tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC December 14, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
that today, those lost first graders at sandy hook would have been seventh graders. one of the questions we should ask each of the 2020 candidates for president is, where do they stand on gun safety? we already know what this president stands for. himself. that's "hardball" for now. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> nothing that the trump organization was ever done that was not run through mr. trump. >> walls are closing in. at least three federal criminal inquiries enveloping trump's business, his inaugural committee, and his campaign. >> i was doing a lot of different things when i was running. >> tonight, michael cohen on the president's lies. >> the man doesn't tell the truth. >> and why the mueller team believes him. >> there's a substantial amount of information that they possess that corroborates the fact that i am telling the truth. then -- >> ivanka is very much involved, and she's been involved. >> the president's daughter
embroiled in the dodgey spending by trump's inaugural committee. plus -- >> they took a general that they said didn't lie, and they convinced him he did lie. >> the truth about michael flynn and the fbi. and the disgu and the disgusting response from president trump after a child dies in borderline custody. >> what's the responsibility of a parent taking a child on a trek to get into this country? good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. there are now three separate federal criminal inquiries into the president and his associates. actually, i should say, three that we know of. first, of course, is the investigation by robert mueller and his team, which has already ensnared paul manafort, gates, flynn, cohen, papadopoulos and
three dozen russian nationals. then, there is the investigation into spending on trump's inaugurati inauguration, which includes whether foreigners, funneled donations into trump's inaugural committee and a super pac to buyin flubu buy influence. this puts ivanka trump in this scandal. then we have individual one, aka donald trump, has shown up in court documents as the person who directed the commission of a felony, several felonies, and happened days before the election and that helped get him elected president. trump insists michael cohen alone should shoulder the blame for making illegal hush money payments to women who say they had affairs with trump, but cohen, who has been sentenced to three years in prison, has a very different story to tell. >> he's saying very clearly that he never directed you to do anything wrong. is that true?
>> i don't think there is anybody that believes that. first of all, nothing that the trump organization was ever done unless it was run through mr. trump. he directed me, as i said in my allocution, as well as my plea. he directed me to make the payments. he directed me to become involved in these matters. >> he was trying to hide what you were doing, correct? >> correct. >> and he knew it was wrong? >> of course. >> cohen and federal prosecutors aren't the only ones pointing the finger at trump. today, kellyanne conway's husband, george conway, lifelong republican, wrote an op-ed headlines, trump's claim that he didn't violate campaign finance law is weak and dangerous. one of the chief problems for the president is cohen's testimony doesn't appear to be all that prosecutors have. >> there's a substantial amount of information that they possess that corroborates the fact that i am telling the truth.
>> that claim also appears in court documents, and the white house appears to have absolutely no idea how to deal with it. watch as deputy press secretary hogan gidley appears to short scircuit when addressed about i. >> cohen said president trump drel directed him to make the payments, and he says there is documents to prove it. >> the fact the media is given credence to a criminal, a self-admitted liar. >> it's in the court documents. >> he is a self-admitted liar, you know that. >> joining me is the former chair of the election committee and former counsel to john mccain's presidential campaign in 2008. he co-wrote the op-ed, calling trump's case weak. mr. porter, your reaction to a certain line we've heard from the white house and allies of the president, that this is much to do about nothing. in the words of rudy giuliani,
nobody got killed. nobody got robbed. what do you think? >> well, people have gone to jail for violations like this and less than this. as a lawyer, mr. giuliani knows better. what he is obviously trying to say is that the campaign finance laws are not as important as, say, the banking laws, the money laundering laws, rules for which people have gone to jail recently. i think they are battling in the court of public opinion rather than in the law courts on that issue, as they try to say that what has happened in the last couple weeks, people going to jail for these offenses, being sentenced for three years in the case of cohen, guilty pleas, are really not something people should worry about. >> you were the head of the fcc
when you wrote this piece. explain why you think on the law -- say the president weren't a president. he was individual one who had, say, lost. let's say he'd lost the election, and now he was facing this situation as a real estate developer. why do you think his case is weak legally? >> well, first of all, this is every candidate's worst nightmare. you do a lot of things in a campaign privately, behind closed doors, that you assume will never see the light of day. here, the people in the room are telling the world and federal prosecutors what they heard. even worse, there are tapes, there are e-mails, there are multiple witnesses in multiple meetings. so that's very bad news for any candidate who has done something that they thought was never going to be heard of again. >> right. >> in terms of the -- so that's
a bad place to start. then, in terms of what cohen and the american media executives are saying, they're saying they had a plan to engage in paying hush money payments that would prevent information from coming out to the public in the middle of the election, which they felt -- and, apparently, each of cohen and the "national inquirer" executives in the conversations with trump understood that this was something that could affect the election if it came out. so you have money being spent in an election context for the purpose of influencing an election, according to witnesses, that was not disclosed and was, in fact, illegal money. in the case of cohen, it's more than he's allowed to spend. in the case of american media, they're a corporation, so they
can't spend money in coordination with a candidate to influence the election. so illegal money, excessive money, and the allegations in these court pleadings are the president knew about it, the candidate at the time, candidate trump. he knew about it, and in the case of cohen, cohen says he directed it. he is effectively not only a co-conspirator, but he's the leader of the band, telling them what to do. >> final question for you. you served as chair of the fbc. you served as federal counsel for john mccain. imagine yourself as the general counsel of a campaign, where the candidate says, we have this problem. there are women who say i had an affair with them. can we just rustle up $150,000 of hush money that we route through a third-party, then reimburse and cover it all up? is that cool? is that c
what's your answer to that person? >> i hope i wouldn't run of the out room screaming, but there's a chance. so, you know, the problem is, trying to do something like that in a expenditures are supposed to be exposed, is clearly a problem. >> yes. >> you have to say to the candidate, you can't do that. >> correct, yes. >> the white house makes the argument, well, there was the case involving senator edwards, and he paid money. the jury didn't convict him. that's a pretty weak read here because, first of all, the prosecutors charged senator edwards. there was a trial. the jury didn't convict him, but they were split on it. the facts were really different. this all happened before the election had started in edwards' case. it involved payments for a child he had had, when his wife was
sick. he said, i didn't want my wife to know about it, and i wanted to pay for my child. here, this is the month before the election. unlike the edwards case, here, the two women were threatening to go public. >> right. >> all the evidence we've seen is that the urgency of the campaign was, we've got to stop them from going public, which is what makes it a campaign expenditure. the edwards situation did not have those same facts. i think it comes out differently, if it ever ends up in front of a jury. >> trevor potter, thank you for joining us. joining me for more, legal analyst paul butler, former prosecutor who worked in the public integrity unit. and contributor megan tuohy, an investigative reporter at the "new york times." part of the reason i ask the question is it is per po-- so a
who engages in this conduct knows it is self-incriminating. >> let's start how it evolved. it started out as he didn't know about the hush money, which was a lie. then he said it was a personal transaction, which is different from what the criminal law says. now, he is blaming michael cohen, the lawyer. and it is true that the prosecutor would have to prove willful intent, that president knew that he was breaking the law. but there's so much evidence of that, including the coverup. they disguise these payments as legal payments to michael cohen, which they were not. there's forensic evidence. the tapes that cohen made of his client, texts and e-mails. then there is eyewitness testimony from people like david pecker. so it is not just michael cohen who is stating that the president coordinated and directed this. the justice department co-signed that. chris, they're not going to accuse the president of the united states of an illegal criminal conspiracy unless they're darn sure they can prove it. >> yeah. one of the things, i think, that's really important to think
about this, in terms of the consequences of it, is this was the most crucial period and vulnerable period in the trump campaign. people forget, because he ended up winning, he was this close to maybe being knocked off the ticket, of having to go away after the "access hollywood" tapes. i want to show you what cohen said about that, meghan. you covered this. take a listen to what cohen said today. >> you have to remember at what point in time that this matter came about. two weeks or so before the election, post the billy bush comments. so, yes, he was very concerned about how this would effect the election. >> yeah, that's absolutely right. i mean, as one of the reporters who was covering trump's treatment of women, even before the "access hollywood" tape was released, it was a bubbling issue. it was something that cohen himself was working to swat away every time it surfaced. as early as 2015, when people were showing up with sort of
incriminating story, he was directing them to ami or trying to hush them up on his own. october 7th, i believe, when the "access hollywood" tape was released, it took it other level. people wondered if he'd survive the weekend. >> that was the question at the time. >> any time there were allegations of groping or sexual misconduct, he denied. he denied. he denied. here comes this tape in which he was recorded in his own words bragging about it. it wasn't just that he was recorded in his own records bragging about it. it basically was a rallying cry for women around the country who had -- who came forward and said, this actually did happen to me. not only did the "access hollywood" tape come out, but he went on in one of the presidential debates, he was asked directly about it by anderson cooper. he said, i've never done any of those things. there were women across the country who were watching that and said, wait a second. actually, i've had an encounter with trump. he sexually harassed me,
sexually adussaulted me. they came forward. i told some of their stories. gloria allred told some of their stories. october 7th through, i think, the stormy daniels payment was made the end of october. >> 28th. >> it was a critical period for trump. >> yes. >> i think there was a fear that this whole issue could completely derail his chances of winning. >> really interesting connection with the collusion investigation. right after these tapes were released, literally two hours, we have the wikileaks e-mail dump of hillary clinton. dirt on hillary clinton. >> that's right. >> they were clearly freaked out about the "access hollywood" tapes, and they were doing whatever they could to try to win the election. >> let me ask you this, because you were in a public integrity unit, and most of the prosecutions are not the president of the united states. their state reps, city council members, members of congress sometimes. if someone comes to you with this set of facts and this evidence, these people with a city council member or a state rep, a member of congress who does this, they're probably getting prosecuted. >> absolutely.
there's no question. again, the only reason that president trump is not getting prosecuted is because he is president trump. >> the president. >> the department of justice has this policy position that a sitting president can't be indicted. >> yeah. go ahead. >> he could be indicted after he leaves office. >> he sure could. >> right. >> one of the last things here that i think is important in terms of why this transparency matters in the federal election laws, american voters were robbed of corroborating details. i mean, when you look at what karen mcdougal and stormy daniels have to say about the consensual sexual encounters with the president, he orders dinner in, that's exactly what summer zervos, who alleges assault, says. >> it is important. there is a distinction there. >> being clear. >> mcdougle and stormy daniels do not say that they were victims of sexual misconduct. >> right. >> they say that they engaged in these consensual affairs. the details of their stories do overlap where the details of women who did allege sexual
harassment and sexual assault, in terms of the location, where they were invited. that's -- you can see why that'd be potentially something they'd want to cover up. >> which is hanging over the man with two weeks to go before the election, as he's hanging on by a thread, that he'd come back to win with help from wikileaks. >> real quick, the other connection with the inaugural stuff is it is about transparency. >> exactly. >> millions of dollars to elected official. the american people deserves to know who is given the money is and what it is for. >> thank you for being with me. reporting suggesting mr. trump's inauguration was paying lots of money to, you'll never guess, donald trump's companies, and ivanka trump was in the middle of it all. the reporter who helped break that story joins me in two minutes. introducing fidelity stock and bond index funds
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donated to trump's super pac as well as his inaugural committee. "wall street journal" broke the news last night of the criminal investigation to the latter. remember, trump's inaugural committee raised a really stunning amount of money. look at that bar up there. that's $107 million, or twice as much as the next highest total. the inaugural committee publicly identified venders for $61 million spent, leaving more than $40 million unaccounted for. now, wmic has more. it doesn't look great for the first daughter. quote, during the planning, ivanka trump, the president-elect's eldest daughter and a senior executive of the trump organization, was involved in negotiating the price that the trump hotel charged the 58th presidential inaugural committee for venue rentals. a top inaugural planner e-mailed ivanka and others at the company to, express my concern that the hotel was overcharging for the event space, worrying what would happen when this is audited. joining me now, the co-author of
the report, a reporter at wnyc and part of trump's podcast. >> i said, i've been looking at this inaugural many months. i thought for a long time that there is a bigger story to be told. now, we have something. >> walk me through this. so you have the inaugural committee as this -- it is raising all this money. it is going to spend the money to put on the inauguration. ivanka trump is playing what role now? >> an inaugural committee is kind of a precise thing. it is like a very quick startup that you have to start up, then shut down very quickly, and raise a ton of money, but just enough to put on the parties. you don't want leftover money. >> you won't run again in four years. >> previous planners have all told me they tried to avoid the appearance of pay to play or conflicts of interest. they really tried to limit donations and keep things above board. this inaugural did not limit the size of donations, and seemingly, it diverged from the
rulebook in other places, too. what i can tell you about ivanka's role only what is in the e-mails. what we know from the e-mails is that rick gates, that rick gates, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, was a senior person in the inauguration. he was a big person on finances, had approval of a lot of the spending. ivanka put him in touch with a manager at the trump hotel to get a better price quote on four days of events at the hotel. the manager came back with $175,000 a day or $700,000 for the four days that they were looking at. rick gates seemed to be happy with this. then one of the inaugural planners, who they hired to do this thing and evaluate the numbers, said, these numbers are high. i suggest something half that. how about $85,000 a day. let me remind you, daughter of the president of the united states, this is being done, president-elect of the united states, i should say, this is being done in honor of the
president-elect. should this come out, there's p. >> what is striking here, again, it is everything with this group of people, but just even setting it up this way is nuts. like, if you talk to any lawyer, republican, democrat, whatever, like, having the daughter representing the business interests of the hotel that's going to make money off the money you're raising for the new president is bonkers. >> to celebrate his ascend to the highest office in the land. my co-reporter and i were discussing this. what side of the transaction is she on, exactly? you could make the case she is representing her dad coming to office, but it seems from the e-mails that she's representing her company, her family's company. >> you mentioned something important, which is that they -- obama and bush had both put caps on donations. $50,000 for obama. $100,000 for bush. still enormous but not like -- you can't write a $10 million check. >> right. >> do we know everything there
is to know about who the donors are and where the money went? >> i don't think so. i mean, we already know from the public record that a ukrainian member of parliament successfully made a straw donation to the inaugural with the help of a guy named sam patten, a government relations specialist. >> who has pleaded guilty. >> all on public record now. i'd like to find out what more there is. what i've heard from people who worked the inauguration is that rick gates was making some strange asks of them. for example, would they be willing to take payment not from the inaugural committee but from a would-be donor directly. they didn't understand what that meant, but they regarded it as strange. now that they know what happened with rick gates, they regard it as even stranger. >> people told you this who worked for the committee? >> yes. >> great reporting. >> thank you. >> thanks a lot. >> thanks very much. coming up, michael flynn claims he was duped by fbi investigators. robert mueller is having none of it. special counsel's smackdown after this. share the love event,
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they took a general that they said didn't lie, and they convinced him he did lie. he made some kind of a deal. >> tonight, we are learning some disgusting, new details surrounding how lieutenant general michael flynn was treated by top federal officials. >> this is classic entrapment, sean. the patriot, who was trapped by a political use of the int intelligence community and law enforcement. >> ever since special counsel robert mueller filed a memo on flynn, president trump and trump tv have been spinning the innocent of poor, innocent michael flynn, dupe bid td by t
who trapped him into lying. his lawyer said he had been tricked into committing this crime. today, mueller said the narrative that flynn was tricked is ridiculous. new court filings say, quote, a sitting national security adviser, former head of intelligence agency, retired lieutenant general and 33-year veteran of the armed forces knows he should not lie to federal agents. let's bring in contributor natasha, staff writer at the "atlantic." doug, former cia officer and former deputy director of intelligence agency under michael flynn. doug, let me start with you. what do you, as someone who worked with general flynn, what do you make of the argument being made on his behalf, that he was duped into lying for the fbi? >> well, i don't accept that argument, chris, quite frankly. i think the special prosecutor outlined it very clearly. somebody with that amount of experience, with that amount of
maturity, that amount of training, that amount of education, should have been in the perfect position to know exactly what was expected of him during an interview with law enforcement officials at the federal level. i mean, he would have known unequivocally. in fact, in his position as the director of dia, he was often forced into taking acts against employees who had failed to live up to their obligations. >> yeah. that is a great point. there's also the other problem with this, natasha, from just -- i mean, it's not a serious argument, but for the moment, pretending it is -- >> humor you. >> he lied to a bunch of people, including the vice president, which is the reason the president fired him. it wasn't just, like, the g-men who got him. he was telling this lie all over town. >> this was a scheme. it was a narrative he was trying to maintain throughout the transition period and into his time in office. i'm not convinced that it was just to protect the president. remember, michael flynn was freelancing on a whole variety of issues, including a
u.s./russia nuclear reactor plan that would have required the u.s. to lift sanctions on russia for it to work. michael flynn had an incentive himself, to have the sanctions lifted and have the conversation with kislyak. of course, i am not necessarily convinced that, perhaps, vice president mike pence did not know about this. i think that it is definitely possible that, you know, we don't know the whole truth about that. assuming, you know, for our purposes, that he did lie, this was not just a one off. i mean, this was him going into this meeting, importantly, the fbi officials said, we asked him multiple times the same question over and over again, giving him a chance, essentially, to tell us, oh, maybe, actually, i remember it this way. no, actually, i misspoke. i remember it that way. he repeated this over and over again. he was practiced. the fbi agent said they had no hint of him lying. they said he seemed totally comfortable. >> doug, you worked for general flynn. the man's reputation was quite stellar as he came up through
the armed forces and the dia, or before he sort of achieved the head of dia, for the work he'd done in counterinsurgency. there is a story about what happened to this guy. how did he go from this person to this person? working with him, what do you make of that? >> let me go back and address the issue of the lying to the federal agents. his ability to lie didn't start when he sat down with the agents. quite frankly, the subterfuge began on the explanation as to why it was denied the third year by the pentagon as the director of the defense intelligence agency. >> right. >> i mean, quite frankly, the issue that, somehow, he became an idealogical opposition to the president makes no sense to me. first thing is, the director of dia is not a cabinet official. i doubt for a minute that
president obama even knew who mike flynn was. he doesn't, unlike the cia director, attend d.cs and pcs. this thing about being fired for ideologies is a canard. he didn't do things he was told to do, and he did things he wasn't told to do by the senior officials by whom he worked in the pentagon. going back to the question of the the mike flynn, the consummate military intelligence professional. it is a mystery to me as, i think, it is to a number of his close friends and colleagues even. how you can have this consummate military background, which i should say, is probably the best pedigree that any director in the history of the agency ever had. this individual, mike flynn, held every position in military intelligence that you could possibly hold. it prepared him to succeed in dia. how he got from being a consummate military intelligence professional to the podium at
the republican national convention screaming "lock her up," i think you have to ask his psychiatrist that question. it is a mystery to me and many others. >> natasha, there's one -- there's another mystery here that remains unsolved, which is, why did he lie? it is so striking. 170-page filing, the defense sen sentencing memo, no explanation. presumably, if there is one, well, he thought it'd create bad publicity for the president. they never explain. >> this goes back to, i think, the explanation, which is, he wasn't necessarily just doing this for the president. he was maybe doing this for his own personal reasons. maybe he was pursuing e illicit projects he didn't disclose. if he was doing it to protect the president, maybe he knew the president was pursuing a trump tower deal in moscow, and lifting the sanctions would be necessary in order to pursue the financial ambitions. so i think that, of course, that is still the major question
here. it wasn't just him that lied. it was mcfarland. it was a number of people who had to change their stories about this. clearly, there was something more nefarious going on. i think it is interesting that instead of explaining why they lied, they're trying to put it back on the fbi, even though mueller gave him such a good deal. i mean, he only had to plead guilty to one count of lying, even though he's, you know, vulnerable to violations and serious charges. >> natasha and doug wise -- >> chris, may i comment on that? >> guess not. still ahead, trump administration's jaw-dropping response to the death of a 7-year-old girl who died in their custody. tonight, what we know about what happened and the backlash to what the aclu is calling a culture of cruelty on the border.
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thing one tonight, remember that time when it was melania trump's birthday, and the president obviously didn't get her anything? >> do you want to tell us what you got her? >> well, i better not get into that because i may get in trouble. maybe i didn't get her so much. i'll tell you what, she has done -- i got her a beautiful card. you know, i'm very busy to be running out and looking for presents, okay? i got her a beautiful card. beautiful flowers. >> obviously didn't get her the card or the flowers either. he's very busy, okay? meetings and calls and meetings and calls. apparently, melania is, to her credit, taking a page out of
donald's page on gift giving. according to a source, melania absolutely loves christmas. she goes all out. as of now, she's yet to buy donald anything. melania says he is next to impossible to buy more. often, they don't exchange gifts at all for christmas. well, bah humbug. christmas with the trumps doesn't sound like the golliest affair. it seems awkward. that's thing two in 60 seconds.
donald trump is heading down to mar-a-lago next week, possibly right as the government is shutting down. he'll reportedly be staying for 16 days straight through the end of the year. so the whole trump family will be there for christmas. while we don't know if melania is moving murder forest down to the winter white house, we know the exchanging of gifts will likely be an awkward affair. >> what's the best or worst present you've ever gotten? >> well, you know, i'm the namesake. i got regifted all of the things that were monogrammed for him at times. you know, there was one
christmas where he may or may not have given me the gift that i had given him the year before. imam grammed monogrammed it. i was like, i know you didn't get this. how do you know? i gave it to you last year. >> well, that's perfectly normal. just as normal as this conversation the president had from mar-a-lago last year, when he was calling children on christmas eve. >> what else do you want for christmas? what? oh, that's good. they're very hot. you know, they're selling very well. i think santa is going to get that for you, i predict. santa will get that for you. (chime)
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around 9:15 p.m. on december 6th, a 7-year-old gauatamalan girl and her father turned themselves into border officials. they were in custody in a remote facility before take tonn to a larger facilitfacility. she died of dehydration and exhaustion a day later. the first impulse in a functioning person upon hearing this is despair, grief, and empathy. those traits are largely absent in the current leadership of homeland security. inste instead, they have spent much of the time blaming the girl's father. >> yeah, it is heart wrenching, is what it is. my heart goes out to the family.
all of dhs. you know, this is just a very sad example of the dangers of this journey. this family chose to cross illegally. what happened here was they were about 90 mile as away from wher we could process them. they came in such a large crowd, it took the border patrol folks a couple times to get them all. we gave immediate care. we'll continue to look into the situation. again, i cannot stress how dangerous this journey is when migrants choose to come here illegally. >> comments from spokesperson on paper were worse, spending nearly the entire time castig e castigating migrants. quote, once again, we are begging parents to not put themselves or their children at risk, attempting to enter illegally. please present yourselves at a port of entryintenter legally. this administration has been making it harder to do that.
vox wrote, families have been stopped outside of ports of entry before they can step foot on u.s. soil and trigger their rights. the journey is dangerous, in part, because it is made more dangerous on purpose. border patrol has dumped water left by good samaritans in the desert to prevent people from dying of thirst. here then is the logical conclusion of the trump administration's stated policy of deterrence. the only way to deter people desperate enough to undertake such a journey is to be even more monstrous than whatever it is they're fleeing. that's what the trump administration seems determined to do. which means to the people running this country right now, jacqueline's horrifying death isn't a horrible failure, it is a useful talking point.
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reporting on the death. julia, what do we know about what happened while she was in u.s. custody? >> all right, chris. so jacqueline call crossed the border in new mexico, and she was apprehended near a place called antelope wells. it's not your typical border station that would have medical personnel or asylum officers who were ready to hear her case and administer care. she was actually held with 163 other immigrants for about eight hours, before they were put on a bus and taken to a larger facility more inland. it was determined that she was not feeling well before the bus left. her father said she was starting to throw up. they put her on the bus anyway, and she spent an hour and a half on that bus ride, and at the end of it, chris, she wasn't breathing. there were two people there once she got there, medical personnel who revived her. they airlifted her to a hospital. she eventually died of a cardiac
arrest, luckily with her father by her side. it was clear she was showing signs of dehydration and exhaustion before that bus ever left. i asked a lot of the officials today on this conference call we had and off again, trying to get all these details, and they said they couldn't have gotten an airlift to that spot at that time, that it was actually better for her to stay on that bus. but a lot of people i have spoken to have said that shouldn't have within the case. when there is a medical emergency like that, you should be able to administer help. what this really comes down to is this might not be a rarity. i mean, jacqueline call is part of a policy actually that they don't put medical personnel at these stations in these remote locations, and they don't make it easy for these people to seek help. and actually, there are more people like her and her father who were forced to go to these remote locations because they're being asked to wait when they try to enter the legal way and claim asylum through legal ports of entry. >> those remote locations, we should just be clear, they're
called iceboxes because they're kept so cold. those have been around forever. and then not being medically staffed. that is not a trump administration policy. that is the way things have operated for a very long time. >> yeah, that's true. it's operated that way for a long time. but we're seeing more people who are having to wait longer at the legal ports. >> right. >> before they go to those area. >> so they're pushing them into the remote areas. >> when you think of the children in cages that we saw this summer, the ones who were waiting at the border before they went into hhs custody, health and human services, as they were ripped apart from their children, ripped apart families, they ripped them apart at these places. they held them in places at the cages. they've long been places that you could not keep children for long periods of time. >> right. >> and they're really not built for children at all. the commissioner of border protections said on the hill this week they built these places for migrant men, not for these vulnerable populations. >> julia ainsley, this ufor reporting on this. i want to bring in sandra cordero, the director of
families belong together, the coalition working to end family separation. congresswoman, you and your colleagues have written a letter to dhs about this case. what do you want to find out? >> well, we have a lot of things we want to find out. the most important thing we heard today on a conference call, we were briefed, members of congress were briefed by dhs. chris, they never reported the death. any time that somebody dies in the custody of dhs, of vcp, they are supposed to report, i think it's within 24 hours to the appropriators. we are hearing about this a week later. so that is a huge issue for us. the medical care is a huge issue for us. this has been an ongoing issue, as you point out. but it's gotten particularly bad. and as julia said, when you have people that are lining up by the thousands at the border because we have closed down essentially our legal ports of entry, we want to know what is the impact of these cruel policies,
metering, you know, and sending back people. what is the impact of those on these kinds of issues where people go to another place to try to cross, or they go to places that, you know, they're sort of forced into that area. so we've asked a number of questions around this, but number one is they actually did not follow what they were supposed to do, which is report to us within 24 hours. most of us on judiciary and the appropriators found out about this through "the washington post" story. >> wow. senator, i know you've been down at the border. what do you see down there in terms of the downstream effects of what the congresswoman and julia were talking about, this bloj blockage at the ports of entry. >> thanks, chris. it's awful. the situation is overwhelming. it's overwhelming for the community of tijuana, for all the communities of people, civil society that are trying to help them. there is a backlog of about 3,000 to 5,000 people, and it's
completely illegal, as the congresswoman said, of this practice of metering. and that's going to take months and months to be able to turn themselves in. >> can i stop you for a second. explain what the practice of metering is and why it's illegal. >> so basically, what they're doing is they're saying we're not going to allow people to come and seek asylum. we're only going to take a tiny, tiny trickle of people. and when i was there, i spent a day at the tijuana border. it's exactly what sandra is saying, that essentially, they have stopped people from approaching the border. they've actually moved u.s. forces further and further into mexico so that technically they can say you're not on u.s. soil, and therefore you can't claim asylum. >> right. >> but in addition, they've got thousands of people that are waiting to be processed. and actually, it's really important that people understand. they really want to be doing this legally. everybody wants -- everybody that i met with, and i think the people that sandra's been on the ground with, they want to try
and do this legally, and they are not being allowed to do what is actually in our laws and in our human rights treaties, and it's a travesty. >> sandra, you are nodding your head. that's what you saw as well? >> yeah. i just came back from two ten days, different stints in tijuana. and they're not letting anyone in, particularly very vulnerable populations. we identified a single father with a young daughter who has cerebral palsy, and we had to do a lot of intervening just so she could get medical care and be allowed to go to the front of line. they're not letting unaccompanied minors in, and they're putting them in really dangerous situations where they're now at the hands of human traffickers or other dangerous individuals who just want to do them harm. happened this is on purpose. this is part of the systemic cruelty of this administration. >> what do you say, congresswoman, to this argument, they're kind of making it on its face, in the wake of the death of a 7-year-old girl, well, this is what you get. this is what you're saying,
right? if your daughter has cerebral palsy and needs medical care in the border town of tijuana and you can't get it, you shouldn't have brought her here. we have to stop people from coming. what do you say to that argument? >> well, it's ridiculous, because all the people that i spoke to are fleeing death. and the conditions in the countries, and the majority of the people i spoke to were from honduras. they are still -- they told me over and over again, what they told me during the family separation crisis. we have to leave because we face death at home. so it's not that they're seeking the american dream. they are just seeking to get away from the reign of terror. so this is outrageous. it is, again, against our international human rights treaties. but most of all, chris, it just breaks my heart, seeing a young unaccompanied minor who had been shot in both knees by the honduran gangs and was weeping. i tried to accompany some people across. they were turned away. and it was only because i was there that i was able to spend a couple of hours and get them in to present themselves for
asylum. that's just absurd. we're not upholding our own laws much less our moral obligations. and it's not going to stop people from coming to have cruel policies because they're fleeing death. >> right. >> and that's just the way it is. >> sandra, what do you want people to know about the situation down there as they think about what our government's responsibilities are? >> i'm going to echo what the congresswoman said. everything that we've talked to or everyone that most of the people we've talked to really are exerting their legal right to asylum and want to do this the right way, but they're just not being allowed to, and that puts them into further danger and puts them in more vulnerable positions. so this needs to stop, and it's ridiculous that it takes a congresswoman or congress person. >> that's true. >> for anyone to exert their legal right. that's just completely wrong. it's completely amoral, and it needs to stop. >> congresswoman pramila and sandra cordero, thank you for
your time. that is all for now. joy reid is in for rachel. >> good evening, chris. and thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. rachel has the night off, but she will be back monday. and of course there is tons of breaking news to get to on this friday night, including a huge development in the fight over your health care. despite what many said on the campaign trail during the midterms, republicans have not given up on repealing the affordable care act, obamacare, and its protections for people with preexisting conditions. and it appears they have just won a round in that fight. within the last couple of hours, a federal judge in texas has declared the entire law unconstitutional. i have a copy of that ruling right here. we are trying to make sense of the ruling, and we will bring you some expert advice on what it means and what is next later in the hour. we've also got some breaking news a bit earlier this evening that donald trump has chosen mick mulvaney to be his brand-new chief of staff. he announced the choice by