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Transcript: The ReidOut, September 4, 2020

Guests: Jon Meacham, Ashley Parker, Khizr Khan, Laurie Garrett, Roberto Ferdman, Charlie Sykes, Jason Johnson, Mary Trump, Yusef Salaam, Ibi Zoboi


President Trump reportedly disparages military service. Report says, Trump calls Americans who died in war losers and suckers. Biden weighs in on report about Trump and military. Biden says, Trump calling war dead losers is deplorable. Trump in 2015, McCain not a war hero because he was captured. Explosive report on Trump and military causes massive backlash. President Donald Trump ramps up efforts to show voting chaos ahead of the election. Attorney General William Barr talks about a voter fraud story in Texas that officials say never happened.


MICHAEL COHEN, TRUMP'S FORMER ATTORNEY: My biggest fear is that there will not be a peaceful transition of power in 2020.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: A stark warning from someone who knows the president well.

That does it for us. Have a great holiday weekend.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Donald Trump might be the most transparent president in American history. Day after day, he reminds us that he is exactly who he has always appeared to be, a selfish, self-centered man, fixated on accumulating more and more money at all costs, a man who is incapable of empathy, of ever relating to normal human emotions and who lacks respect for anyone and anything that isn't related to either Trump himself or to making money, including the United States military.

So it should not have been any surprise at well when he was revealed to have belittled and mocked American prisoners of war and those who have lost their lives defending this country, something Donald Trump has never done and still refuses to do. Even though as president of the United States, he is also the commander in chief of the Armed Forces.

An explosive new report in "The Atlantic" has exposed Trump yet again. "The Atlantic's" Jeffrey Goldberg writes, when President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that the helicopter couldn't fly and that the Secret Service wouldn't drive him there.

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair will become disheveled in the rain and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day.

In a conversation with senior staff members, on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said why should I go to that cemetery? It's filled with losers.

In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives in Belleau Wood as suckers for getting killed.

Both the Associate Press and The Washington Post have corroborated "The Atlantic's" reporting, at least in part. And today, so did Trump's favorite network, Fox News.

Donald Trump has furiously denied the alleged comments in the last 24 hours both to reporters on Twitter saying he'd swear on anything and, again, at an event today with foreign leaders at the White House.

Now, it was easy to see why he was so desperately denied these accusations given the dangerous politics for him. But it's also easy to understand why this reporting is so believable given the words that have come out of Trump's own mouth about U.S. service members of all ranks.


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Bill McRaven, retired admiral, Navy SEAL, 37 years, former head of U.S. Special Operations --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hillary Clinton fan. It would have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that.

General Mattis was so thrilled. But what's he done for me? How has he done in Afghanistan? Not too good.

When you look at Vindman's, the person he reports to, said horrible things, avoided the chain of command.

We sent him on his way to a much different location. And the military can handle him any way they want.

I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say, and I can report, it is not very serious.

REPORTER: But you don't consider it potential traumatic brain injury serious?

TRUMP: No I don't consider them very serious injuries to other injuries that I've seen.


REID: Today, Trump's Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, excoriated Trump in highly personal terms, invoking disservice of his late son, Beau Biden.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: If what was written in "The Atlantic" is true, it is disgusting.

Let me be real clear, when my son was an assistant U.S. attorney and he volunteered to go to Kosovo when the war was going on, as a civilian, he wasn't a sucker.

If these statements are true, the president should humbly apologize to every gold star mother and father and every blue star family that he has denigrated and sold it. Who the heck does he think he is?

I would ask you all the rhetorical question. How would you feel? How would you feel if you have a kid in Afghanistan right now?

You know in your heart, you know in your gut, it's deplorable.


REID: Deplorable, as Joe Biden says, just like President Trump's attacks on the late senator, John McCain, who survived nearly six years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, the war that Trump himself avoided servicing or relying on the excuse of bone spurs.

McCain came home a hero around the time that Trump was busy keeping black people out of his apartments in Queens. McCain continued to serve his country as a senator. Donald Trump will likely go down as the worst president in American history.

According to "The Atlantic", when McCain died in August of 2018, Trump told his senior staff, according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event, we are not going to support that loser's funeral. And he became furious, according to witnesses, when he saw flags lowered to half-staff.

What the, expletive, are we doing that for? The guys was an effing loser, the president told aides. Trump was not invited to McCain's funeral.

Not surprising, given that in 2015, we saw with our own eyes as Trump infamously slandered McCain.


TRUMP: I supported him for president. I raised a million dollars for him. That's a lot of money. I supported him. He lost. He let us down. But he lost. So I never liked him as much after that because I don't like losers.

But, frankly, let me get to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he's a war hero. He's war hero.

TRUMP: He's not a war hero.

TRUMP: He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured, okay? I have to tell you that.


REID: What "The Atlantic" alleges might not be surprising, but here is why it matters. Again, Donald Trump is the commander in chief of the United States Armed Forces, a commander in chief who also refuses to raise the question with Vladimir Putin about alleged Russian bounties on U.S. troops, because Donald Trump has made clear over and over again that the only cares about is himself, well, and weirdly, Vladimir Putin.

And for at least the next few months, he remains in charge of the millions of American men and women, he has the power to send into harm's way.

And joining me now is Malcolm Nance, MSNBC Counterterrorism and Intelligence Analyst, Ashley Parker, White House Reporter for The Washington Post, and Jon Meacham, Author of The Truth is Marching On, John Lewis and The Power of Hope, and host of the new podcast, It Was Said, which I will be downloading presently.

Malcolm, I am just going to give you the opportunity to take the floor and respond to what you have heard over the last 24 hours.

MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC COUNTERTERRORISM AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, I appreciate that, Joy, because I am Navy chief. I am a retired senior navy chief petty officer. And I would like to ask a question to the president that I am sure someone should have asked him at some in the last four years.

The Navy chief rank started in started in 1893 because the Navy needed mid-level technical experts to provide guidance down the chain of command and to provide leadership and guidance up the chain of command right up to the commanding officer. There is always a senior enlisted adviser who is master chief, chief or chief assigned to a command, so that they can give frank and unvarnished opinions.

And what I would like to say is this, because the president is surrounded by Navy chiefs, and at any time he could ask their opinion and they would give it to him.

And so I am going to ask the question that many, many chiefs who are all around the world ask on a daily president but that the president needs to be asked with great respect. And that question is quite simply, what is wrong with you, really? What is the malfunction of this president? I mean, this is not the first time we have sat here.

And as any chief in this world, that is exactly what I would like to know. Because as commander in chief, he is endangering our soldiers, sailor, airmen and marines, and you know what, he doesn't respect them.

For him to call people suckers, I have been to the village of Belleau in France and stood in the Belleau Wood. And I have sat there with reverence about the sacrifice that our marines have served in the World War I gave there. This president calls them suckers. They are not suckers.

But what it reveals is that this man is a coward. And as a coward, he cannot respect those who are better than him. My grandfather fought in World War I at 17 years old and survived the Spanish Flu. He wasn't a sucker. He was not anything that Donald Trump could ever hope to be. Donald Trump is a coward.

And my entire family's military experience, from the civil war to this very day, where I have another Nance in the Armed Forces is because we love this country.

And I swear to you, someone in the chain of command pull that man aside and recalibrate him. Because what he has done right now is he has revealed himself for the awful figure that he is. And the only thing that we can use, the only way that we can resolve this, as we do in the Armed Forces, is he must be relieved of his command.

And the only way to relieve him off his command is in 60 days, you have put him out of office because he is a dangerous entity. He is the drunk, dancing monkey with an AK-47, which just shoots off at the mouth. He is the person we all look for as senior enlisted personnel to see whether they are endangering our troops.

REID: I want to play Donald Trump today. He called this reporting a hoax and he did so in a very specific way that will sound familiar. It will sound like tape. This is not a tape. This is really from today. Here he is.


TRUMP: It is a hoax, just like the fake dossier was a hoax, just like the Russia, Russia, Russia was a hoax. It was total hoax, no collusion, just like so many other things, it is a hoax. And you will hear more of these totally unrelated as we get closer and closer to election.


REID: I promise I'm going to bring everyone else. I have one more for you, Malcolm. We checked this today, because I saw it on Twitter. You can't always believe everything you see on Twitter, but we checked this today and it turns out that the day after Donald Trump refused to go and visit our war dead in Belleau Wood, he hung out with Vladimir Putin. Putin gave him a thumbs-up. Here he is. Putin had said that France did not want him to have a meeting with Donald Trump because it might look awry. But Donald Trump made time for Putin. He did not make time for our troops.

I just want to give you one more word on that and then we'll bring in everyone else.

NANCE: It's very funny because I have been accused of being over the top about Donald Trump and his relationship with Putin over these last few years. But he will insult the dead of the U.S. Armed Forces who served honorably and proudly to meet with an ex-KGB officer and show him the love that he could not give to the people who fought in World War I and any of the people that fought in any other war. Why? That is to be left to the ages.

But I will make one prediction, Joy, because I made a lot on this show before. I trust that at some point in American history, Donald Trump's presidential portrait will have a black shroud over it.

REID: Jon Meacham, we have never seen anything like this. There is always a presumption that anyone who would want to be president of the United States would love this country, love its institutions, have reverence for it. Donald Trump has shown none of that. Try to make sense of this for us, please, as our historian of presidents tonight.

JON MEACHAM, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, we haven't seen anything like this. I was thinking when the story broke in "The Atlantic", I was thinking about the Gettysburg address. The reason Abraham Lincoln was at Gettysburg was to dedicate a cemetery for the union dead.

And he framed the country's new birth of freedom, the application of the declaration of independence to all, not simply to white men, as cause for which the union soldiers at Gettysburg and elsewhere had given the last full measure of devotion.

And his cry to us from that moment in the 1860s unto this hour was that let us so conduct ourselves that these honored dead shall not have died in vain.

And you are right, that the presidency presumption has been love of country and a devotion to the Constitution, neither of which is, in any way, in evidence with this president.

And this is not a partisan point. This is not a Democratic point, a Republican point, it's not an MSNBC point versus a Fox point. This is a historically based clinical observation that Donald Trump has broken every presidential norm and those norms are there, in many cases, for a reason. They are there because the founder saw that George Washington would fill that office, that we needed a stabilizing present who would allow to take a stand against passion in the arena and someone who valued the experiment in liberty.

And for all of our failings, for all of our shortcomings, for all of our sins, we have managed from age to age to stumble forward. We are stumbling backwards right now with this president. And I agree with Chief Nance, if I may. We have a remarkable opportunity in about 60 days to fight back with the greatest form of non-violent protest ever devised by humankind which is to vote.

REID: Well said. I want to play for you Major General Paul Eaton. He is retired, retired Major General Paul Eaton. He had as visceral a reaction to this, as you just heard from Chief Malcolm Nance or from Joe Biden, whose son served as well. Here is Major General Eaton.


MAJ. GEN. PAUL EATON, U.S. ARMY (RET.): You are no patriot. Let me even tell you about a patriot. My father was killed in Vietnam. He was shot down over a Ho Chi Minh trail section just outside of Vietnam and Laos. He delivered ordinates to cut the trail and cut supplies. And then he delivered close air support to Special Forces troops on the ground. And he's airplane blew up, he went down in 1969, 13th January 1969. This dog tag was recovered at the crash site.

My father was a patriot, well-educated, he was a wise man. The best men and women of the United States of America are found in the Armed Forces of the United States.

REID: Ashley Parker, VoteVets is out with a searing new ad with a lot more of that, a lot more people whose families served or who served themselves going after Donald Trump's complete disrespect for the military. Military Times poll shows that Joe Biden is already winning the majority of the votes of military men. And I wonder if those 37 percent who still support Donald Trump understand that if he breaks overseas voting or mail-in voting, that also means the military vote would be disrupted.

At Donald Trump's behest, the Pentagon had ordered Starts and Stripes, which has been around since the civil war, to be shut down only for Trump to sort of scramble and say he was reversing. Give us a state of the level of panic inside the White House right now as all of these chickens are coming home to roost.

ASHLEY PARKER, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, this is an incredibly undisciplined White House, generally. And it underscores their panic and their sense that this really could be a very serious problem for the president, that they actually managed to mobilize a fairly traditional rapid response operation to push back on this.

Never or very rarely is this White House so laser-like focused on a single message of the day. You had right after this broke, the president speaking to reporters as he get out at Air Force One. Yesterday, you had Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, coming out and doing a briefing. You had the president again addressing it in a briefing with reporters, just before your show began, Melania Trump tweeted out something about this.

The challenge, of course, is that the president and his team have just about no credibility left. And so they can mount a defense, they can say whatever they want, but the public has fairly good reason not to believe them. And even in the president's defense, there are mistruths and lies embedded in it in a sense.

The president said, I never called John McCain a loser. Well, you just played that clip of him calling John McCain a loser. He was saying it in the context of having lost to Obama in 2008 in the same time when he denigrated him for becoming a prisoner of war.

But they can mobilize this response. They are worried that they understand how problematic it could be, but it's unclear who will believe them at this point.

REID: Or who will defend them. Donald Trump had at least four generals, or at least four high ranking military men who has served in his administration. I don't see any of them coming out and defending him. I don't any of them speaking up and saying, no, no, this is not the man that we served under, that we worked for. The silence is golden.

I haven't even heard Lindsey Graham yet. Is Lindsey Graham defending him? We will have to check on that.

Malcolm Nance, thank you. Ashley Parker, thank you. Jon Meacham, thank you all very much.

And up next on THE REIDOUT, Khizr Kahn challenged Donald Trump at the 2016 Democratic Convention, then he faced Donald Trump's wrath.


KHIZR KHAN, GOLD STAR FATHER: Let me ask you, have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy.

You have sacrificed nothing and no one.


REID: This gold star father whose beloved son lost his life in combat, something Trump never understand, joins me next.

Plus, Trump's October surprise won't be a surprise at all. Days before the election, he will announce a vaccine. Surprise. Why you and your family need to be very, very cautious.

An important new reporting on the Breonna Taylor raid, the reporter who broke the story, joins me.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My stepson was not a loser.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My son is not a loser.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My son Matthew is not a loser.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My stepson was not a sucker.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lance Corporal Alexander Scott Arredondo died in Najaf, Iraq, in 2004.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honorably serving his country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is something Donald Trump will never know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's something that Donald Trump will never understand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My message to Donald Trump is this: You have no right being commander in chief.


REID: Among those most impacted by Trump's disparaging remarks about the military are the family members of fallen soldiers, something "The Atlantic" revealed in an anecdote of one of Trump's more decorated military Cabinet members.

Back in 2017, Trump and General John Kelly, who at the time was the secretary of homeland security, visited Arlington Cemetery. Trump was there to pay respects, or was told he had to pay respects, to fallen soldiers on Memorial Day.

But, for Kelly, such a visit is deeply personal. Kelly's own son Robert died in Afghanistan 10 years ago when he stepped on a land mine/. He was 29.

Per "The Atlantic," Trump, while standing by Robert Kelly's grave, turned directly to John Kelly and said: "I don't get it. What was in it for them?"

Joining me now is Gold Star father Khizr Khan.

And, Mr. Khan, it's always great to see you and to talk with you.

And I again extend our heartfelt condolences, even all this long time later, on the loss of your son, Humayun Khan, who is an American hero. And thank you for being here to speak up for him.

And so I will just give you the floor.

When you saw this report and heard about this report, what were your thoughts?

KHIZR KHAN, FATHER OF KILLED U.S. SOLDIER: Joy, thank you. I'm delighted to join you.

You have graced our hearts and our homes for a very long time. So I am delighted to be with you today.

Joy, the words we say are windows to our souls, how we see the world. So, when Donald Trump calls anyone who places their life in the service of others, in the service of the nation, he calls them losers, we understand Trump's soul.

By his accounting, self-sacrifice does not make sense. Love of country does not make sense. According to Trump, the winners in life are those that put themselves before all, and the losers are those that don't.

What kind of soul this man has. He -- his life is a testament to selfishness. He calls our (INAUDIBLE) war dead losers and celebrates autocrats and dictators and his benefactors, his business benefactors, in Russia like Putin.

Words count, because they tell us who we are. Donald Trump told us who he is by disrespecting our heroes. He is incapable of understanding service, valor and courage. His soul cannot conceive of integrity and honor, service to country, selfless service.

His soul is that of a coward. And I repeat, his soul is that of a coward, the way he has disrespected our heroes.

And I pay tribute to our men and women, those who are serving today and their families, those who have served before, our veterans. I pay tribute to them. This is not who we are. We honor our men and women serving. We honor their families. We honor our veterans and their families.

So, Donald Trump's soul -- by his own words and by his own deeds, he has proven his soul is that of a coward, undeserving of this office of presidency or commander in chief.

REID: You know, in this Atlantic piece, one of the people who's quoted -- this is a friend of General Kelly, who's a retired -- retired -- who's a retired four-star general -- said that Donald Trump's attitude, essentially, is that -- his disrespect is because there's no money in serving in the military, that he can't imagine anyone else's pain and that he can't imagine, as you said, anyone doing anything that's not for monetary gain.

The way that money has featured in this ongoing story of Donald Trump as commander in chief is that Russia allegedly put money, bounties on our troops.

As a Gold Star dad, as somebody who can understand the feelings of people whose children are out there, you know, serving around the world, would you be concerned that Donald Trump will not care to protect our troops, given the way he feels?

KHAN: Well, he has -- he has created a moment for our armed forces, for our men and women serving in harm's way, a moment of concern.

And, as a parent, I can understand the anguish that parents of our loved ones, spouses, husbands, fathers, brothers, sisters, or loved ones, feel at this time since the announcement by our intelligence of Russia placing bounties from -- to harm our men and women.

I feel the anguish. But Donald Trump is -- he has uttered not a single word to condemn or to deter our adversaries from placing bounties. And that's yet one more proof that he does not value our armed forces, he does not value their sacrifice, he does not value their selfless and their voluntarily joining to defend our country, our nation.

REID: Yes.

KHAN: And, therefore, he has declared himself incapable of and unsuitable for the office that he holds today.

And hopefully, come November 3, we will be able to get rid of him. We will elect a military father who knows what it takes to send family harm's way, what it takes to wait for their call, what it takes to be in that anguish of their return, and -- because our men and women, their service, their valor deserves a better commander in chief.

He is incapable of understanding service, valor and service. His soul -- we have observed him these three, four years. His soul cannot conceive of integrity and honor. And he is devoid of basic character of a leader like United States of America, a character of a commander in chief of the armed forces of United States.

And that character is empathy, compassion. He is totally void of that. We have said that in 2016...

REID: Yes.

KHAN: ... knowing his background a little bit.

But he has proven us right. And -- but, hopefully, America has found it out, and America is not going to buy his -- his -- whatever he is selling one more time.

REID: Khizr Khan, it is always an honor to speak with you.

All the best to your family, to your wife. Thank you so much. Really appreciate you being here, as always.

KHAN: Thank you.

REID: Cheers.

And up next -- thank you.

And up next: growing concerns about the safety of any potential vaccine that might become available right before the election.

THE REIDOUT will continue after this.



TRUMP: Under Operation Warp Speed, we remain on track to produce a safe and effective vaccine in that record time that we talked about.

This would have been years later. It'll be delivered before -- in my opinion, before the end of the year, but it really might even be delivered before the end of October. How do you like that?


REID: That was Donald Trump during one of his super-spreader events in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, last night.

He reiterated a similar vague promise today.


TRUMP: We're rounding the curve. We're coming up with vaccines.

I think the vaccines are going to be announced very soon. And I think you're going to see great companies announcing these vaccines.


REID: This week, at the same time Trump is assuring us that we are rounding the curve, 4,400 Americans die from COVID-19.

And when it comes to that promise that a vaccine will be delivered in October, the guy Trump hired to spearhead his vaccine program pumped the brakes.


DR. MONCEF SLAOUI, CHIEF ADVISER TO VACCINE EFFORT: There is a very, very low chance that the trials that are running as we speak could read before the end of October.

It's extremely unlikely, but not impossible, and, therefore, it's the right thing to do to be prepared in case.


REID: Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist Laurie Garrett writes in "Foreign Policy": "I have no confidence that a safe, effective vaccine will be ready for use by Halloween.

Worse, I can no longer recommend that anyone retain faith in any public health pronouncements issued by government agencies."

And Laurie Garrett joins me now.

Ms. Garrett, thank you for being here.

Your piece was terrifying. And I shared it on my social media, because I think everyone should read it, regardless of how scary it is.

Walk us through this pressure campaign, this Warp Speed plan. I mean, you have quotes in here, like Peter Navarro, the trade representative, telling, I guess, the FDA officials, get on Trump time, speed it up.

That does not sound safe. And I think what you're saying is, it isn't.

LAURIE GARRETT, SENIOR FELLOW FOR GLOBAL HEALTH, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: No, it's not. You can't make things happen faster than it's humanly possible to do them.

You can't just snap your fingers and say, woo-hoo, we have a vaccine. These vaccines, candidates have to be tested on very, very large numbers of people. And they require more than one injection, so that you may enroll 30,000 people to agree to be test subjects, and they will get an injection, say, right after Labor Day, but then you go out to the middle of September before you hit the second injection.

And then you don't get until the end of September before you can even begin to have results to start calibrating and understanding. And on October 22, the FDA is convening a meeting that will go over the data that various companies may or may not have by then, and will only have this one meeting to decide, does any one of them look like it should move ahead into the next stage of development, and possibly put out to the public?

The CDC, meanwhile, this week sent out a letter to every single governor in the United States saying, you should be ready, you have to by October 1 give us your master plan for how you're going to do mass vaccination in your state. And by the October -- by November 1, you must have in place actual vaccination actually going on.

Now, what is November 1? It's two days before the elections.

REID: It's -- you know, and that's terrifying, in and of itself.

But I think about these states. I think about my former state of Florida, where I lived with our family for 14 years. You have Florida right now barring officials from releasing detailed information about new COVID-19 cases in public schools, saying, well, it's because of privacy.

But it's -- let's be honest. It's because the governor there wants to minimize the public knowledge of how many people are getting COVID-19 in Florida.

So, when you have states where some of these governors are more Trumpy than they are governors and more concerned about Trump's being happy with them than doing the right thing, do you trust these states to be -- can they force people to get vaccines?

GARRETT: Well, first of all, nobody can be forced to get vaccinated under the current guidelines.

And, actually, even Tony Fauci has said it may not make sense to try and compel vaccination, because we have such a high level of antipathy towards vaccination already in America, that, if the government makes it mandatory, it's quite possible we will see a huge backlash.

The real problem right now, Joy, is not so much the governors, but the fact that the federal agencies that are responsible for public health have been undermined over and over and over again by the White House, to such a degree that they lack any credibility anymore.

The CDC has lost its credibility, the FDA, the EPA. Every single agency that plays a role is fighting to have the public believe in it anymore.

I mean, what do you do when the president puts pressure on the FDA to approve convalescent therapy, even though there's no evidence that it really works? And the NIH said, full stop, we're not confident with this.

Nevertheless, the FDA overruled itself. We have one example after another where the agencies are being compelled to undermine their own standards of excellence.

So, if you're a governor, you can possibly be forgiven for failing to have any kind of consistency in your response, because the federal agencies you would turn to for advice are just not doing their jobs.

REID: Yes.

And, I mean, I say that because, as somebody who had school-aged kids at one point, they will say you have to show that you have had these vaccines to register your kids in school. This will happen sometimes in local government. I think a lot of people are going to be very nervous about sending their kids back to school.

And, by the way, Dr. Fauci is saying, slow down this weekend, this long holiday weekend, because we're way over the number of cases we need to be to be back in a good place.

Laurie Garrett, thank you very much. I really appreciate you being here. I think everyone should read your piece. Thank you.

GARRETT: Thank you, Joy.

REID: Meanwhile -- cheers.

New evidence, meanwhile, that the Breonna Taylor case is -- about the Breonna Taylor case is raising questions about what really happened during that botched police raid.

More details next on THE REIDOUT.


REID: It has been 175 days, if you can believe, since Louisville police officers killed Breonna Taylor in a botched raid on her home.

Not one of the seven officers has been arrested. And only one has been fired. Now new photos obtained by VICE News are raising questions about what actually happened that night in March. The photos show at least one of the police officers was wearing a body camera.

Now, that contradicts what the Louisville Police Department had said, that narcotic officers, like the one who conducted the raid, do not wear them.

But that's not the only question that these new photos are raising.

And joining me now is Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor and author of "Chokehold: Policing Black Men," and Roberto Ferdman, a correspondent for VICE News who has been reporting on the Breonna Taylor case.

Roberto, I want to go to you first.

Let's show these photos. So, there are apparently discrepancies in the placement of several of the bullet casings between was pictured that night and the following day. Please explain what we're seeing here.

ROBERTO FERDMAN, VICE NEWS: So, on the crime scene, and when you go through, there are more than four different markers that mark bullets and bullet casings. In this case, we're looking at bullet casings.

And what's really of note is that the bullet casings move from pictures that are taken at night to pictures the following day. The ones taking the following day are the ones with the kind of yellowish-green markers, depending on how colorblind you are, like me.


FERDMAN: But the importance of -- the importance of this is that, on a crime scene, after a crime especially like what happens during the raid on Breonna Taylor's apartment, none of this stuff should be touched.

We talked to a criminologist, Peter Kraska, who was disappointed, but not surprised, based on what he has seen in LMPD, to see that some things had been moved.

And then we spoke to a former officer, a former narcotics officer, who pointed out these discrepancies in the photos. We shared kind of the broader documents with them.

REID: And you also found that, despite what we heard before, that police should have known that there might be a second person in Breonna Taylor's apartment who was a licensed carrier of a firearm.

Is that also accurate?

FERDMAN: So, Sergeant Mattingly, it's the only testimony that we have from one of the officers who executes the rate on Breonna Taylor's apartment.

He says that they believed that she would be alone, the intelligence that they were given suggested that she would be alone in her home.

What we have learned is that -- is that the team that conducts the broader investigation, the investigation that leads them to that home and then to four other homes that night, requested intelligence within LMPD on Kenneth Walker, her boyfriend, the day before, and that, in a risk assessment matrix that should have been filled out before the raid, they indicate risk factors that are consistent with things they would have seen in that intelligence.

Now, if the team that performs the investigation does not share that with the team that executes the raid, that is a problem. If the team that executes the raid is lying about not knowing, that's also a problem. So there really isn't a case in which something has not gone awry in this raid.

REID: Paul, what does that -- what does this say to you?

Mr. Kenneth Walker, Mr. Walker, who was in the home and witnessed the shooting of his girlfriend, he's suing, claiming police misconduct. Does what you just heard sound like misconduct to you?


There's been a cover-up from day one. Joy, remember, the cops who killed George Floyd were charged within days. The cops who killed Rayshard Brooks were charged within days. Almost six months, still no prosecution in the Breonna Taylor case.

In those earlier two cases involving those men, that sent a message that their lives mattered to prosecutors. In taking almost six months, with still no charges, the prosecutors are sending a very different message about the life of Breonna Taylor.

And, again, there's been consistent irregularities. The police report was a big lie. The cops had the nerve to say that nobody had been hurt, when Breonna Taylor was pronounced dead on the scene. They had the nerve to say that they entered the apartment peacefully, when, in fact, they broke down the door with a battering ram.

REID: What does it also say to you that we know that the person they say they were coming to arrest was not there, was actually already in custody?

He has now come forward to admit that they -- that prosecutors tried to make him take a plea deal. They wanted him to falsely incriminate Breonna Taylor and claim she was part of a drug ring. What does that tell you, Paul?

BUTLER: It sounds like a cover-up, that they're trying to find some kind of way to make these officers not accountable.

Everybody should focus on the facts. These officers fired rounds and rounds of bullets. They shot up eight different rooms in two different apartments. They knew they were putting innocent people in danger.

Joy, one of the offices fired 10 rounds literally through a closed and covered door. He was shooting through a patio door. He couldn't see who or what he was shooting.

That cop was fired. His own boss, the chief of police, said he displayed extreme indifference to human life.

Well, guess what? That's the standard for a criminal case. All of these officers should have been brought to justice months ago.

REID: Roberto, what do you walk away with in terms of what you found in this case? And do you think that the body camera, is there any chance that it was on, and we're just not being told that, that there is footage?

FERDMAN: What we have been told in the aftermath of publishing our report is that Tony James -- he's one of seven officers who executed the raid -- and he's also the officer who is pictured wearing a body camera in the aftermath of it, when the LMPD takes a picture.

We're told that he did not have his camera activated. We have not confirmed that, but we have heard it from multiple sources. And local station WDRB reported that as well.

Now, one of the main takeaways from this case -- and I cannot emphasize this enough -- is that very little information is out in the public right now. I know that it's been a very long time since this raid happened, but the Louisville Metro Police Department, the Louisville metro government, the attorney general's office in Kentucky, they have not released very much information at all.

They continue to cite an ongoing investigation in not releasing records to journalists like myself. And the public doesn't know basic things. I mean, they -- they haven't even acknowledged all seven officers, at least seven officers who were present there. They have continued to say the names of Myles Cosgrove, Brett Hankison, and Jonathan Mattingly.

And I think that, until more information is shared with the public, everyone should continue to be skeptical of the little bits of information that trickle out.

REID: Yes, no kidding.

And what's the next move for VICE? Well, I mean, do we anticipate you guys going to court to get more information? Because I think everyone wants it.

FERDMAN: I don't know if we have reached that decision just yet. I might get a phone call after this, if I say anything to that effect.

But we plan to fight to get records. And we also plan to go back to Louisville soon. We have spent about a month of the past three months there. So we don't plan to let up. And, hopefully, no one else does either.

REID: Thank you very much for doing that.

Paul Butler -- I know a lot of people care a lot about this case. So thank you for following up on it. And, Paul Butler, who I know, if you look on online, will find -- has given his opening statement in what he would say would be the prosecution of those officers. You should check that out.

Thank you all. Thank you both for being here.

We will be right back.


REID: Much more head in our second hour tonight.

Trump doubles down on telling his supporters to vote twice. The Trump economy is in shambles. And his lifelong disdain for America's armed forces is showing; plus, my interview with Mary Trump.

Stay with us, as THE REIDOUT continues.


REID: We are just eight weeks away from the presidential election and this week we've seen the clearest contrast yet between the two nominees. Voters are choosing between a man who mocks those who take the Coronavirus seriously, who traffics in conspiracy theories, who has doubled down on telling his supporters to break the law and vote twice, and reportedly thinks members of the United States military are losers. Versus Biden, a man who rejects everything Trump stands for especially his treatment of the military.


TRUMP: It's a fake story. They've done more for the military than almost anybody else.

BIDEN: It's sick. It is deplorable. It is so on American. It is so unpatriotic.

TRUMP: People that are in the dark shadows. They are people that are controlling the streets. We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend. And in the plane it was almost completely loaded with thugs.

BIDEN: What in God's name are we doing? It's mortifying. It's embarrassing and is dangerous.

TRUMP: What you have to do is send in your early ballot and then go and make sure that ballot is tabulated or counted. And if it's not counted, vote.

BIEN: He's a fraud.


REID: The election comes down to who makes a better case for healing the country with more than 6.2 million cases of COVID and more than 188,000 deaths. The jobs report that shows that while 1.4 million jobs were gained, at least 8.4 percent of the country is still unemployed, and Congress still hasn't come to an agreement over Coronavirus aid.

I'm joined now by Jason Johnson, professor of journalism and politics at Morgan State University and Charlie Sykes, editor at large at The Bulwark. Charlie, I'm going to come to you first. Voting has begun -- early voting has now begun in North Carolina. They start very early. Mail ballot -- Mail balloting in the presidential election begin Friday as North Carolina started sending out more than 600,000 ballots, more than 16 times a number that were sent out the same time four years ago.

Should Donald Trump be concerned? Is the reason in your mind that he is now saying no, no vote twice, is that he may think he'd been too effective at getting his own supporters to distrust mail-in balloting, and now they're not going to use it even though it would help him?

CHARLIE SYKES, EDITOR AT LARGE, THE BULWARK: Well, it's always dangerous to get inside Donald Trump's mind. But I think -- I think it's fascinating that we found out this week that the Department of Homeland Security had prepared a briefing saying that it was Russian disinformation to sow -- that the Russian goal was to so disinformation about the integrity of our election, which is exactly what the President is doing.

So, you know, the President's goal, I think, is pretty clear here, which is just to sow confusion, chaos, doubt. And I think that there's two main goals here. Number one, is to make people think, well, you know, this is complicated, my vote going to be lost, is my vote going to be stolen, perhaps to suppress the vote. As you point out, it might even suppress his own vote.

The second goal is to continue to lay the groundwork for challenging the legitimacy of this election. So it is interesting that the incumbent president of the United States is devoting so much of his energy to sowing doubt and confusion about the voting process.

REID: Yes, as you say, Charlie, it is directly out of the playbook of Vladimir Putin because as our intelligence services have said, that's what he's doing. But Jason, it's not just Trump that's doing it. It seems that William Barr is also on the Putin playbook. He seems to be also doing the same and stoking the same kind of disinformation that Russia wants to be stoked. Here he is talking about voter fraud.


WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: The elections that have been held with mail have found substantial fraud and coercion. For example, we indicted someone in Texas 1,700 ballots collected from people who could vote, he made them out and voted for the person he wanted to, OK. That kind of thing happens with mail-in ballots and everyone knows that.


REID: No, no, nope, nope, that's a lie. That's not true. Barr claims the man collected 1,700 ballots. First of all, we can't get people to vote once in America. We have the lowest voter turnout in the entire western world. We can't get people to -- you think this guy sat down and filled that 1,700 ballots? No.

Federal prosecutors brought no such indictment. And what the Justice Department spokesman said Barr was referring to, a local prosecutor involving suspected mail-in voting fraud in the city council election. The assistant district attorney, in that case, said nope. I mean, he just made up something that isn't possible to be true. We can't get people to vote once sometimes. Go ahead, Jason.

JASON JOHNSON, PROFESSOR OF POLITICS AND JOURNALISM, MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY: Yes. I mean, look, everything William Barr says, Barr, Cohen, basically the same guy for Trump. It's all lie. And they want to destroy the entire voting process because they know that they cannot win in a fair and open election.

But Joy, here's the thing that I think is really important. We have to understand not just why they want to destroy the election, but the data behind it. If you look at Maine, if you look at Pennsylvania, if you look at North Carolina, it's not just that Democrats are almost getting a two to one request for mail-in ballots, right. And the key of mailing balances, you will have a paper trail. Unless you destroy them, there will be a paper trail. So Trump can't hide from the fact that you can actually just go through and count these by hand.

One in three of the mail-in ballots being requested in Pennsylvania right now are from people who didn't vote in 2016. These are new people. And many of those who are under 35 who are deciding I'm going to get a mail-in ballot. I skipped out 2016 but I'm voting this guy out now. So their entire motivation is to destroy this process because you've got a whole new generation of Gen Z and initially disaffected generation, Millennials, who are actually going to vote him out in 2020.

REID: And, you know -- and also potentially, maybe military members who are seeing what he said about their ranks and about our war dead. I want to play really quickly. This is a woman named my Myeshia Johnson and. Those of you who watch a lot of cable news will remember that her husband was named LaDavid Johnson and he died serving our country. And Donald Trump actually did call her. This is one of the rare cases where he called someone to supposedly give the condolences. It didn't go well. Here is my Myeshia Johnson.


MYESHIA JOHNSON, WIDOW OF FALLEN SOLDIER: The President said that he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway. And I was -- it made me cry because I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it. He couldn't remember my husband's name. That's what's hurting me the most because if my husband is out here fighting for our country, and he risked his life for our country, why can't you remember his name.


REID: I mean, he couldn't remember his name when he made the phone call to the widow. So it's not like this information in "The Atlantic", Charlie, was like, shocking. Like, it's consistent with the way he's treated Khizr Khan, and John McCain, and on and on and on. I wonder if the accumulation now, plus, messing with mail-in ballots will mess with the military vote for people who are serving overseas. It's no wonder perhaps Donald Trump is panicking.

SYKES: Well, this is a dangerous story for Donald Trump because it goes at the heart of his myth that somehow that he is a supporter of the military. Look, the reason why this is so dangerous for Donald Trump is because it is, as you just pointed out, so consistent what he is, what he has said publicly. His attacks on John McCain as a POW, his attacks on gold star parents like Khizr Khan and his wife, you know, his bragging about avoiding sexually transmitted disease as his own personal Vietnam.

Look, here's the problem for a lot of Trump world and for the anti-anti-Trumpers out there who are on the fence. If they believe this story, they have to confront the reality that the commander-in-chief of the United States is a small, vicious, petty, despicable man who dishonors everything he touches. And if they confront that reality, they're going to have to confront the choices that they are making right now, which is why there's so much energy being invested into denial. Don't believe it. Look the other way, even though I have to tell you, they know in their hearts that it's true. They know this is what he is, but they have been in denial for a very, very long time.

We're within 60 days of this election, and we're seeing who Donald Trump is. And once again, he's told us over and over again who he is. A lot of people have chosen to ignore it, but it's coming back again at a crucial time.

REID: You know, people, Jason, normally wake up from the Donald Trump cult of personality when it hits them personally. Michael Cohen is one of those guys who was the attack dog for Donald Trump for a long time. He was -- he was willing to get real nasty with Donald Trump's opponents. But then he found out, you know, that Donald Trump has no loyalty and he ended up going to jail after doing his bidding.

Here with the Michael Cohen. This is the recent interview that he actually gave to our own Lester Holt. And this is a pretty scary thing he said, but I want to let you react to it.


LESTER HOLT, ANCHOR, MSNBC: Do you think he'll win another term as President?

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: Donald Trump will do anything and everything within which to win, and I believe that includes manipulating the ballots. I believe that he would even go so far as to start a war in order to prevent himself from being removed from office. My biggest fear is that there will not be a peaceful transition of power in 2020.


REID: You know, Jason, you know, listen, it took a lot of bravery for people like John Lewis to take blows to the head in order to vote. It feels like it's going to take a lot of personal courage and people having to stand in lines with COVID out there, people having to overcome that fear. It's going to take a lot of determination. And I worry that sometimes the things that people say Donald Trump could do will make people scared. But what do you think is the balance right now of sort of voter courage versus voter fear?

JOHNSON: So, right before the segment, I was actually texting with friends of mine in North Carolina. I said, did you guys start today, it's early voting? And they're like, we didn't, no, because they're polling places around the corner from their house. We have to remember that a lot of the fear mongering that Trump engages in, it's not what people are experiencing day in and day out. A lot of people their polling place is close to them. It's someplace they can go to. So between that and the people asking for mail in ballots, I think most people don't necessarily live in that fear.

What I am most concerned about is not how people vote, it's the count afterwards. It's sending out proud boys and Neo-Nazis and terrorists and all these white nationalists to polling stations to threaten the vote counters, to threaten the people who are supposed to be collecting the information. It's the manipulation from Russia or the White House after the fact, that is where I think that we should be really concerned.

And again, I got to point back at a little bit of what, Charlie -- there are no persuadable at this point. There's no one who just woke up to this. Everybody knows Donald Trump is a bad guy. This election is purely about turnout. Can the Democrats get their people to vote and then get those votes fairly counted? Because there's not one person in America that heard that Donald Trump doesn't like the vets today, there's no one who heard that, you know, he didn't remember La David's name. Man, woman, child, camera, the guy doesn't remember anything. He's never liked the military. It's just a matter of getting out the vote because persuasion ended four years ago.

REID: Well, the other thing that people know, Charlie, is they know what's in their pocketbook. There are a lot of people who it's not clear they're going to be able to vote because they've been evicted. And so, it's not clear that they have an address with which to vote. There's a lot of people who just can't pay their bills right now and that's their focus.

Let's look at these jobs numbers. I mean, it is a catastrophe. We are at near 1930s levels of catastrophe, economic catastrophe. And it is shocking, I think, to a lot of people. I mean, you've dealt with these people on the radio that can take this kind of pain, this kind of agony and misery and humiliation. Donald Trump obviously doesn't even care about them, whether they live or die. He's like, come to my rally and get COVID. He doesn't care.

I do wonder about whether people who are that, you know, sucked in and who are that sort of cult defied, I wonder like Jason, if it's -- there's no point in looking for persuadable. If you believe in this guy at this point, there's nothing that can take you away from him.

SYKES: That's right. And you know, the cult is not persuadable. I completely agree with that. But I do think that there is a group of voters that is at least on the bubble, and as we get closer to this election, they are going to have to say, can we take four more years of this. You know, is America headed in the right direction? And I think it's the accumulation everything you've been talking about.

And, Joy, I think you also asked a crucial question in all this fearmongering. Does it dissuade, does it frighten people, or does it motivate people? I think it's going to motivate people. And also, in terms of voting, by raising all the questions in the doubt about the count, I think it's going to make people be much more conscientious, much more careful about how they go through all of this.

So I do think this will backfire. I also think there's a chance that he might suppress his own vote. But in terms of persuadable, look, I think that as you get closer to the election, you have a very small number of people who may be undecided and historically, they break against the incumbent. And right now, I think those are the voters were looking around. And I think only in the last week that they've seen how dramatic the contrast is between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

And what an amazing split-screen we got in Kenosha, Wisconsin this week. And I think that contrast is going to be front and center for a lot of voters who might not have been paying that close attention. And so I do think that there's going to be a group of voters who are going to go into that ballot box and we're going to make a decision, you know, much closer to the election than most of us who have lived this for the last four years would like to think.

REID: You know, and Jason, there's those voters and then there's the -- there's the black church lady vote. I would say if you want to know, you know, anything about black politics, find a lady with a church hat. And if she owns more than one church hat, you want to vote like her because that's the lady who usually votes the right away.

You said a long time ago when we were talking about this over on "A.M. JOY" that Joe Biden is sort of the perfect candidate for this. And this was before Joe Biden was viable. And you said because old white guy, non-threatening -- you can take him to the suburbs and say look, look at him, he's like your Uncle Joe. And he's also hard to redefine because he's Uncle Joe already and you can't redefine him.

So it looks like that is turning out to be the case. I mean at least what you've seen in his presentation it seems pretty effective.

JOHNSON: Yes. And, Joy, you know, we talked about them, the seasoned citizens, right? You know, Joe Biden is doing really, really well with seniors, right? Because he speaks to these people, he gives a sense of safety. And here's the -- here's the thing, and this is this is sort of digging down as the political scientists. The only persuasion is between voting and not voting. It's not who you're going to vote for, right? That's the key that Democrats have to remember.

The 55 to 70-year-old African-American woman, she's already voting and she got her son and she got her nephew and she got her husband. They're already voting. The people that you're worried about are the Gen X like myself and the Millennials, who may be disenchanted, who may be frustrated. You've got to make sure those people turn out to vote because they already know they're not going to vote for Trump.

Those people only exist in the minds of Democratic consultants because they've been chasing after this mythical persuadable Republican in the suburbs for 25 years who doesn't exist. Donald Trump recognizes that which is why his entire Republican convention was not about persuading, it was about turning out his base while at the same time destroying mailboxes so the Democrats can't vote.

REID: Oh, it's going to be an interesting election. Jason Johnson, Charlie Sykes, two of my favorite people to talk about this stuff. Thank you, guys. Have a great weekend. And up next on THE REIDOUT, my conversation with the President's niece, Mary Trump.


REID: What were his thoughts before he got into politics and needed their votes about religious people, about Christians?

MARY TRUMP, NIECE OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: He doesn't have any. He has no connection to religion or faith that I'm aware of. You know, he's quite good at finding what in his words he would call suckers.


REID: I promise, I did not plan to wear the same color again. There's that word again, "suckers" to Donald Trump religious people, soldiers, anyone who puts their faith in something bigger than the almighty dollar is in fact a sucker. And Yusef Salaam, one of the exonerated Central Park Five joins me on his new book and on Trump who wanted him executed. Back with more of THE REIDOUT after this.


REID: One of the most eye-popping sections of Mary Trump's best-selling book Too Much and Never Enough was that her family had such disdain for military service, that her uncle Donald bone spurs Trump threatened to disown Don Jr. if he ever join the army. It was one of the many stories that echo new reporting by "The Atlantic" about Trump's calling the American war dead "losers and suckers."

Mary Trump responded to the story saying, "anybody who was surprised by Donald's comments is once again letting him off the hook, when he was -- when he has time after time demonstrated himself to be nothing but an anti-American, anti-military, traitor to this country." She also tweeted this photo of her father with the caption, "Second Lieutenant Freddie Trump, Air National Guard."

I spoke to Mary Trump recently about her book as well as those audio clips of her aunt, Maryanne Trump Barry spilling all the uncensored dysfunctional tea about her -- about her uncle Donald Trump and his family. Let's take a listen.


REID: These recordings that we're about to play exclusively are snippets of two separate conversations that were recorded sometime in late 2018 and early 2019. Now, I should note that we were not provided with the full recordings. And in the recordings we're going to play for you, we can hear Maryanne Trump Barry and Mary Trump discuss Ivanka Trump during the period that the Trump administration initiated their child separation policy.


MARYANNE TRUMP BARRY, SISTER OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: And then that -- when that dangling Ivanka puts this picture of the Madonna and Child on Instagram when the big news of the day was how kids are being ripped from their families, I I couldn't blame -- I'd never heard of Samantha Bee before. I couldn't blame what she said.


REID: So in that recording, Maryanne Trump Barry was referring to Samantha Bee, the comedian, who had slammed Ivanka calling her oblivious, among other things, after she posted this image of herself and her child at the same time that the country was learning that the Trump administration was separating migrant children from their families.

Now, the next clip that you're about to hear, Mary Trump and her aunt talk about Eric and Ivanka's ambitions.

BARRY: Meanwhile, Eric's become the moron publicly. Ivanka gives a (BLEEP). She's all about her.

MARY TRUMP: Yes, she's a mini-Donald.

BARRY: She's a mini-Donald but yet he's besotted with her. He always has been. She's always been his favorite.


REID: Now, we also hear what Maryanne thinks about her brother, Donald.


BARRY: And then you get Donald who won't do anything for anybody unless it's going to inure to his -- I mean he won't do any publicly. I mean, if you -- anything he did, he says, look what I've done. Aren't I wonderful? And he's as tight as a duck's ass. Just like dad was, really.


REID: Now, we've reached out to Maryanne Trump Barry for comment but have not heard back. I'm now joined by Mary Trump. Here is the conversation that you had with your aunt about the DREAMers. Take a listen.


BARRY: Well, what he did with the DREAMers, I MEAN --


BARRY: I am so much in support -- no, he change his --


BARRY: -- but he denies it. I mean, would deny he changed his mind.

MARY TRUMP: Of course, he would. Well, just like with the kids who are now in de facto concentration camps down in Texas, he's blaming the Democrats for it, the Democrat's horrible policy, which suggests that he thinks it's a bad thing. And yet he's allowing it.

BARRY: It's mind-boggling.


REID: I mean, the de facto concentration camp stands out to me as a way to describe this. Your aunt was a judge. Was this -- was this recording made while she was still a judge?

MARY TRUMP: Yes, but she's been inactive for a while. I don't believe at the time she was on the bench.

REID: And so, did she ever -- if she's calling them concentration camps, that sounds like a pretty severe thing. Are you surprised that she didn't go public, given the fact that she's got a judicial background? You know, her comments could have been really powerful at that time. Does it surprise you that she didn't say anything publicly just only saying it to you?

MARY TRUMP: Unfortunately, no, it doesn't surprise me. She subscribes to the same notion of family loyalty that her siblings do.

REID: Let's all play another piece. And this is -- and this one I think is significant because we do have -- you know, aside from the controversy with Jerry Falwell Jr., etcetera, Donald Trump's biggest face is white Christians. That is White Evangelical Christians are really his base. And here is a conversation with yourself and your aunt about Trump and God.


BARRY: The only time Donald went to church that I know of -- at least when dad wasn't brining us every Sunday, was --

MARY TRUMP: When he got married.

BARRY: Yes, and over the last several years, when the cameras were at the church.


REID: So, to your knowledge, including your dad, they're -- they were brought to church, the family, every Sunday, was this the power of positive thinking church or was it a mainline sort of Protestant church?

MARY TRUMP: I honestly don't know how frequently they attended church. I don't think it was -- I don't believe it was every Sunday, certainly not when they were older. And as far as I recollect, my grandfather joined Margaret Collegiate Church which was Norman Vincent Peale's Church, the guy who wrote the power of positive thinking in the early 50s, mid-50s.

So, you know, I never got the impression that any of them, with the exception of Marianne, who converted to Catholicism, before her first marriage was particularly religious or church-going.

REID: Yes. Did you ever hear your uncle talk about religious people? What were his thoughts before he got into politics and needed their votes about religious people, about Christians?

MARY TRUMP: He doesn't have any. He has no connection to religion or faith that I'm aware of. You know, he's quite good at finding what in his words he would call suckers. So as we've seen, unfortunately, he's been able to, you know, coopt people's faiths to use his own benefit without any sincerity or authenticity.

REID: Let's talk about the adult children -- I hate calling them children because they're adults even though they're not independent of him, and so they haven't actually done anything on their own, so they're kind of children in a certain sense. Ivanka and Jared released their earnings. Unlike Donald Trump, they're a bit more transparent about it. $36 million that they made an outside income in 2019 while both of them are working for the White House, meaning the American people are paying them a salary.

And Ivanka in particular, Donald Trump has been really going at China. China, sort of his New Mexico, but Ivanka Trump has got 18 trademarks in just two months according to the Associated Press. She's got lots and lots and lots of business that she does in China. Do you get the sense that the adult children -- and I'm not going to ask you to make a legal opinion or, you know, or anything like that -- are using the position that they have to enrich themselves further?

MARY TRUMP: Well, if they weren't, and if they actually cared about serving their country, all of them either would have put all of their holdings in blind trusts or they would have divested entirely. So I think that's the simplest answer.

REID: And lastly, on Donald Trump Jr. He -- just his one trip the 16th -- the trip to go hunting and to hunt down animals -- he's brave, he's so brave -- $60,000 more than the Secret Service originally admitted. I mean, they spent a lot of money according to Crew. Do you get the sense that he hopes to succeed his father and take over the presidency?

MARY TRUMP: I think certain parts of the Republican Party are grooming him for that sort of thing, which suggests how far the party has fallen. I can -- well, honestly, I can't think of any less fit then my cousin. It's the fact that we even have to be talking about my cousin is sort of tragic, honestly.

You know, but they, in addition to being Donald children, they're also his employees. And some of them actually work for the United States government. And all I see is they're taking advantage of their father's position, yet again, to accrue power. And we need to be on our guard about that kind of thing, because it's very dangerous.

REID: Absolutely, yes. Autocracy often has heirs. We didn't even get to Eric Trump and the trouble that he might be in in terms of an investigation out of New York. But Mary Trump, you're always so transparent, and I really appreciate you being with us. This has to be hard talking about your family. And so, thank you so much. I really appreciate your generosity with your time.

MARY TRUMP: Thank you so much, Joy.


REID: And still ahead, a new book co-authored by one of the Central Park Five sheds new light on Trump's call that the suspect be executed. Stay with us.


REID: There was one important piece missing from Donald Trump staged visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin this week, Jacob Blake. Not only did Trump not meet with or even call the Blake family, but he didn't even utter Jacob Blake's name while in his hometown. Not surprisingly, Trump has almost always come down on the side of law enforcement, even when there's evidence that the victim, especially a black person, was not at fault. This was his M.O. well before he became president.

In 1989, Trump took out a full-page ad in several New York newspapers calling for the death penalty for five black teenagers aged 14 years old to 16, who were falsely accused and wrongly convicted of the assault and rape of a white woman who was attacked while jogging in Central Park. The Central Park Five, as they came to be known, spent between six and 13 years in prison before DNA evidence exonerated them.

That wasn't enough for Trump. He still won't acknowledge what he got so wrong. Here he is, literally last year.


TRUMP: You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt. If you look at Linda Fairstein, and if you look at some of the prosecutors, they think that the city should never have settled that case. So we'll leave it at that.


REID: One of the exonerated Central Park Five, Yusef Salaam joins me next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They made us lie, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone is like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What other way they ever do us?


REID: That was the much heralded and heartbreaking Netflix series from Ava DuVernay, When They See Us, that depicts the story of the Central Park Five. Now, one of those exonerated five has a new book for young adults that's based partly on his own experience.

And joining me now Yusef Salaam, one of the exonerated five, and Ibi Zoboi, a National Book Award Finalist. They are the current Author of Punching the Air. And thank you both for being here. I really appreciate you both being here. Tell me first about this book, Yusef. What was the -- what was the inspiration behind it, because it's not directly your story, but it's along the lines of being your story?

YUSEF SALAAM, CO-AUTHOR, "PUNCHING THE AIR": Yes, thank you for having us on your show again. This book, Punching the Air, is really a testimony and a testament to all of the wrongs that we have experienced. You know, both Ibi and I, we live in New York City. We grew up in New York City. And we heard and experienced a lot of these atrocities.

And you know, so this story about a mob navigating in that the criminal justice system is really the story of black America, is the story that we are experiencing right now in current 2020 America.

REID: Absolutely. Let me -- let me read a little bit of it before bringing you in, Ebi. Here it is. And it's written in a very beautiful sort of prose, and here is a part. "In the case of the people, the juror says. And I wish I had eyes in the back of my head so I could see the people behind me so they can see me. Not the version of me they see in those drawings, eyes like dead spaces on my face, mouth turned down, nose wide like my father's, cheekbones high like my grandma's. Not the version of me they see on T.V., head down, arms pulled back, wrists cuffed, mean mugged, name in mud, but the real me like past my face, past my story and into my eyes so they know what really happened that night."

That's absolutely, you know, beautiful. Tell me why -- what about -- what was behind the decision to write it in this sort of poetic form?

IBI ZOBOI, CO-AUTHOR, "PUNCHING THE AIR": Well, when I ran into Yusef a few years ago, when he was selling his self-published book of poetry, and I thought it was a grave injustice to us that he was actually self-published, and he didn't have an avenue to get his story out to the wider audience. And I was already a young adult author, but I was completely floored by one of the poems in his book called, I Stand Accused. And he later told me that this is the poem that he recited in the courtroom after he had received his wrongful conviction. And that poem served as the foundation for Punching the Air.

REID: Yes. And Yusef, did writing help you to get through the hell of, you know, nearly six years incarcerated? Did that -- did that help you?

SALAAM: It did. You know, writing poetry was very meditative. It was a way that I got an opportunity to remind myself what was at stake, what we were fighting for, what we were fighting through. I had been awakened to the American nightmare. You know, just that 15 years old, I wanted all of the things that America afforded everybody. I thought we were the people. And here I was standing in court, fighting for my life. I was seen as guilty and I had to prove myself innocent.

REID: Yes. And to have somebody like Donald Trump who wasn't in politics at the time. You know, I still remember, I had just moved to New York not that long before that. I was a teenager myself and will never forget ever him taking out that ad calling for the five of you to be executed. Talk a little bit about how that felt to have somebody that rich and powerful say that to you. And what do you make of the fact that he still won't take it back?

SALAAM: You know, Donald Trump's ad was really the nail in the coffin. It was a signal to the rest of America that it was OK, it was open season. Right now, he's running on the law and order platform. He's saying he wants to make America great with the echoes behind him of states' rights. And those states' rights are states' rights to what? To own slaves, to own people.

You know, when I think about the vitriol coming out of Donald Trump, not today, I'm talking about 31 years ago, I'm talking about a lengthy experience that I have with him. The vitriol was very indicative of the 1950s. As a matter of fact, after he did that, other people jumped in and said, well, let's just take the eldest one, Korey Wise, and hang him from a tree in Central Park. And let's do this by June 1st.

This was the duality that we were experiencing in America that they want us to believe is an anomaly. This is as American as apple pie. And I represent the microcosm of the macrocosm of cases just like it.

REID: Yes, absolutely. And Ebi, you know, talk to us a little bit as -- not just an author and a black woman, but as, you know, somebody with immigrant roots as well. What do you make of this time of this era? And what is it like to be a writer in this era?

ZOBOI: Well, it's interesting, because this time is no different than the time I had as an immigrant child growing up in New York City. The more I and Yusef talk about our collaboration, the more we're realizing that I think we were traumatized as children growing up in New York City. There was some sort of racial incident happening just about every other year. And the Central Park five jogger case was, I suppose, it was sort of like the epitome of 1980 in New York City.

So, in that sense, this is the fabric of American society. I'm an immigrant. So, the idea was that we were coming here for the American dream. And the more that I start to connect the historical dots, the more we realize that it can be an American nightmare for many of us, as Yusef often says,

REID: Yusef, do you -- do you worry that Donald Trump is turning America into 1980s New York City? Because it sure feels like it in a lot of ways.

SALAAM: I think -- I think he's turning America even further back than that. You know, when you think about everything that's happening right now, he is the head of the ship. Everything rests on him. And there is unrest, there's civil unrest in the streets because of the oppression that the marginalized people have been experienced.

The streets are erupting, right? The ancestors' wildest dreams have been erupting in the streets telling us that black life matters, and if all life matters, that we should matter. But we don't matter because we get seven shots in our back. We get a bag over our head until we stop breathing. We get shot down before any questions are asked.

This America that we are experiencing is a very troubling America, but we are on the cusp of something really great. You know, 2020 signifies perfect vision. And I think as we look at this era that we are in right now, all of it, all of the bad and the good, as we move into the future, we move into the future with a knowledge of the history of what this year in particular meant. And it will forge your path, shining the light. And one of the things about Punching the Air is punching the air. Punching the air is light in the darkness.

REID: Yusef Salaam, God bless you. Thank you for surviving and really thriving and teaching. And I will be getting many copies of this book, Punching the Air, to give as gifts. I think that it's so important that we read your words and hear you. And Ebi Zoboi, you are great. You know that you are, so I don't even have to tell you how amazing you are because you are an award-winning author. Thank you both so much. It was just an honor.

SALAAM: Thank you for having me.

ZOBOI: Thank you for having us.

REID: Thank you. And NBC's Cal Perry, meanwhile, traveled cross country to see how Americans are coping with the issues raised by recent protests and the economic fallout of this pandemic. And he will be here to tell us what he found. Stick around.


REID: At the height of the global pandemic, NBC News Correspondent Cal Perry took a 7,000 mile trip across 15 states as the country moves from Coronavirus lockdown into violent protests that are boiled over throughout the summer. He witnessed firsthand how the economic devastation and repeated violence lead to unprecedented unrest -- led to unprecedented unrest in a country that's grappling with both its past and its future.

This Sunday, Cal looks back on his trip across America in Road to Recovery: America at a Crossroads which airs at 6:30 p.m. Eastern standard time right here on MSNBC. And my friend Cal Perry joins me now. Now I know why you've been un-bookable for the last several months. I keep being like, can we book Cal Perry? It's like, he's not available. Today I found out why. Tell us what you --

CAL PERRY, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: It's why I texted you at six in the morning, yes.

REID: exactly. I was like, what? Get on my show. Are you crazy? You better come on and talk about it. So, let's talk about it. Tell me about this journey. Where did you go? What did you find out?

PERRY: Well, look, we wanted to approach this from the perspective of somebody and we pulled the curtain a little bit back from the viewer. I've covered a lot of conflict countries in my career. I've been to a lot of places that haven't been able to sort things out peacefully, politically. And so I think it was surprising when I came from London. I live in London, I do a lot of reporting in the U.S.

But when I landed from London, number one, the Coronavirus, had just devastated the country. Our viewers obviously know that. The country is deeply divided. That it was I think, to the level the extent that it was deeply divided surprising. But most surprising was sort of how democracy is slipping. And I think we really need to work on how we talk about what we're seeing in the United States. You take those days, maybe a week where we didn't know who the security forces were in Portland. We were guessing were they DHS personnel, were they CBP personnel. They're not wearing any patches. Those are called secret police.

You look at some of the charges that some of the protesters are now being charged with as they head for court. You look at the protesters in the Black Hills at Mount Rushmore, Nick Tilsen, who started the NBN Collective, who sat in a road that according to the Supreme Court may very well be his ancestor's roads, he's now being charged with three felonies facing 17 years in prison.

As Americans, I think we need to start changing the way we're talking about this. Nick Tilsen could very well end up being a political prisoner. So, when you look at how democracy is slipping, it's really frightening. And as you head into this election, I think the guests you've had in the past hour have laid it out perfectly starting with Michael Cohen. Strong men don't win elections. They just don't lose elections.

And Donald Trump is sort of setting himself up in this election, to muddle things up to the point where people are going to lose faith in democracy. That was the most frightening thing to me is if people lose faith in democracy. I'm not talking about our audience, or the Fox audience, I'm talking about anybody in the country. It's so incredibly hard to get that back. And I've seen that overseas, and I think we're starting to see that in the U.S. and it's incredibly scary.

REID: You know, I'm glad that you've made that analogy because I think you and I've had this conversation before that Americans tend to think of ourselves as sui generis, that the things that happened in Poland or in Turkey or in Brazil can't happen here. But you've been around the world, you've covered conflict zones, as you said, all around the world. Does this look a lot more like what you've seen in other countries? And does that surprise you that we're -- that that's where we are?

PERRY: It does. It genuinely surprises me. And I covered the Sean Spicer presser right after the inauguration when he argued with the media about the crowd size and then walked out without taking any questions. And I said at the time, you know, this is what authoritarian regimes do. I didn't think we would get to the point where we are now where the President is spreading such vast misinformation so intentionally.

And you have these different views of the country that have now come to the forefront. You're sort of laying it out there. There are a number of people who live in the U.S. who still believe this is the place where people around the world should travel to, that they should -- they should fight and get to the U.S. and find freedom, and it becomes a part of their identity. And so they will defend it, and they will try to protect it.

And then you have a great number of other people who live in the country who will point to the fact that Black people are being shot at unbelievable rates by police who can't get out of poverty, who don't have access to health care. The Central Park Five who are accosted by public figures who then become presidents.

So you have this incredible division that is now coming to the surface as we approach this election. And I think the world, and we say this in the past, the world is watching.

REID: Cal Perry, best in the business and hopefully bookable again soon because we miss having you on. We got to get you back on the show, Road to Recovery. Thank you, my friend. Road to Recovery: America at a Crossroads. It airs this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC. I will be watching it, so check it out.

And up next, the groups fighting to protect your right to vote this November.


REID: Now, before we go, I wanted to leave you with a little bit of hope before heading into the Labor Day weekend. The past few weeks have been hard. We've seen a lot of chaos and confusion coming from the White House. We've seen a president hell-bent on tearing us apart and looking to undermine our faith in democracy. We've also lost too many souls from movie superheroes to real-life heroes.

But I want you to remember something. There are heroes all around us and every day they are trying to bring a little bit of goodness to the world. Take for example the players in the NBA who successfully pushed to turn 19 arenas and stadiums into polling and voting centers for the November election. Or Old Navy, the company announced this week that they will pay all employees who serve as poll workers on Election Day. There'll be joining people like Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay who have signed up to work that day.

And if you start losing hope and you think this country is too divided, just look at Ann Romney. She's joining Michelle Obama in a primetime special this month to help get out the vote. Now, while many of our heroes may be gone, it's good to remember that we all have the same power to affect change. All you have to do is get out or mail-in or drop off and vote. Get in that good trouble.

And that leads me to an important reminder this year. It's not just one single Election Day. There is an election season with mail-in balloting and early voting. So be sure to check out NBC's interactive Plan Your Vote guide. You'll find everything you need to know about registering to vote and voting in your state. And please make sure to vote early this year, please.

That is THE REIDOUT for tonight. We will see you back here again on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.



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