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Trump blasts Stone. TRANSCRIPT: 1/31/2019, The Beat w. Ari Melber.

Guests: Ruby Kaur, Caroline Polisi; Nick Akerman; Sam Seder; Jelani Cobb

Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: January 31, 2019 Guest: Ruby Kaur, Caroline Polisi; Nick Akerman; Sam Seder; Jelani Cobb

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Whether Florida man is responsible here. But really, don`t we already know? Man, got to get Florida man. That`s an ingenuity credit on that one because sometimes we think Florida man is not so bright. At least that was at least creative.

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

"THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER" is tunneled day spot already and he`s ready to go. Good evening, Ari.

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

We begin tonight`s show with some major news in the ongoing open collusion investigation and searches involving Roger Stone. Bob Mueller`s prosecutors now saying there is so much evidence in this case against Stone, including years of communications, they want extra time beyond what is usually legally allowed before trial.

Now, whether Mueller`s team prosecutes Stone or hand off this case to other prosecutors, we don`t know where it is going. But I could tell you from these new filings from Mueller, they think it is going to be a long time.

The Mueller team calls the evidence they`ve collected against Stone voluminous and complex. They say hard drives with terabytes of information, FBI case reports, search warrant application results, including -- and this could be the mothership, Apple iCloud accounts, and e-mails.

Oh, it always comes back to e-mails, plus banks and financial records, plus numerous physical devices, including alleged cell phones, computers, and hard drives and the communications from the iCloud e-mail and devices are alleged to have gone back years. All of this is what Mueller is telling the court.

Meanwhile, Stone tells reporters that he agrees they can go to trial soon. And while we`re hearing all kinds of complaints from Republicans about the Stone raid, and I`m going to get into that and racial disparities in the law later tonight, we now know investigators were on the hunt for evidence. They say, flat out, they seized the devices from his home apartment and office to get to the bottom of what he knows.

Tomorrow, Stone goes back to court for the first hearing since entering that not guilty plea. I want to get right to it with Watergate Special Prosecutor Nick Akerman. Sam Seder, host of "The Majority Report" radio show and an MSNBC contributor and a user of iCloud technology. We`re going to get to that. As well as Defense Attorney Caroline Polisi who dealt with the Mueller team in her representation of George Papadopoulos. You are one of these people who`s been closer than most.

And so I begin with you. What does it mean, in plain English, when Mueller says, "I`ve got so much evidence, I need an exception to what is normally the federal law that you have to have a speedy trial"?

CAROLINE POLISI, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY, REPRESENTED GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS: Right. Well, it`s not terribly extraordinary in a complex white-collar case for the government to ask for an exclusion. Under the constitution, a criminal defendant is entitled to a speedy trial and the way that is codified in the law is 70 days, right. Seventy days from the date of the arraignment, the government should be able to take your case to trial.

But typically --

MELBER: And most defendants might be spending those 70 days in prison. They don`t want to sit there for too long.

POLISI: Absolutely. But now, typically, if you are the defense attorney, as well as the government, you want to exclude time under the speedy trial clock. You want extra time to review those documents because you want the best defense possible. Now --

MELBER: Because you`re worried about being outgunned.

POLISI: Yes. I think it would have been a pretty boss move if the defense attorneys for Roger Stone said, "Actually, you know what, put your money where your mouth is, government. You brought this case knowing you had 70 days to bring it. All the sudden, you can`t be asking for more time."

Unfortunately, they are not in that position. There is just too much discovery here.

MELBER: Right. And to your point, I think your analysis fits with what Stone has said. Now, Stone has been caught in many lies. We note that when we report on this.

But with regard to the evidence they have against him, which is significant, he said what you are saying. Let`s take a listen to the new Roger Stone.


REPORTER: So the evidence against you is voluminous and complex. Does that scare you at all?

ROGER STONE, LONG-TIME TRUMP ALLY: My attorneys have agreed to that. It is so voluminous and complex that a speedy trial is literally impossible. I believe that over a two-year period, maybe even a two-and-a-half-year period, my e-mails, my text messages, my phone calls have been monitored.

There is certainly nothing new. I have deleted nothing. I have erased nothing. I have over a million e-mails by my own count.


MELBER: What do you think of that reference to not erasing anything?

POLISI: We`ll see if that is true. I think if he did, the government likely knows it. You know this is a guy that famously quoted Oscar Wild saying there`s nothing worse -- the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

I think the reason probably that he`s consenting to these blue times, he wants this to draw out. He likes being in the public eye. Now, the real question is whether or not the judge will issue a gag order tomorrow and shut him up.

MELBER: And we have our eye on that for sure. Out of the people here, only one of you has deposed Roger Stone himself in a Watergate probe.


MELBER: No. Should we let the viewers call it on Twitter? Take a guess. It`s Nick Akerman.

AKERMAN: You`re kidding.

MELBER: You and Roger have been (INAUDIBLE) for a while. I mention that both because you know him as an investigator but I also mentioned in fairness as we like to do around here that you are not his ally. You have been adversarial towards him.

Take a listen to what one of his allies says though, that in this new ray - - this is a former House on MSNBC saying they were looking for collusion evidence.


KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: What do you think they`re looking for?

KRISTIN DAVIS, FORMER COLLEAGUE OF ROGER STONE: According to the search warrant, information regarding WikiLeaks, Guccifer, any collusion, that sort of thing.


MELBER: What do you think of that?

AKERMAN: Well, I think that is absolutely correct. I mean they`ve got him dead to rights on witness tampering, false statements and lying to congressional committees.

But what`s really key are two dates in that indictment. One is July 22 when e-mails that were stolen from the Democratic National Committee were released just prior to the Democratic convention which put Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at odds with the Democratic National Committee showing that they were favoring Hillary Clinton.

The second one is October 7 when within an hour after the release of the "Hollywood Access" tape, a whole series of e-mails relating to Podesta, the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton, were released. So these were two very strategic releases that really would have required somebody inside of the campaign to really have strategized as to exactly what they were trying to do with these e-mails.

And I am sure that what they suspect if they don`t have evidence already, is that Roger Stone was coordinating with the Russians and with WikiLeaks to put out the right e-mails at the right time.

MELBER: Right. Well, and another Mueller witness sat at this table, this week, and said Roger was trying to do that. But no one knows if he pulled it off. Does your spidey sense, your Watergate-Mueller spidey sense as it`s known in legal circles, tell you that they are getting close to that evidence or they just don`t have it? Because you can`t charge what you don`t have, even if you think you have it.

AKERMAN: I think they have part of the evidence but I don`t think they have the full evidence. And what they do have, which Roger Stone didn`t realize is, he thought he was using WhatsApp and another supposedly secure e-mail way of communicating with people, and it is quite clear from this indictment they knew precisely what he had at the time he was testifying before the House Committee.

MELBER: This brings us to Sam Seder. Let me read to you what happened to Paul Manafort, who like Stone, got into hot water because Mueller`s people said he was trying to tamper and obstruct.

For Manafort, " Allegedly tried to hide his communications with potential witnesses using encrypted messaging apps, WhatsApp, which we know Stone uses, and telegram. But prosecutors accessed the messages via the iCloud account." Is the iCloud the potential hole particularly for less tech- savvy would-be defendants?

SAM SEDER, HOST, THE MAJORITY REPORT: I mean it sounds like it could be. They seem to have had at least some of this information for a while. And when you have a guy like Roger Stone who is already probably been writing his memoir for decades, right, the idea that he`s maybe taking screen grabs of some of his exchanges, sometimes those float up into your iStream.

You don`t realize it and you don`t know what the prosecutors have. But it looks like they had some parts of a conversation or some hints that there is some other thing that exists. They come in and they want to find the original hardware to see if they can piece those things together.

MELBER: What does it tell you that Donald Trump who has had many skirmishes with the investigations and the law won`t even touch e-mail and then he`s got these aides who are all over tech but don`t seem to fully grasp it?

SEDER: I mean I don`t know that Donald Trump stayed away from things like e-mail just because he thought he was creating some type of paper trail. I think he probably -- it was just beyond his abilities, maybe. And I think to a certain extent -- look, technology that is introduced when you are older is always -- is difficult.

MELBER: Hard for all of us.

SEDER: Yes, exactly. I can`t follow what my daughter is doing on Instagram right now. And I know I should be.

MELBER: Well, I wonder about the iCloud part of this because so much of this is about the cover-up and this obstruction. That`s different from Watergate. And nick, I`m sure you`re familiar with the rapper Fabulous.

AKERMAN: Of course.

MELBER: Who says talk is cheap, free wi-fi. Talk is cheap unless it creates free evidence for Mueller. I mean what do you think of the fact that today`s the day we`re being told about the terabytes, we`re being told that they have all of this iCloud stuff?

AKERMAN: Oh, I think what they`ve got is -- they, in real time, they must have had a court order to actually intercept what Roger Stone was doing in real time during the time he was testifying before Congress. But what they don`t have are a lot of other conversations. For example, he was communicating with Guccifer 2.0 who was the first recipient of all the stolen e-mails, the Russian intelligence agent who first released a lot of these documents in June, July of 2016.

So I think what they`re trying to piece together is who else was involved in this. How was he communicating with them? Who else were the people in the campaign that he was communicating with about that July 22 dump? Who was he communicating in the campaign about how they reacted to the "Hollywood Access" tape? That is what they`re looking --

MELBER: "Access Hollywood." Yes.

AKERMAN: Because there are certain things you cannot get just by doing an intercept. I think what they are looking for is other indicia, other data that they could not over a wire.

MELBER: Right. Which is fascinating given that he was one of the subjects of interest, now we know a target because he`s a defendant, who they never, according to public accounts, interviewed. What do you think about Donald Trump saying last night, well, "I could have terminated the whole probe, I could have ended everything, I chose to stay out of it"?

POLISI: Well, that is technically true. Of course, he is the commander- in-chief, head of the executive branch, the Department of Justice is within the executive branch. It is -- it would be completely against the long- standing traditions wherein the president and the Justice Department stay in their own lanes. So while it is technically true, I think that it would be politically suicide.

SEDER: Well, and that is the point, right? I mean at the end of the day, much of what we`re talking about in regards to the president is going to be a political determination. And so it is really a question about what the Republicans and the Senate at this point, how pressured -- how much pressure they`re going to feel if there is a report that is released or there is some evidence that the president did something along the lines that are being alleged.

And so it -- we`re talking about a political argument. So every calculation they`re making at any given time out of the White House, at least from their perspective, is a political calculation.

MELBER: And I want to fit in a break. But Nick, is it a good rule of thumb to say if you need to do something bad, you should do it through an encrypted app and see whether they will find it or just not do it?

AKERMAN: I think probably better just to not do it. But look at what Roger Stone said about why he couldn`t take the fifth amendment. Because he was connected with Trump. This is history repeating itself again. That is what all of the head -- top people close to Nixon did. They couldn`t take the fifth because they felt it was politically impossible to do and they all wound up not only being convicted of obstruction of justice but also perjury.

MELBER: Right. Well, Roger Stone is one of the longest-serving members of Trump`s kitchen cabinet who now has been indicted. His tone has changed a little bit already and we`re in week one. It is fascinating.

Nick Akerman, Sam Seder, and Caroline Polisi thank you.

Coming up, I`m going to fact-check this claim that the feds are being too rough on, yes, Stone. We`re going to look at normal procedures. We`re also going to look at the treatment of the poor and people of color. My special guest, "The New Yorker`s" Jelani Cobb.

And later, I have a special report on Starbucks` billionaire Howard Schultz, his views, and what it means for his potential spoiler race.

Later, Bob Mueller in his own words. We`ve got his public statements and clues for how he is looking at the Russia probe and ongoing meddling in the legal case itself.

Plus, reports that Trump`s border agents now force feeding immigrants on a hunger strike at the ICE detention center, an important story. And I could tell you, an attorney joins me exclusively for one of those detainees.

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


MELBER: President Trump, Senator Lindsey Graham, and leaning Conservatives have a new concern about the Mueller probe, complaining the feds were too tough in their raid and arrest of Roger Stone. Such as talks, Senator Graham alleging a double standard. He`s formally demanding the FBI address whether Stone was treated more harshly than similarly charged individuals.

The available facts show that Stone indicted on seven counts but currently free on bail is not facing discrimination. Across the country, law enforcement commonly used hardball tactics in raids, searches, and arrests and prosecutors often use the most harsh tactic getting defendants jailed before trial, to press them into pleading.

Sitting in jail before trial leads people the risk of losing their jobs. Facing all kinds of extra pressure, it can literally break them. Now, that hardball works the most on the poor because the bail system benefits the rich.

So while the indicted former Trump aides have seen bonds in the millions of dollars because of the seriousness of their charges. A higher sum than many defendants with lesser charges who face $10,000 bonds. Many of those poor defendants are stuck in jail before trial. 370,000 people jailed before trial because they can`t afford bail. While Stone and company have the money to get out before trial. The number of ex-Trump aides jailed upon their first charges, zero, none.

In fact, one Trump defendant, Paul Manafort, was later jailed but charged because of violating his bail. But none of them initially jailed on charges. And the racial disparity is stark. Black defendants are being detained at a rate nearly five times higher than white defendants.

So while hundreds of thousands of similarly presumed innocent defendants are jailed, because they can`t make bail, Roger Stone is walking free. He`s doing interviews. He`s even thanking Republicans for criticizing the force used by the FBI.


STONE: I`m heartened by the fact that Senator Graham and these House Republicans will get to the bottom of why this show of force was necessary.


MELBER: But those other Republicans wrote and supported the very laws that authorize how the feds arrested Stone. And they haven`t been sympathetic to defendants and criminals. It is light compared to a double standard from Donald Trump who walked up "tough" and down-right unconstitutional policing tactics against many unnamed suspects and against other cases involving poor and minority defendants. This is a topic Trump and Stone are pushing tonight so it is worth seeing the record up close.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough. I said, please don`t be too nice.

they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys, good man. And it is a disgraceful situation.

Like don`t hit their head and they`ve just killed somebody. Don`t hit their head. I said you could take the hand away, OK?

I always found Paul Manafort to be a very decent man. To wake him up, perhaps his family was there, I think that`s pretty tough stuff.

The laws are so horrendously stacked against us, totally made to protect the criminal, not the officers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told the "Daily Caller" he`s disappointed by how the FBI treated Roger Stone, an arrest that he`ll "think about asking the FBI to review."


MELBER: I`m joined by Jelani Cobb from "The New Yorker". He writes about race, policing, and civil rights. Thank you for being here. What do you see in this new concern from these Trump people?

JELANI COBB, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: Well, it is the disparity. Like when we talk about this disparity between how whites are treated and how blacks are treated, it is that encapsulation, it is that attitude.

And so I mean I`ve reported on this stuff. And I`ve been out and seen police jump out of cars and throw people in the middle of the night down -- face down, just on suspicion of marijuana possession and suspicion based on geography. This person is in a neighborhood and that is why you have jumped out in the middle of the night and thrown this person down on the ground.

MELBER: Yes. You mentioned that for -- just some context, we`ve covered those kinds of stories a lot. Let`s look at some of your reporting there in that frontline piece. Let`s take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t touch me, brother. Don`t even touch me. Hold on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold him. Hold him. Hold him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not doing nothing. I`m not doing nothing. Come on, man. I swear to God, I did not resist ya`ll.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, sir.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m the other guy --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t do nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just stop, sir. Just stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, you are not under arrest. Just for your safety and our safety.


COBB: Yes. That guy was walking home from a neighborhood bar.

MELBER: And you were there?

COBB: Yes, yes. Just in his community. And so when we`re talking about that, like that kind of inkling of suspicion warrants that level of force but someone who may well have helped subvert American democracy, who is certainly, at least in the eyes of the government and in the eyes of the indictment, someone who is believed to have lied to Congress, offenses that carry a great deal more weight and implications of what their ultimate outcome could be.

You have people knock on your door and that is thought to be too harsh? No one laid on a hand on him. He was not face down on the pavement anywhere. But this is how policing is done in black and brown communities.

And so it goes back to -- like one of the things that we thought about with the Kavanaugh hearings, was the real offense is not that someone is being held accountable, it is that this particular person is being held accountable. That these rules were supposed to be suspended for individuals of his race, of his socioeconomic class, of his political connections and so on.

And so that is in some level the kind of indignation and entitlement that we`ve seen throughout the entire Trump administration, encapsulated as a theme there. And so that`s what this is.

MELBER: Do you think people realize the double standard? There is all kinds of discrimination and there`s also habits of mind. And then there`s all the -- we`ve talked about this before. There is a lot of studies about unconscious bias.

COBB: Right.

MELBER: It is a bad thing but it`s not always a conscious thing. Is it that people are suddenly discovering a critique or a concern about the very serious power of the criminal justice system because it is happening to people they identify with or in Donald Trump`s case, his buddies?

COBB: Sure. And so it is hard to get inside someone`s head and say is this unconscious bias or is this a sense of personal entitlement with Donald Trump. If you are trying to unravel his psychology, you need a very long rope, a flashlight, and good luck to you. You will be traveling down a very deep, dark cave.

But I think that in the bigger sense, it is like the Orange is the New Black dynamic. The great thing about that show was that it took a waspy blonde white woman and said this is what the war on drugs is.

MELBER: Right.

COBB: And for people who would never -- and then slightly subverted that and used it as a way to talk about the lives of black and brown women who had far fewer resources and far more bleak outcomes than she did. And so - -

MELBER: What would you say directly to Roger Stone who is out on bail, unlike the 470,000 people I showed, many of whom are also presumed innocent but don`t have the money to get out? And while out on bail, he`s using that freedom to make these charges.

COBB: Well, what I would say Roger Stone is my neighbor. He`s a Harlem resident. Not my direct neighbor but we`re in the same community. Talk to people in Harlem about policing and talk to people in that community. Walk down that street and ask people about what their interactions with law enforcement has been. And then you get a true gage of what happened to you and where it fits on the spectrum of excessive force.

MELBER: I think that is fair advice and fair advice for all of us, for people -- again, there are people who are critical of the Mueller probe. If it looks unfair that prosecutors have so much power or you have this concern that people are being treated before trial, let`s figure it out.

I mean something else -- I would love to have you back to talk about it. As you know, the second largest jail in America is Rikers. It`s for people who have been accused of crimes, not convicted.

COBB: That`s right. That`s right.

MELBER: That`s the system we have. And so if this shines a light on it inadvertently through, as you say -- what did you say? The Trump --

COBB: Right. It`s spelunking, going into a deep cave.

MELBER: Yes. Jelani Cobb, a perfect voice for this for being an expert. Thank you for being here.

COBB: Thank you.

MELBER: Up ahead, my special report on Bob Mueller`s warning about meddling from Russia with rarely seen footages, could be pretty interesting.

But first, in 30 seconds, what Howard Schultz actually stands for.



MIKA BRZEZINSKI, HOST, MORNING JOE: How much does an 18-ounce box of Cheerios cost?

HOWARD SCHULTZ, FORMER CEO, STARBUCKS: An 18-ounce box of Cheerios?


SCHULTZ: I don`t --


MELBER: That is billionaire Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, igniting all kinds of debates this week on economic populism or how to beat Trump. And for all of the buzz about Schultz, there hasn`t been a ton of reporting yet on what he actually stood for in all of his works -since launching Starbucks.

But scrutinizing Schultz`s record is crucial to determining if he`s a benign billionaire or a spoiler billionaire or something that must be exposed right now, long before 2020, a billionaire who has one set of rules for his company and another set of rules for everyone else.

Now, Schultz is a business and messaging guru. He`s turned basically what started out as four Seattle coffee shops into an $80 billion corporation. And along the way, he talks a big game about a company that he says stands for more than just serving up drinks and profits.


SCHULTZ: We have an obligation and a responsibility as a company to add value to humanity.

I love Starbucks Coffee Company almost as much as I love my family. The love in humanity is also about creating a value system in which the company stands for something.

We`re not in the business of filling bellies. We`re in the business of filling souls.

You might say, OK, they are full of crap and, you know, this is how we feel. We love this company.


MELBER: That was the talk. Now, what was the record? Let`s be clear. In some ways, Starbucks has strived for something more than the bare minimum retail practices of grueling corporations like Walmart. Starbucks has been providing health care to their employees since 1988 and the lowest wage it pays is about $10 an hour.

Schultz suggests workers are better off in Starbucks America than the rest of corporate America, an argument for him to run a company but what about running America? Well, Schultz hasn`t supported higher wages for all Americans, just some higher wages for his employees to make his company competitive.

In fact, this is important, that was the whole issue in his home state back in 2014 because this CEO who had been talking up raising wages suddenly opposed the government raising wages as policy, be it the government of Seattle or the federal government.


SCHULTZ: I was in agreement at minimum wage at the state level should go up across the country. It should not be a federal mandate. I was not a supporter of the Seattle City Council going to $15 an hour. I think there will be unintended consequences for small businesses at that level.


MELBER: On college tuition, you could see the same pattern, Starbucks America versus Howard Schultz` America. Consider the company touts how it covers college tuition for full and even part-time employees who don`t already have a four-year degree. And they say they`ll have over 2,000 students graduating by 2018. That seems to be a good thing.

But what about the government subsidizing college tuition for people who don`t happen to work at Starbucks? Schultz says, "We can`t afford it."


SCHULTZ: 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: When a politician says, "We can`t afford something", they are telling you that thing is not their priority. This is a non-ideological observation. Some candidates want to spend some in college, some on the military, some on the wall, some on health care.

Howard Schultz ran a company that decided it could afford college and health care for some of its employees. Good for them. Now he`s touting that very experience as the basis for why he should run the whole country but without those kinds of benefits. As a talented messenger, Schultz still implies the values he took to Starbucks will benefit the American people.


HOWARDS SCHULTZ, FORMER CEO, STARBUCKS: I have walked in their shoes. I`m on both sides of the equation. I`m somebody who has been successful, I`m somebody who came from the projects, and I understand the American people.


MELBER: Howard Schultz has lived an American dream. It`s been good for business. He argues it`s been good for people who work for his business. Does that mean he understands the American people? Well, he`s never served them in public service or government. He`s never voted much alongside them. That`s from the majority of recent elections but he is exploring whether voters should promote him to run the company -- excuse me -- I should say should run the country because he man the company.

And this I think raises some big questions. Would shows hire someone to run Starbucks if they`d never worked in business? Running the country is even harder. And can Starbucks actually be -- this is really big -- can star bucks be the basis for this potential Schultz candidacy when he`s now running against policies backing the things that Starbucks provided its own employees, from those claims living wages to the healthcare to the occasional tuition.

Many right now you`ve heard are slamming Schultz for a superficial solipsistic spoilerism that could reelect Trump. But there`s another question also facing his candidacy and it`s substantive. If he had such a grand well-funded vision for the social impact of a for-profit company with these values and the education and the health care that they tout, why is his vision for American government so much less ambitious?


SCHULTZ: The role and responsibility of a for-profit public company can`t be just about making money, it has to be about giving back and it has to be about achieving a balance between profit and social impact.

And the government to give everyone a job which basically is $40 trillion on the balance sheet of $21.5 trillion. We can afford it.


MELBER: I want to talk to you now about what Bob Mueller thinks and knows. We got this rare glimpse today into his Russia probe revealing what he and his investigators seized in that Roger Stone raid. They described complex and voluminous materials and we don`t hear a lot from Mueller about what he`s doing while he`s doing it.

You know there`s no leaks. You know he hasn`t had an interview since the appointment. He speaks to the actions. There was another new revelation that is a type of action. Mueller filing this court action saying the Russian hackers were using his discovery to run a disinformation campaign on social media.

And tonight we have more than just those things that have been breaking. I have something to show you about this whole issue of the way the Russians continued in ways big and sometimes a little small to try to abuse and exploit social media and cyber.

What we`ve done here that I`m about to show you and we`re kind of excited about it is we comb through decades of things that Mueller has said and done in various forums, governmental, investigative, journalistic that give clues into his thinking as he continues to play out this complex situation. What he does behind the scenes, what he thinks of Russia and cybercrimes which have been it turns out on his radar he said for over a decade.


ROBERT MUELLER, SPECIAL COUNSEL, RUSSIA PROBE: Today, we are part of a never-ending news cycle, one that spans the globe. And when a story is filed, that one story posted on the Internet may be picked up around the world. But unfortunately, criminals and terrorists are using the same technology to their advantage.

I think we all understand that there are a number of countries out there want to steal our secrets, Russia, Iran, now China.


MELBER: Namechecking Russia in that category of "criminals and terrorists," two different ways to abuse American law to try to take Internet technology, to take business secrets perhaps, or as we`ve seen disrupt our actual process. We also found footage of what was then former FBI Director Mueller talking about Russian spies trying to penetrate U.S. institutions.


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 traditional agent networks. They increasingly employ non-traditional collectors such as students, visiting scientists, businessmen, as well as cyber-based tools to target and penetrate United States institutions.


MELBER: He speaks in a careful way but what he`s referring to, those non- traditional collectors is the idea that the Russians would send people to trick or fool or take advantage of Americans. That`s something Carter Page says happened to him. He just says he didn`t realize they were spies at the time. The overall translation, Mueller knows how these types of Russian plots work and he`s been focused on the cyber warfare for decades.


MUELLER: The increase of cyber as a mechanism for conducting the internet mechanism for conducting all sorts of crimes but also it being a highway to extracting our most sensitive secrets.

Cybercriminals lurk on our networks stealing information for sale to the highest bidder and computer intrusions and network attacks are becoming more commonplace, more dangerous, and more sophisticated.

We live in a time of diverse and persistent threats from terrorists, spies, and cybercriminals. Cybercriminals have become increasingly adept at exploiting weaknesses in our computer networks. I believe that the cyber threat may well eclipse the terrorist threat and years to come.


MELBER: Wow. We don`t know if Rod Rosenstein knew exactly how all over this stuff Mueller was but that wasn`t a popular thing to just say cyber could be worse than terror than 9/11. Now, of course, Mueller is Special Counsel. And what is he doing? He`s investigating the Russian hacking of DNC and all the release of e-mails which flooded in every social media platform with what turned out to be a lot of information and disinformation.

So here`s Miller now talking about a strategy of finding those threats and how you deal with them.


MUELLER: Hockey great Wayne Gretzky once asked -- was once asked how he consistently managed to be at the right place on the ice at the right time. And he said that well, some players skate to where the puck has been. He skates to where the puck will be. And the same is true for those of us in the FBI. We need to know where the thread is moving and we need to get there first.


MELBER: That`s what he says he did this week because the new filing shows they were watching wherever the hockey puck was headed and the Russians trying to misuse our legal system with those cyber tricks.

Now, Mueller has 37 indictments or guilty pleas so far. Some say, well, it`s not fast enough. Last night, the President "I think after almost two years, it certainly should be wrapping up." But Mueller has shown his view of cyber that he was so uniquely prepared for has never had artificial deadlines. He says he focuses on getting to the bottom of it.


MUELLER: Targeted intelligence gathering takes time, requires patience, precision, and dedication. It is a labor-intensive process that often does not provide a complete picture quickly but is the core of the understanding -- it`s a core of understanding the threats to the homeland.

I will pull no punches in terms of where that investigation would lead. And we would go down any path that would lead to evidence on individuals, organizations or otherwise.


MELBER: That`s Bob Mueller speaking under oath by the way about pulling no punches, going down any path six years ago when describing his investigative approach. Now, today, because of the nature of the Special Counsel role unlike being an FBI Director, he`s not testifying in real time.

And while Trump continues to dial up these attacks on Mueller and now Roger Stone is impugning his FBI agents, the real question here, the big question is whether Bob Mueller is trying to oversee something that wherever it goes and wherever it ends, it will match what he has long said is his core obligation as a constitutional officer of the United States. He says it`s all about integrity.


MUELLER: If you`re not honest, your reputation will suffer and once lost a good reputation can never be regained. As the saying goes, if you have integrity nothing else matters and if you don`t have integrity nothing else matters.


MELBER: We welcome Malcolm Nance, an MSNBC Terror Analyst and the author of The Plot to Destroy Democracy. What runs through your mind is you see some of Bob Mueller`s past warnings and analysis of this given that in the past two years we hear nothing from him?

MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC TERROR ANALYST: Well, I think it`s brilliant that you put that display of his quotes together because what it shows you is -- and this is for people who certainly over the last couple of years have been feeling disheartened because they haven`t seen the speed that Robert Mueller and the special counsel have been working with. But if you look at the prosecution`s that he`s done which are all based on this cyberwarfare, this information operation, he has been wildly successful and he hasn`t even gotten to the bottom of the entire conspiracy as it exists.

Robert Mueller knows what he`s doing. He hasn`t been as Director of the FBI for three presidents, he has already known, he has always been at the cutting edge of how our opponents have been coming at this nation particularly using counterintelligence.

MELBER: And it`s fascinating as well because you mentioned counterintelligence. The legal side gets a lot of attention and it`s the part we can see more of because people do get indicted and go to court. The counter-intel side necessarily is not as visible and yet in as you say as FBI Director, this is a person with the perfect-seeming Venn diagram overlap between the two. Let me play for you a little more of what we pulled up because he talked about how at first it`s very hard to know with cyber who`s behind what. Take a look.


MUELLER: At the outside of an attack, you do not know whether it is a foreign country, foreign government, somebody affiliated with a foreign government, a group of hackers or the high school student across the way.


MELBER: how does that apply?

NANCE: Well, it`s another good example of how he is very aware and has been very aware of how these operations play out. At the beginning of this, you recall the very first debate everyone was having and when the media was pouring all over Hillary Clinton`s e-mails and John Podesta`s e- mails is that many people were ignoring what was the vector on this attack. What was the point of origin? Why would we assume that it came from Russia? What would be the benefit for it for Russia?

And it took a couple of months for people to understand that it was a direct attack on the United States electoral process in order to engineer an outcome putting one candidate over the other. If Robert Mueller`s full operating philosophy is correct that you don`t know where -- who it is in the initial phase of the attack but you have to determine that quickly. That was already known by the time that the Special Counsel had already had started his operations.

So he would sort of jumped ahead by a light year on the investigative process which is why he unspooled very quickly these administration people who were having contact with foreign intelligence officers, foreign diplomats, foreign contacts in the old school counterintelligence operation like you played in one clip where he said you know, people that you call non-traditional agents and assets wouldn`t make contact with American citizens and then manipulate them.

This campaign from the very beginning, this investigation has always been a spy hunt but it has always been people associated with foreign intelligence agencies in and how they infiltrated the United States government. The major component is cyber but also a hybrid as you said earlier, going back to those traditional spycraft methods which obviously have made headway.

MELBER: Very interesting stuff. Malcolm Nance, as always, thanks for being here.

NANCE: My pleasure.

MELBER: Coming up, a new report on Trump border agents who say they`ve been ordered to force-feed detained immigrants who are on a hunger strike. A lawyer for one of the very detainees joins me next.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will tell you a little secret, ICE is rougher and tougher.

They`re tough and they`re strong. These are really tough people.


MELBER: Donald Trump says it`s good that ICE is "tough" but some agents have apparently been ordered to use tactics that have been associated with human rights abuses in Guantanamo. The A.P. reports ICE border agents force-feeding six detained immigrants who are on a hunger strike in Texas for the entire month.

There are who say that men are now "vomiting several times a day, that they started the hunger strike to protest verbal abuse and threats of deportation by the guards. This occurred at the ICE facility in El Paso. Force-feeding, a controversial practice. It`s opposed by many medical and humanitarian groups. The A.P. says the procedure typically involves a medical expert winding a tube around their finger, shoving it into a patient`s nose, noting that itself can be very painful. Detainees typically strapped into chairs. We`ll show you, this is one example that has been used on terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Many say the procedure is traumatic all around.

I`m joined now by Ruby Kaur who joined us exclusively as an attorney representing one of the people on a hunger strike. I should mention her client she says is being force-fed and hasn`t eaten for more than three weeks. Thank you for being with me. What is the hunger strike designed to achieve and what is your view of this conduct that`s being reported by the A.P.?

RUBY KAUR, LAWYER OF ICE HUNGER STRIKER: Thank you, Ari. So hunger strike started after the individual saw some discrimination against them, a lot of racism against them. So the detention center, they have been in, (INAUDIBLE) detention center, there are detainees from other countries as well as them in there. And the other nationality individuals have been granted bonds or they have much more access to their due process than these individuals from India.

They are voicing their opinions with their -- with this hunger strike because they are not aware of what their rights are, what their due process is. And most of the time they getting final orders of removal because they didn`t understand the process and judges end up giving them the final deportation orders on the first hearings.

MELBER: So they`re trying to use a type of peaceful protest to draw attention to what they see as unfair here. I have to ask you about what ICE says. This is -- this is their statement. They say these detainees are being hydrated and fed, "non-consensually under court orders and defenders argue that ICE and other U.S. authorities are roundly criticized if they have deaths in custody. And so they`re taking these measures when individuals are, I guess, taking actions that could lead to risk, health risks or otherwise. So what is your response to that?

KAUR: First of all, they`re being force-fed and no -- force-feeding is a violation of a basic human right. You know, if you -- the individual has a full right to say they`re willing to be fed, they`re not willing to be fed. And this ICE statement that they are using as a precaution to avoid or prevent any death is a complete false statement to you know, cover up the discrimination that has been going on in the detention center.

A lot of these detainees, they are not only force fed but they`re psychologically tortured. Just imagine an individual you know, coming from another country to this country to use this country as a safe haven and here the laws of the country are not even protecting them.

In writing we have it, but these ICE agents or you know, immigration -- they are not -- they are not provided with that full access to their due process. So it`s a peaceful -- it`s a peaceful hunger strike. They just want their voices heard because a lot of them are going to end up -- end up dead you know, if they return back. And while on the strike, the ICE agents are not hesitating to threaten them. They`re cursing them, telling them we`re going to throw you away in solitary confinement. I mean, where is the humanity?

MELBER: Yes. Where is the humanity is I think a point to put out there to the Trump Administration`s use of ICE. And again, to what your clients, many of your clients as you describe facing serious hardship are trying to do which is get their concerns out which is why we wanted to hear from you, Ruby Kaur. Thank you for coming on THE BEAT.

KAUR: Thank you.

MELBER: A difficult and important topic. I`m going to fit in a break. We have one more thing to tell you when we come back.


MELBER: Tomorrow on THE BEAT, we have Jill Wine-Banks and Royce da 5`9 for "FALLBACK FRIDAY." If you don`t know what that means, stay tuned. I hope you`ll join us.

"HARDBALL" is up next.