Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: January 4, 2019 Guest: Roger Marshall, Andre Leon Talley, Peggy Noonan, Leah Wright Rigueur; Peggy Noonan; Eric Swalwell; Terry McAuliffe
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Chuck and I love a good Big Foot reference. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. On every hike we keep our eyes peeled.
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Well done. Sasquatch is somewhere west of Spokane.
MELBER: We will be watching this Sunday. Have a good weekend Chuck.
As we begin our broadcast, we reflect on this. This is formally the first business day of Donald Trump`s new reality, democrats running the show in the U.S. House. We have a preview of how they plan to use the new power. They want to investigate the Trump presidency and one of those investigators is here tonight. Also tonight there`s a warning from a top democrat to Senator Elizabeth Warren as she is in Iowa. That democrat is here live on "The Beat".
A republican member of Congress also defending Donald Trump`s broken wall promise. We will talk directly as we like to do on this program later tonight and you know that it`s Friday. You know that. We have a very special fall back Friday, the one and only fashion icon, Andre Leon Talley and Pulitzer Prize winner Peggy Noonan together tonight. I don`t think you want to miss it.
But let`s begin with the big news. Speaker Pelosi and the democrats now playing "hardball." They will not give an inch to help Trump build the wall that he promised Mexico would pay for as this government shut down stretches into its 14th day a.k.a. we`re verging on the third week. Now the new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer made it plain after meeting with Trump.
NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: We just completed a lengthy and sometimes contentious conversation with the president.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK: We made a plea to the president once again. Don`t hold millions of Americans, hundreds of thousands of workers hostage. We told the president we needed the government open. He resisted, in fact he said he would keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years.
MELBER: Years. It sounds unbelievable. A president threatening to keep the government closed for years all because Mexico wouldn`t do what he said he would make them do. That`s his version of the story. Here`s Donald Trump admitting it.
MAJOR GARRETT, CBS CORRESPONDENT: They also said you said in the meeting, this is him quoting you and I want to check that the shut down could go on for months or even a year or longer. Did you say that .
TRUMP: I did. I did. I did say that, absolutely I said that. I don`t think it will, but I am prepared.
MELBER: He`s prepared and that means facts like this will continue to emerge. You have government workers who are public servants saying they are having trouble already paying their bills or affording food and having to buy different medicine or no medicine. They can`t afford it without paychecks. The reality of a government shutdown that the president said it could be years. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers are not getting paid. Senior officials in the Trump Administration though will start getting $10,000 raises. You can reflect on that contrast.
Today Donald Trump also says he might consider asking those staffers to forego the raises. Donald Trump apparently still on a path to let his own staffers get extra money while all these other federal workers don`t get anything. Today we are seeing signs of a fracture within the GOP. Two republican senators are breaking with Trump about some of this; others reportedly getting nervous. Questions and pressure mounting on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and he was actually missing -- this was kind of interesting -- when Trump was crowing about the shut down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is Senator Mitch McConnell not here? Why was he not invited?
TRUMP: He has been great. He`s been really fantastic. Mitch McConnell - first of all he was here. He was with us for hours at the meeting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is he not here at the Rose Garden right now?
TRUMP: Because he`s running the Senate.
MELBER: Her maiden voyage on "The Beat." Peggy Noonan, speechwriter for Ronald Regan, a columnist for "The Wall Street Journal" and Leah Wright Rigueur, Professor at Harvard`s Kennedy School of Government. Thanks to both of you for being here and I want to get right to some of the developing news. My colleague Joy Reed has this brand-new interview with Speaker Pelosi; the full thing is airing later. Here is some news coming out as Pelosi puts the heat on Trump to fix the shut down.
JOY REED, MSNBC HOST: One of the things you talked about yesterday in your acceptance speech accepting the speakership for the second time was the power of Congress as the first branch of government. Mitch McConnell, your colleague -- counterpart in the Senate has made it clear that even though these were Senate bills that were passed by republicans that he won`t put them back on the floor unless the president approves of them. How do you get around this conundrum if the other half of the first branch of government will only act at the behest of the president?
NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Well I think that what Mitch McConnell is doing and I say this as respectfully as possible, is saying we are not needed. Congress might as well stay home. All we need is one person to show up -- Donald Trump. That`s not what our founders had in mind. They talked about coequal branches of government. Article one. The legislative branch; the people`s branch of government. The president can sign or not, but he should never say I`m not even going to put it on the president`s desk.
MELBER: Leah, what is the speaker doing there?
LEAH WRIGHT RIGUEUR, PROFESSOR AT HARVARD`S KENNEDY SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT: So, the speaker is putting the pressure on Donald Trump, but also setting up and this is what Nancy Pelosi is really good for. It`s a reminder to Donald Trump that we are back to reality. So suggesting that House democrats are not going to cave, that House democrats do have a responsibility to uphold what they promised their constituents what they would do.
Part of that is saying no to a wall and also forcing Donald Trump to own up to his campaign and what he said in the campaign that he promised that Mexico would be paying for this wall and they are willing to hold it out into the long stretch. Now the ball is in his court even as Congress still has the power. What they are saying is they are not going to cave.
MELBER: Peggy, what do you see here in a style of leadership and negotiation that the nicest euphemism would be improvisational and the harsher verdict is Donald Trump seems to have no plan and no idea what he`s doing.
PEGGY NOONAN, SPEECHWRITER FOR RONALD REGAN, A COLUMNIST FOR "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": I was wondering what they were thinking this morning when they asked the democratic leaders, knowing, I think, that it would be a fractious or somewhat fractious meeting and that they would leave and say it was essentially a fractious meeting. But Ari, I tell you what I think we learned today was that a government shutdown that began before Christmas, before New Year`s certainly, this really could go for a while. Not only because the president used I assume as a associating tactic, I could go a year or many months on this, but because both sides seem so dug in.
Neither side seems to have a reason at the moment that would force them towards concession. So it looks like they will be at loggerheads for a while which suggest to me the shutdown will probably have to become painful for them to -- for both sides politically to start to suffer enough that they start to inch towards some kind of compromise or they are eyeball to eyeball and somebody blinks. That may be the outcome here.
MELBER: You held the post as an adviser to a president, which is something most of us don`t do and don`t know about. So I wonder how would one advise perhaps a normal president if not this president on a situation where he had two years with his party in control of Congress and they never funded the wall. How do you go to the American people and say this is a priority that is worth you not having food assistance for hungry people, that`s worth bearing the brunt for federal workers who by and large are serving in nonpartisan roles, everyday roles serving their country. That it should hurt all these other people because of something that this president and his party didn`t do when they had full control.
NOONAN: I think that`s a reasonable criticism. I think the president himself would come back and say look, this is not about parties per se and it`s not about the past two years. This argument is a reflection of the fact that the American people are split between their support for immigration and their opposition to illegal immigration. We need to control the border. We need something that looks like border control and security. I think it`s possible that a compromise may come out of the question, what exactly does border security look like? Maybe they will massage ideas and decide they can both live with some sort of compromise but I think it is a fair point to say if the republicans wanted border security and a wall so much, they did have two years to get it done.
RIGUEUR: Yes, so the problem, Ari is that the majority of Americans don`t want this wall. Even the American who is do want the wall, the small percentage who want the wall don`t want to pay for it. They don`t want the money to come from their tax dollars. There is also pretty much a consensus - a majority consensus that Americans don`t see this wall as a priority. So really what Donald Trump is telling the country is that his base, this small cross section of the United States that is incredibly powerful within the Republican Party is who he is catering to and he is willing to throw all of that - you know all of that in front of the needs of the rest of the country. That`s highly troubling and it also means that we are probably facing a stalemate for some time.
MELBER: Right, and I should note .
RIGUEUR: This is not the longest government - yes, this is not the longest government shut down, but it`s a problem.
MELBER: Both of you - both of you have different views on the underlying, I think immigration policy tradeoffs but you`re both agreeing as analysts which I always think the points of agreement are interesting that we could be in this shutdown for a long time. Leah, I also want to point to the role of McConnell because we saw him there in action because he was in the meeting to be clear but also not at the press conference. "The New York Times" noting McConnell has to be mindful of the political fortunes of the republicans who are up in cycle in reelection in states won by Clinton or democrats in November. The prolonged government shutdown, they argue is the last thing those lawmakers need Leah. RIGUEUR: Right. So Americans do not like government shutdowns. They really, really dislike government shutdowns. In the past, republicans have gambled with this and have come out - have somewhat come out ahead, but there also have been moments where they`ve been hit pretty hard. So this is one of the things that Mitch McConnell is already facing. There are already tough races.
We already know that these are areas where people do not favor these policies. So he is trying to figure out and he`s right now in the middle trying to figure out is it something that is worth pursuing. Increasingly it`s looking like there are republican defectors who are saying you know what, this is not worth it. This is not something that I can defend. This is not something that I can bring to Congress because I`m risking my political livelihood.
MELBER: Right and I think the point there is if there are reasonable defectors who explain their case, I`m sure Donald Trump will listen to them and change his mind. I`m just kidding. Where are we going with that? No. I have to fit this in, but you are coming back. This is what I`m going to say. Thanks to Leah the Professor. Peggy Noonan joins us later in Fall Back Friday. Now, let`s think about it like this. Beyond the wall, democrats are not just fighting this out, although it`s a big story. On this first official day in office, we can also report a steady stream of efforts to hold Donald Trump accountable on all sorts of other issues. Take at new House Intel Chair, Adam Schiff.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) CALIFORNIA: Probably our first step will be to provide the transcripts to Bob Mueller so that he can have the benefit of the evidence they contain, but also determine and take appropriate action where people came before our committee and lied and hold them accountable as indeed Michael Cohen was held accountable.
MELBER: That reference to accountability for Mr. Cohen. He did plead guilty to lying to Congress among other things. Now Mueller has specifically requested transcripts now from Roger Stone`s interview with the U.S. House. Many other people though were interviewed and we`re not saying whether or not that means they said anything wrong, but if you are talking about exposure, up on your screen you hear a lot of people who`ve made statements to Congress which carry a lot of accountability if there is anything wrong with them. It`s not just the Intel Committee either. The Judiciary Committee now demanding that Trump`s Acting Attorney General confirm a date for his testimony. They`re pushing also a separate new bill to protect Mueller and the new chairman says there`s plenty of other work to do.
(BEGIN VIDEO) REP. JERRY NADLER, (D) CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: The new democratic majority will now put an end to the republican attempts to sabotage and undermine the Mueller investigation. When Mueller issues his report, the report will go to the Judiciary Committee - to the House Judiciary Committee because that`s our charge. We will make sure it is public. With that said, we are not going to wait for the Mueller report. There is plenty for the Judiciary Committee to look into right now.
MELBER: Congressman Eric Swalwell serves on both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees and joins me now. Good evening sir.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL, (D) CALIFORNIA AND MEMBER OF INTELLIGENCE AND JUDICIARY COMMITTEES: Good evening Ari and thanks for having me back.
MELBER: Absolutely. What is the priority here when you look beyond the wall to these other committee actions?
SWALWELL: To protect our democracy. We have a presidential election that is next on the horizon. Russia is intent on hitting us and we don`t fully understand what they did in the last election. So first understanding our vulnerabilities; understanding how this president and his team were so willing and eager to work with them and what we can do to interdict where necessary and then putting reforms in place so that we never see a foreign adversary whether it`s Russia or anyone else do this again.
MELBER: And if you do get Whittaker there before the Judiciary Committee, what are do you want to do with him when we are a couple of weeks away from the hearings in the Senate side for his replacement?
SWALWELL: Priority number one with Acting Attorney General Whitaker is to understand if he is a credible overseer of this investigation. Whether he made promises to Donald Trump about what he would do to hinder the investigation and whether he intends to allow it to continue and whether he stopped Robert Mueller from seeking indictments already. He made so many statements I think have prejudged the outcome of the investigation and that these are serious questions that he should have to answer.
MELBER: Do you think that they`re in a position in the Senate to move forward on Mr. Barr who would be the attorney general and have you seen anything on his record that makes you think that`s an effort to potentially interfere with the Mueller probe?
SWALWELL: Yes, you know he has sent and we just learned this through free press reporting, unsolicited letters to Rod Rosenstein suggesting ways that the Mueller Probe is not valid. So that concerns me again that you have someone who`s prejudged the investigation may have valid credentials in criminal law but again, probably like Justice Kavanaugh, chosen by Donald Trump for the wrong reasons - only because of his views on Mueller or executive authority.
MELBER: And finally Congressman, I`m just curious how it`s been the last couple days. There`s a lot of talk about how the House is so majoritarian, it`s really all about which party is in charge and everyone else basically hangs out. I`m sure that`s not how you would describe what you`ve been up to in the minority but how does it feel being in the majority? Have you noticed a difference? Have you heard from any republicans who - many of whom are going into the minority for the very first time?
SWALWELL: We have the confidence of being able to do something. Because for the last two years honestly Ari, we felt powerless. We saw the rule of law eroding. We saw a president overstepping his authority and we relied on the people on the outside and going to their town squares and their town halls and ultimately the ballot box to save us, and they have. And I think now you reflexively you still want to shout and go to the streets, and that`s important, but we have been given the power to do something on the inside. I think that`s welcoming for the American people that we are not powerless anymore.
MELBER: Congressman Eric Swalwell, another busy night in Washington. Thank you so much.
SWALWELL: Thank you Ari.
MELBER: Coming up an opening shot in this democratic 2020 fight. A potential candidate warning against quote, "dishonest populism"; the man making that argument is Terry McAuliffe. He`s here live in a moment. Also, Nancy Pelosi wading right into that impeachment today and AOC taking her critics for a spin right there in the halls of Congress. Also republicans struggling with Trump`s broken promise on the pesos -- the missing pesos for the wall. Later as promised, this could be one of the best Fall Backs ever, Peggy Noonan with fashion icon Andre Leon Talley. I`m Ari Melber. You`re watching "The Beat" on MSNBC.
MELBER: The race to get Trump out of the White House is on. Senator Elizabeth Warren making her first official campaign trip in Iowa this very hour. It`s part of a five-city swing. And Warren has really jumped into this race does put pressure on others. Tonight, there are reports Julian Castro may jump into the race by next week. It`s part of a much longer list of potential presidential candidates. You can barely keep track. Including this guy, a former governor and parting chair, Terry McAuliffe who joins me in a moment. McAuliffe was seen as a Clinton-style centrist, a contrast to the buzz around Warren`s liberal anti-Wall Street populism.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: Look, I don`t think of this in terms of party. I think of this as people who want to see change. Is this going to be a democratic primary that truly is a grass roots movement, that is funded by the grass roots, that is done with grass roots volunteers or is this going to be something that is just one more play thing that billionaires can buy? No to the billionaires whether they are self funding or whether they are funding pacs. We are the Democratic Party and that`s the party of the people.
MELBER: The party of the people, what could be wrong with that? Maybe something. McAuliffe is making waves with a piece warning 2020 democratic candidates away from dishonest populism or from pitching policies that are quote, "too good to be true" like a federal jobs guarantee or universal free college and instead arguing from a more Bill Clinton style third way platform focusing on health care, improving education and raising wages. McAuliffe joins me now. Thanks for being here, governor.
TERRY MCAULIFFE, FORMER GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA: Ari, Happy New Year.
MELBER: Happy New Year. Why did you send that warning shot to Senator Warren?
MCAULIFFE: It wasn`t to Senator Warren. It was for all democrats. I spent last year .
MELBER: I hate to interrupt you out of the gate. You wrote to 2020 candidates, there is one 2020 candidate right now and that`s Senator Warren.
MCAULIFFE: There is going to be a lot of candidates in this race and listen, I`m very happy that Elizabeth Warren is in. Nobody has been a better fighter for consumers than Elizabeth Warren. But my point Ari, very clear is people want results. They want problem solvers and people who talk about the kitchen table issues. That`s what I did as governor. We took a red state and made it blue, why? Record amount of investment in education and health care. We built a lot of roads and people want someone who is going to get up every day and lay out the true facts of what we need to do. President Trump is a compulsive liar. We need an optimist and a realist in what we need to do.
MELBER: When you say basically dishonest populism, are you disagreeing with Senator Warren`s assertion there that there should be a litmus test in the Democratic Party and billionaires shouldn`t be able to run in this primary and they shouldn`t be a big force and who wins?
MCAULIFFE: Whoever wants to run should run. I`m not for litmus tests. What I am for, the democrats laying out a pro jobs, pro wages agenda that`s going to move this country forward. As I say in Virginia, it`s not the issue of free college. What we need to do we have nine million almost workers in the country that need jobs filled for. We need to put people to work. I was proud as Governor of Virginia we did the first workforce performance grant in America.
You get one of the 166 credentials; we`re going to guarantee a job. You`re going to have no debt and we`re going to move into the workforce. I am trying to focus on those under employed -- the folk who is every year move from $15 an hour jobs to $15 an hour jobs. We need to lift up everybody. There is a huge opportunity to do it. We did it in Virginia; a record amount of jobs created and a record amount of investment.
We`re the first state in America, we now teach cyber security beginning in kindergarten? Why? I had about 80,000 open jobs in Virginia that I had to fill. Cyber jobs starting pay of $88,000. So I retooled our entire education system so that when folks get an education in Virginia, they can move into the workforce. That`s what people want. They heard all the false stories. We have to beat Trump, but beat him with a positive agenda, putting people to work at high wages and doing what we need to do as democrats. That`s why we won so much, Ari, last year; 40 seats in the house, the year before a record amount of pickups in Virginia. The most since 1880. Why? We delivered; we were problem solvers.
MELBER: You`ve got facts and it`s a real record. I so feel like I`m at your state of the state address.
MCAULIFFE: Well, the facts are the facts. That the one thing about a governor is. I have the facts of what we were able to do. We were able to transform our state and unemployment went from 5.4 to 3.6.
MCAULIFFE: Wages went up 12.5 percent. I reduced the unemployment rate in every rural community in the Commonwealth of Virginia. And that`s what folks want and that`s what agenda needs to be. I think we`re going to hit some headwinds with the economy come 2020.
MELBER: So in the contrast - and it`s not that I`m looking for a contrast but you`re making waves with a piece that putting that record that you`re describing, the viewers are hearing it and I think they may like what they`re hearing but you`re putting that in kind of contrast to quote/unquote "dishonest populism."
Now I`m learning you`re saying that`s not really about Warren so I guess I got to ask you who is pushing dishonest populism or what does that mean?
MCAULIFFE: Well what we can`t do is what Trump has done for the last three or four years is to lay out - listen he said we could get everything for free, he could guarantee entitlements and jobs. He promised everything and he hasn`t been able to deliver on that. We`ve got to show that we can actually deliver. That`s how we`re going to win. You know those 24 states, Ari, that I went to, why did we win? They talked about healthcare. They talked about infrastructure. They talked about fixing our education system. That`s what we need and that`s the discussion and we shouldn`t be off on ideas that really might be good ideas and maybe down the road they could be there but we have to deal with the facts that we have in front of us today. We have to deal with a new economy - a new gig economy, a new disruptive economy and that`s why as I say Virginia became the number one state for cyber, data, unmanned systems. That is where we need to take this country.
MELBER: Let me do one more thing that I like to do with some potential candidates like yourself a little lightening round. Are you ready?
MCAULIFFE: Let`s get at it.
MELBER: Here we go. One sentence or one word. The percent chance that you run for president.
MCAULIFFE: I`m looking at it. I`d say today 50/50. I`ve got to make some more decisions on it but I`m looking at it very seriously.
MELBER: 50/50 is high for a very ambitious guy like yourself. Would Mike Bloomberg make a good president?
MCAULIFFE: Sure. And listen Mike Bloomberg, if he wants to run, he ought to run. He did a very good job as the Mayor of New York City but the Democratic Party should not exclude anybody. If you have good ideas, I was promoting when I was Chairman of the DNC.
MELBER: You know we`re in the lightening round.
MCAULIFFE: Let everybody run. Let them in. Let the good ideas and let the flowers bloom.
MELBER: Best person to beat Trump today other than you?
MCAULIFFE: I`m not going to answer that. That`s what this campaign is going to be about. Laying out the agenda. We`ve got to beat Trump but we`ve got to beat him with an optimistic, realistic idea.
MELBER: Is this like a deposition? Is it a good question if you won`t answer it? I don`t know?
MCAULIFFE: Yes, it`s a good question sure but we`ve got a lot of great candidates that are going to run with a lot of great ideas.
MELBER: Let me ask you something about the president who has done so much.
MELBER: And seems sometimes at least until the blue wave hit to get away with a lot. Lightening round, worse thing he`s done in office?
MCAULIFFE: I think separating families is the worst thing he`s done. It`s one of the most atrocious things that I have ever seen. I would also put there "The Washington Post" reported 18 lies a day last year. The man is a compulsive liar and we have to hold him accountable for that.
MELBER: Governor Terry McAuliffe as you consider what is now formally on "The Beat" a 50/50 proposition you`re running for president.
MELBER: I appreciate you taking the questions. I hope to get you back here again.
MCCAULIFFE: OK Ari, we`ll be back soon.
MELBER: All right thank you Terry.
We turn to a very special "Fall Back Friday" with Andre Leon Talley and Peggy Noonan but first the shutdown debate with a republican supporting Donald trump breaking his promise on that Mexican-funded wall when we`re back in 30 seconds.
MELBER: How will this shut down fight end? It`s hard to know without hearing from congressional negotiators in both parties so now we turn to my exclusive guest, Republican Congressman Roger Marshall from Kansas. Thanks for joining me tonight, Congressman.
REP. ROGER MARSHALL, (R) KANSAS: Ari, Happy New Year.
MELBER: Happy New Year. Donald Trump promised Mexico would pay for the wall. Why do you think he completely failed at that goal?
MARSHALL: You know I think I`m going to stay focused on what Donald Trump`s theme has been from day one is that border security is a priority. There is several ways he described we can do it and I`m staying there focused as well and looking for a way to get that accomplished.
MELBER: Well, let`s look at what he said he would do if this failure occured which as you know it has. Mexico is not funding the wall. Here`s what he said he would do if he couldn`t get them to fund the wall. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mexico, Sean, is going to pay for the wall. You know, these politicians come up. They say you don`t really mean Mexico is going to pay. We will have Mexico pay for that wall issue. And you know what, if I`m wrong about this, you`re going to all come back we`ll have another meeting and I`ll apologize to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: He was wrong. He didn`t apologize. Why are so many House Republicans including yourself supporting him shutting down the federal government because he couldn`t get Mexico to pay? I mean, by this logic shouldn`t Mexico`s government be shut down right now?
REP. ROGER MARSHALL (R), KANSAS: Ari, I guess we`re kind of on different pages here. I think we have to talk about priorities. And what I believe is that national security is a huge priority. We have more deaths than crime created because of a poor southern border than problems coming out of the Middle East right now. So I think we all need to acknowledge that this is a huge problem and we want to fix the problem. What we need to stop doing is looking at everything in little silos and look at all these problems together, the challenges that we have in this country and try to solve them all.
MELBER: But this is about the wall. I understand what you`re saying, and you and others have talked about that. But this -- he shut the government down because he couldn`t get Mexico to pay for the wall. That -- do you disagree with that`s why the government`s closed today?
MARSHALL: I disagree with the premise. Well, why the President shut the government down is because border security is such a priority to us. He`s given Congress every chance to fix this problem. We`ve had several good solutions that we voted on but we couldn`t get them across the finish line. So I think the big goals -- I think the goal that we can agree upon is that national security is important. Opening the government backup is a priority as well and fixing this broken immigration system we have is a priority as well. There has to be a way that we can fix all of these together.
MELBER: Are you receptive to reopening the government without funding the wall?
MARSHALL: I think that`s a non-starter. I think that anyone would realize that we would lose all of our leverage if we do that, that we need to look at the problems in total not in isolation. I think that the President has compromised. He`s came down from $25 billion to $5.7. And it`s now time for Congress to step up and do her job.
MELBER: And I`m curious as you know, one thing we hear a lot about. I`m happy to have you on the program to discussed it with you directly. We hear a lot about how Trump has really moved Republicans like yourself and change their minds or their positions on these issues. Why did you change your mind to embrace the wall more than you used to?
MARSHALL: No, I think I`ve always been in favor of border security. From day one --
MELBER: Yes sir, but I`m asking -- we`ve got a closed government over the wall, you shifted on the wall. Is that because Donald Trump changed your mind or why now is the wall as you just said on air worth shutting down the government over?
MARSHALL: No, I`ve always been in favor of border security. A border wall, was one way to do that. From day one I`ve been in favor of border security and I`ve always said that there`s many ways to fix the problem. There are places that need a wall, that need a barrier. There`s other places that we need more boots on the ground.
MELBER: Well, Congressman, you say from day one. Let me read what you said in 2017. "I`m not sure a wall is the best way to do it. I don`t even know if it`s even feasible" which contradicts what you just claimed. Can you admit there that you did go from saying it`s not even feasible to now saying it`s worth shutting the government down over? What changed?
MARSHALL: No. I think it`s very dangerous to take an isolated quote. If you would have taken the whole paragraph, of course, we can`t quite remember where I was when we said that. But I`ve always said that border security was the priority. I`ve never thought it was feasible to do 2,000 miles of wall/ I was willing to consider it. We`ve built about 700 miles of walls so far, a fence, barriers, whatever you want to call it. I think that you`re really getting down in the -- way down in the needles in the haystack here instead of saying focused on the problem and what we agree upon that we want to solve problem.
MELBER: Well, I appreciate you being here. Your calling the haystack, I would call it accurate quotes from you which are relevant to you as a legislator.
MARSHALL: Which are now taken out of context. You`re taking them totally out context.
MELBER: Well, sir, what about it is out of context?
MARSHALL: I said that fixing a border -- a border wall could work but I didn`t think it was feasible. I was willing to listen to that. I`ve said all along border security was the priority. There was many ways to fix it. A border wall was part of the solution. We know for sure that in places where we put up fences, border walls, it`s improved it by 90 percent. So I`ve always thought they were part of the solution.
MELBER: Let me ask you something that`s not so much about your record but about the leadership of the House which of course has a change. It has changed to Pelosi but also Speaker Ryan -- former Speaker Ryan has left. But it is odd for many people -- I wonder whether you and I might agree on this point.
It is odd for many people to watch that Donald Trump in the Republican Party controlled all levers in Washington, House and Senate for two years and never past this wall funding. And now the moment the Democrats are in charge, it`s become a priority. If this were so important, why do you think Donald Trump the president and the congressional leaders you work within the Republican Party didn`t just get this funded earlier?
MARSHALL: Ari, don`t you think you`re being a little bit disingenuous when you realize that we needed 60 votes on the Senate. The House has passed funding several times. We were always told to kick it down the road and finally, we`re making a stand here. So we can`t -- you say we`ve controlled all the levers but we never really control the supermajority we need it in the Senate.
MELBER: I understand that point. I mean as you know, A there`s ways to do it. I don`t want to get too deep in the haystack but there are ways to do it through a reconciliation that are a bare majority vote. There`s also the frequency, and again for your analysis, we do -- we do care and want your perspective here.
Compared to say Obamacare where there were so many votes, dozens and dozens of votes and pressure to try to drive that forward, over sixty by one count. Border wall votes far fewer under a tenth -- excuse me -- under a fifth of that ten votes roughly. And so I wonder is that part of the problem or do you basically think this is House Republicans holding firm but Senate Republicans never found a way to do it through their rules.
MARSHALL: You know, I think that first of all, sometimes we took what I thought was a relatively simple problem and we made it complicated. So the first go around, we filed a lot of things on to the Christmas tree when we try to fix the problem. So when we tried to fix border security, we tried to simultaneously fix some of the immigration issues. And I think if we would have done that a little bit simpler, that we could have passed it.
So certainly I will take responsibility, but we had two solid votes on this that were real close in passing on the House side. I don`t think it ever made it to the Senate floor that I -- that I recall.
MELBER: And so Congressman Marshall, that is a perspective. We talked to folks throughout this shut down about why it`s happening and where we are headed. And I have to say, I appreciate you coming on and taking the questions directly. I hope you come back.
MARSHALL: It`s my pleasure. Happy New Year to everybody.
MELBER: Happy New Year! Thank you very much. Still ahead, how the new Congress is breaking the mold in all sorts of ways including directly broadcasting to people each day from this festivities this week. But first, we have worlds colliding in our fallback Friday. Andre Leon Talley and Peggy Noonan right here tonight next.
MELBER: It`s Friday on THE BEAT so you know what that means. It`s time to fall back. We have a special pairing tonight, an icon of fashion and a narrator of the Reagan Revolution. Former Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley is a global name brand, has collaborated with innovators like Anna Wintour, Tom Ford, and Oscar de la Renta. He was dubbed one of the most famous people in the fashion world by the New York Times and his life is explored in a recent documentary the Gospel according to Andre.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDRE LEON TALLEY, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, VOGUE MAGAZINE: I did not know who exactly I was -- I was becoming but I did get out of the Jim Crow South.
WILL.I.AM, RAPPER: He`s the Nelson Mandela of Couture, the Kofi Annan of what you got on.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, ACTRESS: People`s heads went -- just exploded because he was so many things he wasn`t supposed to be.
TALLEY: You don`t get up and say look I`m black and I`m proud, you just do it and somehow that`s the culture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: And we`re joined by another creative force who`s impacted our culture. Pulitzer Prize winner Peggy Noonan served as a primary speechwriter and special assistant to President Reagan. She also wrote for George HW Bush. She`s the author of nine books including What I Saw at the Revolution and Patriotic Grace. It is so nice to have both of you here together. And if I may say so --
TALLEY: And I read both of Peggy`s books.
MELBER: You both look great.
TALLEY: Why she (INAUDIBLE) Patriotic Grace. Yes, I read them.
MELBER: Yes, what did you think of Peggy Noonan`s writing?
TALLEY: She`s incredible, extraordinary.
PEGGY NOONAN, AUTHOR: It`s an honor to be next to an icon. It`s all I can tell you. That`s all.
TALLEY: I wish there were more Peggy Noonan`s around more frequently every day. Peggy Noonan`s, John Meacham`s, Doris -- what`s the name, Doris Goodwin?
NOONAN: Doris Kearns Goodwin --
TALLEY: Those were all the people that make a difference.
MELBER: I will say this. We`re going to get to fallbacks but since we started with Peggy and you`re -- its glittering, literally.
TALLEY: Glittering, glittering.
NOONAN: This the top I wore for Andre.
TALLEY: Thank you.
NOONAN: I could not be in some sloppy blue jacket.
TALLEY: You look incredible. You look incredible.
MELBER: You write so clearly that weather people disagree with you or agree, whether they are inspired or concerned, they understand exactly what you`re saying which is not to be said for all politics.
NOONAN: Thank you. I try -- I guess the number one word I keep in my mind as I do my work is clarity. The second thing is mean it. If you mean it, it helps you be clear. You know what I mean? You`re just --
MELBER: Have you been meaning it? You seem to mean it.
TALLEY: Yes, I mean it. I tried to meet it all my life. I hope so.
MELBER: And you`re wearing understandably the MAGA red, MAGA red.
TALLEY: It`s a sleeping bag coat. I will take it off.
NOONAN: Andre and I have been in touch. We have a little mutual admiration thing going here because I think -- well, I don`t mean this is self-serving but I think we recognize the others attempts to do good work. It`s always a moving thing, actually. When you see people try -- just really trying to do their job well, whatever the job, is it is a moving and impressive thing.
MELBER: Isn`t it also about being able to take a risk? I mean, it wasn`t easy when you started out.
TALLEY: No, it wasn`t easy when I started out. But to go back to, people are doing their job and doing their best. Just think about yourself when you just brought in these amazing references, like last night he was talking about Drake. And it was extraordinary that you had to Drake lines to segue into a segment you had on the show last night. Do you remember what you said about Drake?
MELBER: It was nice of you to say. I do remember what I said.
TALLEY: You just have an incredible knowledge of rappers, and the language and the rap culture.
MELBER: That`s something Peggy and I share. She`s very into the old school. I`m old and he`s cool.
TALLEY: That`s -- I`ve into old school too. Give me Diana Ross and Dion - -
MELBER: Amen to that.
TALLEY: But I`m talking about Drake. Oh, God.
MELBER: Peggy who needs to fall back?
NOONAN: I`ll tell you some of those who can fall back, those who find professionals who`ve worked at a high level and now for whatever reasons are working as say FedEx drivers or recently in a news story, an Uber driver. Before that, it was a guy who worked at Trader Joe`s who had been on a T.V. show, the Cosby`s. There`s this breathless story on the internet that will say hey Joe Smith who used to be the star, this is now working at Trader Joe`s or is an Uber driver.
MELBER: As if there`s something wrong with that.
NOONAN: Yes, and people make fun of this person when to work is to pray. Honorable work is an admirable thing. To sustain as we all do in long careers a status shift. Meaning, things were going real good, then for a while they`re not going so good, you have to take a job at a lower level and you don`t say I`m better than that job or I have too much wonderfulness of that job. You say frankly thank you, God. I`ll take that job and you work it hard. Nothing is more admirable. They shouldn`t be made fun of. They should be lauded.
TALLEY: Not at all. I agree.
MELBER: Where did this --
NOONAN: How about that?
MELBER: How about that? Well, what`s that, facts as Drake would say. Where did we go wrong in America if people now think through the internet that you should try to make someone feel bad as you put it for an honest day`s work?
NOONAN: We became a snappier nation. Forgive me. I didn`t mean to jump in. We became in a snappier nation, more interested in status.
NOONAN: And that stuff, and it became embarrassing just to be a normal human punching the clock, doing a good job, doing your best, admirable again. Sorry, I don`t mean to go over --
TALLEY: No, no, no, quite moving.
NOONAN: I feel it.
TALLEY: Quite moving. And I think that`s important to say because you know, the segments on the hour-long shows that I look at CNN. I look at CNN and MSNBC, I channel switch. They often have beautiful segments at the end, what`s good, what makes you feel good. There are new stories that make you feel good about people who have come through adversity and they`re doing something wonderful and I think that`s the very point. We fell away from that. This is a country that bring up people who`ve gone through adversity.
MELBER: Then there`s a kind of a funny reverse saddest thing which I obviously want to ask about because you`re here. Fox News trying to make a big deal out of the fact that Michelle Obama spent a large sum on Balenciaga boots on her book tour where she earned her money. What do you think of that?
TALLEY: I think that she`s having great fun. She`s out of the White House. She never wore that kind of look in the White House. Let`s just meet real. In the White House, she never went that way. She`s now on her own stage. She`s to meet her own powerful moment with her book. It`s the bestseller. She`s having fun. It`s the holiday season. Why don`t wear some stocking boots that look like a half of a Christmas tree and some lemony yellow wrapped -- look at those things, those alien-esque boots. Beautiful.
MELBER: Peggy, I have to ask you. I have to ask you -- and I don`t know the answer. Are you pro-glitter?
TALLEY: What? Peggy is wearing glitter.
NOONAN: I am wearing glitter, young man. May I say just to back up what Andre said. Being chic is not an indication that you are shallow. Being frumpy is not an indication you are serious. You have the freedom to be any number of things. All right?
TALLEY: Oh, wow. Preach.
NOONAN: To be what you want to be. This woman is working for a living. Now, she no longer married to a public servant. She`s no longer living if you will in public housing as they always say when they`re -- when they`re in the White House. Every president always do that. She doesn`t have a job serving us anymore. She has a job being herself and she is free to do whatever she wants. Do your thing.
TALLEY: And looks fabulous doing it.
MELBER: And wasn`t it -- wasn`t it Nicki Minaj who said, who even looks at the price tag. We should be so lucky.
TALLEY: You should be so lucky.
MELBER: We should be so lucky.
TALLEY: Well, we`re not Nicki Minaj so --
MELBER: Can I say I love seeing you together and I love to have you back together.
TALLEY: We`d love to. We`d love to.
MELBER: Peggy Noonan with the big fall back.
TALLEY: And thank you.
MELBER: And Andre Leon Talley as always.
MELBER: As always, much, much fun here. Up next, memorable moments from the new Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
50 CENT, RAPPER: Because we speak English man. I don`t even know what the (BLEEP) they talk about when --
MELBER: The federal government is shut down, but Congress is open. And there were some pretty interesting moments from this historic week in Congress. The first two Native American women ever elected. You can see them there embracing. That`s history. Three Republicans, all wounded while serving in the military, you see them there together. Now representing citizens in Congress.
And then, of course, there is social media. Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez posting this video, clapping back at people who criticize her for dancing in college. That`s a weird one from the haters. Also, Congressman Delgado showing his kids around his brand-new office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ANTONIO DELGADO (R), NEW YORK: We`re all about to go inside for the first time as a family. You guys ready?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes,
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
DELGADO: You ready?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!
DELGADO: Let`s do it.
LACEY DELGADO, WIFE OF REP. DELGADO: Do you want to sit on daddy`s seat?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: And here is a shocker. While there was plenty of talk about politicians, sometimes it`s kids who can steal the show.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I now call the House to order on behalf of all of America`s children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pelosi, Pelosi, Pelosi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Rock on. Now, up next, I`m going to show you two very different musicians who had special shout-outs to THE BEAT.
MELBER: We don`t cover a lot of media news here, but there have been several newspaper articles about MSNBC shows with some pretty good ratings, and 50 Cent just brought all that up and THE BEAT in his brand-new post on Instagram.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
50 CENT: MSNBC beats out Fox last week in key ratings for the first time in 17 years. Now you know why they -- you know, why they beat them, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
50 CENT: Because of Ari. The only reason why we watch that is Ari. He know what we`re doing so we know what he`s doing. You know why? Because he speaks English.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: It is true i speak English. Thank you, 50 Cent for the shout-out. We`re big fans of his, as many of you know. And while we`re at it, we want to show something else from another viewer Trav B Ryan, a songwriter, and for some reason he wrote a song that he posted on the Internet imagining he was me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRAV B RYAN, SONGWRITER: I`m about to split my life and be super honest. I was raised in Seattle so I`m supersonic. Start going into politics up in college. Now I`m eating and sleeping it in it like new pajamas. For the culture, I love it like my favorite meal. I even won an Emmy for it because I keep it real. I got my own show and I`m not leaving you all. That`s why they call it THE BEAT because it goes hard. Looking for the truth, that is in my job. Getting to the meat, low carbs.
MELBER: A huge thank you and shout-out to Mr. Trav B. Ryan for keeping it creative.
Now if you are at home and you are thinking about your favorite music, any genre, you can add us at Instagram or hashtag on any social media including, Facebook, #beatnikbars. Tell us any song from any era that you think captures our politics today or the shutdown.
I`m out of time. HARDBALL starts now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END