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Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leaving the White House. TRANSCRIPT: 6/13/19, The Beat w/ Ari Melber.

Guests: Michael McFaul, Steve Israel, Berit Berger, Thomas Downey, SallyKohn, Tony Schwartz, George Takei

GOV. STEVE BULLOCK (D-MT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The church bells in the community.

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: The church bells are ringing, anyway. Governor Bullock, I know you are disappointed, but I suspect we will see you soon. Thanks for coming on and sharing your view, sir.

BULLOCK: I sure hope so, Chuck. Thanks for having me.

TODD: All right. That`s all we have for tonight. We`ll be back tomorrow with more MEET THE PRESS DAILY, and "THE BEAT" with Ari Melber starts right now.

Good evening, Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chuck. Thank you very much. We have a packed show tonight with so much news. Democrats and Republicans unloading on Donald Trump for saying he`s open to colluding with foreign governments. Democrats not reaching for the "I"-word though in response.

Later, I`ll speak to a Presidential campaign operative who actually went down this road and by all accounts did the right thing, receiving stolen material and reporting it to the FBI. That is an important story when you look at what Donald Trump is claiming right now.

And later, a major departure from the White House, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is out. Why? We`re learning that today. We`re going to get into that as we explore Donald Trump`s lies. And another federal agency now says that Kellyanne Conway should be fired. Wait until you hear why. I have that story later.

Well, we begin with, yes, the avalanche of outrage - bipartisan tonight over Donald Trump`s comments welcoming collusion. There are rebukes up and down Washington and across the nation. Words used to describe Donald Trump`s collusion bombshell, appalling, dangerous, disturbing even an American. And Trump in full damage control mode sparked all by this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If somebody called from a country - Norway, we have information on your opponent. Oh, I think I`d want to hear that.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS HOST: You want that kind of interference in our elections?

TRUMP: It`s not an interference. They have information. I think I`d take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I`d go maybe to the FBI - if I thought there was something wrong. I think you might want to listen. I don`t - there`s nothing wrong with listening.

I don`t think in my whole life I`ve ever called the FBI - in my whole life. I don`t - you don`t call the FBI. This is somebody that said, we have information on your opponent. Oh, let me call the FBI. Give me a break. Life doesn`t work that way.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The FBI director says that`s what should happen.

TRUMP: The FBI Director is wrong.


MELBER: This is serious, but part of it does read like a joke. Remember, Donald Trump`s major message over the last two years was no collusion in 2016. And now he`s basically saying no collusion in 2016, but I`m open to collusion in 2020. This is the real world we`re living in.

And the FBI is not wrong under the law. You cannot take anything of value money or anything else from a foreign government, that`s already to law. Democrats have argued that based on what happened last time around the Trump`s associates, they want to go further and have even reports of these offers be required.

And Democrats unsparing in their criticism.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Yesterday, the President gave us once again evidence that she does not know right from wrong. It`s a very sad thing.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): That is shocking - shocking.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Clearly, the President has either learned nothing from the last two years or picked up exactly the wrong lesson.


MELBER: So up until this moment about three minutes into our newscast, this is all a similar story you`ve seen before. Donald Trump says something outrageous, potentially illegal, maybe about Russia, and there is this opprobrium for Democrats.

What is different tonight and is a sign that, A, he went further. B, there are still some lines that will get you in trouble. And C, he`s going to be in full damage control about this. He`s already started basically lying about aspects of it.

What`s different is what you`re about to see, which is Republicans, including even Donald Trump`s chief defender breaking over this.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): And I think it`s a mistake. If a foreign government comes to you as a public official and offers to help your campaign, giving you anything of value, whether it be money or information on your opponent, the right answer is no.


MELBER: Now, obviously, there`s a good defense to this, and that is if you`ve ever met with the Queen of England then you can break the law. No, I`m kidding, but that is what he posted.

Now take a look at the last Republican nominee responding to all of that.


SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): Let`s distinguish between circumstances where the Queen of England says something to a Presidential contender - that obviously is not what we`re talking about.

In circumstances where a foreign government attempts to be involved in an American election, that would be simply unthinkable. It would strike at the very heart of our democracy.


MELBER: That is a standard bearer of the Republican Party speaking out. So you would think that if Donald Trump is still under scrutiny for what happened and what was detailed in the Mueller report, and at this very moment he says, I welcome future collusion, maybe not Russia just Norway this time. You think that might raise the pressure on House Democrats to impeach given that these are all kind of related.

But the other piece of news tonight is party leaders insisting they just want to move towards this election that he might welcome collusion in and not do anything more about impeachment.

You have the President, though, and this can`t be underscored enough publicly saying - even pledging that he wants to have what would be an unfair election, if he got that foreign collusion, cue the Democrats.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If the country is inviting for an interference, why is that not ground to move towards impeachment?

PELOSI: Everybody in the country should be totally appalled by what the President said last night. However, what we want to do is have a methodical approach to the path that we are on. But not any one issue is going to trigger, "Oh, now we`ll go do this".


MELBER: We have quite the experts for this. Michael McFaul served as U.S. ambassador to Russia; Former New York Congressman Steve Israel ran the House Democrats entire campaign arm. So he knows all about the rules of the road on campaigns. He also is Director of the Cornell Institute of Politics. And former federal prosecutor Berit Berger who knows all about the laws here.

I could start anywhere, but just on these straight way campaigns work Congressman, is Donald Trump out of order here?

STEVE ISRAEL, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Oh yes. Look, this is immoral. It is dangerous, it is illegal. It is immoral, because we should not abide by foreign governments interfering in our democracy. It is dangerous, because he could be compromised. And it`s illegal, because the law says you can`t do it.

You know you`re right, I`d Chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. I ran for Congress eight times. I knew that I could not accept anything of value from a foreign government.

Now, Ari, some people are trying to parse this and they`re saying, "Well, is opposition research really something of value - newsflash". As a candidate, opposition research has huge value. You pay tens of thousands of dollars to an opposition research firm to do the vetting, to do the research and get it back to you.

MELBER: Well, the President`s not parsing it. He says, when told the FBI Director says no, he says well the FBI is wrong.

ISRAEL: Well he is not parsing it, but the fact of the matter is, many Republicans are. Some have defended him, some him--

MELBER: Well, not that many. Well, that`s what I think is so striking. Take a look at Fox News where there were some of the loyal defenders. But other folks on Fox, and that`s reaching a different sect sometimes. It`s certainly reaching people who are more disposed to Donald Trump according to the data, are hearing this is bad news for Trump. Take a look.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: This will all get another round of fake, phony, moral, selective outrage over that interview.

STEVE DOOCY, CO-HOST, FOX & FRIENDS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: There`s so much oppo research floating around Washington, D.C. perhaps that`s what the President`s talking about.

BRIAN KILMEADE, CO-HOST, FOX & FRIENDS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: You don`t want a foreign government or a foreign entity giving you information because they`re going to want something back. And everybody knows that, it`s the President, because there is no free lunch.

SHEPARD SMITH, ANCHOR, FOX NEWS: So what the President said he would do to George Stephanopoulos, if he did it, would be felonious?

ANDREW NAPOLITANO, SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST, FOX NEWS: Correct. Meaning, he would commit - be committing a felony.


MELBER: I mean that`s Fox. And they`re telling their audience the President is out loud leaning into a felony - I don`t know if you remember the rapper Jayo Felony. I mean this is this is not a little thing. This is a felony, is what they`re hearing.

ISRAEL: We should minimize it. I`m glad they`re doing it. But the fact of the matter is that only hours ago Senator Warner from Virginia tried to introduce a resolution that simply said that if you are approached with foreign information, opposition research, you must report it to the FBI and the Senate Republicans refused to even consider it. So the words are important. But we also need to see some action.

MELBER: What do you say to Americans who see this story? They see the President again defying law enforcement, dismissing the rules that are supposed to govern the President, and wondering whether he`s going to get more offers of foreign help now that he`s put everyone on notice he welcomes it?

BERIT BERGER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR SOUTHERN & EASTERN DISTRICTS OF NY: Yes. I mean the danger here is that what he`s inviting is a national security threat. Right, the reason that you can`t take offers of information from a foreign government is we don`t know the motivation behind that foreign government`s request. And my guess is it`s not being offered to help our country, it`s being offered to help theirs.

So what he`s doing here essentially is inviting foreign governments to feed us information selectively, which is a massive national security threat. It doesn`t take a genius to realize that. The FBI has to be absolutely appalled by this. They have dedicated squads that are working on this very issue.

Working to try to combat foreign interference in our next election, so to all those men and women that are actually on the ground doing this kind of work, this has got to be baffling for them.

MELBER: Ambassador you were willing to jump on the phone when this story broke last night, we covered some of it then. It has obviously intensified since then. Your view, given your experience in the explicit area of U.S. Russian diplomacy.

MICHAEL MCFAUL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: Well, if we`re talking about Russians, of course, Russian agents, the people working for the government there are working for Putin. They`re not working for Donald Trump or any other candidate. And you don`t offer this information without getting something for their national security, not ours, that`s number one.

Number two, let`s just also be clear that when a foreign agent comes knocking on your door at the campaign, they`re not going to hand you a card saying, "Hey, I`m working for the FSB, I`m working for Russian intelligence". They`re going to do it under the guise of something else.

And there`s been - I`m a lawyer working on behalf of a candidate like Ms. (inaudible). And let`s be clear there`s no way for campaigns to be able to discern that difference.

And then number three, let`s just underscore, this is just wrong. Whether it`s illegal, we`ve talked about that. But it`s cheating. It`s like playing basketball and saying, "Well, I`ll take an advantage and breaking the rules of the game". And I just think we should underscore that this is just wrong.


MCFAUL: And after two years of talking about how it`s wrong, that the President would still say this, it`s just shocking to me as an American citizen.

MELBER: Well - yes, and that`s why there`s a mix here and we`re human beings. We can process things with more than one emotion. There`s a very serious part, as you say, and it`s wrong and we`re democracy with rule of law. So if people are going to cheat and announce that in public, everyone should take that seriously.

There is - the part that is almost the Baroque humor, though, that no collusion, no collusion, but tell me more about this collusion. I`m interested. I want to put that out. I mean, it`s wild to your point about it being wrong take a listen to Republican Kevin McCarthy who did backflips to defend Trump, but ultimately admitted he too would call the authorities, because as you say, it`s wrong.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The President does not want foreign governments to interfere in our elections--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said he would look at the information, listen to it and if there were a problem, he would go to the FBI.

MCCARTHY: I`ve watched the President. I believe the President would always do the right action.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you call the FBI?

MCCARTHY: Would I call the FBI about what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If somebody - a foreign adversary called you and said I have information on your opponent, would call the FBI?

MCCARTHY: I would put it - I would send it to the authorities, yes.


MELBER: Ambassador.

MCFAUL: Well, I`m glad he said that. But, his defense of the President was not very convincing in the tape - you just played the tape Ari. And there`s one other piece I want to underscore with respect to Russians and foreign adversaries.

Disinformation, their goal is not to get one candidate or the other elected, that`s part of the goal. The other goal is just to make a mess of our election, to undermine truth. And by the way, the Russians are not the only government interested in that. And that`s just another reason in terms of national security, why this is such a slippery slope.

And even from the President`s point of view, he`s annoyed a lot of people in other countries over the last couple years. Why is he giving them an open invitation to all of a sudden providing information in this campaign, when a majority of it would not be on his side? So just it`s a mistake in so many ways, and I really do hope that he retracts it. That he pulls it back and just says that he made a mistake.

ISRAEL: You know, I have to say what`s really painful here is that. Just recently the FBI Director said that the Russians were going to try and manipulate our elections. And now you have the Commander-in-Chief, the President of the United States in an interview saying that`s fine with me, make my day. That is what is fundamentally wrong on a political level.

MELBER: I mean, Congressman does it ever just trip you out, like this is where we are?

ISRAEL: You know, every day, several times a day, breaking a new norm. Sometimes talk about breaking the law. What does really surprise me is this. This is - that was a slow - that was a softball question, right? Just such a softball question. And this adroit politician found a way to not only make it a foul ball, but to send it screaming into his own dugout.

And now you see Republicans just scattering on it. This is what I think Republicans are fundamentally going to have to deal with between now and the campaign.

MELBER: Berit?

BERGER: I mean, I completely agree. There is not that much else to say. I mean, look the FBI Director is not wrong.

MELBER: You`re done here. We`re done.

BERGER: The President is wrong. It seems like the law is pretty clear. There`s not a lot of wiggle room in this situation. I don`t know that it could be clearer. So for anyone watching that`s like, "Well, maybe the President is a good point". He doesn`t. It`s just against the law and it`s not the way that the law stands right now.

MELBER: And I think the other thing to say is, it`s the cynics who want everyone to believe that things will never change, and that`s true in all sorts of issues, as you know having worked in the Congress, right?

It would seem that the point you raised earlier is the other thing to say, which although I take your point, and there`s nothing else to say on the moral clarity of it. But that you`re saying you could actually use this as a moment to rally people, to get you got Romney and these other people talking to talk. And you`re saying make them walk the walk, so that our election systems are safer.

ISRAEL: Pass the bill. And by the way 90% of Republicans support Donald Trump today will support him tomorrow, next week. 6 percent of Democrats support Donald Trump, you`re not going to see a change in the numbers.

MELBER: Then where are they? Who are they? Do you know them?

ISRAEL: The 20 percent - those 6 percent?


ISRAEL: I think they are some within my own district, pretty sure, pretty sure. They`re the people who would like you know lift an occasional finger to me when I walked in to the--

MELBER: Occasional. OK.

ISRAEL: But - look, look 20 percent of the electorate is undecided. There are independents living in about 20 counties in about seven battleground states. This kind of stuff, it drives them crazy. They`re not voting for Donald Trump if he continues this narrative.

MELBER: Right. And that`s a very, very interesting piece of it. Ambassador McFaul, Congressman Steve Israel, and Berit Berger, thanks to each of you all great perspectives here.

Coming up, we have an exclusive interview with the actual Al Gore campaign advisor who`s been in the news because he did what Trump says, you don`t do. He called the FBI when he got secret debate files that could have been part of a crime.

Also Government Ethics Office today telling the President he should fire the person you see on your screen - Kellyanne Conway, we`ll get into why. And later Tony Schwartz is back with something you might be able to relate to. In fact, it was just hinted at in this discussion. It`s political burnout. What is it and do you want to have it?

And then later on a very important story, George Takei (ph) is here to discuss these reports that the President is going to send unaccompanied immigrant children to an army base that was previously used as a Japanese- American internment camp.

George served or I should say, was placed, obviously, detained in one of those camps. He joins me live in this show tonight and I`m looking forward to hearing from him. And we will right back.



TRUMP: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen. I don`t - there`s nothing wrong with listening.

If somebody called from a country - Norway, we have information on your opponent. Oh, I think I`d want to hear that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You want that kind of interference in our elections?

TRUMP: It`s not an interference. They have information. I think I`d take it.


MELBER: Trump welcoming the potential crime of collusion and echoing his son Donald Trump Jr.`s actual response of course to that infamous e-mail from a Russian intermediary promised the dirt. He said I love it. Team Trump`s story was, of course, that Don Jr. was just a good kid and didn`t know the rules. This was a sort of a clueless defense.

In Mueller`s report, we learned, the government would have a concern about whether they could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the people at that famous Trump Tower meeting had the kind of knowledge that their conduct was unlawful. That is a fair or even charitable reading of their clueless defense.

But will it work now, because if you haven`t been watching the news, and I think you are watch the news, you know that everyone is heard about the fact that you can`t take these things of value, it`s illegal. We were just talking about at the top of the show. The President knows that. Attorney General Barr last month. Take a look.


SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): What if a foreign adversary, let`s now say North Korea, offers a Presidential candidate dirt on a competitor in 2020, do you agree with me the campaign should immediately contact the FBI? If a foreign intelligence service--

WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: A foreign government? A foreign intelligence service?

COONS: A representative of a foreign government--

BARR: Yes.

COONS: --says we have dirt on your opponent.

BARR: Yes.

COONS: Should they say, "I love it, let`s meet," or should they contact the FBI?

BARR: If a foreign intelligence - if a foreign intelligence service does, yes.


MELBER: Yes. That`s Donald Trump`s Attorney General. We know that Donald Trump knows about this, because in this interview, that`s giving him so much heartburn, he made a point to say he would also overrule his own FBI Director.


CHRISTOPHER WRAY, DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: If any public official or member of any campaign is contacted by any nation state or anybody acting on behalf of a nation state about influencing or interfering with our election and that`s something that the FBI would want to know about.

TRUMP: Let me call the FBI. Give me a break. Life doesn`t work like that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The FBI director says that`s what should happen.

TRUMP: The FBI Director is wrong.


MELBER: The FBI Director right and not only is this well understood federal law there`s even precedent for how it would go down. You may have heard about this, this is pretty interesting. Take a look at what happened in the 2000 election.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former Congressman Tom Downey who prepares the Vice President for debates, received a package of materials Wednesday containing notes and a videotape.

Gore adviser, say Downey realizing he shouldn`t have the material immediately turned it over to his lawyer who in turn passed it on to the FBI.


MELBER: Former Congressman Downey is here to discuss this exclusively. And we`ll give you a little more context. The Gore campaign of course was not the victor after the Supreme Court resolved one of the closest U.S. elections in history.

But Downey says he was, of course, doing what he understood to be the lawful requirement and the right thing, telling the FBI about the material received. Thinking that, yes, it could even be part of a crime. This is a point that Speaker Pelosi herself raised just today.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): This is even foreign governments - this is even foreign governments that`s what you do. There is a sense of decency about fruit from the forbidden tree, ill-gotten gain.


MELBER: Former Congressman and Al Gore advisor Tom Downey is here with me now exclusively. Thanks for coming on THE BEAT about this.


MELBER: You are now a fascinating footnote, newly unearthed in the news on this story. You`ve done many things in your life, but on this story, walk us through why you made that decision. How quickly you called the FBI and what you think watching all this?

DOWNEY: Well, the fact is it was quite clear to me when I saw the debate materials and the video that this was Bush campaign material that I not have. And I called my lawyer. We talked about what we were going to do with it.

We turned it over immediately. He eventually turned it over to the FBI. They came and interviewed me that day. And the curious thing about it was, I had to explain what the crime was to the FBI agent. But the fact is that- -

MELBER: But just on that point. They came out and saw you how soon?

DOWNEY: On that afternoon.

MELBER: Same day.

DOWNEY: Four hours.

MELBER: So your reaction as a campaign operative was, this might be criminal, because it could be stolen to at a minimum to help another side, and you call the authorities. And their reaction is this is important, they come out same day.

DOWNEY: Correct. And not only that but Louis Freeh who was the Director of the FBI at the time, became the agent of record.

MELBER: So then what.

DOWNEY: Well, not only did I have to turn it over, but then I had to recuse myself from any further campaign activity. It was clear to me that no one would believe that I haven`t read the material or watched the video. So to make sure that we made a clean break of this, so that there could be a free and fair and honest debate, I didn`t participate in the campaign after that.

MELBER: Let`s take a look at that actually because we read what you said at the time, "People are cynical about the political process. I happen to believe it is a noble and honorable profession. That the American people are to believe that, we must act honorably and that is what I`ve tried to do here".

So to put you in the strike zone, middle of the plate, ball down the field question, how does what you did in that moment differ from what the President says he wants in 2020?

DOWNEY: Yes. Well the President is playing by a different set of baseball rules. Under the President`s - if he were pitching and he hit you, you`d be out. The fact is that that`s not how we play baseball, and that`s not how a President should govern.

The fact is, as the Commander-in-Chief he should set an example not be prepared to win at any cost, allow foreign entities to influence a campaign. It`s shocking - as your Steve Israel said in the earlier segment. The fact is, it`s both illegal and immoral.

MELBER: You put it so starkly. Let`s listen to the other time this came up when Jared Kushner struggled with a very similar quest about what you just said was a moral obligation as well as legal one, take a look.


JONATHAN SWAN, POLITICAL REPORTER FOR AXIOS MEDIA: My question to you is why didn`t you pick up the phone and call the FBI. It was an e-mail that said Russia - that said the Russian government was trying to help, but why didn`t you do that?

JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Jonathan, we`re in a place now where people are playing Monday Morning Quarterback and they`re being so self-righteous. Had there been something that actually was nefarious at that meeting that came up, maybe we would have done something different.

But the reality is, is that the meeting was a total waste of time--

SWAN: Would call the FBI if it happened again?

KUSHNER: I don`t know. It`s hard to do hypotheticals. But the reality is that we were not given anything that was salacious.


MELBER: I don`t know how hypotheticals. He went he went to a pretty good law school, so he`s done some hypotheticals before. When you see that, when you see the President`s comments, do you think at a certain point this is not just ignorant or willful blindness, but something more sinister? Or are you not prepared to go that far?

DOWNEY: Well in the President`s case, I think Speaker Pelosi said today that, he really doesn`t have the capacity to understand right and wrong, and I believe that`s true. In Jared Kushner`s case, the idea that your naivet‚ would allow you to ignore what is law and precedent.

I mean anytime you take an important meeting in a campaign there are lawyers there to explain to you what`s legal and what isn`t. Either they didn`t avail themselves of that talent or they ignored it. In either case it`s unacceptable behavior.

MELBER: And these are folks who work with a lot of lawyers. I mean Trump is nothing, if not known for litigation, most litigious candidate in American history. Kushner, as I mentioned, is a lawyer himself.

Congressman, having lived through this in a eerie, echo of some of this as the President says, well that`s not how it works. You showed through your actions how you think it should work and we appreciate you telling the story here. Newly relevant tonight Congressman Tom Downey.

DOWNEY: Thank you, Ari.

MELBER: Thank you, sir.

Up ahead a major departure from Trump`s inner circle we`ll get into that. And a federal agency saying Kellyanne Conway`s conduct is gotten to a point where she should actually be removed from her post. We`ll be back in 30 seconds.


MELBER: and there have been all kinds of developments today. Consider that press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has announced she is now going to leave after two year on the job. Although, she hasn`t been busy on the press briefing side lately. It`s been 94 days since the last press briefing. It`s actually the longest stretch in modern history.

Meanwhile, an independent Ethics Office in the federal government is telling the President that the ethical thing to do at this point based on some violations is to fire Kellyanne Conway. This is the office of Special Counsel which is a Ethics group.

They are saying basically, she should be "Removed from public service because of these violations of this ethics law. The Hatch Act, which prohibits her from using her government power, while you pay her salary with your tax dollars, to endorse or attack political candidates". A rule that makes some sense, but it`s something she has done a lot this year.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: If he were a Republican running against and they would immediately call him a sexist. I`m yet to see Presidential timber, I just see a bunch of Presidential wood chips.

Amy Klobuchar, who seems to be a very nice person, I guess unless you`re on her staff (ph)--

Elizabeth Warren is running for President, she tried to appropriate somebody else`s ethnicity--


MELBER: A lot of fire there. The point isn`t that Kellyanne Conway doesn`t have the right to say these things, the Ethics Office is just saying she has to say them in a political capacity, not being paid by you.

Consider also that a month after Trump was inaugurated, she was separately reviewed two different issue using the White House platform to plug Ivanka Trump`s clothing line on Fox News.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT:  I think she`s gone from 800 stores to 1,000 stores or a thousand places where you can buy -- you could certainly buy her goods online.

Go buy Ivanka`s stuff is what I would tell you.  I`m going to -- I`m going to -- I hate shopping but I`m going to get some for myself today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  There is that hashtag buy Ivanka right now.


MELBER:  I`m joined by Political Commentator and Activist Sally Kohn and`s Jason Johnson.  And while there`s no law that I`m aware of that prevents either of you from plugging apparel right now in this news segment, I would ask you not to unless, Sally, unless you got something really good.

SALLY KOHN, WRITER AND ACTIVIST:  I mean, I`m good on that you`re good on that.

MELBER:  You`re good on that?  Jason, are you good on that?


MELBER:  All right, well, look, we start out with an agreement.  Sally, make sense of it for us, please.

KOHN:  I can`t.  I mean, look, you know. Kelly and Conway first blew our minds with the concept of alternative facts and now she`s taken a next step and she`s got alternative laws.  I mean, it is very clear that this is an administration -- and we talk we`ve talked about it all day to day several instances even in your show so far of an administration that knowingly, wilfully they know the law and they`re saying it doesn`t apply to us.

By the way, this is not the first time Kelly and Conway has had a warning about the Hatch Act, an 80-year-old law that has applied to all parties that she certainly is known about.  In fact, in May, she was rebuked by reporters, asked about it, and she literally said blah, blah, blah.  You know, show me the jail cell.  She boasted about flaunting this law.

So this is -- this is -- this has gone overboard and of course, we`re going to see a president who himself has shown he doesn`t care about the law so he`s not going to do the right thing and there won`t be any accountability.

MELBER:  And your work originate as an activist and as a writer has been to push things and to say this is not OK, right.  What do you say to people who look at it and say, OK, but is she just getting away with it.  And the president is not only not moved by this, I think they`ve made it pretty clear, they`ve telegraphed they`re going to hold her longer they don`t want anyone to think they`re overreacting to the over respond of the ethics office.  Just let that sentence resonate.  And yet --

KOHN:  But, yes, where he appointed the people who run it.  I mean let`s be clear --

MELBER:  And yet -- and yet the reason why this is not OK, is that we don`t have a public government that can just be hijacked for political purposes.

That`s why you have a Hatch Act.

KOHN:  Well, there`s two separate layers, honestly, we`re I`m outraged.  I`m sort of the functional democracy basic rules that we hope we all agree on whatever our beliefs, our views, our ideologies.

MELBER:  Is that the lower --

KOHN:  That out -- that`s out the door.

MELBER:  That`s just being layer --

KOHN:  Then there`s this other layer --

MELBER:  And it was there like cheese on top of it.

KOHN:  I mean, that`s like the heart or the head and then in my heart.  I`m like the other part that really flames my jets about this to use the piece, the T.V. appropriate -- P.G. - -

MELBER:  Sure.  PG.

KOHN:  -- is here you have a president and an administration that ran on a Nixonian you know, law and order, super racial dog-whistle term saying we`re going to crack down on people who break the law.  And for instance, let`s pick the example at the border.  They used the excuse.  They said that law-abiding asylum seekers.

MELBER:  Right.  It`s about the law and about the rules.  Yes.

KOHN:  People who are following the law and seeking asylum, they use -- they accused them of breaking the law in order to separate people from their families and lock kids in cages.  Meanwhile, that same administration supposedly upholding the law is breaking the few laws that apply to them.

MELBER:  And it`s so interesting you raised that.  Jason, Chris Hayes has a new piece, a new article out making a similar point about the abuse, the invocation of law and order.  I wonder if you want to respond to any of that as well as if you want, the Sally`s ethics bean dip but the different layers of concern about this.

JOHNSON:  You know, I want a little cheese on the top.  I`m just going to add some cheese here, some tomatoes, and some spice.

MELBER:  Is it government though?

JOHNSON:  It`s not government cheese.  We couldn`t trust it because of the violation of a certain act.  So here`s the thing.  This is what bothers me about this in the way in which this entire administration is approached.  Points for the Office of Special Counsel.  They`re doing their job.  It`s very obvious Kellyanne Conway violates the Hatch Act.

But this is sort of like catching an ax murderer for like a speeding ticket, right.  This administration does so many horrible things that the Democratic Party and other outside forces have not been aggressive enough to hold them accountable on.

Everybody violates the Hatch Act.  Eula Castro violated the Hatch Act.  Kathleen Sebelius violated the Hatch Act.  The entire office of political - - the office of special politics, whatever, in the Bush administration violated the Hatch Act.  This is the most normal violation of law that I think anyone in this administration have engaged in.

MELBER:  Jason Johnson with the hot take that other people do it.  I mean, OK.  What I would -- my question to you then would be, OK, and isn`t it wrong when other people whoever they may be again are taking something that most people don`t get which is a big powerful job in this case at the White House, tax dollars funding your life, and what do they have to do to be to operate at that higher obligation?

JOHNSON:  Look, obviously, she should.  But the concern that I have is if this is the reason that you want to get rid of Kellyanne Conway, the Democrats need to be more aggressive.  This woman has conspired to lie to the public.  She`s engaged in all sorts of malfeasance.  We have no other idea what other sort of unethical behavior she`s helped hide or continue to obfuscate her and assistance to Sarah Huckabee Sanders.  This is the least egregious thing anyone in this administration has done.  That`s what it gets me.

MELBER:  All right, I have to fit in a break, but I can tell Sally is not completely into what you`re saying.  And the reason I can tell it is I`m looking at her face. 

KOHN:  Well, I mean, listen --

MELBER:  I got to go.

KOHN:  Well, I mean, more complaints.  I know this Ethic`s Office have been lobbed against the Trump administration in the first year that eight years of the entire Obama administration.  And by God, it`s like saying all politicians stretched the truth.  That`s true but it doesn`t mean that the flagrant lying of this part -- of this investigation is more wrong.  And this is wrong too, just all wrong.

MELBER:  Sally coming back with -- as a Canadian Jewish musician once said, "What`s that?  Facts."  Sally with some facts.  I think both you have interesting parts of the argument which is why we like to hear all kinds of perspectives.  Fact not alternative kinds though.  It wouldn`t -- it doesn`t diverse that Drake (INAUDIBLE) as well if you said what`s that, alternative facts.  It would take too long.

Sally, Jason, thanks for putting up with me.  Thanks for being here.

KOHN:  Pleasure.

JOHNSON:  Thanks, Ari.

MELBER:  We have a lot in this show which is why a definitive break.  I am thrilled to tell you that on a very serious story, the actor and activist George Takei is here discussing an immigration move that Trump is eyeing that involves a former Japanese-American internment camp.

But first political burnout, what is it?  Do you have it?  Could it affect you?  The Art of the Deal co-author Tony Schwartz is here for our regular segment "STATE OF MIND."  Nice to see you.


MELBER:  How are you doing?


MELBER:  Be honest.  Do you ever feel burned out in this Trump era?  You know 70 percent of Democrats now say they`re exhausted by politics since Trump took office, tired out from all of the things that he does, manufactured crises like a big fight we have today over collusion.  Meanwhile, the World Health Organization says this burnout at work is a real hazard.  It`s not just a movie punchline.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I`m going to need you to go ahead and come in tomorrow.  So if you could be here around 9:00, that would be great.  I`m also going to need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday too, OK.


MELBER:  Tony Schwartz, I`m going to go ahead and need you to come in right now.  Friend of the show, CEO of The Energy Project, Author of yes, the very relevant The Way We Work -- The Way We`re Working Isn`t Working, and he just wrote about burnout for Forbes, co-authored with Emily Pines.  What does it mean when people feel politically burned out how does it relate to the rest of burnout?

SCHWARTZ:  I think what we`ve done is we`ve overlaid this political exhaustion and you already described it, onto what was already a fairly overwhelming world that people are living in and you know, climate change and the fear around it, the uncertainty around it, being able to make ends meet.  50 percent of people can`t afford a $500 debt.

This -- just this sense that the world is getting more and more complex and we`re not keeping up with it has pushed people into -- before they get to burnout they get into a survival mode.  They get into that fight-or-flight state where the vision narrows and the ability to think clearly goes away.  And I think what we`ve seen is it kind of -- it`s a really it`s a national mental health crisis now that Trump has clearly exacerbated but is very, very much normalized.

I went and did a tweet a week ago in which I asked are you feeling more overwhelmed and anxious than you have as a steady-state.  And 2,000 people responded and 1,980 eighty of them.  And I`m not kidding.  1,980 of them said yes, unequivocally.  I mean, that`s a pretty disturbing piece of information.

MELBER:  I just feel overwhelmed by that sad story.  Now, let me read the U.N. World Health Organization description of what is they say now as a new work condition for your analysis.  And if you`re keeping along at home, like what Tony just said, does this apply to you?

Energy, exhaustion, mental distance or negativity about your job reduced efficacy.  I think a lot of people would say they feel most of those things.

SCHWARTZ:   I mean, we are saying you know, the energy project -- we go into large organizations and try to create better working environments.  And we are saying to organizations now as much as you focus on having your employees have a development plan, something every organization asks for, they need to have a highly articulated resilience plan.

You need to be able to understand under these pressures how do you take care of yourself, how do you refuel the system and make that as important as you`re actually getting work done.  You know, when you think about energy, energy is the most fundamental resource we have and the critical thing you need to do with energy is spend it and recover it.

It`s not enough to breathe out, you`ve got to also breathe in.  So that rhythmic relationship between spending and recovering has been lost.  We`re all spending, no recovery.

MELBER:  What is the way to know if it`s hitting you in your experience?

SCHWARTZ:  The way to know is negative emotion, actually.  First of all, you feel it in your body.  You feel it as tension.  You feel it in your head you know squeezing tight.  You could feel aware of your body.  You can tell when it`s not feeling relaxed and comfortable, you`re probably not in great shape.  But negative emotion is an unequivocal sign that you have moved into survival.

Frustration, fear, anxiety, anger, just attentiveness to how you`re actually feeling because you can`t change what you don`t notice, but if you notice, it changes everything.  Because the minute you say I am feeling fear, I am feeling anxiety, you`ve created enough distance to actually be able to make a choice about what you`re going to do with it.

MELBER:  I think that`s important and really well put and goes to where the politics of this and the personal of it are irrelevant to a lot of people.  So I love having you here to talk about it.  I could end if you want, I could end with a joke.

SCHWARTZ:  You know what, lighten it up here, Ari.  Go ahead.  Do it.

MELBER:  Well, because we`re talking about work.


MELBER:  It says here that actually there is one cure for burnout and it`s just more coffee so that`s great news.

SCHWARTZ:  Now that`s funny.  That`s funny my friend.  God, I feel better.

MELBER:  People say what`s the sound of one hand clapping and the answer is jokes on THE BEAT.  Tony Schwartz is here and will be here again.  Thank you, sir.  We take a turn to a very important story with George Takei when we come back.  Stay with me.


MELBER:  Outrage tonight over the Trump administration`s new plan for migrant children who have been caught at the border.  Time Magazine reporting this, the Trump administration detaining immigrant children in an army base that was literally used for Japanese-American internment during World War II.  1,400 children will be held at Fort Sill, Oklahoma government shelters having exceeded capacity.

Military bases have been used to house immigrants before we should note, included in 2014 under the Obama administration.  There it was a temporary measure, closed down after four months and without the zero-tolerance policy that has been implemented here.  The U.S. detaining a record number of children from these apprehensions all part of the crackdown.

As of May, HHS says there were about 13,000 unaccompanied children in custody the government running out of space.  Now my next guest is an actor and activist you may know, George Takei, but he brings a personal perspective on this issue.  He spent part of his childhood in internment camps during the war.

We should mention he also has a graphic memoir about some of those experiences they called us enemy coming out next month.  Thank you for joining me.  Your reaction to this news.

GEORGE TAKEI, ACTOR:  Well, it`s a horrific thing that`s happening.  And this is a new low that`s been reached by this administration.  We children were intact with our family, we were not torn apart.  But at Fort Sill, that was not an internment camp.  That was what we call the Department of Justice detention camp.

Immediately after Pearl Harbor, the FBI swooped down on Japanese-Americans that were considered leaders of the community and arrested and taken away.  And the internment camps weren`t built yet so they used the attention camps on military bases that was already there extant and they were imprisoned there.

Who were these people?  They were Japanese language school teacher, Buddhist ministers, presidents of tea ceremony societies.  They were considered a threat to national security.  In meantime, the ten official internment camps who were being built in this ten of the most desolate places in this country. 

In our -- the case of our family, we were taken from our home in Los Angeles to a barbed-wire prison camp in the middle of a swamp in Arkansas.  So the military base camps were Department of Justice camp.  The -- while - - the so-called leaders of the communities were being taken there.  The internment camps were being built.

MELBER:  Yes, I hear you raise a few points here.  I mean, one the way the government deals with mass detention, whether it is as you say and what are known colloquially as the internment camps as well as the military base use as well as the other facilities.

And I heard you raise another interesting point I`d love for you to expound on.  As you mentioned that well these experiences for most people are thought of quite negatively, I believe you`ve mentioned a contrast that is a sadly a positive, I suppose, which was you say you were with your parents and so many of these children are not.  You know, tell us your view on that point.

TAKEI:  It is really cruel and it`s an egregiously low that we`d hit here.  These children are taken away from their parents and taken away from the place where they were taken away from their parents and scattered all over the country in places like North Dakota, Wisconsin, New Jersey.

And then when the courts ordered the administration to bring them back together, they are so incompetent that they can`t find the children or the parents.  And many of these children`s lives I think are -- have been impacted negatively for the rest of their lives.

MELBER:  And then, other big thing I want to ask you, it`s a merely a big question but you`ve lived this you thought so much about it is obviously there are times where governments have to do all sorts of things.  So the government being a sort of a last resort.  So we mentioned, for example, the use of military bases for short-term detention under the previous administration which had a little bit of a different approach on some of these policies.

But what does it say do you think -- is there anything we should learn or think about when a government is struggling to do mass detention.  Does that end of itself for you become a kind of a flag which we should think wait, why are we doing it -- we`re doing it the right way, can we avoid it?

TAKEI:  When we were in prison there was this sweeping characterization of Japanese-Americans, American citizens of Japanese ancestry as potential spies, as saboteurs or fifth columnists.  The same mentality that characterizes Latinos coming across the southern border as rapists, drug, dealers and murderers or Muslims as all potential terrorists.

It`s that simple minded hysterical characterization of everyone without due process.  Due process is the central pillar of our justice system.  But without any evidence and without charges, we`re swept up simply because we looked like this or were Latinos and subjected to the humanitarian outrage on the border or the mass banning of Muslims simply because of their faith.  It is a good test miscarriage of justice and a blot on American democracy.

MELBER:  You lay it out.  You lay it out starkly and eloquently and we think about the language we heard about "invasion" of people.  Many people who are refugees and fleeing and you help us think a little bit about how that echoes such terrible things that have happened in our history and also in the name of misbegotten nationalism at times.

I think you put it well.  I`m glad we got to hear from you tonight.  Mr. Takei.  Thank you.

TAKEI:  Thank you for having me.

MELBER:  Absolutely.  I`ll mention again for viewers, the new memoir, They Called Us Enemy will be out next month, and we will be right back.


MELBER:  Finally some political news.  The Democratic Party has announced the 20 candidates that will qualify for that big first presidential debate.  It`s been over two nights.  And tomorrow we`ll find out who goes on which night. We`re very excited to have it.  MSNBC and NBC News will have you covered for the debate.

Don`t go anywhere.  "HARDBALL" starts now.