Fox News Insider quits White House. TRANSCRIPT: 3/8/19, The Beat w/ Ari Melber.

Guests:
Elizabeth Warren, John Turturro, Seth Waxman, Melissa Murray
Transcript:

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: I`m excited for it. Thank you Chuck. We`re going to

get right into it because we do have a very special show this Friday night.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, she made some big news today with this plan to

take on some major corporations. She`s my guest in studio tonight talking

about that plan. There`s a lot of other news that is also going down today

from the fallout over a Paul Manafort`s light sentence to where is this

Mueller probe headed?  I`m going to get into all of it with her in this

extensive interview.

 

It is, we should mention, her first time on “The Beat” as a presidential

candidate and that will be our very next segment.  Right now let me tell

you the top story.  It was the sight today of the President of the United

States openly sympathizing with a unrepentant convicted felon.  Now

unrepentant is not a word that I`m telling you from my brain and our

scripting or my planning, it`s literally how the judge overseeing this

case, Judge Ellis, described guilty former Trump Campaign Chief Paul

Manafort right before rewarding him with this very light prison sentence

that was heard around the nation.

 

Donald Trump taking a different tack in talking about his former lawyer,

Michael Cohen today who has been credited for some cooperation by Mueller. 

He`s trying to draw Cohen into a new fight over whether Cohen ever asked

for a pardon.  Now if that wasn`t enough, I could tell you the U.S. also

got a weak jobs report today. Donald Trump lost his fifth communications

director – fifth. “Fox News” insider Bill Shine out.

 

And there are now reports that it was a leaker in Trump`s own White House

who dished to democrats about Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump`s nepotism

scandal over security clearances. That`s happening right now and as Mueller

gears up for Manafort`s second sentencing next week, I can also report for

you I guess because it`s Friday and things are always happening in this

other related case, this investigating WikiLeaks, a pretty famous witness

Chelsea Manning was jailed today for refusing to talk.

 

All of that is going on. I want to begin with former federal prosecutor

Seth Waxman whose last trial as a prosecutor was actually before Judge Amy

Berman Jackson, the judge who will sentence Manafort for his crimes in the

D.C. District next week. Great to have you tonight. Thanks for being here.

 

SETH WAXMAN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR:  Thanks for having me.

 

MELBER:  Before we get to next week and before we get to Senator Warren who

I`m telling viewers we`re going to get to, I want to get to what we learned

from the Mueller side last night because they seem to be very clear on the

record, they wanted the judge to know and now the world knows, they say

Manafort was lying the whole time. What is the significance of that?

 

WAXMAN:  Well, it means that Mr. Manafort wasn`t coming forward, wasn`t

being truthful. He has failed as a cooperator. The government has let the

judge know that. They`re duty bound to describe the nature and extent of a

potential – a person being sentenced cooperation. And it seems very clear

that he wasn`t giving the government much, if anything, during those many

50 hours.

 

They`ve made it clear that he didn`t do a lot for them so they haven`t done

a lot for them in return. They`re going hard on him in Virginia. They got a

lenient sentence there. I don`t expect it to be as lenient in D.C. next

week.

 

MELBER:  I want to ask you about Judge Jackson going ahead to that. But

before we get to that, take a listen to Manafort`s own lawyer bizarrely

focusing on something that`s not an issue in either case. Kevin Downing

last night, take a look.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO)

 

KEVIN DOWNING, PAUL MANAFORT`S LAWYER:   I think most importantly what you

saw today is the same thing that we had said from day one. There is

absolutely no evidence that Paul Manafort was involved with any collusion

with any government official from Russia.

 

(END VIDEO)

 

MELBER:  Was it suspicious that he was focused on that?

 

WAXMAN:  Well, you know, there`s some suggestion that he`s out there trying

to seek that pardon once again. I mean, it wasn`t an expressed request for

a pardon. But you could see if you read between the lines, that he`s out

there toeing the company line that there was no collusion.

 

MELBER:   It wasn`t - it wasn`t an express request but it was tantamount to

him coming out and saying, “Hey, everyone, CNN sucks or the inauguration

crowd was large.”  I mean, it had nothing to do with the victory that

they`d just scored. You can give him legal credit. They got the result they

wanted for their client. I mean Ellis gave less jail time than Manafort`s

own lawyers had talked about him getting but it wasn`t about that and it`s

not about next week so what else was it about?

 

WAXMAN:  Yes, I mean it sure does look like a play for a pardon. We know

that seems to be out there. Mr. Trump himself has said I`m not taking

anything off the table and that raises the question of obstruction of

justice which is very troubling.

 

MELBER:  And then that brings us to your expertise. America has been going

to law school together. People are learning names of judges they might

never know. Judge Ellis now people have come to learn about and we`re going

to talk about some of the disparities and racial justice issues in his

courtroom in a minute.  But as for Judge Jackson, who`s next week going to

make a final call here, what can you tell us about her having been before

her?

 

WAXMAN: Yes, I did my last trial as a federal prosecutor back in 2015 in

front of her.  She is a highly-respected judge.  She does not suffer fools

lightly and I will tell you just like every judge in this country, when

they let a person stay out of jail pending trial and that person goes out

 

She does not suffer fools lightly. And I will tell you just like every

judge in this country, when they let a person stay out of jail pending

trial and that person goes out and flouts the judge`s orders and thumbs

their nose or puts it right in the judge`s face and goes out and commits

additional crimes, judges despise that. So I know Judge Berman Jackson is

going to hold that against Mr. Manafort and in addition it`s kind of an

unique case in that the sentencing guidelines are way above the maximum

sentence that Judge Berman Jackson can give which is ten years. The defense

has agreed that that guideline range which is upwards of 17 to 21 years is

a reasonable sentence and should be sentenced within that guideline range.

 

MELBER:  So you think it could be a tough – tougher day next week?

 

WAXMAN:  Yes, no question.

 

MELBER:  Yes, Seth Waxman who`s been there, thank you.

 

I want to turn now as promised. I`m joined by Melissa Murray. We`re going

to walk through something so important even if you`d already heard about it

which is that there is racial injustice in criminal sentencing. Thank you

for being here.

 

MELISSA MURRAY, INTERIM DEAN AND PROFESSOR OF LAW AT BOALT HALL SCHOOL OF

LAW:  Shocking.

 

MELBER:  So let`s walk through this. Manafort had a pretty light sentence

and it`s a reminder of the blatant inequities in our justice system. Take a

look at this recent study, 2017, from the sentencing commission which found

black male offenders received sentences that are 19 percent longer than

similarly situated white male offenders and that`s  just when you get to 

the sentencing stage and the facts.

 

Then let`s look at Judge Ellis more narrowly. This is the person who

sentenced Paul Manafort and hasn`t shied away in some cases although he is

a critic of prosecutors at times but let`s look at what he`s done in other

cases in the past, 2009. Here`s former Congressman Jefferson, and Judge

Ellis handled him for financial crimes, not violence, a 13-year sentence

over corruption. It was at the time the longest sentence ever for a

Congressman. So when you look at this argument that maybe financial crimes

are not sentenced to the max, that wasn`t true there for Judge Ellis and

it`s not true around the country.

 

Here`s former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.  He was sentenced to 28 years

in 2013, the max.  It was a corruption case. His coconspirator got 21

years, a little under the 28-year maximum. Unlike Paul Manafort, Mayor

Kilpatrick also talked to the court about his remorse. He said quote, “He

really, really, really messed up and took full responsibility for all his

actions.”   NYU`s Law Professor Melissa Murray, a former clerk at times to

then Judge Sotomayor.  Thanks for being here.  

 

MELISSA MURRAY, INTERIM DEAN AND PROFESSOR OF LAW AT BOALT HALL SCHOOL OF

LAW:   Thanks for having me.

 

MELBER:  Let`s get into it. Because Judge Ellis is more critical of

prosecutors and I want to note that to be accurate. But this was a record-

breaking sentence for Jefferson in his courtroom. Mr. Kilpatrick we showed

there also didn`t live a blameless life. But these were all African-

American males.

 

MURRAY:  So it should come as no surprise to anyone who has been watching

the news or even listening to casual observers that there are serious

disparities on the basis of race in the criminal justice system, both at

the charging stage where the charges are levied and all the way through to

sentencing. That shouldn`t be shocking. The fact that it is being raised in

such a blatant way in this particular case is actually newsworthy. Judge

Ellis.

 

MELBER:  You`re saying this is even worse than what someone familiar with

how racist the system can be in its operation?

 

MURRAY:  Likely because of the political overlay. This is not your average

run of the mill case with any random …

 

MELBER:  Certainly not.

 

MURRAY: . so this is unusual. The political overlay is really unusual here.

I don`t think that we should necessarily be skeptical of a judge who

questions the severity of criminal sentences.

 

MELBER:  Sure.

 

MURRAY:  And Judge Ellis has consistently done that.

 

MELBER:  As mentioned.

 

MURRAY:  There have been cases where he has challenged the mandatory

minimum and has sentenced the mandatory minimum because it is mandatory but

he`s expressed real reservations about severe sentences.  The problem I

think with this case is it does look so jarring in light of everything that

has happened and in light of the observations that the judge has made. The

idea Paul Manafort has had a blameless life is ludicrous in light of the

fact that he has lied to the special counsel. That he has been charged in

another jurisdiction with obstruction of justice. This is not a blameless

individual. This is an individual who hasn`t gotten caught yet.

 

MELBER:  We should be clear when it`s a complete automatic mandatory -

judges can talk about what they think about it .

 

MURRAY:  Yes.

 

MELBER: . but they don`t have the legal freedom to do anything different.

 

MURRAY:  Exactly.

 

MELBER:  With the sentencing guidelines, that`s when you get into the

discretion and the choice.

 

MURRAY:  Yes.

 

MELBER:  And its pretty telling that Judge Ellis looked at all of this

including the post indictment obstruction and then the attacks on Mueller

through the plea deal that Manafort blew up for himself and then the

statement in court that didn`t even repent and still came down so

differently than Congressman Jefferson. Do you think this is a situation

where judges don`t even realize their own blind spots?

 

MURRY:  I don`t know. Judge Ellis, I`ve never seen Judge Ellis unlike Seth

Waxman. All I can say about the situation is that there are true

disparities here. This is a four year – less than a four-year sentence on

truly serious crimes versus 13 years also for financial crimes. And Judge

Ellis has noted that the severity of these sentences has real consequences

for the offender, for their families.  All of that was true in the case of

Bill Jefferson and all of that will be true for Paul Manafort but the

difference between 4 years and 13 years is really sizable especially in a

case with the political implications this one has.

 

MELBER:  Yes, it`s quite a – we have it on the screen behind us. These are

two faces. This is the face of two people who were involved in politics who

were convicted of bad things. Right? So the question isn`t are either of

them great. The question is why does the other face, Paul Manafort here

behind me, why does that face look so different in our system and is

treated to different than Jefferson? There is also just the general fact

that some of this is cooky even beyond race, there`s class and other

dynamics.  You were talking about survivor star Richard Hatch. Tell us

about that. We`ll put it on the screen.

 

MURRAY:  Yes.  So if you`re a pulp culture aficionado, as I am, you know

Richard Hatch was the first winner of “Survivor” and when he received those

winnings, he did not pay taxes on them. He was later charged in the

District of Rhode Island of tax evasion and he served 51 months in prison -

or he was sentenced to 51 months in prison for that crime. Tax evasion, a

really serious crime, as serious as the fraud and tax fraud charges that

Paul Manafort was up against here. The difference between 51 months and 47

months again not that sizable but again the political overlay makes this

look a little more complicated and I think it`s unusual that given

everything, given that Judge Ellis recognized that Paul Manafort had had

not expressed remorse, that there were these issues of lying to the

prosecutors even though he was supposed to be cooperating.  That

nonetheless Judge Ellis came to the conclusion that Paul Manafort had

otherwise lived a blameless life.

 

MELBER:  Right, and I`m not here to search inside the judge`s soul. I can`t

do that as a reporter but I am here to show the facts and the discrepancies

and the system that we`ve been documenting and reporting on for some time

which grinds down African-Americans and people of color and explicitly and

especially African-American males. And so to have it all pop off.

 

MURRAY:  And women. There`s also the issue of Crystal Mason who registered

to vote not realizing as a former convicted felon that she was ineligible

to do so.

 

MELBER:  And didn`t even have the requisite intent and got years.

 

MURRAY:  Yes, five years.

 

MELBER:  Yes I know but I think when you look at the assumptions that are

made about whether someone is blameless and the type of life they`ve led, I

think that goes to a final point that I think can be confusing that I think

we need to reflect on more which is empathy and sympathy are really great

human emotions when we deal with them day to day but there`s a reason

they`re not supposed to govern a fair and equal system of law that is

supposed to be standard for everyone.  Because it seems that when empathy

comes up in some of these places, it`s some sort of beltway swamp empathy

for only certain types of people.

 

MURRAY:  Well it also raises the point that elections matter.  Judge Ellis

is on the bench because he is a Reagan appointee. President Trump has at

this point in his tenure in office, appointed more judges than President

Obama. These are judges who again, the diversity of the bench matters. This

is not necessarily a situation where this judge might be as sympathetic or

empathetic with other kinds of defendants.

 

MELBER:  Melissa Murray gets the last word on this one.  Thank you for

being here tonight. I appreciate it.

 

MURRAY:  Thanks for having me.

 

MELBER:  Up next, we fit in a quick break and then we`re going to get into

it, my exclusive sit down interview with Senator Elizabeth Warren right

here in New York making news with this big plan to break up tech giants

like Amazon and Google.  She`s one of the biggest names right now in the

presidential race.  She`s at 30 Rock and later, don`t think we forgot.  We

still got a “Fall Back” for you.  Actor John Turturro who has played a

lawyer on TV and Nick Ackerman who has played a lawyer on TV.  I`m telling

you it`s a big show. Please stick around, we`ll be right back.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MELBER:  Senator Elizabeth Warren is one of the most famous democrats

running for president right now. And she`s in New York today unveiling a

big plan to take on corporations. Something that I think is fair to say

she`s known for. But specifically corporations which have actually proven

popular among voters and among a lot of democratic donors which makes this

in itself pretty interesting.

 

She`s also heading into this interview at a pretty busy time in the Mueller

probe, you may have heard. Let`s just say we have a lot to get to and we`re

going to do it right now. Senator Elizabeth Warren here for the interview

in 30 seconds.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MELBER:  Joining me now is Senator Elizabeth Warren democrat from

Massachusetts and a 2020 presidential candidate. Thanks for being here.

 

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS:  Thank you. I`m delighted to be

here.

 

MELBER:  You have criticized a lot of big banks. Today you`re talking about

breaking up big tech. Why?

 

WARREN:  So here`s the deal, we need real competition in this field and

there`s a problem. So Amazon, Google, they own a platform which is pretty

cool, right where everybody comes to buy and sell or to do the searches.

And at the same time, they own a bunch of businesses that are competing

with all those folks who are coming, say, to Amazon in order to sell their

goods.

 

And they don`t just compete straight up. They compete by being able to keep

all of the information from every one of those companies and then decide,

oh. I`m going after you and you and I know how much to charge and I know

what kind of volume to expect.   It`s a little like being an umpire in

baseball and owning a team. My view is you can do one, be an umpire, or the

other, own a team. But you don`t get to do both at the same time.

 

MELBER:  Right and you want to regulate so they don`t just favor

themselves. You dropped this plan today. This is your first big TV

interview about it. Let`s take a look at some of the reception today.

 

WARREN:  OK.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Senator Elizabeth Warren is going after big tech

companies.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Warren rolling out one of her big policy plans,

breaking up Amazon, Google and other big tech giants. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  This is the toughest plan that we`ve seen to date

from any of the Democratic contenders. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  A  huge shakeup in the tech sector.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It`s big, and it`s bold, and it`s going to be difficult

to achieve. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Could she really force this kind of breakup?

 

(END VIDEO)

 

MELBER:  Could she really do it?  What`s the answer?

 

WARREN:  You bet.  The answer is yes, but you know let`s be really clear

about this.  If you still want to be able to search for coffee pots and

look at – you know, 63 choices and get the one that`s going to be there in

48 hours.  You can still do that as a consumer.  This preserves the

platform. 

 

If you still want to go on Google and find out the capital of North Dakota,

you can totally do it.  What this is about is about competition, it`s about

all those little businesses and start-up businesses and entrepreneurs who

want to put their products on Amazon, or on Google and who are at an

enormous competitive disadvantage because Amazon or Google – if they like

the money they see that you`re making because they get all the information,

they decide to go in to competition with you and put their product on page

one and your product back on page six and kill your business. 

 

MELBER:  Let`s go through some of these companies so we can all

understand. 

 

WARREN:  Sure.

 

MELBER:  Yes or no, and then we`ll get in to them. 

 

WARREN:  Sure.

 

MELBER:  Do you view them as operating monopolies?  Google?

 

WARREN:  So Google, yes – pretty much in a monopoly.

 

MELBER:  Amazon?

 

WARREN:  Oh, yes.  They`ve got - can we just do on Amazon, 49 percent .

 

MELBER:  Well I`m going to go forward, Facebook?  Yes?

 

WARREN:  Yes.

 

MELBER:  Apple?

 

WARREN:  Yes. 

 

MELBER:  OK, so let`s look at Facebook first and then we`ll go through each

of them.

 

WARREN:  Yes.

 

MELBER:  So Mr. Zuckerberg disagrees with you, take a look.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Is Twitter the same as what you do?

 

ZUCKERBERG:  It overlaps a portion of what we do.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You don`t think you have a monopoly?

 

ZUCKERBERG:  It certainly doesn`t feel like that to me. 

 

(END VIDEO)

 

MELBER:  Is he wrong? 

 

WARREN:  Yes.  Because he has the Facebook platform, that`s the key part

here.  So if you want to check on what your college roommates are up to,

you`ve got to go to his platform.  And the part that gets me and I really

want to describe at this way, monopoly power is that so many folks have got

to come to his platform to be able to transact.  He wants to be able to

sell ads for example, on that.  The problem is he`s scooping all this

information up.

 

MELBER:  He`s – Facebook is your arm in this analogy?  OK.

 

WARREN:  OK, this is the platform.  That`s exactly right.

 

MELBER:  And then what goes on?

 

WARREN:  And then what happens is he uses all this information and then

makes the decisions about how to scoop up others in the marketplace.  For

example, he runs a buy and sell for ads.  So he`s in every position on that

– a buyer of ads, a seller of ads and running the little platform where

those are sold. 

 

That just creates an enormous competitive advantage and here`s the problem

on every one of these, these advantages are now so enormous that venture

capitalists are starting to say, “Wait a minute if you`re going to go in to

a space where you could in some way be challenging Amazon, or be

challenging Facebook or be challenging Google – it is now referred to as

the kill zone.” 

 

And venture capital has gone down, investment by about 20 percent over the

past five years or so because they`re just saying it doesn`t make any

sense.

 

MELBER:  So if you plan is enacted, does each of those companies get

somewhat broken up?

 

WARREN:  So what they did is the platform gets broken off from the

individual companies. That`s what I`m saying.

 

MELBER:  And you think that`s good for consumers?

 

WARREN:  It`s excellent for consumers because it not only means the

platform will be level.  You`re not getting something from Amazon pushed

out in front of you, and a better competitor hidden back on page six.  It

also means the next good idea has a chance to mature and develop.

 

MELBER:  Right, but Amazon just like everyone remembers as booksellers is

not going to be knee tapping everyone, then you.

 

WARREN:  That`s right.

 

MELBER:  Then you – you`re here on “The Beat” tonight announcing this plan

today and you`re campaigning in Long Island City.

 

WARREN:  I am.

 

MELBER:  . where Amazon just pulled out, is that deliberate?

 

WARREN:  That`s right, you bet it`s deliberate. 

 

MELBER:  What are you saying?

 

WARREN:  What I`m talking about is how big these tech giants have gotten,

so that what we see – and we saw right there on Long Island City.  Is they

come in, they bully towns, cities, states all around the country. 

 

You know the handful of tech giants have gotten more than $10 billion in

breaks from towns, and cities, and states over the past few years.

 

MELBER:  Corporate welfare…

 

WARREN:  That`s right, but.

 

MELBER:  So let me ask you this, is that a problem with the incentives or

was New York wrong to give them that much of an offer?

 

WARREN:  The problem - the problem is the “Hunger Games” about it because

that`s what`s happening here, and it`s a problem because it creates more

concentration in the industry.  You know, they`re not offering the cities

and towns a zillion bucks in goodies and tax breaks to the entrepreneur

whose getting started, to the small business that`s trying to make a go of

it.  Even to the medium-sized business and big business that want to grow

more – nope. 

 

This is about the giants who are able to swagger in to town and say, “Lay

in front of me what you`re going to offer and I`ll decide if I like it or

not, and then I`ll go somewhere else and see what they`ll offer.  And by

the way, if you start asking me hard questions about the jobs, about where

the money`s going to come from, about how much guarantee I`m putting in to

this – I`ll just get mad and go somewhere else.”

 

MELBER:  So your new plan also talks a lot about antitrust.  You`ve been

critical of the AT&T merger with CNN`s parent company.

 

WARREN:  Yes.

 

MELBER:  So has Donald Trump, but “The New Yorker” reported this week his

reason was he wanted to use those powers to beat up on CNN. 

 

WARREN:  That`s right.

 

MELBER:  Is that wrong, and if so what do you do about it?

 

WARREN:  Yes, it`s very wrong.  For the president to say I want to see an

antitrust prosecution based on political advantage to the president, is

about as wrong as it gets.  What I want to see is antitrust enforcement,

because it protects markets, because it protects small competitors, because

it protects consumers over the long run.

 

MELBER:  So how do you deal with what he has allegedly done?  And should

there be punishment for that?

 

WARREN:  Well I think we need – I mean, I think there`s going to be a very

serious investigation about this.  There`s a fundamental question about

whether what he`s done is even legal. 

 

MELBER:  Would that – that may have been a legal way to attack CNN?

 

WARREN:  May have been.

 

MELBER:  Interesting, which they happen to be a competitor but we`re

interested in more of the free press issue.  Let`s go to the way the

Treasury Department is run, because you look at it right now and I`ll draw

your attention to a very simple illustration.  Under Donald Trump, we can

put up on the screen you have in the red zone there, Goldman Sachs.

 

WARREN:  Yes.

 

MELBER:  . as part of Treasury Department leadership. 

 

If you go back in the Obama era we checked and as you know we had Goldman

Sachs former executives running Treasury then.  Go back to Bush, also

Goldman Sachs.

 

WARREN:  Yes.

 

MELBER:  You go back to Bill Clinton, also Goldman Sachs.  In a Warren

Administration would there be a former Goldman Sachs executive running the

Treasury Department? 

 

WARREN:  Nope. 

 

MELBER:  Is that a pledge?

 

WARREN:  Yes.  Oh, that`s easy. 

 

MELBER:  That`s a litmus test?

 

WARREN:  Absolutely.  But let me tell you why, the problem we`ve got right

now is a revolving door between Wall Street and Washington that causes

everybody to be on this (ph) for – wait a minute, the next time this

Treasury Secretary puts forward a proposal is it because it really helps

the economy, helps the American consumer, helps the American homeowner? 

 

Or is it because it helps their former and possibly future employer?  Let`s

just do for one second the Gary Cohn example – another Goldman Sachs, you

remember.

 

MELBER:  Oh, I`m sure. 

 

WARREN:  That`s exactly right.  So Trump appoints Gary Cohn, he leaves

Goldman Sachs and Gary Cohn is going to have exactly one job.  And that is

to ramrod through a rewrite of the tax laws that will profoundly affect

Goldman Sachs.  So what does Goldman Sachs do as Gary walks out the door? 

They hand him nearly a quarter of a billion dollars, it`s a gift – they

don`t have to.

 

MELBER:  Is it legal bribery? 

 

WARREN:  I think of it as a pre-bribe.

 

MELBER:  Pre-bribe?

 

WARREN:  Yes.  So Gary then goes out and guess what he does?   He writes a

tax law and manages to help ramrod it through that benefits Goldman Sachs

to the tune of oh, a quarter of a billion dollars in the first go-round.

 

MELBER:  And what you`re saying.

 

WARREN:  And then it`s the gift that keeps on giving.

 

MELBER:  What you`re saying makes sense, and we have such ripe targets, I

think people could understand what you`re pointing to.  But what does it

mean for the Democratic Party if this was also how Obama and Clinton ran

the Treasury?  Would you be a fundamental break with that, I guess is the

question? 

 

WARREN:  Well the problem – I have written the biggest anticorruption bill

since Watergate.  Because we have a fundamental problem in Washington, and

understand it`s a problem that predates Trump by decades.

 

MELBER:  Right.

 

WARREN:  Trump may be the most extreme example now, the pre-bribe of Gary

Cohn for example.  But we have a longstanding problem, and that`s the

influence of money on decision making in Washington. 

 

So this bill has lots of pieces to it, including closing the revolving door

between Wall Street and Washington.  Ending lobbying as we know it. 

Putting a real ethics cop on the beat, saying that the heads of these

agencies cannot be trading in stocks .

 

MELBER:  Right, so as a political matter are you basically writing off a

bunch of Wall Street money and then today you`re writing off a bunch of

Silicon Valley money? 

 

WARREN:  Maybe.  But this isn`t about the money.  This is about how it is

we`re kind of make this country work again not just for the rich of the

powerful.  How we`re going to make it work for everyone.  You know, we live

in America right now where Washington works great for giant drug companies,

just not for people are trying fill a prescription.

 

MELBER:  So you talk about – this is – you talk about how the Beltway

works.  Everyone has been talking about the rather light sentence that Paul

Manafort got.  When you look at that, does that reflect what you`re saying

when Washington works well for the connected in the affluent and nobody

else?

 

WARREN:  Yes.  It`s two justice systems.  Look at the words carved above

the United States Supreme Court.  Equal justice under law.  But look at the

reality.  People who got buckets of money and a well-connected get treated

with kid gloves.

 

MELBER:  So do you think –

 

WARREN:  Everybody else doesn`t.

 

MELBER:  Do you think when you look at that statistically, that a similar

defendant who might have been born black would have gotten a different

sentence.

 

WARREN:  Oh, we know the data on this.  Of course, the sentence would have

been different.  In fact, study after study after study shows that for the

exact same crime, African-Americans are more likely than whites to be

arrested, to be prosecuted, to be wrongfully convicted, and to receive

harsher sentences.  Race matters in our criminal justice system and it is

not a system of equal justice under law.

 

MELBER:  On the bullet probe, I read a pledge you recently made.  You said

– this is interesting.  You would issue “no pardons for anyone implicated

in the investigations into Donald Trump.”  How can you know that before the

investigations are over?  Would that include someone like Andy McCabe, the

former acting FBI director who was under investigation right now and in the

D.C. office?

 

WARREN:  Because I know what pardons are for.  Pardons are there for the

powerless to show a little justice that they need.  Pardons are not there

as part of a plea agreement.  That`s somewhere else in the system.  We

reserve pardons for those people who didn`t receive justice under the law. 

And I`m not there to say pardons are going to be part of a political horse

trade of my administration.

 

MELBER:  Does that mean you would commit to saying you`re never going to

pardon anyone that worked directly for you?

 

WARREN:  I assume so.  I mean I don`t know if any case why I would do that. 

This is about the powerless.  That`s what pardons are supposed to be about. 

Not about people who have connections, not about people who – not about

people who have a way to be protected, who can hire the lawyers, who get to

work their way through the system, who get the best representation. 

Pardons are about one last way that we try to put a little justice back

into a system that today is very unjust.

 

MELBER:  If Bob Mueller finishes this probe with no further indictments, so

they don`t indict anyone in America for helping the Russians collude, what

do you think then is the conclusion and two people who were hoping this

would all bust Donald Trump have to accept those lawful findings even if

they don`t go far as far as somewhat?

 

WARREN:  I don`t know what his reports are going to say and we just have to

wait and see.  But I`ll tell you this about this report that it has already

produced nearly three dozen indictments or guilty pleas.  This is a serious

investigation.  In addition to that, we`ve got investigations that are

going on in other jurisdictions and the House has just started its own

series of investigations.

 

You know, the sound of hoof beats of all those investigations catching up

with Donald Trump must be loud in his ears.

 

MELBER:  I want to ask you about some politics and some of the fun stuff,

what makes you tick.

 

WARREN:  OK.

 

MELBER:  On the politics, the Democratic Party`s announced you guys aren`t

going to do any debates with Fox News.  Is that the right call?

 

WARREN:  You know, this is ultimately a decision for the – for the party

to make, but I do

understand that when more and more keeps coming out about how Fox News was

just operating as an arm of the Trump campaign and then the Trump

administration, boy that doesn`t much look like we really have a free and

independent press.  It just looks like a propaganda machine.

 

MELBER:  So you agree with the chairman.

 

WARREN:  So I understand – I understand why it is that the Democratic

Party would say we`re just not going to be a part of that.  And I – you

know, look, I want to be able to get out and talk to everyone.  I mean,

I`ll just tell you that as a candidate.  I want to be and everybody`s

living room.  I want a chance to reach out to everyone.

 

MELBER:  And that makes sense.  I guess the thing we heard from a lot of

activists was while you may go talk to whoever you choose to, why should as

you put it, an entity that was perceived as being an arm of the Trump

administration help pick who runs against Trump?

 

WARREN:  And I think that`s part of why the Democratic Party as a party

since we got a real problem here.

 

MELBER:  Mike Bloomberg, do you want his endorsement?

 

WARREN:  What – I`m glad to have everybody`s endorsement but I`m not out

looking for any of them.

 

MELBER:  You`re not going to ask – you`re not asking Mr. Bloomberg?

 

WARREN:  Not asking.

 

MELBER:  OK.  Bernie Sanders has more individual donors right now than any

other Dem candidate by a long ways.  Is that because he`s really popular

with the grassroots or is it because he`s good at raising money?

 

WARREN:  I assume it`s because he`s popular with the grassroots.  Bernie

has been out there fighting his fight and you know that`s got a lot of

people energized.

 

MELBER:  Is he the front-runner?

 

WARREN:  I – you need a pundit for this, but it sure looks like it.  I

mean –

 

MELBER:  It does look like it.

 

WARREN:  Punditry is not my business but –

 

MELBER:  Not your thing.  Let me ask you something I was wondering because

you spent most of your life in other types of yeah service.  How old were

you when you first thought I think I might run for office?

 

WARREN:  Oh golly.  Well, let`s see.  I could just do the math but I was in

my 60s.  I never was going to do this.

 

MELBER:  When you were teaching, this was not the next step?

 

WARREN:  Not even close.

 

MELBER:  I`m going to run through a couple of quick ones.  They`re fun or

at least maybe nerdy fun. 

 

WARREN:  OK.

 

MELBER:  And we could do them as fast as possible.  We call it a lightning

round sometimes.

 

WARREN:  OK.

 

MELBER:  Past or present, favorite member of the Federal Reserve Board of

Governors.

 

WARREN:  Oh Janet Yellen.

 

MELBER:  Janet Yellen?

 

WARREN:  Oh she`s – she is fabulous.

 

MELBER:  International Women`s Day, a woman past or present who inspires

you.

 

WARREN:   Oh let me think, Bella Abzug.  You know, a woman who just got out

there and fought for what she believed in.  I love it.

 

MELBER:  I`ve got a couple one-word associations.  If you could do it in a

word.  Some of them relate to your bill.

 

WARREN:  OK.

 

MELBER:  Amazon?

 

WARREN:  Can I have two words?

 

MELBER:  Sure.

 

WARREN:  Too big.

 

MELBER:  Google.

 

WARREN:  Too big.

 

MELBER:  Facebook.

 

WARREN:  Too big.

 

MELBER:  Mark Zuckerberg.

 

WARREN:  Too powerful.  And that`s really the point of the two bigs it`s

they`ve got too much power and they get to use that power now to dominate

markets, to chew up competitors, and ultimately to change the consumer

experience.  We got to change that.

 

MELBER:  Favorite song to work out to.

 

WARREN:  Anything from Patsy Cline.

 

MELBER:  Patsy Cline.  Favorite –

 

WARREN:  I love Patsy Cline.

 

MELBER:  Favorite album or artist when you were growing up.

 

WARREN:  Any of the Beatles.

 

MELBER:  Beatles?

 

WARREN:  Probably the White Album.

 

MELBER:  Now I got to know your favorite Beatle.

 

WARREN:  Oh no, that`s not fair.  That`s like asking your favorite child.

 

MELBER:  I would guess and what do I know.  I don`t know you that well.  I

would guess Lennon.  George Harrison?  Boom.

 

WARREN:  Yes.

 

MELBER:  Your dream running mate throughout history living or dead.  You

could pick a person that would run with you.

 

WARREN:  Teddy Roosevelt.

 

MELBER:  A Republican?

 

WARREN:  Yes.

 

MELBER:  Because he took on the trusts?

 

WARREN:  Because he was brave, and he took on the trust and he didn`t care

how many people were going to be mad about it, and he did it.  This is

what`s amazing for the right reasons.  It wasn`t just that they were big. 

It wasn`t just that they were dominating an economy.  It wasn`t just that

they were putting farmers out of business and competitors out of business

and small companies out of business,  it was that they had too much

political power.

 

And it was the very fact of that political power that caused Teddy

Roosevelt to say I`m going to be a trust buster.  Man, I`d like to have

that guy at my side.

 

MELBER:  There is a beloved actress who`s been talking about you, Annette

Bening.

 

WARREN:  Yes.

 

MELBER:  Let`s take a look.  I think we have this for you.  Annette Bening

says she knows she looks like Elizabeth Warren.  Thank you very much.  Now,

did she look like you or do you look like her?

 

WARREN:  Either way.  I`m totally happy with this comparison.

 

MELBER:  You like this.

 

WARREN:  Yes, I do.

 

MELBER:  Would you be comfortable if and when and then there`s a Warren

movie, would you be comfortable with her playing you.

 

WARREN:  I`m all in.

 

MELBER:  You`re ready for that.

 

WARREN:  I`m ready.

 

MELBER:  Have you guys ever met?

 

WARREN:  Yes, actually.

 

MELBER:  And?

 

WARREN:  Once.  I think she actually does – we kind of look like each

other.

 

MELBER:  Did you talk about it at the time?

 

WARREN:  Yes.  Just a little bit.

 

MELBER:  How could you not?

 

WARREN:  Yes, how could we not.

 

MELBER:  We have to ask before we let you go how Bailey is doing.  This dog

is beloved on your campaign.

 

WARREN:  This dog is the best.  Between the Bailey cam and the opportunity

to meet people and voters and people been bringing him little treats.  So

Bailey is filling out now for a ten-month-old dog.

 

MELBER:  And he has his own greeting line as well as you.

 

WARREN:  Oh man, he does a photo line like you wouldn`t believe.  And I

want to be really clear about this, Ari, it is not a competition.

 

MELBER:  No.

 

WARREN:  I say this because I definitely do not want to be in competition

with a ten-month-old golden retriever.

 

MELBER:  I`ve seen him.  I`m a dog person myself.  I`m sure he could get a

lot of individual donors as well if he goes in that direction.

 

WARREN:  That`s right.

 

MELBER:  Senator Warren, coming here on the day of your big tech

announcement, we really appreciate it.  I hope you`ll come back on THE

BEAT.

 

WARREN:  Good.

 

MELBER:  Thank you.

 

WARREN:  Thank you.

 

MELBER:  Senate Elizabeth Warren.  And we will be right back.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MELBER:  Senator Elizabeth Warren on THE BEAT making some news right here. 

A new pledge, a revelation on who she says the front-runner is.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MELBER:  The rather light sentence that Paul Manafort got, a similar

defendant who might have been born black would have gotten a different

sentence.

 

WARREN:  Of course the sentence would have been different.

 

MELBER:  Corporate welfare, was New York wrong to give him up that much of

an offer.

 

WARREN:  No, the problem is the Hunger Games.

 

MELBER:  In a Warren administration, would there be a former Goldman Sachs

executive running in the Treasury Department?

 

WARREN:  Nope.

 

MELBER:  Is that a pledge?

 

WARREN:  Yes.

 

MELBER:  Are you basically writing off a bunch of Wall Street money and

then today you`re writing off a bunch of Silicon Valley money?

 

WARREN:  Maybe.

 

MELBER:  Bernie Sanders has more individual donors right now.  Is he the

front-runner?

 

WARREN:  I – you need a pundit for this, but it sure looks like it.

 

MELBER:  Google.

 

WARREN:  Too big.

 

MELBER:  Facebook.

 

WARREN:  Too big.

 

MELBER:  Mark Zuckerberg.

 

WARREN:  Too powerful.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MELBER:  Too powerful.  Just some highlights of our discussion.  Now next

we go – it`s Friday, we go to “FALLBACK FRIDAY” with the actor John

Turturro and our own Nick Akerman, that`s next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MELBER:  It`s time for a special edition of “FALLBACK.”  I`m joined by Emmy

award-winning actor John Turturro, currently starring in the film Gloria

Bell along with Julianne Moore.  Other notable films include Quiz Show,

Michael Bay`s Transformers franchise, and of course the collaborations with

the Coen brothers including the unforgettable role as Jesus Quintana in The

Big Lebowski, one of our favorites.

 

Turturro also played a scrappy lawyer in the HBO hit The Night Of which is

something he has in common with our other guest Nick Akerman, also plays a

lawyer on television and was a federal prosecutor in the Southern District

and of course a Watergate special prosecutor.  Thanks to both of you for

being here.

 

NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  Great to be here.

 

MELBER:  Nick, who needs to fall back?

 

AKERMAN:  Who is to fall back is Roger Stone.  I mean, him – his Instagram

account is absolutely his problem here.  He`s got me on his Instagram page

and he calls me a cranky old man.  Now, first of all, I`m not cranky.  You

know that.  And old – well yes, but Roger Stone isn`t that much you know,

we younger than me.  And I`m also senile which he also claims.

 

MELBER:  You get the feeling that Roger may have wanted to be an actor in

another life?

 

JOHN TURTURRO, ACTOR:  Well, a lot of these guys are actors.  They`re more

of an actor than I am actually.

 

MELBER:  Really?

 

TURTURRO:  Yes.  I think there are many people in the political arena, I

could never do what they do.  Because I try to really believe what I`m

doing and research what I`m doing so I understand something about the topic

that I`m portraying.

 

MELBER:  Yes.  And John, who do you think – what do you think needs to

fall back?

 

TURTURRO:  I think the oversimplification of any you know, news topic is

something that really sort of bothers me, just the oversimplification.  How

they make everything into black and white.  The void of in historical

context.  And so the loss of nuance I think is a major problem and that`s

why these things like Instagram and you know, when you`re tweeting and

everything, it`s the void of nuance.

 

MELBER:  Do you think it`s something that is accelerated by the internet or

is it in our nature as human beings to oversimplify?

 

TURTURRO:  I think it`s been accelerated, absolutely.

 

MELBER:  We heard you might do this and I have some examples to throw up

here for you.

 

TURTURRO:  Oh really?

 

MELBER:  To see – yes, because we heard you were – this was on your mind.

 

TURTURRO:  Oh God.

 

MELBER:  Here`s one a headline that said, scientists, reveal three keys to

happiness.

 

TURTURRO:  Right.

 

MELBER:  Oversimplified or not?

 

TURTURRO:  Oversimplified.

 

MELBER:  Are illegal immigrants, this headline says, the ones ruining

America.  Oversimplified?

 

TURTURRO:  Oversimplified, yes.  Yes.  I mean, you know, these are complex

topics and with complex solutions, you know, that once you demonize a whole

group of people – I mean, everyone was an immigrant and they`re talking

about illegal immigrants, but that`s a complex topic.

 

MELBER:  I got something that you guys have in common.  You`ve done so many

great performances, one of them that speaks to the Nick Akerman`s of the

world was your portrayal of a very hardscrabble defense attorney in The

Night Of on HBO.  Let`s take a look.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TURTURRO:  To the presumption of his innocence beyond a reasonable doubt. 

We hear that term a lot, but what does it really mean?  What`s its

definition?  It doesn`t have one.  It`s what we think.  And as much as what

we think what we feel, and what we feel.

 

MELBER:  Nick, how did he do?

 

AKERMAN:  I thought he did pretty well.  I mean, it was good.  I mean, I –

the next trial I have you`re going to do my summation.  I thought that was

great.  Now, I`m surprised the judge didn`t intervene because what`d you

say there`s no definition of beyond a reasonable doubt, the judge gives a

very specific charge on that.  So this is like kind of a typical television

or movie type portrayal.

 

MELBER:  Oh my God.  John –

 

TURTURRO:  You have to take the liberty, you know.

 

MELBER:  Leave it to Nick Akerman.

 

TURTURRO:  I disagree with him.

 

MELBER:  Yes, go ahead.  Why?

 

TURTURRO:  No, he`s right.  He knows what he`s talking about.

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

MELBER:  Nick Akerman to say, there would be an objection.

 

AKERMAN:  Of course.

 

MELBER:  Yes, of course, there would, but what did you think of the feeling

and the –

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

AKERMAN:  No, but he was looking at the jury.  He was being honest, he was

coming – he was basically connecting with people.  And I think that`s what

make a summation and a great trial.

 

MELBER:  You felt so raw and real in that role.  How did you get to that

place?

 

TURTURRO:  I spent a lot of time with a lot of lawyers who were very

helpful to me.  Every life is valuable so I don`t know how I would feel if

I had someone`s life in my hands, you know.  So that was the idea.

 

MELBER:  There`s something very like gentle about you.

 

TURTURRO:  Me?  Well, I think gentleness is underrated.  I think Abraham

Lincoln said there`s nothing stronger than gentleness and I think that`s

something in our society that there`s a great lack of.  And – because

usually the wisest people, you know, it comes from a quiet place, not a

loud place.

 

People who can hold your attention and take space and dominate the scene

will be elected, but they may be the worst leaders and it`s – you know,

history has proved that many times over, may I add.  But you know, I guess

if it wasn`t for my business, probably, and a writer`s strike in the `90s,

maybe reality television would have never happened.

 

And because of reality television, someone was able to hone a persona and

bring him all the way up into the most powerful position in the country. 

And that is an essential thing because you learn like basic craft elements

of how to keep someone`s attention.  And people were convinced this was the

character and it`s actually a fabrication of who the person actually was. 

And so you`ve seen this over and over you know, again.

 

MELBER:  I think it`s a great reminder and a toast to gentility.

 

TURTURRO:  OK.

 

MELBER:  John Turturro –

 

TURTURRO:  Thank you.

 

MELBER:  Nick Akerman, thanks to both of you.  And we will be right back. 

John`s film, I should mention, Gloria Bell in theaters now.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MELBER:  What a week.  We are out of time.  I`ll be back next week, Monday,

6:00 p.m. Eastern.  We`re going to cover those hearings for Paul Manafort

and Roger Stone and a whole lot more.  I`ll see you then.  Have a great

weekend.

 

HARDBALL with Chris Matthews is up next.

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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