Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: June 20, 2018 Guest: Linda Sanchez; Rashad Robinson; Mike Lupica; Josh Robin, Erika Andiola, Julio Ricardo Varela, Donny Deutsch, Tony Schwartz
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: That`s all we have tonight. We will be back tomorrow with more MTP DAILY.
THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER starts now.
Good evening, Ari.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chuck.
If you have time for a question as our resident Washington expert and student of how things work. Things are changing a little bit tonight because of reaction around the country. I wonder why you think this is so different than so many other times this year where people have felt nothing matters.
TODD: Yes, look. It took almost the entire elected Republican Party against him. That`s what we found out. I say that, the entire elected Republican Party. I mean, whether it was Ted Cruz and Mark Meadows are saying it or Paul Ryan or Larry Hogan. I mean, you can go -- it was all through the spectrum. But it is the first guardrail that`s been erected by the party on Donald Trump. It is -- that`s a significant development.
MELBER: Right. And that`s not something for all of us who try to learn as we go because we can`t predict. I don`t know anyone would have predicted that that come on immigration.
TODD: Yes -- no. It tells you the power of pictures. The power of pictures adds a whole lot to a political debate. And that`s what it did here.
MELBER: Yes. Well, Chuck Todd, as always, thank you for the hand off.
We are going to continue looking at this story because it is a significant one. President Trump backing down on his own policy ripping migrant children away from their parents at the border.
Now, if you have been following this, you know the President has lied repeatedly about creating the policy, about how it works and we and many other reporters have covered those lies and called them out add such because there`s no other way to refer to it.
But today, this pressure got so great that Chuck and I were just discussing, Donald Trump did partly cave. You are looking at what that action looks like. He didn`t want to do that but he rushed out an order that he says will address part of this humanitarian crisis that the whole country now is pretty much been living through and watching.
The President also claiming what he did today under this pressure will ensure that are a lot of quote "happy people."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are signing an executive order I consider to be a very important executive order. It`s about keeping families together while at the same time being sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border. I didn`t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated. It`s a problem that`s gone on for many years as you know from many administration and we are working very hard on immigration. It`s been left out in the cold. I feel very strongly about it. I think anybody with a heart will feel strong about it. We are going to have a lot of happy people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: A lot of happy people. Now, the new order has only been in effect obviously for just a few hours. It`s too early to report out factually how border agents are going to apply each part of it.
On paper, though, we can tell you the order does change course by prioritizing that families remain together. That means at a basic levels, the kids will be detained with their parents, not deliberately split from them inside the United States. Now as for the camps the Trump administration has been erecting, and this wider zero tolerance policy on that, and this is important, on that, Donald Trump doubling down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We are keeping families together and this will solve that problem. At the same time we are keeping a very powerful border. And it continues to be a zero tolerance. We have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Zero tolerance. Those aren`t just buzz words. That is the language, the legal force in Jeff Sessions` memo which comes from the Trump administration. Trump also saying anybody with a heart would feel strongly about ripping kids and babies away from their parents. That`s what the President said today because he has gotten busted, he has gotten in trouble.
As Chuck was just reporting, he has been completely contradicted and rebuked by his own elected representatives in his party.
But I want you to know, because we tracked this, what else he has been saying. Here`s what he said yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally, which should happen, you have to take the children away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: You have to take the children away.
We don`t always know what Donald Trump thinks. This week, this past two weeks, perhaps, have been, for many people, a new low. But that is what he said you have to do. That was the position.
Today, he says he doesn`t like seeing that. And it was Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions and Secretary Nielsen who stood by this cruel policy and not only said this is what is necessary. That`s kind of a hard-headed debate but they went back many times to a word we have been reporting and exposing here, word that any time you hear it in this context should send chills down your spine and that word is deterrent. The idea of splitting up families would be a deterrent.
In other words, when you hear those reports of children crying of begging for their parents after being ripped away, that that is a goal of the policy. And so, as we report that Trump is changing course and that does mean something, we also report on what it means to have that cruel deterrence as a goal. What it means that the President has been lying about this.
He also said on process, you can`t change this by executive order, OK. Keep that in mind because the order he just signed, of course, is the opposite. Keep that in mind when you hear him say what he did today could have never been done this way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: All they have to do --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, you control both chambers of Congress.
TRUMP: No, the Democrats. By one vote, we don`t need it. You don`t need it in you need 60 votes. We have one vote -- excuse me. We need one vote. We have a one vote edge. We need 60. So we need ten votes. We can`t get them from the Democrats.
You can`t do it through an executive order.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: You can`t do it through an executive order. That was Donald Trump on the front lawn. For context, that is when he went out in the front lawn on the day that Paul Manafort was jailed. Donald Trump held that big distraction press conference and ended up saying you couldn`t do, well, what he just did tonight.
How did this happen? Well, one clue is pressure. Not just from the elected officials and the Republicans in Congress who eventually got there but it started, of course, somewhere else. Pressure from protest we have been seeing in local places often organic around the country. That, of course, helped strengthened what happens on the hill which responds on Capitol Hill, Democrats led and then Republicans joined and said this has to stop.
Opposition also, we are learning, from leaks inside Donald Trump`s own family. A family that, of course, has immigrants too. So what happens now, though, to the children who have already been separated under this policy which Donald Trump now says is regrettable and a bad thing? But what happens to them? How will they and their families be cared for or addressed with this new fix in place? And what will happen to the new families that are still being held in the detention centers under what the Trump administration says is a quote, zero tolerance policy.
I`m joined by California congressman Linda Sanchez. She is vice chair of the Democratic caucus. Erica Andiola, cofounder of a Dream Action Coalition. Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change which is the nation`s largest online racial justice organization with experience in organizing these kinds of issues. And Mike Lupica, a columnist for the New York Daily News and someone who has used his pen to criticize Donald Trump.
I could start anywhere but I think I will start with you Erica and ask in your view as someone who understands these issues that I think our audience with look to to get a sense of what this means? How much of a change is this executive order. Is it enough?
ERICA ANDIOLA, DACA RECIPIENT: Well I would say, you know, I heard him say anybody with a heart would agree with me. And I was say anybody with a heart, anybody with compassion would understand that keeping children in of a tent under 100 something degree weather in Texas with their parents is not OK. And so, yes, we want to keep families together. We want to make sure that people or children are being able to stay with their parents as they come and seek asylum and they come and seek for refuge but not in a tent. Not in detention. This is not OK. This is not enough.
MELBER: Congresswoman, same question to you.
REP. LINDA SANCHEZ (D), CALIFORNIA: Yes. Well, we have essentially traded one set of problems for another. Because now you are going to keep families together but in the kinds of detention centers that are not specifically -- don`t meet the specific requirements for housing children which means, you know, access to clean water and having enough toilets.
So you are not solving the problem. There is a 20-day cliff with this executive order as well. And what it is simply is to using these children and the pain of these families being separated as a bargaining chip for the immigration bills that the Republicans want to put on the floor this week.
It is simply a way to ratchet up the pressure to try to get the Republican Party, the Republican caucus members in line to pass a bill that is not a bipartisan bill and that ultimately ends up being a bill that`s bad for families.
MELBER: Mike Lupica, this is a reckoning. This is a time when the country is having a deeper conversation about the nation is, what we stand for. And Donald Trump partly folding tonight.
I think that`s significant because one thing we hear a lot from people even regardless of ideology is maybe nothing matters and what`s the difference or look to the next election. This is not about elections. This is not about politics in was about something to objectionable to so many people that voices were raised, the protests began and very quickly by the standards of Washington Donald Trump himself had to back off.
During that time we have seen what his most ardent defenders will do. Take a listen to what some of what has been kicking around the last few days for people who said even this was OK.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump is not gassing children. President Trump is not loading up train cars with illegal alien children and sending them to the death camps.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you come across or border without permission, you are an invader. There`s no other word.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It`s an entirely manufactured crisis. It`s entirely manufactured. It`s all about people attempting to invade our country, not immigrate here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Mike, what do you see happening there as we have a debate or discussion about how children are being deliberately abused and then you have people likening this to everything from World War II to a war time invasion?
MIKE LUPICA, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: You know, Ari, I wonder what all the who is in Woodville (ph) are saying now because they have to be in few retreat including all the people like Laura Ingraham who said this like summer camp.
This wasn`t about humanity today. This wasn`t about heart. This was a political calculus made by a President who happen to be in full retreat himself. And it will be interesting to listen to him tonight in Duluth, Minnesota when I guess he will expect people to carry him around the hall on his shoulders for overturning a policy that his people and he put in place.
And this starts with him, his incredibly shrinking attorney general and, I`m sorry, the secretary of homeland security who covered for him on this. She`s through. It may not be tomorrow and it may not be next week but her behavior in this thing was shameful as well.
RASHAD ROBINSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COLOR OF CHANGE: So you know, what I have to say about all this is, you know, this is not just about Donald Trump. It`s also about the enablers. And there is a whole set of enablers whether the Republicans in Congress who played hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil to everything that Donald Trump has done.
But what we have been looking at, really is focusing on the whole set of corporations that are now profiting off of this huge, you know, growth of the prison industrial complex at the border. The ways in which folks already started creating business plans for the food and the beds.
The way that big companies have been leveraging their technology and tools for ICE for a number of years like Microsoft, even as their employees have spoken out. The fact that greyhound has been allowing ICE agents to come on buses, racially profile people and not have warrants to get on those buses in the first place and greyhound is in violation of their own policies allowing that to happen.
There are a whole set of enablers that are looking at how they make money off of this. And as people who want to take action, there is going be actions taking place on the 30th in Washington, D.C., in cities around the country led by grass roots activist, more on July 2nd, and there`s ways in which we hold those businesses and corporations who every single day come in to our community to say buy our products and use our services and then now making money off the kidnapping and abuse of children.
MELBER: And Erica, take a listen to Trump`s former campaign manager which again joins the chorus of the way some people have been basically exposed in their sort of inhumanity as everyone else has been fairly gasp. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I read today about a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was taken from her mother and put in a gauge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you say (INAUDIBLE) to a 10-year-old with Down syndrome being taken from her mother? How dare you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How dare you? How absolutely dare you, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you feel that you owe an apology of any sort?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An apology. You know, I owe an apology to the children whose parents are putting them in a position that is forcing them to be separated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDIOLA: I just don`t understand, you know. I think it`s just devastating for me to know that people don`t understand why folks make this journey. People that are coming from Central America and some other countries like my family, we had to pay a lot of money. We had to ask for loans. We have to figure out how -- we sold everything we had. People sell everything they have. They make a huge journey from Guatemala, from Honduras, from anywhere they are coming from, to come to this country. And they are not doing it out of leisure. They are not doing it because they want to come and go to Disney Land. They are doing it because they are going through some tough situations in the country they were born.
And we, as a nation, we are saying, you know what, you are coming here, you are escaping about violence, you are escaping everything you are going through and we are going to put you in cage. And now, we are going throw your children in there with you so you can be there indefinitely.
You don`t even know when you are going to get out. It is just for me, I can`t even stand hearing that. That could be me. That could be my mother and I when we traveled to the United States 20 years ago. We did travel to the border. I could have been that child in detention. And all of a sudden I see my mother coming in to the detention with me not knowing when we are going to get out. How is that even better?
MELBER: Well, to your point, it could be any of us.
I mean, congresswoman, what do you see at the policy level given the talk we heard about Republicans coming to discover they are against parts of this? How is that informed by what people are feeling and discussing around the country? Because you don`t have to be a history buff to know that the odds are if you were born somewhere in the last 500 years you would probably be trying to get out of there. And a lot of countries had a lot of problems where depending on who is in charge and dictatorships and famine and wars, people are displaced. I mean, that is we are to be pretty obvious about (INAUDIBLE) ourselves. So how does that play out in Washington, your view at this point?
SANCHEZ: Sure. Well, it`s interesting to note that the pressure came from the bottom up. I mean, people started calling offices and weighing in and holding demonstrations and trying to create the political pressure on their elected representatives to do something to stop this.
And again, these people are not coming for vacation. They are fleeing threats of murder and violence and rape. They have a legal right to seek asylum and refuge in this country. And yet we have a President who completely put into place this whole policy and is now backtracking and saying, well, anybody with a heart can see that this is cruel.
Well, the fact of the matter is, our President is like the arsonist who starts the fire and then volunteers to help put it out so he can be the hero that saves the day. When from day one, it was his actions that caused this. And I think that people around the country have stood up and said this is not acceptable. These are not American values. This is inhumane. It`s cruel and we will not stand for it. And that`s why you see the President backtracking.
Now it`s curious because policy wise, Republicans are now starting to be uncomfortable with the whole idea of childhood separations. And yet, they are promoting two immigration bills that they hope to vote on this week that do more to harm families and keep them apart than, you know, what the President is doing now. It takes away protection from dreamers. It closes off avenues of family reunification. And people who have been standing in line for tenor 20 years to be reunited with their family --.
MELBER: And do you think those bills are more likely to pass at this point or less?
SANCHEZ: Well, it`s interesting to know because, you know, the President blames Democrats and yet we are never invited to the table to work out a bill. We have several bipartisan bills that I believe in my heart and soul if you put them up for a vote, they would pass with Republican support.
SANCHEZ: And yet, the two bills that we are talking about were completely drafted and they change hourly. They are completely drafted by the Republican caucus. No input from Democrats.
SANCHEZ: And they are calling these compromises. They are not compromises. They are compromises between the extreme right and the far right.
And again, it`s window dressing because these are not real reforms. They are not real relief. And I believe that there are several among the group that in the Republican caucus that like to tout that they are working on the immigration problem. They have completely sold out.
SANCHEZ: They have completely sold out the immigrant community.
MELBER: Congresswoman, yes. Thank you -- I want to thank you for joining us, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, Rashad Robinson, Mike Lupica.
Erica stay with us. There is another piece of reporting I want to get your views on.
Coming up, the reporter who found these migrant girls, this new footage, transferred under the cover of night in New York City. We are going to get into that.
Also, some tough questions about how these other children would be ever reunited with their parents.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She says that she is asked the Social worker not to tell her son that she has been deported because she wants her son to be happy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: In other news later in the show, Michael Cohen now reportedly angry that Donald Trump the billionaire, won`t pay a couple hundred thousand in legal bills. Donny Deutsch sat down with Michael Cohen with tell us about that.
And Tony Schwartz back at 30 Rock on Trump pushing the boundaries of moral leadership.
I`m Ari Melber. You are watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.
MELBER: Donald Trump saying he expects quote "happy people" today after he has partly backed down from his policy, splitting children from their parents. But for the more than 2,000 children who have already been separated under Trump`s policies, where the damage goes on.
NBC News speaking to a former -- to a Michigan foster mother carrying for five migrant children split from their parents.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of my children was separated from his father and just some signs of trauma are lack of sleep, real trouble with food, wanting to eat, no appetite, agitated, not calm, anxious. Always inquiring about the whereabouts of his father, when will he be able to connect with family when could he talk to them, and we were not able to take care of that or connect him because we didn`t have a phone number.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Now some of these children were taken thousands of miles from their parents and they arrived in new cities, even we are learning, under the cover of night and that includes Manhattan.
Reporter Josh Robin was tipped off that children were being brought to a foster last night. This was after midnight. But he went and got the footage you are seeing here. New York`s governor later confirming that the young people in this video are border migrants.
Josh is here to explain his reporting.
Now as Trump takes this victory happen lap, what about these kids? What about their parents? Many of whom maybe deported before any chance of unification. Well, they must not be in the group of people Donald Trump says are happy today.
And here is why a former ICE director says these kind of situations are avoidable and families should never have been split in the first place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN SANDWEG, FORMER ACTING ICE DIRECTOR UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA: Keep families together at almost all cost because once you separate those families, you run a serious risk of they never see each other again. When the children are separated from their parents, they are treated as unaccompanied minors. They go on a separate legal track than do the parents. The parents can be deported very quickly.
So now you have the parent back in Honduras or Guatemala and the child could be in a child care facilities somewhere in the United States thousands of miles from the border. It gets very hard for the federal government to coordinate and track the location of both people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: The reporter who exposed there story is Josh Robin. Overnight, he saw those young girls being taken to the foster services center. That is this footage you are seeing. And you may have seen it going viral today online. He joins me as well as Julio Ricardo Varela, cohost of political podcast in think and founder of the blog, Latino Rebels and Erica Andiola back with us.
Josh, how did you find this? What does it mean?
JOSH ROBIN, REPORTER: Well, we got a tip. I got a tip from a source and that another source confirming it telling me to show up at a facility that`s on Park Avenue but not the fancy Park Avenue. Park Avenue in east Harlem. We go there. And it`s dark and it doesn`t look like there`s anyone around. And we were waiting around. And then after midnight, shortly before 1:00, a car pulls up and a bunch of young girls come out and it was extremely mysterious.
And I think the importance of it is not that just that people recognize that this is happening but I think this is really the first time that we, as nation, have understood that this isn`t just a problem that is on the southern border. This is in other places --.
MELBER: Could you glean from being there how the treatment was, how the young women, young girls were doing? Did they seem confused? Did they seem upset? Had they sort of figured out just how go along with it? Could you glean anything from the ground there?
ROBIN: They seemed resigned. I mean, it was pretty astounding, you know. These were young girls, maybe seven, eight, nine years old. And it`s the middle of the night. And they were out. That were with some chaperons it appeared like. They didn`t seem particularly agitated. They really seemed resigned to it. They were put into a car afterwards. They went inside to this facility for about an hour and then emerged covered so as to conceal their identity.
MELBER: Yes, we are looking at some of that, I mean. And one can understand why that measure may be taken as they are loaded into this car but it`s also, you know, it is also children in New York under a black blanket, effectively.
ROBIN: Right. Although, you know, the images that we showed here in New York, we didn`t know their faces. We just felt it was important for New Yorkers to know that this is happening here. And indeed, in the wake of this, Mayor Bill de Blasio actually held a news conference. Or mayor de Blasio held a news conference and more information emerged which is that this center alone has 239 kids that they are processing who have been separated from their parents.
ROBIN: So this number 2,000 across the nation might be really low. The estimates here in the city or the state are 100 to 300. But if there`s 239 alone in center then it makes sense that there are more. And frankly, we are not getting information from the federal government.
MELBER: And what you are reporting there goes to, Erica, is I think two things. One, apart from the moral policy dimension of this if politics is local and people thinks of this something that only happens at the border, this reporting shows just how wrong that is.
If young people are being effectively orphaned by these Trump orders that is something that then has years of consequence not only for them but for every part of America that has to deal with it. Number two, reading from "The New York Times" reporting however these young people may appear in the moments on camera, the Times shows institution by the nature, warp these attachments of the children that they long for, that they need and they are then lifelong risk for cardiovascular and metal health disease risk, of course, lasting emotional problems. And expert at the times, the earlier they are out, the better.
Put that in a confection for us as tonight`s news is number one, Trump partly backing down on doing this. But number two, thousands of these kids in the situation. That continues.
ANDIOLA: This is a problem that it`s gone to a point where America has woken up and have said no. You are getting children ripped away from their parents. The fact is that we have already dealt with families central centers that we have already dealt with the shelters and places across the country that do house children, that do house entire families you know in detention. Even under the Obama administration, this was already happening. There was a much attention on it and now there is so I`m really -- my biggest hope is that we can make sure that all the outrage, all the people that are getting ready to go to march -- you know to March in the 30th and the second of July that they still show up and that yes perhaps there was -- there was a small change that happened because of the pressure but that we can still say you know what, this is not what we`re about, right?
And not only that, that we go to our local elected officials in places where there is detention centers, where there is jails or places that have children and there have families, and they have migrants that are -- that are detained there and for profit, completely for profit. And so this is the moment to continue to be loud about it and not let what Trump just did, y1ou know, make us think that this has gone away because it hasn`t.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Julio?
JULIO RICARDO VARELA, FOUNDER, LATINOREBELS.COM: Yes, I mean one of the things -- the other thing that I do want to bring up. Latino Rebels published an open letter from a counselor from the office of refugee resettlement. The person wish to remain anonymous but provided some very interesting information that now the ORRs are known, has to provide personal information to DHS about sponsors in the country who want to take some of these kids and bring them into their home. Now, you know, it could be a parent, it could be a sibling, it could be an auntie or uncle, but there`s a fear now that these sponsors, some of them might be undocumented and by giving this personal information to DHS and ICE, they`re also at risk of being deported. So what you`re seeing is not necessarily immigration as a humanitarian push, what you`re seeing in the Trump administration is pure enforcement and it`s happening not just in DHS or in ICE but it`s happening in places like the ORR which is known to you know they`re known to bring in kids to take care of them but now you`re seeing that those are the things that aren`t being talked about.
You know, that that`s a big thing that -- the big question that I have in all this, Ari, is where -- you know, how are we tracking the rest of these families? Like where are they going? We`ve already heard stories of parents in Central America who can`t find their kids in the United States and this is 2018. And I`ll -- and I`ll leave you with this. This is just the latest example of the United States policy that has been going on for decades of terrorizing and basically criminalizing an entire population of Central American and Mexican -- you know, Mexican people and this is a big problem.
MELBER: Well, you`re raising -- you`re raising the profound moral question if we talk about moral leadership. When the President of the United States comes out today and says this is a terrible thing that needs to stop, then what is the moral obligation of him and then of us to deal with this terrible thing that has been done to these children, many effectively orphaned by government policy. This is -- this is real life. Julio Ricardo Varela, Erika Andiola and Josh Robin, thanks to each of you for your thoughts, for your reporting. Up ahead on THE BEAT, Donald Trump as we`ve been reporting talks about what he`s changing and we all reflect on what we`ve been through in these horrifying days. Donald Trump`s former co-author of the Art of the Deal Tony Schwartz says this is actually what Trump wanted. He`ll explain and he has the insights to back it up. Also back over in the Mueller probe, Michael Cohen, is he getting ready to flip? New reporting from Cohen`s associates say maybe and we actually have one of his closest confidants here. I`m going to question him. That`s next
MELBER: Welcome back. I`ve got a big guest for a new topic. Donny Deutsch. You may know him as a "MORNING JOE" panelist and MSNBC Analyst but he`s also actually a longtime associate if I can use that word, Donny, of Michael Cohen.
DONNY DEUTSCH, MSNBC ANALYST: Friends.
DEUTSCH: Associate means we`re doing business together.
MELBER: Friendship. A friend and that makes him really the right guest to have on a day like this. The Wall Street Journal is reporting just within the last hour that the publisher of the National Enquirer now subpoenaed in the Michael Cohen probe, Cohen also resigning from his post on the Republican Party`s Finance Committee citing the Special Counsel investigation. All of this while Cohen reportedly wants Donald Trump to fork over some bucks for his legal bills saying he owes him after years of loyalty. Now, just think about where we are at. Donald Trump claims to be worth over $10 billion, Michael Cohen lives in a $9 million home and the two of them effectively apparently fighting over hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Either somebody`s not as rich as he claims or we`ve got people who are willing to risk the whole case over a tiny slice of what they`re worth. Now, Donny Deutsch, his words are of course worth their weight in gold. He spoke to Michael Cohen as recently as today and has spoken before about this case.
DEUTSCH: Yes, I spent some time with Michael today. Michael, his words to me, he`s loyal. He says I`d rather jump out of a building than turn on Donald Trump. I spoke with Michael Cohen yesterday and his court about Giuliani wasn`t always talking about.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re Michael Cohen`s friend, how`s he doing?
DEUTSCH: He`s OK. I spent about an hour with him yesterday and I spoke to him today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEUTSCH: Friend -- FOC.
MELBER: Friend of Cohen.
DEUTSCH: You know, it`s interesting he and I have a complicated relationship and that anybody who watches (INAUDIBLE) knows how I feel about Trump his boss, ardent, an everyday Trumper. And it`s been a complicated friendship because Michael and I, we`ve been friends all along. We go back 15 years my friendship with him. And you know, I`ve tried to kind of help him in a way and always my advice to him is the same as if he had been working for any president. At the end of the day, Michael is going to have to do what`s best for his family because certainly, he does not have a loyalist on the other side of the equation.
MELBER: Do you think today he understands that more than previously?
DEUTSCH: I think every day he`s understood it more and more and I think you know, you`re -- the way you kind of frame the issue about the payments, that`s not what they`re fighting, Ari. I think Trump has stepped aside from paying because I think he wants the assumption being. Well, none of this is my gig. You know, if he`s pay -- if it gets out that he`s paying for it, well then he can`t say I have nothing to do with this. And Michael also switched lawyers because his previous lawyers were very good for the day to dump and I think he`s got the right lawyers in terms of --
MELBER: The right lawyers for what? Because sometimes you want the right lawyers to fight and sometimes you want the right lawyers to find a solution.
DEUTSCH: Either way. I would be hiring a lawyer who knows what`s going on. So he hired a guy who was running the Criminal Division the Southern District for a couple years. So either way, you`re going to want that lawyer.
MELBER: Let`s put it down like this. Most federal cases don`t end in a trial.
MELBER: They end in some sort of cooperation.
MELBER: That doesn`t presuppose that you always have the goods on everyone else but do you think Michael Cohen is in that mindset -- today you spoke to him -- where he might cooperate?
DEUTSCH: I`m going to speak for what I think, not for what Michael Cohen - - you know, I believe at the end of the day Michael Cohen is going to do -- and I`ve said this before -- what you would do, what I would do, to do what`s best for him and his family. If there was any morsel of -- because my early talks he`s sorted in there was he would talk like this is -- I could never be that guy, I could never turn. And I wondered, I`ve asked Michael over and over, doesn`t Trump get it? He knows what you have. No secrets.
MELBER: What might he have?
DEUTSCH: He would have the things that you would have if you were a guy`s lawyer, right-hand lawyer, confidant for 10 and 15 years and from a guy who was doing business the way Trump was doing business, and everything we know. So you know Trump`s articulation of their relationship where he wasn`t really -- there was never time I called or spoke to Donald by anything where Michael Cohen didn`t to a follow-up, Michael Cohen didn`t do -- the boss is upset, why don`t you call him and try and makeup. So it was a very personal relationship. Also, he was an extended member of the family so it`s a complete lie and from part to say that they did not have this very symbiotic relation.
HAYES: Do you think that these much-anticipated recordings that Michael Cohen was known to make will make only Michael Cohen potentially look bad or could they make Donald Trump look bad.
DEUTSCH: I think didn`t make Donald Trump look good. You know, that`s my opinion. I believe that Michael Cohen, whatever comes out -- I don`t think Michael Cohen was any of the stuff that Mueller has been looking at or the Southern District. I don`t think that whatever Mueller -- whatever Cohen did, whatever -- if he did break the law, it was on behalf of Donald Trump, it wasn`t on behalf of Michael Cohen. And I think that`s -- no, no, but that`s --
MELBER: This is what`s so strange. You hear the sentence that comes out of your mouth. If he broke the law, he did it for Trump.
DEUTSCH: Which is absurd in itself. First of all, hasn`t been charged. This thing about Michael is --
MELBER: No, he hasn`t been charged.
DEUTSCH: What he`s so frustrated about, you know, he`s -- if you know Michael, Michael is a guy who wants to get it into a fight.
MELBER: Sure. I do know that.
DEUTSCH: And he keeps saying look everybody`s (INAUDIBLE) I haven`t been charged with anything. I`ve cooperated with everybody in a way that other people have not and let`s wait to see what happens. And he -- you know, I pressed him a lot. I said, Michael, they`ve got three million documents, they`re not coming to you for no reason. What do they have?
MELBER: Well, Jay -- let me ask you a final question. Jay Goldberg who knows the whole situation and was a Trump`s lawyer before Cohen came on television and said maybe Cohen was really the fixer to help deal with real estate mob --
DEUTSCH: I think that`s a complete fabrication. I think he was way off on that and as Michael and I have talked a lot. I think whatever comes out involving Michael will have to do with what -- with some Stormy Daniels things possibly. Possibly there`ll be some missing links to solve the problem with Russia. I don`t think it`s going to be a new oh my god, he`s working with the Genovese crime family.
MELBER: Problems with Russia though.
DEUTSCH: You know, I think at the end of the day, anybody can corroborate, it`s going to be that guy. It`s a fantasy to think that anything that Donald Trump did that Michael Cohen didn`t know about. And if I was Donald Trump, and this is me speaking not Michael Cohen, I would be very worried right now, very worried.
MELBER: You almost sound like someone who knows something.
DEUTSCH: I`m just an analytical kind of guy as you know. You know, you and I, we like to you know think about things and analyze things so I -- you know, I everything I know about the universe and everything I believe about humanity and I would be -- I would be surprised if Michael Cohen doesn`t end up a very pivotal character in U.S. history.
MELBER: Well, it`s fascinating given your access. You are an analyst, you`re also someone who if you don`t mind me saying is able to match your glasses to your tie and not everyone knows how to do that.
DEUTSCH: You know what`s interesting, Ari. I was getting -- I was spiffed up tonight and I was like, wow. Look at that. It`s so cool, right?
MELBER: Yes, it`s a match. It`s a match.
DEUTSCH: I like that you know what the Fashion Police notices.
MELBER: We`ll get you on with Andre Leon Talley on a lighter news day. Donny Deutsch, first time on THE BEAT. We appreciate it. Up ahead a man who`s known Donald Trump for decades says Trump is pushing boundaries on the morality of hurting children on purpose. Tony Schwartz is here next.
MELBER: Here`s a news lead we don`t always say. Tonight, the President backed off one of his most controversial policies under pressure, splitting kids from their parents, housing them in cages, the backlash from critics who said this is beyond the pale. Now Art of the Deal Co-Author Tony Schwartz says that`s actually the point arguing Trump likes to test boundaries to see what he can get away with and it`s related to all sorts of other Trump issues that he`s facing including Mueller and whether Trump feels empowered enough to test that boundary. Now we just spoke with Tony, he`s also CEO of the Energy Group and the Author of The Way We Work Isn`t Working. And he told me in the context of everything happening tonight that this also relates back to that North Korean dictator meeting in Singapore.
TONY SCHWARTZ, CEO, THE ENERGY GROUP: I think something really significant happened in Singapore that doesn`t have to do with any good outcome and that is that Trump stood with this guy and envied him deeply because this is a guy who people do as Trump said stand up and pay attention to and stand at attention. And I think Trump is continuously you know, in a way that`s a little bit stealth every day trying to push to see what can he get away with because his goal, his aim, I am now absolutely convinced is to be able to be the American Kim Jong-un.
MELBER: So you`re speaking very deeply to what is often known as the authoritarian mindset which invokes the state to abuse, to use violence, to create human conditions that otherwise would not -- would not last. You mentioned that Donald Trump openly talking about this. Let`s take a look at that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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 stood up at attention. I want my people to do the same.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHWARTZ: If you think that there`s any way that it fits into really almost anyone sense of decency to say something so praiseworthy of a man who has killed, who has murdered hundreds of thousands of people. And what it speaks to is what I`ve often said before. This is a sociopathic personality. He doesn`t have a conscience. So it doesn`t even occur to him literally that there`s something inappropriate much less crazy about saying what he has.
MELBER: How do you reconcile that with the number of people who even if they don`t endorse everything that he says say they like that he`s willing to break things and to break decorum and they have separate beef with the failures of an establishment in the United States, in the economy, in the media, in the political system that has its own failures and yet that doesn`t mean endorsing human rights abuses, there are other ways you could be a disrupter.
SCHWARTZ: Well, it`s really -- you know, it`s really a question of whether we think that those people in positions of leadership not only need to have our ideological interests at heart but also to have character and to stand for something. And I think I`m sorry to say that one thing it speaks to is that a significant percentage of the population certainly up there near 40 are deeply ignorant about what is really going on and what the potential consequences of this. We`ve never lived under a dictator so Americans have no idea what it means to have their freedom curtailed. They have no idea what it means to have people show up in the middle of the night and drag their family members off. Actually, they`re starting to because with the immigration situation. But generally speaking, we have no idea how extreme that is and how hideous that would be to live in a country like that. So you have a kind of -- a kind of blind support for Trump that I think is grounded in the feeling that the world is out of control. Many, many people feel that they do not have any control in their life and that somehow this man who tells you over and over he`s in charge, he`s tough, he`s in control summons an emotion that overwhelms rationality and logic.
MELBER: So this is the darkest point I think you`re raising is the emotional abuse and consequence that is being deployed against these children itself secretly appealing to some people.
SCHWARTZ: Yes, exactly. It`s an emotional juice interestingly of not just those children and their parents but of us. Because if we`re going to lower our standards to the level where we say literally the end -- the end justifies the means to the extent that we can have kids lying on concrete floors separated from their parents, are we really even then human beings? Is that really different? It`s actually almost worse than you can imagine in the animal kingdom. So we`re being dragged down. Our collective mental health and our characters being dragged down in a way that I think certainly in my lifetime is unprecedented.
MELBER: Yes. Tony Schwartz, thank you as always for being here.
SCHWARTZ: Thank you.
MELBER: Michael Cohen`s friend Donny Deutsch just moments ago on THE BEAT tonight dropped an intriguing hint about what he calls missing links in the Russia probe and what Cohen might say to investigators.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEUTSCH: I think whatever comes out involving Michael will have to do with what -- with some Stormy Daniels things possibly. Perhaps there`ll be some missing links to solve the problem with Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Missing links. Only he and maybe Michael Cohen knows what that means. We will be right back.
MELBER: A lot of news today on immigration crisis and a lot more to come as we try to figure out exactly what this new executive order will do and we have a lot of reporting tonight. THE BEAT is over. I`ll see you back here at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews is up next.
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