Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: February 4, 2019 Guest: Mara Gay, Neera Tanden, Andrew Card, Chris Lu, Liz Plank, Todd Carmichael, Michael Eric Dyson
KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: We officially have too much time in our hands here. That is all for tonight. We will be back tomorrow with more MTP DAILY.
"THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER" starts right now. Ari, in Mario Brothers, is it Mario Brothers 2 that is better or Mario Brothers 1?
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: I think the original is always classic. During the whole segment you were doing I felt a little like Sonic the Hedgehog just tapping my feet.
TUR: It`s Mario Brothers 2. Just FYI too.
MELBER: Well, FYI, that was a video game burn. You`ve just been burnt.
TUR: Have a good show, Ari.
MELBER: Thank you, Katy. We look forward to a good show. Always fun talking video games with Katy Tur.
As for the news, a lot of stories this Monday night. There is a fascinating new leak of Donald Trump`s once private White House schedules. It shows he is doing lots of executive time. I have a breakdown on that later and why it matters.
And the latte hangover. Billionaire Howard Schultz stung by the backlash. Later tonight, another coffee mogul says Schultz is simply out of his depth and joins me here on THE BEAT.
But our top story is the growing fight over something Bob Mueller hasn`t even done yet, issue findings at the end of his probe, whenever that comes. Democrats have subpoena power. And right now, the news tonight, they are warning Donald Trump, they might use subpoena power if he or his DOJ try to bury any Mueller report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA) CHAIRMAN, INTEL COMMITTEE: This is too big to be buried. This is of too great a consequence to the country to be swept under the rug. And so we will use whatever compulsion we can and must to make sure that the public gets the full story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Schiff responding there, to a new Trump interview that seemed to uncork a different kind of strategy against Mueller`s end game. Deflect to a new attorney general about any decision to bury Mueller`s findings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARGARET BRENNAN, MODERATOR, FACE THE NATION: Would you make the Mueller report public because you say there is nothing in there?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s totally up the attorney general.
BRENNAN: Congress can subpoena it anyway, though.
TRUMP: Totally up to the attorney general.
BRENNAN: But what do you want them to do? You wouldn`t have a problem if it became public?
TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me. That`s up to the attorney general. I don`t know. It depends. I have no idea what it`s going to say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Excuse me. I have no idea. All of this, though, is coming to a head as that very potential attorney general Bill Barr faces a key vote this week on what comes next and whether he takes over DOJ. Trump was also pressed, though, in the interview about Mueller`s latest indictment of Trump`s longest-serving adviser, Roger Stone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENNAN: Your friend Roger Stone was just indicted for his involvement.
TRUMP: First of all, Roger didn`t work on the campaign except way, way at the beginning, long before we`re talking about. Roger is somebody that I`ve always liked but a lot of people like Roger. Some people probably don`t like Roger. But Roger Stone, somebody I`ve always liked. I mean Roger is a character. But Roger was not -- I don`t know if you know this or not, Roger wasn`t on my campaign except way at the beginning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Roger wasn`t on my campaign is the quote. Another way to say that is Roger was on Trump`s campaign, and a role big enough that it made news when he exited in the summer of 2015. Trump claimed to have fired him.
"The New York Times" reported Stone showed up in Trump`s campaign filings with the FEC as filings on his payroll. Trump acknowledged that he and Stone who attended two of Trump`s weddings as well as the funerals of his parents, according to "The Times" and had worked as a "lobbyist" for his casinos and they parted ways in the past only to reunite.
That same story noted, "Years ago, I fired him and then he came back", Mr. Trump said. So this is a thing they`ve done for a while. Here you can see Stone this weekend at a Women for Trump event at Trump`s own D.C. Hotel where he drew a kind of a hero`s welcome and a chance to speak from the stage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: Roger Stone did nothing wrong. Roger Stone did nothing wrong. Roger Stone did nothing wrong.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love you, Roger.
ROGER STONE, LONG-TIME TRUMP ALLY: I will put up a vigorous defense and I will plead not guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: As for the interplay here, there is one person already apparently impressed with that vigorous defense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENNAN: Would you pardon him?
TRUMP: I have not thought about it. It looks like he`s defending himself very well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Very well. I`m joined by Mara Gay, an editorial board member for "The New York Times," Neera Tanden, a former top aide to Hillary Clinton as well as an aide to Obama, now the president of the Center for American Progress, and former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance. Good to have all of you here.
Mara, what did you think of that scene of Roger with Trump supporters against the backdrop of that interview where Donald Trump is having it both ways?
MARA GAY, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, first of all, that was quite the scene in Washington, D.C., Roger Stone getting a hero`s welcome. It really does feel like we`re living in two Americas. So I think that was my first reaction there.
In terms of Donald Trump, you know, not even having thought about whether to pardon Roger Stone, it`s kind of like with friends like that, I mean, my God. It`s one thing for the president to say yes, no, maybe, I`m thinking very carefully about it. It`s a very important issue. But the idea that it hadn`t occurred to him, that might send a message to Roger Stone.
NEERA TANDEN, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: See, I have a slightly different take which is I think he is definitely leaving it open to have a pardon.
TANDEN: I think the idea that he is saying he hasn`t thought of it, I mean if he weren`t a criminal president, you would basically reject out of hand giving anyone who has been indicted like Roger Stone any kind of pardon.
I mean just remember, I know we`re used to La La Land with this president, but a normal president would say I`m not pardoning anyone because I believe in their innocence or I`ve done nothing wrong. American people are going to think that if Donald Trump is pardoning Roger Stone, it`s because he is protecting himself, which is the likely result of a pardon.
So I think the whole idea that we`re talking about burying the Mueller report or pardoning Roger Stone is an indication of how close this investigation is to finding guilt of Donald Trump.
MELBER: And Joyce, what`s interesting is that nobody is hiding the fact that Roger Stone has been the key adviser. The debate is over advised on what. And everyone who knows Trump has understood that public advice is sometimes heeded the most via what we`re doing now, via television.
Here was Roger Stone talking about how Trump`s lawyers weren`t initially serving him well in all this, advice that he did seem to follow as he made a big change and went into the Rudy era. Take a look at this from a previous Showtime interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STONE: His previous lawyers were lawyers. I`m not sure they understood the political ramifications and the political nature of this case. I mean the idea of waiving executive privilege and just turning everything over, relying on the good instincts and fairness of Bob Mueller I think was a naive strategy.
JOHN HEILEMANN, HOST, THE CIRCUS, SHOWTIME: They should have burned the tapes?
STONE: Well, they should have, actually.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Joyce, other than the obvious tape of Mr. Stone suggesting destroying evidence, he is now indicted on tampering with witnesses` testimonial evidence. What do you think of that exchange and the really unique relationship between these two men? This is not a coffee boy. This is not a rando.
JOYCE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: You know this is a relationship that has gone on for 40 years. It`s obviously very deep. You don`t attend someone`s parents` funeral unless you`re close. And so it gives me that same reaction I think that Neera has to this notion that Trump hasn`t considered a pardon.
And I would take it even a step further and say when your response when you`re asked whether somebody, whether you would give them a pardon and your answer is "Well, no. I think his defense is doing pretty well on its own", and when ultimately that person`s crimes involve you, this is just a remarkable thing. And we`ve become so numb to what this president does over and over again that that`s almost passed without comment. We shouldn`t let it pass without comment.
MELBER: Right. And it also goes to the unique situation of even with a more traditional president what happens when you have these open probes. You did have a President Bush sort of go in a more traditional manner towards what was an independent, sort of special counsel probe into the leak of a CIA officer in that case. You wonder how does the chief of staff deal with such a tricky situation.
Stay with me because it`s a good prelude to bringing in Andrew Card who was White House chief of staff to George W. Bush. You know a lot about this at a high level. What do you think, sir, of the way that the president is talking about this, the way that Mr. Stone is going out in public, I think the most measured way I can say it is it is a bit different than the way the Bush White House dealt with its open probe?
ANDREW CARD, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF, GEORGE W. BUSH: I can`t imagine doing what is taking place right now between all of the conversations that come from the president, what Roger Stone -- my advice is to let the special counsel do the job that he thinks needs to be done.
Keep your mouth shut, stay on task, and if you`re a target, you`re a target. If you`re not, you stay on task and do your job. I don`t think the president should be talking about it. I don`t think Roger Stone should be talking as much about it. And that would be the advice I was given -- be giving to anybody.
MELBER: Yes. And building on that, sir, I want just for our viewers recollect, these probes happen, and they don`t always mean anything bad is found out about the president. The Starr probe was widely debated. What people think about that with Clinton impeachment.
The Fitzgerald probe, you had Bush sit down with that off-camera interview. There was never any credible allegation against George W. Bush of anything in the criminal liability regarding that issue and they finished the probe.
And the Mueller probe, you have written answers from Trump and it`s still open. I wonder what lesson you draw from that because we just showed Roger Stone publicly telling Donald Trump to be tougher, to be louder. Rudy is clearly taking that tact. But you guys got through it without using that kind of public brawl.
CARD: Well, first of all, nobody likes a special counsel or a special prosecutor looking at things. That`s very discomforting. My job as chief of staff was to keep the White House functioning to help the president do his job which we did quite well. And I give credit to the people who worked at the White House who saw their responsibility as helping the president do his job.
The other thing is if you`re confident in what you have been doing and that you`ve been complying with the rules, regulation, laws, and expectations, you have nothing to worry about. So, yes, the president sent the signal that we should cooperate with the special counsel or the special investigator that was doing his work, and we think we did, and as a result, there were results.
Those results ended up being overturned in the court, and then there were different things that happened along the way. And eventually, a pardon came to one of the individuals involved. He never got charged with doing anything that related to the original expectation. It was about maybe perjuring his health with the -- one of the other witnesses came forward and said he didn`t do it.
MELBER: Well, you`re talking about Scooter Libby who did work for Cheney - -
CARD: That`s right.
MELBER: --who got commuted by George W. Bush after the process had run its course. Neera, and then in one of the wildest things, I don`t think Mr. Carter or Mr. Libby would have expected, then later got a full pardon from none other than Donald Trump.
TANDEN: Yes. So I think --
CARD: That`s exactly right.
TANDEN: I think this is the demonstration, right. Because obviously, what`s happening here is that people are sending each other messages, as they often do, via the press. So I think Roger Stone is telling the president that I`m not going to cooperate. And so then the president is saying "Well, I`m opening up to a pardon", which gives Roger Stone more incentive not to cooperate. And he`ll keep saying that.
So I think, you know, the reason why Donald Trump and the people involved in this negotiation -- in this whole case are acting, to me, at least to me, as people who never have acted this way before. Bill Clinton, I worked in the Clinton white house. People really separated out the investigation.
Obviously, in the Bush White Houses, they`re litigating this to some extent in the press. They can`t talk to each other. Roger Stone can`t pick up the phone and talk to Donald Trump now because that would obviously trigger issues, but he`s basically sending messages.
And I think, unfortunately, they`re all acting culpable by changing their behavior, by basically saying I`m not -- maybe you should think about that pardon for me because I`m not cooperating.
MELBER: Well, you make such a great point. And Joyce, bringing you into this, as a prosecutor, full disclosure. The part of me that is a journalist, we welcome all new information we get. It`s fascinating when witnesses want to talk during a probe so I get that.
But speak to the point that Neera raises, which is separate from the journalistic inquiry or a lot of citizens obviously following this, the legal part of this, which is Mueller`s folks looking at all of this signal sending, and they`re not naive about what`s going on.
VANCE: Yes. You know two different categories of people here from a prosecutor`s point of view. I do not want my witnesses out in public talking, creating more statements that they can be cross-examined about. But my targets, my subjects? I`m happy to see them make public pronouncements.
Every time the president gets on Twitter, Roger Stone goes on TV, they`re just giving Mueller more cannon fodder for what`s coming.
MELBER: And Mr. Card, do you think that it would be a good idea for Bill Barr to kind of clear this all up and say look, whatever is not actually classified from the national security perspective, at least go to Congress if not to the general public for Mueller, because that seems to be the other sticking point that we`re seeing right now?
CARD: Well, first of all, I know Bill Barr. I have the greatest confidence in him. He is an outstanding lawyer and a really good person who is well-grounded in doing the right thing. So I have confidence that he will do the right thing.
I want to make sure everybody is protected from the presumption of guilt.
MELBER: Well, let me say --
CARD: We have the presumption of innocence.
MELBER: I`m going to only interrupt -- I`m just going to use my reporter`s privilege in the room. When you say he should do the right thing, I think viewers go, OK, sir, what is that -- that`s like Washington talk.
What is the right thing here? Is it ensuring that the bulk of the non- classified part of the report should be published? That`s the question or not.
CARD: I trust him to exercise good judgment whether there is something in the report that should not be in the public domain. And I would do that in consultation with the special prosecutor.
Is this something that should be in the public domain? Are you just considering it as part of what you`ve discovered and what should be going forward if you were to present the case to either Congress to deal for impeachment or for other cases that might be around?
There are lots of times when that happens lawyers addressing the possibility of action that could be taken by any entity. That`s the responsible thing to do.
We don`t -- look, I like full disclosure but I also believe that there are some things that do protect someone`s presumption of innocence and our legal system of saying we don`t know for sure. We shouldn`t put a presumption out there. We should have it based on what --
MELBER: Right. No, I understand what it`s about. And finally, you are a Republican, but would you describe your accent --
CARD: I am.
MELBER: -- as Kennedyesque?
CARD: I`m from Massachusetts. I`m proudly on the board of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. There aren`t many Republicans on the board.
I believe in public service. I believe in the noble call of public service. I want to polish the noble call of public service and I celebrate our democracy.
I`m also the chairman of the National Endowment of Democracy and I want America`s democracy to be the great example for the world to see. And right now, we`re looking a little bit tarnished.
MELBER: Tarnished. Mara, we`re over time, but any final thought.
GAY: I just want to say that as much of the report, the Mueller report as possible needs to be made public. The American people deserve to know what`s in it to the greatest extent possible.
MELBER: Fantastic. I think we covered a lot of ground. We didn`t even get into the Patriots, Mr. Card.
Mara, Neera, Joyce, and Andrea, thanks to each of you.
Coming up --
CARD: Thank you very much.
MELBER: Thank you, sir.
Coming up, we turn to this bombshell about Trump`s executive time. What he is really doing in all the blank spaces in the schedule.
And new polls showing Starbucks billionaire Howard Schultz out of step with most Americans on taxes. I have an exclusive interview with a Schultz business rival who got his start none other than a Starbucks barista.
And my breakdown of a rare move by Trump. He just admitted a mistake.
Also, Michael Eric Dyson will be here to talk the Virginia controversy, social justice, and the Super Bowl, and wider issues of race in Trump`s America.
We got a lot so stay tuned. I`m Ari Melber. You`re watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.
MELBER: A leaker inside Trump`s White House just revealed tons of new details about Trump`s work day and how it doesn`t involve much traditional work. Three months of Trump`s schedules now splashed across the news site "Axios" which reports over 60 percent of Trump`s day in his schedule consists of what`s generally not considered work in the federal government, an open time where Trump watches TV or lounges around.
The White House has famously dubbed this executive time. Other insiders have leaked about how E-time is mostly Trump "watching TV, reading the paper and responding to things on Twitter."
Now, in previous special reports on THE BEAT, we documented how Trump works less than other presidents, golfs more, and let years pass without even filling federal vacancies that only a president can appoint.
What`s new tonight beyond those reports is the sheer detail of these internal calendars. The Trump administration never wanted the public to see them and this may be why. The private schedule reveals that on days when he`s not traveling, Trump kicks off his day with three hours of executive time.
The first actual meeting with another person will come in the 11:00 a.m. hour, typically followed by executive time, followed by lunch, and then more executive time. Now, you might be thinking all this unstructured alone time must be exhausting. How long can he keep it up?
The answer is not long, because most of the time 67 percent, Trump calls it quits before or by 5:00 p.m. The shorter hours are contrast to past presidents. Bush was in the office by 7:00 a.m. Obama came in around 9:00 compared to Trump`s leisurely 11:00 a.m.
And it`s not about whether you`re an early riser or a night owl, because bottom line, Bush`s schedule showed a 10-hour plus day in the oval office. Obama showed nine official hours plus a habit for late night memos in the residence. Trump clocking in at a cool six hours a day in the oval.
Now, critics say of you were to discount even part of the executive time, that would leave Trump literally treating the presidency as a part-time 20- hour a week job. Now, Trump aides push back on all this. They insist he does a range of meetings, events, and calls, that E-time is part of the more creative environment he needs to flourish, and that as an unstructured leader he is also "the most productive president in modern history."
Now, while reporting out this story, we did call some former coworkers of Trump. And they actually say he used to be known for working longer hours. So it does look like something has changed. Maybe he is less interested in this particular job or maybe he has slowed down in general. But what are the consequences for the rest of us when the president is effectively part- time?
I`m joined now by Chris Lu who served as a top aide to Barack Obama for years, coordinating the daily schedule and has an expertise in U.S. labor, for comparison`s sake. And Liz Plank, a host of "Vox Media`s" Considerate and someone who I happen to know works a full week.
LIZ PLANK, HOST, VOX MEDIA: Full time, yes.
MELBER: Chris, how does this compare, one, to other presidents` schedules which you know about, and two, as a Labor Department person, how does it compare to most employed full-time laborers in the United States?
CHRIS LU, FORMER ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, let me say this. The average U.S. worker puts in about 44 hours on the job. So in just nine days, the average worker is more time on the job than the number of meetings, the time of meetings that this president has done over a three- month period of time.
So now let me give you the context of President Obama. I worked for Obama for 11 years. I saw his schedule when he was a senator, a president-elect, and a president.
You`re right. He got in about 9:00 a.m. He worked continuously through the day until about 6:00 or 6:30. He went and had dinner with his wife and kids and then he was back working late into the evening or early into the morning. He often had evening events. He had weekend events. We had weekend senior staff meetings. It doesn`t compare at all to what President Trump is doing.
PLANK: Yes. I mean I`ve met Uber drivers -- part-time Uber drivers who have less flexibility than the president does in his schedule. Your producer actually handed me a copy of your sort of standard Wednesday.
MELBER: That`s a real -- that`s the real schedule from the "Axios" leak.
PLANK: That`s a real schedule. Yes. And it is -- I mean, in his defense, it`s hump day. Wednesdays can be difficult.
MELBER: It is hump day. But what do you see there?
PLANK: I don`t see -- there is a lot of executive time, to your point, from 8:00 to 11:00. Then 11:30 -- sorry. At 11:00, he has a half-hour meeting and then back to executive time. Then an hour lunch and then more executive time. And then that`s it.
That`s a big day. Yes. Two-thirds of his time is basically unaccounted for. We do not know what the president is doing 60 percent of the time. And, you know, it`s funny, it`s easy to just talk that up to being lazy but it`s also the secrecy. It`s kind of strange that your own staff doesn`t know what you`re doing. That is not the standard.
MELBER: Or the close staff. Because I`ve been around as a reporter, I`ve been in there sometimes in the oval. The close staff knows exactly whether you`re in the oval or not.
MELBER: And if you`re not doing anything.
PLANK: Exactly. And so you have to wonder the person who leaked this, if they`re just leaking it because they`re -- they want the president to get to work or if they`re worried that some of the things that he is doing not accounted for.
MELBER: It`s a worry he`s not being productive which is something that even the Trump supporters would say, "Well, wait, we elected someone. We want them to get the agenda done." It`s hard to do that if you never go to work.
MELBER: Or it could just be someone being messy.
MELBER: Chris, I want to contrast this in all seriousness to the reporting here of what the president says he is doing. Look at November. Trump was heading down for Mar-A-Lago for five days which he claimed was a working trip to the press.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: So we are going down to the Southern White House. We have a lot of work we`re going to be doing in Florida.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: But now we have Trump`s calendar showing that while he is in Mar- A-Lago, one scheduled event, a block of time on Thanksgiving, thanking military families. The private schedule though for the next day reveals nine hours of executive time with nothing else on the private schedule.
What does that even mean, Chris? I mean in your view, it`s a private day off. Is that correct?
LU: Yes. I mean right. Look, if you look through all three months of the schedules as I did, there are policy briefings in there. There are personnel meetings. There is time with the cabinet.
So we can stipulate that some of this executive time may be legit. But really, the presumption is that the president really is not working. And you based it on all of the accounts that he is on the phone, he is gabbing with his friends.
Believe me, he is certainly not reading his policy memos. Because if you believe the reporting, he likes one or two-page memos. He likes a lot of pictures in there. How long can you really spend looking at a one-page memo with a bunch of pictures?
MELBER: Yes. And sometimes, Liz, the joke becomes basically true. Here is an older sound bite of Colbert. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT: It`s the end of the workweek. Of course, Donald Trump`s workweek never really begins. Personally, I think the president of the United States should work at least as many hours as a 15-year-old saving up for an Xbox.
(END VIDEO CLIP) PLANK: I mean my favorite part is the response which you talked about at the beginning of the segment. The response from the White House saying that this is -- he needs a creative environment so that he can work, and obviously, I`m sure some of this --
MELBER: Like he`s like a DJ or something.
PLANK: Yes. Or a toddler. I feel like that`s how you -- yes, we would normally refer to the president of the United States. But we have Twitter. Like we have access to Twitter. We see that he is tweeting. We see that he is tweeting and responding to "Fox & Friends" and to other programs that are on television.
And so it`s very clear and very easy to conclude that a lot of this time is not spent, you know, talking to foreign leaders and planning his presidency. But that it actually is planned in front of a screen or many screens.
MELBER: Right. And if you are a big Trump supporter, this may concern you because it shows a lack of focus, efficacy, and productivity. In other words, so many things in this era become ideological because this sounds negative, the idea that he ran for president but isn`t working. But people can interpret that as they see fit.
MELBER: But if you`re a big supporter, you would want the person using that powerful office and not appearing to waste so many hours. Presidential time one of the most valuable things.
And it may explain why there are so many vacancies because no one can pick up that part of the job for him. He has to pick those appointees. We had here Interior Department 41 percent, Justice Department 41 percent, Labor Department 43 percent. Some of the numbers bear some of it out.
Liz Plank and Chris Lu, thanks to both of you.
PLANK: Thank you, Ari.
MELBER: We`re going to turn in a moment to Michael Erik Dyson on the NFL social justice and the Ralph Northam controversy.
But as promised, first, an exclusive interview with a coffee CEO who says Schultz is on a vanity run when we`re back in just 30 seconds.
MELBER: There is a lot more happening in today`s politics than Trump. Tonight, some of the Liberals pushing for a tougher stance on Wall Street and millionaires are arguing the public is with them. A whopping 70 percent -- 76 percent of voters backing plans to tax the wealthy more.
Most Republicans, now back part of the Elizabeth Warren-style program for a surge tax on the super wealthy, people making over $10 million from recent "Fox" polls. Now, these facts undercut a common and misplaced conventional wisdom that voters oppose taxing the wealthy because they hope to make it into the one percent someday.
That`s something that a master marketer like Trump understood during his campaign. He actually claims he`d raise taxes on the rich even though his tax law ultimately did do the opposite.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, HOST, TODAY: Do you believe in raising taxes on the wealthy?
TRUMP: I do. I do, including myself. I do.
I am willing to pay more and you know what, wealthier willing to pay more. We`ve had a very good run.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: All this reverberating amidst the backlash to Starbucks billionaire Howard Schultz who appeared to think he would be channeling popular opinion when he called Senator Warren`s millionaire`s tax ridiculous.
Now, we turn to one of Schultz`s coffee competitors Todd Carmichael, co- founder, and CEO of the Coffee Company La Colombe a which makes about $100 million a year. Carmichael got his start as a barista at Starbucks and opposes Schultz conservative independent bid for president. And I should mention you have endorsed Elizabeth Warren. Thanks for being here.
TODD CARMICHAEL, CEO, LA COLOMBER: I am.
MELBER: What do you think Howard Schultz misunderstands and do you think it`s partly because he is living a certain type of billionaire life?
CARMICHAEL: Yes. It`s kind of hard to tell where you went wrong. I think there are multiple variables at play. I mean part of it is he`s out of touch but also I don`t think he recognizes that CEOs make really, really bad presidents to begin with. The idea of you know, you`re successful at selling lattes you`re going to really kill it in the Oval Office, it really doesn`t convey over.
You know, we see this time and time again with CEOs thinking that you know, service to the country is the same thing as making profits.
MELBER: He has often touted Starbucks for doing more than a typical corporation and taking care of its employees, something we`ve reported on here which is why it makes all the more striking that his position seemed to be pretty center-right that the government shouldn`t be involved in that be it health care or tuition. Do you have any idea what accounts for that apparent discrepancy?
CARMICHAEL: Well, I`m guessing, I think it centers around that word ridiculous when he heard Elizabeth Warren`s tax plan which really focuses not so much on his income but of you know the stockpiled wealth that we have kind of accumulated and hoarded over the centuries. She was really focused on that. He called that ridiculous and it was right then I realized that he was really out of touch on where the country should go in these next generations.
MELBER: And what did you learn from being a barista at Starbucks, barista from sort of starting that way and what do you think is the issue if you -- if Schultz you know comes out of that model? Do you think to some degree he`s he sort of lost sight of where he came from?
CARMICHAEL: You know, I guess so. I mean, we all change. We all evolve. Everyone wants to be improving. And you know, I put it to them that there`s a lot for him to do in America. But one of the jobs that he should not consider because it just literally he`s not qualified for the job, is the presidency.
I mean, I you know, I celebrate his successes, I recognize his ambitions, I see where his heart is, but I get the feeling he`s been living maybe the last 20 years in the space needle and he hasn`t come in contact with a lot of normal everyday people particularly in the contact sport of politics. He wasn`t ready for the slightest hip check. And you know, now he`s calling for you know an ambulance and water bottles. He`s just not ready.
MELBER: You say he`s calling for an ambulance, do you think he knows that he`s already been bloodied up in the very beginning of this?
CARMICHAEL: Yes. I think he`s going to want to put this behind him right away.
MELBER: Yes. Have you spoke to him recently?
CARMICHAEL: I don`t know -- I don`t know if he`s going to be calling me out very soon but you know, I`m just reading the tea leaves. And you know the poll numbers are three four percent, you`re getting hit by both sides. You know, you`ve got this you know, hoarded tax idea out there and that`s gaining traction on both sides of the fence. There`s a plurality even on the Republican side.
MELBER: I`m surprised -- I`m a little surprised, Todd, to hear you say he`s reading the tea leaves and not needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
CARMICHAEL: Yes. I had to slip that in there. I had to slip it in there. the teacup, you know, we can all use a little stimulant right now and wake up.
MELBER: I`m out of time. I got to ask you. As a -- as a Starbucks competitor, what are your feelings on the pumpkin spice latte controversial seems to be a crowd-pleaser for them?
CARMICHAEL: Yes. You know, that I`ll weigh in on Elizabeth Warren but the pumpkin spice I`m too afraid to touch it.
MELBER: Because it is a popular drink, no?
CARMICHAEL: It is very popular.
MELBER: People hate on the good drinks. I like a gingerbread latte. People hate on that seasonally it`s very good.
CARMICHAEL: Yes, yes, they`re both I seriously I think it would be -- it would be too confrontational and really, really too crazy to weigh in on either.
MELBER: Too hot. Too hot.
CARMICHAEL: Too hot for me to touch.
MELBER: Todd Carmichael, thank you both on the coffee side and on the tax land side. It`s pretty interesting getting your perspective. Up ahead we turn to the one and only Michael Eric Dyson. We got a lot to get to up next.
MELBER: Tonight, Virginia`s embattled governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat is resisting calls to resign. Protesters marched outside the state capitol all in response to this racist photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook page which surfaced late Friday. I`m joined now by Georgetown professor and author of What Truth Sounds Like, Michael Eric Dyson. Thanks for being here, sir.
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Brother Ari, always great to be here, my man.
MELBER: You look at what`s coming out of this controversy, what do you think is important for people to take away particularly if there isn`t necessarily a way to eject the governor from office?
DYSON: Well, who knew that besides blackface being done by the governor as a medical student he owed a debt to African American culture especially the Caribbean side. He obviously is sampling Shaggy, it wasn`t me. So here`s a man who has denied the fact that he has participated in a horrendous expression of anti-blackness, I appreciate that. But if you can`t acknowledge it, if you can`t say this was wrong and that is me, and I participated in something that I now find reprehensible, then we can`t have any progress.
Now, with the consequence of his admission be that you got a go, maybe. But the thing is that you got to pay the tithe for the church of conscience. You got to acknowledge that what you did was wrong. And look, the precipitous decline of civilization or moral culture happens in Fitz and Caesars and starts and it happens in bite-size treachery and this guy has to acknowledge it and then get out the way.
MELBER: Very interesting the way -- the way you put it is especially with perspective on the different types of offenses that are that are out there for politicians and I`m torn. You make a Shaggy reference but we`re in a very serious discussion, not that you can`t have both. And it makes me think not only of Shaggy saying it wasn`t me but also Shaggy on tour with Sting who saw that coming, professor.
DYSON: I mean, your broad reference to civilization and culture is astonishing that`s why you`re going to be one of the great treasures of our culture in the future.
MELBER: Well, we are -- we`re all just listeners and fans as you are. In fact, with regard to you being a fan, I have something I`m going to get you before I let you go. But there`s another big social justice issue which you`ve been talking about for a long time. You look at the controversy now the day after the Super Bowl, artists, and celebrities saying you got to boycott the event because of these -- the NFL`s treatment of course of Colin Kaepernick and his protest.
Some of the stars who did perform taking heat as you know. I want to show Cardi B talking about why she turned down the halftime show to stand with Kaepernick.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARDI B, RAPPER: He`s done enough for minorities and is like we don`t support who`s done enough for us then is like who`s going to support us? And they need to understand why he stand up for us. it`s crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: That`s one view. I want to show the others though. Take rapper and social justice activist Meek Mill celebrating with Patriots owner Robert Kraft. That`s Robert Kraft bling you see on the screen courtesy of Meek Mill`s Instagram. And of course Kraft has been an ally to Meek including on reforming the criminal justice. As you know, professor, Mill just getting out of prison earlier this year. What do you make of this issue which I don`t think lends itself to one simple binary critique?
DYSON: How did we get to the point where it`s a single stream of consciousness? We have an inside game an outside game. Thurgood Marshall was in the courts adjudicating competing claims of justice in defense of black people in the United States. Martin Luther King Jr. was in the streets, Malcolm X was on the platform in Harlem, Ella Baker Jo Ann Robinson, Angela Davis, there are multiple streams of consciousness and we must get beyond either/or.
Colin Kaepernick is an extraordinary symbol of justice, so is Eric Reid who plays the game, so is Malcolm Jenkins who plays the game. Those men are on the field. Should we hold them to account for playing a game? No. So I think look -- and when Jay-z, Rihanna, and Cardi B refused to play, that`s of a vast magnitude. That makes a difference.
Travis Scott, not so much, Big Boi, not so much, Gladys Knight has been a social justice warrior for many of her 74 years on this earth. Even though we might disagree with the justification she offered for her performance, her extraordinary performance grows out of tradition that must be respected. And if you think she made a mistake, don`t cancel her out. Cancel culture has to be canceled. The obsession with black propriety and what`s legitimate has to be done.
MELBER: Let`s -- let me slow you down. When you say cancel culture, what are you referring to?
DYSON: I`m talking about on Instagram, on Twitter, on social media many black people who say I disagree with you, I cancel you out. You are canceled. Now, there are some legitimate reasons to be you know, up in arms you. R. Kelly canceled, but then they cancel R Kelly but then they also cancel Gladys Knight. I`m confused. Are they on the same continuum here?
You can`t cancel out another human being. Cancel your subscription to historical amnesia. Cancel your credit card drawn on the bank of corrupt understandings of our culture. We are broad, complex. Yes, there are multiple ways to protest. Colin Kaepernick, I love him and support him. But I also support those who go within and say let`s take the $100 million that the NFL offered, leverage it in defense of poor people and people who are you know, dealing with --
MELBER: That`s --
DYSON: That has to be dealt with. Meek Mill is a hero as well.
MELBER: As always, I`m learning from you as you do it and it`s -- I feel like it could be a Def Poetry Jam a halftime show because you do it so eloquently, if I may -- if I may say. But you`re speaking to the point that if canceling as you call it is an informational death penalty, then it should only in your view I see arguing be used for the extreme.
So the R Kelly case that is literally allegedly felonious right would be different than a difference over strategy and that`s what I also want to ask you because it seems explicitly important in black civil rights and black American culture where the experience has so often been disappeared or having white artists and white business take what is the value and try to extract it that it seems -- it seems perilous I wonder what you think to ask artists to say, well, you should have -- you should actually disappear yourself from what might be the biggest career opportunity for them that then could also be a social opportunity because they can use their music to then continue to put their arguments out there.
MELBER: Absolutely right. Look, that`s a black city Atlanta, Georgia run by a black woman named Keisha Lance Bottoms in a culture that was you know, in a very positive way put forth by Martin Luther King Jr., in my view, the greatest American who ever lived, so that there are multiple layers of blackness at you know, competition to be sure.
And yes, I agree with people who are suspicious of the fact that is that blackness being consigned to the periphery or being only used in defense of a spectacle of violence the NFL that refuses to acknowledge its own problems. But if the NFL is trying to come to grips with them and Colin Kaepernick is there to make sure that and Cardi B and jay-z and Rihanna and others of us who are social activists, there are multiple ways to grapple with that.
To reduce it the complexity of our blackness to that one script is ridiculous. And as you said, there are multiple ways in which using that platform now then something can be done. Those two young ladies who sang Chloe and Halle are there the names, I stand to be corrected, from Beyonce`s camp I think was a beautiful representation. I think Gladys Knight was too. I think Big Boi and Travis were too. And there are multiple ways to make the point.
MELBER: I don`t have all the answers. It`s interesting getting your nuance on it. It`s where politics and culture meet. Everyone is watching the Super Bowl so we wanted to get your views on that as well. Now, as promised, people can find this online. Professor, I in an interview on Friday was speaking to the great lyricist Royce da 5`9. One of his songs mentions you. And so if you go to Instagram @TheBeatWithAri, we have a whole video of what Royce said about putting some respect on Professor Dyson`s name. You`ll have to check it out too. I don`t think you`ve seen it yet.
DYSON: I have not seen it yet, man, but Royce da 5`9 represents Detroit with lethal intensity and ferocity and poetry so I love that brother. Keep representing.
MELBER: There you go. Well, as promised, folks, you can check it on Instagram. Michael Eric Dyson, as always thank you. Up next, Donald Trump almost never admits mistakes. He just did and I`m going to tell you why it matters, next.
MELBER: Now we turn to a story that is very rare these days reporting on the current president admitting a mistake. If you haven`t heard about this, that may be because it was really buried in a long interview the President did with the New York Times heading into the weekend. The wider context is important.
As president, Donald Trump virtually always refuses to admit any mistakes. That includes acknowledging ever making them in theory or owning them on things that he effectively did admit were wrong because he`d already reversed himself like the child separation policy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you made any mistakes? That`s my question.
TRUMP: Everybody makes mistakes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about the forced separation of children from their -- migrant children from their --
TRUMP: Yes, that`s the same as the Obama law. You know, Obama had the same thing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you regret any of your comments about the George Bush family in the past?
TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.
That may be wrong. I mean, I may stand before you in six months and say, hey, I was wrong. I don`t know that I`ll ever admit that but I`ll find us -- I`ll find some kind of an excuse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Since entering politics, Trump has made one emphatic admission of a mistake that was on the Access Hollywood Tape and that`s notable because Trump was under huge pressure at the time. He was a candidate when it came out. But he would go on to walk it back by telling people maybe it wasn`t even his voice on the tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I`ve said and done things I regret. And the words released today on this more than a decade old video are one of them. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Now, when pressured Trump also plays word games like twisting questions about his own mistake or regret into saying he regrets the way he`s treated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don, do you have any regrets?
TRUMP: So when I won the presidency, I thought -- the press treats me terribly. They treat me worse. They got worse instead of better, very dishonest.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wait, is this what you regret?
TRUMP: I regret that the press treats me so badly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: That tick right there brings us to Trump`s new admission of an actual mistake because it`s not admitting a mistake about the hardship facing thousands of federal workers during his shutdown or mistake regarding policies he`s reversed himself on and the Border Patrol or the narrowing of the travel ban or even a mistake about something he said, no. What I could report tonight is Donald Trump admitting the mistake that he didn`t say enough or do enough P.R. on his own behalf.
Let me read to you from this New York Times interview. "Trump says I made a mistake. The mistake I made is on a couple of books I never spoke to the people. When you don`t speak to the people it`s impossible to get." And then the reporter says, Bob Woodward? And Trump says, yes basically, "Woodward was a mistake."
And that was a mistake he says were they were I believe he notified a number of people, I didn`t speak to him and that was a mistake, not speaking to him and it was a mistake of my staff and The Times transcript notes that he turns to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and says you understand that? It was a mistake of my staff."
And Sanders then says to this day I`ve never had a conversation with him, Woodward. And Trump continues if I would have spoken to him even if it was for a fairly short period of time, I think it would have been a little different. So there you have a leader owning a mistake and even going through a sort of a public accountability exercise with his staff. Sarah, you understand, a mistake of my staff, that whole thing. Imagine if the President took that tact with policy that actually impact people`s lives and not just this endless tactical P.R. debate over whether it`s better to ice out Woodward or give access to Woodward.
But we have the record in the interviews and the transcripts which shows Trump doesn`t get that exercise about owning mistakes on policy or the presidenting stuff. Two years in and this word mistake only passes his lips when he see as missed opportunity in the realm of P.R. This is a supremely swampy, so obsistically silly thing to fixate when you are the most powerful person in the world.
MELBER: The State of the Union is tomorrow night, but this is also a huge week for the Russia probe. Don`t miss out on that and oversight of the Trump administration. For example, House Dems have two hearings this Thursday on the Trump family separation policy and his tax returns. Friday looks to be even bigger. I can tell you, the acting attorney general Matt Whitaker testifies about Mueller and Michael Cohen gives this much- anticipated closed testimony. I`m going to be covering that during the day and of course on THE BEAT.
Also Roger Stone has until Friday to make his case on this gag order, a big issue with someone like Roger Stone. That does it for me. I will be back at 6:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow.
But don`t go anywhere. "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews is up next.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END