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Manafort jailed, Cohen talking about flipping. TRANSCRIPT: 06/15/2018. The Beat with Ari Melber

Guests: Howard Dean, Nelson Cunningham, Sam Nunberg, Jose Rodriguez,Victoria DeFrancesco, Natalia Cornelio, Bobbito Garcia, Stretch Armstrong, Adam Met

Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: June 15, 2018 Time: 18:00 Guest: Howard Dean, Nelson Cunningham, Sam Nunberg, Jose Rodriguez,Victoria DeFrancesco, Natalia Cornelio, Bobbito Garcia, Stretch Armstrong, Adam Met

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: We have a big show tonight. The words I`m about to report are truly unusual even for an unusual year.

Paul Manafort is in jail right now. Today, a judge sided with Bob Mueller to find that Manafort has been credibly accused of obstruction of justice meaning he`s too dangerous to be allowed to remain free awaiting his much anticipated trial. So number one, a former campaign chief for the President of the United States is slated to be incarcerated until his trial begins. And number two, if Paul Manafort is convicted and sentenced to the maximum punishment that would mark, well, that would mark the first day of a lifetime behind bars.

There are alternatives as well. One is that Paul Manafort could ultimately be found not guilty and thus get out of jail term that he effectively starts tonight. Another alternative is that he could ultimately cooperate, get a lighter sentence. And that brings us to another potential defendant in the Mueller probe.

Sources close to Trump`s Michael Cohen now saying tonight and saying this to reporters meaning someone wants this to get out that Cohen may cooperate and flip on Donald Trump. One reason why, well, tonight there are new reports of the feds getting their hands on new evidence from Cohen documents. And get this, over 700 pages of messages and materials that Cohen tried to keep secret by using, yes, encrypted messaging apps as well as documents he tried to hide by shredding them all those 16 pages of those document have been reportedly put together after being pulled from a shredder. They have been reconstructed. Wow.

Now legal experts have noted how Cohen`s potentially inept shredding could come back to haunt him. In fact, right here on THE BEAT, Cohen`s very opponent in the Stormy Daniels`s, Michael Avenatti, noted that skimping on a cheap shredder, never a good idea.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was going to ask, Michael. What kind of shredder he had? My favorite of all (INAUDIBLE).

MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIELS` LAWYER: You have to buy a cross cut, not a strip shredder. You can`t be cheap when it comes to your shredder.

MAYA WILEY, FORMER COUNCIL TO NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: They are actually not that expensive.


MELBER: You can`t be cheap when it comes to your shredder.

Again, the news tonight and this is not normal. This is not normal news nights that we say this but the feds have pieced together the shredding that the President`s lawyer tried to do. And they have that evidence now for a criminal case.

Now today, Cohen`s own lawyers are asking for ten more days to review at least the encrypted messages part of this before the prosecutors have them for whatever they want to do with them. Now futile attempts at cryptic messaging is actually what links Cohen and Manafort tonight.

Manafort in jail right now because Bob Mueller alleges he did his witness tampering via encrypted messaging. And responding to Mueller`s motion, the judge said that while there is no appetite for this to jail Manafort, his attempt to use his phone as a tampering and obstruction device was simply unacceptable.

And as for whether she could limit his communications technology and then just leave him out on bail as he requested, the judge said today (INAUDIBLE), this is not middle school. I can`t take way his cell phone.

Now jail is obviously one of the worst places on earth to prepare for a complex criminal trial. But by confiscating Paul Manafort`s phone and personal property, the court system is helping him in way because it`s removing one of the tools Mueller says Manafort used to commit new crimes.

As a legal strategy, Mueller is operating on the premise this will protect the probe that it could put more pressure on Manafort but also reflects Bob Mueller`s confidence when you think about it that he believes at least he must already have enough evidence on Manafort. Otherwise, if you caught him committing potential crimes and he could have just kept surveilling Manafort`s phone to gather even more evidence.

So as Paul Manafort, a 69-year-old man with all kinds of political experience and global travels as he spends first night of his life in jail tonight. And as Michael Cohen tells associates tonight that he is bracing for potential arrest and considering cooperating, Bob Mueller is clearly sending a message about obstruction and evidence to any other would be criminal witnesses or any other would be obstructers who think they can pull one over on the special counsel.

And the message to channel the romantics is clear. I can hear the secrets that you keep when you are talking in your sleep. And to update that line for 2018, sleep on Bob Mueller at your own peril.

With me now, former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg who is one of the few people speaking publicly who has testified in Bob Mueller`s grand jury room, two former federal prosecutors Joyce Vance and Nelson Cunningham who is also general council of the Clinton White House and former Vermont governor and former DNC chair Howard Dean.

There is a lot to discuss.

Joyce, what does I met mean to you tonight that Paul Manafort sleeps in a cell?

JOYCE VANCE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: To the extent that Mueller is sending a message, that message is that he will not tolerate people who lie to federal agents or otherwise interfere in prosecutions. We have seen the earlier prosecutions for lying to agents. Now we see this prosecution for obstruction which happened incredibly quickly. And this will go to Mueller`s core belief that the criminal justice system is about finding the truth in a courtroom, determining a defendant`s guilt or innocence consistent with those principles and that anyone who tries to interfere with that process should be dealt with as sternly as possible. And so as a result, Manafort finds himself in jail pending trial tonight.

MELBER: Nelson, the big question in Washington is what happens now that people of this significance in the Trump campaign and Donald Trump`s world, personal business and otherwise, are facing this kind of heat? We talk a lot about inflection points. This is certainly an inflection point in the sense that we haven`t seen anyone this high profile jailed.

Paul Manafort is in jail. It`s the kind of thing you can`t say enough. And if you think about other people that filled his role, if one imagined a David Axelrod in the Obama era in jail, it sort of reminds you that we are not living in normal times.

One of the things that`s up for debate is whether Paul Manafort knows something or has something of interest to the special counsel probe. Here is how Donald Trump has talked about it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What have you learned about Donald Trump since you started working for him that you didn`t know before?

PAUL MANAFORT, TRUMP CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: Well, I have known him a longtime. And I have always known to be flexible. I have always known to be driven.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Paul Manafort has done an amazing job. He is here some place. Where is Paul?

MANAFORT: I have known Donald since the 1980s. And we talked about it and he felt I could help him as I felt it.

TRUMP: Paul had great success with Reagan and with Bush and with Ford. And you know, he has great success. He didn`t have to do think like I don`t have. He didn`t need to do this but he wanted to.


MELBER: He wanted to. Do you see this as only bad news for Manafort or potentially for Trump as well?

NELSON CUNNINGHAM, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: This is -- today, could be one of the biggest days in the investigation so far between the steps of Manafort going to jail and the Cohen document review being completed and these final documents being found.

Paul Manafort is 69 years old. Today is the first day of the rest of his life and he is looking at the rest of his life behind bars. The underlying counts of which he is already charged are lay-up counts. Any prosecutor could prove that case in a week. He is facing of it in D.C. He is facing of it in Virginia. He knows that he is going to face the rest of his life in jail. You add on top of that tampering with witnesses. And any judges could have thrown the book at him.

He has one choice. He has two things that might get him out of jail. One of those is cooperating with Mueller and finding a way to help him complete his investigation and the second is a Hail Mary pass of the pardon of the President.

MELBER: Right. Which is something that we can get into.

Howard Dean, we can play a little who said it. Who do you think said today didn`t know Manafort was the head of the mob?

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: I don`t know who said that, I mean. But I know Trump said he claim not to -- just too barely know Manafort.

MELBER: Well, he might barely know him but he knows enough to say that. I will read you the entire context.

What a tough sentence for Manafort who represented Reagan, Dole, many tough people. Didn`t know Manafort was the head of the mob. And then he goes on to what about other stuff that I`m not going to read.

What do you think about the relationship between these two men tonight, one in the White House and the other in the slammer?

DEAN: Look. Manafort knows everything that Trump is in trouble for. Manafort was his campaign manager. Manafort in many was the master mind that set this up. Manafort knows politics inside out. Trump doesn`t. Manafort know exactly how much collaboration there was with the Russians because he knows the Russians inside out and made tens of millions of dollars with Russians. Some of which he is being accused of laundering and I think that is probably true. So this is pretty significant.

MELBER: Sam, you are the only person on the panel who has been in Mueller`s grand jury room.

SAM NUNBERG, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN AIDE: And he has done tweets for Donald trump.

MELBER: And you ghost written Donald trump`s tweet.

NUNBERG: And had him dictate tweets.

MELBER: He dictated tweets to you. Are you more proud of the ghost writing or dictating?

NUNBERG: Ghost writing.

MELBER: Ghost writing.

NUNBERG: And he screamed that a lot.

MELBER: Like any political author. Well, this is a significant night. You obviously cooperated. Mueller`s view now back by a judge is that Manafort, not only did not cooperate but committed a new crime. Based on your direct interaction with this Mueller team and this FBI investigator investigators, what do you think happen next for Paul? Do you think they have more on him? Do you think they can win this case against Paul?

NUNBERG: Well, I don`t know if they could win. I think that the case is pretty much in terms of money laundering, let`s say, or whatever they are calling it, that`s to me it would seem, I`m not a professional almost like Cunningham. To me, it seems pretty easy to prove what that said.

I`m looking at this, Ari, really from a political point of view. From the point of is this going to hurt Donald Trump if the Democrats win in November? Then the impeach goes through the House and guess to the Senate.

MELBER: You say the impeachment. I mean, we are not anywhere near impeachment right now.

NUNBERG: I think Mueller is going to write a report. And the reports is going to be used depending on who controls. If it is speaker Pelosi and Jerry Nadler is running the House judiciary then Donald Trump will be impeached and he will be impeached if they have a two --

MELBER: So you think it`s possible, since you bring it up, do you think it is possible Mueller could write a report that says a lot of people did bad things but he doesn`t see an impeachable offense by the President?

NUNBERG: No. Because I don`t think that Mueller -- I think that Mueller is on a vendetta personal. That`s me. That`s my opinion. I don`t think - -.

MELBER: With him being a Republican FBI --

NUNBERG: That doesn`t matter. The whole Republican thing does it, you know, that -- they always go back with that. And let me explain to you. James Comey is technically a Republican. John McCain is technically a Republican. The Bushs are Republicans. Do you think they like Donald Trump?

MELBER: When you say technically, do you mean literally?

NUNBERG: I mean, he is registered Republican --.

MELBER: I mean, they spent their public life as registered Republicans.

NUNBERG: And then they decided not to vote. They all said they voted for John McCain. They all said they voted for Mitt Romney but they stuck out and they didn`t vote on that past election. And then, by the way, James Comey`s number two Andrew McCabe who is in the dispute --

NUNBERG: We are not doing that. Because now you are just bringing up other stuff. Let`s stay on this and let`s go to Michael Cohen who you know and you have spoken about here. Why are we hearing so much about Michael Cohen?

NUNBERG: I think Michael is 100 percent communicating through the press. I think he is probably -- if I had to guess. I don`t know and I wouldn`t know because reporters are professionals. He is even talking to reporters on background with them, you know. It`s something that`s done in this world where they take somebody --

MELBER: You read this as not people around Cohen. You read this as Cohen leaks.

NUNBERG: There has been a lot out there. First of all, that there was no coincidence to me that George Stephanopoulos, who Michael is very close with, and that used to be in Trump world are relationships with reporters were something he like to control. And it was a commodity with us with Donald Trump directly. And he was very close to George Stephanopoulos.

George Stephanopoulos interviews Donald Trump in Singapore at the summit. Suddenly, a day later I believe or two days later Michael Cohen, George Stephanopoulos has a breaking news report that Michael Cohen may be flipping and he is not sticking with his attorney. Subsequently in "New York Times," Maggie Haberman. She is big in Trump world. She has a quote from the Trump organization saying we have an agreement. We don`t want to hear anything about these legal fees. I think Michael`s view is from what -- let`s say, we think Trump people. Michael`s view is I will go the distance. Let`s see how this case goes. I know I`m getting indicted, but you have to pay my legal fees.

MELBER: Howard Dean, what do you think of Sam`s analysis there which is based on primary source knowledge that we are hearing about Cohen potential cooperating in very strategic ways. Stephanopoulos, while he is near the President. Haberman was a big reporter for the Times who has a lot of Trump sources because this is Cohen`s last attempt.

DEAN: Look. I`m not familiar with the intricacies of Trump world but that makes a lot of sense. I mean, this is a signal. They can`t communicate directly. This is a signal from Cohen that Trump`s got to pardon him or else.

MELBER: On that, I was just speaking to Trump lawyer Jay Goldberg about that. And this is where it gets a little tricky, Joyce, because even if you wanted to pardon someone, if they have enough liability for other state crimes and there`s someone cooperating in upstate New York, then it could backfire.

So for Joyce, take a listen to. And again, this is a Trump lawyer. This is not a Trump critic speaking to me exclusively. Take a listen.


JAY GOLDBERG, TRUMP`S LAWYER: If he pardons Michael Cohen and Michael Cohen thereafter gets indicted by the state for misconduct, Trump`s pardon of the Cohen for federal offenses will be looked upon as a grave error.


MELBER: Joyce.

VANCE: It`s not just a grave error, it doesn`t give the President the sort of legal protection that presumably he is seeking as he and his folks like Giuliani dangle these federal pardons.

Yesterday, we saw the New York state AG file a civil case. But that civil case contains a lot of interesting information about potential criminal prosecutions. And although the state AG has made a referral to federal agencies and presumably those prosecutions could be, I`ll just say cured with pardon from the President, there are also pending state criminal charges. And those are something that the President can`t pardon his way out of.

So yesterday we saw Corey Lewandowski`s name raised. Paul Manafort`s predecessor on the campaign, potentially the President`s children. And as much as there could be federal prosecutions, there could also be state criminal cases and there is nothing that the President can do to end those.

MELBER: Right. You have the walls closing in on the idea there`s stuff that is completely out of this President`s control. And we know how he responds to that. Then you have, Sam, a lot of the efforts to have what seems to be secret contacts. What do you think about the idea that Cohen has got materials that might be pertinent to Donald Trump that he shredded at the last minute that have been reconstructed? And have you ever gotten encrypted messages from him or others in the Trump land?

NUNBERG: I never got any encrypted message from Steve Bannon or Roger Stone in my entire --.

MELBER: What about from Michael Cohen in.

NUNBERG: I don`t think so. I don`t even -- I can follow up with you. And I don`t believe so. But look. I will tell you who would definitely would know. The Mueller special counsel because they have everything.

MELBER: You got the impression they would always know that kind of stuff?

NUNBERG: Well, I know that they had it. First of all, it doesn`t take a genius to realize that the federal government there`s nothing encrypted in this world anymore.

MELBER: Right.

NUNBERG: So I will tell you that question that --.

MELBER: Are you saying that On the Record that that means that Paul Manafort is not a genius?

NUNBERG: Should have not known what he did. I think that was a very big misstep. I think he gave him the excuse to send him to jail.

MELBER: So Nelson, I got a question for you. If you are Michael Cohen and you are in the situation in the middle of a probe and you start shredding documents, do you think those would be random documents, blank pieces of paper, you know, that kind of thing? Or do you think they might be incriminated?

CUNNINGHAM: Let`s not, you know, let`s remember that he did not know that this raid was coming, right. This raid was a complete surprise to him. That`s the way these raids are conducted. You don`t give somebody time to shred documents. So whatever was sitting in his shredder that morning was whatever was sitting in the shredder in that morning. It could be --.

MELBER: Well, I would draw your attention, though, to other circumstantial information. For example, in the filing that the feds made in the attorney-client privilege debate, justifying the raid, they said that they had reason to believe that he was beginning to try to destroy evidence that was secret of nature and that that was part of why they moved.

CUNNINGHAM: Yes. Well certainly why they moved against Paul Manafort the way they did. The feds have been hitting hard in these cases. And certainly, anything they are going to find that has been shredded or encrypted, they are going to move on quickly to try to make sure that they can get -- find out what`s in there and see what they have.

What we are now reaching the stage within ten days, these documents will -- could be turned over to Mueller`s team. And we will know what he can do with the math.

MELBER: Exactly. And it`s a lot on a big night on the potential (INAUDIBLE) tonight.

My thanks to the entire panel. Appreciate it.

Coming up, how Manafort did allegedly use other secretive tactics have actually been associated with drug cartels and even terrorists to try to, yes, keep communication secret. Didn`t work.

Also, an important story we are staying on. The human toll of the child migrant crisis. We have an interview with a lawyer fighting for a mom whose baby was taken from her while she was breastfeeding.

And Trump`s new claim about why he says he is separating kids from their parents.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, is it humane to separate children from their families?

TRUMP: That`s the Democrats doing that.

The Democrats forced that law upon our nation.


MELBER: That is a lie. We know it`s a lie and I have the proof tonight and why it matters.

All that, plus, Donald Trump saying he want to be more like, guess who, Kim Jong-un.

And then, if you have had a busy week, there is still will be time for Fallback Friday later tonight.

I`m Ari Melber. You are watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.


MELBER: Truly significant breaking news. Donald Trump former campaign chair is in jail tonight. And there`s a new eye-opening accusation that Paul Manafort was allegedly communicating with associates using a tactic that has been literally deployed by al-Qaeda. The idea is that you write draft emails that you never send so -- then you basically share that with others to access the information and it`s never an actual piece of email. This, of course, is on top of other big questions about ties to Russia.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are there any ties between Mr. Trump, you or your campaign and Putin and his regime?

MANAFORT: No, there are not. It`s absurd.


MELBER: Joining me now, someone who has known Paul Manafort for decades, MSNBC news analyst and reporter Howard Fineman and Sam Nunberg back with me.

The significance of this news tonight, Howard, and given your knowledge of Mr. Manafort who is known for many things recklessness, sure. I think that`s been demonstrated but also a type of toughness, his allies say. How do you think that will be tested as he spends his first night in jail tonight?

HOWARD FINEMAN, NBCNEWS.COM CONTRIBUTOR: I think it is going to be a long, dark night of the soul for Paul Manafort. He has been pretty lucky in a fairly dangerous legal life that he has led. He chose to go early from American politics into the international realm. He has done business around the world with some very tough characters with the Marcos` in the Philippines, with Saudi princesses in (INAUDIBLE), with Ukraine want to be dictators, with a lot of tough sort of star wars bar type people all around the world. But he has never really had to face up to this type of consequence.

And the fact that you are in a cold, hard jail cell, this is a guy who once told me how wonderful it is to travel along the coast of Lake Como and stop at all the great palaces and wineries and so forth.

MELBER: Sounds nice.

FINEMAN: He developed very nice, very refined taste. He had horses out on Long Island. His wife is a show jumper.

MELBER: Look. Howard, I have never been to Lake Como but my understanding is not everyone who goes there is accused of laundering $30 million.

FINEMAN: No. But that may have something to do with why he was able to enjoy Lake Como, OK.

MELBER: Indeed. Indeed.

FINEMAN: It`s a lot different from where he`s now and where he is going to be. The fact is that he has got two trials coming up. And he is going to have to be in that jail cell from now through at least September. And I think even as the trial and federal trial in Washington begins in September, he could still be required to stay in jail after that which is terribly wearing mentally and physically.

MELBER: You know one Lake Como question then they never ask you in jail is red or white.

FINEMAN: Anyway. So yes, I think it`s going to be tough. But I think he is -- I think though that he has got some mental toughness there. It is so ironic, Ari, because I think he would have this whole career where he dip into the conventions and run the conventions and then go back out and make a lot of money around the world. If he had left after Ukraine and taken the chips off the table and disappear, nobody would have heard about him.

MELBER: You are absolutely right.

FINEMAN: But he wanted to come back for this one thing because the fact is having known Manafort, I know at the very beginning, he wanted to be a contender, you know. He wanted to be chief of staff. His original role model was Jim Baker, chief of staff to Gerald Ford.

MELBER: Right. A true power breaker.

Let me show one thing as we think about all the tentacles which is Donald Trump out there saying today, well, this is just some guy and I don`t know him even though he was number one guy in my campaign at one point. Sam, who not only worked for Donald Trump had told us earlier in the hour, he used to write tweets for Donald Trump. This is a person who is also close to your former so-called mentor, Sam, because Manafort and Stone were literally running that international controversial lobbying firm that Howard just mentioned. Stone calling it the S and a word I won`t repeat, but take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paul Manafort came in one day and said, you know, we ought to start a lobbying firm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lobbying had been considered kind of a sleazy business but Roger Stone unabashedly came out and said I`m going to make a pile of money off of this and no apologies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Both Manafort and Stone was the (bleep). It was the biggest most powerful lobbying operation in Washington.


NUNBERG: Certainly was. Howard would know this better than me but it is legendary (INAUDIBLE). People who are working Republican politics.

MELBER: How does Stone figure in all this watching his former partner tonight go to jail?

NUNBERG: Well, Roger and Manafort have not worked together in a very, very long time. It`s my understanding that firm was bought and it was bought. They sold baker, Manafort and Stone sold it and they parted their ways but then kept in contact with each other and were friends.

I think part of the reason also, by the way, what Howard was talking about in terms of the reason why Paul wanted to work on the Trump campaign is that Paul was supposed to run the convention in 2008 for the m McCain campaign and his longtime partner Rick Davis eventually dropped Paul because of some other clients or could have been the same clients that he was working for.

MELBER: Right. What is interesting as you are mentioning all the people, David, who had interned briefly at the same firm, there are a lot of people who work together very closely also circling Donald Trump. And I think what Mueller is peeling back on is are these all coincidences? And the things they did were isolate as crimes or was there a wider conspiracy? Was there kind of an election racketeering operation? We don`t know that yet. But again, as Manafort sleeps in jail tonight, the question is whether that changes his thinking about what he wants to say.

NUNBERG: I don`t think so.

MELBER: I have to fit in -- you don`t think so. I have to fit in a break.

Sam Nunberg and Howard Fineman, thank you both so much.

There is proof that Donald Trump is lying about this migrant child policy and it is devastating toll including new reports that the feds ripping a baby from a breast-feeding mother. I`m going to speak live to immigrant rights lawyer about this and give you my fact check on Donald Trump when we are back in 60 seconds.


MELBER: The other top story tonight, a humanitarian crisis caused by Donald Trump using what many call child abuse as tool of government policy. What is new tonight, the estimates that is now nearly 2,000 migrant children ripped from their parents under these new orders from the Trump administration. Now, this is a serious issue. Children`s lives do literally hang in the balance.

Donald Trump caused this crisis. He originally took credit for it. But now, what`s changing here where the humanitarian crisis meets if you want to call it the politics is that the heat is so high Donald Trump is running from what he did. And tonight I can report Donald Trump is lying about his policy which raises the question Mr. President, if you are so ashamed now of your policy if it is heartless why not halt it instead of lying about it. A factual warning, what I`m about to show you is not true.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And people say, look, you rip these families apart even though it is the law it`s heartless.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That`s the law and that`s what the Democrats gave us.

The Democrats forced that law upon our nation. I hate it. I hate to see separation of parents and children.


MELBER: That`s false and we know it is a lie because Donald Trump and his Attorney General explicitly created this policy orphan children. This is important so let`s get into it. I`m going to show you the proof tonight. This is the Trump administration memo from this April signed by Jeff Sessions. This is the proof. And what this does ,the reason this is happening tonight and this weekend and every day that this policy continues is that the Trump Administration shifted from a long-standing set of policies that prioritized enforcement against immigrants deemed more dangerous and offered more protection for folks who are not considered dangerous as well as for children and families.

Now, this new Trump policy orders a "zero-tolerance policy for all offenses and states emphatically the zero-tolerance policy supersedes those other existing policies I mentioned. Meaning, the more family oriented policies of past administrations in both parties by the way are now out. These are the facts. Now politicians may deny their own role in creating problems but we have an obligation here to report the facts. And when the evidence shows that politicians are lying which is a higher bar, we`ll report that too. This is a Trump policy.

These are legally segregated camps for children orphaned by this Trump policy. It`s not a congressional law that requires it and these are not cities, these are not tent communities, or any other Trump (INAUDIBLE) branded spin. Now what`s the impact? Take one case. We`re going to play for you a little bit of new audio. This is from inside an immigration courtroom where a mother -- and if you want to think like a human being, imagine this is a mother you know. If you want, imagine this is your mother because it`s any mother because this is any situation that someone could end up in. And listen as a mother tries to find out when she`ll see her son again.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I was told when I was separated from my son, that you were going to tell me when I was going to be joined with my son again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know who told you that, but you were told incorrectly. I have no information regarding your child.


MELBER: That`s what`s going on. That`s one case, one mother, one child. That`s the reality. Now, what about how it looks under this administration. Well in another Trump (INAUDIBLE) tactic, Trump`s aides have been focused more on changing the images of this crisis than the policy on the ground that I was just telling you about. So the family separation is continuing while Trump aides push this tightly controlled imagery.

On the left you can see the video from the administration who tries to depict a safe environment. On the right we have the reported facts for your investigators, and only Texas for example have already found health care problems, mistreatment of children, a lack of supervision, and a widespread inattention to the government inflicted trauma on children and parents alike. I`m joined now by Texas State Senator Jose Rodriguez, a sight in his district will be one of the first places they set up these camps. I`m also joined by Victoria DeFrancesco, a Professor at the University of Texas and Natalia Cornelio an Attorney for the Texas Civil Rights Project. She has spent time with a mother whose baby was allegedly taken from her during breastfeeding. One of the stories that`s gotten so much attention. Can you tell us about that Natalia?

NATALIA CORNELIO, ATTORNEY, TEXAS CIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT: Hi, good afternoon. I can tell you that that mother`s story is one of many that we received in speaking to parents that were separated from their kids that expressed on behalf of the parents a trauma that was experienced by both the parent and the child. It`s one of many. That`s what I can tell you about that story.

MELBER: Let me play Jeff Sessions saying that they`re basically being criticized unfairly, talking about the mean-spirited accusations. Take a listen.


JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: There are politicians and activists who think having any border at all it seems, any limit whatsoever, any enforcement activity that`s taken is mean-spirited, unkind, even bigoted.


MELBER: Victoria, your response.

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: So it`s about following the law. And if we are following the law, then we should not be jailing asylum seekers and we`re getting reports that among those people who are getting sent to federal prisons, especially the adults who are separated out from their children are folks who are coming to this country, turning themselves in and saying I am here for asylum. So that and of itself is breaking the law.

And I think a point of clarification here is the difference between an economic refugee, I`m sorry, an economic immigrant and a humanitarian immigrant. The economic immigrant is the one who`s coming here because the U.S. keeps the demand up for them and the humanitarian immigrant is the one fleeing that strife that we hear about in Central America. And that immigrant, in particular, should be offered the letter of the law in terms of those protections. The immigrant, the adult, and their child but we`re seeing none of that.

MELBER: Senator Rodriguez, I want to play a little more from inside that courtroom. Again, as we try to get what we can, a lot of this has been deliberately prevented from access by the public by the press by the members of Congress who would have appear to have some standing and we`ve been reporting on that. But this is new sound of a judge basically just telling this mother why under the Trump Administration policies, she can`t even hear about where her child is, let alone be reunited. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Immigration doesn`t call this court or me, personally, and tell me what happened to your child. If they did do that, it wouldn`t hurt my feelings. I`d be happy to relay that information to you if I could. But they don`t do that. So hopefully, somebody will get in touch with you through that side of the government.


MELBER: Hopefully someone will get in touch with. You walk us through your view of this for any parent watching at home imagining being told that about what amounts to a missing child.

STATE SEN. JOSE RODRIGUEZ (D), TEXAS: Well Ari, what I can tell you is that there has been plenty of testimony by pediatricians, by psychiatrists and other health care providers about the tremendous harm that is being caused on these children when they`re in detention centers with their parents like they have some here in Texas. Can you imagine now what it`s like for them if they are not there with their parents as is happening now under this zero-tolerance policy?

The harm we`re talking about is stunted growth, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions that linger the trauma for years and years into their lives. So yes the problems that this causes are tremendous both for the children and the parents. This policy is misguided as Victoria has pointed out. It`s cruel and I think that as Americans we should not tolerate this. This is a country where we value freedom, where we value civil rights, where we value the human beings, and yet we are now taking a lead in the world of acting as many other cases across the world in the Middle East, in North Africa, and other places where you have refugees all in encampments in tent cities and living in miserable conditions.

So regardless of what Trump says, it`s obvious as history`s regarding not only federal law as was pointed out by Victoria for asylum seekers but also international law. And the spokesperson for the United Nations has already indicated that this is just not a normal way of treating --

MELBER: Right. Natalia, you`re nodding. Go ahead.

CORNELIO: I am nodding. This is absolutely a violation of international human rights law. And actually, the way that the Texas Civil Rights Project got involved in this was filing a petition on behalf of five persons that were separated -- five parents that were separated from their kids asking the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights to order that they be reunited exactly in the way that Senator Rodriguez just described. This is absolutely a violation of human rights laws, not just a violation of the rights of the parents but of these children.

MELBER: And Victoria briefly, do you think when people see what`s really going on they will see the sickness that`s being perpetrated in the name of the U.S. government?

DEFRANCESCO: Yes. And that`s why we have to keep pushing to get more access into these facilities because when it`s blinded by the doors keeping the media out, keeping non-profit organizations that want to seek to help out these children, we don`t have that knowledge to push for these changes.

In the last couple of days, we`ve seen more coverage of this and this is helping in the effort to stop this horrendous heart-wrenching process. Senator Rodriguez, Professor DeFrancesco and Natalia Cornelio, thanks to each of you. We will stay on the story. Up ahead Donald Trump talking about what he wishes he had in common with North Korea`s dictator. What? But up next, if it`s Friday and after a week like this, you bet, it`s time to fall back together.


MELBER: It`s Friday on THE BEAT, you can hear the laughter already, you know what that means it`s time to fall back. And right back on "FALLBACK FRIDAY" you`ve seen them before, radio legend duo Bobbito Garcia and Stretch Armstrong. You remember Stretch and Bobbito, a show in the 90s that launched stars like Jay-Z, Nas, and Eminem. Bobbito has a new documentary, Rock Rubber 45s coming out this month.

And joining this ridiculous duo, Adam Met from the group AJR. They`ve got a song on the number one alternative section of Billboard, another song that was made the official anthem for March For Our Lives. Congratulations on that. I should mention, you have a master`s in Constitutional Religious Law.


MELBER: So you are bringing the music and the law.

MET: Yes, yes.

MELBER: So I bring the law and I pretend to bring the music. You are doing what some of us pretend to do. This is as always a new thing, a new mix. I`m really glad to have you guys and all of you are doing interesting things. Bobbito, who needs to fall back?

BOBBITO GARCIA, DJ: Wow. Well, you know, I`m always -- I came with 15 ideas today and I has like whittle it down to two. The first one is an aioli sauce.


STRETCH ARMSTRONG, DJ: OK. Take it on the big issues. What is an aioli first of all?

MELBER: I don`t know.

GARCIA: I grew up very humble as you`ll find out in my documentary Rock Rubber 45s. You know, I only knew like one lettuce growing up, iceberg. And even though it was called iceberg --

MELBER: Iceberg ice krill.

GARCIA: -- as I get older there`s like (INAUDIBLE) spinach, all right cool. Options, I`m happy. I`m not a fan of condiments. I don`t like mayo on my sandwiches on, I don`t like mustard on my sandwiches. I`ve been all these restaurants --

MELBER: Can I ask you a question?

GARCIA: No, no, time out.

MELBER: Let me ask you a question.


MELBER: I got a question for you. Are you secretly 85?

GARCIA: That`s what you said.

MELBER: You sound like the 85-year-old in a Brooklyn diner --


MELBER: And Jewish.

GARCIA: Look, I go to restaurant. I just want options. Can you put the aioli sauce on the side? Why is it already embedded in my sandwich? I go to these nice spots --

MELBER: Do you think it`s a conspiracy?

GARCIA: No, I just -- I just is cats like him and cats that you didn`t like -- really like aioli sauce. I never heard of it 25 years ago.

MELBER: Can I say something and I`ve never had to say this on the show before.


MELBER: You don`t know me like that. You`re trying to say that I`m like artisanal, you don`t know me like. I`m a sneakers guy. I keep it real simple. Who needs to fall back, Stretch?

ARMSTRONG: Wow, I think our former Mayor Rudy Giuliani needs to fall back. Well, can I say -- can I name that to be crawl back. Yes, I mean his re- emergence on the national stage is this really excellent particularly for us native New Yorkers who remember what a disgraceful mayor he was. And I actually brought something from the 90s when he was harassing street vendors and street artists and --

MELBER: Show and tell.

ARMSTRONG: -- and guys trying to sell books. Remember that?

MELBER: What is this? We got it.

ARMSTRONG: This is -- this is a painting by Rob Letterman and that`s been on my wall since the 90s and it`s as relevant as ever today as ever was in the past.

MELBER: This is special. I`ve never gotten up. You keep telling us. So this is back when he was very controversial just as a mayor.

ARMSTRONG: Exactly, yes. You know, his authoritarian tendencies were we`re starting to come out and --

MELBER: And you`re seeing that in his -- in his defense of the President as well, you feel?

ARMSTRONG: Yes, I mean it`s -- and it`s you know, it`s like post- traumatic stress for New Yorkers when he do it back in the day.

MELBER: Adam, who needs to fall back?

MET: Hashtags. Hashtags need to fall back. They are extremely important for organizing and mobilizing movements like March For Our Lives but there are so many problems with it you know. Are you guys familiar with like Love and Hip Hop the T.V. show?

ARMSTRONG: I know -- I know Ari`s look.


MET: Like if you go on Twitter, it`s always the number one trending thing. You know, if you see that there are like 200,000 retweets about Love and Hip Hop, that makes you kind of think like that`s the thing you should be looking at.

MELBER: Right.

MET: There`s so many more important things to be looking at like our President separating children from their families at the border, or saying that we need to stand in line and listen to him --

MELBER: I got to tell you, I think that was -- hashtag a great point.

MET: Thank you.

ARMSTRONG: Hashtag aioli.

MELBER: Hashtag so quiet after the jokes. I have something to bring up, which is when we had Stretch come on the show, he was like I won`t go on without Bobbito. We got you on together and then we can show you some of that. The two of you guys came on with Vic Mensa, Bill Kristol. Then here, you came on alone. This is you. We said you want to come on, Stretch can`t make it, and you were like I`m fine with that. I`m ready to go. And so I`m wondering if this is a one-way relationship and we -- I think we have some footage that I want you to watch this, Bobbito. We have some footage of how Bobbito has been treating you. Is this a new show? Is this is a real T.V. show?

ARMSTRONG: Way more fun.

MELBER: My real fall back is Scott Pruitt lotion gate. He needs to stop being an ethical disaster and also sending security guards to buy lotion. That`s my fall back. What were you going to say Stretch?

ARMSTRONG: I was going to go back to the first time I was in the show where you threw me under the bus. My look in the 90s was your fall back, and I -- and I was --

MELBER: And we said you look great now.

ARMSTRONG: Yes, but I was coming -- I was coming for you tonight and your producers told me I couldn`t because people have been going at you too hard.

MELBER: Only because we don`t want to be a thing where I`m always getting told to fall back. I was told to fall back for a homework last Friday.

ARMSTRONG: I`m just saying you were protected.

MELBER: We`re going to fit in a break. Thank you. An incredible panel. We`ll be right back with more.


MELBER: Donald Trump`s bromance with the dictator of North Korea is getting even more intense. Look at what he said on Fox.


TRUMP: He`s the head of a country and I mean, he`s the strong head. Don`t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.


MELBER: Some of those people pay attention because of all the murders in North Korea. Now when pressed on this, Trump says he`s joking.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you mean just now when you said you wished Americans would sit up at attention when you speak?

TRUMP: I`m kidding. You don`t understand sarcasm? Wait, who you with? You`re with CNN? You`re the worst.


MELBER: Who you with? Trump wants to know. Kidding? Was he also kidding or being sarcastic when he literally saluted the dictator? You cannot make it up.


MELBER: We recently talked to the deejays from the top rap show in the country Hot 97`s Ebro in the Morning and part of our conversation that we haven`t aired yet included Ebro`s criticism of how he thinks Trump views Black athletes.


EBRO DARDEN, DJ: Just a reminder how much power you don`t have. You have money but you don`t have power. We`re giving you some money so that you can do this job and entertain us. Use your body like you always have black men to entertain us. But as soon as you want to use your mind and your words to speak out, now we all have a problem.


MELBER: There`s much more of that political discussion that we`re posting exclusively on our podcast. Now, DJ Ebro also brought something up that some of you have asked about, does our show have a music playlist. Yes, we do. And we talked about that on his radio show. He went over some of the highlights.


DARDEN: I would also say that it`s very diverse, everything from Kiko Bun if you know that out in U.K. all the way to James Brown, Dilated Peoples, Gangstar. I mean, listen, DMX is on here --

PETER ROSENBERG, DJ: It`s a great playlist.

DARDEN: Lauryn Hill, Phony Ppl on here. He`s doing his New York research there.


MELBER: Most of you are here for news but if you are into the music, we did just launached a music playlist on Spotify. Check out THE BEAT`s playlist. You can see there some of our favorite artists and guests. And for more of the interview with Ebro in the Morning, we`re posting the entire political discussion on THE BEAT podcast where we put exclusive content that you won`t see on the T.V. show and we post that every weekend. That`s our show. "HARDBALL" starts now.


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