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Trump under new pressure, TRANSCRIPT: 10/2/2018, The Beat w Ari Melber.

Guests: John Harwood, Bill Kristol, Tony Schwartz, Ed Markey, Donna Edwards, Cheri Jacobus, 50 Cent

Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: October 2, 2018 Guest: John Harwood, Bill Kristol, Tony Schwartz, Ed Markey, Donna Edwards, Cheri Jacobus, 50 Cent

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: It`s baseball and politics. Literally, my favorite month every two years.

"THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER" starts right now. Good evening, Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Happy October, Chuck. Good evening to you.

TODD: Thank you.

MELBER: We have a lot of developing stories right now as you might imagine. President Trump calling it "A scary time for young men." This amid the Kavanaugh fight. A top Democratic Senator is here.

Plus, a report that Bob Mueller`s now investigating why a Republican critic of Trump got hacked during 2016. Interesting and below the radar.

Also, I`ll tell you, 50 Cent is on THE BEAT tonight. I showed him around the studio. We`re going to talk Trump and also how rap should handle gun violence, an important story. That`s at the end of our show tonight.

But we begin with breaking news. Donald Trump`s tax records reveal fraud and schemes to duck taxes on a massive long-term scale. That is the headline from a massive, exhaustive, detailed investigative report that "The New York Times" just dropped on the political world tonight. We`re talking here about the core of Donald Trump`s wealth and political appeal because he`s always argued, above all else, before everything else, he is he says a successful businessman.

But these journalists got ahold of over 100,000 pages of documents. They found dubious tax schemes and "Outright fraud". The White House is already pushing back on this big story at this hour. More on that in a few moments.

And this is significant apart from everything else that is controversial about Trump. Apart from his lies or his distraction tweets or his constant insults of all sorts of people, this is a story that potentially undercuts the thing that Trump supporters say they`ve always liked about him. The idea, the belief, and maybe the massive con that he is a self-made billionaire.

Let`s go over the details before we get to some incredible experts on this. Reporters examine bank statements, audits, and over 200 tax returns. Not just from Trump, but also from his father, from his companies which are Byzantine, and from other Trump entities. And what they show in this report, which I think you`re going to be hearing about for a while, is that Trump was helping his own family, his parents, dodge taxes through "A sham corporation" that was explicitly designed to hide millions of dollars, sometimes in gifts, and then take improper tax deductions worth millions more.

And then put together a scheme to undervalue, again going back to mom and dad`s money, his parents` real estate by hundreds of millions of dollars accumulatively in these returns, which would reduce the tax bill that they`d pay, then when it passed to the family inheritance.

Now "The New York Times," which has taken a big swing here, finds that all told, Trump effectively got the bonus equivalent of at least $413 million in today`s money through all this. And that undercuts the key claim that Donald Trump says he made his own fortune.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s not been easy for me. It has not been easy for me. You know I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars. I came into Manhattan and I had to pay him back. And I had to pay him back with interest.


MELBER: Had to pay him back for $1 million. Well, in a new statement, Donald Trump`s lawyer is calling this story a hundred percent false and highly defamatory.

We begin with John Harwood, CNBC`s editor-at-large and Bill Kristol, founder, and editor-at-large of "The Weekly Standard." I want to begin with the big outlines of what this is and then go into what it does.

So John Harwood, what else can you tell us to help us understand what the scheme was?

JOHN HARWOOD, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, CNBC: Well, essentially, Ari, what the story lays out is the transfer of vast amounts of money from Fred Trump, his father, to Donald Trump. Other kids as well but Donald Trump was especially taken care of. It includes getting thousands of dollars beginning when he was a kid and a million dollars by the time -- a year by the time he had graduated from college.

And the most significant things later in life have to do with the ways in which the Trump family evaded estate taxes by messing with the valuations of properties that Fred Trump passed on to his kids so as to avoid --

MELBER: Let me hang you up there. When you say messing with the valuations, is that what normal people would call lying about your money?

HARWOOD: Well, "The Times" says that in many cases this involved outright fraud. I think they don`t make that statement likely. You had multiple reporters investigating. But it had the effect of shrinking the estate tax bill for Fred Trump`s estate from more than $500 million to about $50 million.

The second thing that happened was that there were ways in which he was shoveling money to Donald Trump, putting big bets in a Trump casino without placing any bets as a way of getting last-minute cash to Donald Trump, that he created a shell company to inflate invoices for the Trump real estate empire and made his children the beneficiaries of the profits of that shell company. So that it was a way of getting money to them without incurring income tax liability.

It is a wide range of potential fraud there. And I want to mention two things about it. One, we believe that there are statute of limitations on potential criminal charges, but there`s civil liability if New York State tax authorities decide to prosecute or to pursue them. At a much earlier period, remember, New York State authorities wanted to treat Donald Trump very well. t was a mutually beneficial arrangement. They don`t feel that way right now, so that`s potentially significant.

MELBER: I appreciate you raising it. We`ve hit that on the show, and we`ve hit the fact, and Bill and I talked about it, a lot of Democratic officeholders in New York were cozied up to Trump when he was just another businessman. And the question that I think normal people when they hear this say, "Wait a minute, was everyone asleep at the wheel if all this is documented year after year and it stayed in federal?"

And the answer is, yes, a lot of people along with that corruption, which I think is bad for both parties. You stay, John. You stay but I`m going to moderate my way to the other guest and come back to you.


MELBER: Bill, I want to read to you more from the piece for your analysis again on the politics of someone who says, "Hey. I did this all myself." The president`s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, "The Times" reports, transferred over a billion dollars of wealth to their children which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent rate but the Trumps actually paid about five percent tax records show.

Before you even get to ducking federal taxes, which some people and certainly some Republicans say, "Well, hey, I don`t like taxes anyway." How about the notion that this guy ran for office and ran around the primaries saying, "These are all phony politicians, I`m self-made or I got 1 mill." A mill to a bill seems like a big difference.

BILL KRISTOL, FOUNDER & EDITORIAL-AT-LARGE, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I mean I spent the whole primary season thinking Trump University -- there`s so many frauds that I use the term legally but let`s just say in a commonsense way that he was involved in deceptions and unsavory business practices that one thought that would have damaged him in the primaries. And maybe it did a tiny bit but voters didn`t seem to care much.

I guess the question is, they might look at this and your point about so many businessmen being treated this way by New York State authorities. Well, what is it, boss access. The origin of every great fortune is a crime. I mean you sort of wonder if you turn over the rock on somebody, how many would be -- this seems a little exceptional, I would say. Not to sound like some socialist or something here, but you do -- it is a certain side of American capitalism that one isn`t proud of.

For me, the big story here though is, you know, people might have accumulated their fortunes in unsavory ways, what about right today? What about what he`s doing as president? Has he severed his ties with the Trump organization?


KRISTOL: Doesn`t quite seem so. Has he released his current tax returns? OK, let`s not go back 20 years and question his late father and all that. What about actual reality right now? There, I think, there remains a great vulnerability for Trump.

MELBER: Well, I want to be clear. You`re a guest and you`ll take whatever position you take. In my line of questioning, I am questioning his late father, I am questioning the way that this individual took so much money from his own parents.

And according to the "Times" report, has been lying about it, John Harwood because it`s part of either his natural tick, because he was like this long before he was a candidate, and because he recognized that this was his key point of appeal to folks who said, "Well, I may not like this, that, and the other thing but I love that he`s a self-made guy who can do for America what he did for Trump Org."

Well, that would be, according to this calculus, John, that would be, I don`t know, getting Great Britain to give us a bunch of money if he`s going to do for America what he did for himself.

HARWOOD: Well, what I would say, Ari is that the notion of Donald Trump as a self-made billionaire was foundational to his rise in politics. But I do think that once he became a presidential candidate, Bill mentions the Trump University, it has been widely known that there were some shady business practices around Donald Trump even during the campaign and since then. A lot of cash transactions for real estate.

People -- a majority of American people have considered Trump dishonest throughout his presidency. I think more recently his political appeal is grounded in his choice of enemies, the people he goes after. Going after immigrants, going after African-American athletes, protesting racial injustice. So I`m not saying that this isn`t going to have some impact, but I`m not sure how great of an impact it will have.

I will mention one other vulnerability. One person who appears in this story at some of the critical events is Alan Weisselberg, who is the long- time business manager of the Trump Organization. He is cooperating with the Southern District of New York and has in the investigation of Michael Cohen. If there is going to be any current investigation that reaches back into the origins of the Trump fortune, Alan Weisselberg may know a lot about it and may be in a position to hurt Donald Trump by sharing information.

MELBER: A key source. Bill Kristol, before I turn to Tony Schwartz, co- author of "The Deal" who`s here to give us more context, you mentioned the Trump University, which was a business that made its money giving business advice and went out of business. And I wonder whether there`s an analogy to some Republican Trump voters because the people who went to Trump University were huge Trump believers. They even put money down. And some of them came back around that lawsuit to say and realize they were conned. Is there any corollary here, Bill?

KRISTOL: That`s what was so shocking about it. This was a con, executed against precisely the kind of voters Trump is appealing to, not so well- educated, trying to make their way up. Glamorous guy, he`s going to help you find the secrets to success, taking your money, and he didn`t pay much of a price for it. and I guess I worry that if Trump -- we`ve been through so much now that Trump supporters have internalized -- they`ll lead the story and they`ll think, "Hey, you know what, he conned them all."

Good for him. He kept money away from the federal government. He took some money away from his rivals. His father was kind of a conning guy too. You know we need someone like that as president. He can cut good deals with our trade rivals and he can stand up to the Democrats. I do worry. Look, it`s fantastic reporting and it`s really kind of shocking to read it all, but I do worry that it won`t have as much political effect as people might hope.

MELBER: Well, Bill, I appreciate that little note of nihilism before I let you go. Always part of the news these days. John Harwood and Bill Kristol, in all seriousness, thank you both for your expertise.

Big story now as promised. I turn to Tony Schwartz. He`s co-author of "The Art of the Deal." Now CEO of the energy project and friend of THE BEAT who`s weighed in on some of these big stories. We want your expertise as someone who has been around Donald Trump so closely. When you look at the story of this magnitude, what do you think?

TONY SCHWARTZ, CO-AUTHOR, THE ART OF THE DEAL: Well, I think two things. One, since 2016, I`ve felt and I`ve said on your show that there will come a moment where tax fraud and money laundering will be Donald Trump`s biggest problem, even bigger than collusion and conspiracy. And that has come true now. The second thing is that it goes far beyond even what I thought had happened.

MELBER: This is worse than what you knew to be the case?

SCHWARTZ: Oh my God. I knew it was bad, but I didn`t believe. This is a man who took hundreds of millions of dollars or fraudulently took hundreds of millions of dollars, and when his father was 85 and near senile, tried to write a codicil to his will to take over complete control of his empire. Why? Because Fred Trump was in the business of making money, and Donald Trump was in the business of losing money.

And he lost money of Fred`s throughout his career. It`s like the cover has been ripped off this man. Whatever myth there was, as you said earlier, that he was a self-made man, or that he was even a legitimate businessman, is gone forever.

MELBER: Right. And that`s a mythology that is important to his public profile but also goes to who he is as someone in his father`s shadow. I should say, as he put it or as you put it, one never knows when it comes to quoting the book but I`ll read from it. "I also realized if I ever wanted to be known as more than Fred Trump`s son, I was eventually going to have to go out and make my own mark." That`s from The Art of the Deal.

How important was that interplay that even before there were other potential benefits to exaggerating his own role in this, he always did you find felt he needed to avoid crediting his father for what "The Times" says tonight was basically a billion to him?

SCHWARTZ: I have felt and said forever, as long as I`ve known Trump, which is more than 30 years, that this is a man who`s a black hole and feels in every moment like a fraud. What comes out tonight is he had good reason to feel like he was a fraud. He was a fraud and he was committing fraud -- fraudulent -- he was being fraudulent. And here it is in living color or in black and white since it`s in "The New York Times," a brilliant piece of reporting.

I think Donald Trump sitting in the White House tonight is probably feeling more enraged by this than by virtually anything that ever happened to him.

MELBER: Well, you mentioned that in the article, it says, from "The Times," the president declined repeated requests over several weeks to address anything in this article. This is an exhaustive piece. I want to play for you Donald Trump talking about how self-made he`s always been. Take a look.


TRUMP: You see, I built what I built myself. And I did it by working long hours and working hard and working smart. More importantly than anything else is by using my own brain.


SCHWARTZ: This is a man who invented himself. That`s his claim to fame. He literally invented it from whole cloth. There`s nothing about him that is real. Now we really see that. And it`s extraordinary. I don`t agree with Bill Kristol. I think this is going to have a very significant, long trail. No one wants to say anymore that Trump has finally been caught, that the Teflon has finally been scratched. But I have to say the idea of who Donald Trump was that existed until today is gone forever.

MELBER: I think that`s significant. I think a piece of this detail and depth, which everyone is still going to continue to digest over the night and the coming days, really goes to the heart of not only where he came from, but where is he today? And is he more in debt than he acknowledges? And is that part of why the taxes aren`t there?

All these things that are not -- again, this is not about beating up on family members who are deceased or anything of that nature. It is about the mystery and what "The New York Times" reports is the fraud at the heart of a financial empire that is co-existing with a presidency that affects everyone`s national security and livelihood.

Tony Schwartz, thank you for giving us perspective on that.

Coming up, a lot of other breaking news. The FBI can end its Kavanaugh probe as early as tonight. Senator Ed Markey is here.

Also, we have a deep look at the GOP hypocrisy on Brett Kavanaugh when you get into the Merrick Garland history. We have the receipt. We`re going to play them for you.

And later, Bob Mueller investigating how a Republican consultant was the target of some kind of hacking after criticizing Trump. And then later, we are excited, the one and only 50 Cent talking politics, guns, music, and Donald Trump.

I`m Ari Melber. You`re watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.


MELBER: The FBI probe into Brett Kavanaugh could wrap us as soon as tonight. Senator McConnell vowing for a vote this week which means the FBI may not even talk to Dr. Ford. Her legal team ringing the alarm. The FBI`s interviewed four people on the shortlist from the Republicans including Kavanaugh`s classmate Mark Judge and another woman who accused -- who`s accusing him of exposing herself.

Meanwhile, the White House telling the FBI that it can expand the investigation into other allegations but talking to more witnesses and questions about alcohol use but still finishing up by the deadline. And Trump is trying meanwhile to get people to identify with the risk of getting accused yourself.


TRUMP: It`s a very scary situation where you`re guilty until proven innocent. It`s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of.


MELBER: I`m joined now by Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, as well as former Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards.

Senator, if the FBI wraps up by tonight and they don`t release anything definitive to move Republicans, then what?

SEN. ED MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Well, it`s obvious if they finish tonight and it`s just been a very short list of people who they`ve interviewed, that it has not been exhaustive, it has not been thorough, it won`t be credible. The job of the FBI is to not only interview those first three or four witnesses but to then follow the leads wherever they go.

So if under pressure from the White House or from the Senate Republican leadership and instructions from the White House that the FBI just conducts an investigation that is very curtailed, then the American people are not going to get the information they need. If Dr. Ford has yet to be interviewed by the FBI, if others have not been interviewed, then obviously the advice which the Senate can give on a Supreme Court nominee is going to be very limited before we`re asked to cast a vote which gives consent to that person serving on the Supreme Court.

It will have just been a further step on the part of the Republicans to short-circuit this process so they can ramrod Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court.

MELBER: And Senator, I want to play for you what my colleague Rachel Maddow thought was so revealed in the Thursday testimony of Judge Kavanaugh because she said he basically clearly lied. Take a listen.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: They`re all calling themselves alumni of her name. He said today that was a sign of admiration for her. Their collective admiration for her and how much they considered her to be, in his words, one of us. Whether or not his attitude toward women and girls at that time in his life is going to be seen as relevant to the sexual assault allegation from that time that he`s now facing, what`s more immediately wrong with that today as he`s trying to get onto the Supreme Court is that that is just an obvious small self-serving lie. That`s the kind of cowardly lie about an obviously true thing that makes you seem not credible on anything.


MELBER: Do you agree he lied or would you not go that far?

MARKEY: Well, I would say that the answer came from the woman who each of those players, those students at Georgetown Prep, were making reference to when she was a girl. And her reaction to her mentioned in so many of the profiles, in their yearbook, was that she was shocked and that she hopes that the daughters of those students never have to face that kind of terrible conduct that she obviously had to be exposed to.

So I think that we should listen to the woman now as an adult, that she`s responding to this. She doesn`t believe, obviously, that Judge Kavanaugh had said is in fact true.

MELBER: Congresswoman?

DONNA EDWARDS, FORMER REPRESENTATIVE, MARYLAND: Well, I mean it isn`t just that that was a lie. You add to that the lie about the devil`s triangle. You add to that the lying, mischaracterization, misleading around his drinking. And these things are connected.

AND I think when you have one little lie on top of another little lie and another one, then it raises into question your ability to discern whether you`re telling the truth on the big stuff. Are you telling the truth when you say that Roe V. Wade was - stare decisis would apply. Is that the truth? It raises the question about whether all of the other things and the sexual assault itself was a lie or the truth.

MELBER: Well, let`s play some more for viewers to make up their own mind the comparison how he used to talk and that Thursday testimony. Take a look.


BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: My record is replete with examples where I`ve been independent, where I`ve tried to take a fresh look, where I`ve done something because I`m an honest broker. I think that`s how I would serve as a judge as well.

I don`t know if it`s buffed or boofed. It refers to flatulence, we were 16. The media circus that has been generated by this thought and reported that it referred to sex, it did not. Devil`s triangle? Drinking game.


MELBER: Senator, do you think he was basically trolling the committee and your colleagues at that point?

MARKEY: He has no credibility. His answers were obviously not true, not accurate, not what the intent was for those boys in putting all those references into the yearbook, and specifically, he himself in that yearbook. It`s obviously not true. And then when he turns on the members of the Senate, the Democratic members, he showed a complete lack of judicial temperament.

MELBER: Right.

MARKEY: So it`s a combination of his lack of credibility and his lack of judicial temperament which in my opinion disqualifies him. And the only way the Republicans could be sure that he makes it onto the Supreme Court is if they just short-circuit the investigation. And Mitch McConnell has already announced that we`re going to vote by the end of this week.

MELBER: Thursday was unlike anything we`ve ever seen. I have to fit in a quick break for some other news. Senator Markey and Donna Edwards, thank you both.

Coming up, the anti-Trump Republican who now says hackers broke into her e- mail but that`s not all, the case has been referred to Mueller when we`re back in just 30 seconds.


MELBER: Bob Mueller now reportedly investigating how a GOP consultant was hacked after a public fight with Donald Trump. The FBI`s referred the case to Mueller to investigate. Cheri Jacobus telling "Politico" that the hacking of her personal e-mail account was part of a broader campaign that followed critical comments she made about Trump. Sherry will join me in a moment.

The context is that it`s not clear who did this hacking or how exactly Mueller would investigate it. But we do know that other Trump critics and rivals in the GOP say they were targeted by Russians.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Former members of my presidential campaign team who had access to the internal information of my presidential campaign were targeted by IP addresses with an unknown location within Russia.


MELBER: A former Ted Cruz aide told us in THE BEAT that they were also targeted by Russia during the campaign.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Only after the primaries were over did it become apparent that you had Russian intelligence services and the like of FSB and the GRU engaged in the activities which we all now know that they were engaged in.


MELBER: I am joined by GOP operative Cheri Jacobus. Thanks for being here.

CHERI JACOBUS, FORMER GOP OPERATIVE: Thanks for having me. Former GOP by the way.

MELBER: What are you now?

JACOBUS: An independent.

MELBER: Independent. Cheri, when you look at this situation, this is a giant news story that if there wasn`t so much else going on would be the top story, because the U.S. government and Bob Mueller has alleged that the Russians were behind the hacking of Democratic e-mail accounts which got a ton of attention.

You are bringing to the fore the idea that they were also targeting Republicans, which is less known. Do you know who hacked your e-mail? And how are you certain that Bob Mueller is looking at this now?

JACOBUS: Well, I was told -- the investigation started in the Southern District of New York in the cyber division. Before Donald Trump was elected, it was August two years ago when "Politico" was doing a big, lengthy piece on catfishing that took place where there was somebody looking to get lots of information on me and other Republicans, pretending to be a lawyer representing big Republican donors.

The catfishing of me began the day that I publicly confirmed "The Washington Post" piece that Trump in fact did have a super PAC in the primary, because I had seen that Lewandowski lied about it. We realized after the fact that`s when the catfishing started. "Politico" was getting ready to publish the piece in August of 2016. While they were calling around team Trump was when the hacking took place and before it was published.

At that point, I had been working with the U.S. Attorney`s Office, Preet Bharara`s office. At that point, I think the FBI have been watching it.

MELBER: So you don`t know -- you don`t know who had?

JACOBUS: At this point, no, but they started --

MELBER: But you were told by -- I`m just going to lead you along a little bit, part of my job. You were told by current federal prosecutors that they`re giving this investigation of the hacking of your e-mail to Mueller?

JACOBUS: Yes. Over the course of the two years, some things happened that took this beyond just what the cyber division at the U.S. -- at the Southern District of New York could do. So they told me that they were not doing any prosecutions from their end. They were, however, giving all of my information to the -- to Mueller`s office. They could not tell me and they volunteer that they did not know if Mueller would be talking to me. They wanted me to you know, if anything else happened to contact Mueller`s people. I`m sure I could go through them. I had met with the Southern District of New York FBI for three and a half hours, had dozens of conversations with them over the course of three years. But there were --

MELBER: So to button that up, why do you think Mueller would be interested in this? Do you think this reaches all the way back to the Russian government?

JACOBUS: I don`t know. I can tell you that there were two instances after they opened this investigation -- again, they opened this before there was -- Mueller was the Special Counsel. But there were two instances that seem to indicate that people in the Trump world had access to information from my hacked e-mails. These instances were two years or one year apart. The most recent was at the end of this last year and there were people --

MELBER: Were those materials published on the internet or not?

JACOBUS: There were -- I don`t want to go into the detail of this but these were -- there was at least one name that had to do -- is the name that you see in the Russia investigation. So at that point --

MELBER: But you`re what you seemed to getting (AUDIO GAP) be getting at the notion that (AUDIO GAP) the people connected to Trump had that material and would have potentially gotten it illegally from whoever hacked you?

JACOBUS: Yes. There were three data points that they were looking at and two of them indicate that seem to -- seem to me and what I -- what we were looking at was that Trump people seem to be trafficking at information that only could have been garnered from my hacked e-mails. The second instance was starting to bump up against people whose names you here with -- connected to the Russia investigation. So at that point, I don`t know if the Southern District of New York only recently gave this. They only told me but --

MELBER: No but --

JACOBUS: -- my educated guess is they`ve been feeding it to that -- to Mueller`s people close to the --

MELBER: Well, sure because the New York prosecutors have worked very closely with Mueller whether or not they officially hand things off.


MELBER: Cheri Jacobus, this is a big story, it`s complicated. I really appreciate you coming on THE BEAT taking the questions on it.

JACOBUS: Thank you.

MELBER: Thank you so much.

JACOBUS: Thank you.

MELBER: Next we turn to my special report on the hypocrisy surrounding Kavanaugh. We have the receipts. And later, 50 Cent on THE BEAT. Don`t miss it.


MELBER: Now to a special report at the Kavanaugh fight. Let`s begin with a quote. The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close. Are those Obama`s words? Republicans obstructed his nominee. No hearing for 293 days for Merrick Garland who was a respected judge in the D.C. Circuit, the same court the Brett Kavanaugh serves on. But the quote that I just read you, of course, is not from Obama, it`s from Mitch McConnell who had 85 days in the Kavanaugh`s process with two sets of hearings says there`s too much obstruction. McConnell tried to turn his team into the victim of obstruction.

Now, the last Supreme Court nominee from another party, Garland, waited more than triple the amount of time that it took for Mitch McConnell to get to this point. This hypocrisy is quite blatant.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Let`s let the American people decide. The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next President nominates whoever that might be. This is a nomination that deserves to move forward and that is precisely, Mr. President, what is happening.

I think it`s safe to say there will not be hearings or votes.

They`re committed to delaying, obstructing, and resisting this nomination with everything they`ve got.

One of my proudest moments is when I looked at Barack Obama in the aisle I said Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.


MELBER: There`s that proud moment, and the time for endless obstruction, McConnell says must end today. This isn`t just about Trump who`s upended all sorts of traditions, it`s not only about McConnell who may argue that as party leader he`s got to do partisan stuff. If the rest of the Senate serious about protecting an independent court, those other senators have to stand up to the partisan people in their ranks.

And if Lindsey Graham was historically accurate about one thing in his plaintiff battle cry last week, it was that yes, some senators on the committee have tried to do that and put judicial independence above party politics. But that`s changing right now. Consider how a Republican who once ran this committee Orrin Hatch who had said there was no question Garland should be confirmed with the Supreme Court is now changing in this political moment.


SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: We`re not going to move or even discuss the qualifications of any nominee until after the presidential election.

The goal its delay, nothing new to most of us. It should be clear now to all Americans that Democrats are engaged in a coordinated effort to stop Judge Kavanaugh`s confirmation by any means possible. The driving objective here is not the truth but politics.


MELBER: You can judge for yourself whether Hatch is being consistent. He did once argue that I mentioned that Merrick Garland`s credentials couldn`t even be questioned, and that was before Obama announced that he agreed with Orrin Hatch which apparently made Orrin Hatch disagree with himself. This is 1997.


HATCH: To my knowledge, no one, absolutely no one disputes the following. Merrick Garland is highly qualified to sit on the D.C. Circuit. His intelligence and his scholarship cannot be questioned.


MELBER: Then there`s Lindsey Graham invoking political calculus as part of the standard for how the Senate should do its advise and consent. In fact, he used the president`s favorite medium to accuse Democrats of seeking a political outcome, keep the seat open, hope they win the midterms, pathetic. You may notice the hypocrisy, it matches the exact McConnell strategy for Garland that Republicans used.

And the public evidence suggests that what Graham wrote there is also inaccurate because Dr. Ford tried to speak out before Kavanaugh was picked, not part of some Kavanaugh conspiracy theory where the Clintons are rigging the timing for the midterms. You can judge it for yourself.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I just had a good meeting with Judge Garland. He`s honest and capable. His reputation is beyond reproach. I`ve told him that I believe that the Scalia vacancy should be filled by the next president.

I would never do to them what you`ve done to this guy. This is the most unethical sham since I`ve been in politics. And if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn`t have done what you`ve done to this guy.

When you complain about Garland, it`s the arsonist complaining about the fire as far as I`m concerned. It doesn`t bother me one bit.

Let me tell you, my Democratic friends, if this is the new norm, you better watch out for your nominees.


MELBER: You better watch out for your nominees, except they already did that to your nominees. Now, on substance, the questions here whether new information at Kavanaugh`s responses should imperil the nomination. There`s a higher standard for judges. Their word is bond. And Senator Graham from the 90s thought any kind of lying or perjury is unacceptable for a judge.


GRAHAM: I have argued to you that when you found that a judge was a perjurer, you couldn`t in good conscience send him back in a courtroom because everybody that came in that courtroom thereafter would have a real serious doubt.


MELBER: A real serious doubt. Now, whether Kavanaugh is promoted or goes back to the D.C. Circuit, those doubts may remain. The larger risk here is not just these tone-deaf threats of payback by warriors on the partisan field, but the prospect of having a nominee publicly mislead the Senate under oath showing his word is not bond and then getting this promotion anyway. Now, still ahead, we turn to 50 Cent on THE BEAT talking Trump, music, and much more. That`s next.


MELBER: Here`s one thing we know about some of Donald Trump`s closest advisors. They have mixed business, politics, and crime to create great wealth and greater risk. So you can`t grasp this era without understanding those forces and how a hustler`s mindset applies to the laws of power.

So tonight we turn to an expert in the game. Grammy award-winning hip-hop artist and businessman 5o Cent who`s rap the friends can call him by his government name, Curtis Jackson. He sold over 30 million albums working with artists like Eminem, Dr. Dre. His hit In The Club was number one on Billboard`s Hot 100 for over two months, it made Rolling Stones list of the greatest songs of all time across all genres. He is a producer and an actor in the hit Stars Show Power, he`s also starring in the movie Den of Thieves with Gerard Butler.

Now, Jackson grew up in Queens surviving a nine-shot gun attack and took on the music industry itself with early controversial songs like Ghetto Quran and How To Rob. A fearlessness that clearly paid off which he explores in the 50th Law, a book he co-wrote with Robert Greene. It all made him rich and he`s established deals in recording, book publishing, energy drinks, a champagne that retails for over $300, and Jackson made an estimated 50 million dollars or more when his vitamin water stake was sold to coke in 2007. Forbes has named him one of the top five wealthiest artists in hip- hop. 50 Cent, I`m so excited to have you here.

50 CENT, AMERICAN RAPPER: I`m happy to be here, Ari.

MELBER: You know business, you know politics, you know power, and you know Donald Trump a little bit you. Even had him on your G-Unit radio show in 2005. Let`s look at that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, 50, we got Donald Trump here.

50 CENT: I hear you`re on there with the big man.


50 CENT: Oh, man, I`m fine.

TRUMP: Well you know I have some kids and myself included, but I have kids they think you are the best, the absolute best. That`s pretty cool. I`ll tell you. My little daughter Ivanka and my son Eric, these people, they just love your -- they love your music.

50 CENT: And will keep making it.

TRUMP: Well, you better keep making it. You better keep making it.


MELBER: A lot of laughs back then. What`s changed?

50 CENT: Wow, I mean, a lot change. You know, I didn`t know that he shared the views that he kind of show people over the period that he`s been a president. I did learn from his behaviors that they have personalized things.

MELBER: Personalized.

50 CENT: He will take it personal.

MELBER: I mean, I`m thinking about that book I mentioned by Robert Greene and he describes you in it. He says 50 Cents lack of fear is displayed by his attitude and his actions. He lived through too many dangerous encounters to be remotely fazed by anything in the corporate world and he wrote that you`d walk away and not care. And I want to ask you about that because that really overlaps with some of your analysis about Donald Trump being an accidental president and not fearing anything when he was a candidate. Take a look.


50 CENT: His presidency is an accident. If you were president by accident, you might do some of the things Donald Trump is doing. I think he was doing that to build his profile for a bigger deal on television and everything else.


MELBER: How did you come to that view because a lot of people agree with that and that`s kind of scary if that`s the reason he became president.

50 CENT: I think it was a surprise to him when he actually won, you know. Because he said things that were really graphic in the campaign, just generally people were into the idea someone who`s non-politician.

MELBER: Now, people know you for your art and I think for your business, they may not know that like the rest of us you`ve been following the news in the Trump era. I want to show a little bit of something people may not have seen that you posted to your followers on the Internet.

50 CENT: Right.

MELBER: When if when the news first broke that Michael Cohen, Trump`s lawyers home and office was raided, you had no doubt what was going to happen next. Let`s take a look at this.


50 CENT: He`s going to you snap. He`s going to tell all of it. Michael like Trump but he don`t like him enough to go through that time for him. He isn`t from the neighborhood.


MELBER: You were proven right because he did flip. Why is it that you were so sure he would flip?

50 CENT: Well, I know the federal guidelines that is saying no matter who you are.


50 CENT: And Michael is still a straight-laced guy, still an attorney, and can`t bear that kind of pressure.

MELBER: Can`t bear the pressure. You mentioned the federal guidelines. That`s something people talk about in the street. It`s something lawyers talk about. A lot of people may not know this so I`m going to quote 50 to 50 if that`s OK. In one of your older songs I`m A Hustler, you said, when the feds come in the game, loyalty is limited. With the feds, you do 85 percent of your time. Duke, you get ten, you`ll damn near do nine. And this is from the federal guidelines themselves that you`re quoting, all federal prisoners must spend a minimum of eighty-five percent of their sentences behind bars before becoming eligible for release.

50 CENT: Yes, it doesn`t sound like I`m telling the truth because I`m using the slang in hip-hop energy there, but it`s a fact. You got to tell them more than they need to know. You think that would tell them everything right. Is that enough? He`s going to keep going and -- because that information (INAUDIBLE) you know, it`s definitely -- it`s definitely not over.

MELBER: I want to ask you about guns because you know this is very controversial. Let`s start again with your lyrics. From High All The Time which is an interesting song, you say, look, you don`t want me to be your kids role model. I`ll teach them how to buck them 380s and load up them hollows. In Power Of The Dollar, another classic you said, look, parents warned their kids about people like me. And you have that persona but anyone watching this now sees you here as a very professional, successful businessman at this point in your life but you still post online a lotm, you say get the strap, talking about these guns. Do you ever worry that the kids who look up to you so much might get the wrong impression about that? Do you think you`re supporting gun use?

50 CENT: I think people are smart enough to understand the things that you say versus the things that you do are two different things. You know, they understand the difference between entertainment and the reality of your lifestyle and what you`re living, what you`re doing because you wouldn`t be able to be as successful as I`ve been to this point if I was living exactly the way the lyrics.

MELBER: So when you say get the strap, does that mean go get a gun and kill someone?

50 CENT: Well, actually when I originally started using the catchphrase it was like whenever I seen something shocking I would say get the strap. Like what do you do when this happens? There`s nothing else because when there is a point of confusion in the environment that I grew up in, there`s these points where there is nothing left to do but get the strap.

MELBER: A couple other lines I want to ask you about. This is one of yours. You said, here`s the jewel, love your enemies and hate your friends. The enemies remain the same, friends always change. What does that mean?

50 CENT: I mean, you know, like the -- when the person becomes an enemy it is notably someone you have differences with, they stay in the same position. You keep your distance from them and watch them and they stay the same. The fiends, the people that you allow closer to you, they have the ability to have the seeds that don`t require water to grow of entitlement so you may do some things for them but it may never be enough.

MELBER: Another lyric from one of your softer songs 21 Questions which is a great karaoke song because it`s not got a slow beat. If I went back to a hooptie from a Benz, would you poof and disappear --

50 CENT: Like some of my friends.

MELBER: What does that mean?

50 CENT: Would you disappear fell off (INAUDIBLE) would you -- would you disappear like some of my friends?

MELBER: So if you stay on top, how do you -- how do you ever know who those people are?

50 CENT: Time will show you. You know, some of these people have expiration dates. They spoil like milk.

MELBER: You know I`m a big fan. 50 Cent, I appreciate you coming on THE BEAT.

50 CENT: I love to see you, man. Every time just -- you start talking I see one flip to the news and stuff, we stopped immediately because we know something`s coming we said there`s cooler than usual.

MELBER: Well, thank you very much. That means a lot. Curtis Jackson, 50 Cent on THE BEAT and we will be right back.


MELBER: We covered a lot of news tonight including a drop by from 50 Cent. I want to tell you that I also got to ask him about some of his feuds with other up and coming young rappers (INAUDIBLE). I`m going to post the rest of that online on our show page. Here is a short clip of his response.


50 CENT: That`s my junior. That`s my son. He has -- he has 50 Cent tones in the things he does. You know what I mean? Like when I told him yo, you can`t be arguing with everybody. In my office, the first time we met, he was like, why? You do it.


MELBER: You do it so maybe he is a role model. We post the rest of the interview including stuff that didn`t air on THE BEAT with Ari of Facebook or you can check us out on Instagram. And we have other stuff from our lawyers and other guests there as well. So we encourage you to please visit those pages. And that does it for THE BEAT. I`ll be back here at 6:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow. "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews starts right now.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: The midnight special? Let`s play HARDBALL.


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