CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: So I`m growing. Meet Andrew Hudson, he`s the new born son of our director Richard Blazer and his wife Alexis. Andrew was born Friday afternoon, coming in. Look at this, eight pounds, seven ounces so we got ourselves a line-backer. Mom, dad and big sister are all doing great. Big congrats to the family.
That`s all we have for tonight, we`re back tomorrow with more MEET THE PRESS DAILY. "THE BEAT" with Ari Melber starts right now. Good evening Chuck, thank you so much.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Chuck. Thank you so much. We have a big show tonight. New clashes with a week to go for Bob Mueller`s public testimony. Meanwhile Trump`s border Chief under fire for denying reported facts about conditions in Trump administration migrant facilities.
He will also testify next week. We`re going to get into that later and Democrats rallying around this new challenger to Mitch McConnell. Wait till you hear, how much money she just raised. So we have all that in the show but we begin with these new clashes over the Mueller hearings, now one week away as of tonight.
For months Trump and his Attorney General claimed they were fine with Mueller testifying and if he does it, it wouldn`t be a big deal. That bluster though is already giving away to some kind of palpable fear including this new report that the Trump the DOJ wants to silence Mueller`s deputies from testifying at all even in closed session.
And now Trump`s personal lawyer, Giuliani joining Trump allies to blast these hearings before they begin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, DONALD TRUMP`S LAWYER: A bunch of unethical, disgraceful prosecutors which is what they are and all this lionizing of Mueller is disgraceful. He was a hit man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it comes to Mr. Mueller`s testimony, I think we`ve got a lot of questions about bias about how he assembled his team. I think we also want to know why he flipped the expectation that Americans are innocent until proven guilty.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: I think he`s going to have a tough time Wednesday. It`s not going to go the way the media thinks. Mr. Mayor, good to see you.
GIULIANI: I doubt it and you know, it be very interesting to see if he does another stumbling and bumbling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Another stumbling and bumbling. Now Rudy Giuliani himself hass been criticized for bumbling legal presentations. Right there he`s opening a new line of attack on Mueller`s demeanor, others making vague dispersions about Mueller`s team and their independents and it`s not just a PR battle.
The story I just mentioned is important. Privately, Trumps DOJ has been now exposed for trying to derail the planned testimony for some of Mueller`s deputies, trying to block two of them who have already agreed to speak with lawmakers behind closed doors. New York Times here reporting that DOJ has instructed these two men not to appear and they don`t even work at the DOJ anymore, which means they probably cannot be legally forced to stay quiet.
But this reporting notes the chilling effect when the DOJ tells long time employees to be quiet. Now this story has not yet gotten a ton of attention and there`s first of all, a lot going on and second, this is playing out in secret lobbying, in private back room DC skirmishes.
Now think about what it suggests tonight. There can be valid reasons to argue some officials should not testify in public hearings. Security concerns, classified material and that`s when there are debates about tackling topics in closed session. In fact, Bob Mueller himself has repeatedly told Congress, he prefers to take on certain items in private session, that`s something we found he said repeatedly in the 60 different national hearings he`s done over his long career which we scoured for clues on next week`s hearing.
But tonight we actually something different. It`s Donald Trump handpicked Attorney General trying to prevent testimony that is explicitly carefully slated for this private session with the very members of Congress like the Intelligence Committee who have the highest clearance to handle secret information.
If this sounds bad that`s because it looks bad. The DOJ trying to stop private testimony, raising questions one week out from these hearings. First, obviously what are they afraid of? If these Mueller prosecutors think about this. I`m just going to say it in English. These are the people, that this same Justice Department trusted to handle the most trusted evidence for years of this probe to interrogate and arrest and lead to the imprisonment of people.
They handled all of that and now the same DOJ says they can`t be trusted to talk to authorized members of our government? Suspicious. Now the Trump administration isn`t saying much about their angle here. If they had a public defense, I would as I do, I would report it to you. And interestingly the Democrats in Congress leading the hearing. They`re not saying much either.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Have Mueller`s Deputies agreed to come and testify in closed session?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): They have agreed to meet with our Committee in closed session and I`m not going to get into specifics.
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): It may very well be his deputies.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: And do you - you know how many of them it would be if it`s going to be not Mueller but rather his deputies.
NADLER: Probably one or two.
MADDOW: And which ones?
NADLER: I don`t - I`m not going to say the names.
MADDOW: I knew you weren`t, I could tell, I have to ask.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Now those same committee chairs do say they`re not going to be intimidated out of the plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADLER: Of course the Attorney General Bob Barr does not want Mueller to testify. He doesn`t want to be contradicted in - in - in his lies and misrepresentations.
SCHIFF: I`m sure he would be thrilled if his misrepresentations were the last word but we`re determined to make sure that`s not the case and we look forward to Mr. Mueller`s testimony.
MELBER: So take it all together tonight, one week out, these Democratic chairmen, they sound pretty confident. The Trump administration sounds a little shock. Now apparently afraid of even private testimony or Mueller talking about is report in public.
So what is scary? What has been shook about the facts? What is scary about a 400 page pile of evidence? Bob Mueller already wrote the story of our political life time for all to see. To quote the late great prodigy, he put our lifetime between the paper`s lines.
Next week, some of those papers lines may come to life on TV, whether that scares the Trump administration or not? I`m joined now by Jason Johnson, Politics Editor for The Root; criminal defense attorney Carolina Polisi who represented guilty Trump aide George Papadopoulos and knows a thing or two about this probe and former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner who knows a thing or two about Bob Mueller having worked directly for, let me see right here at the DC U.S. Attorney`s office.
Great to have all of you here. Glenn, your view of the significance and implications of the attempt to get Mueller`s deputies to shut up, to not speak even in a careful private setting, next week.
GLENN KIRSCHNER, FMR FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, WORKED FOR MUELLER 97-98: You know Ari, you asked what are they afraid of because they`ve gone around crowing about how the Mueller report established no obstruction, no collusion. So why wouldn`t they welcome the people who actually did the investigative work that generated the Mueller report, coming in and testifying, no obstruction no collusion?
Well, it`s because they`re afraid of the substance of the report because as we know in volume one there was a finding of sweeping and systematic Russian interference and tons and tons and I`ll say it one more time tons of coordination between Trump campaign officials and Russia.
That`s a problem for the administration and then second, there are some 10 or 11 instances of what can only be called obstruction of justice by President Trump detailed in Volume 2.
MELBER: Well, eleven incidents discussed, I would say five to six are under that higher bad level of substantial evidence as it`s according to Mueller, you may see more than him but in terms of what the Mueller report says.
Let me - let me read you a little more on this class because again I think it`s very important, that`s why it`s our lead story. Where you have the DOJ acting like they`re cool, oh yeah, do what you want and then privately dropping the hammer.
Reading from the Times reporting about these Mueller deputies, Zebley considered Mueller`s closest associate, former Chief of staff, functioned in a similar role in the Special Counsel`s office.
The other gentleman prosecutor here, Mr. James Quarles worked as a Watergate prosecutor, heavily involved in the team`s instigation into whether Trump`s attempt to impede investigators constituted obstruction and was the lead intermediary with the White House.
What do you think those two prosecutors could lawfully say, not leaking you know grand jury material or anything they`re not supposed to do, we have no reason to think these lawyers want to break the law. What could they lawfully say in closed session that would matter?
KIRSCHNER: They can lawfully talk about each instance where the President was found to have done something that probably constitutes a high crime and misdemeanor. You know, you see Giuliani and Barr trying to bully witnesses that they have no legal right to block. Now they can bully Hope Hicks into making a fictitious claim of absolute immunity, a claim that when it was last taken up in court in 2008 by Judge John Bates albeit and it was a George W. Bush issue at that point because it was White House Counsel Harriet Miers invoking it.
Judge John Bates, a George W. Bush appointee said it`s nonsense, it doesn`t exist so they can try to use fictitious invocations of privilege to stop the Hope Hicks and maybe even the Don McGahns but now Ari as you say, they`re desperate because they can`t stop these private citizens from coming in and talking about the substance of the report.
And you know what they don`t have to put any bells and whistles on it. If they talk only about what we see in those 448 pages, that`s going to be a great start in exposing what the administration has done.
MELBER: Turning to some of my experts right here in New York, Jason, how do you think it looks?
JASON JOHNSON, POLITICS EDITOR, THE ROOT: Well, the key is they`re more concerned about these private sessions than they`re with Mueller, right? Because Mueller has already said, I`m not going to say anything beyond the report. I`m not going to get you know- and it`s frustrating because I think that has allowed this administration to be as aggressive.
You know, why - you know Mueller is great till he`s got to be great, right? When he`s got to be great in front of everybody, he`s like well, I`m not going to say anything besides the report and he shouldn`t be afraid to express and possibly expound upon the truth that he presented in the Mueller report and that`s what`s making the administration feel like if they can shut them up behind closed doors and Mueller`s not going to say anything, we can just President this to death and we can get out of it.
CAROLINE POLISI, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY, REPRESENTED GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS: Yes, if you know anything about Bob Mueller as you did extensive research here on THE BEAT, we knew from the beginning of this, that he wasn`t going to go outside the four corners of those pages but luckily there are 448 of those pages and as you have rightly noted, not many of which people have actually read.
So I know that we had this sort of this collective let down when we heard from Mueller in May that he wasn`t going to - didn`t actually want to talk to the public about it. Even if Ari, he sticks to that 448 pages, there`s so much in there, you know it`s a difference between reading the book and watching the movie.
It`s going to have an effect regardless of whether or not we get any new information outside of that report.
MELBER: And you know a bit - what do you know about Zebley and Quarles and the rest of that team when you see Giuliani say, they`re all supervised, they`re terrible, what`s going on behind the scenes here based on your dealings with them.
POLISI: I don`t know about them specifically. I can say in terms of my dealings with congressional committees, it is you know, it`s a bureaucracy so I can see how these things take time and I would be surprised if or Bob Mueller himself that`s emailing with you know, the committee.
So there are layers upon layers of negotiations.
MELBER: Do you think - I mean, you dealt with this and you`ve had your differences with them because as I mentioned, you represented a former Trump advisor but do you think it is reasonable for them to go in and talk in closed session or do you -
MELBER: So what do you -
POLIS: I don`t see -
MELBER: What do you think DOJ is up to?
POLISI: Well, I don`t see actualy putting forth any real legal arguments for any reason why they shouldn`t be doing it. I think they would prefer they not do it.
MELBER: Is this the Justice Department version of fake news, it`s a fake argument?
POLISI: I don`t think it`s a real legal arguments and which is why we don`t have anything you know on paper from them.
MELBER: If we did I would quote it.
POLISI: Exactly so I don`t see them pushing this beyond just we would prefer you not do it, I don`t - I don`t see -
MELBER: So you think they`re rattling the cage a little?
POLISI: Potentially, I mean, look, the reason they wouldn`t want them to talk obviously but there`s nothing really legal there.
JOHNSON: And also kind of working the rest here because at the end of the day, you`re telling private citizens don`t listen to Congress, don`t respond to subpoena and that is a larger problem that we`ve seen with this administration that they basically ignore the law whenever it something that they don`t like.
So they figure if they can make enough noise, maybe they`ll make either of these testimonies, maybe they`ll make them nervous, maybe they`ll make the Democrats nervous, none of that is going to happen because of the end of the day, these are private citizens and they want to talk.
MELBER: And that that brings us to the Bill Barr of it all, Glenn. I don`t know when you were a DOJ, did it have as much trolling because Bill Barr loves to troll, you`re familiar with that internet term.
KIRSCHNER: It didn`t have - it didn`t have any trolling.
MELBER: No trolling so here`s a guy and again, I`ve said this before in my show and I`ll say it again. No one is accusing Bill Barr of breaking a law, it is not at this point something at that level but he very clearly hijacked a very serious legal process to make a spectacle of his version of events to override the serious independent investigation that occurred.
Lot of people are critical if that including people that were before were really quite - quite supportive of his credentials and here is Bill Barr as so I say, it`s a troll. Here is Bill Barr, Mr. Four page summary out there, taking a shot, little neck shot at Mueller before this thing starts, accusing him and the Congress of making the spectacle, which is very trolling, take a look.
BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I don`t think that serves an important purpose, dragging Bob Mueller up if he in fact is going to stick to the report. It seems to me the only reason for doing that is to create some kind of public spectacle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Glenn, is that right?
KIRSCHNER: Yes, well, this is the same Bill Barr who said maybe a month ago, I have no problem with Bob Mueller coming in and testifying about his investigation, his findings and his conclusions. So Barr is becoming about as consistent as Donald Trump. Barr is also the person that in one breath says I`m going to recuse from an investigation and then turns around and says no, just kidding, I`m not going to refuse.
So you know, he really is becoming less and less credible and reliable and you know, he`s doing harm to the Department and I think he`s an embarrassment to the people that - that are working for him.
MELBER: Caroline Polisi, I want to thank you as always for joining us. I want to mention Jason and Glenn, come back to you later in the hour. Also a programming note, once we talk about Mueller, we are debuting a special on the Mueller report called simply, `What you need to know.`
It is about what`s in the report and the facts and you can adjudicate them for yourself. We think that`s a worthwhile exercise and it`s going to air here Sunday 9 PM eastern on MSNBC.
A lot more on THE BEAT tonight. The DHS under fire over this new report of alleged abuse right inside of Trump migration center. Also Democrats holding `Kids in cages` hearings, calling this child abuse and the Democrats challenging the self-proclaimed Grim Reaper of legislation, Mitch McConnell, smashing fundraising records.
We`ll tell you what happened and what it means. Later, a Trump official on defense for this lenient deal for sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein and a new accuser comes forward in an important story we`ve been covering and then a little something different. The U.S. women`s soccer team in today, you`re looking at them celebrating in New York. Equal pay and a whole lot more, we bring that story.
What did Beyonce say? Pay me an equity. I`m Ari Melber, you`re watching THE BEAT. We`ll be right back.
MELBER: House Democrats pushing for answers on new reports about Donald Trump`s migrant facility, the person in charge Kevin McAleenan testifies next week before Congress. He`s been denying not only publicly reported facts but his the only agency`s description of these conditions.
Add to that new reporting from our colleagues at NBC news. A federal investigation has launched after NBC obtained these incident reports from this Arizona facility. A 16 year old boy complaining about water tasting like chlorine. Agents took the mats out of their cell in retaliation of that boy`s cell and then he had to sleep on concrete allegedly.
Another 15 year old girl alleging sexual assault by an agent, reporting a "large bearded officer putting his hands inside her bra, pulling down her underwear and groping her as part of what was supposed to be a routine pat down." This took place allegedly in front of not only other immigrants in the facility but also disturbingly in front of other "officers."
McAleenan will be asked under oath about all of this and when did he know about it. NBC reports show that DHS has known and been on notice about all kinds of allegations long before these things became public. There will also be questions about photos like this, some from again, Trump`s own agencies.
This was a Texas facility where you have people packed in behind the fence, a photo from a different facility, detainees with kids laying on the floor, concrete benches on top of each other.
Another where a man is seen holding up this hand written plea, "Help, 40 day here". Plus questions about whether the Trump administration ignored clear warnings about dangerous overcrowding.
The Root`s Jason Johnson is back with me as mentioned plus Erika Andioloa, Chief advocacy officer for RAICES, the nonprofit group that provides legal services to immigrants in Texas, your response Erika.
ERIKA ANDIOLA, CHIEF ADVOCACY OFFICER, RAICES: Yes, I mean to be - again, it`s not surprising. We are talking about agents who were posting just terrible, terrible comments on their Facebook group, that every American you know, had the ability to see on the media. These are the same agents who are actually right now taking care of well, "of children" who are under their custody.
To me and to all of us who have worked with children, who are here you know seeking asylum, seeking a better future, we are really, really disturbed by the fact that there`s more and more of these facilities opening up where Border Patrol actually has custody of these children.
Or you know, their parents or just adults in general and we are calling for these facilities to close. CBP shouldn`t have people into custody for more than the time that it takes to process them, which is less than 72 hours and we are calling for those facilities to close and for CBP agents to not at all have custody of children ever.
MELBER: Jason, take a listen to the Democrats who have been dialing up the pressure on this, including looking at the hearings and the public events and basically saying, this is the defining issue right now, domestic policy-wise while with Donald Trump, take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The conditions of the border have shocked the conscience of the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The system is broken. Their human rights are being abused and neglected.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t need new laws. we need morality.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There must be greater accountability.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need an administration that understands there are human rights violations happening.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is simply wrong and it is simply unacceptable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Of course, a lot of the funding stuff has been worked out in the Congress so this is really a fight over trying to galvanize the American people to care about this, at a time when there is a kind of a debate over the second class treatment of other individuals. I always mentioned in this program, people have human rights.
MELBER: Even when they are convicted of crime.
MELBER: These people including these children have human rights and are not even in that level of accusation.
JOHNSON: So this is - this is a larger issue. This goes back to 2017 when Jeff Sessions allowed ICE to get rid of some of their own complaints and reports after six or seven weeks. Then this goes to the Border Patrol, then this goes to the sort of camp where people are being held, then it goes to the fact that now you have people who have crossed the border being moved into old military bases where the press would not be allowed to go and investigate them.
This is a whole - it`s not just human rights abuse. This is an intentional - an intentional method by this administration to harass and abuse people, not just to keep people from coming into the country but to intimidate and concern those individuals who are living in the United States, all this was part of this overall sort of white nationalist rhetoric that`s manifesting itself in policy.
And that`s what I think people need to be most concerned about. Look, domestically, it`s not necessarily a winning issue. There`s plenty of Republicans who say we don`t care but the Democrats need to be able to galvanize their voters behind this and make this a key issue in 2020.
MELBER: Yes, Erika and I wonder about that because we`ve discussed this with some of our other guests here. What Jason says about the politics of it of course is all policy - politics. The Democratic Party at least as measured by the people on those debate stages has moved whatever you want to call it, more left, more humanitarian on these issues.
Do you think Trump`s radicalization has actually opened up more - more space for change within the party?
ANDIOLA: You know, I think there is a - there`s a long term strategy here which is obviously to come out you know and make sure that the 2020 candidates are talking about this issue in the right way and that they are bringing a more you know, human approach, I would say to the issue.
But there`s also the short term strategy which is how do we actually stop this from happening and unfortunately, I would say that Democrats have not necessarily done everything that they can to stop this and a big example what just happened in the House, where they gave basically a blank check to Border Patrol to basically do whatever they need to do without any oversight with people who are in their custody.
And so we need to make sure that we are yes, we are looking into the long term strategy but what are we doing to pressure also Democrats to use a power they do have in the House to ensure that right now at this moment, we`re taking care of the children and the individuals who are right now in the hands of Border Patrol and ICE.
MELBER: Erika Andiola and Jason Johnson, thanks to both of you. We have a lot. We come back in 30 seconds. The Mitch McConnell challenger but first, new revelations on Team Trump and how they were rocked by one of their biggest scandals of 2016 when we`re back in 30.
MELBER: An explosive account from inside the 2016 Trump campaign that is new rocking the White House, tonight. These are some of the headlines from this scoop, it`s a new book by journalist Tim ElBaradei that peels back how the Access Hollywood news hit the highest levels of the campaign.
Trump`s team was gathered for debate prep. Hope Hicks hands from an email exchange with reporter David Fahrenthold who claimed to have an old audio recording of Trump making these remarks and boasting about his ability to get away with sexual assault.
And Trump responds this doesn`t sound like me. Ryan Preibus says this is really, really bad. The group seemingly paralyzed with silence, then Kushner says something. He says, "you know I don`t think it`s all that bad."
Let me show you the video, you could judge for yourself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I moved on her and I failed, I`ll admit it. I did try and [BLEEP] her. She was married, I moved on her like a [BLEEP]. I couldn`t get there. You know, I`m automatically attracted to beautiful women - I just start kissing them it`s like a magnet.
I just kiss. I don`t even wait. And when you`re a star, they`ll let you do it. You can do anything.
BILLY BUSH, FORMER TELEVISION HOST: Whatever you want.
TRUMP: Grab them by the [BLEEP]. You can do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: That was Trump on tape, then there was the Trump campaign`s defense. Republicans at the time pushed back in this account. Just some of that up in more detail. Paul Ryan disinvited from a rally in Wisconsin. The idea was Mike Pence would go instead. And according to this account that didn`t work because he no showed. No courtesy call, nothing.
Republicans also at that time were critical in public.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI): I am not going to defend Donald Trump, not now, not in the future.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump and I respectfully ask you with all due respect to step aside. Step down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Good conscience, his words. Now think about that when you follow this new reporting out to where we live today. Republicans who were so critical, who talked about moral and conscious reasons to oppose Trump, who have now come around.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a race baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. He doesn`t represent my party.
REPORTER: Do you think that he`s a racist?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This man is a pathological liar. He doesn`t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. A narcissist at a level, I don`t think this country`s ever seen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 2020, Donald Trump will be overwhelmingly re-elected as President of the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for President.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, my wife and I did vote for Donald Trump, last week. I think we`re doing and going through a lot of the discussions that people all across this country are doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: I`m joined by Sally Kohn and former Republican Congressman David Jolly. What do you think, Sally?
SALLY KOHN, WRITER, ACTIVIST: Well, so much for being the party of supposed moral leadership. I mean look, there are a lot of things that are stunning about the Access Hollywood video. First of all, it remains stunning that after that so much of the Republican party was convinced that there`s no way, you can win, there`s no way.
And it`s an interesting observation that our norms - we have our laws, we have a right and those are more tenuous I think when we realize but our norms exist because ostensibly we all consent to them. And there`s a certain political norm that you can`t say certain things and continue to operate as a public moral leader.
MELBER: Would you -- would you -- if you -- if you look at this, if the Jurassic Park piece of this book right, is that it`s a little bit of amber and you can see the insect of 2016 --
KOHN: I lose myself in your metaphors so many times.
MELBER: Trapped in the head amber. You remember Jurassic Park.
MELBER: The mosquito is locked in amber and it bit the dinosaur you extract its blood of the dinosaur.
MELBER: So I`m saying the dinosaur blood of the 2016 moment before Donald Trump won allows us to go back into your point --
MELBER: Because I`m listening to you.
Yes, thank you.
MELBER: Even people who wanted Donald Trump to win thought what you just heard on that tape was bad that Americans would reject it and you`re saying --
KOHN: Correct. That`s the --
MELBER: -- that`s the problem -- one of the problems.
KOHN: There are -- well, there are so many problems with this. You know, one is that it no one was actually concerned with the offensiveness of the statement but rather that it made him politically untenable.
Now mind you, they were neither offended nor thought it was politically untenable when he called Mexicans rapists and drug dealers when he mocked a disabled journalist, like none of that was disqualifying for them but somehow this was.
And yet Trump, Trump understands two things phenomenally well. One, that our norms are in fact subject to our consent and so he no longer consents to them, therefore, they don`t have the same pull on him. That`s troublesome and two that we have an incredibly short attention span and it`s worth noting that it was less than an hour after the Access Hollywood tapes came out that WikiLeaks started dumping those e-mails from Podesta.
MELBER: A timeline that we only know because it was confirmed in the Mueller report. David, your view of all of the above.
DAVID JOLLY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. The moral failing in this is not that we had a political leader that espoused these sentiments but that half of the nation embraced them. For me, Ari, this was a personal journey, I was in office. This was my last year in office. I had actually called on Trump to drop out of the race in 2015 nearly a year before this. I never came around to him.
But the part that from Tim Alberta`s reporting that really speaks to me and that has me relived this moment is Paul Ryan goes ahead and he goes to this Wisconsin brats and brews annual rally the Trump was supposed to appear. Ryan disinvited him, Ryan gives the speech instead, and Ryan gets booed by the Republicans in the crowd because they wanted Trump.
When we watch a Trump rally, it`s not Trump leading that the chants of lock her up, it`s everybody in the arena chanting lock her up. This is a mirror upon ourselves for where the nation is today. 50 percent of the nation has embraced this and yes as we hold --
MELBER: 46 percent of registered voters.
JOLLY: Sure, 46. But you do understand, I mean, this man got elected president because the American people roughly half, call it 46 percent, enough people to give him the electoral college said we`re OK with this. This is a much deeper rooted problem than Donald Trump, unfortunately.
KOHN: I agree, right. I don`t think Donald Trump -- you know he`s not food poisoning, he`s the -- he`s the symptom of a deeper disease, right. This isn`t just going to pass. There was a larger problem in America.
MELBER: And I`m the one with the metaphor?
KOHN: I know. I know. I`m going to give you another one. Here`s what I found so disturbing was you know, that in all this, when we -- if the reporting is correct, when Trump gets this information, here`s this thing. He doesn`t worry about the American people. He doesn`t worry about his base in particular. He doesn`t certainly call his wife. He doesn`t worry about his kids are in the room.
The evidence says that he worries about one person which is pence. And what`s disturbing here is that if Pence is --
MELBER: That he could lose Pence politically.
KOHN: Right. And if Pence is this sort of Jiminy Cricket to Trump`s Pinocchio, right, where Trump is worried that his political lies you know, and his nose is going to keep growing in his political woes are going to keep growing, you know, where is Pence now, right?
How is it -- OK. Maybe it sounds like he really -- this really disturbed him but the kids in cages he`s fine with. The you know, the policy after policy, after policy, he doesn`t see the --
MELBER: Are the Koch Brothers Geppetto? I`m just trying to follow.
KOHN: I think Citizens United is Geppetto but that`s neither here, and I maybe you know --
MELBER: David, were mixing -- we`re mixing the deadly serious with some embroidery stylistic, that`s something we do here which doesn`t undercut the import of the other larger issues. I mean, take it home for us with Sally`s point.
MELBER: You get the last word.
KOHN: Where are they now?
JOLLY: Yes, what Sally is speaking to is the second shoe that dropped. The first shoe was the party was already there and embrace him. The second shoe was that Paul Ryan, and Mike Pence, and Ted Cruz, and Jason Chaffetz all realized through their own enlightened self-interest that in fact, they were going to come around.
The most damning words for each one of those four people you played with the words that came out of their own mouth. And it is right that we hold them accountable and Republican voters accountable just as we hold this president accountable in 2020.
MELBER: Former Republican Congressman David Jolly and Sally Kohn, thanks to both of you. Coming up we turn to this evidence that Mitch McConnell`s reelection challenge is getting real. And this parade later today in the show. U.S. Women Soccer Team and the fight for equal pay.
MELBER: He calls himself the grim reaper. Well, he`s got some reaping to do when it comes to his opponent. First 24 hours of the new Mitch McConnell opponent challenger Amy McGrath smashing fundraising records $2.5 million. It`s the most ever raised in the first day of a Senate campaign in all of American history.
Former Steve Israel ran the re-election committee for the Democrats and knows his way around this stuff. You`d love to get some numbers like that.
STEVE ISRAEL, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Oh my gosh, that`s just --
MELBER: What does it mean?
ISREAL: Well, it`s a reflection of the seething resentment that Democrats have towards Mitch McConnell. Remember, when Barack Obama was elected, what does Mitch McConnell do? The first thing he says is our first job is to make him a one-term president. Then he obstructs, obstructs, obstructs, and then he denies the Senate a vote on a Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
So there is a seething resentment. Here`s the thing, Ari. Kentucky is viewed as a red monolith but it really isn`t. It had a very popular two- term Democratic Governor Steve Beshear until 2015.
MELBER: Well, Republicans would tell you when it comes to the federal races, they do pretty well.
ISRAEL: Well, right now in this federal race, Mitch McConnell was polling somewhere in the mid-30s.
MELBER: Why is that? Do people in Kentucky, do you think they don`t like him?
ISRAEL: They don`t like the fact that he reflects everything that is wrong in Washington D.C., the swamp, and the bureaucracy. I mean he`s been around for a long time and Amy McGrath has the right profile. Combat -- Marine combat pilot, ran for Congress, lost by three points in central Kentucky, so she`s got the right profile to make this a race.
MELBER: You mentioned her, the money is obviously being noticed. That`s both about he, it`s also as you say about the nationalizing of the race. Let`s take a look at this new -- I mean, brand new character in politics, new democratic potential star. Here`s her ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMY MCGRATH, FORMER COMBAT PILOT: Everything that`s wrong in Washington had to start someplace. Well, it started with this man who was elected a lifetime ago and who has bit by bit year by year turned Washington into something we all despise, where dysfunction and chaos are political weapons, a place where ideals go to die.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Ideals go to die --
ISRAEL: You`re foreboding.
MELBER: And he would be in her political narrative, he would be the murderer.
ISRAEL: That`s exactly right and she`s going to prosecute that case. There`s something else she`s doing that`s rather unconventional. She`s actually trying to appeal to Trump voters. She knows that Trump is going to be at the top of the ticket. McConnell may be in the mid-30s but Trump actually still doing very well.
She kept -- McGrath cannot win unless she gets people to split their tickets. So one of the more unconventional things she did was to actually say Mitch McConnell is blocking Donald Trump from reducing our prescription drug costs. It`s risky but it`s actually a smart strategy I have to say. She needs those ticket splitters to come to her.
MELBER: So, so far it sounds like for people who don`t like Mitch McConnell a ton of good news. What happens though when she has to balance this national fundraising support, this enthusiasm from the resistance with what you just alluded to vaguely as is your way, you`re a politician --
ISRAEL: I was. I`m retired politician.
MELBER: Oh you`re --
ISRAEL: I`m liberated.
MELBER: Are you not a politician anymore?
ISRAEL: I`m free.
MELBER: You look a little bit like a politician but you know, my job is just to call it as I see it but you`re vaguely alluding to something that you know as having run these kinds of races is everyone loves to get out there and say be strong, be tough, be blue whatever, right. You had to work with people running in swing districts, in red districts.
ISRAEL: That`s right.
MELBER: They can`t just say everything that an AOC might say.
ISRAEL: You`ve got to reflect the sensibilities of your community, of your district. It`s like when you drive cross-country and you`re listening to the car radio, in some areas you`re getting country music and other areas you`re getting NPR or you`re getting Harry Melber on your radio.
MELBER: On your Sirius Radio?
ISRAEL: On your Sirius Radio.
MELBER: Shout out to Sirius.
ISRAEL: Like that. And so you`ve got to reflect local sensibilities. You got to appeal to your voters.
MELBER: And you think she can do that?
ISRAEL: She can. She`s got a military background that appeals to more conservative voters but she stands up for very important issues like reducing prescription drug costs and making sure people have affordable health care which is very popular in Kentucky.
MELBER: While I got you, last question on a different topic. Pelosi versus AOC, it`s heating up. No Twitter, who`s right?
ISRAEL: Pelosi. Look it`s -- I understand it. I get that you have a group of people who`ve come to Congress. It`s a group of people who have one priority and it is their ideology. Nancy Pelosi has several priorities. Her priority is beating Donald Trump, reflecting the consensus of her Democratic House caucus, and making sure that she retains the Democratic majority. So she`s --
MELBER: Do you think the Speaker is being strategic or is she also personally just annoyed with some of the new members.
ISRAEL: No, I think she`s being strategic. I mean, I`ve seen this woman face insurmountable annoyances, cool, calm, and collected. She`s being strategic. She`s keeping her priority.
MELBER: Are you suggesting that being the leader the Democratic caucus involves a lot of annoying stuff you have to deal with? I can`t imagine.
ISRAEL: I was the chief annoying person. Truly I had that role.
MELBER: Former Congressman Steve Israel who`s been there and is now slowly endeavoring to be less of a politician and keep it more real and we`re happy to be with you for your journey.
ISRAEL: Thank you.
MELBER: And for your insights, we appreciate it. We`re going to fit in a break and then get to a very important story. This Trump official just broke his silence over the controversial handing of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is plea deal, a new accuser coming forward. We`ve got it all covered for you next.
MELBER: Donald Trump`s Labor Secretary, former Prosecutor Alex Acosta broke his silence today addressing the firestorm over the 2008 plea deal that he cut with accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you make this same agreement today?
ALEX ACOSTA, SECRETARY OF LABOR, UNITED STATES: We now have 12 years of knowledge and hindsight and we live in a very different world. Today`s world treats victims very, very differently.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Critics have unloaded on many aspects of this case including why the accusers and according to the law, the victims were not given their legal right of notification about the plea deal. NBC`s Savannah Guthrie just sat down with a new accuser who explains how Epstein approached her in New York City when she was 14.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: You`re 14 years old?
JENNIFER ARAOZ, ACCUSER OF JEFF EPSTEIN: Yes. You know very well my age. You know exactly you know, who he was hanging out with you know. I don`t think he cared.
GUTHRIE: Did Jeffrey Epstein raped you?
ARAOZ: Yes, I know he raped me, forcefully raped me, know exactly what he was doing, and I don`t think cared.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Epstein pleaded guilty -- excuse me, pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges that were brought against him, new in New York this week by the Trump DOJ. Those charges they`ll have also ignited the questions about how this other Trump official, Acosta, originally dealt Epstein and then got promoted in the Trump administration. This was back when he was the U.S. attorney in Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn`t hear back from you until it was too late. Do you owe them an apology?
ACOSTA: The agreement that had been negotiated had an unusual provision.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have no regrets?
ACOSTA: We believe that we proceeded appropriately.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But these victims say you failed them.
ACOSTA: We did what we did because we wanted to see Epstein go to jail.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is the message to victims who say they don`t trust you anymore?
ACOSTA: The message you need to come forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Glenn Kirschner also a former federal prosecutor. Thanks for joining me on this case. Did you think that Mr. Acosta made any points today that were fair or valid and did you think that he made any mistakes or was wrong today?
GLENN KIRSCHNER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: You know, what I heard from Labor Secretary Acosta was a pretty transparent attempt to weasel out of responsibility for drafting what is a non-prosecution agreement, unlike anything I`ve ever seen as a federal prosecutor.
What he tried to do in you know, different ways was not blame the victims so much as saying that he was sparing the victims because these young girls were embarrassed and they didn`t want to have to relive what had been done to them. They didn`t want people criticizing them.
Well, I can tell you, Ari. I prosecuted sex cases back in the 80s as an Army jag and their horrific for everybody first and foremost the victims. So no victim ever wants to relive it but they do want to have their day in court. They do want some justice.
And at the end of the day, I have found that they do want to tell their story because that`s how you hold sexual offenders accountable. So I thought it was an oblique attempt to blame victims. He also threw his senior prosecutor. I don`t think he ever named her, the lead prosecutor on the case but referred to her a number of times as I think a senior female prosecutor, threw her under the bus kind of saying, well, those -- some of those decisions were made by her.
And then the third thing is he kept wanting to blame the state. And can I tell you, Ari, there are 94 U.S. Attorney`s offices? Each and every one works cooperatively with the state authorities because we have what we call concurrent jurisdiction.
MELBER: Right. There was definitely -- there was blame shifting. I want to get you on the law. Some of this is OK debating what looks like a very lenient deal. Then there`s the law. The federal law has a very clear right for victims to be informed in a timely manner of a plea bargain or these kinds of agreements.
Then you look at the reporting that prosecutors were busted for wrongly keeping -- this Acosta and his team -- keeping the victims of this "child sex ring in the dark about his deal according to a judge." Where does that fit in?
KIRSCHNER: Well, he squarely violated the Crime Victims` Rights Act. And you know when you realize that victims have a right to be notified in a timely manner of any potential plea arrangement or non-prosecution agreement, and then when you look at this non-prosecution agreement, Ari, there`s a term in it that says we agree to keep this out of the public record.
And then there is that incredible letter that`s written by Jay Lefkowitz, one of Epstein`s attorneys saying thank you, U.S. Attorney Acosta, for agreeing to keep this under wraps and not notifying the victims. That letter might have well have said thank you, U.S. Attorney Acosta, for violating the law because that`s what a federal judge found.
MELBER: That`s what they found and it again goes to some of the way he`s recasting it today all for this or that reason, you could believe him or not, we have those debates. But you`re pointing some of the evidence that shows how much of it was done at the behest of this convicted sex offender billionaire. Glenn Kirchner, thank you for your reporting and your analysis.
KIRSCHNER: Thank you, Ari.
MELBER: Another update to a story that we`ve reported on a lot here. A Federal Appeals court has just thrown out, tossed a lawsuit that was alleging the President Trump was illegally profiting off the presidency. This came from Maryland and D.C. attorneys general. It was all about something that you may have heard of this constitutional Emoluments Clause, the idea that he was using hotels like this one to get money from foreign governments.
So that is a procedural win for Trump. We should note there`s a separate Emoluments case brought by Congressional Democrats that is still pending. Now up next when we come back, you got to see the parade right down the Canyon of Heroes with some inspiring messages all about USA.
MELBER: Before we go, how about some good news? A celebration for champions right here in New York City today. The victorious Team USA Women`s Soccer Team parading down the famous Canyon of heroes, a ticker tape parade filled with all the classic smiles, cheering fans, music, dancing, crowds chanting USA, as well as "equal pay."
Governor Cuomo just signed a new pay equity bill and he says the Women`s Team plays better than the men, his sports opinion there. Meanwhile, in the New York City Hall, the team was presented with keys to the city. Star player -- one of the star players had an inspiring message today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGAN RAPINOE, ATHLETE: Yes, we play sports. Yes, we play soccer. Yes, we`re female athletes, but we`re so much more than that. You`re so much more than that. This is my charge to everybody. Do what you can. Do what you have to do. Step outside yourself. Be more, be better, be bigger than you have ever been before. If this team is any representation of what you can be when you do that, please take this as an example.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Take this as an example. We take our hat off and say congratulations from here at THE BEAT. And it`s a reminder that as with sports and culture and so many other things that fill our day-to-day lives, we can take inspiration for the kind of world we want to live in. Hats off to that incredible team.
That does it for THE BEAT tonight. I`ll see you back here tomorrow 6:00 p.m. Eastern.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END