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tv   The Reid Out  MSNBC  February 22, 2021 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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power? that's the question. but the governor has a lot of power. the legislature, they have power to make substantive change today. the question is, will they? >> yeah. deray mckesson and john taylor, thanks to both of you for joining us. this is a story we've been reporting that we'll stay on. i want to thank you for spending time with us here on "the beat" with ari melber. "the reidout" with joy reid is up next. ♪♪ good evening, everyone, we begin the reidout tonight with a devastating milestone. one of the toughest things to do in this job every weeknight is to report, really to just say out loud the number of americans who have died from covid. it's just -- it's just breathtaking, and shocking. just moments ago, president joe biden marked the inconceivable, unconscionable toll that the coronavirus pandemic has taken in the rich, modern, supposedly sophisticated united states.
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more than half a million lives just gone. >> today, we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone. as we acknowledge the scale of this mass death in america, we remember each person and the life they lived. they're people we knew. they're people we feel like we knew. we often hear people described as ordinary americans. there's no such thing. there's nothing ordinary about them. the people we lost were extraordinary. as a nation, we can't accept such a cruel fate. we've all been fighting this pandemic for so long, we have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow. we have to resist viewing each life as a statistic or a blur or
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on the news. we must do so to honor the dead, but equally important, care for the living, those left behind. for the loved ones left behind. that's what has been so cruel. so many of the rituals that help us cope, that help us honor those we loved haven't been available to us. the final rites with family gathered around, the proper home going. as a nation, we cannot and we must not let this go on. >> after his remarks, president biden and vice president harris, along with their spouses, participated in a moment of silence at that candlelight vigil to remember those lost. president biden has ordered all flags over federal buildings to fly at half staff for five days, yet another departure from what we saw over the previous year as the former occupant of the white
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house and republican governors tried to ignore all of that death. we're now belatedly experiencing this grief as a collective, together. with the president of the united states actually acknowledging its devastation as a central element of his presidency. biden's first event in washington with vice president harris last month, the night before taking office, was a somber commemoration at the lincoln memorial for the 400,000 who had perished at that time. those who died almost without comment from the previous administration. and to put this tragic new milestone, more than 500,000 deaths, in perspective, take a look at the front page of sunday's "new york times." each of those small dots, a person, a loved one, a friend lost to covid. the depth of that loss has now surpassed even our foreign wars as more americans have lost their lives to the coronavirus than on the battlefields of both world wars and a the vietnam war combined. and the "washington post" notes that the staggering loss in a
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year would instantly fill a new cemetery the size of arlington national cemetery. today, dr. anthony fauci acknowledged it simply didn't have to be this bad. >> i believe that if you look back historically, we have done worse than most any other country, and we're a highly developed, rich country. >> but with this tragic milestone, there are signs of hope. new cases have been steadily dropping to levels not seen since the fall. i'm joined now by dr. chris parnell, a public health physician and the cofounder of marked by covid and both of my guests lost their fathers to covid-19. i want to let each of you have an opportunity to just respond to it. and i'll start with you, doctor. you know, over the last year, it really has been shocking to watch those numbers tick up, then tick up into the six figures, then pass 200 to 300 to
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400,000. each of those deaths was a person like your dads. i want to give each of you an opportunity to respond to what it felt like, what it feels like to have a president acknowledge that loss in very personal terms. doctor, you first. >> joy, i wept. i wept in my living room as i watched the president of the united states display empathy, display character, display integrity. i had had a conversation with my brother, and he said, one day, this nation is going to get it and the flags will fly at half staff. and that happened today. and that landed on me today. this grief process has been surreal, and it's through moments like this i reexperience the loss of my father, but i have honor in his death, his legacy is not being silenced. his legacy is being remembered and spoken, so i truly, truly appreciate president biden.
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>> for you, kristen, you talked, you know, at the democratic national convention just about the hard break of watching your father essentially lied to death. you know, and we still do have a lot of that misinformation that's out there in the world. but in this moment, what did it mean for you just to process a president, not lying about the pandemic, not dismissing it, not ignoring it, but just actually acknowledging it and acknowledging his own grief? >> it's monumental. and it's also an important first step. i appreciate everything that joe biden has done so far, but i also have to say it's still not enough. we have over half a million people who have vanished in less than a year. i hear from people marked by covid every single day, who are calling for more, not just in the response but also making sure vaccinations are getting to latino and black communities who
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are still not vaccinated at the same amount, as well as creating ongoing and permanent spaces for grief, healing, and recognition, and so we're calling for a holiday for covid memorial. we're calling for a memorial on the national mall. we're calling for funding for local, state, and tribal nations to have permanent space because if we're ever going to really learn from this, and not make the same mistakes twice, we need the unvarnished truth and we need that to be written in the history books. >> that's a really good point. and this is cut to -- i'm sorry i'm jumping around for my producers. joe biden has changed kind of the idea of who should get it, right? because there has been this really kind of sickening thing that's happening, dr. pernell, where i look at florida where you have the governor there going down to a small county and literally giving out the vaccine to his friends. giving it out to his donors, giving it out to people on his side, making sure that the rich, that the privileged, that people
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that have a publix in their neighborhoods, meaning they're probably white or affluent get it, but not give a damn if a person who's poor or a person of color gets the vaccine. we're seeing the vaccine play out in this really kind of sick, sadistic way. what can president biden, who has said he wants to see the equities put forward and made front of mind, what can he do to change that? >> that dialogue has to be followed by action. look, you just described white privilege, right? you described white privilege, which is rooted in white supremacy, and what this pandemic has taught us is that still, all lives don't matter. so, you know, i was comforted by the words of president joe biden today. i have been comforted by some of the actions that he's already taken in the health equity task force, but i'm going to continue to speak truth to power, as are others in public health and more broadly in black and brown
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communities in the american public, because we're not going to see those lives truly matter until all of the tools, access, access is prioritized. you know, we talk a lot about black people and brown people being hesitant, being unwilling. i don't think we talk far enough around the information barriers, the language and literacy barriers, the social and cultural barriers, the convenience barriers. we need to talk about how systemic racism kills. so i want to see that this president is going to enact policies that not only save black lives from the pandemic but save black lives across all issues and across all sectors. so, i'm going to continue to hold the administration's feet to the fire, but i am confident, and i am vigilant that we're going to do the right thing. >> you know, and you're absolutely right, kristen. you have -- there is this sort of seesaw between, do people want to get it or are they
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willing? i'm seeing more people in my circle, particularly black people who were very hesitant who say, we want to get it. we're more afraid of the pandemic than we are of the vaccine. but there's a question of, can you get it? can you get access if you're in a community that doesn't have access? but on the side of people who are still misinformed, i have to come back to you on this, on the situation with your dad, because there are still people who are calling themselves news that are still not telling the truth about the pandemic. that are still using the donald trump playbook when it comes to talking about it. what -- do you think that biden, because he's so personally empathetic, because he's had so much loss himself, is there -- do you have hope that he can convince people who are already deeply misinformed about the virus and who still maybe don't believe it, don't want to wear masks, the nih director said this misinformation, basically, has killed people. >> misinformation is a huge problem, and i'm actually attending a hearing on wednesday to talk about my experience with
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misinformation, but the thing that president biden can do is really harness the full resources of the federal government to get at the people who need to be vaccinated first and know that everybody else will come. we send a rover to mars this week. we sent a person and multiple people to the moon. we can get into the fields and into the grocery stores and into the churches to ensure that people have the opportunity to learn about the vaccine and get it in their arm. there is no excuse for 3.5% of latinos and 4.5% of black folks to be vaccinated in comparison to 9% of white people whenever we know that blacks and latinos are on the front lines. we can do this. >> yeah. absolutely. and not to say nothing of the indigenous communities and aapi communities because you know, don't think that asian-americans are out there with lots of money. that is just a stereotype that isn't true.
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there are lots of communities out there that need this vaccine. dr. chris pernell, kristen, again, we're so sorry for your loss and thank you very much for spending time with us on this important evening. up next on the reidout, he is a loser once again. the former president's fight to hide his tax records, that's over. his former fixer, michael cohen, joins me next. plus, ted cruz makes a pathetic, pathetic attempt at an image makeover. tweeting out pictures of himself handing out water to the texans he abandoned. hard to believe, but once again, he's not the absolute worst. the big reveal is coming up. and be sure to join us on friday at 7:00 p.m. eastern for a special edition of the reedout i'll be joined by dr. anthony fauci and members of the congressional black caucus to discuss racial disparities in the covid crisis. go to msnbc.com/townhall to be a part of our virtual audience and to submit your questions for our experts.
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get on there and do that right now during the break. the reidout continues after this. break the reidout continues after this s curious. i learned about my grandfather's life on ancestry and it was a remarkable twentieth-century transformation. he did a lot of living before i knew him. bring your family history to life like never before. get started for free at ancestry.com (burke) at farmers, we know how nice it is to save on your auto policy. but it's even nicer knowing that if this happens... ...or this... ...or even this... ...we've seen and covered it. so, call 1-800-farmers and get a quote today. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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a supreme court decision today shut down donald trump's hail mary bid to keep his tax returns out of the hands of new york prosecutors. it marks a final defeat for the now ex-president who's under investigation for possible insurance, tax, and banking fraud, along with other crimes. "the new york times" points out that this could lead to the extraordinary possibility of a criminal trial for a former president, and as we already know, prosecutors have said the tax returns and other financial records are vital to their inquiry. that probe is being led by district attorney cyrus vance, whose reaction to the news story today was short and sweet, saying only that the news continues. this comes after vance hired a veteran prosecutor who specializes in white-collar and
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organized crime cases. last week, he interviewed trump's former fixer, michael cohen, which was cohen's fifth interview with vance's office to date and i'm joined now by michael cohen. he is the author of the book "disloyal" and the host of the mea culpa podcast. always appreciate you being here. >> thank you for having me on. >> you're familiar with the -- of course. you're familiar with the way it works. i've been in a grand jury and i can always tell when that prosecutor wanted, you know, you could tell what the prosecutor wants, right? you've seen in these cases where there's been a police officer accused of killing someone in kentucky and other places, it was pretty clear that the prosecutor didn't really want to prosecute and then that happened. could you tell in sitting with cy vance's office, now that you've done it five times, do you get the sense that they are ready to prosecute this man, donald trump? >> well, look, right now, they're in the process of waiting for maizer, which is the accounting firm that's been handling trump's taxes for a long, long time. they're waiting for that
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information, and basically, that information will just assist in the corroborating all the other information that they have gathered over the course of the past three years when they first started this investigation. >> okay. but did you get a sense just in talking to them that -- could you tell whether, in your mind, this is leading toward al capone, an al capone sort of scenario or whether it's just an inquiry that could leave donald trump free and clear, just from your sense of talking to them. >> my sense is that cy vance, who's politically astute, did not bring in the likes of an individual like mark, an incredibly well-known and prolific attorney, when it comes to this area of significant financial crimes as well as complex financial crimes. they didn't bring him in not for -- not to bring an indictment, and i suspect the indictment will probably be
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sooner than later. >> we know that the case that you were involved in, the hush money case, is pretty much dead, that the prosecutors in that case have kind of let that go, so now the focus really is on the potential that you talked about and testified under oath about, about potentially insurance fraud and tax fraud. you testified that donald trump would lever the value of his properties up and down depending on whether it was for purposes of getting a loan or for filing an insurance claim. in your mind, did donald trump commit tax and insurance fraud? >> so, the answer is, yes, but joy, i think you're conflating a couple of different things. it's the sdny that dropped the issue with the hush money payment. >> right. >> cy vance and his team are not dropping it, and it's actually a -- an element of the more than dozen topics that they have grilled me on for many, many hours, so that's the sdny, and i have called on other msnbc
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shows, i believe it was alex witt over the weekend, when i turned around and said, if in fact the new a.g. is merrick garland, i would ask that an investigation be opened as to why. why is it that i should end up going to prison for another man's dirty deeds, meaning the hush money payment, which i had been emphatic and continuously stating the same, which is that i did it at the direction of and for the benefit of individual number one, and we all know individual number one is donald j. trump. >> indeed. so this is the southern district of new york, as you have accurately said, has dropped the case at least for now in terms of the hush money payment so your view is that you believe if merrick garland is in fact confirmed and he likely be confirmed, that the justice department should look into the hush money case. >> i believe so. and i believe that there are other elements that they should also look into. >> we've now known that donald trump's banks have walked away
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from him, most of them stopped doing business with him, deutsche bank and others. he's sort of been left out there hanging. he's in a lot of legal trouble. in your mind, does he have the kind of money, the kind of cash on hand to be able to fight these legal cases or do you think that his debts will be his next crisis? >> yeah, the debts are definitely going to be his next crisis, and just to be a little bit more specific, it's legitimately two banks. it was deutsche bank and then ladder capital that provided him with the almost the entirety of the loan that he is currently owed -- or that he currently owes. he does not have significant cash on hand, other than the money that he's managed to grift from unsuspecting republicans into the 200-plus million dollar range, which to me, i don't understand, and if any of them are watching your show, i would implore them to stop, because the man is a grifter and basically all he's looking to do is to take their money and to
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put it towards his obligations. but what's really going to be his downfall is once they start to go through the tax returns and they start to see all of the tax evasion and other improper tax manipulation that was done, what will happen is there's also a fraud -- a tax fraud penalty that will couple with the amount that he basically owes the u.s. government, the state, and the city of new york. it's a very significant fine. he'll have to start selling off assets, and remember, when you start selling off assets, you also have a taxable consequence because its basis is so low in so many of them. so it's going to be a -- a real conundrum for him. >> yeah. and he doesn't own most of the things that have the name "trump" on them. we should note that. do you believe that in the end, donald trump, like al capone, will go to prison? >> so, this is a little tough. this is a tough question because
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do i think he belongs in prison? the answer is yes. but i think it's very difficult to incarcerate a former president, simply because he has information which could pose a serious national threat to this country. and let me tell you, emphatically, that donald trump would sell that information. i truly believe it. or he'll just start bragging to another inmate and then next thing you know, you have a national security problem. which is why i think joe biden appropriately and intelligently went ahead and he cut donald trump off from, you know, from briefings. that's never been done before. but i think president biden was absolutely 100% on point, because he cannot be trusted. so, how do you put somebody in prison unless you build them their own cadre somewhere on the facility or you basically remand him to a home confinement with very, you know, very strict guidelines.
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>> yeah. that sounds like a jeffrey epstein sentence the first time he was convicted on sex crime charges. you did predict in your testimony and you have said very openly that you did not believe donald trump would accept a peaceful transfer of power. that is one of the things you did say on the record. we saw that was absolutely the case. in your mind, does donald trump have any love for the united states or for democracy? do you think that he is a person who loves or respects the united states and our democracy? >> i think donald trump loves only one thing and that's donald trump. and i believe that donald trump, had he been successful in this re-election, he would automatically be looking to figure out how to shred the constitution so he could have a third, fourth, fifth term, ultimately, really, what he wants is to be a monarch. he wants to be an autocrat in this country, to the same extent that vladimir putin controls russia. that's what he's really looking for. >> well, you know him. and so, take it from somebody
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who knows donald trump personally. michael cohen, thank you very much. really appreciate you always being on and being so open about all of this. >> up next, attorney general nominee merrick garland says he intends to make the investigation into the january 6th insurrection his top priority. >> heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy, the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government. plus, shocking new details from that investigation. we will be right back. from that. we will be right back. this is an athlete, twenty reps deep, sprinting past every leak in our softest, smoothest fabric. she's confident, protected, her strength respected. depend. the only thing stronger than us, is you.
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most of you remember judge merrick garland because of what mitch mcconnell did to him. now, five years after mitch and his senate republicans blocked his nomination to the supreme court, for no other reason than that president barack obama had nominated him, garland is president biden's nominee for
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attorney general, and today, he made his case for the job. >> when my grandparents fled antisemitism and persecution, the country took us in. and protected us. and i feel an obligation to the country to pay back and this is the highest, best use of my own set of skills to pay back. >> garland, who oversaw the oklahoma city bombing case, the worst act of home grown terrorism in the nation's history prior to the january 6th insurrection, warned that we are facing far more threatening times and promised to make fighting the threat of domestic terrorism his top priority. >> what's going on in america? was oklahoma city just a one-off, unrelated to what happened here?
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>> i don't think this is necessarily a one-off. fbi director wray has indicated that the threat of domestic terrorism and particularly of white supremacist extremists is his number one concern in this area. we are facing a more dangerous period than we faced in oklahoma city. >> if confirmed to the office held by america's single worst attorney general, william barr, judge garland will lead a battered justice department, forced to confront this rapidly ballooning threat. last friday, the d.o.j. indicted nine individuals associated with the extremist group the oath keepers. the grand jury found that the oath keepers arranged firearms and combat training and donned paramilitary gear as they attacked the capitol. one of the members, jessica watkins, claimed she was not a participant in the insurrection but was instead working security at the rally. her lawyer says that watkins was there to provide security for
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the speakers, to provide escort for the legislatures and others as directed by the then president and to safely escort protesters away from the capitol to their vehicles and cars at the conclusion of the protest. one of the officers defending the capitol that day told abc that those so-called protesters were actually terrorists and racists whose goal was to overthrow democracy. >> i got called a [ bleep ] a couple dozen times today. protecting this building. is this america? they beat police officers with blue lives matter flags. >> for more, i'm joined by malcolm nance and paul butler, georgetown law professor and former federal prosecutor. thank you both for being here and malcolm, i retweet you a lot. we have been doing this for five years now. you wrote in a 2020 book proposal that i liberally retweeted. you wrote this. i hate being right.
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october 2020 book proposal, win or lose, come early 2021, the united states will find itself facing an underground of armed white militia men who will start waging a clandestine war. you likened this group to the klan. in your mind, is -- is that what you would consider everything from the oath keepers who now just claim they're just security to the proud boys and on and on and on? in what way is this, in your view, similar or sort of likened to the klan? >> well, you know, at one point, the klan was very popular. if you were politically ambitious, you had to be a member of the klan. but when it started out early on, it was a clandestine organization, as you know, they wore white hoods and rode around in order to terrorize black populations so they wouldn't reap any benefits of the federal government. they were also an anti-government organization. so, now what we see is a transformation of the people who all attended the august 2018
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charlottesville rally, and after that rally, when the national aprobrium was too much for them, what they did was they started coming back together and congealed together as a sort of informal paramilitary of the trump campaign. and last summer, when the black lives matter protests happened, they were there as an extension of that, and that's why i said it's coming into the election, it appeared that they were going to be something, whether they were underground, informal brown shirts or as we saw them manifest on january 6th, an actual insurrectionist organization, loyal to one man. >> yeah, indeed. i'm going to need these future lottery numbers since you seem to know everything that's going to happen in the future. paul butler, let's talk a little bit about the sort of bigger picture in terms of not just people who did it but that required money. we know that the, you know, the publix cofounder cofounded some
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of the actual ellipse sort of events so we know where some of that money came from but here was senator sheldon whitehouse today questioning merrick garland about that issue of who funded the overall attack. >> with respect to january 6th, i'd like to make sure that you are willing to look upstream from the actual occupants who assaulted the building. you will not rule out investigation of funders, organizers, ring leaders or aiders and abetters who were not present in the capitol on january 6th. >> we will pursue these leads wherever they take us. >> you know, paul butler, i wondered if at some point senator whitehouse was going to look to his left or his right, because some of the same funders, aiders, abetters are members of congress, maybe people who fund members of congress.
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this was an effort that was very much in the republican sort of sphere. how far do you anticipate the justice department being able to go with some of the aiders and abetters sitting in the united states senate? >> so, joy, right now, the fbi says that it's served 500 search warrants and opened 400 case files on the insurrection, presumably there's got to be an investigation of the kingpins, not just the 800 people who invaded and attacked the capitol, but their leaders, and so the fbi says that it's looking at people who influenced the insurrection with words, with networks, with deeds, and with money, and so among those prime suspects isn't the word that the fbi uses but i'll use that word, thinking and looking at what people like roger stone and alex jones have done. they promoted the hate groups like the oath keepers and the proud boys.
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they have personal and business relationships with them, and his own prosecution, roger stone said that he trusted the leader of the proud boys so much that roger stone gave tario his social media accounts and his cell phone to use on his own, and this is the same tario who on january 3rd posted, what if we invaded. joy, malcolm's right, the sad reality is that right now, donald trump controls -- he commands an army of white supremacists and domestic terrorists who apparently will stop at nothing. >> well, i mean, that's why people coined the term y'all-qaeda. osama bin laden didn't do anything himself. what do you think of this oath keepers woman, who the oath keepers by definition are law enforcement, military, people
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who know how to use weapons, claiming that she was just security, implying she was security for members of congress and for others. >> well, you know, jessica watkins and the other co-conspirators in that group, they all have rich fantasy lives so we shouldn't take a lot out of that statement. just because they come together with roger stone and provided security for him, that, we do know. you know, and they stand in a line between, you know, behind the secret service or the park police, doesn't mean that they have been organized as real security. so, i'll give her that point because i really think these people do live in a rich fantasy world. look, these people were also believing that they had heavy weapons stored across from, you know, across the potomac river and they were going to have boats shuttle them over and they could actually lay siege to the capitol. they came armed. they came prepared. they came wearing body armor and helmets, but you know, it was the mass of 40,000 protesters
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pushing that, you know, the extremist edge up into the capitol who did open battle, open battle for hours, and i know, i watched their own -- their own livestreams, gave it to us. but you know, they have this bizarre victimization trick that they do, somebody called it mar-a-lago syndrome where as soon as they're caught, they all switch and they claim they were never there, you know, it's sort of a reverse stockholm syndrome. now they're claiming it was all antifa that was there and the thousands of thousands of people throwing trump's flags as spears were all part of some liberal imaginings. >> yeah, people are going to -- kids are going to say antifa is why they didn't clean their room and they messed it up. you mentioned tario, the rather ironic leader of the proud boys as a man of color. his own lawyer said in the past, he's snitched. he's told. if you were a part of this investigation, would he be the
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first stop in your -- on your list in terms of somebody to talk to and maybe get intel from? >> yeah, again, he's a proven snitch. nobody should take his word further than they can see him, so they'll have to have receipts, the fbi and the justice department will, to believe the things that he says, but yes, again, they're looking hopefully at the kingpins, the leaders of the investigation, tario ran the proud boys and he apparently knew a lot about what was going to go down on january 2nd, so the chances are if he's looking at crimes, possibly being charged for incitement or conspiracy, he's going to sing like a canary. >> the other man of color about to find out they are men of color in the criminal justice system. good luck with that. malcolm nance, paul butler, thank you so much. as we continue to mark black
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if you smell gas, you're too close. leave the structure, call 911, keep people away, and call pg&e right after so we can both respond out and keep the public safe. covid's still a threat. and on reopening schools, we know what happens when we don't put safety first. ignore proper ventilation or rates of community spread, and the virus worsens. fail to provide masks or class sizes that allow for social distancing, and classrooms close back down. a successful reopening requires real safety and accountability measures. including prioritizing vaccines for educators. parents and educators agree: reopen schools. putting safety first. if you see wires down, treat them all as if they're hot and energized.
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stay away from any downed wire, call 911, and call pg&e right after so we can both respond out and keep the public safe. texas is still reeling from a full-fledged catastrophe, a record-setting blast of winter that bludgeoned the state's power grid and robbed millions of texans of power, heat, and water. in many ways, the crisis echos what we have seen for a year in this pandemic, the ways in which constituents are left to fend for themselves as their elected leadership ghosts their responsibilities. ted cruz, even on mop-up duty following his ill-timed jaunt to cancun, seems to make volunteer work about his political image. creating a photo op showing himself passing out water and then posting those photos on his own twitter account. we know that cruz wasn't the
quote
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only texas public official to abandon the state in its time of need. texas attorney general ken paxton was in utah during the freeze for a, quote, previously planned meeting. while state representative gary gates traveled to florida on a private jet. those were actually in texas included beto o'rourke who was organizing relief efforts while alexandria ocasio-cortez of new york, not texas, volunteered at a good pang in houston. the two also raised $5 million in relief for texans. meanwhile, republicans are fund-raising to help themselves and their own careers. republican utah senator mike lee held a fund-raiser at trump's mar-a-lago clubhouse on sunday, charging $10,600 per couple. see the one-six there. to commune with the captain and tenille of republican trolls, matt gaetz and laurie boebert. the gop's focus on fund-raising maintains a strict focus on themselves. but that isn't the only reason
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so many texans are cold and in the dark, and believe it or not, it's not the absolute worst. this crisis is linked to the uniquely republican obsession with deregulation. it's the reason texans are now on the hook for astronomical electric bills, one as high as $17,000 just for keeping the lights on during the storm. the recipient of that bill, an army veteran, has emptied his savings account to pay the bill which was charged to his credit card, meaning texans who were just now recovering from the devastation of the storm will now face mountains of debt. as we've mentioned on this show, this is happening because texas lawmakers deregulated the state's energy market back in 2002 under a previous republican governor, leaving customers vulnerable to massive price spikes. in the deregulated market, texans can opt to pay wholesale prices for power, which is cheaper when the weather's great, but those prices can spike immediately when there's high demand for electricity, like last week during the storm. and now those bills are coming due, and those companies are
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going to want their money. and make no mistake, the collections agencies will follow. this is a gop's promised land, a handsoff government that leaves the burden on you to dig yourself out of a climate and natural disaster crisis forcing millions to drown in bills ranging from medical bills to home repair, forcing them to rely on charity or a gofundme campaign in place of what the government was literally created to handle, which is why the whole republican philosophy of governing is the absolute worst. more on the readout kwoez after this. more on the readout kwoez after this to research. yep, td ameritrade's got that. free access to every platform. yeah, that too. i want to know what i'm paying upfront. yes, absolutely. now offering zero commissions on online trades.
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or visit your local xfinity store today. those of african-american heritage, descendents f enslaved africans that have felt the sting of the disparities. they continue to feel that sting. now more than ever the facts and circumstances facing our nation
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demonstrate the importance of hr-40. >> every congress has introduced a bill to study reparations for the black descendents of enslaved people ever since the late congressman john conyers first introduced it more than three decades ago. and every congress has failed to pass it. now we're not talking about, you know, actual reparations, just a study. advocates are saying this is the year it could be passed. following the issues of floyd, it passed we will be one step closer to addressing the wrongs against african-americans. joining us is erica alexander and whitney dow. they are the co-host of a new podcast reparations, the big payback. i love it. i love both of you guys. thank you so much for being here. erica, i'll start with you. the big payback. >> thank you. >> okay. why are you doing this -- why are you doing this podcast and what do you think it will
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change? >> because of covid-19, because of george floyd, because of aubrey, because of the insurrection, because of poverty. you know, i can go on. but i he tell you, it's a sign of the times that we're able to talk about reparation and doesn't sound like some sort of lunatic idea. reparations is a remedy for wrongs of done to african-americans. certainly there will be a very poor proxy for real justice for us, but you can't give that after 400 years of slavery. people are seeing this legislation that is real and unspoken that has targeted black americans for so long needs to be remedied. that's why i say now. let's make a real democracy and a more perfect union. >> yeah. you know, whitney, i'll ask you a question you get asked all the time. do you the whiteness project. it is brilliant. why are you doing this? why are you involved in a
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project about reparations? >> look, if if you make a mess, you have to clean it up. i think more seriously, i think a lot of the divisions in this country stem from the fact that we never really addressed the divisions that exist from slavery, the legacy of slavery. so i think, you know, for us to move forward as a country, we really need to figure out how do we heal that division? i think the first most important step in that is to admit that we're -- that, you know, admit the injury and make reparations. >> slavery reparations could have reduced covid-19 infections and death. there is a harvard study that showed that payments can narrow the wealth gap and narrow disparities in employment. this is a study if there was just financial reparations what a difference it could make in the country. let me let you listen to what the white house press secretary said. she was asked about whether the president, president biden
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supports the idea of reparations. take a listen. >> will he support the bill? if the bill came to the desk, would he sign it? >> it's working its way through congress. he would certainly support a study. we'll see what happens through the legislative process. >> so he doesn't support reparations. >> again, it would be up to him. you know, he has executive order authority. he would certainly support a study and we'll see where congress moves on that issue. >> erica, that looked like a game of dodge ball to me. it doesn't seem. >> it's been very difficult for politicians to put themselves behind them in any real way. right now they're talking about the bill hr 40 which is just a discussion of it. so i think he can back that and feel like he has not backed rep races. it is literally something that could kill your campaign if people sniffed you out and
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thought you were for it, you know, before. so i can see why she's doing that dodge balling and all that. but, you know, it's here. and it's now. and they can't side step covid-19. and what this plague brought up is the invisible cast system that exists. it ripped the bandage off and the wound is leaking all over the place. it's time to deal with it. >> whitney, when you bring up the idea of reparations, people who freak out about it generally say my people came from germany and we didn't do anything with slavery. why should with he have to participate in it? why should we have to -- why should may tax dollars have to go to people enslaved? that is generally the question that comes up. what would the answer to that? >> well, i think that it is simple. i think that especially when you talk about people that don't have a lot of money or feel like i'm struggling, working. but they don't see what they were -- what -- it's not only what was taken from black americans, what was given to
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white americans and not given to black americans. and you real why i see the advantages around you all the time. i look at, you know, the numbers don't lie, joy. i know you're a big data person. whether it is health care outcomes, whether it's homeownership, education, it's marriage, you look at the numbers, it's like incontrovertible. the effects of slavery are still, you know, are still with us. they're everywhere. if you look even not even closely, if you look just honestly, you see them everywhere. the idea that somehow something in the past doesn't manifest itself seems absurd to me. >> and, you know, erica, there is a town called evanston, illinois, doing this. how did this go over? >> they are -- we should give a shoutout to the alder woman who passed the first reparations bill in american history. she called the rosa parks reparations. and that is in evanston, illinois in, 2019.
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and a very fortuitous way. she is working on it. they passed it. they're figuring it out. they're asking the questions right now. we're following her and documenting her. she's amazing. it is a difficult thing to put together. >> absolutely. you guys can all listen to their podcast. it is called "the big payback". that is tonight's "reidout." >> tonight on "all in," the big lie is alive and well. >> joe biden is the president. they follow the state laws and tonight trump in exile, it is in full swing. plus the man and the attorney general on investigating the capitol

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