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How "Anonymous" Trump staffer compares. TRANSCRIPT: 11/8/19, The Beat w/ Ari Melber.

Guests: Mark Thompson, Tony Schwartz, Peggy Noonan, Gene Rossi, MalcolmNance, Dave East

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: "THE BEAT" with Ari Melber starts right now. Good evening, Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chuck. Thank you so much. We begin tonight with breaking news in the impeachment probe. Bombshell testimony just released undercutting Donald Trump`s core impeachment defense, the investigation also drawing closer to the top of Trump`s inner circle.

Newly released testimony shows two witnesses pointing the finger at Mick Mulvaney, Chief of Staff, a witness with first-hand knowledge of the now infamous phone call between Trump and the leader Ukraine, the Army officer Alexander Vindman who also is at the White House as a staffer, who also has a Purple Heart.

Well, he`s testifying now in what we`re seeing in detail that the entire plan was to dangle the Trump-Zelensky meeting as a way to get Ukraine to do the political investigations into Biden and that it was cooked up by Mulvaney. Vindman testifying that there was a conversation with Mulvaney and this is what was required in order to get a meeting, they had to deliver an investigation.

Vindman saying that bribery was explicit, no ambiguity. According to other testimony released today, this is from another National Security Council officialm Fiona Hill. Mulvaney also was all up in the negotiation. Sondland repeatedly saying he was meeting with Mulvaney and that they already had an arrangement for the big meeting to be worked out with, guess who, Mulvaney.

Hill says that she was shocked by all of this and the bribery was blatant, as mentioned, adding that seeing the President undermine national security was basically fulfilling some of her worst fears and nightmares.

Mick Mulvaney, who is of course the person who stepped to that podium and committed the full Mulvaney and then took it back, he is clearly a central figure in this whole impeachment probe. He contradicted what Donald Trump had been saying up to that point about the infamous call.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There was no quid pro quo. There was nothing.

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Did he also mentioned to me and past that the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely, no question about that.

TRUMP: There was no quid pro quo at all.

REPORTER: To be clear you just described is a quid pro quo.

MULVANEY: We do that all the time with foreign policy--

TRUMP: There was no quid pro quo unlike Biden.

MULVANEY: That`s it. That`s why we held up the money.


MELBER: To paraphrase a famous saying, the fact checks are coming from inside the White House. Now that`s a lot of heat on Mick Mulvaney who`s already pulled the full Mulvaney, walked it back and is under demand to appear to explain all this.

By the way you kind of hurt your privilege claims when you go out and do big press conference about the stuff that you might later argue as executive privilege. But Mulvaney a no-show before Congress, impeachment investigators say that today he informed them literally "one minute before he was due to testify that the White House had ordered him formally not to appear."

Meanwhile, Ms. Hill says that she spoke with her supervisor - remember John Bolton? Who told her that Biden investigations should not be any part of this whole discussion and told her to report what she was hearing about this bribery plot to the actual lawyer who deals with these things, John Eisenberg, and also to tell him that I am not part of whatever "drug deal" Sondland and Mulvaney - there`s that staffer again - Mulvaney are cooking up on this.

Now Congress wants to talk to Bolton as he is a key witness about what went down, both before and after this now infamous phone call at the heart of the impeachment probe. Bolton`s own lawyer adding today that Bolton knows about all sorts of "relevant meetings on Ukraine."

It`s a lot, and I want to get right to our power panel on this Friday night, Mark Thompson, host of "Make it Plain" podcast, Tony Schwartz, Co- Author of "The Art of The Deal" and "The Way We`re Working Isn`t Working" and we are so excited to have back on our program Peggy Noonan, former Speechwriter for President Reagan, a Columnist with "The Wall Street Journal," a Pulitzer Prize winner and many more things. Nice to see all of you.


MELBER: If I sound more excited about Peggy than you, it`s - she`s a first among equals. I`m not picking favors.

REV. MARK THOMPSON, HOST, "MAKE IT PLAIN": And I`ll defer as well.


MELBER: Peggy, you`ve been inside a White House.


MELBER: That also battled all sorts of questions about, at times, foreign policy, who was doing what, how high did it go. When you see this barrage of pressure, particularly on the Chief of Staff what do you think comes?

NOONAN: Well, of course, the big thing that comes next is the hearings that will sort of orient us by making all of this public in terms of people coming forward. You get to know their name, their face, who they are.

As someone who`s been in a White House, you can`t help but wonder if in this case somebody isn`t being set up for a fall. You know, when White Houses get in trouble, sometimes they have a way of spontaneously deciding who caused the trouble on the inside and offering them up as a sacrificial lamb. So I wonder if we`re not seeing a little bit of this with Mr. Mulvaney.

MELBER: Peggy, to paraphrase the final episode of "Succession" on HBO this year, "There may need to be a blood sacrifice."

NOONAN: Yes. I think White Houses sometimes inevitably think that way, oh, heck, human beings will in great organizations will - human beings in organizations will sometimes feel that way.

But, I`ll tell you one of the things that I think is happening here. I don`t know if you guys agree with this. But on some level I`m losing track of all of the actors and the drama. Are you finding that at all? There`s a Colonel coming forward, there`s a former ambassador, there`s a current ambassador, there`s an under ambassador.

And at certain point these things get a little blurry. I am hoping that in the public hearings things will become more definite and more clear and the meaning of what is being said be very vivid to everybody.

SCHWARTZ: Well, I think there are two tracks here. I think there`s the actual set of facts. If you look at the set of facts it`s as if we`re having the Thanksgiving Parade and Trump has gotten onto Fifth Avenue and he has literally shot a series of people in cold blood.

And all those people who`ve testifying--

MELBER: Are the parade floats OK?

SCHWARTZ: The parade floats have stayed intact.


SCHWARTZ: But a lot of people have died and a lot of people were there to witness it. And it was very clear what happened. So it`s an open-and-shut case at this point.

The second track however is, that surrounding those eyewitnesses are Trump supporters who he accurately said and continues to be the case, would ignore it if I shot people on Fifth Avenue. I mean we see that even with his biggest enablers with people like Lindsey Graham where they`ll say things that are so preposterously untrue they - unless you want to live in an altered reality there`s no way to take them seriously.

MELBER: Well, so let`s play out the parade and then I`m going to come back to Peggy. I`m not a body language expert, but I did note some potential dissent with that view. So we`ll come back to you. But to Mark, if that is the case, if the difference between this and other controversies may be that, as we just showed Mick Mulvaney won`t talk to Congress to say the thing that he already said in public, which is we do it all the time.

What then is the priority for the impeachment investigation to do something credible to provide due process style rights to everyone, but also to move ahead with telling the country what they think they found occurred?

THOMPSON: Well, I think they`ve indicated that they don`t want to haggle in the courts about people denying subpoenas. Plus, is it that big of a deal if Mulvaney shows up or not because he actually said it on television what had already happened.

In terms of the blurriness, yes, it can be overwhelming. The average person probably can`t keep up with all the names. But what`s not blurry is that they`re all corroborating the same story. The White House is obsessed over to deep throats. Nixon had one. You have anonymous and you have a whistleblower. There`s two deep throats.

But they don`t even matter anymore, because so many people publicly, and we even learned for more of the transcripts today Vindman, Hill, Taylor, Sondland all of them have said the same thing. So it really doesn`t even matter who the whistleblower is anymore, doesn`t matter who anonymous is, and it really also doesn`t make that big of a deal - make that much of a difference if Mulvaney shows up or not.

MELBER: Let me jump and say I have good news and good news. The good news is if you`re thinking that there are a lot of different pieces to this, we have a breakdown later in this show--

SCHWARTZ: All right.

MELBER: That very clearly shows who are the witnesses to watch. The other good news is, before I bring in some more the testimony, which I want to report on, I gave Ms. Noonan the promised rebuttal time.

NOONAN: It`s not a rebuttal. I was thinking as Tony was speaking, both of these things which seem opposites are true. One is with the movement and action of people going in and testifying and all that stuff, with a lot of pieces to this puzzle, with a lot of actors in the drama. There`s a certain amount of blur that is happening.

But there`s something else that`s happening and it is going to be part of the challenge for the hearings next week. It is that the hearings are dedicated to proving something that I think most American observers who are watching closely don`t even doubt.

I don`t happen to think Republicans and Democrats are in deep disagreement on whether or not the President of the United States, in a phone call, but also in other ways, was muscling the President of Ukraine to give him a political gift that he desired and what the President Ukraine would get in return for that would be previously congressionally authorized funds. The check would be cut.

SCHWARTZ: This is - oh, sorry.

NOONAN: I have to tell you--

MELBER: You got him excited.

SCHWARTZ: That isn`t hard.

NOONAN: I just think this is kind of clear to people. For instance, when this whole story broke with the whistleblower, nobody who supported the President, nobody in the White House, nobody in Congress came forward and said that doesn`t sound like the President. In fact, President wouldn`t never use that.

MELBER: Exactly.

NOONAN: That never happened. Nobody said that, because everybody who loves Trump thought, yes, he`d do that and those who don`t like Trump thought, yes, he did that.

MELBER: And that speaks to what many people see is the debasement of the office of the presidency by this individual which is not a dismissal of all of his supporters or all of his ideas, but it is funny--

NOONAN: Absolutely.

MELBER: --it is funny and sad that Peggy says something, that I think everyone can relate to, which is a lot of folks would, yes, that sounds like our President.

NOONAN: Yes, of course.

SCHWARTZ: Yes. But the sad part to me - I mean, Trump is just one guy and Trump is - at some point Trump is going to be out of here. But the fact that 40-plus percent of Americans in the face of it and I completely agree, they know that he`s guilty. And this is the key thing, they don`t care. They don`t care. Do whatever you want to do.

Now that`s not a logical deductive decision. That is an emotion and that emotion has completely overwhelmed 40% of America.

THOMPSON: I`d like to be more optimistic about that. I know why you`re saying that. I mean, some of the numbers have shown that. But I think Tuesday gives us some sign of optimism that there aren`t as many people who are willing just to give him that free pass and say, it`s OK, if you shoot somebody or threaten the President from another country that remains to be seen. We`ll see about a year from now.

As far as the blurriness, I think, the public testimony helps that, because starting next week we`ll be able to put faces with names and this would substitute for people seeing personalities and sincerity and all of that. So I think that that--

MELBER: Well, on that - and you talk about the personalities. Many of them, as we`ve emphasized in our reporting, are Trump people, Trump loyalists, Trump appointees. John Bolton is a hawk--

THOMPSON: Right, right.

MELBER: He were any more of a hawk, he would literally take flight.

THOMPSON: And if he does this, being the hawk that he is, being - mean he`s an established part of that wing.


THOMPSON: If he comes forward and says this on top of everybody else, that`s pretty damning. You know, Nixon had one say it`s a cancer on the presidency. But you have the potential of a whole--

MELBER: Well, we were talking about this - in the newsroom today.

THOMPSON: --saying that it`s a cancer on the presidency.

MELBER: We were talking about - we don`t know whether John Bolton may turn out to be a John Dean type figure or something else, because John Bolton has a muscular view of Presidential powers who may say mistake, yes, impeachable not so sure.

What I want to do is, all of you stay, but one thing we try to do is parcel it out here. And so there`s one more piece of news I want to get your reaction on. This is all about Sondland, who like Bolton is a Trump person. Fiona Hill saying, that Sondland, the Trump donor told her, "He was in charge of Ukraine." And she said, on whose authority he said the President - this is now impeachment evidence, because of everything that went down.

Hill also saying, she saw Sondland as a target for foreign powers basically telling me I can get you into the White House. All this comes as Sondland makes the bombshell reversal on his own testimony just this week. He started by defending the President, but ultimately conceded the bribery plot, saying he told Ukraine, no U.S. aid money without the investigation Trump wanted.

And that brings us up to what we were just talking about, is it blurry, are their lies? Well Donald Trump backing away, as he`s done with other people who have served him up to a point. Because look at this, Donald Trump recently describing Sondland as someone he knew to be a good man and a great American. And now all of a sudden today he says this.


TRUMP: Let me just say, I hardly know the gentleman. But this is the man who said there was no quid pro quo, and he still says that. And he said that I said that, and he hasn`t changed that testimony.


MELBER: Tony this is the person that you wrote "The Art of the Deal" with, this is a person who will extract what he can from people and then stay with the straight face I hardly know them and they`re the worst.

SCHWARTZ: I lie for a living. I mean, it comes to him. He can`t tell the truth. He`s almost literally at this point incapable of telling the truth. What happens with Trump is that, anything that arises that in any way alters his self-image he will reactively come up with something from thin air.

And now we have - you know, we have 13,000 lies, but I`d like to know how many truths we have. How many times has he told the truth during the last three years?

MELBER: You think we should start counting that?

SCHWARTZ: I do, because it`s an easier count. You could do it on one or two hands, and they were accidental.

THOMPSON: Yes, I`m trying to think of time he has told the truth. What would I`ve noticed, though, is and I wonder if you found this to be true too. That he has to resort - he`s like a child, and David Cay Johnston wrote about that. He`s still the child that his parents dropped off a military school, and it`s like he never grew up out of that.

So he has to attack people personally, that`s why he`s so fascinated with getting names. And if he can`t attack you personally, he says he doesn`t - he doesn`t even know who you are. I mean, that`s to me just an immature way of functioning. He knows the situations that he`s in. So, he`s going to call somebody a bunch of names, or he`s going to say, I`ve never met him. I don`t know who it is.

And it just doesn`t dawn on him. One of the worst things a human being can be is non-self-aware, and this is probably one of the most non-self-aware individuals in human history.

NOONAN: But, you know, those who feel passionately supportive of the President do not think that his enemies are necessarily truthful people. That his enemies are going at him for high-minded reason having to do with protecting the public good. They think his enemies are going after him for merely partisan, low political reasons. And so--

SCHWARTZ: What do you think?

NOONAN: --this thing becomes a big punch, you know want I mean?

SCHWARTZ: What do you think?

NOONAN: I think that this is an unusual President who has done what John Kelly, his former Chief of Staff told him he would do if he didn`t clean up his act, which is summon through his actions an impeachment movement in the Congress.

But I don`t think it does us any good to make believe that the President is the only one who ever does some wrong here. I think his enemies of sometimes - to tell you the truth. I think in Congress there are a lot of people who have in their rage and sometimes in their mischief towards to the President, given their own case kind of the bad look, to at least half the country.

THOMPSON: Can I just--

NOONAN: For instance Adam Schiff looks like a partisan guy.

SCHWARTZ: He is partisan.

NOONAN: OK. Well--

SCHWARTZ: What do you mean, he looked like.

NOONAN: Oh, my goodness.

SCHWARTZ: He is partisan. He is a democrat.

NOONAN: Well, I understand that. But you have to run something like this - an impeachment proceeding in a way like Peter Rodino ran Watergate when he was the Head of Judiciary. He did it in a very careful way that included Republicans. That took - he kind of put his arms around them. He wound up getting a lot of Republican support for the articles of impeachment that he supported--

THOMPSON: But those were different Republicans--

SCHWARTZ: Exactly.

NOONAN: You have to do it--

SCHWARTZ: This is a different time.

THOMPSON: They`ve been in the hearings, Ms. Noonan.

NOONAN: But you have to do this - you have to be the Rodino character--

THOMPSON: But he is pretty - he is a pretty monotone character, though. Isn`t it?

NOONAN: Not just with the sense of passion, but with the sense of sadness--

THOMPSON: But he`s - but Adam is - Congressman Schiff, I`m sorry, is a pretty - I`m he is a pretty straightforward, non-emotional monotone - I don`t think we can get more--

MELBER: I think - well, I think - and I have to fit in a break, because of the things that are coming up. I really appreciate the seriousness that you each are dialoguing with each other. There`s a lot of monologue and there`s a lot of noise, quite frankly.

This was a dialogue. And for anyone at home listening who heard something and thought I just agree with that, good, good, because there was more than one view on this panel, so you couldn`t possibly agree with all of it.

It`s a nice way to start the weekend during tumultuous times. Tony comes back with the Harlem rapper Dave East later in the show. Mark and Peggy, I hope you come back at a future date.

NOONAN: Will do.

THOMPSON: Would love to.

MELBER: Thanks to all of you. I`ll fit in a break. And then as mentioned, I`m coming up with my special report connecting the evidentiary dots we got this week on the bribery. It will really explain everything we hope.

Also new reports on Giuliani`s indicted associates dangling a state visit for the Ukraine President in exchange for those investigations.

And later I have some thoughts on the new claims by "anonymous" and where they come up short. All that plus, as mentioned fallback Friday with Dave East and Tony Schwartz. Look at that. I can`t wait. I`m Ari Melber. It`s Friday and you`re watching "THE BEAT" on MSNBC.


MELBER: New testimony revealed in the impeachment inquiry today, two officials adding to this growing evidence of bribery. Detailing the specific rewards Trump`s team offered Ukraine for the political help that Trump wanted. All part of the case the Trump was demanding a bribe to help his reelection.

One aide recounting as she witnessed Trump Ambassador Sondland saying, a meeting with Ukrainians hinged on if they would go forward with the political investigations. Another recounting of the "deliverable," Trump sought was the investigation into the Bidens.

So this week is ending like it began with more evidence and more first-hand accounts of this bribery plot. But that`s not all that`s happening. Right now we want to show you how the witnesses are not only adding up, but how some witnesses are impacting other witnesses and moving where they stand on this important story.

And we mentioned this in our reporting earlier this week. That if you divide the Trump camp up between the people denying bribery and the people just admitting it, it`s not that only more people are admitting it, it`s that as these accounts go public, some of the people who used to try to deny it have also been compelled to admit it.

In terms of the players we know, you could say things are moving towards the Ambassador Bill Taylors of the world. That`s the first person that we know of who objected to this whole thing and away from the Donald Trumps of the world.

So as promised now, let me show you some of our new reporting on this starting with how we got here. We made an animated chart. It`s pretty clear and it`s going to get pretty damning. It all starts this summer. Trump and Ambassador Sondland pushing for the probes, but then insisting there was no quid pro quo bribery.

This was before, of course, there was an impeachment probe on Ukraine. But even in private Ambassador Taylor, who you see up there on the right objected. He was the one who famously texted Sondland about this being a bribery plot. So you had those two camps - bribery and no bribery.

And then boom, the whistleblower joins the bribery chorus, filing a complaint about this Ukraine bribery plot. Now that`s pretty simple, at that point those were the lines. Some people involved said it was a bribery plot, other people apparently involved denied it, that`s kind of a split case.

Now back to our chart. Enter Trump aide Mick Mulvaney to admit the bribery plot, famously saying quid pro quo bribery happens all the time in a televised spectacle gaffe of historic proportion. Now could that last with the number one staffer at the White House stay in that camp? No. Here you see Mulvaney migrating over to the no bribery camp, because after that press conference, he reversed himself later the same day and now claims no bribery.

So, however, absurd that retraction, that was the last time that White House had several top people standing by Trump`s defense here. Mulvaney was well pretty damaged, Sondland may be suspicious. But they were all united in the no bribery defense. Now here`s where things get really ugly for Trump.

Take a look, because the new testimony reshaped those alliances. Back to our chart, army officer Vindman testifies there was bribery. Add him to that bribery camp. And then a top official on Trump`s Security Council joins in to detail bribery.

And then here is the most important shift in all the testimony to date, it happened this week, wait for it. As Taylor another testimony goes public Sondland moves over to join Taylor and all these other officials suddenly saying yes this was bribery.

This is the move, Sondland, basically updating, as he put it his past congressional testimony and going, oh, yes, all of a sudden I now recall the bribery plot. You`re now looking at where things stand today.

Sondland`s moved over. Mulvaney was in the bribery camp and moved back. On the left that`s what you have. You have Donald Trump and Mulvaney who already told the country there was bribery only to retract, and you have Trump on the right, you have a lot of other credible testimony.

So the group of people claiming no bribery is looking like a lonelier bunch against that growing number of officials who say they were in the room where it happened and what happened was bribery, which is an impeachable offense. What do prosecutors do with a case that has this kind of testimonial evidence? Well, veteran prosecutor Gene Rossi tells us when we`re back in just 30 seconds.


MELBER: Joining me now former federal prosecutor Gene Rossi. Thanks for being here.


MELBER: Happy Friday. I had a panel earlier tonight to talked about how some of this can add up. I`d like your analysis as a prosecutor as we put back on the screen the finished product of how some of the testimony has realigned.

ROSSI: You want me to comment now?


ROSSI: OK. I tried cases for almost 30 years and I got to say this, Ari, when I was watching your chart on television, I was reminded of many trials I had that I supervised, did myself and observed and I got to tell you this. 18 U. S. C. 2001 is the bribery statute. It is the bedrock of federal corruption crimes.

And the Public Integrity section of main justice, if they are not watching your show, they should, because you just gave the opening statement for a charge against the President of United States and Mulvaney and several others for conspiracy to violate the bribery statute. And here`s what`s most important about what you put up there.

On the left side of that chart--

MELBER: Yes, we`ll put it back up. Go ahead.

ROSSI: Those two individuals - and this is important. They didn`t give any statements under oath. The ones on the right did. And in my experience, when you put someone under oath in front of a judge, a jury - a petty jury or grand jury amazing things happen.

MELBER: So you make a great point right there. We divided the line and just thinking about what the claims are and we saw Mulvaney move and we saw Sondland move. You`re adding the detail and your analysis as a prosecutor, which is that everyone on the right has actually been compelled in person to give testimony under oath at this point. Mr. Mulvaney ducked that today.

ROSSI: Absolutely. I know why he ducked it, because he knows if he and oath and testifies in front of a proceeding, whether it`s a trial or Congress, he knows that he cannot tell the truth. He would have to commit perjury.

Because you don`t go from saying in front of millions of people in the United States and throughout the world that it`s done all the time, quid pro quo arms for dirt and then back away. If they put him in a grand jury right now, he would sing like a bird unless he was intent on committing perjury.

MELBER: Does he have legal exposure?

ROSSI: Yes. There is a conspiracy, Ari, you talked about it in the beginning. There is a conspiracy among the President, Mulvaney, Giuliani, Lev and Igor and God knows how many others, to engage in a scheme called arms for dirt where the President of the United States is holding up funds to get dirt on his opponent.

I want to say this. Go back to 1944 for a moment and imagine if, President Franklin Roosevelt called Prime Minister Churchill and said, "Winston I have $400 million that I want to give you for food and bullets and planes, but I`m not going to do it unless you give me dirt on Thomas Dewey and the Republican Party.

MELBER: Right. And maybe--

ROSSI: He would be impeached.

MELBER: And maybe people need a certain barrage of examples to get their head around it, because when you lay it out like that, both why we`ve learned what we learned. And we`ll put it up one more time - from these individuals why the people on the right are speaking and saying bribery, even though they were loyal to Trump some way.

ROSSI: Right.

MELBER: And the others holding back, it`s fascinating. Gene Rossi, we`ll be having you back. Thank you, sir.

ROSSI: Thank you so much.

MELBER: Up ahead, a White House official calling Giuliani a "hand grenade" on Ukraine will he speak to Congress. And breaking news, what Giuliani`s indicted associates were doing before Trump`s plot, that`s next.


MELBER: We`re back with reporting on this new testimony coming out today with Malcolm Nance, intelligence analyst and author of "The Plot to Betray America," which comes out Tuesday, November 12th. Good evening to you. What do you see as important in what we`re learning and what it animates about the history of this whole sordid plot?

MALCOLM NANCE, TERROR ASYMMETRIC PROJECT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: The most important factor that we`re seeing here today certainly with the - well today`s breaking news, because by the time we`re finished, there will be another one. Is that this story goes back much further than this year.

And I think what we`re starting to see with the information about that Giuliani`s associates had lobbied the previous President that to bring up this exact same story before Zelensky, shows that Donald Trump was afraid of Biden much earlier and said that he was going to create this strategic plan to take down Biden.

Now where does that tie in? It ties in to Robert Mueller and the entirety of Vladimir Putin`s plan to undermine the United States` democracy. And why do I say that? Because now we see Donald Trump doesn`t do anything for Vladimir Putin, unless of course it has been coordinated and agreed upon.

And we also learned this week that Putin and Viktor Orban, the pro-Moscow head of Hungary were both telling Trump their version of what Ukraine was, which was a corrupt pro-western democracy, which they wanted to see undermined.

MELBER: Right.

And I think this entire story is going to Moscow--

MELBER: That to goes to how some of this is so fact free because you have someone who is not at all interested in empirical facts. So if he can create the smoke for the illusion that something hurts Biden he welcomes it. He`s obviously not fact-checking that. And if he`s getting input from other people abroad or Giuliani or whomever, if it if it works to his direction then that`s all he wants.

And Malcolm I want to put that in the context of your analysis of this new "Wall Street Journal" reporting I mentioned earlier in the show, but we haven`t gotten to yet - an associate of Trump`s personal lawyer back in February, pressing the President of Ukraine to open these investigations that would benefit Trump.

And then, Giuliani associates, they may or may not have had this juice, but they were paying him and they`d had dangled a White House visit in exchange for similar probes.

NANCE: This is absolutely fascinating that Giuliani has had this story out there for a while, which means before he went in February and had his associates discuss it, this operation may have been in in works for six months - who knows when this real story started.

And again I think it starts with Paul Manafort. Paul Manafort worked for the pro-Moscow Yanukovych government. We find now that the entire Trump team is pitching this story that it was Hillary Clinton that actually had Ukraine hacked the servers in the 2016 election. But it all comes back to Moscow--

MELBER: Well, Malcolm--

NANCE: --was innocent.

MELBER: If you`re going to hack yourself, obviously you ask a random foreign country to help hack yourself just--

NANCE: Yes. But it`s all it`s all done to protect Vladimir Putin and to damage Ukraine for Vladimir Putin. And they used - I mean this is an ex-KGB spymaster. He knows Giuliani is out there doing this. He`s using pro-Moscow oligarchs. Therefore, he, when he speaks to Trump, maneuvers Trump into a position where he is going to get whatever he wants done with the Ukraine.

MELBER: Right. That`s where you go to our own State Department, our own Pentagon literally being cut out of the loop of something that affects U.S. national security. It`s breathtaking. Your experience here very relevant, Mr. Nance. Thank you, sir.

NANCE: My pleasure. Up ahead, a lot of talk about anonymous. I have a breakdown and how it all addresses the Ukraine whistleblower when we come back.


MELBER: Warning, what do you do when someone offers you a warning, could be helpful or ominous? The political world is taking in this new warning from an anonymous Trump critic alleging a senior official in the Trump administration that`s who they say they are has a new book called a warning.

And the book shares its title, of course, with a classic Notorious B.I.G song the cover similar turf. How people who claim to ride with you can turn on. As Biggie warned, it`s the ones that smoke blunts with you, see your picture, now they want to grab their guns and come and get you.

Well this official clearly wants to come and get Trump, aligning him in something like an elderly uncle running pants less across the courtyard. The book also has some bouts of fan fiction rebellion. Aides talking about resigning in mass in a self-massacre, something they never actually did.

Now these accounts are fair game for media and political discussion, of course. But it is striking to see this book, what you may hear people talking, about arriving now in the midst of the Ukraine scandal, because while this new author takes to another turn in the spotlight. The person who blew the whistle on the Ukraine scandal did not leak or push an op-ed or speculate on rebellions that never came to fruition.

The real whistleblower documented facts, reported them internally and lawfully through proper channels, going to the inspector general who confirmed that person`s job and credibility and formally found the Ukraine complaint an urgent concern. That alone gives everyone way more confidence in the whistleblower than in anonymous who hasn`t identified their full expertise or role, has only dealt with a few random editors.

And on the substance, the whistleblower identified far more than opinions against Trump documenting the plot to solicit interference from a foreign country for 2020, which of course led to the probes that compelled the release of the call notes corroborating that account.

One whistleblower`s voice brought forward more. You`ve seen them, the failings of diplomats and veterans and officials walking into Congress to testify. Now let me be clear tonight, there`s of course more than one way to dissent. It just happens that the whistleblowers way worked and drew others to come forward with facts. While anonymous has earned more book deals than investigative leads.

Now the book addresses some of this, conceding that many may see this as cowardice and maybe Anonymous will come out of the closet at some point. But the whistleblower shows you don`t have to reveal yourself to make an impact if you know the rules and you know how to work within them.

So, yes, Anonymous is now making a literary splash. But the whistleblower is making waves. To quote that same Biggie song, "It ain`t a dream, things ain`t always what it seem." I wanted to share that thought, since a lot of people might be discussing that book.

And I also want to update you on something this Sunday night when we are back with a new impeachment special with some very special guests. And of course that`s available to everyone around the nation this Sunday night.

Now last night we did also announce we`re hosting an event in Manhattan to dive into this historic story and I want to tell you all sold out the general admission seats for that last night within four minutes of the announcement. Congratulations.

I will tell you that given the overwhelming interest we`re making standing room tickets available tonight. You can go to if you are in New York and want to come to "The Impeachment of President Trump: A National Debate" with Chairman Adler and our legal experts. That`s November 21st. The tickets may go soon. These new standing room tickets at if you`re interested in in New York take a look.

Now, I`ll be right back after this with fallback Friday.


MELBER: It`s time now to fall back. I am joined tonight by Harlem rapper Dave East for the debut of his new album "Survival," dropping today features Dave and A-list artists like Nas, Rick Ross, Fabulous and a special collaboration with his daughter Kairi. You see right there in studio and who Dave sometimes has out on tour with him.

Dave also plays Wu-Tang Rapper Method Man in the Hulu series "Wu-Tang: An American Saga." And while Dave represents Harlem. He`s joined today by our friend Tony Schwartz representing Manhattan and the Bronx, a businessman, former New York Times journalist and the author of five books, including Donald Trump`s "The Art of The Deal." Thanks to both of you for being here.


MELBER: Great to see you.

SCHWARTZ: I have to apologize for writing that book.

MELBER: Well, we`ll get into that. Tony, what`s on your fallback list?

SCHWARTZ: I want to fall back on certainty. Whenever you`re feeling anxious you move to certainty and it`s a binary way of thinking. You`re thinking it`s either good or it`s bad, it`s right or it`s wrong. And it rarely, rarely is - it`s like incredibly complex world.

I watch it in Silicon Valley right now where, if you think back not very long ago, the tech companies were going to be our savior. The heroes were the folks who ran those companies. Now suddenly they are the devil. They`re the opposite. They`re going to bring down civilization.

And you know it`s about nuance and subtlety and finding a place that can hold opposites. That tolerate the idea that even though ideas may conflict with each other, both may have aspects of the truth.

MELBER: Well, you know, Dave, sometimes people act more certain than they are to appear strong. You always see that?

EAST: Yes, I believe that. I feel like is an illusion 90 percent of the time.

MELBER: Like someone will carry themselves in a certain way and act more certain, more successful, even maybe more tough than they are, right? And then you find out there`s more to the story.

EAST: I think there is a lot of pride involved with that. And just you know trying - you know, your confidence that might not really beat it. So you may do that more to try to seem more certain.

SCHWARTZ: Yes, I agree with that. Any strength over years - I think, you`ve heard me say it. Any strength over years becomes a liability. So confidence over the years becomes arrogance. Like humility is the balance. Like, you need both.

MELBER: Right.

EAST: You need both, yes.

MELBER: What else is on your fallback list Dave?

EAST: Honestly I feel like the entire U.S. government need to fall back. I just feel like it`s never been so much division in the country, so much uncertainty on what`s going on. And I think it starts at the top, at the head. And I mean, I feel like that needs to become figured out.

I don`t know exactly how to do it. But I think if that is figured out. And the division between the Republicans and the Democrats if that could come to some type of balance, you know some kind of balance it would be a better - much better country to live in.

SCHWARTZ: No it`s - I mean, this is exactly the point. We are divided between people who are certain they are right, even though only - if one of them has to be right then one of them has to be wrong and that`s where you get all this division. I mean, I was just thinking about a study that was done by a guy named George Vaillant at Harvard of 30 years. Ben Bradlee was in this study, JFK was in this study. It was a bunch of Harvard students back in the 30s ----

MELBER: And just to cut it. Tony is the kind of guy, he`ll bring homework to a dinner party. You know, like you will be talking about as normal thinking like. Well there`s actually three studies on this.

EAST: I seem alarming, keep talking.

SCHWARTZ: Anyway this is so simple. Out of these 300 people in this study were followed for 50 years. The thing that determined most whether they had success in life like their marriages, their careers was - what was the quality of love in their childhood? How much love and did they get. I know he`s devoted to his daughter.

EAST: That`s true.

SCHWARTZ: That`s where it starts. And actually we are in a moment of - we`re in a time of incredible hatred, at a time when the diffuser would be the capacity to tap into your heart.

MELBER: I love you say that, because - shout out to Dave Sr. You brought your parents here today, that`s a being part of your life.

EAST: They run around with me. That`s my good luck charm, my mom and my dad.

  SCHWARTZ: Yes. That is - you can`t imagine what a what (inaudible) you can, but what incredible good fortune it is to feel that way.

EAST: But you know what I think is the problem with that. I feel like people are more into power than love. You know what I mean? I feel like love is like - you know what I mean? But having power or control of something, people lean towards more that - lean to that more. So I feel like that was really the biggest problem with everything.

MELBER: Well let`s get into that, because I was listening to the new album, dropped in today, "Survival."

EAST: Oh, you`ve listened that?

MELBER: You know I listen. And you have a line on there where you say, basically you have you felt or sometimes rappers use characters. But the line is that, "you needed to get power to make sure you didn`t get hurt growing up."

SCHWARTZ: Yes, I buy that.

EAST: That`s real. And that that comes from seeing who got power, whether is the stronger dude or whether it`s someone who would act like - power comes in many ways, and I learned that early. You know what I mean, so that. I moved to life like that. Knowing that most power that people have, they abuse it.

I mean, most people when they get power they abuse it. So I try not to abuse whatever power or whatever influence I have on whoever.

SCHWARTZ: Yes. I`ve never felt more than I do now. I couldn`t agree with you more. I never felt more than I do now that the truth of power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And whether you look at it in MeToo and all those men who`ve had huge power and used it to abuse women or you look at it in the way Trump operates as President.

This notion --the human impulse is this survival impulse. And so the instinct is to try to exercise power mostly because you feel weak. Those are the people who go the hardest to do power. So the most insecure person becomes the most grandiose person.

MELBER: Let`s get in the album before I lose you. Obviously, people who are sleeping on "Survival" need to fall back--

EAST: Fall all the way back. Its - life - it`s based on survival instinct.

MELBER: Yes "Survival" is the album cover.


EAST: That`s the title.

MELBER: That`s right.

SCHWARTZ: How about that. Maybe that`s why I`m here with you.

MELBER: And I would be remiss if I didn`t mention your - I think "Survival" might fare better than some of Tony`s work. Here`s "The Art of Deal".

SCHWARTZ: We`re going to pump this sucker.

MELBER: Dave what do people need to know about the album?

EAST: It`s my life man. I feel like it`s the inspiration and the motivation for generations to come. I wanted to record and create something that would be timeless and not just live for the moment.

MELBER: And why was it important to put your daughter on it? She was on the cover of one of the past albums. Now she`s on the music.

EAST: She was talking there. So I was like, you know what, come on - come on get on these credits with me.

MELBER: I love that. Thanks for coming through.

EAST: Any time Ari.

MELBER: Dave East, Tony Schwartz. Appreciate both of you.

EAST: Nice to meet you.

SCHWARTZ: Nice to meet you.

MELBER: Fantastic guests. I will be back this Sunday night 9:00 p.m. Eastern for the special coverage "Impeachment: White House in Crisis." That`s Sunday night at 9:00 p.m..

Before we go I want to mention one more thing you`re about to see, because tonight marks the 20th Anniversary of "Hardball with Chris Matthews". We want to give a big shout out to our friend and colleague and leader on this milestone for an iconic show.

So let me say I`m going to get out right on time. Happy, happy birthday to "Hardball" to Chris Matthews. That whole "Hardball" team and boy are you going to want to watch tonight "Hardball" with Chris Matthews is up next.