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Transcript: The Beat with Ari Melber, 11/3/21

Guests: Noah Shachtman, Paul Krugman


The CDC approves the COVID vaccine for kids 5 to 11. New details emerge in the Giuliani criminal probe. What might Tuesday`s election results portend for Democrats? President Biden tries to dial up the pressure to get his agenda passed. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman speaks out.



Hi, Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Hi, Nicolle. Thank you so much.

I want to welcome everyone to THE BEAT. I am Ari Melber.

And our top story right now, this major breakthrough in the ongoing fight against COVID. And, boy, it`s a big one, the CDC approving the vaccine now for kids 5 to 11, with shots now going into arms.

Now, coming up later on THE BEAT, we have special election coverage, including any updates as everyone waits for the results out of New Jersey, so that`s later in the hour.

But we begin with what is a breakthrough, by any measurement, by any account, when you think about what everyone`s been going through, how long American families and parents have been waiting for this, President Biden heralding a pandemic milestone.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today is a great day for American parents, American families, and American children.

For parents all over this country, this is a day of relief and celebration. After almost 18 months of anxious worrying every time that children -- your child had a sniffle or started to cough, well, you can now protect them from this horrible virus.


MELBER: The president addressing the parents of America with this process, which took more time, because that`s how they make sure things are safe.

You can now participate and ensure that your child is safe the way you would be safe from this horrific COVID. And that is a relief for parents, for teachers, for educators of other kinds, for everyone who goes in and out of his school who are seeking some kind of normalcy as we also prepare for winter in America.

Kids all over the country getting vaccinated, 28 million children eligible now, and the White House saying that there is enough of these doses for all of them. As we know, that is not the case in many countries around the world.

We are tracking this, the reaction from real people. It`s not politics, it`s not opinion, it`s not debate. It`s just people going through daily life getting this news, getting this development as part of how they protect their families. And, among many, there is just downright relief and joy in the parents` very voices.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was an easy decision for our family. We have been waiting for this for a very long time.

QUESTION: How do you feel?

CARTER, VACCINATED: Halfway vaccinated.


UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: It was just a sharp pain, and then it started feeling better.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: And I can be back to normal in my classroom and in the school, so we can have recess all together.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: We have been through about 600 days.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Six hundred and two days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six hundred and two days, not that we have been counting.

And every parent can tell a story about what that`s really been like. It`s been hard on all of us. And to know that we`re about to begin a new day, there`s just such a giant sense of relief.


MELBER: Six hundred and two days, and relief.

So the vaccine now cleared for that age group. It`s safe, 90 percent effective in preventing COVID infection for those there who take it. And the vaccine, at this juncture is not being mandated in schools yet. It is just being cleared as a safe thing to provide to children.

But, of course, there are many vaccines that are mandated. Everyone who`s participated in any schooling yourself or for your kids knows about that. The vaccine is required for things like measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough.

And if history is a guide, at some point, this brand-new COVID vaccine that`s been cleared specifically for kids 5 to 11 could join that list. It`s not happening today. That`s not the news tonight.

But you do have all of these liberty arguments cropping up. You have the partisan anti-vax attacks growing. Over the weekend, for example, as everyone was preparing for this good news I just showed you about what kids can safely get, residents in Staten Island held this rally, which included some threats.


PROTESTER: If they`re going to push this on the kids without any type of balance, what we`re comfortable with, I can guarantee you one thing. Town halls and schools will be (EXPLETIVE DELETED) burned to the ground.



MELBER: What`s scarier there, one person demanding, however rhetorically they might defend it, the burning to the ground of schools, right, where kids are, innocent kids, or the -- what you clearly heard there, the cheering for that kind of talk?

If you watch THE BEAT, you know we have tried to cover this very fairly throughout. There are issues on both sides, and people have the right to voice strong opposition to this and other policies.

But you may have also heard me say they don`t have the right to directly try to foment or cause violence. Burning down schools would obviously be that. And that`s not just one place, one rally, one clip.

Over in Louisiana, you have it at the governmental level, where Republican state lawmakers, about 14, are disputing the need for the vaccine for children; 18 children died from COVID in that state. This is a disease and a virus that is less dangerous to kids, but they are not completely immune medically.


And then you have Florida`s MAGA governor, who says on the day that there`s this breakthrough, and he could just provide information, he could be a leader, he could just tell people, hey, this is how it works, this is why it`s safe, this is why we have a state surgeon general and a federal one, and you could learn -- this is a day to give people information so they can make their decisions.

No, instead, he`s doing what he`s been doing this whole time, doubling down on the politics and getting into a shadowboxing war about whether there would be vaccine mandates for kids, and then openly trying to mock the president. Take a look.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): When you look at the Biden, the Brandon administration in terms of...



AUDIENCE: Let`s go, Brandon! Let`s go, Brandon! Let`s go, Brandon!


MELBER: It`s all fun and games until a lot of people die of COVID.

I`m joined now by Dr. Kavita Patel. She worked as a health policy adviser in the Obama White House and is with Brookings, and Michelle Goldberg with "The New York Times."

Michelle, I should the news and landed on some of the fierce politics. So I go to you first on the politics against the backdrop of something that we now have assurances is safe for kids.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, I think there`s been so much attention to vaccine resisters, vaccine deniers, anti-vax activism, that`s going to become much more of an issue in the weeks to come.

Right now, the issue is that it`s very, very hard to get an appointment. I don`t think we talk enough about the parents that are desperate for this vaccine, the parents that are lining up for this vaccine, the parents that are crashing Web sites and making it difficult.

Any kind of pediatrician will tell you that their phone is ringing off the hook. I spent hours this morning trying to get an appointment for my kids. And I think part of the politics right now is that the rollout really could have been a little bit smoother.

There`s still not -- on, there`s still not a tab for you to find pediatric vaccines. And so I think, later on, there`s going to be a story about lack of demand. But right now, the story feels, in some ways, like March or April, when the real story was about the desperate demand.

MELBER: Yes, and we have seen that in, as you say, phases of multiple rollouts, which speaks to the fact that this is still a very big task for medicine and government.

Doctor, I will let you respond to that, as well as I want to play for viewers what the CDC is saying, because I`m sure, statistically, we know there are parents watching, about how this process worked and how they assured safety for a very different category of kids under 11. Take a look.


DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: We have taken the time to get this right, to do the science, to have a kid`s dosing schedule. The dose is about a third of the adult dose. And, really, it`s taken us almost a year compared to when we had vaccine for adults, so really done the due diligence, reviewed the science, made sure we had the appropriate doses for our children.

And really now we have parents who can have the peace of mind that when they get their kids vaccinated, they will be protected.


MELBER: Doctor, walk us through all of the above.


Just on the comment kind of how this is unfolding in the rollout, I agree with Michelle. And I think just something to observe, that pediatric vaccines in general are delivered in the most trusted environment. And it wasn`t really until the public health emergency was declared, Ari, that we made allowances for pharmacies across the country to be able to administer vaccines to much younger children.

So the office is really where we do most of those education and receiving vaccines. But if you think about it, it`s ironic. The office is not a really easy way to get throughput. We`re going to be doing walk-up vaccine clinics next week.

But even then, we would not be able to do what we can do in some of these larger sites and in some of the retail pharmacies. So it`s a little bit of a twist on how we`re doing this. And then to the second kind of comment about this has been studied, we have done everything possible to scrutinize this, I will say the FDA and the CDC also previewed their surveillance strategy, which is over and above, beyond kind of what we have already had.

The COVID vaccine surveillance strategy has been one of the most rigorous that I have ever seen in any of the vaccine rollouts over the last several decades, and they`re doubling down on it to make sure that the pediatric vaccine transparency, availability of real-time data is going to be front of center, so that parents who are still waiting, which I don`t blame them -- there are going to be parents who wait and they will want their pediatrician to talk to them first -- that they will have any information kind of as it arrives.


And I think all of that is reasonable. But how much of this will get undercut and undermined by the misinformation? Ari, it`s already started and been pretty overwhelming to hear people manipulating cases of myocarditis, people manipulating some of the side effects, like localized reactions, just putting fear into families that have frankly had over 600 days of fear pretty much constantly around this virus.

MELBER: And, Doctor, when you see some governors, like in Florida, jump from where we actually are, which is this has been cleared and you can learn about it and make the decision, to when and if there would be added to the other typical vaccines that are in schools, what is your view of how that process would normally go, how it should go?

PATEL: Yes, so that process would normally go, look, we`re under an emergency use authorization. There`s reason that we have that authority, because we know that the FDA and CDC make decisions around the benefits outweighing the risks.

But we will have that six-month-plus follow-up data very soon. And we will be able to make kind of that full licensed approval. And you will see this put -- work its way into school requirements for vaccinations, which, by the way, is very much like the process we have already seen play out with how we arrived at this emergency use authorization.

Committees look at the evidence. We keep collecting real-world evidence and look at that. So I think -- and, by the way, I find it disingenuous. We have had, in this age group, a little under 100 deaths from COVID-19.

Rubella, which is one of our required vaccines, in an average year, has 17 deaths. So, we`re talking about numbers that dwarf many of our other viruses for which we have scheduled vaccines. And I`m getting a little kind of frustrated with governors, local politicians, and really these school board kind of people who just gaslight the very few people who are trying to just help parents do the right thing.

It`s just disturbing that that could get some traction, Ari, and we could see 28 million children who have vaccinations delayed and having schools that could reopen, because we know this is safe, and have -- and then eventually take masks off, do a lot of the things that we know can happen when you actually have the majority of people vaccinated inside a classroom.

MELBER: Michelle?

GOLDBERG: I mean, to tie this a little bit to the bigger political story that`s happening right now, when I have been talking to parents in Virginia, one of the reasons I think that some of this demagoguery against CRT, one of the reasons, there was so much preexisting anger and disappointment and frustration with the way school has gone for the last 18 months, right?

I think parents have been -- parents of all political persuasions have been through such a hellish and grueling experience. And both for the sake of parents, but also, politically, I think it`s really, really important that these vaccines are -- become a step towards normality, because schools are open, but they`re still not normal.

And there needs to be some sort of off-ramp, some sort of sense that, when we get to a certain metric, that we can -- that there is an exit strategy from what parents have been through for the last 18 months.

MELBER: I think that`s all well put, and it speaks to the intersection of today`s news, which is big, and what people typically want if you are forced to live through some sort of hellscape, because it`s temporarily required.

As Michelle says, people want to know where the darn exits are. Where are the exits? And a lot of people have been feeling like that for some time.

I want to thank Michelle and Dr. Patel for kicking us off.

Coming up, we have a lot more in the program. There`s new details in the Giuliani criminal probe.

We`re going to break down what Michelle was just referencing, these election results what they may tell us, but, also, I got to tell you, a lot of people are dead wrong. And we`re just going to show you the facts to explain why.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden also trying to dial up the pressure to get this agenda passed.

And a very special appearance any time it happens. The Nobel Prize winner, the truth-teller, economist Paul Krugman our special guest, live only on THE BEAT tonight.



MELBER: This first Election Day since the 2020 presidential race delivered all kinds of results and signals from voters, with one important race still being counted.

Tonight, the New Jersey governor`s race is still too close to call at this hour, the incumbent Democrat there with a thin lead. We will bring updates if there is an NBC News Election Desk call.

Meanwhile, politicos are focusing on how Virginia voters went against Biden and their former Democratic governor, turning the state red for the first time in a decade. That has many reacting and, frankly, overreacting on what it all means, including some downright histrionic responses from some Democrats.


SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): We need to deliver. We have to show that it made a difference in people`s lives that Democrats control the Congress and the White House.

DESANTIS: Well, I think people are rebelling against what the Democratic Party stands for nowadays.

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): The most important thing is, we can never run just on anti-Trump. That is not a message that voters are going to resonate to.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The border, just maintaining it open, the wokism, not listening to parents, but listening to politicians.

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): Look, congressional Dems hurt Terry McAuliffe. Politics is about timing. And we blew it on the timing.


MELBER: That`s a Democrat there at the end saying they blew it on the timing.

Can we talk about some facts? There`s no doubt that Democrats lost ground in Virginia, and they can debate why. But many of these snap responses which are going around D.C. and Twitter seem to argue something that is actually factually quite debatable.

They argue that, if the Democrats changed one big thing, then they might have won this race, like they argue that a D.C. spending bill, had it passed, would have flipped the whole race, or, as you just heard, that talking less about Trump might have made all the difference.

Those are theses, but history is actually pretty instructive here, because the party in power loses these off-year elections. That`s virtually what always happens, almost regardless of how the campaign is run or even who is on the ballot.

Now, on THE BEAT, we noted that before the election. And a reminder. As the political world seems to convulse today, and not that I suggest you spend a lot of time on Twitter because it`s not a great source of news, but as Twitter has a full tanty -- that`s a type of tantrum -- we should bear the facts in mind. And they are this.


The party in the White House loses the next year`s races almost always, because the opposition mobilizes. And here are the facts. When Bush 41 took the White House, Republicans lost the Virginia and New Jersey races. When Clinton first took the White House, then Democrats lost both those races.

When Bush 43 came in, Republicans lost both those races. Obama was first elected there with a very promising new coalition. But, again, Democrats lost both those races the next year.

And many, many things were different about Donald Trump, but not this. He followed the exact same path throughout history of all those other presidents, the party in power, then Republicans, losing both those races the year after his election.

This almost always happens. It`s a trend that`s just much larger than anything else that happens in the year after the presidential election. So the parties, of course, have time to decide what they want to do and their plans and how much to react.

But when pundits in the press treat this very routine, regular shift as a larger referendum on the specifics, well, they might be missing history`s lessons in plain sight. And it`s not just the overcaffeinated people on Twitter.

It`s also respected people in the media. Take an anchor who`s covered many races and seems like a very solid journalist still just last night falling into the trap of asking if this shift somehow suddenly indicts an entire party`s emerging platform.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: How much of this is a message just to the Democratic Party that it`s too far left, that if you`re the Squad or if you`re someone who`s been calling for defund police or socialism or democratic socialism?


MELBER: Well, that may not be the right question because it`s based on this problematic premise.

Now, I`m not just calling out a respected reporter like Mr. Cooper. This thing that I`m talking about, this tendency, it goes all the way to the top. Late today, the president himself seemed to mesh his own D.C. policy agenda with the trend I just told you about, the results in Virginia.


QUESTION: Do you think that Terry McAuliffe would have won if your agenda had passed before Election Day?

BIDEN: Well, I think we should have -- it should have passed before Election Day.



But when Democrats look at all this and say, gosh, everything would have been different if a D.C. spending bill passed, suddenly, Virginia would have bucked the trends I just told you, unlikely.

Now, all of this draws on the factual history from more traditional political times. We`re not living in that Michelle Goldberg and I were just talking about this hellscape. We`re living through a very unusual and horrific pandemic that hangs over all of this. It`s also lasting longer than many voters were told it would by their leaders in both parties.

It`s upended daily life and work and schooling. And one thing that voters have in common last year and this year, if you take off your partisan glasses for a second, whoever you may be, the voters punish the party in power, the incumbents, for the pandemic and its impact. They did it last year. They did it this year.

And that`s a perfectly understandable thing to do in a democracy that still feels in so many ways like it`s not on the right track.

But what do I know? I am just an anchor.

Let`s go to someone who actually works within campaigns, including winning ones, the guy Barack Obama picked, also an MSNBC analyst, Cornell Belcher.

Good to see you, sir.

CORNELL BELCHER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Ari, I`m not going to let your facts get in the way of my hot take.


BELCHER: So I`m just going to tell you right now, your facts are getting in the way of my hot take and being angry at the establishment.

MELBER: Go ahead.

BELCHER: No, but you are stepping back and you`re making sense of it all, because we see this every couple years. It`s almost like we have amnesia. It`s like we forget.

Ari, you might remember this. Like, after the 2010 loss, there were people on the left who were literally writing op-eds and saying Barack Obama shouldn`t run for president again. Those are the sort of crazy hot takes that you get in all this and not understand this pattern.

And the question is, can we break this pattern, and how do we go about breaking this pattern? Because what you have talked about is absolutely right. The party in power gets punished the next year. There`s a historical trend there.

But what I would say is different about what`s happening now, Ari -- and I think this is really important for us to understand -- is, we actually have to break that trajectory because, Ari, if we don`t break that trajectory going into this midterm, it may very well be the last sort of midterm or end of democracy as we know.


Because if you look at what Republicans are actually doing across These states, and in the state legislative bodies, and then if you look at that, and you look, like, IF we can`t stop that from the federal level, we don`t know what 2024 is going to look like.

We may have a next presidential election where, if Republicans are in control, they actually throw out the votes and they put Trump back in power, who`s certainly going to run again next time around.



MELBER: Well, let me jump in, Cornell, because those are very important points. We have covered that. I think you`re right.

I think that you`re not locating that specifically in the results we got last night, for good reason, because it`s really about the stakes, which is true. I just think that it`s wild to watch things repeat. And we know why things repeat. It`s because people are emotional. They respond to the moment, respond to how it feels, which is different than the more rational, longer look.

But anyone who studies this the way you do could have told you, told anyone a month or even three months ago what Democrats needed in Virginia was a straight flush. It`s possible to get. They may have underperformed. They ran a centrist who was governor before, who felt like the old thing, when people want something new and different.

But they needed a straight flush. They didn`t get it. The reaction to that should be, gosh, we didn`t get the hard thing, according to Democrats, not, oh, my God, this is unbelievable and an indictment of everything, because I just showed on that map a history that it`s the normal thing.

Now, digging into Virginia, I do want to get your response on, I won`t call it the hot take. Call it the lukewarm take, OK, my guy? But there is this question about how punishing the pandemic is. And that may have helped Biden last time and it may have hurt Democrats this time.

A Virginian writing about this, so we go to someone who`s living through it, saying that this Republican Youngkin`s victory was about schools, and not just the race-baiting, although that may exist, but also it wasn`t about Critical Race Theory, transgender rights. Those issues did shade the situation, highlighting anxieties, but it allowed a focus on -- quote -- "the education system."

This is in "The Atlantic."

The writer continues: "The contest was about how parents remain frustrated by the way public schools have handled the coronavirus pandemic."

Your thoughts?

BELCHER: My thought is this.

My thought is, I am sick and tired of how so many in the mainstream and so many sort of even progressives consistently undermine the power of tribalism and the power of race in our country. They consistently undermine or pay no attention to the most successful political strategy ever in this country. It`s the Southern Strategy.

And Critical Race Theory is simply the latest and greatest iteration of the Southern Strategy. Critical Race Theory is crosstown busing. It is welfare queen. It is defund the police. It is attacks on the border, right?

And I think part of the progressives` problem is, Republicans get the power of race and tribalism and how to, in fact, engage that and trigger that and mobilize around it. And Democrats want to say, oh, it`s never about race, or progressives want to say, it`s not about race. It`s all about something else.

If we just simply come up with a better economic message, as though so many of these voters, these downscale voters are simply pocketbook transactional, as opposed to the ideal that many of them make the sense of their lives through the prism of their religiosity and their values and their culture.


BELCHER: And simply saying -- when Youngkin stood up and said, and Trump did this very well, when he stood up and said, I`m going to give you back your country, those people are stealing your country, they`re stealing our election, and Youngkin says I`m going to get -- we`re going to take back Virginia, he`s having a conversation about something bigger than the minimum wage.

MELBER: Yes, that`s fair.

BELCHER: And we have got to stop pretending that they`re not doing that.

MELBER: Yes, that`s 100 percent fair.

Well, look, we asked because we wanted the answer.

Cornell Belcher has the answers. Hot take is a pejorative term. I wouldn`t call any of it hot in that sense. I would say it was a lit take, in the sense that you gave us food for thought, sir.

BELCHER: It`s -- well, the block is hot right now, Ari. The block is hot.

MELBER: The block is always hot.

Cornell, good to see you.

Let me tell folks what`s coming up.

We have the Giuliani update, including why he`s fighting to hide evidence. What`s he afraid of?

But we have our shortest break right now, 60 seconds. And when we come back, we turn to a whole lot of other races, including some historic firsts. A lot of people say the changing American electorate is doing big things.

We will explain in 60 seconds.




ERIC ADAMS (D), NEW YORK CITY MAYOR-ELECT: This is the moment for the people who have hit the bend in the road. Tonight, we are going to make the turn and take our city in a new direction.


ADAMS: If I can quote one of the most philosophical geniuses of our time, Drake. Started from the bottom. Now we`re here.



MELBER: There it is. That`s the mayor-elect of the largest city in America, former police Captain Eric Adams, speaking at his victory party last night about the new directions, while invoking Drake.

Adams is one of several new figures breaking barriers and redefining just who leads some of America`s largest cities. Politicos and the press may be over emphasizing certain results, eying the Virginia governor`s race as this classic bellwether, as we just covered, but also there are other races in that state and around the country.

That state`s second highest office now features the first female and woman of color ever, Republican Winsome Sears. Pittsburgh electing its first black mayor ever, Ed Gainey, Cincinnati electing its first Asian American mayor, Aftab Pureval, and a city with notorious local politics of ethnic strife, Boston, where Cornell Belcher just mentioned busing as a pretext for race, that was a big issue there for many decades.

Well, only now, today, is Boston breaking a 199-year streak of exclusively white men running that city. We checked. There had actually never been a woman or a minority as mayor until now. Michelle Wu is the mayor-elect of Boston.

2020 was a year that elected the most diverse Congress in American history. It also had the highest turnout ever since women were granted the right to vote, which means, when you had fully gender equal voting in America, you can`t point to any higher turnout year than 2020.

And the data did show some of that was indeed powered by a Trump backlash, which was a very particular political moment. Well, some of what we`re seeing last night in these results from many places, not just Virginia, suggests something else that is continuing after 2020.

Even as Democrats do face some fading signs of enthusiasm, and we talked about that, there`s something else going on, voters around the country continuing to redefine who is qualified and available to lead their cities, states and even the federal government.


AFTAB PUREVAL, MAYOR-ELECT OF CINCINNATI, OHIO: My family went from being refugees to them now the next mayor of Cincinnati.


MICHELLE WU, MAYOR-ELECT OF BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: One of my sons asked me the other night if voice can be elected mayor in Boston.


WU: They have been, and they will again someday, but not tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first African-American elected to the city`s highest office.

ED GAINEY, MAYOR-ELECT OF PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA: You made the city that we love believers.


MELBER: We`re joined now by two people who`ve covered in bet around many races.

Maya Wiley is a former civil prosecutor in New York with specialization in civil rights who also ran in that mayor`s race I mentioned. Indeed, she finished above most candidates, second only to Mr. Adams in the primary, and the editor in chief for "Rolling Stone" magazine, Noah Shachtman.

Welcome to both of you.

Maya, I mentioned that you know of what you speak. You were a participant in one of those races. What does it mean for America to notice that voters are saying this? And, as a corollary, what does it mean if this is being undercovered, perhaps, and underappreciated with the way that politicos and some of the media fixate only on certain races and outcomes?

Because, as our lead just showed, we think this is a pretty significant development.

MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: It`s an important development.

Just here in New York City, it`s only the second time we have ever had someone who is a person of color or someone who is black elected mayor of a city that is majority people of color. And I think we saw that in Boston. We saw that in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati.

And part of what has to happen in elections is that we have to have a bench, a pipeline of people who actually relate to, touch and can express and connect with the experience of the base of voters.

And I think that`s what we`re seeing in these elections. It`s one of the things, quite frankly, that was a critique in the Virginia race.


And Cornell Belcher was in the trenches with me, just full disclosure. But part of why the Southern Strategy works is because it taps fear, hate and division and tribalism, as Cornell said. But part of the antidote is to start developing the leadership that actually speaks to all voters, including those voters who often show up regularly at the polls, and too often don`t feel like they`re being heard and their issues are being addressed.

MELBER: Yes, Noah, speak to what you see here as a longtime journalist and chronicler of politics, because 2020, as mentioned, had a more diverse ticket on one side, a more diverse electorate and very diverse slate in Congress, 2021, different in all the ways we have discussed, because we saw that other shift, as covered, that it tends to go to the party out of power.

And yet we`re still seeing a lot of diversity, including, as I emphasized, even by some Republicans in the Virginia contest.


The Virginia attorney general race was also very diverse, won by a Republican. So there`s a lot of diversity on both sides. And that`s to be applauded.

And I think, in a way, right, we`re seeing how the -- quote, unquote -- "blue states," even when they`re won by a Republican, that the values of diversity and inclusion and widening the pool, that`s being celebrated, even when you got a guy like Youngkin, who maybe isn`t running in concert with that.

I also just have to add, in New York, our mayor, he`s the -- new mayor, he`s the first -- or the second mayor of color here. He also may be amongst the weirdest mayors we have ever had.

Not to take this whole segment into a left turn. Sorry, Ari. But I just think I got a note, he`s like a very colorful, unique character, somebody who was praising Louis Farrakhan back in the day, and now is telling members of my community that he`d like to retire in Israel.

So, we`re getting not only diversity of background, but some extreme diversity of thought here in New York.

MELBER: A, we welcome weird turns here. You are on THE BEAT.

B, I can only imagine. You`re almost baiting. I would say you can`t really bait Maya Wiley, in my experience. You are almost baiting her on a day when she might congratulate a former foe to get in there and get one more hit in.

But I will give Maya the option of either engaging with that, because Mr. Adams has a long history. There`s a big "New York Times" account of people saying that he said this and he said that, and his police history and his civil rights history. So I will let Maya choose whether she wants to go into door number one, or door number two.

I also was curious your reaction to some of the referenda, which, again, are important, but don`t always get as much attention, Minneapolis, where there`s been so many policing and racial issues, having a big clash with something that wouldn`t have normally ever been on a ballot 10 years ago about a really strong police reform to kind of really decommission a big part of policing there.

But 56 percent of voters there in this off-year rejected that?

WILEY: Yes, look, I`m going to walk through door number two, because, actually, part of the debate in the New York City race that was an important advantage for Eric Adams is that, when he was a police officer, he had called for police reforms.

That`s important to remember, because I think we have forgotten in this election cycle just how important police reform is to communities, particularly black and Latino communities, communities that have been overpoliced that have had extreme human rights violations in some instances that go without consequences.

And what we saw here, a lots of news coverage on Minneapolis because a reform that would reframe and restructure public safety into prevention failed. But, at the same time, in Austin, folks said, you know what, we don`t want more police, because that`s going to impact other things that we want.

At the same time, as we saw in Cleveland, they said, we want civilians, we want the community to have the final word on discipline of police, because we are not seeing sufficient accountability.

And I think it`s incumbent upon Democrats to remember, both the base, but also what matters in the daily lives of the base.


WILEY: And safety includes being safe from police violence and having their other needs cared for. And that`s important for Democrats to remember.

MELBER: All fair points.

And I had a hunch that at least the day after his victory, Maya was going to take that route. I don`t know. Maybe I know you a little bit.


I got 30 seconds.

Noah, you do run "Rolling Stone," one of the most iconic music publications of all time. Do you care to weigh in on the unimportant debate that broke out in New York over whether Mr. Adams was right to quote a song that he took inspiration from, because progress from the bottom is something I think we can all get behind, I hope, or should he have quoted one of the many available New York musicians, rappers and artists?

SHACHTMAN: I`m happy you went there.

I find his quoting of a Toronto rapper to be utterly offensive. And that`s why I will be...


SHACHTMAN: ... Wiley in 2025, because I know she will be strictly about Eric B. & Rakim.

MELBER: There you go.


MELBER: I mean, look, I don`t know if it`s the wedge issue that Maya Wiley would ever seek. But I`m happy to end on that lighter note, because we love Drake on THE BEAT. So we`re down.

But we`re not politicians. If you`re, like, in New York City, and you HOV and Nas and Havoc, I mean, you got so much here, to go there, we will leave that up for the voters to decide.

Maya and Noah, thanks to both you.

WILEY: Are you forgetting A$AP Ferg? Are you forgetting A$AP Ferg, now? Come on now.


MELBER: I would never forget A$AP Ferg or A$AP Rocky, or all the A$AP Mob, who represent -- A$AP Rocky represents Harlem with the best of them.

I will tell you this, Noah.

WILEY: And on that note...


MELBER: Wait. I cut out.

Repeat for me, even if the viewers heard you.

WILEY: I said, on that note now, if you don`t know, now you know.

MELBER: OK, Brooklyn`s finest, Bedford-Stuyvesant, for the win.

Good to see you both. And thank you for your patience with me, as always.

Let me tell folks what`s coming up.

Giuliani trying to hide evidence from the feds legally. We will explain what he`s asking for.

But, first, the new push, historic spending, Republicans exposed. One of our favorite guests, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, is here live next.




BIDEN: People want us to get things done. They want us to get things done.


MELBER: Get it done. That`s the president today.

As we mentioned, he`s sort of merged any election discussion into his big priorities. Congress has to pass the social safety net, he says.

And, meanwhile, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is arguing that it has many programs that would simply help people and the economy, making it something of a no-brainer.

Quote, he says: "Opposing it is a visceral dislike for basically any government program that helps the poor or a desire to keep the poor, poor."

And who would want to do that?

Let`s get right to the policy with Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.

Good to see you. What do you mean by that? And is anything different, in your view today, as compared to yesterday?

PAUL KRUGMAN, COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, I mean, I think just -- I`m not a political expert.

It does seem to me that the problem, a big part of the problems that Democrats had in these elections was that people don`t see anything happening. And it feels, particularly if you`re not -- if you`re deeply inside the weeds, then you see, OK, there`s a little bit of progress here, or maybe something.

But what they see is that nothing really has been passed since the American Rescue Plan, since the big crisis legislation. And so that has got to be -- for sane Democrats, the priority should be to make something happen, to actually -- not the details, not the technocratic wonkiness, but see that something is happening, that we`re actually doing something, Democrats should say to themselves, for people.

And the Biden plan is indeed -- there are really two things about -- there`s climate, which is a whole other issue. But a lot of it is children. A lot of the stuff that is pro-child, moves the United States partway towards the kinds of investments in children that are normal among other wealthy countries, only a partway, but that`s a huge thing. It would make a huge difference to people`s lives and, in the end, make a huge difference to the country`s future.

MELBER: Because you do think systemically, I am curious, though. On the economy and the electorate, what portion do you think of this is all driven by the pandemic? I mean, do you view that as a good chunk, half, the majority?

KRUGMAN: Oh, the economy -- remember, the economy is -- it`s not a bad economy, but it`s a disappointing economy.

A lot of people were expecting that we`d be roaring, which it`s quite possible. If you look at sort of the straws on the wind, the purchasing manager surveys, they do suggest that the months ahead are going to be much better than the last few months for the economy.

But, still, it`s been disappointing. And that`s a combination of these supply chain issues, which are wildly technical, and also really not something -- not something you really could have expected policy to improve, but also the fact that persistence of the pandemic. And that`s been the big spanner in the works for all of this.

And that`s something where, first of all, it`s probably going to get better. And it`s also something where things like vaccine mandates can make a huge difference. So, I mean, if you ask, what is the policy for the economy over the next year, it`s basically shots in arm, shots in arm, shots in arms.

MELBER: Right, which then has those cascading effects. And that was our top story tonight, as you and viewers know.


MELBER: Because it`s a huge -- it`s just a huge deal. And you have to do the thought experiment to remember how it felt when we were -- people were so afraid when this thing first hit, and then think about the fact that you have gotten to full vaccine availability for adults and now children. It`s a huge development.

I do want to read something else that you -- oh, go ahead.

KRUGMAN: I was going to say, even the things that don`t seem most immediately to be related to the pandemic, part of the reason we have these supply chain problems is that people can`t have experiences.

You can`t go -- or you couldn`t go to the movies, you couldn`t go to the gym, so you bought stuff instead. So, the classic, people can`t go to the gym, so they buy a Peloton. Well, that`s a high -- an elite version, but there`s a lot of stuff like that.

And that`s why the ports are clogged. The ports are actually moving more stuff than ever before. The trouble is that, because people are buying stuff because they can`t to consume services or they`re afraid to consume services, that`s why we`re having these supply chain issues.


So, if we can get the pandemic under control, a lot of this stuff just sort of fades away.

MELBER: Yes. As you say, it`s like a run on the Amazons, instead of a run on the banks.


MELBER: I`m running out of time.

But what I was going to ask is, you have written about the -- what you call the cowards in the GOP going along with these big lies. Cornell Belcher was saying, democracy itself will be in peril in the next two elections. Your view?

KRUGMAN: Oh, yes.

If you`re not terrified, if you`re not seriously worried that America three or four years from now will be nothing like the country that we grew up in, then you`re not paying attention. This is a -- one of our two major parties has gone full authoritarian.

And it`s not because they`re all -- they`re not all evil, crazy people. But there`s a lot of weak people who will go along with the evil, crazy people because it`s the path of least resistance. And that`s the problem.

Trump -- I`m not sure that there are more crazy people than they used to be, but the problem is all the enablers have taken over.

MELBER: Yes. Well, you put it starkly, and I hope people are listening. That`s why we have you on.


MELBER: That was a very clear warning from someone who I know cares a lot.


MELBER: Professor Krugman, thank you, as always.

KRUGMAN: Thank you.

MELBER: Appreciate it.

When we come back: What is Giuliani hiding?



MELBER: An update on the ongoing probe into Rudy Giuliani.

He is trying to now request that prosecutors be blocked from trying to view three of 2,000 documents seized in the raids. He is claiming a type of attorney-client privilege. So we don`t know what the documents are. But we do know more about the probe because of this new filing.

Only seven of the 16 electronic devices have actually been searched. The remaining nine are under an ongoing review. Giuliani insists he is innocent, and has been attacking the kind of people he used to oversee and work with, the feds doing this probe.


RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: When something like this happens, and it goes to fruition, if they can do what they just did to me to you -- they can do it to you.

You don`t see this for what it is, a political act?


MELBER: There`s very little about this that`s political at all, except for perhaps the intrigue of who Mr. Giuliani is it.

It is a legal act, which he knows. It is a criminal probe that stems from something he tried to do that not only failed, but hurt his so-called client, Donald Trump trying to get Ukraine to go after dirt on the man who would beat Trump and become president, Joe Biden.


MELBER: Thanks for spending time with us on THE BEAT.

"THE REIDOUT" starts now, with Tiffany Cross in for Joy.