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Trump attacks Democrat Senators. TRANSCRIPT: 10/11/2018, The Beat w Ari Melber.

Guests: Bill Kristol, Christina Greer, Shelby Holliday; Robert Torricelli; Michael Eric Dyson, Cynthia Germanotta

Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: October 11, 2018 Guest: Bill Kristol, Christina Greer, Shelby Holliday; Robert Torricelli; Michael Eric Dyson, Cynthia Germanotta

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: We`re looking forward seeing you out on the road.

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

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

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

We have a lot of news tonight. There is new reports within just the past hour about who President Trump is eyeing to replace, potentially Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Plus, the tweeting, trolling reality TV takeover of the oval office and which parts of it matter? That`s not our top story by any means tonight. But later Michael Eric Dyson will be here to separate the signal from the noise.

Also, new reporting about Michael Flynn and his dealings with the man who wanted to buy Hillary Clinton`s stolen e-mail. We have all of that in the show.

But our top story is this homestretch going towards the midterm races and clear signs, this is even beyond the rough polling that Republicans and Trump are worried about losing the House to Democrats. Now, midterm elections are always base elections because we all know there`s lower turnout. But tonight, there are signs of trouble even within Trump`s base, a declining appetite for his speeches in his rallies. Even the people most expected to consume that material, it turns out a lot of them are watching.

And get this, if you haven`t it heard yet, "Fox News" has now stopped automatically airing the rallies. Well, why? You can guess and, you know, it might hurt the president`s feelings because the ratings are down. Donald Trump doing something rare, given that he`s not even getting the attention that he usually likes for himself, given that the rallies aren`t even on TV, he is at times turning the attention away from himself and towards the Democrats.


DONALD TRUMP. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Democrats are the party of crime.

The Democrats have become totally unhinged. They`ve gone crazy. They`ve become, frankly, too dangerous to govern. They`ve gone whacko.


MELBER: Donald Trump also dialing up an old classic and applying it to a different woman in power. You will see the president go from encouraging a "lock her up" chant about Senator Dianne Feinstein, and then seconds later saying it`s his opponents who are the lawless mob.


CROWD: Lock her up. Lock her up. Lock her up. Lock her up.

TRUMP: You don`t hand matches to an arsonist and you don`t give power to an angry left-wing mob. And that`s what the Democrats have become.


MELBER: Make what you will of the comparison. There is something else happening. And I don`t just mention this because we like music here on THE BEAT. I mention it because it will be familiar to anyone who`s ever been to one of those aging Rock and Roll reunion tours. No shade. But when all of the requests and the big crowd pleasers are really, really old stuff, it looks like this is all Trump has left.


TRUMP: Crooked Hillary.

CROWD: Lock her up. Lock her up.

TRUMP: We keep building that wall and we`re going to get it finished sooner than anyone would believe. We will build the wall. All those beautiful red hats make America great again. And we will make America great again.


MELBER: I guess the only thing left to do will be to shout out the rest of the band for applause.


TRUMP: Lou Dobbs, the great Lou Dobbs, he says that, right? Sean Hannity says that, the Dims. Judge Janine says that, doesn`t she? Laura, how good has Laura been, right? Do we like Tucker? I like Tucker. How about Steve Ducci? How about Ainsley, Brian? We got a lot of great friends.


MELBER: That`s really happening. But there is a sad part to all of this. Trump thanking his alleged bandmates or friends from "Fox" but "Fox News" wasn`t even airing the rally, which is a change, as I mentioned. You can look at the reporting from "Politico" which states the ratings for these Trump rallies have been lower than "Fox`s" regular shows. The network now has stopped airing most of these evening rallies in full. That`s a change. And when they won`t come to him, well, he does go to them.

So, again, I`m showing you this because it`s a political strategy. Donald Trump obviously figured out that while he was shouting out those "Fox" anchors, they weren`t showing the love back. So he did, not one, but two phone interviews with "Fox" in a 12-hour span and then brought the TV spectacle into the oval office that many could not take their eyes off of.

The original MAGA hat adorned by a hugging Kanye West. Now, Donald Trump needs Kanye and 45-minute "Fox" interviews just to get back on TV. The question is, what else is he going to learn if these polls continue to sag over the next 26 days?

Let`s get into it. Christina Greer is a Political Science Professor at Fordham University, Shelby Holliday from the "Wall Street Journal" who`s been cracking several stories. We`re going to get into one of them later. And Bill Kristol, founder and editor-at-large for the "Weekly Standard."

Bill, accept my apologies. I`m not going to do a full Rock and Roll bandmate shout out for you. But I will call on you and ask you, what do you think, is there a connection here between the ratings problems, the polling problems, and Donald Trump`s almost spastic attempt to regain air time?

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, WEEKLY STANDARD: Yes, that could be. He likes being the center of things, I`ve noticed. I guess that`s a great insight of mine. I would say though honestly and, you know, I`m as happy as anyone to relish Trump being foolish and, you know, saying things he said two or three years ago are just few things.

But lock her up. I mean I`m against left-wing violence. I`m against right-wing violence. There has been some action on both sides I guess I should say but whatever, I`m not going to compare it. But Trump -- I mean for people to chant "Lock her up" at a rally with the president of the United States and, in fact, leading the chant or joining the chants and reveling in it, that`s a very different thing. I mean that`s literally -- that is a mob.

MELBER: You are saying it`s worse for him doing it from a seat of power?

KRISTOL: Yes, he is sanctioning a mob. You can say they`re doing it in a kind of light-hearted way. They know that the police are not going to actually show up and lock up Hillary Clinton and Diane Feinstein. But the spirit of it is lawlessness. The spirit of it is mob rule, sanctioned by the president of the United States. And this is not to excuse violence in many quarter but that is I think a problem first of all.

Secondly, I would say this, Democrats who really hope to take the House -- expect to -- I think they probably will take the House, would like to take the Senate. I`ve talked to some Democratic pollsters the last 48 hours, they are not super confident. I mean they don`t -- they see a little tightening. This often happens early in October and then the primary trend re-asserts itself.

They`re worried about youth turnout especially. And I really, if I were a Democrat, the white suburban, the suburban women who deserted Trump, they`re going to stay deserted. I think those districts will flip but they need Latino votes, and they need minority votes generally, and they need young votes. They need to expand the electorate here. Because Trump will -- one can ridicule Trump, one can ridicule "Fox News", I`ve done my share of that as you have but the Republican base will turn out I think.

I mean not to demoralize and so the Democrats need to expand. Because a base versus base election, the Democrats win I think a little bit but they don`t get a big wave. And the Democrats need to expand the electorate to get the big wave. They need to get young people to understand that this is an important midterm election.

CHRISTINA GREER, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: So, you know, obviously I don`t agree that it`s both sides. I mean the Republicans have insighted (ph) violence, have their hires killed by a Nazi. We`ve seen Dylan Roof go into a church and kill nine people, including a seating State Senator. We`ve seen lots of violence to say nothing of the border and children being ripped from their parents and abducted and also killed at different times.

So I don`t see that the Democrats women going to the Capitol and screaming at senators about their sexual assault past is not the same in any calculation. I also am worried about the midterms. Not because of young people staying home or the old truth that, you know, blacks don`t perform, which we have data that shows is not the case. I am actually really concerned about voter fraud.

When you have someone like Stacy Abrams who`s running for Governor of Georgia as a Democrat and her opponent is the current Secretary of State Brian Kemp and so he is not only her opponent, he`s also the referee. He is the one who knows where all the bodies are buried. He is the one that actually --

MELBER: Let me run through that for your analysis because we prepared some of this. There`s a question here. It looks quite blatant. We`re going to run through the facts. Fifty-three thousand voter applications on hold, as you mentioned, Brian Kemp`s office, the candidate, many because of this "exact match verification process", which is considered quite onerous.

And what that means is an application can be held because of entry errors, dropping a hyphen. It`s very small things which is important to understand what they`re doing. Georgia`s population is 32 percent black. The list of voter registrations on hold, 70 percent black.

GREER: Right. That is not a coincidence. That is an institutional mechanism being used by Brian Kemp and his administration to make sure that they disenfranchise and suppress the black vote. Because they have a highly qualified black female Democratic challenger or candidate who actually very well could become the first African-American female governor in the history of this nation.

She`s got the qualifications. You`ve talked about it. This station has talked about it. So I don`t think that my nervousness comes from an underperformance. I think Democrats are fired up. We have seen what has happened in the past almost two years. We have two Supreme Court justices. One who just got appointed to the bench, where I think a lot of women are disgusted and disappointed and frightened.

So that will motivate them to go out. And if the Republicans do maintain unified government, that is control of the House and the Senate during this election season, I would actually think it has more to do with Russia enabling that to happen and also full on disenfranchisement by various secretaries of state across the country as opposed to people of color and young people not participating.

SHELBY HOLLIDAY, REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Democrats and Republicans both have issues that are going for them. Republicans have the economy, although tax cuts they still can`t seem to make a popular issue. Voters think Democrats would be better off on health care and immigration. And these are issues that are very near and dear to a lot of voters` hearts.

A big question for both party though has been what is driving the news cycle just before the election, if it is a school shooting that can mobilize young people, if it is immigration at the border that can mobilize a lot of people who are passionate about that issue. At this point, it looks to be the Supreme Court fight. And there is nervousness on both sides as you touched on it about whether or not that galvanizes Republicans better, more effectively or Democrats.

And at this point, Republicans are at least ringing the bell and saying this has got us fired up. There was a big fear that Republicans would be complacent and that President Trump`s claim of a red wave would maybe keep some of them at home. And now, they are very fired up. They are very in tuned with what`s at stake here in the midterms.

MELBER: And Bill, when you look at the rallies, I mean do you think that Donald Trump is listening to anyone in the White House about this or is he just sounding off regardless?

KRISTOL: It seems to -- well he has a certain strategy. He goes to the red states. I think they`re going to lose the House. I think they will lose the House. Maybe they`ll lose 30 seats. Maybe they`ll lose 50 seats. He is trying to hold the Senate. He is desperate to hold the Senate. He thinks he can -- the Senate math this year is lopsided.

If he can get Trump supporters to vote in red states, these are states Trump carried by 10, 15, 19 points. So my definition if he can hold most of them, he doesn`t even have to hold all of them, he can perhaps push some Republican challengers over the top in North Dakota, Missouri, possibly Indiana, hold on perhaps to a state like Arizona even which he won, you know, somewhat narrowly, hold on to Texas and Tennessee, states he won more handily where there are good Democratic challengers.

So I think Trump`s strategy is entirely to kick off a Senate seat or two and then say, "OK, you always lose the House in an off-year election. Obama lost it. Clinton lost it. Bush lost it." We increased the Senate, isn`t that amazing? And from a practical point of view, we`ve discussed this before, Ari, having a slightly increased majority of the Senate allows Trump to do an awful lot of things.

So I think Democrats -- Bloomberg put $20 million into the Senate race a week ago. I think that was intelligent for a Democrat. They really need to turn up -- not turn up the heat, they need to make the health care appeal, the immigration appeal, the economic policy appeal. I don`t think a culture war helps the Democrats in these red states. Maybe it should. Maybe it`s unfair.

But I think if it`s about Kavanaugh, about some identity politics and grievance politics, I think Republicans can win in states like Missouri and North Dakota. If it`s about, "Hey. What about health care?" If you let that there be a Republican Senate, that`s a risk. What about immigration, separation of families? What about economic wage growth? I think those are better issues, bread and butter issues for the Democrats.

MELBER: To say nothing as the market faces some jitters, what do voters feel that Donald Trump has done domestically? Do they think this tax plan is good for them or not? It`s the only major bill that`s gone through. And how do you have that kind of discussion about people`s own pocketbooks?

As I mentioned, we have so much news tonight. I`m going to fit in a quick break.

Bill Kristol, Christina Greer, thank you so much. Shelby, you`re back on your story later.

Donald Trump`s lawyers now prepping answers to Mueller`s collusion questions. We have new details about what Mike Flynn was doing right before that dinner with Putin and why Mueller is looking at it.

And later, Michael Eric Dyson here to break down Kanye`s truly surreal visit in the oval office today.


KANYE WEST, RAPPER: I put this hat on, it made me feel like Superman. You make a Superman. That`s my favorite superhero. Trump is on his hero`s journey right now.


MELBER: And I have a special interview with Lady Gaga`s mother talking about their foundation as her daughter spite to address mental illness.


LADY GAGA, SINGER: I have a mental illness and I struggle with that mental illness every day. I`ve never told anyone that before. So here we are.


MELBER: I`m Ari Melber. And you`re watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.


MELBER: Democrats currently lead in the midterms as we have been reporting and Donald Trump is on defense but also counterpunching this morning. He uncord (ph) a free willing 47-minute phone interview with "Fox News", and much like the presidency itself, it was at times rambling, self- contradictory and yes, vicious.

I am about to be joined by a power player on the Democratic side, former U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli. Let`s look at these personal attacks.


TRUMP: You look at Booker, you look at Biden, I mean how about Elizabeth Warren, she faked her heritage for years and years. I have more Indian blood in me than she does. And I have none, unfortunately. And Corey Booker ran Newark, New Jersey when he was Mayor into the ground.

But I don`t want to be too harsh because I want them to be able to get through the process. The only thing that Democrats are good with -- they have bad policy. They have bad -- everything. In many ways, they have bad politicians. The only thing they`re good at is obstruction and delay.

MELBER: Trump hitting the opponents there, as well as celebrity opponents.


TRUMP: Those people in Hollywood that you hear about, even the ones that do a little talking because they think it`s cool, they vote for Trump. Many of them vote for Trump. I`ve heard so many of them vote for Trump. They get in that booth, they look around and then they press the Trump sticker because they do. And you know, it`s sort of a joke out in Hollywood. I have obviously many friends out there, many Hollywood friends, but I have many friends.


MELBER: Who among us hasn`t pressed the Trump sticker in the voting booth? The headlines though have the counts about the bizarre statements and the fact checks. Meanwhile, Republicans do worry this kind of stuff doesn`t help hold onto the House.

Senator, what do you see politically here?

ROBERT TORRICELLI, FORMER SENATOR: Well, I think that the pundits are right. I would be surprised if Democrats did not take control of the House of Representatives back. The resources have been there. They`re very very well recruiting candidates.

When I used to do this for a living, the chairman of the Senate campaign committee, we used to like to see 8, 9, 10-point generic lead for a landslide. You look at 82, 94, 14 where you have these massive 30, 40 sweep, you usually had to get in double digits. We don`t have that at the moment, it`s six or seven.

MELBER: Well, you`re talking about -- Bill Kristol was just talking about this. You literally ran the re-elect effort for Senate Democrats, and you`re saying in that generic thing, which is just a very rough schematic is better to be in double digits if you actually want to flip.

TORRICELLI: You normally would like to see around 10 points to know you are going to get north of 30 seats in the House. We don`t have that at the moment. Nevertheless, it feels like a big victory. The numbers suggested, if you look at the individual races, I think the odds are overwhelmed and there`s going to be a Democratic House after the election.

MELBER: I want to play for you -- and the numbers there show the enthusiasm, a 40 percent. So it`s higher for Dems than for Republicans and what everyone says it`s a base election issue. Take a listen to Donald Trump, really laying bare what his critics have alleged that he and Devon Nunez are working against the Constitutional theory of separation of powers and congressional oversight to simply put the fix in on any Russia investigation with Nunez backing him up on the House. Here was that part of the interview.


TRUMP: People like Devon Nunez, he should get -- if this all turns out like everyone thinks it will, David Nunez should get the medal of honor. He is really -- what he`s gone through and his bravery, he should get a very important medal. Maybe we`ll call it the medal of freedom because we actually give him the high awards for civilians. And he`s done amazing.


MELBER: Is that kind of a tell?

TORRICELLI: Yes. We all know what the subplot here is. And this isn`t about broad national public policy and control of the House of Representatives. It is about subpoena powers. It is about investigations, about holding the president accountable. This is part - it`s much a part of a legal strategy for the president. It is about governing. We all understand this.

MELBER: So if Bill Clinton said out loud that he wanted to give you the medal of freedom for helping him politically or helping him undermine the DOJ, I mean wouldn`t there be an investigation just of that? Is there some part of this where your fellow Democrats in the Congress is exhausted by all this?

TORRICELLI: Ari, I think history is of no guide.


TORRICELLI: Since Donald Trump became president of the United States, precedent just does not matter.

MELBER: That`s hard for lawyers.

TORRICELLI: It is hard for lawyers. But the Kanye West interview today, imagine this country tonight if Bill Clinton or Barack Obama had been seated there under the same circumstances with the same conversations. There are no rules. This is all different.

But I want to say on the off chance that Donald Trump is actually watching this or paying attention to our words tonight, I`ve known Donald for 30 years. He actually wrote checks to me, contributed when I was at the campaign. He was the biggest employer in New Jersey, in Atlantic City. We were friends.

This lock her up stuff. Knock it off. We can disagree on policy. We can disagree on politics. It is bad for the democracy. It is bad for our country. It is irresponsible. A Democrat should not answer in time but he needs to stop it.

It is beneath him. It is beneath all of us. Enough.

MELBER: You say you know Donald Trump well. Do you think you are more likely to get that message across to him by TV as opposed to by phone?

TORRICELLI: I think the way to communicate with the president is the way I just did.

MELBER: Senator Robert Torricelli, a novel man, never boring, thank you for being on THE BEAT.

TORRICELLI: Thanks for having me.

MELBER: Keep your thoughts in mind.

And now, think about the moment that Donald Trump left everyone watching someone else, Kanye West took over the oval office with a 10-minute speech. Michael Eric Dyson will break it down when we`re back in just 30 seconds.


MELBER: Let`s start with a question. What should America do when a tweeting, trolling celebrity with a reality show lifestyle rakes over the oval office? That`s not a reference to Trump or rather Kanye West who joined Trump today to produce unscripted programming, including the stretch where West spoke for 10 minutes straight at the president sounding off on politics, prison, racism, capitalism and, of course, a plain navel-gazing talk about West, himself.

Now, there is plenty wrong with that picture. But that doesn`t mean America should pretend this didn`t happen at all today or ignore the implications of how this dynamic affects us. You had two self-aggrandizing marketers, turning the seat of power into a setting they prefer a literal TV set. This was playing across every news channel in real time because this is real now.

Now, we are about to have some real talk with the Michael Eric Dyson in a moment. But here`s the context, Kanye commanding political and artistic attention for a long time. He beefed with Bush and Obama before befriending Trump. And while there was lots of noise in the oval office today, let`s listen for a moment to some key parts with Professor Dyson. Here`s Kanye on Criminal Justice and his statement that in a different universe, he would be a black man in prison now.


WEST: There`s theories that there`s infinite amounts of universe, and there`s alternate universe. So it`s very important for me to get Hoover out because in an alternate universe, I am him and I have to go and get him free.

Again, so, what I think is, we don`t need sentences, we need pardons. We need to talk to people. We feel that stop and frisk does not help the relationships in the city and everyone that knew I was coming here said, "Ask about stop and frisk." That`s the number one thing that we`re having this conversation about.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump has said that he favors stop and frisk. Are you guys going to be discussing that? Do you think you can change his mind?

WEST: Yes, we`re going to discuss that. I didn`t mean to put you on blast like that bro but it`s going to be --

TRUMP: I`m open-minded.


MELBER: There is disagreement there on policing policy. But if this were more than a stunt, it would have to involve leverage and negotiation. That kind of strategy was definitely not on display today as Kanye basically proposed bringing Colin Kaepernick to the White House which would just give Trump a PR boost with nothing in return.


WEST: I made a hat that says "Make America Great" but I would love to see, at the Super Bowl, Trump wearing the "Make America Great" hat. Colin wearing the "Make America Great", and showing that we can benefit on this side. We can benefit on this side and we can learn how to be malleable in the infinite universe that we are and the loving beings that we are.


MELBER: That was Kanye just spinning those ideas off the top of his head. No, West had actually been calling, trying to literally bring Kaepernick to this meeting today. He was shot down by other African-American leaders who privately and publicly opposed the idea. In fact, radio DJ Ebro Darden was just talking about Kanye calling him personally with that pitch on his radio show.


EBRO DARDEN, RADIO DJ: He goes, "I want to -- I`m going to the White House October 11 and I want to bring Colin Kaepernick with me to meet Donald Trump."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations. He played himself.

DARDEN: Exactly what I said.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Literally the words?

DARDEN: No, it was more like, yes, no. We`re not doing that. We`re all on the phone, and they`re like, you know, "What do you mean we? This doesn`t have anything to do with you." I said, no, it`s we. When it comes to Colin Kaepernick, it`s a we. There are people standing with Colin Kaepernick around him, rallying around him. We are not doing that.


MELBER: Professor Dyson, I put that question to you first. Why are we not doing that?

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: We are not doing that because it doesn`t make sense. We`re not doing that because we have not reduced the complexity and complication of public policy to personalities. When Kanye says, "Sorry, bro. I didn`t mean to put you on blast that way about stop and frisk" and Donald Trump says, "Well, I`m open-minded," it is a matter of law, of jurisprudence in New York City that stop and frisk was ruled to be illegal.

And, therefore, subverting the rights of African-American people, ostensibly that Kanye West represents and wants to speak to. This is such a blitzkrieg of blathering ignorance on one level. And I say this as a man who loves Kanye West, who admires his genius, and who considers him a friend.

But I beg him, I plead to him, Kanye, please, cease the interventions through media of trying to engage issues about which you don`t have sophisticated comprehension and knowledge. You speak about the 13th Amendment. Why don`t you watch Ava DuVernay`s 13th and understand the historic legacy against which that 13th Amendment unfolds and the degree to which mass incarceration of African-American and Latinas and other poor people has occurred.

Here we are having discussions about Kanye West in the White House. Did he have shards of brilliance to be sure? His notion of the infinite universe and alternative universes, we don`t have to wait to see what another black man could do in another universe. This universe is quite confident of revealing that. Wes Moore wrote about two Wes Moores. One who was like him, an achieved and accomplished young man and another one who was sent packing and had an extraordinarily tragic life.

The point is we are already dealing with alternative universes. They are called black and white among many others, difference of applying justice, opioid addiction among white Americans who is treated one way, it is hospitalized, it is medicalized, African-American people are criminalized. That`s an alternative universe that needs to be closed.

So the tragedy with Kanye West is he says, "Look, I was misdiagnosed as bipolar." Let`s acknowledge this. This is Mental Health Awareness Day. I think Kanye West is dealing with the grief and trauma of the after effect of his mother dying, the PTSD that he is in one sense engaged and certainly on another sense encountered. And we must intervene on his behalf. He resents the fact on the one hand that we talk about his mental illness and yet he talks openly and honestly about this. This is time for us to say Kanye, we as African-American people cannot stand idly by while you give cover to a man who has proved to be a white supremacist, who has no interest in African-American people, when you stood up and said George Bush does not care about black people, Donald Trump cares less than that.

Donald Trump has been actively engaged in enterprises that undermine the integrity and the safety and the very survival politically of African- American people in this country. And while we`re dealing with the sideshow of Kanye West, black people are being deliberately denied access to voting. Voter four going on among indigenous people and Native Americans in this country and African-American people. Look at what`s happening with Stacey Abrams in Georgia and yet here we are concerned with the narcissistic reproduction of the self-image of one black man and another white man and in the balanced ways the future of our democratic process and neither of them have the capacity the competence nor the compassion to deal with this in a serious fashion.

MELBER: Strong and you might have gone full ten minutes on his ten minutes just fact-checking, professor.

DYSON: I mean, man, you got to do it bro. Come to class, Kanye. Take a class. And when -- and this is what I mean when I tell young people that I don`t mean any disrespect. Stop believing that social media can adjudicate competing claims of rationality. Read a book. Don`t just get on Twitter. just don`t get on Facebook, just don`t get on Instagram, just don`t swipe left or right, get deep into the archives. Read books, (INAUDIBLE) text, digitized on Kindle, but my god be informed. We don`t need celebrity to become a spectacle to prevent us from understanding and learning and knowledge. And this is a grand display of mass ignorance in the face of the downfall of democracy. And we have a white and a black man join together at the narcissistic hip who refused to understand that they are more a roadblock than a road to real democracy in our country.

MELBER: It makes a lot of sense when you put it like that. The narcissism is something many people observed it`s part of why both these people are quite good at social media because social media is constantly a projection of self and we have a generation raised on it although there are ways to connect and organize on it as well.

DYSON: That are beautiful. That are beautiful. That are beautiful.

MELBER: Since you talk about picking up a text or a book, for those of us who`ve seen this and we take this as something that happened in the Oval Office, this was a newsworthy event but for many people in a in a tragic sense. What would you say is the learning or informed response to what Kanye West said in the Oval Office in front of Donald Trump today which was the claim that to bring up Donald Trump`s flirtation with and sometimes support of white supremacy is to try to control a vote or tell people how to vote by their identity?

DYSON: This is white supremacy by ventriloquism. A black mouth is moving but white racist ideas are flowing from Kanye West`s mouth. Kanye West is engaging in one of the most nefarious practices yet. A black body and brain are the warehouse for the articulation and expression of anti-black sentiment that have been chin checked by people with far more rigorous credentials. Michelle Alexander has written about the new Jim Crow. You know, Khalid Muhammad is written about you know, the condemnation of blackness. We`ve also had James Peterson write about prison industrial complex for beginners. So there is enough material out here for us to understand what it is that we got to do.

MELBER: To look at the policy. To look at the policy. And to look at the publications.

DYSON: And to look at the policy.

MELBER: My final question to you is about the unique character that Kanye West plays in his own mind and he does have a lot of followers and he is a political force and there are people who are worried about this precisely because they`re worried that this is an October confusion to try to help Donald Trump in the midterms. That`s what he might get out of it. And so I wondered that what do you think about the fact because you`ve written books that deal seriously with this music and the lyrical content and you teach classes on it as some of our viewers may know.

What do you think about the fact that Kanye basically previewed all of this in a sardonic comedic take on himself, I love Kanye when he said and I`m reading from it I hate the new Kanye, the bad mood Kanye, they`re always rude Kanye, a spaz in the news Kanye, I missed the old Kanye. Did he see this coming and my final question you, sir. Do you miss the old Kanye?

DYSON: I miss the old Kanye that wrote about crack music. I missed the old Kanye who agreed with Professor Mohammed at Harvard who to writes about the condemnation of blackness. I miss the Kanye who understood that we`re dealing with serious insidious forces that undermine us. The Kanye who joined with Jay-Z to talk about you know, black excellence and the quest for black excellence and how is being rolled black. I miss the Kanye who loved Tupac who said just the other day I got lynched by some crooked cops until this day them saying cops on the beat getting major paid will not get my check they taking tax out, we paying the cops to not to blacks out.

I missed that Kanye who brings high intelligence. His friend Jay-Z said back then, back when the police were out counted two black men. There are ways in which hip-hop can serve as a useful forum to articulate valuable ideas that people of color flying resident in the application to our situation. Right now this Kanye is a Kanye who was Kanye Mess, not Kanye West, not Kanye at his best and that`s the real tragedy for my dear friend and great artist.

MELBER: Michael Eric Dyson, you`re the right man at the right time for a story that a lot of us were trying to make sense of. And since you quoted it, I`ll quote it. Kanye would say you got the facts to back this, the book is what truth sounds like you just heard a little bit of it. We encourage our viewers to check out Michael Eric Dyson at your -- what did you say papyrus at a physical paper?

DYSON: That`s right.

MELBER: At your physical bookstore.

DYSON: At the physical bookstore. Pick it up, check it out, dig deep into it, and holla back.

MELBER: Professor, thank you as always. We`ll see you again. Up ahead, on a different story, new revelations about Mike Flynn and what Mueller is looking at when we come back.


MELBER: To big developments on the Russia probe. Bob Mueller is pressing Trump`s lawyers into actually drafting answers to some of his questions. That`s new. And Mueller bearing down on a new different kind of lead. He`s about eight weeks away as you may know, from filing the papers for a potential prison sentence for Michael Flynn. But that`s not why Flynn is back in the news. Actually, there are new reports on how much Flynn was in contact with GOP operative Peter Smith about a plot to raise money to buy e-mail stolen from Hillary Clinton.

The new twist is Flynn was talking to Smith about buying those e-mails from Russian hackers on the day he was headed to Russia for an event with Vladimir Putin. That`s according to a story in The Wall Street Journal by Shelby Holliday. It includes an e-mail obtained from a Smith associate we`re counting the suspicious timing that reads we spoke with Flynn on the day he left for Moscow. Flynn arrived of course, sat with Putin, you see there as they greeted each other and then within two months he was on the Trump campaign.

Flynn even kept in touch with Smith after Trump won the election as Shelby Holliday reported on THE BEAT.


SHELBY HOLLIDAY, REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: He was hoping Flynn established connections and relations with Russia during the transition. And so that part has also been very interesting to all of us because that`s when Flynn was speaking to the Russian ambassador.


MELBER: We know some of those discussions led to Flynn`s FBI scrutiny and firing. He`s now cooperating with Muller and Flynn and Smith are not coffee boys. They were seasoned players who raised actual money to try to get those e-mails from Russia. Well, the Wall Street Journal Shelby Holliday who broke the story is back here on the plot along with former Watergate Special Prosecutor Nick Akerman.

Now, we don`t know if the money ever reached Russian hackers, Nick, but Mueller has been questioning people about Smith`s quest and he even put a witness before the grand jury about it. So what does that tell you?

NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: And what it tells me is this is one of a whole series of strange conversations and contacts with between Americans connected with the Trump campaign and the Russian government. I mean, just this week we learned about the New Yorker had an article about the strange communications between Alpha Bank, the Russian bank and Trump Tower and Spectrum Health which is connected with Betsy DeVos` family and Eric Prince.

We have this strange meeting with Eric Prince and the Seychelles with one of Putin`s people. There are a whole series of these really strange unanswered communications that we don`t really know how they fit into the whole picture.

MELBER: What do you see as the potential investigative or sort of narrative import of Mike Flynn keeping up with this guy? Because if you want to give people to benefit the doubt and you`re not known for giving Mike Flynn and Donald Trump the benefit out, sir --

AKERMAN: No, never.

MELBER: But if you want to give some of the benefit of the doubt and you say you heard an idea, you talk to someone, I worked on a presidential campaign, all kinds of people come up to you with ideas. This is someone Smith who actually raised a $100,000 to this and Flynn kept talking to him through the transition.

AKERMAN: I mean, what this tells me is that Flynn knows a lot about these conversations. Flynn was right in the middle of this. He`s going to be able to explain it to Mueller. The other person that knows about this is Manafort and Gates is the other one. I mean there are a whole series of these weird conversations. Donald Trump was communicating with the Russians asking them to hack into Hillary Clinton`s e-mail at a press conference and hours after the aspect they in fact did so.

MELBER: It`s almost as if the conspiracy is playing out before our eyes in public.

AKERMAN: In a lot of ways it is. You got Roger Stone talking the Guccifer 2.0, and to Julian Assange. You`ve got after the campaign Kushner trying to get a communication between the Kremlin and the campaign --

MELBER: Right. Backchannel.

AKERMAN: -- through a back-channel at the Russian embassy.

MELBER: So here`s what you don`t have unless Mueller found it and we don`t know. But what we don`t have in public, Shelby, and The Wall Street Journal is reporting and your work has been on this, you don`t have the actual 33,000 missing e-mails hacked. Let me read to you what Smith told the Journal. He and his colleagues found five groups of hackers who claimed to possess the deleted e-mails including two groups that he determined were Russians.

So there`s only a finite number of possibilities there. They didn`t say that and it`s all crap. They did say that but it wasn`t true. Or they said it and they did have the deleted e-mails and we just don`t know. Do you have a theory?

HOLLIDAY: We don`t know but we do have -- and we e reported on this yesterday. We have an e-mail that Smith sent in December so a month after the election and he said shortly after we formed our KLS Research which was his company, his vehicle to find the e-mails. Shortly after we formed this in August of 2016, multiple people approached us with Clinton`s 33,000 e- mails. At the suggestion of us we had those people send them to WikiLeaks. So he claims in this e-mail to have not only knowledge of the e-mails but have also depend the conduit to WikiLeaks.

The thing is those 33,000 e-mails were never published by WikiLeaks. And so he went on to speculate about why that might be or why WikiLeaks was maybe trying to curry favor with Clinton if she won.

MELBER: So has a reporter, at what point -- at what point as a reporter do you hear that line and go oh maybe these are just nutty people repeating all sorts of things they`ve heard because I don`t think anyone thinks Julian Assange would have gotten a whole those Clinton e-mails and not release it.

HOLLIDAY: Right. So it`s really hard to know. And maybe they are her e- mails and no one could verify them. Maybe they`re not her e-mails this guy got ripped off. Regardless, I mean, he met with Flynn before 2015, before Trump -- before he joined the Trump administration and he continued to keep in touch with him.

MELBER: Well, we`re going to stay on this story. We`re very appreciative of your reporting and you coming around to help us understand it. And Nick, I didn`t get a chance to ask you if you missed the old Kanye as well so next time.

AKERMAN: No question about it. And I also miss those 30,000 e-mails.

MELBER: It all runs together. Thanks to both of you. Up ahead, you hear the references to mental health. We`re going to dig into that story in a different way with a special mental health policy expert next.


MELBER: Now we turn to policy discussion. This is not another segment about Kanye West, though at the oval office today he did bring up his own mental health status. And at his new album, West argues against the negative stigma for mental health saying his challenges have actually given him a type of super power. But even that passing mention is notable because mental health is the issue lurking below the surface of many stories you see on the news. It`s a dynamic on the impact of sexual assault on women and how and when they report it.

One treated mental health challenges drive part of the mass shooting epidemic. It`s an underappreciated part of every health care reform debate. Consider that the majority of adults with mental illness got not no treatment in the past year. Now, treatment is about money and access but also stigma which some people are trying to change. This week, Lady Gaga spoke out about how we`re still a developing nation when it comes to treatment. Her new film tackles depression and trauma head on and she is not only using art to tackle this. She also founded a policy organization with her mom, the Born This Way Foundation to get more care to those that need it.

Gaga`s mother and the leader of that group joins me. Cynthia Germanotta, thank you for being here. And let`s begin with a look at how your daughter discusses this.


LADY GAGA, SINGER: I have a mental illness and I struggle with that mental illness every day. I suffer from PTSD. I`ve never told anyone that before so here we are. But the kindness that`s been shown to me by doctors as well as my family and my friends, it`s really saved my life.


MELBER: What`s the first priority in your view about addressing the stigma?

CYNTHIA GERMANOTTA, PRESIDENT BORN THIS WAY FOUNDATION: The first priority and mine and I think many of our partners view is starting to talk about it. There still remains I think a very deep silence of shame about mental health and actually confronting it and we need to get better talking about it. If you think about a physical ailment, one generally knows who to go to or who to turn to for a physical ailment, but when it comes to your mental health we don`t think about that. We haven`t really identified who we would turn to which puts us at a great disadvantage when that time comes.

MELBER: Let`s take a look at Lady Gaga and Prince William talking about exactly that, about stepping out of hiding.


GAGA: I feel like we are not hiding anymore. We`re starting to talk and that`s what we need to do really.

PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: Absolutely it`s time that everyone speaks up and really -- you know, it feels very normal about mental health. It`s the same as physical health.


MELBER: How does your organization try to do that because when you talk about what people are worried, the association is, or what`s going to happen, or how they`re going to be viewed, we`re not just talking about government funding and healthcare, we`re also talking about culture.

GERMANOTTA: Yes, exactly. We`re talking about culture and we`re talking about a stigma that still exists. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 15 and 29 so it`s really, really vitally important that we step up and start talking about it and start and doing something at a much younger age. Why is it important to you and your organization to address the U.N.

GERMANOTTA: I think that mental illness stands where HIV and AIDS did in the `80s and `90s. It is a crisis in need, it`s a crisis in need of change.

MELBER: It`s a crisis with unearned stigma.

GERMANOTTA: It`s a crisis with unearned stigma. Mental health receives less than one percent of global aid which is a very, very dire number and we are generally not doing enough as individuals or as countries to step up to this.

MELBER: Cynthia Germanotta who`s been working on these issues, thank you for joining us.

GERMANOTTA: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.


MELBER: Tonight on THE BEAT Michael Eric Dyson talked about a Kanye Mess. You`re tasting a fine wine, it has multiple notes to it. You better play 4D chess like it is minority report. We end with a few more things you may have missed from today.


KANYE WEST, RAPPER: I put this hat on, it made me feel like Superman. You made us Superman. That`s was -- that`s my favorite superhero. No (BLEEP) with the bleep on it however you want to do it, five-second delay. I don`t answer questions with simple sound bites. You`re tasting a fine wine. It has multiple notes. You better play 4D chess with me like it is a Minority Report because it isn`t that simple. It`s complex.

The eternal return, the hero`s journey. And Trump is on his hero`s journey right now. He might have expected to have a crazy mother(BLEEP) like Kanye West run up and support but best believe we are going to make America great.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: I have good news. We are out of time.

"HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews is up next.