Breonna Taylor shooting TRANSCRIPT: 7/9/20, MSNBC Live

Guests: Nick Akerman; Kim Wehle, Karen Bass, Regina Romero, Susan Del Percio, Gabriel Sherman

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: It`s been quite a busy day to Supreme Court. That does it for us tonight.

Up next, something that I am very excited about, like a lot of people, it is the host of a new 7:00 p.m. show on MSNBC which is starting officially, July 20th.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Yes.

MELBER: Joy Reid, Joy, congratulations.

REID: Yes, Ari. Thank you, thank you, thank you my friend. I truly appreciate that, thank you. And I`m going to have a whole lot to say about that but later.

MELBER: I know, but later. But the news broke today.

REID: It did.

MELBER: And we`re very happy for you.

REID: Thank you, thank you, Ari. I appreciate that.

MELBER: Thank you, Joy.

REID: Have a great rest of your evening. Thank you.

MELBER: You too.

REID: And thank you all for tuning in.

Well, today Thursday July 9th, 2020. It`s 116 days before the 2020 election, and it`s also the day that Donald Trump discovered that there is a huge difference between a president and a king. That`s because Trump learned today that even the presidency cannot shield him from the law.

This morning, the Supreme Court delivered two rulings with the major implications, for the thing that Trump holds most dear, the thing he`s tried to keep secret for years, his tax returns.

In their first decision, the high court effectively paved the way for the Manhattan District Attorney to seek and likely obtain those returns. That`s because they resoundingly demolished Trump`s bogus claim that, as president, he has absolutely immunity from criminal subpoenas.

As Chief Justice John Roberts made clear in the majority`s opinion, no citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding.

Meanwhile in their second decision the court set forth a new standard for congressional subpoenas of the president. They said those subpoenas must be no broader than reasonably necessary to support Congress` legislative objective. he ruling sent both cases back to the lower courts. That means the Congress effectively gets a do over.

But in New York Trump has likely run out of gas. That brings us to the second thing that Donald Trump learned today, that he doesn`t own the Supreme Court justices that he`s put on the court. Both 7-2 rulings saw Trump`s own appointees, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch siding with the majority. No wonder Trump spent the day rage tweeting about their decisions.

I`m joined now by Nick Akerman, former Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor, former Assistant U.S. Attorney and a Partner at Dorsey & Whitney. And Kim Wehle, Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore. Thank you both for being here.

Nick, I`m going to start with you. I have to play this sound bite for you. This is William Barr. This is the guy who is, in my -- I call him a monarchist, lawyer friends I know call him a monarchist. He believes that the president effectively is king while he remains president. Here is his reaction to the rulings today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, obviously, we`re disappointed in the decision to the extent it did not accept our argument, the government`s argument, about the extent of the president`s immunity. But as a practical matter, the decision made very clear that a president just is not at the mercy of litigants and investigators and that there are protections and defenses that can be raised.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Nick, that`s a huge climb down from the president has absolutely authority, which is what he actually believes.

NICK AKERMAN, FMR. ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: Well, it`s absolutely huge. I mean, now the prosecutors who are not beholden to William Barr, independent people, are actually going to have these tax returns and be able to conduct an investigation based on these returns.

That is an absolutely huge difference than what`s been going on now and has been going on in the Barr Justice Department who has been nothing more than a sycophant for Donald Trump and has basically assisted him in covering up the Russian investigation and what`s been going on in the Southern District of New York.

So this is absolutely a red letter day in terms of what the Supreme Court did, and I think it`s just a matter of time before this evidence gets before the prosecutors, gets put before a grand jury. And what Donald Trump is looking at is the potential that he is going to be indicted for either tax fraud or bank fraud, basically, the same thing that his former campaign manager, Manafort, was convicted of.

So this has not been a good day for Donald Trump.

REID: Yes, not at all. And Kim Wehle, and I apologize for mispronouncing your name going in, your take on it as well. Because, you know, there`s a tradition in the United States that unlike in some countries, you know, the next leader does not prosecute the former president, like that`s not a normal thing that happens.

And so, it`s hard to imagine if, in fact, Joe Biden wins the White House, that his justice department, the one he will construct, the one that won`t have Bill Barr in it, would try to go after Donald Trump. But that doesn`t apply to the State of New York. That doesn`t apply, that doesn`t apply to the Manhattan District Attorney, right?

I mean, could you foresee if Donald Trump really did evade taxes in such an egregious way as what seems to make him want to hide them, he could be prosecuted, right?

KIM WEHLE, FMR. ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY: Sure. He could be prosecuted by the state and that`s what the distinction here between this case and some other cases we`ve seen presidents deal with with subpoenas. President Clinton had to respond to a civil deposition subpoena. President Nixon had to respond to a criminal subpoena in Federal Court. Both of those cases, the Supreme Court made those presidents response, and both of them, ultimately, Nixon had to resign as a result of that and President Clinton ended up impeached for perjury in connection with his testimony regarding the Paula Jones matter.

But I think this is not just -- it doesn`t just have implications for Mr. Trump personally, but this is a victory today for the Constitution and the rule of law. Because, essentially, what the court said, we have the two cases, one dealing with the state prosecutor, the other dealing with Congress.

What the court said is basically what the Senate did with respect to Congress in the -- in acquitting the president of obstruction of Congress, the court said, guess what, the president does have to respond to subpoenas from the United States Congress, does have to respond to subpoenas from state prosecutors.

This is -- we`ve seen this slide, frankly, into something like closer to authoritarianism with this president with all of the limits on the power of the executive falling, Congress handing over its power, handing over its oversight authority, the president appointing private parties to conduct foreign policy, private parties, his son-in-law, to manage in this disastrous way this national pandemic, 133,000 people dead.

We are finally seeing, short of an election, one of the levers of oversight coming alive once again. The Supreme Court of the United States, saying, we are not ideological, we are about the rule of law. And guess what, office of the presidency, you are not above the law just because you`re president. You need to have a good reason to defy subpoenas in both of these cases.

And I just think it`s a very, very strong shot across the bow that democracy for now is still functioning, to some degree, notwithstanding, as Nick said, this really a distorted vision of justice from the attorney general.

REID: Yes, indeed. And, you know, Donald Trump has been trying in every way since he ran for president and kept promising he`d release his tax returns to hide them. Let`s do a little montage. Here is Donald Trump, talking about, why he can`t release his taxes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will absolutely give my return but I`m being audited now for two or three years so I can`t do it until the audit is finished, obviously.

Just under audit. I`ll release them when the audit is completed.

They`re under a minor audit, routine audit as they have been for many years.

At the appropriate time, I will release them. But right now, I`m under routine audit. Nobody cares.

Nobody turns over a return when it`s under audit, okay?

Hey, I`m under audit.

Until such as I`m not under audit, I would not be entitled to do that, thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: I`ll note that he`s also delayed of turning over his official financial disclosures. His annual financial disclosure report was due to be release more than a week ago, says The New York Times, but the filing, the only official public document detailing his personal finances was not publish. An official said, that Mr. Trump has requested a deadline extension because the report was complicated and the president has been focus on addressing the coronavirus crisis, another matter that he`s not paying attention to.

What does it say to you that he is so doggone determined to not ever let the public see his taxes or apparently his financial records?

AKERMAN: I think it`s pretty simple. I mean, there`re two things that Donald Trump is concerned about. The first is, he`s a tax cheat. We know that because Michael Cohen, his personal lawyer, testified that whenever came time to filling out a financial statement, if it went to a bank for a loan, he would always high ball it so he could get more money. And when it came to other things, he`d lowball it, like taxes, so he`d pay less money.

I mean, if you look at the investigation that The New York Times did back in 2018, it`s pretty clear right from day one, Donald Trump and his entire family, including his father, his sister and his siblings, all conspired, basically, to cheat the government. That`s what he`s concerned about is that he`s a tax cheat. Even Richard Nixon, when he was under audit turned over his tax returns, even though he turned out to be a tax cheat, too. But that`s what Donald Trump is worried about.

He`s also worried about what these returns might reveal about his connections with Russia and Vladimir Putin. Where did he invest his money? Where did all this money come from that Donald Jr. talked about in the `90s where he said they were getting lots of cash from the Russians, money going into properties, huge amounts of dollars? Where is that going to? Who put that money in?

How are these people connected to Vladimir Putin and how does this relate to Donald Trump`s love affair with Vladimir Putin and his total inability to protect our troops from this bounty process paid that was being paid by the Russians in order to kill Americans in Afghanistan?

These are the kinds of issues that we have to get to the bottom of. And that`s why turning this over to the D.A.`s office is absolutely a major step in the right direction.

REID: Yes, drip, drip, drip. Nick Akerman, Kim Wehle, thank you very much.

And, by the way, she`s the author of, What You Need to Know About Voting and Why. You should check that out.

I`m joined by Karen Bass of California, a member of the House Judiciary Committee. Congresswoman, I don`t know if you got to hear that previous interview with those two experts on the law. Here is my question to you, as somebody who sits on the House Judiciary Committee.

Now that the Supreme Court has basically written the rules and said here is the parameters of what you need to ask if you want to see the president`s tax returns, how quickly do you expect your committee, the House Judiciary Committee, to rewrite its subpoenas and reset them to fit with the Supreme Court ruling and then reissue those subpoenas to Donald Trump, to the people who do Donald Trump`s taxes?

REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): Well, I know we will be working on it right away. I do know what`s coming up next for us though is Attorney General Barr coming before our committee, but I`m sure we`ll be working on it right away.

In the best of all worlds, we would love to see this before the election. But, you know, given the lawlessness of this administration, that will be hard to imagine.

REID: Yes, you mentioned William Barr, who looked rather downtrodden today as he was talking about the Supreme Court ruling, you know, not that we like to see him sad but maybe.

Let`s talk about the testimony so far about Mr. Barr that`s come before Congress. Geoffrey Berman, the former U.S. attorney for Southern District of New York, he went and he testified before the committee. And I understand you were briefed on that testimony. And he detailed in a closed door testimony to the House Judiciary Committee a pressure campaign led by Attorney General William Barr to get him to leave his post as one of the nation`s most powerful federal prosecutors in the 48 hours before he was fired.

Berman said on two occasions that he refused to resign contrary to a statement the Justice Department released at the time, and that in an effort to get him to leave, the attorney general offered him several other high-profile jobs. Does this indicate to you that Bill Barr is corrupt? And if he is, what might the Judiciary Committee do about that?

BASS: Well, what it indicates to me is that Barr is consistent. I mean, I think that his corruption, he essentially testified to in his confirmation hearing. I mean, his view of his job is that he is the personal attorney, the personal defender, the personal fighter of the president of the United States.

And I think his corruption, unfortunately, goes throughout the department. And I just feel so bad for those career officers, those career attorneys that have been there for years fighting for the American people who refuse to go along with the corruption are the ones that are attacked. And that`s exactly what happened in this case.

REID: Let`s talk about -- go on.

BASS: Well, he`s going to come before our committee. We obviously have lots to ask him about, not just Berman but the whistleblowers that we heard from before. The whole politicization of his department will be on our agenda when we see him in the next couple weeks.

REID: So, one topic real quickly, to go back to the Supreme Court cases that we saw -- results of today that we saw decisions in. The Cyrus Vance request for tax returns is related to the Michael Cohen case, which is about Michael Cohen committing this fraud to try to pay off Stormy Daniels and also Karen McDougal to try to squash their stories about affairs with Donald Trump, alleged affairs with Donald Trump.

Michael Cohen went back into custody today. He was out due to the COVID pandemic. He`s the former attorney, obviously, for Michael Cohen. He was sent back to prison for refusing to sign a home confinement agreement, which barred him for publishing a book or speaking to the media. His adviser, Lanny Davis, who was his lawyer, now, his adviser, suspect somebody on high is involved here.

Will that come up in your questioning of William Barr, whether he might be the somebody?

BASS: Absolutely. I think it will be very interesting to probe on that. I do have to say, Joy, that it was outrageous to me he was let out to begin with. He is a young, healthy man. And I think about all the hundreds of thousands of people who are incarcerated that we have been fighting for, who we know are exposed to COVID, who we know who are sick and dying, and he was let out.

So I`m glad it was violated in that sense. But, yes, we will be trying to see if that was (INAUDIBLE) from Barr, for sure.

REID: We are out of time, but I do have to ask you, this has to be a really, really brief answer. We saw George Will, it was a send up to you say that you are the person that should be chosen as vice presidential nominee. Can you give any us updates on the -- your vetting, the vetting process for you?

BASS: No, I can`t. You know, you`ll have to refer to the campaign. But what I want to say to you is, congratulations on your new spot. I will be watching you every night. That`s wonderful.

REID: Thank you, congresswoman. I appreciate that. I appreciate that. Thank you very much. And if you do want to leak anything about the vetting process, text me or call me or call the team. Thank you very much, I appreciate it, Congresswoman Karen Bass. I really appreciate it.

Coming up, now that Trump knows that he`s not immune from the law, how dangerous could he get knowing that he could soon be a private citizen in just six months?

Plus, deja vu, the pandemic is raging out of control again. Trump strategy, pretend it`s not happening.

And as Black Lives Matter gets painted onto Fifth Avenue right outside Trump Tower, look at that.

We are getting our first look at the chilling transcripts of George Floyd`s final moments.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: Welcome back.

Donald Trump, well, he isn`t taking the Supreme Court rejection of his bogus claim to be above the law very well, to say the least. Minutes after their decision allowing New York prosecutors to pursue his tax returns, he was unloading on Twitter, of course. He called it a political prosecution and whined, now I have to keep fighting in a politically corrupt New York, not fair to this presidency or administration. He also claimed courts in the past have given broad deference but not to me.

He went on to continue raging about the decision in a long and rambling set of tweets unloading on the court and bringing up all of his usual grievances. With just 117 days until Election Day, it`s another big blow on top of the bungling of the coronavirus pandemic. In a wave of recent polls, showing him trailing Joe Biden.

According to "Vanity Fair`s" Gabe Sherman, Donald Trump`s mishandling of, well, just about everything has even his ally Laura Ingraham warning, "We have to be prepared for Trump losing," at a swanky Palm Beach dinner, as his campaign is going up in flames.

With COVID cases hitting record highs and Donald Trump`s poll numbers going in the opposite direction, guests agreed that Trump is probably incapable or unwilling to take steps to turn things around.

I`m joined now by Gabriel Sherman, "Vanity Fair" special correspondent, and Susan Del Percio, Republican strategist.

Gabe, I`m going to go to you first.

Let -- I just want to play just a little bit. We don`t like to play too much Trump sound, but let`s play Donald Trump at a roundtable. Now, this is him supposedly responding to the Supreme Court case. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I win at the federal level, and we won very decisively. And so they send it into New York.

And you know what`s going on in New York. Everyone`s leaving. It`s turned out to be a hellhole. And they better do something about it, because people are leaving New York.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: (AUDIO GAP) Supreme Court.

I don`t think he answered that question. But how much is he spiraling, according to your sources?

GABRIEL SHERMAN, "VANITY FAIR": Well, Joy, it`s hard to overstate how pervasive the feeling is amongst people around Donald Trump that, if the election was tomorrow, he would lose decisively.

And he has refused to do anything to modulate his message. Advisers have called him, told him that he needs to moderate, to the degree Donald Trump even can, that he`s losing women and suburban voters in alarming numbers. And he just refuses to hear it. He tells -- he told one confidant that I speak to regularly: Polls are fake. Everything`s fake. The media wants COVID to come back to take him down.

I mean, he`s spiraling into paranoid delusions here. And I think what is what is revealing, and as I reported in "Vanity Fair," the people closest to Donald Trump, Laura Ingraham, who goes on television night after night to talk about how great Donald Trump is...

REID: Yes.

SHERMAN: ... privately says, he`s probably going to lose.

REID: Wow. That`s got to be a lot.

And Republicans have to face it. I mean, they have tied themselves to Donald Trump forever, Susan.

There`s a "Rolling Stone" piece that was pretty fascinating. Hopefully, everybody checked it out. And it`s what nine GOP campaign consultants really think about Republicans` chances. And this is a guy named Tim Miller, who a lot of people remember that name from back in the Bush era, that longtime GOP operative.

He says: "What I found in their answers was one-part Stockholm syndrome, one part survival instinct. They all may not love the president, but most share his loathing for his enemies on the left with a passion that engenders an alliance with the president, if not a kinship."

As one put it -- quote -- "There are two options. You can be on this hell ship, or you can be in the water drowning"

Though Trump`s numbers are plummeting with some demos, they are solidifying or improving among his core support demographic, which makes running out -- afoul of Trump fatal in the eyes of these strategists.

How much trouble are Republicans in? They can`t let go of him, right, but he`s also -- he`s drowning them. He`s the anvil that`s sending them to the bottom of the lake.

SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: He`s an anchor around their neck and dragging him down. You`re right, Joy.

And Republicans are starting to wake up to it. And you know what? They deserve it, though. There are some Republicans out there that really deserve this, because they know better. They should have been better on impeachment. They should have been holding him accountable all along.

And now they`re scared and worried about themselves. Well, boo-hoo. You brought it on.

And there`s no excuse. I mean, we used to disagree about policies, but this is about decency. And they let the president get away with this. And it`s no surprise that, when we read in Gabe`s article that they know -- even those around him know he`s going to lose, because he can`t control himself.

And a long time ago, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan had the ability to stop him early on, and they didn`t. And, as a result, the Republicans are paying a price.

REID: Yes.

You`re reporting in your latest piece, Gabe, that one of the things Donald Trump thinks that he`s going to do to help himself is maybe pardon Roger Stone? Is that going to -- how does that help?

SHERMAN: Well, you can look at it two ways, Joy.

One, we have to wonder what Roger Stone knows about Donald Trump, and the prospect of Roger Stone going to prison makes it likely that he could spill those secrets. So, Donald Trump has a survival reason to want to pardon Roger Stone.

The second might be his own future, right? As we just talked about earlier, as you had earlier, at the top of the show. I mean, Donald Trump could be facing indictment, serious legal, both civil and criminal, penalties, as these tax returns get pored over by prosecutors.

And so pardoning Roger Stone sets a precedent, although we should point out, at the state level, the federal -- presidential pardons don`t really matter at the state level.

REID: Right.

SHERMAN: So, in terms of his own survival, I think it`s really just to keep Roger Stone on -- loyal, on his team.

REID: Yes, keep him from talking.

I -- one of my favorite quotes from Lindsey Graham, Susan, is that Lindsey Graham during the campaign said the following: "If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed, and we will deserve it."

Bookmark that, because here is a new ad from the Lincoln Project, who are never-Trump Republicans, who`ve decided they`re not just going after Trump, but they want to eradicate Trumpism by eradicating the enablers of Donald Trump.

Here is that ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: Someday soon, the time of Trump will pass. This circus of incompetence, corruption and cruelty will end.

When it does, the men and women in Trump`s Republican Party will come to you, telling you they can repair the damage he`s done. They will beg you to forget their votes to exonerate Trump from his crimes.

Learn their names. Remember their actions. And never, ever trust them again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: What is the Republican Party after this is all over, after this dumpster fire finally stops burning, Susan?

Because they have all tied themselves to him. None of them can escape him. What is the party after he`s done?

DEL PERCIO: It`s going to meet a long walk in the woods, Joy.

We need to, as a party, decide what we`re going to be. And this will be the only time to really go after it aggressively and create change. And I agree with everything in that ad. It`s so spot on.

And when we talk about, why does it so matter, it`s just not that they didn`t speak up. When you look at the way the president is handling the coronavirus, when you look at the response, look, every senator, every Republican is responsible, and Congress member, for what`s happening right now in Donald Trump`s ineptitude.

You allowed him to exist this way. You didn`t force him to be responsible and active. And, therefore, you are too responsible for those deaths and those sicknesses in your state.

REID: Yes, I think that is the message. I don`t know how they get out from under it.

Gabe Sherman, Susan Del Percio, thank you both very much.

And up next: With the coronavirus out of control in a number of states, there is an ominous new projection about the number of deaths that we are going to see, that as front-line workers fear that the worst is yet to come.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We did it right. We saved millions of lives by what we did. We shut it down. We saved millions of lives.

JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: The government, federal government, rose to the challenge. And this is a great success story.

TRUMP: We saved, I think, millions of lives. Now we want to be open. We understand the disease much better.

LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: We have contained this, I won`t say airtight, but pretty close to airtight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: No. No, none of that is true.

Donald Trump has declared mission accomplished on the coronavirus, but it sometimes feels like we`re stuck in a deadly loop, unable to flatten the curve, seemingly hitting new astonishing milestones every day.

Yesterday, a record-breaking 60,000 confirmed cases. New models project a national death toll of 200,000 by Election Day.

We`re still hearing desperate pleas from front-line health care professionals.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRANDI WILLIAMS, REGISTERED NURSE, BON SECOURS ST. FRANCIS MEDICAL CENTER: This is real. This virus is serious, and it`s making people seriously ill.

Frankly, we`re running out of room. I mean, even the largest hospitals have a finite number of beds and a finite number of supplies.

DR. EBONY HUNTER, JOHNS HOPKINS ALL CHILDREN`S HOSPITAL: Currently, our numbers in Florida, in the state of Florida, are increasing. And so we`re seeing more and more families come in, more and more concerns, and more and more children with illness.

MICHAEL LIZAK, RESPIRATORY THERAPIST: It`s very tiring. And it`s a grind. And I know everybody`s got to be getting sick of it all, and we`re not even halfway done.

But, like, it`s just something that we all have to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Hospitals across the South and the West remain dangerously close to reaching their capacity.

Death counts are rising in coronavirus hot spots. And protective gear is still in short supply. In Arizona, which is now the coronavirus epicenter, tests are hard to come by, as some people spend 13 hours in line in 100- degree heat just to get a test.

Amid all of that, Trump insists that it`s safe to send your kids back to school.

Joining me is the mayor of Tucson, Arizona, Regina Romero.

And, Mayor Romero, the governor of your state, Doug Ducey, he had a press conference not long ago. And he said he`s not going to play politics. He`s going to do what`s right for his state. But he said, no mask order, no statewide mask order. And he`s going to do what`s right for the state when it comes to schools.

Do you think that the governor is doing what`s right for the state, or do you think he`s being obedient to Donald Trump?

MAYOR REGINA ROMERO (D-AZ), TUCSON: I believe Governor Ducey missed an amazingly good opportunity for him to do actual effective action that could save lives.

He did not mandate a mandatory mass around the state. He could have taken that one step, and chose not to. Every day we wait in Arizona is 4,000 additional COVID-19 positive cases.

REID: Yes.

ROMERO: Right here in Pima County, we have about 350 cases a day.

And so we need the governor, as the leader of the state, the state in crisis, we need him to take effective, immediate action.

REID: The difference between the way that the United States and the way, for instance, European countries have handled this is that every European country that`s tackled this, including Italy, which had a horrifying outbreak in the beginning, they have tackled it as a national matter.

They haven`t had each city state inside Italy go ahead and make the decision. But, here, each governor has to be the -- has to be the leader, right? They have to be their own little mini president.

But your governor and other Republican governors also have a leader, which is Donald Trump. And the way he is speaking informs how they are speaking.

I want to play one more short bite of -- this is Donald Trump talking about schools. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We have to open our schools, open our schools.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Stop this nonsense. We open our schools.

Germany, Norway, so many countries, right now, they`re open. Their schools are open, and they`re doing just fine. And they`re opening in the fall. So, we have to get our schools open. Denmark. Sweden. We have to get our schools open and stop this political nonsense. And it`s only political nonsense.

It`s politics.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: He -- OK, the comparison. He`s made the comparison, Denmark, Sweden, Norway.

Here is the rate of infection in those countries, COVID-19 cases February through July in Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Sweden, vs. the United States. And these are the graphs.

You can see, all of these other countries have flattened their curve. So these are apples-to-apples comparisons, flatter, flatter, flatter, Sweden slightly up. Look at the United States on that graph, that set of graphs.

The United States is the only country that has a skyrocketing infection rate.

With that being the circumstance in this country, and with your state being the epicenter right now of this spread, do you feel comfortable having the schools in your city opened in the fall?

ROMERO: Absolutely not. Absolutely not.

The unfortunate thing is that, in Arizona, we`re seeing the microcosm of the lack of direction from the Trump administration. And so it`s the same thing that`s happening here in Arizona.

In Arizona, the governor refuses to institute a statewide mandatory mask executive order. He refuses to make these decisions, and puts it on the shoulders of mayors throughout Arizona. And we have seen that that is very ineffective.

The more time we spend not making these decisions -- and we have an Arizona leader. He is the governor. He should be making these calls. It`s not just Tucson or Phoenix that are going through these -- this incredible crisis that we have on our hands. It is the entire state of Arizona.

REID: Yes.

ROMERO: And so, unfortunately, because Governor Ducey listens to President Trump, and he really wants to do the same thing, refuses to make mandatory masks, which is -- by the way, it is -- there is evidence, scientific research, that shows that just by instituting mandatory masks, we can prevent some of this spread.

And now he`s talking the same thing in terms of schools and opening our schools. The more Governor Ducey refuses to take effective, immediate action, the more lives we lose, and the worse our economy gets, and the less we can open up our schools for our children to go and learn in person.

REID: Yes. It is a conundrum.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, thank you so much. Really appreciate you being here tonight. Best of luck to you.

And up next: a look at the sprawling Black Lives Matter mural that was painted right on Donald Trump`s doorstep. He called it a symbol of hate, but isn`t it really a symbol that he`s already lost the argument?

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: If Donald Trump ever returns to New York City, a new message will be waiting for him outside his beloved Trump Tower. Today, in big yellow lettering the words "Black Lives Matter" were painted outside his front door on 5th Avenue.

Last week, Trump tweeted such an action would denigrate this luxury avenue and called the message, quote, a symbol of hate.

New York City Mayor de Blasio took part in the mural painting and responded to the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D-NY), NEW YORK CITY: Let me tell you, we are not denigrating anything. We are liberating 5th Avenue. Black Lives Matter. There is no more American statement, in more patriotic statement because there is no America about black America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: If I`m not incorrect, I think he`s greeted as a liberator.

The same message has been painted on streets of other cities, including right outside the White House in response to the killing of George Floyd last month.

A newly released body cam transcripts from the Minneapolis police are revealing chilling new details about what happened to George Floyd as he laid dying under a police officer`s knee.

And that is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: I can`t breathe. George Floyd uttered those words not just a few times like we heard in the video that stunned the nation and the world. He said it more than two dozen times to Minneapolis police officers before his death. That`s according to newly released police body cam transcript which also revealed that Floyd begged police not to shoot him. And knowing he was about to die, he said tell my kids I love them. I`m dead.

With former officer Derek Chauvin continuing to press his knee on Floyd`s neck. Floyd in his final words said, they will kill me. They`ll kill me. They will kill me. I can`t breathe. I can`t breathe. Please, please, please.

Chauvin now faces murder and manslaughter charges.

For more, I`m joined by Trymaine Lee, MSNBC correspondent and host of the podcast, "Into America", and Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor.

These transcripts are horrifying. I want to let each of you react to what we heard today.

And, Trymaine, I`ll start with you.

TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC CORRESPONNDENT: You know, it`s heartbreaking to see the video and those last minutes of George Floyd`s life. And we saw just a snippet of it. And I think one thing that stood out beyond the "I can`t breathe", which is a throw-back to Eric Garner. We watched him die as well, calling for his mother.

And that realization these were going to be his final moments, right? Tell my mom I love her. Tell my kids I love them. I`m dead.

It`s gut-wrenching and heartbreaking and we`ve seen it so many times before. But to hear the audio and see that video together, I think a gut punch isn`t even, you know, the right words, but it`s a gut punch again.

REID: Yes. And, Paul, I want you to react, too, but I want to read just a little bit of transcript, for a little more of this transcript. And this was actually done as part of a motion to dismiss the charges against one of the other officers, whose name is Thomas Lane for aiding and abetting murder. And so, they released the transcripts for that.

And here is this part of the transcript. Should we roll him on his side? Chauvin, no, he`s staying put where we got him. Lane, OK, I just worry about excited delirium or whatever. Chauvin, well, that`s why we`ve got the ambulance coming. And it was Officer Lane`s fourth day as a full time officer. So, that`s his attempt to clear himself.

Your thoughts on this, Paul?

PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: And it wasn`t until the ambulance came and the paramedic ordered Chauvin to take his knee off of Mr. Floyd`s neck that the officer finally did release Mr. Floyd -- well, after he was unconscious. At the scene, one of the officers asked Mr. Floyd`s friend, why he wouldn`t get in the police car, and the friend said that Mr. Floyd had been shot by the police before and he was traumatized in dealing with cops in the way that many African-Americans are.

We know that that trauma is justified. Mr. Floyd said almost 30 times, I can`t breathe. "The New York Times" released a report that said in the last 10 years, 70 people have died in police custody after saying those exact words, "I can`t breathe". The majority of those people are African- American.

REID: Yeah. But the callousness of it is what`s really chilling, that one human being could be so cold toward another and, you know, refuse to stop hurting them until they die and be watched by cameras the whole time and think, you know, it doesn`t make a difference.

Let`s go to another case weighing on a lot of people. Breonna Taylor, there has been no arrest on this case yet. I want you to listen to -- this is an investigation. This is an investigator who`s talking with one of the officers who killed this woman while she`s in her bed after midnight. And here -- here they are.

(BEGN AUDIO CLIP)

INVESTIGATOR: So in the preoperational briefing you guys considered this location, and I`ve heard this a couple of times throughout this investigation, as a soft target.

SGT. MATTINGLY: Right.

INVESTIGATOR: Based on the information that the lead had concerning the entire investigation, correct. The organization of the drug trafficking.

So, that`s what, you know, kind of made you all come up with the original, hey, we`re just going to knock and try to get her to the door, the most passive way in to serve the warrant.

SGT. MATTINGLY: Right.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

REID: You know, I asked a long question. I`ve been known to ask a really long question, Paul. But he sounds like he`s asking and answering the question for him. There`s a lot of sympathy there for this officer who busted into an innocent woman`s home and shot her -- shot her up 20 times and then tried to arrest her boyfriend for defending her.

What -- explain that. Because how can that be the investigator?

BUTLER: It`s misplaced sympathy. Remember, this was a no knock warrant, so what happens is that Ms. Taylor and her boyfriend are asleep in their own bed. It`s past midnight. They hear somebody breaking down the door. Of course, they think it`s an intruder.

Ms. Taylor`s boyfriend is licensed to carry a gun. He shoots in defense and then calls 911 and says somebody broke in my house and shot my girlfriend. The police report is a lie, which is how you know they knew they were doing something wrong.

The initial police report says that no one was injured when in fact, Ms. Taylor was dying in the hallway. The officers failed to render her any aid.

The police report also says that they entered peacefully. We know that they used a battering ram to break down that door.

REID: Yeah. And the fact that police officers know the investigator is on their side makes it very difficult to achieve any kind of justice for victims because the investigators are their friends, right, that they`re allies, so are the prosecutors.

I want to play a little bit, I know you`ve got an incredible podcast, Trymaine, "Into America", which everybody should be downloading. I want to play a little bit of it. This is your latest podcast on chokeholds. This is a piece in which you are speaking with Robert Branch. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT BRANCH: We end up falling to the ground and that`s when I thought that was it.

I love my mom. I love my mom.

My last words pretty much were saying, tell my mom I love her. And I thought that was it right there because he would -- he would not let go whatsoever, no matter what.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Tell us Robert Branch`s story, if you could, please, Trymaine.

LEE: Yes. So, Robert Branch was a young man, a security guard. On this day, he was going to visit a young lady he was dating. He got in a little bit of a, you know, a situation on the highway where one driver almost ran him off the road.

And so, he sped off thinking it was a case of road rage. When he heard something rattling in his trunk, he pulls over. And the same car that he saw earlier, not a police car, unmarked, a green Prius or some other kind of small vehicle pulls up behind him and a white guy gets out with a polo shirt and some khakis on and tries to like commander it, right?

So he doesn`t see any badge, any decal. Ultimately, he ends up in a tussling match where the gentleman who ends up being a detective, a San Diego sheriff`s detective, got him in a chokehold and choked him out until the point he passed out.

REID: Wow.

LEE: And when you think about just how aggressive the chokehold has been and there are things that illustrate the collective sense of suffocation that many black folks feel in America, then the chokehold, hyper aggressive. But it also speaks to the violent nature of that hand to hand policing that so many black people experienced.

Now, this was just a case of, you know, a guy on the highway, for fear in his life, a guy on some road rage, he ends up being choked out but ends up being charged also.

REID: Yes, it`s pretty terrifying. The podcast is called "Into America", everybody, please listen to it, Trymaine Lee, my friend, thank you very much. Paul Butler, two friends on tonight. Really appreciate you guys. Thank you.

And don`t miss Trymaine Lee with Lawrence O`Donnell tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m., pretty fascinating listening of how Confederate monuments mean different things to very different people. The special is "Stone Ghosts in the South: America`s Legacy of Heritage and Hate".

Definitely tune in.

And up next, a special announcement of my own. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: Perhaps a few of you saw on the Twitters or maybe in, say, "The Washington Post" or on the Grio.com, that I`m soon to start a new gig right here in this very time slot.

I have been filling in during this hour off and on for a while, which has been kind of surreal since this is the hour of television that I have been watching religiously as a fan for 20 years.

"HARDBALL WITH CHRIS MATTHEWS" was my nightly favorite from the day that it started airing back in 1994. Ten years later, after quitting the local news business where I was a digital producer in opposition to the war in Iraq and working on a campaign to try to unseat George W. Bush and didn`t quite make it, I did what a lot of people do when they`re not sure of their next act. I created a dream board. And on it, I would put a best selling book, check. And be a guest on HARDBALL.

Six years later, after working on a campaign and succeeded and then some for the first black president, that dream came true and more blessings than I could ever have imagined as a skinny coke bottled glasses kid in Denver who love watching the news came true, too.

"HARDBALL" was the first show I filled in for on MSNBC and Chris Matthews became my friend and my mentor. I am so blessed to be a part of the MSNBC family, working with the smartest, coolest, most thoughtful people in the business, from my amazing fellow anchors, to the producers and the crew, everybody who makes TV happened here, and my bosses, Yvette Miley, Phil Griffin, and now, Cesar Conde.

I have been beyond blessed with an amazing show and show team at "A.M. JOY" on the weekends. And I can`t wait to join the prime time family with the incredible team from "HARDBALL" who will be my team on our show "THE READOUT", starting Monday, July 20th.

The news business is dynamic and probably has never been more important. With all that we`re facing, I am so proud to bring the perspective of a black woman, a daughter of immigrants, the wife and mother of a husband and kids who sadly are more vulnerable to police violence because of their color, a proud nerd and a representative of the emerging America to cable TV news.

I hope the great Gwen Ifill and my mom, Filomena Carol Lomena (ph), will look down from heaven and be proud.

So I will see you this weekend for "A.M. JOY". Monday, July 20th for "THE READOUT", and please tune in tomorrow and all of next week as the great Steve Kornacki will be here.

And do not go anywhere because "ALL WITH CHRIS HAYES" is up next.

  THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END