the last four years, including the deadly storming of our Capitol this week.

And joining me now is Jason Johnson, professor of journalism and politics at Morgan State University, and Charlie Sykes, editor at large for The Bulwark.

And I'm going to go to you first, Charlie.

Let me -- let's play Ted Cruz. Let's just go through some of these people. Ted Cruz, who is now trying to run and back and skedaddle away from the assault on our Capitol yesterday, let's play a little bit of him. Here he is.


CRUZ: I do think the president's rhetoric and his language has been over the line. I think it was irresponsible. I think it was reckless. And I think he needs to recognize that.

Each of you look around, the men and women that are gathered here. You are patriots, just like the patriots gathered at Bunker Hill, just like the patriots gathered at Valley Forge, just like the patriots who forged this nation. The men and women gathered here and across the state of Georgia are fighting for the United States of America.


REID: Charlie, that was -- that second clip was January 2, days before the assault on our Capitol.

I have a word for this guy, but I'm going to let you go ahead and tell us what you think of him and his future and whether or not he has destroyed himself politically.

CHARLIE SYKES, EDITOR AT LARGE, THE BULWARK: Well, a long time ago, he was known as -- for many years, he's been known as the most hated man in the Senate. And that was -- that was hard-earned for Ted Cruz.


SYKES: Look, this is not breaking news, Joy, that Ted Cruz is a cynical charlatan and a demagogue.

And this has been played out. Look, this is not a man who is deranged. This is not a man who is crazy or stupid. He knows exactly what he is doing. He is a deplorable human being who knows exactly what he is doing.

Look, for years, he has been sticking out positions that he knew were hopeless. He lied to his supporters. He manipulated various issues in order to advance his own career. And in this particular case, he decided that he was going to ignore the fact that Donald Trump said that his wife was ugly and that his father had killed John F. Kennedy.

And he went all in, and he tried to remake himself in this Trumpian mode. And this week, this month, the last several months, he's been playing with kerosene and matches. And people died. And he got burned. He went all in on this.

But I think people need to understand that he and Josh Hawley are -- there's a sedition caucus, but within that sedition caucus, there is this charlatan caucus, the people who know exactly what they're doing. They know they're lying. They -- and they know why they are lying.

And Ted Cruz, I think, really, in many ways, once again exposed himself for exactly what he is.

REID: Yes.

And you did mention the junior Birdman of the sedition caucus, Josh Hawley.

Jason Johnson, I will throw that to you. I mean, he had a rough week. I mean, his big donors dumped him. Both of the two major newspapers in the state of Missouri called him trash and basically told him to resign. He lost his book deal.

And I should mention Simon & Schuster has a black woman publisher who yanked that book deal out from under him, and for nothing. If Josh Hawley walked through an entire crowd of Trump supporters, they would have no idea who he is. He is not a major deal. But he's now a major flop.


REID: What becomes of him?

JOHNSON: Yes, Joy, all of these people who thought, like, they're going to get rich and power off of this, right, they -- they're like, I'm going to have a viral moment, it didn't work for any of you.

And you know why it didn't work? Because people died. Because a Capitol Police officer died. Because this whole thing was a cute way to try and galvanize the MAGA crowd and put yourself in a good position until 2024.

But it was an actual terrorist attack, and people died. And now they're going to face the consequences for it. And here's the thing that concerns me about some of the Republicans in general on this. And I was tweeting about this, this morning.

We tweeted back and forth. Today's the 10-year anniversary of when Gabby Giffords was shot, right. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords of Arizona, she was shot 10 years ago today. And we had all these conversations at the time -- I was in school -- of like, hey, maybe we need to tone down the rhetoric. Maybe this stuff will be dangerous. Maybe this leads to things that Sarah Palin and other politicians were saying.

And a lot of the Republicans said, ah, you're a bunch of Democratic snowflakes. Well, this is where it leads to, right?

REID: Yes.

JOHNSON: It never leads to success. Sarah Palin has no career, right?

It never leads to the most extreme people supporting you. Lindsey Graham, who I have always said is the Senate's version of Reek for Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham is being chased down the hallway by MAGA people. It's not helping him. Josh Hawley isn't going to get hot after this.

So, all they did is succeed in destroying this country, the fabric of this country, the safety of this country, for political careers that will not exist. And if any of these guys are really about that life and really want to start some fool revolution, OK, fine. But they're not.

They're a bunch of feckless cowards who think that, if they scream loud enough, they can intimidate people into a political future that no longer exists.

REID: Right?

I mean, the reality is, Charlie, the only person who can do the Trump act is Donald Trump.

SYKES: Right. Right.

REID: He has like a whole life of celebrity backing that up and fake riches, that people thought he was like the richest guy ever.

None of these people are going to be seen as the equivalent of macho Trump.

SYKES: No, that's exactly right.

And what would make Josh Hawley such a complete phony, that he wanted to dress up as Donald Trump, that he thought that there was going to beat Trumpism without Trump. So, he pretended to be a fake populist. He pretended to have this attitude on Twitter.

But it was all artificial. And it's all blown up in his face right now. And I'm glad that Jason mentioned that scene, that remarkable scene, where Lindsey Graham, who has -- has been -- OK, since you used different language, he's been Donald Trump's fluffer for the last four years.

He has been so loyal to Donald Trump.




SYKES: And he has done absolutely everything.

And yet what's happening? He's walking through the airport, and people say, you're a traitor. You're -- you know, audit the vote.

And this is the fate. You can never be Donald Trump. You can never go that -- there's no loyalty.

REID: Yes.

SYKES: There's always a point.

REID: Yes.

SYKES: So, that's going to be Ted Cruz's future. That's going to be Josh Hawley's future.

But Jason also made a very important point. There's a real cost, not just to them, but to the country. These folks were so cynical that they were willing to lie to millions of Americans. They were willing to give cover to these lies and these conspiracy theories and this...


REID: They were willing to let people die, yes.

SYKES: And people did (AUDIO GAP) yes.

REID: And they were willing to -- they were willing to let people kill a police officer. They're supposed to be the blue lives matter party.


REID: They were willing to let a cop die for their lies.

JOHNSON: Exactly.

REID: Jason Johnson, Charlie Sykes, thank you both. Have a great weekend.

Still ahead: The assault only lasted for a few hours, but the cost to America on the world stage cannot be calculated.

What America lost this week -- next on THE REIDOUT.



BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: All my life, America has stood for some very important things, an idea of freedom, and an idea of democracy.

And I unreservedly condemn encouraging people to behave in the disgraceful way that they did.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: What we witnessed was an assault on democracy by violent rioters incited by the current president.

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): What happened today in Washington, D.C., is not America, definitely. We believe in the strength of our democracies.


REID: Wednesday was a horrible day, not just for Americans, but for democracies around the world who modeled their governments after us.

However, it was a moment of celebration for countries like Russia and Iran, who relished the opportunity to criticize us.

As Anne Applebaum writes in "The Atlantic": "The power of America's example will be dimmer than it once was. American calls for democracy can be thrown back with scorn. You don't believe in it anymore, so why should we?"

And I am joined now by Anne Applebaum, staff writer at "The Atlantic."

I'm excited to talk with you, Anne.

There's a narrative in which the thing that America has said about itself all of this time, particularly post-World War II, is kind of B.S. to a lot of people. The Russians think that we just lord it over them, when our democracy really is weak and brittle. If you just tweak it, it'll fall apart. Voila. It's happened.

If you talk to -- if I talk to my relatives in the Congo, they laugh at the idea that we're this great democracy. They bumped off a democratic government in the Congo, Patrice Lumumba. We bumped off a democratic government in -- and decapitated in Iran. Look what we did throughout Central America.

We have messed with other democracies. Now we're getting messed with it.

Do you think that that narrative has been strengthened? And is that valid for some people to say, see, it's all been a lie?

ANNE APPLEBAUM, "THE ATLANTIC": If you look at the history of -- not just of American foreign policy, but of America's relationship with the rest of the world, you do see year -- over many, many decades, you see a combination of dislike of America, scorn for America, feeling that America is hypocritical, and yet constantly this underlying respect for a country that has institutions that continued to roll over, a country that did expand the franchise, that became more democratic over time, that did build this big democratic coalition that was so powerful that people -- people knocked on the doors, bang the doors down to join it.

After 1989, when the Soviet Union collapsed, all of Central Europe was clamoring to get in, because we had established this idea of prosperity, of democracy, of freedom, of equality. And, of course, there were times when it was hypocritical. Of course, there were times when it was false.

But the power of our example was something and has been something that's always been very real, and much more real, really, than our diplomatic prowess, than our money, than our military. This was the thing about us that people most admired. This was why people wanted to come to the United States.

And by undermining that, not just, by the way, this week, but over the past four years, I do believe that the Trump administration profoundly weakened America.

REID: Yes.

APPLEBAUM: By showing scorn for democracies, by ignoring our allies, the -- Trump weakened our standing in the world.

REID: And what -- how does that play out? What then happens? Then what, because we are weakened?

APPLEBAUM: It's -- these aren't kind of black-and-white things, and there won't be an effect tomorrow.

But our word will be taken a little less seriously. Our opinions will matter less. The institutions that we have created will be weaker.

Much more worrying and much sadder, actually, are -- is the fact that our -- people who have admired us or who have joined democratic movements from Hong Kong to Minsk to Caracas will also feel let down.

There are a lot of people all over the world who live in autocratic countries who admire American examples, look to Americans for advice, and will -- and will feel betrayed. And they have a right to feel that, because the leaders of their countries will use this story and will use particularly story of this week, but also of the Trump administration, to keep -- to laugh and jeer and say, oh, well, democracy was always fake, American democracy was always weak.

And this is, of course, the message that autocrats in places like Russia and China send to their people: We don't -- don't think of becoming a democracy.

REID: Yes.

APPLEBAUM: Don't join a democracy movement, because we have...

REID: Yes.

APPLEBAUM: Because look how terrible and how badly they end.

REID: Yes, indeed.

Those pictures going around the world are really toxic and horrific, to think that the world is watching us basically fall apart.

Anne Applebaum, thank you so much. Really appreciate the chance to talk with you.

And up next, my closing thoughts on this tumultuous week.

Stay with us.


REID: This week, a mob of right-wing criminals penetrated the halls of our Capitol, threatened the lives of members of Congress and the vice president, while forcing violent symbols of white power, hate and oppression on -- into the bowels of Congress.

And it occurred right smack in the middle of a pandemic. So, yes, this week was a lot. And we still don't have all the facts or the footage or the answers.

But what we do know is that some remarkable news managed to break through the madness. And that was the huge turnout fueled by a black-led people-of-color contingent that secured the victories of Democrats Jon Ossoff and the Reverend Raphael Warnock, thereby flipping the Senate and stripping Mitch McConnell of his shell.

Now, it's no coincidence that white fanatics invaded our Capitol the day after Georgia elected its first black senator and its first Jewish senator. This is their last gasp at a dying administration that got voted out by 81 million Americans.

So, you may be scared about what happened on Wednesday and what it all means for our country and for your security. But they're scared too. And in 12 days, their leader will not be in the White House anymore.

And that's tonight's REIDOUT. Have a great weekend.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


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