tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC September 5, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
there happens to be a contrary opinion in the office of legal counsel and just. >> that's a great point. thank you. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> thank to you at home for joining us this hour. wood row wilson was elected president in 1912, when he ran for reelection in 1916, one of the animating issues in the campaign was world war i, raging in europe in which wilson promised the united states would not join. in 19 16z, but then in 1917 the world threw itself into world war i. by the time of the midterm election in 1918, wilson was not only facing the typical headwinds that a president's party usually faces. he was also just roundly
detested and so in those midterm elections, wood row wilson's party, the democratic party got walloped. republicans took over control of the senate and they took over control of the house. the republicans getting congress that had far-reaching consequences, but in the how is it meant a gigantic and very, very consequential promotion no this man. his name is albert johnson. such a generic name. it's actually hard to google. there was another congressman from another state that had nothing to do with him. there was a federal judge. there was a famous canadian fugitive called the mad trapper of rat river who was called albert johnson. but he was a back bench judge from washington state, whose whole public profile has been built around the defense of the
white race and the threat in a non-white immigrants posed to white civilization in the united states. albert johnson at home in washington state, he ran a rabl-reducing anti-immigrant newspaper called "the home defender. he bragged about being a part of mob violence, and out of the united states into canada. and so he had been a rabble-rouser and an orator on that pet issue for decades, but he never wielded national powerened wood row wilson got shellacked and al better johnson's republican party took over leadership of the congress. that is what made it possible for albert johnson to take real power. it was his life's dream to be in charge of something like that, and he did what he could with it. soon after he took over, the
house of representatives committee on immigration and naturalization hired themselves an expert eu genetics agent. he had become the president of the eu genetics research committee of america, and he brought on one of the officers from the eu genetics organ asian, to become an expert consultant to the immigration commit use he in congress. and together these two eu gene cysts got to work. they created this charge. science, it's a chart. the diagonal is the watermark of truman state university. they have preserved this goumt online as part of that i history of eugenetics project. what this chart purports to show
is the relative social inadequacy of various immigrant races in the united states. what sounds as social inadequacy? feeble-mindedness, crime, epilepsy, tuberculosis, blindness, deafness, deformity and dependency. the chart ravens your likelihood of being any of those things or having any of those things based on your national origin. eugenics is best understood and best remembered now as the pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo that the nazis used to explain why they felt the need to categorizes and kill whole populations, as part of this insane supposedly defensive plan to preserve their fragile, but still superior aryan gene pool. i think it's most easily he
connected with that, but it wasn't a nazi invention. it wasn't only a foreign fascist fascination. in the 1920s, we did have a chief congressional eugenicist using taxpayer dollars to ranking feeble mindedness of american immigrants on the basis of their national origin. % albert johnson made harry lawson the chief eugenecist, he had promoted mandatory -- he wanted states to forcibly neuter people as if they were animals to improve the american gene pool. labelland was frustrated with the inefficient way states were going about that, they wrong standardization laws, sterilize more people against their will
if their genes aren't up to it. albert johnson became chair of the committee. he hired this chief eugenecist by 121. they were publicly ranks americans by their national origin. by two years after that, 1924, they had achieved what they were aiming at. by 19 24, wilson was gone, a new presidents calvin coolidge. he signed an anti-immigration billed called the johnson/reed immigration act of 1924. and it was a eugenics bill, it was a bill to protect america from a stream of alien blood. it was a bill to stop american civilization from descending into barbarism. about 1924 bill it restricted immigration dram lick, but also in a started way, it banned
immigration from aration countries all together. it targeted jews, if targeted italians, other unworthy populations that tended to be unpopular with the ascendant klan at the time. the law they put into law in 1924, it limited immigrants based on national origin. the numbers were based -- the number of immigrants who would be allowed in now would be based on the number of people of that national origin who had made it into this country by 18 0. they went back to the 19th century to pick a date they decided was white enough in american history to try to bring the country back to. so they used the 1890 census as their benchmark to basically say if your people weren't here in sufficient numbers by then, you can't come now.
we want the country to look like it did in 1890, not the way it's gere swartyier now. what is inarguable is what's clear in contemporaneous record about how it was argued. there was nothing explicit about it. it was explicitly race based. there was no secret about that. that was openly the way the legislation was talked about and argued about. the senator that wrote the bill, nape david reed, he was quoted in "new york times," thanks to that bill, quote, the racial composition of america at this time is thus made permanent. another senator named ellison durant-smith got up on the senate floor to spell out why the immigration bill was getting his voigt. he said it seems to me that the
time has arrived when we should shut the door. thank got we have an of the pure unadult rated anglo-saxon stock. it is for the preservation of that splendid stock that has characterized us that i would make this not an asylum for the oppressed of all countries, but a country to assimilate and affect that type of splendid manhood that has made america the foremost nation in her progress and in her power. it's somewhere between embarrassing and painful to think about the fact this was less than 100 years ago, that the united states made an explicitly overhaul of immaterial grace policy to make america more white, to protect the white rare from thinks ge t genetically inferior hoardehord.
we can at least by thankful this record is clear, there's no mistakening that's what it's about. anybody looking at immigration policy, has to know what that was all about. that really was eugenetics. >> in seven year the highest percentage of americans nonnative born since the founding of the republic. some people think we've always had these numbers, but it's not so. it's very unusual. it's a radical change. in fact when the numbers reach about this high in 1924, the president and congress changed the policy, and it slowed down immigration significantly. we then assimilated through the 1965 and created really the solid middle class of america, with assimilated immigrants. it was good for america. >> that 1924 change, the
president and the congress changed the policy. that was good for america. that was attorney general jeff sessions speaking in october 2015, when he was still a senator, speaking on breitbart radio, with a man named steve bannon who would soon go on to run donald trump's campaign. right-wring watch was picked up, the atlanta, slate.com picked it up today as attorney general sessions was sent out to make the announcement that the hundreds of thousands of people brought to this country by their immigrant parents when they were still kids, who have been giving leave to stay here legally, they are now on track for deportation. nbc news confirming tonight a set of talking points as distributed to the white house, advises people who have been living here under the daca program, it advises them to,
quote, prepare for a departure from the united states. so this affects, as you've been hearing today, directly about 800,000 people who live in the united states. by virtue of their participation, you can generalize about this group of people to say they are people who don't have criminal records, piano emwhor constructively engaged, contributing to society and the military and college, gainful employment. we'll be talking tonight about the prospects for exactly how the trump administration plans to rourchd these young people up, including the key question of whethers information these kids provided to the government in order to join this program will now be used against them to find them, collar them, send them to countries they have never lived in as adults. it is not an accident that attorney general jeff sessions is the one who was sent out to make this announcement about this today. jeff sessions has a long adult record on this subject, right?
he is outspokenly against legal immigration, let alone illegal immigration. for years he's an outspoken admir of the race-specific immigration bans of the 1920est klan era in u.s. politics, but it's not like we couldn't have seen this either because of previous echos, or because of the rise of this particular president. i mean, jeff sessions has always stood for this stuff. so has donald trump as a public political figure. even just in presidential politics, he started his campaign saying mexican immigrants were rapists and bringing crime. he proposed a ban on muslims. he arced vehemently that a judge of mexican-american origin could not fairly serve as a judge in a case involving the trump business. remember that? he's a mexican. he's born in indiana, isn't
allowed to judge trump because he's a mexican. since the election, trump that is claimed the only reason he lost the popular vote that smoul million of undocumented immigrants voted for hillary clinton. he pardoned a sheriff who profile immigrants despite that it was against the luol. his administration literally opened an office of immigrant crime, to try to promote the visibility of criminal acts by people who are immigrants to this country, even though immigrants commit fewer crimes than people who are not. so there's a lot to talk about tonight in terms of the specifics, in terms of what will happen to the 800,000 dreamers in communities all across the country and seeing the reaction today in terms of people turning out in the streets.
it's pretty intense stuff. we have some incredible footage coming up in just a second. in terms of where this came from, i mean, as far as i can see, we've covered the russia stuff a lot in this show, right? star i can see there are really only two bright through lines for this president. in what has otherwise been an incoherent, hard-to-follow, mishmash ideology from him. there are really only two things that are clear as a bell and never changing. one of them is really unprecedented, which is the president's strange, continued and unerring insistence about saying nice things about russia and excusing their behavior. that's weird. the other thing that's consistent and coherent and unswerving is vehement antipathy towards immigrants. blaming immigrants, tryic to
stir up animosity and hatred towards immigrants. making immigrants a scapegoat, punishing immigrants for even sins that are not theirs. those are the two through lines i can see. but this one about immigrants, this is not unprecedented. this one taps into a deep, old through line in this country that we have seen before, and it is a history we used to look back on with astonishment and with shame. where you can compare multiple quote options online and choose what's right for you. woah. flo and jamie here to see hqx. flo and jamie request entry. slovakia. triceratops. tapioca. racquetball. staccato. me llamo jamie. pumpernickel. pudding. employee: hey, guys! home quote explorer. it's home insurance made easy.
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>> we are here to stay, we are here to keep fighting, we are here to send a very strong message to this administration -- hate accidental hadoesn't have a place in this country. we are going to keep fighting. we are dreamer -- d.r.e.a.m.ers. sheets 23 years old, she is works for casa. she came to this country 16 years old when she -- years ago since she was 7. this was d.c. today. protesters gathered in front of the white house. protesters also marched to the trump hotel in downtown d.c. in new york city people gathered
in front of trump tower. more than 30 people were actually arrested. in denver, colorado, students walked out of their high school today. same thing happened in phoenix, arizona same thing in university of new mexico in albuquerque. this was the university of arizona in tucson. protests popped up all over the country did in nashville, louisville, austin, san francisco in philadelphia, san jose. now congress is supposed to fix what the administration just did, to set up for deportation these kids who don't have criminal records who don't have any other country. frankly it's hard to think the congress has the unification to tie their own shoes, but it looks like that may be the only way out here. joining us is christina jimenez,
the cofounder of united we dream. i know this is a very busy time. >> great to be here with you, rachel you knee as well as we did this was probably coming. how did you hear about it and how do you feel? >> rachel, since the day of the election, donald trump had run a campaign committing to end the daca program, and the anxiety and the fear in our community has been rising. so today is a different family. my brother is close to the 1 million young people who have benefited that's allowed him to live without the fear of without being deported. to go back to school, to help my family financially, because he
has been able to work. like him, thousands of young people have received of difficult news today. we are outraged at this decision, rachel. i want to be clear about something sessions mentioned that many was all about daca not being legal. this was not a legal decision. this was a political decision. the reality is the president did not have to make this decision. the september 5th deadline was an arbitrary deadline pushed by attorney general paxton from texas. if he wanted to do the right thing, as he said in multiple interviews that he had heart for immigrants youth he did not have to make this decision. he could have kept the program in place. but today we know thousands of undocumented young people, and many, many allies are joining us
in ensuring that we do all that we can to protect young people. i grew up undocumented. i calm out as undocumented and afraid over ten years ago. we're not going back into the shadows. that's the commitment that members of united we dream and immigrant youth across the country have. we've been hearing news strategizing today about a legal fight in the future about various entities, even states considering bringing this matter into the courts and trying to stop it that way. beyond whatever may happened in terms of a litigation strategy, and that's yet i think to be understood, do you expect a direct action resistance to they as well direct community and try to protect people in a physical way in terms of protests and confrontations? >> i mean, if there's anything that we show today many of our
allies, faith leaders, educators, business leaders that have come out from the democratic side, the republican side, we have the majority of the country standing in favor of the daca program, standing in favor of undocumented young people. you show the images of the walkouts that happened in new mexico and colorado, the direct actions that happened in washington, d.c. i was there with thousands of people that joined the actions in d.c. what is very clear to us is that we will continue to lead a direct-action movement. this is the way that we want daca, rachel. i remember having this conversation with you a few years ago on your show. >> um-hmm. >> it was undocumented young people who came out as undocumented and unafraid, share or stories, let to sittings and direct actions and marches across the country. that's how we pushed president obama to do the right thing.
that's what we're determined to do. we are very clear, rachel, that this decision about terminating daca was a priority led by white supremacists in the administration. folks like miller and jeff sessions. this is one of their policy priorities of folks that want to drive people like me and my family and my brother out of this country. so for you the intention is clear, which is why we are ready with allies to continue to organize and push for a permanent solution to protect people from deportation. christina jimenez, thank you. i know this is an incredibly intention time. what you said about how daca came about in the first place, i absolutely remember having those conversations with you, watching the power of direct action to make it happen. that will be the most effective tool to try to keep it in place. good luck. keep us apprised.
>> thank you. all right. some unexpected newsbreaking late tonight in the trish/ruumpa investigation. one of the committees has now just subpoenaed the fbi. which is as weird as it sounds, but that story is next. stay with us. it's time for a getaway. the lincoln summer invitation is on. now get our best offers of the season. on the agile mkc. and the versatile midsize lincoln mkx. or go where summer takes you in the exhilarating mkz. hurry in it's the final days of the lincoln summer invitation sales event. ending september 5th. right now, get zero percent apr plus 1,000 dollars summer savings on the lincoln mkx, mkc and mkz.
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the roach party had return -- in 1952 and 1956 when he won, right? as eisenhower's vice presidential running mate. the republican party had also run richard nixon for president in 196 on when he lost to kennedy, and then in 1968 when nixon beat humphrey. richard nixon had already been the republican party's candidate four different times. so standing for reelection as president in 1972, richard nixon was due to make history. he was going to match fdr's record for being on the national ticket for his party in five different election. fdr had tooed for vice president once, for president four times, finally in 1972 nixon was going to match that record become as preeminent a figure in republican politics as fdr had
been to democratic politics. so heading into the 1972 election, he wanted to make a big self-centered deal about it. specifically he wanted to hold the convention that year in southern california, where he had been born and raised. where he knew hi presidential library would some daye be located. the nixon white house wanted it to be a hometown thing. they picked san diego as the site of the 1972 republican convention for nixon ton that historic fifth nomination. the rnc made this public announcement that san diego is where they were going to hold their convention that year, but then they didn't do it. they also said the previous year it was going to be san diego, but three months before the convention, three months% nixon's true ump fanned home coming, they didn't do it in san diego at all.
where the democrats were holding their convention that year already. this is the last time the convention in the same city. that forced it to happen. it was a radical late changes. totally some he with nixon's plant to get his moment in the sun in his home state with that historic nomination. the whole reason they had to make that change and dump the san diego idea is because of this guy -- jack anderson. legendary columnist and investigative reporter. in february 1972, he got his hands on a memo written by a lobbyist for the big phone company at the time, i.t.t. in the memo, the lobbyi laid out how that company, i.t.t. had made a surrepetitious deal with
nixon's justice department, the justice department had been pursuing an antitrust lawsuit against itt, trying to stop that company from gobble ugh even more companies and becoming larger. itt did not like that legal pursuit. to try to evade that scrutiny, to try to squirm out it, they made this secret deal. the justice department would go easy, and in exchange, nixon's beloved san diego convention would get that much close tore reality, because itt would make a huge monetary donation to the convention, they donated $400,000, which in today's dollar would be a couple million dollars. >> jack anderson got that scoop, and he wrote about it. the whole thing just blew up, and suddenly the san diego republican convention didn't seem like such a good idea anymore. the lobbyist tried to claim the
memo wasn't real, but the fbi had already authenticated it. it turned out the fbi had been pressured by the nixon white house to not authenticate it, to disprove the memo and call it a forgely, even though it wasn't. then the senate watergate community turned up an internal white house memo that warned that the president himself appeared to be directly involved in arranging this corrupt deal to drop that prosecution in exchange for the donation. it all just spiralled. >> attorney general elliott richardson today asked the special archibald cox to look into a government investigation of last year's controversial merger of the international telephone and telegraph company with the hartford fire insurance company. which could mea that itt may be drawn into the watergate scandals. >> the fbi has conducted an extensive investigation in recent weeks and come up with a great of new evidence. this evidence is being studied
by a team of four lawyers working under avrn bald cox, the special prosecutor. the evidence is regarded as so incriminating that a prosecution already is being planned. so the special prosecutor, who was already looking into the watergate scandal came across this itt thing, the other scandal, came across it in the course of the water gape investigation. even though it had nothing to do with the watergate break-in or the efforts to cover that up, the special prosecutor still went after it. within the watergate investigation, the special prosecutor set up an internal task force to work on that itt thing specifically, dropping the prosecution in exchange for that donation. it was basically an offshoot investigation within the watergate special prosecution, even though it wasn't related to anything the prosecutor had originally set out to uncover. you can see the headlines here as they found out about it at the time.
is the 72 -- cox bolsters teams investigating itt. that's archibald cox bulking up the team to look for evidence in the itt scandal. of course, nixon ultimately fired the special prosecutor archibald cox, but he couldn't kill the watergate investigation just by firing people. eventually the watergate investigation that led to nixon's resignation also led to do first-ever criminal conviction of a u.s. attorney general. nixon's attorney general had lied about the itt scandal during his confirmation hearing. he got
nailed for it because of the task force that was set up under the watergate prosecutor to look at that specific thing. what started with a check for $400,000 and a supposedly triumphant homecoming republican convention for an insecure president. that discrete stand alone scandal, unrelated to the watergate cover-up.
that itt scandal, making that antitrust case go away in exchange for money, that separate distinct scandal got vacuumed up in the investigation and resulted in a
guilty plea from a u.s. attorney general. you know what? had gerald ford not pardoned richard nixon, that itt task force my eventually have toad to charges against nixon, too. he was caught on tape explaining how he had taken care of that whole itt prosecution at the justice department. that itt case has always been an interesting loose threat. it looms large in the what-if questions what charges could he have faced if ford hadn't pardoned him. it also looms over the too trump with the first use of the pardon power. if trump, as has been reported, if trump in fact tried to get his justice department to quash the federal prosecution of
convicted sheriff joe arpaio before he issued him a pardon, then that successful itt task force that was formed by the watergate special prosecutor in the 197 ons, well, that's the model for how the mueller investigation now might expand its inquiries to cover that potential obstruction of justice receipted to the arpaio pardon today. we know that the mueller investigation is already looking to po it tenchal obstruction of justice in the fire of james com comey. we know there's a new wrinkle, and that's coming up can weong ma'am adam schif-- congressman schiff.
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so tonight we're getting some frankly strange new reporting about subpoenas coming from the house intelligence committee, subpoenas that relate to the dossier of alleged russian dirt on donald trump prepared by a former mi-6 officer. it's "the washington examiner" that's reporting that the house intelligence committee has sent subpoenas about that trump/russia dossier to the fbi and to the department of justice. this is not the department of justice or fbi issues subpoenas, right? this is like congress subpoenaing the fbi. does that mean they're trying to force the mueller investigation
to hand over stuff to congress? what does this mean? as "the washington examiner" describe it, it's related to the dossier, the fbi's relationship with dossier author christopher steele and quote, the bureau's possible role in supporting what began as an opposition research project in the final months of the campaign. they're mad at the fbi and they want information from the fbi about them receiving the dossier? this latest new about the subpoenas comes, of course, amid tension within the house intelligence committee. last week the top system on the committee, adam schiff warned
the investigation might result in two separate partisan reports, with you by the democrats, one by the republicans. after reports that two staffers flew to london unbeknownst to the other members of the committee in an effort to contact the author of the dossier, christopher steele. that had democrats voicing their fears that the counterparts were more in trying to discredit the dossier rather than trying to substantiate its allegations. now we have these new subpoenas. i am very happy to say joining us is adam schiff on the house committee. thank you for being here tonight. i appreciate your time. >> you bet. thank you, rachel. >> i described this as strange news. i will admit to being a bit baffled by this. can i just ask if this is something you were surprised to
learn tonight? did you know this was happening? can you help me understand what it means? >> during the recess we were informed that the majority wanted to send subpoenas to the doj and fbi requesting these documents, which i think perplexed us, because we hadn't even made a voluntary request. we have a committee practice, we don't subpoena parties unless they turn down our requests for information which the phish appeared doj hadn't really done. we opposed it, we thought it wasn't warranted. they told us they were going to do it anyway. this also stood? stark contrast to a different situation where we had requested twice in write documents from the white house any tapes or memoranda reflecting conversations between the president and director comey, and the white house basically sent us misleading and incomplete replies. there we should subpoena the white house, but they have not been willing. i was concerned about the disparate treatment here, but also trying to antagonize the
fbi and do,, crying to provoke a conflict. i think what's going on is something i saw back in my days as a prosecutor, sometimes the defense opts for a strategy of trying to put the government on trial. here i think there's a hope if they can impeach christopher steele and impeach the fbi and doj, maybe they can impeach the whole russia investigation. but that's not our purpose it's really at cross purposes. we need to be figuring out what is accurate, not trying to discredit him for some reason. >> i don't want to ask you to put words in their mouth, and i know you can really only speak for yourself, and you're very careful about that in terms of dealing with your colleagues on the committee, but i don't really understand the point they were trying to make. are they trying to crazy a counter-narrative in which the existence of the dossier in
itself is a scandal, that that's the russia scam. the dossier itself is the original sin, and that therefore the fbi is participating in some sort of russian plot when it comes to the dotsier? >> you know, you honest lid don't understand what they hope to accomplish with this. maybe they can discredit mr. steele, though he's held in very high regard within the intelligence community. maybe they want to discredit people in the fib or the department of justice, but what's to be gained? it doesn't undercut the fact that russia hacked or election institutions and tried to influence the outcome of our election. it's only going to xweeld at the ability to get to the facts. i don't know what they understand they hope to accomplish, but i am concerned about this quite evidence of double standards of subpoenaing federal agencies for public effect rather than investigate torrie purpose, and where we
really do have a need for subpoenas, as in the case when the white house hasd we could get their acquiescence, so it's a worrying trend. >> i'm not required to do in response to a subpoena like this. this isn't a process i'm all that familiar with. is there anything that could be done through this process? is there anything that others can do on your committee to really interfere with the mueller investigation or to either i guess force them to disclose stuff that might impede their ability to prosecute this or otherwise screw with what the special counsel is doing? >> they certainly could make the department and special counsel's life difficult if they're subpoenaing materials that are part of the investigative work product that the department normally would not share with congress, and so yes, it could create real problems. they threatened to bring the
attorney general in to open session before our committee. many of us would welcome the chance to question the attorney general under oath. i have a hard time believing they would follow through with the threat. we would welcome the opportunity to have him testify before the committee. we don't want to interfere in anything bob mueller is doing. we committed at the outset we would do our best to coordinate. this violates the commitment of the special council, and i leave it to the majority to explain why this confrontation with the department of justice would seem unwarranted. >> congressman adam schiff, top democrat on the house intelligence committee. thank you for joining us tonight, sir. nice to see you. >> thank you. more ahead tonight. stay with us. ...it starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time
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just set a new record. hurricane irma is now the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open atlantic. it's not even two weeks since harvey slammed to shore in texas. if you haven't been paying attention to irma, this is the time to start worrying about it. this could be worse than harvey. the national hurricane seasoner the calls it potentially catastrophic. it's a category 5 storm and then so. sustained winds of up to 185 miles per hour. it's insane even more hurricane winds. it's also big. it's over 400 miles wide. it's larger than the state of ohio. florida has declared a state of
emergency. it's mand dory evacuation in the keys starting tomorrow. in miami he told people to stockpile three days of water and fuel. tonight irma is a life threatening store for islands where the storm is expected to hit as early as tonight. we're already seeing some of these harrowing images from those islands. irma is also a very real threat to the residents of puerto rico. the president declared a state of emergency for there. officials warned a combination of the size of the storm and challenges of the infrastructure means that certain parts of puerto rico could be out of power for up to six months once this storm hits. and then as i said, starting friday, florida could get hit with the first edge of this with tropical storm force winds. the latest models show irma
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the first substantive effort by republicans in congress to mess with the special council investigation by robert mueller. the subpoenas they've spent to the department of justice, they haven't gotten a response yet, but it looks like it may be the salvo to try to interfere with the bob mueller inquirienquirie. that's one. second thing tonight, lawrence o'donnell has senator come harris from california on his show tonight. she never talks to anybody on cable news. she's talking to lawrence tonight. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. >> you know, i think congresswoman harris made her first national television appearance on this program years ago when she was running statewide in california. she was district attorney in san francisco at the time. now she's on the senate intelligence committee. she has strong feelings and a strong position on daca. she represents the