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tv   The Beat With Ari Melber  MSNBC  December 7, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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your homes during these extraordinary times. we're grateful. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. >> hi, nicolle. i have to ask, i love what you just ran, and also shout out to yamiche, who we have worked with before and get to welcome back, which is great. but i love what you just played. how do you look at that when you say you have worked in a white house, there's healthy tension with the press. there's other times where you look at a reporter, and i bet even if it runs against some of what your political goal for the week was, you say, hey, they're doing their job, or they're good at this. do you ever look at it that way? because she is so clear and objective and strong in what she does. >> i mean, look, even the president i worked for would say that people have a hard time confronting a president. even staff walks in and they think, i'm going to give him a piece of my mind, and they walk in and it's -- even more so for a reporter covering the president of any party. it is structurally difficult. he's at a podium with a
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microphone. she's standing in the lawn, social distance, being sneered at and attacked. and lots of people do it. we get to showcase the best journalists covering our politics at the most extraordinary moment and we get to lift up all that incredible journalism, and she's one of that class that really emerged as fearless. it's really, really even harder than it looked, and i know from being on the other side, and even as you said, when they challenge the politicians they work for, you're still sort of in awe of their ability to do it. >> yeah t is difficult. i guess that's the old saying, some people do make it look easier. i think it's difficult in interviewing, especially as you say, when you're in that format. i love that you ran that, and good to see you, as always. >> thank you, my friend. have a good show. >> thank you, nicolle. welcome to "the beat." i'm ari melber, and we begin with breaking news out of the insurrection probe. tonight, the criminal trial set for steve bannon and a new
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warning to trump aide mark meadows on what he may face next. so there's multiple pieces to this. we'll walk you right through it. first, a federal judge denies steve bannon's request to delay his trial until october. it is now set for july. that may sound like a ways from now, but this is a judge telling mr. bannon, legally, you're not going to just run out the clock. also, bannon charged with two counts of criminal contempt. that's for defying openly the congressional investigation. you have heard us report on this if you have watched "the beat." there are ways that people can lawfully and frankly reasonably debate and negotiate around these subpoenas. what bannon did, though, was say i'm not even trying to do that. i'm going to openly defy almost courting the battle. that's the context for what he continues to do out in the public realm. which is use this to try to hype his own big lie while plotting governmental revenge. >> to make sure you can't steal another one, and you did steal
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it. i don't care if you can't handle that. you stole it. this is illegitimate. and the american people see it when they get wiped out, we're going to start cleaning out the rat's nest this city has been. >> there it is, a big we from someone tied to donald trump who could always run again. bannon says that he will also try to blame his legal team for anything that goes wrong. politico reports his lawyer is immune because he relied on the advice of his panel when defying the panel. fact check, weak. believe me, if it worked to just blame a lawyer for anything you did that got you indicted, more people would try that. the legal issues here are not complex. and this is not legal advice here, but if you ever do get a subpoena from a lawful entity, you have to respond and even your lawyer would tell you that. we're also learning how bannon is trying to continue to use the trial to go in other avenues. a veritable fishing expedition into his concerns about the biden administration. bannon's lawyers asking the
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white house, the doj for documents on the initial decision here to charge bannon. so that's part of what's going on in a very real process. and if you think steve bannon sounds tough in his words when he does all his interviews. remember, he's not welcoming this thing, he's not running to court to prove his incense. he's seeking delays and losing those requests. so that's one thing. then we have news involving trump chief of staff mark meadows. there was talk he was buckling, indeed, his own side indicated he was going to cooperate, and it seemed like what was happening to bannon had had some impact. he also has this book out and he's trying to maintain his relationship with donald trump. now bier hearing a contradiction coming out of meadows' camp himself, he won't cooperate anymore with the committee. >> in addition, we found that in spite of our cooperation and sharing documents with them, they had issued unbeknownst to us and without even a courtesy
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call, issued a subpoena to third party carrier trying to get information and so at this point, we feel like it's best that we just continue to honor the executive privilege and it looks like the courts are going to have to weigh in on this. >> let me translate that in plain english. what mr. meadows is saying is that while he started to cooperate and provide some material, he then found out that the committee was also gathering information from other sources. and he didn't like that. now, that is standard investigation practice. it's what police departments do, the fbi, and any competent investigation. so if meadows says hey, here's all my phone records, they also check with what he called it there, the carrier, the phone company, and they see if he's telling the truth, no problem. then they have duplicate copies. but if the phone company turned over more than the witness, maybe the witness is withholding things.
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the fact that a standard investigative practice of mr. meadows is not green, the fact that standard practice up sets him is a kind of tell. as for the committee, they're not playing. today, their response is a warning, if he doesn't show up for what was the scheduled deposition tomorrow, they will be left no choice but to advance the contempt proceedings and recommend mr. meadows refer him for criminal prosecution. basically asking the executive branch to turn on another one of their veterans. i'm joined by jill wine banks and michelle goldberg from "the new york times." jill, i never like to start in the weeds. we try to keep it clear. but i thought that mr. meadows appears to be somewhat candid in a way that's revealing, so i want to walk through it. what does it say to you, what does the significance of him saying that he didn't like that after turning over some stuff, the investigation also was getting stuff from other sources? >> well, i liked how you laid it out, ari. it is absolutely totally not
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credible that he would have thought that he would have been the only word accepted on his own role in this. it is, as you said, totally standard practice to triangulate, to get one witness to say one thing, you don't take their opinion. you check everybody else who might have been part of the same meeting or you check anybody else who might have a copy of the same record. we certainly did it during watergate. i have done it in every single trial i have ever been a part of because that's the only way you can get to the truth. and it's like richard nixon saying, just take my word for what the tapes say. i'm going to give you a transcript. well, no, that's not evidence. and you don't take the word for what the tapes say. you listen to the tapes themselves. and that's the same thing here. getting phone records is completely ordinary, routine investigative practice. and this is just what i predicted in the beginning was
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when meadows said he was going to cooperate, i said, i'm a little skeptical. i don't believe it. and my skepticism proved to be true. >> right. and the grounds he gives for ceasing the cooperation make it all look like more of an elaborate head fake or delay. michelle, i want to be clear. as a journalist, we're very interested in what happened leading up to the insurrection. if mr. meadows was not involved, or was trying to in some way help the authorities prevent something terrible, that's information we would report. that's a big story. if he was just mia, then legally he's pretty much in the clear. although people can debate that. if, however, he did something wrong or bad, that's also newsworthy and maybe relevant to the government. i say all that because this goes to the process right now, which is whether they're going to get his cooperation or the facts in some other way. i would like your views on all of that with the context of one of the other trump figures, mr. eseman, talking about the
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pressure of criminal contempt. this was on fox. take a listen. >> congress has the power to issue criminal contempt. normally, those don't go anywhere in such charades as this, but the department of justice is fully in line, and they have already brought one criminal indictment against one of the people who review to comply. >> michelle. >> i actually don't think the question is whether mark meadows did anything bad as much as what he was a witness to on january 6th. he was a witness to donald trump's behavior, how much he encouraged the insurrection, how much he was counting on the insurrection to put into place the plan that johnniesman had laid out about how they could have effectuated some sort of coup. i would also say, you know, mark meadows is sort of more in sorrow and angst than in anger approach to this. seems to be a political move to make it a little bit harder to
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prosecute him. right? merrick garland has been somewhat restrained in going after many crimes and misdeeds of the trump administration. i think steve bannon gave him no choice because he was so defiant, so contemptuous. mark meadows, by at least sort of play acting like he was going to cooperate, might make it slightly difficult, slightly more difficult to prosecute him, even though prosecution here i think is very clearly warranted. the other piece of this, i think we have to keep in mind, in terms of mark meadows backing out, is that donald trump is reportedly mad at him right now. like, unlike steve bannon, mark meadows is not going to go on to some sort of post-trump oliver north like career as a cult hero of the far right. you know, he's sort of tied to donald trump, and donald trump is really mad at him over this book that he wrote. that revealed shockingly, and it shows how numb we are to the
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behavior of the trump administration, that trump probably had covid when he debated joe biden. and also kind of revealed how sick he was, made trump feel like he looked weak, and so there's reasons now for meadows to sort of reverse himself and try to get back in trump's good graces. >> all excellent points. and you remind everyone that meadows, you know, as far as the public narrative is concerned, meadows dropped a dime on trump in the book. and is trying to kind of have it both ways and maintain the relationship. jill, i'm curious what you think of all of the above there. as well as the merrick garland question, because on paper, doj and prosecutors will always say, they just look at the case and make a decision. but michelle raises an incisive counterpoint to that, as she often does, which is yeah, but if they're both defying but meadows has found this way to position himself differently, and he was chief of staff, the
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most powerful appointed job in the white house, the type of person merrick garland has been professionally would suggest that he would have more pause about that than indicting bannon. >> i think ultimately both are equally culpable. i think that meadows has a better claim for executive privilege because he actually worked in the white house. but the privilege falls when it's not related to the job of the president. and i don't think there's anyone who will argue with a straight face that planning a coup, planning to undermine congress from doing its duty as required by law is part of the president's job. so if the conversations that we would be asking about of meadows pertain to that, then executive privilege doesn't apply. if there's no executive privilege, he has no grounds for
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not showing up, he has no grounds for not testifying, and he has no grounds for not showing up even if executive privilege were a legitimate claim. he would have to come in and claim it in response to a specific question. same thing is true for those like clark who might claim the fifth amendment. so i don't think ultimately it's going to make any difference. also, ultimately, none of this will get them to testify. criminal contempt is a crime. once you commit it, it's committed. you can't undo it by then saying, okay, i will testify. but that's a different issue. >> and jill, i'm almost out of time in this segment, but we do want to know if you'll tell us what is the pin today? >> today's pin is actually because it's the anniversary of pearl harbor. and so in honor of all those who fought to save our democracy back then, i'm wearing this because i think our democracy is right now in a greater
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existential threat than it has ever been. and what the january 6th committee is doing that we're talking about right now is critical to preventing it from ever happening again, that kind of a thing, or from all of our rights being taken away by an authoritarian figure. so that's why i'm wearing the pin in honor of december 7th, 1941. >> a tribute to history and a thought about living history and the history we may make. appreciate it. i didn't know what the answer would be, but i figured it would be good. jill and michelle, my thanks to both of you. >> thank you. >> thank you. absolutely. we've got a lot coming up. che komen dury back on the beat talking about what he calls a cult of celebrity in the gop. why it's about more than hypocrisy and affects the demise of policy as we know it. >> another big story. a maga lawmaker leaving congress to go work for trump directly in a company that's now under
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investigation. >> and before the hour is out, the one and only kal penn is here. we're talking politics, his relationship with obama and biden and a whole lot more. stay with us. ion. that's why i love liberty mutual. they customize my car insurance, so i only pay for what i need. how about a throwback? ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ instantly clear everyday congestion with vicks sinex saline. for fast drug free relief vicks sinex. instantly clear everyday congestion. and try vicks sinex children's saline. safe and gentle relief for children's noses. like pulsing, electric shocks, sharp, stabbing pains, or an intense burning sensation. what is this nightmare? it's how some people describe... shingles. a painful, blistering rash that could interrupt your life for weeks. forget social events and weekend getaways.
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congress is resigning. this is the controversial former leader of the house intelligence committee, devin nunes, not
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running for re-election. people come and go in congress pretty much all the time, but tonight's story is not just about him. it's also about what his new gig reveals about the republican party and its future. nunes leaving congress to become the ceo of a new trump company, a media and tech firm that's supposed to draw on trump's online support and make him relevant despite his many bans from social media. nunes is going to take up one of the most powerful posts if republicans were to win back congress. he would be in charge of all the spending on the ways and means committee. so why leave now? a couple reasons. one, a new congressional map meant that he was likely to lose his seat according to his own hometown paper, unless he moved. and that paper has been critical, calling nunes a spineless trump lackey and a disgrace. trump relationship, though, is now his entire job, and it's a big deal here that nunes didn't try to just run in a different republican district or go to the typical post-congress lobbying job. instead, he's going deeper into the employment and control of
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the man who wasn't even in republican politics until 2015. and chose the grip of power trump still has over this republican party. now, as nunes leaves, what is his legacy? what did we learn today that might not have been as provably true when we lived through this over the past few years? one thing is, he took a long running nonpartisan intelligence post, i want to be clear about that, many other people in both parties, democrat and republican, shared that intelligence committee in a more fair and nonpartisan way, but he took that sensitive part of our national security oversight and he turned it into a partisan joke. and effort to help trump no matter what. many people have reported on this. the times documenting how he effectively ran interference for trump from that post during the mueller probe, a mode that both undercut the independent power of the actual committee he ran when you think about it, and also vaunted him into all of the
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public controversies, some of which i admit are forgettable but we'll remind you of them. where he would take these sides and even open issues under investigation, like the russia probe. >> the republican argument, bottom line, is that the whole russia investigation is bogus. there never should have been fbi counterintelligence interests let alone investigation, let alone court ordered surveillance of a trump adviser like carter page. >> the director of the fbi is well aware of my concerns about mr. page. and i don't believe that somebody like mr. page should be a target of the fbi. >> congressman devin nunes, leading the charge on this in the house for the republicans. >> he kept leading that charge. some of his payback came in real time. trump gave him the presidential medal of freedom, which historically put him in the company of rosa parks and maya angelou, to give you an idea of where the medal usually goes. nunes was so political about it that even for d.c., he drew
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criticism of taking things to a level of bizarre charades and contradictory battles and hypocritical stances and his much maligned and ultimately misleading memo, the nunes memo. then the odd time he jumped out of an uber reportedly to try to get to the white house to give them a tip without his own staff knowing. the concern and ultimately he did recuse himself partially from that job, is that he might be misusing intelligence information, which again, only a few members of congress are even cleared to get in that intelligence committee, and use it to help the president politically. ultimately, he became something of a national punch line. >> it now appears devin nunes who is the ranking republican on the house intelligence committee which is investigating whether trump tried to dig up dirt on joe biden in ukraine may have flown on the taxpayer's dime to
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dig up dirt on biden in ukraine it anyplace. >> they tried to get dirt on biden. it reminds me of the children's classic, nancy drew and the case of the man murdered by nancy drew. >> the top republican who was helping trump when he was on a committee that was supposed to at least be nonpartisan and independent but ultimately also investigate if there was any intelligence review, now past forward and it's all out in the open. he's working for trump. that's one piece of the story, the guy who worked in congress for trump now literally works for trump. as for the business they're going into, well, you know it's risky. this start-up is already under investigation by the securities and exchange commission for a financing deal after announcing that anonymous investors or donors put up a billion into the company, bloomberg reports that those kind of hefty donations to someone who might again be in
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power or in the white house is a major question that we're all still sorting through. the identities, they write, are the people who gave or funded this are of interest because anyone able to buy their way into trump's good graces by plopping a bag of money on his desk could later sway public policy. so we have something from nunes here that's telling and it exposes the wider problem in the republican party. remember, i don't mean to sound quaint, but it's true, and many conservatives say they're originalists, but the original idea here in the constitution is to have congress as a co-equal branch of government. not a subservient one to a cult of personality. but nunes acted that way then, and now literally is an employee of trump. we're also seeing how trump holds this power over not just someone like nunes, which is a person. it's bigger than him. over so much of the party. there are very real republican leaders who are posing as if they work for their constituents, which is what
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they're paid to do and take an oath to do, but they're not just loyal to a party's leader, which politically may be fine. they sometimes, as in the case of nunes and intelligence, are putting that trumpism in or out of power above the job they're supposed to do. now, nunes is an employee in the trump organization. which is under investigation. and then you have the legislative and political power issues here. what were they doing over these last few years? and what are the stakes here? what does it mean to have a revolving door not from just government to industry, which frankly has been a bipartisan problem, but from government to just working for donald trump and whoever those anonymous investors are? is there a larger grift to come, and could it affect you? well, we have an expert on this, michael hirshhorn is a political and cultural analyst, a writer for the atlantic among other things. he's back with me live in 60 seconds.
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i'm back with michael hirschhorn, emmy nominated producer of the hbo documentary, and someone who has analyzed the intersection of reality tv, the grift, and our national politics and our future. welcome back, sir. >> thank you so much. >> what do you think is important beyond some of the sort of controversy history in this development of someone as powerful as devin nunes, who would have been controlling potentially federal spending if he stayed on that committee and they win power back, to becoming a trump employee literally? >> well, i think, you know, some of the recent reporting has really shown the degree to which january 6th is a prelude to a kind of broader coup that is going on in this country that's taking place over the next few years. and that i think probably will culminate in 2024. i have been trying to wrap my
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head around what nunes was up to here. but i think the bloomberg reporting here about, you know, what essentially could be a billion dollar grift with this new social media company that seems to have no social media technology whatsoever and seems to just be a vehicle to bring in undisclosed money, is really prepping for what i think he sees as a bigger win, which is setting up trump as a middle eastern or eastern european style strongman. >> it's -- it's tough talk the way you put it, and if you said it in 2015, you know, people would call you a reactionary liberal, michael. i don't know how you feel about that. >> put it on me. >> when you say it today -- when you say it today, after our viewers i think follow the news, they understand what happened with the lead-up to the insurrection, the violence on part of the american right, and the fusion of these grifting
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business corruption tactics, which are a feature of authoritarian countries in the modern era because if you're on the right side of a putin or one of these strong men or women if you want, dictators, then you're placed in all these other positions, and so it becomes a sort of noncivic way, and even noncapitalist way to insure that as long as you're with the strong person, then you're good. >> that's right. and i think that, you know, it seems -- we'll see how this plays out. i was glad to see the s.e.c. went after this new quote/unquote social media start-up. if it gets off the ground, it's a brilliant insidious way to raise a lot of money very quickly. and you know, if trump has been good at anything, it's at kind of big number, big dollar value grifting. and i think some of the mockery
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of nunes, i think maybe misses kind of the bigger game that's happening here. >> what does it mean that they even while the new york wing of trump org is under investigation, have all this secret money to play with? >> well, it means that you can operate really outside the law. you can operate outside normal election limits, and oversight, you know, that normal politicians operate under. so really what they're setting up is a giant operation, you know, either to put trump in the white house through appropriate electoral means or if he happens to lose through inappropriate electoral means. >> yeah, i hope people are hearing what you're saying because you're putting it very clearly, and there's a whole business discussion about whether special purpose acquisition companies and vehicles are a way to route
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around the transparency regulations. whether that's good for business or not is one conversation. the fact that so quickly it's now in place for possible dark or foreign money, we don't know whether it's good or even safe for democracy, i think is an area that's going to require a lot more scrutiny. we'll begin doing that, and michael, as always, thanks for being here. >> thank you so much. >> appreciate it. meanwhile, there is a cult of celebrity in some of these midterm campaigns. our friend chai komanduri is back tonight next on that. >> meanwhile, republican congressman calling out a fellow republican, matt gaetz, and other extremists. we'll get into that later. >> by the end of the hour, obama and biden friend kal penn. we're going to get into all of it. stay with us. eggland's best eggs. classic, cage free, and organic. more delicious, farm-fresh taste. plus, superior nutrition. which is now more important than ever. ♪♪
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republican leaders have spent really decades picking fights with hollywood. but every time a new celebrity knocks on the party's door, it seems like they're embraced. republicans now touting nflwalk star for the u.s. senate. he just got another celebrity politician, the former president, or dr. oz, drawing high level gop support after jumping into a senate race as a republican. and after all the brawls with dr. fauci, it looks like
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republicans seem to really love the tv part of tv doctor more than the doctor part. and the doctor part has come under strain from everywhere from fact checkers to the late night comics. >> do you believe there's a magic weight loss cure out there? >> the word -- if you're selling something because it's magical, no. >> what, what? that would be ridiculous. no one is claiming there's a magic pill out there, that would be stupid. >> this little bean has scientists saying they found a magic weight loss cure for every body type. >> see, he never said there was a magic pill. he said there was a magic bean. >> real magic may be the fame that comes with the celebrity. now, both parties have elevated some celebrities. democrats took al franken basically from the snl circuit to the senate before pushing him
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to resign over harassment allegations. republicans have done this most, though, and most in hollywood's home, drafting celebrities into california's highest offices. way back in the day, they promoted actor george murphy from tap dancing with fred astaire to dancing in the u.s. senate. and later republicans tapped sonny bono of sonny and cher into congress, and the most recent california governors of the modern era, reagan and schwarzenegger. both argued their lack of experience was an asset. >> i don't believe that just holding public office is the only way by which you can get experience for public office. >> if you're happy with the way things are, then keep your current leaders. if you want to change this state, then join me. >> now, reagan was compelled to do some governing before running for president. by the time the trump era hit,
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republicans, well, they made tromp thir nominee and made him their president without checking whether the celebrity experience would translate. indeed, the past 40 years of republican presidents boiled down to two bushes and two celebrities who spent the bulk of their lives and gained all of their fame and much of their political standing from being celebrities. republicans now turn to another celebrity famous for pretending to be something on tv while saying that they win with patriotism. they don't need celebrity status. actions speak louder, though, and some introspection may be needed. jay cole once splab explained. got defensive and said i was the same without it, then i thought back to a better me, before i was a b-list celebrity. jay cole called himself b-list, but reality shows are c-list, and there was a gop before this kind of celebrity.
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the party has to decide if that was a better me. now, we turn to a deep dive political conversation here on "the beat." if you watch our program, you may know this is a special day in time here. it is chai day on "the beat" with political strategist chai komanduri, who worked on three presidential campaigns, including the obama campaign, and to whom we're indebted to some of the points we ran through. >> good to be back. >> the only thing worse than b-list, might be c-list, and i guess there's also d-list, but what do you see as important for leadership in civics in what appears to be a mounting celebrity need among republicans with these candidates? >> this might be something that is unfortunate to acknowledge, but celebrities have enormous advantages in our politics.
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they have incredible name id. they can fund-raise much more easily. in some cases, they don't need to fund-raise very much because they're so well known. oftentimes they come into politics with brands viewed positively by many voters. there have been studies that have shown the apprentice during its height had three times the audience of nbc nightly news. all of it sort of geared towards showing donald trump as some sort of business genius, a management guru of a sort who could right a failing corporation or a failing business enterprise. so celebrities have real advantages in our politics. so the question we really probably should ask is not why republicans embrace celebrities. it's kind of obvious. but why don't democrats embrace this type of candidate more? i mean, we do have a couple celebrities like al franken, the late john glenn, the great astronaut, et cetera, but democrats do not embrace celebrities anywhere near as much as republicans do.
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i think the answer is really two-fold. the first is, democrats are really uncomfortable with the idea of being the party of hollywood. something that democrats really don't admit, i mean, we do use celebrities to fund-raise. we use them to give ourselves more attention, to crowd build for rallies. et cetera. but there is a lot of grumbling off and on to "the washington post" about how the democratic party is too associated with celebrities. that we should be a party of labor unions, not of hollywood celebrities. the recent example was that at aoc at the met gala, and how much criticism she received not just from conservatives but by democrats and liberals. and celebrities have a lower barrier of entry into the gop because they don't need to know anything. the gop is a post-policy party, that's very much true. there's only four core things in the gop you have to believe. tax cuts for the rich, conservative, pro-life judges,
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anti-immigration. anti-gun control. that's it. maybe now there's a fifth thing, which is anti-vaccine, which is also helpful to know nothing celebriies because you don't have to know about science. the media goes along with a lot of the this. i saw representative dan crenshaw did a book tore saying unvaccinated people really don't hurt anybody but themselves. this isn't true. but journalists do not want to look like partisan hacks and attack him over it, and this is a luxury they will not give to say, elizabeth warren, who decides to say something that is very much against the preseps of basic science. >> i think you make several important and interrelated points and talk also about how the media reflects that and that affects what the democrats may perceive as their weaknesses. i have some dylan for you. the media -- >> okay. >> the media, they all went along for the ride. hurricane. and they may go along for the ride in a way here that makes
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democrats all the more worrisome, but you also seem to be pointing to something also known as a prerequisite. doctors have prerequisites. police and military have prerequisites. there is an idea that especially for a president, but even for higher office like the senate, there should be prerequisites. your point here is that the modern republican party doesn't, what, care enough about the difficulty of governing to apply prerequisites to candidates? >> that's exactly true. i mean, they don't want policy wonks. when is the last time ucould name a republican policy wonk? it's been quite a while since we had any kind of policy wonk type of candidate run for president or gain national office on the republican side. mitch mcconnell doesn't want policy wonks or people who are super knowledgeable about policy. those sorts of people are much harder to wrangle and lead. you know, and cast the votes that mitch mcconnell would like. the reality is that the
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republican base does not much care or need very much in the way of policy. they just need to be entertained and to have their white grievance spoken to, which is exactly what donald trump did. he did those rallies. he sort of spoke to that grievance, talking about immigration in particular. also about gun rights. those were kind of core issues for the gop base. and he did so in an entertaining way, which is something that he learned from being a hollywood celebrity all those years. he learned to entertain. i think that is a key asset that really goes to why republicans embrace celebrity. there's also maybe a message point that you can bring in to this. that celebrities kind of re-enforce the gop message that you, too, can be a capitalist success story like donald trump, like arnold schwarzenegger, like ronald reagan. that is another aspect of this and also why democrats stay away from celebrities because there is a sense that celebrities undercut our message of being for working people. >> yes or no, would kim
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kardashian have a good shot at the nomination in either party? >> she would have an excellent shot at the nomination, actually, on the gop side. she would have a much harder time on the democratic side because she would actually have to answer questions about health care finance. that's not something she probably knows a lot about. it's something that takes a lot of time in government to learn about, and it's not something the media would let her get away with if she was a democrat. if she was a republican, she would get a free ride on that, she could convert on immigration, on the choice issue, and the gop would very much embrace her, absolutely. >> you say it straight up with criticism for the press, which we're open minded to here because we're open to constructive criticism and we would just have to change it from but her emails to but her instagram, but that's something people could figure out. if as you say she was a democrat. also for the people watching, i'm half joking, just to be clear. chai, always appreciate your
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insights. >> thank you, ari. >> absolutely. coming up, a republican going after congressman gaetz. we'll explain. but first, someone who worked directly in the obama/biden administration, first time on "the beat." can't wait to talk to kal penn next. real cowboys get customized car insurance with liberty mutual, so we only pay for what we need. -hey tex, -wooo. can someone else get a turn? yeah, hang on, i'm about to break my own record. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ i thought i was managing my moderate to severe crohn's disease. then i realized something was missing... my symptoms were keeping me from being there for her. so, i talked to my doctor and learned humira is the #1 prescribed biologic for people with crohn's disease. humira helps people achieve remission that can last. and the majority of people on humira saw significant symptom relief in as little as 4 weeks. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections,
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and advanced security integrated on our activecore platform so you can control your network from anywhere, anytime. it's network management redefined. every day in business is a big day. we'll keep you ready for what's next. comcast business powering possibilities. as prom missed -- promised we're joined by cal. he's here in the white house. >> president obama becomes the first sitting u.s. president to visit india twice. >> i've worked on a lot of fun movies but my favorite job was having a boss that gave the order to take out bin laden and who is cool with all of us getting gay married. >> for our friends on the internet. >> all right, man.
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>> thank you very much. >> just remember i'm trusting you on this and i'll see you then. >> who was that? sounded intense. >> the president. >> got to laugh at yourself. we're joined by cal. he's in "house" and "how i met your mother" and has a new memoir out called "you can't be serious." welcome to "the beat," sir. >> how are you? nice to talk to you. >> i'm good, man. we didn't plan it this way but went from discussing how republicans hire celebrities as president now to a president who hired a celebrity who is going to do what you told us about. with the biden presidency ending the year, people know you may agree with him on a lot of things clearly but you also
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worked there. you know him better than most. how do you think president biden is doing? >> look, i'm the first person to say i'm glad there was a focus on covid and the economy out of the gate, right? there was a lot that needed to happen in terms of vaccine distribution and equity and i'm glad that that's been the focus for so long. it's a tough job. i'm glad that my white house colleagues, many of them had been working remotely until recently. there are a lot of challenges i admire the way they're handling. >> anything that you gleaned or learned about being around joe biden in that time? we showed some fun stuff but i mean, do you find that he is studious, that he is serious because the rep sometimes critical or not is sometimes that he's portrayed as he's fun loving and even quote unquote bumbly. >> you mean portrayed in photos like the ones you're showing? which are fine, look --
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>> we didn't take these. >> i know. we took them. i don't think there is anything wrong with having, you know, a full breath of who you are and being empathetic and reading your policy briefings and being as smart as you can be but letting your guard down and talking to humans. i was a mid level staffer so it's not like we spent every day with the president or vice president but when we would be in the room with them, i was always struck by vice president, now president biden's willingness to sort of spend even a half hour over time in a meeting so he could talk to everybody in the room and really get a sense of what their life story was, whether policy was making its way to their dinner table conversations or real lives. you don't really get that with a lot of political folks. sometimes it's a schedule and personality but something i admire about him.
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>> let's look at your book. there are people that look at part one of your career and say what a dream and look at part two we just showed at the white house and say what a dream. what can you tell people and maybe young people about how you got to do what you did and what are the lessons in the book? >> yeah, thanks. that's the reason i wrote the book. i have an incredible privilege of working in hollywood on stoner movies and making people laugh. it's one of the few things i still have today. i love getting dms around this time of year saying hey, i watched your movie with my crazy uncle after thanksgiving and it brought us together a little bit but going from that to having a chance to work in the obama white house, i like a lot of people volunteered for a little more than a year, and it to me is the epitome of the american dream. i'm the son of immigrants, the grandson of freedom fighters and cut to the last three years and
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i was sort of thinking is there a story that i can share with kind of the 25-year-old version of me? you know, the kid who is figuring out how to navigate an industry in the arts or career in the arts but also had an interest in public service and wasn't really sure what that meant or how to make an impact and one of the things i'm really proud of having the chance to talk about in the book is looking at the lessons for people interested in public service and politics. what was it like working on the affordable care act as president obama's liaison to americans. i did the under 26 provision or "don't ask, don't tell" impacted so many people across so many different communities and to have the chance to really right now about those experiences at a time when i think understandabls the good we can do and how has it been accomplished is a great
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opportunity. i'm glad to share that book with everybody now. >> amazing. i love the way you talk. we haven't met before but hearing you lay it out there for the next generation, which has got to do hopefully better than this one, it's great stuff. i'm going to remind everyone the book is you can't be serious. my tanks to kyle penn. we'll be right back.
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thanks for watching the "the beat" with ari melber. >> good evening, we begin "the reidout" with a right wing ghost story, spooky in many ways. grab your popcorn and fascism krypton because this is quite the tale. there are random knocking on the door by people may or maybe not wearing masks. hard pass.


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