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Trump reveals desperation. TRANSCRIPT: 10/12/2018, The Beat w Ari Melber.

Guests: : Sam Nunberg, Liz Plank, Eleanor Clift, Doug Thornell, Paul Butler, Chuck Nice, Method Man

Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: October 12, 2018 Guest: Sam Nunberg, Liz Plank, Eleanor Clift, Doug Thornell, Paul Butler, Chuck Nice, Method Man

KASIE HUNT, MSNBC HOST: I personally love all kind of cheese. I don`t discriminate.

That`s all for tonight. We`re going to be back Monday with much more MTP DAILY. And don`t miss Chuck this Sunday on "MEET THE PRESS" on your local NBC station.

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

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Kasie. Thank you so much.

Our top story tonight is how Republicans` troubles in midterm polling are leading Donald Trump to double down on his desperation. Let`s go through the facts. Here are some bad signs for Trump. Republicans trail now by seven in generic midterm polling and a staggering 30 points among women voters.

And you can look at the key states tonight. Democrat Stacy Abrams less than two points behind Republican Brian Kemp within the margin of error and that is deep red Georgia. We`re down in Texas, Beto O`Rourke is trailing Ted Cruz but he just broke the all-time fundraising record there for a Senate race. Then you have 25 Republican held house districts which backed Clinton in 2016. Democrats now seeing signs they could win at least 15 as a floor and potentially up to 20.

So Donald Trump has that bad news. He knows about it and he`s trying to upend the narrative in this next 25 days before the voting begins. After losing one of his most high profile female advocate in the U.N., ambassador Nikki Haley, tonight the White House is considering advice to practice some basic affirmative action recruitment and try to get a woman to replace her.

Strategists say that might help with women voters. So Trump is looking into that. He`s also seeking ratings by doing his first sit down with "60 Minutes". And that`s notable as a political and media strategy considering how much he trashes its network CBS. Meanwhile, less love for him at "Fox News" which has stopped automatically airing Trump rallies. That`s bad news for him in October. The reason is the ratings are dipping, even for that conservative audience which has Trump doubling down on his attention strategy by turning the oval office into a Kanye West reality show which you`ve heard about.

Trump calling into "Fox" to explain though what this was all about. And this is important. President admits it`s not policy, it`s not governing. He just thinks Ye can boost his low poll numbers.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When Kanye came out very strongly a number of months ago, something happened. My polls went up like 25 percent. Nobody`s ever seen it like -- he`s got a big following in the African-American community, a big, big following. And I think he has in a lot of communities. But the polls went through the roof.


MELBER: So Trump thinks Kanye helps Trump. Now, when Kanye last shout him out in April, Trump had eight percent approval among black voters. I`ll note because we always do the facts here. The numbers now show it`s about 14 percent. Now, he`s not up to 25 percent and no one really knows if that`s a long-term Kanye effect.

But some of Trump`s boosters are so desperate to embrace this change of topic strategy, they are contradicting themselves to hail this Kanye spectacle. Here is how Sean Hannity reacted to the musician and actor common appearing at an arts event at the Obama White House. And then we`re going to show you how impressed he was last night.


SEAN HANNITY: He uses the N word. He talks about cops, the reference about Bush. I don`t like the way he talks about women. You know what? This is not a good message for our kids. This is not the guy that you invite to the White House. Kanye was being open and honest and looking for solutions.

We have a major moment today at the White House, phenomenal, Kanye West meeting with President Trump. All he wants is answers. All he wants is solutions. All he wants is opportunities. And that`s what impressed me.


MELBER: We`re not trying to make Mr. Hannity look bad. He`s doing that all by himself. Now, Sean Hannity likes the new Kanye. That`s fine. He can change his mind.

But let`s be clear. Many black leaders are missing the old Kanye as Professor Michael Eric Dyson broke down on THE BEAT last night.


MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: I miss the old Kanye that wrote about crack music. I miss the old Kanye who agreed with Professor Muhammad at Harvard, who writes about the condemnation of blackness. I miss that Kanye who brings high intelligence.

His friend Jay-Z said back then, back when the police were archived as black men. There are ways in which hip-hop can serve as a useful forum to articulate valuable ideas that people of color find resonate in the application to our situation.

Right now, this Kanye is a Kanye who is Kanye Mess, not Kanye West, not Kanye at his best. And that`s the real tragedy for my dear friend and great artist.


MELBER: That`s probably enough Kanye for a while.

So let`s turn, before I get to my guests, to a less Trumpian rapper, Notorious B.I.G because Sean Hannity and Donald Trump are violating one of his most important commandments. No matter how much garbage you distribute to other people, commandment number four, I know you heard this before, never get high on your own supplies.

But Donald Trump sounds like he`s deluded himself into thinking his polls are higher than they are. And Hannity is telling people he`s now pro- rapper which again is fine, it`s just that if you`ve been watching that show, you know it`s not true. The only thing more desperate than all of this public hypocrisy looks like the Republican desperation ahead of the midterms. It doesn`t look good and maybe that`s why President Trump is trying so many ploys. It`s all he has left.

With me now is a man who knows Trump well, former Trump campaign adviser Sam Nunberg. He`s now a senior adviser to Steve Bannon and they`re making the midterms push. I`m also joined by Liz Plank, a senior producer of Vox Media and Eleanor Clift, Washington correspondent for the "Daily Beast". And the laugh that you heard in the background I believe was mostly Mr. Nunberg. Is that right?


MELBER: But I`m going to start with you, Liz. What does it tell Conservative Hannity viewers who are part of the energized base they need for the midterms that Sean Hannity has been reduced to pretending that he likes Kanye West? And thus, everything he said about these other musicians and his criticisms of their behavior, he basically retracts because the only thing that seems to matter here is who`s in the White House.

LIZ PLANK, SENIOR PRODUCER, VOX MEDIA: Right. and I don`t think people of color are buying that. I`m not certainly buying that. And if you actually listen to--

MELBER: By people of color, do you mean the pink people that you`re representing today?

PLANK: Yes. I`m fully representing them today. I represent my people. I speak for my own people but -- well, and --

MELBER: I didn`t mean to throw you off.

PLANK: No. It`s OK.

MELBER: That`s my fault.

PLANK: No, that`s OK. Tucker Carlson this week also -- I just feel like if we`re going to talk about Hannity and Kanye West, we have to talk about the fact that Tucker Carlson is going after John Mayer for being very anti- woman because he wrote the lyrics of Your Body is a Wonderland and that is proof that he really does not respect women.

So yes, "Fox News" having fun. I think that the midterms are going to be like a gender reveal party. Like whoever women vote for is going to be taking over the country. And I think that the Republicans are toast. There are two reasons why I think that.

The first one is that the Kavanaugh hearings have highlighted for young women who thought that Roe v. Wade and abortion rights would not be something that they would need to fight for in their lifetime, is a fight that they`re going to fight for in their lifetime. That`s why they are registering to vote. That`s why they`re looking for Taylor Swift and, you know, going to the ballot box and making sure that they can vote during the midterms.

And the second reason is that it has really connected abortion rights as a women`s issue. I think for a lot of Conservative women, particularly even Independent women, that link was not always clear, right. It could be a moral issue. It was about life. But now that, you know, women have been saying for a very long time in terms of abortion that the Republicans don`t trust women. Now, the Republicans have shown us that they don`t believe women and those two things are really heavily connected.

MELBER: And Sam, you`re working with a group that`s trying to get Republican voters out to hold on to the House.

NUNBERG: Correct.

MELBER: But you also -

NUNBERG: We`re focused on that.

MELBER: And you know this president. Does he not look, honestly, to you, a little desperate right now?

NUNBERG: Well, look, we`re in a desperate situation. I don`t think he looks desperate about Kanye. He has always thought that celebrity was a good thing. He had ridiculed John McCain for criticizing Barack Obama with that stupid commercial in the 2008 cycle where he compared Obama to Paris Hilton. We used to laugh about it.

He -- whenever I would suggest a tweet just to people about maybe commenting on something along the lines of -- MELBER: But you originally would ghostwrite some of Trump`s tweet?

NUNBERG: I would suggest them and he would write plenty of his own but to --

MELBER: You would write the first draft?

NUNBERG: Correct. But to, let`s say put something in the -- I`m not saying I did but let`s say about a comment or about somebody visiting the White House like Jay-Z and Beyonce who he knows, he wouldn`t do those. So he likes celebrity. He likes the power of celebrity.

With that said, going back to the House, look, you had Steve Bannon on in August. And he talked about how we wanted to communicate a message that the House is about impeachment. This is effectively Donald Trump`s first re-elect. The president has started to say he has to walk a fine line on this. He can`t say if I lose the House, I`m impeached because -- and if he loses the House, he -- but what he has said is --

MELBER: No. You already brought up the Supreme Court and said, "Oh, they`re going to try to impeach Kavanaugh and then maybe me next."

NUNBERG: Correct.

MELBER: What you`re saying is abandonism (ph).

NUNBERG: I`m saying it`s a message that we think works. What I`m saying is that if the president --

MELBER: Liz, do you ever -- I`m going to get you back in. But do you ever notice how these consultants walk a line where they take credit? Because I sort of wrote the tweet, my boss sort of -- had that idea for Trump. But then if you say, "Oh, so that was your idea?" They say, "Well, no, Donald Trump, all hail is great. These are his ideas."

PLANK: Yes, seems like it`s a win-win, right?

NUNBERG: It is, I guess. And but one quick thing is, remember, for us, a red wave for us and the president had to stop communicating this because it was hurting us in focus groups and we saw with Trump aides. We can`t say we`re going to win House seats. What we have to communicate is we have to hold these seats.

MELBER: Hold what you have.

NUNBERG: Hold what we have.

MELBER: Let me bring in Sweleanor. Sweleanor, go ahead.

ELEANOR CLIFT, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, DAILY BEAST: That`s the name. Well, first of all, I don`t think Hannity/Republican party`s shift on Kanye West is as significant as the shifts they`ve had with Putin and with trade --


CLIFT: -- and lots of other issues. But I think we are looking at women being very energized. And I think it`s -- I hope it`s right that the millennial women are really excited about voting. But the data shows that only one in three are expected to vote. I hope that number goes up.

But I think this will be the cohort of college-educated women in the suburbs who are really going to dictate this election. And that`s a cohort that is now moving solidly apparently into the Democratic party. And white working men are moving into the Republican party but there are more of these women than those working-class men and I think that -- those are the voters that are going to make this difference in the midterms.

MELBER: Well, you`re talking about - I`m going to get Sam Nunberg but you`re talking about trends being fortified or being really highly gender polarized. And Mitch McConnell kind of acknowledges part of that. Take a listen.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: With regard to women voters, we`ve always had something of a gender gap. It`s never been as wide as it is now. We have two great women running for the Senate this year, Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee and Martha McSally in Arizona. I think we can improve our position with women voters and with Hispanic voters for sure.


MELBER: Eleanor then back to Sam.

CLIFT: Yes, it`s the biggest gender gap we have seen since 1980 when the gender gap was first discovered when Ronald Reagan won. And there is what school and issue set that is really affecting again women mostly in the suburbs. And it`s the rising voice of women in the Me Too movement.

It`s the gun issue. I think that`s really hasn`t gotten much attention this cycle but the Parkland kids have really pricked the conscience of women voters. And I think that issue has shifted from a Second Amendment right`s question to how do we keep our kids safe in the schools. So I think those two plus the Kavanaugh hearing I think really - or Kavanaugh confirmation are really are motivating women and they will show up at the polls and they will make their voices heard.

And I think it`s unfortunate that we`re turning this into a gender war because there are a lot of good men feel this way too. And I think that the president thrives on pricking the grievances, particularly of men. He`s diabolical about it. I don`t underestimate him. I did that in 2016. I`m not going to make that mistake again.

MELBER: What about Sam? Are you underestimating Sam?

CLIFT: I listen to what everybody has to say and then I make the conclusion that I always wanted to make in the first place.

NUNBERG: I want to agree with Eleanor around 75 percent of what she said except for the Kavanaugh hearing in terms of Republican suburban or Republican Independent leaning women. What we have seen is one, they do not like Donald Trump. They don`t like the tweeting. They don`t like the personality. It`s too much for them.

MELBER: Right.

NUNBERG: Correct. But what we also see is the issue is, are they going to vote? The vast majority of these women, of these Republican suburban married women, women that are over-educated, are they going to vote? They`re not necessarily going to vote Democrat but are they going to get out.

MELBER: Right. Which is specific to the midterms which -- the whole panel stay. We go exactly to our next guest. He`s a real pro at this, Doug Thornell, advisor of DNC during 2016 and knows how these things work.

Weigh in on what you just heard and particularly the notion that some of the best gap information for Democrats is among voters who are more sporadic traditionally.

DOUG THORNELL, FORMER DNC SENIOR ADVISOR: Well, you know, there`s a lot of talk about the gender gap and the polling. And we did see -- right now, there`s one poll that shows a 33 percent advantage for Democrats. There`s also a gender gap with their candidates.

If you look in the House in particular in about 80 of the top pick up opportunities for Democrats, they`ve got over half of their candidates are women running in these seats. That`s incredible. You know, you`ve got 12 Democratic women running for governorships. So that`s really important.

But, you know, look, overall, I think what we`re seeing is a landscape that favors Democrats in terms of enthusiasm, in terms of the generic. And also if you look at individual states right now, the top issue is health care. And I think we can talk a lot about, you know, Trump and Kavanaugh but in these states and in these districts, what is being communicated and what is being talked about is health care.

That is what Democrats are running on. They are running on Republicans taking away pre-existing conditions, not expanding Medicaid and Republicans are having a hard time responding. They are basically going to their old playbook of talking about Nancy Pelosi and socialism.

MELBER: Right. Some of the biggest advocates and surrogates for the Democrats are still in a Trump obsession mode. Liz, I want you to respond to what we just heard as well as on the other side Joe Biden going global about how terrible Trump is and gives us a bad rep.


SEN. JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, the example we`re showing the rest of the world is sad. Our values are being shredded. Our democracy is under assault. The president has put his own interest before our ideals. Our reputation internationally is cratering. It`s not who we are.


MELBER: I push Sam to be honest. I`ll push you to be honest. Does that excite young people and pocketbook issues and what`s going on in your own life to get out to the polls if you`re a sporadic voter?

PLANK: Right. Well, look, I`ve been talking to a lot of organizations, they are saying that the level of engagement that they are feeling, even from people not just signing up, donating but also coming to rallies, is at the level that they experienced during the Women`s March. So there is energy. The Kavanaugh hearings were very very upsetting for many people.

MELBER: But not Joe Biden.

PLANK: Men and women. But clearly, maybe not for Joe Biden. But -- OK.

NUNBERG: My one point was when you look at Biden -- sorry.

PLANK: No, it`s OK.

NUNBERG: Excuse me. Just something very quickly. The field has tightened. The House seats that were up for Republicans we thought we had to defend, we don`t have to defend anymore. I think we can get out of California but possibly only losing one Republican House seat. When I look at Joe Biden in Kentucky, Republicans are going to keep that seat.

MELBER: Liz, briefly.

PLANK: No. I think that in many ways, the Republicans are doing the Democrats` job for them for a very long time. The Democrats were trying to point out the Republicans were waging war on women and they were making that point again using abortion rights which wasn`t always clear for a lot of Independent or Conservative women.

And now you have an adulteress, you know, film actress bribing a self- identified or a guy with midst to be a sexual predator as a leader of a party. And you have Mitch McConnell admitting that they have a gender problem and saying that they want to put a woman as a token to get more women to vote for them. It`s so clear that the Republican party doesn`t care about women and the Democrats don`t need to say anything. Let them play it out.

MELBER: Liz Plank gets the last word because we have so much more news in this show.

My special thanks to everyone, Sam, Liz, Eleanor, and Doug.

Coming up, the Trump campaign official who flipped and is now cooperating with Mueller, what he is saying. And the best, worst and weirdest political ads of this midterm homestretch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is way out there.

SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR: This isn`t just a kitty commode. This is Angie Craig`s kitty commode

BIGFOOT: I started to wonder, does Erik Paulsen really exist?


MELBER: Me too. We`re going to get into that.

Also, later in the show, an important look at the border crisis. A 5-year- old girl detained and forced to sign away her on rights. We`re on that story.

And then yes, because it`s Friday, I`m here to tell you Method Man from the Wu-Tang Clan is here on the show, out of the studio and up to the roof. We`re going on the roof for the first time ever on THE BEAT.

I`m Ari Melber and we will be right back.


MELBER: Turning to two developments in the Mueller probe tonight. Reports about how guilty Trump campaign aide Rick Gates is giving up valuable information this very week and Trump`s lawyers busting out a new argument about why some collusion is not only OK but protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Starting in the Mueller probe, the new filing from Gates notes that he`s still talking to Mueller "to this day." He`s visited Mueller`s office numerous times in recent months. We didn`t know that. And Mueller doesn`t just take in visitors for coffee or croissants or even cronuts.

These are intelligence meetings to get new leads and Mueller, not known for going easy, well, it looks like he`s happy with what he`s getting from Gates. Because we`ll show you, he ascended to remove Gate`s GPS tracker and curfew as a reward for ongoing cooperation. That`s the Mueller side.

On the Trump side, his campaign was forced to address this DNC civil lawsuit which has been making waves because Democrats wanted to apply pressure on their accusation that the Trump campaign did collude with Russia to release those stolen DNC e-mails. Now, the Trump campaign not only denies helping the hacking, which we knew, but they`re floating a new argument that you might even hear some day in the Mueller probe itself.

Trump`s lawyers telling a judge even if the campaign did exploit hacked e- mails from Russia, as long as they didn`t personally steal them, the new wider use of Clinton`s stolen e-mail is actually they are free speech, protected by the First Amendment and disclosing that information is not only OK but it is their right to disclose.

I`m joined now by former federal prosecutor Paul Butler.

Happy Friday night to you. I will start with the question coming out of this, if folks haven`t heard about it, it is to our minds a big story. Is there a right in the Constitution to collude with a foreign power that I just didn`t know about?

PAUL BUTLER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: No, Ari. You went to law school and you know the law. So you know that you can`t use the First Amendment to hide from criminal activity. So the Trump defense now is that WikiLeaks is kind of like the "New York Times" or MSNBC, all it does is report the news. There are two problems with that.

First, Trump`s own CIA director has said that WikiLeaks is a hostile foreign national. And second -- and this is Biggie Smalls commandment number seven, never mix family and business. So this is about Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. Donald Trump Jr. was the campaign liaison to WikiLeaks. It`s clear that they coordinated. For example, WikiLeaks sends a tweet to Don Jr., "Don Jr., please tweet about these hacked e-mails. We need reporters to pay Attention to them." Two days later, Don Jr. sends that tweet.

So Ari, it`s a crime to provide substantial assistance to a foreign national that`s trying to make an illegal campaign contribution. Basically, you can`t aid and abet a crime. It`s pretty clear that that`s what Donald Trump did and he can`t use the First Amendment as his defense.

MELBER: Well, I didn`t know you were going to dig into the other commandments on the list.

BUTLER: You started it.

MELBER: I did. Well, Biggie started it. We continued it. But by that same logic, I mean there`s the commandment credit, dead it. If you think WikiLeaks is paying you back, forget it. And I think that`s the issue here, right. You say WikiLeaks can be a publisher. And if they are only a publisher, which is something that a court could decide, then they might be over here and protected for what they do.

But the allegation in this suit, right, is that there was collusion, conspiracy, that there was a coordination process going on. Because, sure, publications, news organizations, we do report on things that come out in the list away, or stolen or leaked or hacked. That`s true. But do you think this is a preview of something that the Trump folks may want to argue if they get into hot water?

And for your consideration, in addition to the commandment, I offer you some of the links between the Trump lawyers at Jones Day and the White House. This isn`t just, you know, some op-ed. This is folks that are basically having the Trump administration staff with top jobs, including the White House Counsel Don McGahn. And when you see Jones Day on this filing, you think this isn`t just coming from nowhere.

BUTLER: Yes. So again, this is the best that they can come up with. I think you`re right. This will be a defense should there be some other action or criminal actions by Mueller. That`s the best they can do. They are in bad shape. It`s kind of a Hail Mary pass.

So the law is that a foreign national can`t make a contribution of value. It can`t give something of value to a campaign. I actually think publishing the e-mails, the hacked e-mails, that was actually more of being of value than the hacking itself. Donald Trump Sr., he brought those hacked e-mails up all the time. It`s clear that they helped the campaign. And again, that`s what a foreign national cannot do. It violates the campaign financing laws.

MELBER: Paul Butler, we are always a little more insightful and I think a little clearer on this stuff after you walk us through it. Lord knows, there`s a lot of different legal filings flying around. Thank you so much.

BUTLER: Thank you.

MELBER: There are 25 days going until the midterms and things are getting weird. We`ve got the ads you need to see and the guests to break it down in just 30 seconds.


MELBER: From celebrities to Russian rockets to even Bigfoot, the midterms are coming and candidates are doing anything to get attention, blasting the airwaves and some of them are getting downright weird. So we`re going to bring in some of our weirdest friends. Comedian Chuck Nice who actually co-hosted on "The View". Who let you do that? Liz Plank is back here.

And we`re going to start right and you guys have a tight House race in Minnesota where Bigfoot is actually searching for Congressman Paulson. Take a look.


BIGFOOT: I thought I was good at hiding. Then Paulson comes along. How can you have tens of thousands of people looking for you all the time and not one of them find you? I started to wonder. Does Erik Paulson really exist? The most likely place to find him is at a big pharmaceutical company. So take it from me, Bigfoot, Eric Paulson really exists.


PLANK: I think it`s good.


PLANK: It`s well done.

NICE: It`s well done. It`s very clever. The problem is I never really pegged Bigfoot for a conspiracy theorists and, to be honest, I don`t believe him. I don`t think the congressman exists.

MELBER: That`s weird I think for a couple of reasons. You make a very important point. They are trying to say that here`s an incumbent who`s, you know, down with special interests.

NICE: Right.

MELBER: But it`s Bigfoot who is pushing the conspiracy.

NICE: Yes. And to be honest, hey, listen, I get what they were doing. It was -- from a comedy standpoint, I think it`s, you know, OK. From a political standpoint, I`m not sure. I`m not sure --

MELBER: You`re not sure they landed.

NICE: I`m not sure if they landed.

PLANK: I like it because you`re in the pocket of big interest, right, or special interest. The thing that we hear all the time, the talking point that`s heard from both sides honestly. And this is an original way to package it.

MELBER: You like how original it is?


MELBER: All right. Samuel L. Jackson on kitty litter duty. And basically a new ad, this is for Democrat Angie Craig also in Minnesota.


SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR: This isn`t just a kitty commode. This is Angie Craig`s kitty commode. With the midterms only days away, Angie`s busy on the campaign trail 24/7 making sure the people in her district know she`s going to fight for them which is why I`m here scooping out bits of kitty treasure for her. It`s really important that Angie wins so the Democrats can take back the House and I do anything to help her. Anything.


NICE: Yes, listen, you cannot go wrong with Samuel L. Jackson. That is all there is to it. I mean that that hits on a lot of things. The only thing that could have made it better as if at the end he said I`m tired of this mother effing kitty treasure in this mother effing election. And then I would have been -- I would have been annoyed. I would have been --

PLANK: And we tune out political ends, right? You would have never ever probably listened to -- I mean did you know about this candidate before, Pamela Johnson which popped up on your screen? So at least we`re paying attention and kitty litter.

MELBER: I get it. But if you`re going to get Samuel L. Jackson in your ad, how do you not end it with say what again?

NICE: Say what again!

MELBER: I didn`t know you can do that. Well from there we go to an ad with some kids. Take a look.


CASEY BLACK DESANTIS, WIFE OF RON DESANTIS: Everyone knows my husband Ron DeSantis is endorsed by President Trump. But he`s also an amazing dad. Ron loves playing with the kids.

REP. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: Build the wall.

C. DESANTIS: He reads stories.

R. DESANTIS: Then Mr. Trump said you`re fired. I love that part.

C. DESANTIS: He`s teaching Madison to talk.

R. DESANTIS: Make America great again.

C. DESANTIS: People say Ron is all Trump but he is so much more.

R. DESANTIS: Big-league, so good.


PLANK: It`s so cheesy. It looks like something SNL would have made. SNL would have made it better.

NICE: That was almost as bad as Kanye and Trump. Like Kanye and Trump together, it was like two dudes with daddy issues working things out and this guy is the daddy issue. He is the daddy issue.

MELBER: I want to be clear, we are only talking about the daddy. I think you know kids are off limit.

NICE: No, kids are --

MELBER: He`s put them in the ad. But this is what I will say that it`s also politically interesting. Ron is running for governor.

NICE: Right.

MELBER: And so why are you making Trump your big issue if you`re trying to be about your state?

NICE: Yes. And by the way, you`re the -- you`re supposedly the leader of your state. You can`t win a job as a leader by sucking up.

MELBER: You think it`s too much sucker.

NICE: It`s too much sucker, man, you can`t do that.

MELBER: California, you know it`s going to have fun ads. I mean there`s a higher production value expectation out there. Congressman Rohrabacher who has been criticized for a lot of things including way too close to Russia and way too out there in general. This is straight shade. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is way out there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Earth to Dana. Earth to Dana Rohrabacher.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After 30 years in Washington, I`m voting for 21 taxpayer-funded pay raises for himself. Dana Rohrabacher has really lost touch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dana, do you copy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rohrabacher said people shouldn`t have to sell houses to gay people and schools would be safer if we trained students.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we lost him completely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dana Rohrabacher, he`s way too out there for us.


PLANK: I don`t -- you like it? Those are really important things like? Like arming teachers and you know, discriminate against gay people, and this almost feels like it`s making light of it.

NICE: And it`s --

MELBER: So you -- this is what we`re getting down to. You think you agree with the message, you think this is a congressman who`s done things that you would disagree with but you don`t think the style of lands it.


MELBER: I think we have the rocket. We can show the rocket, by the way.

NICE: Yes.

MELBER: The blink, you missed it but that`s a Russia rocket, right?

NICE: Oh it`s a Russian rocket.

MELBER: Yes, that`s why we -- that`s why we added the arrow.

NICE: Got you.

PLANK: It`s really hard. It`s not --

NICE: The message is lost in the fact that they tried to be funny about it. They should have just had a regular ad, you know what I mean? Or had Ryan Gosling play Dana Rohrabacher and maybe we`ve gone for it.

MELBER: I wonder though, with an ad like that, how do you not end it by having it say, say what again?

NICE: Say what again!

PLANK: Thanks for trying.

MELBER: We`re having too much fun. You`re a talent -- I know you`re talented, that`s why we invite you on an opinion show. OK, taxes, how do you get people to care about taxes? This is literally the most significant economic thing that Donald Trump has done. This was a payback to Wall Street if you look at where the benefits went. Democrats trying to get this back in the conversation with mockery. Take a look.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happens when the average Joe out there realizes that we got like the entire Republican tax cut, and we got like all of it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, come on, they got a tax cut, OK. Side table, how much was your tax cut.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was -- it`s not a lot, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but for someone like side table, not a lot is actually quite a bit.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I bet he saves enough each week to buy a hell I don`t know, a latte at Starbucks right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shut up side table.


NICE: OK, the only problem I had with this ad was the fact that I thought it was an actual GOP leadership meeting.

PLANK: I love this one. I really, really do. And I think against, the tax bill like very few people are able to command that as a message when it should be the main message. So much money that is being taken from the middle class and the working class --

MELBER: Should side table have been played by a Chuck Schumer?

PLANK: I feel like that`s what they`re trying to go for. He kind of looks --

MELBER: Kind of in the ballpark, yes. What if I told you the last one is the one you`ve got to see.


MELBER: OK. Now, this person already lost so that`s important to know but we wanted to show this because when you talk about the pantheon of ads, take a look. It involves pepper spray.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will stop anyone in their tracks. It`s incredibly painful. For less than $1 per person in the U.S., we can have a secured canister of pepper spray in every classroom in America.


MELBER: He was trying to make a point but he didn`t -- about not using guns to defend yourself but he did pepper spray himself and then watch the ad back and then they decided having watched it, that`s the message he wanted to show voters.

NICE: Oh, God, that`s amazing. I am serious about the safety of your children. I am serious about the safety of your children, I will shoot myself in the face. I will shoot myself in the face. Give me a gun. Somebody give me a gun. I`m serious right now. I`m about -- I`m telling you, when I shoot myself in the face, I`m not going to be able to tell you anything after I shoot myself in the face, so please let me tell you right now how serious gun violence is.

MELBER: So Liz, you don`t feel this works as a gun control message.

PLANK: No. It kind of also look like he`s trying to be real tough like he`s just like kind of like a dork like I can take it and he was just -- and I don`t know. It`s not a good look. It`s not a very politician like.

MELBER: Not -- well, not leadership like. Chuck Nice and Liz Plank, it`s Friday, it`s strange, but it`s real. Most of these ads are very much in play right now. As we say around here on THE BEAT, say what again. All right --

NICE: Say what again!

MELBER: Thanks to both of you. If it is Friday, it`s time to fall back and we have the legendary pioneering Method Man from Wu-Tang plane on THE BEAT. We`re going up to the roof because we`re blowing the roof off. One on one we`re going to talk politics, social media, and music, and that is next


MELBER: It`s Friday on THE BEAT and you know what that means. But today we have a special take over edition to "FALLBACK FRIDAY" with Method Man from the Wu-Tang Clan. Yes, Method Man is here with me, the Grammy Award- Winning Rapper from Staten Island who exploded on the scene with Wu-Tang Clan. They`ve sold over 40 million albums worldwide and he`s got hit songs with Mary J. Blige and Redman and recurring roles, and hit HBO shows you`d know like The Wire, Oz and The Deuce.


MELBER: Method Man, thanks for coming on THE BEAT.

METHOD MAN: Thanks for having me, man. You know I`ve been on getting hit up a lot you know, about this guy that`s on MSNBC that just you know, knows all the lyrics. It`s mostly all the nineties hip-hop songs. Kudos to you, brother.

MELBER: Hey, thank you, man. That means a lot. I grew up on your music - -

METHOD MAN: Thank you.

MELBER: And we think about everything you said. I want to get to your fallback.


MELBER: But starting with your music, it`s not just hip-hop but rock and roll, and a lot of genres that talk about having fun and sometimes getting high. Here you were rapping about that.



METHOD MAN: Look up in the sky, it`s a bird, it`s a plane. It`s the Funk Doctor Spock smoking Buddha on a train. How High? So high that I can kiss the sky.


MELBER: So you see that there? Why is marijuana pot so important to the music and the culture to you?

METHOD MAN: Well, I think it opens up a whole new creative door. Honestly, you know, it elevates you a little bit past where you are already. I think some of the most creative people in our business smoke pot whether in the closet or outside the closet. I won`t say any names but you know, my influences weren`t necessarily pot smokers but it does help.

MELBER: So who`s on your list? Who needs to fall back?

METHOD MAN: Police need to fall back with telling people to tell you know, the whole stop snitching thing that they tell us that`s wrong. But when the Blue Shield comes up, that thing comes up, aren`t they doing the same thing?

MELBER: Yes, we saw in Chicago officers didn`t want to testify in the shooting of Laquan McDonald.


MELBER: The video showed a police officer shot him. That would seem to be what you`re saying reverse no snitching.

METHOD MAN: Exactly. Reverse no snitching.

MELBER: My fallback is former Republican Speaker John Boehner. When he was in Congress he was supporting a real crackdown on drugs and we know from the data of black Americans three times more likely to be arrested for pot.

METHOD MAN: Absolutely.

MELBER: When the rates show they use at the same level as white Americans.

METHOD MAN: Absolutely.

MELBER: He is now taking money from the pot lobby to lobby for pot.

METHOD MAN: Oh, the hypocrisy. Oh my God. What a hypocrite. You know what, he wasn`t -- he`s the House Speaker before Paul Ryan? I I think he needs to go get tanned a little bit more. Now, I`m not going to insult the guy. You know, what people see that I`m guessing people are coming around to the ills of marijuana. They`re coming around to see that it`s -- they were -- it was misjudged in a sense, the actual plant. And --

MELBER: We overdid it in the war on drugs.

METHOD MAN: We overdid it in the war on drugs. To be classified the same as heroin and cocaine is ludicrous in my -- in my mind. So that needs to fall back. And what needs to fall back is the court of public opinion as far as social media. Wiz Khalifa who loves his son by the way, adores his son, I did love the kid myself because he has such a great personality. He went to school and we just let him take the public school bus. People lost their minds. Excuse me first of all, mind your business. Second of all, that`s his son and he can raise his son any way he wants to.

MELBER: People think the kid is too rich to ride the bus?

METHOD MAN: Yes, that`s what I`m thinking that. Why is your -- they basically question why is Wiz Khalifa`s son taking a public school bus? I have a quote I wanted to use for that public opinion. It`s from all Walter Lippmann. "The private citizen beset by partisan appeals for the loan of his public opinion will soon see perhaps that these appeals are not in compliment to his intelligence but an imposition on his good nature and an insult to his sense of evidence." That`s basically what I feel like needs to fall back.

You know, people need to mind their business more. There`s an old saying my mom used to say. If you don`t have nothing nice to say I`ll let you finish it.

MELBER: Don`t say nothing at all.

METHOD MAN: Yes, yes, there you go.

MELBER: I have another fall back that`s Wu-related.


MELBER: I want Martin Shkreli to fall back using his money to get himself involved in the Wu. He, of course, bought what was advertised by some, as this unique one-of-a-kind Wu album.


MELBER: What do you think about that?

METHOD MAN: At first that was -- I didn`t -- I knew who Shkreli was and when he bought it, I was like of all the people that could have bought that album. But after a while it seemed more WWE-ish and then Shkreli with the whole -- him and Ghostface going back and forth, it definitely had to be WWE.

MELBER: Before I let you go, I want to --

METHOD MAN: Yes, sir.

MELBER: I just want to talk a little music with you. For people who love rap Wu-Tang Clan changed the game.


MELBER: Did you know when you were starting out that it was going to be that embraced in that revolutionary?

METHOD MAN: No, not at all. No. I just -- for me I always dealt with things on such a small scale. For me even when I write to this day, it`s not to impress the masses, it`s to impress my small circle. If they approved then I know I did it right.

MELBER: You guys were so interested in Asian culture and Kung-Fu movies, where did that come from?

METHOD MAN: Saturday Matinee. For us, our childhood, the majority of us were those kung-fu flakes. I`m telling you at 3:00 Saturday, 3:00 in the afternoon, the streets were clear, at least my streets were because everybody was watching that Saturday Matinee, Fatal Flying Guillotine, Five Deadly Venoms, so many. And as you get older you start to incorporate some of these philosophies, some of these way -- this way of life that they live. The loyalty, the brotherhood, never backing down, that that bravado, you know what I mean? And it all worked for hip-hop because these are some of the same traits that are in our music.

For people to just see the facade and not what`s behind it, that`s the reason why a lot of us in the places we are right now. So me as an artist, I want to keep that fa‡ade up. I don`t want people to get that close to me. I want that mystery so they`ll always come back for more.

MELBER: I feel like this was a very sophisticated explanation of the line you don`t know me and you don`t know my style.

METHOD MAN: You don`t know my style. Oh, I love that. See, you always throw one in there brother. Ari --

MELBER: Thank you very much, Method Man.

METHOD MAN: You`re one of ours, brother. Please, please believe it. Yes, sir. That was fun.


MELBER: Breaking news on a Friday. NBC`s Richard Engel has some new details on this Washington Post columnist allegedly killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Turkey. Richard, tell us your reporting.

RICHARD ENGEL, NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: So these are stunning new details. They put a whole new twist on this story about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi when he went into the consulate behind me. We`ve been reporting for all day now that there are these recordings, that Turkish officials have recordings of Khashoggi inside the embassy -- inside the consulate being tortured, being beaten, being interrogated, and ultimately being murdered, but there`s been a big question. Where did these recordings come from?

Tonight a pro-government Turkish newspaper Sabah is saying that Khashoggi recorded these messages himself. That he went into the consulate very suspicious. He thought something bad might happen to him. He asked his fiance to wait outside. He gave her his cellphones. But according to this newspaper, he went into the consulate wearing an Apple watch which he synched up with one of those cell phones outside so that the information would be transmitting so that whatever happened to him while he was inside the consulate was being uploaded to a cloud and being saved.

And that he went in and terrible things did, in fact, happen to him, that he was murdered, that he was interrogated, that he was tortured, and that he with this act of a foresight, this act of cunning really, left behind the clues that Turkish authorities are using to solve his murder.

MELBER: It`s a fascinating albeit dark break in the story, and one with many foreign policy implications as we`ve been learning from you and our other reporters. NBC`s Richard Engel, thank you very much. We`re going to fit in a break but we have more show when we come back, one of the best things that happened on THE BEAT this week.


MELBER: We are back with one more thing. We read a lot of your e-mails and your discussion points when you guys share with us online and you guys were moved by Professor Michael Eric Dyson`s take yesterday on the show. He broke down the Kanye West-Trump summit. Here are a couple quick highlights.


MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: This is such a blitzkrieg of blathering ignorant. Kanye, please cease the intervention. Here we are concerned with the narcissistic reproduction of the self-image of one black man and another white man. Neither of them have the capacity, the competence, nor the compassion to deal with this in a serious fashion.

MELBER: Strong.

DYSON: Come to class, Kanye. Take a class.

This is a grand display of mass ignorance in the face of the downfall of democracy. This is white supremacy by ventriloquism. I missed the Kanye who loved to Tupac who said just the other day, I got lynched by some crooked cops until this day them same cops going to be getting major pay when I get my check they take in tax out, we paying the cops to knock the blacks out. Right now this Kanye is a Kanye who was Kanye Mess, not Kanye West, not Kanye at his best.


MELBER: Not Kanye at his best. Professor Dyson gets the last word on THE BEAT tonight. But if you want more, the "LAST WORD" later, I should give you this programming note, I will be filling in for Lawrence O`Donnell tonight 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Pacific on the "LAST WORD." Maybe I`ll see you there. But don`t go anywhere right now because "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews is up next.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Republicans call retreat. Let`s play HARDBALL.