Woodward scorches Trump's dishonesty. TRANSCRIPT: 9/10/2018, The Beat w Ari Melber.

Guests: Mara Gay, Shelby Holliday, Michael Avenatti, Randy Credico, Eric Swalwell, Toure, Tracy Martin, Sybrina Fulton

Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: September 10, 2018 Guest: Mara Gay, Shelby Holliday, Michael Avenatti, Randy Credico, Eric Swalwell, Toure, Tracy Martin, Sybrina Fulton

KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: Oh, what else can I say to that? That`s all for tonight. We`ll be back tomorrow with more MTP DAILY. "THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER" starts right now. Good evening, Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Katy. Thank you very much.

Donald Trump just surrendered in the long-running NDA court battle with Stormy Daniels and her attorney, Michael Avenatti joins me live later tonight. You see him there gearing up.

And later, we have a witness who just faced Bob Mueller`s grand jury on Friday on THE BEAT to let us inside those secretive chambers. But our top story tonight is how reporting from Bob Woodward`s new book continues to rock this White House.

And well last week, Woodward let his reporting do the talking, which meant that we all read about Trump`s meltdowns and his staff`s concern about him, and Trump`s plot to assassinate Syria`s leader. All that was in the paper in "The Post" and then we read about the responses that followed from the president and his top appointees. Well, today, Woodward is speaking out himself. And the man credited for helping bring down Richard Nixon says Donald Trump`s delusions are way worse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB WOODWARD, AUTHOR: I`ve never seen an instance when the president is so detached from the reality of what`s going on. Some of the things Trump did and does jeopardize the real national security. He`s got it in his head, and when people challenge him, he`ll say, "Oh, I`ve had those ideas for 30 years, you`re wrong."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: That is not the account of an ex-employee like Omarosa who actually released another secret tape today nor is the account of an author turning his sights on politics for maybe the first time Michael Wolff`s firing theory. This is different. This is a reporter credited as the gold standard of Washington reporting which NBC notes makes him possibly the toughest narrator for Trump to discredit. Although Donald Trump certainly trying posting over a dozen tweets attacking Woodward.

The problem is that most voters, including independents, already have their own idea of Woodward`s reputation, one burnished by leaders from across the spectrum for decades.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is one man who strikes fear in the hearts of leaders everywhere. That man is Bob Woodward.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So Mr. Woodward has more sources than most, and maybe a deeper look into the problems facing us in the White House today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has done legendary reporting all his life for "The Post." This man never compromised his values, never sensationalized.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know you should believe that Bob Woodward is a good reporter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: It is that kind of bipartisan validation that makes Woodward a different narrative opponent for Trump. That`s why even in a partisan town like Washington, Woodward has long benefited from a Dr. Dre level of Teflon and to paraphrase Snoop Doggy Dog`s famous proverb, you try to check this reporter, you better check yourself, because when you diss Bob, you diss yourself.

Joining me now is New York Times Editorial Board Member Mara Gay and Wall Street Journalist Holliday.

And Mara, starting with you. There is a Dr. Dre level Teflon I think with Bob Woodward. This is not just any reporter. Does President Trump dissing him hurt Bob or hurt Donald?

MARA GAY, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER, NEW YORK TIMES: Oh no, I think it definitely hurts the president. I think the question is, though, what is the percentage of voters who don`t have their minds made up at this point? And, you know, there are going to be moderate Republicans and there will be some independent who see Woodward`s book, read it, hear about it, watch it here, and they`re going to be maybe swayed.

I think, unfortunately, there are those in Donald Trump`s base who, as the president himself I think once suggested, you know, he could shoot someone in the middle of the street and they would still kind of support him. So we`re not looking at those voters. I think really the midterms will hinge on turnout among the left and the democratic base, and similarly among the independents and the moderates who are likely to show up at the polls because they`re disgusted with the State of Affairs in Washington.

SHELBY HOLLIDAY, JOURNALIST, WALL STREET JOURNAL: The big question is to, which voters are reading this op-ed, which voters are reading Woodward`s book? They are likely in the suburbs, they`re likely the educated, wealthy Republican voters so to speak. They subscribe to newspapers. They buy a lot of books. Those are the people who are considered big toss-up voters in the midterms.

So if this does resonate with them and if they are already on the cusp, this could be problematic for them. But you do hear time and time again from Republicans that they may not like the tactics Donald Trump employs, they may not like his politics, but they love his policies. They love that he`s getting two Supreme Court Justices, taxes are cut, regulations gone.

You name it, they`ll list a long list of accomplishments that they really like. And so when they read a book like this, they may not care how the sausage is getting made, they just like the sausage and know that it`s something they want at the end of the day.

MELBER: Although this president is unusually unpopular for this early in his presidency.

HOLLIDAY: Yes, given the economy, too.

MELBER: And that`s with a very low unemployment rate which started under the previous president but is carried forward. Also, the role of Woodward here is different because it ricochets. Not everyone is going to buy the book, although we`re told there`s over a million copies being printed because of the expectations of high demand. But it`s in the culture, it`s in late night shows and across the news.

HOLLIDAY: Right.

MELBER: And Woodward being the type of reporter he is, we can listen to what President Trump said to him when he docked the interview. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s really too bad because nobody told me about it and I would have loved to have spoken to you. You know, I`m very open to you. I think you`ve always been fair but we`ll see what happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GAY: Listen, Bob Woodward is one of those people who still carry a lot of caches, a lot of trust with voters, with Americans. There are other people who have served as kind of Ambassadors in that sense, too. It`s not just Woodward. It`s going to be other validators like that coming out that speak to different groups, who are going to make the difference in this election. And Woodward is a tough name to, you know, carry out a character assassination on. Exactly, very tough.

HOLLIDAY: I mean I think --

MELBER: And this goes -- I want to play for you the way that he`s inserting himself as a potential lie detector. The things that are being said cannot all be true, only some of them are true. So I know these people, through a journalistic mechanism, leaked about the president, and talked about him trying to kill a foreign leader in Syria which is significant and a kind of way that the military got us out of that jam, or it didn`t happen. I mean it`s one of two things.

So here was Woodward pressed on this again. This is today, the first day he`s now speaking out himself about those inconsistencies. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, CO-ANCHOR, NBC NEWS: Are they lying?

WOODWARD: They are not telling the truth.

GUTHRIE: That`s lying.

WOODWARD: These people, these are political statements to protect their jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: So if that was one of the questions hanging from last week, Shelby, he`s referring specifically to Generals Mattis and Kelly. He`s saying, "Yes, okay, because their jobs depend on it, they`re going to go out and give a public denial but they told me the truth in private." In Washington, how do you score that?

HOLLIDAY: We say not in so many words. And I think in that interview when he said President Trump is detached from reality, he`s detached from the reality of how Woodward`s reporting was done as well. As Mara said, they`re trying to attack Woodward`s tactics, Trump is calling him an idiot, he`s calling the book fiction.

Woodward is saying I interviewed more than a hundred people, I have hundreds of hours of tapes and we don`t know. Maybe one of those people he interviewed would allow him to release some of those tapes at some point. So I think it`s playing with fire to try to assassinate Woodward`s character.

MELBER: And then you have Barack Obama reemerging, and his view of this type of dissent, whether it`s anonymous leaks through Woodward or anonymous leaks through, you know "The New York Times," op-ed, your paper, as a political matter, while that might be interesting for all of us to read, this former president says that`s not good enough. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They`re not doing us a service by actively promoting 90 percent of the crazy stuff that`s coming out of this White House, and then saying don`t worry, we`re preventing the other 10 percent. That`s not how things are supposed to work. This is not normal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: When you see the president say that, he is rejecting the argument that there are insiders working for this president who are offering the American people the Trump administration 10 percent less crazy. And he`s saying that`s not good enough.

GAY: Right. But it`s been a consistent theme with former President Obama where he`s tried to get individual Americans, everyday Americans and voters to take more ownership of their democracy. And he`s -- I actually believe he ended that speech by saying the way to fix or save our country and our democracy is not through insiders. No one else is coming to save us. It`s you. And that`s his message.

And I think it`s frankly the right one because everything that we talk about really, you know, none of it matters. Really what matters is whether voters show up, who shows up and so --

MELBER: Well, that`s good for me to know. You`re saying everything we talk about here doesn`t matter.

HOLLIDAY: Well, it might get voters to the polls.

GAY: I mean voters will have the final say. Voters will have the final say.

MELBER: But you`re saying that what we are doing here is existentially --

GAY: What we`re doing here matters, I guess, in some way, because I believe that commentary is an important part of American democracy. But really, whatever I say isn`t going to have the final say --

MELBER: But at a deeper level, what you`re getting at is this is existentially meaningless.

GAY: Yes, well, without voters.

HOLLIDAY: Well, voters are watching, I would hope that voters are more informed when they go to the polls. And Obama is not just talking about showing up in the next presidential election, he`s talking about the midterms. He`s talking about voting for Congress. Members of Congress can take action there, an important check against the president. If you believe this president needs to be checked, you can go express that belief by voting.

GAY: Listen, we can say all the right things. We can present the news, we can show Americans the facts, but if they don`t go out and vote, as an informed public, yes, none of it matters. Not just us, none of this matters. I mean we don`t have democracy if people don`t participate.

MELBER: No, don`t get me wrong. I`m not offended. I was just thinking should I go home right now?

GAY: Yes. You should go register some voters.

MELBER: Mara Gay and Shelby Holliday, thank you very much for being part of our coverage.

We are going to a lot more. Michael Avenatti is here live to talk about Donald Trump throwing in the towel or the Stormy Daniels NDA and why he still wants to depose the president and we`ll go inside Bob Mueller`s grand jury room in a rare interview with a witness speaking out over what prosecutors want to know.

Also, I`m going to hear from one of the top Russian investigators on Cabinet Hill, Congressman Swallow and digging into something that a lot of people say is an important test case of gender inequality in America today, the Serena Williams` controversy.

All that and I have a special shout out and a look back at 10 years of Rachel Maddow. I`m Ari Melber. You`re watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: Here`s some news. Donald Trump is surrendering after months of fighting in the Stormy Daniels` case. This news is that Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen are throwing in the towel. They`re trying to actually get out of the now infamous NDA that backfired on him. Trump`s not only giving up, his new filing falsely claims, "Is no NDA because it was never formed."

Now, the filing from Trump reveals to things. He has now officially failed in trying to silence or punish Stormy Daniels, and he now admits his own team was wrong when they spent months claiming they would take her to court, let alone their erroneous claim they had already won this case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This case has already been won in arbitration, and anything beyond that, I would refer you to the president`s outside counsel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They also claimed Daniels` violated a hush agreement at least 20 times and going to have to pay therefore $20 million.

RUDY GIULIANI: At some point, probably a little foggy as to exactly when the president found out and reimbursed him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the president did not promise in advance to reimburse Cohen for that?

GIULIANI: That I don`t know. There was a misunderstanding between them that I think Cohen knew he would be reimbursed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Cohen has now pled guilty for that reimbursement. This new filing also features a rarity, Donald Trump effectively admitting he was wrong about something. And Michael Avenatti is here with me live to react and explain why he actually opposes this new Trump motion on the NDA.

But I want to say something else tonight. The impacts here is much wider than a single NDA that Donald Trump tried to use to silence one civilian. Donald Trump`s use and potential abuse of these gag orders hang over his current governing controversies. He`s pressured everyone from volunteers, to transition staff to his most senior aides to sign them.

He`s retaliated against former aides like Omarosa with costly NDA lawsuits, which could be even on the mind of the anonymous administration official who penned that op-ed and on other former senior officials` minds. In fact, I recently pressed former White House aide Steve Bannon on the practice, and he admitted he is bound by a Trump NDA and said that is the norm.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Did you sign an NDA regarding your campaign experience or your White House experience?

STEVE BANNON: I think everybody signed an NDA.

MELBER: Did you?

BANNON: Yes. I think everybody had to sign an NDA.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: If these NDAs are enforced in court, they can chill the speech and the inside accounts of everyone from top aides to volunteers. But if Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti are showing how to stop Trump`s NDA attack in its tracks or even make a backfire, well that could have an impact well beyond this case as Trump is backing down in the new filing.

Joining me now is Stormy Daniels` lawyer, Michael Avenatti. How did we get here?

MICHAEL AVENATTI, ATTORNEY: Well, I think we got here because of the fortitude and the bravery of my client and the staying power that we have demonstrated in this case over the last six months, coupled with the approach that we took in the case, for which we caught a lot of criticism and I caught a lot of criticism from time to time. And you know, I`m all about results and we have to look at the results, Ari. And you can`t argue with the results.

MELBER: Trump was using this NDA to threaten your client in millions of dollars of punishment. Now, in the new filing, Trump admits or claims the NDA doesn`t exist. If that is a victory for you, why are you still fighting?

AVENATTI: Well, because of the conditions of surrender, Ari. We want a judicial finding or a stipulation or agreement that, in fact, the agreement was illegal from the get-go. And that Michael Cohen knew it was illegal, that Donald Trump knew it was illegal. We also want Donald Trump and Michael Cohen to pay my client`s legal fees and cost and all the other --

MELBER: To pay you? You are the legal fees.

AVENATTI: Well, I`ve already been paid, but to reimburse her for the legal fees and costs that she`s spending in connection with the case. And also, Ari, let`s also remember --

MELBER: So she`s paid you?

AVENATTI: Well, she`s paid me and others. But let`s also remember how this all started. This actually started by Donald Trump having Michael Cohen file a bogus arbitration proceeding in California, using a Trump Organization employee, an attorney by the name of Jill Martin, in an effort to silence and intimidate my client. They used the agreement in order to proceed with that bogus arbitration in California. They`ve not turned around six months later and admitted the whole thing was a sham. It was all a ruse designed to shut my client up and I find that to be outrageous.

MELBER: Do you think this filing, which is new, has any link to the reports from "Bloomberg" that there`s now an open criminal probe behind Michael Cohen into the Trump organization and campaign finance violations?

AVENATTI: Oh, I think it does. I think that this filing, what we saw Friday and then the filing on Saturday is all about Michael Cohen and Donald Trump trying to prevent Michael Avenatti from deposing Donald Trump and Michael Cohen under oath. They do not want to face cross-examination by me under oath. They don`t want to have to answer questions about this NDA and other payments to other women.

MELBER: Based on the way that function, do you think there are other people affiliated with the Trump Organization who broke campaign finance law?

AVENATTI: I do because I`m aware of other payments that occurred in `15 and `16. I`m not at liberty to get into the details. I`ve explained that in the past until my clients authorize me to but my client was not alone. Ms. McDougal is not alone. There are other payments and I have no question. There`s no question in my mind.

MELBER: So let`s break out what you`re saying, because people are following this going, wow. Donald Trump, after fighting this, after taking your client to arbitration and threatening millions of dollars, is suddenly backing down. And what you`re saying is that may be in their interest, to fold in this public manner, because there are other people with a similar situation, that would raise other potential violations of the law?

AVENATTI: That`s exactly what I`m saying. And Donald Trump does not want to face a deposition by me where I ask him questions about the payment to Stormy Daniels, Ms. McDougal, and others, as well as the use of his NDAs to shut people up and silence people in order for him to be elected.

MELBER: Let me read you from his side, which claims, and I`m going to read now. This is from Donald Trump`s new filing through his attorney Charles Harder, "Trump has never, in fact, taken the position that he is a party to this NDA settlement agreement." What is your response to that claim?

AVENATTI: Well, that`s ridiculous. I mean the arbitration proceeding that was filed back in February, late February, was filed at his request. That`s why Michael Cohen undertook to file it, through the use of Donald Trump`s own employee Jill Martin in California. I mean this is a never-ending bucket of lies, series of lies, Ari. You saw the clip from Ms. Sanders standing at the White House --

MELBER: She was, doesn`t look like today she was.

AVENATTI: Right. She claims she won the arbitration that we now know was bogus to begin with because it was based on an agreement, according to Trump now, that never sprang into action, was never valid to begin with. They can`t keep their lies straight but I think it`s remarkable that you have Sarah Sanders now openly lying to the American people and it`s been proven to be false.

MELBER: Do you think that your success here will make Donald Trump less likely to try to use NDAs against other people or not?

AVENATTI: I don`t think that he learns his lessons very easily. I think we`ve seen that time and time again.

MELBER: Are you calling him a slow learner, Michael?

AVENATTI: Oh, I`m calling him a pathetically slow learner, just so we`re clear. Pathetically slow learner.

MELBER: Now, you`re here in your capacity as an attorney representing Stormy Daniels.

AVENATTI: I am.

MELBER: But you have also been playing another role, which is moonlighting and flirting with the possibility of becoming a Democratic candidate. Let me play you here in Iowa. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AVENATTI: Can the potential nominee beat Donald Trump, period? And part of that analysis has to be, can the nominee go into Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and similar mid-western states, and really talk to some of the voters that crossed over from Obama and voted for Donald Trump?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Do you plan to run for president?

AVENATTI: I don`t know yet. I`m continuing to travel around the country. I`m meeting with people. I`m talking with people. I`m gauging the interests. People have been very enthusiastic.

MELBER: When will you make the decision?

AVENATTI: I don`t know yet. I`m going to make it in the coming months but let me say this, there`s an enormous amount at stake in 2020. The Democrats have to nominate a real fighter, not a paper tiger, not a make belief fighter, a real fighter.

MELBER: Right. But if you`re a serious fighter and you`re really going to run, you know how this works. It`s just like court. The deadlines matter. Hillary Clinton had publicly declared by April 2015, which for us would be the equivalent of the April after the midterms and she`s made a lot of moves before then. Will you decide by January, by the start of the new year?

AVENATTI: I promise you I`ll decide by April.

MELBER: You`ll decide by April?

AVENATTI: I promise you that.

MELBER: So the headline here, Michael Avenatti seriously considering a presidential run and will decide, yes or no, by April.

AVENATTI: Well before April.

MELBER: Before April, by March?

AVENATTI: Yes, sure. I`ll give you March.

MELBER: Sounds like you`ve been thinking about it. by February?

AVENATTI: Don`t know yet.

MELBER: OK. But you`re going to decide by March if you`re for real. That way, people will know whether this is a TV tease or real.

AVENATTI: Well, look, I want to be really clear about something, Ari. This is not a TV tease. I mean this is for real. I`m strongly looking at this. That`s why I`m traveling around the country, I`m listening to people. And look, people have been very enthusiastic because they want a fighter. The Democrats need a fighter and they better nominate somebody that can actually beat this guy, because we have an enormous amount at stake in 2020. We cannot screw this up.

MELBER: Michael Avenatti, exploring a run, and we will know by March if that run is to commence. Thank you for coming on THE BEAT. And I will say, as I would say to any side in a case, congratulations on the progress you made. It was quite a filing we saw.

We turn to more legal matters. Up next, a witness who was just sitting down with Mueller`s prosecutors, he testified in the grand jury. Political activist, Randy Credico is here. Randy, shake my hand and I`ll see you soon. We`ll be back in 30 seconds

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: The heat keeps turning up on Donald Trump`s longest political adviser Roger Stone, Bob Mueller seeking out a growing list of people who are publically linked to him and that list has grown to eight. I am here right now live with one of them, a political activist and comedian named Randy Credico who is here on an important day.

This is his first interview since he spoke Friday to the Mueller grand jury itself. And the Mueller probe is not slowing down. There`s a former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos who just got a two-week jail sentence for admitting to lying to federal agents. He spoke also publically for the first time since his arrest this weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS: I also don`t think that the campaign would have invited me to speak at the RNC the way they did if they viewed me as a coffee boy. The campaign was fully aware of what I was doing. As far as I remember, I absolutely did not share this information with anyone on the campaign.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Now let`s hear from another witness. Randy Credico is here. Randy, thanks for coming back on the show.

RANDY CREDICO, ACTIVIST AND COMEDIAN: Oh, it`s a thrill to be here. I love it, you know because I like the anxiety.

MELBER: The anxiety. Well, let`s start with some easy and short yes or no type questions, number one -- or short answer. How many hours were you in the grand jury room Friday?

CREDICO: Well, I arrived at 8:30 with my lawyer Marty Stellar, my dog Bianca and we were in there by 9:30 and got out at 12:30. About three hours altogether.

MELBER: Was Bob Mueller in the room at any time?

CREDICO: You know, I didn`t look. I do not know.

MELBER: you don`t know?

CREDICO: I don`t know.

MELBER: Which prosecutor was questioning you?

CREDICO: His name starts with an A.

MELBER: OK. Is that as far as you`re willing to go?

CREDICO: I really don`t want to come out here and --

MELBER: No. But I want to know -- could you see -- take us inside the room to the extent you can. Did you see the jurors assembled?

CREDICO: Yes.

MELBER: Did they look interested in what you were saying, attentive?

CREDICO: I think so, yes. They were, you know, amped up on coffee. They were listening. They were in there. They did not fall out, they did not fall asleep. I`m a nightclub performer so I know --

MELBER: Right. You know an audience. A couple of basic things that I know that you can answer, were there any questions about Julian Assange?

CREDICO: Peripherally. That was not -- listen, most of it was about Roger Stone.

MELBER: Got it. Were there any questions about WikiLeaks?

CREDICO: I don`t think so. I mean peripherally, but that wasn`t the subject of it.

MELBER: Were there questions about obstruction or potential activities that would relate to obstruction of justice?

CREDICO: Possibly.

MELBER: Go on.

CREDICO: Possibly. I mean I don`t know. I mean whatever they extrapolated from my testimony.

MELBER: Well, were there questions about people trying to shape your testimony in advance or threaten you?

CREDICO: You know you should have been one of the prosecutors there. No, I`m not going to tell you that. I really can`t tell you that.

MELBER: Legally, you are able to --

CREDICO: I know I am but I`m not going to be like some of the other guests that come out and start like so-called man I`m coming out and calling me a douche bag or Andrew Cuomo`s brother, you know.

MELBER: But this is straightforward. I mean let`s look at it in another way. In terms of the timeline, were there any questions that were about events after election day 2016?

CREDICO: Yes.

MELBER: And so were they --

CREDICO: And before. But I`m not supposed to be telling you that.

MELBER: Well, were they about your dealings then with people post 2016, was that about Roger Stone?

CREDICO: You know you`re doing and circumventing what I can talk about right now, trying to elicit answers.

MELBER: I am trying to elicit answers but you know that`s part of my job.

CREDICO: Yes, I understand that but I think you can -- it`s like you have a coloring book and I don`t need to give you Crayolas here. Just follow the last year, since my name got dragged into this, what has gone back and forth in the public media.

MELBER: Well, it sounds like from what we do know that a good bulk of the questions to you on Friday were about Roger Stone.

CREDICO: Yes, they were. I would say the majority, if not -

MELBER: The majority of the questions.

CREDICO: Preponderance.

MELBER: The preponderance were about Roger Stone. That`s interesting. And you told the truth I assume?

CREDICO: Well, I`m in a position here. I got a subpoena, either I lie, I perjure myself or I get cited for contempt for not answering.

MELBER: Did they ask about Roger`s knowledge of stolen e-mails?

CREDICO: I can`t tell you about what they asked me. I mean I could but I have four, five national lawyers who have instructed me to try, you know--

MELBER: Would you say their interest in Roger was focused on what he did for Trump in 2016 or also his business activities?

CREDICO: There you go again. As Reagan would say, you keep trying to drag me.

MELBER: No. But I mean I`m giving you about 30 more seconds.

CREDICO: OK. From the yes or no`s, it was about Roger Stone. That was what we talked about most of the time.

MELBER: What did they want to know?

CREDICO: Well, if I were to tell you that, then I would violate what I told you earlier that I`m not supposed to be talking about it. I won`t talk about the substance. You`ll be able to find out real soon, maybe the Mueller team will leak it. You know, you ask them.

MELBER: Did the people involved investigation on the FBI or DOJ side asked you not to talk publicly about it?

CREDICO: No they did not. They did not. You know, I`m just trying to you know, maintain some kind of dignity --

MELBER: And final -- and final question before I go because I`m turning to a congressman who`s investigating this. The final question is based on your time in the room Friday, do you think they are zeroing in on Roger Stone as a potential criminal target or not?

CREDICO: Well, they talked about Roger Stone most of the time, I mean, what do you think? You know, plus I got a letter from the Senate Intel Committee as I was inside that room, my lawyer told me, so I`ve got that coming. I have to go before the Senate --

MELBER: Well, that -- the Intel Committee is where I turn next. Mr. Credico, I wanted to see what you would tell us about the facts inside --

CREDICO: Was I good?

MELBER: We will always let the voters and the viewers and the public decide that. Randy Credico --

CREDICO: Can I say one thing. Vote for Cynthia Nixon on Thursday.

MELBER: That`s for the New York viewers. Thank you, sir. I turn now to a member of one of those intelligence committees, California Congressman Eric Swalwell. Congressman, I begin where I left off with Mr. Credico who answered some of the questions but when we glean that these investigators were looking so much at Stone in the grand jury room Friday, how do you interpret that?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA: Good evening, Ari. It seems clear to me that they are zeroing in on Roger Stone as a target of the investigation just based on the public reporting of the number of people interviewed and also just based on the admissions that Roger Stone keeps making after his testimony. He has continued to update his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.

When you take a step back though and you think about all of these characters associated with the Trump team like the person you just interviewed, like Roger Stone, boy it`s stark contrast the folks with the Obama team and the Clinton team. I mean, it really is sad that the people who are counting on the President to work for them for their health care, for their jobs, to root out corruption. These are the guys that are behind the President. And it really is a stark contrast.

MELBER: Congressman, as you know Mr. Credico was not the only person speaking out, George Papadopoulos who unbeknownst to him started the entire FBI probe, got his two-week jail sentence and did some interviews and some of them overlap with the work of the congressional committees. I want to play an excerpt of that here on ABC regarding Jeff Sessions. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are reports that you shut George down, unquote, when he proposed that meeting with Putin. Is this correct, yes or no?

JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: Yes. I pushed back. I`ll just say it that way because it was --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, your answer is yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attorney General says he pushed back, is he telling the truth?

GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS, FORMER AIDE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: I get -- all I can say is this is a meeting from about two years ago. My recollection differs from Jeff Sessions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did not push back.

PAPADOPOULOS: All I could say is my recollection differs from has at this point.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: You could tell everyone`s lawyered up from the way they talk these days but the core point there is that the investigative work that you -- that you guys have been doing in the House quite frankly has created that contrast that George Papadopoulos implies sessions was misleading your committees.

SWALWELL: And put Attorney General Sessions in the category of revised recollections because he too has come back after his initial statements about contacts with the Russians have proved not to be true. I sat in also on that interview and had questions for Attorney General Sessions at the House Judiciary Committee.

I`m not satisfied that we know what happened in that room and I believe that the best thing that the House Judiciary Committee can do and this is what Ranking Member Nadler is asking for is to bring Attorney General Sessions back because George Papadopoulos, remember, he made this statement in his allocution. This is where you`re being sentenced, where you really want to be truthful because you`re about to go to jail and it`s a matter of how long do you go to jail. So if he`s willing to be -- I don`t think he`s going to lie at that point because he`s already pled guilty so if he`s telling the truth that means Jeff Sessions was not.

MELBER: And so then what do you do about that? Well, the Republicans, if they were running honest investigations and wanted make sure we had an attorney general who was being straight with us would bring Attorney General Sessions back. But again, whether it`s the House Intelligence Committee investigation or the Judiciary Committee, we have seen a complete unwillingness to do that, so it`s what will the voters do about that. Because if they want responsible investigations, if they want an administration that`s not above the law they`re going to have to make some changes in the seats in Congress this November.

MELBER: Understood. And Congressman Swalwell, we heard from inside the grand jury room from a witness, we heard from you as an investigator, and I guess someday we`ll hear from the Mueller folks when they do their public work or their report. Thank you for joining us tonight.

SWALWELL: My pleasure. Thanks, Ari.

MELBER: Up next, America`s biggest tennis star and the firestorm of controversy that turned her finals match into more than a game.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SERENA WILLIAMS, TENNIS PLAYER: You owe me an apology and I have never cheated in life. I have a daughter and I think what right for her and I have never cheated. You owe me an apology.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: This is a big one and I`m joined by Maya Wiley and Turay on whether Serena Williams was treated differently based on her gender.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: Welcome back. Tennis star Serena Williams is now at the center of this major controversy about gender and women`s equality that clearly transcends sports. This weekend she was playing the U.S. Open final. And as the match got more intense, she and the umpire got into heated exchanges

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Serena was watching the coach giving her hands signals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)

WILLIAMS: I say a simple thing, a thief, because he stole a point from me. That does not make -- there are men out here that do a lot worse and because I`m a woman -- because I`m a woman, you`re going to take this away from me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Because I`m a woman, you could hear her say there. Now, she lost that match after getting penalties for breaking her racket and arguing with the umpire. She was also fined 17 grand. Then Williams embraced the 20- year old who beat her Naomi Osaka. In a moment I`ll be joined by Maya Wiley and Toure to discuss this, but first, let`s take a listen to what Williams herself said about this double standard that she faces.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: I`ve seen other men call other umpires several things and I`m here fighting for women`s rights and for women`s equality and for all kinds of stuff. And for me to say thief and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. I mean, like how -- he`s never took a game from a man because I said thief. For me, it blows my mind.

The fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions and that want to express themselves and they want to be a strong woman and they`re going to be allowed to do that because of today. Maybe it didn`t work out for me but it`s going to work out for the next person.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: I`m joined by Maya Wiley, a Civil Rights Attorney and MSNBC Legal Analyst and Toure, a Journalist a former Host for the Tennis Channel who now hosts the Toure Show Podcast and a former colleague and current friend of mine. I`ll begin with you, Maya. The sexism here, why does it matter beyond the court?

MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: It matters beyond the court because literally, 42 percent of women in the workplace say that they`ve had this experience where the rules didn`t apply to them. Most of those women actually report more than half report that they`re either told that they`re being too emotional or they`re told that they`re not competent to do the job they were hired to do and that they had the qualifications to do. And you know, I think we`re seeing both of that a little bit in this scenario where one, what we`re seeing is very harsh penalties against losing a game, against Serena Williams for essentially having a very emotional moment because she felt like she was being called a cheat.

And I have to say, when I saw that clip I also saw it as a black woman, because black women and their the intersection of stereotypes about women but also stereotypes black people we`re being an angry black woman is a problem so it`s both being emotional and being angry and emotional being more intimidating, and then the penalties being harsher.

And there`s a lot of conversation about Carlos Ramos being a stickler for the rules. Clearly, he is but the issue here isn`t whether he`s a stickler for the rules, it`s whether he`s a stickler in the same way for women.

MELBER: Right. Toure, let`s listen more to Serena Williams here demanding an apology.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: I didn`t get coaching. I didn`t get coaching. You need to take -- you need to make an announcement that I didn`t get coaching. I don`t cheat. I didn`t get coaching. You have to say that. You need -- you owe me an apology. You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life. I have a daughter and I think what right for her and I have never cheated. You owe me an apology.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TOURE, HOST, THE TOURE SHOW: That comment right there, I have a daughter, right? And it shows you how quickly people change. When you become a parent, your place in society, your desire to show a moral face to your child, right, I`m not a cheater and I would never want my daughter to see this or hear about this and think maybe mommy cheated. And as soon as you have children, you cross that threshold and wanting to start being a better person and create a better world for them.

And that moment jumped out at me and she`s loud, Alexis, to be so much a part of her public presentation in the years since she was born. She`s in the commercials, she`s all over Instagram, so she`s super proud of being a mother. And so you, Carlos, are calling her a cheater, right, and her integrity and her character are on the line here. And let`s be clear, Serena Williams has been at the top of the game for like a decade and a half. She understands the game better than most of the coaches, certainly all of the other players because she`s 37 coming off of a very difficult childbirth, a long year, and she`s still about to win the U.S. Open.

And to all the people who tweeted at me saying, well, this is about Serena getting mad because she knew she was going to lose, that shows no understanding of Serena or tennis at all because she got beat up in the first set but in the second set she was doing what she always does, wipe away the first, set come hard in the second set, they were on equal footing. There`s no reason why she couldn`t have taken that second set.

If Carlos is around the game, the umpire so much, he should know, she less than anybody is taking coaching. I`ve been playing tennis for 40 years, I don`t know what this means, right? And at other levels of the game outside the grandstands, we`re talking about allowing the players to be coached. So why we`re taking this ticky-tack move? I mean like at that rate anytime the coach shows come on, that`s coaching. What are we talking about?

WILEY: It`s also pretty clear from some of the writings where folks have complained about the fact that this rule is not enforced very often, right? So there are hardliners who think this rule is important and they`re those who think it`s got to go but either way, there are people who were complaining about it not being enforced.

And even all the examples that people are pulling up about Carlos Ramos being such a stickler for the rules do not seem to have this particular problem except maybe he will give a warning once or twice.

MELBER: For 20 seconds, we also see this with the NFL and politicians wanting to put those players sort of back in some kind of box like you didn`t -- you don`t get the act this way.

TOURE: You know, the umpire has never been in a situation in Serena and Naomi, are in. An incredibly emotional situation, the whole world is watching, you need to have more selflessness and more humility to not insert yourself into the game. I`m insulted because she called me a thief. She didn`t curse at you, she didn`t impede your ability to do this umpiring job and continue going on. You need to let her have that moment and continue on.

MELBER: Well, it`s important and I couldn`t think of two better people to talk us through it and having gone through the seriousness. I do want to end on a lighter note. Toure always says to me you know, love means nothing to a tennis player.

TOURE: I saw that joke coming 20 minutes ago.

MELBER: I know you liked my bad jokes. Thank you both for being here, Maya Wiley and Toure on something that everyone was talking about this weekend. Up next don`t go anywhere. We have a special original tribute from THE BEAT to our colleague Rachel Maddow as she celebrates a decade on- air. And later tonight I will speak with Trayvon Martin`s parents at a pivotal moment in their fight against gun violence.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: We are celebrating a very big anniversary right here at MSNBC, 10 years of the "RACHEL MADDOW SHOW." Rachel has been here on your T.V. screen every night bringing you all of her reporting and analysis of some of the most consequential stories of our lifetime and she`s also been sharing her insights on the Russia probe with us right here on THE BEAT so we wanted to take a moment and show you just a few of our favorite times on THE RACHEL SHOW and congratulate her and her team on this milestone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Welcome to the "RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" here on MSNBC. We are very excited about the new show.

We`re at historic Doyle`s Cafe in Jamaica Plain.

I am in Grand Isle, Louisiana tonight. Big globs of oil everywhere and no signs of any effective effort to stop it from spreading.

After nearly seven and a half years of war here, the United States combat mission in Iraq for all intents and purposes is over.

Today made history, one of the most sweeping civil rights rulings in American history, it was dangerously, toxically, and perhaps irreversibly wrong. The water was bad.

Chris, did you say big ass at one point in the last hour?

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: You know, it was not -- it was on the prompter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s -- oh wait, it was about change. This year is about upheaval.

MADDOW: And I got through precisely two of my eleven questions that I have written four you.

Do you think that a private business has a way to say we don`t serve black people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not -- I`m not -- I`m not in --

MADDOW: This is his closest I`ll ever get to interviewing Liz and Dick Cheney.

Hi, I`m Rachel Maddow.

LIZ CHENEY, DICK CHENEY`S DAUGHTER: Hi, Rachel!

MADDOW: I think that was it. I don`t know what she said. She was -- she smiles at me.

This story is amazing and it starts with copper.

Something really important in American state politics that happened in 1913, 1912 Cadillac model 30.

This is rusty. He`s a red panda who lives at the National Zoo in Washington D.C.

If you put two highlighters together it makes a lightsaber.

What? Is this weird?

My job is to explain stuff and oh my god, is that a good job to have this year already.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: And it is quite clear Rachel is very good at that job. We wish her a hearty congratulations. Now up next on THE BEAT an important interview about gun control.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: Now, we want to turn to race, guns, and justice in America. Jury selection underway right now in the death of Laquan McDonald. He, of course, was 17 years old when he was shot and killed by Chicago Police. Just last month in Texas an officer found guilty of murder for shooting a 15-year-old black teenager. Meanwhile, in Florida a man charged with manslaughter for fatally shooting an unarmed black man despite claims of an attempted stand your ground defense.

Now, that defense became known to most Americans through the Trayvon Martin case, and that ignited a debate about these shootings and race. Trayvon Martin`s death is the focus of this new documentary series Rest in Power produced with his family executive produced by Jay Z. Now, I spoke with Trayvon`s parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Marin talking about justice and culpability in these shootings.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRACY MARTIN, FATHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: When you have a life taken away from you in such a heinous manner, you feel -- you feel that there is an injustice did to your family and nothing is being done about it. And for the person who committed the crime, for him not to be held accountable, that served our family as -- not only our family but this country as an injustice.

The acquittal of our son`s murderer allowed certain people in America to use stand your ground law as a -- as a defense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: That law, of course, exists in books in Florida and other states and has been criticized for whether it is being applied in a racially unfair way. Now, Trayvon`s parents also discussed their son`s legacy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON`S MOTHER: Regardless of if their child died from senseless gun violence such as ours, this documentary is going to speak to their heart as a parent. And so you can`t deny that. Regardless of what color you are, we love our kids just as much as anybody else loves their kids. And so that`s what it`s going to tug at, your heart.

We want people to take away knowledge from it. We want people to take away a better understanding about what this country is about because the only way we can change it in a positive manner is by knowing. And you`ve got to know what`s going on in your country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: You`ve got to know what`s going on in your country. This documentary series is part of that effort as is, of course, a wider discussion and debate about how we regulate guns, gun control, and how these laws operate to either encourage or discourage something that everyone says we`re against in this country, which is the taking of life.

Now, I could tell you the fifth and final episode of this docu-series "Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story" airs tonight on BET and the Paramount Network. We wanted to get that in because we think it`s important. And that does it for us. We`re out of time. I will see you back here tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews starts now.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: The case against Trump. Let`s play HARDBALL.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END

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