CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: That`s all we have for tonight. We will be back tomorrow with more MEET THE PRESS DAILY.
THE BEAT starts right now. Stephanie Ruhle is in for Ari.
Good evening, Stephanie.
STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC HOST: Good evening to you, Charles. Thank you very much.
Welcome to THE BEAT. I am Stephanie Ruhle, in for my friend Ari Melber on this historic day that saw George Floyd laid to rest, a death that has sparked 15 days of nationwide and global protests.
People lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the funeral procession in Houston, Texas. Floyd`s remains begin being taken to the cemetery by horse- drawn carriage.
These that you`re looking at right now are live pictures of a rally taking place in New York City. Among those attending that rally, nearly 20 family members of New Yorkers who were killed by police since 1973. All of these people out there in cities across the country are calling for one thing, a change in how we police in America.
Today, Floyd was buried in Pearland, Texas, next to the grave of his mother.
Our friend and colleague, Reverend Al Sharpton, head of the National Action Network and host here on MSNBC, delivered the very powerful eulogy.
A congressional delegation attended. And I will be speaking to Speaker Nancy Pelosi a little later in the hour.
Former Vice President Joe Biden also delivering a video message, the scene in Texas a stark contrast in tone and substance from President Donald Trump, who did not mention George Floyd today.
Instead, he spent quite a bit of time trying to spread a strange and unsettling conspiracy theory about a senior citizen, a 75-year-old man, a protester, who was shoved by police in Buffalo, New York.
The president was suggesting that that man was some sort of Antifa agitator. You can see here on your screen exactly what happened in the video. It wasn`t that at all. Two Buffalo police officers have been charged with assault. That issue of police violence, amid the protests over police violence across the country, has emerged as a new flash point on its own right.
And, tonight, a New York City police officer is now facing criminal charges one week after he was recorded on video shoving a woman to the ground during a protest.
MSNBC`s Ellison Barber is live from City Hall in New York City.
Ellison, another day of protests, but some people in New York are feeling some level of justice with at least one police officer being charged. What can you tell us?
ELLISON BARBER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, right, that is a positive step for many people, but many people will also tell you that it is not nearly enough.
There are some specific examples they will refer to that they have seen, interactions between NYPD officers and protesters over the last week or so, also moments, instances then go back years.
We saw thousands of protesters walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and make their way here in front of City Hall. You can see the crowd that is still gathered. The families of at least 18 people killed in interactions or shooting with New York police officers are addressing the crowd right now, telling their stories, and calling for more change.
They want the NYPD`s $6 billion budget to be cut by at least $1 billion. They want that law known as 50-a that protects police records from getting out to the public, they want to see that repealed, among other things.
Some have called for Mayor Bill de Blasio to resign.
I know we don`t have a whole lot of time, but, if I can, I want to read you the names of the families, the people here representing those 18 people who have been killed in interactions with New York police dating back to the `70s.
We`re hearing today from the mother of Sean Bell, the mother of Ramarley Graham, the sister and aunt of Shantel Davis, the mother of Eric Garner, the sister of Delrawn Small, the mother of Amadou Diallo, the mother of Mohamed Bah, the aunt of Akai Gurley, the mother of Kimani Gray, the sister-in-law of Jason Serrano (ph), the mother of Anthony Baez, the parents of Antonio Williams, the parents of Saheed Vassell, the mother of Kenny Lazo`s son, the mother of Carlos Lopez Jr., the mother of Kawaski Trawick, the mother of Kadeem Torres, the sister of Clifford Glover.
Clifford was shot by an NYPD officer back in 1973. He was only 10 years old. I spoke to his sister before all of this started. She told me, at the time that her brother was shot, he was walking out with her father, his stepdad. They say police officers not in uniform approached them.
The police said that they thought the two had been involved in some sort of robbery. She says her dad and her brother, they thought they were about to be robbed. So they ran.
Her brother, Clifford, who was 10 years old, was shot in the back and he died. I asked her why she wanted to be here today, why she wanted to speak to so many people. She told me that there were protests, there were riots in the `70s after her brother died, but nothing quite like this.
She said she wanted to be here today to tell everyone who was out protesting, marching to keep going. She said she has waited 47 years to see something like this. And she believes change might finally be on the way -- Stephanie.
RUHLE: Think a lot of other people will agree.
Ellison, thank you so much for sharing their names. I wish we had more time to hear their stories.
I want to bring in Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for "The Washington Post" Eugene Robinson and Maya Wiley, former counsel to the New York City mayor`s office, as well as former chairwoman of the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent police oversight agency.
I`m so appreciative that you are both here on this very important evening.
Maya, talk to us about the mood in this country and the desire for change. You have seen a lot. You have been through a lot. Do you feel that this time could be different?
MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I feel that, with all the protests I have been in and that we have seen both in New York City and across the country after police killing after police killing after police killing, all of which have seen some form of demonstration after they happen calling for justice, this is the first time that, one, we have already seen the impact of the demonstrations.
We have already seen both state law proposals and, in New York state, ban on choke holds, and also the consideration of lifting the veil -- and Governor Cuomo has said it`s going to be gone -- lifting the veil that covers the police misconduct charges and discipline for police officers administratively in the police department.
We have seen Minneapolis say, we`re going to move resources from the police department and really rethink public safety, invest in low-income communities of color that have been overpoliced and starved of needed resources for far too long.
These are real changes. I don`t think they are yet sufficient changes to be transformative of the problems that we have seen, both with the culture and with the kind of policing we have had.
But I also say that to say, after Eric Garner`s death -- and I was chairing the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board at the time that 50-a alone, the statute in New York that says, nope, you can get the disciplinary records on any other public servants, just not law enforcement, just not prison guards, fighting to change that was very difficult because of the police unions.
Politically, what shifted the winds were these demonstrations, so they have had very real impact, and, as we have also seen, federal ledge legislation that Democrats have proposed as well. So these really are meaningful things that people have been fighting about for a long time.
But really what we`re seeing is that demonstrators are rightly not satisfied. They`re like, that`s not good enough. Those were the demands of five years ago that we have still been fighting for. We now want complete transformation, and we are not going to settle for less.
RUHLE: Eugene, give us a history lesson and compare that to how you feel right now, as you watch not just this funeral procession, but what you have seen over the last 15 days.
EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, let me go back a lot further than that.
You know I grew up in South Carolina at the tail end of Jim Crow segregation in 1968. Three black students in my hometown were killed by state troopers -- unarmed black students were killed by state troopers in demonstrations over segregation in 1968, four years after the Civil Rights Act.
But facilities in my own town were still segregated. And then they were killed with impunity. There were never any consequences for the officers who killed them.
And so how many since then? How many of these have we had to endure, until we get to this point? Now, I agree with Maya that this feels different. The protests that we have seen since the killing of George Floyd have been bigger, much more diverse and more enduring, and, in a way, more focused than the protests than anything I have seen going all the way back.
And I do think this is a -- this is a moment with real potential for change. But we`re just at the starting line now. And so now things actually have to happen.
Let`s see, for example, if any Republicans even engage in the legislative process with Democrats as they try to get the police reform bill passed through the House. It`ll pass, because Democrats have the votes, but will Republicans sit on the sidelines? Or what will they do?
What will happen when it gets to the Senate? There are some Republican senators making noises as if they want to engage at least and do something, but let`s see it. Let`s see it.
RUHLE: Maya, comprehensive police reform does not have to be the American people or the African-American community against police unions. But thus far it looks that way. Does it have to?
WILEY: You know, we have seen, unfortunately, no indication from police unions that they understand that the mission is to protect and serve and to protect and serve everyone, and that that shouldn`t mean that there is policing with impunity, that there is policing with racial bias, that there is unanswerable conduct that police can engage in and be protected from discipline or prosecution for when it violates the law, or when any one of us would be considered guilty of it.
They get sometimes protections, even in the administrative disciplinary process, in many cities that no other public servants would get, for example, not to have to answer any questions about the discipline, what`s being complained about, until there`s been a certain amount of time that has passed and until they have been able to speak to a legal representative.
That`s an incredible ability to cook up a story and to ask others to back you up or just pretend they didn`t see anything. And, frankly, I have seen cases in civilian oversight where I firmly believed that it was not credible that other officers were saying they did not see or hear the events that they were standing very near.
And that`s a -- I`m not suggesting all cops are bad. Please don`t get me wrong. I am suggesting that unions have been far too powerful in protecting police officers from fair discipline, from a fair process, not a process weighted to ensure that they can get away with bad things.
And certainly from the criminal justice system and the civil justice system that enables some external oversight, accountability and control that tells them, you are not above the law, and, right now, there has been a lot of activity that`s just been above the law.
RUHLE: Then, Maya, given all of the good police leadership out there, think about sheriff`s deputies, police forces that, even in the last week, have stood and kneeled with protesters, wouldn`t that kind of police leadership wants this type of comprehensive reform that serves everyone?
WILEY: Well, yes, I mean, we would think so, because this actually benefits police.
The one thing that we should not get confused about are that reforms somehow are detrimental to police. The reality is, police who do a good job, who want to do a good job are often victims of some of these bad police officers. And I have had police officers tell me stories that, in confidence, they were like, you should see how they treat us.
And that is something that can change if the way we think about policing changes and the way we orient to it, what we think its role is in society, which, as we heard Representative Sheila Jackson Lee say at George Floyd`s funeral, I think, so powerfully is, we`re looking for guardians of the peace, not warriors who come into our community to engage in warfare.
That`s a very different frame of policing. It requires thinking very, very much more creatively about what the role of police is, and what policies and what accountability makes sure that that`s what they are, that`s what they do, and then protects the great cops that want to just be a part of the community, want to be a part of the solution, they want to have good relationships.
They want to feel safer. They want to feel like they can get home to their families. That`s something we all want.
RUHLE: I want to point out, on your screen, we have cut away. The news helicopters have left, giving George Floyd`s family and close friends their privacy as they have their last moments with him.
Eugene, last point to you.
As we wrap this day, and I realize what a heavy day this is, not just to see the funeral procession, but to see these protests continue across the country, at the same time, does it give you this sense of energy and optimism that change is on the way?
ROBINSON: It gives me more optimism. It`s a guarded optimism, but it`s more optimism than I have seen in the wake of prior killings. That`s certainly the case.
I watched the whole funeral today. I thought hearing from George Floyd`s niece Brooke Williams was incredibly powerful. She said, some people say make America great again. When was America ever great?
And I think that`s a valuable lesson for a lot of white Americans to whom it may never have occurred that the halcyon days that they think back to the `50s or the `60s or whatever, those are days when I was growing up under Jim Crow segregation, and my parents and their friends were fighting for the right to vote.
And so it`s -- the African-American experience is a crucial strain of the American existence, the American experience. And maybe more of the nation is learning a bit of that now. And if that`s true, then that would be helpful going forward.
But changing the culture inside those police departments, changing that warrior mentality, that us-vs.-them mentality, the Fort Apache mentality, that`s going to be really difficult, in spite of the best intentions of police administrators.
There are veteran cops who aren`t going to like the change. And that`s going to be a struggle in the months and years ahead.
RUHLE: It certainly is. But if you don`t do something in times of struggle, then we`re never going to get better. And we absolutely need to.
Eugene Robinson, Maya Wiley, thank you so much. You always make us smarter when you`re here.
Coming up, my live interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Democratic plans to reinvent and reimagine policing. We have seen the impact of Floyd`s death. Now it`s time for action.
Also, Steve Schmidt on Trump`s reelection panic, aides trying to contain the damage from his handling of this new crisis.
Plus, Dr. Fauci today calling COVID his worst nightmare and warning, this thing is not over yet.
And my special interview with radio host Charlamagne tha God about the next steps to tackle inequality in America.
I`m Stephanie Ruhle, in for Ari Melber. And you are watching THE BEAT.
RUHLE: Donald Trump is struggling for a coherent and working message on police brutality, and he is flailing.
Multiple reports now of his campaign advisers desperate to find the right tone, but stymied by Trump`s own instincts to project a tough-on-crime, law and order image.
The Daily Beast reporting Trump`s campaign bought TV ads on channels they knew he watches just to ease his own anxiety that the campaign isn`t doing enough, because the reality is, Trump is getting hammered politically right now.
Today, "The New York Times" digging into a wave of bad polling for Trump, concluding this -- quote -- "Joe Biden appears in a stronger position to oust an incumbent president than any challenger since Bill Clinton in the summer of 1992."
Joining me now, political strategist and MSNBC contributor Steve Schmidt.
Steve, help us understand the position the Trump campaign is in right now. We have said lots of times before, oh, they`re anxious, and that hasn`t necessarily worked out. But, this time, is it different?
STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, they feel like the walls closing in on them.
When you`re running for president, what you`re looking at is a map of the United States, Stephanie, electorally, and you want to have as many combinations as possible to get to 270 electoral votes.
And so, four years ago, on the night where Trump lost the popular vote, but won the electoral vote very narrowly, he pulled an inside straight. When they look at the map now, and they see the numbers in Michigan and in Pennsylvania, in Ohio, in must-win Trump states, Trump is looking increasingly like he has a very difficult path to 270 electoral votes.
And you have seen his numbers crater on the questions of his handling of COVID, his handling of the racial unrest in the country, the issues of police violence. And so, for months now, the American people have been subjected to somebody standing behind the podium talking nonsense, telling people to inject household disinfectants, telling people to drink bleach, telling people that these cases would all go away and disappear as if by magic.
And the American people understand that we`re the epicenter of coronavirus infection and death. They understand how shattered the economy is because of it. And they see somebody who demonstrates every day how profoundly he - - how unfit he is for the job.
And he just has an incapacity to do the work of president. And it`s hurting the American people as a result.
RUHLE: Will the American people even buy this argument that he`s the law and order president?
When you see the likes of Jim Mattis and Colin Powell warn the American people of the dangers of having President Trump in office, how does he, a guy whose administration blows their nose with subpoenas, actually stand up and say, I`m the law and order president?
SCHMIDT: Well, it`s the most corrupt administration in American history, bar none. And there`s that aspect to it.
But, specifically, what Donald Trump is saying when he says he`s a law and order president, let`s be clear about it. What he`s saying is, he`s going to crack down on black people. That`s what he`s saying.
And so, when he defines law and order as what, standing on the neck of an African-American for eight minutes, watching him die on television, does he mean launching violence against peaceful protesters outside the White House, so he can walk across to St. John`s and desecrate the Bible?
His law and order is the law and order of Bull Connor. It`s the -- it`s the law and order of an age in this country that`s not ever going to come back. But it has very little to do with justice.
He has incited. He has divided. He has assaulted the rule of law. He has weakened our essential institutions. And at every moment during this rancid presidency, when there`s been a time where he could heal the country, where he could try to bring people together, what he has done instead is stoke the cold civil war that he has capitalized on for his political career of these last years, starting with the birther movement, right up through today, with his attacks on a 75-year-old man who was viciously assaulted by a police officer that the president has now put in the middle of his wild conspiracy theories.
RUHLE: OK, who does that wild conspiracy theory serve?
If the president needs to win over suburban women, what suburban women out there are saying, right on, President Trump, time to go after a 75-year-old man with a nonsense conspiracy theory?
President Trump`s got his base. Explain to me who he`s performing for now.
SCHMIDT: Well, it`s fewer -- it`s fewer and fewer every day with regard to the suburban women.
But one of the dynamics of a political movement or a political party when it`s shrinking, -- and the Republican Party is shrinking. It`s getting smaller. It used to be bigger than it is. But as it shrinks, its supporters become more intense.
A great example of this is the California Republican Party. It`s both never been smaller and never been crazier than it is today.
So, the pure Trumpist that`s out there, this is what they want from Donald Trump. But just because they`re loud and they`re intense, doesn`t mean...
SCHMIDT: It doesn`t mean that they`re a -- it doesn`t mean they`re a majority at all, and they`re not.
RUHLE: Isn`t there a risk here that President Trump is helping former V.P. Biden?
V.P. Biden was struggling to energize young voters. What have we seen in the last 15 days? Thousands and thousands of young people incentivized to take to the streets. And you know what they`re being told to do? Vote.
SCHMIDT: Of course.
And, look, what was true about the race four years ago is that whomever the race was about was the person who was losing the race. And Donald Trump was the person whom the race was about for the entirety of the race, until the last week, when it became about Hillary Clinton with James Comey`s letter.
And then she lost very, very narrowly. But, yes, this race is about Donald Trump. It`s about his performance as president. He`s been the most ineffective, the most failed leader in American history. And I say that without hyperbole.
There has never been a leader of American government, any American institution, that has performed like Donald Trump has in a time of crisis, never, ever, ever. And it would have been an intolerable proposition for the entire history of our republic until now.
And the thing, Stephanie, to remember is this; 25 to 30 percent of the country has always been crazy. That`s always been the case. The deal is today, though, it`s easy for them to all connect with each other with social media and the Internet. It used to be harder for those people to find each other.
But it`s not that we have more crazy people. And when we look at this election, what we`re seeing is, a majority of decent people in this country are saying, I`m worse off than I was four years ago. The country`s a mess. I`m looking at my television, I see chaos.
I see a president who`s completely incompetent, inept, divisive, inciting, mean, nasty, corrupt, and they`re saying, enough. And so you`re seeing Joe Biden`s poll numbers rise into a very significant lead, given how closely divided the country has been over recent presidential cycles.
RUHLE: Well, the only way we`re going to get through this time, Steve, is together.
Thank you to my friend Steve Schmidt.
We`re going to leave it there, because, next, Speaker Nancy Pelosi joins us live. We`re going to be back in just 30 seconds.
RUHLE: We`re back with the most powerful Democratic elected official in America, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Speaker Pelosi, thank you for joining us on this very important day.
RUHLE: Yesterday, you knelt in honor of George Floyd and his life. And soon after, you helped unveil the new policing reform bill. This has been 15 days of impact, and now it is time for congressional action.
What do you hope your legislation is going to achieve?
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Well, thank you for mentioning that.
I`m very proud of the work of Karen Bass, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. She also chairs the Crime Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee.
So, tomorrow, the Judiciary Committee, under Jerry Nadler`s leadership and Karen Bass, will be having a hearing on the justice and policing legislation. And what we hope to accomplish is an improvement in justice and policing. And that means we will have an end to racial profiling, choke holds, qualified prosecution of wrongdoing in the police department, issues that relate to data collection, so that we know the record of people, and so they don`t get rehired into a place where they can cause more harm.
The list goes on. It is a very important, well-crafted piece of legislation that addresses many of the concerns that our Congress has had for a long time, and our caucus, the Black Caucus, has taken the lead on.
So, we`re ready. Karen Bass is ready to introduce that bill, working with the Senate as well, Kamala Harris and Senator Booker, yesterday to make the announcement.
And, as we -- as we had the ceremony today...
RUHLE: How confident are you that it is going to be welcomed in the Senate?
PELOSI: Well, I would hope.
Today -- of course, we introduced it yesterday.
RUHLE: But just...
PELOSI: Today, we had the funeral, the final funeral to -- for George Floyd to rest in peace. And now we go forward with the legislation.
I would hope that public opinion will convince our colleagues that something -- something to the effect that we`re putting together needs to be done, not partisan in any way. And, hopefully, it`s about reducing violence in the administration of justice.
Safety is very important to the American people. Safety is one of our primary responsibilities as elected officials, to keep the American people safe. And we want them to be safe in a very just way.
RUHLE: Yes, but the Senate can`t even pass an anti-lynching bill. If you can`t get that through, does this have hope?
PELOSI: Well, again, Lincoln said, public sentiment is everything. With it, you can accomplish almost every -- anything, without it, practically nothing -- Abraham Lincoln.
The -- I think that public opinion, massive numbers of people walking in support of ending violence in terms of the police department, is something that we have to recognize, and, again, not to paint every one of our public safety officials in -- with the same brush. They don`t deserve that.
But they do deserve to police -- they should be policing their own operation. And, in the absence of that, we will have this justice and policing legislation.
So, it is not up to us to just do the inside maneuvering. You can only go so far with that. The outside mobilization is essential to any change that you want to effect in our country, in the Congress.
RUHLE: When you talk about public safety, racial justice, national security, these are issues that matter to all Americans.
RUHLE: Yet, the way the president is trying to phrase this, saying these are liberal radical moves meant to abolish policing as we know it, as though we`re -- as though you`re trying to create a lawless society, that`s obviously not what you are doing.
So, when you look at the term defunding the police, how do you define it?
PELOSI: Well, first of all, I don`t pay that much attention to what the president says, because it doesn`t equate to -- it doesn`t have anything to do with the reality of the situation.
He`s ignoring what we`re seeing right before our very eyes, denying it, wanting us to believe him, rather than what we`re seeing with our very eyes.
The issue of budgeting is one that is -- should be a statement of our values. What we care about should be how we allocate our resources. And we do care about safety. So, we will have various measures that relate to -- it could possibly be some of the responsibilities, some in law enforcement have that relate to mental illness, relate to domestic violence and the rest of that.
And we are hoping that they will pass our legislation that has the Violence Against Women Act in it and the funding that goes with that. But I wouldn`t get hung up on one phrase or another.
What we want to do is pass our bill for justice in policing. That phrase, I hope everyone will take on, and, again, as we allocate our resources, do so in a way that addresses some of the underlying concerns that people have.
In fact, our HEROES Act does just that in certain respects. First of all, one -- some of the anger that you see out there, I understand, is from the disparity in the coronavirus and how people of color have had more a disproportionate share of the deaths in terms of that.
The HEROES Act goes directly to that. It says, you want to open up the economy, test, trace, treat, socially distance, so that we can get that done. And that -- and we want the data and the statistics that relate to who is disproportionately affected by that.
If you want to talk about protecting people, honor our heroes, our health care workers, our first responders, our food suppliers, transit, teachers, teachers, teachers, that is in that bill. And that is something that we expect the Republicans to come around to sooner, rather than later.
And, again, that`s three pillars.
PELOSI: One, open the economy. Two, honor our heroes. Third, put money in the pockets of the American people, so that people, especially disproportionately people of color, can have the wherewithal until our economy swings back.
And then we have some ideas about that as we go forward. And that is to pass our infrastructure, build the infrastructure of America in a green way, have a stabilization of the Affordable Care Act, so they have more access to affordable care.
We know that there are injustices, whether it`s environmental injustice, whether it`s health injustice, whether it`s occupational injustice, whether it`s education injustice, that have to be addressed. And the legislation we have between now and the Fourth of July goes right to those points.
They`re a repeat of what we have done before, but now to double down on them.
RUHLE: Do you really think that the Senate is going to go for that? A week ago, it was a nonstarter for Mitch McConnell. And since Friday`s jobs report, we have got more and more Republicans saying, we`re going to pump the brakes on another stimulus bill.
So, as important as you think the HEROES Act is, do you think your Republican colleagues do?
PELOSI: Well, I just heard today that one of the president`s economic advisers said there definitely will be a bill, and the president wants to see what will be in it as we go forward.
Mitch McConnell has changed his tune from never, no way, to maybe just a trillion dollars and later than they want. We want it sooner, and we want it more.
But this isn`t about what they think politically. This is what the American people need. This is a very disciplined, focused, prioritized piece of legislation that addresses the needs of our cities and states, our local communities for the money they have put out to address the -- the funding for coronavirus outlays, as well as the revenue lost because of the coronavirus.
It is very, very important. In fact, if you want to see how important it is, go to speaker.gov/heroesact. Press any entity in the country, whether it`s a state you live in, a city, a county, and see exactly what that means to you.
And that is our argument, from Democrats and Republicans across the country. These states and localities, they have to meet a budget deadline by June 30. We need this bill to come up very soon, and, by the way, all of it.
When you look at it, you will just be dazzled by what it does for states and localities. When you see it, remember this. It only costs half as much, half as much as the Republican tax scam that gave 83 percent of the benefits to the top 1 percent in the country.
So, this is about budgeting. You asked about budgeting, funding this or that. Where do you allocate the resources? What is important to a country to meet our goals?
We think there is a better place than tax breaks for the richest people in America. We think state and local government, our heroes, health care workers, et cetera, deserve to keep their jobs. They risk their lives to save other people`s lives. We don`t want them to lose their jobs in the meantime because of the coronavirus and the loss of revenue that comes with that as well.
So, I think, yes, that they will -- they will come -- they will come around on it.
RUHLE: ... honor them every day.
PELOSI: I think they will come around on it.
But you know what? We haven`t asked them to vote for anything they haven`t voted for before. They voted for state and local, smaller, but nonetheless. They voted for testing, smaller, but nonetheless. They voted for unemployment insurance and direct payments to people, smaller, but nonetheless.
And so it isn`t asking them to violating any principle. We`re just asking them to choose the people. The Fed is propping up the stock market with trillions of dollars. We want Congress and the Fed to prop up the American -- America`s working families with trillions of dollars as well.
And we have a plan to do just that.
RUHLE: Well, for the millions of people out there marching, they don`t want smaller. They want bigger. They want equality, and they want help.
RUHLE: House Speaker, thank you so much for joining me, Nancy Pelosi.
PELOSI: Remember this, though.
RUHLE: Coming up...
PELOSI: If we don`t do this, it is going to cost more. It is going to cost more if we don`t make this investment now.
Thank you. Lovely to be with you, Stephanie. Thank you.
RUHLE: Invest now or pay later, the parting words of Speaker Pelosi.
Coming up: On the day of George Floyd`s funeral, I have a very special guest on the lasting impact of the protests.
What needs to be done next?
RUHLE: Protests continuing across the nation today. And we are already seeing action.
But what is the next real step? And how does the country address issues like education, housing and health care? It`s not just about police reform.
Joining me now, Charlamagne tha God, host of "The Breakfast Club" on Power 105.1.
Charlamagne, I`m so glad you`re here with me tonight.
You have been saying for years, enough is enough. Racial injustice is holding the black community down. We need to change.
Is George Floyd`s death and the last 15 days of people standing up and fighting back going to create the change you have been looking for?
CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I believe so, because when I see what`s going on in America right now, I see God. And I think about how, for the past few months, literally, the world stopped, and God sat us all down to open our eyes to the realities of America.
The idea of America sounds great, freedom, justice, equality, liberty and justice for all. But we know that those things only apply to rich white men who built his country. They designed this white supremacist system a certain way, and this white supremacist system is working exactly how they wanted it to go.
So, when you think about coronavirus and how it showed why we need some form of universal health care system, because the current U.S. health system is trash, it showed us how all of America, including the corporations, are living in check to check because the whole country needed a bailout after a couple of weeks of being shut down, so, yes, universal basic income is probably something this country needs to consider.
And then, of course, systemic racism, the disease that this country has never found a cure for, and the only cure for systemic racism is we, the people, finally saying, enough is enough, because you get what you demand, and you encourage what you tolerate.
And America has encouraged systemic racism for far too long by tolerating it. And this white supremacist system has to be dismantled. And I really feel God has given America the chance to atone for its original sin, slavery, by simply doing right by black people.
That`s it. You got to do right by black people through legislation and reparations. Stop ignoring the plight of the poor. And God might have mercy on this country.
RUHLE: So, what needs to be done? What`s the next thing? How do you feel about the Democrats` bill?
CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: I mean, I like the Democrats` -- well, I like the Democrats` bill, simply because, when you think about what needs to be done as far as police reform, that`s what we want.
We want that as far as police reform is concerned, as far as criminal justice reform is concerned. So I like that aspect of it. I like that aspect of it a lot.
RUHLE: You have said before that, for Joe Biden to win your vote, young black people`s vote, it`s going -- he`s going to need to do more than not be Donald Trump.
CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Yes.
RUHLE: In the last week, we have heard him present his plan for black America. We heard him talk about mental health, education, summer programs, housing, health for the black community. He said it in Philadelphia. He put it in his new plan.
Is that enough? Can that energize the black community? Because you have been -- you have been suspect in the past.
CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Listen, he`s got to go harder.
I have said it a million times, and I will continue to say it. If Barack Obama was JFK, then Joe Biden has the opportunity to be made to be Lyndon B. Johnson. He has the opportunity to be as progressive in regards to race and class as Lyndon B. Johnson was.
And if Joe Biden had listened to me and my conglomerate a few months ago, he would have been ahead of the curve on this whole I love black people campaign that`s everybody -- that everybody`s on, because we have been screaming at him to have economic justice plan for black America. We have been screaming to him to have very radical legislation in regard to police reform and criminal justice reform, especially since he spearheaded so many pieces of legislation that devastated the black community.
He could have been ahead of the curve pushing certain policy commitments to his friends in Congress, his friends in the Senate. And he did announce he was putting a he black woman on the Supreme Court. He committed to that.
But what about a black woman running mate? What does your shadow Cabinet look like? My concern is simply that Joe Biden may not be doing enough to get black people to come out and vote for him in November.
Fear of Donald Trump is not going to be enough, because this feels like 2016 all over again. It was the same thing. Hillary was leading double digits in all the polls. The same Republican usual suspects were saying they weren`t supporting Trump.
But when election time came, we all know what happened. You know, 4.4 million people who voted for Obama in 2012 didn`t show up in 2016. More than a third of them were black. What`s going to make them come out this year?
Nothing, if Biden doesn`t...
RUHLE: OK. Well, have you actually -- have you actually read the Biden plan for black America?
CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Yes. I have read...
RUHLE: Because he`s got a lot of that in there.
CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Not really. It`s a lot of -- it`s a lot of trickle- down-onomics in there. It`s a lot of rising tide lifts all boats rhetoric in there.
It`s very weak on atonement, very weak on atonement, especially for somebody who has, like I said, been at the front of spearheading the war on drugs and mass incarceration in this country. Like, he needed to really lean into blackness in a real way.
And I`m not talking about putting on kente cloth and taking a knee. I`m talking about through real policy commitments, promises of certain legislation when he gets in, and atonement, reparations for America`s original sin, which is slavery, because let`s be clear.
Joe Biden needs black voters to win; 92 percent of black people who voted for Obama in 2012, that`s what he needs to come out in 2020; 2016, that same black voter turnout declined for the first time in two decades.
In two crucial states that flipped for Trump, Michigan and Wisconsin, black voter turnout fell. And he won those states by very small margins. So, Joe Biden needs black people. And that`s not a personal bias. That`s math.
RUHLE: All right, well, we`re looking -- we`re looking at tens of thousands of people out there protesting.
Joe Biden has said he wants to see comprehensive police reform. Is that not going to energize people to vote?
CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: That will be one thing. That will definitely be one thing. Like I said, Joe Biden has to do more than then just say that he`s for black people.
Like, I look at it like this, right? Like, like all these corporations right now that are tweeting Black Lives Matter, saying things like, we have to dismantle white supremacy, here is the question. How many black people work at those places of business? How many black hires have they had over the past year? How many black people have senior roles in their company?
How many black people are on that board? Are the black people in those companies...
RUHLE: How many black people are in -- hold on. How many black people are in Donald Trump`s administration?
CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: None.
But, once again, I`m not looking for Donald Trump to do anything for black people. Donald Trump is not relevant to me and my community. Democrats are. You know why? Because we vote for them over 90 percent of the time.
RUHLE: But, Charlamagne, he is.
If you stay home, if you stay home, isn`t that exactly what he`s looking for?
CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Yes, but I`m not staying home.
What I`m telling you is, in 2016, 4.4 million people who voted for Obama in 2012 stayed home, and more than a third of them were black. What`s going to make them come out this time? That`s it, simple and plain.
If you don`t understand that, I don`t know what to tell you, Stephanie. I just think he needs to be doing a lot more. Now is not the time to be playing it safe. He needs to be leaning into blackness in a real, real way.
RUHLE: It`s time to lean in.
Charlamagne tha God, thank you so much for joining me.
We will be right back.
RUHLE: Coming up in the 7:00 p.m. hour, my colleague Steve Kornacki will be joined by Lester Holt, who is reporting this evening from George Floyd`s funeral in Houston.
You are looking at the procession right now on the left side of your screen.
Stay tuned. We have got a lot more to cover tonight.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END