Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: August 7, 2018 Guest: Michael Eric Dyson, Candace Owens, Christopher Gordon, Daniel Reback
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: And then my favorite thing about tonight`s primaries is Washington State. It`s a jungle primary, top candidate in each one, but everybody`s on the same ballot so you know what it is. It`s basically like an actual poll of voters.
So that`s all we have for tonight. And that`s how I`m watching tonight. We will back tomorrow with more MTP DAILY.
"THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER" and a Washington state native, starts right now.
Ari, it is my favorite about your primaries, is that everybody is on the same ballot and it`s like a real poll of actual voters.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: It`s a real poll. We love the ever green state and that system works pretty well, we think. Thank you, Chuck.
TODD: See you, brother.
MELBER: We start with big news from inside the Paul Manafort trial right now.
Bob Mueller`s star witness who we have all been hearing about this week, former Trump aide Rick Gates, is now under cross-examination. This is big. It means that Manafort`s lawyers get their turn in trying to undercut him any way they can. And they are doing it aggressively which we will get into. But it also means that we are learning some brand new bombshells about the Mueller probe itself like how Mueller`s investigators build their cases against former Trump aides.
Tonight, I can report to you for the very first time how that process works. It is exhaustive. Gates saying here under oath that in the time since he famously flipped in February, he met with Mueller`s team 20 times. Gates also making new accusations that move from Manafort`s financial activities to the heart of the Trump campaign itself and potential corruption.
He is saying on the stand, and this is new, as an allegation under oath, that Paul Manafort abused his role as campaign manager to promise perks and a job to a banker that Manafort also directed him to help hide millions in 15 different offshore bank accounts. That`s a story prosecutors have been telling throughout the case.
Meanwhile, Manafort`s defense council pushing Gates to admit an extramarital affair and that he paid his personal bills in London for that affair by embezzling from Manafort.
You see the defense here is clearly to go on offense to attack Gates` credibility. To paint him as un-trust worthy criminal in his own right.
Now, all of that is part of the drama today. The nuts and bolts of this case are still in the numbers, in the tax fraud and bank fraud, in the alleged deals for these clients allied with the Putin regime.
Now, Paul Manafort faces 18 fraud charges from a time before he ever joined the Trump campaign. This was all the Ukrainian consulting work, which means there`s a ton of paper and prosecutors are arguing to this jury whatever happens with Mr. Gates, the paper doesn`t lie.
For example, also new, we can tell you, they showed an email today that Manafort sent to Gates with Gates testifying that Trump`s former campaign chair wrote this is a disaster in April 2015 in that email, about a higher than expected tax bill, throwing in a WTF as well. The full quote is he told the jury he`s not happy, I just saw this, WTF, how could I be blindsided like this?
Other details emerging from this testimony drama in the courtroom.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He never looks at Manafort. He looks at the lawyers, he looks at the jury. But Manafort himself stares directly at Rick Gates. I mean, you might stay he is staring daggers at him. From time to time, the judge calls the lawyers up to a side bar to talk. And Rick Gates is left there dangling in the wind, sitting alone awkwardly, not knowing quite where to look. Manafort continues to stare at him, and Gates looks around the room waiting for the awkward silence to end.
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MELBER: Reporting federal prosecutor analyst there earlier.
The tension spills over as well into how this judge who we have reported on before who is seen as rather assertive and the Mueller prosecutorial team.
Take a look at this new reporting. The judge suggesting that one of Mueller`s prosecutors was crying in court. This is from the transcript. He says, well, I understand how frustrated you are. In fact, there`s tears in your eyes right now. Mueller`s prosecutor replies, there are not tears in my eyes, judge. And the judge says, and this is important, well, they are watery.
Joining me now is Franklin Foer who has covered Paul Manafort extensively as a journalist for "The Atlantic." Today he writes about this quote, ultimate betrayal of Paul Manafort, a friend of THE BEAT Maya Wiley who is a former council to the mayor of New York City and "The Daily Beast" Betsy Woodruff who has been all over this probe from the start.
Maya, you know there is no crying in baseball. Is there crying this federal court? Is there anything wrong with crying, I think share your emotions in a setting can be positive?
MAYA WILEY, FORMER COUNCIL TO NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: It`s important to be in touch with your feelings. Generally, if you are an attorney with a jury staring you down, you definitely want to exude confidence, which is why, I think you heard a prosecutor saying, no, my eyes are -- I am not crying. Unless they are tears of joy because as far as I could tell the prosecution is in a very strong position in this case. I was thinking more of Beretta, the theme song to Beretta which don`t do the crime if you can`t do the time.
MELBER: I hear you on that. So Maya, what are we to make for people who haven`t spent as much time in courtrooms about this? Is this just the judge`s way during what is in a long-running day-in, day-out, tense trial of expressing his displeasure because he is clearly wrangled with lawyers from both sides?
WILEY: Yes, you know, judges are people. And people have different personalities. And every trial has its own set of dynamics between the judge and the attorneys that are appearing before the judge. This is a no nonsense judge. This is a judge that has been pushing hard to make sure this case moves forward a pace. Prosecutors like to have their dramatic moments. And they want to draw it out and get all their evidence in the way they want to get it in.
Certainly, this judge is particularly, I would say, colorful and aggressive in how he handles his courtroom in a district court that is known for actually being very aggressive about ensuring that cases move very quickly. But I think what we`re seeing really is much more about the personalities that happen in any given trial.
WILEY: The primary issue is the law and the evidence. This is a case, in which if anyone`s crying in that courtroom, it should be Paul Manafort.
MELBER: Betsy Woodruff, you know the ins and outs of this team well. That exchange with Mueller`s prosecutor reflects some of the tensions, as Maya says, the prosecutors want to be in command. What did you make of both that moment and what else we`ve learned today, and the Manafort strategy of trying to undermine Rick Gates?
BETSY WOODRUFF, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST: The friction between Greg Andres, the prosecutor involved in that exchange and the judge is interesting. Because Andre has actually stepped away from a lucrative private practice gig to get on board with the Mueller team. He is one of a number of prosecutors who walked away from extremely high paying jobs to see dramatic salary cuts to work for Mueller. So this is something that very much, we can surmise, this is very personal for him. He`s made a big sacrifice to do part of this work. And, you know, maybe it was a little emotional.
Additionally, though, setting aside that, I think one of the most important revelations that we learned today was that Viktor Yanukovych, who is the Putin friendly President of Ukraine for who Manafort engaged work, actually paid Manafort not just for the work that he was doing on his elections, which is what we have known up to this point about the relationship between Manafort and Yanukovych, but additionally paid Manafort and is company $4 million a year starting in 2010 when Yanukovych was elected to give political advice.
So that means that Manafort wasn`t just helping Yanukovych win elections, he also seems to, according to what we learned in court today, have played a role that helping Yanukovych govern.
WOODRUFF: And this is important because it shows just the closeness the relationship between these two men.
Additionally, we see Manafort`s fate being inextricably linked to Yanukovych`s. When things went south for Yanukovych in 2014, all the sudden Manafort found himself on the rocks. He was very much deeply financially connected to this pro-Putin autocrat who ended up having a troubling political fate. It`s interesting to see the parallels of those two men`s rises and falls.
MELBER: Franklin, you have followed that part of Manafort`s career. Your views?
FRANKLIN FOER, JOURNALIST, THE ATLANTIC: Well, they were in really close. I mean, he was helping run the country. He had a hard pass that gave him access to the inner sanctum of the presidential palace. I find the Gates- Manafort drama to be extremely interesting to watch just because there was this filial relationship between the two. They were extremely close. And he was Manafort`s inner circle. And so the -- just the drama, this notion that was described in the beginning of Manafort sitting there, staring at this son-like character as he is just giving evidence mounting on evidence against him, describing every single aspect of their misdeeds.
And Maya, on the part that they still have in common, Gates famously praising Manafort to this day under oath saying he is probably one of the most politically brilliant strategists I have ever worked with. What do you think will be front and center in the jury`s mind as they look at these two people who are living lives that - I mean, those of us who follow this stuff and have been around politics found it all a little fantastic. If you are a normal juror, you are like, you are spending millions on this international thing, you are getting the money back, which you are broke, you are running out of money, but you praise each other`s brilliant, but you stab each other in the back, what does the jury do you make of all this in a way that matches the Mueller strategy?
WILEY: I think the Mueller strategy has been very clear to demonstrate there`s a lot of crime that`s been committed here, and graft and greed and corruption. And I think that`s what we`re seeing play out in court. Neither Rick Gates nor Paul Manafort are very likable people.
WILEY: And I don`t think they are going to be likable to the jury. The defense has tried to play that card by painting Rick Gates as someone who is basically a dirt bag that you wouldn`t want sitting in your living room with you. Manafort comes off just as dirty and just as bad. So I think what the jury is sitting there thinking about is that bookkeeper, that accountant, the guy who was selling suits, the lawn company, those wire transfers that only Manafort knew about and was making, the falsified statements. You know, at the end of the day, there`s a whole bunch of crime, and a whole bunch of documents that demonstrate that crimes were committed. And that`s what they`re going to focus on.
MELBER: And Franklin, take us inside Paul Manafort`s mind. We are here, heading into the middle of the week. There could be basically deliberations this week. There could be a verdict by the end of the week. Where does this go, do you think, as he prepares for that?
FOER: Well, you know, hovering over this entire trial is the question, why didn`t Manafort do the same thing as Gates, cut a deal with the special prosecutor? Because the evidence against him was clear. We saw that in the indictment. He knew this was going to be a hard trial. And yet he persisted, he decided to go along with that.
And I think that relates to the prosecutor`s theory of the case, which is that Paul Manafort is a guy who acts with impunity. He always has. And that`s the narrative of this whole trial. It`s the reason he pulled off the stunts that he pulled off constantly.
And I sat there in court and stared at the guy, and watched him mug for the jury. And there`s a confidence that he tries to project. He`s advised senators his entire life -- and in politicians. And he`s projecting this senatorial sort of image. He`s got the perfect lean, the hands in the pocket. He`s a political strategist. And he thinks he has a strategy to convince the jury. And he`s very intimately involved in orchestrating his lawyers, at sending them notes, huddling with them. And I think probably in his mind he thinks he`s got a shot at winning.
MELBER: Well, or a shot at one -- as always, Betsy, one jury, a shot at one juror, identifying with him in some way and getting you to a mistrial, which would be huge for the Trump folks. They would say, on the strength of that one juror, look, looks more like a witch hunt if Bob Mueller can`t close the very first case he brought to court.
Speak to Franklin`s analysis that goes to the fact we are dealing with a master strategist who may be down on his luck but who has certainly pulled off other long shot strategies in his life.
WOODRUFF: Right. And Manafort is very strategically intelligent, and also deeply ambitious. He is, you know, over the course of his time in public and private life. He has worked closely with clients who come from long shot situations to try to carry them into the highest echelons of power.
Manafort actually was something of a ground breaker in the lobbying world over the last few decades. He worked closely with a number of dictators, autocrats, authoritarians, on multiple different continents. He worked with Ferdinand Marcus in the Philippines along with his wife embezzled billions of dollars from that country. Manafort worked with Jonas (INAUDIBLE) a cold war era and guerrilla fighter who used child soldiers as part of his war against communists in Angola. Manafort works to lobby for (INAUDIBLE) during the Reagan administration trying to bring him into the good graces of the conservative movement.
You want to talk about a tall order, but that`s something Manafort appears to have done with some degrees of success. So then he actually was able to find himself, for instance, at CPAC, thanks in part to people like Manafort who shove at through that process. Manafort worked with Sonny Abacha (ph), an authoritarian from Nigeria who according to the U.N. and United States tortured his political opponents.
Over the course of his career, Manafort has shown an extraordinary high level of comfort working with some of the most controversial and notorious thugs the western world has seen. And what we are seeing today is him potentially trying to take that level of ambition and confidence into a courtroom. It is up to the jury to decide what to do about it.
MELBER: Right. Sort of a reverse captain America for super villains on the client worlds there according to your reporting.
Betsy Woodruff, Maya Wiley, and Franklin Foer, thanks to each of you for being part of our coverage.
Coming up, a feds open up a new front in the Michael Cohen probe, and it could be a new point of pressure.
Also, Trump`s legal team prepping a new move against Bob Mueller trying to avoid the entire obstruction questioning.
Also, tonight, I`m happy to say we have a very special, and we believe important conversation on race in the Trump era with some special guests.
And then later, because it`s THE BEAT, something very different, a legal fight over this.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, a snake`s up in the tree. Honey badger don`t care. It just takes what it wants. Whenever it`s hungry. And it eats snakes. My God. Watch it dig. Look at that digging.
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MELBER: Look at that digging. I will be joined by the man who created one of the most viral videos in the history of the internet that`s led to a high stakes court battle.
I`m Ari Melber. You are watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.
MELBER: As Paul Manafort`s trial for tax fraud enters its second week, Donald Trump`s former fixer Michael Cohen, also, according to new reports, is under investigation for tax and bank fraud. This was first reported by "The Wall Street Journal."
Investigators reportedly looking at if Cohen underreported income from his taxi business on his federal tax returns or if he also overstated the value of any of his assets when applying to banks for loans. So Cohen`s relatively new lawyer Lanny Davis did not comment to the journal, saying that`s out of respect to these open investigations. The feds subpoenaing Cohen`s accountant, turning up the heat on him, Cohen already signals he could cooperate with authorities. Convictions for federal tax and bank fraud can carry major prison sentences, up to even 30 years.
We turn to former Watergate special prosecutor Nick Ackerman.
Why does it always come down, it seems, to taxes?
NICK ACKERMAN, FORMER WATERGATE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I think it`s because people like Manafort, people like Cohen, cheat on their taxes.
What is remarkable here is the similarity between these two situations. I mean, the evidence at the Manafort trial this past week has shown that what Manafort did on numerous occasions was understate his income during the time he was making fortunes from his work in Ukraine, and then when his golden goose fled to Russia, he suddenly had to understate his income in order to get bank loans, committing bank fraud.
What`s interesting in the reported statements that have come out today about Michael Cohen is, it`s a very -- almost identical situation in the sense that his golden goose were the taxing medallions that were providing him lots of income, that he allegedly did not report on his taxes. And when those taxing medallions that didn`t flee to Moscow, but Uber came in, Lyft came in, and all of a sudden these medallions were not worth as much as they were before. He started applying for bank loans and overstated his income.
So you have got both individuals essentially doing the same thing, if the reports are true. And, of course, when you`ve got bank fraud, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.
ACKERMAN: Somebody who gets that kind of a sentence has a lot of incentive to deal with the government and cooperate.
MELBER: If this is where this probe goes, what do you say, Nick, to the idea that whatever Michael Cohen allegedly did, it increasingly does not look all that related to Donald Trump?
ACKERMAN: Well, I may have done a lot of things. I mean, certainly what he may have done with his own taxes is just like what Manafort did with his own taxes and what he also did with the banks has nothing to do with Donald Trump. Although, you know, Donald Trump, was also somebody who borrowed a lot of money from banks and went bust. And none of us know what he said on his taxes because he didn`t release his taxes. And he certainly, we don`t know what he said on his bank applications to various banks. But all of this, I would think, would be of interest to the Mueller probe.
MELBER: Nick Ackerman, always on the case for us. Thank you very much.
Up ahead, Donald Trump`s under legal and political pressure in tonight`s race in Ohio. Democrats say they may have an upset. I have got Eugene Robinson here when we are back in just 30 seconds.
MELBER: The other top story tonight, Donald Trump`s presidency increasingly looks like it is in crisis. There`s the crushing legal pressure, but there`s also political head winds going into the midterms. On the law, it`s Rudy Giuliani now trying to buy more time, Bob Mueller pressing for more on that interview. But there is quote "real reluctance to take questions on obstruction" which doesn`t sound very confident from Giuliani.
Then the political side we are right now just an hour or so away from polls closing in the Ohio special election. Now, historically, this isn`t one we`d watch that closely because Republicans have held the seat for three decades. But there are clues that the Democratic candidate is closer than usual. There could even be an upset tonight.
Here`s Donald Trump`s response when he was campaigning in this district.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If the Democrats get in, they are going to raise your taxes. You are going to have crime all over the place. You are going to have people pouring across the border. So why would that be a blue wave? I think it could be a red wave. I tell you what, I think it should be a red wave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: And while every team tends to hype their own side, we will note that it`s prominent Carl Rove who is now saying the Republicans could lose the House. He has told Trump to stop talking about the red waver which you just heard there. And to quote "start lowering expectations."
Now for our coverage of what could be a bell-weather race tonight, I`m happy to say we are joined by Pulitzer prize-winning writer Eugene Robinson, a veteran of many late election nights. Including, Gene, take a look at this. When you posed this challenge to Donald Trump after he was declared the winner in 2016.
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EUGENE ROBINSON, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Trump appealed to them by saying not just I`m going to make America great again. But that the problem really is those immigrants. And the problem is those Muslims. And the problem is those people in the inner cities. And, you know, so how does -- that`s what we`re left with. Does he -- does he knit that back together?
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MELBER: Does he knit that back together? Gene on Gene, go ahead and answer.
ROBINSON: I think I have the answer to my question now. You know, he drives wedges wherever he can. He rips us further apart. That`s what Donald Trump does. It`s been an extraordinary -- yes, it`s hard to remember back to that night, you know. It seems like it was eons ago, in a different country.
But, you know, onward. Tonight will be interesting. And everybody`s looking at that Ohio race. The big clue that it was close is a poll, the most recent poll showing a one point difference with actually the Democrat one point ahead of the Republican. And that is, you know, sirens and alarm bells for Republicans in what really ought to be a safe Republican district.
MELBER: Right. It ought to be safe. And that`s a question of whether the resistance, as defined by people who are actively against Trump, is broader into something that`s become a vote for a check. I mean, you and I know from covering past midterms, there are voters who will literally vote against the White House party in the midterm and then come back to it by the following. Different than resistance. Take a listen to rush Limbaugh saying it all boils down to Trump hate.
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RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: In the Democrats win, what are we going to get? The Democrats are basing this blue wave on one thing, Trump hatred. The resistance. They are not basing it on people`s desire for democrat policies. Now, isn`t that kind of flimsy?
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MELBER: Is that flimsy?
ROBINSON: Well, that`s not really true. I mean, look, there is a lot of angst and anger on Donald Trump the way he has performed as President and all the things he`s done, you know, Charlottesville, the child separations. You just name the list. So yes, there`s a lot of -- there are a lot of people upset about that.
By the same token, Democrats are out there talking about more bread and butter issues, about Trump says the economy is roaring, how`s your economy? That sort of thing. About health care. About things -- other things that people care about.
And the other side of the coin, of course, is where the Trump love? And we`ll find out something about that tonight. I mean, did Donald Trump campaign in this district like pence went there? Republicans essentially put out a full-court press based around Donald Trump to try to save this seat. And so we will see how well that works.
MELBER: Where is the love? Always a big question.
I look at Helsinki and I`m wondering whether that event, which for people who follow the news closely, was jaw dropping, seeing a President, whatever you think of this President, stand next to an adversarial nation like Vladimir Putin`s Russia and take their side over our own intelligence agencies.
But for folks who follow this every day, it`s one more thing, we always have the conversation, is this the thing, there are signs that on the other hand, Trump folks are doubling down. Look at these shirts, professionally produced, I would rather been Russian than Democrat, is what it says, which dovetails with something you have written.
Gene Robinson, Republican as the pro-Kremlin party. One of the most astounding things to happen in recent memory is that the GOP has somehow become the pro-Kremlin party.
And so, I`m wonder, that being your new piece, whether there is a political bind that`s created whereas people going to these rallies double down and embrace Russia and Putin, because that`s what their leader is doing, are they embracing a message that`s a 30 or 35 percent message, not a 50 percent message and that is actually ultimately hurting the Republican Party if folks don`t want to go along with that in November?
ROBINSON: Well, I think that segment of Republican support, that part of the Republican vote, is definitely -- is basically wrapping itself around Donald Trump. And, yes, that is a 30 to 35 percent message, all in for Trump, all the time. He needed more than that to win the election. He needs more than that for Republicans to keep control of the House this time. And so that`s the question. Are there Republicans, for example, who -- lifelong Republicans who saw that Helsinki summit, and were aghast, and wondered what had happened to their party? Are there suburban women voters to take one group who saw the child separations and said, you know, good lord, what are we doing here? And what is this President doing? And how can I support this? Do those people come out? Do they vote for Democrats? Do they just stay home? Or do they come out and vote Republican as Trump would like them to do? We won`t have all the questions answered this evening, but it will be a really, really interesting snapshot of where things are.
MELBER: Right. It will be a snapshot and important state and we will start getting some of the pixels in that picture within just over an hour.
Gene Robinson, thank you very much.
ROBINSON: Thanks, Ari.
MELBER: Up ahead, Donald Trump lashes out at Lebron James. He has called Mexican immigrants rapists and said both sides were to blame in Charlottesville.
Tonight, we have a special discussion with Professor Michael Eric Dyson and Conservative Activist Candace Owens. That`s next.
MELBER: President Trump again making it a point of attacking prominent black Americans. He`s just impugning the intelligence of LeBron James and Don Lemon which echoes the way he singled out the I.Q. of Congresswoman Maxine Waters or the academic credentials of Barack Obama, attacks to come on the anniversary of the Charlottesville white power rallies that Trump partially defended. Now, tonight we have a special conversation with two political analysts with some opposing views on Trump`s approach to race, a celebrated progressive academic and a conservative activist who`s been hailed by the President himself. Donald Trump`s, views and rhetoric on race we should note are not original. The Manhattan media mogul is known more for echoing other cultural warriors than writing his own lines. It goes well beyond the Reagan slogan make America great again.
We should note, Trump echoes former Nixon aide Pat Buchanan who ran on a platform of taking back the culture from immigrants and minorities.
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PAT BUCHANAN, FORMER NIXON AIDE: Block by block, my friends we must take back our cities and take back our culture and take back our country.
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MELBER: Is that a coded racial appeal? Donald Trump argued yes at least when his political ambition required competing with Buchanan. You know, back in 2000, one of the many times that Trump flirted with running for president, they were up against each other for a nomination on the Reform Party ticket and Trump blasted Buchanan as a bigot.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He`s a Hitler lover. I guess he`s an anti-Semite. He doesn`t like the blacks, he doesn`t like the gays, it`s just incredible that anybody could embrace this guy.
His years is so far off and what he wrote in his book is so bad, anti- Semitic, anti-Black, anti-gay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Those are some of the very terms Trump`s critics now use against him and within a decade of saying that it was Trump who invoked racists Birtherism to attack the first Black president and then found a lot of fuel in stealing Buchanan`s lines rather than calling him anti-black anymore. So, before we begin, take a look at the receipts.
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BUCHANAN: Hundreds and thousands, every single night walk across that border into the United States of America ignoring our laws ignoring our border.
TRUMP: Illegal immigrants pouring into our country bringing with a-prime tremendous amounts of crime.
BUCHANAN: Today, we call for a new patriotism where Americans begin to put the needs of Americans first. We are finally putting America first. For tonight`s discussion, we`re joined by Conservative Activist Candace Owens, she`s with Turning Point USA and she argues African Americans are doing better under the Trump presidency. She`s drawn praise for the way she thinks from none other than Kanye West who has praised Trump while the President also hailed her impact and contribution to this dialogue. On the other side, we have Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson, a nationally recognized expert on civil rights who argues Trump is emboldening White Supremacist, he`s the author of 21 books including What Truth Sounds Like. Thank you both for doing this discussion.
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Thank you.
CANDACE OWENS, CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST: Thank you for having us.
MELBER: Candace, when you look at that rhetoric and you look at what appears to be a shift in the way Donald Trump talks, do you think he is embracing a type of racial division that is problematic for us to operate as a civil society?
OWENS: Well, the first thing that I look at is the date of the tapes. It`s remarkable that we are pulling tapes that you`ve gone into the archives and we`re looking at the year 2000. I think people are entitled to evolve their thoughts over 18 years. The second thing that I think is quite remarkable here is that we`re talking about racial division and watch those racial division. I think the fact that every time I`m invited onto this network I`m being asked to dispute another Black person. The Black community is been up in general and I don`t want to partake in any of that. We`re just ending a weekend where 71 black people were shot in Chicago, 13 of them killed and we`re not talking about that.
MELBER: Wait, we`re going to talk about all of it. If you have a problem --
OWENS: No, we`re not. I have a problem that we`re doing wall to wall coverage --
MELBER: You have a problem with who you`re appearing on this -- Candice, you have a problem with who you`re appearing on the segment?
OWENS: No, I`m actually respectfully saying to him that we should both decline tearing apart the Black community for the sake of television. And because MSNBC always invites me on to do that, I`m declining to do so when our community is mourning that 71 people that were shot over the weekend. We need to stop this warfare and come together and talk about things that matter. What is going on in Chicago it`s a bigger topic and should be a bigger topic on this network than what Trump said 18 years ago and whether or not it means that people change over 18 years which shocker guys, they do.
MELBER: Well, I`m going to have the professor respond but I have to respond on behalf of myself. You knew what you were invited to discuss and we`re happy you`re here. It`s very important to me in this show that we have these conversations and invite a lot of people of all perspectives. If there`s a problem with that, I think you knew what the invite was to begin with. Professor Dyson, your thoughts.
DYSON: Well, look, we`re dealing with a person who has not only radically emboldened the prospects of bigotry in this country, the resurgent recrudescence hate that he has articulated if you can`t beat him coin him. So he opposes Pat Buchanan on the one hand when it`s to his own political advantage, and then subsequently when the real beliefs emerge from Mr. Trump we see that his vicious animus toward Black people, gay people, Mexicans, Muslims, women and the like is a kind of cornucopia of hate that has been brashly articulated by a man of manifest lack of serious coherence, chaotic intelligence, and the lack of an ability to really express himself by not only pulling upon the strands of history but refusing to take into consideration what`s going on today.
So I think in one sense if we`re going to talk about what -- if we`re going to be honest about Donald Trump, he has not helped Black people, he is not enabled African-American people to move forward, he`s riding a crest and a wave of economic prosperity put in place by his predecessor Barack Obama. He has refused to acknowledge the centrality of police brutality and unarmed black people being assaulted by people in this country. So the reality is that Donald Trump while claiming through rhetoric to be for the Blacks, what he has done is undermined the capacity of African American people to exist in the country where it`s not only about the economic facts and the wherewithal that we contend with, it is about the tone. It is about the rhetoric. It is about the atmosphere that has been unleashed here. And Donald Trump has done something very dangerous and destructive.
He can`t see the difference between an anti-fascist and a person who supports it. He can`t see the difference between somebody who`s against Black people and who is for them. So when he draws false equivalencies between both sides, he negates the ability to say look I believe in rational civil discourse in America but I take aside morally and a person who supports it he can`t see the difference between somebody who`s against black people and who is for them so when he draws false equivalencies between both sides, he negates the ability to say look, I believe in rational civil discourse in America but I take aside morally and politically. We are now 53 years to the debate --
OWENS: If I may interject for a quick second.
DYSON: 53 years beyond debate -- let me finish this.
MELBER: We`ll go to -- we`ll go to the professor and then I`ll go back to you, Candice. Professor Dyson, you can finish and then we`ll go back to Candace.
DYSON: Here we are 53 years past the Voting Rights Act. We`ve seen the resurgence of an attempt to nullify and destroy that Black vote. We`ve seen attempts to somehow circum -- you know, circumnavigate around of black political citizenry and agency so all I`m saying is if we`re concerned about black people, we`ve got to be concerned about poverty, inequality, lack of access to education plus the kinds of sorts of violence that we see directed toward Black people in this country.
MELBER: Candice, go ahead.
OWENS: Great way to end the conversation, sorts of violence has being directed towards black people. Am I black? I`m curious if I`m Black because I`m a Black Conservative and I am not hearing anything that is said about the fact that about 25 white Democrats assembled to kick me out of a restaurant yesterday to throw water and to throw eggs at me because I`m a conservative that supports Donald Trump, the very same Donald Trump, OK, the very same Donald Trump that has -- not Obama, Obama did not do this because President Trump has been slashing regulations and it has brought this economy to a place it has never been at, OK?
We have unemployment that`s an all-time low for both women -- you brought up women, you brought up gays, you brought up Black people, unemployment is at an all-time low across the board. You guys, to refuse to acknowledge the truth that we are doing better. You want to talk about fascist? Antifa attacked me. This is an all-white gang and attacked me and attacked me and attacked all-Black police force in Philadelphia, OK, and they claim to be fighting racism. How is it plausible, Professor, that you allow this to happen to your community because you decided that because we are ideologically conservatives you are OK with this. You`re OK with the --
DYSON: First of all, I haven`t said a word.
OWENS: Don`t cut me off.
DYSON: I haven`t said a word.
OWENS: You did. You just said a lot of words.
DYSON: I haven`t said a word.
DYSON: No, no, no. I haven`t said nothing about you. I said nothing about you.
OWENS: Now you`re cutting me off.
DYSON: I understand what happened to you but --
MELBER: I still have to keep it going. Candice, we`re going to take a pause --
OWENS: No, no, no, I didn`t get speak for five minutes straight. You`re attacking --
MELBER: I`m going to let you finish but if you`re calling out by professor so I have to give him time. So, Candice, go ahead.
OWENS: -- have been attacking conservatives and you guys say nothing about it. Blacks were attacked yesterday, OK. And they were attacked because they support Donald Trump. Black support Donald Trump has doubles at this time last year. You guys can try to pretend that he is pushing in a racist error in this country when in fact we know the Democrats are the are the racists, have always been the racist, the parties never strip -- switched and you should know this as a civil rights person. You know the history, you know --
MELBER: So, Candice --
DYSON: Let me respond.
MELBER: Candice, I`m going to give -- Candice I`m going to give the Professor a change to respond.
OWENS: -- our community being attacked because we support Donald Trump because we understand that we have better economic opportunities under him than we ever had with Obama and shame you --
MELBER: Candice, I`m going to give the Professor a chance to respond --
OWENS: Under his administration, he allowed the bloodshed and Trump wanted some National Guard and the Democrats stopped him. I`m really done with this. I`m done with this racist narrative. Let`s talk about the fact.
MELBER: So Candice, I don`t want to have to talk over people but we have to go back and forth. And Candice, we`re going to have to pause there. A couple of things, you`re making a personal attack on the other guest so I have to give them a chance to respond.
DYSON: Let me -- let me respond. First of all --
MELBER: Professor, I`m going to go back to you. Out of this day, the topic of this discussion that we have tried and perhaps are failing on live television to discuss is Trump policy, the incident that you`re referring to yesterday isn`t is not necessarily this topic and so we have to gather more information. So I`m going to the professor. Professor, you get a chance to respond, sir.
DYSON: First of all, I never said anything about Miss Owens. I`ve never directed any animus, any particularly rhetoric, in any conversation to order. So first of all, when she say you allowed it, first of all, I`m not God, I don`t control the universe or weather. I don`t control the atmosphere, geology, and geography so I did that point these people toward you. I think it`s reprehensible that any human being is if you will, put out of a particular establishment because of her ideology I think that that`s problematic. So I did not suggest that. Number two, yes you are Black and I am Black that doesn`t mean that automatically we agree with everything.
OWENS: You have to be. We should respect one another.
DYSON: Let me finish. Now, what I`m saying to you is that when you talk about me as disrespectful, here`s what`s interesting to me. You have come on here and like Donald Trump reduce everything to narcissistic self- preoccupation and articulation of your -- let me finish -- what you`ve said here -- so now what happens to Black America happens to you so black people are reduced to what --
DYSON: Ari, can I finish my point? I didn`t jump on her. Can I finish my point? Can I finish my point?
MELBER: We are out of time. We had, we put aside eight minutes. Sometimes this happens.
MELBER: Candice Owens, Michael Eric Dyson, thank you both. We will be right back.
DYSON: Bless your heart little girl.
MELBER: Honey badger don`t care. Those four words have become a cultural and political touchstone all because of this little guy, the most famous most viewed honey badger in the world. Now, typical online videos get a few thousand views, this chippie narration of the daily life of a honey badger went viral drawing over 80 million views and it`s in the news tonight because of a legal battle that has actually reached the highest federal court on the west coast. Now, if you`ve never seen this original video before we go any further, here`s how it all started.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER GORDON, CREATOR OF THE HONEY BADGER VIDEO: This is the honey badger. Watch it run in slow motion. A snake takes up in the tree. Honey badger don`t care. Honey badger don`t give a (BLEEP) it just takes what it wants. Here`s a house full of bees. You think the honey badger cares? It doesn`t give a (BLEEP). Get away from me said the snake, get away from me. Honey badger don`t care. Honey badger smacks the (BLEEP) out of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: The voice you`re hearing there is my next guest, Christopher Gordon, still cracking himself up. Honey badger has also become part of our politics. Donald Trump`s own advisors have talked up his classic honey badger qualities. Mr. Gordon, before we get to your case I do want to play for you some of the times that journalists have covered our current bizarre era through the lens of your honey badger.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: We compared the elected Republicans of the great state of Michigan to the honey badger because Michigan Republicans do not give a bleep.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said run for governor, you get your own residence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even the honey badger, unfortunately --
MELBER: This is what a honey badger presidency looks like because a honey badger don`t care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Honey badger narrator Christopher Gordon is here along with his successful lawyer Daniel Reback. Chris, I guess the first question is do we all owe you royalties? We`re talking about the honey badger the new.
GORDON: Ari Badger if I may because you are --
MELBER: Please you may.
GORDON: You just take what you want. The honey badger doesn`t care because it has to not care in order to live. So honey badger doesn`t care because it has to not care where as opposed to a lot of the folks in our administration don`t care because --
MELBER: They choose not to. You`re talking about the difference between animals being animals for survival because they`re animals as people sometimes acting like crazy animals which is a choice.
MELBER: I appreciate the insight you bring to that. I`m going to read from this decision that you got here. This is not just honey badger drama everyone, this is a real appeals court case and the court says it cannot be that the defendants, this company, can copy a trademark, that`s your honey badger, into their greeting without adding their own artistic expression and claim the same First Amendment protection as their original artists. And Daniel, that goes to why this is in the news. You guys are arguing that people might be able to satirize or add the honey badger but they can`t just swipe it and not pay him.
DANIEL REBACK, LAWYER: That`s exactly -- that`s right. So what the Ninth Circuit or as Baba Booey would say that Ninth Circuit, what they wrote is that the defendants, in this case, copied verbatim my clients trademark into the greeting card and they largely pasted it. It was to use the language of the court. Now, what the defendants in this case we`re trying to do was to use 50 Cent`s line. They were, get rich or die trying. And now we get to go back and have our day in court.
MELBER: Christopher, as an -- as an improv artist, I never knew how painful it was to watch a lawyer try to jam hip-hop into unrelated segments until watching Daniel. I feel like I`m looking in a mirror and my self- esteem is dropping. No offense, Daniel.
REBACK: Sorry. I thought you were my twin.
MELBER: Christopher, on the point about people not caring and Trump`s own aides invoking this. It`s one thing to use it as an attack on him --
MELBER: -- but it`s his own people saying that not just his -- not just a journalist or observers. And we collected times where Trump does say more than the average politician, he talks about not caring a lot. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don`t care about Megyn Kelly she should probably apologize to me but I just don`t care.
I don`t care what it is because it doesn`t matter to me.
I think he`s a nice person but I don`t care.
I don`t want to be a nasty guy but I don`t care anymore. We have to get the right people and I don`t care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Is that honey badger? Is that classic honey badger A, and B, do you believe him because I think as an artistic person you have an interesting read on things. Do you believe them or is he more like a middle schooler who is insisting they don`t care about what people say about them because they care so much?
GORDON: I got to see the one thing that just really drives me nuts, Ari, (INAUDIBLE) about this administration is putting citizens lives in danger by the denial of global warming, loss of habitats, bees are presently endangered. So, for me when I hear him say I don`t care, I believe he truly doesn`t care. I know honey badgers Ari, and Donald Trump is no honey badger.
MELBER: Well, there it is.
REBACK: I heard a trademark right there.
MELBER: Is this a real -- is this a real television news segment or are we all dreaming?
GORDON: That`s nasty. That`s just really nasty.
MELBER: My special thanks to Chris Gordon and hip-hop attorney Daniel Reback, thank you both.
GORDON: Thank you, Ari.
MELBER: A lot of ups and downs around here, just another day on THE BEAT. Up next a first for Hollywood for Trump and it`s not good that`s next.
MELBER: West Hollywood wants President Trump out of the Walk of Fame. Their City Council passing a unanimous resolution to remove his Hollywood star. Now, this is a symbolic vote. The city doesn`t control the star, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has actually never taken one back before although we can note the star has come under attack. Last month there was a man who destroyed it with a pickaxe and was charged with vandalism. If there`s any doubt about how much Trump star means to him, here`s what he said when he got it in 2007.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It is a great honor. It`s an honor I never thought I`d get and this is something special to get a star on the Walk of Fame. It`s really good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Something special and still under debate. That does it for us. We will be back here tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews starts now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END
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