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Transcript: The Beat with Ari Melber, 6/20/22

Guests: Jill Wine-Banks, Dylan Ratigan

Summary

Dylan Ratigan, a veteran of financial and cable news, co-host of the Truth Or Skepticism podcast, and also hosted The Dylan Ratigan Show joins THE BEAT with Ari Melber to talk about the U.S. faces rising prices and volatile markets. The January 6 Committee resumes the probe of those Capitol attacks tomorrow, with a focus on the effort to get other officials at the state level to either help create the conditions for a coup or join in voter fraud themselves. January 6th hearings to turn to attempted elector fraud as evidence showed Trump aides admitted elector plot during TV interview. Former Vice President Mike Pence speaking out after reports Trump welcomed his assassination. New poll suggested more Republicans think Trump should be indicted over January 6th Capitol attack.

Transcript

WALLACE: Hi, Ari. Busy week ahead, right?

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: I think we`ll be very busy. I`ll see you tomorrow, Nicolle.

WALLACE: Sounds good.

MELBER: OK. Welcome to THE BEAT, everyone. I`m Ari Melber. Happy Juneteenth which is now a federal holiday. Well, it means the government is officially closed today, although there are signs that some House staffers may be choosing to work as they put the finishing touches on this next insurrection hearing tomorrow. What Nicolle just mentioned.

And there are signs that the first two hearings are breaking through around the nation. We will get to that. Tomorrow`s hearing will move beyond some of the public plots to overthrow the election, like the January 6th rally and the violence that has been so thoroughly and horrifically documented, and turn to plots that were more secret or off stage at the time, including the demands that state officials commit voter fraud or try to steal the election for Trump.

Some of these plot basically were not at all well-known and certainly not taken seriously until months later, which is why the evidence matters. It`s why, when you hear people saying, gosh, haven`t we talked about this enough? Sometimes they are guilty people or apologists for coup plotters. We`re talking about how Trump and his aides were hoping to mount a kind of surprise attack, hence secret at the time, to submit a false slate of fraudulent electors that would somehow inject last-minute doubt into that January certification.

Now aides initially hid the plot, but evidence and e-mails have come out which shows how they were discussing it, and then we of course have tried to interview some of them to learn more about it. Now there are reports that even the lawyers pushing it knew at the time they did not have the law on their side as "The Washington Post" is now reporting, so the plots are coming into more view.

Trump had several avenues thwarted. Remember, there were the lawsuits which got shot down in court. Then were those that were more like, you know, farfetched off-the-wall ideas about recruiting the military to somehow help. And that got shutdown inside the government. And then they turn to this kind of ultimate guilty Hail Mary pass, just commit electoral voter fraud. Claim that the states that Biden won, which were certified by officials in both parties and everybody knew going into the 6th, just claim they were won by Trump.

It is a plan that we have been bearing down on in our reporting and interviews. It`s a plan you`re going to hear more about in this hearing tomorrow, and along the way we`ve gotten some admissions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Did you ever make calls like that regarding what you`re calling these alternate electors?

BORIS EPSHTEYN, FORMER TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Yes, I was part of the process to make sure there were alternate electors.

PETER NAVARRO, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: We had over 100 congressmen and senators on Capitol Hill ready to implement the sweep. The remedy was for Vice President Pence as the quarterback in the Green Bay sweep to remand those votes back to the six battleground states.

MESHAWN MADDOCK, MICHIGAN REPUBLICAN PARTY CO-CHAIR: We fought to seat the electors. The Trump campaign asked us to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the undersigned, being the duly elected and qualified electorate, hereby certify the following, for the President Donald J. Trump of the state of Florida, number of votes, 11.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: If you`re on the news, I may address those people you just saw at the end of that montage. No, you`re not the electors. You are liars. Those individuals were neither elected nor qualified which made for a pretty farfetched plan. Even Trump`s coup plotters were admitting, saying back in December that the whole farce would be dead on arrival in Congress. And here`s why this probe and all of this evidence matters.

You can see the potentially illegal conduct by these planners lay out their potentially criminal plans, and that matters as all this evidence come out. It matters for whether or not they are charged like Mr. Eastman. It matters for whether or not our nation on a non-partisan basis, not whether you like Trump or not, but whether you believe in democracy or not, whether we use the information in this evidence coming out to prevent a next time.

Now keep in mind someone we`ve been bearing down on more recently. He didn`t do as much television as Giuliani. He wasn`t as big of a -- kind of farcical public figure, and yet he was in the white-hot center of a coup so blatantly apparently criminal that he wants a pardon. Talking about John Eastman. He put it in writing that the fraudulent electors that they were pushing forward have no authority. Quote, "They had no authority," you see at the bottom there.

But he also wrote that multiple states of electors can demonstrate the uncertainty, and that should be enough, meaning that Pence could then have a lying false, coup planning pretext to steal the election. Now, lawyers write in a certain way for certain reasons. So let me translate.

[18:05:01]

What Mr. Eastman and those folks are saying is, we know we lost. We know this is almost certainly illegal, and yes, we even know rational people will not believe that hauling in a bunch of randos, either delusional, criminal or just pathetic dead-enders, who say they are electors when they`re not, and hauling in a couple of those randos is going to somehow change the election outcome, no. Even they, the coup plotters, didn`t think that.

What he`s saying there -- I want to understand this because it matters and I think we`re going hear a lot more about it tomorrow. What Mr. Eastman, who wants a pardon because he thinks he and Trump are crooks, what he is saying is not that the randos will magically mean Trump won but that they in concert with these other tricks and shenanigans could create enough fraudulent perception of uncertainty that Pence and others could claim things are just so uncertain right now, so topsy-turvy that this is still contested, or maybe that Biden`s slates are just not yet ready to be certified on the 6th.

Just that. Which would be huge. But I say just because again that would be the kind of offering they`re making to Pence and others. You don`t have to say we won. To paraphrase "Wedding Crashers," doing this off the top of my head, so I think that`s the right reference, you don`t have to love me, just say you don`t love him.

Well, here, you don`t have to say Trump won. Just don`t say Biden won yet. And then they can wake up on the 7th and continue what they were doing. And I want to be clear with you, waking up on the 7th under that plan is a coup. That`s why Mr. Eastman wanted a pardon. Now it was sloppy, it was last-ditch, and ultimately it required someone in office to put their neck on the line, and that was Mike Pence.

And we know what happened. He stood up to them. He wasn`t going to put his neck on the line for a coup even as Trump`s fans literally threatened to put his neck in a noose.

We now turn to our experts, former acting U.S. solicitor general Neal Katyal and "New York Times" legal writer from the magazine, Emily Bazelon.

Welcome to both of you. Neal, I walked through what stands out to me there. I`m very curious of your thoughts.

NEAL KATYAL, FORMER ACTING SOLICITOR GENERAL: So I think you did such a service, Ari, by outlining what this plot was. I mean, alternate electors are like alternative facts. It`s not a thing. And your description of the Trump-Eastman theory is exactly right. The theory was, let`s name some rando alternative electors and that will create some uncertainty and that will give Pence cover to pick Trump as the president.

And the problem from this is like Eastman knew that the fake electors had no legal standing but he still said their presence would create that uncertainty and that would make it enough. And I have no idea where this uncertainty was supposed to come from. One set of electors was certified by the state legislatures. The other was not. I mean, I`d have a harder time picking apart a donkey and a pinata.

And the most important point here is that the Trump officials themselves knew this was legal garbage. I mean, there`s one e-mail from a Trump campaign official to a Georgia official, a Georgia person trying to hatch the alternate electors` plot and he says, quote, "Your duties are imperative to ensure the end result, but they will be hampered unless we have complete secrecy and discretion."

Complete secretary and discretion. That sounds less like a legal strategy than of transmission from Sith lord. I mean, I`ve seen less menacing ransom notes.

MELBER: Fair. All fair. Emily?

EMILY BAZELON, LEGAL WRITER, NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE: You know, I think it`s worth remembering these fake electors were supposed to take the place of the people who were representing the will of the voters, right? So you vote, you have an election, you declare a winner. It`s Joe Biden. The state certifies that winner. Those electors go to the electoral college. This is erasing all of those facts and doing so after the election.

And so it just is so clearly unconstitutional that Eastman had to admit it himself, and yet amazingly he was still trying to perpetuate this fraud on the American people.

MELBER: Right, and when you say fraud, I mean, that`s the important point. He wants a pardon, as I`ve emphasized in our reporting last week because it`s news. And sometimes the new stuff, you know, you go to live your life on the weekend, you come back the next week, everything looks about the same and you go, I don`t know where this thing is leading.

It`s incredibly significant that the guy at the center of this admits it`s illegal, admits it won`t work, and wants a pardon for what? For what he did with Trump. It`s not some side bar project. It`s not something on January 21st where he was also going to, you know, rob the post office. He wants a federal pardon for the Trump stuff that he did for and with Trump, and I think that`s sort of the big headline here among a lot of other important details to be sure.

[18:10:00]

Both of you stay with me. I want to turn to Mike Pence speaking today. I mentioned it`s a federal holiday. But this is him out today for the first time since some of these hearings. We learned a lot about their final interactions. Congressman Cheney saying Trump agreed with supporters that Pence, quote, "deserved" in that sort of Trumpian language, in theory, quote, "deserved to be hung."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: We`ve all been through a lot over the last several years. A global pandemic, social unrest, a divisive election, a tragic day at our nation`s Capitol.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: That`s the reference, Neal, and that`s about as far as it goes. You know, we show sort of the new part. He said a lot of other general things and I get that he`s kind of winding through a difficult situation, although I`m not a big believer in, you know, baking too many cookies for people who meet that standard of not throwing us into a dictatorship. I think he and his lawyers looked at it and decided not to do that. But I wouldn`t say that they have been, absent the hearing. I wouldn`t say Mr. Pence himself, for example, has used the pulpit very much since that fateful day, but your reaction for us?

KATYAL: A hundred percent, Ari. This is not a difficult decision. I mean, yes, Vice President Pence did the bare minimum in avoiding a legal coup back on January 6th, but he has been relatively silent and said virtually nothing since, and I thought that`s why the congressional hearings last Thursday were so effective. Even though Pence was the missing guy in the room, you had Pence`s chief lawyer saying here`s what he we told Pence and what he believed, that all of this stuff was garbage, was legal garbage.

They knew it was. They knew it was fundamentally against the structure of the Constitution to have one person pick the next president, and you know, but Pence has been silent ever since. And frankly, I`ve been saying this for months. I do not understand why this committee hasn`t subpoenaed him. I think it`s totally absurd. He is the key person here, and it`s great that we have all these people around him, including Judge Luttig who filled in a lot of the details on what information Pence had when he made his decision on January 6th. But there was no substitute for hearing from Pence himself.

MELBER: Agree.

KATYAL: And so I just think he`s got to do it. I am shocked that Vice President Pence hasn`t come forward voluntarily, but because he hasn`t, I think the congressional committee has got to subpoena him.

MELBER: I think that makes a lot of sense. And they`ve definitely spent fire power and legal fights and energy pursuing other people who, while important, ultimately were people that were plotting and lobbying for what you just said, what you reminded us, Neal, that people are trying get Pence to do something. So you would want him, and Emily, the code red moment, if you will, for "A Few Good Men" -- it`s a holiday so maybe I`m doing more than one movie a segment.

But did you order the code red? I mean, the question is, does Pence say Donald Trump issued the illegal order or not? And I don`t know. I`m not going to prejudge that. That`s testimony, right? It would seem that`s where it went, it would seem he went beyond that with other violent rhetoric, but ultimately for history and accountability, the question is, were they trying to trick you into doing something but he`s such a mobster that he was so careful he never passed that particular line, or did he issue an illegal order?

Last point, and then I go to you, Emily. I want to point out what`s on the headline on the screen, which I don`t always do, to speak to the moment we`re in. I think we`ll go back -- we had this up just a moment ago. It said "not normal," and Emily, we are reporting on Pence, quote, "speaking out after reports Trump welcomed his assassination." This is still the Trump post era news. I mean, this is not something that should be taken lightly, should it?

BAZELON: No, of course not. And I keep wondering if you go back to these events, to January 6th, what`s the alternative universe in which Pence comes out strongly from the beginning and tries to rally the part of the Republican Party, which initially is expressing a lot of dismay about Trump`s actions? What if Pence sees himself as a kind of standard bearer for team normal? Conservative team normal, and speaks out strongly, talks about defending the democracy, stakes his future political candidacy, which seems to be, you know, in play for the presidency on that kind of stance. I wonder how much of a difference that would have made.

MELBER: Hmm. Neal?

KATYAL: I 100 percent agree, it`s such a good point that Emily raises. I mean, you know, Pence was basically an invertebrate after he made his decision and before he made his decision. And, you know, being a leader in our government, being anyone in our government, you know, even a low-level person, you`ve got to do the right thing, and Pence consistently didn`t do the right thing until he had that one great moment, and thank God for it, because otherwise it would be and basically a coup world. But, you know, obligation of the vice president is to do a lot more than that.

[18:15:03]

MELBER: Yes. I think you both break it down really well, so I appreciate both of you spending time with us amidst the holiday. Happy Juneteenth. Neal and Emily, appreciate you.

BAZELON: Thank you.

KATYAL: Thank you.

MELBER: Absolutely.

Coming up, Trump was discussing just his usual political stuff when a handpicked right-wing interviewer actually asked him about being dragged out of Mar-a-Lago in shackles. We`re going to get into that and the wider criminal case. Also our hearing preview for tomorrow.

And a lot of questions tonight about how corporations are taking advantage of rising prices. I have a very special guest that I`m very excited to bring back on THE BEAT. Our longtime friend and MSNBC veteran anchor Dylan Ratigan is here live tonight. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:20:10]

MELBER: As these insurrection hearings grind on, there are some signs that they are breaking through. Now remember, much of the right-wing strategy about the insurrection is to pretend that most of it didn`t happen or it wasn`t that bad, and then to boycott or censor this government exercise. So unlike the hearings that the government took seriously on a bipartisan basis into 9/11 or Watergate or the Oklahoma City bombing, at a government level, Republicans are just trying to sit this out in Washington.

We reported on some of that and you probably noticed that the hearings actually are thought less of a partisan brawl because while they are bipartisan they`re with Republicans who`ve turned on Trump and we all know the difference there, while McCarthy and most of the caucus sit it out.

Then you have what major conservative channels are doing, like FOX, which is basically suggesting January 6th was a peaceful day in their commentary and then avoid airing most of the hearings so they don`t fact check themselves.

Now, I remind you all of that because if I`m, well, speaking to you and you`re hearing my voice then you follow the factual news and you might not keep track of how others are lying about it. But as a public and political matter, of course we keep an eye on what`s gone on out there.

So what happens when the public actually sees the evidence that these hearings have provided? Well, there are signs that people across America, even across ideological organizing groups, people oppose the violence of that day, and they oppose any attempt to end our democracy with a coup.

Now there are no votes in America on who to indict, and that is a good thing, but as a measure of the views of how bad Trump`s actions were, were they just unethical, were they just regrettable, or were they something worse? Were they the acts of a criminal coup plotting president? Well, pollsters are now asking these questions and it`s notable that almost 60 percent of Americans now say Trump should be criminally charged for his role in the insurrection.

Now remember it`s hard get 60 percent to agree on most things in America right now. The headline is a clear majority saying that Trump basically committed these crimes and should be charged. And then it gets interesting when you dig in because there`s a shift among Republicans within this polling. The number of self-identified Republicans who think Trump is criminally liable has gone up quite a bit. It has doubled.

And that is something where it takes extra evidence. We know in politics that people don`t accept the first bad thing they hear about their side. It usually takes a lot more, but we also know that rational people can sometimes put facts above ideology. We`ve seen people turn. We`ve seen Democrats in New York turn on Cuomo after getting more information. Well, that appears to be happening now among many Republicans in America.

A sign the hearings are breaking through, and a sign that the evidence- based and even at times very precise focus is working. Working in the sense of sharing that information. The committee says it has even more evidence to reveal, including this electors plot. Meanwhile, Trump went to a right- wing radio show and ended up getting asked this question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WAYNE ALLYN ROOT, HOST, "THE WAYNE ALLYN ROOT SHOW SUNDAY": They arrested Peter Navarro. Who`s next, you? Are they going to try to take you out of Mar-a-Lago in shackles? This is insanity that we`re allowing this to happen.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Uh-huh. What`s going on has never been seen in this country before. It is so serious, this whole thing, and, you know, I`m at the forefront. I`m proud to be at the forefront.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Proud to be at the forefront and yet for a politician who has often tried to suggest the worst about his opponents and that everyone else should be locked up, this is clearly not the messaging he wants from his side, let alone what everyone else thinks.

On the evidence, Trump aides have made it clear under oath that he knew that he lost. The panel shows that he also knew about this elector plot. It again blows up a lot of what we`ve called the Costanza defense, the idea that he just believed his own lies and is somehow less culpable. Meanwhile, Trump also is making a point that you may have heard if you watch this stuff closely, Rachel and I discussed this on one of the hearing nights, that the same sword that knights you is the sword that good knights you.

That Kevin McCarthy is a partisan and he`s risen that way, but his partisan call to just boycott the whole committee doesn`t work very well for Republicans or Trump, and after Rachel and I discussed that and it`s kicked around I think among some other commentators, well, Trump agrees.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: This committee, it was bad decision not to have representation on that committee. That was a very, very foolish decision.

ROOT: Right.

TRUMP: Because, you know, they and pretend like they`re legit, and only when you get into the inner workings you say, what kind of a thing is this? It`s just a one-sided witch hunt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[18:25:00]

MELBER: It would seem Donald Trump does not like the way the committee is going, which seems to be a tacit admission that it is working against him. Not that it is irrelevant.

We have Jill Wine-Banks here when we`re back in just one minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: We`re back with former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks. Welcome.

JILL WINE-BANKS, FORMER WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: Thank you. Good to be here.

MELBER: Good to have you. You`ve been very thoughtful on the current events as well as the history that I think viewers know you lived through and participated in. And so I`m curious about that parallel because we don`t put indictments up to a vote in this nation and we certainly don`t think that the prosecutor should give any weight to the polls, I just want to be clear about that at the time of so many questions about legitimacy and norms.

Having said that, another way that the pollsters could ask these questions was just, was this a regrettable, but forgivable kind of thing? Was this just incompetent presidenting, or was this a coup, was it criminal, was it something that should be dealt with in that way? And it seems that now even self-identified Republicans and some conservatives joined in that view based on the evidence. How does that compare to the shifting views in Watergate?

WINE-BANKS: It was the same in Watergate. In Watergate, you had a president who had won 49 states, an overwhelming landslide in the electoral college. And the public turned on him as soon as they started seeing the facts presented at the hearings. Now it was also a time when facts mattered. It was a time went all three networks, and there were only three networks, had the same facts. So we are in a different situation now where people can self-identify and silo themselves to hear exactly what they want to hear.

I`m hoping that the independents and the thinking Republicans, not those who are only watching FOX, but those who actually tune into other channels, will get this information because that`s an important part of the evidence for them to see. It could influence how they vote, and that`s one of the target audiences for these hearings is people who will vote.

MELBER: Yes. Take a listen to Congressman Jamie Raskin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): If you allow impunity for attempts at unconstitutional seizure of power, which is what a coup is, then you`re inviting it again in the future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Jill?

WINE-BANKS: I am one of those people who has long said the evidence is there. It`s the same as when we had the Nixon situation, where the evidence was beyond reasonable doubt, clear that he was a part of the illegal acts for which his aides were being indicted. And I believe that you can`t indict the conspirators without the leader of the conspiracy. And here the evidence is now beyond doubt of what his role in this was. What his knowledge was.

He knew that there was no fraud. He was told it over and over and over again. He knew that he had lost 60 lawsuits. He knew that the Arizona Ninjas have found more votes for Biden than they had before he challenged it, and had this audit. So I think that the intent, which is necessary, has been established, and I think that it is worse to do nothing. I think if we had indicted Richard Nixon, it would have created a precedent, but it also would have been a warning that might have stopped the behavior that Donald Trump is engage in now, and that`s an important thing, because if he is -- and heaven forbid this happens -- if he should be re-elected, he will only be more emboldened if he gets away with this.

[18:30:00]

And he can`t get away with this and have our democracy survive. This goes to the heart of our democracy, our right to have our vote counted as we cast not to be thrown aside by a Republican toady of Donald Trump who says, I don`t like how you voted, I`m going to say that the electors should be those who want to vote for Donald Trump. That can`t be a democracy.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Yes, I`m running to the end of our time. But did Susan Collins not say that he`d already learned his lesson?

BANKS: She did. And obviously, he hasn`t. And so, the lesson must be stronger. We also now have the rip-off, the big rip-off. He`s been penalized before by raising $3 million, being penalized $2 million in New York for that, but he kept a million. That`s not enough of a penalty, he needs a criminal penalty, and maybe a $4 million financial penalty so that he has to get something out of his own pocket.

MELBER: Right. And I`m not here to take a position on that one way or the other. But it`s certainly the case that if the people involved at the elite level of plotting the thing if none of them face any accountability then the -- the takeaway for many will be OK. Maybe don`t be a violent insurrectionist. I mean, those folks are -- some of them facing heavy charges. But you could work in the White House or work as a lawyer and actively plot a coup. I mean, that does seem to be perverse. I got Dylan Ratigan waiting by. So, I`m going to end us here, but Jill Wine-Banks, always good to see you.

BANKS: Thank you, Ari.

MELBER: Absolutely. Prices are up. You probably know that. Our corporations taking advantage though. And what was it like to work at CNBC and MSNBC for years, where I learned how to do television from him? Well, Dylan Ratigan is our special guest on THE BEAT, as the economy melts down, maybe? Dylan, I`ll see you after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:36:18]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANET YELLEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: Clearly, inflation is unacceptably high, it`s President Biden`s top priority to bring it down. And Chair Powell has said that his goal is to bring inflation down while maintaining a strong labor market. That`s going to take skill and luck. But I believe it`s possible, I don`t think recession is inevitable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: That`s one government view saying maybe it won`t be so bad. But well, a lot of people are feeling something very different when you poll Americans now see the economy as the top issue in a bad way. Prices are surging, inflation is at its fastest-rising pace in 40 years. Stocks have also taken a hit recently, the main market index down over 20 percent, which is officially bear territory and the worst start to the year since the 30s.

Meanwhile, Bank of America is predicting the economy will stay basically terrible. Well, in the next year, they`re predicting a kind of a halt. And you square all that with the fact that some still see a decent jobs market in what has been a pandemic rebound. It seems like cross-cutting variables and a lot to make sense of. Well, as promised, we turn to a very special guest on this set of issues.

I`m joined by Dylan Ratigan, a veteran of financial and cable news, co-host of the Truth Or Skepticism podcast. He also as many of you may recall, hosted The Dylan Ratigan Show, right here on MSNBC, where he interviewed all kinds of folks and spoke truth to power, I can assure you that. He also was an anchor and reporter at CNBC, where he proved his financial acumen.

And at one point was a candidate for Congress, where he took his ideas to the people. I will say both as relevant and full disclosure, he is a longtime friend and colleague. We`ve benefited from his wisdom and experience over the years. And we are happy to have him back. Hi, Dylan.

DYLAN RATIGAN, CO-HOST, TRUTH OR SKEPTICISM PODCAST: Nice to see you, Ari. Nice to see you. You`re looking well. They don`t make you shave now? Is that the new COVID thing is no, no shaving, and what is this?

MELBER: I hadn`t thought about it as quarantine or pandemic. But yes, I mean, if a lot of people are working from home, I can make my face seem like it`s still at home. You Know?

RATIGAN: It also, I feel like it speaks to your hip hop credentials, too. I mean, you`re sort of --

MELBER: Somehow.

RATIGAN: It`s a rocket, it`s -- I mean, listen, it`s your rock and roll -- it`s your rock and roll piece. So anyway, it`s a pleasure to see you. Thank you for having me on. And I`m happy to see you.

MELBER: That`s great to see you. And yes, I`ll take hip hop or rock and roll, you know, maybe a little bit of a Grateful Dead vibe. I`d have to grow it a little longer, though. But let`s get into the economy where you`re so knowledgeable. We want straight truth. That`s what we expect from you. When you see financial officials and the Fed say, recession is not inevitable. We`ll see. Biden says he`s got some plans to try to deal with inflation. What do you see as what`s happening now and what that tells you about where we`re headed?

RATIGAN: Well, I think you got to have to separate the comments from any politician from the economic reality, and you can empathize with the politicians. And honestly wouldn`t matter if it was a Republican or a Democrat or anybody. No one wants to be the party in power. When mortgage rates double, gas prices double, you know, housings about to tip over, you know, all the things that we`re going to talk about.

And so, it`s logical, whether it`s Janet Yellen or whether it`s the president himself or any of his economic officials, they`re logically going to say, listen, this is going to be difficult. This is going to be stressful. This is going to have all these you know, cautionary tones, but it does not necessarily mean that we`re going to have a recession.

[18:40:00]

Those are politicians saying what politicians need to say. It doesn`t -- in other words, you have to separate it from reality. Reality is -- you are seeing every single fac -- major factor -- basically, three major factors that are the huge pillars, the tent poles, if you will, of the economy. One is interest rates and the cost of money, not just on, you know -- at the base level for the banks, but in the -- you know, what are mortgage rates?

What are credit card borrowing rates? What are every line of credit from that you can imagine? And when you -- I double the price of that. That is going to have a massive impact, particularly on housing. Wait, I can`t help you, OK, that`s a fact. Second, oil, energy costs, whether it`s on the manufacturing side, whether it`s on the transportation side, I`ve doubled it. Maybe it`s 80 percent, 70 percent, we`ll call it a double.

I`m going to double oil. I`m going to double interest rates. At the same time, I`m running inflation, at the highest levels, for sure we`ve seen since the 70s. Making matters even more stressful is not just the levels, but it`s how quickly everything has changed. And so, if there was a slow transition to a higher set of interest rates, if there was a slow transition to a higher energy pricing, you know, basis, if inflation was creeping, creeping, it`s not what`s happening.

People that went into contracts to buy houses that haven`t lost their mortgages yet, and they thought their payment was going to be $1,700. And now their payment is $2,400. We have to break those deals. Large organizations, huge institutions -- DuPont, you know, trucking companies, UPS, FedEx, airlines, had budgets for fuel costs.

For what it`s going to cost to fly the planes, what it`s going to cost to drive the trucks, what it`s going to cost to run the factories. Those numbers are wrong. And buy a lot, OK? And it happened fast.

MELBER: So, let me -- I`m only going to jump in, you know, here and there. The question that a lot of people are asking, you know, at home is then, what can they plan for and how bad will it get? Are they looking at -- we hear bear market 20, 23 percent. Is it within the realm? I`m not asking you to predict what will happen, but is it within the risk matrix? Is there a nonzero real risk possibility that it drops another 10, 20, 30 percent in the real economy or the markets?

RATIGAN: Yes, of course, yes. I mean, even just by virtue of inflation, even if it held the same, even if the stock market did not change its value. But inflation continued to rise. So, if you have $100 worth of stock, and it stays at $100 worth of stock, or bonds, or anything. But the $100 goes down in value by another 10 or 20 percent. You`ve lost money. I would say what -- here`s the two things.

Here`s your best news. Sort of like a patient who gets an injury. If you`re very healthy before you get injured, the chances that you can be more resilient to recover from that injury. So, if you`re a really healthy person who goes to the gym and you don`t smoke, and you don`t drink, and you drink water, and you eat vegetables, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and you get cancer.

Or if you`re somebody who`s been laying on a couch and not doing anything for all this time, and blah, blah, blah, and you get cancer. The healthy person has a better chance going in of navigating the procedures and recovering. That`s the U.S. labor market. So, the best friend of America, going into jacking oil, jacking rates, jacking inflation is really strong labor market.

And so, if you were to -- want to see like your every -- so everybody wants to know the same thing, right? Which is, what`s going to happen? How bad is this going to get? I have no idea. No one and anybody who tells you that they know is lying to you. By definition, it`s unknowable. But if you want a monitor, you want a way to monitor it. If the labor market, if those expenses at those factories, at those transports.

If that inflation and those expenses on the consumer side start to bang on consumer discretionary, restaurants, travel, all those sorts of things, and it starts to yield layoffs and you start to see unemployment spike up. Then you`re going to -- then things start to compound in a negative way. The other thing is housing prices as everybody knows whether you have a house and you`re like, I can`t believe my house has gone up 20 percent or more in value and it`s crazy, everybody`s lost their mind.

[18:45:00]

Or you don`t own a house and you`re like, man, I keep trying to buy a house and every time I go to buy the house, the price goes up. Housing prices will go down. I can guarantee you that the chairman of the Federal Reserve -- well, I`m sure that Federal Reserve is looking at housing prices. And they`re basically saying, we will continue to be aggressive with interest rates until housing prices come down. Because this is crazy. And as long as labor markets do not break.

MELBER: All right, that`s very interesting, too. And that affects people. So, here`s my last question for you, which is based on the Dylan we know, that you have all this financial acumen and you worked in those worlds. But unlike some of the people over there who are very Wall Street, if you know what I mean. You were more of an independent truth-teller, and much more of a populist if I want to use a word, any label can be debated.

So, when you look at how many companies seem to be doing well, reaping profits and banking profits here, we`ve done a series where we`ve had executive earnings calls and other evidence where basically some companies admit, yes, they`re just going to lean into all this because the norm is high prices.

Walk us through as your final answer, what you see there. Is that a problem? Is that overblown? Are some companies taking advantage of this environment in a way that`s not fair to consumers and workers if they just had their power pooled?

RATIGAN: Yes, no question. You know -- a number of -- I was talking to a fund manager two days ago, who was saying, what do you think, this is really inflation or is this really just a narrative of inflation because of oil that`s then being exploited by management to jack prices? Exactly what you just said. And my answer to him is my same answer to you. There is inflation. And executives and management teams are exploiting its existence and exacerbating it wherever they can. OK, there -- I can`t tell you how much is 50 percent of it price gouging or is it 30 percent. I have no idea. Is it happening? For sure it`s happening.

MELBER: You saying it`s happening is interesting and that picks up on a story we`ve been trying to cover here for you know, people, what people are going through. I`m out of time, Dylan. But as I mentioned, in full disclosure, you`ve been a colleague and a mentor. And I first started and learned how to do T.V. to the extent I know how to do it at all with you and Steve Friedman and your team. So, appreciate that. I haven`t forgotten that. I like having you here.

RATIGAN: And always a pleasure, Ari. Enjoy the day.

MELBER: Yes, sir. Dylan Ratigan everyone. When we come back, we have a special piece of the highlight tapes we want to show you going into tomorrow. Stay with us.

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[18:52:11]

MELBER: The January 6 Committee resumes the probe of those Capitol attacks tomorrow, with a focus on the effort to get other officials at the state level to either help create the conditions for a coup or join in voter fraud themselves. We`ll hear from three Republicans who actually resisted Trump`s repeated efforts to try to get them to help overturn his loss.

One witness was at the center of a smear campaign about fraudulent ballots. The hearings resumed at 1:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow. We will be, of course, covering before, during, and after. And there`s a lot of signs that even beyond those of us who follow the news regularly or daily, millions of more Americans are catching some of these hearings on-air, online, and an after effects.

Now, I want to share with something -- share something with you that we`ve created here, which is just taking some of those key highlight moments from all three of those first hearings together and see what we`re learning. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS), JANUARY 6 HOUSE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: The select committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol will be in order.

REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA), JANUARY 6 HOUSE COMMITTEE: These false claims of election fraud --

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY), JANUARY 6 HOUSE COMMITTEE VICE-CHAIRMAN: The massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information.

WILLIAM BARR, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: The stuff that these people were shuttling out to the public was bull --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said dead people are voting --

ERIC HERSCHMANN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: As a combination of Italians, Germans of Hugo Chavez, and of Venezuelans. Something in the Philippines --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Indians are getting paid to vote.

HERSCHMANN: Are you out of your effing mind?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was not true --

BARR: He`s become detached from reality, crazy stuff.

HERSCHMANN: What they were proposing, I thought was nuts.

BARR: There were idiotic plans --

HERSCHMANN: Completely nuts --

BILL STEPIEN, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Votes are still being counted. It`s too early to tell, too early to call the race.

JASON MILLER, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISOR: We should not go and declare victory until we had a better sense of the numbers.

BARR: I did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff, which I told the president it was bull --

IVANKA TRUMP, FORMER TRUMP SENIOR ADVISOR: I respected Attorney General Barr, so I accepted what he sent was saying --

LOFGREN: After the election, what were the chances of President Trump winning the election?

CHRIS STIREWALT, FORMER POLITICS EDITOR, FOX NEWS: None.

MILLER: He delivered to the president pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose.

GREG JACOB, FORMER COUNSEL TO VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: We would lose nine to nothing in the Supreme Court.

STEPIEN: President`s mind was made up --

LOFGREN: Rather than accept the results of the election. He tried to convince the American people the election had been stolen.

MICHAEL LUTTIG FORMER FEDERAL JUDGE: Constitutional mischief --

HERSCHMANN: I don`t want to hear any other effing words coming out of your mouth no matter what. Other than orderly transition --

CHENEY: President Trump summoned a violent mob and directed them illegally to march on the United States Capitol.

NICK QUESTED, FILMMAKER: For anyone who didn`t understand how violent that event was. I saw it, I documented it, and I experienced it. The crowd turned from protesters to rioters to insurrectionists. The anger and the profanity.

CROWD: Bring Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!

JACOB: The vice president had refused to get into the car. And the vice president had said something to the effect of you`re not the one behind the wheel.

[18:55:00]

CHENEY: Aware of the rioters` chants to hang Mike Pence, the president responded, Mike Pence quote, deserves it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The mayor was definitely intoxicated.

STEPIEN: I didn`t mind being characterized as being part of team normal --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Defer to say that the election defense fund was another marketing tactic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

LOFGREN: A big lie was also a big rip-off.

THOMPSON: He lied to his supporters and the country.

CHENEY: Corruptly pressured state legislators and election officials to change election results.

THOMPSON: He lost. But he betrayed the trust of American people. The people had voted him out. And the courts upheld the will of the people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: And that`s what it comes down to evidence, facts, and testimony so people can learn and make up their own minds. We will continue our coverage. I bet. If you`re watching, I`ll see you tomorrow during the day and right back here at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on that big January 6 hearing day. "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid starts right after this break.

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