Leaked: NYPD audio tape of Harvey Weinstein sting Transcript 10/10/17 The Beat with Ari Melber
Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER
Date: October 10, 2017
Guest: Jill Wine-Banks, Nick Akerman, Maya Harris, Jamil Jaffer, Howard Dean, Jan Schakowsky
KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST, “MTP DAILY”: Ari, I`m handing it off to you almost
right on time.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST, THE BEAT: Always on schedule, always on time.
That`s Katy Tur.
TUR: That was me. That`s my nickname.
MELBER: Thank you. Have a good one.
TUR: Bye, Ari.
MELBER: We begin our show here with two developing stores that are hitting
the newsroom right now. They`re both on Russia.
Donald Trump breaking what had been a three-week Twitter silence to respond
to Senate Intelligence Committee. We`ll show you what he said and how it`s
not accurate in just a moment.
But I want to begin with the push for a Trump brawl, and not one with Bob
Corker. The target is Bob Mueller.
Trump loyalists with White House access apparently panicked about how
Trump`s criminal defense attorneys have an acquiescent approach to the
This is all from a new “Associated Press” report that we got. It says
these Trump backers want the street fighting tweeter to criticize Mueller
In fact, they view Trump`s lawyers here as naive to the existential threat
facing the president. So, what is going on?
Well, here is the context for this potentially important dispute breaking
into the open right now. Trump`s loyalist clearly worried that Mueller`s
investigation could ensnare Trump`s family or even the president himself.
And they want to face down that existential threat now. Right now.
But Trump`s lawyers aren`t worried about that. And the lawyers` theory of
the case here on the Trump side is that the farthest Mueller will really go
would be to indict some former employees.
And this is interesting because their view does overlap with some key
reports in “The New York Times.” First, that bombshell that dropped on
September 18 that Mueller already told Paul Manafort he would be indicted,
meaning he is a target of the investigation.
And then, this weekend`s reporting in “The Times” that Mueller is building
cases against Manafort and Flynn, which raises the question, would Michael
Flynn talk if granted immunity. It`s not a hypothetical. We actually know
he would, if you believe him, because he said he would.
In that March 30 statement, Flynn`s lawyer saying he had a story to tell if
granted immunity and otherwise he would plead the Fifth.
Never mind that back in the campaign days, you may remember, Flynn had a
different idea of what it means to plead the Fifth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: When you are given
immunity, that means you probably committed a crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: And the Fifth Amendment is actually the dividing line here between
the strategy of Trump`s lawyers and these calls for more aggression from
The Trump lawyers seem to think the farthest this goes is a few former
staff. The loyalists worried those staff could get immunity and start
The other news today here, the Republican chair of the House Intel
Committee, you may remember, who recused himself from the Russia inquiry is
now behind subpoenas to the partners of Fusion GPS, the research firm
behind the famous dossier.
And then, there`s the other story I told you here at the top of the hour
about Trump and Russia. The president in a brand-new interview saying
that, number one, none of this changed the vote with Russia, which so far
is not in dispute; and then, two, brand-new, Donald Trump falsely
suggesting the Senate Intel`s interim update last week presented some kind
of findings on collusion.
“They just said there`s absolutely been no collusion. They just said that
yesterday. Two days ago. Senate. There`s been no collusion,” he told
But that is not what the committee said. The GOP chair actually said they
didn`t know enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD BURR (R), CHAIR OF THE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: The
issue of collusion is still open that we continue to investigate both
intelligence and witnesses and that we`re not in a position where we will
come to any type of temporary finding on that until we completed the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Those words clearly contradict the president`s new claim in this
“Forbes” interview, which we just got in the newsroom.
And before I had sat down right here, our staff was able to reach out to
the Senate Intel Committee to ask him about all this and they said the
senator`s depiction of the facts speak for themselves.
I`m joined now by two former Watergate prosecutors, Jill Wine-Banks and
Nick Akerman, now a partner of Dorsey & Whitney. Also, with me, Maya
Harris, a former senior advisor to Hillary Clinton.
Jill, what does it mean when the president makes this kind of statement in
the heat of this investigation?
JILL WINE-BANKS, FORMER WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: It means he`s not listening
carefully because it was very clear to anyone listening that the Senate
Intelligence Committee said it is still investigating collusion.
And we can assume that Robert Mueller is still investigating collusion and
obstruction, in addition to collusion. So, we`re looking at two separate
crimes. And both could or could not involve the president. We won`t know
that until the investigation is completed and the office is shut down. At
that point, we may know.
MELBER: Nick, he has every right to deny anything and make any statements
about his own belief, views or opinions. Does he have the same right and
is it the same responsibility exercised, at least what his lawyers would
tell him, to mischaracterize, mislead about what the Senate Intel Committee
NICK AKERMAN, FORMER WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: Well, it`s typical of what he
does. It`s typical of what his family does. I mean, he has lied so many
times about everything, why would we be surprised that he lies about what
the Senate Intelligence Committee did?
He also kind of mischaracterized what this whole Russian collusion is
about, trying to say that the Russians didn`t actually impact any votes.
The question isn`t whether or not the Russians got into the voting
machines. The question is whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with
MELBER: Interesting. You think he`s trying to move the goalpost? I mean,
the opening question was, did you all team up illegally to do anything.
And now, it`s, well, maybe it didn`t change the vote. That`s not the
criminal line, is it?
AKERMAN: No, it`s not. I mean, it`s not what they`re investigating. What
they`re looking at is whether or not they did this micro-targeting of
Hillary Clinton voters to try and suppress the vote and to go after the
Trump voters to get them out and did that in conjunction with the Russians.
That`s the issue.
It doesn`t have to do with people going into the voting machines and
changing the votes. It may very well be that that was done, but that is
not the central focus of this Russian collusion investigation.
MAYA HARRIS, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO HILLARY CLINTON: I think that`s
right. And I would want to go back to something that you were saying,
which is about his lying. And I`m sort of with Corker here, though I don`t
know exactly why it is that Trump tweets things and says things that aren`t
And I think to the point of what is unfolding right now and the conflict
that`s happening between the kind of the political strategy and the legal
strategy, this is exactly why Trump just needs to stop talking.
And I think that it is very risky for this White House to engage in a fight
with Mueller and engage in a public fight over what`s happening here with
the investigation for a number of reasons.
It can reaffirm the idea that there`s an obstruction of justice going on
here. The Trump oft-tweeting and his tweets can be taken as some kind of
signaling to people to not participate in the investigation.
It can actually piss off jurors, the grand jurors, who like you and me are
regular people and who think that they are engaged in something that`s
important and legitimate and to have the subject of the problem out there
disputing it, calling it a fake process. They don`t think they`re involved
in a fake process. And the number one rule is you don`t piss off the jury.
Coming back to Trump and his previous behavior, it sort of creates more
like legal headaches, like admissions, like going on an interview and
trying to dispute what`s happening and effectively saying that the reason I
fired Jim Comey because he`s looking into Russia.
And so, I just think in this entire arena that it would be well served for
Trump to kind of stand down and stop commenting, whether it is lying or
misrepresenting or creating new problems.
MELBER: And, Nick, do you think this tension that “The AP” is reporting
between the political loyalists and the lawyers means anything in the long
AKERMAN: I think it means something to Donald Trump. I think it`s going
to make him probably go after Mueller again at some point just because
that`s the way he is.
But the bottom line is, I agree with Maya. I mean, this is going to do
nothing but create more problems for him. The prosecutors have the
subpoena power with the grand jury.
If the Trump lawyers don`t play ball and they don`t turn over documents,
they`re going to be held in contempt. They`re going to go into court. And
under US v Nixon, he`s going to have to turn over any documents that are
relevant to this investigation.
MELBER: Right. That`s a privilege case that you know something about.
I want to go to Jill here. Take a listen, Jill, to the discussion around
Jeff Sessions, who, again, in this “AP” report also figures in because
Donald Trump, according to this reporting, sitting there, huddling with
loyalists, is getting all this input about Russia and hitting harder and he
then says, well, blame Sessions, which is something, of course, we`ve
heard. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am disappointed in the
attorney general. He should not have recused himself.
Sessions should have never recused himself. And if he would, if he was
going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and
I would have picked somebody else.
I`m very disappointed with the attorney general, but we will see what
happens. Time will tell. Time will tell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: And, Jill, this comes on a week where we have heard, thanks to
NBC`s reporting, as well as “The Washington Post” and other outlets, that
Trump is bumping up against a lot of different concern about how many top
people he can even get away with firing.
The reports being that Gen. Kelly just wants him to kind of make it to
Christmas without removing any other key cabinet officials, which keeps
presumably Tillerson and Sessions safe if he follows the rule.
WINE-BANKS: I think even if Sessions hadn`t recused himself, you would`ve
seen a cry for a special prosecutor. You needed an independent person, not
the person who is reporting to the president, to investigate when the
issues involve presidential culpability.
And this issue of whether he should cooperate or not, I think, has been
clearly established by the Watergate case. He can stonewall all he wants,
but, eventually, the courts are going to order him to comply.
They`re going to tell him he has to turn over the documents, so he may as
well do it with less hostility than what happened in the Watergate case.
It would help him more to just give them over.
Now, of course, if the tapes, the evidence equal the tapes that Nixon had
to turn over, it`s going to be very damaging to him, whether he cooperates
in giving them or he`s forced to give them.
Eventually, the evidence will speak for itself. And I think that we need
to let the case go forward. We need to let Mueller continue his
And I think, to something Maya said, that it`s not just the grand jurors
who are going to get pissed off, the voters are going to get pissed off.
Even his base is eventually going to get tired of listening to him denying
things that the facts prove are the opposite of what he`s saying.
And so, it could hurt him electorally as well as in terms of the legal
MELBER: And, Maya, on that, sometimes there`s so much news, we don`t get
it all into the opening script.
The other item here, reports here, according to “Bloomberg”, that Facebook
is reaching out to Congress and that Mark Zuckerberg is personally directly
phoning members of Congress because there is going to be a lot more
pressure on whether your campaign, which got more votes, but, as they say,
got them in the wrong places, was hobbled by a social media effort run out
of the Kremlin that might have significantly impacted things?
HARRIS: Well, he`s getting out front, I think, in anticipation that the
Congress is actually going to take some steps to try to ensure that this
doesn`t happen in the future. So, in some ways, in a preemptive way.
But, look, I think it`s important for him to apologize for his initial -
suggesting that Facebook had nothing to do with it. I think it`s important
that they`ve taken some steps. I think it`s important that Twitter and
Google are entering the conversation.
But I think we are so far from a solution yet. When you look at it,
Twitter, Facebook and Google are the three largest media companies, even
though they don`t necessarily want to describe themselves that way. Sixty
seven percent of Americans actually say that`s where they get their news.
And these industry leaders need to exert leadership -
MELBER: And need to step up.
HARRIS: And step up and actually institute some transparency, some
accountability and, certainly, some of the kinds of controls that we have
in other media.
MELBER: And there will be a hearing. So, we`re going to see what they
I want to thank you, Maya Harris, Nick Akerman and Jill Wine-Banks, each of
you, for our segment tonight.
Now, there are other reports today. Trump aides building a system to
contain his emotional outburst. NBC`s Hallie Jackson is here to break it
And later, the story of Republican donors in revolt over congressional
failures. We`re not just going to talk about it. I`m going to speak to
one of those donors in an exclusive on THE BEAT.
And later, the organization devoted to the IQ test is calling Trump`s
bluff. We will explain.
I`m Ari Melber and you`re watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does the president expect from the secretary of
state to be effectively where he`s questioning his intelligence?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Again, he wasn`t
questioning the secretary of state`s intelligence. He made a joke. Maybe
you guys should get a sense of humor and try it sometime, but he simply
made a joke.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: LOL. Trump back to the joking defense. “Forbes” had asked him
about Rex Tillerson calling him a moron and Trump said he`d win an IQ test
against his chief diplomat.
So, reporters raised the kerfuffle even during today`s meeting with Henry
Kissinger, now that White House is laughing it off.
There is also a club for people with high IQs, Mensa. Today, they say
they`re offering Trump the chance to make good on his pledge and/or joke,
announcing “American Mensa would be happy to hold an IQ testing session for
President Trump and Secretary Tillerson.
Trump also continuing his debate with the top Republican foreign policy
voice in Congress Bob Corker.
Some have been covering this as more Trump feuding, but that may give him
too much credit. He didn`t start either of these and both involve foreign-
policy Republicans concerned about the risks Trump poses as commander-in-
chief. And they see more behind the scenes than the rest of us.
Add to that, the three reports today that Trump staff are worried that he`s
a pressure cooker about to explode, a situation leading staff to create a
series of “guardrails” they use to push the president away from rash
Guardrails! Which raises the question, is that how you say “adult day care”
in 2017. I`m joined by Hallie Jackson, NBC`s chief White House
correspondent; Jamil Jaffer, former senior advisor to Sen. Bob Corker
himself; and Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor, doctor and former
Hallie, walk us through what`s happening here.
HALLIE JACKSON, NBC`S CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You`ve seen
what you`ve described here over the last, what, 24, 48, 72 hours here the
White House, here from President Trump.
So, let me give you kind of an analogy here. What you have is the Chief of
Staff John Kelly, who has worked to try to streamline and structure the
flow of information and these so-called processes.
You hear it about a lot here at the White House in these private
conversations, by which the president gets information, by which he`s
interacting with people here, in order to kind of change the way that the
president was working from the prior chief of staff, Reince Priebus. That
is not new, right?
What seems to be new is that as the president has had these sort of
processes streamlined, he is looking now for other outlets by which to do
what he used to do, which is to get on a phone, he would see people, people
who are in and out of the West Wing, he would talk with friends from New
York, talk with friends wherever.
Because there has been less of that, you`re seeing the president work the
outlets that he has, it seems, which is on Twitter, for example, talking
about Bob Corker, talking about Rex Tillerson in some of these interviews.
And I can tell you this from my experience here, he`s also more engaged
with reporters to a degree. So, for example, when is leaving to go on
these trips out on the South Lawn, he`ll stop and take several questions in
these so-called pool sprees.
He`s stop and talk with reporters, which is where some of these comments
are coming from that have raised some of these eyebrows.
MELBER: Yes. So, Gov. Dean, is he just seeking interaction, but with him
HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: Yes. Yes and yes. It is dangerous.
This is a guy who doesn`t really have much sense of his self. He`s a very
strange person, I think.
And the Corker exchange is really incredible. I know Bob Corker fairly
well. And I respect him. I don`t always agree with him, but I think if
all those Republicans were like Bob Corker, we would actually get something
So, how this gets started, I do not know, but it`s bizarre.
MELBER: Jamil, you worked for Bob Corker. What was he trying to do here?
And is it working?
JAMIL JAFFER, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO SEN. BOB CORKER: Look, Ari, I think
that Bob Corker is a straightforward guy and he`s actually trying to help
the president here.
He thinks the president has a decent agenda. I think he thinks the
president is right on Iran, right on North Korea, within guardrails of what
you might be doing, but I think he thinks the president is right on tax
cuts if balanced properly with spending cuts.
And so, I think Bob Corker wants to help the president move his agenda
forward, but it`s very hard to do when the president`s lightening up (ph)
members of his own administration and Congress on Twitter in 140 characters
MELBER: And the president said Bob Corker caused the Iran deal.
JAFFER: (INAUDIBLE). Bob Corker was steadfastly opposed to the Iran deal.
There is one person responsible for the Iran deal, and that is President
Bob Corker ensured that Congress got to see the deal, something President
Obama didn`t want. He had pushed (ph) a vote on it. And by bipartisan
margins of both houses, including (INAUDIBLE) to the Senate (INAUDIBLE).
MELBER: Jamil, is Trump confused or lying?
JAFFER: Look, I`ll just put it point blank. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said
it from the podium. Donald Trump said on Twitter. It`s just not true.
They ought to issue a correction.
MELBER: Hallie, I want you to listen to Newt Gingrich talking about all
this. Also, an FOT, friend of Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Trump automatically hits back
at every - anybody. I mean, it just is an instinctive. It goes back to
his New York days. And he seems to be virtually uncontrollable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: So, Hallie, did the guardrails control it? Can they?
JACKSON: Well, I think that what you`ve seen is that even when guardrails
are tried to be put into place, the president does what the present wants
to do because he feels he is the president.
And I actually think what`s most interesting from Newt Gingrich today,
obviously, a longtime ally of the president`s, is that he also said that
picking a fight with Sen. Corker is not helpful.
Newt Gingrich is correct. And I will tell you that, based on conversations
that I have had late today here at the West Wing, folks understand and
acknowledge that they need every single Republican senator vote they can
get on, for example, tax reform, which is what the president`s travelling
to Pennsylvania tomorrow to talk about.
So, they understand that, yes, it`s not great for the president to get in a
fight with Sen. Corker. At the same time, there is blame casting, if you
will, that Sen. Corker, the specter has been raised, is trying to get
attention for what he wants out of this tax deal as it relates to deficit
and there`s a reason why he`s been making a little bit more noise publicly
than he has in the past.
MELBER: Well, I`ll let Jamil back in on that. Jamil, it seems more like
your old boss was actually just really worried about how Trump`s attitude
affects the foreign policy planning and potential wars the US may get into.
JAFFER: Look, Bob Corker loves this country. He wants America to be
strong in the world. He`s been - felt free to criticize President Obama
when President Obama was wrong and he feels free to criticize this
president when this president is wrong.
And he wants the president to be successful. He`s really been trying hard.
Since the campaign and since the president took office, Bob Corker has
worked aggressively with the president to try and help him move the nation
And the president ought to respect that and work with the leadership in the
Senate, whether it`s Mitch McConnell or Ben Sasse or Bob Corker or Rex
Tillerson or Jeff Sessions -
MELBER: That`s the bummer of this. Howard, you listened to Jamil, who
says Corker loves this country. I`m sure Jamil does. I`m sure we all do.
But the problem is, after acting this way and trying to do all these things
and having the supposed general agreement with Trump, it hasn`t gotten
Corker anything because he doesn`t respect it?
DEAN: Well, Trump is totally unreliable. He has no word that`s worth
anything. So, you can`t - I mean, look at the DACA stuff that`s going back
and forth with Pelosi and Trump thought - I mean, Pelosi and Schumer
thought they had a deal with Trump, and Trump thought so too. His word has
never been any good, even when he was a real estate guy.
Corker is a pretty straightforward guy. Is he a pal? Sure, he`s a pal.
He was a mayor. He actually got stuff done by working together with all
kinds of different people. Trump has no record like that whatsoever.
MELBER: Gov. Howard Dean, Jamil Jaffer and Hallie Jackson at the White
House, thank you all. Interesting times.
Now, Republicans in Congress just blew through a deadline for children`s
healthcare. This is important. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky joins me next
about the challenge ahead.
And political burnout. It`s real. Trump can cause it. And there are
solutions. We have an expert on strategy and mental peace later in this
MELBER: Now, we turn to an urgent health care issue. While Republicans
failure to repeal Obamacare was big political news, Republicans just blew
through a key deadline that has American children on pace to lose their
healthcare coverage. Nine million children impacted since Republicans
missed the deadline.
Now, the actual money starts running out in just 51 days. Here at THE BEAT
we are tracking it with this countdown clock. And this is not typically a
partisan issue. Republican Orrin Hatch created the program with Ted
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED KENNEDY, FORMER SENATOR: I think that children`s health is not a
Republican or a Democratic issue. It`s an American issue.
SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE:
Let me tell you something. I think it`s one of the most important things
we can do is to help people who cannot help themselves.
We`re talking about kids here who cannot help themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: We`re talking about kids here and presidents in both parties have
signed bills continuing the program over the next 20 years. In fact, we
began covering this on THE BEAT last week when I spoke to a father who says
his daughter could lose her epilepsy medicine if Congress doesn`t act.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BERZONSKY, FATHER OF A DAUGHTER WHO COULD LOSE HER EPILEPSY MEDICINE:
It`s good health insurance. It`s reliable health insurance. And it`s the
kind of health insurance I was able to count on when my daughter began to
have seizures and was able to focus on caring for her and not worrying
about how to pay the costs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois serves in the committee
that oversees this program. Thank you for joining me for something I know
we both think is important. What is the hold up?
REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Well, first of all, let me just thank
you because so few - so little focus is on this issue right now. I think
the Republicans want it that way.
The hold-up is in so-called the pay for. How are we going to pay to cover
9 million children in this country?
You`ve talked to that parent. Parents all over the country are in real
distress right now, wondering if their children are going to get that
healthcare. What they wanted to do in order to pay for this program was to
cut Medicare. That`s where they wanted to get it and what we call the
prevention fund, things that go to immunization and other things that
children need as well.
And so, it`s really a cynical move right now. And they knew, of course,
for two years that the September 30 deadline was coming up, but they were
so busy trying to repeal Obamacare that they just didn`t have time to get
And now, we`re just fighting over the kinds of unacceptable pay-fors that
MELBER: Congresswoman, you know, I like to try to be fair to everyone and
describe things fairly and people can make up their own minds. Honestly,
what you`re describing, what I`ve read, is that the current position of
House Republicans is to hold this money hostage for children unless other
cuts are made to health care. Is that – is there any other way to say it?
SCHAKOWSKY: No. I think that would be a good way to say it. I mean, they
are taking 9 million children and saying, well, you know, if we can`t get
the cuts in Medicare if we can`t take money out of this prevention fund,
but I`m sorry, then the children are going to have to suffer. And then
turn around and say it`s really the Democrats that don`t want to sit down
and negotiate this. You know, Ari, since 1997, since the children`s health
insurance program that CHIP passed, 68 percent drop in the number of
uninsured children in this country. This is such an important, an
important – and there are places to get money. If we wanted to get some
real money to fund these programs like the community health centers on the
CHIP program, we could look to the pharmaceutical industry, the cost of
drugs. There`s plenty of money there that we could use to pay for these
MELBER: Congresswoman, we know that Congress has blown through the
deadline because the majority there. We are tracking it here, 51 days,
obviously important to a lot of people. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky,
thank you for joining me.
SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you, Ari.
MELBER: There`s a new report in the Washington Post busting President
Trump for making, count them up, 1,300 false claims since election. But
how does that checkers avoid burnout? We are really asking and we`ll
explain. Also, later, a BEAT exclusive, a major Republican donor that he
is cutting the party off, he`ll tell us why. And Gwyneth Paltrow and
Angelina Jolie joining the course of public accusers against Harvey
Weinstein. I have a report on that at the end of the show and some new
words from actress Mira Sorvino that everyone needs to hear.
MELBER: Can we have some real talk for a minute? Do you ever get tired of
this political era? Do you ever worry about burning out? Imagine how the
fact checkers feel. All they do is fact check a President who according to
a new report in the Washington Post, has made history with 1318 false or
misleading claims just since he`s taken office. That`s five falsehoods a
day and that`s assuming Trump is as misleading on the weekends as he is the
rest of the week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We`ve signed more bills, and I`m talking about through the
legislature, than any President ever.
They were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of
Robert E. Lee. They had a permit. The other group didn`t have a permit.
The people of this country want tax cuts. They want lower taxes. We`re
the highest taxed nation in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Those false claims can be enraging or exhausting especially
because as a reality show character and politician, Trump feeds off
emotional outrage which raises the burnout question. Are you falling into
Trump`s trap by getting mad about Trump? You know, so far as he`s
president, he seems to be saying to the nation, I`m not a leader, I just
troll a lot. And some people are tired of being trolled and want to drop
out and turn away from the news or politics. But experts say the key to
avoiding burnout is approaching Trump or all politics in a mindful way.
Author Robert Wright arguing outrage feeds Trump while more focus activism
can address what got Trump elected, globalization, trade, immigration, and
technological challenges. Right is our special guest on THE BEAT, he`s the
author of books on both Game Theory and Buddhism. And we`re also joined by
one of our favorites to Harvard Kennedy Schools, Leah Wright Rigueur.
Thank you, both. Robert, what kind of activism do you think both works and
avoids this burnout?
ROBERT WRIGHT, AUTHOR, GAME THEORY AND BUDDHISM: Well, I think mindful
activism does. First of all, in the instance, I think mindful meditation
can help prevent burnout. It can make you more emotionally resilient. But
I think that to leave it at that kind sells it short. I think that being
mindful, and to some extent, I just mean in the everyday English sense of
the world of being kind of careful and attentive to all relevant factors.
I think being mindful like when you`re on social media, for example, can
help you engage in a way that is more constructive from your point of view.
And if you are an opponent of Trump`s, as I am, it can keep you from you
being emotionally reactive in a way that feeds his narrative, and I think
consolidates his base.
MELBER: Well, you say that use that word and people say what does that
mean, I mean, Barack Obama is known for being very deliberate and
thoughtful and mindful. And Leah, he has spoken out about when people get
frustrated, think back to what so many people have been through and how
much more difficult it may have been previously. Here he was on the Selma
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you think nothing
has changed in the past 50 years, ask someone who lived through the Selma
or Chicago or Los Angeles of the 1950s. Ask the female CEO who once might
have been assigned to the secretarial pool if nothing has changed. Ask
your gay friend if it is easier to be out and proud in America now than it
was 30 years ago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Leah, what do you think the Obama approach would be to here to
LEAH WRIGHT RIGUEUR, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC POLICY, HARVARD KENNEDY
SCHOOL: Well, you know, Barack Obama in the past couple months hasn`t been
able to help himself and has spoken out a few times, too. So I do think
that part of this is, you know, part of what Obama is saying is, you know,
think about what our ancestors have done. Think about that kind of
resilience. With that said, the circumstances, the moment we`re in right
now, are in some ways kind of uniquely different which calls for a uniquely
different approach. So I think you know, one of the things that we can
talk about, we can really talk about is how to kind of alleviate or how to
kind of deal with this idea of outrage and how to feel with fatigue.
And you know, one of the things that we can do, we can talk about pulling
back and using social media strategically, especially now that we know that
Russia has, you know, Russia intervened in Facebook and Twitter and Google
to sow discord and you know, take advantage of partisanship and
polarization. But the other thing that I think is really important, and
this goes to Robert`s point as well, is not allowing the chaos, right, and
the kind of the craziness of the President and the President`s White House
– the White House.
So the chaos of the White House to really determine you know, your response
or your reaction. So really figuring out how not to let the White House
drive the narrative. I think a lot of that has to do with the outrage and
the fatigue that people are feeling particularly since in any given day,
Trump wakes up and determines the agenda for the day just by the amount of
tweets that he sends out. So part of this is putting the agency and
putting the – back in the hands of the people.
MELBER: Robert, yes – so Robert, how do you do that? How do you stay
authentic but not be ruled by what you might call I guess political
emotions every day?
WRIGHT: Well, I think the first step is to recognize that often our
outrage serves Trump`s purposes. I mean, I think political polarization
serves his purposes, to some extent. Certainly, you know, I just wrote
this piece on what I call mindful resistance in Vox and I use this example
of a tweet that got like 7,000 retweets. And the tweet was something like,
it was just like, Trump is a terrible person stoking the instincts of
terrible followers. And I just made the point that you know, when we send
the message that we consider all of his follower`s terrible people, that
reinforces his narrative that these snooty coastal elites hold his
followers in contempt. That`s what helped him get elected. And the other
thing is that when we essentialize his followers that way and think that
they`re all racist or all stupid when in fact it`s much more complicated
than that, we`re not going to think clearly about what exactly got him
elected and how we can keep him from getting elected again.
MELBER: And –
WRIGHT: I mean, as for the question – I mean, as for the question of how
you do it, I think, first of all, just being conscious of the problem gets
you somewhere. But also genuinely think that actual mindfulness
meditation, I have a daily practice, makes you more aware of your feelings
such as outrage. You`re more likely to observe them welling up and then be
less reactive and more reflective and actually pause and decide, is it good
to retweet this?
MELBER: It`s fascinating what you say and I think it resonates as well
because if the typical liberal thing is not to try to give everyone a
judgment and never a second chance, right, then you`re not defined by one
mistake or one vote even if people strongly disagree on the vote and what
it represents. Robert Wright, I hope you come back and Leah Wright
Rigueur. Thank you, both.
WRIGHT: Thank you.
MELBER: Now, we want to ask you, how are you avoiding burn out? You can
tell us at Facebook or Twitter @THEBEATWITHARI or you can e-mail me. What
are you doing to avoid political burn out right now? And still ahead, our
exclusive, widely Republican donors revolting against the GOP. I`m going
to speak to a GOP mega-donor threatening to pull the plug on Republican
campaign funding. And later, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow joining
many other women publicly accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct,
that story later tonight.
MELBER: Now tonight, exclusive on THE BEAT, Republicans facing a revolt
from top donors threatening to cut off funding. My exclusive guest is Dan
Eberhart who says he`ll pull his support if Republicans don`t get their act
together. Eberhart is the very first GOP insider quoted in an explosive
Bloomberg article about the backlash for the GOP with “no legislative wins
despite their majority.” The report noting Republicans are blowing a once
in a century chance to expand their majority. Where will disaffected
donors go? Well, most aren`t interested in Democrats but Steve Bannon is
now recruiting funders to back candidates to challenge incumbent
Republicans, a headache for McConnell and Paul Ryan as Bannon wages an
assault on the Republican establishment.
Now, according to federal records, Finance and Oil Executive Dan Eberhart
has donated more than $160,000 to Republicans since 2012, and now he says
he is sick of Republican leaders squandering this moment. Welcome. And
Dan, do Congressional Republicans or Senate Republicans have to worry about
losing your support? And have you met with Steve Bannon about all this?
DAN EBERHART, CEO, CANARY LLC: Good evening, Ari. Thank you for having
me. I mean, I think the answer to the question is yes. Obviously, the
Congressional Republicans have you know, accomplished quite a bit more but
in the Senate, things seem to be stuck. I don`t have the numbers in front
of me but I believe this year, something like 370 bills have been passed in
the House and I think about 280 of those are still sitting in the Senate.
Obviously the most notable of those is the, you know, ObamaCare, or some
kind of repeal and replace or quantifiable, you know, fix to ObamaCare
which I think has been disaster. But there`s also many more bills that
have received less headlines.
MELBER: Do you think Mitch McConnell is bad at his job?
EBERHART: I think that, you know, I liked his strategy and how that played
out with Gorsuch. But I think that I feel pretty frustrated right now, I
feel like the dog caught the car and didn`t have a plan in terms of
repealing and replacing ObamaCare or fixing ObamaCare. You know, we`ve got
the Senate majority, 52 Senators, also potentially the tie-breaking vote if
we need it and Mitch McConnell doesn`t seem to be able to get the caucus to
walk in the right line. You know, for me, I feel like the ObamaCare repeal
and replace mantra has been something that the Republicans have told
donors, they`ve told voters so many times over the years that they`ve
elevated it to where its core to the brand. And I think that the failure
to get something done in Washington now that they have both Houses and the
executive branch, it`s just a travesty.
MELBER: Right, I mean, you`re a business guy. Repealing ObamaCare was
core to the Republicans` marketing. I don`t know if it is core to the
product anymore for the reasons you just outlined, that they`re in charge
of all the political branches. And what about Steve Bannon here who`s
trying to give them more headaches since – has he met with you, has he
approached you for money?
EBERHART: Yes. I met with Steve Bannon last week and I`ll keep a private
conversation private but you know, I think he is a brilliant strategist and
I think he feels emboldened by what happened you know, in Alabama. And I
think that quite frankly, I think that you know, McConnell`s star has faded
a little bit and Bannon`s star is rising with what`s happened. I think
that the move – the move that the Senate Leadership fund in McConnell made
in Alabama has completely backfired. I think as opposed to saving one of
their own, I think that they`ve emboldened Bannon and emboldened a bunch of
conservative voters across America that are ready for change and they`re
wanting to use the majority instead of just kind of sit there in D.C. and
be the majority. They want to use the majority and they want to move
MELBER: Would you give more money to McConnell or his picks at this point?
EBERHART: The way I feel right now, probably not. Look, I`m a life-long
Republican. I want us to win. I think we have the best ideas for America
and the best ideas for everyone`s future. But I`m extremely frustrated
that if they aren`t going to use the majority and don`t have an actual plan
that they can use to pass legislation then what`s the point?
MELBER: You know, Mr. Eberhart, we talk a lot about the politics there and
the GOP civil war, and also the folks on the inside doing the meetings and
moving the money around, which is a part of our politics. Very interesting
to get some of your perspectives. Thanks for being on THE BEAT.
EBERHART: Thank you for having me.
MELBER: Ahead, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie join this growing list
of women accusing Harvey Weinstein of misconduct. I have a report on that
important story, up ahead.
MELBER: Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was fired from his own company
Sunday after the New York Times reported extensive allegations of sexual
harassment facing new allegation and leaks about his conduct today. The
very latest comes from two of Hollywood`s most famous actors, Gwyneth
Paltrow and Angelina Jolie who both say Weinstein abused his power to
harass them. They gave their accounts to the New York Times and those
accounts come on the same day the New Yorker published the results of 10-
month investigative report by Ronan Farrow who`s also Contributing
Correspondent for NBC News. With accounts from 13 different women alleging
Weinstein harassed, attacked, or assaulted them, and this including
allegations of forcible sexual contact.
The article details how 16 former or current Weinstein company employees
say they observed inappropriate office conduct or sexual harassment
painting a picture of a widespread office culture of coercion, harassment,
and intimidation. Now, Weinstein`s representatives have issued a blanket
denial of any “nonconsensual sex or acts of retaliation” to the New Yorker
saying, “any allegations of nonconsensual sex were unequivocally denied.
There were never any acts of retaliation against any women.” The report
also includes a leaked recording which the New Yorker magazine says NYPD
made while investigating claims in 2015 that Weinstein groped a young woman
he met previously at a social event.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
HARVEY WEINSTEIN, FILM PRODUCER: I`m telling you right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do we have to do here?
WEINSTEIN: Nothing. I`m going to take a shower. You sit there and have a
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t drink. Can I stay on the bar?
WEINSTEIN: No, you must come here now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don`t want to.
WEINSTEIN: I`m not doing anything with you. Now you`re embarrassing me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know, I don`t want to. I`m sorry. I cannot. No,
yesterday was kind of aggressive for me.
WEINSTEIN: I know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need to know a person (INAUDIBLE)
WEINSTEIN: I won`t do a thing. Please. I swear I won`t. Just sit with
me. Don`t embarrass me in the hotel. I`m here all the time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know, but I don`t want to.
WEINSTEIN: Please sit down. Please, one minute. I ask you. Go to the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please, I don`t want to do something I don`t want.to.
WEINSTEIN: Go to the bathroom. Come here, listen to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to go downstairs.
WEINSTEIN: I`m not going to do anything. You`re not going to see me again
after this. OK? That`s it. If you – if embarrass me in this hotel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not embarrassing you. It`s just that I don`t
WEINSTEIN: Don`t have a fight with me in the hallway, please. I`m not
going to do anything. I swear on my children. Please come in. I`m
everything. I`m a famous guy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m feeling very uncomfortable right now.
WEINSTEIN: Please come in now, and one minute, and if you want to leave,
when the guy comes with my jacket –
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why yesterday you touch my breast.
WEINSTEIN: Please, I`m sorry. Just come on in. I`m used to that. Come
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re used to that?
WEINSTEIN: Come in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, but I`m not used to that.
WEINSTEIN: I won`t do it again. Come on. Sit here. Sit here for a
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don`t want to.
WEINSTEIN: If you do this now you will (INAUDIBLE). Bye. Never call me
again. OK? I`m sorry, nice to have –I promise you I won`t do anything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know. But yesterday was too much for me.
WEINSTEIN: The guy is coming, I will never do another thing to you. Five
minutes. Don`t ruin your friendship with me for five minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know, but it`s kind of like it`s too much for me.
WEINSTEIN: Please. You`re making a big scene here. Please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, but I want to leave.
WEINSTEIN: OK. Bye. Thank you.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MELBER: Prosecutors say they investigated that case thoroughly and they
say they did not have sufficient evidence to charge. Many of the accounts
emphasize that Weinstein was a powerful and connected businessman, and he
aggressively used that power allegedly to intimidate these victims and
accusers. His company racking up over 300 Oscar nominations working with
the biggest stars, and he donated to Democratic Party leaders. Today
Hillary Clinton said she`s shocked and appalled in response. Mira Sorvino
won an Oscar for her performance in the Weinstein movie Mighty Aphrodite.
And in today`s New Yorker account, she says Weinstein harassed her and she
believes he retaliated against her because she resisted him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIRA SORVINO, ACTRESS: It`s a travesty that this sort of behavior is
normalized and accepted for decades in this industry. And I`m very pleased
that this is all coming to light, you know. These are very bad things that
he did. And you know, he has a lot of strengths. A lot of people admire
him, including myself for many of his talents but this is not the way that
men can act towards women anymore in this country. It is just not. And so
the more all these cases come to light and the more people have the courage
to speak out, the more that young women will be protected and maybe we`ll
move into a future where my daughter is not going to have to be worried
about being harassed on the job.
MELBER: Sorvino is one of more than now 20 accusers speaking out to
achieve the change she outlines there. That is our report on this but I
can tell you just moments ago here during our broadcast, the Obamas also
released a statement and we will add to it our coverage. They say,
“Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey
Weinstein. Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to
be condemned and held accountable regardless of wealth or status. The
Obamas continue in their statement, “we should celebrate the courage of
women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. We all need to
build a culture, including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys
decency and respect so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the
future.” That is our broadcast for tonight. “HARDBALL” with Chris Mathews
is up next.
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