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Trump's plan for fireworks show TRANSCRIPT: 6/25/20, MSNBC Live

Guests: Jill Colvin, Karine Jean-Pierre


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for joining us on THE BEAT with Ari Melber tonight. We`ll be back here tomorrow at 6:00 P.M. eastern but keep it right here right now on MSNBC.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Hatred, which could destroy so much, never fail to destroy the man who hate it. That quote from James Baldwin is what he called an immutable law.

Good evening, I`m Joy Reid.

Donald Trump is in what can only be describe as a full meltdown as polls show support for re-election is cratering across the country. New polling from The New York Times shows Trump losing to Joe Biden by significant margins, in a half dozen swing states. Biden is up by 11 points in Michigan and Wisconsin, up by ten in Pennsylvania and six in Florida. Nobody is ever up by six in Florida. Even in Arizona, a traditionally red state, Biden leads by seven points, and he`s ahead by a stunning nine points in North Carolina, a state that he and Barack Obama won when Obama was elected as America`s first black president in 2008.

Those dismal numbers for his re-election likely reflect the degree to which Trump is mismanaging the response to three simultaneous national crises, the outcry over racial injustice, the continued spread of coronavirus and the ongoing economic decline triggered by the pandemic. In fact the Department of Labor announced today that 1.5 million Americans filed for unemployment just last week. Furthermore, the International Monetary Fund says the U.S. GDP will plummet 8 percent this year, far more than its earlier estimate.

Meanwhile, after defying health recommendations on social distancing in coronavirus hot spots, like Phoenix and Tulsa, Trump continues to shows his complete disregard for public safety, even for the lives of his own devoted followers. As we speak, Republicans are trying to deliver on the full arena that Donald Trump is demanding for his convention. According to Politico, they feel additional pressure to ensure the president is pleased with his turnout after the small crowds at Trump`s Tulsa rally.

In contrast, the Democratic National Committee, yesterday announced, that they`re planning a nearly all virtual convention this August. This comes as The Washington Post reports that dozens of Secret Service officers who attended Trump`s Tulsa rally were ordered to self-isolate after possible exposure to the virus.

I`m joined now by Jill Colvin, White House Reporter for the Associated Press and David Jolly, former Republican Congressman and MSNBC Political Contributor.

And, Jill, I`ll start with you first. Donald Trump has said he will not follow the coronavirus quarantine order when he goes to New Jersey. He`s going to go to New Jersey, despite a new order by the governor there requiring visitors who have been in states with high numbers of coronavirus cases to quarantine 14 days, he has been in several of those. He is refusing to wear a mask. He won`t demonstrate that and model that for the country. He seems to be in deep, deep denial.

Inside the White House, are they in shared denial with him or are they just giving up?

JILL COLVIN, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS: You know, it`s interesting. There was a period in the White House after those two staffers tested positive where there really did seem to be a feeling where suddenly this bubble that they had been living in had popped. And you saw in the White House people wearing masks, more social distancing in events held by the president and held by others. It really felt like they were feeling the same fear that a lot of the country has felt.

But beginning this month, that really changed. You know, you go on campus now, you have Secret Service as well as presidential staff were not wearing masks, they`re not distancing from the president, they`re not distancing from each other. And this is all part of a conscious effort by this White House and also by the campaign to try to project that everything is normal and with the country going back to work to try to salvage the economy as much as they can before the election. And their message to the public is we`re ready, we`re at the next phase, were ready to reopen, even though you see these startling numbers, especially in so many states that weren`t affected, you know, initially very badly with these numbers on the rise.

REID: You know, David Jolly, there is the attempt to sort of make things look like they`re normal and then there are things being normal. The outbreaks in Texas, California, as well as Florida are newly increasingly bad. They`re getting worse and worse and worse. Those are the three largest states. There are even more and more and more cases every day. Things are not better. I don`t understand the mentality of thinking that if you just make things look normal, things will be better. The American public aren`t stupid. They can see how bad things are. Do you understand? Can you explain it? Is this partisanship or what is it?

DAVID JOLLY, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: No. This is -- Joy, this is straight out of Donald Trump`s Art of the Deal. He actually writes about this. He says that part of his trick to gain leverage over somebody`s thinking is confirm what they already are predisposed to to want to believe.

And as Americans, we are predisposed to resiliency. And we want to believe that the economic collapse will not be as bad, and we want to believe that healthcare will not be -- the health crisis will not be that bad. And so Donald Trump is playing to that. And he is going to do that as he simply whistles past the graveyard all the way to his convention speech in Jacksonville.

But to your point, I think, as Donald Trump often is in the midst of a crisis, he is a week or two behind where the American people already are. You know, when he said we have 15 cases and we`re going to zero, he was already behind the anxiety that was building with the American people. We were warned this would happen. We were warned we would see this outbreak when we reopened. And the American people have a fear and anxiety over that.

And so, if Donald Trump is trying to demonstrate confidence, it is in contrast to where the American people currently are. And that`s why you`re also seeing in the polls the fallout from Donald Trump`s behavior. At the end of the day, he`s going to ignore this as long as he can. But he`s not going to be able to ignore it.

And at the end of the day, one of the reason his polls are falling is people are seeing the lack of moral leadership from this president. Every day he puts the lives of the American people at risk, plain and simple, and he`s doing it because he is selfish. And it is important we recognize that it is a selfish quality in Donald Trump that is risking the lives of you and I and everybody else around us, particularly those over 65 that we care about.

REID: Well, I mean, and we`re finding that it`s not even just over 65, right? We`re saying the numbers are creeping down among younger people too. But, Jill, people can see that more people in their neighborhood and their community are going to the hospital. They know nurses, who are saying the hospitals are full. It`s not as if Donald Trump can hide it. Apparently, he`s going to try to hide it with fireworks, but he`s going to have a big pyrotechnics show on July 4th at Mount Rushmore, where he`ll never be -- he`ll never be depicted there. But I guess maybe in his imagination, he may someday. He thinks he will. He`s going to have a pyrotechnics spread, even the pyrotechnics are banned there because of a fire risk. There was fire not far from there not long from now.

Is there an agency in the United States government that can say no to this? This is insane.

COLVIN: The president controls the federal government. And I believe that I actually don`t know which agency has jurisdiction over that particular land. I assume that it`s probably the Department of the Interior. But just as the president defined the wills of Washington, D.C., when he chose last year to hold his big fireworks event in the city, the president has never relented when it comes to local official and states telling him that they don`t want him. Just as he plans this weekend to go to New Jersey, despite the fact that New York, New Jersey and Connecticut now all have this order saying that people who have been to certain states with a lot of community spread have to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive.

But the president is trying to create an image here of him standing in front of this majestic landmark with fireworks behind him. I`m sure it`s a moment that the campaign will try to use in each advertisements to try to project this image of the president as somebody who is moving beyond past this, who are celebrating with the country. But, of course, it has raised a lot of concerns, not just because of fire risk, because of the wildfires that are happening, I believe, right now, but also concerns about what that monument represents for so many Native Americans who feel like it is not a monument in this country should be celebrated. You feel a lot of pain surrounding it, and feel like this moment of kind of national reckoning is not the right time for the president to be appearing there.

REID: David, you know, I wonder, if -- you know Florida pretty well. There`s a sort of Typhoid Mary quality about it. He`s going from state to state to state, and kicking up COVID clusters wherever he`s going. Are the people of Jacksonville going to welcome this Trump finale there? I mean, Donald Trump, didn`t write the Art of the Deal. Tony Schwartz did. We`re going to have him on later on the show. But -- and, presumably, he probably didn`t read it. But does he understand that people in the state -- or are people in the state happy there? Are they happy that he`s coming?

JOLLY: Yes. Look Republicans are, right, but it is a perfect example in Florida of why leadership matters. Donald Trump could be doing the small things and the big things that address mitigating the public health risk of COVID-19 from masks and social distancing and so forth. And his followers would adopt that, if he used political currency to do that. But he`s not.

And you know Florida very well, are very well, as well, Joy. Depending on which part of the state you`re in, it is a different demographic. But a lot of people may not know it is a bit of a wild west. There`s a certain libertarian, almost western behavior in Florida. And we are seeing exceedingly cavalier behavior in Florida and elsewhere.

And to those who are not following guidelines, you`re being selfish. If you want to risk your life, go for it. But stop risking the lives of people around you and stop becoming a spreader. And if your president comes to town and says that`s not a real issue, it is.

You`ll probably choose to listen to him rather than you`re going to listen to me, but I tell you what Jacksonville will going to be a very dangerous place to be in the country if Donald Trump holds a rally and speech that he is talking about holding there. You`re risking your life by going.

REID: Jill Colvin and -- wise words from David Jolly. Hopefully, your fellow Floridians will listen to you, in my former state.

I`m joined now by Karine Jean-Pierre, Senior Adviser to the Biden Campaign. And, Karine, I want to let you listen to a Republican who`s commenting on the state of affairs here, because it`s a binary choice between Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Here is Carly Fiorina who ran against Donald Trump in the 2016 primary, saying who she`s going to pick.


CARLY FIORINA(R), FORMER PERSIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I`ve been very clear that I can`t support Donald Trump. And, you know, elections are binary choices.

EDWAR-ISAAC DOVERE, THE ATLANTIC JOURNALIST: But so you are voting for Joe Biden?

FIORINA: Well, it`s not until November, is it? I`m not voting for Trump.

DOVERE: But if it is a binary choice --

FIORINA: It`s a binary choice. So, you know, if faced with a binary choice on a ballot, yes. And I think this moment calls upon Joe Biden to be a leader. I am encouraged that Joe Biden is a person of humility, and empathy, and character.


REID: A little tortured, but she finally got there in the end. You know, it feels like Joe Biden is coasting without really having to do much more than be a grownup, right? At this point, is the strategy inside the campaign, just be an adult.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, BIDEN CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISOR: Just be a decent human being. Look, Joy, you started off the -- you started off your show talking about the six states that Joe Biden is up, which are six states that Donald Trump won in 2016. And here`s the thing, Donald Trump has the power of the incumbency, and yet Joe Biden is beating him in these states, and almost in every poll.

And Joe Biden is expanding the map. He`s expanding the map, he`s building his coalition, he`s up in this swing states, as we just stated. But, obviously, we cannot rest easy, we cannot rest easy on the polls, because they will go up and they will go down and we have to work for every vote. Like that is still very much the case for us, and we understand that and we know that.

I think what the polls are saying to us, Joy, if you extrapolate from them, is basically what you and your guests were saying, which is that folks now at this moment are reacting to the mismanagement on how badly Donald Trump is doing currently. I mean, he cannot -- he`s creating more of a problem of the crisis. We have a 124,000 -- more than 124,000 people in the U.S. who have lost their lives to coronavirus, tens of Millions of people who are out of a job, and he refuses to do the work. He basically has put his head in the sand and said it is over, waving the flag with one hand, and says don`t look at me, I`m not responsible.

I think one of the things that -- when we talk about contrast here, one of the things I want to point out is, today, when you asked about the campaign, Joe Biden was in Lancaster, Pennsylvania having a conversation with families who have benefitted from ACA, while what was Donald Trump`s administration doing? They were -- they`re -- his DOJ were in court filing a lawsuit to overturn ACA. What does that mean? You are taking healthcare away from tens of millions of people right now in the middle of a pandemic. And that is what Donald Trump is all about and this is what we cannot afford four more years of. This is what is at stake in this election.

REID: Yes. Let me let you listen to a little bit of Joe Biden today, and he is talking about Donald Trump`s admission that he wanted to slow testing down so that people wouldn`t maybe know that so many people were sick. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And he thinks that finding out that more Americans are sick will make him look bad. That`s what he`s worried about. He`s worried about looking bad. Well, Donald Trump needs to stop caring about how he looks and start caring about what America is happening to the rest of America.


REID: You know there`s been a fair amount of bedwetting from Democratic, Democrats and people who watch Democrats and always say Democrats are in disarray, that you know, he`s -- Biden is not out there, he`s not doing lots of things.

I mean, the thing about it, is whatever Biden is doing, it`s working. I think that`s full stop. It`s working, because he is contrasting himself with the president.

So what are the concerns that the Biden camp has going forward? Is it mainly voter suppression and the ability to get people access to the ballot in November? Is it cheating by the Trump campaign, what they might do to try to stop people from voting? What are the main concerns? Because it isn`t anything that Biden is doing that seems to be the problem, it seems to be, you know, sort of other factors. What are the other factors you guys are worried about?

JEAN-PIERRE: Yes, I think you listed them, like voter suppression is real. And we saw that in Georgia, we saw that in Wisconsin, we saw that throughout the primaries, and we`ve seen this throughout the years. So that is a real thing that we will be on top of and we have to educate our voters, and make sure that we`re doing the work in these states so that people`s votes are counted.

I mean, this is what we`re talking about. We should be making it easier for people to vote, but, no, there`s voter suppression, and we are in the middle of a global pandemic that`s very real. And so, yes, we have to make sure that we keep our eye on that and, we have to make sure that we do our job, our due diligence as a campaign to make sure that people`s votes are counted.

I want to say one thing about the clip that you just showed of my boss there, Joe Biden talking about how basically Donald Trump has abdicated his responsibility. I said earlier, I mean, he is saying that he slowed down testing because he doesn`t want us to highlight his failures. I mean, that is Donald Trump. He is all about himself, not about the people of this country. And so that is a scary thing that we have to remember here. He does not care.

REID: Yes. So when are we getting a veep name, can you tell me? Just between you and me, don`t worry about the cameras or anything. Who is it going to be and when?

JEAN-PIERRE: Oh my God, you and Nicolle and everybody. This is what you guys wanted to know, all of my family and friends. But Joe Biden said that the announcement will come out in August, and I am confident that he will - - you know, he`ll make the right choice for himself and the country and to get us to 270 (ph) to win this election.

REID: You could have just told me. And we have a saying, it`s just the two of us here. There`s no one else here.

JEAN-PIERRE: I`m not, but I love you, but totally I just totally don`t know it. I know.

REID: Thank you. All right, my friend, Karine Jean-Pierre, thank you very much. I really appreciate you.

All right, and coming up, four months -- I tried -- four months into the pandemic, and things are just getting worse and worse and worse. And Donald Trump pretends it`s not really happening. Doctors in Texas and Florida and elsewhere are sounding the alarm, and Trump cannot escape his nature. Forget the dog whistles, today he went all in on his campaign strategy of carving America up by race.

We`ve got so much more to get to. Stay with us.


REID: Welcome back.

Right now, lawmakers in the House are continuing to debate a sweeping Democratic proposal on police reform, comes a day after Senate Democrats blocked a vote on a Republican backed bill that doesn`t include any of the reform proposals in the House bill.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke earlier about the importance of the Democratic bill.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Today, we have the opportunity and the obligation to ensure that his death and the deaths of so many others are not in vain. When we pass this bill, the Senate will have a choice to honor George Floyd`s life or to do nothing.


REID: This all comes as the United States is facing a moment of reckoning over racial injustice and police brutality, as we continue to see headline after headline of the other epidemic plaguing this country.

And for more, I am joined by Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor.

And, Paul, we are seeing what feels like an epidemic of these cases, and this is since George Floyd which is one month ago today. This is one month since George Floyd was killed.

In North Carolina, one item here, police officers have been fired after a video recording caught them making extremely racist comments, one officer referred to a black woman as a negro. Another officer criticized the department, saying it`s only concerned with kneeling down with the black folks. The same officer said he was going to buy a new assault rifle, soon we`re going to go out, and start slaughtering them expletive, f-ing expletive. You can imagine what they`re saying.

And that`s in attitude during the protests.

What do you do about that in police reform?

PAUL BUTLER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, these officers have been on the force for more than 20 years. If I`m a black person who they locked up, I am immediately moving for my case to be reopened. You have to wonder about the culture of a police department where police officers feel free to engage in such racist hate speech.

The Democratic bill proposes that when officers have been disciplined, that goes into a national database so that dirty cops can`t move from one department to another. So, at minimum, these officers should be barred from ever being licensed to kill.

REID: And we should know the officers blame the comments on the stress, the stress on law enforcement in light of the protests over the death of George Floyd. It`s an interesting excuse.

Another item here, you have the family of a Colorado kid, this shook me this morning. This is not far from where I grew up. A young man who was 23 years old, his name was Elijah McClain, who was walking down the street in Aurora, Colorado, in a ski mask, and dancing, dancing to music. Police got a call, that a person calling 911, a suspicious person, he didn`t want to stop walking, he said he didn`t have any reason to stop walking.

They tackled him, put him in a chokehold. Then, a medic injected him with anesthetic to subdue him. He had a heart attack, died, 23 years old.

Now, that case is being reopened. Are we going to have to go back based on some police forces, start reexamining old cases? That`s what it feels like?

BUTLER: This young man`s crime was wearing a ski mask while black. That`s actually not a crime. The police had no probable cause to stop him and certainly no probable cause to attack and beat him up the way that they did. They put him in a chokehold, a specific maneuver that prevents blood from getting to his brain. And so, they essentially suffocated him to death.

I wouldn`t trust a doctor to do that procedure on me, much less a police officer who`s not trained in medicine. So, in this case, there needs to be a special prosecutor, helps work with prosecutors every day with the district attorney every day, and there`s a conflict of interest. So, here the prosecutor says while the case was tragic, he doesn`t see a crime.

Again, I don`t trust that prosecutor. I think there has to be an independent investigation and that these officers should be brought to justice.

REID: You know, you can go on and on. There`s a Tucson case in which a police chief offering his resignation while a Latino man died while in police custody, he pleaded for water while handcuffed on the ground. You go on and on.

We almost need a truth in reconciliation commission for policing in America, in addition to police reform. You know, is more training the answer? Because I presume these officers are trained that you can`t just stop people because you don`t like the way they`re walking, that you can`t choke someone to death, and apply, you know, medicine to them like you`re a medic.

Isn`t that already in the training? That doesn`t seem like training will do anything.

BUTLER: It`s not. So, this is a structural problem. It`s endemic to too many police departments with this warrior culture, where they really do see the people they`re supposed to serve and protect as enemy combatants.

And so, yes, truth in reconciliation, but in the short term, we need the reforms that are proposed in the Democratic bill because even if they don`t change the culture, at least they`ll prevent the police from killing and beating up so many people of color.

REID: Well said, Paul Butler. Always great to talk to you. Thank you very much.

And still ahead, today should have been Tamir Rice`s 18th birthday. And I`ll have some thoughts on that next.


REID: Welcome back.

Well, today should have been Tamir Rice`s 18th birthday. Today, he should have been enjoying his summer vacation, thinking about his senior year in high school, or where he`d be heading off to college. Today, his mom should have been bugging him not to sleep so late or be so loud yelling at his video games.

Instead, Tamir Rice never made it passed 12 years old. His sweet little face is frozen in time, this baby face kid who went to a rec center near his home to play cops and robbers with a toy gun back in 2014, and was gunned down within seconds by real cops bearing down on him, guns blazing, after somebody called 911 to report on this child looking suspicious.

The Cleveland cop who killed Tamir Rice, Timothy Loehmann, was ultimately fired for lying on his job application and failing to disclose that he lost his last police job in another city after being deemed unfit to serve due to emotional issues. His partner, Officer Frank Garmback, was suspended for using improper tactics by driving too close to Tamir before Loehmann opened fire. Neither cop was fired for killing the 12-year-old Tamir Rice for no reason.

And the prosecutor, Tim McGinty, went way out of his not to indict either of them. He has since lost his job, thanks to black voters who torched him in the 2016 Democratic primary.

And after Loehmann was fired, he went right over to another police force and got another job as a police officer in a town called Bel Air. And only left that job because of public outrage from a Black Lives Matter group, Tamir Rice`s family and locals who didn`t feel safe with the killer of Tamir Rice who bounced from precinct to precinct, riding around with a gun and a badge.

So apologies to Tim Scott and your fellow Republicans if your feelings were hurt when Nancy Pelosi said this in an interview Tuesday.


PELOSI: We`re saying no chokeholds. They`re saying maybe -- you know, they`re not saying no chokeholds. I mean, there is a big difference there. What`s the compromise? Some chokehold? I don`t see what the compromise is.

For something to happen, they`re going to have to face the reality of police brutality. The reality of the need for justice in policing and the recognition that there are many, many good people in, I don`t know, law enforcement but not all, and that we have to address those concerns. So far, they were trying to get away with murder actually, the murder of George Floyd.


REID: That comment produced the usual paroxysms of fake outrage from Republicans and even some in media. How dare she resort for such political disparagement? That`s not bipartisan.

But here`s the thing. This country clearly, desperately needs police reform, and perhaps the speaker should have been more specific in saying that the party of Donald Trump and Tim Scott and Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, and John Cornyn, et cetera, et cetera, is trying to slink away, not just from the murder of George Floyd but also of Tamir Rice and Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks and Eric Garner, and all of the unnecessarily dead while rushing to put far right wing judges on the bench, 200 and counting, who would have surely jeopardized Tamir Rice`s voting rights, his access to health care and his rights versus the rich and the powerful had he been allowed to become 18.

Tomorrow night, we will big deeper into police reform in our special, "The Road to Reform", and I`ll tell you about that and how you can participate, next.


REID: Tomorrow night, we are doing something really special. It`s a live town hall event on police reform with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. My guests for the full hour will be Congresswoman Val Demings, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, and Chairwoman Karen Bass. And we`re going to be calling it "The Road to Reform".

And you get to participate. If you want to ask a question, please go to, and tune in tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. It`s going to be a fascinating hour.

And that does it for me. I`ll be joining Lawrence O`Donnell on "THE LAST WORD" a little bit later tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. So, be sure to tune in for that.

But don`t go anywhere. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" is up next.