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Mounting criticism of Trump from cultural leaders. TRANSCRIPT: 06/18/2018. The Beat with Ari Melber

Guests: Mara Gay; Heather McGee; Janet Murguia; Morgan Pehme; Eric Swalwell, Dre, Cool, Danielle Belton, Kamala Harris

Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: June 18, 2018 Guest: Mara Gay; Heather McGee; Janet Murguia; Morgan Pehme; Eric Swalwell, Dre, Cool, Danielle Belton, Kamala Harris

KATY TUR, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Guys, thank you so much. Since we are hashing this hour with us. We appreciate it.

And we will be back tomorrow with more MTP DAILY.

THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER starts right now.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Hi, Katy. Thank you very much. Always good to see you.

On tonight`s show, I will be joined live by senator Kamala Harris on this breaking news including new audio of crying kids inside one of these Trump detention centers and her call to end this policy.

Also ahead, Trump adviser Roger Stone now exposed for a previously never disclosed meeting with a new Russian, one we have never heard about before offering, yes, dirt on Hillary Clinton.

We also have an update later in the show on what it was like for Paul Manafort in his first week in jail.

And a look at the politics in a very big new album from Beyonce and Jay-Z.

So a lot tonight. Before we get to any of that and before we even look at the battle in Washington which Katy was just mentioning, some jostling between politicians, we begin with our the top story on the actual people, the children suffering under Donald Trump`s policy of splitting families at the border.

The Trump administration has been lying about this policy and downplaying the deliberate child abuse that operates at the core. And tonight I can tell through is newly leaked audio. This was obtained by the news outlet Pro-Publica. And it reveals part of how this policy works. How it sounds as these children are split from their parents by the U.S. government.

Now when we got there in the newsroom today, we all took a little bit of a collective gasp even though we, of course, know the facts of this thing. What you are about to hear is disturbing, even gut wrenching. It is what no parent would ever want to imagine and what few, I think, would want the U.S. to do deliberately to children. It is hard to listen to and that gives you some sense of obviously how much harder it would be to live through but it is part of the facts tonight. In a way, it must be heard. And because there is brand new, as I say, we just got it, it is also seems like the kind of documentary audio evidence that many in the Trump administration don`t want the nation to hear.


MELBER: Those are the sounds of children crying for their parents in what we believe to be the first moments of their separation under the new Trump orders. And then you can hear again, there is we are airing it for the first time what sounds like a U.S. border agent mocking the sounds of those children.


MELBER: Then a child, the Pro-Publica describe as six years old is heard struggling to understand her new reality under these orders. She asks for her aunt to come pick her up.


MELBER: You can, of course, hear the sounds of some of the other children crying as this 6-year-old then continues to ask if there are some way her aunts can come and get her and she tells this agent that is detaining her that she has that phone number memorized.


MELBER: That is just a few moments of what this Trump order sounds like in the moments it`s enforced. If you think about this as a matter of humanity, that means everything you just heard is a human being. It could be your child or your friend`s child or your family`s child. By that standard I think for any person, it`s very hard to listen to. Who can defend this if this is what the policy sounds like? This is who.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s very strongly the Democrats` fault. They are obstruction. And it really obstructionists and they are obstructing. What is happening is so sad. It`s so sad. And it can be taken care of quickly, beautifully.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are not put in jail, of course. They are taken care of.


MELBER: I`m joined tonight by Heather McGee, president of Demos, Janet Murguia, president and CEO of Unidos U.S. which is one of the leading Latino civil rights group and Mara Gay from "the New York Times" editorial board.

Heather, your reaction?

HEATHER MCGEE, PRESIDENT, DEMOS: I mean, that audio is impossible to hear and not feel outrage and grief. I think this is a moment and we have known since Donald Trump came down the stairs calling Mexicans rapists and criminals. We have known that we as American citizens would be on watch. And we would have to hold the backbone and the character of this country. And I think this is one of those moments.

I have been stopped in airports, you know, contacted online, people mostly women, need to know what to do right now. And I think that`s the most important message that we can give right now is that this is a choice that is being made by the Trump administration with the complicity of the Republican Congress. Many members who are saying we are worried about this but it is absolutely within their power to pass a bill tonight and stop this. And there are an unprecedented number of people who are mobilizing into action. There will be actions coming, you know, with regularity, families every day families in this country going down to the border to stand vigil and to say that this is not who we want to be.

This is a moment for Americans to show what our values are. And we feel helpless. I think is a strong feeling that people keep communicating. I feel helpless, what can I do? But ultimately, the congressional switch board should not have a moment speaks because this is absolutely on the hands of Republicans on Washington.

MELBER: You say especially women, why is that?

MCGEE: It has been, you know, I mean, this is a moment of awakened political activism from women all over the country. And it has been since the elections, since the election of Donald Trump, since the women`s march. I`m on the board of an organization called Indivisible which, you know, moved millions of people into action. You just ask anyone that`s been predominantly women who have been -- it`s a record number of women running for office this year.

At the same time, you listen to those tapes. You look at those pictures. You think about the thing that becomes an overarching purpose for people once they have children and or once they have any children in their lives which is to keep them safe. And of course, the families, the women, the parents and the aunts and uncle who have already risked everything for their children to bring them to our borders and beg for asylum.

The idea that all of that would be for not as they have been ripped from their hands, it just goes to the core, I think, of our own shared humanity. And this is a moment when people are standing up for each other and our administration, this administration is doing exactly what it promised. This is a white nationalist agenda. This is Stephen Miller and Jeff Sessions saying we are using this as a deterrent for more people that are not part of our vision of America coming into this country.

MELBER: You say all that, and Mara, one of the reasons that the law and international human rights law is always recognized, obviously children differently, is that they are not adults. They don`t have the same responsibilities. They are more vulnerable. They are treated differently even when they do things wrong in juvenile justice. But certainly whether they are innocent individuals caught up in this.

And so, with that in mind, I do want to play a little more of this for you to listen to and we`ll talk about. How heartbreaking is it to listen to a child who in these newly leaked tapes obviously doesn`t even understand that they`re now in long term detention separated from their family. Take a listen to a little more.


MARA GAY, EDITORIAL BOARD, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Wow. I`m not ashamed to admit that it made me extremely emotional earlier. Look, it`s one of the saddest moments that we have seen in a long time. I think it says nothing about these immigrants who are coming, these children, it says a lot about us.

We don`t have a border crisis. I think actually what we have is a moral crisis as a country. And I think you are absolutely right. I mean I think we, the editorial board, we said this before. There is just as a reminder. I mean, call Congress. Register voters. I think that one of the things that the administration has done very well and that Trump`s tweets have done very well is create the sense of inevitability as though no one is really in charge. And as though decisions don`t matter. And that there aren`t real people at stake. This is a reality show.

And I think there are a lot of Americans who know this is wrong and are deeply, you know, feel very strongly about actually something being done about it. But they don`t know what to do. And the Trump administration is relying on their inaction and on their sense of helplessness. And I think this is a really great moment to double down on civic participation and on all of the ways that the Democratic traditions that are under attack. And that`s how you fight back. And that`s how you fight for the children.

MELBER: Janet?

JANET MURGUIA, PRESIDENT/CEO, UNIDOSUS: Well, what you are seeing here is in that audio manifesting the policy of separating families that is immoral and inhumane and indefensible. And despite President Trump`s effort to sew confusion and to outright lie about it, he and attorney general Sessions own this policy and own the power to end it. And we need to make that very clear.

We also need to understand that what we are seeing play out here is Trump`s efforts has he goes to the hill, as he engages Congress really carrying out a strategy that intends to hold these children as hostage for Congress to give him what he wants. The billions of dollars for his border wall and billions more dollars to create a mass deportation force.

And so, obviously, that is a morally bankrupt (ph) position. And we are seeing that play out. We do have the ability to push back on this. We need to make sure that Congress is held accountable in not funding these policies.

MELBER: Let me play for you secretary Nielsen today for your response.


KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We take allegations of mistreatment seriously. And I want to stress this point. We investigate. We hold those accountable when and if it should occur. We have some of the highest detention standards in the country. Claiming the children and their parents are treated inhumanely is not true.


MELBER: Your response?

MURGUIA: Well, she also said over the weekend that children weren`t being separated from their parents. And we that that is not true. We have seen this administration try to confuse. You have the President say it is the Democrats` fault. Sessions is saying that this is inspired biblically. Stephen Miller say and it is supposed to be a deterrent.

They are not owning the policy. But the reality is it lands squarely at their feet. And they have the power to end it. And we need to keep the public pressure on to that.

MELBER: Let me bring Heather on that point.

You know, secretary Nielsen said some of these things in her next congressional hearing. She could be brought up on perjury very likely because there are such blatant lies, knowing lies, obvious lies. And yet their lies stacked up against the administration also saying it is a deterrent which shows they also think this is a thing they are really doing on purpose.

MCGEE: We have actually heard reports for months now that they were going to do this. That they were looking for another way, a series of escalating anti-immigrant stances to activate their base which you have to remember Donald Trump`s entire campaign was really organized around this anti- immigrant rhetoric that con flats anyone who crosses the border with the kind of criminal who would be an MS-13 gang rape. That is the rhetorical move he makes.

I do just want to say that there is -- we can to something. I mean, I think your point, Mara, was really, really great that the part of his strategy is to make us feel like we are helpless. That`s exactly what, you know, women who have been stopping me on the street have said. We feel helpless.

There is a Web site,, that is the hashtag, that has been trending for almost a week now. I think later on today there is a big announcement about a huge action that every day Americans can take place -- can take part on January -- June 30th. Because this is one of those moments like the Muslim ban here in New York where people just wanted to go straight to the airports. People want to go to the site of the pain and bear witness as members of Congress have. But also just say that this is not who we want to be. And I think it`s really important that we remember we do have the power and there are great organizations helping make sure that our voices can be heard and organizing us into protest at this moment.

MELBER: Well, I think that`s right. I have to fit in a break.

MURGUIA: I just want to say that tomorrow at 11:00 all the national civil rights leaders are going to be convening on Capitol Hill to hold a press conference.

MELBER: And I have to go to Senator Harris. Janet, I have senator Kamala Harris waiting on this issue which is what I have to fit in that break.

Heather McGee, Janet Murguia and Mara Gay, thank you very much for this conversation.

Senator Kamala Harris does join me next. The DHS secretary under a lot of fire. We will get her view of that.

Also later, Roger Stone now says he does remember meeting with Russians who wanted millions of dollars for dirt on Hillary and how Paul Manafort spent that first weekend in jail.

And a look at the biggest thing in pop culture right now, later, Beyonce and Jay-Z including taking on Donald Trump.

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


MELBER: Here is what some Trump`s advisors are not telling investigators in the Russia probe.

Yes, they did do things and potentially collude with Russia in new ways, we are only learning about just now. But it all failed.

Take Trump confidant Roger Stone who is now offering that kind of defense, instead of his old defense.


ROGER STONE, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISOR: I have never been to Russia. I didn`t talk to anybody who was identifiably Russian during the two-year runoff to this campaign. I very definitely can think of anybody who might have been to Russia without my knowledge.

I never received any documents from the Russians or anybody representing them. I never had any contact with any of them.


MELBER: Now "the Washington Post" exposing a previously unreported stone contact in May 2016 with a new Russian self-identified as such offering dirt on Clinton in exchange for $2 million. So Stone now admits, well, they did talk. But he says he declined the offer and he actually thinks this man was part of an FBI sting. If you are counting, it puts the number of known contacts within Trump associates and Russians to 12. That would be a floor, not a ceiling. Stone both confirming this and saying he sort of forgot about it whether talking to Congress.


STONE: I had no memory of this. It was an innocuous exchange. This guy shows up wearing a mega hat and Trump t-shirt. He makes this offer. I decline. Nothing appropriate happened here. And I have now refreshed my memory and informed the committee.


MELBER: I`m joined by California congressman Eric Swalwell who serves on the House intelligence committee and participated directly in Stone`s closed door testimony in September.

Does this mean he was untruthful or incomplete with you?


Yes. I mean, come on. He was given months before being asked to come in and testify. His lawyers had had exchanges back and forth with our staff about what the questions were. They were explicitly and strictly around Russia. And yet, he and Mr. Caputo come in and both deny that these contacts took place.

These are not failures to remember. These are just outright lies. And we have seen this throughout an up and down the Trump team. They lie about prior contacts.

MELBER: What should happen to someone who lies to Congress?

SWALWELL: Well, it`s a criminal violation. They broke the law. But more importantly, you know, Bob Mueller, this is all the more reason you should be given more lanes, more runway to pursue this investigation. And for all the complaints I here that this investigation is taking too long, when you lie to investigators, when you tamper with witnesses as Paul Manafort is doing or you refuse to sit in the witness chair, even when given the questions, it is going to take a little longer.

MELBER: Do you think based on what we are seeing here in this new story, this is Roger Stone trying to get ahead of something that Mueller already has?

SWALWELL: You know, there is a theme we have seen among the Trump witnesses that they do try and get ahead of something. We saw this with the June 9th meeting. There was conversations among individuals who were in that Trump tower meeting knowing that the story was about to come out. And then their own versions started to make their way forward.

But, you know this is just another pattern among this Trump team. And it shows how irresponsible it was for us to prematurely end the investigation. But it also --

MELBER: So you think the Republicans did?

SWALWELL: Yes. The Republicans just wrapped it up and said nothing to see here. Or that these witnesses were worthy of being taken at their word and not worthy of us using our subpoena power.

So what I have done is I have written a bill that is called the duty to report. It says if you are running for office or a family member someone running for office or work on a federal campaign and someone approaches you with unsolicited dirt and there are agent of a foreign power, you have to tell the FBI. Too many people were approached and said nothing.

MELBER: Would it, in any way, concern you if this offer of dirt itself wasn`t real but an entirely an FBI concoction?

SWALWELL: You know, a lot of times they will use informants if they have an idea that, you know, this person is prone or susceptible --

MELBER: Would that concern you in this case?

SWALWELL: No. If they had evidence that individuals in the Trump team were eager and willing to work with Russians and they wanted to see how deep this ran, that`s just an investigative tactic. I have no reason at this point to believe that. I have every reason to believe that the Trump team was eager and willing to (INAUDIBLE).

MELBER: Well, stay with me. You are an expert on this and you have been in that room which is more than most people. But we do have someone here that knows Roger Stone even better than you.

SWALWELL: I watched his film.

MELBER: You did? All right. There is how -- this is where the homework prep spreads out. Morgan Pehme who our viewers may know was behind "Get Me Roger Stone." "Wall Street Journal`s" Shelby Holliday who actually reported on this new Roger Stone news. You see the headline there. That is the Shelby byline. What do you think as our stonologist (ph) about everything here?

MORGAN PEHME, DIRECTOR, GET ME ROGER STONE: You know, one of Stone`s rules is admit nothing, deny everything once counterattack. One of the other things I just really effectively --.

MELBER: Does that come or before after wear white with a tan suit?

PEHME: Yes, you know. Well, I see that. That is certainly President Trump`s playbook as well.

But, you know, Roger is also very adept at poisoning public opinion. During the 2016 campaign, he had campaign called stop the steal. And basically, the idea was if Donald Trump lost any of the primaries or he seemed in danger of losing the general election, well, the election was being stolen. So he headed that off preemptively.

Now, with this idea of witch-hunt that we have seen with both the President and with Roger Stone, this is very convenient. Of course, the FBI is trying to trap me because this is all of a witch-hunt.

And so, that is a way of heading off this very, you know, clear criticism that Roger has been consistently untruthful about his meetings involving, you know, possible Russian inclusion.

MELBER: I want to, Shelby, I want to run by one of the other really stupid defense that we are hearing a lot. You know, if you are an accused gang member, you don`t get very far saying well, yes, I was in the gang. I worked really hard at it. But I wasn`t very good at it. I was a bad, you know, ineffective gang member. That doesn`t help that much. And yet, that is literally a part of the sort of the Giuliani defense to all this. Take a listen.


RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP`S LAWYER: It seems to me, however, whatever the recollection, differing recollections about this, it gets resolved with the fact that Stone did nothing about it. He came to the conclusion according to the Post that it was a waste of time. He and Greenberg came to the conclusion it was a waste of time.


SHELBY HOLLIDAY, REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: I don`t think that is what Congress was asking Stone though when he went to testify. They were not saying, did you meet with Russian? If it was really productive? They want to know about all these contacts with Russians.

I think one thing that Stone is very good about doing to your point about his counterattack, he is using the media. And if you look at what the information is coming out that he and Michael Caputo are putting out there, this is a very coordinated media effort to go forward and say that we were approached by this person. And we think he is an FBI informant.

Because if you remember, Michael Caput testified May 2nd. So there was a Website set up called Democrat dossier about 30 days ago. And since that testimony when he spoke to Mueller`s team, since then, they have created this big research document online laying out all of their theories about why this person was a FBI informant. And now, that that dossier is done and the research is done, they are coming forward to not only admit this meeting, but there is the counterattack and we think it was an FBI informant.

And I would also note that both of their lawyers sent letters to Devin Nunes on Friday. And I asked, why did you send it to Devin Nunes if he recused himself? And their point was, well, Devin Nunes has taken a lead role in investigating potential wrong doing with the FBI.

So they are necessarily alerting the whole committee. They see it as in alerting Nunes so that he could look into this matter.

MELBER: You mentioned Caputo. I mean, he, of course, set up some of this. He was on MSNBC today. To your point of strategy, take a look.


MICHAEL CAPUTO, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN AIDE: I didn`t recall a minute long telephone conversation. When the House asked me that, I believe I answered not that I recall. I recall this now.

TUR: Michael, one last question for you. Any other contacts with Russians? Any other meetings that you`re now remembering?

CAPUTO: Not that I recall.


MELBER: I mean, you see the smiling there. But not that I recall.

SWALWELL: Yes, I remember that final question. Again, it what so specific. This is the Russia investigation. You had so much time to prepare. And we are not talking about, you know, vendors that you met with who are Americans. We are talking about Russians. And most people can remember how many Russians they met with in their life because Russians just generally don`t engage on Capitol Hill. If you talk to former Presidential campaigns, they can all count on one hand how many Russians approached them during the campaign.

MELBER: And Shelby -- I have just one point here.

I mean, $2 million, congressman, is also something that would seem to bear on the mind. Because this is not a minor thing of do you want to run a pizzeria and hold a campaign event? This is somebody asking for two-mil. If it is too much is that the theory of the case, this was so expensive, they didn`t want it. How would you forget that?

SWALWELL: Yes. It is sticker shock. And boy, do they have a pretty good grasp of the details now, right. They had grasp of the details now that he now recalls everything. Because of course he recalled that the reason they are failing to tell us is because they were eager to work with the Russians. There is no innocent explanation for all these failures to recall whether is Don Jr., whether it is Michael Flynn, whether it is Roger Stone, it`s for a reason. And all the arrows keep pointing with the same direction.

This campaign, whether they were successful or not, a fail bank robbery is still an attempted bank robbery. That is still a crime. So whether they were successful or not, they wanted to work with the Russians.

MELBER: Right.

Congressman Swalwell, Morgan Pehme and Shelby Holliday, thanks to each of you.

Up ahead, there is a politics of the new album from Beyonce and Jay-Z. Two of the producers on that album join me. And we are learning even more about Paul Manafort`s first weekend in jail.

But also as promised, senator Kamal Harris calling on the homeland security secretary to do something very big. We will explain up ahead.


MELBER: Kamala Harris is calling on the Homeland Security Secretary to do something very big. We`ll explain up ahead.


MELBER: I mentioned earlier in the show that we are awaiting Senator Kamala Harris who is going to speak to us about the immigration crisis in Donald Trump`s policies. We are still hoping to make that happen. She has been slightly delayed by votes in Congress but I`m told she is efforting joining us so we hope to get to that within this hour but we`re delaying it for now. I wanted to tell you all that and turn to another important story. You know Donald Trump seems sometimes like the most culture obsessed president in modern times so it may be pretty painful for him to see so many cultural leaders blast him over everything from police brutality and NFL to what we`ve been discussing tonight this policy about splitting families at the border. And the biggest moment in the culture right now is definitely relevant to today`s politics. A rare joint album from the most famous power couple in music Beyonce and Jay-Z are is so big they`ve drawn strong reactions from Trump and Obama alike.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She can`t get anybody to go to rallies so she gets Jay-Z.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you like hip-hop?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who do you like?

OBAMA: You know, I got to admit lately I`ve been listening to a lot of Jay-Z. I mean, this new American Gangster album is tight.


MELBER: That`s Jay. As for Beyonce, she`s become more than a musician in American life, she`s often called on to embody America itself headlining the Super Bowl halftime show and joining the ranks of Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra to sing at a presidential inauguration.




MELBER: Now recently Beyonce and Jay have released their own albums documenting his cheating in the arc of their marriage. But now they`ve unleashed a joint album Everything Is Love that celebrates their journey. They literally sing can`t believe we made it. And if you have not seen this yet what you`re about to see which a lot of people are talking about is what it looks like when you take two works of art immerse them in more works of art to create a new work of art.


BEYONCE: Stack my money fast and go. Fast like a Lambo. I be jumping off the stage, ho. Gimme my check, put some respect on my check or pay me in equity, pay me in equity watch me reverse out of debt.


MELBER: This album tackles a wide range of issues. Beyonce touting the importance of generational wealth. She says her great-great-grandchildren will ensure a lot of brown children on your Forbes list. She packs all kinds of layers of references citing, in fact, a classic moment when a rapper demanded respect on his name.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, respect on my name.


MELBER: And she says give me my check, put some respect on my check or pay me an equity, pay me in equity. The first equity is about pay equity for women, the second is about getting more than a paycheck and getting paid in an equity ownership stake. Meanwhile, Jay-Z who campaigned for Obama when he was a senator using this new album to attack Trump`s hypocritical complaint that Jay uses swear words rapping, "your President tweeting about hov like he knows us. My road to the top was to take what you owe us. I give an F what that man Trump find vulgar, just look in my eyes when you toast us. Now for more on how this whole album came together, we turn to two people who produced four of the songs on the album Cool & Dre. They`ve worked with Jay-Z and Beyonce in Paris and have produced four other artists like Fat Joe, D.J. Khaled, and Lil Wayne. I`m also joined by Danielle Belton Editor-in-Chief of The Root. Thanks to everybody. Cool & Dre, everyone is talking about this. What was it like working on the album, what are your highlights and what should people who haven`t heard it yet know?

DRE, RECORD PRODUCER: Oh man, first of all, Ari, it`s good to be here in the show. It`s my favorite show on MSNBC.

MELBER: Thank you.

DRE: The album was amazing to work on. To be in the same with these two genius talent level artists, you know, arguably the best in both fields as far as Beyonce and Jay-Z was surreal, it was like a life-changing experience.


DRE: And this album is amazing, like you know it`s being received so well. We just -- we feel very fortunate to be a part of it.

MELBER: And go ahead both of you. Anything to add?

DRE: Cool, you got something to say.

COOL: Oh, yes, I mean, like Dre said, I mean, basically this -- we`ve been doing this for a long time and this experience is definitely something different. Just being in Paris and the way to have the studio set up, like they literally had owners boxes in the stadium so we`re like making music and looking to the-- looking to the right or to the left you see the stage we`re all lighting and all. It was just -- it was just a lot of inspiration to work off of. And you know, when they came in and then I heard the music and when they did their thing to it was just another level.

MELBER: Danielle what does this album mean particularly when you think of the role of Beyonce?

DANIELLE BELTON, EDITOR IN CHIEF, THE ROOT: Oh my goodness. It`s been so amazing just to watch her transformation over the years. When I think of the first Jay-Z and Beyonce collaboration that I loved which was Crazy In Love to now, the amount of growth that she`s made both as a singer the fact that she`s opened up her lives to us. Like these songs are autobiographical. It`s like almost like reading a book that`s set to music about her marriage, about her family, about her kids, it`s really poignant and I`m impressed by it.

MELBER: Take a listen. You mention autobiographical and this is something that people I think are both intrigued by but so hard to relate to how much of this is out there with their marriage. This was Jay-Z talking about it in a recent interview as therapy.


JAY-Z, RAPPER: We were using out with our art almost like a therapy session and we started making music together.


MELBER: What does it mean to women the way she`s dealt with the problems in their marriage?

BELTON: Well, I think it`s everywhere. So when you were someone as powerful and as beautifulness and as talented as Beyonce, it really humanizes her the fact that this is something that a lot of women go through where they`re in a long-term relationship a partner might stray and you have to decide whether you`re going to stay or even you`re going to go. Are you going to work on it and grow together or is it time to like split up and fall apart. And Beyonce obviously decided to double down on her marriage. She loves Jay like the kind of evident in every song and Jay loves her. Like the fact that -- Chris Richards with the Washington Post is a pop culture -- pop music critic there basically said they`re each other`s favorite rappers. Beyonce is you know, she`s spitting bars on this album and it`s incredible. And he writes that it`s easier to relate to Jay-Z because obviously, he`s a Beyonce fan too.

MELBER: He -- I believe he is a Beyonce fan.

BELTON: He`s hard-core.

MELBER: Dre, on that point because you guys -- you guys were in there as a part of this who in four songs is no small measure. I want to read one of the lines. This is -- this is from 713. You kept me up on the phone while you were away. You came back, I let you set the date, Nobu on the plate. I brought my dude to play a cool, my first foolish mistake. Do you have any insights into that exchange about their memories of their first date?

DRE: Yes, man. Yes, I remember like yesterday, Jay called us into the room to hear the song 713, and originally was just supposed to be like a hard club beat but Beyonce told him that she wanted to do like a hardcore love song so he pulled this record up. And when he cut it he`d callus into the studio to hear it and when we heard the verse before he did anything, he was like I`ve never ever spoke on how like me and Beyonce, how we met and anything. So he`s like this is going to be crazy. So when he let us hear it, he was just like, can you believe like I brought one of my homeboys to like our first date because I was trying to like play it cool.

COOL: That`s real.

MELBER: I mean, I`m no expert in cool and we have someone named Cool with us but I guess I`ll put the follow up to you, Cool. How would it ever be cool to bring a guy friend to a first date?

COOL: I mean, you know, it makes for a great song you know what I`m saying? But it was real, it was real and he was like you all brought my man just you know, to kind of like make things cool but it was the worst thing.

MELBER: Can you help us out? That`s not cool, wasn`t it?

BELTON: That`s hilarious. That has really humanizes Jay. Like that what`s so impressive about the last three albums by Jay-Z and Beyonce is that traditionally they`ve been such private people. They really kept how they felt about everything to themselves whether it was their marriage, were -- even in some cases their politics. And in the recent years they`ve really just let it all out there and put it out there in the open for the public to consume and to make a choice one way or the other about it and it`s super -- it`s so impressive and it`s so relatable. I`ve found it a lot easier to get into their music, their latter music than it was when I was younger when they were doing -- when Beyonce was doing much more pop like.

MELBER: When it was more about perfection.

BELTON: Exactly.

MELBER: Speak to -- speak to Danielle`s point Dre and whether you saw that in the way they approached the art or working with them on this album the idea that they`re now at a stage as parents, as business leaders where they`re more interested in discussing attainable imperfection that you can live with or that`s real than maybe I don`t know, fake perfection.

DRE: I mean, you know -- you know Jay and B, their music is always based in reality. That`s one thing we always appreciate about it them. But you know, the one thing we notice now is that they`re very, very conscious about you know, the power that they have, the influence they have and they want to make sure that the music they create now you know, has some positive lasting effects. And the one thing that we really respect about them, these guys, both of them, they have so much going on in their life. Just working with them as they prepared for the tour, the multitasking that they were doing was just unbelievable. Like you know, Jay-Z is running -- he`s running a Roc Nation Sports of Roc Nation and now Puma, and Beyonce is running Parkwood and all that and doing the tour together and still finding time to get in the studio four to three hours to cut music and you know, it`s --

MELBER: I got to -- I got to do what I did to an earlier guests and say Senator Kamala Harris is now I`m told seated so I got to get her in as well. We have a lot of important people. Cool & Dre as we say in the newsroom, big fan, so thanks for coming on. And Danielle Belton, thank you. Thanks to all of you. Up ahead, we go to this breaking news. Senator Kamala Harris is ready and she joins me in one minute.


MELBER: And I`m joined now by Senator Kamala Harris. Thank you for making time. I know you`ve been voting today so we`ve been awaiting what you wanted to say. First of all, tell me what you think should happen next as far as the trouble administration is concerned with the family separation policy.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: Well they need to end this policy. It is unconscionable, it is immoral, it is wrong, and it is unnecessary. And I think that there`s no question that it has become very evident to many, many people who have been watching the images that this is not reflective of who we are as a country and it`s got to stop, Ari. It`s just got to stop. Full stop, it`s got to stop.

MELBER: What do you think Secretary Nielsen should do at this point?

HARRIS: I think she should resign. I think she should resign. I think she is not equipped based on her conduct, based on the procedures and the policies that she is promulgating. I don`t think she is equipped to do the job the way that it needs to be done which is that there should be values that are at play that are consistent with who we say we are as Americans. The government should be in the business of keeping families together not tearing families apart and not tearing children from their parents, cases that we`ve heard of a child being breastfed and taken from their mother. They`re -- the horrible case of this father you know, right before Father`s Day who ended up committing suicide after his toddler was taken from him. This is unnecessary. It is something the administration visited upon themselves and they need to end it. And she has not had the courage or the ability to stand up and say you know what, I have the discretion and I`m going to exercise discretion in the right way that is reflective of the values of who we are as Americans. She needs to go.

MELBER: When she says as she repeated today from the White House podium there`s no family separation policy and there`s no abuse of the rights of children, is she lying?

HARRIS: I have asked these questions. I`ve been asking these questions of the Secretary`s both she and John Kelly and the Acting Secretary Duke since March of last year. And actually Duke who was acting at one moment, she said that they openly had been discussing this policy of separating these families -- separating these children from the parents and there have been countless people from the administration who have admitted that the purpose apparently of separating these families is to create deterrence against other immigrants coming to our shores. So clearly there is a policy that is at play and she might be mixing words but there is a very clear intent and they are carrying out the intent which is to separate these families and put these children in cages.

MELBER: I want to play for you this audio that`s leaked just recently late today courtesy of ProPublica. NBC has not independently verified it but you`ve probably heard about it. We played at the top of our broadcast. It is difficult to listen to but I wanted to get your response take a listen




MELBER: And Senator, since I know that you`re on an earpiece and you join us from voting, I`ll just read some of it on the translation. It`s children screaming for their parents saying -- asking for their father, their father, for the mother saying mommy, then a Border Patrol agent identified by ProPublica says well this is a quote orchestra here. We`re only missing a conductor. And another child then pleading oh when could my aunt come and pick me up? I have the number memorized, not even yet understanding what`s being done to them. Your response to this being what the policy looks like.

HARRIS: I mean, it`s heartbreaking, Ari. It`s heartbreaking and it`s unnecessary. You know, it`s really unconscionable. The American Medical Association, the Academy of Physicians and Pediatricians have all looked specifically at what`s happening with these children being separated from their parents and have documented and have projected potentially lifelong trauma being caused to these children. They are innocent. They are innocent and they`re being traumatized. Anyone who has parented a child or been a child. My god, the idea that we would be removing these babies from their parents and it`s not necessary. Ari, that`s the thing that is so outrageous and maybe even compelling about this it`s not necessary. The law does not require it and certainly, ethics and morals don`t require it. Why are they doing it? You know why they`re doing it? Because it is exactly what they told us they would do. You know, (INAUDIBLE) said that years ago.

People tell you who they are, listen the first time. They told us months ago that this would be a policy that they would pursue to create a disincentive, a deterrent for these folks and these families to come to our border. Many of whom are seeking asylum. Many of whom are fleeing the murder capitals of the world, murder capitals of the world, and this is what we`re doing. This is not reflective of who we are as a country and it has got to stop. It really has to stop. And they`ve got to stop playing politics with this issue, Ari. They`ve got -- at some point everybody has to say you know what, I`m going to draw a line somewhere and this is where I`m going to draw the line.

MELBER: Well, and it seems --

HARRIS: You know?

MELBER: Yes, I do and it seems some people are doing that I know tonight your calling as you just did on our air in no uncertain terms for the resignation of the DHS Secretary. Senator Harris, thank you for accommodating us between the votes.

HARRIS: Yes, thank you.

MELBER: I do appreciate your time tonight.

HARRIS: Thank you. Thank you.

MELBER: And still to come, Paul Manafort`s first weekend in jail. What happened? That`s next.


MELBER: We`re getting our first peek of what it looks like inside Paul Manafort`s first weekend in jail. He is behind bars after being credibly accused of witness tampering. So here`s how it works. He can meet a single visitor a week for half an hour only through a glass partition. Most of his calls are recorded and this is what Paul Manafort`s life will look like until his trial begins next month.



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