tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN July 15, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT
top of the hour. good morning, i'm poppy harlow. >> and i'm jim sciutto in washington. right now on capitol hill, a deafening silence from republican lawmakers as outrage grows over racist comments made by the president of the united states. it has been 24 hours since president trump attacked four minority congresswomen saying they should go back to what the president called the totally broken and crime infested places they came from, of course, three of them were born here in the usa.
>> this morning, congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez is pushing back calling the president's words hallmark language of white supremacists and if you are waking up this monday morning and feel like haven't we been here before, yes, we have. the president has a long history of using racially charged large from questioning president obama's birthplace to calling mexican immigrants racist and on and on. boris sanchez at the white house with more, charlottesville, need i continue? how is the white house and those closest to the president framing the comments? he's not walking away from them but doubling, tripling down on them. >> reporter: you're right. the president is digging in on this. at least one white house official has denied that president trump is a racist even though as you pointed out he frequently franks in the language of white nationalists trying to court support from people who are uncomfortable with immigration, perhaps uncomfortable with demographic changes and people of color.
now, the president feels comfortable doing this in large part because he hasn't felt the consequences of making these kinds of remarks. republicans who have been critical of this president in the past have largely remained silent on this. the vice president's chief of staff spoke out this morning saying that i believes the president is not a racist. listen. >> i don't think that the president's intent anyway is racist. i think he's trying to point out the fact since elected it's hard to find anything on him. >> short also pointed to transportation secretary elaine chao as evidence of president trump's inclusiveness. let's point out the obvious. there are plenty who disagree with the president and his vision of the united states and speaks so just as forcefully as these four progressive congresswomen like bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. the president is not telling
them to go back to their countries. >> thanks very much for the reporting. joining me suzanne mall very live on capitol hill. so the silence from gop lawmakers, one congressman, chip roy, the one to make a critical comment since retweeted one of the president's own comments seemingly supporting him. i imagine you're speaking to people on capitol hill. are any republican lawmakers saying in private that they criticize the president? >> reporter: jim, it's interesting. we've been combing the halls and twitter account of many and the democrats are coming to the aid of these four congresswomen who are under fire. very little from republicans who are actually speaking. we might have a better opportunity in the house when they convene at 2:00 and the senate when it convenes at 3:00. what we have heard, however, from some republicans and really just a few, senator lindsey graham, the friend of the president on fox talking about and urging the president to aim higher he says while at the same
time not personally attacking these congresswomen and begins this interview doing just that. take a listen. >> tweets were negative. >> i think there are american citizens duly elected running on an agenda that's disgusting that the american people will reject. talk about what it means for america to have free health care for illegal immigrants and no criminalization of coming into the country. see how that works for controlling immigration. their ideas are anti-semitic and talk about the israeli state if they're a bunch of thugs, not victims of the entire region. they wanted to impeach trump on day one. they're socialists. they're anti-semitic. they stand for all the things that most americans disagree with, make them the face of the future of the democratic party. you will destroy the democratic party. >> senator, it sounds like you're saying the president went too far with these -- >> i don't think -- aim higher. you don't need to -- they are
american citizens. they won an election. take on their policies. the bottom line here is this is a diverse country. >> and also representative chip roy taking a similar tact putting out this saying that the president of the united states was wrong to say any american citizen whether in congress or not has any home besides the u.s. but i just as strongly believe n noncitizens who abuse our immigration laws should be sent home immediately and representatives who refuse to defend america should be sent home 11/2020 meaning the election here. had an opportunity this morning to speak with senator an gus king. an independent from maine and i asked him straight up if he thought this was racist, the president's comments. he did not go that far but he did say that he believed that they were wrong. he was urging his republican colleagues to speak out about this. he turned to the president and said, have you no shame? and he also believes that this is something that will rally the democrats. we have already seen that, jim,
and poppy, many democratic staffers, aides and tweets, members of congress coming to these four congresswomen's aid and support as well as speaker pelosi. >> well, senator graham also said those four sitting congresswomen hate this country, i'm quoting directly and called them communists, unclear what he's basing that comment on. i'm sure they would agree. suzanne malveaux, thank you very much. >> a great and important point. all of what he said should be taken into account. let's talk about this and more with the first vice chair of the congressional congress. look, your response to this was personal. here's part of what you tweeted over the weekend. growing up i used to hear go back to mexico from many kids though i was born in the united states. has the president with these words essentially, congressman, served to unite an inincrea --
increasingly divided congress. >> absolutely. this president has united us but more importantly it's united the white nationalist movement in the country. the president is the figure head of that movement and even though many people have tried to deny it this president is racist, will continue to be racist and the only way you stop people like president trump is you defeat him at the ballot box. >> so why the pretty much silence from republican senators and members of the house? i mean, mentioned chip roy and lindsey graham but i don't get it. anna that regard row -- >> the republican party only can exist as a national party if they bring in racists into their coalition. that's it. >> i don't know that that's -- the history of the party doesn't show us that, congressman. are you saying now. >> as a matter of fact. you look at the history of the party, first hurt with george bush and look even further down the line you see even more actions by other candidates. if you look at how this president started his campaign he started by running a rumor
about the first black president being born in africa and then calling mexicans rapists and thugs crossing the border. the press and a lot of people don't want to admit it. this president is racist, the republican party relight on racism to continue winning because they have no ideas. their ideas are unpopular and only way to continue to win national elections is buy stoking this anger. >> you are hearing no -- you are hearing privately -- i mean have you talked to republican -- your republican colleagues over the weekend and saying privately they have not expressed dismay to you even about the president's comments. >> look, it doesn't matter if they say anything to me privately. >> why? >> it does not. that shows no courage. what matters here is the fact that they're not willing to stand up to the racism that exists within their party and rely on it. they rely on it to win every election cycle. i'm from arizona. this is what they did every psych many. targeted immigrants and latinos and that's the only way to win. their ideas are not popular in
this country. >> congressman, let me ask you about and this is tied to it, the immigration raids that the i.c.e. raids were set to begin. we haven't seen much evidence of them but yesterday and continue for a week. you told msnbc recently that the deportation policy under the previous administration, the obama/biden administration was, quote, way too harsh and contributed to the environment we are in today, of course, we know that over 2.5 million immigrants were deported over -- during the obama administration and was dubbed by some rights groups as the deporter in chief. you clearly had an issue with that policy. given that, what would you and your fellow members of the congressional hispanic congress need to hear from vice president biden about that policy to give you enough confidence that he would do something differently as president, that would give you enough confidence to grant him your endorsement? >> well, certainly my endorsement is not going to be contingent on an apology.
i think recognition that there was a problem in the past will be very important. the thing that happened with the last president was not just that he set up the policies, he did have a deferred program for families that were here that were not, you know, committing major crimes or had committed major crimes. you have an i.c.e. agency rogue and was rogue the whole time and was essential amelie deporting people en masse without the president stepping in. i think the most important thing is the next president, whether it's biden or anyone else, they need to understand that this agency needs to be reined in. if they don't it will continue going forward. >> let me clearly understand what you're saying here. you either do blame president obama and former vice president biden for those depore takes during those eight years or you don't. >> no, no, i do. i'm sorry. i tend to be a very clear person. you know, obviously i blame the people that were in charge but part of that is they have to recognize where it was coming -- >> good to have that
clarification. before you go as you look at the broad and it's a big democratic field and will see all those contenders on the stage in the cnn debate coming up at the end of the month, but of those and their proposals so far on immigration, some say eliminate i.c.e. altogether. who do you think has the most sensible immigration plan? >> yeah, i think it's tough to say right now. i think everyone is actually making a very good effort at putting together a plan. the most important thing, though -- >> give me a few flames. they're all over the board. from eliminate i.c.e. to don't eliminate i.c.e. a big gap. >> that's also a difference between our interpretation. that's enforcement, not necessarily immigration. if you're talking about immigration reform so far you have elizabeth warren and julian castro having some thoughtful ideas of what they're doing as well as kamala harris. now, the other area that you're talking about is when it comes to enforcement everyone is left to that. in my opinion there is somewhere in the middle we need to make
sure we have enforcement to stop bad people coming into the country and understand who is coming to this country and no candidate, democrat that is running right now from what i've seen actually wants open borders and i think that's really important for people to understand. there is a characterization out there that is otherwise. >> we are out of time but i would note that's what a lot took away from all of them on that stage raising their hand during the nbc debate saying they would decriminalize crossing the border. >> that does not mean open borders. you still have to control the border. >> congressman reuben gallego, thanks for joining us. important time. still to come this hour, lawyers from jeffrey epstein say he should be able to stay at home before his trial but prosecutors say the accused sex trafficker should remain in jail. not in his multimillion dollar mansion. so what will the judge decide? plus, police investigating the very troubling and mysterious death of a beloved community activist after her body was found in the trunk of a
car in baton rouge, louisiana. what happened? >> just a horrible story there. thousands of american and united airlines flights have been canceled now. this is boeing's troubles with the 737 max jet could now stretch into next year. this is the couple who wanted to get away who used expedia to book the vacation rental which led to the discovery that sometimes a little down time can lift you right up.
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accused sex trafficker jeffrey epstein is now in a new york courtroom for his bail hearing where a judge will hear arguments on whether epstein can put up his jet and nearly $80 million mansion as part of a bond package to get him out of jail while he awaits trial if his lawyers say he should be able to stay at home under monitoring before the trial. prosecutors say he must stay in jail. with us again shimon. this is all happening right now. you just got some news. what did the judge just say? >> reporter: right. so just moments ago, poppy, the judge saying he does not intend to rule today. 'not going to make a decision on whether jeffrey epstein should be released pending trial in the case. instead he's going to allow both side, attorneys for the
prosecutors and the defense team to argue, argue their case for about 20 minutes each and then issue a ruling in written form on thursday. for now at least until thursday jeffrey epstein will remain in jail and then the judge will decide by thursday whether or not he should be released. of course, the defense attorneys are asking that jeffrey epstein be released to go and spend time under home confinement electronic monitoring with security guards that they intend to hire in essence creating a jail at his $77 million mansion, prosecutors are vehemently opposed to this. they're saying he is a flight risk and also concern here, prosecutors say, for the victims. their concern, he can cause a dangerous situation for victims who want to come forward and for the victims in this case because perhaps he could try to somehow influence their testimony. they already have evidence of him, they say, trying to buy the
silence of potential witnesses and all this, they're saying is a big, big concern for them and that is why he should remain in jail, and, of course, there could be possibly other charges in connection with this case, poppy. >> yeah, that's right. okay, shimon, thank you so much. keep us posted. joining us to discuss it a former corruption prosecutor for the southern district of new york where this case will be tried. thanks so much for taking the time this morning? thanks for having me, jim. >> let's look at what his lawyers are requesting here to stay at home in effect in his mansion while awaiting trial. they're going to put a gps monster on him. put up his corporate jet as collateral for the bond. for normal people without corporate jets and high priced lawyers would a judge normally grant a request to stay at home while awaiting trial? >> absolutely not. and this judge in particular is predisposed not to entertain
this type of gilded cage argument that epstein's lawyers are putting forth. in fact, this judge, judge berman several years ago a gold trader from turkey made the same argument and in a written opinion he said well just because you're rich you can't buy your way out of jail. >> danger to his other victims and more coming out, to his victims, what is the danger that prosecutors are concerned about if he is allowed to go home while he awaits trial. >> the danger is that, one, he can influence and try to influence other witnesses, remember, over the weekend it was reported that he'd actually given hundreds of thousands of dollars to co-conspirators to try to influence them. so there's that danger. also there's the danger that he is still committing crimes. remember, that he also in his safe at his new york mansion kept discs labeled girls nude
photos so it seems even though ten years have passed he's still committing crime potentially. >> yeah. and you mentioned that because just last week julie brown, of course, "miami herald" reporter who has led a lot of the revelations reporting on this case said that more than 12 new jeffrey epstein accusers have come forward. he already has a number of accusers against him. clearly enough for this trial to proceed here in new york in addition to the one that took place in florida. could this lead to further charges, these new accusers coming forward? >> it absolutely can and i, frankly, expect an additional indictment. the southern district of new york continues to investigate as i am sure they are doing right now. they have more potential victims, which could mean more recent conduct and more charges for epstein. >> let me ask you this as well just from your own experience, you are a corruption and fraud prosecutor in the southern district of new york. i'm sure you saw and dealt with a lot of bad actors during that
time period. what do you think big picture about the treatment that jeffrey epstein received in florida? does it give you concerns that someone with a lot of money, a lot of powerful friends and powerful lawyers can influence the system and not face the justice they deserve? >> well, jim, i actually also did sex trafficking crimes, i prosecuted those types of crimes and it hits a visceral nerve that epstein got the treatment he did, that should have never happened. i cannot fathom why he got it. and it's sickening because, frankly, as a prosecutor your job is to speak for victims. and here in florida what happened was the victims were silenced, they were kept in the dark and the prosecutors didn't fight for them. i hate to say it. that's what happened. >> wow, that's quite a damning indictment. kan nawaday, thanks very much. the continuing grounding of the 737 max jet has led to
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because of the grounding of that 737 max jet. >> and we're also learning it's becoming more likely boeing's troubles with the 737 max will now stretch into 2020. tom foreman is in washington and joins us now to explain. have they discovered new problems with the jet or is it the solutions to the problems we already knew about aren't sufficient? >> reporter: a little bit of both seems to be the answer here. the real fundamental problem here is that every time they seem to be getting close to a finish line on this, the goalpost moves a little further out. i think the real key to that has been as they have looked at the basic airplane, not just this one problem, they've re-examined all sorts of earlier things that they said were fine or felt were okay and started saying, well, is that really okay? one of the questions, for example, being if you go to these manual controls, are they essentially too stiff for some piles to maneuver? are they requiring too much energy? american airlines expressed
faith in this and said that they remain confident impending software updates to the boeing 737 max along with new training elements developed in coordination will lead to recertification of the aircraft this year but the problem, jim and poppy, is that that's what has been said in some way or another throughout the year ever since they went to the ground in march and stay there had. >> what about the bigger picture issue? one thing it revealed a systemic problem that you had the faa farming out in effect a lot of the certification process to the manufacturer itself. is there any sign, signal that that process is going to be reformed so that there's more oversight in effect? >> reporter: there's a lot of execute city over at the faa. this sort of opened the box for everything. this is -- this is one of those things where they had one definable problem which was the mcas system that there was an
automatic leveling system that could go haywire and two terrible instances caused these planes to dive into the ground killing all people on board. what happened is they started scrutinizing that system, then people started saying, well, if you put a new revision in do you need time in a simulator or can you simply do it by updates? if we're putting that in do we change the software or change the hardware too and by the way now that we're looking at hardware what about that hardware we approved a long time ago? that's what happened. at the faa what happened is exactly as you described. are our procedures correct. >> was that part of it and this just keeps -- honestly it looks like it's getting bigger, not smaller as the months go on. that's the key problem here. >> yep, no question. >> tom foreman, thank you so much for being on this for us. we appreciate it. right now a majority of republican lawmakers are silent about the president's attacks of
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this morning there has been almost total silence from republican lawmakers in reaction to the president's latest racist attacks and that silence speaking volumes, you might say, about the state of the party and the national discussion. the president suggesting on twitter that four democratic lawmakers, congresswomen who happen to be minorities should,
quote, go back and fix the places they came from. well, three of them, three of these four women were born here in the u.s. the other a u.s. citizen now elected to congress. >> that's right. this morning the president's ally, senator lindsey graham did speak out saying the president should aim higher when attacking them and attack their policies, but he also called them a bunch of communists and said they hate our country. with us ar two ladies here to talk about it. i just -- i suppose i shouldn't be surprised at the lack of condemning, you know, statements like this. but i am a little surprised. especially as ana navarro pointed out in our last hour, what about ted cruz? what about marco rubio? where are they weighing in on this? >> well, i think at this point i guess it isn't really surprising that they're not stepping up because it seems like the
republican party has decided that it's better to be silent when trump says things like this than get on his radar and be attacked. more important to protect their seats and from primaries than to speak out. we should be clear were what the president was saying and the pressage he's sending not just to these four congresswomen but what about the somalian refugees who are here growing up and some are u.s. citizens and all the young children that have families that didn't come ear horjly, brown children who are now citizens. what is this message that the president is sending, that they cannot talk or have a role in this country because of where they're from or where their families are from. >> the thing about the comments, the comments by themself, of course, have weight coming from a sitting president of the united states but they are tied to policies. just today we saw the trump
administration introducing a rule that changes where and how people coming into mexico specifically can claim asylum. typically do you that in the country you're coming to, the trump administration unilaterally without congress setting a rule saying they must do that in mexico and tied to a whole host of other comments by the president, for instance, disparaging comments about muslims, then you have the muslim travel ban which eventually got through to become law. that's what's key, not just the words, is it not? it's words and an approach tied to policies. >> it's words plus actions and words plus the threat of actions coming from the leader of the free world who has the power to do not everything but a lot of things that can complicate many people's lives and we're not just talking about people that aren't americans but people that are mart of american families. this is why it's become such a close emotional issue for so many people. at this point the president seems to be taking the latitude he's been allowed by the fact that few in his party have
actually taken steps to stand up to him since he was a candidate. remember what he said when he said fairly racially incendiary things they disinvite him to appear in rallies and we're not seeing that anymore and wields this authority and also wields this influence over the base of the party that people seem to be afraid of. the fact there's this practice of keying silent when the president does incendiary things until forced to say something has given him latitude to push the envelope and as we've seen then it gets to a point where we have a moment how did that happen in the country? and those who might have stepped up two or three years ago haven't done it in the first 24 hours so anything they do say is interpresented as why did you wait so long? >> one thing that struck me was a tweet from george conway, of course, he is the husband of
kellyanne conway and i know he doesn't like the press at all. think about this. here's what he wrote on twitter. what would likely happen if anyone even a ceo made such a racist statement in any workplace in america? ayesha? can you imagine if a ceo said this, they would be out in 0.2 second. >> they would be. this is not acceptable from ceos or anyone who had to, you know, if you were the head of a company, no, this type of language would not be acceptable so coming from the president of the united states, it does carry a weight and it does at times it is tied to policy, right, and all of these things so when you have this coming from the president of the united states making these -- saying that american citizens, u.s. citizens need to go back to where they came from, that message to the
american people, it is a question of you can understand what he's trying to do. i think he's trying to rile up his base but at what cost? >> yeah, karoun, we're 16 months away from a presidential election, again, of course, midterm elections as well or congressional elections as well. this is a political strategy by this president, both the policies and the words. do you expect covering this administration to these kinds of comments to become more, not less common from the president? >> i mean, it doesn't seem like he is saying mea culpa or doing a backpedal. it doesn't seem like he is inclined to pull back from the threats of raids and other sorts of policies that have been stoking this fear and this split and this situation in which these racial epithets are defended by some. but it's -- yeah, it does not seem like he's going to change course any time soon so i imagine this will be par for the course. the question is, is it something he frequently repeats so often
it's all we talk about come the 2020 elections or sort of thing he will kind of quietly sidestep and move on to other things that seem to appeal to his base that we forget it happens and it's not so incendiary by the time we get to 2020. that's not so clear. if he keeps this in the conversation that will be on him because so much happens every day that we tend to lose focus on these things when we are over a year out from the general election. >> can i do a little quick experiment before we go because the four of us on the screen i imagine have a whole host of immigrants in our families past. i'm italian-irish. got a little german and a little hung gatherian. for me two under cans, if we added up how many countries with immigrant histories do we have on the screen, add them up. poppy. >> i think dozens, dozen at least. >> my family is armenian. came through the middle east and various countries to get here on both sides, so -- >> yeah, and i'm a black american so i know one of my
great grand parents came from the west indies but obviously my family came here through slavery, from africa. we don't know exactly where. >> there you go. it's a good question, jim. >> it's america. >> that is exactly america. you are exactly right, my friend. thank you, ladies. we appreciate it. a long time community leader and activist found dead in the trunk of a car in louisiana. the latest on this mysterious disturbing loss coming up. here's another reason to join t-mobile. do you like stranger things? sure you do. that's why netflix is on us. and here's another reason to join. bring in your discount, and we'll match it. that's right. t-mobile will match your discount.
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police in baton rouge, louisiana, investigating the death of a beloved community activist who was found dead in the trunk of a car. >> her name is sadie roberts-joseph. she was 75 years old. she is the founder of the city's african-american museum and her body found in i acar about three miles from her home. randi kaye joins us. this is stunning and tragic. what have police said about what they know at this point and what they're trying to figure out? >> yeah, they're not releasing much because they don't want to
compromise the investigation but what they have told us is they got an anonymous tip on friday 3:45 in the afternoon about a body in a trunk a few miles from her home as you said so they went to check it out. that's where they found sadie roberts-joseph. she had been to her relative's house earlier in the day, police tell us, to her sister's house and said she would be back later and then she never returned. so this is quite a mystery because she was 75 years old and to be put in the trunk of her car police are trying to figure out what happened. she wasn't just any woman in this community. she was an icon. she was committed to african-american issues. she was a tireless peace advocate here. she helped at risk youth and opened the african-american museum here of baton rouge and created this juneteenth celebration to celebrate the emancipation of slaves in the united states and have a clip of her from a recent celebration. take a look. >> today we come to celebrate,
to embrace our history, to learn of our past and to be able to move forward in unity knowing that we all have contributed to the greatness of this country. >> what's especially sad about this, she's considered one of the last african-american oral historians. she was beloved in this community so it really is a tragic loss. her autopsy is skidded to take place today. we'll see if we learn anything from that but right now police are telling us they don't have any leads. they don't have any suspects and they don't even have a motive at this point. they won't say anything about what might have been found in the car with her or how she was killed. the district attorney says she was so beloved that there are people coming out of the woodwork to offer their help to try to solve this murder. poppy, jim, back to you. >> of course, it's a tragedy. i'm glad you're on this story. please keep us posted. all right. ahead for us it's been a long, long road for the those schoolgirls rescued after being
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it has been if you can believe it five years since the terrorist group boko haram kidnapped 276 girls from their school in nigeria. that sparked an international outcry of viral social media campaigns to find and free the girls but today 112 of them nearly half remain missing. >> our next guest covered the 2014 abduction here as a
journalist at cnn. it won her and her team a peabody for their coverage and she is still fighting for them and telling their story. isha is sheer. she wrote a book about it. here it is. it is beautiful. breathtaking. congratulations. >> thank you. >> you've spent a lot of time with a number of the 164 girls who have been returned. you followed the journeys in this book specifically of priscilla and this uplifting tale of sisterhood and resilience. what do they want the world to know about them. >> they want the world to understand that they had the liberty taken from them, that these men tried to break them but they still are strong, they are still committed to their christian faith which is a very big part of how they endured this and they're still hungry to go to school.
they're still hungry to be educated and make something of their lives. >> yeah, yeah. >> you spent time with the families of the 112 young girls, now women, young women, some of them, who remain missing. are they -- how are they coping first of all but are they maintaining hope about their fate as well. >> that was the most difficult part of researching this book spending time in particular with the family of one of the girls who was the youngest taken at the time. she was 15 about to turn 16 and i spent time with her mother esther and her father yakubu and to be in the room and to feel that anguish, it is almost overwhelming. it takes everything out of the room and all you're left with is their grief. their grief which comes from not just the fact their child has gone but the sense they have abandoned and forgotten by the world. >> you write about and talk about the ineptitude about the nigerian government and still
have 112 girls missing. can you speak to that and the world because it seems like the world has moved on. >> yeah. >> if these were 112 white girls still missing would it be different. >> i strongly personally believe that if there were 112 missing american girls that life as we know it would have been altered in a permanent manner. yes, we had to bring back our girls hashtag all about 2 1/2 weeks really if you look at the concentration of focus. but in the case of the nigerian government, this is largely a story that has been shaped by classism, that's been shaped by sexism the fact these girls are poor. they come from a part of the country that is so out of the way, i say in this book it might as well be on another planet and the fact that they -- their families aren't educated and can't really speak up and speak out for their children, they've been cast aside. >> yeah. >> but you've brought their voices to life in this book.
isha, thank you so much. i wish we had more time. "beneath the tamaraind tree." jim and i will see you back here tomorrow. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm jim sciutto. "at this hour with kate bolduan" starts right now. hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. this morning we're getting a good look at what the 2020 general election is going to look like and if you were hoping for a high-minded debate about the bright future for america you should plug your ears h it comes to donald trump, 2020 looks a lot like 2016. division politics at its worst and this time republicans really aren't even trying to stand up to him. yesterday the president unleashed a racist outburst of tweets attacking four democratic congresswomen of color saying that they should, quote/unquote go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they