tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC July 18, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
that is all for us tonight. we'll be back tomorrow with more "meet the press" daily". it's been a hot one in d.c. "the beat with ari melber" starts right now. >> it happens to me all the time. >> 100 plus heat index, brother. >> it's hot and at the last minute is when you have to do the last thing. when i always stumble for a moment. let me ask you something. >> please. >> what's worse, the heat or the humidity? >> the i don't know. they make for an awful combination. 106. i was in washington this week. it was unbelievable. i hate to be cliche, it was like walking outdoors into a sauna. >> that's why we beg to fill in in the studio, beats the north lawn. >> thank you, appreciate it. having addressed the weather, we're going to address a lot more in tonight's show. republicans are now formally giving donald trump cover after
some of the ugliest attacks he and his supporters have made thus far. also new revelations from the michael cohen investigation and tonight on "the beat" for the first time ever, i will interview, grill and cross-examine the man in charge of customs and border protection for the trump administration. i promise to make sure it's factual even if that requires live fact check. we begin with this disturbing scene at trump's rally in north carolina. the preds who began wnl birtherism encouraging a crowd's blatant attack on a sitting member of congress who is a u.s. citizen although it's awful either way chanting to send back congresswoman ilhan omar who did come to the u.s. originally as a refugee when she was a child. >> representative ilhan omar, she looks down with contempt on the hard working americans saying that ignorance is
pervasive in many parts of this country. send her back. >> and obviously and importantly, omar has a history of launching vicious and anticipate semitic screeds. [ chants of send her back ] >> that's what it sounded like. that's what it looked like. this could be one of those days where then we report to you donald trump is doubling down as he did on his original tweets, but donald trump now is claiming falsely that he somehow actively disavowed the chant. now, you just saw it, so you can judge for yourself. crowd starts chanting and he looks around. he holds the sides of the podium. he lightly nods and if you want to count it up because this is part of the fact check what the
president is now telling his base happened last night, it was 13 seconds before he even used the power there, the microphone to speak again. so he knew what he was doing, and he stood by allowing this attack to continue and everyone knows the racist origins here. but if you want a refresher, take it from elijah cummings who i want to mention, congressman elijah cummingsing is widely known in washington for working across the aisle, for working with republicans. there was a hearing recently where he defended a republican who happened to be caucasian over issues of whether he had stepped over the line. so mr. cummings speaks with great care and sobriety when he reminds people exactly what the facts in history are of what's going on. >> i cannot help but think about when i was 11 years old. trying to integrate a swimming pool in my district. and we were taunted.
we were stoned with bot ols and they said the same words. they said, go back to your neighborhood. go back to where you came from. >> go back to where you came from. now, there are ways to deal with this. for one thing, republicans can say, they agree with so much of what the president stands for or voces 0 or policy and they disagree with this, indeed.republicans previously claimed they disagreed with exactly this but now they're exposed because apparently they don't when it matters. giving this president cover once again. >> last night as we were hearing these chants the president just stood there. >> the president moved on with his speech. >> the president did not join in. he moved on. >> isn't it racist though the to say send her back? >> no i don't think it's racist. a somali refugee would not have
been asked to go back. >> i turn to elly miss stall and muslims for progressive values. good evening to you. blair, what do you hear when you hear that chant? >> it makes my heart palpy tate hearing those chance the. it's not surprising. it is deeply disappointing. this is an america that is familiar to many of us including those of news the black community, those off us in the muslim community. when i converted to islam, it was like part of my americanness was stripped away. people immediately started telling me to go back. i very clear ofly would i post links to pie paypal and say okay, send me a ticket. i would go to wherever you think i'm from. you have to be a resilient person to deal with this. we should not have to endure this as people of color and from religious minorities here in the united states. it'sen consequence snabl. >> ellie. >> every grown black person has a story the first time they were
tolded to go back to where they came from. every brown story. first time it happened to me i was in third grade. i had a smart mouth and i said you first since we all are from africa. i think that one of the things this shows is a point that some people, me included have been making since trump showed up on the escalator since he starred with birtherism. donald trump is a racist. the people who support him are racists. the people who support him believe in the racism that donald trump puts out. >> and let's take your point about what you've experienced and what we know from historical record because the if anything can come from this week or the president has been formally rebuked, that's on his record forever. some people say who cares? he cares. he would rather not know his children and others are going to look at this. this history if people don't know the it must be relearned as so many american lessons of the
must be. you remember there from when you were a child. neal katyal told you this. we had this reporting from when they were desegregating the schools. several troops had to use their clubs to push this crowd to prevent anyone from molesting this young woman, this young woman of color. "don't let her in. don't get back where you came from," they yelled. that was 1957. >> my story is from you know, 1981, like these things happen. and again, to me the point is not so much is trump a racist. of course, he is. are his supporters racist? of course. what has to happen is we have to understand how to defeat these people. right? we know that a majority of white people will vote for trump again. they did the last time. a majority of white people have voted for the republican nominee every presidential election since the passage of the civil
rights act. that's just a fact. that is not change willing. but we also know that a majority of white people are still a minority of americans. and we know that when you pull together, nonwhite people and jewish people and the white people who reject this kind of racism, that we have enough to beat donald trump. and so the point i think that we have to take from this week is now we can see clearly we have to put this election on the moral grounds. are you going to support the now openly bigoted president and his openly bigoted supporters or you are not? it's a simple binary choice. >> and you say it's binary and blair, that pressure which i alluded to in our introduction to the segment was clearly felt by the president today. in other words, whatever the ethical and moral condemnation is, the notion that heal go on and do anything has not been born out. what he will oif is reefing to some sort of pressure appears to have worked for at least a few hours today because we went
through the fact check now so viewers can hear. the president claiming that you know, he didn't stand by at all really. take a look. >> when your supporters last night were chanting send her back, why didn't you stop them? why didn't you ask them to stop saying that. >> number one, i there i did. i started speaking very quickly. it really was a -- i disagree with it, by the way. but it was quite a chant. and i felt a little bit badly about it. but i will say this, i did and i starred speaking very quickly. >> and blair, i want you to respond, of course, i want to say as the anchor here that's false. the president was being quoted. sometimes our job is to say the obvious. but this is language that he resuscitated as we've shown from this historical racist playbook
and the chant is chanting it back to him. what does it tell you under this pressure today he wants to lie and say no, he disagreed with his own words? >> it's not just part of the historical racist playbook but part of the fascist playbook. il han said today president trump is a fascist and i absolutely agree with that. it's terrifying him to see. him walking it back during the rally when he said tomorrow they'll tell me this is all controversial and i'll brush it off, it's got be where he's backed into a corner. what he can't do is do what so many young people do is not do their homework the entire semester and be shocked when they fail the class. in the same way, he can't be espousing racist ideology and not be surprised when the chickens are coming home to roost which is what's happening right now. i do fear for not only congresswoman ilhan omar but congresswoman aoc, ayanna
pressl pressley. rashida. it's terrifying to see and be a woman of color experiencing this vitriol. he's threat.ed by this amazing firebrand happening within the democratic party. it's not a question of whether or not these people represent the party but this is the core of the democratic party. so i'm excited to see people standing with these women and pushing against this hate and racist vitriol. >> very strongly put. stay with me. i want to add to this conversation for another part of the story. i'm alberta, who is a author, "american carnage on the front lines of the republican civil war and the rise of president trump," and some of the things in that book having fueled plenty of stories on tv lately. thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> given you've been up close there, one of the worst things we hear and vufrz this show will know we invite on people across the board. i mentioned at the top of the show i have a current member of the trump administration on the show later. a lot of them say look, it's not
all republican, not all trump supporters and some quantum of ugliness and racism that isn't everybody. how do you approach that will? what is your metric and where does your book take us on this battle? >> well, that's a good question. look, i think what the president misses here and anybody who is around donald trump will tell that you he talks incessantly of the base, the base, the base, the base. he is laser focused on the base. when is he talks about the base, he's talking specifically about the culturally conservative sort of middle and working class largely blue collar rural and exurb of his base. the true believers who wear the maga hats who show up to the rallies. that is his base. it's important to understand in politics you win with coless. for every one voter that donald trump believes he is mobilizing and galvanizing with that kind of rhetoric, is he potentially
alienating the other part of the republican coalition who doesn't like this kind of stuff. >> that's almost a little bit of the easy part. i'm asking you the hard part. how popular is this stuff across the republican party? and why do so many republicans who used to speak out including in leadership like lindsey graham, why have they changed their tune? for that, take a look. >> he's a jackass. >> really? >> that he's bringing his name down and he's not helping the process and he shouldn't be commander in chief. >> isn't it racist though to say accepted her back? >> no, i don't think it's racist. >> tim. >> so you're asking two different questions, how popular is with within the republican party and why don't they speak out. the answer to the second question is because there's a binary choice in today's republican party. are you with or against trump. we're way part of the point in which there were significant
ideologicaldiciouses. the trump party circa 2019 is a very simple choice facing these people. it's jeff flake, mark sanford, bob cooker, justin amash. the rest of the republican elected officials can see very clearly what happens when you cross the president. they're worried about their careers. it's political. >> what about integrity? >> what about integrity? there's a reason that people like justin amash finally threw up their hands and left the party. there's a reason like paul ryan waited till retirement to ultimately voice these concerns he's had. he's caught a ton of blowback for it. i think there are an awful lot of republicans willing to go along withing there because they think the president is going to win re-election. but at the first sign of trump losing in 2020 there is going to be a race for the exits. everybody will be trying to wash their hands of this so they can
look good in the history books. obviously it's not going to look. >> the fundamental question we can sit with and what connects each of the points you guys have raised here is what will it take because going along with something for politics that cuts at the divisions that caused a civil war in this country that go to the original sins of this country, if politics is your rebuttal to that, you may have some explaining to do to yourself in the years to come. my thanks to tim alberta and your reporting, blair and ellie for your wisdom tonight. thank you each. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. we have to fit in a break. the lawmaker driving trump impeachment now says there is a first step and it copies. that it was something that is just getting started from last night. howard dean is here on the democratic party. also, administration officials, how do they defend these immigration policies, these photos? this testimony? i have a trump border official joining us for the first time tonight. we will get into it. cross-examine style.
later, new documents from the feds on trump's involvement in the stormy daniels hush money case which is what landed michael cohen in prison. a lot more ahead tonight on the beat". prison. a t lomore ahead tonight on the beat". (vo) parents have a way of imagining the worst... ...especially when your easily distracted teenager has the car. at subaru, we're taking on distracted driving [ping] with sensors that alert you when your eyes are off the road. the all-new subaru forester. the safest forester ever. woman 1: this... woman 2: ...this... man 1: ...this is my body of proof. man 2: proof of less joint pain...
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detention centers. the acting dhs center kevin mckleen was in the hot seat before the house oversight committee. >> you feel like you're doing a great job, right? is that what you're saying? >> we're doing our level best. >> what does that mean when a child is sitting in their own feces, can't take a shower? come on, man. what's that about? none of us would have our children in that position. they are human beings. >> it was an intense hearing about these intense topics. there are a lot more questions that need to be answered with other officials. consider mark morgan who recently took this huge post as acting commissioner of u.s. customs and border protection. he has a lot of power. we have a lot of questions for him. he joins me when we're back in 30 seconds. he joins me when we're back in 30 seconds ♪ ♪
award winning interface. award winning design. award winning engine. the volvo xc90. the most awarded luxury suv of the century. administration acting cbp commissioner mark morgan. thanks for coming on "the beat." >> you bet. thanks for having me. >> let me start by playing for you some of the emotional testimony we've heard. i know you're familiar with some of this. this is a mother describing the death of her 1-year-old daughter in u.s. custody and she says i.c.e. officials told her "this
for congress to do what we've been asking them to do for a very long time. it's not complicated. you address the floor settlement agreement which says we have to release kids and families in 20 days, tvpra which tells us we have to let kids into this country and fix the beginning part of the asylum process. if congress does that, then you deincentivize and fix the loopholes in the system, you will see the numbers go down. >> to make sure i understand your response though, are you saying that death is not the fault of the people in charge of the facility, it's the fault of the policymakers in congress or no one's fault in your viewed. >> that's part of the challenge. i'm glad you're asking that question. this isn't about fault. this is looking at this from a holistic approach and seeing the tragedies. i'm glad we're talking about it. what i'm saying if congress passes meaningful legislation to address the loopholes in our current asylum process, you will
see these individuals stop making this perilous trek, stop making the cartels a multibillion dollar industry, stop risking their lives. >> that goes to the multiple reasons that people make this trek as you know. i want to dig into some of the facts. it's your first time on the show and i appreciate you coming on and you have a big job. the president said there would be these mass raids. described as thousands of arrests. were there mass raids, yes or no? >> first of all, i don't actually call this a raid. i think words matter. >> words matter so i'm going to get to your response. were there mass raids as promised? >> again, these are not raids. these are targeted enforcement operations. and you know. >> okay let me play for you, let me play for you people did say about numbers. the president tweeted about millions, then the administration said thousands and this is what your boss, the president, said. >> it starts on sunday. and they're going to take people
out and they're going to bring them back to their countries or they're going to take criminals out, put them prison. >> they're absolutely going to happen. there's approximately a million people in this country with removal orders. >> many, many were taken out on sunday. you didn't know about it. we had many people. it was a very successful day but you didn't see a lot of it. >> what you just said disagrees with president trump. you're saying in fact there were not no, sir those mass raids. >> no, that's not what i said. you're putting words in my mouth. everything that you just played is absolutely correct. there are over a million individuals here illegally with an order of removal. i.c.e. does this every single day. yes, there was an operation that which they do every single day that makes. >> was it in the thousands? >> removing people here illegally. >> was it in the thousands? >> this is what i.c.e. does every single day. >> was it in the thousands? know you can hear me. >> first of all, i'm no longer the director of i.c.e. >> i understand. >> with respect to the results of the operations on going
operations, i.c.e. is the best person and best position to give you those numbers. >> you were here because have you authority. you have authority over people's lives. you're at cbp, used to be at i.c.e. you were in these meetings. we're trying to draw information from you. if your position is the president was wronging to claim mass raids occurred, that's important for people to know. if your position is mass raids did occur. >> you're putting words in your mouth. >> i'm not, sir. i'm not putting words in your mouth. >> you are. >> i am cross examining. >> i did not disagree with the president. >> with your that's right in the u.s. government. let me put up the facts and i'll give you a chance. multiple outlets not a lot of debate here, despite weeks of threats, raids began with a whimper. large scale raids failed to materialize. few signs of fas raids. no reports of mass arrests. when the president of the united states says multiple times that there are going to be these mass raids in the thousands, when you heard mr. cuccinelli say it is absolutely going to happen and
it did not happen, what is your response to that and isn't it problematic if not all together misleading for the united states it on the announce things repeatedly not do them and then president to say actually they did happen. >> i disagree completely with your characterization what was said. from a law enforcement perspective, you can ask the president what he meant by tweets. from a law enforcement perspective, you will not find a single law enforcement officer that referred to this as mass raids or gave all the numbers that were going to happen with this targeted operation. >> so the president overstated it in his tweets? >> no, no, in my opinion, if you look at the facts of what he was saying and if you look an the facts presented when had somebody says there are over a million people here with final orders of removal, no one said that a single operation we were going to target and apprehend thousands in one operation. no one said that. >> i'm going to move forward with the time we have.
i just showed the viewers the president said it. he wrote it.p.p. he posted to the internet and mr. cuccinelli said it was absolutely going to happenpy want to get one more thing. i want to read to to you the standards in the cbp commission that you run. employees will not act in a manner which improperly takes into consideration race or national origin. i assume you would say you take that seriously and enforce it with your staff. is that correct. >> 100%. >> would it be consistent or inconsistent with those standards for your staff to sickle out people based on race or national origin and say they should go back where they came from? >> so look, i know what you're referring to is the president's tweet. again you have to ask the president what he meant by his tweet. >> no, sir, i'm asking you with the authority you have, would you say based on the standards i'll put them back up on the screen. this is about you and your staff and the people you're in charge
of. employees won't act in a manner which takes into consideration race or national origin. is telling people whether they be american citizens or not to go back where they came from, consistent with american or not. >> if there was a violation of policy, we will aggressively investigate that. >> sewed you would view that as unacceptable by your agents and yet, it's what the president is doing now in publicing? >> again, i knew that's where you were going, but again, you can't take something out of context and ask me to talk about it. >> it's not whether you know where i'm going. you have an obligation to the constitution above and beyond making the president happy, correct. >> yes, i do. i take that obligation freely and seriously. >> final chance now, would you say that telling someone to go back where they came from, violates those standards or not. >> again, you have to take every situation in context. if that does happen by an employee, we will investigate it, take it seriously and if we find a violation, we will absolutely impose appropriate disciplinary action.
>> acting cbp commissioner mark morgan, you're busy in the line of fire. i appreciate you taking the questions. >> you bet. >> thank you, sir. >> we have a lot more. these new fbi documents came out today showing trump's level of involvement in an illegal hush money scheme paying off stormy daniels. michael cohen just issued a new response from jail. first, this impeachment debate hits a boiling point inside the democratic party next. hits a boiling point inside the democratic party next. advanced safety technology on a full line of vehicles. now, at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. lease the 2019 es 350 for $379 a month, for 36 months, and we'll make your first month's payment. experience amazing. [ text notification now that you have] new dr. scholl's massaging gel advanced insoles with softer, bouncier gel waves, you'll move over 10% more than before. dr. scholl's. born to move.
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the other big story is democrats politically united in their outrage over donald trump but now clearly divided on what to do. consider a single data point. 41% of democrats voted to support this new bill to impeach trump. translation, the majority when asked to go on record for the first time in the democratic house said no or not right now. i want to get into it with the man who used to run the democratic party among other
things, governor howard dean. >> democrats are furious. trump is wrecking the country. what do you want to do about it? that's the problem. the problem is if we continue to make trump the issue, he's going to win the election. trump is really good at making himself the center of attention. when he does it, everybody knows he's a jerk and they don't like him. when we do it, we're not getting our message out. >> when democrats do it, you think it looks like they're enabling him? >> the best thing is he could say i was cleared for the whole election psych. >> you disagree we congressman green who forced pel at the's hand this week. take a look what he's saying now. >> well, the resolution was tabled but the march is not. the effort was not. this is a process. that was a step in the process. this president will be impeached. we will continue. >> that may be true. i don't disagree with that. the only criticism i have at this point, we'll talk about
this for three or four weeks and i continue to support pelosi's choices here. i do think the committees have to move faster. oversight committee -- >> to bear down. >> yes. >> before i let you go, i want to play some vintage dean on dean because you've been dealing with these internal debates in your role for a while. take a look. >> i'm tired of trying to get reforms through congress and then have the democrats fight among each other how to do it? >> if we can stop arguing among ourselves and do thing. >> in four years when i was running the dnc, i could never get the washington democrats to stay on message. that's true. >> is there something about "democrats" that they debate each other more than the republicans. >> no, that's actually not true. the reason we aren't on message is we don't have a standard bearer. i never worry about that in the off years. i do worry about that going into the election. when we have a nominee, we're then going to have a clear message.
when have you 22 people each with their nuances not to mention 200 members of congress and 40 senators or whatever it is, you're going to have 40 different messages. i'm not worried about that. >> snooinl final lightning round, speaker he will a grade one to ten. you give her a. >> 9 1/2. she said she's going to be a transitional figure. i think that's important. i see only one more term after this one at the most. she's the best in the business. she is the best in the business. >> we wanted to talk democrats. you are the guy. howard dean, thank you as all for coming by "the beat." >> we're breaking down the revelations coming out of these newly released michael cohen documents including news what trump knew about the illegal payments. later we have a special report that goes deep near into the racial and culture clashes including how the echoes of the past matter from reagan to trump and beyond coming up. past mattep and beyond coming up you desire on a full line of utility vehicles. at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. lease the 2019 rx 350 for $389 a month, for 36 months,
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made them through his company were not the sitting president but were a civilian, in your view, would the sdny charge that. >> yes. >> would you charge that case. >> if i had the facts, yeah. >> that's the former chief of sdny which handle this had case and he knows the people who deal with it. he doesn't say that lightly when he says basically the candidate who benefits trump would have been indicted in his view if he weren't the sitting president. wow. coming up, i want to tell you we have something very special. we've been working very hard on. we're going tro trace the arc of some of today's biggest cultural clashes including race with one of the most special guests we've ever had. he came up the ranks from harlem from trump to reagan and beyond when we come back. o reanag and when we come back. running circles ♪ for miles and miles. ♪ being lost ain't never really been my style. ♪ but i told ya... yo, jer! we gotta get to the show. ♪ i was looking for a sign. get on the bus.
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now we turn to something different and very special. it's a story decades in the making that sheds light on the politics of today in the broadest sense. i've been working on parts of this for the last few weeks and i believe it will interest you a lot. it begins as a story of crime and drugs, politics and fashion in 1970s harlem with shoot-outs, dice games and a drug epidemic that sparked a national crackdown in policing. >> on the streets of new york it's called crack and the deals go down quickly. >> with crack so cheap and accessible on inner at the streets and a waiting list for drug treatment programs so long,
no one is even guessing how widespread the epidemic of crack babies will be. >> this squad of white is heading for patrol duty in black harlem. there been charges of abuse and mentality. >> the u.s. murder hit an all-time high in 19 0. new york was ground zero. ruthless gangsters like nikki barnes scared the city and many saw it as a problem of black inner city neighborhoods while gangsters outside new york terrorized new york. gangsters assassinated mob boss big paul. and new yorkers like donald trump called for a crackdown as lou and order became a national political mantra. >> i hate these people. let's all hate these people because maybe hate is what we need if we're going to get something done. >> crime today is an american epidem epidemic. we intend to do what is
necessary to end the drug menace and end organized crime. >> there were nlaws on the war n drugs. this was the vice president that raised this man. daniel day, born in harlem in 1944, he did what many young men did to survive, hustling, gambling, finding ways to make money underground. while so many of his peers were cut down by drugs or violence or prison, he not only survived he, he thrived by building the persona dapper dan. first as one of the best dressed hustlers in har lep, then as a salesman, then turning himself into the fashion icon he is today, originating a luxury style fashion companies were not offering. top houses like louis vuitton and gucci did not cater to harlem's community. he saw a market opportunity. his peers. dan knew then what many corporations were ignoring.
harlem had style, customers and it had money, especially from the gangsters. he innovated a whole new look, buying up gucci bags and bags for the logo and marketing that as a new street clothes and marketing it as a street style, a downtown mix of luxury up town. take a look at this gucci jacket with the logo featured along with the custom leather trim. it repurposes the iconic gucci for a new jacket. dan's customers said they knew he was making something original. they weren't paying for the gucci logo, but for remix. the style became a hit with underworld anti-heroes like some of these gangsters. dan lined some of the boats with bulletproof material upon request. athletes and musicians started to echo the same style. here are his jackets for mike tyson or walter barry, sporting the jacket cover. and the same look favored here by the rapper, the fat boys or rapper ll cool j, wearing a
track suit covered in those logos. stars ranging from beyonce to salma hayek would go on to rock dan's signature style. and dan's harlem shop grew from the attention. his customers paid extra for the dapper dan look, they knew they weren't buying a gucci product, just like andy warhol's fans knew he was making art, not soup ads. but the fashion houses did not see it that way. they cracked down, suing dan, seizing his product. more heat followed. subpoenas for his harlem clients, raids on his store there was even a talented young lawyer sonia sotomayor who showed up one day to help her client lead a raid. she did everything by the book and even complimented a mink coat he had in the showroom. dan had many customers and artists on his side, and most culture echoes something. picasso joked bad artists copy and good artists steal. he openly remixed other artists
like you see here, velazquez. but the fashion houses had power and money on their side, and they ran dan's shop out of business. he went back underground. followed some financial troubles and sad days with the next step after his life's work was shut down. now in his 70s, what was left? i want to tell you, this story could end there, but that thing about artists copying and stealing, it came full circle as one of the fashion houses that sued dan was now copying his signature look you see here from 1989, the dapper dan outfit, and gucci echoing it in this runway jacket in 2017, igniting controversy over why a corporation gets to do the very thing it sued dan over. they first claimed it was an homage, and the story might end there with blowback until people moved on. but then gucci partnered with dan to reopen his boutique in harlem so they could make clothes together, uniting the fashions of the runway and the street under one roof, and offering an alternative ending for two styles that were so
rivalrous, they competed as they copied each other. this all includes dan's triumphant return at the height of fashion at anna wintour's met gala this past may. dan said people coveted his fashion because he deconstructed brands to the essence of their power crests that signified wealth, power and prestige. he claims my customers wanted to buy into that power. dan built wealth, respect, and power for himself and his community and lost some of it when those corporations came for him. it's a testament to his work and the spirit of harlem that he now stands taller than ever astride these two worlds, drawing respect and power from both. my special guest tonight is dapper dan. thanks for being here. >> thank you, thank you. that was excellent introduction. thank you so much. >> you have inspired a lot of people. how did you persevere when as we saw there was so much coming up
against you? >> you know, ari, i think that when you're born poor and you go through trials and tribulations, you evaluation that ability to bounce back. everybody know house to do good. what we learned early on how to do bad. so coming back was just my blood. >> we look at a young donald trump. >> yes. >> bad-mouthing harlem. we looked at president reagan singling out the drug epidemic. what did you learn from the excesses of crime and violence in that era that you had survive? >> you would have to have lived in it to understand, right. and at the time, when the rico act put a lot of minority people in jail, but at the time there was a major change taking place. you can argue that we have a lot of men of color in the national penitentiaries and throughout the country now, but you have to
have seen what a crack baby looks like, you know. when you see what a crack baby looks like, and if you go back in time to see what that did, to see a baby crying through the night and seeing families begging and walking away and leaving their children, it's a different feel. >> we have a culture i would argue across diverse communities where there is a glorification with the drug and gangster life, whether it's the godfather and that's italian mafia, or the harlem gangsters we're talking about or scar face. what do you say to young people who look at this how to tap into that without being destroyed by it? >> that's the irony. the thing i'm trying to escape from, they were glorifying. it turned out that way. but the message try to give to young guys is, you know, we, the gangsters, we were never and the culture was never about glorifying and staying involved in it. the culture was about the
gangsters was to escape it, and then the rappers came along and changed the message. they change to it make it look glorified, make it look honey-coated, and it wasn't honey at all. >> i want to take a page out of musician nos, who is very famous, worked with many artists, talking about you. because so many people in the culture in harlem and beyond knew about you, even after you were shut down. take a look. >> he had the foresight to do back then what they just started doing maybe ten years, five years after him. >> would you be at the height you are now without the stars and without the streets, and which mattered more in supporting you? >> it's a combination of both, because the stars are important because they interpret the culture of the street. and the reason the stars gravitated towards me is i was the street. they were buying in to the life that i walked away from. so the credibility was enormous.
i'm the guy in between who can take them there, who can give them that credibility. and that's why they gravitated towards me. >> you write in here the only people who were excited about hustling were peep who didn't actually have to do it every day. >> exactly. the street has a light side and a dark side. if you don't understand that, you'll be there when it implodes. even a person like myself, as skilled and as knowledgeable of it myself, i had to realize that you cannot be in it and not of it. so eventually i had to pull, withdraw. and when i went underground, i said i have a bullet in my neck as a result of trying to be there, you know? i had a three story building on 125th street. but i started out from a table on 125th street. and when the brands raided me down, i always prepared myself to start all over again, and i went back to a table on 125th street. and then underground for 20 years, man. so that's something i was prepared to do. >> i want to ask you something a
little funny that is the exact story you describe. near the end of the book, everything is shut down, it looks dark, and you say you had trouble even selling a t-shirt at that very table. >> yes. >> and i read that, and i thought here's someone, if i may, and tell me if i'm wrong, here's someone who has incredible pride but very little ego. >> and that's the key. if you can bury your ego, then there is always possibilities. you know, i'm riding around in a mercedes-benz, guccied out. i'm riding around with a jeep, mcm out. i'm the talk of the town. but i had to learn to swallow that and go back to where i started at, and start all over again. and that incident you talking about, when i had to start all over, i was out there and tour buses was coming to harlem and 125th street, and i was trying to sell t-shirts. i counted 144 buses and didn't sell one t-shirt.
>> in a single day? >> in a single day. and i was determined to turn that around. the next day, the next year i looked up, i had $100,000. so that's what perseverance is. but i knew that i could do that. >> did you think you'd be here at this age, at this height? >> my mission was to talk about what we be talking about now. i've seen it. i'm the last generation that's seen harlem before a drug epidemic. and i need to remind people like of what we are. this is not who we are. all the children that's growing up now and the young men growing up now, they're growing up in a drug culture, and i have to tell the story. fashion is my platform to tell, it's the biggest story, and that's what i want to do. but i think the devastatie inin the root of a lot of young black men and hispanic young men in jail has everything to do with the incumbent cher that grew out of the drug epidemics. >> it's a fascinating story that you tell here, and that you're here to continue to lead on. i appreciate you coming by "the
beat." the book is "dapper dan: made in harlem, a memoir." dapper dan, thank you so much. >> thank you, ari. >> really appreciate it. this has been "the beat." "hardball" is up next. a dangerous rallying cry. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm steve kornacki in for chris matthews. president trump spent most of his day today trying to disavow that repugnant chant from the crowd at his rally in greenville, north carolina last night. that chant of "send her back." days after the president tweeted that four minority congresswomen should go back to their countries, even all four of them are u.s. citizens, the audience erupted when he singled out minnesota congresswoman ilhan omar who imgritted from somalia