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Trump to announce Supreme Court pick on July 9th. TRANSCRIPT: 6/29/2018, The Beat with Ari Melber.

Guests: Howard Dean; Liz Plank; Kenneth White; Betsy Woodruff; Adriano Espaillat, Chuck Nice, Michael Musto, Mirai Nagasu

Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: June 29, 2018 Guest: Howard Dean; Liz Plank; Kenneth White; Betsy Woodruff; Adriano Espaillat, Chuck Nice, Michael Musto, Mirai Nagasu

AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC HOST: Hey, good evening, Chuck. Thanks very much for that. Enjoyed the music as well. The music of (INAUDIBLE).

All Right, everyone. I`m Ayman Mohyeldin in for Ari Melber.

We start with breaking news this evening on Trump Supreme Court pick. Moments ago Trump saying he expects to make his announcement for the nomination Monday, July 9th. Trump breaking this news while on a flight to New Jersey just moments ago. Trump saying that he is interviewing six or seven people including two women. He says that it would be appropriate to ask -- inappropriate, excuse me, to ask his pick about what they think about Roe v. Wade. Here is what he said about that earlier in the day.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to ask your nominees beforehand how they might vote on Roe versus Wade?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, that`s a big one and probably not. They are all saying don`t do that. You don`t do that. You shouldn`t do that. But I`m putting conservative people on. But I don`t think I`m going to be so specific.


MOHYELDIN: All right. With me now, Howard Dean, former DNC chair and former Vermont governor, Liz Plank, senior producer with Vox Media and former federal prosecutor, Paul Butler.

Great to have all three of you with us on what is expected to be a very busy news.

All right, Liz, let me start with you. Your reaction to what we just heard there from the President. In fact, he was saying it would be inappropriate for him to ask any of his potential nominees that he is going to interview what they would do or think about the Supreme Court`s decision Roe v. Wade.

LIZ PLANK, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, VOX MEDIA: Yes. Well, I think it`s interesting that he uses a term specific like we don`t have to be specific on that. He in the past has not been very specific about his stance on Roe v. Wade or on abortion. During the campaign, we all remember that he said that women should be punished perhaps for having abortions and then he said they shouldn`t and then he said they should. And even in his personal life he has asked if he has paid for a woman`s abortion in an interview with Maureen Dowd (ph) in "New York Times" and he will not confirm nor deny.

And so, I feel like he is being wishy-washy with this. The same way that he has been on this issue generally speaking as a campaigner and also the President.

MOHYELDIN: Howard, what do you think of President`s tone today about that particular issue and what he said in that interview and what he was saying to the print pool just on the flight moments ago?

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: That`s the right answer having appointed judges myself. You don`t ask about question like thank. But, of course, I don`t believe a word Trump says and nobody else in America does either so who knows what he`s going to do when the guy or gal gets in there.

MOHYELDIN: Really quickly, if I can Paul, your reaction as well to this news before we widen the discussion. What do you make of the President saying he`s not going to ask a potential nominee whether it`s appropriate or inappropriate what they think about Roe v. Wade.

PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: You don`t have to ask, Ayman, because you kind of already know. We have evidence of this from Mike Lee, the senator from Utah who apparently is one of leading contenders. He is on record as saying that Roe v. Wade is like the infamous Dredd Scott case in which the court said that the black man has to right which the white man is bound to respect.

But now he is auditioning for a Supreme Court appointment. So he has -- I have to respect Roe v. Wade. So what Republican appoint he is due is lie about what they really think.

MOHYELDIN: So he brings up really good point, Paul, that like by knowing who the candidates are and who the nominees are on the short list of the President, he may already know based on previous decisions or previous opinion that they bring how they lean on certain issues.

Howard, let me ask you. The Democrats on this, does the fact he is potentially going to interview two women somehow change the Democratic strategy or those who oppose these nominees going forward? The fact they`re on the short list.

DEAN: Depends who they are. The most important thing is competence and quality and be a serious judge. There are several in court who have turned not to be very serious even though they are smart and so forth. They are ideologues. She is supposed to appoint. You are supposed somebody who actually follows the law and there is at least four of them that haven`t on issues like Bush vs. Gore and Citizens United.

So this is really -- this has been a bit of charade these Republican judges over the last 20 years where they pick people who will suit their ideological litmus test. All have embedded by the federalist society which is the right wing society that chooses judges to get to a particular results. And the court`s in trouble because 79 percent of Americans believe the court is political body. It`s not a good thing for the country.

MOHYELDIN: And so, Liz, and to that point, and we know that Democrats are gearing up for a fight. There is potentially three Democrats who voted for Neil Gorsuch when he was nominated and confirmed in the senate. Those three senators are still facing the same political challenges. They all are running in states that were heavily won or strongly won by President Trump. And they are going to have to explain their decisions to their voters and then their constituents. How is this likely to play out for those three senators come the midterms and this vote?

PLANK: Well, despite all the political, you know, conversation and discourse that we are having now, abortion is actually quite popular. Abortion rights are quite popular in this country. Seven out of ten Americans, according to Pew, wants to preserve Roe v. Wade. Even when you look at people who identified as pro-life, six out of ten of them want to preserve rights to abortion, at least in certain cases.

And so, it is really hard to see Republicans making a case that this is a popular measure. I mean, at this point, seven out of ten Americans are, you know, support Roe v. Wade. Abortion rights are more popular than Donald Trump right now. So it would be I think foolish for even Republicans to think that this is an issue that lose them, you know, that sort of -- is bad for them.

MOHYELDIN: Paul, we know that the issue of the Supreme Court nominees was a mobilizing factor for Trump`s base in the general election. He came out with his list of dozens of candidates that he said he would put forth if he had these openings. I`m curious to get your thoughts by the politics of this now. Has the issue of Roe v. Wade become a litmus test not only for this President but also for his base that they are going to use politically down the road?

BUTLER: I think absolutely. You know, one way that they would frame it is state`s rights. So if the Supreme Court overturns Roe versus Wade which is very likely based on almost any of these 25 people on Trump`s list. Abortion wouldn`t be illegal necessarily. Each state would have the right to decide. And so, that`s probably the political message that Trump would offer. So even if a lot of people support abortion, Trump will say, well, you can still have it in your state. You just have to lobby your state legislatures.

MOHYELDIN: And obviously, given what is at stake with this nominee and the Supreme Court pick, you can obviously expect a lot of reaction from the Democrats.

Let me play you this sound bite from the former vice president Joe Biden today campaigning for Democrats in Ohio today. He also weighed in on Roe v. Wade. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I`m worried about is basis of the law being completely dismissed. And I believe that the President made it clear. He`s like to undo Roe v. Wade. All he need is one more vote.


MOHYELDIN: So, a similar question to and I just ask Paul, is Rove v. Wade going to be the defining issue of this confirmation. And is there really a way for anyone, any of the Democrats who are going to seriously consider this nominee not just because it`s from President Trump but anyone who is going to serves and look at this candidate and say there`s a way to find out what this person`s views are on this issue?

DEAN: Well, they will hem and haw. I mean, the other, you know, Joe Biden just said, you know, if the person is going to be appointed by Trump will get rid of it, that actually, even Roberts claim that he was settled law. Now, if you take him at his word, which I don`t, he will have to vote to sustain the President. I don`t think that`s going to happen.

So, you know, this is a delicate dance where many people say things that aren`t true and they know aren`t true when they say them. And then we have to see what they do in revenge (ph).

MOHYELDIN: What do you make, Liz, of the announcement that it is on July 9th, not so much the date but the fact that he seems to be rushing this decision. Do you think that they are obviously weighing that it is going to be something to mobilize the base in the midterm if the Democrats try to stall this nomination process in whatever ways that they can?

PLANK: Absolutely. I mean, women and men across this country are fired up. They did not think -- especially young voters --

MOHYELDIN: On both sides?

PLANK: On the Democrat side, sorry. By, you know, the idea that Roe v. Wade could be put into question. I mean, most of us young voters -- well, I can`t vote in this country because I`m Canadian. But most people who do vote were young people, you know, didn`t grow up in a pre-Roe era. They have only known a world where abortion is legal.

And you know, I just want to say also, it`s not just because abortion is legal that it`s accessible in this country. There are, you know, even if we don`t overturn Roe v. Wade, there are many laws that are in place right now, Iowa just yesterday passed a six-week ban -- I mean, you can`t get an abortion after six weeks which is for many women you don`t know you are pregnant yet.

And so, and abortion (INAUDIBLE) and many cities across this country. So even if this doesn`t -- even if Roe v. Wade is not overturned, we still have a lot of work to do in terms of guaranteeing (INAUDIBLE).

DEAN: I mean, this is going to be a central issue in the campaign no matter what happens because young people are driving our party. And they drove us in Virginia and knocked off 15 incumbents as and they are going to drive us through the general election. And there`s a lot of sympathy for people, even in conservative states when they are younger to keep the status quo.

MOHYELDIN: I want to read you guys a little bit of this "New York Times" because they were reporting that Trump`s campaign to convince Justice Kennedy to retire saying that the White House waged a quiet campaign to ensure that Mr. Trump had a second opportunity to change the complexion and direction of the Supreme Court.

How much of this is driven by President Trump`s desire to leave a lasting legacy? I mean, if he picks somebody, you know, 40s, 50s, even as late as the 30s, it`s going to be a generational shift for the Supreme Court.

DEAN: Well, I mean, it is pretty unseemly, really. It turns out that Justice Kennedy is apparently the one that was Trump`s financial lifeline when he was working Deutsche bank and no other bank will lend him money because he wouldn`t pay as creditors. I mean, that`s pretty unseemly. I have never heard of that -- the Supreme Court before.

There have been some pretty awful decisions but I have never heard of a justice`s son being so tight with the President that could cook something like this up. There will be a lot of questions about that if it turns tout out to be true. That is going to tar Justice Kennedy`s legacy. And I think Trump`s firmly tarred anyways so you can`t make it much worse.


BUTLER: I agree with Howard that it is unseemly but it is also extremely strategic on the part of the Republicans. They have always understood the power of the appointment process for the federal bench in a way that sometimes the Democrats haven`t gotten because it`s not just abortion that`s on the line even though that`s extremely important. It is also voting rights, the power of corporations, school desegregation, affirmative action, everything is not just up for grabs but over and done if Trump gets to make this appointment.

MOHYELDIN: So Paul, do you think that Trump here has been somewhat under overestimated for how strategic he has been in this?

BUTLER: Absolutely. So he nominated Gorsuch 11 days after his inauguration. That is super quick. He is going to do the same thing with regard to his next appointment to try to get this man or woman in and doing their conservative work before the midterm elections.

MOHYELDIN: Liz, this promises to be the most expensive fight over Supreme Court pick probably that this country has ever seen. You talked a minute ago about how this is going to mobilize, you know, young Democrats and other who is are in favor of abortion or the women`s right to have ab abortion.

Let me ask you, though, the flip side. If in fact we go into the midterms without a Supreme Court pick confirm and the future of this pick depends on who wins, isn`t that going to mobilize the President`s bait because we know it was a central issue. Again, for them, it was one of the most important issues in the general election. Who wins that fight?

PLANK: Right. I mean, we already knew that the midterm was going to be -- have a higher voter turnout than the previous one which was basically at low especially with young voters. And I think that we are going to see -- I mean, this is arguably the most important election in our lifetime especially against speaking for young voters who are being riled up. And we are seeing, you know, people who never voted before in the New York election that just happened this week. Demographics and again young people from who don`t show up at midterms usually will be showing up and it will be making a difference.

MOHYELDIN: I mean, the stakes couldn`t be higher when you think of all the issues affecting younger Americans whether it`s gun control issues and the Parkland student movement to try get people in there and now this issue on the Supreme Court which could be defined for a generation.

Howard Dean. Liz Plank, thank you guys very much.

Paul, I`m going to ask you to stick around for me for a little bit longer.

Coming up, a new reporting on Rod Rosenstein feeling shaken and used by the White House in Jim Comey`s firing, excuse.

Plus, why is Bob Mueller delaying Michael Flynn`s sentencing another 60 days.

Also, Ari special break down on Trump`s big legal week including the losses you may not have heard about.

And who needs to fallback this week? Some special guests joining Ari for fallback Friday.

I`m Ayman Mohyeldin. And you are watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.


MOHYELDIN: Welcome back.

And we have breaking news on deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein this evening. Sources telling the "New York Times" that Rosenstein felt used by the White House when they blamed him for the firing of FBI director James Comey saying it damaged his reputation and the White House manipulated him.

Last May, Rosenstein recommended Trump firing Comey over his handling of the Clinton email investigation. Here is what Rosenstein has said in public.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So with regard to the Russia investigation, do you stand by your recommendation to fire James Comey?

ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: I have testified several times about this and yes I do.


MOHYELDIN: All right. Joining me now, the "Daily Beast`s" Betsy Woodruff, and former federal prosecutors Kenneth White and back with me once again Paul Butler.

Great to have all of you with us. I want to get your reaction on this report from all of you starting with you, Paul. What do you make of this news about how Rod Rosenstein felt if he was somewhat thrown under the bus by the White House?

BUTLER: You know, I have known Rod Rosenstein for a long time. We started together at the department of justice. And normally, this dude is cool as a cucumber. He is not emotional. He is rational. And so, to see him go in at the congressional hearing as he did yesterday tells us a couple of things. He is mad as hell and he is not taking it anymore. And that`s bad news for President Trump. He`s kind of boxed in, the President is, because if he fires Rosenstein then he is providing more evidence of obstruction of justice. If leaves him in, then Trump has someone who is supervising the investigation of Trump who is very angry at him and knows has experience firsthand Trump`s ways of trying to derail investigations. Rosenstein justifiably feels used.

MOHYELDIN: Yes, I have to say in the public appearance that he has made, he has always shown a very calm demeanor. He has even joked around a lot in some of these times that he has fielded these questions. But one of the interesting things about this "New York Times" report, Betsy, is that they are saying that Jeff Sessions, the attorney general who recused himself and essentially paved the way for Rod Rosenstein to assume control felt by assigning a special prosecutor felt blindsided when Rosenstein appointed Mueller. And in fact, they are reporting that his chief of staff Jeff Session`s chief of staff confronted him demanding to know why they hadn`t gotten a heads up from Rod Rosenstein.

It`s interesting to see that report coming from the "New York Times" because in public, Sessions has backed him to the tilt. What`s going on?

BETSY WOODRUFF, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST: Right. It just shows that behind the scenes, there`s a lot of friction between Sessions and Rosenstein. And especially, that conflict between Sessions and then chief of staff Jody Hunt (ph). And Rosenstein himself is really significant.

That said, part of the reason this gets so messy is that Rod Rosenstein, besides being a lawyer, is very political savvy. He is somebody who typically knows his way around the DOJ. He has risen. He has found success in the DOJ under both Republican and Democratic administrations. But sometimes he can be perhaps arguably a little too lawyerly for his own good. And with that memo he put out about Comey`s firing, the memo drew a lot of criticism because on the one hand, it laid out the case against Comey, excoriated Comey for the way that he handled the Clinton email probe.

But on the other hand, the memo didn`t actually call for Comey to be fired. And when Rosenstein had behind closed door meetings with members of Congress last year, he specifically told them that. He specifically said my memo was not a cause for termination of Comey. But of course, that`s how the White House used it and that`s how everybody (INAUDIBLE).

So Rosenstein is sort of trying to walk a political tight rope that`s really tough. And I think that`s part of the reason he has found himself in so many different people`s crosshairs. Congressional Republicans flacks (ph) news pundits, the White House. He has somehow managed to make a whole host of enemies on his own side which makes him one of the most controversial figures on the Trump administration.

MOHYELDIN: Yes. And you certainly brought up the point about the Republicans. Obviously, you know, they have really been coming after Rod Rosenstein. In fact, yesterday, Kenneth, the Republicans took on Rod Rosenstein over the Mueller probe. Watch this exchange.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, you talk about the Mueller investigation, it`s really the Rosenstein investigation. You appointed Mueller. You are supervising Mueller.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me make this one point. Where we have caught you hiding information then you can answer.

ROSENSTEIN: Your statement that I`m personally keeping information from you trying to conceal information --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re the boss, Mr. Rosenstein.

ROSENSTEIN: That`s correct. My job is to make sure that we respond to your concerns. We have, sir. Now I have appointed Mr. Lousch who is managing our production. And my understanding is it`s actually going very well, sir. You are use of this to attack me personally.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is not a personal.


MOHYELDIN: So, some heated exchanges there, Kenneth. I want to get your reaction with the way Republicans are going after Rod Rosenstein. A lifelong Republican and a Trump appointee. Obviously, they are going after him for a reason. What do you think that reason that they have targeted Rod Rosenstein in this manner that we are seeing that can some would say is a public berating of him?

KENNETH WHITE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I`m glad you told me that was a congressional hearing because I thought that might have been the Sean Hannity show. But I think they are going after him so hard because they want to undercut anything that comes afterwards. They know that there may be more indictments from Mueller. They know that there may be a Mueller report that Rosenstein may have to decide to give to Congress.

And so, I think they are desperately doing everything they can to push the narrative of the witch-hunt of the illegitimate investigation, of the political investigation so that they can in advance tear down the credibility of anything that might come after.

But I do think that that hearing showed that if as the "New York Times" recorded, Rosenstein was flustered or upset after the Comey firing. He seems to have gotten over it because he was pretty solidly dunking on some of the House members during the members.

MOHYELDIN: Yes. He definitely took some shots of his own as well saying that it was up to him to subpoena phone calls that he couldn`t even do that.

For the very first time, I want to switch gears here. But for the very first time, a member of Mueller`s team is actually speaking out publicly about the Manafort investigation.

In a Virginia courtroom today, the FBI special agent going face-to-face with Manafort`s defense team. Testifying that Manafort`s personal assistant gave him access to a storage locker that contained boxes of financial documents. Now one of those revealed Manafort got a $10 million loan from a Russian oligarch. Manafort`s lawyers were arguing that the assistant did not have the authority to give the FBI access.

Also, news today, on someone who is cooperating with Mueller, Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser. Today, the feds and Flynn`s lawyers agreeing to delay his sentencing due to the status of Mueller`s investigation.

So lot to break down here. Ken, let me get your perspective. Why would the feds delay the sentencing of Michael Flynn?

WHITE: Well, you delay a coop cooperator sentencing when you are not done using them yet. So the fact that they are delaying the sentencing probably indicates that he might still have things of value to do that might further reduce his sentence or give him credit. That could be testimony, it could just be giving further information or reactions. Whatever it is, they are not done cooperating him.

MOHYELDIN: Betsy, I know that Manafort`s per personal assistant wads cooperating with FBI before a search warrant was issued with the storage locker. Is this a sign that people around Manafort were turning on him before he was necessarily even indicted?

WOODRUFF: Absolutely. And it`s just another indicator of the amount of influence officials with the federal government can have when they talk to private individuals. They didn`t even need a search warrant to get access to this locker because Alexander Trusko who had worked for Paul Manafort just voluntarily let them in.

Now, Manafort`s team has argued that they shouldn`t be able to use the material from that locker in the case against him because Trusko didn`t have the authorization or the authority to let them in to the locker. But Tursko`s name was on the list. He was the individual whose name was on there as actually having the authority to open up the locker.

And part of the reason this is important is that the reality is that for Paul Manafort, his closest allies, and his people who are closest to him, who he has trusted, who he has worked with hand and glove are turning on him.

Rick Gates, we now know, is cooperating with the prosecution. Alexander Trusko didn`t even put much resistance when FBI agents asked for access to this storage locker. So the reality is that Manafort doesn`t have hardly any friends and the people who he thought might have been his allies have abandoned him. And that`s something, that of course, is really useful to Mueller and his team and deeply problematic for Manafort.

MOHYELDIN: Yes. And we will see how the judge in that case decides in the coming days.

Betsy Woodruff, Kenneth White, Paul Butler, great to have all of do you with us on this Friday evening. Thank you.

Ahead on THE BEAT, Ari has break down of Trump`s defining legal week.

Also, a scathing new report on condition at the detention centers just hours before nationwide protest against President Trump`s border policy. I will talk to a congressman helping to lead the march here in New York when we come back in 60 seconds.


MOHYELDIN: Today, a homeland security watchdog releasing a revealing report on ICE`s detention conditions saying the agency fails to ensure adequate oversight with egregious repeat deficiencies. Now, this comes amid growing calls for Democrats and 19 top ICE investigators to dissolve the agency.

Our next guest is someone saying just that. Congressman Adriano Espaillat will also be marching tomorrow here in New York alongside thousands who are expected to rally nationwide against Trump`s zero tolerance immigration policy.

The main event is in D.C. but more than 600 rallies are expected and planned in all 50 states. Now organizers are demanding that Trump permanently end his zero tolerance policy. This as we learn the Trump administration began separating migrant children before Trump enacted his policy in May as part of a quote "pilot program."

With me now is Democratic congressman Adriano Espaillat of New York. A member of the Hispanic caucus. He is marching tomorrow as I mentioned right here in New York City.

Congressman, it is great to have you with us.


MOHYELDIN: First of all, the President has signed this executive order that his arguing is meant to bring families back together. Why are the marches still taking place tomorrow in the President signed this executive order?

ESPAILLAT: Because families have not come together. Andin fact families are still apart. I went to visit dads on father`s day at a local federal prison in Jersey. And I went to visit some of the mothers or rather the foster moms and the children in the Cuba (ph) centrum.

And so, children are still apart from their parents. These are children that travel as far as Arizona, Texas and California all the way to New York City. And that many of them are all over the United States. So they still separated from parents. Some of the parents have been deported back to the country of origin. So that makes it even further complicated. So that is why we are marching. We are marching to denounce this horrific policy to split children as young as nine months old from their parents. And we are marching because we want them back together again.

MOHYELDIN: I have a two-part question for you about ICE. I know that you believe that ICE should be abolished. Tell me why you think ICE should be abolished? And more importantly, what happens if ICE is in fact abolished, what replaced it?

ESPAILLAT: Well, I think that -- first of all, ICE has not always been around.

MOHYELDIN: Yes. It used to be the INS.

ESPAILLAT: It used to be the INS. And so, and I think that ICE has overstepped its boundary. It`s become an agency that is sometimes over the top. It goes around school grounds, church grounds to arrest people. It`s too aggressive and over the top. And I think it has lost its course. And so -- but we should replace it with something sensible, something practical. They still have to be a law enforcement agency but one that is a little bit more humane.

MOHYELDIN: What would you say ICE`s biggest fault is? What is it doing that is actually you know, for people like you giving it a reason to be abolished?

ESPAILLAT: Well, you know, that`s the problem. We don`t know to what degree they`re doing what they`re doing. That`s why I put forward a piece of legislation that asks for them not to cross sensitive locations and to have body cameras so we can really look at every interaction they have with civilians across the United States. And so, it`s a runaway agency there should be a pullback and I think something more effective and practical and humane should be put in place.

MOHYELDIN: You brought up the issue of the families that are still divided, the kids that are still in custody away from their parents. On Tuesday during a hearing, the DHS Secretary was crushed about how many children have been reunited with their parents. Take a listen to this sound bite.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to know about the children in your department`s custody. How many of them have been reunified?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that`s exactly what I`m saying. They have been placed with a parent or other relative who`s in United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many? How many?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Several hundred. Of the 2,300 plus that came into our care, probably 2,047.


MOHYELDIN: Are you, sir, confident that the U.S. government knows where every one of those kids are and more importantly that they have the ability to reunite those kids?

ESPAILLAT: They have no clue what`s going on. This is like an Abbott and Costello movie. Unfortunately, there`s children and families are in the middle of this. I know that the site that I went to, they told me how children bring little notes with somebody`s name and phone number attached to the safety pin and that`s what they try to contact. There could be a distant c0usin or an aunt or an uncle. They`re not necessarily contacting their immediate parent, mother or father. And so this is really, really a nightmare. These folks came here may be looking for the American Dream is turned into American nightmare.

MOHYELDIN: That`s an absolutely heartbreaking situation any way you look at it. Congressman Adriano, it`s great to have you, sir.

ESPAILLAT: Thank you so much.

MOHYELDIN: Thank you for taking the time. Ahead, Ari`s breakdown on Trump`s week of legal wins and losses for the President wants to come and who needs to fall back this week? Ari and some special guests, "FALLBACK FRIDAY" is next



ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: It`s Friday on THE BEAT. It has been quite a week and it is finally time to fall back. I am joined by comedian Chuck Nice a friend of THE BEAT, Michael Musto Cultural Critic and Columnist for NewNowNext and a longtime witness of all things Manhattan, we`ll get to all that. And I`m also joined by two-time Olympic Figure Skater Mirai Nagasu. She was the first U.S. woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics and one of the first athletes to join "FALLBACK FRIDAY" so thanks for being here.


MELBER: Chuck, who needs to fall back?

CHUCK NICE, COMEDIAN: Wow. OK, so this week there was much ado about a man who paddleboarding across the Hudson because he was late for a meeting. So I`m going to say he needs to fall back. Even though you might want to say that tolls might want to fall back because he said that --

MELBER: The tolls are expensive.

NICE: The tolls are very expensive. He said he didn`t want to pay the toll. But here`s the problem I have with this guy. Dude, you were late for a meeting, just calling and say you`re late. The paddleboard thing, I don`t believe it. I think it`s more of a means to get a viral video because if you really want to impress your bosses by paddle boarding to work, show up in the wetsuit. That`s what I`m saying.

MELBER: It sounds like you`re saying what really needs to fall back is viral fronting.

NICE: Yes, exactly. I`m writing that.

MELBER: That`s a term created Michael say.

MICHAEL MUSTO CULTURAL CRITIC AND COLUMNIST, NEWNOWNEXT: It`s nice to see someone in the Hudson that`s not-severed and in a cardboard box, OK?

MELBER: It is nice. What a nice Friday thought, a non-severed lunchbox carcass.

NICE: By the way the ferry six bucks. I just want to let you know. Downtown ferry, six bucks. That`s a lot.

MELBER: Michael, you are a bit of a New York Cultural Institution yourself.

MUSTO: I belong in an institution. But you know what, Ari, you know, what I think what needs to fallback, corporations. Not every corporation but let me explain. The Gay Pride Parade was last Sunday in New York City. It drew an estimated 2.5 million people. A lot of the floats work from corporations, some of whom were representing for the first time. And my question is first of all what took you people so long?

MELBER: Where were you?

MUSTO: Stonewall, the legendary rebellion that defined the modern gay movement was 49 years ago. Now you decide the gay people are OK and that it`s OK to tap into our disposable income, mighty white of you. Secondly, do you just wave the flag for the photo op on Gay Pride Day, what about the rest of the year? Mind you, this is the world I help fight, Ari, where everybody said gay is OK. I just have my own cynical doubts about the whole thing.

MELBER: Well, and to be clear with regard to your track record, you`re older than you look.

MUSTO: I`m almost -- I`m older than Stonewall, actually yes, monkey glands injections. But in any case, next year is the 50th anniversary of Stonewall if you do the math and the community is already organizing to make the parade more grassroots or try to so that it`s just real community organizations, Stonewall survivors, AIDS organizations, even frivolous stuff, Go-Go boys, and if not hedge funds and banks that suddenly decide gays are Ok.

MELBER: Right. Well, it`s interesting coming from you with as we say with the track record of course, the Pride week coming here at a time when Justice Kennedy who wrote the marriage equality decision is stepping down from the court. A lot of people think this could be leading to --

MUSTO: A lot of (INAUDIBLE) is why there were 2.5 million people. We are grounding and we are in the streets screaming.

MELBER: Now speaking of rainbows --

NAGASU: Well I want to talk about -- I want to talk about kangaroos joining soccer games and Australia and --

MELBER: Well, then so do I.

NAGASU: On a lighter note.

MELBER: Yes, who needs to fall back with regard to the kangaroos` situation?

NAGASU: The soccer players do because the kangaroos were just trying to have fun and you know --

MELBER: There you go.

NAGASU: Everybody deserves to have a little fun. And did you know that kangaroos, once you hold their tail they can`t move and also they also can`t swim? And they`re probably really good goalie, so --

MELBER: So you think anyone giving the kangaroo a hard time should fall back and they ought to get a little time on the field like everyone else. I`m here for it. This is why we have "FALLBACK FRIDAYS." My "FALLBACK" relates to the Supreme Court and Donald Trump Jr. who tweeted this when he found out Kennedy was resigning. He tweeted, OMG, just when you thought this week couldn`t get more lit, I gave you Kennedy`s retirement." Donald Trump Jr. tweeting the word "lit" is a sign, Chuck, that lit is dead. I made it. We`ve made an obituary, Chuck.

NICE: Thank you.

MELBER: Do you do you think lit has come and gone now?

NICE: Are you kidding me? "Lit" is actually turning over in its grave right now because Donald Trump uses it in a tweet. Yes, that`s how dead lit is.

MUSTO: Trump Jr. thinks it`s Kennedy the MTV veejay that`s retired.

MELBER: I mean, I love a good MTV veejay joke, it`s five -- it`s five initials. Look, it can`t -- you can`t go back to saying -- and for people watching at home "lit" is a word people use to refer to the heat or excitement of something, yo that`s lit. But now that Don Junior`s done it, Chuck, it`s -- you can`t, right? No one could say it now, cool.

NICE: Well, you know, I think perhaps from now on what lit should mean is that someone who is veiled -- somebody who`s a bit -- how about if you have a racist dad then you can use a word lit. That`s it. You know what I mean?

MELBER: I watch you -- I watch you --


MELBER: I watch you, I feel like we got inside your process. I watched you workshop the joke, get comfortable with the joke, and then tell the joke.

NICE: And then I went -- and who would that I actually -- I actually reversed all the way around on it because I was like, no, that isn`t going to work. Just go with the truth, racist dad.

MELBER: Well, you know sometimes you have to flip it in reverse.

NICE: It`s true.

MELBER: That`s Missy Elliott.

NICE: Right, exactly.

MUSTO: I don`t know the kids today by my new album drops word to your mother.

MELBER: And by the way, the moment Donald Trump Jr. says flip it and reverse did, it probably -- it`ll probably die.

MELBER: Well, Missy is still safe. Well, lightning round, Michael. Who else needs to fall back.

MUSTO: Broadway because it`s all about jukebox musicals which means you take old songs that are known by baby boomers, you put them into a show. There`s one about Donna Summer, this one about the go-go, using the go-go`s music it mean, it tells a different story. We have Cher coming, Tina Turner`s Temptations Broadway which I care about has turned not only into Vegas but into Branson.


MUSTO: Bring back the arts.

MELBER: We don`t need -- we don`t need -- yes, we don`t need Vegas in Midtown. Do you have one more fall back before we go.

NAGASU: I do. The World Surf League is criticized over the gender pay gap for junior surfers and if you look at the photo, the girl has a half the pay of the guy and that`s atrocious you know, especially from figure skating for me. I`m in a female dominated sport so that wouldn`t fly for me.

NICE: How much did the kangaroo get?

NAGASU: He`s about on a volunteer effort.


NICE: Not all my jokes are that great.

MELBER: Well, the thing about the kangaroo is I heard sometimes his checks bounced.

MUSTO: That was good.

NICE: All I can say is that was lit.

MELBER: On that note, we out. I think, we -- I think I`m done. I`m toast and that means maybe the segment is done.

NAGASU: My mind doesn`t go fast enough for this segment.

MELBER: My thanks to Mirai, Michael, and Chuck for a very special "FALLBACK FRIDAY."




MELBER: This was a defining week for Donald Trump`s legal legacy from a retirement that can reshape the Supreme Court to a smackdown of trumps border policy that you might not have heard about yet to this controversial ruling on presidential power.


LESTER HOLT, MSNBC HOST: We began with a major Supreme Court victory for President Trump. The court declaring his travel ban on citizens of several Muslim majority countries is legal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the third version of the attempt to restrict travel from mostly Muslim countries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The court said the travel ban is constitutional because it does conform to a law which since 1952 has given every president the broad authority to restrict entry to this country.


MELBER: The Supreme Court upholding the most controversial thing Donald Trump has probably done with his immigration power. He refined his once blatant calls for an illegal Muslim ban into a country based ban that the court said didn`t meet the test for avoiding religious discrimination while passionate dissents on the court likened. This new decision to upholding the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War two, a line that clearly hit its mark and drew Justice John Roberts into a very rare response announcing this week that the court was wrong to ever endorse internment and the dissenters responded to that acidly. Justice Sotomayor telling Roberts the Travel Ban decision merely replaces one gravely wrong decision with another. Justice Kennedy departs this court now after decades of service but he leaves a court that is actually battling some of the same immigration dilemmas of bygone eras.

I don`t think he could have predicted that one of his last decisions would tackle that internment and today`s debates over refugees actually channel a Casablanca style set of questions like who we owe a duty to help get out of harm`s way, who should we let into America? And there`s nothing new about isolationism in our politics or culture something we`ve talked about on this show before. Remember in that movie Humphrey Bogart played a man who was simply done with the world`s problems. And the film depicted his world-weariness quite sympathetically figuring that people could relate to his notion that sometimes it`s hard to be noble and that people`s refugee problems well maybe they don`t amount to much.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where I`m going, you can`t follow. What I`ve got to do you can`t be any part of because I`m no good at being noble but doesn`t take much to see that the problems of three little people don`t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.


MELBER: This may be a good time to recall. It was Bogart`s character who ultimately evolved risking his life to help refugees. And that`s the spirit that many of Trump`s critics have been drawing on to condemn, his very punitive approach to people fleeing danger to get to our border. These orders that isolated and orphaned innocent children and set up these tent camps settling them for tender age baby migrant shelters. And we also saw those shocking images and heard the disturbing audio of children crying for their parents all because the U.S. government has split them apart. Many asking the big question, how do you end this?


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: What is ultimately going to end what Trump has done with these thousands of kids who are spread out all over the country right now tonight without their moms and dads, what`s ultimately going to end it is going to be local activism and local advocates putting these families back together.


MELBER: Ending it. With everything happening this week, it would be easy to miss the news that Trump action lost this fight twice. First, under waves of pressure that led him to narrow that order. Then a judge taking it further ordering on Wednesday the White House legally must reunite these families noting the facts set forth portray reactive governance, responses to address a chaotic circumstance of the government`s own making. That`s the Trump administration`s own making. The judge saying this belies measured and ordered governance. So here we see the law was able to basically take those families and try to put them back together and note that immigrants do have a right to some due process. That`s a sign that the courts do still work. So who leads them is now I can tell you the defining question of the Trump presidency because of what happened this week.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justice Kennedy of the Supreme Court today just handed us this letter dated today. It says dear -- my dear Mr. President this letter is a respectful and formal notification of my decision effective July 31st of this year to end my regular active service as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.


MELBER: That was big news. Justice can be a part of many decisions including upholding the travel ban which was controversial. But in that same opinion, he does leave a final message. He knew we didn`t when he wrote this that this was one of his last messages. An anxious world must know our government remains committed always to the liberties the Constitution seeks to preserve and protect so that freedom extends outward and lasts. Was he talking to the President? There`s no single vacancy in the entire government right now with more long-term consequences than Kennedy`s seat. His replacement could decide some of America`s largest questions for more than a generation. Now, this open spot is up to the President to fill in the Senate to confirm and it will impact how America operates long after Donald Trump is out of office. Democrats valley to apply the McConnell standard and forced Republicans to wait until after the midterms.


SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: We hold Mitch McConnell to the precedent that he set in 2016.

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: When our fundamental liberties are in danger and we`re going to use every tool available and we will possibly be creative about some new ones.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: Based on every conversation I`ve had with my colleagues so far this afternoon, everybody`s prepared to play hardball.


MELBER: This is not a drill. There`s no bigger fight in American politics right now than this fight over this court which is also a fight over what justice will actually comprise in this unfolding Trump era in America. Courts are the last constraint on political passions. As Alexander Hamilton wrote, why has government been instituted at all because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint? I repeat, without constraint. That word constraint may not sound all that exciting but it was constraint that ultimately stemmed some of the excesses of Trump`s anti-family orders at the border. It was constraint that Justice Kennedy invoked after 9/11.

He ruled that even accused terrorists do get due process in America because this is America. You can bet that wasn`t a popular position then. It probably wouldn`t have won a popular vote. But justice is not about what`s popular in the moment. Just as that cold isolationism in the face of other people`s problems may be momentarily appealing at different times, it is also not always the best reflection of our idealism or of the due process that our Constitution affords human beings. This is a momentous time. It is no time to let up or tune out and certainly no time to give up. It`s a time to stand up because America`s high court not only hangs in the balance, America`s founding values are on the line too.


MOHYELDIN: Welcome back everyone. Jon Stewart last night.


JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: Hello, Donald! It`s me. The guy you made everyone knew was Jewish on Twitter. You dig the dictator thing. How about we give you a giant building with gold toilets and your name on it in giant letters that -- that`s where he lived? All right, how about we give you a whole news network, they`ll spend 24 hours a day praising everything you do -- named for a small animal?


MOHYELDIN: All right, but after the jokes, Stewart did get serious.


STEWART: What Donald Trump wants is for us to stop calling his cruelty and fear and divisiveness wrong but to join him in calling it right and this we cannot do. And by not yielding -- and by not yielding -- and I say -


MOHYELDIN: And on that note that does it for me, have a great weekend. Catch me on social media and tune in on Sunday at 5p.m. Eastern for my show. HARDBALL starts right now.


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