tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC November 15, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
thank you so much for letting us in your homes. we are so grateful. hi, ari. welcome to "the beat." we have new reporting on steve bannon, turning himself into the feds today. my legal breakdown, my take on that, i'm going to share with you tonight, but we begin with the biggest news of the nation. the president sealing one of the his biggest wins to date. the biggest infrastructure bill since eisenhower. that's how far you have to go to get to what this president is doing today, formally, under
law. it's about a trillion for broadband, roads and more. it's something that president trump talked about, but didn't do it. for the first time, you this now law. >> the bill i'm being to sign into law is despite the cynics, democrats and republicans can come together and deliver results. >> we are here because of the millions of americans who believed that we could get this done. well, we got it done, americans. fact check, true, you're looking at the footage from the big signing ser moyer at the white house, over 800 in attendance. prominent republicans also backing it. senators romney, collins, and some of the house republicans
who have been reportedly facing actual death threats for voting for something, as i mentioned, a former republican president claimed to support. this has been a real test of what the right will even allow in this biden era, as he marks a victory today. >> to paraphrase one of my favorite former vice presidents, it's a big f'ing deal. >> this is what happens when we decide to work together to get something done. >> this is a great accomplishment. there's more to come. >> this bill can be summed up by a four-letter word -- j-o-b-s. [ applause ] >> jobs, jobs, good paying jobs. kind of a long-winded way to say jobs, but you getted yesterday. these are politicians. they have to find different ways
to make this point. the white house is betting that this level of investment is something that the american public will see and feel in the short term and the long term, results as a matter of both policy and politics. there's way to measures it. billions going to shipping ports, many still being strained, or am track getting $4 billion to replace 150-year-old tunnel that plagues what is the railroad's bus just route. we can't go on. there are many examples of what's already been selected. it's the kind of real-world challenge. and don't take my word for it. it's a point that the president made himself today with a brief kind of eminem-style moment during the signing ceremony. joe biden pausing and basically
asking the real governing leaders to stand up, basically asking, will the real governors please stand up. >> where are the governors? governors, stand up. red states, blue states, you all contacted me. more than 375 mayors, democrats and republicans, wrote me asking to get this done. you got it, kid. >> let's get to it, kids. we are joined by jon meech many, who has advised president-elect biden, and mia wiley. she came in second in the new york mayoral race. maya, will the real governors and real local officials stand up? as the president put it, they're the ones most in touch with what the people need on the ground
right now. >> the governors are very happy right now. what this bill means and the investments that it brings is whether in michigan, tens of thousands of good union jobs. if you're in excepten harbor, michigan where you've been drinking bottled water because of the lead in your system. the only thing i would disagree with your opening, is the biden administration didn't just do there for politics. they did it, because you've got to the the right thing for the country. that's why democrats were going to be willing to do an infrastructure bill with donald trump, because it was the right thing to do for the country. we've had engineers and experts telling us for decades that we were underspending on infrastructure, as well as the social -- jobs, putting money in people's pockets that it brings
to taking care of families it is a win-win, but it was the right thing to do without regard to politics. >> you're one of our trusted experts. far from me to disagree with your disagreement. i think what we were referencing is there's the policy argument and the politics of the moment we're living in with all the tough times, supply chain, deflation and whether this affects the mod. but jon, to maya's point, this is a policy priority for this administration and this country, and your thoughts, secondly, what you see in the sweep of history, it's hard to get a sense of it as we go in real time, but when we look at the numbers, how rare or infrequent it is you get this national investment. i'm curious your thoughts on where this fits in long term.
>> well, bill clinton used to say a president is lucky to get a sentence. lincoln saved the union, and biden is well on his way to writing his sentence here. this is a significant investment in the country. it will rank, i think, with ma president eisenhower was doing in the 1950s. the fact that we're still talking about president eisenhower and what happened with the interstate highway bill i think proves the point. infrastructure was a dividing question in the early republic. jefferson and hamilton disagreed about it. henry clay and andrew jackson disagreed about it. only about the time of the civil war was it resolved that the federal government had a role to do -- government should do what people cannot do for themselves. providing the means for propet and bringing communities together is broadly defined and
agreed upon american initiative. in that sense, you both are right. it's both good policy and it's good politics for president biden. it's an example where he got republican votes for something, which is a vanishingly rare thing, like finding a tteradactl somewhere. what we're looking at is folks who are not big biden supporters is that we have to prove -- we broadly put -- has to prove that competent is not as rare as people think it is, and democracy can deliver for its people. if you can check those boxes, then it's not going to break the fever that's on the right, but it might bring it down a little bit. >> you put it so clearly, jon,
and that goes to why this infrastructure bill is different. people can imagine things that biden could have spend money on that would have been divisive. that's not bridges and roads. that's not a trump infrastructure week that came out more than once a year, with begs the question whether it was really infrastructure week, right, oar just a rerun, but it spoke to the popularity. now you have this president leading that, which brings you -- a quick reminder to everyone, one top senator leader did skip the ceremony, and that was mitch mcconnell. the wily senator saw that biden was winning on this one, and decided he wanted to be on board. in the end, mitch mcconnell voted for this bill and has rushed to tell local media in his state it was a godsend for
money on the ground there, including a kentucky bring that had been deemed obsolete for 30 years running. just quick facts, maya, on what might be different reasons one could support this spending in a red or blue stays. what do you think about the dance that mcconnell continues to do, and i think our viewers that i hear from time to time know their politics, mitch mcconnell seems to know how to stay in office. >> remember, mitch mcconnell wanted an infrastructure bill when donald trump was president. he couldn't get it, because he didn't have the presidential leadership to get it done. this was not one that was either expedient or good policy for hick to pass up. what he did that was political is not show the bipartisanship, right? that was the cynical political move, rather than to celebrate
what was good for everyone, and what republicans and democrats could agree on. going back to jon's point on history, which is so important, which is why i went back to policy, not just politics. the build it back bill will be so important, because, just like in the new deal and in the fair deal, it's who got the deal. for too often it was people of color and people of color communities that were essentially written out of the benefits of the kinds of infrastructure spends, and some of the social infrastructure spends. the build it back bill is the promise there will be additional spending that will take care of everyone, but also make sure there's more money in the pockets of people of color, too, which is sometimes not what happens with infrastructure spending, as important as it is. so this is critical. this is a victory lap, it should be for all the right reasons for what we've all said, but it also points to why the next one is so
important. >> i really appreciate you -- and work that goes to even when there's been funding that even helped deal with certain things, whether as mentioned, theitisen hour bill or what robert moses did in new york, history shows the way it's been uneven and they wrote up this big bill to address that. jon, i want to play for you one republican talking about all of this. this is congressman bacon weighing in on what it's like to get any of this done. >> they're being intentionally deceived by some spokes in our party, and some of the so-called conservative media outlet. to say a about ig is right for your district, but then you voted against it. that's a sign of what is broken. >> fair point?
>> fair, well put, bravely put for a republican from nebraska. i think that's exactly right. you know, we shouldn't be overly nostalgic to go to what maya was talking about. there wasn't ant idyllic world that disappeared when isn't trump became president. democracy is a perpetual struggle to try to see each other as neighbors, not adversaries. the notions that you can't govern if you see the merits of something, and just because it -- maybe it's the other side's idea, those infrastructure is not. it's a universal thing. if you can't cast that vote, then we're not really a functioning republic, because then you're in simply a struggle to hold power.
not necessarily to do anything with it. the marshaling of power, the hoarding of it is the goal of a accomplice cal party or movement, not to then use that power for the greater good, to use an older material, then basically the republic itself stops functioning. i think today is a good day for folks who believe in american democracy, as flawed as it is. and as maya says, the fight begins anew on this next part of the agenda. it will be far more controversial, obviously, but in president biden's view, and he got 81 million votes, this is worth spending money on the infrastructure, a few more human infrastructure, and we'll see who can prevail. >> all great points. i'm running out of time in this particular segment. jong often teaches us many
things, did you say edenic. a garden of eden reference, because it's monday, and i thought we would start there. >> why not start with -- >> where it all began. >> it just raises a question if this is an edenic, what is the snake? >> it's ambition. to take your tongue in cheek question seriously, this is why we have a republic. we have a republic, because the founders understood foe all of their imperfections, we had to find a way to curb our appear tide and our ambition. actually see that perhaps only getting 51% of what you want is worth it. i think -- we've -- we have lost that sense. so for republicans who think
that somehow or another that's not right, i refer you to ronald reagan who said he would rather get 60% of what he wanted and go back and fight for the 40. don't aim for 100 and then walk away if you can't get everything you want. >> i would just say, i think jon is talking to senator manchin there. >> well, you know, there's all sides of it. i'm out of time. i was going to say we start the week with genesis here, and we learn from jon as we go. thank you both for kicking us off. we turn to two breaking stories next. steve bannon arraigned in federal court today. and the closing arguments in the rittenhouse murder trial, in a dramatic end. >> what we don't get to do is kill someone on the street. he's guilty of all counts. >> he feared for his life. we have legal breakdowns on
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one-time trump campaign chair and right-wing gadfly. he also streamed what you see here as part of the arrival himself. he shared it on his own video service. he was rocking his signature look of deliberately disheveled. he faces an outcome that he sought, by blatantly defying the requests and subpoenas. once pardoned by that president, this time he's on his own, and he's got farther in his defiance than even trump lawyers suggested. i'll explain that in a moment. first consider what are bannon hoped the public might see and think of this, today is far more than some spectacle. this is a legal shift. there were a lot of debates. congress found that donald trump obstructed and congress impeached him for it, but he was
not, under the constitution, convicted for that. this is different. january 6th has clearly become a gnash flash point. today's legal process is not a split wall. the bad news for bannon is this is a criminal part, with the justice defendant finding that bannon committed a new crime. the doj will doing everything in its power to convict him in court. bannon has a right to a fair trial. out of court, he tried to divert fancy from that somber process and create a pep rally, kind of, claiming an assortment of supporters, while decrying the noise he himself was amplifying. >> everybody watching in the war room, i don't want anybody to take their eye off the ball of what we do every day. we have the hispanics on our
side, african-americans on our side. we're taking down the byen administration. le whoa show, we have polling out, economic data out, everything. i want you to stay focused on the message. remember, signal, not noise. this is all noise, that's signal. thank you very much. >> reporter: are you optimistic today? >> that is the bannon of it all. he's claim to go take down the administration while walking into court, because he has no other choice. you see the profusion of bravado blurring which part of it is real and which part is show. that is deliberate. that's why he and donald trump vibed so much on the campaign trail, but that's not the end of the story. we give you all the facts. we will show his perspective, but look inside the courtroom. these are new sketching where he sat quietly with his lawyers.
he took reportedly some notes as if this were a serious process, not noise like he claimed outside. he was subjected to the normal swearing in, and he will be judged over a system not overseen by the president he helped elect. he's not just another maga figure. he chaired the general election campaign that trump won. he is the guy who landed the plane who won the electoral college, who got the promotion to chief strategist in the white house, where he pushed policy, leading lit of goals that were put up on his famous whiteboard, immigration crackdowns, repealing obamacare. the board behind him was his public promise to perpetual fights. >> the third, broadly, line of work is was deconstruction of
the administrative state. if you think they're going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken. every day, every day it's going to be a fight. >> this matters beyoon the character. there are some who tried to reduce steve bannon for a character or a caricature. that actually feeds part into his own narrative, but the history is more complicated. bannon has always looked for these fights. it's not merely a public act. it actually informs his approach to campaigning, governing, it's a part of our national life. it's a view there's always powerful enemy to say fight. the system is broken, it cannot be reformed, it must be deconstructed. that's why he said in trump's
first weeks in power leading charges that failed as a matter of governance, like a travel ban that was ultimately pared back. at that time he was a smart guy deliberately leading the government into, basically, breaking a law. a travel ban he ran through, rushed think and checked and was struck down by the courts. bannon continues this type of project. he lives his own life with a spurt of bravado and risk taking. i pressed him about this in our interview back in 2018, bearing down on the questions about his funding. he was cagey, while claiming that raising it was no problem. >> how much money does your group have in. we have raised quite a bit of money? >> over $5 million? >> over $5 million. >> over ten? >> i don't want to put a specific number on. >> are there certainly peel you would not take money?
>> i've always had good partners, and i'm pretty happy, so i'm selective. i've never had a problem raising money. >> never had a problem raising money, maybe not, but he did have a problem raising it legally, according to prosecutors who indicted bannon for literally ripping off his own maga supporters and trump fans to take their money. those led to charges he was defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors, promising them he would take their money to build the wall. those are charges he evaded with a pardon from trump. that came after the earlier falling out with trump, which all began, as so many do, without recall yes, bus perception and media, as "time" magazine dubbed him as the
manipulators. >> bannon gets bounced. >> he's out as the chief strategist. >> le walked out of the west wing and right into the breitbart newsroom. >> hands back on his weapons. in his case that was a reference to the media weapons. he went on to argue he was basically still the self-anointed leader of this maga movement. >> what's your current reliship with president trump? >> you can see it every day. he's doing his thing. i'm doing my thing. remember, i didn't know president trump that well. >> but he said about you when you had a public parting. >> sure, do you think he still believes those things? >> i don't know, and i don't care. >> he certainly cared about getting the ultimate exercise of power from president trump, pardon, over a case they ought to care about, which is whether
or not trump fans were being defrauded. legally a part, in its acceptance, is an admission of guilty. this time there's no pardon from a president that ejected bannon from the white house. it's very important to understand exactly why bannon is in this criminal hot water right now. you may have seen headlines he's doing trump's bidding, but let's look at the actual new indictment that shows trump was only, quote, requesting bannon not disclose privileged information, while bannon's later lawyer said bannon would not be producing documents or testifying at all. let me explain what that means in play english. even steve bannon's lawyers admit they are doing more defiance than donald trump is asking for right now. that is a terrible legal
strategy, because, and adam schiff and others have talked about this -- where there might be some debatable thing about a privilege issue or a scope issue, how much is congress asking for? lawyers can meet and talk about it. it can take a long time. you don't get indicted in the middle of that negotiation. right now bannon went further than trump, and said he won't cooperate at all, which is what the doj now says is the crime. add to that bannon's role at the so-called command center, where he pledged all he would break loose, just hours before a riot. after his court appearance, he was back on brand. >> this would be the misdemeanor from hell for merrick garland, nancy pelosi and joe biden. it was ordered to prosecutor me from the white house, and we're going to go on the offense. we're tired of playing defense. we're going on the offense on this.
>> fact check, no evidence has been offered for that. by the way, if there was hard evidence of meddling at the doj, that would help bannon in a trial, and we would certainly report it, but this is that slippery push and pull. someone who has gotten accustomed to playing this game when he had an incumbent president at his back. here his is threatening, it would seem to me, the attorney general. he thinking somehow he can use the public pressure to distort the legal process, maybe get his hands back on political power on the federal government in america. where does this go from here? we have two expect experts who know their way around these tricky people. we're back in just 6 on seconds. tricky people. we're back in just 6 on seconds.
good to have you both here. nick, take a listen to exactly what steve bannon claimed outside of court today. >> this is going to be the misdemeanor from hell for merrick garland, nancy pelosi, and joe biden. joe biden ordered merrick garland to prosecutor me from the white house lawn when he got off marine one. we're going to go on the offense. we're tired of playing defense. >> nick, as what watergate prosecutor, you dealt with this very intersection, people who served in the white house and can claim political motivations. what defense does he have? >> he has a defense in public opinion, but the bottom line he's now in the criminal system. he will be arraigned formally on thursday. he'll have to plead not guilty,
i assume. he's going to go through discoveries, motions, this whole process will drag out. the problem with this entire prosecution is if the goal was to get him to cooperate and obey the subpoena, what congress should have done is what they did back in the 1920s, with the teapot dome scandal, and basically sent out a sergeant-at-arms and put him in the basement, put him in prison and keep him there until he testifies. >> i have to redirect you lawyer to lawyer. we've had heard other people say that would have been the more aggressive move, but mr. bannon seems to argue this was somehow political motivated. he's offered no evidence of that. the indictment reads pretty straightforward in using his own lawyers' letters against him. do you see a strong kay here that he committed they two crimes? >> absolutely. there's no question he basically
refused to come in and testified. he refused to produce of documents. i mean, he is guilty, no question about it. this whole business about executive privilege is completely bog bogus. the supreme court spoke about this in the nixon case. executive privilege does not apply to people who are talking about overthrowing the government and pulling off an insurrection at the capitol. it's ridiculous. this is something that donald trump made up, and it's all being geared towards politics, which is exactly what all of the defendants did in the watergate scandal, and they still went to jail. so at the end of the day, it really doesn't make a lot of difference. what is concerning me political here, is that the congress was afraid to use the power that was given to them. >> i hear you on that. >> to go out and arrest him.
>> to me that's the politics. >> let me bring in vicki here as well. there's a difference between opposing mr. bannon's actions, what he represents, and underestimating it. he was underestimating it in '16. they did wen the electoral college. he was previously indicted by prosecutors, had a very special friend, did you about beat the case through a pardon, which is lawful. this time do you see any evidence he's picked a fight that he can't win. >> i think the danger of what's happened is you're witnessing the beginning of the canonization of steve bannon among the maga crowd. steve bannon, we all forget, has a background in hollywood.
he is now basically producing, writing, directing and starring in his own movie, which he has total control of, and i think you'll see scenes out of the roger stone playbook. there won't be a moment in public appearance where he won't be issuing rhetoric, rallying the war cry. even if he goes to jail, probably especially if he goes to jail, as the leader of the populist right. >> as a student of this, do you think he is truly prepared to go to jail? >> i wouldn't be surprised at all. i think, you know, from my reporting, the times i have spoken to him, he's a former navy officer, he often, almost always talks in military terms. he does see, as he pointed out,
you know the the world right now is at a war and he's prepared to to do what it takes. very interesting. two perspectives. nick ackerman, there's somebody who credit the house for a quick process. you want him even more, you want him in the basement. let us know. coming up, we have a lot more, bannon's pressure point, live on the beat that i don't think you want to miss. later a case we've been following, closing arguments in the murder trial of someone who opened fire, killing two protesters at a blm rally. my break down, later. m rally. my break down, later proven to treat and prevent migraines. don't take if allergic to nurtec. the most common side effects were nausea, stomach pain, and indigestion. ask your doctor about nurtec today!
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you should understand nancy pelosi has taken on donald trump and steve bannon. you ought to ask hillary clinton how that turned out for them. we're going on the offense. stand by. >> trump white house veteran steve bannon is literally a defendant, but he says his's going on offense. i'm joined by a former aide to both individuals, sam nunberg, and in fact their travels on a private jet were mentioned in a
documentary. welcome back to "the beat." >> thank you for having me, ari. >> let's put it in the most crisp way. what is steve bannon's play today? >> steve probably realizes that he will go to jail. he certainly doesn't want to have to do the full year. as you saw today when he streamed himself showing up to the federal court, he will use it for all media purposes. i think he could do interviews from jail. i would also say, this is very smart. i was thinking about this before. we think alike, whether or not we get along right now, steve and i, he is absolutely right about biden commenting on the prosecution. he did comment and say that he believes they should be prosecuted if they didn't comply
with subpoenas. this harkins back to the clinton investigation -- >> to be clear, i will let you finish, but to be clear to the viewers, there is no evidence that has been publicly submitted that this was called in by the president. that's the nature of the improper allegation that the bannon made, but go ahead. >> correct. 100%, but biden answered a question about it. for somebody like steve, that's all he needs. this is something look the lines that steve has been talking about in republican circles, they've been talking about, about concentraing on 1/6. fair enough, i want to understore something you said, you think he knows he will go to jail, which is to say, for all of the performance, he's not a dumb man and this is not his
first legal rodeo, and the case is very strong on paper unless other evidence comes in that he rushed to defy the committee. they don't have other good legal arguments. that's why, in some sense, the indictment is so short. as whether he can handle it, his toughness, his constitution, he does claim in his background that hi likes fights. this is how he handles some stress. >> not national -- pat, i'm talking about florida. please stay focused. >> oh, i'm sorry. >> stay focused. i want to [ bleep ] go thus thinks states. will you shut the [ bleep ] up and let the guy talk? >> um, okay. so far -- >> in your personal assessment at this juncture, can he withstand all of this, or might at some point he blink?
>> he's not going to blink. you have to remember, as you were discussing before, steve knew he was putting himself in the line of fire. i suspect steve never thought the election would be overturned while talking to then president trump, but what he did need is that pardon before trump left office. he put himself out there, along the lines of the way roger did, in the 2016 election, with all his claims about wikileaks. now the roosts have come home. ari, nobody ever thought that. we've never seen an indictment like this. this is something new. >> one of the reasons we're fighting back, we don't take it on the chin.
so, i mean, this is when's the last time you spoke to him? >> after the midrm election. i witch him well. i had other things to do. with that said, i think it's important to point out that i was shocked to see something else, ari, steve has this podcast, it's like number five or six on apple itunes. even after being thrown out of breitbart, this is someone who is media savvy. he may have diarrhea of the mouth when he talks, but he's
able to get coverage. >> that diarrhea has found many, many pipes to get out across america and be streamed. there are some people who watch the news, they want to hear only certain things. we try to cover everything. you have added some important details and inpsych, including the following -- you can ignore these people and movements and supporters, at one ace peril or all be informed. i'm out of time, but sam, i appreciate you coming back on "the beat." >> thank you for having me. coming up, we turn to a different legal development. the courtroom drama, with a jury about to deliberate for the trial of a man who killed two blm protesters. killed two blm protesters voiceover: riders. wanderers on the road of life. the journey is why they ride. when the road is all you need, there is no destination. uh, i-i'm actually just going to get an iced coffee.
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closing arguments wrapped up in the trial of kyle rittenhouse. right now we're watching court proceedings including the judge instructing the jury. rittenhouse is indicted for murder, specifically murder of two protestors at the blm murder including potential homicide and reckless homicide and endangering safety. the prosecutors are giving the jury more than one option which is typical. the prosecutor insisted he is guilty of all of them. >> when he testified on wednesday, he broke down crying about himself, not about anybody he hurt that night. no remorse. no concern for anyone else. a lot of murder cases we're in here trying to convince the jury that the defendant killed somebody. that's not at dispute. that's the easy part.
the question is does he get a pass? you cannot hide behind self-defense if you provoked the incident. no reasonable person would have done what the defendant did. and that makes your decision easy. he's guilty of all counts. >> that is the core of this prosecution's case making the argument that the individual, the defendant is the one who created the danger, who provoked the clash and according to the facts in the video they showed is the only person who killed anybody. >> from the shooting of jacob blake on sunday, august 23rd, 2020 all the way after that, everything this community went through, the only person who shot and killed anyone was the defendant. yes, there was property damage. no one is here to defend that, but what you don't get to do is kill someone on the street for committing arson.
>> you can't understand a trial unless you hear from both sides, and the defense maintained rittenhouse was always acting in what he had, they say, was a good faith belief in self-defense and demonstrated with the ar-15 at one point. they mimicked how the defendant acted at the scene. the jurors were reportedly riveted as the defense began. >> provocation, i don't think so. when my client shot joseph rosenbaum he feared for his life, he feared because of the prior threats, the prior statements and the violent acts that have been witnessed by my client. kyle, as he sits here, is presumed innocent. think about some of the things the shotty investigation, the rush to judgment from the kenosha district attorney's office. kyle was a 17-year-old kid out there trying to help this community. my client when this happened was 17 years old. his actions are to be judged as
a 17-year-old. there is no evidence whatsoever that he was an activity shooter other than the prosecution calling him that. every person who was shot was attacking kyle. >> self-defense can be a valid defense to a murder charge. what you heard the prosecution argue there is this is a person on offense with an illegal weapon who came to hurt people and killed two of them. these jury deliberations are expected to begin tomorrow. expected to begin tomorrow ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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thanks for watching "the beat" with ari melber. "the reidout" is up next. steve bannon surrendered today and appeared in court to face criminal contempt charges and this afternoon president biden celebrated a major achievement at the white house surrounded by a group of bipartisan lawmakers. he signed into law a massive infrastructure bill to invest millions of dollars into roads, bridges, ports and clean water and more. we'll get to those developments but we begin "the reidout" with the kyle rittenhouse