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Democrats open massive 12-point lead. TRANSCRIPT: 10/9/2018, The Beat w Ari Melber.

Guests: Al Sharpton; Mara Gay; Michael Steele; Heidi Przybyla; David Corn

Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: October 9, 2018 Guest: Al Sharpton; Mara Gay; Michael Steele; Heidi Przybyla; David Corn

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Well, this is some ways we`re trying to figure that out. So share your fears, your outrage, your confusion, your anything. Maybe a good recipe for, you know, something to calm us all down. And do it all without sharing your name. Go ahead, America, confess away. And oh, you don`t want to get that close to me anymore, that`s for sure.

All right. That`s all we have for tonight. We`ll be back tomorrow with more MTP DAILY.

But let me make a confession, "THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER" starts right now. Good evening, Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Chuck, good evening. This is anonymous, this system. Maybe the famous letter writer to "The New York Times" op-ed page could have used it.

TODD: Yes, that would have been a better way to get your point across about this administration to save to whoever wrote it.

MELBER: Save time for the intrigue. We`ll keep an eye. Chuck Todd, always good to see you. Thank you very much.

Ambassador Nikki Haley tonight is not the only woman bailing on Donald Trump. Our top story is a huge new drop in female support for the GOP. And if you ever watch this particular news show, you may know polls rarely make it as our top story, but we rarely see polls like this. Take a look.

This is the data rattling the White House tonight. A new poll showing Democrats surging to a 13-point lead over Republicans in the generic House ballot. This is from "CNN". It`s the largest Democratic margin in any midterm polling since 2006, which, of course, is when the Dems won the House and voted in the first woman speaker in U.S. history.

And gender, no accident here. The edge clearly powered by women who are now going Democratic by a whopping 30 points. Republicans don`t make up the gap with male voters, their edge there just five points. These numbers tonight don`t just show a gender gap, they show a gender chasm, a canyon between male and female voters that currently helps the Democrats and a Bob Marley level of exodus of women voters away from the GOP.

And if you know the song, you know what it says. We know where we`re going. We know where we`re from, we`re leaving Babylon. Now, to be fair, one person`s Babylon is another person`s swamp. Republican leaders back in Washington. When you look at this wave, when you look at these protests, when you look at this activism, they`re not exactly ignoring it. They are now today trying to recast the grassroots energy as some kind of mob.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The radical Democrats have turned into an angry mob.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: And those who tried to overturn the rule of law and replace it with mob rule lost.

TRUMP: An angry left-wing mob and that`s what they`ve become.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The mob descended on Capitol Hill. We stood up to the mob.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: We stood up to the mob. Republicans casting themselves in that narrative as brave. Of course, it`s voters also standing up to incumbents. And "Politico" reporting the Republican House crumbling. They are now nine seats away from losing the majority and many voters are only starting to tune in now.

I`m joined tonight by Reverend Al Sharpton, host of "POLITICSNATION" on MSNBC and Mara Gay, editorial board member for "The New York Times".

Rev Al, this may be a long time coming. But October is always the key of the election season. When you look at that poll and you see that it`s bigger for Dems than it`s been since 2006, what does it tell you?

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST, POLITICSNATION: It tells me that if they can get their vote out, they should not take it for granted. They still must work on the ground, that they have the opportunity here to take the House and possibly the Senate. But I think that if they just look at the polls and relax, they will end up having the same result they had in `16 when every Democrat I know were already planning what they were going to wear to Hillary Clinton`s inauguration and we never got there. So I think -- very cautiously optimistic.

MELBER: What were you going to wear?

SHARPTON: What was I going to wear? I really don`t want to say. I still have it in the cleaners.

MELBER: You really do? You have the outfit. This is not just an analogy, Mara.

MARA GAY, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: You know I actually couldn`t agree with the Reverend Sharpton more. I actually think one lesson that Democrats never seem to learn from Barack Obama`s two victories in `08 and 2012 is that you don`t just need to call random voters or random Democrats to get out the vote. What you really need to do is have folks in a particular community, get their family and friends and their community out to vote.

So that means union voters and allowing the unions to get out their members. That means if you`re in a district where suburban white women are the swing vote, you talk to those folks and have them get their friends to the polls. It really is a much more powerful message when it`s coming from your neighbor. And I think that`s something that Republicans have turned to church networks. We`ve seen them do that very successfully. I think the Democrats have a big GOTV lesson to learn.

MELBER: You mentioned white women.

GAY: Yes.

MELBER: I have a white woman for you, Taylor Swift.

GAY: I was wondering where that was going.

MELBER: That`s where that`s going. You never know exactly where it`s going. Taylor Swift making waves, getting more political. She has over 100 million followers on Instagram. We could put up -- she didn`t just post to get registered, she really told people why, she talked about systemic racism and gender.

The news update today, if you heard about this yesterday, is vote.org reporting more registrations in the last day since Taylor`s post than in all of August. The idea that this does move people and she did it in a way that was very thoughtful in time for the deadline.

GAY: I think it`s remarkable. I think it`s wonderful. You know what? It`s an all hands on deck situation. And there are a lot of Americans who aren`t politics junkies the way we are but they, you know, listen to other cultural figures. And if Taylor Swift resonates with them, I think that`s fantastic. And so maybe we`ll see more from others.

SHARPTON: I think that Taylor Swift, not only did she come with an endorsement, she said why. And as important as getting in the trenches and doing the work, you must have the message that resonates with people, can make them feel that this represents their interests.

Key to politics is self-interest. What does it mean to me and the people that I care about? And I think by her bringing up systemic racism and homophobia and gender inequality, she not only became a cultural figure, she in many ways articulated things that are bothering people to give them a reason to come out and vote.

MELBER: Well, and Mara, isn`t that important because it can go beyond Donald Trump? In other words, things become so Trumpified, right. It`s worse than funktified, is Trumpified, and yet these battles predate Trump. When you look at the Supreme Court and you look at the treatment of the woman accuser in the case of Kavanaugh, when you look at the regulation of abortions at the local level when you look at the family issues and the humanitarian crisis on the border which is playing out in Texas. We have a report on that later this hour.

That`s bigger than Trump is how women, as we look at this polling -- we`ll put it back up on the screen because it`s really unlike anything we`ve seen in a decade, a 30-point gender gap. Thirty points of women going towards the Democrat. You see it there. That goes to how people, women are self- identifying as they go into the midterms, and what they want to say to Washington.

GAY: Yes. I mean one of the few silver linings of the Trump presidency I would say is that there are lot of Americans who never saw themselves as political, didn`t want to become involved in politics, but when Trump makes it personal in a negative way, I think Democrats hear that. And sometimes just Independent women or Republican women, and they take it personally too and they`re not happy about it.

And so there are people getting involved who were never involved. We`ll see how real that is in terms of electoral victories for the Democrats come November. But I think that there`s reason for the Republicans to be concerned.

MELBER: Stay with me because Republicans also, of course, lost Nikki Haley today as a major woman advocate. She was the original Trump cabinet member. She`s resigned from her post at the U.N. Now, the latest, of course, in a long list of officials who have left the Trump administration. You see it there.

Haley had broken with the White House in the past, once calling for a woman who`s accused from a sexual misconduct to be heard, that`s running through the midterms right now and saying, "I don`t get confused when a different Trump official undercut her by suggesting maybe she misunderstood Russia policy." Haley though generally was loyal to the Trump administration, a far cry from where she started in 2016.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIKKI HALEY, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: This election has turned my stomach upside down. It has been embarrassing for both parties. This is no longer a choice for me on personalities because I`m not a fan of either one.

For all of you that are going to ask about 2020, no, I am not running for 2020. I can promise you what I`ll be doing is campaigning for this one. So I look forward to supporting the president in the next elections.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: I want to bring MSNBC national political correspondent Heidi Przybyla and former RNC Chair Michael Steele.

Michael, I will start with the straight up question. Why do you think Nikki Haley is leaving now? And does it matter for the first priority, the midterms?

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER CHAIRMAN, RNC: I don`t think it matters for the midterms. Nikki is not involved with or doing anything that is going to impact voters at the polls and something that they`re going to take with them to the ballot box like a Kavanaugh decision or something like that. So that`s not -- I don`t think a factor.

I think two things. I think one, probably Nikki is looking at family. She`s been involved in public life for the last 10-plus years straight. And I think with her oldest child getting ready for college and another one coming not far behind, those financial pressures come into play, those decisions there. I think internally, she probably calculated, given the new axes involved in foreign policy around Mr. Bolton and a few others, that this may be a perfect opportunity for her to step out without a lot of noise and fanfare or the way others have left the administration, under a cloud of controversy.

MELBER: Heidi, your view on all of that as well as the gender gap discussion we were having?

HEIDI PRZYBYLA, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, MSNBC: So I don`t think we`ve heard the end of this story. And I`m going to differ just a little bit with Michael Steele. I think that this is not necessarily for personal reasons. All of our reporting today suggested that she took everybody by surprise. She took the White House. She even took her own staff by surprise.

And so there`s something else to this story. I think she made clear in her remarks that this is not about 2020. That was the first round of speculation that came out this morning when the announcement broke. But I do think that there is more to it here. The president himself said maybe she`ll come back in some other capacity, whether that is running for office at some other level or in some other position within the White House. We just don`t know.

But I`m going to quote from Mark Sanford, the Congressman from that state who`s the former governor, very plugged in who was on our network today and said, "There`s something that doesn`t quite smell right about this. Stay tuned."

MELBER: Well, Michael, you know what that means.

STEELE: What`s that?

MELBER: If Heidi`s right, you`re wrong.

STEELE: Well, that`s just fine. I just don`t think it`s as complicated as some people want to make it. I mean sometimes a politician makes a very personal decision. I`ve been in that space and know what that`s like. So I will take it on face value what she says and not second guess her motives or her intent without anything further to go on.

I think if she`s ready to step down, let`s take it at face value, she`s ready to step down. Sometimes, it`s not a conspiracy and it`s not as more dramatic than just that.

PRZYBYLA: Ari, there`s one other thing just real quick.

MELBER: Let me get rev and then back to you.

PRZYBYLA: OK.

SHARPTON: Let me also slightly disagree with the new goateed Michael Steele. And that is that I think that the symbolic nature of how this rolled out, right after we dealt with Kavanaugh, with the real exodus of a lot of women, particularly white women, from Trump. And for these high- profile, maybe the most high-profile female in his administration to leave, I think does damage to him in the midterm elections.

Because even though a lot of Americans are debating about what we want, we know what we don`t want. We don`t want to go backwards. And I think that the Kavanaugh nomination and confirmation, going into the Supreme Court, threatening gender rights, threatening racial rights and others, they don`t want to go back there. And I think her exiting is somewhat of a symbolic thing of the exit of a lot of women that gave Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt. And he knows it.

You know I know Trump pretty well from New York. He would not have done the resignation sitting in the oval office with her in the other armchair if he didn`t know that the optics of this was bad for him. he didn`t do a lot of resignations with this kind of, "I`ll kiss you goodbye, you can come back." He only did it this time and you have to ask yourself why. He`s the master of optics.

MELBER: I mean his own chief of staff, Reince Priebus, according to the reporting was just left off a flight and had to find his way home. So you know, they`re giving ways to it. Heidi, you wanted to get in?

PRZYBYLA: So just to ping-pong back here and support -- make an argument. One argument in support of my friend, Michael Steele. It is possible and it was reported today that after eight years in government -- because remember she was governor of the State of South Carolina for six years, that she`s got some bills to pay. Maybe she`s going to go and make some money and make a comeback in 2024.

But again, I go back to the timing of this. She could have done all of these things and waited and held her announcement until after the midterms. So we still are kind of brought back to the timing question and why it had to happen now and surprising everyone.

MELBER: Well, let`s go right back to Michael. We like this. It`s like an hour deep in court here in closing arguments, Michael.

STEELE: That`s right.

MELBER: People are responding to your argument which is sort of, can you pay my bills, can you pay my automobiles argument. And Heidi brings in some evidence that even accepting that argument, why not wait until after the midterms if there was something weirdly rushed about this. Your closing argument, the goateed counsel, sir?

STEELE: I will cede that point. I think that there may be something. I`m not denying that there`s a possibility there`s something there. I`m just saying that you have to take it on its face until there is another narrative that emerges and that hasn`t happened yet. Folks are just speculating as to why she did it and what it may mean.

The timing is something, that`s true. But to Reverend Al`s point, Donald Trump has already been underwater with women. So Nikki Haley`s not going to make a difference there if the polls opening the show will demonstrate. So I just --

MELBER: You`re saying underwater in terms of polling? You`re not talking about shark week or something else?

STEELE: I`m not talking about shark week or anything, just in terms of the numbers in the polls. That gap is there and that gap will grow. And I won`t attribute it to Nikki Haley`s departure as much as I will attribute it to the Kavanaugh debacle gravity, you know what, a whole bunch of other things that women may have discounted in 2016 that they will no longer discount going forward.

MELBER: Let me go to Mara. I have one more exciting thing about Rev in a minute but before we turn to that, I wonder if we could pull back and get your view as a journalist assessing Nikki Haley`s tenure. We showed the clips. She very publicly said Donald Trump was basically an embarrassment. She was not a fan. She went into service. It`s easy to dismiss anyone and say, "Oh, you`re a hypocrite" and I think people have to deal with their records.

But what do you think about the way she served over these almost two years? Did she do it in a way that you think was ultimately the right way to deal if you`re a Republican dealing with Trump or not?

GAY: You know, it`s a great question because one of the interesting things about her brief tenure is that she really looking back has been able to preserve, in some way, her integrity. I mean listen, there are those who will say, "If you`re part of the Trump administration, I don`t want to talk to you." And that`s just the reality that everyone has to deal with.

But beyond that, speaking out, sometimes against the Trump administration, and actually being forceful when she was in that fight with Bolton, and then back in April, the fight over the sanctions. And she said, "No, I didn`t get this wrong. The administration changed its position, I was right."

So I actually think that she set herself up quite well if she wants to make a comeback once Trump has left the stage. But I also think having covered public officials, without getting into speculation too much, two things are possible. Number one, that it really was, sure, personal. But number two, that maybe Donald Trump actually wants to make a new announcement, another woman, putting that woman in this position, which actually could help him.

MELBER: Right. There may be more strategic plans we don`t know about yet. I want to get to my rev business. And Michael Steele, we`re going to do follow up with or without you and determine a later date if you were right.

STEELE: All right. That will work for me.

MELBER: All right. My special thanks in Washington to Michael and Heidi, Mara here on set.

And as for Rev Sharpton, one more thing before we let you go, I want to echo some big news that was made around here. Your weekend show is moving to a great time slot, weekend nights at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. That means every time that you want to catch up on the news on the weekend, 5:00 p.m. on the East Coast, 2:00 p.m. Pacific, we encourage you to check out Reverend Al.

And right now, we want to go through a couple of the greatest hits.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: If we tap on voting, if we tap on believing, we would make America beautiful for everybody.

Welcome back to the "PoliticsNation" science lab.

My head is spinning, mind too, I`m seeing double.

Mr. President, thank you for doing this.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s good to see you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: That was like a show worth watching.

SHARPTON: Well, since I`m on THE BEAT, I`ll throw James Brown at you. It`s so nice and we`ll do it twice. Saturdays and Sundays at 5:00.

MELBER: Perfect. The one and only Rev Al Sharpton doing it twice, "PoliticsNation". Please check it out, every weekend, 5:00 p.m. Eastern. We wanted to get that in there.

Now, coming up. The Roger Stone aide who is trying to fire Mueller is finally breaking his silence with a new admission about legal strategy. We stay on that important story.

Later, I`m going to live, as promised, in Texas, turning out to one of the hottest Senate races in the country with a new ad taking aim at Cruz for being weak on Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You stick a finger in their chest and give them a few choice words or you drag their ass out by the woodshed and kick their ass, Ted. Come on, Ted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Getting real in Texas.

And later, my thoughts with a special report on Donald Trump`s environmental record in light of these new dire warnings about climate change. And later, how should liberals handle Trump when he is in full trolling mode? We have a special guest, Charlamagne on THE BEAT tonight with some examples from across the culture.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: Donald Trump`s claims of zero collusion got some backing today from an unlikely ally, a former Clinton special counsel Ken Starr, who basically backed Trump up saying Mueller`s own indictments make the case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEN STARR, FORMER INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: And when one reads those indictments, the inference one naturally draws is, no collusion. The natural, most reasonable inference to be drawn from the two indictments, at least from this reader, and I read them carefully, is zero collusion to the contrary.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Ken Starr, always plenty confident in his legal views. Of course, nothing in the indictment says one way or the other anything about the collusion question. Trump may have more confidence about all this with his Supreme Court nominee getting in. He wrote that a sitting president can`t even be indicted.

Meanwhile a lawyer for former Roger Stone -- I should say a former aide to Roger Stone is refusing to appear before Mueller`s grand jury but got involved in the Kavanaugh controversy today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL KAMENAR, LAWYER FOR FORMER ROGER STONE AIDE: He would be a good ally because he has, you know, talked about these cases before in terms of presidential power and also limiting the power of the government. He would be a great justice to rule in a case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Joining me now is a Russia expert, "Mother Jones" Bureau Chief, David Corn. How are you doing?

DAVID CORN, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, MOTHER JONES: Good to be with you, Ari.

MELBER: Great to have you. Let`s start with Ken Starr and the idea that what Mueller`s done so far is all he`s got.

CORN: Well, you know, operation has been a black box. We haven`t known what`s coming out of it until something comes out of it. He just turned Paul Manafort. Michael Cohen`s talking to the Southern District of New York, presumably perhaps to Mueller`s investigators as well. When an investigation gets peaked like that, it could take months of further work to run down their leads and information they get from them.

And the whole notion there being no collusion, this is the biggest diversion of the Trump crowd. There was collusion. They were told that the Russians had dirt to give them on Hillary Clinton as part of a secret Kremlin plan to help Donald Trump. And they said, "Sure. Let`s meet. Let`s collude." And even if nothing came out of that meeting, that signaled to Russia, to Putin, that they were willing to watch the Kremlin engage in secret plotting against an American election.

That is collusion. It`s right there. It`s the dog that didn`t bark. It`s right in front of you. It`s come up with a rap word for me, Ari, but it`s so damn obvious. And we still argue the point. Ken Starr should know better.

MELBER: First of all, David, the DJ doesn`t take requests here. I`m just kidding. I`m dying to become a Bar Mitzvah DJ and if I ever do, I will take requests, that`s what a good DJ does.

CORN: You know I can only regret you were not there for my Bar Mitzvah.

MELBER: The other piece that has not gotten nearly enough of the traction you`d imagine. And we can use the Bush or Obama test for this. If "The New York Times" came out with a methodically researched piece showing that a past president like Obama or Bush had been wantonly, blatantly, savagely lying about everything in their career, how they got where they got, and how they got their money, including family fraud, I don`t think it would come and go in three days.

I mean it`s sort of the amazing part of this world. We`re not letting it go. And I want to report and read to you something about the nexus with what`s under investigation in the Mueller probe because they note "The New York Times" to counter Trump`s fraudulent taxing shows Trump`s willing not nearly to skirt the law but to blatantly violate it." Reveals he`s been able to harbor enormous secrets even in the face of constant media coverage and most directly raises unanswered questions about his mysterious financial methods.

I wonder, David what you think that story means for any investigator looking at whether there is, as you just put it, receptivity to collusion, receptivity to criminal help?

CORN: "The New York Times" story, which deserves even more attention than it`s gotten, depicts the Trump family as a crime family. They actually use mob-like procedures that are criminal to pad bills, to hide money. You can learn about this from watching The Sopranos or Good Fellows.

And so the fact that they`re willing to do that and we know they were willing to lie about the Trump Tower meeting, we know that Donald Trump now admits to dictating a false statement about that meeting to Donald Trump Jr. We know that after he was told that Russia was interfering in the election in mid-August 2016, he still went out there and lied and said, "It`s a hoax. There`s no reason to believe this."

So you can`t take anything they say. It sounds hyperbolic but you can`t take anything they say at face value because they have this long history, present and in the past, of lying and doing things that are either fraudulent and as "The Times" put it, outright criminal.

MELBER: Right. And so what you`re digging into is what the past tells us about what they may be reaping or what`s coming. You wanted a line, I`ll give you Jerry Garcia, if you plant ice, you`re going to harvest wind.

CORN: OK. Well, I`ll give you a box of rain for that.

MELBER: Phil Lesh, right?

CORN: That`s the grateful dead too.

MELBER: Right. But Phil Lesh, grateful dead. I mean he didn`t have any songs. Interesting that you`re a Phil Lesh fan. That`s a little awkward.

CORN: Well, you can also celebrate with a bottle of Ripple so there`s a lot we can trade back.

MELBER: Wow. We`ll call Katy Tur. We`ll do a full fish grateful dead reunion.

CORN: Oh, no, no, no, no.

MELBER: Only originals for you. David Corn, thank you as always for your reporting and analysis.

Now, let`s turn to a sight Ted Cruz may have never expected, these enormous crowds in Texas for a Democrat against him in the midterms. There`s a congressman fighting for that, Beto O`Rourke when we`re back in 30 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: The other top story tonight. Twenty-eight days to go and Senator Ted Cruz fighting now for his political life. Democrat Beto O`Rourke has the chance to be the first, get this, the first Senator from Texas in 26 years. And we`re seeing crowds and energy growing. You can look at it right there or look at the data, new poll shows Cruz only five points ahead of O`Rourke right now, with eight percent of voters undecided.

Now, Cruz`s lockstep support for Trump under scrutiny, especially with policies that remain controversial in Texas, like immigration plans that have voters debating this scene, should a 2-year-old have to face a judge in U.S. Immigration Court? Or should Texas have to house over 2,000 beds for a Trump detention camp that was allegedly going to be temporary? Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro was at that very camp this summer with his colleague Beto O`Rourke.

REP. ROBERT FRANCIS O`ROURKE, (D) TEXAS: I think it`s the people of this country, the people of Texas, people Joaquin Castro who showed up today that are forcing the changes that we are already seeing. We can`t let up and it really was encouraging for me to hear our Republican colleagues say hey this generated more questions than it did answers. I didn`t hear any apologies for the administration. I heard a desire for accountability. And that same desire is with Joaquin and myself and I hope every other member of Congress to make sure that we hold this administration accountable, that we reunite these families, that we stop this practice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Congressman Castro was there in that scene and he`s live on THE BEAT right now. Thank you, sir. I want to begin with how Cruz`s hypocrisy has been on the line since he is defending a man that Texans know he ran against?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Lying Ted, Lying Ted. He`s a lying guy. He can lie with the best of them.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Donald, you`re a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone.

TRUMP: Everybody hates Cruz, Lyin Ted Cruz.

CRUZ: Donald is a sore loser.

TRUMP: He`s like a basket case. The guy is a pain in the ass.

CRUZ: This man is a pathological liar. The man is utterly amoral.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Let`s start there, Congressman. Do you think Ted Cruz would be in less trouble if he just stuck to his independence rather than yoking himself to Trump?

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D), TEXAS: Yes, you know, over the last six years, Ted Cruz -- first of all for the first four years of his term in the Senate, he really was not thinking about Texas at all. There were so many times that Texas business leaders, regular Texans, constituents said that they try to meet with him and he just flat-out refused to meet. He was focused on running for president and over the last two years he basically has flip-flopped on his support for Donald Trump.

I mean he called him some of the worst things that you can call a person, a candidate for office and yet he did a complete 180 and has become one of the President`s biggest supporters even after the President personally insulted his wife and his father and his family with conspiracy theories about his dad and -- so in many ways Ted Cruz has done this to himself.

MELBER: Right. You`re saying he sort of played himself and this has become an issue in the ads. Here`s one that I know you know as a Texan but uh but our viewers may not have seen it yet and it really zeroes in on the narrative you just drew and whether you trust someone who would turn around and embrace Trump after all that. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody left something on my door the other day is that Ted Cruz tough as Texas. I mean, come on. If somebody call my wife a dog and said my daddy was in on the Kennedy assassination, I wouldn`t be kissing their ass. You stick a finger in their chest and give them a few choice words or you drag her ass out by the woodshed and kick their ass, Ted. Come on, Ted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Is that working?

CASTRO: Well, I think that it reminds people of the fact or it raises this question that I think is on the minds of a lot of voters including a lot of Republicans that if you won`t stand up for the people that are closest to you, what makes you think that Ted Cruz is going to stand up for everyday Texans. And I think a lot of people have that doubt about the senator in mind.

MELBER: And while I have you, I do want to read from a report that like some of the other immigration stories is just hard to believe that this is how we`re treating children in America wherever they may be from. The Times going inside one of these courts and the youngest child there ever to come before the bench here is two years old, so small. She has to be lifted into the chair. How old are you the judges asked, do you speak Spanish, and this two-year-old is silent, eyes big. The Times writes she`s nodding her head. The judge says. What`s going on in America when this is happening?

CASTRO: That is an example of inhumanity. To force a two-year-old to represent, to sit there by herself and basically be in an immigration court as though she`s an adult it`s just incredible to witness in the United States of America. And for it to happen in places like my home state of Texas is something that I`m not proud of.

MELBER: Congressman Joaquin Castro on the politics as well as the policy and of course, they seem to be interrelated in Texas right now. Thank you so much.

CASTRO: Thank you.

MELBER: Up ahead, I`m going to give you one reason we know Ivanka Trump won`t replace Nikki Haley. A backlash meanwhile growing against Donald Trump`s online trolling. I have radio host and author Charlamagne tha God explaining how to combat it later. But first, directly ahead, my beat special report Donald Trump failing on our environment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: All of this with the global warming and that -- a lot of it is a hoax. It`s a hoax. I mean, it`s a money-making industry, OK. It`s a hoax.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you`re seeing are two actual tornado striking on Los Angeles International Airport. Wait, it looks like they joined into one large tornado.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Hollywood sure knows how to make the weather scary, but new scientific findings show climate change is way scarier than many politicians are willing to acknowledge. In fact, scientists at the U.N. right now projecting a full-blown global crisis by 2040 with the earth getting way hotter way faster than the science showed even a few years ago. So here`s what that means. A food crisis that could leave millions underfed and fighting literally over hunger, destructive wildfires far worse than what California has been battling, and flooding that could literally make millions of Americans homeless, some unable to return to areas that stay underwater. Worldwide we`re talking coastal flooding that would impact 50 million people.

So let`s get into this tonight. Unlike an individual hurricane or a plane crash or a terror attack, this isn`t a crisis that lands and then we debate how to respond. This is a slow-motion crisis on the horizon. So the debate is over what to do beforehand. But in Republican politics, the debate has often been whether the fact of this crisis even exists.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The Pope believes in global warming, but it`s so hot in here, maybe I`ll start to believe it myself. Who believes in global warming? Who believes in global warming?

All of this with the global warming and that -- a lot of it is a hoax. It`s a hoax. I mean it`s a money-making industry. OK. It`s a hoax.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: That is classic projection. The money, of course, is made by the industries that have an interest in denying global warming. Here`s what Trump said about the report today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It was given to me. And I want to look at who drew it. You know, which group drew it. Because I can give you reports that are fabulous that I could give you reports that aren`t so good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Unlike many important policies, this isn`t just about Trump at all. That would be giving him way too much credit. He`s actually a lot more of a follower than a leader on the environmental issues and he`s echoing a Republican Party that has been increasingly running from science and embracing conspiracies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-earthers. They don`t like to look at the actual facts and the data.

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: When you say this science is settled and the overwhelming scientific analysis comes to that conclusion, that is just not correct.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have not seen proven -- you know proof that it is entirely man-made.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Humans are not responsible for climate change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Those kind of talking points aren`t just ignorance or even trolling. They`re part of a rhetorical frame to cancel out the science like the U.N. report and the news this week because the fears of Americans understand how dangerous this is to us, to our homes, to our children, it would be harder to defend the industry line of doing little to nothing about the climate. And so we end up with the snowballs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

INHOFE: They keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record. I asked the chair, you know what this is, it`s a snowball, and that just from outside here so it`s very, very cold out, very unseasonal. So here Mr. President catch this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Catch. That was the man Republicans put in charge of the Senate`s Environmental Committee until last year along with the period when Trump`s Environmental Chief Scott Pruett was still in office before his ethics scandals forced him out. All of this makes a mockery of environmentalism because it is supposed to just like Trump`s dramatic exit from the top global pact to address climate change made a mockery of American self- interest using the straw man that what happens in Pittsburgh stays in Pittsburgh.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh not Paris. So we`re getting out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: The new U.N. report reinforces how the looming climate crisis doesn`t know the difference between Pittsburgh and Paris or Frankfort and Florida. The oceans will be rising and wiping us out no matter what language we speak our country we live in. So with or without Scott Pruitt, we also see the Trump administration`s EPA making it easier for corporations to emit fossil fuels and evade rules for clean power while energy companies have plowed over 10 million in the GOP races several elections in a row and those companies include coal corporations. The U.N. report says it`s especially to blame for the new surges in the Earth`s heat.

Now, let`s be clear, it is hard sometimes to keep track of the science of how the earth is getting warmer, the details. And Republican critics of global warming like to repeat the talking point that they themselves are not scientists.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not a scientist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know the science behind climate change,

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: I`m not a scientist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would leave it to the scientists to decide how much, what that means, you know what are the consequences.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not qualified to debate the science over climate change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: So everyone agrees those are not qualified scientists which makes it even more vital to listen to the 132 scientists this week who are using research and data not spin or campaign donations to reach their findings and their warnings in this scary climate report. You know, many terrible things happen across the earth and here in the newsroom, we cover them with some frequency, the hurricanes, and the earthquakes, the shootings, or the car accidents. And we do know every loss of human life marks its own unspeakable sadness for those involved. They can`t exactly be ranked.

But along the way, I think we also learned the difference between a disaster and a tragedy. No matter how deadly, the disasters are sudden. They`re unavoidable catastrophes. The earthquake they couldn`t be predicted let alone prevented. The tragedies feel different. They involve suffering that might have been avoided, events that could have been maybe prevented or somehow mitigated. And that tends to add an extra pain or regret or even a demand for justice.

Science now shows climate change will get worse. It will be deadly and it will be a true tragedy if we don`t do anything about it because we know we really could do something about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: Donald Trump regularly trolls people. The tactic of doing something to upset people which both his allies and critics know.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I think he`s trolling people. Honestly, this is something that`s in the purview of the executive branch. I think some of these people already lost their clearances. I think he`s just trolling people.

DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: Americans have done it. We`ve actually -- we`ve actually elected an internet troll as our president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: So how should America reckon with the president who does deliberately try to provoke and do we have to reach beyond the typical political toolbox? Some Trump critics say yes. It`s as much a cultural challenge nowadays as a political one. They point to internet celebrities like Tekashi69. He`s a pretty notorious 22-year-old troll who`s amassed over 14 million followers online, known for his controversial look, you see it right there, as well as his behavior. And many have begun comparing his rise to Donald Trump. That includes radio host Ebro Darden who`s been here on THE BEAT as well as my next guest author Charlamagne tha God who interviewed Tekashi where they discussed how trolling and being hated fueled his rise.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEKASHI69, RAPPER: No matter how much I`m hated, nobody is doing what I`m doing and I love it.

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MELBER: And that musician also shouted out Trump.

TEKASHI69: Behind all our racism (BLEEP), definitely he`s a good president to be honest with you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: I am joined by Charlamagne tha God. You hear the laughter. He is the co-host on a nationally syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club. He`s the author of Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It, and his show delves into culture and politics. He`s even interviewed Hillary Clinton as well as many other leading musicians.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD, CO-HOST, THE BREAKFAST CLUB: I`m surprised you caught one of Tekashi`s best troll during that Fat Joe interview when he said that you know, behind the racism of Donald Trump was a good president. That was a troll.

MELBER: That was a troll.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: That is absolutely a troll.

MELBER: This is a person who isn`t familiar to everyone but there is this overlap with Donald Trump. What`s going on here?

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: I don`t think it`s an overlap with Trump. I think the Tekashi and Trump both troll for different reasons. I think Tekashi trolls for attention and Donald Trump trolls for distraction, you know I mean. As long as he keeps us talking about things that don`t matter you know, tweet about the NFL or tweet about you know, Omarosa, we won`t pay attention to the real issues which is whether or not he has been in cahoots with Russia.

HAYES: But something`s happening in our politics and our culture where -- and you and I`ve talked about this. People who still stand by Donald Trump, they say they like he`s -- that he`s upsetting everyone. They like that Washington is freaking out. And a lot of music fans look at someone like Tekashi and think this isn`t the best music and his fans which are over 10 million on Instagram and we mentioned at the top of the charts say they like how he upsets everyone in the game.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Yes. And I mean honestly, I can`t relate to either because you know, like I`m not neither one of their bases. Tekashi and Trump are like this. Takashi will go out and troll. He`ll say a bunch of wild, reckless stuff and we`ll pay attention to that, but then he`ll put out some music. And his fans eat that up. I don`t like his music so I don`t eat it up. Same thing with Trump. Trump will go out there and talk reckless, talk crazy, then he`ll do something that his fans like, I still don`t know what that something is but clearly his base eats it up.

MELBER: When you look at someone like Donald Trump or Sarah Palin who did a lot of this or this artist we`re talking about, what is the antidote? How do you deal with this as a culture when as you know and the reason why mention the Internet is it is this constant attention competition?

I think that we all have to move off strategy and not emotion. I think as long as they got us in our feelings, you know what -- I`m not talking about the (INAUDIBLE). As long as they got a say in our feelings and we`re being emotional, where it distracted and we`re not paying attention, like if you look at the Democrats and the Liberals, they`re not even talking about the midterms this year. Like, won`t you rally -- you know energized people to vote so they can get the House in the Senate back. Like who`s your candidate for 2020? As long as they got them distracted and you know, Donald Trump has been distracted constantly talking about him, you`re not talking about what you can do for the people. And I don`t want you to be anti-Trump, I want you be pro-people.

MELBER: Charlamagne tha God, I always appreciate you coming on THE BEAT.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Thank you and hopefully you can get Tekashi69 to go out there in a support Trump. You know what I mean? Go out there and stomp for Trump in the 2020 elections.

MELBER: That`s a rally --

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Maybe that will scare America. You know what I mean? Like you know what, I always say Trump wasn`t a privileged white man, he`d be a (INAUDIBLE). I always say that.

MELBER: On that -- on that note, again, thank you Charlemagne. And I want to mention Charlemagne`s forthcoming book Shook One coming out October 23rd. It doesn`t stop. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I`ve heard Ivanka, I`ve heard how good would Ivanka be? The people that know, it`s nothing to do with nepotism but I want to tell you the people that know, know that Ivanka would be dynamite.

I think she would be incredible but that doesn`t mean (INAUDIBLE). I`d pick her because I`d be accused of nepotism, even though I`m not sure there`s anybody more competent in the world but that`s OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: No one more competent in the world for the U.N. Ambassador position. There Donald Trump talking about why maybe he wouldn`t put his daughter for the new U.N. Ambassador post. Nikki Haley said this though about Ivanka and her husband.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: I can`t say enough good things about Jared and Ivanka. Jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands. I mean, to redo the NAFTA deal the way he did, what I`ve done working on the Middle East peace plan, it is so unbelievably well done. And Ivanka has been a great friend. And they do a lot of scenes behind the scenes that I wish more people knew about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Before we go, we have something you may want to know about. The real reason we don`t think Ivanka Trump can replace Nikki Haley. Federal law appears to preclude the president from appointing relatives to the U.N. ambassadorship and that`s because it would traditionally be considered a post within, "an executive agency." Now, the DOJ did clear Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to serve in their advisor post in the White House, that`s because of kind of a technicality, a legal view that the White House, unlike the State Department, is not an executive agency. Just one legal fact we wanted to give you before we go.

Now, I`ll be back tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. Eastern for THE BEAT. But don`t go anywhere because "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews is up next.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: A resounding democratic victory. Let`s play HARDBALL.

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