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

Trump defiant amidst outcry. TRANSCRIPT: 8/9/19, The Beat w/ Ari Melber.

Guests: Anibal Romero, Daniella Gibbs Leger, Doris Kearns Goodwin, DavidCicilline, Michael Eric Dyson, Kristine Woodworth, Doris Kearns Goodwin, DaBrat

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: That it was fantastic. So, coast to coast coverage here on MEET THE PRESS DAILY. Thank you all. That`s all we have from Sioux City. We`d like to send a big thank you to our friends at the Crave American Kitchen and Sushi Bar for their wonderful hospitality right here on the river. Should you get here, go enjoy their food.

We`ll be back Monday with more MEET THE PRESS DAILY and if it`s Sunday, it`s MEET THE PRESS at NBC. Don`t miss my interview with 2020 candidate Kamala Harris and an exclusive with the acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan. "THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER" starts right now. Good evening Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chuck. We`ll be watching. Thank you very much. Now we have a lot to get to tonight. Fallout from Trump administration`s big raid with new revelations of Trump himself profiting off undocumented workers and pressure that appears to be working as Trump and McConnell cracked open the door to new gun control legislation.

And Judiciary Chair Nadler says impeachment proceedings have now begun. So a lot of stuff but we begin right now with these revelations. Undocumented workers who`ve worked for Trump. This news breaking as families in Mississippi are still scrambling to deal with the aftermath of ICE sweeping up hundreds of undocumented people, leaving kids stranded, crying.

But here is the story that`s rocking Donald Trump and his anti-immigration brand tonight. New from the Washington Post, "For nearly two decades, the Trump administration has relied on a roving crew of Latin American employees to do construction projects at its properties.

The Post reporting that "for years their ranks have included workers who entered the U.S. illegally." One employee says that`s still true today. All this as Trump defends immigration raids that arrested about 700 undocumented workers in Mississippi.

Meanwhile BuzzFeed reporting hundreds of kids staying home from school because they`re afraid of going out in public. ICE officials tell NBC, they didn`t give schools or welfare agencies advance notice of the raid because it might have botched the operation in saying, we`re a law enforcement agency not a social services agency. The attitude has many families struggling to pick up the pieces.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This woman who says she`s been in the U.S. for 24 years told us her husband among those still being detained. This 11 year old says her father`s gone.

MAGDALENA GOMES GRIGORIO, 11 YEAR OLD IN FORREST: I need my dad for me. My daddy do nothing. He`s not a criminal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This church, a sanctuary for this one-year old girl. This woman tells us the church is watching the baby as her father tries to find a little girl`s mother who`s in custody.


MELBER: Those are the facts. That`s what`s happening. Here is Donald Trump defending it.


KRISTEN WELKER, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Why wasn`t there a better plan in place to deal with the migrant children in Mississippi?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The reason is because you have to go in, you can`t let anybody know. Otherwise when you get there, nobody will be there. But I want people to know that if they come into the United States illegally, they`re getting out, they`re going to be brought out. And this serves as a very good deterrent.


MELBER: A deterrent. The treatment - excuse me - the treatment of those children is being invoked as a deterrent. Now if Trump`s trying to deter undocumented immigrants, of course the question would be why didn`t he do that in his own businesses. Critics citing this as peak mega hypocrisy tonight.

And think about last month when he was asked if the Trump organization ever employed you the undocumented.


TRUMP: Well, that I don`t know because I don`t run it but I would say this, probably every club in the United States has that because it seems to me from what I understand a way that people do business.


MELBER: I turn now to Daniella Gibbs Leger of the Center for American Progress and Anibal Romero, an attorney who represents a number of former undocumented Trump workers including one sited in today`s Washington Post.

What`s the significance of this news story? To Anibal.

ANIBAL ROMERO, LAWYER FOR UNDOCUMENTED FORMER TRUMP WORKERS: Oh yes, hi. Thank you Ari. This is absolutely astonishing. My client Jorge Castro worked for this construction company for many years. He lived at a Trump property for many years in Virginia. He lived at the hotel in Washington DC.

He was fed by the Trump properties when he was working there and bottom line is he only got paid 40 hours. This is the reason they were hiring undocumented immigrants because they can cheat them out of wages. It`s absolutely crazy. I`ve been in contact with the New York state Attorney General`s office.

We`re discussing this case and all other cases that we have been reporting to authorities and that the Washington Post and the New York Times has been reporting.

MELBER: Daniella.

DANIELLA GIBBS LEGER, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: You know, it`s just another example of Donald Trump`s rank hypocrisy. He will attack you on the very same thing that he is doing and unfortunately you know, what`s been happening over the past couple days, it just highlights again how broken our immigration system is.

How easy it is for people to exploit our immigration system for their own political gains and how Donald Trump has no interest and no desire to A, make it better and that you know, the cruelty that we`ve been seeing, that we see in Mississippi, that is not a bug, that is a feature.

MELBER: You mentioned the cruelty. Let`s look a little bit more at the treatment and reporting on these children there in Mississippi.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some people say that they took over there to Louisiana. I want to know if she`s over there or still in Jackson. I love you mom and I hope you stay safe.


MELBER: Daniella.

GIBBS LEGER: It just, it breaks your heart to see that happen and OK so yes, the ICE, they are a law enforcement agency but I`m pretty sure they didn`t follow all the proper protocols here that they should have and where is their heart and humanity. You mean to tell me that everybody that they picked up at that plant were criminals and imminent threats and dangers to this country. I call BS on that.

MELBER: Anabel, I want to play a little more of the reporting because we touched on this last night and this, I think it`s vital for people to see what`s happening. Here is more of the reporting we`ve seen including on the ground after the raids.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fighting back tears 11-year old Magdalena Gomez Gregorio expressed to us her devastation being alone without her dad.

GREGORIO: Government, please put your heart. Let my parents be with me and with everybody else please. Don`t leave the children with cryness and irritating. I need my dad for me. My daddy do nothing. He`s not a criminal.


MELBER: Anabel, it`s hard to watch but I don`t think that means we should turn away. This is the voice of a child who we`ve just met through this - through the crucible, this tragedy and let`s listen to her words. I`m curious your reaction to them. What we just heard. She says, Government, please show some heart. Let my parent be free with everyone else. Don`t leave the children who are crying.

I mean is that something we all should be listening to tonight?

ROMERO: It`s - absolutely. I mean, there are 11 million people living in the United States. 8 million of them are part of the work force. Why do you think many of them are coming because employers are hiring them. We know that many are fleeing violence but there are others who are coming to work, employers are hiring these people, taking advantage of them and once they have ties to the community, now you`re going to basically kick them out of the country.

This is so unfair. What kind of country are we? We really need comprehensive immigration reform. 8 million people are living in the United States without legal status. No healthcare. These are people who are good people. All they want to do is continue to work and help this great country but something needs to be done.

MELBER: Both of you stay with me. Here in New York, I`m joined by a very special guest tonight. Presidential historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin. Nice to see you. What are we to make of this footage we`re seeing?

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR: I mean to me the idea that this hopefully a power in that little girl`s cry. I mean, she said this is government I need, it`s not just a law and order agency, it`s a government agency and I hope that we still have the capacity to not be numb to these things.

Images have a huge power for us. I mean I think about the past and you think about that image of the little girls running away from napalm which really brought a certain kind of anti-Vietnam War to a peak.

You think about the image of Life magazine did this extraordinary thing in 1969, the summer of Chappaquiddick, the summer of Apollo, the summer of Woodstock and they put 242 pictures of people who died in 1 week in Vietnam as if they were high school photos and somehow that created an emotional response. I just hope we`re not numb.

MELBER: Because I know you mentioned that so we pulled some of this. That`s up on the screen folks. Many viewers of course will remember that era. What was the import as you say of the pictures of real people, transcending what was also a bitterly divided political time.

KEARNS GOODWIN: I mean, we`d heard statistics about how many people have died in Vietnam and then suddenly you see their faces. They look like as I say, that it`s a high school graduation picture. They`re young people. They died in one week. Somehow Life magazine had more people reading this and had done for years and it had an impact.

It escalated the feeling that something has to happen in this war.

MELBER: Daniella, I wonder what you think about that. Doris is reminding us of the sweep of politics over time which becomes history and we can put back up the image of this - this young girl we`ve learned about Magdalena who -who is a person now that we have to take in as the literal face of this type of government policy.

GIBBS LEGER: You know, I - I hope that the people who are running these agencies and everyone in government, that everyone hasn`t lost their humanity you know, Doris said. I`m trying to remain optimistic. These past couple weeks have been really, really trying for people of color, for immigrants, for Latinos. It`s been really tough.

And you listen to that girl and like I said, it breaks your heart and not just because I`m a mother but because I`m a human being who has empathy and I feel like empathy is what is clearly missing from Donald Trump but I worry that it is missing from a lot of Republicans who are very happy to get their tax cuts and get all their other things done.

And that they are overlooking this and I know that a lot of people think maybe we shouldn`t be showing these images a lot but I think we need to because we need to force people to look at what we are doing. People say this is not America. I`m sorry this is America and we are doing currently.

MELBER: That`s been a big theme this week as we think about the violence and the division. I want to thank Danielle - Daniella and Anabel. Doris stays with me here both because I want to talk to more about the history of this and for later.

What are Presidents supposed to do in a week like this and what has been done?

KEARNS GOODWIN: Well, what`s interesting is obviously we`ve been talking about President`s responsibility to be Consoler-in-Chief. That`s a relatively new phenomena. It has to do with the fact that these issues we`re seeing them on the media, on television which we didn`t before.

Teddy Roosevelt didn`t go to the earthquake in San Francisco. Benjamin Harrison didn`t go to the Johnstown flood. It wasn`t thought to be a federal responsibility but in recent years it has become one. This one is even more important. It`s not just that we`re comparing with President Trump did versus President Clinton or President Obama or President Bush after 911.

Where they did play that role of Consoler-in Chief. This is almost like a national emergency now. Something deeper has happened between Pittsburgh and now what`s happened in EL Paso and you need a President to really be able to heal us. I mean I keep thinking where is Abraham Lincoln saying it`s time to bind up the wounds of this nation as he did in the second inaugural.

Where is Franklin Roosevelt saying, we`re in a depression and something has to happen and it`s not your fault you people, it`s leadership that`s at fault. I just keep wondering and wishing I could be back in history and bring my guys back up at this moment.

MELBER: Yes. Well, that`s the thing I wanted to ask you about. How do we know when we are living through an epidemic, you just made reference to the notion that we have. The collision of mass murder, mass violence which is easier to commit in this country as a matter of technology or guns in most places and then hate crimes.

KEARNS GOODWIN: I think we`re feeling it. I mean, I don`t know that you know that`s why history looks better when they can go back a couple decades and see what`s happening but you just look at the anti-Semitic feelings that seem to have grown. The anti-immigrant feelings that seem to have grown.

We`re living in a time when people see each other as the other. It`s one of the things Teddy Roosevelt warned against. He said democracy would founder if people in different regions, different sections, different religions begin to see each other not as common American citizens but as the other.

And I think that`s what`s happening now with people in the country viewing people in the city just as happened at the turn of the nineteenth - twentieth century. This - that reminds me the most of now, it was an industrial revolution, there were new inventions. There was a gap between the rich and the poor. Big companies swallowing up small companies and the immigrants were then scapegoated.

There was a populist movement at that time and you needed to have leadership that took us a square deal. Teddy Roosevelt said, the rich and the poor I care about. The capitalists and the wage workers. We`re in one of those disruptive times right now. History shows us that and we need a way to get out of it that the people could come together instead of feeling like we`re against one another.

MELBER: It`s fascinating to hear you lay it out like that and you`re also speaking to this paradox where because of mass media we can see each other more and yet we`re so divided. I`m thrilled that you`re going to stick around and do your first ever Fall back Friday tonight.


MELBER: All right, there`s light at the end of the tunnel even on a tough week. Doris Kearns Goodwin, we`ll see you back later in the hour. Coming up, we have a lawmaker from the committee pursuing what Democrats now say is formal impeachment proceedings.

McConnell facing gun control protests. We have an organizer leading that fight on the show and Greenshirt guys speaks out after the viral video of him laughing at it over the top anti- immigrant protester and then yes, as mentioned you know, the first guest here is the second. Doris Victor Brat tonight. You`re watching The Beat with Ari Melber.


MELBER: How do you know when Congress` probe and to Bob Mueller`s evidence against Trump is an impeachment proceeding? When the Chairman in charge of impeachment says so.


REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): This is formal impeachment - impeachment proceedings. We are investigating all the evidence, we`re gathering the evidence and we will at the conclusion of this hopefully by the end of the year vote to - vote to articles of impeachment to the House floor or we won`t. That`s a decision that we`ll have to make but that - that`s exactly the process we`re in right now.


MELBER: That`s a shift. Democrats ended Mueller week suggesting, their work was similar to impeachment. Now they`re saying it officially is an impeachment probe as Nadler goes to court to get more of the evidence and forced testimony from Mueller`s star witness Don McGahn.

That filing says, this is all about determining whether to recommend impeachment. I`m joined now by Congressman David Cicilline from the Judiciary Committee who has been a leading voice for impeachment hearings. How are you?

REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI): Good, how are you? Good to be with you.

MELBER: I`m OK. My voice is coming and going so I ask for everyone`s patience including. What is the deal? What is really going on here? Is this 100 percent formal impeachment or are you guys sort of super sizing and euphemizing something that is so far, doesn`t look like actual impeachment hearings the way we`ve had in the past.

CICILLINE: Well, I think that Chairman is exactly right. Our committee has been engaged in the process of determining whether or not the President of United States has committed high crimes and misdemeanors and whether or not we will make a recommendation of article of impeachment to the full House.

And we have been in the fact gathering, investigation period of this inquiry, subpoenaing witnesses, compelling the production of documents, litigating for the grand jury proceeding so we`re in a fact finding process with one purpose, to determine whether or not it is appropriate to file articles of impeachment with the full House and recommend their consideration.

MELBER: I don`t want to get too metaphysical on it but it is interesting on something as big as the constitutional question of the potential attempt to remove a sitting President, that there`s still this confusion. Let me give you a Republican view from your own committee because the ranking member says you`re Chair Nadler is either uninformed about what a formal impeachment inquiry is or is deliberately misleading the American public to score points.

If impeachment hearings have begun, when was the first impeachment hearing? Was it the Bob Mueller? Was it something else?

CICILLINE: I think the reason there`s some confusion as there are three ways you can begin a formal impeachment investigation proceeding - enquiry, whatever you call it. One is a formal vote of the full House. One is a formal vote of the Judiciary Committee to open an impeachment proceeding and the third way is just to begin doing the work and begin bringing in witnesses and begin compelling the attendance of witnesses in the production of documents.

We have been engaged in this work and I think the reason it became sort of a pivotal moment was when we had to do a filing in which we acknowledged that the Judiciary Committee is in the midst of this impeachment investigation or impeachment proceedings in order to make it clear, what we were doing and that it was in fact to determine whether or not articles of impeachment should be filed.

It was maybe in that moment that it was sort of written down for the first time but I think the committee has clearly been in this work for several months.

MELBER: OK, so you`re saying it was door number 3 and Americans may remember the other doors which can look sort of formalized to the voting process and that that filing of course was under oath, right? That`s filing in court of you guys saying, hey, this is because of impeachment.

While I have you, I also want to play something that the President said about Bob Mueller, take a look.


TRUMP: Joe Biden can`t answer simple questions. Somethings going wrong with him. I mean, the only thing is I mean, a lot of people think that he was the one that wanted Bob Mueller to testify because it made Joe look intelligent. OK?


MELBER: Congressman, I suppose my question is one, do you consider that as stick and burn and 2, do you think he wrote it in advance? And 3, what does it tell you of the President`s taking shots at Mueller and Joe Biden?

CICILLINE: Look, I think the President is worried about Robert Mueller, he`s worried about Joe Biden and he should be. Mr. Mueller came before the committee and testified that there was no exoneration, that the investigation was not a hoax, that obstruction of justice is a very serious offense because it goes to the heart of our criminal justice system.

And then he recounted the President attempting to fire him, directing his legal counsel to fire the Special Counsel and then to lie about it and make a false document that he then directed Corey Lewandowski, an outside third party to go tell the Attorney General to tell the Special Counsel to limit his investigation to future Presidential campaigns and effectively end the investigation of the 2016 campaign.

And 8 other instances of obstruction of justice. So I think it evidences the President`s concern about the Mueller report and its contents and his concerne about the challenge by the Vice President to his candidacy and I think he`s afraid of both of them and for good reason.

MELBER: There`s been a lot going on obviously in this tough week but these stories that your committee`s working on, pretty important. I appreciate you telling us about some of your work, Congressman Cicilline.

CICILLINE: Thanks for having me.

MELBER: Thank you Sir. Hope you have a good weekend. Coming up, there`s this growing list of Democrats who now say point blank, Donald Trump is a white supremacist. Professor Michael Eric Dyson is here with us on that in 30 seconds.


REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR (D-TX): The terrorists that came into our community to hire Mexicans and immigrants use the same language as the President.

TRUMP: I think my rhetoric is a very - it brings people together.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The President has embraced white nationalists.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS: White supremacy, that`s the problem. This is a hoax.

BETO O`ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have a President who demonizes communities like this one, who vilifies immigrants.


MELBER: Now those are some of the extraordinary and disturbing moments this week after mass shootings turned Donald Trump`s long-time agitation against immigrants inside out. The people he claimed were a threat are the people who became the victims killed by a gunman who echoed the President`s language.

Now some of Trump`s opponents saw a tipping point. They may have believed for a long time that he`s a white nationalist. This is the time they`re declaring it, altering the fault lines of race in domestic politics, all as Donald Trump`s team was doubling down up until and including today defending his approach to the shootings.

As a media ally of the President claims white nationalism is itself a hoax. A false and divisive claim which we should remember inverse something important. This is kind of a reversal of the original racist conspiracy of birtherism which also powered Trump`s political rise.

Birthers wanted a fake thing to be real. If Obama were born abroad, then he couldn`t be President. Now some Trump allies want a real thing to be fake. Make white nationalism, a hoax so there`s no pressure to deal with the real problem. In moments like this on this show and particularly at the end of these kind of weeks, we turn to a scholar, a professor, an author, Michael Eric Dyson from Georgetown University. Thanks for doing this, Sir.


MELBER: Let`s begin with what I`m gesturing at here. The link between America`s problems with racism and America`s problems with lies. And the work that has to be done to attack not only people, that would be racism but truth itself in the service of some of these ideologies.

DYSON: Yes, it`s a very sophisticated argument you`re making and a very necessary one. As you know, scholars have been thinking about this for a while, linking mendacity and immorality, specifically racism, the belief in the inherent superiority of one group on the other or others and the lie, the mythology that exploits white believe in self and exaggerates it to an extraordinary exponentially expanded degree.

It`s false, it`s fake. The very people who promoted to the degree that they know what`s false invest in it even further, are driven to believe in it even more. So that the maintenance and preservation of the lie now becomes the Bailey wick of those who want to reserve their right to both assert their superiority and the inferiority of the other and then to claim innocence.

And we didn`t - that`s not what we meant, plausible deniability. We didn`t intend that at all. We are not racist, you were racist for pointing it out, you were racist for being obsessed with it. So now the burden is shifted onto the shoulders of those who have been victimized if you`ve already indicated the very people who were targeted by President Trump`s language are now the victims of this vicious onslaught of racial terror and nobody`s hands are dirty according to the President except those who would keep the lie that he is responsible of lying.

So we got crisscross mendacities and we got competing lies that show us the depth of the depravity to which we have descended.

MELBER: Crisscross mendacities. I always get at least one interesting term - phrase that is original from you. That`s the first and you`re not even done yet, Sir. I think about this with who owns history because whatever one`s ideology, America was founded on racism and slavery, whether you go to first grade and you learn about just the basics or all the way up in law school, you spend a lot of time learning about this constitution which had really important and good ideas in it and also had these immoral horrors in it, which is why we amended it.

It`s why we try to fix it. To have people come along and say white supremacy is a hoax, it does not exist, counter factual or Doris Kearns Goodwin, a hello scholar like yourself who was on the show early was mentioning the rising tide of anti-Semitism, which is you know, will sometimes especially in Europe include a minimization or even denial of things that happened to Jews, or denial of the Holocaust.

What is it that you see in the ideology as achieving by trying to deny that slavery, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, that these things even occurred. What is the work that`s going on there and how do we and this is a big question for you, how do we combat that nowadays?

DYSON: That`s a very extraordinary analysis condensed to bite size digestible form and it`s very important that there is. Holocaust deniers are in league with the hoax prognosticators, that we`re making it up, that we`re generating it.  And what is -- what is invested in that denial is a refusal to accept responsibility.

Abraham Joshua Heschel said not all are guilty but all are responsible.  So we have to be responsible for the knowledge we possess.  So we`ve denied that knowledge and therefore deny our responsibility.  It`s a syllogistic extension of a perverted logic but we see where it`s heading.

So the problem is that those who would as Gore Vidal said live in the United States of amnesia, they`ve washed their sins in the washbasin of refusal, of denial, therefore they can`t be held to account.  And if you bring it up you are literally inventing something that they have denied.

They believe their denial means that your acceptance of objective truth is the very thing that is the offense.  We saw it in the Holocaust, we see it now with the denial of white supremacy, and the culpability that people have.

And what they`re trying to do is to protect their past, right, like what stuff we used to do, stuff that our parents, that our grandparents did.  No, they are not the kind of people you say because if we judge them according to the litmus test, they evoke to beat up on gay people, or black people, or Jewish people.  Then they have to stand to account by their own measuring-rod and they couldn`t do so.

So as a result of that, they have to invent things.  Inventions, lies, mendacity, creating these stories and myths are the coin of the realm of those who are deniers on all occasions.

MELBER:  Yes.  And it is -- you teach us -- I mean, I love listing you on this.  And it brings us all the way back to when you think about the pain and the fault line of Charlottesville which involved the white supremacist and the anti-Semites and other types of hate, and anti-immigrants.

And the marching we`re looking on the screen was marching chanting about replacement theory which is both anti-immigrant and anti-Jewish Americans, and saying they won`t replace us.  And of course, a lot of that was about a debate over history and statues and what happened in the Confederacy and what was that war really about which again goes back to the truth, birtherism another lies.

So all of this is important I think to track, to expose, that`s what you`re doing.  We`re out of time but I would be remiss if I didn`t give you a chance to give a brief shout out to Da Brat who`s joining us later this hour since you are also a scholar of music, sir.

I mean, to the D, to the A, to the B-R-A-T Da Brat.  One of the best that ever swing those lyrics like she`s in hysterics, leaving these people with hieroglyphics.  Do it, Da brat.

MELBER:  Amen.  You know, we can do this serious and still remember there is -- there is love, there is music, and there is culture out here.  Professor Dyson, I can`t wait to see you again.  Thanks for coming on THE BEAT.

DYSON:  I look forward to it, my friend.

MELBER:  And that`s the best tease we could do of Da Brat who will join us later.  You`ll see that tonight as well as Mitch McConnell feeling new heat in the gun control debate.  Rallies across the country as well as in his hometown, it`s an important story and it shows the way some of this is working.  We also have one of those protesters live next.


MELBER:  Turning to a story we`ve been covering all week and for a long time before that which is gun safety and gun control activism in the wake of these frequent shootings, and their signs it`s working.  Take a look at none other than the president.


TRUMP:  We need intelligent background checks, OK.  This isn`t a question of NRA, Republican, or Democrat.  I really believe that the NRA, I`ve spoken to them a numerous time, they`re really good people.  They`re great patriots.  They love our country.  They love our country so much.  And frankly, I really think they`re going to get there also.


MELBER:  You don`t have to agree, you don`t have to believe him, but you are listening to an NRA backed incumbent president say we need intelligent background checks and saying the NRA, this may be the pressure or some kind of public negotiation saying the NRA will get there.

Now that is what gun control activists say is a step, but there is skepticism.  There is, of course, Donald Trump always making it up as he goes along.  So it`s not just him.  Consider Mitch McConnell, the scene last night in his hometown of Louisville, hundreds.

People from there and elsewhere protesting, demanding action on gun control bills that passed in the house five months ago.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We`re here to demand that the senior Senator from the Commonwealth of Kentucky do his job and let them vote.

AMERICAN CROWD:  Let them vote!  Let them vote!  Let them vote!


MELBER:  The group led by Ohio congressman and twenty20 candidate Tim Ryan.


REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  This continues to happen in the most powerful country in the world.  We are fed up.  We don`t want any more speeches.  We want action.  We want to change the United States of America.  I want us to have Mitch McConnell passed these two bills that are sitting on his desk right now.

AMERICAN CROWD:  Bring it to the floor!  Bring it to the floor!  Bring it to the floor!


MELBER:  What are these activists up to?  Well, let`s ask one.  I`m joined by Kristine Woodworth, Ohio Chapter Leader of Moms Demand Action who helped lead that very caravan to Louisville.  Thanks for joining me.


MELBER:  Absolutely.  As I`ve mentioned, because we`re in the business of talking about what`s happening, a tough grueling week in so many ways, but your group says something good can come from this.  What are you doing?

WOODWORTH:  Well, what we`re doing now is holding vigils and holding our survivors closely.  We have a lot of survivors in our movement and so we`re asking them to do what they can to come into the movement.  We`re trying to welcome in thousands of new members who have reached out to us since this started, and we`re organizing like crazy.

MELBER:  Take a listen to the organizing results on the other side, Donald Trump at the NRA.  Take a look.


TRUMP:  You have a true friend and champion in the White House.  No longer will federal agencies be coming after law-abiding gun owners.  No longer will the government be trying to undermine your rights and your freedoms as Americans.


MELBER:  Is your organizing theory that the frustration people have with Donald Trump not meaning what he says could actually be the secret to your potential success, and if you can get something through the Congress in this environment he might just sign it no matter what`s in it?

WOODWORTH:  Well, I guess it`s hard to know what he will do because he has been on both sides of this issue.  The words that he said this morning about background checks, we welcome those.  We`re excited about that.

And any movement on the part of Mitch McConnell saying that he is -- he is focused on bringing background checks to the floor, that`s what we want.  So those are still just words so we`re waiting to see what actions they take.

MELBER:  Yes, that makes sense.  You mentioned McConnell, let`s look as well so folks see because a lot of this has been developing.  Mitch McConnell not known for bringing stuff to the floor.  I would say -- oh I`m not going to call the Grim Reaper, that`s mean but actually he`s rejoiced at that -- at that nickname.  But now he`s saying maybe some stuff will come to the floor.  Take a look.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY):  Senator Graham and Senator Blumenthal, a Republican and a Democrat are developing a red flag piece of legislation.  There`s also been some discussion about background checks.  That`s an issue that`s been around for a while.  Those are two items that for sure will be front and center as we see what we can come together on and pass.


WOODWORTH:  Your response.  Well, that is terrific news.  We need both of those kinds of legislation.  We need red flag laws that can help prevent suicides and help prevent some mass shootings, but we also need background checks.

And that`s really our gold standard.  Universal background checks that will exist for everybody buying every gun whether it`s on the internet or at a gun show, or at a federally licensed dealer.  So red flags are not enough.  We need the background check bill as well.

MELBER:  Kristine Woodworth who`s doing so much of this work, thanks for telling us about it, and thanks for your time tonight.

WOODWORTH:  Thank you.  Thanks for having me.

MELBER:  I appreciate it.  I appreciate it.  Have a good weekend.  We have a lot more on the show.  Up ahead, you`ve probably heard about green shirt guy by now whose laughter at a heckler, went viral, and now he`s talking.

Also later, I would suggest you try to catch this one, the one and only the Doris Kearns Goodwin with the icon Da Brat for the first time here on THE BEAT tonight.


MELBER:  All right, here`s a little something you might need to know about.  Green shirt guy is speaking out after a video went viral online because of his response to anti-immigrant protesters that were disrupting an Arizona city council meeting.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It`s Congress` job to change immigration laws.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  American citizens, American citizens, respect out laws.  Respect our laws.  You`re a direct violation of the oath you took.


MELBER:  Right there is just the sheer honest reaction.  How much do people like it?  Well, the video you`re watching, this is what happens online, that little clip has now been seen already over 9 million times.  Green shirt guy was the top Hashtag all day Wednesday on Twitter, and now green shirt guy has a name you might want to know.  It`s Alex Kack.  And the local NBC station just got up with him.


ALEX KACK, GREEN SHIRT GUY:  It`s an incredibly dark time and there`s a lot of hateful rhetoric that`s you know, happening nationwide right now.  But ultimately, I think the majority of this country regardless of their political affiliation understands that the loudest voice is happening right now are kind of ridiculous.  And I think that that laughter is resonating because I think that`s kind of how people feel right now.


MELBER:  You got a love that he had a pretty strong reaction that people connected with which is laughing at the insanity sometimes.  And then he`s got a great analysis for why he was laughing and why that`s connecting with people, so something nice to show you.

Up next, what we`ve been excited about, a very special "FALLBACK FRIDAY."  Grammy-Nominated Rapper and Actress Da Brat and legendary historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.


MELBER:  What a week.  It is Friday, it is time to "FALLBACK."  I`m joined now by Pulitzer-Prize Winning author and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, has written several best-selling books covering everything from Teddy Roosevelt to Howard Taft, to her own family`s affinity for baseball.  Her best-selling book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln adapted into the Academy Award-winning film Lincoln which she worked alongside director Steven Spielberg.  Not bad.

And I`m joined by Grammy-Nominated Rapper and Actress Da Brat who`s worked with legendary artists and producers ranging from Mariah Carey, to Missy Elliott, to Ludacris Luda, to of course, Jermaine Dupri and So So Def was also been at this table, a 94 debut album Funkdafied hit number one on the Billboard U.S. top R&B and hip-hop albums.  She`s now posed and the pop culture show Dish Nation and the cast member on the reality show Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta.

And then, because you know how it is on live T.V., just moments ago a friend of this show Professor Michael Eric Dyson gave her this shout-out.


DYSON:  I mean, to the D, to the A, to the B-R-A-T, Da Brat, one of the best that ever sling those lyrics like she`s in hysterics leaving these people with hieroglyphics.  Do it, Da Brat.


DA BRAT, RAPPER:  Oh my God, thank you.

MELBER:  Do it, Da Brat.

DA BRAT:  That was so nice.

MELBER  And he`s a big hip hop scholar as I`m sure you know.

DA BRAT:  I love him.  I see him often at different places and he was awesome.  And I`m also on The Rickey Smiley Morning Show every morning.  And he loves you, he`s watching the show right now.

MELBER:  Oh, that`s nice.  Shoutout to Rickey Smiley.

DA BRAT:  Yes.  He`s one of the best comedians in the world.

MELBER:  Well, I`m thrilled to have both of you here and here together.  Let`s get to it.  Doris, what`s on your "FALLBACK" list?

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN:  I think what I feel most strongly about after this week is that we`re forgetting history.  I`ve loved history from the moment I was born, I think.  I`ve loved telling stories.  And think about all the anti-immigrant feelings that have been escalating in this last week, especially showing it.  And immigration has made our country strong every single time.

I mean, first, they`re worried about the Irish coming in.  My father Michael Francis Aloysius Kearns came in.  And then they worry about the people coming in from Eastern Europe, and Henry Cabot Lodge, senator from Massachusetts gave a speech on the U.S. Senate floor in the 1890s.

He said if we bring in these people from Eastern Europe, the Anglo-Saxon race will be diminished.  The moral civilization of America will undo itself.  And of course they came in, and of course, they made us better.

And then we bring in Latinos and people from Africa and Muslims, and every single time this has shown that we`re a culture of diversity.  And history suggests that this is what has made us.  We`re a nation of Nations.  So I`m really upset that history is not being regarded.

Now, history helps us and give us a perspective and solace.  And I feel younger being here today.  I`m so excited.  I`m young not just history.  I`m here with a rapper.

MELBER:  I love it.

DA BRAT:  I feel kind of small next to her because she`s so into the history of everything and she`s so smart.  And she was telling me all these stories,  how her husband was with Kennedy.  And I was like, what?  You know, I feel privileged and honored to be sitting here with you.  Thank you

GOODWIN:  And we`re two women.

DA BRAT:  And we`re two women.

MELBER:  I love it, two powerful women.  And you also worked in the White House.

GOODWIN:  I did under LBJ when I was 24 years old.

DA BRAT:  Wow.

GOODWIN:  That was quite an experience.

DA BRAT:  That`s amazing.  And you did write a book because I`ve got to get it.

GOODWIN:  Sure.  They`re big and fat.

DA BRAT:  That`s OK.  I got it.  I like big and fat.

MELBER:  Oh, I love you too.  What are you thinking about this week?

DA BRAT:  Oh man, it`s just been very traumatic and I think it`s inhumane to separate kids from their parents.  And for those kids to come out of school and their parents not be there to pick them up or -- and to see their reactions and them crying, it`s very sad.  And I think we need to do something about it.

And I think the racism that the Trump portrays and he acts like he doesn`t or he`s so for the people, it`s clearly not.  Like why would you do these things?  Why would you separate parents from children?  That is the worst thing to me.

And -- because what are these children going to do?  Can you imagine going to school and coming out of school and your parents have been just taken away?  What are you supposed to do? And they`re not taking care of the kids.  Like what about the welfare of the children?  What are they doing to make sure these children are OK?

I know they probably didn`t want to give them a warning that this was going to happen because some people would probably run, but just make sure the children or someone is there for the children, whether it`s a therapist or I don`t know, somebody, somebody`s grandmother or anybody to come and console these children and not just leave them standing there with nothing or no one or no explanation.

MELBER:  Yes.  It`s ending a week that was already too hard and seeing how people are living.  It`s so important.  I know you had one more.  What else is on your list, Doris?

GOODWIN:  Well, I think what I worry about today is if you wanted a leader to talk to us collectively, they can`t do it anymore.  The media is fragmented.  The social media is -- you`ve got cable networks.

I mean, when FDR would give his fireside chats, it was a collective experience.  You could walk down the street and everybody is looking at their radios.  There is a story about a construction worker running home one night, and his partner said, where are you going?

He said my president is coming to my living room to speak to me tonight.  I have to be there to greet him when he comes.  Where can we get that kind of collective sense of Americans with leadership giving the social media being so divided?

MELBER:  It`s good getting the 411 from Doris, isn`t it?

DA BRAT:  Yes.  I`m going to have to get her phone number and I want to hang out, I`m going to hangover.

GOODWIN:  Oh, there`s no question.

DA BRAT:  And I just want to get filled with all the knowledge and things that you know.

GOODWIN:  And you`ll tell me how to tell stories through rap.

DA BRAT:  I will.  I will.  We should do a T.V. show.

GOODWIN:  Maybe Ari can come.

MELBER:  You know, it`s funny, you are doing a T.V. show just right now.  I got to -- I got to play something for you.  We are a T.V. show.  We`re a news show.  We also have a music playlist of some of our favorite artists.


MELBER:  You`re on it.

DA BRAT:  I know.  I saw it.

MELBER:  And now we`re going to deal with some hip-hop business. because I was on a New York radio show, Hot 97.


MELBER:  They asked about my list.  Of course, you`re on my list.


MELBER:  And then Rosenberg, who is a DJ you may know.  I think you know about him.

DA BRAT:  I know Rosenberg.

MELBER:  Then this happened.  Take a look.

DA BRAT:  Oh, my.


MELBER:  I am watching the Spotify playlist for our news show THE BEAT on your show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You have great songs, by the way.

MELBER:  Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  But what is -- tell me, what is it about Da Brat and Tyrese?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I looked at the playlist in the room, and went, great playlist, I don`t understand how you took Da Brat and Tyrese and put this on this playlist?

MELBER:  What`s wrong with that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I just -- I hate it.



MELBER:  Now, before I even get your response, I`m going to tell Rosenberg to fall back.


MELBER: I also -- we did our homework and checked.  He has also referred to you in other times as a " dope rapper."

DA BRAT:  Right.

MELBER:  Put you on the list of best female emcee songs.  So he may have mixed feelings but what`s your response?

DA BRAT:  So it`s kind of contradicting.  Maybe he just hates that particular song, but I love it, and I have so many fans that love it.  I kind of became the first female rapper to ever sell a million records.  So I have people that love it so his opinion really doesn`t matter to me because I`ve been on lists that he`s created in his top ten.  So I`m not complaining at all.

People are going to have their comments or whatever.  He can kick rocks.  I could care less what he thinks.  I am thriving.  I am successful.  I am so, so blessed.