IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Trump caves on census TRANSCRIPT: 7/11/19, The Beat w/ Ari Melber.

Guests: Guest: Christine Todd Whitman, Christina Greer, Mike Lupica, Cory Booker, Robert Reich, Andrew Yang

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

So Ari no more legal fights for you man.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: It`s all done.

TODD: It`s a fun legal analysis. It`s all done.

MELBER: It`s all over.

TODD: Yes.

MELBER: I`m not so sure, but I take your point.

TODD: Yes.

MELBER: Chuck Todd, as always, thank you, sir.

TODD: Thank you, brother.

MELBER: We have a big show and we begin with breaking news.

President Donald Trump just massively caved in his long-running battle to try to force a citizenship question onto the U.S. Census. As I was just discussing with my colleague Chuck Todd, this is does is actually bring an end to the Supreme Court level legal wrangling that the President lost in spectacular fashion.

But I will show you what he said. The President claims this surrender does not mean he`s backing down.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Supreme Court ultimately affirmed our right to ask the citizenship question and very strongly it was affirmed. But the Supreme Court also ruled that we must provide further explanation that would have produced even more litigation and considerable time delays.

The case is already in three federal district courts that have been, to be totally honest, extremely unfriendly to us. These delays would have prevented us from completing the census on time. It`s deeply regrettable. But it will not stop us from collecting the needed information--


MELBER: President Trump announcing they are abandoning the efforts to try to force the citizenship question on the census, which at least in the way, they were trying to do it the Supreme Court did not initially allow. Instead, there will be an executive order that will ask federal agencies to turn over records on the numbers of citizens and non-citizens in the nation.

Whatever one thinks of this new request, let me be clear, it does not add a citizenship question to the U.S. Census. The Supreme Court had ruled that the administration`s arguments for trying to add the question were contrived - were in a sense, not true enough to get through a relatively low standard of review at the court.

Critics also pointed out that the way the Supreme - excuse me, the way the Trump administration was trying to get the Supreme Court to approve this could discourage people from participating, undercut immigrant communities, and also according to evidence provided, basically support a plot that had been discovered on a dead operatives computer to try to help the Republican Party.

I know sound like a lot. It`s not the only thing going on. Today, House Democrats revealed they will go ahead and vote on Tuesday to hold Attorney General Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for their roles in this whole controversy.

Barr was there today at the President`s event and he sort of congratulated him on this development.


WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: Congratulations on today`s executive order which will ensure that we finally have an accurate understanding of how many citizens and non-citizens live in our country.


MELBER: I want to get right to it, Christine Todd Whitman, a former Republican Governor of New Jersey, also served as EPA Chief in the Bush administration and has come out as a critic of the Trump administration; and Fordham Political Science Professor Christina Greer. I will add other experts and Senator Cory Booker in our show later tonight. But with the breaking news I wanted to get right to it.

Is it a surrender or not, what we saw in the Rose Garden.

FMR GOV. CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN (R) NEW JERSEY: Oh, yes, but his base won`t accept that. I mean they won`t say that. It`s a surrender. He wanted to do it through the census and the idea was totally partisan, and that`s really what the Supreme Court said.

They said this is ridiculous. You`re saying it`s - you`re only doing it really for partisan reasons. And he couldn`t get around that. He couldn`t figure it out. And what they tried to do at the Justice Department when they removed all the lawyers who had been handling this case. The rest of the lower court said this is just beyond and he had to cave.

MELBER: With him caving, and as you say spinning for his base, is there a silver lining here that, however, loudly and misleadingly the President goes along with the courts, what we also saw today is the rule of law holding, because the question will not be added to the census. The Supreme Court is the last word. Do you take any silver lining in that?

WHITMAN: Well I do except that there`s been so much made of it that I`m afraid a lot of people are not going to trust - answering the census anyway. I think they`re going to be scared away. I think they`re going to - they don`t trust the government anymore, because we`re doing so many things.

And of course, he`s talking about a big raid starting on Sunday, going after everybody. There`s no - it`s great to know who`s in the country. But the way they`re positioning is not for any reason other than politics and trying to get - and telling the American people that these are all - watch out, these are all bad people that all come to rape and to kill and to take your jobs away and it`s pitting us against one another.

It`s not really trying to find the answers for good policy reasons. It`s trying to find the answers for partisan, political reasons.

MELBER: It`s powerful hearing you say that so directly. As I reminded viewers, you happen to be a former Republican Governor, you happen to be a former Bush official, but you`re laying out your view of the facts.

When you say that this could intimidate people out of participating in the census, do you think that was part of the goal of the administration?

WHITMAN: I think it was initially, absolutely. I think that was part of it. But also then too clearly to be able to - because he mentioned it, he mentioned it in his speech today about being able to draw districts for citizens districts.

Districts - if you read the Constitution. Districts are based on population. Doesn`t say citizen, says population. And when he says we`re going to do districts just based on citizens, there`s no question that that`s a partisan way to approach it.

And what people don`t understand, I don`t think a lot of his bases, it can hurt them too. Because if you start these undercounts, because you don`t get everybody participating, then when it comes to understanding how much federal age you go to a place, let`s say after the next hurricane the next big flood, it`s going to be predicated on that.

And a whole lot of other government programs are predicated on the base, just the numbers, and you won`t have them.

MELBER: Professor the President was also all complaints about this and other issues at an event earlier today, take a listen.


Trump: Can you believe are you a citizen of the United States of America? Sir, you can`t ask that question. Why? Because the court said you can`t. We have three very unfriendly courts. They fight us all the way. The judges don`t like us too much, I guess.


CHRISTINA GREER, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: So we know that this President has a white nationalist agenda and that`s part of the citizenship question that he wants so badly. We have to also remember that so many families are mixed status households.

So as the former governor mentioned, you know, I feel that the damage is done. In the sense, that they`re going to be so many families and communities that are so afraid of this particular administration, we have the shadow of the raids that are coming this weekend or maybe next month, whenever. Right?

I mean, it`s just where - there`s so many communities that are just consistently living in fear. But why would you be motivated to fill out the census, even if you`re documented and you`re living with a brother, a child, a parent, who`s not. Why would you invite this type of government into your home?

And so I do think we`ll have an undercount anyway and I think that the President wants that for his various partisan reasons. But I fundamentally agree with you. It will come back and bite the heels of certain members of the Republican Party.

Let`s keep in mind many of them are losing out anyway. They`re losing out on jobs because the President does not know how to manage anything. They`re losing out, because we have an administration that doesn`t believe in climate change. They`re the recipients of hurricanes and droughts and floods. They`re the ones that are going to lose money for some of their education too.

The President can frame it as people from Central America are stealing all these things and creating all these ills in your life. But at the end of the day, we know that it`s his particular policies that are doing this.

And so unfortunately, for me, the greatest fear is that the threat has already - so many people are saying fear is the point, the cruelty is the point, I think that the damages is already done, because how can you even convince marginalized communities who were citizens - descendants of citizens to want to invite this particular government and administration into their homes and to answer anything as basic as how many people live here.

MELBER: Right. I want you both to stay with me. I want to broaden the conversation a little bit and bring in Mike Lupica for the New York Daily News. Host of the Mike Lupica Podcast.

Sir, take a listen to Neal Katyal, who our viewers know, as an expert on this issue, who also litigated part of it on behalf of critics of the census. When on the way towards today, there was a sort of a zigging zagging, probably a lot of time wasted, a bumbling effort by the administration to surrender.

Then say they weren`t surrendering. Then today truly surrendering while still claiming otherwise. And Neal Katyal in the middle of this was pointing out that he was hearing directly from people who still work at the Trump DOJ horrified by that process. Take a listen.


NEAL KATYAL, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I`ve gotten calls all day from Justice Department lawyers who are saying this is horrible, please help us. And that`s a pretty sad state of appearance.

MELBER:  You heard from - you`ve heard from multiple career Justice Department lawyers currently serving the Trump administration calling this you said, "horrible?"

KATYAL: Yes. I mean, I don`t remember the exact words, but the effect of it is horrible and you know and unprecedented and lawless.


MELBER: Mike, your view of this, particularly on the on the politics side.

MIKE LUPICA, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: You know, it was - this was astonishing. I mean, this was government by Kendrick Lamar today. I don`t believe in laws or system by any means, that`s what I believe in not believing them.

And Trump said these things with his tame Attorney General standing next to him, congratulating him for this failure today. And I was watching Barr and - who knows what this is going to do to whatever reputation he has left.

Ari, someday they`re going to have a Bill Barr Bobblehead Day like they have at the ballpark. And you wind them up and you`ll say congratulations Mr. President. And to me the whole pageant today was kind of shameful.

MELBER: Well, the governor ask you since you served in a cabinet, most of us have never had that life experience. I imagine there all sorts of pressures all the time for being loyal, for being supportive, and within reason that`s the process.

WHITMAN: Correct.

MELBER: And then there are limits to that. Your view of the way the Attorney General is comporting himself, because obviously there was heat at the DOJ as Mr. Katyal alluded to. This outcome helps the DOJ, because now they don`t have to keep defending this untenable position.

So he may feel substantively he got things going in the right direction, but what he had to exchange for that is - was what today? It was his credibility out there.

WHITMAN: Well, I`ve been disappointed with Bill Barr since the very beginning. I was very disappointed in the way he characterized the Mueller report before it came out. He was clearly doing the President`s business there.

And I had higher hopes for him. His reputation preceded him, it was better than that. He has not lived up to it. And I believe I don`t know why he`s behaving the way he`s behaving, what he hopes to get from it in the end. But he has been, what people are calling, a lapdog, and that`s disappointing. He`s better than that. You should know better than that.

MELBER: And the Democrats say there`ll be consequences for that. Bringing back Mike, I want to play a little bit of speaker Pelosi on the other issue. That, again, in any normal environment as we say, would be a huge, huge story.

Which is the House moving forward on contempt for the sitting Attorney General of the United States based in part on accusations that he completely mischaracterized the most important investigation into alleged election interference and obstruction by the sitting President. So that`s a big deal. Here is Speaker Pelosi, Mike.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Next week the full House will vote on a resolution of criminal contempt for Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross, so we can force our subpoenas and get the facts.


MELBER: Where does that fit into all this, Mike?

LUPICA: Ari, one of these days, one of these subpoenas is actually going to pay off in Trump`s Washington D.C. And somebody`s actually going to have to live up to one night. We kind of grew up in a country where a subpoena meant something. And what they continue to do with these subpoenas is take them and fold them into party hats.

And you know when you say they`re going to hold Barr and Ross in contempt, all I can think is, well more contempt that we already have for.

MELBER: Christina?

GREER: Well, I mean - you know, Ari, we`ve been talking about this since 2015. I mean, each--

MELBER: What we do. With you I`m here and we talk about it.

GREER: But each day we`ve just seen not just the President, but all the people who decide to be lapdogs, the shoeshine boys, whatever you want to call them, chip away at the norms of decency and democracy.

And I think that we`re seeing that our democracy is so fragile, because it needs to be upheld by people who actually respect the Constitution and put country before President. I mean, the only - I`m a little pessimistic about the census.

But I`m really optimistic, because when we have like-minded - sort of sensible Republicans who are saying this is actually for the good of our country, we need to sort of hold our ground. And not just abdicate to a President who knows nothing about that government, who knows nothing about governance and who does not clearly respect the will of all American people.

I mean, how many times did he say these courts aren`t friendly to us. I mean, that`s not the role of the court, sir.

MELBER: Yes. And that so many other Presidents in both parties, I would add, have always taken a chance to go higher when there is a ruling they disagree with, because it`s a chance to say, well, you kind of have to go along with it anyway. As Trump did today, however, angrily he got there.

But you can actually go higher and say, "Well, I strenuously disagree, that`s why I pursued this policy. I respect the rule of law". He doesn`t have that bone in his body. Before I let you go, did you deal ever with Mueller much? Did you see him much when you were in office?

WHITMAN: No, I didn`t. I knew him because of outside sources. But--

MELBER: But he was off doing his thing.

WHITMAN: But he was off doing his thing.

MELBER: What do you expect there is next week?

WHITMAN: Well, he`s not going to say probably much beyond what he said before. But if asked the questions the right way, "Yes" or "No", so he - because he`s probably not going to go much beyond that. There`s a way to ask questions to at least tweak out how much he felt that the obstruction was a real issue.

MELBER: What`s the best question in your mind on that front?

WHITMAN: Is it a correct reading of his statement that if he could - if they could have absolved the President of obstruction, but they didn`t go that far. Is that correct reading to mean that they found some substance there for obstruction?

MELBER: Right. Substance also known as criminal evidence--


MELBER: --against the sitting President.

WHITMAN: I`m that`s the - to me the biggest thing that--

MELBER: Yes, that`s not nothing.

WHITMAN: --worries me, the longest - the big long term damage is what`s being done to what you were talking about to the people`s confidence in our underlying government and our institutions of government and the rule of law. Because it`s being - the rule of law is being play - just blown away every day by this administration. And that to me is a very troubling thing when people start to lose faith in that.

MELBER: Really, really clearly put in a fitting point for us to reflect on and pause on. Christine Todd Whitman and Mike Lupica, thank you. Professor Greer, stick around there`s some other news we want to get to.

As I mentioned, we have a senator in 2020 candidate Cory Booker who will join me live after the break. And a lot more in the show, because we are six days out from the Mueller hearings, but in a way, part of the Mueller hearing began today. I have new reporting on that. We`ll explain Mueller`s former boss also spotted doing what? Well dining with Kellyanne Conway. We`ll get into that.

And Trump vows immigration raids as Democrats authorize new subpoenas on immigration. Plus, a first-timer on THE BEAT, the guy with the big ideas and the money 2020 candidate Andrew Yang, joins me later in the show. So stay tuned. I`m Ari Melber, you`re watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.


MELBER: Welcome back to THE BEAT. Well, we`ve been following some developing stories. Late today, the President holding an unusual press conference to announce a surrender, after a rebuke by the Supreme Court over the citizenship question, and he was joined by his Attorney General Bill Barr.

Now in a moment, Senator Cory Booker is here with me live on the story. But take a listen to Mr. Barr claiming the administration never actually considered adding the citizenship question I should say to the census by Executive Fiat.


BILL BARR, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: One other point on this. Some in the media have been suggesting in the hysterical mode of the day that the administration has been planning to add the citizenship question to the census by Executive Fiat without regard to contrary court orders or what the Supreme Court might say.

This has been based on rank speculation and nothing more. And should be obvious there has never been under - this has never been under consideration. We have always accepted that any new decision to add a citizenship question to the census would be subject to judicial review.


MELBER: I`m joined now by a U.S. Senator on the Judiciary Committee and a 2020 Presidential candidate, Senator Cory Booker. Thanks for joining me.

In that press conference the President and the Attorney General, who you oversee on your Committee, said that today marks a victory for the Trump administration`s position. Is that true?

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No this was a another rank failure of his echoing back to when he set up a commission to study the all the so-called illegal voters - the millions of people who illegally voted in his campaign.

This is a pattern of his what he`s attempted to do things, get stopped by the courts, public outcries, even people within his own party. This was a cynical attempt in the start and now he`s still standing in the Rose Garden talking about terrorizing immigrant communities, separating families, tearing away business owners and parents and grandparents.

This immigration policy is all about fear. And his attempts to inject fear into our culture, to suppress the count and a constitutionally mandated count in the census, and give himself some kind of political advantage by playing from the same playbook that we`ve seen throughout our history by demagogues.

In fact, we had an entire political party that rose up using the same language as this President, but then they were against Irish and Italian immigrants. Then it was a know-nothing party. We are a nation of immigrants. It makes us stronger and there are bipartisan ways we can be dealing with this.

Not the kind of cynical failure that we just saw where this President has now finally capitulated not only to public outcry, but even the Supreme Court. That if you read that decision by the Chief Justice, seems like he was calling him out for not telling the truth, which is a shocker.

MELBER: Right. Which - and when the court, as you know I know, I think our viewers come to have come to know, the Supreme Court avoids saying that if it can. It does not just blast government officials as liars if they can find out what they call a more benign reading.

And yet as you say, I think, that the ruling showed they just said, yes, they said it was contrived. They said it wasn`t a true rationale. And that brings us I guess to the credibility of Mr. Barr who you`ve tangled with here.

He was today on a census question. He also, according to The New York Times, has been trying to intercede and prevent Bob Mueller staff from talking even in private sessions to congressional committees, which is relevant to you, as Mueller prepares to testify next week.

WHAT is your view of Mr. Barr, of the contempt vote against him, and of what people should actually expect from a hearing that many experts in our own review suggests could be quite dry because of the nature of Bob Mueller`s approach to the job.

BOOKER: You know, someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. This is a guy that has been taking one of the most important law enforcement positions in the entire planet and has shown himself not to be an independent office, but more like Donald Trump`s personal lawyer.

And seems to be engaging in practices, now on a consistent basis, that are more about trying to protect a President who seriously need some legal help and legal because of the things he`s done, the misconduct he`s engaged in.

And so I am so frustrated, I voted obviously against Barr. But he`s gone so far beyond what I could have imagined someone would do, bending over backwards to be a personal lawyer to a President, as opposed to honoring the sacred and critical role he plays, as he should be playing, as an independent legal actor in our nation.

MELBER: And do you look at the Mueller hearing as a wrap-up of the Mueller report and then people move on or as a beginning of a question of whether impeachment hearings should proceed?

BOOKER: Look, you know, that I`m on the Judiciary Committee and we just got last week and I went down and read some of the unredacted reports. But then I went back and reread it in sections in total.

I really hope that Americans go and read this report. It is, as it stands, even with the redactions, it is a deep implication. And Mueller clearly says there are about 10 things that point to misconduct.

Here`s someone who has instructed people to lie, instructed people to change documents, had people on his campaign team cooperating with foreign adversaries. I mean, there is just so much there.

And now he is - instead of acting like the leader of the free world, he`s acting like an authoritarian leader by denying Congress what their constitutional duty is, which is to pry, checks and balances to the administration, to provide administrative oversight.

So this is one of those times I`ve said very clearly. I was not a quick person towards beginning impeachment proceedings. But seeing what I`m seeing right now, that Congress is being stymied by this President, and when there`s real clear evidence that anybody reads the plain black and white other of the Mueller report that there is clear evidence of misconduct there.

This is unacceptable what`s going on right now. The Congress should be able to continue its work and it`s a shame that we`re now seeing this, not only having to go into the courts, but potentially being stymied by a President that seems to happy without remorse in his willingness to subvert the Constitution.

MELBER: Strong words. A lot of breaking news on our end. I know a lot going on in your world out on the campaign trail. Senator Cory Booker thanks for making some time for us.

BOOKER: Thank you very much. Appreciate you.

MELBER: Yes sir. Appreciate it. Now as I mentioned, days away from the Mueller testimony, Democrats now subpoenaing 12 new witnesses.

Nick Akerman is here when we`re back in 30 seconds


MELBER: The Mueller hearings begin in six days featuring Bob Mueller`s testimony. But now there are new reports of a former Mueller staffer meeting with Congress today. Senior FBI official on Mueller`s team meeting behind closed doors with House Intelligence Committee, according to CNN.

Now we have not confirmed this report. But it`s especially interesting since the DOJ is trying to block other Mueller staff from closed-door meetings with the House. All this comes as Democrats uncorked 12 new subpoenas at key Trump officials.

Chairman Nadler, pursuing a who`s who of Mueller witnesses from guilty Trump aide Mike Flynn to Jared Kushner to John Kelly to Mueller`s old boss Rod Rosenstein, who is key because he`s supervised Mueller for most of this probe and then ultimately sided with Bill Barr`s assertion that the Mueller report did not amount to obstruction by Trump.

Now Rosenstein left the DOJ amid separate reports he assured Trump he could land the plane for him and today a CNBC reporter spotted Rosenstein dining with, yes, one of Trump`s staunchest defenders, current White House official, Kellyanne Conway. The two told the reporter they`re friends and the discussion was off the record.

I`m joined by former Clinton Labor Secretary, Robert Reich. Author of the "Common Good". He said Congress has a constitutional duty to impeach this President. Thanks for joining me.

ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY CLINTON ADMINISTRATION: Well, Ari, there is a constitutional duty to certainly begin an impeachment inquiry. There`s no question that this man, Donald Trump, is not going to be impeached in terms of removed from office because of this Senate Republicans.

So I think that when and if Democrats actually begin this impeachment inquiry, the public ought to be very, very clear that it is for the purpose of exploring and revealing - and the public understanding everything that was in the Mueller report and more.

MELBER: And so you have been around these Washington crises before. The Clinton administration dealt with its own investigation that went through, as you say, a somewhat similar outcome. Right? A House, of what you were talking about if it happened, which would be the House and the Senate not necessarily agreeing.

When you look to Bob Mueller who - I know you know about how - what do you expect him to say next week and do you think it can move the needle in a world where everyone is so used to Tweets and screaming and he`s the opposite.

REICH: Well I expect very, very little fireworks. This is a man who actually is known for being the opposite of interesting. That is he`s going to - I mean, he`s going to make this the most boring hearing you can imagine.


REICH: And I doubt that any new news is going to come out of it.  The needle is not going to be shifted.  But you know, Ari, as you were asking me that question, I was remembering back, I am old enough to remember in 1974 when the house was trying to consider whether to impeach or begin impeachment proceedings against Nixon and there was a lot of division.

Finally, the leadership in the House, the Democratic leadership, decided to authorize the Judiciary Committee to commence what they called then an impeachment investigation.  And those words were very important because it wasn`t an impeachment, it was an impeachment investigation.  I think that may be the way of threading the needle here.

MELBER:  You`re not so old, Bob?

REICH:  No, I`m not that old.

MELBER:  You`re not that old.

REICH:  I`m not.

MELBER:  I know.  I got someone here -- I got someone here you may know who`s also not sold but he knows a thing or two about Watergate since you mentioned it and that is a Nick Akerman, a former Watergate special prosecutor.  Not so old.

NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  No, I`m just a young guy.

REICH:  Very young.  We`re getting younger all the time.

MELBER:  Gentlemen, take a listen to something that is older which is the archive we pulled of all the different times that Bob Mueller has as you both know dealt with these hearings before.  Let me put it like this before I play this archive.  Bob Mueller has been through more high-stakes Congressional hearings as a witness than many members of the current House of Representatives.

I mean, there is a mismatch to that degree.  Take a look.


ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL:  I hesitate to speculate because I have just as my piece of the puzzle also.

I would have to check to make absolutely certain.

In every investigation there -- and particularly a fast-moving investigation, there are steps that are taken that may or may not work out.

And it`s very difficult to generalize or to reach some sort of understanding or make progress with that generalization.


MELBER:  Nick, he knows exactly what he`s doing.  You`re a prosecutor, he`s a prosecutor, how do you question him?

AKERMAN:  I think you question him just like you would any witness at a trial.  What you`ve got are eight acts of obstruction of justice that he lays out in his report.  He says he`s only going to stick to that report and that`s what the House committee should do.

They should take him through each of those eight acts, go through the corrupt intent evidence that they gathered which is enormous, on each of those acts bring out who the witnesses are, all of whom by the way we`re just subpoenaed today by the House committee because that`s going to be the next stage of this ,

MELBER;  So what does that question sound like?  Say you deal with something like did he have as you put it, the legal standard, corrupt intent right to try to kneecap the probe to try to get sessions back in charge which by the way his defenders say he`s the president.  He can try to get people to run things.  He runs the whole government.  And you would say what when you ask Mueller about it?

AKERMAN:  I would go straight through it and show how he hid that idea, how he tried to get Don McGahn to basically fire or have --

MELBER:  Have Mueller fired?

AKERMAN:  Have Muller fired, and how he did it, and how he lied about it afterwards and tried to get Don McGahn to lie about it.  I`d go through in my new detail all of those facts.  I mean, there`s no reason why this should be boring.  This could be actually a very exciting examination.

If you go through each of those eight items you put up a chart that actually has all of these with the witnesses, the corrupt intent, and --

MELBER:  What did you turn in here?

AKERMAN:  This is my second trip --

MELBER:  Robert Reich, you`re missing out not being here on set.

REICH:  I`m in the West Coast.  I can`t see it.

MELBER:  Well, I didn`t know.  You know, it`s all happening live but we are lawyers.  We do love documents.  Nick has made his own chart of the elements of obstruction.  It`s a flow chart.  So you see, OK, you need the act, you need the intent, and you need the Nexus.  Explain Nick.

AKERMAN:  Well, what you need is you first have to show what the act of obstruction is, firing Comey.  Then you have to show what is the corrupt intent.  You put out the evidence, the fact that Trump had everybody leave the room, that he got Comey alone.  Prior to that time, he tried to get an oath of loyalty from Comey.

Bring out all those facts.  Bring out the fact of how we kind of got down and said you`ve got to let Flynn go and what -- you know, what did that all mean and how did it -- how does that amount to corrupt intent.

And then going to what is the nexus.  The nexus, of course, is the FBI investigation into the whole Russian matter.

MELBER:  Right, and why was that -- why was there such a consistent and repeated effort to hide and to thwart if there was nothing allegedly to hide.  And let me bring in Rob.  Robert Reich, big Robert Reich buffs and fans will remember locked in the cabinet, yes?

REICH:  Yes.

MELBER:  Your time in the cabinet.  And so --

REICH:  My time in the cabinet.

MELBER:  -- how do you --

REICH:  Let me just ask --

MELBER:  You know, I`m the anchor, I`ll ask the question.  It`s OK.  Let me ask you a question.  How do you compare the allegations here in the Mueller report against Donald Trump on obstruction and lying and basically encouraging lies by others?  I mean he`s busted in the Mueller report for trying to get his own White House Counsel to create false evidence to trick Mueller.  How do you compare that to the cabinet you were into the allegations of obstruction against President Clinton?

REICH:  Well, honestly, Ari, I don`t think there`s any comparison.  I mean, first of all, Bill Clinton, there was no allegation that he went around telling people, public officials to lie publicly.  And also the issue, the underlying issue was very, very different.

The underlying issue with Bill Clinton was having sex with a young intern, and the issue here is having something else with Russia and allowing his aides and his staff to exploit whatever Russia wanted to give him and help in the election.

These are total magnitudes of differences and yet the House did impeach Bill Clinton for those actions.  So I think that if there is any kind of a constitutional duty here to go where evidence suggests that a president has acted illegally and unconstitutionally.  Certainly, you would say, the evidence is here and the House should at least begin impeachment investigation.

MELBER:  It`s very interesting to hear both of you especially given your wide range of experience on a day when a lot of this came together in one sense at the White House and as everyone girds for what you both said could be at times a dry but important Mueller hearing next week.  Robert Reich, Nick Akerman, my thanks.

AKERMAN:  Thank you.

REICH:  Thanks very much, Ari.

MELBER:  We also have a special on the Mueller report that`s airing this Sunday 9:00 p.m. Eastern.  Up ahead, 2020 candidate Andrew Yang is here.  And first, the Trump administration is again saying they`ll do these raids that were once canceled.  We have a lot more on all of it up ahead.


MELBER:  The Trump administration is again announcing mass immigration raids that were previously announced and canceled.  They`re saying this will occur on Sunday, 2,000 families and major cities around the country.

Now this was postponed so everyone is wondering is it another head fake but most people potentially affected can`t afford to just assume it`s a distraction.  Speaker Pelosi says this is heartless and will "terrorize children and tear families apart."

Democrats meanwhile putting up the pressure on the administration.  They`re voting to authorize Chairman Nadler to issue subpoenas related to this family separation policy after some impassioned pleas from Democrats.

I`m going to show you some of that emotional testimony and statements in a moment but I first want to bring back Professor Christina Greer who has covered this issue with us before.  When you see this, you were in a classic Trump bite.  On the one hand, give me a break.  You`ve literally threatened and then retracted this very thing before.  On the other hand, this is not a joke for people who could be hurt.

CHRISTINA GREER, PROFESSOR, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY:  Well, keep in mind the last time he retracted was when someone had accused him of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room and we had some Iran interactions.  And this was sort of part of the melee and the distraction in the news cycle.  And so we were focusing on that and not the fact that a sitting president was accused of rape.  So there was that.

Fundamentally agree, we can`t imagine what it must feel like in a household where every day you wonder if your loved one goes out to get milk or bread if you will never see them again, right.  If they will go to a country where they don`t speak the language and they know no one or a country that is in such political turmoil possibly due to the United States maybe not, but go to a country where they will be thrust into a situation with no money, no language skills, no social, or political, or economic resource.

MELBER:  And to your point, whether they will be afforded due process which is a founding principle of this nation, it is due process for all.  That includes convicted murderers let alone children who literally aren`t even accused of doing anything other than existing.  It`s why I raised that and I want to put on the screen the images we`ve seen before that are part of this.

This is not from a critic.  This is from the Trump administration`s DHS.  This is what they say -- this is the bare minimum of what we know is happening, let alone what you could get if we could get independent hidden cameras in there.

GREER:  Right.

MELBER:  And this is the context for something that I wanted -- I mentioned to our viewers we`re going to play Senator Hirono who I can say in my opinion, my view, is pretty tough, and made her way to the U.S. Senate.  And as a tough person, tough people also feel and tough people also care and it is not nothing that she gets this emotional in public as far as I know.  But this was how she was dealing with what you see on your screen.  This is brand-new today.


SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI):  When you saw the pictures of the kids, these detention facilities, if you didn`t feel shame, pain, if you weren`t appalled by these pictures, then something is dead or dying in your hearts and in the heart of America.


GREER:  Let`s be also clear though, this is minimum the fourth time we`ve done this as a nation, right.  I mean, this is the 21st-century version of us doing this.  We did this when we had U.S. chattel slavery, we`ve ripped apart families.  We did this one we have the Native American genocides.  We did this when we had Japanese and Germans and Italians in internment camps.

So, unfortunately, this is part of a long legacy of America.  This is also taxpayer-funded.  And so when you interview families or Republicans who are saying well you know, if they didn`t want this to happen then they shouldn`t come.  That is part of the problem.  That`s part of what the president has sown into the nation by treating these individuals as human beings and calling them animals and worse.

MELBER:  Right.  And you`re speaking to the historical context, the Senator is speaking to the human context of caring about it.  Thank you again for being on multiple segments as we cover a couple of issues.

Andrew Yang is here.  We`ll be right back.



ANDREW YANG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  If you heard anything about me, you`ve heard that there`s an Asian man running for president who wants to give everyone $1,000 of money.


MELBER:  2020 Candidate Andrew Yang describing his platform there.  He was the first person to show up at the debates that a lot of voters probably hadn`t heard of.  Tonight there are signs voters will be hearing from him at future debates.

The DNC rules raised the requirements to qualify for the stage at the later debates.  Here are the people on track to clear the two percent polling requirement for those debates, currently just seven candidates.  And as you see, Yang is actually one of them.  Underestimate his longevity at your own peril.

Candidate Andrew Yang joins me now for his first interview on THE BEAT.  Thanks for being here.

YANG:  It`s great to be here.  Thanks for having me, Ari.

MELBER:  What does it mean that you get back out on that stage and what is your message that`s different than the other Democrats?

YANG:  Well, it shows that our message is hitting home.  That we have to build an economy that works for people in the 21st century.  And the freedom dividend $1,000 a month of the game changer for families around the country so we`re looking forward to not just the debate in July, but also the debates in September, in October, and through the fall.

MELBER:  You did break through with some people.  You didn`t get as much speaking time as others but let`s look at you on that debate stage.


YANG:  You have companies like Amazon trillion-dollar tech companies paying literally zero in taxes while they`re closing 30 percent of our stores.  And if we had a value-added taxes even half the European level, it would generate over $800 billion in new revenue which combined with the money in our hands, it would be the trickle up economy from our people families and communities.  That`s why Donald Trump is our president today that we automated away four million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.


MELBER:  Is your focus bringing back those jobs you mentioned or just giving out money?

YANG:  Well, we have to face facts.  So we got rid of these millions of manufacturing jobs and retraining programs were a bust, had success rates of only zero to 15 percent.  So the question is how do we help those workers and also the workers who are driving trucks for a living and working in retail stores and call centers that are going to close?  How do we help create a path forward for these millions of American workers?

And my plan, the freedom dividend, would put buying power in their hands and would create paths forward.  It would also create over two million jobs directly in their communities just from having more buying power in their hands.

MELBER:  So you`re saying it`s a liberal way to put money in their hands but it`s also a stimulus.  Now, you started experimenting with this sort of a DIY economic policy where you`re giving out the money as an example to some people.  Take a look.


YANG:  That`s tremendous news for you, Mallory.


YANG:  You are a winner of the freedom dividend!  You got a $1,000 a month.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It`s a huge blessing.  Thank you so much.  I was (INAUDIBLE) using it for some other thing, but paying bills and working on my house, I got parts falling off.  So a huge, huge blessing.


MELBER:  What are you trying to say in doing that and what do you say to critics who argue well, OK, any candidate who just gives out money on the campaign trail is going to win some plaudits.

YANG:  Well, the great thing is you have to make a policy real for Americans.  Well, we can talk about giving everyone $1,000 a month but then when you see it in the hands of Mallory Shannon or the other two families I`ve done this for in other parts of the country, then you realize that $1,000 a month is going to hurt virtually no one, it`s going to help virtually everyone.

MELBER:  I look at your campaign and I see something that`s really different than a lot of other candidates.  And you know we keep it real here on THE BEAT.  You know what`s different?

YANG:  What?

MELBER:  A lot of your ideas.  I was looking at your campaign platform.  We`re going to put this up just some of them in the broad strokes, term limits, lower the voting age to 16, pay college athletes, eliminate the penny, decriminalize opioids, move towards self-driving cars.  What brings these things together in your view or do they not need to have one organizing philosophy, and are these things you really would implement as president or are you trying to simply drive the conversation out to things that we don`t pay as much attention to?

YANG:  Well, as you suggested, I`m still introducing myself to the American people.  I think the most effective way to introduce myself is just to give to people a sense of what I would do as president.  And so there are problems affecting Americans in ways big and small.

And if we have a solution that we think will help like decriminalizing opioids to try and get more Americans to have access to treatment instead of sending them to prison cells, then I was very here to put forward my vision for the country.  And I`m glad to say it`s catching on.

MELBER:  Also the penny is annoying.

YANG:  We spent more than a penny producing each penny, and who wants to get stuck behind that person in line?  Not me.

MELBER:  What does that tell you about the government that we`re spending more on pennies than pennies are worth?  I mean, it`s great.  Now, will you do as other candidates have done?  Will you do a lightning round with us?

YANG:  Of course.

MELBER:  Let`s hit it, lightning round.  Dream running-mate living or dead?

YANG:  So the first thing I came to mind was dead.

MELBER:  Sure.

YANG:  I should find out the way the answer is supposed to go but my political idol is Teddy Roosevelt.  I`m actually --

MELBER:  Did you know that`s Elizabeth Warren`s running mate?

YANG:  So I`m actually Teddy Roosevelt`s great granddaughter`s godfather if you can believe that.

MELBER:  That`s tenuous.

YANG:  I know.  It`s very tenuous.

MELBER:  That`s --

YANG:  But I`m still very --

MELBER:  My dog walker had a good relationship with Susan B. Anthony.  I mean you`re a little -- you`re reaching, aren`t you?

YANG:  A little bit.  Sure.

MELBER:  Favorite band.

YANG:  The Cure.

MELBER:  Favorite song to work out too.

YANG:  I tend to listen to hip-hop and rap so something by Jay-Z when I work out.  It gets my blood pumping.

MELBER:  Recent Jay-Z like 444, or classic Jay-Z.

YANG:  Kind of older school like you know early 2000s, before you had kids.

MELBER:  We happen to know that you have this whole thing for holograms.

YANG:  Yes.

MELBER:  We can put one up.  I mean, you`ve appeared with holograms, you`re into the tech, that is not a person next to you, that`s a hologram of the great late Tupac Shakur.  Why do you like holograms so much?

YANG:  Well, we were looking at using the technology we still are at having a hologram campaign in parts of the country that I can`t get to very easily.  And so we thought it would be a fun way to introduce people to a different sort of technology that they might not have been exposed to but also I could be two, three, or four places at once.  It just seemed very on theme for the campaign to show that in 2019 we can do things differently.

MELBER:  And the last question, what is the Yang Gang?

YANG:  Well, the Yang Gang is just the nickname that my supporters have earned over the last number of months.  But I`m happy to say we`ve gotten over 136,000 donors in the Yang Gang so that`s one of the reasons why I`m on track to make the Fall debates.

MELBER:  Is it cooler to say gang, gang or Yang Gang?

YANG:  Well I say to people I`m very fortunate that I have a last name that rhymes with gang because if I didn`t, I have no idea what would we be called.

MELBER:  Wow.  Well, sometimes the rhymes make themselves and that`s true in music and if I may, that`s true for nerds as well.

YANG:  I`ll take it very gladly.

MELBER:  I gave it and I have it so nerd to nerd, gang, gang, Yang Gang, I hope you come back on THE BEAT Andrew Yang.

YANG:  I`d love to.  Thanks, Ari.

MELBER:  Thank you.