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Giuliani probe TRANSCRIPT: 6/22/20, MTP Daily

Guests: Chris Coons, Xavier Becerra, Rob Jackson

KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: Welcome to Monday, it is MEET THE PRESS DAILY. I`m Katy Tur in for Chuck Todd, on a day that we just learned that two more members of the Trump campaign, two people who were at Saturday night`s rally in Tulsa, have now tested positive for COVID-19. That means at least eight staffers who were on the ground in Oklahoma have now tested positive.

Today`s news is yet another set setback for the president, who was warned that his Saturday night rally could be a super spreader event. That remains a concern, even though the rally drew a much smaller crowd than expected. The campaign had promised to fill the 19,000-seat arena, but according to the Tulsa fire marshal, 6,200 people showed up.

And those 6,200 were treated to a nearly two-hour free-wheeling speech that included a racist nickname for the virus, a claim that testing is what`s causing the spike in case numbers and the president saying that he told his people to slow down on testing. The administration says that comment was in jest, but the president himself didn`t deny it during an interview today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ask to slow it down?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If it did slow down, frankly, I think we`re way ahead of ourselves. If you want to know the truth. We`ve done too good a job, because every time we go up with 25 million tests, you`re going to find more people. So, then they say, oh, we have more cases in the United States. The reason we have more cases, because we do more testing than any other country by far.


TUR: Whether the low turnout at the rally is a sign of lagging enthusiasm for the president or growing concern over the virus, either could spell trouble for the president`s re-election prospects. Recent poll numbers showed the president trailing Joe Biden nationally and in several key battleground states. That`s where it really matters. And then there`s this. His former national security adviser, John Bolton, who continues to excoriate the president in interviews, to promote his new book.


AMB. JOHN BOLTON, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I think one of the most important things I learned in watching Donald Trump up close is he doesn`t have any philosophy. He doesn`t proceed on that basis or on the basis of a grand strategy or policy. It`s all about Donald Trump.

And that, to me, is a lesson for Americans as a whole, but for particularly for conservative Republicans, because if Trump wins re-election, which is entirely possible, there`s no more guardrail based on what the Republican Party may think about him.


TUR: Joining me now from the White House is my NBC news colleague, Monica Alba. Also with us is Annie Karni, White House correspondent for the New York Times and a MSNBC contributor and my friend, Jake Sherman, senior writer for Politico and also an MSNBC contributor. Monica, let`s start with you, two more people in the campaign testing positive. What do we know?

MONICA ALBA, NBC NEWS NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Yeah, this is a really significant update, Katy, and that`s because these are staffers that were actually tested after the rally in Tulsa as a precaution before they were able to fly home, so, that now adds to these other advance staffers who had been on the ground for about a week, which we`re told includes secret service personnel.

And we`re also learning just in the last hour that that number, which stands currently at eight people, is expected to rise. So, this is going to be a continuing problem for the Trump campaign and the president himself, who is already quite annoyed that this has been revealed before he event left Washington for that rally on Saturday, that then left him fuming and furious over the lower than expected turnout.

But this is significant, given all of the questions that top health officials like Dr. Birx and Fauci raised to White House officials before this rally really took off saying, you have the potential here not just for a lot of people to contract the virus, but you`re putting the staff at risk as well and that is what is seeming to have resulted in the news in the last couple of days with more expected, Katy.

And what is also significant, is you had the president saying he wants to slow testing down. The White House has tried to say that that is in jest, but he has made comments like that before and we`re told he`s very upset that this news continues to dominant coverage of his rally. But his own team is being diagnosed with coronavirus. Katy?

TUR: Well, it shows that it is still there. I know the president has said he wants to move on, he thinks that we`re past the hump on this, but it shows that this virus is still with us.

Annie, you had a great piece in the Times over the weekend about the reaction to this rally. I was speaking to a source of mine, a Trump ally who said that he can`t get a rally you`re in expletive trouble and they worried that the campaign team had their head buried in the sand, that they weren`t really understanding the extent to how bad it is to have a 19,000- seat arena, only have 6,200 people there, and what that means for the data operation, what they`re actually able to get from that data.

Are you getting any sense from your conversations that the campaign is retooling, is rejiggering their strategy, trying to figure out what went wrong, in order to not make this mistake again in the future?

ANNIE KARNI, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: Mostly what this revealed was the growing divide between the White House and the campaign. The campaign is trying to blame the media and Antifa protesters for barring their supporters from getting in. Brad Parscale told me yesterday that he had thousands of emails from supporters saying they tried to get in and they couldn`t. I don`t know if that`s accurate or not.

The White House meanwhile is furious. A lot of people there think this was an unforced error. Why tout, why blow up, you know, say you`re going to have 19,000 people when you don`t know and they said that a bigger concern about this is that what -- if this data was so off, that they thought they had enough interest in this rally to create an overfill space that was almost entirely empty, what else, where else is their data off?

Republican allies, donors, White House officials, were all really concerned, not just because of an empty stadium, as embarrassing and it`s a metric that Donald Trump understands that a visceral level when he sees blue seats, but just a question of, if they`re off on the crowd count, what else are they off on when it comes to the data and is it too late to fix it? Those are some questions that they`re all asking now.

TUR: So, this disconnect between the White House and the campaign, is the campaign hearing that? I mean, is there talk of -- I mean, how is Brad Parscale doing? There`s all the rumors that he might not be in that position for long, he could be layered. I was talking to somebody who said that this is exposing that he doesn`t really know what he`s doing, that he`s a glorified website maker?

KARNI: Yes, I mean, he kind of shrugged off rumors of his demise yesterday, saying every week, there`s a story that he`s been fired and he`s still standing. He`s really close with the family and that`s always been something that is important to him and important to his relationship with the president. They recently elevated Bill Stepien, to be deputy campaign manager. He`s a longtime Republican operative who has more, just nuts and bolts campaign experience, than someone like Brad who got his start in politics with Donald Trump four years ago.

So, they have some people there who have been put into more senior roles, who have run campaigns before. As for whether Brad stays or goes or gets layered, we haven`t heard anything more about his change in his title, as of right now, but this -- this was seen internally as a huge embarrassment for the president and notably, when he was furious backstage on Saturday night, a lot of people noticed that the person he was asking to see, Brad Parscale, was not there to get the brunt of his anger.

TUR: That`s really interesting. I wonder what this means for what`s happening in Congress right now, and Jake, you have such a good read on the temperature of lawmakers. Seeing this rally, and I know both Senators in half, and both Oklahoma Senators were there. Is there now a sense that maybe lashing yourself to the president so closely, maybe is not a great idea for holding onto the Senate in November?

JAKE SHERMAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR, SENIOR WRITER, POLITICO: You know, it`s interesting that you ask that. We`re in the House periodical press gallery here so excuse the kind of drab background, but my colleague Alex (inaudible) a couple of days ago, did an interview with the president where he brought out a sheet of paper and showed his approval rating based on Republican Senators approval ratings, which is just a tremendously fascinating view inside the president`s mind that he likes to remind Republican Senators that he is more popular with them -- with the Republican base, which is undoubtedly true.

But you have to ask yourself, if you`re a Republican who is looking to win re-election in a state like Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, I mean, take your pick of states, Georgia, if the campaign is not going to carry you on its coat tails, then you got problems, Because that`s what you`re scouting on. And I will say this, though. The White House, I was just at the White House, they`re no longer taking temperatures of people who are coming in the building.

They want to will this disease away. They believe they have willed the coronavirus away. They`re waiting for the time that they can say, this has all been wonderful and now they`re on their way. That time has not come. People, cases in Texas have spiked, I mean, you`re seeing this across the country.

So, there`s a huge disconnect between members of Congress who are going home every weekend to some states that are still struggling from this virus and the White House, which wants to go to Phoenix, Arizona, tomorrow, going to Wisconsin later this week to hold rallies, they just believe that they can go about their business, they want to go about their business and unfortunately, that`s not the reality that 535 members of Congress are facing.

TUR: They`re still down with disease. Jake, one other thing, what is it -- does it mean anything for legislation for this police reform bill that`s being hashed out by Democrats and Republicans, seeing the president maybe not in such a strong position, does that make Republicans more likely to want to negotiate with Democrats and maybe make more concessions? Does it make them less likely? Does it do nothing at all?

SHERMAN: Well, I would say this. I would say that the president hasn`t made his opinion clear on whether he really wants police reform yet. He`s said everything about the topic, everything from, we respect the police, they`re doing a great job, to, we need to reform the system. The president needs to give a signal.

You know, there is always this debate among insiders in Washington about what does the president do to get something passed? Well, the president needs to do what any political leader in world history has done, which is, take a position and hold it for more than 15 minutes. And if he does that, he might be successful. If not, he will continue to be inefficient when it comes to legislation.

I would say there`s more urgency than ever before on Capitol Hill when it comes to police reform legislation. That there`s a good chance if the president puts some elbow grease into it, he could get it done. I haven`t seen that yet. O don`t think it`s over but I`m just remarking that at this point I`ve not seen the White House put all of its energy into a piece of legislation. And I`m not really sure the president`s political standing means much here, but again, I just have not seen the White House do what it needs to do to get this done.

TUR: Jake, Annie, and Monica, guys, thank you very much for joining me today. And joining me now is Delaware Democratic Senator Chris Coons. So, Senator, let`s start with where we just left off with Jake. Police reform. What is your sense of where things are headed?

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): Well, in the month since George Floyd was brutally murdered by a Minneapolis police officer, as you know, millions of Americans and folks around the world, have taken to the streets in protest, urging broad and decisive action to reform policing in America and to take other steps to address racial inequality.

The bill that`s been introduced, that I understand Majority Leader McConnell may well bring to the floor, doesn`t meet this moment. I respect Senator Scott, the ways in which he has spoken on the floor about his experience of being African-American in modern America, but this bill, although it is a good start, does not go far enough by a long shot. There are some significant weaknesses, in terms of accountability, in terms of mandating simple and basic changes like ending no knock warrants and really ending chokeholds.

And then there`s other changes in terms of accountability and strengthening the hand of the U.S. Department of Justice that are essential to even a basic attempt at meeting this moment. That`s why I`m a cosponsor of the justice in policing act that Senators Booker and Harris have led here in the Senate and that I believe the House will take up and pass this week.

So, to the point your panel was just making, President Trump`s rally in Tulsa showed some of his underlying weakness. He isn`t able to wish away the coronavirus, the COVID-19 pandemic. He isn`t able to persuade even his most loyal supporters to come out and to engage in this sort of rally that he was hoping would kick start his campaign. And if he doesn`t take a firm and clear position in favor of robust policing reform, I don`t see how we`ll get anything real done here in the Senate before the next election.

TUR: All right, so, we`ll leave that there and then let`s talk about what the -- what it means that there are more people in the Trump campaign testing positive for the virus while at the same time, they`re not doing temperature checks at the White House for some staffers and for some journalists. The president seems to, as Jake just said, want to will away the virus, it`s not going away.

That rally, you could say maybe it was empty, because some of his supporters are taking the virus more seriously than the president is. What do you believe this means for, I guess your candidate, Joe Biden`s, attempt to get elected over Donald Trump in November?

COONS: Well, I think there`s been a very sharp contrast between President Trump and former Vice President Biden in recent weeks. For example, President Trump used tear gas and rubber bullets to forcibly clear peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square in front of the White House and then strode across it to wave a bible as a prop in front of St. John`s Episcopal.

That same weekend, Joe Biden was invited to an historic AME church in the east side of Wilmington, Delaware, our hometown, where he wore a mask, where he knelt, where he prayed, where he listened to a range of leaders from Delaware, young activists who have been organizing some of our protests, clergy and some of the leaders of our faith community, our congresswoman, Lisa Blunt Rochester, and other significant figures in Delaware`s African-American community.

Joe Biden is someone who in this moment is listening and is taking bold steps and President Trump is someone who, frankly, is trying to brush aside, is trying to forcibly move aside protesters and this pandemic and this virus. He`s not listening. And he`s not seeing this moment. And as more and more Americans fall sick and die from this pandemic, as we see more and more sharply the deep divisions in our society, we need someone to lead us who can listen and who can act and who can heal and in my view, that`s clearly Joe Biden.

TUR: So, Senator, Joe Biden`s leading in the polls and the national polls and a lot of the battleground state polls, but when it comes to excitement, energy for your candidate, enthusiasm for your candidate, among Trump`s voters, they`re still very enthusiastic for the president.

Among Democratic voters, there`s not the same enthusiasm for Joe Biden. We saw something like that, and I don`t want to make a parallel here because I don`t know if it`s quite equal, but we did see something like that in 2016 with Hillary Clinton. And when I was talking to a former Obama official, they told me what Biden needs to do right now is basically just fly under the radar.

That he -- he could be a generic Democrat, he doesn`t need to be anybody, that Donald Trump is campaigning against himself and this election is more about Donald Trump than it is anything else. What`s your take on that? Do you agree? Do you disagree?

COONS: Well, two things. First, when you`re the incumbent president and people overwhelmingly think the country is going in the wrong direction, they look to their federal government for leadership in providing a coordinated and successful response to a pandemic and they don`t see it, they look to their president for a moment of healing when there`s such deep division and they don`t see it or hear it, that clearly is a negative.

So, I would agree that President Trump, by his inactions and by his actions, is making things worse for himself, for his own re-election. But to go back to 2016 for a moment, Katy, I don`t think it`s enough for Vice President Biden to simply rely on President Trump to make the case against himself.

I think Joe Biden is out there, is speaking, is listening, is engaging. And I think you`ll see more and more motivation and excitement amongst Democrats and amongst persuadable independents as we get closer and closer to this fall. There will be several one-on-one debates between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, and I think that will lay out the contrast more clearly than anything I can say.

But frankly, their record, what they`ve done and what they would do will be very sharp and clear and I think you`ll see growing excitement amongst Democrats, as they really tune in and focus on how much better their lives would be, with Democratic control of the Senate and with a Democrat in the White House.

TUR: Exactly.

COONS: If we lay out clear and positive plans about how we will protect health care, not try and rip it away, how will we strengthen our society and rebuild our economy better and how our place in the world will be stronger, I think Joe Biden will win decisively this fall.

TUR: We will see. Senator Chris Coons, thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate your time, sir.

COONS: Thank you.

TUR: And ahead, an unwelcome coronavirus milestone in Florida. Plus, a community that cannot afford to stay home to stop the spread of the virus, and they`re now being hit hard. We`ll take you there live.

Also later, Congress was already set to take on the issue of politicizing - - excuse -- the Department of Justice this week, even before the president`s firing of the U.S. Attorney, Geoffrey Berman. I`ll talk to former FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann ahead.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re definitely going up the curve in Charlotte.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: North Carolina is becoming more ill with this virus. Our numbers are rising. It`s very overwhelming, it`s very tiring. It`s the kind of tired that sleep just doesn`t fix.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve been hearing stories about the surge in Arizona, so I shouldn`t have been surprised, I guess, on shift, but yet I was.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are so full and have so many critical patients that the state is helping us to find ICU beds all over California.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re such a small community that it`s starting to hit home and it`s starting to wipe out families. Just to see that they want to open everything back up and back to normal and everyone say, this is like the flu -- this is not the flu. This is a monster.


TUR: Welcome back. Those are health care workers on the front lines of the virus fight in their own words, talking about what they are facing as cases are on the rise in nearly half of the country. Since late February, more than 120,000 people have died in this country and we`ve now surpassed 2.3 million confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, President Trump is planning a trip tomorrow to one of the nation`s hottest hotspots, Arizona, which has one of the highest growth rates in the country. The state has set a record for coronavirus-related hospitalizations, seven days in a row. At least eight other states including Texas, Florida and both Carolinas also set records this weekend, either in case numbers or in hospitalizations. Including today, Texas, has now set a hospitalization record 10 days in a row.

And while President Trump insists case numbers are on the rise, due to an increase in testing, according to the COVID tracking project, testing in Florida over the last week actually slowed by 3 percent while cases increased by 88 percent. Florida also had an unwelcome milestone today. 100,000 cases in that state.

Florida`s Governor Ron DeSantis blamed, quote, overwhelmingly Hispanic farm workers for the outbreak in his state. So, let`s bring in NBC News correspondent Kerry Sanders, who is in Immokalee, Florida. Kerry, what do you -- can you help explain the governor`s statement blaming the Hispanic farm workers?

KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it`s really upset the folks in a town like here, this is Collier County, Immokalee Florida. They feel that the governor overlooked them to begin with, the Department of Health here, and at one point, just last week, they began to shut down, but the doctors without borders, that`s an organization you`re probably familiar with in war zones or in other natural disasters, they actually set up here to help people who are being overlooked.

It was a case of the farm workers being out in the fields and unable to access the health department in the hours that the health department set up. It was such a restrictive set of hours. And then when they reached out to the health department, it was sort of like, well, that`s what we do. It eventually changed.

The doctors without borders finally decided that now the state is handling it, but when the governor pointed a finger at them, they were quite offended. The statistics are really quite troubling. One in 25 here in Immokalee testing positive for coronavirus and statewide. If you look at the numbers, if you take a look at the graph, you see the numbers going up. This was sort of inevitable across the state, crossing that 100,000 threshold, because beaches have opened, bars have opened and quite frankly, a lot of people have not been using, I guess you would call it due caution.

As a matter of fact now, in Miami and in several other cities surrounding Miami, they have just announced in the last half hour, masks will be required when you`re outside. What that means, Katy, is that if you are going from your house to your car, going from your car to the 7-eleven. Whenever you are out in public, you must wear a mask and there will be sanctions for those who do not. Katy?

TUR: Welcome to what we`ve been dealing with for the most part here in New York now for some time. And look what the cases are doing here, they`re on the way down. Kerry Sanders, thank you very much. Ahead, a show of solidarity from NASCAR drivers after one of their own was targeted.

Plus, as Congress struggles to reach a deal on police reform, cities and states are now taking action. I`ll talk with California`s Attorney General about the state`s plan to crack down on officer misconduct.


TUR: Welcome back. You`re looking at images here from the NASCAR racetrack in Talladega, Alabama this afternoon, where drivers stood in solidarity with Bubba Wallace. The show of solidarity comes after a noose was found hanging in Wallace`s NASCAR garage stall in Alabama on Sunday.

Wallace, the only black full-time driver for NASCAR, encouraged the sport to ban the confederate flag from its tracks and facilities earlier this month, which they did.

NASCAR released a statement, saying they launched a full investigation into the incident, adding that "We are angry and outraged and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act. There is no place for racism in NASCAR." U.S. Attorney Jay Town said his office, the Justice Department, and the FBI are looking into the incident, as well.

And in California right now, the family of 18-year-old Andres Guardado is requesting the state`s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, launch an investigation after Guardado was killed late last week by a Los Angeles sheriff`s deputy who was not wearing a body camera. That comes after Becerra announced policing reform proposals last week aimed at improving use of force procedures.

Joining me now is the California attorney general, Xavier Becerra. Mr. Attorney General, thank you very much for joining us. Let`s talk about your police reform measures. I know you are introducing a lot of them, but specifically this move to decertify police officers for misconduct. California is one of, I think, only five states that hadn`t had this provision in place before now. What`s taken so long?

XAVIER BECERRA, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think we`re moving in the right direction. California has typically been a little bit ahead of most of the states when it comes to how we deal with public servants, including police officers, and I hope that this year, we`ll continue to make that progress very real here in California.

So, whether it`s decertification of bad cops or making sure that we let our agencies complete investigations of bad cops before they resign, all those things are the types of reforms that we want to see not just in California but throughout the country.

TUR: What about Guardado? Are you going to launch an investigation into his death? Why was the officer not wearing a body cam?

BECERRA: So my interesting is that in Los Angeles County, the body cam usage is not yet something that has been approved for all the sheriffs. I could be wrong, but that`s what I heard. I`m not sure why because most agencies, at least I hope in California, have moved towards body cam usage.

In terms of the investigation of Guardado murder, we are in touch with the L.A. County authorities. We will see where we go from there. We don`t typically discuss where we go on any type of request for an investigation unless we need to make something public.

TUR: You have been called a recent convert to policing reforms. What has changed your mind and why are you proposing all of these new ideas to add oversight over police departments and individual police officers?

BECERRA: Actually, Katy, I hope you`ll stop citing whoever said that because they obviously didn`t do their homework.

If you consider me a recent convert when many of the reforms that are being proposed across the board, whether it`s been the community activists or by elected leaders, we made -- we made those public, many of those reforms public a year and a half ago in a report that we issued after we had done an investigation of the shooting of an individual here in Sacramento, California, Stephon Clark.

We are in the process of now releasing soon the second phase of our report, policing practices, at the Sacramento Police Department. The first of those reports, as I mentioned, came out about a year and a half ago.

It was the basis, many of those reforms, were the basis for a new law in California that will take effect in January called SB-230 that provides for the number of reforms that now you hear others calling for. So, whoever continues to say that we`re late to the game, whether the Department of Justice or me, certainly doesn`t know my record as A.G., actually certainly doesn`t know my record as an elected official.

Thirty years ago, when I was in the Congress, I was one of those who pushed for a number of reforms in the way we do policing. So, I wish people would do their homework. I hope you`ll stop citing those that didn`t do their homework.

TUR: Well, because you want to know who said it, I`ll share it. This is San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board and they back it up by saying, last year, before police reform was cool, Becerra was a bulwark against law enforcement accountability, bottling up officer misconduct records in defiance of landmark legislation by state Senator Nancy Skinner of Berkeley.

They also say he issued his proposals the day after these proposals are issuing now. The state`s largest police union, typically the most reactionary force in the field, supported similar steps.

And they also say your plan is moderately more substantial and that it proposes blackballing bad cops and urges departments to abandon chokeholds outright while otherwise restricting deadly force.

Like Trump, the attorney general also vaguely called for efforts to get police out of the business of dealing with homelessness, mental illness, and other noncriminal matters. So that is from that. There is also more from The Mercury News Editorial Board, as well.

BECERRA: So, I would -- if they were here, I would say to them, they should have done their homework. They obviously did not do their homework for them to claim that we have not been in this game for quite some time. What they reference, this new law, SB-1421 in California, related to the issue of disclosing private, personal information.

I did what I was supposed to do under statue, which is to make sure that people understood that that information, up until 1421, was supposed to be private. My job is to protect people`s privacy. So, I was trying to do what I was supposed to. I made it very clear, by the way, before 1421 even became the law in California that I was in favor of disclosing certain personnel information from the records of police officers.

So, again, it`s one of those things where we can have a conversation, but people that are missing are the folks that didn`t do their homework, The San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board and the San Jose Mercury News Editorial Board. I`d be more than willing to have them come on with us and we can have that conversation.

TUR: I want to get you on one other topic before we go and that`s the dreamers, the Supreme Court case. The president wants to push back and re- file that court case. There`s also news that he is suspending H-1B visas. Your state has a number of H-1B visa holders. What are you going to do for them? Are you planning on protecting them? What`s next?

BECERRA: So, two very interesting subjects on immigration. First, on the DACA recipients, I think it`s important to remember that the president has to follow the law the way that you or I have to follow the law. He`s not above it.

The Supreme Court slapped him down last week and said to him, if you want to do something, which by the way he has the right to do as an executive for the government, he can do it, but he has to do it according to the law. And so we`ll wait to see what the president tries to do on DACA. We beat him before. We`re prepared to beat him again.

On the issue of guest worker programs, let`s put it this way. Guest worker programs are for industries where the industry cannot find Americans to do the job. I think most of us would agree that today, there are a lot of Americans who are unemployed and would like to work.

The president is being very selective. He`s cherry picking. He`s deciding which industries won`t be able to find import workers. I think that is not only offensive, I think it might also be unlawful.

And so I would simply say this. I don`t care what your industry is. If there are Americans are willing to do that work and are qualified, you should hire them. You shouldn`t go out there and import people to do the jobs that Americans can do, especially during a crisis where so many people are unemployed.

TUR: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate all your time.

BECERRA: Thanks, Katy.

TUR: And coming up next, new concerns about the already unprecedented polarization of President Trump`s justice department. Stay with us.


TUR: Welcome back. As John Bolton accuses President Trump of obstruction of justice as a way of life, his quote, another DOJ official is out of a job at the president`s behest. President Trump fired U.S. attorney for the southern district, Geoff Berman, on Saturday.

Berman was overseeing the investigation of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani`s business activities, as well as the prosecution of two Giuliani business associates tied to the Ukraine impeachment investigation.

The House Judiciary Committee was already set to hold a hearing on political interference in the justice department on Wednesday. And the committee`s chairman, Jerry Nadler, now says he is working to secure Berman`s testimony, as well.

Joining me now is former FBI general counsel and MSNBC legal analyst Andrew Weissmann. He also served as a lead prosecutor in the Mueller probe on Russian interference in the 2016 election and spent over a decade as a prosecutor for the eastern district of New York. Andrew, it is good to see you. First off, what is your reaction --


TUR: -- to Berman being ousted?

WEISSMANN: Well, there are a number of reactions. One is complete sort of shock and disbelief. Even though there are so many things that people have witnessed so far, it`s quite unusual to have a U.S. attorney who is a Trump-selected U.S. attorney summarily being removed.

And you have the fact that Barr, on a Friday night, said that the U.S. attorney had resigned. And moments later, the U.S. attorney, again, who was selected by President Trump, saying, no, I didn`t, I had no idea that I was being even asked to resign until I read Attorney general Barr`s press release. It is quite extraordinary.

TUR: Let`s talk for a second about the person replacing him and the way -- and the reasoning they`re giving for it. That`s Tom Clayton. Kayleigh McEnany at the press briefing today said that Clayton wanted to move back to New York City and so they gave him this position at the SDNY in order to keep him in government.

Is that normally a reason to -- I don`t know. So you tell me, is that normally a reason where you would oust a U.S. attorney and replace him with somebody else because somebody wanted to move back home?

WEISSMANN: That does not logically work. And here is the reason why, Katy. If you wanted to have Jay Clayton be the new southern district U.S. attorney, you can nominate him. But that takes months to get through. That has nothing to do with the summary removal of Geoff Berman.

In other words, you can tell Geoff Berman, you know, I`m nominating somebody else, but please stay in the office and we love you as you are and continue, but that does not explain why you are summarily removing him.

And to me, it`s very analogous to what happened to the Trump-selected U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., in D.C. U.S. Attorney`s Office, Jessie Liu, who is also summarily removed. And there, we know the reason why. Here, we don`t yet know the reason.

But in D.C, we know that the reason had to do with putting in a hand-picked person loyal to the attorney general who reversed the decisions, the sentencing decisions on Roger Stone and Michael Flynn. So, you needed to get rid of Jessie Liu so that you could have somebody who was going to be, let`s just say, more malleable.

TUR: Well, let`s talk about the motivations. I`m sorry, Jay Clayton, not Tom Clayton. My apologies for misspeak. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that William Barr and Berman had a disagreement over writing a letter criticizing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Is that something that makes sense that could lead to his removal, a disagreement over a letter, Barr wanting him to sign it and Berman not signing it?

WEISSMANN: I find that highly unlikely. I mean, to me, it is sort of an after the fact justification that the attorney general is coming up with. I mean, you have to remember, the attorney general, according to Geoff Berman, put out a false press release, where he said that the U.S. attorney had resigned, when the attorney general`s statement is completely contradicted.

Not to say that you also have the president of the United States contradicting the attorney general, saying, I never asked for the removal of the U.S. attorney. That was entirely left up to the attorney general. And the one thing that the law is very clear on is that the attorney general does not have the power to remove a court-appointed United States attorney, and Geoff Berman was a court-appointed United States attorney.

So, look, the bottom line here is, the real issue is, what`s the reason? What`s the reason that this was going on? And that`s something that, right now, we`re all speculating. But, you know, hopefully the House will get to the bottom of it.

TUR: I`m just curious, what`s going to happen, do you think, to the investigation into Rudy Giuliani and his associates?

WEISSMANN: So, this is what I can tell you. Audrey Strauss, who is the new acting U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, is a straight arrow. She is going to be doing whatever is appropriate and she`s going to take appropriate, aggressive steps. So, I don`t see her putting up with any guff or any political interference from main justice or the attorney general.

TUR: Andrew Weissmann, thanks for joining us today and helping us understand what is not easy to understand, frankly. We appreciate your time, sir.

WEISSMANN: You`re welcome.

TUR: And coming up next, what governments need to do right now to stop rapidly rising carbon emissions, as the world comes out of coronavirus lockdowns.


TUR: Welcome back. Last month, when the U.S. and other countries around the world were only beginning to emerge from lockdown, we showed you a new research from the Global Carbon Project that reported average carbon emissions were down 17 percent across the globe in April compared to that month in 2019, a direct result of the virus lockdowns.

Now, as many countries and all 50 states have lifted lockdowns, carbon emissions are rising back up and they are doing it fast. A new update on last month`s climate report estimates that carbon emissions are now only five percent below last year`s average.

Joining me now is Rob Jackson, chair of the Global Carbon Project and a co- author on this study. He is also a professor of environmental sciences at Stanford. Rob, it is good to have you.

I want to get to this fast since we`re going to run out of time here. Last month, we talked -- a month ago, May 25th, we talked about this. The emissions had fallen as much as 17 percent globally, 26 percent in individual countries. Now, we are seeing it only down five percent. Is this in line with what you expected?

ROB JACKSON, CHAIRMAN, GLOBAL CARBON PROJECT: Well, unfortunately, it is, if all we do is going back to driving cars and things return to normal. Friday here in the U.S. was the first day the national traffic levels had returned to pre-COVID conditions. So we`re all hopping back in our cars and driving again.

Unfortunately, our industries haven`t recovered. Steel production is still down about a third on a weekly basis here in the U.S. So we`re getting the air pollution from cars and trucks. People are still unemployed. It`s a tough time.

TUR: What about air travel? I mean, even if we`re all getting back in our cars and some people are returning to offices, people aren`t getting on planes. They`re not traveling internationally really. They`re barely traveling domestically. What is that going to mean?

JACKSON: Well, air traffic is the part of the economy here in the U.S. and globally that has not recovered very much and it`s because people are afraid to travel and they are just staying home. I mean, the good or the bad news depending on your perspective is that air travel is only a few percent of global carbon emissions, so even a relatively big change there doesn`t put back big of a major dense in emissions.

TUR: I think there are a lot of people out there who saw this moment and asked themselves if this could be a moment where, if we`re going to address this crisis and we`re going to put people back to work and we`re going to try to shore up the economy, can we do it in an environmentally sustainable way? Can we change some practices?

We have this moment where we`re hitting pause. And so far, it hasn`t happened. There`s no legislation running down that road. There`s no thought about an infrastructure bill that could potentially move in that direction of greener technology more if there is a thought. There is not much of a realization for it. Are you hopeful? How do you feel we`ve done with this moment?

JACKSON: I think we`ve missed an opportunity, to be quite frank. I mean, around the world, countries are spending more than $10 trillion on stimulus spending, and less than a tenth of a percent, not even one percent, but a tenth of a percent is going to clean tech and green energy,

And that`s true in the U.S. I mean, we have essentially nothing in the bill. We have 600,000 people out of work in clean energy. We could do a better job.

A decade ago, we jumpstarted wind and solar, we loaned and upstart car company called Tesla half a billion, and they paid it back ahead of time. And now, there are 20,000 Americans working at their Fremont and (ph) producing cars here. So we need to do a lot better. Right now, we are not doing a great job in stimulus spending.

TUR: Missed opportunity. Rob Jackson, thanks for coming on. Sorry we ran out of time, but we`ll have you back. We appreciate it, sir.

JACKSON: Thank you.

TUR: And we will be right back.


TUR: That is all for tonight. Chuck will be back tomorrow with more MEET THE PRESS DAILY and catch us both tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Eastern, a double dose. In the meantime, "THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER" starts right now.