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Alexandria Ocasio Cortez ignites Democratic Debate. TRANSCRIPT: 1/30/2019, The Beat w. Ari Melber.

Guests: Berit Berger, Richard Painter, Anthony Brown, Liz Plank, Nick Hanauer, Jon Erpenbach, Peter Marino, Chuck D, Douglas Colon, Trixie

Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: January 30, 2019 Guest: Berit Berger, Richard Painter, Anthony Brown, Liz Plank, Nick Hanauer, Jon Erpenbach, Peter Marino, Chuck D, Douglas Colon, Trixie

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: You know why? Because it would freeze on the trucks. So suffice it to say, it is so cold. If you`re in the vortex, please stay warm and stay safe and stay inside where the beer is not frozen. And whatever you do, keep those corneas nice and toasty.

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

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

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Chuck, quick tip. That`s true about beer but if you put a nice Absolute bottle of Vodka in the freezer, it stays liquid.

TODD: Wow. Only Absolute. I`m a Popov guy. Does that freeze?

MELBER: I think that works. I didn`t mean to be brand specific. This is not a political ad. This is not an endorsement.

TODD: Fair enough.

MELBER: Just a tip.

TODD: Absolute, Ari. Goodbye.

MELBER: There you go. Bye, Chuck.

It is cold. We know about that. We are also covering a lot of stories on THE BEAT tonight. There is an important clash between billionaires flirting with running for president and Progressives increasingly setting the Democratic Party agenda, including AOC. I have a lot on that later.

Plus, one of Trump`s loudest pledges about creating thousands of manufacturing jobs, that may all be crumbling tonight. Plus, pretty wild account about how some Trump aides heard a pitch about how the Russians could meddle in U.S. elections before they actually did. I`m going to get to all of that.

But we begin with breaking news. A new filing from Bob Mueller is shaking things up tonight right now. And this has new allegations against Russian operatives who are trying to gain the U.S. legal system, mislead the American public, and even undermine the Mueller probe.

Now, we`re reporting this right now because Mueller put it out right now. The allegations that lawyers and representatives of an indicted Russian internet company are now taking information that they gleaned, specifically from the Mueller probe, altering it and trying to disseminate it throughout America.

Now, we`ve all heard the cliche before that America`s enemies try to use America`s strengths against us. Like you`ve heard leaders say terrorists exploit our open society or propagandists use the freedom of speech that America protects to undercut our own public debates.

Let me tell you something upfront. Right now, tonight is one of those times where that is what`s happening. And that is concerning no matter where you think the Mueller probe is headed or what you think of Bob Mueller.

So let me show you some of this evidence, that does come from Mueller, accusing Russians of creating a new Twitter account in October which then posted lies claiming that they, these Russians had hacked Bob Mueller`s secret documents. Sounds like a big deal and that they were leaking them to the world along with this message, "Enjoy the reading."

But today, Mueller`s team is arguing, that was, of course, a false claim. And it was part of a disinformation campaign aimed apparently at discrediting ongoing investigations into Russia interference in the U.S. political system. Mueller right here in this new filing, he is saying Russians are trying to take what they learned from within here, within our legal system and then use it to discredit how our very legal system works.

And in the tradition of Bob Mueller`s speaking indictments, this new one tells the Russians, basically, we see you. And the Mueller`s team figured out that very posting I just read you came from a user with a digital footprint in, yes, Russia. Some have argued that Mueller indicting those Russians abroad in the first place was practically pointless because they are too far away to capture.

But today`s filing is important, if, for nothing else, it shows how some of those Russians are engaging this legal process inside the U.S. And as Rachel Maddow reported, that indicted Russian company hired U.S. lawyers to exploit the legal process and try to undercut Mueller`s inquiry.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Nobody ever thought any of those defendants would ever even bother to, you know, enter a plea in conjunction with this case or otherwise engage with this case or the U.S. courts in any way. It seems like a sort of legal oddity at first.

But it soon became clear that the point of Prigozhin hiring American lawyers and contesting this case in court was to try to use the case and use those lawyers to challenge Robert Mueller, to challenge the special counsel`s investigation, to try to maybe even mess up Mueller`s inquiry.


MELBER: Thank you, Rachel, for explaining that so clearly and also calling it out in advance. Because that is exactly what is exposed in tonight`s new filing, which raises questions of how high in Russia this current effort, as Mueller alleges, how high does it go? Now, in any other administration, a filing like this from the DOJ would get immediate backup from the White House.

Today, though, it comes as President Trump openly and angrily attacks his own intel appointees over their stances on Russia, plus Iran, plus other foreign policy issues. He is now calling his own intel leaders, "passive, naive, and wrong" about threats to the U.S. and says, "Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school." Good one. All that because they contradicted him in this blockbuster hearing.



DAN COATS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: ISIS is intent on resurging and still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria.

TRUMP: I ended the horrible week Iran-nuclear deal.

SEN. ANGUS KING (I), MAINE: Is Iran currently abiding by the terms of the JCPOA in terms of their nuclear activities?

GINA HASPEL, DIRECTOR, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: At the moment, technically, they`re in compliance.

TRUMP: Things are going very well with North Korea.

COATS: North Korea will seek to retain its WMD capabilities.

TRUMP: I have President Putin. He just said it`s not Russia. I will say this. I don`t see any reason why it would be.

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, DIRECTOR, FBI: Not only the Russians continued to do it 2018 but we`ve seen indication that they continue to adapt their model.


MELBER: Adapt away because that adaptation could include exactly what Mueller is exposing today as Trump continues to deny Russian meddling and continues to hide private meetings he held with Vladimir Putin, including a now newly revealed meeting where Trump again docked the protocol, including an American translator. This was in Buenos Aires in November. They had a longer and more substantive conversation than the White House had acknowledged.

I am joined by Berit Berger, a former federal prosecutor in both the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York which are as they say pretty busy. And Richard Painter, a former Chief White House Ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration.

Berit, let me start with you. What is Mueller saying with what can only be described as a fairly unusual filing?

BERIT BERGER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: It is. Look. So it is not unusual to have a protective order in a case this complex. So in the normal course of discovery, you are supposed to give over anything that might be helpful to the defense. In a case like this where there are national security concerns, privacy concerns, they may have a protective order the court which is something that the court signed this summer.

Here, they`re saying that the defense attorneys violated this protective order when it comes to the non-sensitive information in the case. So they should, therefore, not be trusted with any of this sensitive material to disseminate to their clients.

MELBER: Yes. I mean you are jumping right and deep into it. I`m saying at a big picture level, how often do U.S. defense attorneys in a case get accused by a federal prosecutor of a disinformation campaign online? I mean, even that, just that?

BERGER: Right. Almost never for disinformation. Look, discovery disputes come up pretty regularly in criminal cases. Something of this magnitude, not something that you see in the average case.

MELBER: So broader than the legal fight, what is Mueller, do you think, trying to say or put on notice here?

BERGER: I think he is putting on notice that there is a real danger to give out information that may have, you know, information about uncharged people in this investigation, that may have information about the sources of the investigation, about the tactics and the methods that we`re using, that it`s a real danger.

Not just because this information could be leaked within the United States, but because this information is being leaked in Russia, and they are using this information, altering this information to really spread lies about the special counsel`s office`s investigation.

MELBER: And then before I go to Richard, I`m curious, your view. Putting aside whether one is rooting for the U.S. or rooting for Putin. Does this look like to you a potentially effective tactic of a potential foreign power saying, "Oh, we`re going to mess with you, we`re not turning over the underlying defendants? We`re just going to mess with you as much as we can along the way"?

BERGER: Yes. I mean I think what it really highlights is the difficult situation that the special counsel`s office is in. They are forced to play by a set of very strict rules, the federal rules of evidence, the federal rules of criminal procedure. But they are dealing with defendants that are not playing by any rules.

MELBER: That, I think you just put your finger on. So Richard, how do you view this? You have been a long-time chronicler of the Mueller probe. You`re a critic of Trump. But Berit raises the point here that this has a Batman-Joker aspect to it where the U.S. prosecutors, however aggressive they may be, have these rules. And they`re pointing out in this new filing that they are dealing with, according to the allegations, Russians who are breaking the rules?

RICHARD PAINTER, CHIEF WHITE HOUSE ETHICS LAWYER UNDER GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, the Russians have been breaking the rules for a very long time. And we have had to listen to attacks on Robert Mueller for a year-and-a-half, whether on "Fox News" or from Alan Dershowitz or whoever.

And it`s about time we realize that a lot of attacks on Robert Mueller are being orchestrated by the Russians and individuals who were in collaboration with the Russians. And that`s what`s going on here.

They do not want this investigation to proceed because when this investigation concludes, and there is a report, it`s going to be abundantly clear what the Russians have done and who collaborated with the Russians. It`s very important at this juncture to make sure that Robert Mueller is independent and that William Barr, the incoming attorney general when he is confirmed, he recuses from the Russia investigation,

Because Jeff Sessions was fired by Donald Trump because Donald Trump wanted to bring in someone who would reign in Bob Mueller. And William Barr cannot be that person. If he wants to be loyal to his country, he must recuse from this investigation.

And what we`re seeing just in the past couple of days is more and more evidence of Russian infiltration of this administration. We have the treasury secretary working $25 million deal with a Russian oligarch at the same time the Treasury Department was deliberating over the Russia sanctions. This is a very bad situation. It`s dangerous for our national security.

And on top of all that, we have a president who is refusing to listen to his national security advisers and was insulting them when it`s abundantly obvious what`s going on with respect to Russia.

MELBER: Right. And that`s the foreign policy part that is also so severe. Both of you, stay with me.

Let me bring in a current member of Congress, Anthony Brown, who represents Maryland. He`s also the vice chair of the Armed Services Committee.

Thanks for joining me. I want to turn to the foreign policy issues. But first, do you have any comment on what Mueller is exposing, which would seem to have some foreign policy implication?

REP. ANTHONY BROWN (D-MD), VICE CHAIR, ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: First of all, as has been said, I mean it`s very critical that we protect this Mueller investigation. Here we have a situation where, you know, Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in our elections and now you have a situation where Russia is trying to distort, if not our legal system, certainly the perception of our legal system.

So we, in Congress, need to make sure that we are doing everything to ensure the credibility of the Mueller investigation, in terms of what ultimately will be brought to court but also in the court of public opinion.

MELBER: Right. Let me then get you on these newly exposed Putin meetings. This is where Congress has more power. Your colleagues have talked about potentially subpoenaing the translators who were in some meeting. The new one, apparently no translator at all.

Take a listen to former Secretary of State Albright on this.


MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I think it`s totally unusual and really, really dangerous. So this is kind of operating in a parallel universe that makes it very difficult to know what happened. It is un-- it is more than unusual. I think it is something that is very damaging to the way that we do and should make policy.


MELBER: What does Congress do about this, if anything?

BROWN: Yes, look. This is outrageous. I mean there is no record now of yet another engagement between President Trump and Vladimir Putin. And you know, why is the president doing this? We don`t know.

His explanation that it`s in the interests of the United States to be friends with Russia is belied. Russia is a foe. They`re not a friend. And their conduct in terms of, you know, in Syria when the president decided or announced that he`s going to withdraw our troops, Vladimir Putin cheers that decision.

Again, Russian interference with our elections. The president taking the side of Vladimir Putin over our intelligence professionals. Why he`s doing this? I don`t know. But the innocent explanation that he offers, that Russia and the United States ought to work together, Russia is undermining that every day.

MELBER: And Berit, while I have you here, a former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie made a lot of news around turned a lot of heads, the biggest threat isn`t Mueller, it`s the officer where you used to work the Southern District of New York. Does that sound right to you?

BERGER: Yes. I think one thing that really tracks with that comment is sort of the historical independence of that office. The Southern District of New York is I think well-known within the Justice Department for being completely independent, for being very apolitical.

So they have brought, you know, cases against Democrats and Republicans alike. There is no political motivation behind their cases. But in addition to being really just smart, strong, aggressive prosecutors, they`re incredibly independent. So they`re not likely to be swayed or discouraged from bringing any charges.

MELBER: Right. And do you think it was a little odd when Chris Christie says that, it almost makes it sound like he thinks they have a case against Donald Trump or his family? Otherwise, why would they pose that danger?

BERGER: Yes. I mean it`s certainly an odd comment. I think we can probably break that down in a lot of different ways.

MELBER: Is he channeling his inner Rudy? I mean would you say that about a friend of yours?

BERGER: No close friend. I don`t expect him to stay a friend. Look, nobody knows whether the Southern District or any office for that matter is actually thinking of charging or has charges that they could bring against the president. What we do know is if there are charges that the Southern District could bring, they will not hesitate to bring them because of any sort of political concerns.

MELBER: And that is an important point I think coming from someone who`s got the experience.

Berit Berger, Congressman Anthony Brown, Richard Painter, thanks to each of you.

PAINTER: Much appreciated.

MELBER: Coming up, new reporting on this factory that Donald Trump said would bring back jobs but too good to be true.


TRUMP: We can say the eighth wonder of the world. This is the eighth wonder of the world.


MELBER: And everyone is talking AOC and Starbucks. I`ve got a live interview with a Seattle investor who has gone toe-to-toe with Howard Schultz and says he`s wrong.

Also, first on THE BEAT. An insider revealing why Bob Mueller is looking at a firm that war game Russian style election meddling. It`s a doozie.

Later, why some say Republicans are also saying they admire AOC. Politics and the Manhattan Madam and Roger Stone and what she says the feds are looking for. A new report on that.

What I`m telling you is we have a lot left. I`m Ari Melber. You are watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.


MELBER: Our other top story tonight is a political and policy juggernaut shaking the Democratic party, the AOC effect. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been in office about three weeks but ideas in what she represents are having a huge impact. Consider, a rookie legislator who is legally too young to run for the Senate, let alone the White House now has potential candidates reacting to her and criticizing her economic agenda.

The first thing to know about this dynamic is it`s broader than partisan politics. AOC has been arguing for a tradition of moral politics, civil rights, and economic reform that goes beyond for what passes for a lot of debate in D.C.


ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: Social movements are the moral compass and should be the moral compass of our politics.

I do think a system that allows billionaires to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don`t have access to public health is wrong.

The wage gap is an injustice that persists through secrecy. It is time that we pay people what they are worth and not how little they are desperate enough to accept.

He`s not in the Russell Building. He`s not on the floor of the Senate. And 800,000 people don`t have their paychecks.

Everyone deserves justice and everyone deserves equal protection and prosperity.


MELBER: The predictable fixation only on AOC style may underestimate her policy appeal. Plenty of other top candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are running on similar progressive economic platforms.

The leftward shift which apparently explains why former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is not a Democrat. That`s according to his argument in a new round of interviews testing an Independent presidential run against Democrats.


HOWARD SCHULTZ, FORMER CEO, STARBUCKS: No, I`m not a Democrat. I don`t affiliate myself with the Democratic Party who is so far-left who basically wants the government to take over health care, which we cannot afford, the government to give free college to everybody and the government to give everyone a job, which basically is $40 trillion on the balance sheet of $21.5 trillion. We can`t afford it.


MELBER: You`re going to hear from a very rich person in a moment but first, a very rich person in ideas.


MELBER: Liz Plank, host of "Vox Media", considered a friend of THE BEAT. Thanks for being here.

PLANK: Thanks for having me.

MELBER: I mentioned that because class is such a big part of this. I mean we have a very rich person on deck. When it comes to AOC versus Howard Schultz as a potential billionaire running against Democrats, what is important do you think about the idea she`s advanced?

PLANK: Right. Well, I think, first of all, Howard Schultz running for president is kind of like Ja Rule organizing another music festival. Like I don`t know who -- no one needs this right now. It`s only going to actually benefit Donald Trump, because, obviously, when we have a third party candidate, it often disadvantages Democrats.

MELBER: Let me say that`s a sick burn --


MELBER: -- because the Fyre Festival was a failure. Although, Howard Schultz I would trust to run a conference or a gathering more than a country.

PLANK: Yes, he should organize the next Fyre Festival. I would trust him.

MELBER: You`ve hit on it.

PLANK: There we go, we found your calling. But one of the really interesting things that I think, him and AOC sort of -- I mean they haven`t talked to each other in real life but they sort of standoff that they have is that AOC is exposing the myth of the fiscal conservative but the socially liberal person, right?

So, you know, Howard Schultz says that he is pro -- he`s taking a stance against racism. He`s taking a stance for offering jobs to refugees. He`s pro-women, pro-reproductive rights, but he has his very fiscally conservative policies.

And what AOC has been able to do is message how those two things are actually completely contradictory. If you believe that black people, people of color in this country should have equal rights, you have to be supporting them having equal access to health care, to jobs, to opportunities.

MELBER: And so --

PLANK: Same goes with people with disabilities. You can`t go on TV and say, "We want to take over -- take off their entitlements." You have to support those benefits.

MELBER: It`s so interesting to hear you analyze that after watching her talk in the arc of moral politics, right?


MELBER: Because Martin Luther King is remembered for civil rights. And yet the organizing he was doing was all about black power and black economic capital and uniting with labor and organizing union walkouts in the Midwest. All of that.

I want to show for you some of the praise AOC is getting today. Listen to this, MAGA fans saying that she is effective. A prominent political adviser says she has something that you can`t coach. You either have it or you don`t. She has a big league. And then this, gameness, grip, determination, fighting spirit, compliments from none other than Steve Bannon for AOC today.

PLANK: Interesting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President as a centrist --

PLANK: We started hearing --

MELBER: No, your thoughts.

PLANK: OK. Wow, that wasn`t just in my head. Yes, one of the things that AOC is so good at is that she`s really good at messaging the Democrat Party`s position on many issues. Of course, she`s more to the left than we would expect. But she`s really good at messaging ideas that are actually popular, right.

MELBER: Right.

PLANK: So if you think of taxation and the proposal that she`s making, first of all, when it comes to taxing very highly rich people and the 78 percent, 78 percent of Americans actually support her in that policy, even though it`s been very -- there is a lot of fear-mongering on the right and a lot of billionaires like Howard Schultz going on televising saying that this is very bad. The majority of Americans actually support that policy

MELBER: Right.

PLANK: And it`s a long-standing -- since 1970s, if you look back, the majority of Americans want to tax the rich more. AOC is able to communicate that message and make that exciting for people who normally haven`t been on board.

MELBER: And as you say in a way that appears to be impacting some of these billionaires. Now, as promised, I want to raise the net worth of the segment before -- do you like this or not?

PLANK: Well, no, you`re on --

MELBER: Too much?

PLANK: No, never.

MELBER: So before I bring in this next guest, take a listen to Howard Schultz responding to the criticism he gets about being a billionaire.


SCHULTZ: I`ve also been criticized for being a billionaire. Let`s talk about that, I`m self-made. I grew up in the projects in Brooklyn, New York. I thought that was the American dream.


MELBER: I am joined by Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist Nick Hanauer. He has debated with Howard Schultz. He`s the host of a podcast "Pitch Fork Economics". And as mentioned, you are a very rich guy. You have been open about that.


MELBER: But you say there is something wrong with what Howard Schultz is doing? What is it?

HANAUER: Absolutely. I love the conversation you have been having. But I just want to make one point is that, you know, it`s easy to call what AOC is doing as far-lefty, but nothing could be further from the truth. When you had advocated for economic policies that benefit the broad majority of citizens, that`s true centrism.

What Howard Schultz represents, the centrism he represents is really just trickle-down economics, tax cuts for rich people, deregulation for powerful people, and wage suppression, and benefit cuts for everyone else without the overt racism.

He is not the centrist. AOC is the centrist. And I think one of her great advantages is she is young enough not to be captured by the neo-liberal lies that have framed so much of the politics, by the way in both the Republican and Democratic Party.

MELBER: That is so important what you`re saying because that always comes up when there are debates within the Democratic Party and there is a kind of a tailwind underneath whatever might be an open debate. People have different views on this. And the tailwind is the incredible power of the donor class as you know.


MELBER: And so take a listen to your point, for you and then Liz, to AOC talking about working in the service industry. I mean Howard Schultz does employ a lot of people in retail. She talks about actually doing that kind of service job. Take a look.



OCASIO-CORTEZ: Little things like trying to afford health insurance when you`re a waitress and that kind of economic stress and living through it and enduring past it really showed me in a visceral way what it`s like to be an American in a way that I don`t think most public officials understand.


MELBER: Do you agree with that, Nick, and then Liz?

HANAUER: Yes, a hundred percent. And here`s the important point that I think is underappreciated is it`s not just the economic reality that`s the problem. It`s the narrative that has captured the brains of so many people on the Democratic Party that, for instance, to raise the minimum wage from $2.13 plus tips for tipped workers to $15 an hour will be -- will destroy the economy. That is just a straight-up lie.

There is nothing further from the truth. And the most pernicious thing about trickle-down economics is not the belief that if a rich get richer, that`s good for the economy. It is the belief that if poor people get richer, that will be bad for the economy.

And finally, we have some political leaders, like AOC who are willing to confront those lies and to confront people like Howard Schultz.


PLANK: Yes. if I can just agree, I think everything that she is saying is not radical at all. If you go to many other countries -- I`m actually a survivor of Medicare for all as a Canadian and I can tell you it`s pretty great.

MELBER: Is that why you are so nice because you`re Canadian?

PLANK: Yes, it`s the free health care. It`s just -- it`s great.

MELBER: Right. Nick, do you think --

HANAUER: The interesting thing --


MELBER: The last question that you crossed paths with him in those Seattle circles, Nick. Briefly, do you think he will run or he will ultimately drop out as he comes into contact with more of this debate?

HANAUER: You know, I don`t know. I found it astounding that he was going to run as an independent. The smartest people in the country have looked at that and there is zero chance you can win as an independent.

So all you are is a spoiler. I`m hoping that he comes to his senses and drops out. Certainly, the reception has not been great.

MELBER: Well, he has a lot of experience and a very special company and nobody denies that. And that`s a venti big deal.

HANAUER: Yes. Like you`re running a bunch of coffee shops --

MELBER: Did you -- wait, did you hear it? Nick, you didn`t even hear it?

PLANK: Venti? Like --

MELBER: Yes, venti big deal.

HANAUER: Venti? No. Running a coffee -- running a bunch of coffee shops does not qualify you to be president of the United States.

MELBER: And I just want to put on record the no applies both to the terrible pun but also to the theory that that makes you presidential material.

Nick Hanauer with the double no, Liz Plank and Nick on Howard Schultz turning a lot of heads. Thanks to you both.

HANAUER: Thank you.

MELBER: We have a lot more in the show. Bob Mueller now digging into foreign company war games for hacking elections and why were Trump aides pitch on a similar plan?

But first, a huge and now embarrassing hole in one of Trump`s biggest job claims when we are back in just 30 seconds.


MELBER: Another important story tonight. Donald Trump`s claims about a project that he called the "eighth wonder of the world" evaporating before our eyes. This is important. Reuters now reporting that $10 billion Foxconn facility in Wisconsin will deliver far less than Trump claimed. There will be 4,000 fewer jobs than he had talked about over the following year. Most will be high tech, not the blue-collar jobs that Trump promised that he was delivering through a special deal.

This was such a big Trump project, such a key symbol for his manufacturing pitch that he announced it at the White House and then went to Wisconsin for a groundbreaking.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a great day for American workers and manufacturing. If I didn`t get elected, he definitely would not be spending $10 billion. A plant that will provide jobs for much more than 13,000 Wisconsin workers. Adding an average of $3.4 billion to the state`s economy. We can say the eighth wonder of the world. This is the eighth wonder of the world.


MELBER: Foxconn now says it won`t be building TVs, it`s not building a factory, it`s not bringing manufacturing jobs back despite the promises. Take a look.


TRUMP: He`s going to make robotics here. They`re doing many other things including full television sets. Foxconn intends to build 100 percent of the factory with beautiful American concrete. Were also reclaiming our country`s proud manufacturing legacy.


MELBER: Wisconsin leaders say the new reports have them worried they will be holding the bag for many of Trumps empty promises. He also gave a shout-out to mega millionaires in his administration. Let`s get right to it. Wisconsin Jon Erpenbach who`s been skeptical of this deal and thanks for joining and I hope you`re keeping warm and indoors there. We`ve been reporting throughout the day on just how cold is across the Midwest.

The bottom line, this was a big thing Trump promised. What are you seeing the reality is on the ground?

SEN. JON ERPENBACH (D), WISCONSIN: Well, it`s a big thing the President did promise along with Governor Walker, but the frustrating part about all of this stuff is yes, it`s disappointing but none of us are really surprised simply because if you take a look at Foxconn`s history whether it is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Brazil, China, whatever the case may be, they come in with the leaders of that state or those countries and they say great big things about this great big company and then next thing you know 13,000 jobs is down to a handful and it`ll be research and technology and development and not manufacturing that we were promised.

MELBER: So are you saying -- are you saying they were in on this in -- as a Trumpian style con from the start, that they knew this. Because I want to give again the benefit of their view. They say that things have changed. The market environment that existed they say when the project was first announced his "changed, and that has necessitated this adjustment of the plans."

ERPENBACH: Right. Things have changed and things always change in this industry but yet they didn`t stop saying we`ll spend $10 billion in Wisconsin. If you give us $4 billion in tax incentives and so on and so forth, then we`ll have 13,000 jobs. Manufacturing is coming back to the state of Wisconsin.

And a lot of us who were skeptical of this just looked at their track record first of all, and then secondly, things constantly change in this industry. It`s constantly changing and you think a company like Foxconn would know that.

MELBER: Right. Well, let me play for you some of Donald Trump literally bragging about this and touting this. It seems important particularly as Americans assess what`s real or not. Here he was during the tour when they first announced.


TRUMP: And when it`s completed, this will be probably the largest manufacturer anywhere, right?


TRUMP: This is really something what they`ve done. You go back 18 months, there was nothing here. It was a field. They`re going to make all of this equipment the best in the world.


MELBER: Has it turned out to be the largest manufacturer?

ERPENBACH: No, not even close. But that`s what the President does. He used words like largest, biggest, best, and all of that stuff. Ari, people -- some people lost their land over this. People lost their houses over this because they had to be basically bought out because of the manufacturing that was supposed to happen there. It was going to be a very, very large facility like the President talked about but it never really happened or at least hasn`t happened yet.

And as a result, states out about $120 million for road projects down in that part of the state that should have gone to other parts of the state and local units of government are out of money so far that they`ve spent on investments on infrastructure projects down there as well.

MELBER: Well, sometimes the rollout of these things get the most attention. We wanted to follow up. You`ve been all over it. Senator, thank you for coming on THE BEAT.

ERPENBACH: Sure. Thank you.

MELBER: Still ahead, there`s a new report out tonight with Roger Stone`s former housemate explaining what Mueller was looking for in their house raid. It involves evidence of collusion. And an insider speaking on Mueller`s battle with a foreign company gaming out Russian style election meddling.


MELBER: Get ready for this one because our next story involves the kind of coincidence that Bob Mueller is interested in even if it turns out to be just a coincidence. New reports said a Mueller witness once outlined how Russians could launch a Web attack against a U.S. election, and a cyber- expert (INAUDIBLE) outlined this exact meddling scenario in 2015 according to The Daily Beast.

Some of the parallels are striking but many people in cyber and law enforcement were imagining cyber-attacks. Here`s one you might recognize. The FBI Director in 2013 imagining a cyber-attack that could be worse than conventional terrorism.


ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER DIRECTOR, FBI: Cybercriminals have become increasingly adept at exploiting weaknesses in our computer networks. I believe that the cyber threat may well Eclipse the terrorist threat in years to come.


HAYES: So while (INAUDIBLE) was not alone in talking up foreign cyber threats, he did more than that. He also met with Donald Trump Jr. and top Trump aide Rick Gates who would later be indicted pitching a cyber-effort that included creating thousands of fake social media accounts in order to support Trump and disparage his opponents. Now that may start to look like more than a coincidence but let`s be clear Gates and Trump Jr. rejected a proposal for those services according to the New York Times.

Now, the Mueller probe still took note questioning this guy I`m telling you about (INAUDIBLE) and ultimately, of course, indicted Russians for cyber efforts that did sound similar even if they were unrelated.


ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: The indictment charges 13 Russian nationals seeking to interfere in the United States political system including the 2016 presidential election.


MELBER: The operation pitched the Trump campaign is back in the news because it`s on Mueller`s radar and it`s in a new report. And one of the creators of at least part of the pitch Peter Marino tells The Daily Beast and at the time that cyber campaign pitch felt like intellectual exercise, but now it feels a bit too on the nose not to be disturbing.

And as we like to do here on THE BEAT, we`re going to the source Peter Marino joins me right now. Thanks for being here.


MELBER: What was this pitch and was it more of a what if you had a cyber- attack like this or how do you pull off a cyber-attack like this?

MARINO: Yes. So the firm that was contracted to write the report Wikistrat sourced among a number of analysts of which I was one actually both of those questions that what would the consequences be and how would it be pulled off. And that the speculations ranged from the possibility that it might do very little to the possibility that it could actually be rather substantial and rather deleterious to the institutional integrity of democracies.

MELBER: Very clear answer. So what`s the point of sharing any of that with an active candidate or campaign?

MARINO: Well, the point could be in order to encourage them or at least suggest the possibility that such techniques might be put to effective use on behalf of that candidate.

HAYES: Is this one of those things were the people who sit around and think about this all day are obsessed with it and everyone else was unaware until it blew up?

MARINO: Yes. I`d say that`s a relatively fair assertion. You know, the possibilities that were imagined by this report were really not front and center in the American political discourse.

MELBER: Right. So we sort of have a potential intellectual bias of being like oh this happened, now we`re thinking about it. It`s fascinating to talk to people like you who are in it. You can go back nine years and I`m going to play now Bob Mueller also talking the way you guys talk when you study this stuff because he`s thinking about it. He was concerned about these types of attacks. Take a look at Mueller.


MUELLER: The counterintelligence threat to the United States continues to persist as we saw with a recent arrest of a network of Russian spies. Foreign adversaries, however, do not rely exclusively on such additional agent networks. They increasingly employed non-traditional collectors such as students, visiting scientists, businessmen, as well as cyber-based tools to target and penetrate United States institutions.


MELBER: I`d say he was onto something.


MELBER: I think you and your colleagues were on to something.


MELBER: The big question when it comes to the potential guilt here is when you look at the presentation of this to those Trump aides, does that make them look worse because they know about it or better because they rejected it or is irrelevant?

MARINO: I`d say with respect to them it is more or less irrelevant. The fact that -- the fact is that people in their position up until 2015 were not as intimately involved in the kind of discourse that Director Mueller - - then-director Mueller was discussing.

MELBER: You`re nicely saying it might have gone over their heads.

MARINO: Yes, I`m being rather euphemistic about it but yes.

MELBER: Why are you being so euphemistic? Are they friends of yours or you`re just a really nice person.

MARINO: I tend not to want to speculate about people`s intellectual capacity without speaking to them first.

MELBER: Well, but what if you have a study of them? I mean, you watch someone speak enough on T.V. and you say, do they get it or not.

MARINO: Insofar as that, then yes, I would say probably it went over their heads.

MELBER: Right. Fair. And final question. Can these kinds of efforts swing an election or not? Is this all background noise?

MARINO: They can swing an election. The more significant thing that we were talking about in the report was actually the long-term potential damage to the integrity of democracy.

MELBER: Which we`re seeing -- which we were seeing in the Mueller filing tonight.

MARINO: Precisely.

MELBER: I`m going to fit in a break. Peter Marino, thank you for being here. Fascinating stuff.

MARINO: Thank you for having me.

MELBER: Up ahead, you are not going to believe what Roger Stone`s own housemate is saying the feds were looking for. It involves collusion. I`m going to show you that next.


MELBER: You got to see this. A key friend and former housemate of Roger Stone just explained what the FBI was looking for in their new raid.


KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: The FBI also raided not just his home down in Florida but an apartment in Harlem. They thought you were there, right?

KRISTIN DAVIS, FORMER HOUSEMATE OF ROGER STONE: Right. I shared a duplex with Roger for the last couple of years. I since have moved a couple of weeks ago. There`s nothing there.

TUR: What do you think they were looking for?

DAVIS: According to the search warrant, information regarding WikiLeaks, Guccifer, any collusion, that sort of thing.


MELBER: Is Mueller finishing up? That is a Roger Stone associate saying on our air today the search warrant, the raid was for evidence of collusion. Pretty interesting. Now, we are not done. Up ahead, we have a very special fall back take over. The one and only Chuck D and the first generation be boys straight ahead.



MELBER: Welcome back. We have a special edition of "FALLBACK" today. I`m so excited to have who is here, the activist and legendary rapper Chuck D. You may know him of course from Public Enemy. Five Grammy nominations and of course the protest song fight the power which everyone remembers from Spike Lee`s do the right thing. That group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Also, it`s a special "FALLBACK" because I`m joined by Dancing Doug and Trixie, two pioneering break dancers who helped establish that genre. They worked with the BBoy Committee including Kurtis Blow and Chuck D and they are founding the Universal Hip Hop Museum coming to the Bronx. Thank you for doing this.

CHUCK D, RAPPER: Yes. They`re wonderful dignified gentlemen, you know. And hip hop could be groaning up in the room and that`s what we`re trying to signify and really make a statement across the world. The you know, Universal Hip Hop Museum coming in 2023 and why not. You know, something has to grow up in hip hop and these gentlemen are part of who`s leading the narrative.

MELBER: When you look around, who needs to "FALLBACK?"

TRIXIE, B-BOY: Hate, hate needs to fall back and so that love can conquer the hate so we can grow.

MELBER: Dancing Doug, who needs to fall back?

DOUGLAS COLON, B-BOY: I`m getting a little bit more political. I think the -- I was going back to the GoFundMe thing with the people trying to build the wall. I think it raised like $20 million and now they realized that they couldn`t do it and like no more GoFundMe for the crazy stuff. Stop it.

MELBER: When you look at people, they`re watching T.V. Some people are scared. What do you think moves someone to think yes, I should give my own money for this wall that the President talked about for years and never built when he controlled Congress with his party?

COLON: Well, the thing is this whole scenario was based on not -- and I don`t think it`s really ignorance, I think it`s fear.


COLON: They stoke fear, they stoke -- and that in turn make people react to things to think, oh my god, they come to take my stuff, all those people, this Caravan, this other van, this (INAUDIBLE), this whatever-van and all of a sudden it`s not there. It`s artificial.

MELBER: Is it fear of a black and brown planet?

CHUCK D: Well, the ignorance is running rampant especially in the United States of America so you know, information, education always you know, broadens the scope, makes you understand that and that makes less fear. We would like to see funding go into culture as opposed to going up into barricades like a wall and to build on like hate. Hate comes from the ignorance of just not knowing each other. It`s a human planet. So the music has brought people together, governments have split people up.

It`s about humans and people and sports brings people together, music and culture brings people together, and governments like to divide. So they need to fall back.

MELBER: Why do you think the people in power, people who run governments have the money, they have the control of force or violence, and yet they are afraid of as you put it people in sports taking a knee or people in culture just saying something which is fundamentally peaceful?

CHUCK D: I know control is a human glitch that we probably can`t figure out. We don`t even figure out what`s the glitch in testosterone you know, because the women don`t go around starting planetary wars, you know what I`m saying. But culture is a beautiful way to start because these brothers, they dance, they always got the girls to come to the party. And once the party has the girls, the party was all cool.

MELBER: All right, so let`s talk about dancing tips real quick. What is your tip for people who aren`t as good a dancer as you -- as you gentlemen are when you`re at the wedding or the bar mitzvah, what`s the best thing you can do that`s a little dance move, conservative if you`re not as good as you.

COLON: The two-step head nod.

MELBER: Let`s see. OK.

COLON: And keep smiling and I`m smiling and I`m smiling and I`m smiling.

MELBER: So if you`re doing that, you got to have to worry because I get in trouble with my legs. If you`re doing that you don`t have to worry about your legs?

TRIXIE: No, you got to tap your feet.

CHUCK D: I raise my hand to the not -- or dance you know, pretty good but if you`re an on dancer, stay close to the dances.

MELBER: Just stay near them.

CHUCK D: Just stay near them.


CHUCK D: Especially when the hustle came out back in the day and be close to them because they got a little circle going around them that`s a unique, you want to be around there.

TRIXIE: Girls can fall back.

COLON: Girls can fall back.

CHUCK D: Yes, exactly.

MELBER: And what is it about the culture that encourages the motif of the friendly battle. You see that in battle rapping, you see that in the battle dancing. Some people at a distance they look at that and they say are you mad at each other? Does somebody have to win? What is -- explain that.

TRIXIE: It beats fighting. You don`t have to fight. You know what I mean? Come to have a good time and you don`t have to boast. I`m tough. No. Get in the circle and let`s see what you got. And if you don`t got it, don`t get into the circle because I had the biggest circle. And if you got in that circle, you better be ready. And if you not, what happened to your feet?

CHUCK D: Trixie is like imagine man. Like if this was -- if now was back then, could you imagine how many phones would be in China heads up into that circle?

TRIXIE: What? The man needs to come at me like -- I mean, come at me, so yes, it was instead of fighting, let`s dance.

MELBER: In a word or a sentence for our viewers, what is hip hop?

CHUCK D: Hip hop is umbrella of language and creativity of the last 50 years going into baby another 25 to 50 years. It`s the terminology we`ve always been creative people, but it`s the definition of now and that umbrella is to be maintained and that`s what we plan to do.

MELBER: Trixie, Dancing Doug, Chuck D, thank you very much for being here.

CHUCK D: Thank you.


MELBER: We enjoyed that conversation. My special thanks to them. And we can all learn a little something from the idea less hate and let`s dance. On that note, that is THE BEAT for tonight. I`ll see you back at 6 p.m. Eastern tomorrow. "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews is up next.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: I don`t need no intelligence. Let`s play HARDBALL.