Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: October 31, 2018 Guest: Nelson Cunningham, Jahana Hayes, Kyle Horton, Mariah Phillips, Pearl Kim, Gina Ortiz Jones, Susan Hutchison, Katie Porter, Deb Haaland, Ted Lieu, Rob Reiner, Melvin Gregg
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Tried to make green and whites. Those are even worse.
Anyway, "THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER" starts right now. I know this, Ari is not a candy corn guy.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: I have to tell you something, we have a candy corn debate scheduled later in the show with Ted Lieu. That sounds like a joke but it`s true and I will reveal my view on candy corn then, Chuck.
TODD: And then tell me what`s the top. John Reese and I got into a fight about this. It took about half an hour.
MELBER: On what? On the --
TODD: What is the top of the corn, the narrow part or the whiter part?
MELBER: I think it`s absolutely the narrow part.
TODD: Oh, you don`t know anything. I count on Ted Lieu to know the right answer.
MELBER: Well, we`ll see. That will be later. This is organic and perfect tease. Thank you, Chuck, and Happy Halloween.
TODD: You got, Ari.
MELBER: Tonight, we are covering the homestretch in the midterms. New numbers six days out from the election. Later tonight, we have something very special planned and you literally won`t see it anywhere else. Women candidates who are drawing on a movement to change Congress live on THE BEAT.
Also tonight, Historian Michael Beschloss is here live at the table to talk about the revelation of a big secret from that Nixon Watergate investigation and the repercussions today. I`m looking forward to that.
But I begin with developments in this Russia probe. Donald Trump reportedly blaming one of his own top lawyers who was one of the most important lawyers he`s had in the past two years, Don McGahn, blaming him for Bob Mueller`s progress. Reports tonight that Trump had a giant, never previously disclosed blowout with McGahn right before he left his position as White House Counsel blaming him for the entire Mueller probe.
McGahn is at the center because Trump once asked him to fire Mueller, which McGahn then told Mueller about in more than 30 hours of questioning. "CNN" reporting that Trump groused about the cloud, the investigation is casting over his presidency with Trump fixated on Mueller.
Meanwhile, Roger Stone hiring a new lawyer who arranged a lie detector test to basically try to corroborate Roger Stone`s statements about WikiLeaks, which comes amidst new reports this week that Mueller has obtained new evidence on Stone. Those 2016 conference calls where Stone touts his access to Julian Assange and talks of future information dumps.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER STONE, LONGTIME TRUMP ALLY: In the background of this entire race going forward is the fact that Julian Assange, who say anything you want about him, he`s not a fool, is going to continue to drop information on the American voters that are going to roil this race. He`s made that very clear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: So that part is in public view. The audio obviously leaked. But behind the scenes, there is also a sealed effort to get a federal witness to testify. That means only the feds know who their sealed witness is. But tonight, a different Trump lawyer is going on the record to reiterate that Bob Mueller has not had a subpoena issued for President Trump and saying there`s no litigation about that.
An unusual statement that is rebutting an article that suggested that maybe the mystery grand jury witness could be Trump by prominent Former Prosecutor Nelson Cunningham who joins me tonight and appears to have gotten that answer out of the White House. I`m also joined by Maya Wiley, former counsel to Mayor of New York City and an MSNBC legal analyst.
Nelson, your view of where Mueller is headed here, and also this big mystery debate.
NELSON CUNNINGHAM, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Well, this is a fast -- for those of us who are lawyers and who actually can follow the clues on these terse docket sheets, these docket sheets from the Court of Appeals show something pretty fascinating. Remember last month or in August when Rudy Giuliani, out of nowhere said we`ve almost finished writing our memorandum opposing the subpoena? That was on September 15.
This mystery litigation was filed the next day, September 16. It sat at the District Court of D.C. for a month. It was disposed of on September 19. And since then, it has moved with remarkable speed to the Court of Appeals. A schedule was set. There was a procedural flaw. It went back to the district court. It went back to the Court of Appeals --
MELBER: You think it`s a secret pursuit of Trump by Bob Mueller but with Jay Sekulow --
CUNNINGHAM: I think it could be.
MELBER: With Jay Sekulow rebutting that on the record tonight, where does that leave you?
CUNNINGHAM: Well, first of all, I would expect a lawyer who is representing a witness in a sealed federal case to deny it. To do anything but to deny it would be to admit it. If he said, "No comment", you all would jump on that. If they really want to keep this secret, if they really want to keep this under wraps, I would expect them to deny it.
MELBER: Well, you busted me. Few things excite me more than Jay Sekulow saying no comment. I`m joking with you because I`m going to respectfully disagree, Maya, and say that there are ways this could have been interesting.
And Nelson outlines a case that a lot of people are wondering about, which is if or when Bob Mueller tries to make Trump to testify. But we rely on you a lot for your insights into this. No one knows what is going on under seal. Do you think this is Donald Trump being secretly hauled into court or not?
MAYA WILEY, FORMER COUNSEL TO NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Well, I`m going to scare you because it`s Halloween.
WILEY: And quote Easy E and say the suspense is making me sick.
WILEY: So I really don`t -- who knows? I mean I think the point is it`s certainly a credible possibility because it`s hard to imagine that Robert Mueller, obviously trying to get Trump to agree to meet and be interviewed so that, in lieu of a subpoena. But if you`re trying to write a report for Congress on the allegations that he has, you certainly want to have the opportunity to ask those questions directly to Trump and talk about what the answers are. But certainly, you know, maybe it`s Don Junior. I don`t know.
MELBER: Yes, it could be another --
WILEY: It could be another high-value --
MELBER: You`re putting your finger on --
WILEY: -- target.
MELBER: Why we`re covering this as news. It could be a biggie, just not numero uno.
WILEY: That`s correct.
MELBER: You said the suspense is making you sick. That`s Easy E. That makes me think of Jay-Z saying, "I rhyme sick, the only MC with a flu, I be what you`re trying to do" which is how we feel about your legal analysis.
WILEY: And that`s how I feel about your rapping.
MELBER: Take a look at -- it must be Halloween. Take a look at how Jay Sekulow has spoken to this big question about testifying previously.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY SEKULOW, TRUMP`s LAWYER: If the special counsel makes a determination and gets the authority, and that`s a question, they have to have the authority to seek that subpoena. A subpoena for live testimony has never been tested in court as to a president of the United States and there`s a lot of language, articles, and precedent against that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILEY: Yes, I don`t know what the language and articles are in the form of precedent. There`s tons of precedent that create a pretty strong legal foundation for the subpoena, starting from Watergate, which, Michael, I`m sure will tell us more about, midterms of the Watergate tapes. But also in terms of Monica Lewinsky and the fact that actually, frankly, Bill Clinton, on a significantly less important investigation on the substance, was required to actually -- was going to be subject to subpoena for his testimony.
So I think we`re talking about an issue in which there is going to be an argument that Trump lawyers will obviously make. But I think this goes back to the other conversations we`ve had, which is why the current makeup of the supreme court really is so crucial.
MELBER: Is so crucial. So, Nelson, I want to get you on the wider context. This is coming on a day when we`re hearing that Donald Trump can`t help but keep putting Russia back in the news by getting in this fight with Don McGahn, who is also a witness in the probe, the heat on Roger Stone, a lot of questions about what`s going to happen to him in this probe. And he`s got a lawyer who is touting a lie detector test.
Now, obviously, this is a wild one because if Roger Stone is telling the truth now, and he says his lawyer`s lie detector test proves that. By definition, it also proves that he was previously lying when he boasted about colluding with WikiLeaks and others. But let`s report it out and get your view, being the legal eagle that you are, Stone telling "The Hill" he was, "Found to be truthful in both lie detector tests evaluated by respected experts."
Nelson, even though that is not admissible in court, what`s the larger strategy, what`s he doing here as Mueller investigates so many people around him?
CUNNINGHAM: Yes. Well, first of all, let`s remember, a week from today all -- the gloves are going to be off now on Mueller`s investigation. The midterms will be over. Who knows what the president will be doing at the top levels of the justice department.
If I were Mueller, I`d be moving fast, quietly right now, to get things locked into place. It doesn`t surprise me at all that he would be -- have been moving in recent weeks against Stone. Stone is one of the most remarkable people in the world. He`s now saying, you know, I really have historically been a certified liar, and here`s a polygraph certifying that I`m a certified liar. I`ve never seen that before.
MELBER: Right. Have you -- I mean have you ever -- have either of you ever seen a legal proceeding where someone puts forth a lie detector test to prove that they were lying in 2016 so now they`re not lying?
CUNNINGHAM: And all we know is what he was saying at the time, which is, I`m hearing from WikiLeaks that they`re going to dump e-mails out in the public record. And guess what happened? E-mails were dumped by WikiLeaks out of the public record. It kind of sounds like the truth to me.
MELBER: And it may be. Viewers of this show know I`ve reported repeatedly that Roger Stone often inserts himself with a larger role in controversies than he actually played, which is bad for his credibility, but good for him as a potential defendant if that`s the defense he has.
Nelson, thank you so much. I want to mention the programming note of sorts for those of you who happen to be watching in New York, Maya and I will be at the 92Y tomorrow night. I can`t wait for that. Thanks for doing it.
WILEY: I can`t wait either.
MELBER: I turn now to some developing news in another presidential scandal with Michael Beschloss as I mentioned. This is from 45 years ago but it has clues for Mueller. A federal judge today unsealing a secret grand jury that had draft charges against a sitting president, Richard Nixon, but they were sent to Congress.
This is from 1974. It basically created what is now known as a roadmap detailing Nixon`s efforts in four counts to cover up the Watergate break-in among other political espionage and shows the grand jury was essentially ready to indict Nixon on those four counts. That includes bribery and obstruction of justice, something Mueller is investigating.
It was also released following petitions from Lawfare Editor Ben Wittes who we should mention is an MSNBC analyst, as well as other scholars arguing to report, could be a touchstone for the public and Congress to assess Trump`s conduct should Mueller send a report to Congress about the investigation.
I am thrilled to say we have really one of the best people you could to draw these connections, NBC News Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss. His new book, by the way, Presidents of War. You may have seen that on Rachel and other shows. Thanks for doing this.
MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: It`s my pleasure, Ari. I asked -- I`ll say this in public. I asked to do this segment wearing a Nixon mask since this is Halloween but cooler heads prevailed.
MELBER: Well, we have a Halloween standards department for that reason.
BESCHLOSS: Indeed. And well weaved.
MELBER: When you look at this, it is that rare thing. News in the top of our show that is actually your domain, history, because of the parallels today. What jumps out to you?
BESCHLOSS: Well, what jumps out to me is the difference between what happened with Leon Jaworski, the special prosecutor who was dealing with Nixon at the end of his presidency, and the situation that Robert Mueller finds himself in. What these documents show is that, just as you`re saying, Jaworski wanted to allow a grand jury to indict Nixon just as it indicted a number of Nixon aides in the Watergate cover-up. But instead, allowed him to be called an unindicted co-conspirator, was kept quiet for a while, and then finally revealed.
But the thing is that the evidence that would have gone before that grand jury, Jaworski allowed to go straight to the House Judiciary Committee. We didn`t know that at the time. And the Judiciary Committee used the secret evidence to draft its articles of impeachment and approved them in July of 1974. Had Nixon not quit, it was that evidence that would have gone before the House of Representatives in its vote on impeachment, then on to the Senate, had impeachment prevailed if it would have, difference between that and these times.
The procedure now is going to be that when Robert Mueller finishes his report, he has to give his report to the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, assuming that Rosenstein still has his office in a couple of weeks if that`s when the report is delivered. Rudy Giuliani, the friend of President Trump, has ominously said that there is a possibility that the president might use his power to have all or part of Mueller`s report kept secret under executive privilege, in which case, they would like to see it disappear. That is so different.
I think what should happen now is people should say, follow the Nixon/Jaworski precedent. This should go to Congress if it`s of that magnitude.
MELBER: Based on your knowledge of that period in history, was Jaworski also trying to intimate that he had one in the chamber, and if other things didn`t work out, you could indict a sitting president?
BESCHLOSS: Oh, absolutely. That was his leverage. And the other leverage he had, very different from tonight but maybe not so different a month from now, is that the Democrats owned both Houses of Congress. So if Jaworski had acted otherwise and if Nixon tried to pull a fast one, you had two Houses of Congress who would have jumped on it immediately.
MELBER: So we`ve got a historical precedent question from you based on what you just said.
BESCHLOSS: Very much.
MELBER: There are people going to be watching right now going, I`ve been hearing for all year that you can`t indict a sitting president. And now Michael Beschloss, Uber Historian, is talking about a case in history where there was all but ready to be an indictment of a president. How do you square that?
BESCHLOSS: That is not a settled question. There were people on both sides during the Watergate scandal. There were people on both sides high up during the troubles of Bill Clinton in 1998. That could go either way. But one thing --
MELBER: So your nuance there is the fact that Jaworski thought he had that power does not create an answer to the question of whether he would have had it?
BESCHLOSS: Absolutely. It was his preference.
BESCHLOSS: But the key thing here is that we have a new justice on the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. And of all the people Donald Trump could have chosen from that federalist society list, this is the guy with the most extreme views against subpoenaing a sitting president, indicting a sitting president, investigating a sitting president, questioning pardons. I don`t think that`s by accident. But another difference from 1974 is that you`ve got a Supreme Court that is much less likely to rule against the sitting president.
MELBER: I could take your class on this all day. It`s fascinating. I`m so glad we had you on a day that this long, long sealed historical material was released to the public.
BESCHLOSS: It`s really exciting.
MELBER: I don`t want to embarrass you with Maya still here, she was talking about Easy E earlier in the program. A lot of people don`t know your nickname around the newsroom, Easy B, Easy Beschloss. People don`t even know about that.
BESCHLOSS: I think it`s only just, don`t you think?
MELBER: Fact check, that only became your nickname just now.
BESCHLOSS: And I think that there it should rest.
MELBER: You`re not the first person that asked for what happens on THE BEAT to stay on THE BEAT or to just, Ari, cut it out altogether.
BESCHLOSS: Thank you for the thought, Ari. I love it.
MELBER: Michael Beschloss, thank you for being here tonight. Maya, thank you. I`ll see you tomorrow night.
Coming up. We turn to a BEAT special event you may not see anywhere else, what the power of women candidates means next week six days away. Plus, Republicans fall into the Obamacare trap. GOP politicians say the repeal was costly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTHA MCSALLY (R), ARIZONA SENATE CANDIDATE: I did vote to repeal and replace Obamacare on that House Bill. I`m getting my (bleep) kicked for it right now because of being misconstrued by the Democrats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: And as Chuck and I were discussing, we have a special edition of Fallback for Halloween. Actor Melvin Gregg, Ted Lieu, and Rob Reiner is here.
I`m Ari Melber. You`re watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.
MELBER: We are six days until the midterm elections. And one thing that definitely will be different on Tuesday, voters can choose among a record- breaking number of women running for Congress. Actually, it`s almost double the number from the last midterms and many are celebrating that as progress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The revolution starts here.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON, ACTRESS: Let this weight not drag you down but help to get your heels stuck in.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look at this crop of Democratic candidates running for Congress. We need more women in charge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: The original Year of the Woman was 1992. This wave looks even larger. In fact, for decades, the majority of nominees from both parties were white men, a gender trend that was bipartisan. Now, the share of white men among Democratic house nominees has dropped below a majority to 42 percent. The rest of the field is comprised of women and women of color and men of color, which makes this the first year that 58 percent of the Democratic field reflect those other groups.
Republicans adding women as well, but the percent of female Republican House candidates for Congress this year is still a relatively low 13 percent. Now, voters have more choices on the field but experts know that doesn`t mean the field is equal yet.
Take this fact. Even in this new year of the woman, Democratic donors are pouring an average of $185,000 more to male candidates than women this year. That can reflect how more men have incumbency track records that give access to money and donor networks. Now many women candidates say they are inspired to run precisely because of adversity and gender discrimination in the Trump era.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PEARL KIM (R), PENNSYLVANIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: My parents came to America with nothing. That`s why I`m running for Congress.
SUSAN HUTCHISON (R), WASHINGTON SENATE CANDIDATE: We honor our promises to our Veterans and their families.
GINA ORTIZ JONES (D), TEXAS CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: In Congress, I`ll fight to protect opportunities. Like access to affordable education, job training, and quality healthcare.
DEB HAALAND (D), NEW MEXICO CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: To find the solutions for our future, we have to understand our past.
KYLE HORTON (D), NORTH CAROLINA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Our towns and homes are flooded with toxic sludge because Congress neglected infrastructure and basic safety precaution.
KATIE PORTER (D), CALIFORNIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: We will never take corporate PAC money. We rely on you.
JAHANA HAYES (D), CONNECTICUT CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I know the system does not reflect us. But I believe that all of us have power. All of us belong.
WOMEN: I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Politicos and news junkies talk a lot about these House races and some of these candidates but we don`t always hear a lot from them. And tonight, we`re going to do that and try something we`ve never done before on this show, literally. That`s when we`re back in 30 seconds.
MELBER: Back to our exclusive special on the record-breaking number of women running for office this year, 237 women running. The first thing we want to do is talk to eight different women who are on the ballot this Tuesday from both parties who are all first-time congressional candidates.
So let me welcome them for something a little different. Democratic Jahana Hayes, a teacher running for Congress in Connecticut. Dr. Kyle Horton, a Democrat running for Congress in North Carolina. Democrat Mariah Phillips, a teacher running for Congress in Tennessee.
Republican Pearl Kim, a former prosecutor running for Congress in Pennsylvania. Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones, an Iraq Veteran running for Congress in Texas. Susan Hutchison, a former Republican party chair running in Washington against Senator Maria Cantwell who I should mention I once worked for.
Democrat Deb Haaland, former Democratic party chair running for Congress in New Mexico. And Democrat Katie Porter, a law professor running for Congress in California.
There are a lot of you. That`s sort of the point. Thanks, everyone, for being part of this conversation.
PORTER: Thank you.
HAALAND: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Ari.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks for having us.
MELBER: Fantastic. I heard at least four thank yous.
KIM: Thank you.
MELBER: We want to go around the horn and do this because this does look like something really different in terms of what voters can choose from on Tuesday. Jahana, let me start with you in the upper left. Why are you running this year? Maybe in a couple of sentences, then we`ll go around the horn.
HAYES: Because I`m tired of waiting for other people to do what I`d like see government do, to have my issues and my voice reflected. So why not me? I need to speak up for people like me, people -- my students, their families, my community.
HORTON: I`m running to be a fighter for families. For far too long, career politicians like my opponent have been putting the wants of Washington elites and big money special interests and their lobbyists over the needs of everyday North Carolinians. I`m running to put our families first for a change.
MARIAH PHILLIPS (D), TENNESSEE CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: The divisiveness of the 2016 election impacted my classroom at our greater community. Family members were unfriending each other on Facebook. We`ve got to be better than this. As a U.S. government teacher, I know that government works best when we have people in office who are focused on finding solutions and solving problems. And that`s what we need more of in Washington.
KIM: I was frustrated with Washington, the inaction of Congress and politicians that could not work across the aisle for the common good. And I was also inspired by my own personal journey, the Me Too Movement, and being a sexual assault survivor that went on to become a Special Victims Prosecutor. I wanted to effectuate greater change.
MELBER: And I`m going to keep moving around but since you mentioned that, do you feel that gender gap has basically been a problem, that men in Congress don`t always understand those issues you just mentioned? To Pearl.
KIM: Oh, I don`t think it`s specific to gender per se because I think with my background, it`s relatively unique. I was a former Special Victims Prosecutor for nearly a decade.
MELBER: Right. So you have that track record professionally as well. Gina.
KIM: Sure, yes.
JONES: Hi. I`m running to protect the opportunities that allow people to grow up healthy, get an education and serve our country, something everybody in this country should be able to do. And as somebody that worked in National Security for 14 years, first as an intelligence officer in the Air Force and then as a Civil Servant working on economic and national security issues in the executive office of the president.
In that entire time, I never asked anybody what party they were with. It just didn`t matter. So I look forward to bringing a public servants` mindset back to Congress and making sure we do things like protect healthcare, unlike again my opponent who`s voted eight times to take away healthcare protection from people that have a pre-existing condition.
MELBER: You say you didn`t ask people what party they`re in. We`re in the news so we do. Susan is a Republican, first-time female congressional candidate. How do you see gender with a president who, of course, is in the middle of these debates?
HUTCHISON: Well, I`ve been an advocate for women all my adult life. In fact, in my early days in my career, we went on strike and I walked a picket line for two months to fight for fair pay for women. And so as I bring unique characteristics and experience to my Senate race, I want you to know that I`m running, not because I`m a woman, but I`m the most equipped person to fight for the people of Washington State.
HAALAND: Thank you. Congress has never heard a voice like mine because there`s never been a Native American woman in Congress and representation matters. I`m a single mom. I know what it`s like to struggle. And I feel that I can be a voice for the people of New Mexico who have struggled.
MELBER: Deb, you say that, and that`s something that people might hear and really have to sit on for a second. When we talk about representation, we talk about fear and identity politics, culture wars. You`re saying there`s never been a Native American woman in the Congress when we`re on land that was Native American people`s land. I mean, how do you convey that as an important thing along with representing everyone that you would if you won?
HAALAND: Of course. Well, I`ve been on the ground here in New Mexico for close to the past 20 years. So there`s no question that I fight for every single New Mexican and the people in my district know that. It`s interesting when folks, you know, talk about identity politics. If you`ve always been represented in this country, in government, at any level of government, you don`t know what it`s like to not ever see yourself in any body of government. So I feel that it`s time to have a Native woman in Congress and that`s one of the reasons I`m running.
MELBER: Yes. I mean you`re speaking of something, Katie, you get your opening hello and also maybe you want to speak to what Deb has raised, which is when people talk about this and it`s come up so much in the Trump era, there is this feeling about people saying, well, some people say they feel their culture is being encroached upon. But that often comes from a place of assuming that being in a culture that has power or being a man in a Congress that`s overwhelmingly run by men is the default. Why should that be the default? Plus, Katie, you get your opening.
PORTER: Thank you so much. I, too am a single mom. I`m a working single mom of three young children and it`s very much part of who I am. I understand what it`s like to juggle childcare, try to save for college, and so I very much want people to vote for me because I am a woman. It`s part of who I am, it`s part of my identity and my race is unusual.
I`m running against incumbent Republican woman who has shown time and time again that she votes against the things that are important to mothers, that are important to parents, and that are really making this country great. So I feel like my background as a woman is an important part of my story and I`m going to talk about it on the campaign trail. And both men and women across Orange County are really responding to it.
MELBER: And Katie, you`re saying you think your opponent as a member of the Republican party is what, a blank check for Trump?
PORTER: She`s absolutely a blank check for Trump. She`s voted with him 99 percent of the time, even when it`s hurt Orange County families, she voted for a tax plan that`s going to cause Orange County families to pay more. It`s a financial shock. We can`t afford in this area income tax time and she`s voted to take away health care.
She`s voted multiple times to defund Planned Parenthood, take away a woman`s right to choose. She`s not governing for the people of the 45th congressional district here in California. She`s not governing correctly for men or women. She`s refused to meet with people and she`s afraid to have the tough conversations that we should expect our government leaders to have.
MELBER: Fascinating because you`re talking there about something that a lot of people think is progress which is a race where a gender and to some degree might be canceled out a little bit if both candidates are women. Usually in so many races and we were looking at this preparing the segment, both candidates the default is men. Pearl, I want to read something to you on this on the Republican side. Meghan Milloy is the co-founder of Republican Women for Progress. Progress is a word people can debate. But she made some waves by saying "we`ve told a lot of women don`t run this year. You`re a great candidate if for any other year you would win. As a Republican yourself running, I wonder your response to that and to young women watching.
KIM: I mean, I think what`s unique with Pennsylvania, in particular, is that there has never been a woman of color elected into Congress in Pennsylvania. And in addition to that, there`s actually never been a Korean American female elected into Congress in the history of the United States of America. I think it`s important that all perspectives and different perspectives be represented at the table so that we can properly govern our communities.
MELBER: Anyone else want to weigh in on that?
JAHANA HAYES (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, CONNECTICUT: I would, Ari. When you -- this is Jahana. When you ask Deb the same question, I mean we`ve always been represented sometimes very effectively by people who were not similarly situated. But I mean, we make up parts of our community Connecticut as well has never sent an African-American woman to Congress, but in order for us to accurately represent the people in our communities, we should have the voices of all of those people. You know, diversity of experience, background, race, ethnicity, people from all different walks of life, that`s the only way we can really have real conversations about the issues that impact our communities.
GINA ORTIZ JONES (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, TEXAS: Yes. And this is Gina. You know, I look forward to being the first out member of Congress from Texas. It`s more important I`m not the last and it`s most important as we`ve all talked about that our communities are well represented. It`s not lost on me though that I`m running against somebody who does not support the Equality Act so he thinks it`s OK for -- again, I`m an Iraq war veteran, for me to be discriminated against in housing and education and employment only because I`m a member of the LGBT community.
And also when we think about the importance of you know, of life experiences you know, I know exactly what it`s like when your health insurance plan is I hope you don`t get sick because I was raised by a single mother. So you`re never going to have to ask somebody like me you know, where I am on protecting or increasing funding for the Children`s Health Insurance Program for example. I think we invest in young people, protect the most vulnerable, unfortunately, Will Hurd sees that differently.
MELBER: Anyone else?
DEB HAALAND (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, NEW MEXICO: Ari, think -- Ari, think about this. Imagine if the Senate Judiciary Committee would have been all women, how different the Kavanaugh hearing would have been.
And Ari, there are --
MELBER: Going to Jahana first and then -- and then I think Kyle.
HAYES: Oh, that wasn`t me but I agree. I think that our priorities are reflected by who`s at the table.
MELBER: Mariah go ahead.
MARIAH PHILLIPS (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, TENNESSEE: Yes, I was going to say, actually as a teacher running for Congress, I think that there`s a unique perspective that I can offer and I know Jehana so as well that you know, I see what our families face every day. The diversity of my student population impacts my decisions. I can see the impact of health care or lack of health care for my struggling families, mental health, when families are struggling economically, and when the way that our budgets impact education and how that has a roll up effect on our economies in our community.
KYLE HORTON (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, NORTH CAROLINA: And Ari, there are no women doctors currently in Congress and there`s actually never been a Democratic woman doctor who was a full voting member in the House of Representatives so we`re running to bring a voice to the table of expertise in healthcare because as there are sometimes 16 men behind closed doors on the Senate side making decisions about women`s health, I think Congress needs a doctor in the House who`s fought to defend our veterans and save our health care.
MELBER: Right. You`re -- the old saying, is there a doctor in the House? The answer here, if it was a woman doctor you`re saying will be no. And so I`ve been using first names because we have so many titles here but Kyle, Dr. Horton, speak to how that works when you look at just the rank ignorant that many men have about the female side of healthcare and what that means with everything from preventive medicine to contraception to the pregnancy because that has been a big issue I got to say for men in Congress.
HORTON: It really has been. And it`s staggering the lack of knowledge and awareness and it`s even affected. I have been a V.A. doctor and it`s even worse for women veterans trying to get contraceptives and a gender-specific care within the V.A. health care system. And so I really am hoping to be a voice of confidence, who understands science and facts and wants to bring my knowledge and expertise to the table for a change.
JONES: This is Gina. I`d like to say just one more piece on that. You know, I think maybe at times it said the men don`t have the background in it and -- but it`s not just exclusive to men, I think what is clearly lacking though is some people that are knowledgeable about it but don`t have the moral courage to stand up for communities that need to be heard. I mean for example, a woman having a baby in Texas is five times more likely to die during that process than if she had that baby in California. I think that is directly related to what we`re talking about here, representation. There are 36 people honored to represent Texas in Washington and only three of them are women and our representation in the State Houses is not any better. So representation matters and continues to affect the health and the livelihood of women in Texas.
MELBER: Let`s go to Susan on that on perspective as a Republican and you`re running in a state that went against Trump last time. How do you -- how do you speak to these issues?
SUSAN HUTCHISON (R), SENATE CANDIDATE, WASHINGTON: Well, we`re not a deep blue state as a lot of people think. We`re actually a purple state. Our legislatures split right down the middle and so we believe that our race is about incumbency and 18 years of Maria Cantwell is long enough. People say wherever I go around the state she`s never here. What has she done for us and her office is not receptive to our phone calls or our letters and so she doesn`t work for us. And so I`m here because I believe that the people of Washington State need better leadership and better representation in the halls of power and my opponent is all about being a D.C .insider and cowing and being beholden to the special interests and the lobbyists.
MELBER: I want to also talk about money. We`ve talked a lot about issues and some of the idea of breaking through and changing Congress. We mentioned in the setup to this that it`s really fascinating and many people say troubling that donors on the Democratic side, many of whom see themselves as I think supportive of the races many of you are running, still are in aggregate and they may not even realize it but they`re giving more money to the male candidates than the women candidates. Do any of you think that`s a problem because people are being sexist or it`s a problem because they just don`t realize that? Who wants to speak to that?
PORTER: Yes, I`d like to talk about that a little bit. I mean, I think one of the things that we have to fight for if we want to have a representative canvass is meaningful campaign finance reform. I think campaign finance reform is a women`s issue. I think it`s an issue about representation. We know there`s an earnings gap out there. We know that women have less wealth, less historical wealth. They often don`t control the family pocketbook for discretionary expenditures like campaign donations. So a meaningful campaign finance reform is not only going to get dark money, special interest money, and foreign money out of our politics, it`s also going to make sure that women and men can participate equally in the political process as donors as well as voters.
MELBER: Let me go to Mariah. I`m going to profile you, you know, as a teacher. I`m going to take a wild guess using my reporter skills that you`re not constantly hanging out with Wall Street bankers, so how does this fit in? Is that a kind of -- and a lot of discrimination can be somewhat unseen or even accidental but is that a kind of systemic thing where there may be male candidates who have networks that aren`t available to you. How do you -- how has that affected your race? How do you fix it?
PHILLIPS: I think that definitely is true. And I have to say that I am proud to say that I`ve actually outraised the -- my male incumbent this cycle and raised half a million dollars which as a public schoolteacher is 15 years of salary. So I just want to say I`m very proud -- wait way more than that actually -- I`m proud of the fact that we`ve had a lot of people within our district really make an investment in our campaign. But I think for women it`s just hard to make that ask and I think that men traditionally have had more experience, more confidence with going in and asking for money. That`s not an easy thing to do.
And so women have to really train themselves and be prepared for making the ask in getting the no. And so the consistency that goes on with that. I definitely think that there is some discrimination in that I`m sure with some people but for me it was just getting over my own insecurity about asking for money which is a hard thing for a lot of women today.
MELBER: And the way you put it, the way it feels at first because you`re doing something new and getting into it and I want to use that as a final question to all of you in a word or a sentence that starting it with Jahana up in the corner. I mean, what have you learned this year? What do you want people watching and particularly young people who might run for office to know about how it was to decide you should run part of our government, you do deserve to be on that ballot, you should ask people for money, all the things where I was just talking about starting with Jahana.
HAYES: Well, I think it really -- money was a big issue for me. I mean, I did not have the endorsement, I did not have a network and I was told you`ll never be seen as viable because you can`t raise the money that it takes. And so I think that that system by design or default eliminates so many people who would be truly effective leaders. You know, I`m proud to say that in both the primary and the general I`ve raised more than any of the candidates on either side because I just believed that I could. But there are so many people who are even you know, more effective more skillful than me who count themselves out because they can`t check all those boxes. And I just think that we have to begin to imagine this differently and that`s what I did, just step in and imagined it differently.
MELBER: Kyle, final thought, a sentence or two.
HORTON: Yes, if I were going to give a diagnosis to Washington and be in critical condition, so I think what I want people to take away is that we need change agents. We can`t just have career politicians who stay in office forever. If you`re thinking about running, step up, you can do it. We need to change.
PHILLIPS: No, I absolutely agree. I absolutely agree. If I would have considered how much money it was going to take to do this at the beginning, it would have given me a second pause but you know, but it`s -- in order to change the way it works we`ve got to change the kind of people we put in Washington and we`ve got to put people in Washington that want to make that change.
KIM: I was an agent of change in Pennsylvania. I secured the first human trafficking conviction in the state. I worked with legislators both Republicans and Democrats to expand protections and then secured the first human trafficking conviction under the new legislation. I think it`s time to have a perspective like myself in Washington to effectuate change.
JONES: Sure. Look, you know, our country is stronger and when our representatives are actually representative of the people that that are being represented. So look, you`re your country needs you. Step up. You can imagine there are some folks at the start of this process that did not think that they could do that well running in Texas. But look, you know the issues, you show you`re -- the voters that you`ve got the moral courage to fight for them and that`ll carry the day.
HUTCHISON: Well, I live in a state that`s so diverse. We`ve got the far left in Downtown Seattle and we`ve got the Conservatives in the agricultural areas of the state. And I just want to represent all of them and be the voice especially for the people who haven`t had a voice for such a long time in our state.
HAALAND: Thank you, Ari. You know, I made a decision early on to not take any money that would compromise my values and with respect to folks jumping in, I`m -- as an organizer and I`ve been one here in New Mexico for close to 20 years, I want folks to get involved now so they can build that network, so they can -- when they`re ready to run they have everything in place. I was outspent in my primary three-to-one and we won on the doors so start knocking, start walking.
PORTER: Yes, I think our democracy is only as rich and as vibrant as the voices that we hear in it. I think everybody should consider how they can contribute and whether that`s knocking doors or running for office. Our democracy like I said, it`s just rich and as talented as those who step up to participate in it. I just been thrilled that so many people have gotten involved, gone to our Web site katieporter.com and gotten involved. So I just encourage everybody to remember that their vote is their voice.
MELBER: Look at that. Katie was the one who got the URL in you guys, that`s crucial for the part of the money. We were talking about it. I know --
PORTER: I waited patiently, Ari, to get that in.
MELBER: I know, I can`t even do that. You`re good at what you do. All of you are first-time candidates. People watching at home are looking and listening to first-time candidates here addressing some of these big issues as people think about their vote of what it means next week. I want to thank each of you for making time and coordinating the schedule so we could do this on THE BEAT tonight. Thank you.
HAYES: Thank you, Ari.
HORTON: Thank you, Ari.
PHILLIPS: Thank you.
KIM: Thank you, Ari.
JONES: Thank you, Ari.
HUTCHISON: Thank you, Ari.
HAALAND: Thank you, Ari.
PORTER: Thank you, Ari.
MELBER: Great. And I want to note for our viewers, we are reaching out to candidates opponents. We will as always extend those invitations if people want to come on before the election. Coming up, as promised we turn to Halloween and special epic Halloween "FALLBACK" that`s next.
MELBER: We have a special trick or treat for you today, a special edition of "FALLBACK FRIDAY" for Halloween. You can see right there. For our Halloween edition to "FALLBACK FRIDAY" we have a power player member of the Judiciary Committee and the U.S. Air Force Reserve Colonel Congressman Ted Lieu from California and you may know him from When Harry Met Sally, All In The Family, The Wolf of Wall Street or from MSNBC, Filmmaker and Activist Rob Reiner. And I`m very excited to say a new guest on the show Melvin Gregg, a breakout star in this new Netflix show American Vandal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN GREGG, ACTOR: I squeak and still just as important as I am. You feel me. I sometimes low-key, I`d be wondering like why he played basketball because he`s not that good. I think his mom probably shot and don`t want to show and for college even the Esports or whatever. How do you squeak? Squeak it camera time. Yes, it`s right there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Thanks everyone for being here.
ROB REINER, DIRECTOR: Yes, thank you.
MELBER: Halloween edition, Congressman. Who needs to fall back?
REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: I think candy corn does. So one of my favorite candies is Snickers but at least that`s packed with peanuts. Candy corn is pure sugar, it makes your kids hyper, it is not good.
MELBER: I`m a huge candy corn fan. I actually like the kind, the bonus kind that are the big pumpkins, because the way they`re made of a lot of sugar.
REINER: Let me ask the question. Do you ever eat candy corn when it`s not Halloween?
MELBER: Yes, I buy it in bulk.
REINER: That`s shocking. You buy just on a -- on a March 30th, you know, just having candy corn.
REINER: You wouldn`t lie, would you?
MELBER: No, it`s kind of part of my job, to tell the truth. Rob, what`s your fall back?
REINER: I would say for Halloween, all witches, particularly the ones that work in the Trump Administration because there`s a hunt going on right now.
MELBER: There is a hunt.
REINER: And witches, they better be careful because they could go down.
MELBER: This is a very strong witch-hunt.
MELBER: A Halloween crossover should do it.
REINER: Which is -- which is a fallback.
MELBER: What about you, Melvin, do you have a fallback?
GREGG: I guess my fall back is Six Flags. Six Flags, they have a program going on where you can lay in a coffin for 30 hours and they`ll pay you $300 and you get season passes. But you have to lay in a coffin for 30 hours.
MELBER: I mean, I`m all for like people who are into coffin for a long time.
REINER: You got a hold it in. You got to hold it in.
GREGG: I think you probably get a bathroom break. I hope you get a bathroom break.
REINER: But, I join you.
GREGG: You have to have to lay in a coffin --
REINER: Boy, you don`t want to be the second one in that coffin.
MELBER: That`s $10 an hour, that`s not that great array.
LIEU: Did they give a candy corn?
GREGG: Unless they give you a candy corn, it`s worth it depending on who you are.
MELBER: I want to ask you something about America Vandal instead of what - - more fall back. You are really funny in this and I think this might be the highest compliment you can pay an actor. But throughout the whole season, it never really feels like you`re acting. Like it really feels like you`re just hanging out with everybody running around. What is that about or how do you -- how do you develop your style?
GREGG: I guess I kind of just figured out who I wanted to character to be, how he could still coexist in a world and I guess benefiting out of the people`s role but also stand true to his. And once I kind of figured out who he was, I kind of just became them. I`m kind of just stayed in character and responded as if I was him. I kind of just got in to that space.
REINER: Is a lot of it improvise or all are written?
GREGG: A lot of it is written. A lot of people think it`s like all improvised. It`s small parts that I improvised but it`s all in context to what`s already written.
MELBER: Well, and it`s -- a lot of it is so deadpan. Like you guys are talking the whole time about a mystery about turds. That`s what season two of America Vandals and you`re not really ever cracking up. Were you cracking up between takes?
GREGG: No, not really. Just because I kind of put in my head like this is very serious to him, I know the comedy comes from how serious we play a ridiculous situation so my character was really serious because he could potentially not go to college to play basketball which he`s played his whole life to build up to this point and this could be detrimental to you know, his whole plan. So to him, it was serious.
MELBER: You like America Vandal?
REINER: I do. I do. I think it`s the finest satire on America. No, it really is. I mean, I love satire that`s close to the bone. And when it`s played the way these guys play it where it is so real and if you didn`t really know what it was taking off on, you`d say well, that`s really the way the kids are in high school that to me is the best kind of satire.
MELBER: Well, people could check it out on Netflix. Melvin Gregg, Rob Reiner, and Congressman Lieu, thanks for being here on a special Halloween "FALLBACK."
GREGG: Thanks for having me.
REINER: Thanks for having us.
MELBER: And that`s not all. We have more than candy corn. Of course, with six days until the Midterms, Oprah now hitting the campaign trail. We`re going to tell you exactly who she`s now stumping for. That straight ahead.
MELBER: Midterms are closed and a lot of political news happening. The one and only Oprah Winfrey hitting the campaign trail. She talked about voting yesterday. Now she`s endorsing Stacey Abrams, the Democrat running for Georgia in -- running for Governor in Georgia, I should say. Now she`d be the first black woman governor in American history if elected, something we`ve been covering. Tonight, Abrams and her opponent is the current Secretary of State Brian Kemp locked in this race for months. Today, this is the first time since July we`ve seen Abrams with a slight edge. Here`s what she said about the race on The View.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You think that Kemp`s efforts, do you think they`re racially motivated?
STACEY ABRAMS (D), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, GEORGIA: I don`t question his heart, I do question the results. And we know that he has disproportionately purged voters of color, stop voters of color, arrested voters of color, and that`s problematic because regardless of his intent, the result is that racial bias has been injected into our system and that undermines confidence in our democracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Another update for you. We just got new Midterm numbers on early voting. And look at this. 24 million people have now voted in these races. We`re six days away. The early vote there that you see is larger than the entire early vote from the Midterms four years ago and that`s with a lot of days of early left to go.
Polls showing health care is a top issue and there`s one Republican who`s saying that is a problem, Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally. Last month, she was saying her opposition to ObamaCare was a reason to vote for her. Now she`s complaining about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP MARTHA MCSALLY (R), ARIZONA: We do have the opportunity to move forward to move away from the disastrous ObamaCare. But whether that fits on the calendar in the short term or after the elections I`m not sure but we got to get this done.
I voted to protect people with pre-existing conditions. We cannot go back to where we were before ObamaCare where people were one diagnosis away from going bankrupt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: So she`s rushing towards ObamaCare. This might be why. The poll shows her trailing a Democrat by six points and as mentioned McSally now explains the problem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you vote to repeal ObamaCare, the vote that John McCain decided to change his mind on?
MCSALLY: Well, Sean, I did vote to repeal and replace ObamaCare on that House bill. I`m getting my (BLEEP) kicked for it right now because it`s being misconstrued by the Democrats. They`re trying to you know, invoke fear in people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Now, there`s a fair debate about ObamaCare and about fear in all politics but as we`ve been covering this week, ObamaCare has raised the number of people insured at 91 percent. The people who are against it or against protections for pre-existing positions -- conditions have every right, I should say, to hold that position but they don`t have a right to pretend the opposite and try to trick voters. That seems to be an issue in that race as with many others.
That`s our show tonight. As I mentioned though, I want to give you one programming note for New Yorkers or if you happen to be in New York tomorrow, Mia Wiley and Liz Plank, two friends of THE BEAT will join me at the 92Y. You can get tickets if you go to 92y.org. We`re going to talk about the Midterms and a lot of other stuff. And as you know, I`m always happy if I have Mia and Liz at my side.
That is our show. We`ve had a lot of work on into this one. I want to thank everyone including all those candidates who coordinated their schedules to be with us as well as THE BEAT staff who did a lot of work to make it happen. We hope you find it worthwhile. Our time is up. "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews is up next.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: A Halloween presidency.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END