Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: June 22, 2018 Guest: Howard Dean, Ralph Peters, DJ Jazzy Joyce, Maya Wiley, Karamo Brown, Michael Avenatti; Lucero Ortiz
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: We are just learning how the Trump administration is plotting to punch back after the President partly folded on the border cries this week. A secret memo leaking. And it exposes plans for new detention camps for over 100,000 migrants at military bases across the country. It memo reveals the administration`s state of mine and Donald Trump break for this own party on hill saying plans for an immigration reform bill next week are a waste. And I have this story coming up.
Plus a FOX whistleblower will join me live to expose what he calls propaganda that`s hurting our democracy. That`s also ahead.
But we begin with one of the stranger hail Mary as we have ever seen as the pressure builds in the Mueller probe. Trump`s Lawyer, Michael Cohen, is locking arms with, get this, one of Trump`s celebrity enemies. This move comes amidst a new ruling tonight in the fed`s scorched earth effort to gather every last document text and audio recording from Cohen`s offices. This is a strange and pivotal time for Michael Cohen. What he does could literally impact the entire Trump presidency. So we are going to turn first live tonight to the lawyer who tangled with Cohen from the start and who predicted part of his demise.
Michael Avenatti is my live guest tonight. And I have big questions for Michael. Now that is in a moment. Here is the context. Tom Arnold is a Trump critic who is now spending part of his career trying to either catch or torment Donald Trump. He has new project launched to get damaging tapes on Trump. And Cohen deciding to share this provocative photo.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t worry. Tom Arnold is on it. And I`m Tom Arnold.
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MELBER: Arnold saying tonight that Cohen did talk to him for his new show, hunting Trump. And he adds quote "this dude has all the tapes. This dude has everything and it`s on. I hope Trump sees the picture of me and Michael Cohen and it haunts his dreams."
Now Moments ago Nicolle Wallace asked Arnold if Cohen had given him any tapes.
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NICOLE WALLACE, TV HOST: We know what was seized from his offices included audio and recordings. Did he promise to share those with you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To share with me? Oh, Michael Cohen first of all does not work for vice. I want to make that clear. He is not getting any money. He is probably broke. I shouldn`t even say that. Michael Cohen did not make any promises with me.
WALLACE: But you are working on it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I would love it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: They are working on it. Now the pressure is building on Cohen, which goes to why he may be engaging in any of this. New reporting that "the National Enquirer" tabloid would actually send Cohen`s stories about Trump in advance of publication. That`s something no news outlet is supposed to do. This was during the height of the 2016 campaign and then would change them on Cohen`s request. This includes stories that would hammer Clinton like getting stories about her health before they were published. The Enquirer denies this.
Meanwhile, the feds are subpoenaing the Enquirer`s publisher for the case.
Now Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels` lawyer joins me.
Michael, what are you making of what around is doing?
MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIELS` LAWYER: Well, Ari, you know, I think it was first on your show that I predicted in early April that eventually Michael Cohen would flip on the President. AND the President entrusted Mr. Cohen with secrets he should have never entrusted him with. I think I was the first one to make that prediction. I did it in early April. And I`m going to hold to it.
But look, I want to caution people about jumping to conclusions about what Tom Arnold has or does not have. I think that, you know, a lot of these cryptic communications people are assuming quite a lot. And I think that perhaps Michael Cohen allowed that picture to be taken to send a message to the President that the President potentially is in a lot of trouble here.
From my understanding, Michael Cohen is very concerned about being put on an island and abandoned by this President and the White House as it relates to having some of his legal fees paid, et cetera. And I think that perhaps this is part of the messages.
MELBER: That messaging though ultimately means what? I mean, isn`t it a bigger threat for him to do something with the feds than with, with all due respect, Tom Arnold?
AVENATTI: Without a doubt but I mean that you know perhaps this is a flare gun shot in the air for Michael Cohen to, you know, a message to Mr. Trump or others that there may be things coming down the pike.
But look Ari I am going to stand by what I have been saying for months. There is no doubt in my mind that Michael Cohen is going to be indicted and face some very, very serious charges. There is no doubt in my mind that he is going to try to trade or flip on this President.
And you know, I told you before that there were audio tapes and a whole lot of information that was seized in connection with these raids. Among other problems that Michael and the President have is that it appears that Michael Cohen basically was one of the world`s great hoarders as it related to keeping evidence and cell phones and the like. I mean, this guy never threw anything away which I`m sure the government is ecstatic about right now.
MELBER: And you feel, what you are calling this penchant for hoarding could come back to haunt him because the feds, and by the way, we have one of these rulings. It`s here on my desk today in the Kimbal Wood case which you have been in and out of at times. This ruling basically says the vast majority of everything that he to use your verb hoarded, will be in the feds` hands. I mean, does that mean to some degree he is less of a key witness because all he would do is corroborate what they are already going to have?
AVENATTI: Well, a couple of things. I mean, I read that ruling and I have looked at the mountain of evidence that were seized in connection with these raids. And you are right. I mean, 99.5 percent of this information is not going to be privileged. It`s going to significantly tighten the noose on Michael Cohen, make it very, very difficult, I think, Ari, for him to escape whatever charges he is ultimately facing in connection with that proceeding. And I think it`s going to make it that much more likely that he is going to be forced to flip on the President in an effort to save himself and save his family.
You know, none of this bodes well for the President. I have been saying this for a long time. I mean, this was the President`s right hand guy for the better part of 12 years that dealt with, you know, all of the things that I guess nobody else wanted to deal with or none of the secrets that the President wanted to entrust to anyone else. He picked the wrong fix he, Ari. And I have said that for some time now.
MELBER: You have. And "the National Enquirer" stuff is so darn weird that it`s hard to see exactly how it fits. Lawyers love precedent because it allows a lawyer to say if a judge said it was bad before, it definitely is bad now.
I don`t know, and I`m curious your view whether there is precedent for some of these allegations which suggests that "the National Enquirer" which not the most reputable but claims to be a media entity was some sort of arm Michael Cohen, Donald Trump or worse for tem potentially and legally [the Trump campaign because as you know, there are very specific regulations on that.
Let me read from this reporting which saws that Trump would be very interested in stories on the Hillary Clinton`s health. One cover story during the campaign purported disclosure secret medical file. Another that cover story then sent to Cohen in advance.
Do you have a legal theory or any knowledge based on your dealings against Cohen whether any of this stuff which is certainly shady is also potentially exposes criminal liable to Cohen or the Trump campaign?
AVENATTI: Well, I think it might, because here`s what we don`t know. We don`t know the full extent of the flow of money, if there was any flow of money, between the Trump organization, Michael Cohen, and the national enquirer or Ami. And if there was flow of money, that could prove to be very, very problematic for all of those parties. There could be potentially money laundering or bank fraud charges that might result from that.
And let`s remember, there could also be additional campaign finance violations associated with that conduct. If AMI was purposely engaged in an organized evident with Michael Cohen and the Trump organization to influence that campaign and it was effectively being coordinated by Donald Trump or Michael Cohen but none of that was reported that would be very, very problematic.
MELBER: Well, that goes to something, you know, there are people who look at your litigation and your public advocacy and they say God, Michael Avenatti is everywhere. You are all over the place. You are familiar with that reputation, sir?
AVENATTI: Well, I mean, look, Ari, you know, I have been handling some really big cases for the better part of 18 years. Some of them have gotten a fair amount of publicity it. Nothing has gotten --.
MELBER: Nothing like this.
AVENATTI: No --
MELBER: But here`s the flipside. Michael. There is also the argument that Michael Cohen is Trump`s fixer, your legal adversary in the civil case put him everywhere. Because let me play you some of the way that Donald Trump dealt with Clinton`s health which we are now learning only from journalism in this other reporting is something that was apparently part of the bartering with the Enquirer organization. And then you add to that that Michael Cohen pops up in the Susan McDougal litigation. For folks who forget that was another individual, a former playboy playmate who had dealings with Donald Trump who felt she made a contract with a lawyer Keith Davidson who you replaced in the Stormy Daniels case.
And ultimately people say what was Michael Cohen doing in the middle of a "national Enquirer contract" where he didn`t have any legal standing or a role? Which raises I think the hit on him. Take a listen that with all of that in context in mind to Donald Trump reading out of "the National Enquirer" Michael Cohen playbook to attack Hillary Clinton on her health.
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TRUMP: She also lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS.
She took a little short circuit in the brain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary Clinton failed every single time as secretary of state. Now she wants to be President. Hillary Clinton doesn`t have the fortitude, strength, or stamina to lead in our world.
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MELBER: Do you view this as a potential type of coordination where Michael Cohen was outside of what his authority or legal limits should be as a private sector counsel to Donald Trump as an individual not as a candidate?
AVENATTI: Well, if he was carrying this out on behalf of Donald Trump, you know, again, I think this could raise a whole host of issues relating to that campaign and what AMI`s involvement was.
But, you know, I want to go back to something you just touched on, Ari. You know, my public advocacy and how much media attention I have received and as many shows I have been on, I have to tell you, it is working. You know, just within the last week in connection with this other case that I am working on, we received a number of whistle blowers that came forward and we are getting ready to blow the doors off of this border situation. And had I not been out there and if I was not such a known attorney none of that would have come to fruition. You know, all of this is working to the benefit of my clients and I`m not going to stop because it`s very, very effective.
MELBER: Well, stay with me, Michael, for more context. I want to add in Daniel Goldman who was a former federal prosecutor in the same district, the southern district of New York, where Cohen is currently facing these issues and had that ruling today, Liz Planks, a senior producer with Vox Media who is covering some of the issues including these NDAs and Donald Trump`s dealings with women from the start.
To you first, Daniel. Based on the new reports as well as the discussion Michael I was having, does this just look like really scummy underhanded secret dealings with the enquirer or do you see legal exposure?
DANIEL GOLDMAN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: No. You and I have spoken before about how the enquirer and the Stormy Daniels case can all fit together with Karen McDougal and how the evidence of one deal may impact the other one and ultimately help to build a case of campaign finance violations.
Now we are learning exactly what we were wondering before, which is that there appears to have been some coordination between Cohen on behalf of Trump and the enquirer. So now you have two people who have been paid off. And if you add in the doorman for Donald Trump who was also paid off my AMI, this seems to be much more of a coordinated effort. Then you have to take the next step and figure out OK where is the money coming from as Michael Avenatti just pointed out and was this an in-kind contribution to the campaign? Was it on behalf of the campaign? Then you get into some of the legal complexities. But the coordination aspect of it that we are learning about tonight is very, very important to a potential case for campaign finance fraud.
MELBER: And on that briefly Daniel walk us through what it means when we are learning that the fed are subpoenaing the national enquirer. What are they seeking to get on that side?
GOLDMAN: Well, they are certainly seeking to get the communications that AMI had with the Trump campaign, the Trump organization, Michael Cohen in connection to this $150,000 deal that they had with Karen McDougal or that they paid out to Karen McDougal. And that seems to be increasingly an in- kind contribution to the campaign to keep her quiet not same of a catch and kill or even a deal to promote her. So it`s real he had those communications, yes.
MELBER: And I wonder whether they can find also internal communications where they might be saying to Trump or his fixer yes, we will do this, we owe you one. And then internally they say look, you know, guys, we are doing this to help the campaign or we are doing this for political purposes the kind of internal stuff that could be incriminating. I`m not saying they have that but that might be a part of the investigative look.
MELBER: I want to bring Liz Plank who has reported these stories with us for a while.
I mean, Liz, you know the old saying. Isn`t no matter like a Michael Cohen party because a Michael Cohen party really messy. I just wonder whether this is the kind of fixing that`s so messy it`s to the fixing that much.
LIZ PLANK, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, VOX MEDIA: Absolutely. And since we are talking about the bodyguard story in the "Wall Street Journal`s" story from today, "the National Enquirer" or whoever the spokesperson was in speaking to the "Wall Street Journal" explained that that story never came out because they couldn`t find enough credibility from the source but "the National Enquirer" published a story about Hillary Clinton that you reference called six months to live. Claiming that Hillary Clinton had six months to live. And so for them to call into question and say that there was a problem with credibility I think is very hard to believe.
And this other thing I really want to point out is the larger context of the fact that Donald Trump was only endorsed by two newspapers which is very low for any kind of major candidate for President. And that was, one, "the National Enquirer." And the other one was the KKK`s newspaper.
So that really tells you everything you need to know about the President of the United States. Right? One of the newspaper is a newspaper promoting white supremacy. And the other one is a newspaper that is now becoming clear with the reporting that`s coming out today and the reporting that many reporters have been working on that he basically controlled which confirms his theory about fake news and fake media. "The National Enquirer" in a way is fake news because a lot of the stories were being fed by Donald Trump himself or being fed by Michael Cohen.
MELBER: So Michael, where does this go next?
AVENATTI: Well, I mean, I think that, you know, gentlemen like Mr. Pecker and others with Ami, I mean, you know, look. These are not hardened criminals, Ari. So if they have any potential exposure they are going to do everything in their power to hit the exits. And what I mean by that is they are going to cooperate fully, I would expect. They are going to provide any and all information about Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump in a very expeditious manner.
You know, these are not hardened criminals. These are not the kind of guys that are going to go do five or ten or 15 years for you. These are white collar guys. I mean, they have --.
MELBER: I feel like you are saying basically they are not from the neighborhood?
AVENATTI: Well, I mean, it depends what neighborhood we are talking about.
But look. These guys are white collar guys that are used to a very nice standard of living. And I mean, they are not going to go down for Michael Cohen and Mr. Trump. I mean, you thought Michael Cohen was going to flip? To the extent that these guys have any information they are doing to be singing like some of the largest canaries you have seen in your lifetime.
MELBER: Dan Goldman as someone who used to do these investigations briefly, your handicapping on Mr. Michael Avenatti`s analysis on those witnesses?
GOLDMAN: Well, they are going to cooperate. I think the interesting thing is the first amendment issues. There are hurdles that you must clear in order to subpoena a news organization. And I don`t know exactly what they are categorizing AMI, but by subpoenaing them they have clearly done that.
AMI indicated that they are going to claim some first amendment privileges to protect their sources. That`s a potential area for litigation. So they will do everything they can to fight this through litigation. But I agree with Michael, these are people who are not going to want to mess with the government. And they are going to try to cooperate.
The interesting thing that you pointed out with Michael earlier is what Michael Cohen does. And the more we keep hearing him talk about doing what`s best for his family, as we have talked about before, the more it`s likely that he`s going to cooperate. And I think the critical thing for him right now is to try to figure out what charges the government right now has against him. Because, by all accounts, for someone who has been in some shady businesses for decades, there may be a lot more criminal activity that he has to plead guilty to that the government doesn`t know about. That`s part of the cooperation process. And he may be doing a calculation as to how much more he to give up in order to cooperate.
MELBER: It is a fascinating case. And we don`t always build an entire legal exploration off a Tom Arnold photo. I have to say that as a caveat. But the photo is not about Tom Arnold. It`s about Michael Cohen`s state of mine and the pressure building on him as all of this stuff comes out, which is fascinating. As mentioned some of that began with Mr. Michael Avenatti`s civil litigation. Some of it coming from the feds.
So my thanks to Michael, Dan, and Liz for joining us on the story tonight.
PLANK: Thanks, Ari.
GOLDMAN: Thank you.
AVENATTI: Thanks, Ari.
MELBER: Coming up the breaking news I mentioned. A secret Navy plan under the Trump administration to warehouse over 100,000 immigrants at bases around the country.
Also we have a FOX News whistleblower who joins me with new revelations about Trumpism and propaganda.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These aren`t our kids, show them compassion but it is certainly like he is doing this to kids from Idaho or Texas.
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MELBER: And Kamaro Brown of Queer Eye is here tonight talking about artist and activism on everything from immigration to safer schools and gun violence.
All that plus tonight, a fallback Friday we could all use.
I`m Ari Melber. You are watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.
MELBER: Tonight, new reports that the Trump administration is making plans the actually dial up migrant detention in a major way. This is important given the week we have had. The plan would be the force over 100,000 people potentially into military bases. This is according to newly leaked memos from the United States Navy first obtained by "Time" magazine a. Clear sign that if you think this is a crisis, well it`s only just beginning. One senator likening it to internment camps.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is an internment site with tents. It`s a prison-like internment site.
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MELBER: The national outpouring against this Trump policy how has largely transcended ideology. Today a former civil rights organizer who made it to Congress John Lewis casts the fight ahead is one of morality and civil disobedience not politics.
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REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: I cried last night when I heard those babies crying. That`s not right. It`s not fair. And it`s not just. This has gone on too long. And it must stop. And it must stop now. Not tomorrow, but now. I will go to the borders. I will get arrested again. You know, if necessary I`m prepared to go to jail.
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MELBER: Joining me now live from McAllen Texas is Lucero Ortiz, an attorney who has been working with migrants inside these detention facilities as well as Howard Dean, former DNC party chair and a former governor of the state of Vermont.
Starting with you, Lucero, what can you tell us about what you are seeing in the facilities? What if anything has changed to testify course of this week? And your view of this rather explosive report from "Time" magazine about new internment centers.
M. LUCERO ORTIZ, ATTORNEY: Yes, I am one of several attorneys from Washington, D.C., and part of the first wave of attorneys to come to south Texas to provide legal orientation and assessment to parents, mothers and fathers who are detained and have been separated from their children.
What we are seeing on the ground is that there is no infrastructure for the government to bring these families back together. Part of our job is really to ensure that parents know their legal rights and are able to ask for asylum if that is an avenue that is available to them and request their credit fear interviews and reasonable fear interviews.
By the same token we are doing a grassroots census of where the parents are located and where the children are located in an attempt to really make sure that we can at least provide phone calls. But again we know that ICE likely has a list of where everybody is located as they are serving notice to appear to these individuals. But they are not creating an infrastructure to really make sure the families are reunited.
Hearing the end of the policy of zero tolerance policy and the initiation of a new policy where families would be detained indefinitely in concentration and internment camps run by the department of defense just increases the moral outrage and the need for attention across the country from Congress and the courts to look at what is happening. This is unconstitutional, unprecedented, and really an injustice that has been taken to another level.
MELBER: Well, it`s very concerning for how it would work and the human costs. It may very well be constitutional in the sense that the Supreme Court has upheld all sorts of things that people feel is very damaging to human beings affected.
Do you see this, after the week we have had, as getting any better or any worse here as we assess it on a Friday evening?
ORTIZ: The situation is getting worse. As I mentioned we, the team of legal advisors and attorneys that is here, we are the first wave to enter the detention centers. Many of us are the ones that are actually telling these parents that their children are not going to be reunited with them any time soon. Many of them are completely crest fallen, desperate. Many of them are asking whether they can actually take voluntary departure just to be reunited with this their children. And we are the ones that are explaining that that is going to be a difficult road. Obviously, we are giving them the tools and the information to be able to do that. But unfortunately, we are seeing that CBP and ICE are using lies and trickery to separate these families. And the parents are under the impression that they will be reunited soon. Unfortunately, it doesn`t seem, as I said [earlier, that there is an infrastructure to do that. The situation about family detention indefinitely is getting worse.
MELBER: Let me bring in governor Dean as well.
Governor, there has been tremendous discussion all week about what is wrong with this policy. That`s people`s believes and people`s ethics. I wonder if you could walk us through your view as a former state chief executive about what it displace on Donald Trump and the people he has picked to run the government, how competent they are, their level of seriousness about policy and process, which seems to be a separate failure, whether or not one agrees with their stated goals.
HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIR: Well, I think it`s been clear for a long time that Trump is incompetent. He didn`t know what he is doing in terms of managing the economy. His trade policies are awful. There was a farmer who had voted for him in Iowa that it was quoted today saying his farm is losing $250,000 in its value because of the guy he voted for.
I mean, Trump has no idea what he is doing. He is incompetent. But he is morally unqualified to be President. He is tearing the country in half. You know, it is one thing to have a President that you strongly disagree with. It is another to have somebody you can`t respect and that`s Donald Trump.
I have one question here. You are a lawyer and you know the Washington process. I know something about it. This is a very expensive proposition. It seems to me that Congress actually has to ratify and appropriate the money to do this. This is a multimillion dollar item they are talking about creating these concentration catches under the Navy. How do they appropriate that money? Doesn`t Congress have to do that?
MELBER: I think that`s right. I think it goes to some of the hollowness of the Republicans in Congress who say they are against thing. They have the power of the purse as well as the ability to legislate on this any day, kicking even an attempt to next week.
Governor, also listen to reports as to what we are learning about these facilities.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some mothers were literally sitting in a room next to where the children were being held and could hear their children screaming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are putting children in basically kennels at the border.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Staff say some of the kids cry all night, all day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I witnessed in that facility is something that you would never expect in our life that you would see in the United States of America. Little children sitting in cages on the floor under blankets and on mattresses. And it was disgusting.
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MELBER: Governor Dean, briefly, how important are those facts in the ongoing accountability to this process?
HOWARD DEAN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF VERMONT: Well, I think the two really big election issues are going to be this because it outrages Americans of every political stripe. I don`t see how conservatives -- and I don`t think most conservatives do like this or appreciate it or -- you know conservatives have children and they think of their children when they see this. This is the president who was morally bankrupt and surrounded himself with morally bankrupt individuals.
His Secretary of Commerce was just found to have lied under oath today about a stock deal that he put together. This is the most corrupt or leadership I have ever seen in my lifetime in this country. That`s going to be a big issue along with health care which has become a moral issue just -- not just a monetary issue. So we`re in a battle for the soul of the United States and we intend to win it.
MELBER: Governor Howard Dean, M. Lucero Ortiz on this important story that we`re going to stay on. Thank you. Coming up, I`m going to speak with a breakout star from the hit Queer Eye, a reboot talking about activism and pride week. But first, we`re going to go inside the Trump propaganda machine of Fox News with a former Analyst who`s now going public on why he thinks this network is dangerous. He`s with me live in 60 seconds.
MELBER: The other top story tonight, backlash against Trump`s zero- tolerance immigration policies and the right-wing network that`s been defending them.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I find all the images horrifying. A lot of them are tough to watch but I actually think they`re quite -- they look quite -- many of them quite compassionate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More kids are being separated from their parents and temporarily housed at what are essentially summer camps.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some have referred to them as cages but keep in mind this is a great big warehouse facility where they built walls out of chain- link fences.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Democrats and the mainstream media would rather side with illegal alien invaders than stand alongside their fellow Americans.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These child actors weeping and crying on all the other networks 24/7 right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These kids are being --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m so sorry we have to go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re given scripts to read by liberals.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve been on the border many times. You can`t accept that these are the real parents. The drug cartels are looking at America and they`re laughing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: The issue here is not just opinionated information but often starkly misleading. Some on the right have actually had enough. They are dismayed by Fox News taking the Trump line on a host of issues including foreign policy. Now my next guest retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters was a Fox News Analyst but he`s quit the network and he says Fox News has become a mere propaganda machine. It`s ethically ruinous, the network fosters corrosive and unjustified paranoia and that while he did once work there he is now "ashamed." Sir, what changed your mind?
RALPH PETERS, FORMER FOX NEWS ANALYST: The age of Trump, for many years Fox whatever you may think of it, it was a legitimate and indeed necessary outlet for Conservative and Libertarian views. But in the age of Trump has turned into a destructive propaganda machine for the Trump administration. I had to leave, I had no choice because as a military officer, Ari, I took an oath, a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
And in my view, Fox, again in the age for Trump has been attacking our constitutional order by attacking the rule of law, the Justice Department, the FBI, the court system, and the Intel Agencies. This is a lawless administration, lawless. A President who does not understand our country, doesn`t understand our system of government, and doesn`t care or want to understand it. And so for me, it was ethically impossible to remain. And that that does not mean that everybody at Fox is evil. There are a lot of good hard-working people, especially on the hard news side.
MELBER: Sure. But let me ask you this because there`s disagreement in these times we know. Did you see or do you think there are people there who are being knowingly misleading, knowingly spinning, knowingly unfair about what this President is doing, about how the DOJ and FBI work about those big issues?
PETERS: Yes, of course. What`s astonishing to me isn`t how people are ready to sell their souls but that they sell them so cheaply. The evening hosts, for the most part, are intelligent people. They`re savvy. They didn`t get there by being dummies and they know what they`re doing. They understand that they are doing propaganda, but they have drunk the Jonestown Kool-Aid brother. And I will tell you the damage being done to the United States of America by propagandizing about conspiracy theories or labeling the Mueller investigation which is absolutely vital to our national security.
MELBER: So you mention, sir -- you mentioned the evening host. As you know, one of the greatest leaders and voices with the following is Sean Hannity who has said that Robert Mueller, a lifelong Republican FBI official is in on this sort of a hoax to frame the President. He`s alleged that other senior leadership in the FBI themselves should be jailed. He said people should destroy evidence and then said that was sarcasm. Do you think Sean Hannity -- Sean Hannity is knowingly trying to impugn our law enforcement?
PETERS: He`s knowingly trying to impugn law enforcement. But Sean is different from the other evening host. He is a true believer. I really think the Trump -- sorry, that Sean Hannity believes in much if not all of what he says. And he`s certainly -- Ari, you know very well that access -- direct access to the President United States, through the White House, thinking of the President is your chum, it`s extremely seductive. So people have been seduced. I mean Trump is a dreadful, dangerous president doing great harm to our national security on a daily basis but he`s a great seducer. And --
MELBER: What would you say -- you`ve gotten attention, sir, because you`ve drawn a line. What would you say to the people who are still at Fox News who you think know better but still work there? What would you say to them tonight?
PETERS: Everyone has to answer to their own conscience. And Ari, I will not condemn them all because look, it`s -- it was easy for me to walk away because I wasn`t beholden to anybody. But many of the good people at Fox have to deal with day-to-day realities, kids in school, D.C. or Manhattan- size mortgages, these are their careers.
And so I have some sympathy with the ones who are in the infrastructure and trying to -- just trying to get -- you know the people behind the cameras. But the people who go on the air and say things to the American people that they know are untrue, the they know are destructive and they`re doing it for ratings and money, I don`t have that gene I can`t understand how they can do that to this country, in this country which for all its many flaws is as good as it gets upon this earth.
Our government, for all the criticism leveled against it is astonishingly good and you`ve got a president who`s got to come to drain the swamp but he turn a mud puddle into the Everglades. I mean this is -- we`ve had bad presidential administrations before. The Obama administration was weak and indecisive against -- and opened the door for Trump. We have never had a president before who wantonly and often thoughtlessly impulsively does such great damage to our national security.
MELBER: Right. Well, look, we`re in a period that is a time of choosing, a time of strain. You have served your country and then you`ve also been in the position of being inside this so you speak not as a mere critic of Fox but someone who`s been there and made your choice. And so Retired Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, I really appreciate you come on THE BEAT. I hope you come back.
PETERS: Thank you, Ari.
MELBER: Thank you, sir. I`m joined next by Karamo Brown from Queer Eye who talks about activism in the age of Trump and our first summer "FALLBACK FRIDAY." Stay with us.
MELBER: It`s Friday on THE BEAT and you know what that means it is time to fall back. I am joined today by trailblazing hip-hop pioneer DJ Jazzy Joyce. She`s worked with (INAUDIBLE) like Digable Planets, MC Lyte and Afrika Bambaataa, the great Mike Barnicle, an award-winning journalist, and commentator, of course, a regular on our own "MORNING JOE" and friend of THE BEAT former Counsel to the Mayor of New York City Maya Wiley. What`s happening, everybody?
DJ JAZZY JOYCE, AMERICAN D.J.: How are you doing?
MELBER: Are you ready for this? Two of you are here for the first time. We`re very happy about that. D.J. Jazzy Joyce, who needs to fall back? The millennials, they don`t tip enough.
MELBER: They don`t tip?
JAZZY JOYCE: Enough -- they just don`t have the concept of that and I think they need to fall back from maybe some sneaker purchases and help the workers.
MELBER: There`s data on this. Why do you think millennials tip less? Maybe they`re broke.
JAZZY JOYCE: Maybe it`s the change of how we exchange money. So over their lives, they didn`t see the paying of tipping.
MELBER: They don`t feel it the same way.
JAZZY JOYCE: Right. We do it digitally now so they just have to be digit taught to digitally accommodate.
MELBER: Mike, you look like you`d be a decent tipper.
MIKE BARNICLE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I`m a big tipper. More than 20 percent.
MAYA WILEY, FORMER COUNSEL TO THE MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Really?
BARNICLE: Yes, absolutely. I have a respect for working people.
MELBER: Always cash?
BARNICLE: No, I can -- I do it on the phone. To your point like at Starbucks, you know, I have the Starbucks app and doing the Starbucks but I always whack them with the tip.
MELBER: Do you ever Venmo your friends.
BARNICLE: No, I don`t.
MELBER: Just asking the big questions. Who do you think needs to fall back since you`re here?
BARNICLE: Oh since I`m here, well, I got to tell you New York Times earlier this week business section.
JAZZY JOYCE: He snuck --
MELBER: Above the fold.
BARNICLE: Here`s the deal. Here`s the headline. Video game addiction tries to move from basement to doctor`s office. Here`s a couple lines of it. Gaming disorder will appear in a new draft of the organization`s, the World Health Organization`s international classification of diseases, the highly regarded compendium of medical conditions. This could also make gamers more willing to seek treatment, encourage more therapists to provide it, and increase the chances that insurance companies would cover it.
We have a country filled with opioid abuse. People can`t find treatment. You go to -- you go to some places in every city you`ll find little kids with asthma. They can`t find treatment. They can`t get it paid for. And these game boys, these foolish game boys are out there with carpal tunnel syndrome help me? Please get out.
MELBER: Who needs to fall back on you list?
WILEY: So I`m going to go to Representative Trey Gowdy.
WILEY: On Tuesday, Trey Gowdy went after Comey, James Comey and what he said was that James Comey`s handling of both the Clinton e-mails as well as the Russian investigation was textbook bias --or a Trey Gowdy who comes from South Carolina where Walter Scott was shot in the back by a police officer.
MELBER: This is the first time that he may have discovered this kind of bias. I mean they are on this warpath.
WILEY: They`re on the warpath and they`re on warpath in a case in which as we know there was a lot -- there has been lots of independent evidence that suggests there are real questions that need to get investigated here. James Comey made mistakes, there is no question about it. But in actuality, that bias that he`s talking about was bias on which he actually undermines Hillary Clinton`s presidential campaign in an effort to appear unbiased.
MELBER: Maya Wiley, Mike Barnicle, and DJ Jazzy Joyce, thanks for being here in "FALLBACK FRIDAY."
JAZZY JOYCE: Thank you. Have a great weekend.
MELBER: And there`s more. Up next, my special guest Karamo Brown breakout star of Queer Eye the Reboot.
MELBER: My next guest is Karamo Brown, one of the (INAUDIBLE) hosts on Netflix` Queer Eye. I want to mention that you, of course, have tackled many subjects including police brutality. You had this emotional dialogue with an officer who said he was a major Trump supporter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARAMO BROWN, HOST, QUEER EYE: All I ever hear usually is cops thinking together saying what about us? And it is true, what about you all? But it`s sort of like what about us? We`re both dealing with the same pain on two different ends but none of us are like acknowledging.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Riding back from Atlanta with you was probably one of the best parts of all of this. I really embrace it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Hey, I want -- I want a hug like that too.
BROWN: You`re getting one next time I see you. Are you kidding me?
MELBER: I wish I was there. You`re doing something that -- you`re a leader. People look to you, people feel inspired by you and you`re doing something that we hear everybody wants more of which is you don`t agree with the guy on camera there necessarily about everything but you`re listening and you`re trying to connect. Walk us through why that`s important right now.
BROWN: Well, you know my background is in social worker psychotherapy. And for me, it`s about making sure that we can find a way to build those bridges. You know, as a country we`re so divided right now. Everyone is defining people by just one vote because we`re at such high tension. It`s the time that we try to figure out how many things we have in common instead of how many things we don`t have in common so that we can have those hard conversations with other people, so we can get to a place where we can work together.
MELBER: What does it mean to deal with some of the ideas as well as the cliches that people have about what it means to be gay -- we`re talking about Queer Eye -- and yet playing past them? I mean, because you`re in the culture in that way. You`re obviously playing with the idea of connection, of makeovers, of all that stuff but also not being you know, not being narrowed by it.
BROWN: Yes, well, first of all, we all -- every single person not just me as a gay man but we all have different identities that are intersectionalities of our personalities. I`m a black man, I`m a gay man, I`m also a single father and I think it`s important to not check those identities at the door. So when we`re working with these heroes, it`s not about me as a gay man, it`s about me as a human being. It`s about me as a father. It`s about me as the black men in that conversation I have with Corey, the police officer. It`s about me as someone who`s saying I need you to understand my struggles as a person in this country and help you so that you can support me and be an ally for what I`m trying to do.
MELBER: I love you say that. I mean, I feel very intersectional myself because I`m a lawyer I`m also a nerd. You know, those -- it`s two things at once.
BROWN: I`m not going to call you nerd because I follow your tweets and I watch the show, you come out with some of the coolest hip-hop and you are not a nerd by any means.
MELBER: OK. That`s very nice of you to say. I was not fishing. I swear I`m not fishing.
BROWN: I`m good for giving a complement. I love giving compliments.
MELBER: I want a Queer Eye makeover like anybody else. I remember the original show. Let me play another great moment that you did on this show for people who don`t know some of the different directions you guys go and let`s take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was terrified to go in there alone again so I really thank you Karamo for going with me. I appreciate that. I needed that support.
BROWN: I can`t tell you how honored I was to be with you during that journey. People are going to know that they can live and thrive and succeed because of you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: This was about transgender identity. Tell us a little bit about that moment.
BROWN: Sure. So Skyler was our first transgender hero as which is what we call people who we make better. And he had been struggling with getting his gender marker changed on his driver`s license. A conversation that never comes up especially when talking about the trans community. So for me to come into this space, I want to make sure that I was going to do something that was going to be impactful for him but also was going to shift the conversation in a way that people in everywhere in middle America can understand the trans experience.
And when you think about a driver`s license, it`s something that we`ve all gotten and we`re excited to get at 15. But for many people in the trans community, that gender marker causes them not to be able to get on flights, not to feel safe when they get to stop by the police, not to go into clubs. And that is something where someone has the right to deny them just based on their views. And so for me to support Skyler in getting that, his life has dramatically changed because now he can walk through this world and feel validated when he approaches places and things that we take for granted every day.
MELBER: That`s great. It`s well put. And I`m going to hold you to the IOU on the hug.
MELBER: OK. Karamo Brown, thank you very much. Great guest, some great ideas on a Friday. We will be right back.
BROWN: Thank you.
MELBER: One more thing for this weekend. Comedian Dave Chappelle recently joined us on THE BEAT talking about why he`s endorsing a candidate for the first time ever. His friend, Ben Jealous, in Maryland.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: I have never, ever even stuck my toe into politics. I don`t even necessarily believe in politics. But this is the first time that I believe in somebody this much for a job like this, because I know him so well.
MELBER: And I know --
CHAPPELLE: As a matter of fact, it`s dangerous for me to even step into the political arena. Poopity Scoop.
MELBER: Poopity Scoop is how we end all of our interviews.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: And there`s a lot more poopity in that scoop if you will because, on our BEAT podcast, we have a special extra. This weekend, it will be available to download for free the entire interview with Dave Chappelle. Go to the purple podcast icon on your iPhone, you click there. Go to the search bar, type in Melber and you`ll have the entire podcast. So we urge you to check it out and rate us if you like the podcast. That does it for us. HARDBALL starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END
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