tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC June 17, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT
now on ms nbc live, border drama, the new effort to spot the separating of migrant children and parents as they try to escape the violence of their ho countries. >> it is inconsistent with our american values to separate these children from their parents unless there is evidence of abuse or another very good >> w have to make sure that dhs' laws are understood through the sound bite culture that we live in. >> we will be judged for what we do or what we fail to do. >> plus inside the courtroom, a
reporter gives us an inside look at a hearing to see what kind of treatment my grant s oig are being given. >> and a new report about a long time confidant of the president trumd a fresh attack on investigators. >> instead of investigating president trump, they should go to bellevue. whacka doodles. >> just a bit past 1:00 p.m. here in the east. here is what is happening. we begin with new details from the "washington post" about yet another meeting trump campaign officials had with russians leading up to the 2016 election. this time it is a long time trump confidant that being roger stone and michael caputo, they are telling the post they accepted a meeting with a russian national offering dirt on hillary clinton. that meeting which took place in may of 2016 was never disclosed in hearings both stone and caputo had with the house intelligence committee. last hour i spoke with one of the reporters on that story.
he and his colleagues also interviewed the russian nags ale w national who offered this dirt. >> i think one of the main reasons why they were willing to talk to us about this is because of their contention that the man who approached them might be an inform abiliant for the fbi who sent to set them up and compromise president trump in some way, at that time candidate trump. and two colleagues of mine found a lot of very interesting data about this man. there are documents and a paper trail that show that he has said in official court records that he was an fbi informant for 17 years. he denied that he was sent to this meeting by the fbi or by anyone else. but importantly he confirmed
that the meeti ing did take pla and his story matches roger stone's story in very key details right down to the wording of how roger stone reactedo the suggestion that donald trump should pay $2 million for this information. both men essentially said the same words, donald trump won't pay for anything like that. >> rudy giuliani today pushing back on questions of whether the president even knew about the meeting. >> was president trump aware of this meeting? >> i doubt it. i certainly didn't know about it. it is news to me. i just read it here in the "washington post." it seems to me however whatever the recollection, differing recollections about this, it sort of gets resolved with the fact that stone did nothing about it, came to the conclusion according to the "post" that it was a waste of time. he and greenberg came to the conclusion that it was a waste of time. so i can't imagine anything got back to the then presidential
candidate that was of any substance. >> kelly o'donnell is joining us now. put this in perspective for us. how critical is this report from the "washington post"? >> reporter: the word i would use is significant. and the reason for that, it is a meeting that had not been disclosed and it involves two people who had been interviewed by congressional investigators as well as the mueller team. and the fact that they had not previously disclosed it in those settings could be very problematic for them now that they acknowledge it did happen because you have to be truthful in these settings and did face legal jeopardy if you are not. their excuse according to the reporters who did a very thor row job is they claim they did not recall the meeting because they claimed it was not significant. yet there is detail that they were willing to provide and there is a list of back and forth of text messages which supports this. so the mueller team was aware of it, questioned michael caputo who had been a florida based
trump official and that was what brought this to the surface. the reporter who was part of the team talked about the perhaps rationale for going public now and on the record is their claim that it is possible this man was an fbi informant. we've seen other instances where that kind of an idea has been floated by allies of the administration. and so that would be a way to undercut it. so it seems significant because it is new information. it is significant because they have been questioned in this investigation. and significant because they positive posit this theory that he might have been a player in this. all of that makes this worth paying attention to and worth seeing where it goes. the conclusions that might be drawn from the mueller are certainly yet to be understood, but roger stone had for many occasions dictated very clearly in interviews on camera and in person that he was never approached by russians and never
had he any interaction with russians and clearly he is changing his story on that now. the president has certainly been using the words we've seen attributed to him many time, witch hunt and frame-up, that sort of plays into the theme offered by caputo and stone, the president today also going after the paper that revealed this, the "washington post." we've seen the president have kind of a running fight with the "post" and its owner jeff bezos of amazon fame and the president is saying that he thinks it would be appropriate for "washington post" reporters, this is on twitter, to go on strike, to try to get a better wage. they are saying that they are not paid enough. and that this would somehow shut down fake news for a period of time. "washington post" reporters say they don't know anything about what he is talking about there, but it is undercutting the "washington post" at a time when they have a notable story published today. >> kelly, thank you for that. let's bring in jackie speier of california, she is a member of
the intelligence committee. thank you for joining me. i want to get your reaction to this "washington post" report since both of these trump advisers testified before your committee, they never brought up this meeting in that testimony and yet when recalling to their own advantage, wanting to try to control the message to the "washington post," they seemed to know all the details. >> yes, very suspicious, isn't it? but they swore under oath to the house intelligence committee. they have committed a crime, they have not told the truth to congress. and they should be prosecuted for it. >> what is the likelihood of that happening? i know this story just broke and it is something i'm sure you and your colleagues will have to discuss, but you mean they could face perjury charges? >> yes, they absolutely could. and more importantly, they were not forthcoming with their direct messages which they were required to provide to the
committee in which this particular arrangement was discussed in terms of meeting the gentleman in florida. >> all t. this mr. henry greenberg, they claim that they got no information from him for reasons that may have something to do with the fact that he demanded $2 million and that their rec lex was th recollection was that donald trump does not pay for anything. if that is the case,rec recollection was that donald trump does not pay for anything. if that is the case,ec recollection was that donald trump does not pay for anything. if that is the case,c recollection was that donald trump does not pay for anything. if that is the case, recollection was that donald trump does not pay for anything. if that is the case, if they walked away thinking we candidn get anything, is it plausible that they didn't recall this meeting? >> i don't think it is plausible. i think that they were very well schooled on what they were going to say and what they weren't going to say. they are close friends. they in fact then heard about this and then subsequently you had the trump campaign a month later meeting with russians
about dirt on hillary. so all of this was building up. i don't believeor one minute that this was an fbi informant who was operating at tahat poin in time because there had not been a case until late june investigating the trump campaign and their engagement with the russians. >> to your point, mr. greenberg has said that he ceased to cooperate with the fbi in 2013 and this again was in 2016 this meeting took place. i'm curious about how you put this new report in the context of your commitcommittee's work mueller's investigation. >> what has happened to this committee, as you are aware, it was shut down by the chair mr. nunes at the request of the president and now mr. nunes is doing the president's dirty work again attempting to shut down the mueller investigation by
finding ways to somehow throw dirt on this great american bob mueller who has served his country, been wounded in combat and who is above reproach. so this is a concerted effort by the white house using a number of players within congress to try and get the results they are looking for. >> you know, the "washington post" is also reporting that while mueller moves to finalize this obstruction report which by the way could be ready by the end of the summer reportedly, trump's allies are ready for political battle. i'm curious on the timing. do you think this is coming to an end soon? >> i would be surprised if it comes to the end by the end of the summer, but i don't have any information and i don't believe that they do either. i think this dance that has been played as to whether or not the president would comply with the request to be interviewed is all about extending it as long as
possible anyway. >> you know, just yesterday we heard rudy giuliani the president's personal attorney say that mueller's investigators were whack a doodles and they should go to bellevue hospital. are you surprised to hear it and what is your reaction? >> i'm so disgusted by rudy giuliani and his unleashed nature. it is hard to believe that he ever was a serious u.s. attorney. to throw that kind of dirt around, to be so demeaning to people that have served our country with distinction is deplorable to me. >> okay. i want to move to the other big story of the day, the trump administration's refusal to back down on the policy separating children from that children from their parents. i know that you will get a firsthand look at one of these detention facilities.
you have accused the president of using these children as hostages just in an attempt to try to pressure democrats. if we're going to use the word hostage, what are democrats prepared to give up in order to end this policy? >> i think the president is violating the law and i believe that it is incumbent on all of those who are in a position of authority to file lawsuits. you know, i was in church this morning reading leviticus chapter 19 in which the an alil should treat them as you would your neighbor and furthermore this is not the kind of conduct that should be allowed. it also says that you need to be reminded that you were aliens in egypt. so to pl sessimr. sessions, to
president of the united states, if you really do read the bible, read levitics 19. >> and i do want to get your take on the negotiations with north korea, how it has been unfolding since tuesday. the president told reporters on friday that he might give the north korean leader a call today. what does that tell you about where we are in trying to secure an actual agreement? >> i will tell you that i applaud the president for engaging with chairman kim. i'm not confident in his negotiating skills, but far better for them to be talking than for them to be throwing epitaphs at each other, increasing the likely hood of an all-out war. the president thinks that it is a one and done kind of deal. it is not. so he will probably be having many conversations with kim.
>> all right. jackie speier, good to see you. thank you so much. coming up next, remarkable look inside a hearing for migrants being held at the border, how they are being treated is coming up. ♪ ♪ no matter when you retire, your income doesn't have to. see how lincoln can help ensure you still have income every month of your retirement, guaranteed, at lincolnfinancial.com. you always get the lowest price on our rooms, guaranteed? let's say it in a really low voice. carl? lowest price, guaranteed. just stick with badda book. badda boom. book now at choicehotels.com the blade quality you'd expect from gillette...
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they try to cope with the situation most of them don't even understand. in mllen, texas, a father's day rally will be happening shortly. what is happening on the ground >> reporter: the families belong together father's day rally is set to begin about an hour from now in front of the cbp processing center where families children, i did get confirmation are in there and are separated. we're expecting senator merkley along with other members of congress and powerful keynote speakers like leah who i want to introduce to you. leah is a u.s. citizen, but both her parents are undocumented from nicaragua. and leah, i know you have your parents with you. but at 12 years old, every day of your life you live with this fear that they could be taken from you, that you could get
home and not find them there. can you tell me what that is like? >> that fear is really scary. and once you live it, it is like use i'm a young child. it. and i'm supposed to be with my family happy. but that is hard because now i have to live with this fear of them being in there. and me all alone no one to take care of me. and that is really hard. >> thank you for being brave and talking to us today because you are speaking for many children that cannot be out here talking with us. i want you to show alex and our audience watching at home these letters that you brought that you will read out loud today to let the children in there know that they are not alone. can you read one for us? >> yes. you are loved and chd. we have not forgotten you and we will continue to fight and protect your family.
>> she has a stack of these letters, al election, i don't know if you can make out right here, from everyday people all across the country, not actity virs s virs, just members of the community who want to let these children know that the are supported by many of the folk out here and by members ever congress that will be out here taking the conversation outside of d.c. and here on the ground in places like mcallen, texas where we're seeing the effects of this policy. thank you so much, leah, for talking with us. >> i'm so glad that you brought those letters to us. once again, you've just broken my heart with your reporting. it really is an untenable situation, but best of luck covering all that and we'll see you again. thank you. we're also getting new details about what happens when many of these parents go before a judge and like any parent, they immediately want to know the whereabouts of their children. i want to play some audio footage that reporters from vice news recently obtained from a texas federal court.
>> i was told when i was separated from my son that you would tell me when i was going to be joined with with my son again. >> i don't know who told you that, but i have no information regarding your child. immigration doesn't call the court or me personally tell me what happened to your child. if they did do that, it wouldn't hurt my feelings. i'd be happy to relay the information to you. if i could. but they don't do that. so hopefully somebody will get in touch with you through that side of the government. >> let's bring in antonio hilton and lindsey van dike. what bothered me what i just heard, that judge said to that parent i have no idea where your family is, but hopefully someone from that side of the government will get to you. what are these processes like for these families? >> i mean, completely chaotic.
i think you can hear it just in that little bit of audio, a judge who these people look to expecting he will have a phone number, expecting he knows exactly what agency is responsible for reach out to these families,tially reunite them in the days or weeks to come, he tells them i have no idea who is going to contact you. and mind you these people just within the last 24, 48, 72 hours have had sometimes kids as young as 4 years old ripped out of their arms and taken god know's where in their mind. and so it is an utterly shocking experience. lindsey can describe to you what the sensation and feel is like in those courtrooms, but it is 75 people going through that at the same time on any given morning. >> do the judges seem -- are they overburdened by this, do they seem to care? is there is a sense of humanity as they are dealing with these people? i'm sure many parents walk away in tears. >> she certainly do.
i attended two trials and both judges were quite sympathetic, but certainly they are overburdened, they are tired. like i mean imagine your caseload going from maybe a dozen misdemeanors a day to over 100 a day. or sometimes 150. and so there is a certain sentiment in the courtroom and just in the hallways where people are tired and i think the other thing to not forget is that these people, these public defenders, have other cases that they have to work on. so when they have do these hundreds of cases each day, that is taking their time away from felony cases and other work that is also very important. >> and you mentioned that you've been to a couple trials. i want to play a clip from a different one. here we go. >> i want to apologize very much for breaking the laws here. i don't want to return of, ever again. but the thing that i most desire is to go back with my son, with
my child. >> is there any sense from these judges that you have talked with or heard them in the courtrooms that they are willing to put their careers on the line to try to put an end to this? >> you know, i think that there is definitely a sentiment of like maybe wanting to do something, but i don't know if in their means they can do anything. these are criminal court judges, not immigration judges, so it is a whole different process. like i said, when i was in there, the judges certainly seemed sympathetic to the causes. in another case that i was at, the judge was like i understand you're all coming here to flee violence or to work or do these other kinds of things, but unfortunately, like this is what we have to deal with. so there is ernl isis certainlyf understanding of torigins of th people, but in terms of their particular part in the process, they are very limited to the criminal proceedings.
>> and you spoke with a public defender. give me their feelings on all of this. are they equally overburdened, do they have just too much on their docket? >> they are extremely overwhelmed. i sat down with assistant public defender richard gold who is located in mcallen, texas where so much of this is going down and he is seeing on average 75 people that he is representing in a morning hearing and then another 75 in the afternoon. on top of that, he has tons of felony cases, completely unrelateto what is happening on our borders, that he is responsible for. he gets about five minutes tops to talk to a client before he represents them. and he is panicked because many of them he feels have actually asylum claims and they are in criminal court with a judge who is not prepared to respond to their asylum question, immigration fears. this is a judge for whom this is not his typical role or judge and now he is confronted with 20% to 30% of those people are
saying their kids have been taken from them, on top of that they are escaping indescribable conditions. and he simply can't respond to any of that and it ends up on the public defender shoulders. >> all right. stay with me. jacob soboroff has arrived in mcallen. i know that the rio grande valley sector chief patrol agent will be having a news conference. to tao meut whais expected to be discussed. >> reporter: essentially this is the epicenter of all family separations along the southern border. the rio grande valley sector sees more apprehensions than any other border patrol sector. the vast majority of them as a matter of fact. so we'll hear from manuel padilla padilla, the chief of the sector. he told the "washington post" that there were about a quarter of all of the apprehensions -- sorry, family separations i
should say since early april have taken place inside this sector and not only will we hear from the chief for the first time since tathat zero toleranc was announced, we will also go inside this processing center where the separations actually occur. so this will be the first time we've had being a assess inside the facility where once f are separated and they are dehe tak detained, they are split up. and so i'm going to let agent rodriguez here finish briefing us and then we should be hearing from chief manuel padilla. again, this is the first time that we'll have access into the facilities where separations owe did yo occur. >> i know that he is -- i don't know that we need to play this up. this is the setup as understand. interestingly, i know from an
e-mail, jacob, that you were citing an article in which the man who will take the podium are was interviewed. 2012 he was put in charge of the tucson office and at that time, the section which included his hometown was the busiest on the border and under his watch which by all accounts was a very strict watch, we could say, drug cartel activity, illegal immigration along the border declined sharply. he has been criticized for what some have described as his previous draconian tactics. is he expected to make an argument that you got to be tough and then look at the results? >> yeah, this is all about deterrence basically. and chief padilla is known for his tenure in the tucson sector that used to have the highest apprehensions and chief padilla once he was there through a mix of the strategies of the border
control and manpower drove crossings in that sector lower. and that is basically what happened, those crossings shift ed over to thishere i rio grande valley sector, this is now the hottest place on the southern border. and this is part of the reason that chief padilla is down here. and when you talk about technology, infrastructure, manpower, we're talking walls, surveillance towers and old fashioned border patrol agents. what is new here which we should remind everybody is the fact that for the first time in a systemic way the trump administration has put into place the zero tolerance policy that anybody that crosses the southern border will be prosecuted. and when those happen, families are separated. parents are separated from their children. the parents go ultimately into federal court, children go into the custody of health and human services. and it is creating an overflow siion and that situation is frankly a manufactured crisis. it is not something that needs to be happening right now, it is
something that the trump administration decided they wanted to be happening. con tretrary to what the presid and jeff sessions and sarah huckabee sanders have said, they have said it is a democratic law, that is not true. the attorney general said this is not unusual to separate children like this -- here is chief padilla. >> all right. thanks. we'll take this live. take a listen. >> thank you, bert. good afternoon, everybody. so i think mr. rodriguez covered the flow of show. what we are going to be doing is doing the press event and then we'll have a little bit of time for questions at the end. we'll divide the group in two since it is a lot of people here with us, and then we'll walk through the cpc. one of the things that i ask you as you are walking through the cpc, please ask the questions of
the subject matter experts on tense policy, the transportation, escort and detention policy, and how that governs what we do. so my goal here today is to really provide you with context to what is actually happening in the south texas border. and we'll talk a little bit about the zero tolerance policy and answer those questions as well. you will see that it is a very complex situation that cannot be understood or appreciated when one carves out a small piece of the equation and builds an entire narrative around that piece. in this case, the zero tolerance policy. we will cover three areas and i'll give you a statistic al overview of the sector, zero tolerance and then we'll talk about the operational impact of
the family unit and the uac population and the impact that it has on our operations. so statistically, the southwest border is 2,000 miles of border. we have nine sectors throughout those 2,000 miles of border. our gv sector currently accounts for 44% of all the marijuana that is seized all cross the southwest border. 40% of the apprehensions that are made across the southwest border, and 38% of all the cocaine seized along the southwest border. and that is from a border patrol perspective only. that does that include ports of entry about that so when you have these high levels of activity and you couple that with a lack of person nelnel, technology and infrastructure, it creates chaotic environment that manifests itself with some very, very concerning statistics. and i want to bring your attention to this chart over
here. if you look at this chart, there are some statistics that are very concerning because they directly impact the community. so one of them, of course is the surveillance. constantly we have efforts trying to reduce the number of people that lose their life as smugglers put them in dangerous situations. right now we're running pretty much even with last year and that is something that we're always focusing on bringing down. the good thing is the rescues have increased drastically about 48% in comparison to last year. that means that we are rescuing a lot more people before they are in a very difficult situation. tractor trailer loads. constantly in the news. just saturday we had two cases at one time at one of our checkpoints with a temperature inside that tractor trailer being about 93 degrees or so.
last week thers another tractor trailer case that was found in san antonio. and we all know what happened july of last year in san antonio with ten people losing their lives. stash houses. if you look at our stash houses, we with looking at a 70% uptick in stash houses. what is the big deal about stash houses? people are placed in very difficult conditions. very dirty conditions. people are assaulted. people are robbed of their money. and these conditions there are extremely hot as well especially in the summer months. this keeps federal, state and local agencies constantly working these stash houses around here in the valley. failures to yield. that is when we try to stop a vehicle that is loaded either with narcotics or people. what they do is they take off at high rate of speed -- >> all right, everybody. it is 35 past the hour and this got under way just on time
there, that is the rio grande valley sector chief patrol agent that is manuel padilla jr. we'll keep monitoring this from the control booth and as well as jacob soboroff who is there on the ground. we'll get to jacob later. before i let these ladies go, i want to ask either of you if you have come into contact with people while you have been interviewing for your pieces, people who have experienced their time with the border patrol, how they have been caught. the rigors with which they have that.through immediately on is there any compassion that is shown, are they herded up? do you have any intel on that? >> i mean, i know, at least from my observation in the courtroom, because the people that are there, they have, you know, leg shackles on, waist shackles organization like there is no interaction with them. >> really, they have shackles on in court? >> on their waist and ankles. >> and also arms.
>> we're talking men, women? >> yes. >> okay. >> and i say that because it just gives the sense of the barriers between being ato kind of reach out and speak with them and in terms of their treatment, you know, i'm not sure. i mean in the eye of the law, they have created an illegal act and so they are treated as such. >> and how about border patrol agents, have you heard from them about how they feel about this? >> i think there is -- it is a large organization. and large group of people. and so there are con on flikting feelings. there are border patrol agents who are in communication with immigration attorneys and activists down there who are seeking to get better treatment of both adults in detention but also the minors now who are overwhelming the shelter system down there. you have to remember, you know, there have always been unaccompanied minors being filtered into the hhs shelters. but now because of the family separation, these shelters are overwhelmed and it is creating a
level of chaos not just internally, but on the desks of the immigration attorneys and the criminal defense attorneys and all the people sort of part of that ecosystem down there. and border patrol is in contact with them. but some of them are very much excited aboutthis. they see zero tolerances a important deter rent and they are excited about it. so you hear all sides of that story. >> we'll look forward to your story, much appreciated for your time. it is vice news tonight on hbo. i'm a big fan. love your show. >> thanks. >> tell your boss hello. they stole you from us. coming up next, the new report about a long time confidant of the president revealing that he met with a rush 145sian who offered dirt o hillary clinton. what might seem like a small cough to you... can be a big bad problem that you could spread to family members, including your grandchildren babies too young to be vaccinated against
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♪ great big jim, there ain't no other ♪ -so, this is covered, right? -yes, ma'am. take care of it for you right now. giddyup! hi! this is jamie. we need some help. new reaction from the white house on the trump administration policy that separates migrant children from their parents is he border. here it is. >> as a mother, as a catholic, as somebody who has got a conscious and wouldn't say the junk somebody said, apparently allegedly, i will tell you that nobody likes this policy. you saw the president on camera that he wants this to end.
but everybody has -- congress has to act. >> he can end it on his own. >> chuck, congress passed a law that it is a crime, this is a congressional law for many years ago go, it is a crime to enter this country illegally. so if they don't like that law, they should change it. >> joining me now, erin mcpike and jeff mason. a big welcome to you both. erin, i'll start with you and your reaction of what you heard there and her shifting of the blame. >> the trump administration clearly is trying to deflect from this, but as chuck pointed out, president trump can change this on his own. this is a trump administration policy and the "new york times" made very clear that stephen miller what has been pushing it, this is miller who is a policy adviser to the president, this has been his issue for years. they like this zero tolerance policy. it is something that they are pushing out to their base about that and you can bet that they will continue doing that through the midterms because this kind of policy is the sort of thing
that does galvanize republican voters. >> and jeff, kellyanne was the asked about the white house literally using this as a political leverage while commenting on this, there is that report from the "washington post" that krooitdscites a whit person saying that the thinking is to force people to the table. here is how kellyanne responded to that. i'm sorry, don't have that. let me just get the sound bite as far as i have it, i certainly don't want anyone using this as leverage. i object to that very forcibly. what are your sources telling you? do you think the policy is designed to deter migrants from coming in or is there some sort of a political motive as well? >> i think it could be both. in terms of what they said, you can just look at what jeff sessions has been saying when the attorney general is talking about it. he wants this to be a determent for people crossing the border. he wants people who are considering coming across the border to see this.
and use that as a reason not to. that said, i think the fact that kellyanne is addressing it and the fact that republicans are working on immigration legislatn that we will see probably coming up in the house this week is a sign that they are concerned that it could be hurtful to them in november and the midterm elections. and the president's efforts and others around him to blame this particular issue on the democrats, look, it might energize some people in the republican base, but i think it will energize people on the democratic base as well about that. >> another big story today, which really was breaking just a few hours ago, the from both of roger story, how significant is this revelation about stone and his meeting with the russian national in may of 2016? >> i think it is big to a point. there have been a number of campaign officials from the trump campaign who on did meet with russians to -- >> 11 by this count by the way. >> that's right. to seek dirt on hillary clinton.
and roger stone in that story says that he thought it was an fbi informant basically it was the government setting him up. but i don't know how much that matters because it shows that there was intent. as there was with donald trump jr. and some of these other trump campaign officials who met with russians. the problem is that they keep saying there was no collusion, no collusion, but the intent seems to suggest that there might have been. >> what is your take on this, jeff? >> well, it is hard to get into the mind of robert mueller and what he and his fellow investigators are looking at, but the fact is as erin was referring to, the meeting did take place, so that is a reason for them to question about it and to just sort of add to the list of things that they are looking at in terms of potential connections and connections that were acted on during that campaign. >> you would think there would be some lessons from the past if not just from one's own conscience about lying when
speaking with the house intelligence committee, but i spoke with jackie speier who serves on that committee who said that roger stone and michael caputo, neither of them recalled this meeting when being queried by them under oath. and she said that they should be brought up on charges. and i said perjury? and she said yes. what is the likelihood of that happen something. >> how convenient is this excuse that people don't recall meetings, and yet roger stone was able to recall very specific details when the "washington post" asked him about it. so i think again it is a convenient excuse, but something thaty have to look into because of course he lied about it. >> jeff, to you. how does that come off? you don't recall while you're being queried by the house intel committee and yet when you want to make a point to the "washington post" and in essence the interpretation is that they want to get ahead of this story because of this man mr. greenberg, henry greenberg, being an fbi informant and maybe
that caused some alarms, that is when they start remembering all the details. >> well, i think people can draw their own conclusions on how that comes across, but the most important conclusion really being drawn, or the person -- the most important person drawing those conclusions would be robert mueller and his team. and that is what we'll see results on at some point related to this and related to everything else that they are looking into. >> yet another thing to look into. that is for sure. i'm glad to talk with both of you. thank you so much. let's get more reaction today now to the president's policy of separating the migrant children from parents. some republicans and democrats do agree on one thing, that the practice should stop. >> what the administration has decided to do is to separate children from their parents to try to send a message that if you cross the border with children, your children will be ripped away from you.
that is traumatizing to the children who are innocent victims. and it is contrary to our values in this country. >> we've all seen the picture of that 2-year-old. she needs t be hugged. at what point do we say okay, what will you do? i've said i think a wall is stupid, i think it is a waufl division. but if you work with us, and we can do something, i'll support the wall to do something morally about these issues. >> and joining me now is a.r. bernard, pastor of a brooklyn church. and he wree signstor, with a we you sir and happy father's day. may i ask you about your screw on all that is transpiring, this discussion about the children being taken from the parents. >> i will tell you, it pains me to see children ripped from the arms of their parents.
>> me, too. >> to supposedly celebrate law. there is a law, but there is also the spirit of the law. and we understand that there is discretion in how that law is implemented. and we're moving away from the spirit of part of american experience is immigration. i'm an immigrant. my mother and i came here in the late '50s looking for american promise and i am a product of america's open-door mopolicy. i don't believe we should have totally open borders. i understand that, number one, nations have a right to protect their borders, but nations have a right to emigrate. it should be devoid of disruption and violence. again, anyone respecting natural rights, at the same time advancing the common good of our society. >> what do you think about jeff sessions using romans 13 in that quote to try to justify what the trump administration is doing? >> it was either done ignorantly or polilly. what bothers me about that quote from that particular passage,
that's a passage that has been used historically in america to enforce and justify slavery. so as a person of color, i have a great problem with that use of it. but also it speaks of the fact that we have an ethos in the white house that attempts to look at america through a biblical lens. but what's really happening is they're looking at the bible through a very specific american lens. and that is transforming our whole christian witness into something other than what it was meant to be. >> are those who call themselves christians and elite within the trump administration cherry-picking certain versus from the bible? because i had representative jackie speier on earlier from northern california and she talked about having gone to church just today and there was a certain message from the book of leviticus which talks about when aliens are amongst us and they come into your community we are supposed to treat them with a grace and kind nature.
>> the spirit of jesus is one of peace, peace making paying attention to the most vulnerable in our society. one of the things that converted me from islam, interestingly enough, to christianity is not just theological reasons but the christian moral-social ethic behind christianity. that's the respect and dignity of the life of a human person. we seem to be getting away from that and still calling ourselves christian. >> you resigned from the president's evangelical advisory council following charlottesville. why did you resign? >> first, why did i get in? the president talked about an inner city initiative. i'm all about that. because there are -- this enfranchised marginalized individuals in our society that need attention. and he was willing to make that a part of his campaign. all right? that's number one. number two, religious liberty. that's important to me as a practitioner and pastor of my
religious faith in this country. but after a while i began to see that this was not going in any specific direction and i doubted whether he was going to take action on any initiative presented to him. then when charlottesville came around, i have a set of core values that guide my thinking, my decision making, my participation in anything, including politics. and he crossed that line when he showed indecisiveness as a leader, inconsistency as a leader. when he waffled, when he was back and forth, i found that troubling. you see? so that's a problem for me, and i cannot commit fully to that leadership and to be a part of that particular entity gave the perception that i rubber-stamped, like them, all the things that the president did and i could not agree with that. >> do you think if you were still on theouncil that you could be speaking as you are candidly to me and that that would be listened to and that might have some sort of influenced with the president? >> i think if i felt that way i would have done something to sort of get back in and say, okay, look, let's talk, guys,
because we need voices at the table. we need voices other than the ones that simply chime in to whatever the president has to say. and i want to be one of those voices. i'm one of the unlikely individuals that are willing to get together and let's talk about issues and hold people accountable. but i don't think it was going to go that far. i will tell you, the way it has played out, it's friend or foe. you're either for me or against me. >> can you sense the direction of the moral compass within this administration based on what we're seeing not only charlottesville, which of course was the end of your affiliation with the administration in any way, but what we're seeing here in mcgowan, texas and other border towns? >> i'm afraid i have to say this, but it's true -- there is this demoralization of america that's taking place and it is happening in the halls of power where we no longer are subscribing to a moral compass. i will tell you -- let me tell you something. i can follow a leader who's moral because that means there's
a core set of values that guide that individual. and i prefer to do that. i can even follow a leader that's immoral -- and i know it, and i understand it and i know what i'm working with. okay? but when someone is amoral -- which means they don't subscribe to any particular set of values or moral compass and it is just a matter of transaction, then that's difficult because they're unpredictable. you don't know which way they're going to go. i have 130 staff members that stev serve in our organization. when it comes to making a decision, they know i'll do what's right. >> where do you think the president falls along those descriptions of moral, amoral, immoral? what -- in your experience with him, how did you -- how did you sense he goes? >> i think he's transactional. i think everything is about the deal, the winning -- if you read his book, "the art of the deal," it tells you exactly what to
expect from him. i think that a lot of it revolves around his need to affirm himself as a leader in what he does and to be accepted. so these are issues that shouldn't be resolved by becoming president. >> and do you believe that in any community, be it the head of a church as you are, or the head of an organization, head of administration, that the moral compass is set at the top? >> absolutely. and i will tell you, character, morality is critical when it comes to criteria that we should go by in order to determine who we're going to give power to in our society. and, unfortunately, we're at the place where we're saying that we're bifurcating private practice from public performance. they go together. >> pastor a.r. bernard of the christian cultural center, mega church in brooklyn, thank you for joining us on this father's day. in the next hour, david gura speaks with former homeland security secretary jeh johnson.
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before i hand things off to my colleague, david gura, i just want to wish my father a very happy father's day. he's the best father in the world, the most noble man i've ever known. number one daddy-o. hey, everybody, i'm david gura at msnbc headquarters in new york with all eyes on south texas on this father's day. the focus is