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Transcript: The Beat with Ari Melber, 9/16

Guests: Joyce Vance, David Priess, Erika Andiola, Errin Haines, D.J. Khaled


Trump-appointed judge sides with Trump in doc scandal. Judge halts DOJ access to Trump`s classified docs. Grammy-winning producer D.J. Khaled joins Ari Melber to talk about his album that scores number one in America and his new hit song that rebukes the drug war, and also the MSNBC breakdown of the songs that made him listen to it again.


NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: Quick note we do see and read and carefully consider a lot of the things you tweeted us. We heard from so many of you this week asking us to put the full interview of former U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, up online. Ask and you shall receive around here. You can now watch that interview in its entirety on Thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. We are grateful. THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER starts right now. Hi, Air Happy Friday. Going to be wild.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Happy Friday. You know, it`s a lot going on Nicolle. I believe you because I always believe what you say. But I don`t feel like any of my tweets you have ever gotten a reply.

WALLACE: I don`t read yours.


WALLACE: It`s hard -- I sometimes look at in when we`re on and I want to write back -- like someone tweeted today, the podcast isn`t up and I wanted to let, you know, like the Fix IT Department say I`m on it. But, you know.

MELBER: I`ll just say I`m luckier than perhaps some of your viewers because I usually get to touch base with you at least once a day, even without Twitter.

WALLACE: There you have it. Have a great shot.

MELBER: There it is. Have a great weekend. And thank you, Nicolle.

Welcome to The Beat. I am Ari Melber. And it has been a long week. There`s a lot going on. But this is one of those busy news Fridays we begin with the bombshell that`s led Trump`s team to really be on alert or in damage control mode, even though they have gotten some procedural steps, victories of sorts in this Mar-a-Lago case well. Now, the news is, Donald Trump`s team lied to the National Archives, long before they ever got his home search.

The Washington Post reports, the Archives were actually told none of that material that remains a big issue in this criminal investigation was sensitive or classified at all that Trump had 12 boxes of news clippings. Well, that`s blatantly false. We know the FBI found hundreds of classified documents. We know this went way beyond news clippings. And we also know that even if you are skeptical of Donald Trump, and you`re used to him misleading or lying to people in public, we`re not talking about whether that is a good or bad thing or right or wrong, ethically. We`re talking about an investigation where if you start making false assertions to the government, or to the prosecutors, you`re talking about new and separate crimes. And that comes amidst the uproar as a judge has now ruled on what I mentioned aspects of this where they are getting on the procedural side some of the steps they want. The judge ruled in favor of Donald Trump blocking the Justice Department from currently reviewing the cease classified records.

Now, I`ve told you before all of this stuff is procedural. No one is saying for example, return the records of Donald Trump, no one suggested that he, for example, lawfully possessed them or own them, which is bad, because it means that he or people around him basically were holding stolen material. None of this suggests that he`s in the clear for what he did. But procedurally, this is a ruling that is going to at least slow things down. It`s also controversial, because the judge says she wouldn`t even accept the DOJ`s assertion that Trump shouldn`t have had the classified documents without this review. There`s some reaction now from top legal experts and DOJ veterans.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s so many outrageous and stupid, frankly, pieces of this decision, you never thought there`s something worse than her last decision. And this actually talked it

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An opinion that I think was widely decried is being untethered from any understanding of the law.

NEAL KATYAL, FORMER ACTING U.S. SOLICITOR GENERAL: We used to say in the Solicitor General`s office that some appeals right themselves. This is one and it is a terrible, terrible abuse of our legal system.


MELBER: You can hear the rebuke there, although this is still a nation of laws. And if you abide by the rule of law, that means you abide by these lawful rulings. They may be temporary, and they may be overturned in the appeals court. But as of right now, this is the ruling, whether you like it or not.

The Justice Department, though, is expected to appeal and when you hear someone like Neal Katyal say the appeal rights itself. Well, that matters. Remember, all he did was appeals. He did the Supreme Court, that`s the high level, not the first route. And he`s saying he thinks that at the appeals process are the ultimate arbiter the Supreme Court, this could be changed. So, they want to intervene. They want to get access to the classified documents and the DOJ side. The delay continues, the appeal would eventually be heard by the 11th Circuit court of appeals that does lean conservative in terms of the appointees. The judge has appointed a special master here, who is coming out of Brooklyn, the Eastern District of New York, Raymond Dearie. The only candidate who both sides could agree upon.

And we`re getting some progress there. The first order of business is both parties to come to where he is in Brooklyn, Tuesday and meet and go over any well open issues as they figured out this review.

Meanwhile, you have the escalation to the January 6 criminal probe at DOJ, the 40 plus subpoenas. Three of them cover 18 categories. So, more and more details coming out, including communications with people in six states about the fraudulent electoral plot according to this new post reporting. They`re also interested in that rally prior to the insurrection and the fundraising.


In Congress, the January 6 committee is planning a new hearing, the Chairman says they may have their own sort of October surprise that the goal will be to have information pushed out before the November election. And the interim report which we have been following, and we have an update on that, actually, next week, could also come in that October window.

I`m joined now by former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance, and David PRIESS, a former CIA Officer whose brief president and is the author of the President`s Book of Secrets.

Joyce, I begin with you and I emphasize that there can be very controversial or problematically rendered rulings, they are law, everyone, including the Justice Department and the prosecutors, the FBI, they have to follow it. And so, I`m curious what you think happens practically, in this case right now, as well as the criticism that well, that seems like this judge is really going out of their way.

JOYCE VANCE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: So, it`s not infrequent that litigants on one side of a case are disappointed in a federal judge`s ruling. I think the disappointment here, frankly, is much more broadly based and goes to concerns about whether the ruling has any legal merit whatsoever. But that said, Ari, I think you make an important point that in a rule of law country, we`re obligated to follow these rulings from federal judges. And if a party does not like them, then they have the option of going back to the judge to ask for a different ruling, which DOJ did here with its motion for a stay, and which the judge rejected. And now DOJ can go forward to Atlanta and ask for rulings.

There`s been a lot of criticism about that court as being composed of half six of the judges on that court, which has 12 seats. One is currently open. So, there are only 11 judges, but six of them were appointed by Trump. But, you know, every federal judge has to be appointed by one president or another. And while this has been characterized as a conservative court, it is perhaps conservative in the sense that it has often spoken in favor of the rule of law. So, what we`ll find out now is whether the 11th Circuit will continue to honor its proud tradition and join the judges, many of them Trump appointed who after 2020 resoundingly said that there was not fraud involved in the election and ruled against the former president, because it was the right thing to do on the facts and the law.

MELBER: Yeah, understood. And David, as we learn more about why Donald Trump kept these materials at the Florida compound, and who lied about them, it definitely looks worse. I`ve told viewers of all the assorted cases that involve Donald Trump, I do not believe based on the current evidence, this is the one that`s most likely to involve, for example, his personal indictment, and there a lot of reasons for that, including the layers of people around him. That doesn`t mean no one would ever be indicted. It doesn`t mean that people misfired if they thought they could just lie to the government or prosecutors and get away with it.

So given your expertise on Intel, let`s read a little more from the piece I mentioned in the post that the White House counsel said he did talk to Meadows, the former Chief of Staff who made the assertion because they knew there were dozens of boxes. He can`t just say there`s nothing there. And he said, that people familiar with the call say that he basically said these clippings were not an intelligence. Trump`s team was aware of no other materials, the lawyer says, relaying information he got from Meadows. So, what does it mean to you to claim that it`s all news clippings? Does it sound like something that Mr. Meadows could have been completely confused about? Or does it sound like a cover up that could turn into a crime?

DAVID PRIESS, AUTHOR " THE PRESIDENT`S BOOK OF SECRETS": Well, you`ve got to have the investigation to examine a couple of different steps there. First, you`ve got to have the step of who told Mark Meadows that or how did Mark Meadows get that impression? Was it directly from the President? Or was it his own belief because he had some access to these documents. So that`s number one.

Then another one, you look at Pat Philbin and Mark Meadows and the chain there. Philbin says that Mark Meadows told him this. What actually happened there? And the problem is right now the government following the order from Judge Cannon, they`re not doing a full investigation. Sure, the judge said they could go ahead and do some steps of the investigation, but they couldn`t use the content of these documents to do it. Well, that`s awfully awkward. That`s like interviewing a witness and saying, when did you see that document? And they say what document? And then you have to stop because you can`t describe the document except, oh, it`s one of those with a top-secret cover sheet. Or it`s another one. You can`t point out what the actual title of the classified document was because the judge is prohibiting the government from doing that right now.


MELBER: And that brings us full circle back to Joyce. I got to say maybe The Beat booker`s pick the right guests because we have both lanes covered. When you get back to the legal part, Joyce, does it really make sense for a judge to be micromanaging an open probe of this nature. If you weren`t a lawyer, you`d wonder why the person who had their home searched for stolen materials that are theirs, is now getting this deference as compared to the prosecutors who are dealing with the contraband. I mean, now they have a limit on using stuff that best we know and I will always update on our broadcasts if we learned something different best, we know, ain`t the search subject`s property to begin with.

VANCE: This is a very unusual form of interference by a district judge into the government`s ability to investigate a case. DOJ executed -- you know, as you and I discussed ad nauseam, Air, a search warrant that was issued by a federal judge who found that there was probable cause for the government to proceed. And DOJ was very clearly entitled to the stay that it asked the judge to issue in this case, because really, the fight is not about everything that the government found during this lawful search. Although it could have been and may well end up being in Atlanta. It`s just about documents that bear classified markings, documents that are presumptively classified.

And yet this judge has bent over backwards to credit an argument that even Trump`s lawyers failed to make. Because while in the course of briefing here, they argued that Trump had the authority while he was president to declassify documents, they never said that he had done that. And one suspects that they didn`t go that far, because they were filing papers with the court and they had an obligation to be truthful. And so, they stopped short of telling a lie.

Now, we have a federal judge, though, who seems to be insinuating that there`s a possibility that the former president did declassify the documents. That`s really the only basis that would support her ruling. She is so far out ahead of where the evidence is, in this case, that it is simply an unmerited interference in the criminal justice system. It does not serve Americans. It does not serve the rule of law. Hopefully, the judges in Atlanta will have an opportunity to remedy that wrong.

MELBER: Into what Joyce is referencing, David, I`ll read that part of the ruling. The judge refers to the premise that these documents are classified government records and then says judges refer to themselves as the court. So, she says, you know, the court doesn`t find it appropriate to accept the government conclusions on these disputed issues without third party review.

Again, that review will take time, but sooner or later, it`ll end. But David, the review here would be what? That not only the special master makes it -- make sure there were no errors like, oh, a wrong piece of paper got in a pile. But that what? There is some secret forgery that it says classified on there. But it`s not classified. I mean, in what world with these classified documents that have gone through the process that have magistrate oversaw that the Justice Department decided to surge at the highest levels of Merrick Garland would then turn out to be not classified at all?

PRIESS: The only scenarios I can think of where that could happen is if the special master found out that the FBI investigators had been either completely incompetent, or completely evil, or both, because the only reasonable scenario of looking at a classified document that has classification markings on it is that somehow in this mess of papers and other materials that the former president had stored in each box, that some other piece of paper slipped in, maybe got half stuck under a staple, and that page wasn`t classified.

But then that assumes that the investigators in flipping through these documents, and we know they did so because we have reporting that some of them had to get additional clearances in order to look at some of these documents that they didn`t notice that there was a personal note or a sock or a hamburger wrap or whatever it was, stuck in this classified document. And they`re pretending that that`s classified. Short of that, it`s pretty easy for this special master who has years of experience on the FISA court who has been around classified material a lot. It`s going to be pretty quick operation for him to look at these classified documents, flip through them and determine, yep, they`re no kidding classified. There`s nothing in here that was obviously misclassified, or something that the government is representing as classified. That is not marked as such. That part shouldn`t be relatively quick and easy if it gets to that point.

MELBER: Got you. Really interesting stuff, David and Joyce, thanks to both of you.

Up next, we turn to this cruel political stunt, an immigration policy. We`re back in just one minute.



JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: Republicans are playing politics with human beings, using them as props. What they`re doing is simply wrong. It`s unAmerican, it`s reckless.


MELBER: President Biden talking about these Republican governors and the cruel treatment of migrants including misleading them. Florida`s Ron DeSantis is maybe facing the boomerang of what he thought would be some sort of propaganda ploy. He sent migrants to what he considers a liberal enclave, a sanctuary city, Martha`s Vineyard.

Now, the migrants have left a small island for a nearby military base that has some more resources via ferry to Joint Base Cape Cod. So, this sort of political saga caused by the governor continues. Now, before they left, the town said goodbye to these guests who again are human beings caught up in a bizarre and unreasonable situation that is not of their own making, but they were given hugs and some warm wishes, even some photographs along the way.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): They`re helping us so much and we`ve only been here for a day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): It`s really difficult. I`m scared to return to my country. There`s no food, there`s nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said at first, he felt a little lost coming here, but now he doesn`t really want to leave but, you know, he feels that everyone`s helped in here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They want work. They want answers. They`ve been lied to.


MELBER: You may notice that when you actually listen to it, individuals -- excuse me, individuals in this situation, they`re thinking about their home country, and how to get jobs or safety or food and water. They`re not thinking about this red MAGA propaganda campaign. They have bigger fish to fry.

The Republican tactics here have been taking these migrants from the red states and trying to go to again what they consider blue areas, New York, Chicago or Washington.

Legality of this exploitive act is also under review. One immigration attorney says that if migrants were actively deceived, it could actually involve a type of human trafficking. And there`s some evidence of deception. NPR reports of migrants were some of them told they were just going to go to Boston. And these migrants, many of them not even from Florida, they came from San Antonio, Texas once as they were paid $200 by a woman, they were told her name was Perla, don`t know whether that`s of course her real name, and they were told to recruit others for this relocation.

So, what on day one looked like just a very sick Tucker Carlson, Ron DeSantis collab is now looking more like something that could at least involve a legal review, or a criminal investigation. You can`t just lie to people who are in a vulnerable state and use government resources to put them in transport to go to places where they`re also not going to have any good options, and abuse government power to do it. Here`s another attorney describing the ploy after interviewing some of these very migrants.


RACHEL SELF, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: They were lied to, again and again. And fraudulently induced to board the planes. They were told there was a surprise present for them, and that there would be jobs and housing waiting for them when they arrived. This was obviously a sadistic lie.


MELBER: You noticed that some of the language there is very precise, fraudulently inducing people. Maybe Ron DeSantis is finally getting a little nervous. We have special guests to get into this important story that is about a heck of a lot more than politics when we come back.




JIMMY KIMMEL: In Florida, Ron DeSantis is very proud of himself for sending those plates to Martha`s Vineyard. This little hate-cation he set up. Ron DeSantis said this is that guy, he went to high school with, who desperately wanted to be prom king, but he didn`t have any charisma. So instead, he just pulled the fire alarm and ruin the dance for everybody.


MELBER: Jimmy Kimmel roasting what he calls Ron DeSantis` hate-cation, this cruelty that may have legal implications that obviously already has human rights implications. And we have a special discussion for you now, it has been a long week, we hit the politics of this we had the human rights of it. We want to go a little deeper and we have Errin Haines editor-at-large for the 19th and Erika Andiola, immigrant rights and progressive advocate, Hosts of the Homeland Insecurity podcast. Welcome to both of you.


Erica, this was one of those political ploys that had more than one challenge and problem. We decided to scrutinize it and cover it critically, although we didn`t want to just give in to what was obviously also an effort by Mr. DeSantis to get national attention. But I don`t think ignoring the plight of those immigrants is a good idea either, given that they were, as one lawyer put it fraudulently induced into this government related trip. What do you see here?

ERIKA ANDIOLA, IMMIGRATION RIGHTS ADVOCATE: Yeah, I -- first of all, thank you, thank you for covering this because many times this issue gets ignored. And we hear it all over Fox News and other Republican circles, but we don`t hear it from, you know, people who perhaps can, you know, care about this.

And, you know, one thing that I have seen in these past few days is that it`s very likely that Republicans are going to pull something off like this close to one election. But this is low, this is evil. And this shows that the governor, not just DeSantis, but also Governor Abbott and Ducey from Arizona, that they`re willing to use people like me, people like the asylum seekers we saw as objects. I mean, they see us as objects that can be moved around to be able to make a political statement. And that is just sad. And that is just -- it breaks my heart to see that they see us like that.

RUHLE: Yeah, I think you put it starkly. And Errin to join the conversation when Erika says treating people as property, treating people as chattel was the legal term in American history. There`s nothing new in America about treating some people as property, or historically, even treating women as offshoot legally of the male. If we have human rights, that mean anything, it certainly has to mean individual human rights to autonomy for people, which does not stop at a border, even if some of these people are undocumented refugees, et cetera. So, what do you see as the political acts that that DeSantis and others are trying to swing?

ERRIN HAINES, THE 19TH EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Yeah, I mean, look, I can`t imagine that it was a coincidence, Ari, that the government chose to do this to start off Hispanic Heritage Month in this country, right? I mean, he claimed that he was just helping these folks get to a sanctuary jurisdiction. But I don`t think that that is the way that many Americans are largely interpreting what happened yesterday.

You know, President Biden has been telling the country for some time, he`s been saying to us as Americans that this is not who we are. And then in his speech last month in Philadelphia, he basically said this is who some of us are.

MELBER: Right.

HAINES: And these are the things in the midterm elections are. At this point, we know who the former president is. We know who Governor Ron DeSantis is, who are the American voters? That is going to be the question. Are they on board with stumps like what we saw from the Florida Governor? Or will they reject the politics of the culture war that he is very much involved in?

MELBER: Yeah, for the Florida Governor, here`s what he said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The statute says that you have to use it for -- to get them out of this state. How do you justify using the money if they started in Texas?

GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS, (R) FLORIDA: Most of them are intending to come to Florida. They are coming to Florida. We are taking them from Florida to sanctuary jurisdictions.


MELBER: Erika?

ANDIOLA: So, here`s the thing. He knows that the population of Venezuelans and in this case, the 50 migrants, who were, you know, who were bused recently, they were mostly or not all Venezuelans, right? And so, if you think about it, this is a governor who knows that it is a high likelihood that some of these folks are going to go to Florida to live. And he hasn`t stated to target people specifically from a country of migrants, asylum seekers from one country to send them somewhere else with lies. And to me, you know, if that`s not just xenophobia and racism, you know, just right in front of us, I don`t know what else it could be.

And so to me, it`s just I hope, you know, that people and, you know, Venezuelan brothers and sisters and siblings, who, you know, many have supported, you know, Republicans who have supported even Donald Trump that they can see, through this lies and through this, you know, dehumanization of people, Venezuelans, Latinos, you know, black folks from Haiti, from all over the world.


But in this case, I just -- I don`t know what else what evidence -- what more evidence do we need to see that he is absolutely xenophobic and that he`s going to continue to do this until he runs for president which I`m sure he wants to do.

MELBER: And Erika, on the immigration part, what do you think of the argument that, oh, well, the sanctuary cities exist, or there are places in America where the voting public, the public officials have been more whatever you want to call it, hospitable or lenient or welcoming to immigrants.

What do you think of this Republican argument saying, well, here, quote, unquote, take them, you can have them, which is an argument that also exists without this stuff. In other words, that argument exists in states with governors who are not abusing government power this way.

ANDIOLA: Yes, here`s -- here`s the -- the beautiful thing that happened in Massachusetts, in this past couple of days is that tons and tons of volunteers actually showed up to help, right? They saw that there was a need, they saw that there were people who needed their help and they showed up.

The challenge that they had is that they never got any notice of this, right? And so, of course, you`re going to first have to figure out what to do when you have a bus with human beings who need a bed, who needs to shower, who need all the things that you and I need. And they didn`t have any notice, right?

And so, to me, I know that there are many people across this country like, well, we saw in the past two or three days, right? Who are ready to help, who are ready to welcome people. We just have to create the systems and we have to create the laws that will allow us to do that, and welcome people with dignity and respect.

And I can assure you that people are willing to do that. But the way that they`ve done it is just to show a political point. And I think it`s backfire and I hope it is backfiring in the American public`s eyes.

MELBER: Yes. Understood. I`m running over. So, take 30 seconds. I`ll steal it from somewhere else.

HAINES: Yes, sure, Ari. I mean, just to build on Erika`s point, you know, it -- the governor was saying that he was trying to get these people to sanctuary jurisdictions. I believe that if there weren`t reports that these migrants were lured under false pretenses, they were promised jobs, they were promised opportunity.

They weren`t told we`ll get you to a sanctuary city where you maybe can get some help from folks. And so, if that is really the intent, that certainly is not what their understanding was when they landed in Massachusetts yesterday.

MELBER: Yes, no, I think you both raise important context there. Errin Haines, Erika Andiola, thank -- Andiola, thank you to both of you. We have something special coming up. We`ve been talking about civil rights, the drug war, and also culture. We have the hitmaker DJ Khaled here tonight.


CONAN O`BRIEN, HOST, NBC NEWS: In all of these songs, you yell out your name at the top --

D.J. KHALED, GRAMMY-WINNING PRODUCER: DJ Khaled and you got to have the echo too. You should try it.


MELBER: You got to know his name. He knows his name. But first, a little more politics. Lindsey Graham getting roasted, will explain.



MELBER: Labor Day is over. The midterms are in full bloom, and it is a time where momentum matters. Democrats are seeing it with a surge that is a backlash partly to Trump and the overruling of Roe. Polling shows Democratic voters who say the U.S. is on the right track has doubled since July while Republicans are flat. There is enthusiasm here.

The New York Times cites major factors the backlash to overturning Roe, including the results in Kansas. Republicans scrambling to adjust, and they`ve had really some message contrast this week.

Lindsey Graham, well, he came out and said there should be a total federal abortion ban that if they get back power, the Republicans would ban abortion in New York, California everywhere. Well, it`s met with confounding responses even on his own channels and in his own party. Meanwhile, here`s Senator John Cornyn.


SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): Well, like Senator Graham, I`m proudly pro-life, but I think after the Supreme Court has ruled in the Dobbs case, that this issue is best decided on a state-by-state basis and that decision is not going to be made by federal legislators and nor should it be.


MELBER: You can see the open fighting there and it was on Fox that Graham was also roundly criticized this week. Then you have the MAGA Trump factor. New Hampshire Republican senator candidate Don Bolduc, who`s a big MAGA election denier is sounding like this.


DON BOLDUC, REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I signed a letter with 120 other generals and admirals saying that Trump won the election, and dammit I stand by my (INAUDIBLE). I`m not switching horse`s baby.

President Biden is the legitimate president of this country. The election was not stolen.


MELBER: You might wonder whether that comes from spending quality time with voters in this midterm election year. And the Democrats still have plenty of hurdles including inflation, jittery markets, plenty of pocketbook questions and whether voters blame Biden for that or see him as working on the job while Republicans pose Democrats say even greater threats.

Now, coming up, I`ve told you we do a lot when we look at civil rights and culture, I have something very special planned for you brand new on THE BEAT to end the week. Stay with us.



MELBER: The number one album in America is God Did, the latest from D.J. Khaled with over 100 million streams in just its first week. The Grammy- winning D.J. whose music is so synonymous with winning and boss moves that you may recall then President Obama once walked out to his hit song All I Do Is Win.



BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you. Thank you, everybody. How do you like my new entrance music?


MELBER: Doesn`t get much better than that. And we are joined now by D.J. Khaled making his BEAT debut at a time when he`s busy and topping the charts. Thank you for being here, sir.

D.J. KHALED: They believe in us. Obama did. Obama did.

MELBER: Obama did. Well, let`s start there.

D.J. KHALED: And Ari did. Ari did. I appreciate you having me, man.

MELBER: A hundred. A hundred. So, a lot of people know what not everybody knows it`s always good to learn. So, for those who may not know yet, what does it mean, when you say God did?

D.J. KHALED: Well, you know, God did, you know, that he believed in us. And he believes in us all the time. So, you know, I`m just want the young world to know, no matter what`s going on in life, God got you. You`re saying but you have to acknowledge that.

And when you acknowledge that God got you, you should have the strength to go even harder and be even greater, through the good times, even through the hard times. I have a saying like, you know when times get hard go hard. When times is great, go harder. You`re saying because God believes in us. They didn`t believe in us, but God did.

That is going to make the world better. And if we all come together, and we unify and show love to each other, not tear each other down and show love to each other, and uplift each other and congratulate each other and help each other. It`s OK to show love. See, some people don`t realize it`s actually OK to say I love you. Let me help you get up.

MELBER: Can I try it with you?

D.J. KHALED: Let me show you some love. Let me beg you up. You know what I`m saying.

MELBER: Can I try it? I`ve never done this on THE BEAT. I`m going to try it. Since you got to try new things. Are you ready?

D.J. KHALED: Yes, sir.

MELBER: I love you.

D.J. KHALED: I love you too, brother. And we love what you`re doing. You`re saying we love what you`re doing. And we appreciate that you bring light to hip hop in a beautiful way, because --

MELBER: Amen. Thank you.

D.J. KHALED: (INAUDIBLE) my father, and I am born, I breathe, I eat, I sleep hip-hop. It`s my life.

MELBER: I mean, look at this list on the new album. He started out with just a sprinkling of Drake, almost like a flex under a minute, but it`s got that mood.

D.J. KHALED: I like that.

MELBER: You know what I`m saying. That`s all I was like, oh, and then OK, now it`s going to come in. But Jay-Z. --

D.J. KHALED: Hold on. Hold on, Ari. Anybody asked up, I get Drake to finish it. I get Drake to finish the whole song. Ari, he`s Khaled.

MELBER: It is Khaled, absolutely is.

D.J. KHALED: Go ahead. Go ahead. Let me not interrupt you. Go ahead. Go ahead.

MELBER: No, no. Like you said it`s collaboration. Drake, Friday, Jay-Z., John Legend, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Eminem, Ye, Future, Lil Baby, 21, More Than Once, Durkio, Roddy Ricch, Quavo, Takeoff, Future, Ziza, Kodak Black, Don Toliver, Gunna, Roddy Ricch, City Girls, Juice WRLD, Jadakiss, kind of old school thing going on, then you got your Buju Banton for a little bit of your Jamaican Dancehall.

The question is, how do you get the trust of so many different artists from so many different traditions, because, yes, we all know about a collab we all know about A&R. But they have to obviously feel that this is going to be true to them at this stage in their career to want to come back and do another D.J. Khaled joint.

D.J. KHALED: Well, you know, first of all, the music kind of speaks to you. You know, when I come to these artists, I play the music and I give them my ideas meaning as to what my album is about, what the sound is about, what`s the accomplishment, what`s the goal, what are we doing.

You know, a lot of these artists I came up in the game with. We started together from the mud of marble floors, and we respect each other. I`m great at what I do. And they`re great at what they do.

MELBER: You say mud to marble, God Did is the title track there. The first full length song on this number one album in America. And we covered it here in the news because of its message, you say mud, it`s in the -- it`s in the Jay-Z. verse where he talks about coming up out the mud. Now they got to face you, they can`t keep denying you.

And he takes what you are partly known for, and you`re known for more than one thing, but you are if anything known for that positive party music what Obama made the reference on, and then here we have a song that`s it`s a party. It`s how you start this album, it slaps. But then we have this exposition of the drug war and the racism and the double standards in American capitalism.

I`m just going to put two things up on the screen here that Jay talks about on your record. One, this wealth gap. Congress is more diverse, the White House has been diversified, but you have the exact same wealth gap because of the generational nature of property and inheritance. The same now as we did in the Jim Crow, 60s, which is a shame, an embarrassment to America.


Number two, in the drug war, you have marijuana legal in 19 states but black people still being arrested at quadruple the rate of white people. And many folks is you know, locked up. So, a big question for you, sir. What did it mean to you and how did you approach this song that is a pop Khaled song, but then gets in deep and hardest, Jay-Z., goes many minutes on the drug war?

D.J. KHALED: Man, it`s incredible because first of all, this is Jay-Z. you`re talking about. You`re talking about the GOAT. You`re talking about our leader, somebody that we look up to as somebody that we listen when he speaks. And there`s a reason why we listen when he speaks. Because he`s only talking from experience and knowledge.

You know, you have some type of bars, you have to have so much facts and experience in your life and so much knowledge. You can`t just come up with these type of talks. It just -- this is a different type of talks. This is a different type of rap. It`s called reality rap. It`s called Jay-Z. You know what I`m saying? There`s rappers and there`s a lot of great ones. And there`s Hove -- so --

MELBER: Tell them what Hove means. Tell them what Hove means.

D.J. KHALED: Well, that`s the god, he`s one of the gods. You know what I`m saying? This god did and he`s one of the gods in the game. So, when Hove speaks and he wives, we have to listen. He`s only speaking facts. And that is that we trust him.

So, he basically broke down everything you talking about in our language. You know what I`m saying? And brothers, like you got on this incredible platform that you add, and you broke it down. Just in case, they didn`t understand our language. Remember, he`s the Oracle. He`s the -- he`s the GOAT. He`s the -- He`s the god. He`s a hip hop god. You know what I`m saying? So --

MELBER: You might say these are -- Khaled, you might say these are hymns because it`s him.

D.J. KHALED: I mean, Ari, listen, you know, look who I`m talking to, you break it down, nobody would break it down like you. You know what I`m saying? When you break down these rhymes. You -- I mean, you broke down the Hove verse so incredible to the point where you had me and this is my record, how to go back and listen to certain things. You broke it down so incredible.

MELBER: For real? Damn, thank you. What jump -- what jump does my job is to interview than to ask the following. What parts jumped out to you when you because for me, I had to keep listening. What jumped out for you on repeat listens, what seems?

D.J. KHALED: I mean, it`s so many -- it`s so many lines. But like today I was talking about it was so many dope lines that stood out but there was so many lines in between them. Even when, you know, said some --some how to wipe the snow, some -- some the snow off my Tims, you know --

MELBER: Kicking snow off a frozen Tim.

D.J. KHALED: Just -- besides all the other go punch lines and, you know, those lines, right there, I just showed you how like, he`s so dialed in. You know what I`m saying?

MELBER: Yes. And in that bar, he says I didn`t mention that in the breakdown. He says, you know, really took a toll on them. And he`s talking about being on the highway, the turnpike where you pay the toll, but you just didn`t pay the toll. You might have the emotional toll. And you`re just thinking about that.

And then you go back 99 problems when he talks about being pulled over on the Turnpike, and then facing down the law and the back and forth where he voices -- he voices the officers and his younger self, you know, I`m saying. And so, people -- if you listen to it, it`s there. But it`s like poetry. If you don`t listen to it, you`re not going to hear it.

D.J. KHALED: So, to answer your question is Hove. That`s Hove scriptures. That`s the Holy Scriptures. And he does it every time and all -- from the beginning of his career. He`d been telling you a story from the very beginning to now. And the more knowledge he gets, that`s why he`s, our leader.

MELBER: Before I lose you because I got about a minute left, way past luck. That 21 it almost -- it sounds luxurious. It sounds like walking through the best part of the department store, and I don`t even like to shop.

D.J. KHALED: It`s soulful. You know what I`m saying? What I love about 21 Savage, he`s, you know, he`s on the record Keep Going, but then you could put them on that soulful beat. And he got so many -- if you listen, he got bars. He got bars. He got bars. 21 Savage is one of my favorites. And that record he`s talking about is super special because he`s really just swagged out on it. And he just keeps going in the beat is so soulful.

MELBER: I love your enthusiasm. Congratulations on the album. For viewers who are learning about you because a lot of people know that`s how you`re number one. To go and make people happy and bring them together and do pop and dance and then also bring policy and have that conversation. That`s why I`ve made the news. That`s why it`s special. This was your debut on THE BEAT. D.J. Khaled, I hope you come back.

D.J. KHALED: Man, thank you so much for the opportunity to talk to the people, and thank you again for repping us and repping hip hop. We love you.



MELBER: We try to keep track of a lot of different things going on and let me tell you about something right here at MSNBC, our film partners MSNBC Films present "MODEL AMERICA" this Sunday. Multi-part series that looks at one place`s complicated relationship with race.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was middle-class model city America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This doesn`t happen in Teaneck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Phillip Pannell was executed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no reason for that cop to shoot him in his back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he was going to shoot me.

THELMA PANNELL, PHILLIP PANNELL`S MOTHER: That was my child. We endure this pain for 30 years and we`ll get back here again.


MELBER" The "MODEL AMERICA" documentary, debuts Sunday 10:00 p.m. Eastern on MSNBC or you can check in out on Peacock. You can always find me online at That`s the best way to connect with me and get my writing. Go to or @AriMelber.

And call this a super cheese, early next week, Tuesday night, I`m going to make an announcement here about a new project that can involve all of you. But I don`t have time right now. So, stay tuned for "THE REIDOUT." Keep watching MSNBC. Keep watching THE BEAT. I`ll be back Monday. And "THE REIDOUT" with my friend Joy Reid starts now.