Eminem blasts Trump in rap video Transcript 10/11/17 The Beat with Ari Melber

Guests: Eleanor Clift, Heidi Przybyla, Barbara McQuade, Bill Kristol, Jess Mcintosh, Richard Painter, Chuck Creekmur, Bill Kristol, Talib Kweli, Fat Joe, Eric Swalwell

Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: October 11, 2017 Guest: Eleanor Clift, Heidi Przybyla, Barbara McQuade, Bill Kristol, Jess Mcintosh, Richard Painter, Chuck Creekmur, Bill Kristol, Talib Kweli, Fat Joe, Eric Swalwell

KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST, "MTP DAILY": My buddy Ari Melber starts now with THE BEAT. Hey, Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST, THE BEAT: Hi, Katy. Thank you very much.

We have several big stories tonight. New ethics problems for the Trump administration. A breaking report tonight that Steve Bannon told an associate there`s a 70 percent chance that Trump will not finish out this term as president. Pretty explosive. We`re going to explain.

Also, a breakdown of the rapper Eminem`s now viral attack on Donald Trump. And later in the hour, my message for Mark Zuckerberg on Puerto Rico.

But our top story right now involves new turns in the House Intelligence Committees Russia investigation, which now includes scrutiny of a data firm linked to Steve Bannon, one you probably heard of, Cambridge Analytica, a focus here on the avenues of potential digital collusion, coming on the same day that a senior Facebook executive and celebrated author Sheryl Samberg hit Capitol Hill, laying the groundwork for what are sure to be high-stakes Russia hearings for tech giants next month.

Now, whatever she said to the House members, she`s keeping private.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us what they said in the meeting?

SHERYL SANDBERG, COO, FACEBOOK: Sorry. We`re not talking. Thank you so much everyone. Have a great day.


MELBER: But the ads that ran on Facebook will be talking.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any plans to release the ads that you received from Facebook?

REP. MIKE CONWAY (R), TEXAS: My personal biases that we`ll do it as quickly as we can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will they release it or will the committee release the ads?


MELBER: That is the how of the Russia investigation. How did the Russians get their message out online?

We also have news coming in right now on the who of the investigation. Who did Russians approach, trick or even get cooperation from?

News breaking that controversial former Trump foreign policy advisor Carter Page plans to plead the Fifth to avoid testifying. Page is the second potential witness talking about pleading the Fifth here. You member Mike Flynn.

Would Bob Mueller or any other investigators think that exercising his constitutional right not to testify is suspicious? Well, we don`t know Bob Mueller ain`t talking.

Even right-wing Republican Ken Starr, who famously led the Clinton-Lewinsky inquiry, is now saying Mueller is not leaking because he has rock-ribbed integrity, a vote of confidence that could enrage some of Trump`s allies.


KEN STARR, FORMER SOLICITOR GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re not seeing "leaks" out of the investigations as far as we know. And what we know of Bob Mueller and his background is he`s a person of total rock-ribbed integrity. But I think everything I`ve seen is he`s moving very aggressively and professionally.


MELBER: Joining me now Eleanor Clift, Washington correspondent for "The Daily Beast", Heidi Przybyla who covers the White House for "USA Today", and former federal prosecutor, Barbara McQuade.

Starting with you, Heidi, what do you make of Facebook laying this groundwork as there is intensive attention on different tech companies, be they political like Cambridge or claiming to be neutral in these investigations?

HEIDI PRZYBYLA, SENIOR POLITICS CORRESPONDENT, "USA TODAY": Sheryl Sandberg knows that we as a nation are at the very beginning of our discovery about just how intensive this campaign was waged through their own medium.

So, she`s not just going to Congress. She`s also doing a number of media interviews, I hear, after the fact. And so, sure, it`s part of an organized PR push to get out ahead of this story.

And now, we`re learning that they`re going to release some of these ads because members of Congress like Adam Schiff have said that the American public needs to see how these ads were used to drive a wedge between many Americans, to see just how socially divisive these ads were.

But then, there`s a second part of it and this is the part that, Ari, I think, is going to be a story for months and months to come, which is just how targeted this campaign was, how the bots were used, how the so-called flash mobs were used to drive traffic and to promote a certain message.

And there`s even previous reporting that shows that some of these Russian actors or sites even helped organize some rallies where average Americans were called up and asked, hey, did you know how this originated because you showed up at a rally that was organized by these bots essentially.

MELBER: Barbara, how do those factors affect any criminal analysis?

BARBARA MCQUADE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, it`s interesting. There are some real gaps in the law when it comes to the use of social media for campaigns. We`re not allowed to accept donations from foreign individuals.

But it`s really clear how the law treats advertising on Facebook and the use of social media and the manipulation. So, I think one of the things that Sheryl Sandberg is probably concerned about and trying to fend off is new laws, new regulations that might make the playing field more difficult for groups like Facebook to fill those gaps that may have influenced our election.

MELBER: Eleanor, we need to talk about Carter Page. It is certainly a political part of the story, if not as legal a part. And I say that because Carter Page has proven to be so unreliable, so whacky, so zany, so ridiculous that, at a certain point, investigators may look at him much more like a tool than like a master conspirator.

Having said that, here was Donald Trump name-checking Carter as one of his foreign policy advisors. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard you might be announcing your foreign policy advisory team soon.

DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`d say during the week will be announcing some names. We always will.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any that you can start off with this morning with us?

TRUMP: Well, I haven`t thought in terms of doing it. If you want, I can give you some of the names. Carter page, PhD -


MELBER: Eleanor, Carter keeps popping back up, as I mentioned in my lead. Where do you see his story going?

ELEANOR CLIFT, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, "THE DAILY BEAST": Well, he`s portrayed as a sort of a clueless stooge, but his name pops up all over that infamous dossier. And he did present himself as an energy consultant.

He has lots of connections with state-owned energy companies in Russia. He appears to have been a go-between in possible rapprochement between Trump allies and various oligarchs, energy companies in order to get revenue for the Trump properties.

And so, I think you can`t dismiss him as somebody who`s irrelevant, whether he was a witting stooge or an unwitting stooge. He fills in a lot of the gaps in our knowledge of how the connections were made with Russia.

And his determination to take the Fifth suggests that he has made a decision that he has something he would like to conceal and that it doesn`t make sense for him to go on the record. So, I think it`s significant in terms of the people who follow, who appear before the committee and the optics.

And not only the optics, but the real information that they telegraph that there is something here that the rest of us would like to know about and that could be damaging to other people in the Trump`s world.

MELBER: Heidi, speak to that because, I have to admit, I`m very torn about this. My lawyer side says there`s nothing wrong with lawyering up and there`s nothing wrong with exercising your constitutional rights, and so I don`t want to read too much into it.

My reporter side says, it`s really interesting when you`re covering a story, alleging a potential international conspiracy, and a whole bunch of people who used to do a lot of talking, including in forums like this, live TV interviews, suddenly are all clamming up.

As a reporter, that`s interesting, Heidi.

PRZYBYLA: Well, politically, as a reporter, it definitely raises suspicions. And if you are not a lawyer, you might say that that`s going to raise alarm bells.

But if you are a criminal lawyer and you know that your client might be facing potential criminal charges, as are other actors in this case like Michael Flynn and like Paul Manafort, and, yes, also including potentially Carter Page, who we know had a FISA wiretap last year, then that doesn`t sound like such a bad strategy from a legal perspective.

And I believe in his statement, he said he wanted to make sure that he didn`t self-incriminate because he knows that the government already has a lot of his communications potentially with the Russians.

And if for no reason other than just basically the timeline of events, Carter Page is an important character. Why? Because it was after Carter Page`s trip to Moscow where he met with senior government and business officials close to Vladimir Putin that he came back to the US, that a lot of the suspicious activity took place, including the changing of the platform, including the dumping of WikiLeaks and all of the other meetings between Trump officials with Sergey Kislyak and others.

MELBER: Barbara, final word on pleading the Fifth?

MCQUADE: Well, I think one other thing that might be going on here, in addition to concerns about criminal liability, is it could be and this is just speculation that maybe he is exploring or has already cut a deal with Robert Mueller to be a cooperating witness in his investigation.

And if so, he may not want to testify openly in Congress, to give anymore media interviews for fear of compromising his value as a witness. He certainly has the potential to have a lot of information about a lot of players and connections to Russia.

MELBER: That would certainly fascinating. I have to add, as a personal note, Eleanor, I grew up watching you every Sunday. So, it is so great.

CLIFT: You did?


CLIFT: And here we are, history repeating itself.

MELBER: Well, certain stories - yes, they have a way of keeping on going. But, Eleanor, such a treat to have you for your first time on THE BEAT. I hope you`ll come back.

Heidi Przybyla and Barbara McQuade, thank you both.

PRZYBYLA: Thanks, Ari.

MELBER: New reporting tonight on Steve Bannon predicting Trump has a - get this - 70 percent chance of ending his presidency early. We`ll explain.

And Russia investigators looking at the digital side of Trump`s campaign. I`m going to speak to Congressman Eric Swalwell from the House Intel Committee.

And later, the Eminem video everyone is talking about. The rap superstar taking direct aim at Trump.


EMINEM, HIP HOP SINGER: Instead of talking Puerto Rico or gun reform for Nevada All these horrible tragedies and he`s bored and would rather Cause a Twitter storm with the Packers


MELBER: I have an exclusive reaction from hip-hop stars and activists Talib Kweli and Fat Joe on THE BEAT. I`m Ari Melber and you`re watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.



TRUMP: We need a tax system that is fair to working families and that encourages companies to stay in America, grow in America, spend in America and hire in America.


MELBER: President Trump in Pennsylvania making a push right now for comprehensive tax reform, a key agenda item, according to the White House and Republicans eager for a legislative breakthrough.

That comes amidst the breaking news I mentioned just before our commercial break in "Vanity Fair". Tonight, Trump allies worrying about his mental state, one allegedly saying there is a 70 percent chance that Trump does not finish this term as president of the United States.

Here`s the reporting. A source telling the magazine, Steve Bannon "told people he thinks Trump has only a 30 percent chance of making it the full term."

The former Trump advisor may know where some bodies are buried. He famously said this about Trump firing the FBI director.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone said to me that you described the firing of James Comey - you`re a student of history - as the biggest mistake in political history.

STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: That would probably be too bombastic even for me, but maybe modern political history.


MELBER: Joining me now Bill Kristol, founder of "The Weekly Standard" and Jess Macintosh, executive share of "Shareblue" and a former advisor to Hillary Clinton.

Bill, this report in "Vanity Fair" is making waves right now partly for the way the quotes come down and then partly because, as you know, it connects with a larger conversation among Trump allies, Trump aides and Republicans who seem to be worried about how he`s leading the country and how he approaches national security.

BILL KRISTOL, FOUNDER OF "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": They are. The story by Gabe Sherman is interesting. I`m particularly struck by the quote you mentioned, which has Steve Bannon saying, there`s only a 30 percent chance, I think, that Trump finishes out his term.

If you`re a reporter and you get that quote, and Gabe Sherman is a serious reporter, you call Steve Bannon up and say did you say this and then you would have Bannon on the record say, no, that`s not the case or maybe yes that`s the case.

But the fact that there`s no quote from Bannon in the story so far as I can tell suggests to me that Bannon might be a source for this story. You can Gabe Sherman about this. I guess he won`t reveal his sources. Bannon could be a source for the story or at the very least Bannon did not deny that quote.

So, I think that suggests to me that Bannon is out there fanning the flames on stories that Trump isn`t being well served by his staff, it`s chaos in there. I mean, Bannon has got a complicated relationship with Trump. I am struck by that. Even the Trump supporters, like Bannon, have a very mixed view of Trump, I think.

MELBER: Right. And, Jess, Bill makes a great point sort of peeling back the way Washington works that with Gabe Sherman you could easily have either denial or context. You can have a White House advisor saying, well, here`s the context about the quote. There`s nothing like that. It`s fairly clear.

We`re having this discussion as the White House is trying to sell Trump`s tax plan with him there on the road, as you can see on the screen.

And let me read one more quote from the article here. Several people close to the president recently telling "Vanity Fair" Trump is "unstable", "losing his step" and "unraveling," Jess.

JESS MCINTOSH, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, SHAREBLUE: Yes. It`s really been remarkable this week. From Sen. Corker on the record on to a number of people speaking for some vague kind of attribution, you have seen a raft of press articles asserting that the president is a volatile liar and is not a smart man.

There`s only so much longer that Republican Party can go on being complicit about leaving this person, allowing this person, supporting this person, being in control of the nuclear codes for the country.

The rest of us are becoming increasingly terrified. That`s why you`re seeing his poll numbers go so far that it`s very clear that he`s eroding from his own base. It`s because this is unprecedentedly frightening situation that somebody with that little control is in power.

MELBER: Yes. You say frightening, you say control. Bill, can I read you another gob smacker from this article?


MELBER: Allegedly, according to the reporting, Trump venting to his longtime security chief Keith Schiller "I hate everyone in the White House." There are a few exceptions, but I hate them. Bill?

KRISTOL: Wonderful work environment. I don`t have much sympathy for Trump. He put them there and he can get rid of them.

But, look, I think one reason why people - some Republicans and a lot of citizens have some reassurance that even though it`s a dysfunctional administration with a president - a man who shouldn`t be president being president, we`re not going to start World War III or something like that. Why? Because John Kelly, chief of staff, because Jim Mattis is secretary of defense, because H. R. McMaster is national security advisor.

What`s interesting for me is what if Gabe Sherman`s reporting is correct to the degree it`s correct, and I assume it is, what does that about the longevity of someone like Kelly as chief of staff. It`s very interesting today, his Kirstjen Nielsen, it was announced that President Trump was nominating her to be Department of Homeland Security Secretary.

Now, that`s a great job for her. She was a person - she worked there as a staffer. So, it`s a kind of nice, wonderful capstone for her career, but she was really a trusted deputy for Kelly. Kelly brought her over from DHS. And she was kind of the deputy chief of staff who executed things for Kelly.

And if you know how the White House works, that`s Kelly`s chief of staff. He`s got a huge number of things on his plate. I think Nielsen really made the place work.

The fact that he was willing to let her go, even to be a cabinet secretary, which is a great plum, obviously, suggests to me - it makes me wonder - I put it this way. The White House I was in, if you were beginning your term, three months in or so, as chief of staff, you had a totally trusted deputy working for you.

You would tell her you know what I need you for next year. Maybe after that you get your cabinet job. The fact that she`s leaving makes me wonder Kelly - how long Kelly is there.

And I believe there would be true panic of the kind Jess was discussing if Kelly left as chief of staff. Panic among people outside the Republicans and others who are sort of hoping for the best.

MELBER: Right. Panic not among anyone who is already considered for opposing the president.

Jess, final thought on this, the notion of - we in the press sometimes seize on these narratives and we look at the civil war, we look at Bannon, and people say, well, is too much attention.

The other key thing in this "Vanity Fair" report is Gabe Sherman`s sources saying that Trump, who is pitching tax reform over here, is really upset, even rocked by the primary challenge that he lost in Alabama, which I find striking because you win, you lose some in politics. He`s certainly won a big electoral college victory. What did you think of that account? And does that ring true to you?

MCINTOSH: Of course. Trump can`t admit that he`s made a mistake when the mistake is explaining to him by itself what he`s done wrong. So, it doesn`t surprise me at all that he is shocked by unadulterated loss.

I think, yes, the press tends to give Steve Bannon too much credit. They want to build him up as this Machiavelli type because it is so profoundly disturbing to think of the man behind that agenda, behind the white nationalism to be the president himself, which is I think what we`re dealing with here.

Gabe Sherman was on this network last night talking about - having sources within the White House who were describing the plan that Kelly and other high-level officials had to bodily tackle Donald Trump if he went for the nuclear football.

So, I think the panic is there. The panic is inside and out already. And now, it`s really up to the Republicans to stand up, care about the country and do something about it.

MELBER: It`s well put and it`s a fascinating moment. Maybe a turning point, although we always tend to say that too often.

Jess Mcintosh, I want to thank you. Bill Kristol, I want to ask you to stick around, so we can talk about Eminem later in the show.

Still to come, a new front in the Russia probe. House investigators digging into the data firm tied to the Trump and Cruz campaigns, but first new ethics problems in the administration and what are you paying for.


SETH MEYERS, HOST, LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS: Price has spent more than $400,000 on taxpayer-funded private jet travel since May, including a $17,760 round-trip on a chartered trip to Nashville were Price stayed less than six hours and had lunch with his son.

How do you fly somewhere, have lunch and fly back in six hours? Do you take the jet to the drive-through window?


MELBER: From drain the swamp to a punchline, these new reports that the Trump administration`s ethics problems go beyond Tom Price, who Trump, of course, recently ousted over that private jet travel.

Now, there`s more. Ryan Zinke, one of the lowest level secretaries at the usually sleepy Interior Department, doing political fundraisers while on government business and using tax dollars for a trip to the Caribbean and a ski getaway.

Now, the ethics chief Walter Shaub left his post saying the Trump administration had made us an ethical "laughingstock." Now, the new ethics chief says, "he`s deeply concerned," the actions of some in government leadership have harmed perceptions about the importance of ethics.

For more, we turn to an expert. Richard Painter was chief White House ethics lawyer under a Republican President George W. Bush. Put this in context for us, Richard.


Now, that said, we also got to realize that a lot of this is small potatoes compared with the news we heard today of the president of the United States threatening the license of NBC and threatening the First Amendment of the Constitution and some people in the White House worried about his mental stability.

So, in that context, we have a very difficult situation.

MELBER: You`re a government lawyer and an expert on this. I didn`t have the president`s attack on the press in our show, our rundown, because we have to pick our battles over always being distracted by the media attacks. But you raise it.

Sir, do you see a legal, constitutional and ethical issue with, as you put it, his statement about NBC?

PAINTER: Well, it`s the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. And are we going to just sit around and wait for president to take action or when he threatens that. He says it`s disgusting that there`s a First Amendment right to the freedom of the press, are we going to take action? And I expect Congress to take action on that immediately. That`s a serious grave threat to our country.

Then second, we can turn to the serious ethics concerns that you`re pointing out. We should not have any cabinet members flying around the country on personal business or political business at the expense of the United States taxpayer. And the cost of that airplane trip should be reimbursed. And Congress ought to insist on that too.

But this administration is going to continue to get away with this nonsense and the president is going to continue to get away with making outrageous comments he did today, if Congress sits on their backsides and does absolutely nothing, and that`s what`s going on with the exception of a few senators who, because they`re not running for reelection, have the courage to stand up to the president.

MELBER: And, briefly, sir, you mentioned politics on government business, the Hatch Act pretty flatly bans that.

PAINTER: Absolutely. When they fly out to Montana, they want to go out there and have a fundraiser, use a chartered jet, a commercial, whatever they want to do, however they want to get out up there. That is paid for by the Republican National Committee or by the campaign.

If they go out there on mixed business, some official business, some political business, then there ought to be a contribution, a substantial contribution by the political campaign to the cost of the travel.

The United States taxpayer is there to pay for official business and that should be also on commercial air by the way. They shouldn`t be jet-setting around on the charter planes at our expense.

MELBER: Richard Painter, as always, thank you for your expertise.

PAINTER: Thank you.

MELBER: Still ahead, Donald Trump used to cameo with rappers like the Fresh Prince.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is my esteemed pleasure to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the Donald. Oh, my God.


MELBER: Now, an influential rapper is revoking some of those credentials and we have special guest, hip hop star and activist Talib Kweli and Fat Joe ahead.


MELBER: Donald Trump likes rhetorical battles but so does the rapper Eminem who got his start as poor kid in Michigan battling people and rap free style sort of improv poetry contest famously depicted in the movie Eight Mile. So it`s bad news for Trump when Eminem made him the target of an entire battle rap video at the BET Awards last night. It opens with Eminem in a spare parking garage contrasting Trump to Obama.


EMINEM, AMERICAN RAPPER: We better give Obama props because what we got in office now is a kamikaze that will probably cause a nuclear holocaust.


MELBER: Eminem echoing top Republicans who`ve been worrying Trump is driving us towards war. Then Eminem notes how Trump`s attacking the NFL to distract from Puerto Rico and gun control.


EMINEM: It`s like we take a step forward, then backward, but this is his form of distraction, plus he gets an enormous reaction when he attacks the NFL, so we focus on that. And instead of talking Puerto Rico or gun reform for Nevada, all these horrible tragedies and he`s bored and would rather cause a Twitter storm with the Packers.


MELBER: That is as concise a takedown of Trump distraction ploys as any political scientist, a prelude to Eminem confronting Trump on race.


EMINEM: From his endorsement of Bannon, support for the Klansmen, Tiki torches in hand for the soldiers that black and comes home from Iraq and is still told to go back to Africa. Fork and a dagger in this racist 94-year old grandpa who keeps ignoring our past historical, deplorable factors. Now if you`re a black athlete, you`re a spoiled little brat for trying to use your platform and your statue to give those a voice who don`t have one. He says you`re spitting in the face of vets who fought for us, you bastards.


MELBER: The reference there, of course, is to Trump claiming NFL protesters are dissing veterans, pretty rich coming from the candidates who said this about John Mccain.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a war hero. Five and a half years --

TRUMP: He`s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren`t captured.


MELBER: No one who follows politics can forget that moment, including Eminem.


EMINEM: Unless you`re a POW who`s tortured and battered because to him you`re zeros because he don`t like his war heroes captured. That`s not disrespecting the military.


MELBER: And then in this battle, Eminem talks about skin color saying, Donald Trump is a politician whose skin color is, of course, orange. Now, old-school Eminem fans may actually recalls his crusade against the idea that it`s hard to rhyme words with the word orange.


EMINEM: People say that the word orange doesn`t rhyme with anything. And that kind of pisses me off because I can think of a lot of things that rhyme with orange. I put my orange four inched, door hinge in storage and ate porridge with George.


MELBER: And he rhymes orange while accusing Trump of stoking racial division.


EMINEM: Race isn`t the only thing these fantastic for because that`s how he gets his (BLEEP) rocks off and he`s orange.


MELBER: Now that fantastic four is a double entendeur reference to the superhero from the fantastic four comics who`s literally orange. Then Eminem goes ahead and he crosses the line most entertainer fear. He puts his money where his mouth is. The man who sold over 100 million albums decided resisting Trump is so important, he is willing to risk insulting his fans and even break up them. Eminem says this is a time for choosing.


EMINEM: And any fan of mine who`s a supporter of his, I`m drawing in the sand, the line, you`re either for or against. The rest of America stand up. We love our military and we love our country but we (BLEEP) hate Trump!


MELBER: That is how you win a battle. And this particular result is more than a cultural loss for Trump in hip-hop. When someone loses that`s badly, it is known as getting destroyed, bodied or ethered. Eminem`s case against Trump is powerful not only because he has such a broad influence, not only because a takedown by an artist can sting more than the usual political sniping, remember George W. Bush saying, one of the most disgusting points in his Presidency he thought was Kanye West saying he didn`t care about black people.

No Eminem`s case is powerful today because it meets fire with fire. He is defending the veterans and immigrants and others Trump has attacked by going on offense with a strong and angry and righteous attack, not only on President Trump but those who Eminem says enables him. My first guest now for this discussion is Chuck Creekmur Founder of allhiphop.com and back with me, the Weekly Standard`s Bill Kristol will be joined by some rappers in a moment. Chuck, what does this mean in the influence of Eminem here?

CHUCK CREEKMUR, FOUNDER AND CEO, ALLHIPHOP.COM: Well, I think it`s -- it means everything. First of all, Eminem has a certain level of privilege and he`s using that privilege for good. And he used it on one of the biggest platforms at least in the hip-hop space to get that message across. But as you know, if another artist had done that, it might not have resonated as far and wide across America. So I think and appreciate Eminem`s voice in this instance because a lot of people have been saying this a longest time. In fact, Eminem has been saying things like this for a really long time and a lot of people weren`t hearing it. And now that Trump is so -- you know, his impact is you know, really like mushroomed over the last year or so. You know, people are now feeling it across America.

MELBER: We can show you, Bill, some of Eminem`s fans who like Trump responding today saying, "I was a fan of Eminem, he drew a line in the sand, I`m out. #MAGA for Trump". "Well, I`m done with Eminem too" and "No more respect for Eminem." "You can`t call out your fans like that. #disappointed." Bill, how do you view a line like this being drawn by an entertainer, a musician, a cultural leader?

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I don`t know. These things are kind of hard to -- hard to predict. You know, I worked for Dan Quayle and we criticized Murphy Brown. Probably -- maybe that was ill- advised at the time. It was some ages ago and people ridiculed. The Vice President (INAUDIBLE) is making a serious point. (INAUDIBLE) Trump responds. It`s basically -- it`s a bad idea to get in fights with entertainers or different sorts and it`s a better idea to probably sail above it. I don`t know that a lot of people could change their mind because of this but maybe, you know, maybe he`ll -- you never know what makes a dent or what contributes to people changing their minds. I think reality is what`s going to -- I`ve been struck by this several months.

God knows a lot of people have been eloquent cases and different forms, different -- you know, not everyone is as poetic as Eminem against Donald Trump. I think reality is going to have to hit honestly, the economy, the world -- something`s going to have to happen to cause Trump supporters to say, gee, I think I was wrong about the guy.

MELBER: Right. And there`s reality and there`s also who influenced his people as reality especially because people get their ideas and information from different places. I want you both to stay with me, I want to bring in a special guest, Hip Hop Musician and Activist Talib Kweli, who`s recorded with Farrell, Mos Def, Kanye West, his new album Radio Silence coming out next month. I`m also joined on the phone by Rapper and Activist Fat Joe who`s recorded with Little Wayne and his group Terrorist Squad, and of course, Ashanti in What`s Love which people may remember spent 20 weeks on the Billboard Charts. Obviously, I`m just excited you guys are here. Talib, what did you think of this new video?

TALIB KWELI, HIP HOP RECORDING ARTIST: You know, Eminem, since you know, White America all the way up to his last verse Big Shot album. You know, Eminem has spent a lot of his verses this year criticizing Trump and he`s always been anti-establishment, always been anti-conservative politics in his music. And like Trump said, he used his platform to show solidarity in a way that a lot of artists of his stature, a lot of white artists are not brave enough to do. And so I commend the man and I want to say shout out to Fat Joe and to -- and to Chuck as well because you know, they`ve been activist in this hip-hop thing for long.

MELBER: You`re not -- you`re not shouting out Bill Kristol?

KWELI: I`ve seen Bill Kristol on T.V. but I don`t know (INAUDIBLE) like that yet.

MELBER: OK. Hey, Bill, we don`t know you like that.

KRISTOL: Yes, I -- it`s -- I`m speechless, what can I say. I`m honored to be even mentioned -- I`m honored to be even mentioned in this back and forth topic like this.

MELBER: You made a pundit speechless. Fat Joe, how did you first hear about this song? I know you`re working on Puerto Rico. What do you think of all of this?

FAT JOE, HIP HOP RECORDING ARTIST: I saw it last night. The reason why it was so impactful because it was -- it was almost like looking in the mirror. So you got somebody like Eminem who is so influential in white America, and finally -- you know, sometimes it takes your own to govern your own. So it needed -- we needed a voice like Eminem to say what everybody else was thinking, and then maybe it will reflect on America because America has had a real fragile state right now. And all its divisiveness, all its racism, all its lack of you know, respect for black and brown people is just so visually clear to your face.

Like if Trump didn`t invite the basketball team to the White House even though it wasn`t going, but he invited the hockey champions. And just all this is being thrown in everybody`s faces, a very fragile time in America. And it took somebody like Eminem, you know, to bring that to the light. And I`m telling you that I`ve never seen a freestyle on my timeline of social media like this, ever in my life. So that`s how impactful it was with Black and Latino people.

MELBER: And Talib speak to the layered analysis that Eminem does because he is saying things that Bob Corker is saying. He is saying things that political scientists and analyst and pundits are saying about the distraction effects. How did that stand out to you? And for viewers who don`t follow the music as closely, how typical is that?

KWELI: Right. Well, with all apologies to our MSNBC, (INAUDIBLE) famously said that hip-hop is the CNN for Black people. You know, what I`m saying? And when he said that Black people, what he meant at the time was the hip- hop culture which includes Latino people, White people, people of all different races. You know, what I`m saying? Eminem is a very skilled (INAUDIBLE) and back in the day, he used to use this lyrical darts to take on like you know, Fred Durst and Mariah Carey and you know, really entertainers on the political spectrum. Now we see Eminem, a 40 plus-year- old man who`ve been doing it for 20 plus years, who`s still very, very masterful in his craft who`s using his art and his influence to now take on a bigger target and take it on a more focused, a really more focused manner.

Eminem, he`s using his power, his superpower that his rap really impacts the culture, really adds his voice as part of the resistance. And I think the line that hit me the most is when he draws the line in the sand because it`s a miscommunication for a lot of fans, that as they buy your music, they have bought you. And these fans do not own Eminem. When they bought Eminem album, they got an even exchange. They got a lifetime of music to listen to and he got paid. And if they want their money back, they can go back to the store. They can`t get their money from the store. Because we damn sure the store don`t pay us like that. You know what I`m saying? So Eminem -- you know what I`m saying, so Eminem, what he did was he let the fans know, you don`t own me just because you like my music. You know I`m saying. And I think that`s important stand for artists.

MELBER: Right. And he risks his bottom line as well. It`s fascinating. As Fat Joe was saying, this has been everywhere. If you`re watching at home and you haven`t seen the video yet, well, now you`ve seen part of it now and it is everywhere. Talib Kweli, Fat Joe, Bill, and Chuck, thank you all for being a part of this. I want to make one more note. Fat Joe is one of the many artists donating his time to the Tidal X Brooklyn benefit concert. That`s this month. It supports relief for various natural disasters across the globe including Puerto Rico. You can check that out. And we want you to know, what do you think about all this? You can like us on Facebook or send us your comments on Eminem or what might change your vote, FACEBOOK.COM/THEBEATWITHARI and I`ll be right back.


MELBER: More developing news in the Russia inquiry tonight. House Investigators now scrutinizing the GOP data firm that worked the Trump campaign and is linked to Steve Bannon confidant Robert Mercer. The Trump campaign`s data team Cambridge Analytica worked for the crews and Trump campaign. It`s turning over documents to investigators right now, according to a report breaking tonight in the Daily Beast. One source saying, the focus on the firm is proving, "fruitful." Joining me now is Congressman Eric Swalwell, a Member of that House Intelligence Committee. A busy time for you I know, so thanks for making time. What does it mean, these reports that they`re looking at Cambridge Analytica?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Good evening. What I can say, Ari, is that the cornerstone crime here that we are looking at is a data breach and then a dissemination of hacked data. We know the Russians were responsible. We want to know if any Trump campaign officials worked with them. I can`t comment on individual witnesses, I can just say that we hope to report to the American people whether Trump team members worked in partnership or coordination with the Russians as they hacked data, and then disseminated hacked e-mails or targeted voters through Facebook ads, Twitter, Google to influence them.

MELBER: I keep hearing you use the word targeted, which generally requires some level of knowledge, informing, or even proprietary data about who to target. What does that say to you given that there`s a question of not only did the Russians hack, well, we know according to U.S. Intel they did but did they have helped in how to disseminate?

SWALWELL: Yes, a lot of it is you know, reviewing the content of the ads. And you know one of them that was published for the public through a news report had an ad advocating voting for Jill Stein and it used the hashtag #grow a spine vote, Jill Stein. Now, that is using a uniquely English idiom. And so you know, maybe it is a pretty sophisticated you know, Russian who has a knowledge of U.S. idioms, but idioms are often lost in translation. So I think that raises enough questions as to whether help was being given in the United States. And there`s another -- a number of other examples like that.

MELBER: There`s been a lot of talk about the general election. Here on THE BEAT, we had a former Ted Cruz official on who said that he ran into a lot during the primary campaign. Take a listen.


RON NEHRING, SPOKESPERSON, SENATOR TED CRUZ 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: I think we want to know the totality of what the -- what the Russians or anyone else were engaged in. And I think that certainly, the Congressional committees have to be allowed to run this down completely.

MELBER: We hear so much about the General Election. You`re saying that the investigators should look at the GOP primary?

NEHRING: I think the entire election cycle should be fair game to look at.


MELBER: Has your investigation looked at the primary campaigns and potential Russian influence then and will it?

SWALWELL: We`re looking at the Presidential Election. I agree with the Ted Cruz team member that you had a candidate in Donald Trump who was openly as a primary candidate speaking in flattering terms you know, about Russia and wanting you know, to work with them, so you know, this was something longstanding. During the Presidential Primary, he was seeking to put a Trump Tower in Moscow. So we should answer the question as to whether they -- their help for him began during the primary to take down the primary opponents or lift him up.

MELBER: You say should, is the committee currently looking at the primaries or is that not in its current scope.

SWALWELL: Ari, I cannot -- I can`t go too much in-depth on the committee`s work right now, but I will say I`m advocating for an independent commission. We have bipartisan support. Almost 200 people have signed on for this legislation. I think we need to take this out of Congress, depoliticize it and have foreign policy and election and data experts answer these questions. It`s too political right now.

MELBER: Understood. And I know there are some limits on what you may want to get into. So we won`t hold it against you for being circumspect and hopefully, you won`t hold it against me for asking the questions. We somehow want to know.

SWALWELL: It`s your job. It`s your job.

MELBER: Congressman, thanks for your time.

SWALWELL: My pleasure.

MELBER: And up ahead, I have a new message to Mark Zuckerberg after his virtual trip to Puerto Rico.


MELBER: Mark Zuckerberg is under fire for how Facebook handled fake news and Russian meddling, but now he`s changing gears with a humanitarian trip to Puerto Rico to help people. That might be a good thing if it were true, it`s not. The Facebook CEO`s trip to Puerto Rico was actually merely virtual, for serious. Zuckerberg used the island`s ongoing crisis to promote Facebook`s virtual reality feature displaying his cartoon body avatar in front of the battered infrastructure.


MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: You can kind of get a sense of what is -- we`re on a bridge here. It`s flooded. You can get a sense of some of the damage here. One of the things that`s really magical about virtual reality is you can get the feeling that you`re really in a place


MELBER: Can you though? Does this cartoon body tour of Puerto Rico come close to feeling even an hour of what people are really going through there? Today, 84 percent of the island is without power. Over a third of the Americans, there have no clean water to drink. But Zuckerberg assured the 1.8 million people viewing his new video that it felt like he was really there.

ZUCKERBERG: I probably should have mentioned this before but Rachel and I actually aren`t even I think at the same build in the physical world.


ZUCKERBERG: It feels like we`re in the same place and we`re making eye contact.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we can -- we can high five.

ZUCKERBERG: Yes. There you go, high five. And so now, I mean, this is -- we`re looking around and, you know, it feels like we`re really here in Puerto Rico where it`s obviously a tough place to get to now and a lot of people are really suffering with the aftermath of the hurricanes.


MELBER: Facebook users commented below Zuckerberg`s video writing there`s no internet at all in P.R. This isn`t helping the people. Another asked, does your virtual reality system make you experience the 120-degree weather, how about the stench of death? Now, Zuckerberg apologized saying, virtual reality is about empathy and his goal is to "show how V.R. can raise awareness and help us see what`s happening in different parts of the world. A Facebook user replied to that apology writing, only an insane person or a person who has absolutely no idea what empathy is can say something so mindless like that. Now, on the other hand, Zuckerberg hid inspect the flooded streets before he and his colleague chuckled about teleporting back to California.


ZUCKERBERG: And the street is completely flooded.


ZUCKERBERG: Can you -- can you guys see this behind me? I mean, this -- I mean this is what it looks like.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s crazy to feel like you`re in the middle of it.

ZUCKERBERG: Yes. All right, so do you want -- do you want to teleport somewhere else?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, maybe back to California.

ZUCKERBERG: All right, let`s do it.


MELBER: Hey Mark, you know who can`t teleport to California? The 3.5 million Americans fighting to survive in Puerto Rico, struggling to get water or electricity. And Mark, the next time you visit Puerto Rico, to demonstrate Facebook products, try letting someone from the island speak for themselves. They might have something to say about the flooding and how people can help. In a world of virtual reality and fake news and social networking done in quiet lonely rooms, maybe we could all use a reminder. There is no substitute for really talking with someone and really going somewhere and really doing something. Now Facebook is partnering with the Red Cross and it donated $1.5 million to Puerto Rico in relief efforts, a symbolic sum given their $10 billion in annual revenue. You know, the Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin wrote, Facebook is never finished because it`s always changing.



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