Rep. Rashida Tlaib Mocks Claim Her Prison Bill Will ‘Release Everybody’ — Until Jonathan Swan Reminds Her Bill Says Release Everyone


Axios’ Jonathan Swan employed his patented look of astonishment while interviewing Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) over the weekend about her support in 2020 for the BREATHE Act.

Swan asked Tlaib:

In 2020, you endorsed the BREATHE Act, which is a series of proposals to transform America’s criminal justice system and create, quote, ‘a roadmap for prison abolition.’ The BREATHE Act proposes emptying federal detention facilities within 10 years. To what extent have you wrestled with any potential downsides of releasing into society every single person who’s currently in a federal prison?

Tlaib responded, “I think everyone’s like, oh my god, we’re going to just release everybody.”

To which Swan quickly interjected, “But that’s what the act says.”

“Yeah, but did you see how many people are mentally ill that are in prison right now?” Tlaib hit back, explaining her rationale for supporting the bill.

“But the act that you endorsed actually says release everyone,” Swan pushed again.

Tlaib shot back, “But in 10 years.”

“Do you mean that you don’t actually support that? Cause you used to endorse the bill,” Swan pushed again.

“No, I endorsed the BREATHE Act and looking at federal — the policies and how we incarcerate,” Tlaib clarified. “Absolutely.” The two continued to discuss the issue with Tlaib summarizing that her primary concern is ending mass incarceration and eventually saying that she does not believe “all people can be rehabilitated.”

Swan’s interview with Tlaib, which aired on Axios on HBO, also made headlines after Tlaib claimed she is “fearful” for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda in the Senate due to “corporate Democrats” like Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) potentially altering or killing key components.

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Alex Griffing is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Send tips via email: Follow him on Twitter: @alexgriffing