CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Sorry, Brew Crew. That`s all we have tonight. More MEET THE PRESS DAILY tomorrow hopefully with the Nats still in the playoffs.
Ari Melber, take it over man, I`m going to --
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Love it Chuck.
TODD: --have a heart attack tonight for seven hours --
MELBER: Any predictions on the spread?
TODD: Dude, I just don`t want to see Wander Suero pitching. Then I know I`m in trouble.
MELBER: Good luck. And good luck to you and the whole town to be unified for an evening.
TODD: Exactly, one night only. We wish you well.
MELBER: That will be fun. Good evening to everyone joining us at home. We are tracking several developing stories in the other big story in this town other than baseball. That is of course the United States Congress making real moves towards impeaching Donald Trump. This includes, how two Trump officials are now more deeply ensnared in a scandal they`re clearly running from. We have that story later.
As well as Speaker Pelosi stressing the probe involves Committee Chairs, you heard that. Well, one of them, Maxine Waters joins me live tonight. And later, I`ll also be joined by a progressive leader and documentarian who has turned his lens on everything from corporate greed to gun policy to the rise of Trump. Yes, the man you know him well, Michael Moore live on THE BEAT tonight.
We`re also going to cover an important story out of Dallas. A police officer found guilty of murder, a rarity in America, we bring that to you as well.
So as you can hear me explain, we have a lot in the show, because there`s a lot going on both in Washington and around the country. The top story, though, is the escalation of President Trump`s widening Ukraine scandal. Two of his most senior officials Bill Barr and Mike Pompeo caught up in this impeachment probe, and they`re plotting their own pass.
Pompeo under fire with reports he was on that call between Trump and Ukrainian President. Congress says that makes him a fact witness to a core question in this probe. Did the President abused his power to get foreign help with his re-election?
Pompeo, doubling down on the administration stonewalling and telling his staff to simply defy House Democrats` demands that they sit for these scheduled deposition interviews. The House is warning that that kind of resistance is not only illegal, but maybe weighed as evidence of obstruction in any impeachment of Trump.
Late today two State Department officials confirmed they will, however, answer Congress` questions, meanwhile Pompeo is walking away from the questions posed to him in public.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Mr. Secretary, do you have any comment on reports you were on the July 25th call with President Zelensky?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: If Pompeo has an explanation, like arguing that call was misunderstood, well, he`s not sharing it. Is this the best explanation they have? If there`s nothing to hide, why hide? If the facts exonerate the Trump administration why not march down to Congress and provide those facts.
Pompeo is stonewalling, Giuliani is admitting things he`s denied as recently as five minutes before, and Bill Barr`s allies are leaking that he is angry. While Trump is basically trying to skip over any factual debate and warn of civil war if he`s impeached. He`s circulating this doctored map of the 2016 results with the phrase try to impeach this.
Now as a legal matter, a President - any President pointing to their electoral victory is irrelevant to impeachment. As a political matter, though, we should note it is pretty odd for a President who got fewer votes than his opponent to invoke his losing margin at a time like this, it`s almost like reminding any wavering members of Congress, "Hey, remember I have a historically thin mandate to be in office right now." But that`s the politics.
Let`s focus on the facts. The inability of the vaunted Trump message machine to get to the factual defense here, well that is pretty telling. It includes the spokespersons, the cabinet secretaries and, yes, the President himself, because if things are going very poorly and this quickly we are seeing something that happens sometimes when crises hit a different level.
People tend to clam up and they try to wait and see where the bottom is. So before I bring in our experts, I want you to just consider where we are right now this Tuesday night. It was exactly one week ago, Tuesday, that Senate Republicans voted in support of what became a bipartisan inquiry into the whistleblower allegations.
And that was before the complaint of the Ukraine call evidence was even released. And it was on that same day that Speaker Pelosi changed her long- standing position of restraint, announcing the impeachment inquiry. So in this single weak sense, as we come forward tonight, just one week later the public now has more incriminating information about Trump, Pompeo, Barr and Giuliani.
Several of those people are facing either new pressure or actual subpoenas and not just from House Democrats who, honestly, when you think about it they look more united on this than anything we`ve seen since the midterms.
Tonight a top Republican Senator and former Chair of the Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley is backing up the whistleblower against Donald Trump`s illegal calls to try to unmask that person`s identity.
So, think, if you work in the Trump White House right now, you can`t help but notice this one is different. And the stonewalling here is not just another DC feud, it`s evidence for articles of impeachment according to Congress. Diplomats are processing that tonight.
The brash TV interviews that are so familiar of so many Trump defenders, they`re not just another day in the sun, now they`re being cited as a basis for a subpoena - Giuliani processing that right now as he hires a lawyer.
And unlike many Trump scandals that seemed to evaporate under the weight of complexity or the new train wrecks or the crazy news cycle that we all know we seem to live in, this one is now staying on the Washington agenda as long as the House treats it as the basis for what would be only the second impeachment since 1900.
And this one is also different because it is simple. The President`s core duty is to push America`s interests. Think about that as we boil the scandal down to its essence right here. In foreign policy the President can push another country, like Ukraine, to do things for us and they, if you want to follow the green arrow, do things for the United States. That`s normal foreign policy.
In this scandal, which is so simple, the White House`s own evidence shows they pushed Ukraine and not for the United States. They pushed Ukraine to do things for Trump`s re-election which is forbidden. The President can`t use diplomats or the military to help his own reelection any more than he can order government employees to vote for. This is basic civics.
What`s normal and OK and when everyone knows is not normal and not OK. You can`t press Ukraine to get yourself reelected. It`s that simple. That`s why this scandal is also looking different and so hard to defend and maybe part of why it`s unraveling quickly.
If the public absorbs this is Trump`s approach - and again what I just showed you on the screen is based on what we got from the White House, which admits they were trying to target Biden and get Ukraine`s help. Well, that may not only undercut Donald Trump`s support. It may expose other versions of this alleged abuse.
Remember the man who navigated the Mueller probe for Donald Trump, Attorney General Barr, he`s under fire for something that I want to be clear is not as damning as the Ukraine call based on the public evidence, but the critics say may follow in the same improper goals, pressing other governments to investigate American investigators from the U.K. to Italy to Australia and it`s the very thing Trump asked for.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hope he looks at the U.K. and I hope he looks at Australia and I hope he looks at Ukraine. I hope he looks at everything. Because there was a hoax that was perpetrated on our country--
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: He hopes they look. The reports are that Barr did look and that did - Giuliani did too, and Pompeo and other people who are now facing what, if history is any guide, is just the very beginning of legal and congressional pressure that could consume a major part of what remains of Donald Trump`s first term.
I`m joined now by a former federal prosecutor who knows these issues well Joyce Vance, who also testified, we should mention, had one of those earlier House hearings and "New York Times" columnist Michelle Goldberg, who argues Trump`s claims about Biden are not supported. They are lies and the press should treat them as such. Good evening to both of you.
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, THE NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: Hi.
MELBER: Joyce could you--
JOYCE VANCE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Hi Ari.
MELBER: Hi. Could you speak to one of the points that we`re looking at here one week into this, which is how simple the alleged abuse of power looks.
VANCE: It looks very simple at this point and I think that that`s why it`s such a turning point. As you say it has had staying power in the conversation. Most of trumps scandals slipped very easily into the neck`s (ph) right shiny object and don`t hold our attention.
But here we have a relatively simple set of facts. We know that the President reached out for a favor from a foreign country. We see now contributory conduct by the people around him. And Congress has its hooks into it and is quickly proceeding, we`ve learned today, to get witnesses who will show up and testify. So this feels very different.
MELBER: Michelle take a listen to Mike Pompeo in the way he was recently defending this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: "The Wall Street Journal" is reporting that President Trump pressed the President of Ukraine eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani to investigate Joe Biden`s son. What do you know about those conversations?
MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: So you just gave me a report about an I.C. whistle-blower complaint, none of which I`ve seen--
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Was he being a 100 percent truthful.
GOLDBERG: I mean - I think, obvious, not. And I think it`s worth - Corey Lewandowski when he was before the Judiciary Committee was very blatant about I don`t have any duty to be honest with the media. And it is true that lying to a journalist is not the same as lying to an FBI investigator, it`s not the same as lying to Congress.
But it`s worth remembering that Pompeo, when he was pursuing his vendetta against Hillary Clinton over the conspiracy theory around Benghazi, did use things that officials had said on cable television and when he was building his case. And so I think that it`s fair game here for congressional investigators to assume that when he goes out and lies to the public, it`s because he`s covering something up.
MELBER: Yes, covering it up. And Michelle I`m going to put back up on the screen our very simple guide, because I think it goes to the lines here, which is the Secretary of State, who is a former member of Congress, knows very well you can`t just pressure Ukraine to do things for your campaign the way you could for the United States.
When you look at the, what we`re calling the not OK line, and that`s but from whether it`s impeachable or not. That`s something that the Congress and the Senate will ultimately decide if they go that far.
But do you think it`s different you`ve covered so many of these issues for "The Times" that the average American who may not read into all the details does fundamentally know that green arrow going towards from 2020. That is not where you are supposed to be using the military funding, the power of the United States for.
GOLDBERG: I think that`s true, and it`s also - I mean, the fact that we have - there`s no question about what was said on this call. Right? That`s stipulated. They`ve released - at least a partial transcript. There might be more. But there`s definitely not less.
And I think beyond that, usually liars and fabricators have the advantage of being able to make up a story that is simpler than the truth. So with Mueller investigation to be able to follow it and I think kind of comprehend the scale of Trump`s treachery, you had to follow all sorts of story lines, kind of keep track of all sorts of different Russian oligarchs and their role in this. Whereas, Trump, and by extension Bill Barr could just say no collusion, no collusion.
In this case, in order to defend themselves they are trying to drag people down all sorts of conspiracy theory - rabbit holes, which their base is probably willing to go down. But I think ordinary people are not going to say - not going to follow them when they make this argument that really the Russian investigation was a hoax and it all originated in Ukraine.
And so Donald Trump was well within his rights to try to pressure the leader to get to the bottom, to find the CrowdStrike server. Right? It just - it makes no sense unless you`re already completely steeped in the Right- Wing informational ecosystem. MELBER: Right. And if you are that steep, you`re probably not the target audience for what`s going to happen in Congress. Joyce, I also want to point out, I mentioned this briefly at the top. There`s a lot of coverage of politics in the Trump era that says OK where are the Republicans, but we have to be really accurate and precise and fair.
And I think something that also is different about this scandal is senior Republicans, including in the Senate, where you have many members who are not going to be up for re-election before Donald Trump they`re going to be facing a post-2020 environment if they`re up in `22 and `24 who are starting to sound very different than they did on other stories.
I want to read more from Senator Grassley, who I mentioned is on Judiciary and who knows his way around the legal issues. And he said something that was very careful but was basically rebuked to Trump. "With regard to the whistleblower, this person appears to have followed the whistleblower protection laws and ought to be heard out and protected." He goes on to say "No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistleblower first and carefully following up on the facts."
I would say the plain English interpretation of that reference to no one is a criticism of the President of United States who has been doing the opposite.
VANCE: I think this is an important statement from Senator Grassley. He`s been very involved with the Whistleblower Protection Act for a long period of time. At the same time, he is on record saying he doesn`t see anything wrong with the phone call that the President made from the Oval Office.
But this may be the first indication that we get that people understand that President Trump might be in real trouble. We`ve already seen Mitch McConnell taking the step of committing to holding a trial, although possibly a short one, and taking the sort of steps that he too might need to take to posture himself for a later point in time.
So I think this is encouraging. It was distressing to see Secretary Pompeo, who is after all a West Point graduate. Who took the Honor Code at the U.S. military academy and gets on national television and quibbles and dissembled in an effort to conceal, what we all know now is the truth that he personally participated in the phone call. It`ll be a good thing for the country if we can see better from the Senators as we move forward.
MELBER: I want you to both stay with me. We`re talking about how these whistleblower protection laws work and I am thrilled to tell you that we`re now joined by Dan Meyer, who was Executive Director of the Intelligence Community`s Whistleblower Program. He became a whistleblower himself filing some complaints which remain classified. He`s written a piece "The Trump Whistleblower Is About To Go Through Hell".
Dan, not being very--
DAN MEYER, FORMER DIRECTOR, INTEL COMMUNITY WHISTLEBLOWING PROGRAM: Hi, how are you?
MELBER: No being very positive. How are you?
MEYER: No, I have a grimace kind of face.
MELBER: But you - I mean - and I don`t even mean your face. I mean, you think this person is headed towards hell, that`s your view and yet you all saw someone who has really deep experience in advocating for whistleblowers. Number one, do you see what the President is saying in public and the way he`s acting as a violation of those protections and laws?
MEYER: Yes, and it`s doubly problematic because he`s the Chief Executive who`s charged with protecting whistleblowers. Normally the whistleblowers are blowing the whistle on agency activities and cabinet level or lower officials, and the President can just make sure that MSPB is staffed and that OSC is staffed and that all the agencies are training as they should.
But in this case we have a President who should have just fund (ph) the hands off. He should have thanked the whistleblower for being a fine Patriot and he shall let the process go the way the process goes as Senator Grassley has indicated.
MELBER: What does it say about our system of government even in this time of strain and what you`re promising is a hell-like treatment. That there are still individuals who can avail themselves of these rules and protections and that as of tonight they have not been exposed, even against, what you describe is the President`s misconduct?
MEYER: Well, I think executives within the government are starting to sort of hang together, maybe because they feel they`ll hang separately if they don`t. I would like to see this whistleblower protected by his own agency.
Because, remember, the President has very little personnel powers. He can only get this person if somebody colludes with him. So if the heads of the agency, in which this whistleblower works, stand back and protect the whistleblower, then it`ll just be the President tweeting and making comments and the whistleblower can continue with their career.
MELBER: What do you think Michelle?
GOLDBERG: Well, I want to go back to something that you said about Grassley. Right? Because how amazing is it that the fact that a Republican Senator basically says when it comes to the whistleblower we should follow the law, and that`s really all he is saying.
GOLDBERG: And that is literally newsworthy. Right? And so--
MELBER: And it is.
MELBER: But you`re right. And so, obviously, your guest knows more than I do about what is in store for this person. Although when this all shakes out, if this all shakes out, if America endures, this person is probably going to go down as a hero, and hopefully Pompeo and some of the other characters in this debacle will live out their lives and disgrace. Right?
We can look at the differing life trajectories of, say, Mark Felt, although he wasn`t publicized until much later--
GOLDBERG: or John Dean compared to you know John Ehrlichman or some of the other people who never got out from under the Watergate investigation. And so while it`s probably - I can only - I can`t conceive of how rough it must be on this person right now when you literally have the President of the United States calling illegally for your unmasking, suggesting that people around you should be executed.
Ultimately, this person is one of the only kind of heroes that we`ve seen at this incredibly bleak chapter in American history.
MELBER: And that`s a fitting code to rest on for a moment. My thanks to Michelle, Joyce and Dan Meyer, we`ll have you back given how central all these stories are. Fitting in a break, because up next, I`m joined by Chairman Maxine Waters about her investigations in the impeachment probe.
Pelosi`s top lawyer, meanwhile, now alleging Trump lied under oath to Mueller. And a verdict that is leading important conversations around the nation about police accountability, a murder conviction for a police officer.
Also tonight, Michael Moore, live at 30 Rock, pounding the television. This is real footage, real live, real Michael Moore, can`t wait to have him on as he walks up the set. I`m Ari Melber, you`re watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.
MELBER: Democrats are going full steam ahead with the impeachment probe tonight. Subpoenas, letters, warnings that suggest speaker Pelosi was dead serious when she made her announcement exactly one week ago tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I`m announcing the House of Representative is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I`m directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: I`m joined now by congresswoman Maxine Waters. She chairs one of those committees, has been leading this charge to hold Trump accountable. Good evening.
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): Good evening.
MELBER: What`s change in the past week and is the Ukraine scandal in your view worse than the other issues facing Donald Trump or just a collective - a kind of a collective explosion?
WATERS: Well, the Ukraine scandal certainly, I think, gives us factual information quickly. We know the telephone call was made to the President. Now we know basically what was said on the telephone call and we know who was on the telephone call.
And so I think that this gives us a great information to move forward with impeachment. And as the Speaker has said should be perhaps the focus of what we do, but all of the other things that the six committee chairs have been working with, will be discussed and we don`t know exactly how many of these issues will be in the impeachment resolution. But we`re going we`re going to talk about them, but yes, Ukraine is going to be a focus.
MELBER: And Congresswoman, I want to ask about something you said as, you know and many our viewers know, you speak your mind many. People like that. And as I think, many people disagree with you in this politics.
WATERS: That`s right.
MELBER: I want to read something you said today to get a fuller understanding. You said--
MELBER: --with regard to Donald Trump, he`s using mob language, he`s implying people should be killed for whistleblowing. "Impeachment is not good enough for Trump. He needs to be imprisoned and placed in solitary confinement. But for now impeachment he the imperative."
WATERS: That`s right.
MELBER: I ask you tonight are you speaking literally and do you have any concern you`re prejudging the House impeachment and Senate trial process by declaring he should be, I guess, convicted and held in solitary?
WATERS: No, not really. As you said - I said impeachment is the imperative. I did express myself in ways to show how terrible I think he is and how he really should be punished. But of course impeachment is what we`re focused on right now.
MELBER: With regard to allegations of obstruction, one of the things that the facts show this White House has done more extremely than others, including really the Nixon White House, is try to defy a lot of different lawful requests - from your committee from others.
When we see chair - multiple chairs say this is now going to be itself evidence of obstruction, what does that mean and do you join the other chairs in that? Are you saying that if you don`t get responses by a certain time what happens to those a White House or agency officials?
WATERS: Well I do agree that. This President has instructed those who we have been subpoenaing not to come before our committee, not to cooperate. It is outrageous in what he is doing. And now that we have more information, factual information, for example, that Pompeo was on that telephone call.
He must respond to the subpoena. He must come forward or he could be charged, I believe, with obstruction of the impeachment. And I don`t know everything that goes along with that, but I certainly hope that it means we can drag him in or we can arrest him.
MELBER: Wow. I want to play for you some of what you said during the last time. These issues came up during the Clinton impeachment. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WATERS: This is a bunch of baloney. I`m not a lawyer, but I could argue this case in court and win. I think Mr. Ken Starr is the poster bar for all of the bad prosecutors in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Obviously, many of the facts are different. What do you say to people this time around to argue that Donald Trump`s case - potentially articles of impeachment against him are different than those against President Clinton.
WATERS: Oh, I think decidedly different. I think that - if you take a look at this President ever since he defined himself doing his primary election in the way that he treated his peers, the way that he called names on into the election, the way that he talked about grabbing women by their private parts.
What we know about his defense of Putin and the fact that he has ignored the intelligence community in identifying that he - they certainly was involved when undermining our elections, hacking into the DNC. The way he has insisted on private meetings with our enemy, that is Putin, and the way that he`s insisted on private meetings with Kim Jong-un.
On and on and on this President has advocated violence. This President, in my estimation, was eligible for impeachment long before this. And it does not even compare with what was going on with the Clinton impeachment.
And so I do believe that we now have factual information about him attempting to engage the President of the Ukraine in getting dirt on Biden. The telephone call was made. The information is there and this just adds fuel to the fire.
MELBER: And Congresswoman, I want to move beyond Washington DC, where there`s obviously a lot of important news, to another story that I know is in the wheelhouse that you care about, is something we cover a lot here, and it`s something that`s actually rare.
A foreign Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was found guilty of murder. She shot and killed her neighbor last year. She mistakenly entered his apartment and opened fire. Sentencing will be tomorrow.
The case has ignited much debate over race and the criminal justice system. And as you know Congresswoman the tendency and the statistics where officers are more likely to use force and deadly force against minorities. Your reaction to this, which viewers will understand, is a rarity - a murder conviction for an officer.
WATERS: Well, this officer certainly didn`t have any credibility in her defense. It is unbelievable that she didn`t know where her own apartment was, what floor it was on. She didn`t know that there was a red a doormat in front of his apartment. It wasn`t in front of hers.
To walk into a room and not know that that`s not your furniture and shoot and kill an unarmed man? I mean, she deserves what has happened and the decision that has been made. She committed murder. I don`t care if she`s a police officer. I don`t care who would have done something like that, they deserve to be convicted. And so I`m pleased she was convicted. She didn`t have a good defense at.
MELBER: I wanted to get reactions, as you know it`s a big story. Chairwoman Maxine Waters, always appreciate your time. I hope you come back on THE BEAT.
WATERS: Well, I absolutely will. Just invite me back, I`m happy to come and join you.
MELBER: There we go. Thank you, ma`am. We`ll be watching and watching your Committee quite a bit.
I want to turn now to another big guest. Gosh it must be a big day, because the great Michael Moore is here on impeaching Trump, Democratic strategy and some of the other large policy issues when we`re back in just 30 seconds.
MELBER: Welcome back. Washington talking impeachment. The country talking about Trump`s reaction and what do you do with this kind of President. Well, I`m joined now by someone who is really perfect on so many of these issues, the acclaimed filmmaker Michael Moore.
He`s been exposing many of the shortcomings of the way democracy works, whether that`s foreign policy in "Fahrenheit 9/11", health care in "Sicko" or quite relevant right now "Michael Moore in TrumpLand" that was shot just before the 2016 election.
And remember, in contrast to many people, including yes, those of us in the media, Michael Moore did predict Donald Trump was going to win.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MOORE, AMERICAN FILMMAKER: On November 8th the dispossessed will walk into the voting booth, be handed a ballot, close the curtain and take that lever, or felt pen, or touch screen and put a big (bleep) X in the box by the name of the man who has threatened to upend and overturn the very system that has ruined their lives: Donald J. Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: I turn now to Michael Moore. First of all thanks for coming on THE BEAT. It`s nice to see you.
MOORE: It`s great to be here, Ari. And I admire this show and its intelligence. And I - watching that clip I never wanted to be more wrong than I was then. But I live in Michigan. I`m from the Midwest. I saw what was happening. I saw that the Democratic Party was not sending the candidate to places like Wisconsin and barely to Michigan, and it looked bad.
MELBER: Now the Democratic Party spent a long time saying wait for Mueller, then said we got the molar report but we don`t know exactly what to do with it. I don`t think there was a clear kind of crisp answer. And last week now says to the country, basically we`re on the road to impeachment - Speaker Pelosi implying. Is that justified on the substance right now and is it right on the politics in your view?
MOORE: Well, both the - yes, the Democratic Party - we waste little --some time waiting on the Mueller report. Now the Democrats are correctly saying that this is not a legal trial - impeachment is not a legal trial.
Yet we were waiting for the legal system to find or to say that these crimes had taken place, but yet they couldn`t do anything about it because there`s a memo somewhere that says they can`t prosecute. So there that was that.
And all that time waiting for Mueller to save us and - and I keep on hearing - I saw some one of these shows last year and I said, if you`re waiting on Mueller to save you, this - he`s not going to save us. We have to save us.
And I think what`s so profound in these last five or six days is that - and why people have responded so overwhelmingly to the Democrats, and to what Pelosi did, is that it looks like the Democrats have made a decision this week, not based on what is politically expedient or what might get reelected, because when they - just the last week it was still under 50% - the people that wanted - even the impeachment investigation.
They made the decision to do this based up because it was right. And any time the Democrats make a decision because it`s right to do it, it`s morally right to do it, they will find millions of people flocking to the polls to support that, because that`s the country we live in now. That`s the majority of this country. It`s agreeing with the Democrats, but they don`t always like who the Democrats put up.
MELBER: It`s striking to hear you say that. And by the way I should say on record, thank you for your kind words. But it`s so I can hear you say that, because you are about a lot more than politics. I`ve been familiar with you and your work for a while. But you have a keen eye for politics.
And part of what you`re saying is that the day-trading of how things look pales in comparison to the larger vibe of whether people think you`re in it for the right reason and you have guts and you`re fighting for them or not.
MELBER: And I feel like without - I don`t think you were complimenting Trump, but I think you refer to his ability to make people think that. I want to play a little more - from more in "TrumpLand" where you kind of talk about his ability to appear to connect with people. Let`s take a look at that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: Whether Trump means it or not, is kind of irrelevant, because he`s saying the things to people who are hurting. And it`s why every beaten- down, nameless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class loves Trump. He is the human Molotov cocktail that they`ve been waiting for--
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: Yes. And Bernie in 2016 represented that. That same sense of he`s an outsider. He`s going to stop the madness or what people - working people are going through. That`s why Bernie won Michigan. Bernie won Wisconsin. Why the candidate would not go to the two states that she didn`t win?
It would be the first place I`d go. If you can`t win amongst your own people, how are you going to win Michigan and Wisconsin if you don`t even show up.
MELBER: So let me ask you a question as a communicator. You`re a writer and a communicator, how is Joe Biden doing in dealing with the last 10 days, which are but a tiny preview of what any nominee is going to face against this President?
MOORE: You want the honest answer or--
MELBER: Well, hold on think about it.
MOORE: Yes, think about it. We are live.
MELBER: That`s a fair point. You know what, yes, give me the honest answer. Chairwoman Maxine Waters was pretty honest about her feelings--
MOORE: Yes. But your lawyers have left now for the day, and no one is going to vet what I`m going to say. Now--
MELBER: You are live. This is live.
MOORE: We are live. There is no taped delay. I`m not going to do a full De Niro on you here. But I am not that really worried - god bless Robert De Niro. No, here`s honestly what I think is that - now, I`ve completely forgotten your question.
MELBER: Joe Biden.
MOORE: Biden, yes, see I don`t even want to say it out loud. But I think--
MELBER: Well, but you had a warning in 2016 about things.
MOORE: Yes. OK. So I`m going to say it--
MELBER: What do you think about Joe Biden?
MOORE: I`m going to say it. Joe Biden is the center. Joe Biden is this year`s Hillary. Joe Biden is not going to excite the base to get out there and vote on November 3rd, 2020. 70 percent of the people voting next year are either women, people of color or young people between the ages of 18 and 35 - that`s 70 percent.
Who is going to excite that 18 to 35 year old person? Who`s going to excite women and African-Americans and Hispanic people? This - Biden - but your question was, what about Biden this last week, and why does he seem to be - he`s there and he`s not there. And he needs to be more there.
The things that he said publicly are very strong. But it looks like he`s not really wanting to deal with. It appears - if I could just now speak from Michigan. It appears that he doesn`t want - he`s afraid to be out there. That there`s some piece of this that he doesn`t want to deal with in terms of his son and the gas company and all that.
And it`s OK. It`s - he`s - it`s been proven that nobody did anything wrong. If he`s embarrassed that the kid of a politician got some help. Well, I don`t think anybody`s sitting there at home right now with their TV dinner going "What?, Joe Biden`s son got a good job out of this?" I think we sort of--
MELBER: You think this, as you say, baseless attack by Trump has still works - has worked in a way on Joe Biden?
MOORE: It`s worked a little bit in the sense that it`s kept him from being fighting Joe, you know? I mean it`s odd and this is where - this is the Trump`s evil genius through these years. Is he really is able to manipulate the situation. He controls the news cycle.
MOORE: He and to - and then he turns fighting Joe into what he calls him - I`m not going to repeat it. But--
MELBER: You don`t have to repeat it. I will tell you what, in fairness to Joe and everyone. We almost get in everything.
MELBER: We`ll take a quick before - we`re going to fit in a break and keep you. But let`s take a look at how Joe Biden`s been sounding real quick. Here`s Joe Biden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, a second. Wait a second. Wait a second. Not one single credible outlet has given any credibility to his assertion - not one single one. And so I have no comment except the President should start to be President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: I want to get your view, of that of the Speaker Pelosi`s strategy and also a little bit on gun control, which is such an issue you devote yourself to. I`m going to feel a break. More Michael Moore right here. He said himself he`s live. Will he go De Niro next block? Only time will tell. We`ll be right back.
MELBER: Welcome back. You`re watching THE BEAT with Ari Melber, and I`m joined by filmmaker and author Michael Moore. Before the break we showed Joe Biden and you were reacting.
MOORE: Yes, again, he said the right thing, but he`s got to come out fighting. I mean, this is - you don`t want a Dukakis moment here. When they attack your family and you`re all trying to be all Kumbaya about this, you`ve got to put the gloves on and you`ve got to go after him.
And Biden should be out there every single day on this. Don`t be afraid. It`s OK. Your son got a good job. Someday Ari his son will be working here at NBC, I`m sure if he wants--
MELBER: I don`t know, but OK.
MOORE: Hopefully, they have nepotism rules here, I`m certain that. But - no, I`m just saying, though, that we need - all the candidates right now need to be unified and coming at this full force. No backing down and no trying to placate the other.
And none of this, well, we have to wait and see. Wait and see what? I just saw you shoot somebody. I just saw I just saw somebody steal the Steadicam over there. I don`t need to wait. I saw it. Everybody saw and heard Trump. He admitted it. He confessed, and now he`s been trying to walk it back in all these crazy ways.
MELBER: Well, and a lot of this goes to the reverse psychology of the Trump era. There`s a lot of trolling, there`s a lot of attacking, there`s a lot of lying. There`s also a lot of bullying. Donald Trump has not just convinced his folks of things, right. He`s also appeared to convince people in Washington, in the Democratic establishment that somehow impeachment is something he welcomes. It would be good for him.
And yet now that they`ve gotten close to it, two things are happening. One, he and his folks appear to be on the run, fighting against impeachment, which seems to reveal that was all a lie.
And two, something you mentioned here before the break, I`m going to show now, the polling shows an increase - and this is just in days. We haven`t even had the House vote or what it might look like in the Senate.
MELBER: But the polling shows right here from September to today a shift. And my question to you as someone who deals with this is, do you think that shift would continue if Democrats are on offense?
MOORE: OK. You`ve been around the news business long enough to know that shift right there that you`ve got on the screen, that`s stunning, in a week for Americans to go - because really most Americans didn`t want this to be the result. Most of most Americans don`t want this kind of conflict. You know, I may want it or whatever.
But most - I realized most people are just like please I`ve got to get on with my life and my work--
MOORE: --with job and my kids got homework, and I`ll vote next year and then we`ll get rid of them. That shift and that - the other poll I saw on "Morning Joe" this morning. Not only do so many Americans now - so many millions want the committee to investigate.
Their - the higher number is for impeach and remove when that question is asked. It`s amazing. And the Democrats got to hope they, yes, Trump is on the run. They need to chase him down. They died they should not pull back now.
They`ve got - you know, it`s like the Democrats to me have always been like they can`t figure - they`re like the French during you know World War II. You`re either the Vichy government where you just kind of go along to get along and the Nazis are so happy with how the job you`re doing, they leave you alone.
Or you`re in the French resistance, and the Democrats need to be in the print resistance right now. They need to save our democracy. This is very dangerous.
MELBER: Now let me - well--
MOORE: Let me just say why--
MELBER: OK, briefly, I want to ask you of guns too.
MOORE: It`s dangerous because this particular crime that that we have witnessed is a - he was trying to affect the election next year.
MOORE: There is no greater sin - other than actually attacking our country - a foreign attack, no greater sin then trying to attack our elections. And when our own person is doing it, not the Russians but an American named Donald J. Trump, how could anyone stand for this? This is - this must - they must act and act quickly.
We are in a dangerous situation. His tweet storms - I don`t know if there were 23 in 23 minutes, is that right?
MELBER: Yes. And he is talking in a way, you want to take him literally or not, you have a sitting President talking about arresting members of Congress.
MOORE: No, I don`t know.
MELBER: Civil war. I think you raised is serious. If you made me - you made me make a promise to you.
MELBER: I want to let the viewers in, since your theme at here has been honesty. You wanted to do something before we left and we`re almost out of time. So what is that one thing--
MOORE: I just wanted to point well on a happier note. Today is the 50th anniversary of "The Beatles" releasing "Abbey Road"--
MELBER: Hey, hey.
MOORE: --here in the United States. And it within - you have to understand that context. It`s six weeks after Woodstock, and it`s only 15 days in 1969 before the great moratorium march against the war in Vietnam that a month later had a half a million. It was the largest demonstration in November in the history of the United States, all around the release of this album.
And I just wanted to put it in some political historical context of that time in which we`re living, and we`re living in our own conundrum right now that is - we are in a dangerous situation. And I just wanted to remind you as I leave the air here, Ari, that the love you take is equal to--
MELBER: the love you give.
MOORE: The love you make.
MELBER: You see. You see the limits.
MOORE: Apologies to John Lennon wherever you are.
MELBER: Well, this would have been - I just wanted to tell everybody. This would have been a great moment except I screwed it up.
MELBER: --but you were great.
MOORE: Not it`s live TV. And look, here the good news, we both shaved for each other today. So it isn`t all bad. It isn`t all bad.
MELBER: Can I try another one?
MELBER: All right. Everyone ready? I am The Walrus, I am The Walrus--
MOORE: "Coo coo ka choo." Thank you.
MELBER: Michael Moore, I hope you come back, always good to see you. We will be right back with a lot more in the show.
MELBER: Turning to some other news, President Obama made waves by designating his official portrait be painted by a pioneering artist Kehinde Wiley. And now that artist is making waves with his first public installation in Times Square. It`s a political sculpture of a black man on a horse.
A very deliberate rebuttal to Confederate statues in the South, and it will be permanently installed in Richmond, Virginia after its debut right there in New York. It`s an artistic reckoning for this Trump era as statues has sparked so many racial debates, and I discussed some of this in a new interview with the iconic music producer Swizz Beatz. He`s investing in artists like Wiley and working with his wife Alicia Keys to back diversity in the often cloistered art world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SWIZZ BEATZ, AMERICAN HIP-HOP ARTIST: There`s something different to say I have Kehinde Wiley and matter of fact let me see if he`s around for dinner tonight. Right?
BEATZ: It`s very important for us as a culture to own the culture or pieces of the culture. And change that whole concept of making it for other people to own and we don`t have a trace of it left around where we can pull from, which is the reason why we collect in "The Dean Collection" is so heavy, we collect like we`re building a museum, because we want to save most of these pieces so the next generation and the youth can have something to pull from or go back to their history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Swizz is clearly passionate about civil rights, art. And as he put it ownership plying business skills so that artists in their communities, he says, won`t be taken advantage of and explains that along with discussing his work with Jay-Z, Beyonce and some of the major stories about the rapper DMX.
This is a new interview as part of our "Maverick" series. You can get it right now. msnbc.com/mavericks. The full interview is up now at msnbc.com/mavericks.
MELBER: Thanks for watching THE BEAT tonight. We had a wild one from Chairman Waters all the way to Michael Moore. I hope you join me again at 6:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow. And up next it is "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END