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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  June 20, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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have a lot of gold on the embassy there in jerusalem. jonathan swan, live for us in washington, d.c., thank you very much. we're going to be reading axios a.m. in just a little bit. can you sign up for the newsletter by going to signup.axios.com. that does it for us, i'm yasmin vossoughian, alongside ayman mohyeldin and louis burgdorf, "morning joe" starts right now. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." we begin with four words "tone deaf, callous, heartless." we have the secretary of homeland security, kirstjen nielsen choosing to eat at a mexican restaurant last night where she was promptly heckled by protesters. we have that video for you, and we'll show it to you later. not sure why she thought that was the place to go after her presentation of lies and deceit about how children are treated at the border. now to callous -- here's the president's former white house press secretary, sean spicer
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sharing a picture of a champagne celebration last night at trump hotel in washington. how about heartless? here's the president's former campaign manager, cory lewandoski, about hearing of a child with down's syndrome being separated from her parents. >> read about a 10 grld girl with down's syndrome who was taken from her mother and put in a cage. >> wah-wah. >> how dare you. >> how dare you! >> illegally -- >> here are the children. torn from their families, caged by the american government. babies, sent to shelters, mothers, begging to keep their kids. here's capitol hill where members of congress are talking. and debating signing letters, some fighting to end this heinous policy.
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others, defending it. and here's the president of the united states. again claiming he is somehow not personally responsible for this policy, that is representing families apart. >> as a result of democrats-supported loopholes in our federal laws, most illegal immigrant families and minors from central america, who arrive unlawfully at the border, cannot be detained together or removed together, only released. these are crippling loopholes that cause family separation. which we don't want. >> with us we have msnbc contributor mike barn kill. republican strategist and msnbc political analyst, susan del pursio. are you at all thinking of walking away from the party? >> still holding on there are still people in my party who are willing to stand up for what's
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right. >> and "morning joe" economic analyst steve rattner, nbc news capitol hill correspondent and host of kasie d.c., kasie hunt and pulitzer prize-winning historian, and author of "the soul of america: the battle for our better angels." jon meachum. we'll enjoy joe coming back together and hearing his voice on this. in a moment we'll get to president trump's meeting with house republicans on capitol hill. first we think it's important to update you on the scene at the southern border. a report overnight from the "associated press" attempts to answer a question that the trump administration has dodged for the last few days. where are the girls? and where are the young toddlers among migrant children separated from their families at the border? the a.p. reports that babies and other very young children are
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being sent to at least three tender-age shelters in south texas. that's what they're called according to the a.p., lawyers and medical providers who have visited the rio grande shelters described playrooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. the report unconfirmed by msnbc says the government also plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in houston. according to numbers from u.s. customs and border protection, 2,235 families have been apprehended at the border between may 5, when the zero tolerance policy put out by the attorney general and the trump administration was put in place. and june 9th, among more than 4500 family members, were 2,342 children, who were designated as
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unaccompanied. yesterday the former head of u.s. immigration and customs enforcement told nbc's andrea mitchell that some migrant family separations will end up being permanent. >> how are these families supposed to get back together? >> don't forget that just two weeks ago, they revealed they lost track of 15 00 kids. now you have to keep track of kids and the parents, i can tell you from experience it's more difficult than it sounds. you end up with parents on one track, the child ends up on another track. in they don't reunite these kids with their parents right away, the kids will be stuck here in the united states for years and the parents will be down in honduras or guatemala with no idea where their child is and no way to reunite. >> the politics of this on capitol hill. i don't think anybody reporting on this -- i don't know what's going on at fox. but it's hard, i can't even, i couldn't even read the script, i was beginning to cry. i'm note sure how anybody can
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defend this without feeling a pit in their stomach. >> you ask susan dell pursio if she was thinking about leaving the party. steve schmidt who ran john mccain's 2008 presidential campaign at 2:41 a.m. tweeted that he's leaving the republican party. that was overnight. steve schmidt. not just any republican, a leader in the party has renounced his membership in the republican party. that's where some people are. >> i think the reality of it is you listen to president trump we'll say it again, every time he says it's a democratic loophole, the president can end it with a phone call, a stroke of a pen, full stop, period, end of sentence. the question i guess is kasie hunt what to do with the energy and outrage? what's the productive way to change this? how do you fix this? they're trying on capitol hill and the house, they're trying in the senate to some extent, chuck schumer says it has to be done through the president and not legislation.
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>> the reality again, is that the president could change this by picking up the phone. this was an administrative policy change, now could congress in theory do something about it? yes, but there's really no clear path forward. democrats are arguing that essentially the president is holding these kids hostage and this is a repeat of what he did with dreamers, created a crisis, created a vulnerable population, and then used that as political leverage to turn around and try to push through the other immigration policies that he championed on the campaign trail. that is what's going on in the house. the two bills are much more sweeping. they're not narrow, they don't just deal with this question, there is language that would potentially address the family separation that is included in those bills. but they also sharply curtail legal immigration. they change the rules for asking for asylum. it makes it much more difficult to do that. in the senate, the path is
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potentially a little bit different. but there are so many competing proposals, democrats are saying look, it's a snakepits with what one aide said to me about negotiating with republicans on immigration. the congress hasn't been able to do anything about this in literally decades. they could add something very narrow to a must-pass defense spending bill that's on the floor this week. that seems to me to be the likeliest scenario. where we get something small and narrow to deal with this. and to put an end to it. but you know the reality is, they are not acting right now on this. the political will, i will say much different. what mika said at the top of the show, everybody being on the same page for like the first time in quite frankly from what i can remember, the entirety of the trump administration to date, i mean people don't like this. they don't want this. across the board. republicans, democrats, the problem is, that it's not clear they can get their act together and actually stop it.
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>> there were standing ovations and back-slapping on capitol hill last night when president trump went up there late yesterday, meeting with house republicans for 45 minutes. speaker paul ryan began the closed-door session by discussing the gop's compromise immigration bill that had just been filed. president trump spoke briefly about immigration and reportedly ran through a number of topics, including what he called the hoax russia investigation. north korea, the cost of jet fighters, trade, and mocking recently defeated congressman mark sanford, who was not in the room, before the president returned to immigration. sources in the room say trump said he is 1,000% with them to pass a sprawling immigration bill. and he told them the burden for getting citizenship would be significant and that it would be linked to the construction of the border wall. he said quote, you have to work work work, then after 10, 12, maybe 13 years, you have to chance to become a citizen, trump went on. so you're talking 12, 13 years out and then you don't even get a green card until the wall is
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built so this is an incentive to get the wall built faster. people in the republicans-only capitol hill meeting also said the president addressed his controversial policy on migrant children. reportedly saying quote, we got to take care of separation, it's too nasty. will he could take care of it. and members say trump said that he had talked with his daughter, ivanka, about the images of children in cages and she asked him to find a way to put a stop to it. she's not said that publicly. but in his public remarks yesterday, the president continued to insist that the responsibility rests with democrats, he tweeted this, democrats are the problem. they don't care about crime and want illegal immigrants no matter how bad they may be to pour into and infest our country like ms-13. they can't win on their terrible policies so they view them as potential voters. president said this at an event in washington -- >> as a result of democrats-supported loopholes in our federal laws, most illegal immigrant families and minors
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from central america who arrive unlawfully at the border cannot be detained together, or removed together. only released. these are crippling loopholes that cause family separation. which we don't want. >> i want to read steve schmidt's tweet actually. he says 29 years and nine months ago i registered to vote and became a member of the republican party. which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery, and stand for the dignity of human life. today i renounce my membership in the republican party. it is fully the party of trump. and i do, i'll just take my knowledge of how donald trump thinks and what i know about him, and i think there may have been some sort of strange back-plan in his head where maybe he would blame it on the democrats and sign this away and be the hero to change it. it's too late, it's yours,
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you've done it and there are babies who are hurting right now and that won't end. and that trauma is permanent. this is a massive pr fail. and as far as his daughter saying something to him? ivanka trump has counseled to the president, you need to step up, i know you won't. you need to step up and speak for yourself. but the way trump works with people close to him, like ivanka and other who is work for him, is those people don't have to step up and take questions, they're too feckless, too stupid or smart enough not to actually put themselves out there. they get protected by the inner circle. which is very small around this president. people like secretary nielson, sarah huckabee sanders, sean spicer at one point, they're forced out there to make fools of themselves. because they have no choice, they think. you do have a choice. and we need more people to step up. we are seeing more republicans, susan del persio, there's a list
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and it's a sign of hope at a time where it really is very difficult to report on a story like this without shaking. >> and you have republican senators, some who are up for re-election, you have rick scott who is seeking the senate in florida. who again came out against this. and you even have two republican governors, both up for re-election from massachusetts and maryland, who withdraw the national guard troops they had sent. republicans are stepping up. what this is starting to seem like is a lot will charlottesville. an issue that has racial overtones, dividing the nation. the difference is last time they had steve bannon to resign, that kind of blew over and let people kind of go forward. i think donald trump is digging in. and what he's missing is this is bad politics, bad policy and what concerns him the most is bad tv. >> that's all that comes through for him. >> you know, mika, this is well beyond politics. >> it is. >> i mean the soul, the character, and the definition of the america we know, the america that we grew up with, the
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america that the world became familiar with, is now been called into question by the actions of a single man. donald trump. and his associates. there are 286 members of the republican party serving in both the house and the senate. they were elected by individual citizens in their districts and in their states. where are they? susan, with all due respect, you say they're starting to step up and say -- they're muted, they're muted. >> what's worse is this is a value decision this is who we are as a value-based decision. we saw the president, with the g7 and now to even just yesterday, saying it cost too much. this is not a financial issue. this is who we are as a nation. and i have, i stand by that 1,000%. this shows who donald trump is. it goes back to when he said he didn't want people from s-hole countries and he only wanted people from norway. you're right this is a time
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where americans especially republicans, if they want to hold on to any sense of dignity, have to speak out. and i think we're going to see what happens in the mid term elections and that's going to change a lot of people's opinions. >> steve rattner and take it to meachum. >> you said you're starting to see republicans speak out. the question is whether they can get themselves together. this mass of people on capitol hill that kasie was talking about, can actually come together and troy to accomplish something. what's i think to me one of the more sickening aspects of this is that what trump effectively doing is using these children as pawns. he's using them as pawns to try as a deterrent to try to get other families from coming here and he's using them from pawns on capitol hill to try to force the passage of some immigration bill that he likes as opposed to what we very simple, a very simple bill that simply said, you don't no longer have to separate parents from children, if you choose to detain them. which is the source of all this
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problem. so it's really, it's heartbreaking to see this happening. but it's even more heartbreaking to see our president using young children as pawns in a political struggle. >> and i don't want to get into the weeds, because i truly believe this is larger than just politics, you have three republican members of the senate announce donald, no more federal judges, we're shutting you down. we're not going to vote for your reappointees, but anyway, jon meachum, back to the central theme of what i think might be going on, beneath the surface of the politics is the soul of america. the fight for the soul of america. and i can't recall in my memory, which is fading, actually as i get older, but even, even my sense of history, since the mccarthy, in the early '50s, has there been such a dark moment in the soul of this country's politics? >> well one of the things i
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think we have to confront is when we say this isn't america, in fact, it is. it's the worst part of america. it's the darker instincts, but they've been with us from the very beginning. and they're with us now. and what so many of us hoped is that we believed in a kind of idea and reality of progress. and that in fact, you could move forward. and what president trump represents, i think, is the fullest and most vivid and frankly the scariest manife manifestation of these dark impulses in the country's soul. and the battle is always for every given era, the battle is account reagan view of -- i'm going to keep quoting this until people yank me off -- when he said, in his farewell address, that part of being the shining city on the hill this is ronald reagan, okay, is to greet all
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the lost pilgrims from all the lost places hurtling through the darkness towards home. now if you're hurtling through the darkness toward home, we'll separate you from your children. i would urge republicans to think about how do you want to be viewed by history? because i promise, the fox cycle, the breitbart cycle is very quick. history is forever. and if i, if i had three minutes with president trump, i would say -- we know you care about success. we know you care about ratings. why don't you do what other great presidents have done, reach beyond your base, talk, surprise us. what's the one thing we all say about richard nixon? he went to china. trump has the capacity here, and it's in his self-interest. i'm not asking him to do the right thing, because i don't think he's capable of that in a moral sense. but -- i shouldn't say that, we shouldn't cast the first stone, but why not. why not do the right thing. why not talk about hope instead
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of fear? surprise us and reap the benefits. >> i don't think that day is going to come. but i want to rephrase mike's question, taking part of your answer, jon meachum. you say that is part of america. there is a part of america that has these elements and i would, i would agree. we have a long way to go, still. when it comes to race. but have we ever seen anything in recent memory that parallels having sexism, racism, white supremacy, thuggery, bigotry, along with complicit men and women within the administration at the top? >> no, not at the top. >> complicity in congress. >> we've never seen this. we've never seen someone with these attributes at the top. can you tell me that i'm incorrect in saying that the president of the united states has displayed these attributes
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in his voice in his words, and in his policies? >> you are correct. and this is as if george wallace had won in 1968, that's where we are. if we had been talking 50 years ago today, the level of violence in the country would have been incredibly high, we would have just buried senator kennedy. just buried dr. king, heading into the chicago democratic national convention, you had an immense amount of violence, both on the left and on the right. george wallace carried five states, 13.5% of the vote in november '68, but he didn't win. and the one through-line here from charlottesville to this issue, is to use your phrase, a return to the most disturbing elements of white supremacy. white male supremacy, to be precise. in the national character. and what we have to do, and it's these kinds of conversations that, that are essential, is
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there are about five elements that having to rowing some number of these elements have to be rowing in the right direction. the presidency, the congress, the courts, the press and the people. and right now the presidency and the congress are not rowing in the right direction. we have to have the other elements and we have to just keep pushing as exhausting as it is, as tiring as it is, as unpleasant as the other side is, you just keep fighting. >> despite all this, we all should remember the president actually isn't terribly conflicted about this. he believes he told senior aides that he looks strong. he's acting on promises he made during the campaign. that immigration was the initial hook he set on june 16, 2015. he thinks it's why he got elected. he believes these pictures we're seeing of families separated, children being taken from their parents are strength. to him that's an image of strength. >> it's a message being sent. >> kasie hunt i'm going to read awe quote from steve bannon to the "associated press." quote i think this is one of his best moments, i think this is a
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profile in courage. this is why america elected him. this is not doubling down, it is tripling down. that tells you everything you need to know about the view from inside the trump family. inside the trump white house. >> it really does, and our reporting lines up with that. that this policy is really coming from the president. i just want to make one, what i think is an important point about the congress here. we're down in the weeds about what they're actually doing day to day. the big picture here is that if congress wants to stop this, yes, the president could do it with a phone call. congress, though, could stop this. if they wanted to. if both republican leaders on both sides stepped up and crafted something, they could push this through, i think that there would likely be a veto-proof majority for ending this policy. simply based on the number of conversations that i have had. they could do that. but it would require standing up to the president of the united states and taking a political
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risk. going out on a limb and doing it. they could. the constitution has crafted, in fact crafted the congress to be more powerful than the presidency. they've cedeed a lot of that power to the president in recent years, but if the congress wanted to do this, to end this and nothing else, they could and all the back and forth about the negotiations and the democrats this and the broader bill that, it's all dissembling. if they wanted to, they could. >> this is a moment in history where everybody has an opportunity to do what's right. the "washington post" phil rutgers reporting that president trump was angry because he felt the media was cherry-picking pictures, like focusing on only the negative. and thereforetrying to make the story look worse. let me remind you, mr. president, and also the dhs secretary might want to know this as well, that these pictures are being actually disseminated and handed out by the government. so we would also like to follow up on the question as to where the girls are and you know, more pictures of toddlers and babies,
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we want to see them. we want to know what their status is, where are the girls? where are they being housed? and why didn't, i'm confused as to why we can't actually see that part. these are your pictures. and your little pr stunt. trying to look strong, it's failing miserably. it is so cruel to see what is happening in your pictures. that you gave to the press, about what is happening at the border. gosh if we could take our own pictures and we could walk in there a little more freely like it is america, and really see what's going on -- maybe we would see more babies, maybe we would see more girls, maybe we would see more toddlers, maybe it's worse, but it looks pretty damn bad. it looks as bad as it gets. and i just think you might want to think about just pulling the rip cord on this and ending it.
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it hasn't gone well. it's not working. still ahead on "morning joe," live reporting from the border, and as we go to break, activists heckled homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen. she made the very tone-deaf ivanka-like decision to dine at a mexican restaurant last night. dhs put out a statement saying the protesters share her concern with our current immigration laws that have created a crisis on the southern border. again, it's not a law. it's the president's policy. we'll be right back. shame, shame, shame! hi.
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les go live to the u.s./mexico boarder in texas. mariana, you've been talking all week with mothers who have been trying to come to the u.s. what have you been hearing today? >> willie, these mothers are desperate. not for themselves, but for their children. the levels of violence that
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they're fleeing in central america have forced them here to the other side of the hidalgo bridge where i'm standing. i spoke to half a dozen mothers in reynosa, mexico, they're waiting to see if they're going to cross to the u.s. border or not. now with the risk that their children, they get prosecuted, will be taken from them. they're waiting out this decision in one of the most dangerous cities in mexico, where i spoke to patricia, a young mother from honduras, who has her seven-year-old child there. this is the kind of violence that she told me she was fleeing from. let's play a little of my conversation with her in spanish from mexico yesterday. tell me about where you're fleeing from in our country. i want to understand what you guys are going through. i'm fleeing violence, i'm fleeing the gangs. there is no future for our children. and you were telling me before, if your country was safe you
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would have stayed there. my country would be okay, i would be there happily with my child. i would not try to cross. everything that we have gone through to even be here. there's a lot of mothers like me who are afraid to speak about this, about what they endure on this journey just even coming here. >> it took her three months to even make it to the u.s. border. she said it, she wouldn't be putting her son through that, if she didn't think that it would mean his life if they stayed in central america. and now when you think about, guys, just the decision that these mothers are faced with. you know having their tender-age children as we saw potentially put in shelters, separated from them. if they get prosecuted or having to go back to that -- it's an impossible decision to make for them. >> mariana, where in the process is that young mother that we just heard from?
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is she at risk of being separated from her child? >> she's on the other side, willie. weighing the decision of whether or not to cross over to the u.s. she says she still hasn't made up her mind. because this issue of family separation is something that she wasn't expecting when she left her native country. she does not know what to do. but what she knows for sure is that if she goes back to central america, her boy, which is seven years old, you know they start recruiting them at nine, ten years old. so that's why they're making the dangerous journey over here. that's why they're even considering getting prosecuted by this administration, having their kids taken away. because it will mean these kids' life if they go back. and just on a final note. i've also been to places like the syrian border and spoken to mothers there and it's hard not to make the parallelisms and to look at these mothers and children as refugees who you know i ask them, what is your message to the trump administration? and that mother said, we need
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help. please help us. >> mariana, after while she sits on the other side of the border, waiting to make a decision whether to try and get into the united states, how does she -- how does she exist? how does she feed herself and her child? how does she live daily on the other side of the border? >> she's been waiting out there for two weeks. watching this immigration crisis play out. and she's in a shelter run by this priest where there's of 60 people going through that. just to give you guys some context, we needed five people in our security detail just to even make it to that shelter. they're waiting this out in an incredibly dangerous city, there's a turf war being fought there by two cartels, these are the same cartels that practice this human trafficking along the border, and prey on these people. so the kind of violence that they're fleeing from, is the kind of violence that they are
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exposed to. as they're waiting and watching what this administration is doing and making this very difficult decision. >> mariana, atencio doing a great job for us at the border, thank you. mika, in a way this makes jeff sessions and donald trump's case, that this is a quote tough deterrent. if that woman is sitting at the border, worried that she's going to lose her child and perhaps not cross into the united states. that's what the trump administration wants to hear from this policy. >> i don't know if we could put her picture up again. this brave mother, who has been traveling a dangerous journey for three months. mothers like this and their daughters along the way -- they risk rape. they risk torture. they endure hardship that is indescribable. to try and come here, and if we could see her face again, because this is the face of success for trump supporters and donald trump himself. and his family who works for him, ivanka trump, for his
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administration, for the secretary of homeland security, she feels that she and donald trump feels that he, are actually, they're being successful. with this policy. because a woman like this -- who is trying to come here to save her children, may not decide to make the journey into the united states. and seek asylum. this is success right here for them. this is what trump supporters say, is exactly what they want is for people to be too afraid to come here. even though they are enduring murder, rape, torture, and they are fleeing what we thought was something worse. >> it also, mika, makes the case for if we had a president of the united states who was knowledgeable enough and skillful enough to create and keep alliances with other countries, like mexico, like
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honduras, el salvador, guatemala, we have enormous numbers of troops in afghanistan and iraq still today and on the syrian border. we have drug cartels preventing this woman from crossing over to the border. we have three governments, honduras, gauatemala and el salvador, your daily life, you're terrorized, and we can do nothing about it because we don't have very good relationships with i don't think any country in the world now. >> something that mariana said, can you put this in a broader context, which is what should our policy be toward refugees from these terrible, terrible places like honduras or like syria. and the trump administration's policy is essentially zero tolerance. we don't want any of them. they've cut off refugees from syria. you could show pictures from syria that look just like those pictures we saw from the border, we're not letting those people in. and we're not letting these people in. this is a broader part of the trump policy. we don't want anybody here.
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>> that's right. that is the policy. coming up, with the administration throwing around numbers about border crossings, steve rattner has some charts to drill down on the facts. is it a solution in search of a problem? that's next on "morning joe." yeah, you? [ roaring ] [ screaming ] nope. rated pg-13.
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. we've been asking the question, where are the girls and where are the babies. apparently one has been located. the houston bureau chief for "the new york times" just caption -- this toddler is about 12 months old. she was separated from her relatives as part of the trump administration's family separation policy. she is being held at a brownsville shelter. i did not take the photo. it was supplied to me. it looks like maybe somebody used a phone to snap a picture. so you see a child like that, kasie hunt. alone in a shelter, around other toddlers, are they allowed to pick up this child? we've heard reports about exactly how much comfort these children can get when being held. but a child as young as 12 months old separated from their family. how exactly do politicians find a way around this? because every moment that goes
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by their views or lack of views on this is reported in history. >> it's incredibly -- it's so hard to see this picture. i mean you can see there's the feet of an adult there to the left that are, they're clothed and what you might see in a hospital. clearly there's concern about the health and safety of the child and people that i've spoken to about that policy argue that it's in place because they want these children to be protected, they want to prevent abuse. but for children that are this young, the idea that you couldn't comfort them is absolutely heartbreaking. i have retweeted that picture and somebody wrote back to me with a statement from the state of michigan from june 19, i've lost track of what the date is. but michigan is a place that historically has taken in a lot of refugees. there are a lot of refugee communities. so they have played a
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significant role in helping with unaccompanied minors. in their foster care system. and they say the executive director of the michigan department of civil rights, says this week i've been in touch with various agencies and organizations working with these vulnerable children. we have received reports and are very concerned that the children arriving here are much younger than those who have been transported here in the past. some of the children are infants. as young as three months of age. and they are completely unable to advocate for themselves. i am take very seriously our responsibility to see to the civil rights of every person in this state. he says they're going to monitor the situation, but while the a.p. has reported on these shelters, it sounds as though this is occurring perhaps across the country. as we report all of this out. >> the problem, manufactured for the base it appears some would say. that that child is one of the
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first toddlers we've seen and we'll keep asking the question where are the girls. where are the toddlers. why is this happening. we'll be right back. they appear out of nowhere.
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. the "washington post" recently highlighted a study that says charts change hearts and minds, better than words do. easier to read than say. so steve rattner, go ahead. change our hearts and minds and tell us about the border crossing. >> i'm not sure i can change our hearts and minds better than some of those pictures did, which were so incredibly wrenching. so look, let's try to dissect some of what trump is saying, as usual it's filled with a number of falsehoods, starting with his claim that the number of people crossing the border has exploded. what you can see what he's talking about is he's comparing what's happening this year in terms of border apprehensions to what happened last year. in 2017. but what he's ignoring is the fact that in three other
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previous years the rate of apprehensions is roughly same as it is now. if you take out last year as an aberration, there's no particular change in the number of people trying to cross the border. in fact this is also kind of a seasonal high. and generally this declines as the year wears on. so that sort of lie number one that we can put to rest. the second question is, where does it stand relative to history. and if you go back in history. you can see that the number of border crossings in the last several years has been at the lowest level it's been since 1971. if you go back to the year 2000, it was up over 1 .6 million. and so it is possible if you look at the little extrapolation we did here, that the number of border crossings could be slightly high they are year than it was last year. but we're bumping along on the bottom for a variety of reasons, the financial crisis caused a lot of people from mexico to decide the u.s. wasn't actually such a great place to come after all. things in mexico notwithstanding.
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but in the broader mexican economy have gotten better. more jobs, more things for people to do the number of people trying to cross the border has generally been trending down. >> does any of that tie to policy? in other words president obama, who president trumpobama, who p trump accused of being weak on immigration and weak at the border, it is the economy, yes, but is there something president obama did to bring about that precipitous drop during his two te terms? >> yes. the number of border patrol agents being assigned has gone up sharply. yes, we've done a lot more to enforce the border. obama did consider policies like what trump is doing, but rejected the idea of separating families. he did step up the enforcement at the border of people trying to cross illegally. lastly, let's deal with the question of whether people who come here are rapist, murderers
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and carrying drugs. what you can see here is that illegal immigrants actually are incarcerated at half the rate of native born americans, and legal immigrants are actually incarcerated at an even lower rate than that. this whole notion we're bringing in gang members, bringing in people who are going to rape murder and pillage our country is not bringing out the facts. >> the u.s. government says it seeks to promote, quote, humane, international migration policies. when asked if the trump separation policy was humane, the acting director of i.c.e. couldn't bring himself to say the word. we'll talk to the attorney general of new mexico and a former u.s. attorney lending their voices to the cause. we'll be right back.
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their reporter captured video of unusual activity at a foster agency in east harlem. also this morning the houston bureau chief for the "new york times" tweeted this image with a caption this toddler is about 12 months old. she was separated from relatives as part of the trump administration's family separation policy. she's being held at a brownsville shelter. i did not take the photo. it was supplied to me. just a few minutes before the top of the hour. still with us we have msnbc mike barnicle, a contributor. and steve ratner, an analyst. and kasie hunt. and the author of "the soul of america," jon meacham. good to have you all with us. as we follow this story i'm finding it hard to believe what we're seeing. >> we haven't confirmed that new york one reporter yet. he's a really good reporter,
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josh is. but if you think about what he's reporting, it's that they were separated from their families at the border and then put on a plane, flown to new york city. >> without their parents? >> and taken to a foster center in east harlem, new york. >> is that possible? >> we're going to continue to report on it. >> the other thing s bottom of,y impression and understanding of the policy, children under 4 should not be separated from their parents. apparently that's happening. that will be interesting reporting to come. >> i'm going to continue with this because it's staggering. we do have to make sure we're really, really cool on the facts. and i want to follow up on that new york one report. a report overnight from the associated press, attempts to answer a question that the trump administration has dodged for the last few days. where are the girls? where are the young toddlers among migrant children separated from their families at the border? the ap reports that babies and
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other young children are being sent to at least three tender age shelters in south texas. that's what they're calling them. according to the ap, lawyers and medical providers who have visited the rio grand valley shelters described playrooms of crying preschool age children in crisis. the report says the government also plans to open a shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in houston. according to nurls from u.s. customs and border protection, 2,235 families have been apprehended at the border between may 5th when zero tolerance policy was in place and june 9th. among more than 4,500 family members were 2,342 children who were then designated as unaccompanied. and here is the current acting director of i.c.e., thomas homen, seeming to take a noticeable pause when cnn's wolf
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blitzer asked him if the administration's current actions are a humane policy. >> is this new zero tolerance policy that the president has supported that the attorney general announced, is it humane? >> i think -- i think it's the law. as the law -- >> it may be the law, it's the policy. but is it humane? >> i think it's the law, and i'm a law enforcement, and i must follow the law. >> it's not humane. it's not humane to separate children from their mothers, to separate families. it's not humane to take toddlers away from their mothers. it's cruel. it's abusive. it's proven by doctors to have long-standing implications for these families. and there are some reports that in very small cases, but existing numbers, you might not even be able to bring these families back together willie?
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>> i want to point out one thing. the u.s. catholic bishop conference has condemned this. the pope was asked about it a moment ago. he said simply i am on the side of the bishop's conference, agreeing with their view that it is immoral. amid the growing outrage of the trump administration's policy of separating migrant children from parents a group of democratic state attorneys general sent two letters to attorney general jeff sessions yesterday calling on him to reverse the policy. joining the conversation, the attorney general of new mexico, hector balderas who led that letter, and a former u.s. attorney and msnbc contributor barbara mcquaid who added her name to the prosecutor's letter. general balderas, let me start with you, what do you believe is the quickest and best course of action to stop this policy right
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now? is it convincing the president of the united states to make the phone call that could end it, or is it pushing congress to move quicker than the president could? >> i believe the president should take executive action. he should do the right thing. i disagree with that law enforcement officer fundamentally, you can enforce a law and be tough on crime. we as border ags understand we should be going after human traffickers, drug smugglers and gun runners. the president wants to be tough on crime. we should be focused on hardened criminals and enforce border security. but we should not be violating the rights of children and breaking up families. that's the fundamental debate here we're missing when we offend the conscience of our country is the rule of law. we can be tough on crime. we just have to be smart. we can do both, and we should not be violating the constitution of the united states and the greatest democracy and the greatest rule of law by offending our
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conscience as well by breaking up families. and that's what the president could do. then the congress should take action. and of course in the end the goal of any institution international, state or federal, is to do justice. so we're offending families. and our immigration, whether it's an immigration system or a criminal justice system, we are breaking up families, especially children that are innocent under the recaule of law, then we neeo step in as americans. >> this is a policy that was implemented and articulated by the attorney general of the united states about five or six weeks ago. that's when the uptick started occurring of breaking up families. you're the attorney general of the state of new mexico. if the albuquerque police department in investigating a domestic call at a home scooped the children out of the house, would it be against the law of new mexico for them to do that? >> well, they would work in conjunction with social workers in that, in family protection
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units at that point if the other family members were somehow violating the law. but there would be compassion and some sense of discretion by law enforcement. they wouldn't just be fundamentally saying i haveo enforce the rule of law, i have to break up the family and scoop up the children and then blindly put them in a cage or in some kind of a cold jail setting and then also fundamentally denying due process on both sides and keeping everyone in the dark. that's just a backwards system. jeff sessions is playing kind of a word game here. and that's why i'm talking to americans today. we can absolutely be tough on crime and absolutely be tough on exploitation. we should be focused on human traffickers, gun runners, drug smugglers. i'm at the border. you want to talk concrete and building walls, let's talk about that. but when you're talking about children crying and then you're playing games with information and withholding information, that's something that our greatest criminal justice
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system, our immigration system right now doesn't pass the smell test. and that's why we're getting involved as ags. but that's where we're starting the debate, being tough on the border, tough on crime. we're not even in the conversation. right now you are terrorizing children. and we're in the business of fighting terrorism, not terrorizing children. and you're misleading the general public and trying to hold up the law enforcement badge. >> that's another way to put it. they're being traumatized and terrorized. there's no question about it. jon meacham? >> i'm wondering if there's a judicial remedy here in the checks and balances system, if the other two branches fail. one question is whether there is something that the courts could step in and do. >> well, i think on a microlevel, frequently the judges sentence these defendants to time served. you know, these are misdemeanor offenses. and so we could see a remedy at the administrative level.
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they were handled through that way. at a macrolevel, there has been a challenge by the aclu, and there could be other challenges to take this to a higher level to get an order that says the department of justice cannot act in this way. i don't know that that kind of an attack would be successful because as we said this is not a legal decision. this is a policy decision. people are entering the border illegally. but what has changed and what is the radical departure from the past is this idea of a zero tolerance policy. every single person who commits that misdemeanor offense of illegal entry is being prosecuted. and because children cannot be detained or jailed awaiting trial with their parents they are necessarily being separated. what has happened in the past is allowing prosecutors to use discretion to make that common sense decision about
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prioritization. if someone here that has committed that misdemeanor offense of illegal entry to decline prosecution, handle it administratively and instead focus the prosecutorial things that are changes. every hour and every day that a prosecutor spends handling an illegal entry case is an hour a day the prosecutor spends not dealing with serious crimes. >> kasie hunt, you said last hour there is a solution, that congress could act in a sweeping way and end this at once. is that possible? >> sure. it's possible. >> how? >> it's not how they normally do business. >> none of this is normal. >> you know, normally there's tradeoffs and back and forth. but if they really wanted to, republican leaders control the floors of the house and of the senate. and they could write a very narrow bill that i think at least from talking to my -- i've
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not done a formal whip count obviously, but i've had conversations with members privately and on camera the last couple of days about this. to a person i'm trying to think of somebody i've talked to who's not opposed to this policy. everybody says we don't want to see this, we don't want this to happen. so that suggests to me that you could potentially see a veto proof majority. it would require republican leaders to stand up and essentially oppose the president in this. >> but it is possible for it to be ended today by congress? >> sure. >> technically possible. >> yes, technically possible. it would take the agreement of all 100 senators to do it today, but the house could go right ahead and do it today. their procedures, the house speaker has a lot of power over what he could do with the floor. they would probably anger a lot of people because everyone is wedded to how they do things and the processes around there. they could do it if they wanted to. >> everyone is very wedded to the process.
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and i don't think we've seen the process really work over the past few years. and as kasie said, none of this is normal. so 100 senators, there's 100 of you who could do this today and could change the direction of our country which is right now headed in the wrong direction because none of this is normal. taking babies away from their mothers is not normal. hiding toddlers from the american public, and large groups of girls that have been separated from their families, hiding them from the american public, and not revealing the pictures, or telling us what their locations are, and telling us whether they're okay, that's not normal, and that's not american. taking groups of kids, and marching them off to tents like criminals. building tent cities for them. hiding children in cages with blankets that they have to share, and lying on the floor, these are the pictures our government have released to show their policy is working.
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none of this is normal. we have 100 senators who could step up and do the right thing for the united states of america. and then you can go on and go to your corners and fight about the different things you want to fight about. but let's be unified on this. i don't think any of this is normal. and i think that our president, the one thing we haven't seen in our lifetimes is a president who brings to the table racist tendencies, bigotry, sexism, bullying, thuggism, and frightens people to say things that they don't mean in order to hold onto their jobs. we've seen that happen in realtime. we've seen that play out before our eyes. and it might be personal. it might be political. but this is about our heart. and we've got 100 senators who could change this today. we know the president won't
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unless for some reason he thinks he might win some p.r. battle or make some sort of gain for himself in a way that only pertains to him. but you could fight for america. you could fight for who we are. we would support that. we're praying for that as human beings and citizens of the united states of america. anybody disagree? >> well, i'd like to ask kasie a question. >> go ahead. >> i've read all the heartbroken tweets from senators and read the strongly worded letters from senators to attorney general sessions. the republican congress had a -- did any of them confront him about this issue when they had a chance? >> the president didn't take questions. and there were no -- from my reporting, outbursts from the crowd during the meeting. we talked to one member who on his way in, my colleague garrett
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haake spoke to one in colorado who represents -- he's been a voice on the immigration issue. i haven't had a chance yet to follow up. i didn't catch up with him leaving the meeting. none of my sources said that he was confronted directly on this issue. in fact, typically these meetings, the president likes it when members stick around and take selfies with him. >> from the photographs it looks like smiles and back slaps and standing ovations. general balderas, i want to ask you a question and present the case the administration makes and a lot of conservatives will make too. which is that it's heartbreaking to look at these pictures, but the fact of the matter is many of them are breaking the law and there has to be some punishment for breaking the law. and they believe this is a tough deterrent. we had an interview with one of our reporters with a young mother and her child waiting on the other side of the border and considering whether or not it was worth it to cross into united states because she may be separated from her child. the trump administration would say, see, that's what we mean, we're deterring people from
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crossing. what is a better solution here to prevent the crossing of illegal immigrants? >> they just need to use some common sense. they have not built the bureaucracy or the apparatus to provide the significant amount of due process. it's taken years to process families in a humane way. let's invest to build truly the greatest immigration system we can build. why are we dillydallying around fighting about policies and trying to pass a bill right now when we should be investing real resources on the border? we are an international world superpower, and we are trying to build a wall rather than build the greatest justice system to properly process mexico and canada, which are our largest trading partners. we are fighting with north korea when we don't even trade or make money off north korea. so building a real economic
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engine in that region where we value human rights, employment rights, civil rights, and law enforcement. we have great law enforcement partners right there where we need to eradicate drug trafficking and gun running. but all it takes is putting professionals down there, social workers, judges, counselors, and properly process them. >> go back to what we were doing previously. >> i think it's slightly more complicated than that, in a way. there's basically two groups of people we're talking about. there are mexicans who have tried to cross the border, and traditionally our policy there was to send them back. now you have this new -- somewhat new problem, in fairness to everybody who's working on this, where you have families fleeing this gang violence and these terrible conditions in guatemala, honduras and so on. they're seeking asylum, a different legal situation. >> that's the point. >> the question for us as a country is what do you do with the asylum seekers?
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do you take them because they're seeking asylum from all this gang violence? or do you send them back as families into the middle of this violence? or what is our national view of this? >> that is a great point. that's what our nation has been missing. we're coming off the heels of the dreamer argument where i had dreamers who were soldiers signing in with homeland security passing background checks, where law enforcement officers, coming off the old immigration system which was broken. now we have asylum refugee who have more fundamental legal rights. both systems america didn't do well. we built a big mack hamburger. in seconds, we can turn around a greasy burger that's not good for you. but we can't process immigrant rights like the dreamers. we can either turn back a family or process them as a dreamer and we should do it under a year, the way we process a harvard
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applicant, or we should have some type of fundamental protection for asylum seekers. come on, we're the best nation in the world. and where i'm making the argument, mexico is an ally. they're the number three trading partner. if trump is a real businessman, he won't be playing footsies with north korea where we make no money off that economy, and mexico we know we make money because we need their labor, we trade with them and they're our neighbor. and they're a better soccer team than we are right now, quite frankly. why can we not process our neighbors in a human way? i have law enforcement partners over there where we are exchanging information. in new mexico, good example, a mexican national killed every one of his family members. and we have an extradition agreement. in mexico, it was mexican law enforcement officers and new mexico law enforcement officers that helped me go down and track this killer,
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cold-blooded killer in mexico city. and we brought him back to justice in new mexico. this is the kind of things we're doing at the state level. but president trump just has a deranged argument. that's all i'm saying. it's a complicated issue. but we are simply not processing these cases in a way that we are processing a divorce or other systems of justice. that we are the greatest super power in the world and we can do a better job. >> barbara mcquaid, let's continue this in one vain. the power of the law, u.s. attorneys, every u.s. attorney has a pretty powerful tool box to utilize in various situations. what could a u.s. attorney do in this case to protect children from being separated from their parents? it's cruel. it's unusual. it's inhumane. what could a u.s. attorney theoreticallyo? could a u.s. attorney do anything at all to protect these children? >> well, one of the things that caused all of the u.s. attorneys from both republican and democratic administrations to write this letter to jeff
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sessions was to draw attention to the fact that the attorney general has ordered all u.s. attorneys to use zero tolerance. so right now u.s. attorneys cannot do anything other than prosecute all of these cases. and to put it into perspective, the justice department, the entire justice department across the country every year prosecutes about 70,000 cases a year. and of those 70,000, about 20,000 of those are immigration offenses. if this continues, prosecutors this year will have to handle 300,000 immigration cases. that's more than they've ever processed in a single year. that's if they don't do anything else. and so this is really tieing the hands of those prosecutors on the southern border to do nothing but this. as the attorney general just said, a better use of those resources would be to allow the u.s. attorneys to go back to their normal practice of using prosecutorial discretion to prosecute the most serious and dangerous cases, to decline prosecution from those who present no threat and instead
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use expedited removal to send them back. and for asylum seekers which international law says we cannot turn back someone who has a credible fear of death. investigate into those resources. i think the concern is that people are lying about their asylum seeking, that there is no credible fear, and they just want to come to america. well, if that's the case, let's put our resources there, and do a better job at that credible fear determination that occurs at the border so only those with a bona fide fear of persecution or death are permitted to seek asylum. the great philosopher studied american democracy and said if america is great, it's because america is good. let's make america good again. >> thank you both for being on this morning. >> thank you. still ahead an "morning joe," republicans wanted to talk
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about the fbi and her e-mails on capitol hill yesterday. but our next guest was more interested in the humanitarian crisis unfolding on the u.s. border right now. democratic congressman elijah cummings joins us next. you're watching "morning joe." and just like that we felt a little less alone. but then something happened. we had to deal with spam, fake news, and data misuse. that's going to change. from now on, facebook will do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy. because when this place does what it was built for, then we all get a little closer.
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policy, which is now resulting in child interment camps, that's what i said, child interment camps. we all should be able to agree that in the united states of america we will not intentionally separate children from their parents. we will not do that. we are better than that. we are so much better. we should be able to agree that we will not keep kids in child interment camps indefinitely and
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hidden away from public view. what country is that? this is the united states of america. >> that was ranking member of the house oversight and government reform committee during a hearing on the inspector general's report on the fbi's handling of the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. and congressman elijah cummings of maryland joins us now. thank you so much for being on this morning. it is great to see you. >> it is good to be here. >> also great to hear your voice yesterday and what you said. >> thank you. >> tell us what's going on on capitol hill. >> i think -- go ahead. >> are you being heard? >> i think we are being heard, but we certainly are being ignored. i think basically what president trump has done is he's decided that he is going to ram this policy -- and by the way it is his policy -- down the throats
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of the american people. and basically what he'll do is a term i often use, he'll rope-a-dope until people get tired and they won't talk about it anymore and then he will have his way. but this is -- we're going down a slippery slope. the question is, where does all of this end? when you've got toddlers sitting around in a room crying for their mother or their dad, and you've got tent cities being built. by the way, which are extremely expensive. and there are people benefiting from this, corporations, nonprofits benefiting big time. and children literally being used as hostages, really, so that president trump can have his way. and i would appeal to the president, let me just say this to the president, mr. president,
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when i met with you a year or so ago i did say that you could be a great president. but i also said that you could be a great president only if you represented all the people. only if you lifted up all of their lives and made their lives better. this does not make their lives better. nor does it make our country better. because what is happening now is these children, i mean, think about it, mieke, these children will grow up, many of them angry at the united states of america. i tell my staff that the most of the problems that we deal with in my office started when people were little children. and so the pediatricians, they will tell you the damage that is being done to these children, all we're doing is creating a horrible situation. you cannot separate kids from their parents, period. >> so i'm wondering what you
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would say to members of the media who are supportive of this policy, who say things like this, and they believe it and they want people to know, these kids have clean, nice facility, they have recreation, they have tutoring, they are treated as well as we can under the circumstances. and they have entertainment as well. >> i would say to them they need to talk to child psychiatrists like i have and talk to pediatricians who will tell you that this is very, very traumatic for children, big time. but more significantly, children need their parents. they need them. i mean, i would ask them to look into the eyes of their own children, and imagine somebody coming and snatching their child away from them. they would go through all kinds
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of -- trying to get their children back. something that's significant, 18 members of the house have asked our chairman of our oversight committee to help us get more information about what is going on with these children. in other words, questions like the ones that you all have been posing this morning. if a child is taken away, will they -- how do we track the child to the parents? how long will this last? where are our children? what is this costing? why are taxpayer's dollars being used to do something that most americans would find just obnoxious. >> right. >> and so we -- so again, what i would say to them is the attorney general likes to quote the bible.
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do unto others as you would have them do unto you. come on now. >> well, i think the children are given numbers, like criminals i guess. but the one thing i'll ask, as a follow-up, and then willie's going to jump in. the administration has also described these cages as walls made of wires and also members of the media have been pushing that forward, that we're exaggerating with these parallels of concentration camps. that we're exaggerating that these walls are just made of wires. >> well, i would say, well, why are you hiding them? why are you hiding them from the press? why do we have correspondents going all the way down there having to stand outside of facilities unable to get in? that says something. i mean, this is -- let me tell you something. i said when president trump was
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elected, this is a fight for the soul of our democracy. i'm telling you, these kinds of actions just cut away at the very fabric of our democracy. we go all around the world spending billions of dollars trying to tell people how to run their lives and to be democratic. and now look at us. we are no longer the shining example of what is right. and so again i would appeal to the president. listen to your wife. listen to your daughter. listen to us. and you, mr. president, can deal with this with a single stroke of the pen, and you know it. and stop putting it on democrats, please. i mean, we don't have time for that. by the way, while all this is going on, there are children literally crying and very upset. it's not exaggerated. if it is exaggerated, let the media come into all these facilities. and then the other thing, i was
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about to say, is that the republicans have not lifted one finger to help us try to find out this information that we're looking for. and so they become aiders and abetters. hopefully we will get past this. but i would say to america, and speaking to americans, don't let this happen. don't -- because at the rate we're going your children will not even know a democracy. they will not even be able to identify with this country because the democracy will be so watered down. >> congressman, it's willie geist, the president hasn't shown any willingness to budge, as you've heard. he's dug in harder to this policy. steve bannon said yesterday, quote, this is why america elected him, it's not doubling down, it's tripling down. as you know well there are a couple of bills floating through the house right now, republican bills. it appears many republicans
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disagree with this policy and are willing to do something about it, but then chuck schumer said legislation is not the way to go. it's up to the president. shouldn't they be more open to a legislative fix if it looks like the president won't move on it? >> i think we should do everything in our power. we should be first of all not taking the weight off of the president as he goes around and tries to blame everybody but himself. we need to put the pressure there. if there are legislative fixes we ought to try them. but usually what has been asked is for -- to address these issues, you've got to pay a high price. like paying billions and billions of dollars for a wall that the president said would be paid for by the mexicans. or curtailing immigrant opportunities of becoming citizens and coming into our country tremendously. you've got to figure out what the tradeoffs are. we shouldn't even be in a
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position where we have to talk about tradeoffs because what we're dealing with are moral issues. this is moral. and, you know, the thing, will ie that i'm concerned about is the damage being done by president trump. i'm sad to say this. to correct the damage won't happen during my lifetime. i think people need to understand that. >> so congressman, paul ryan, you've known him quite a while, speaker of the house. >> yeah, yeah. >> has your opinion of him changed? >> no. as a matter of fact, i did not have a great opinion from him at all. you've got to remember, we've been trying to get paul ryan to bring a voting rights bill to the floor of the house, and he won't do it. and that goes to fundamental rights of american people. the rights that my mother fought for, and my father fought for. and my mother on her dying bed
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talked about the fact that she hated the idea that she saw her people going backwards. ryan, i've not been impressed when he could have stood up to this president. he didn't. and so now he's on his way out, and now he's talking a little bit of stuff. that's the other thing that bothers me. when people like ryan and even my good friend trey gowdy says something that is reasonable, the press says oh, oh, oh, this is wonderful. but that's what they're supposed to do. i mean, come on now. we have moved to a new sense of normal. and that's why the media, i tell -- every time i meet with the press, i tell them you have got to get this right. people will look at us 200 years from now and say what did you do? did you stand by and say nothing? how did hitler get all the power that he got? did people just stand by and say
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nothing and do nothing? last but not least, let me say this, that martin luther king in one of his speeches said something i love. he said quite often what happens is that silence becomes betrayal. silence becomes betrayal. i would say to the american people we cannot be silent. this is not the moment for silence. do not be silent. do whatever you have to do. again, we need to approach this from every single way we can. and i'm sure -- i just believe that we will get through this. but it's going to be tough times. >> silence is betrayal. and elijah cummings, thank you so much. it is so great to hear your voice on this this morning. we appreciate it. >> thank you, thank you. >> still ahead -- so does all of this come down to base politics? the ap reports that the president sees this immigration fight as a winning culture war
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issue. we'll dig into that. plus, scott pruitt, betsy devos, jeff sessions, besides being in trump's cabinet, they have something else in common. they were recommended by the heritage foundation. we have new reporting on how the conservative think tank is helping staff the trump administration. next on "morning joe." ♪ that's confident. but it's not kayak confident. kayak searches hundreds of travel and airline sites
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into our country. we want them to come in through the process, through the legal system. and we want ultimately a merit-based system. people that come in, violate the law, they endanger their children in the process. and frankly they endanger all of our children. you see what happens with ms-13. i don't want judges. i want border security. these countries that we give tremendous foreign aid to in many cases, they send these people up and they're not sending their finest. does that sound familiar? remember i made that speech and i was madly criticized, so terrible what he said. turned out i was 100% right. that's why i got elected.
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>> president trump there in his speech yesterday to a small business group in washington as republicans face daunting poll numbers heading into this year's mid-terms. president trump is reportedly betting that a hardline stance on immigration will result in victory. according to the associated press trump has told advisers he believes he looks strong on the matter, suggesting that it would be a winning culture wor issue, much like his attacks on nfl players who take a knee for the national anthem. but as republican pollster whit airs told "the new york times" somehow i don't think putting people in cages is likely to go well with suburban moms. susan, as a republican, help me understand how this is playing across america, not just with the base, but there's also another part of america that's included in this process that
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votes as well. i can't imagine. maybe i'm wrong. >> i don't think you're wrong. i think the quote you just read is spot on. there's -- the congress is based on the swing seats, who will hold it? it all comes down to about 24 seats. that's what we need to focus on. white suburban women will be out against donald trump to begin with. we've seen that this past year in special lelections and the year prior. why he thinks this is a winning issue, i don't know. i just happen to think it's the president's natural default to be divisive and to go to these types of issues. it's part of who he is and his makeup, a fundamental fault that you can't necessarily change unless you really can put some poll numbers or something that will make him absolutely kind of freak out that he's losing. >> but speaking of poll numbers, the polls on this issue are terrible for him, 17, 20% approval rate for this, what he's doing with these children, versus 60% to 70% against him. on guns, it's a 90, 10 issue.
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>> not for his base. that's the problem. >> that's the point. >> he's not running. >> that's my question though. if you just appeal to your base, how do you win an election? >> right now he's focused on -- well, he should be focused on 2018. he's creating these issues that he thinks will turn out people. he has it in his mind that voter turnout, because he heard so much about it during the special elections for democrats, is essential. what he doesn't realize is, these issues do key up republicans. but they key up democrats even more. so even if republican turnout increases by 5% or 6% because of it, if democrat turnout increases 20%, well, that's a losing issue. that's what he doesn't understand. >> well, he does believe what he said right there, which is that this is his issue. immigration got him elected. it's very instructive to hear him say this makes him look strong. the pictures we're seeing of kids at those detention facilities, toddlers we showed this morning, that's his view of
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strength and being tough on immigration. and jonathan mueller, his new piece in the magazine titled "all the right people," looks at the role the heritage foundation has played in helping staff the trump administration. jonathan, great to see you. this is a fascinating piece. >> thank you. >> the list of names, scott pruitt, betsy devos, jeff sessions. it goes on and on. it speaks to a little about the surprise, perhaps, that the trump campaign when they won on election day, maybe not being prepared to fill all the positions that needed to be f e filled. >> they had no idea how to staff a government. and of course governor christy was fired right after the election. all of his research dumped into the trash with great ceremony. but the heritage foundation had been preparing literally for years for this moment, had invested money and resources and time in getting ready to staff a
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republican administration with right wingers. they were ready to go. >> for people who don't know, what is the heritage foundation? >> it's a hard right conservative think tank that's been around since the early 1970s, rose from the goldwater campaign in '64. has always been kind of staunchly right. has always kind of held the hard right line. and has a history of calling out congressmen for not being right wing enough. and so at the time was run by jim demint, the tea party fire brand. and he was determined to be prepared to fill an administration. and lo and behold, he had this crazy opportunity. >> besides the cabinet appointments it seems like on the judiciary, they're beyond prepared, and that this administration is taking anyone
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that they send their way. >> absolutely, yeah. i mean, in fact, the first -- in many ways heritage was a strange fit for trump because during the campaign trump didn't seem like a conservative at all. but that didn't stop the heritage foundation. and they had their first meeting with him back in march of 2016 when the republican establishment was still really shunning him. and that was to give him a list for the supreme court. and since then, basically heritage and the federalist society and other, you know, sort of right wing organization has been making all the judicial -- >> worth pointing out the heritage foundation saw much earlier than most people in the country that trump had a realistic shot, saw that he knew which buttons to push for the conservative base. >> part of that goes back to the fact that jim demint was running the heritage foundation and he was very connected to the tea party. and so he could see that he had
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this appeal among a certain kind of base. >> jonathan, thank you so much. we'll be reading your new piece in the "new york times" magazine. >> thanks, jonathan. >> my pleasure. scott pruitt's scandals have been well documented, but in the words of george ccostanza -- >> suddenly a new contender has emerged. >> the title of swampiest member of the trump administration, that's next on "morning joe." i mean wish i had time to take care of my portfolio, but.. well, what are you doing tomorrow -10am?
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staff meeting. noon? eating. 3:45? uh, compliance training. 6:30? sam's baseball practice. 8:30? tai chi. yeah, so sounds relaxing. alright, 9:53? i usually make their lunches then, and i have a little vegan so wow, you are busy. wouldn't it be great if you had investments that worked as hard as you do? yeah. introducing essential portfolios. the automated investing solution that lets you focus on your life. with my bladder leakage, the products i've tried just didn't fit right. they were very saggy. it's getting in the way of our camping trips. but with new sizes, depend fit-flex is made for me. introducing more sizes for better comfort. new depend fit-flex underwear is guaranteed to be your best fit.
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bp is taking safety to new heights. using drones and robots offshore so engineers can stop potential problems before they start. because safety is never being satisfied and always working to be better. hi! are you two getting along? oh, yeah, yeah. [ hiss ]
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[ gasps ] [ birds chirping] ♪ no matter what you are they're a perfect match. the new ipad and xfinity stream app. hey guys, i'm home! surprise! i got a puppy. add an ipad to select packages for just $5 a month for 24 months. upgrade online now. commerce secretary wilbur ross allegedly shorted stock just days after learning reporters were preparing a potentially negative story about his involvement with a kremlin-linked shipping firm. according to "the new york times," ross opened a short position in navigator three days after he was approached by "times" reporters about his relationship with the company. the stock price slid about 4% before ross closed his position,
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nearly two weeks after the paradise papers named him as a major investor. that transaction first reported by forbes has an estimated value between $100,000 and $250,000. ross insists he was trying to divest from navigator and making money was not the goal of his short sale, and he disclosed the transaction to the government ethics office. steve radnor? >> well, i guess the last part is true, he disclosed it to the government's ethics office. >> president discloses everything he does, good, bad, or ugly. >> one thing they have in common, they lie about their net worth. he said he was a billionaire, which, in fact, he's much less than that. he gets a letter from "the times" saying they are going to write a story, likely to make the stock go down, negative story about navigator and he goes out and shorts the stock
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three days later and says i was trying to get out of it anyway. so, you know, you can make your own decision. >> shorted it before the piece came out. >> exactly. between the time he was told they were writing about it and when the piece came out. >> it wasn't insider information. >> might well be insider information. >> if "the new york times" is the source? >> if you have material nonpublic information, you know something that is going to move a stock price that nobody else knows, then that can be -- >> even if it's from a reporter? >> even if it's from a reporter. >> i still think epa scott pruitt, his dirty mattresses. >> hand lotion. >> the level of conflict of interest throughout this administration and the sense that you're surrounded by some of them who resemble grifters every day is astounding. >> look, it's extraordinary that this administration allowed people to retain holdings in
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companies that no other administration in my experience, you had to divest everything. go back and read the divestiture agreement with the government, she's a real billionaire, she complied, but in this administration it seems anything goes. >> well, you have a president not willing to disclose his tax returns and whose children are making upwards of $82 million in one year and don't disclose it all either. that's a problem. >> it's a very, very, very difficult time. i'm having trouble kind of joshing about this. >> but this is from a president who came -- who said he was coming to washington to clean up the swamp. >> i know. >> and brought a bigger swamp than we've ever had in my lifetime. >> believe it or not, that's the least of our problems. it is the least of our problems. >> but it actually shows that because of his actions on his financial matters, other members of his cabinet followed. because of his policies, he requires loyalty, so we see the
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actions of the homeland secretary, so it does -- at every level we see this administration being corrupt and this president demanding full loyalty and doesn't want to know the truth. >> that was one of the most staggering displays of -- i'm not even sure how to describe it, but the dhs secretary's press briefing on trying to explain this policy. she didn't understand half of what she was saying, and the other half didn't appear to be true. is that a fair assessment? >> i've never seen anyone want their job as much as she did. >> person who debates themselves. >> and she's celebrated in the west wing now. she was never on the good side of the president, she was not a trump person during the campaign, and with that performance two days ago, she's on the good side. >> he yelled at her in a cabinet meeting a couple weeks ago for not doing something about this. >> i don't want to joke about this at all, because i don't
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think it's funny, but the tone deafness or even the trolling nature of her then going to a mexican restaurant, because you know her staff had to front that for her and make the reservation. and then, obviously, people get very upset, because that's exactly the kind of place where you're going to find people who are very upset about the policy. >> and the kind of thing the president said that a girl, good for you. and that's what's even more depressing. >> you know, there are women that he puts out to speak for him. and then there are women that he won't. and it's all very frightening. still ahead, we'll go live to both sides of the u.s.-mexico border for the latest on trump's zero tolerance policy. plus, the president says the separations are temporary, but we'll hear from an immigration official who says they could be permanent. and what is congress doing about
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it all? much more "morning joe" ahead. back in three minutes. ♪ (electronic dance music)♪ ♪ ♪ let someone else do the heavy lifting. tripadvisor compares prices from over 200 booking sites to find the right hotel for you at the lowest price. so you barely have to lift a finger. or a wing. tripadvisor.
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tell your doctor if these occur. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts, or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. other side effects include upper respiratory tract infection and headache. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you're pregnant or planning to be. ♪ otezla. show more of you. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." we begin with four words, tone deaf, callous, heartless. first, tone deaf. here we have the secretary of homeland security choosing to eat at a mexican restaurant last night, where she was promptly heckled by protesters. we have that video for you and we'll show it to you later.
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not sure why she thought that was the place to go after her lies and deceit about how children are treated at the border. now to callous. here's former white house press secretary sean spicer showing a picture of a champagne celebration last night at trump hotel in washington. how about heartless, corey lewandowski, when hearing of a child with down syndrome being forcibly separated from her parents. >> look, i read today about a 10-year-old girl with down syndrome who was taken from her mother and put in a cage. >> womp, womp. >> how dare you. how dare you. how absolutely dare you, sir. >> here are the children, torn from their families, caged by the american government. babies sent to shelters. mothers begging to keep their
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kids. here's capitol hill, where members of congress are talking and debating, signing letters. some fighting to end this heinous policy. others defending it. and here's the president of the united states again claiming he is somehow not personally responsible for this policy that is ripping families apart. >> as a result of democrat-supported loopholes in our federal laws, most illegal immigrant families and minors from central america who arrive unlawfully at the border cannot be detained together or removed together, only released. these are crippling loopholes that cause family separation, which we don't want. >> with us this morning, we have msnbc contributor mike barnacle, analyst susan del percio. are you at all closer to walking
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away from the party? still holding on? >> i'm still holding on, because there are people in my party willing to stand up for what's right. >> "morning joe" economic analyst steve rattner. capitol hill correspondent and host of "kc dc," kasie hunt, and author of "the soul of america," a battle we're in right now, john meachem. joe will be back tomorrow, so we'll have a lightning rod for k.c. and we'll enjoy him coming back and hearing his voice on all of this. in a moment, president trump's meeting on capitol hill and all the politics surrounding this immigration battle, but first we think it's important to update you on the scene at the southern border. a report overnight from the associated press attempts to answer a question that the trump administration has dodged for the last few days, where are the
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girls, and where are the young toddlers among migrant children separated from their families at the border? the a.p. reports that babies and other very young children are being sent to at least three tender age shelters in south texas. that's what they are called. according to the a.p., lawyers and medical providers who have visited the rio grande valley shelters described playrooms of crying, preschool-aged children in crisis. the report unconfirmed by msnbc says the government also plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in houston. according to numbers from u.s. customs and border protection, 2,235 families have been apprehended at the border between may 5th when the zero tolerance policy put out by the attorney general and the trump administration was put in place and june 9th.
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among more than 4,500 family members were 2,342 children, who were then designated as unaccompanied. yesterday, the former head of the u.s. immigration and customs enforcement told nbc's andrea mitchell that some migrant family separations will end up being permanent. how are these families supposed to get back together? >> don't forget just two weeks ago they lost track of 1500 kids inside the united states, now you have to keep track of the kids and the parents. i can tell you from experience it's more difficult than it sounds. if they don't reunite these kids with their parents right away, what could happen is the kids will be stuck in the united states for years, and the parent will be down in honduras or guatemala with no idea where their children are and no meaningful way to reunite. >> pictures are staggering.
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politics from this on capitol hill, but i don't think anybody reporting on this -- i don't know what's going on at fox, but it's hard. i couldn't even read the script, i was beginning to cry. i'm not sure how anybody can defend this without feeling a pit in their stomach. >> yeah. i think you're right. and you asked susan del percio whether she was thinking about leaving the party. steve schmidt, who was been on the show many times, ran john mccain's presidential campaign at 2:41 a.m. tweeted he's leaving the republican party. that was overnight. not just any republican, a leader in the party has renounced his membership in the republican party. >> there you go. >> so that's where some people are, but i think the reality is, you're going to listen to president trump, the president can end this with a phone call, with a stroke of a pen, full stop, period, end of sentence. so the question, i guess, kasie hunt, is what to do with all this energy and outrage. what's the productive way to change this? how do you fix this?
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they are trying on capitol hill and the house, trying in the senate to some extent. chuck schumer says, though, this has to be done through the president, not through legislation. >> the reality, again, and i think it is important to underscore this every single time, and you just did, the president could change this by picking up the phone. this was an administrative policy change. now, could congress in theory do something about it? yes, but there's really no clear path forward. democrats are arguing that, essentially, the president is holding these kids hostage and this is a repeat of what he did with dreamers, created a crisis, a vulnerable population, and used that as political leverage to turn around and push through the other immigration policies that he championed on the campaign trail. that is what's going on in the house, those two bills are much more sweeping. they are not narrow. they don't just deal with this question. there is listening to
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potentially address the family separation included in the bills, but they sharply curtail legal immigration, they change the rules for asking for asylum making it more difficult to do that. in the senate, the path is potentially different, but there are so many competing proposals. democrats are saying, look, it's a snake pit is what one aide said about negotiating with republicans on immigration. congress hasn't been able to do anything about this in literally decades. they could add something very narrow to a must-pass defense spending bill that's on the floor this week. that seems to me to be the likeliest scenario where we get something small and narrow to deal with this and put an end to it, but the reality is, they are not acting right now on this. the political will, i will say, much, much different. what mika said at the top of the show about everybody being on the same page for the first time in, quite frankly from what i can remember, the entirety of the trump administration to
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date. people don't like this. they don't want this. across the board. republicans, democrats, but the problem is that, you know, it's not clear they can get their act together and actually stop it. >> there were standing ovations and back slapping on capitol hill last night when president trump went up there late yesterday, meeting with house republicans for nearly 45 minutes. speaker paul ryan began the closed-door session by discussing the compromised immigration bill that's just been filed. president trump spoke briefly about immigration, then reportedly ran through a number of topics, including what he called the hoax russia investigation, north korea, cost of jet fighters, trade, and mocking recently defeated congressman mark sanford, who was not in the room, before the president returned to immigration. sources in the room said trump said he is 1,000% with them to pass a sprawling immigration bill and told them the burden for getting citizenship would be significant and linked to the construction of the border wall. he said, quote, you have to work, work, work, then after
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ten, 12, maybe 13 years you get a chance to become a citizen. trump went on. so you're talking 12, 13 years out and you don't even get a green card until the wall is built, so this is an incentive to get the wall built faster. also saying the president addressed his controversy policy on migrant children reportedly saying, quote, we've got to take care of separation, it's too nasty. well, he could take care of it. members say trump said he talked with his daughter ivanka about the images of children in cages and she asked him to find a way to put a stop to it. in his public remarks yesterday, the president continued to insist the responsibility rests with democrats, tweeting this, "democrats are the problem, they don't care about crime and wanting illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they be, to pour into and infest our country like ms-13. they can't win on their terrible policies, so they view them as potential voters."
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president then said this at an event in washington. >> as a result of democrat-supported loopholes in our federal laws, most illegal immigrant families and minors from central america who arrive unlawfully at the border cannot be detained together or removed together, only released. these are crippling loopholes that cause family separation. which we don't want. >> i want to read steve schmidt's tweet, actually. he says, 29 years and nine months ago i registered to vote and became a member of the republican party, which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life. today i renounce my membership in the republican party. it is fully the party of trump. and, you know, i do -- i'll just take my knowledge of how donald trump thinks and what i know about him, and i think there may
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have been some sort of strange back plan in his head, where maybe he would blame it on the democrats and then sign this away and be the hero to change it. it's too late. it's yours, you've done it. and there are babies who are hurting right now, and that won't end. and that trauma is permanent. this is a massive p.r. fail, and as far as his daughter saying something to him, ivanka trump is counsel to the president, you need to step up. i know you won't. you need to step up and speak for yourself. but keep in mind the way trump works with the people close to him like ivanka and others, those people don't have to step up and take questions. they are too feckless, too stupid, or smart enough not to actually put themselves out there. they get protected by the inner circle, which is very small around this president. people like secretary nielsen, sarah huckabee sanders, sean spicer at one point, they are forced out there to make fools of themselves because they have
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no choice, they think. you do have a choice, and we need more people to step up. we are seeing more republicans, susan del percio. there's a list, and it's a sign of hope at a time where it really is very difficult to report on a story like this without shaking. >> and you have republican senators, some who are up for re-election, rick scott who's seeking the senate in florida, who again came out against this. you even have two republican governors both up for election from massachusetts and maryland, who withdraw the national guard troops they had sent, so republicans are stepping up. what this is starting to seem like is a lot about charlottesville, an issue that has racial overtones, that is dividing the nation. the difference is, last time they had steve bannon to resign. that kind of blew over and let people go forward. i think donald trump is digging in, and what he's missing is this is bad politics, bad policy, and bad tv. >> right. >> you know, mika, this is not
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well beyond politics. the soul, the character, and the definition of the america we know, the america that we grew up with, the america that the world became familiar with, is now being called into question by the actions of a single man, donald trump, and his associates. there are 286 members of the republican party serving in both the house and the senate. they were elected by individual citizens in their districts and in their states. where are they? susan, with all due respect, you say they are starting to step up and say -- they are muted. they are muted. >> what's worse is this is a value decision. this is who we are as a value-based decision. we saw the president with the g7 and now even just yesterday saying it costs too much. this is not financial, this is who we are as a nation, and i
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have -- i stand by this 1,000%. shows who donald trump is. goes back to when he said he didn't want people from s-hole countries and only wanted people from norway. you're right, this is a time when americans, especially republicans, if they want to hold on to any sense of dignity, have to speak out. and i think we're going to see what happens in the midterm elections and that's going to definitely change a lot of people's opinions. coming up, president trump clearly has plenty on his plate, but he's finding time to take shots at germany and canada. that's ahead on "morning joe."
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"the washington post" recently highlighted a study saying charts change hearts and minds better than words do. easier to read than say. so, steve, go ahead, change our hearts and minds and tell us about the border crisis. >> i'm not sure i can better than the pictures, which were so incredibly wrenching.
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i'll try to do better than words anyway. as usual, trump is filled with a number of falsehoods, starting with the claim the number of people crossing the border has exploded. what you can see what he's talking about is he's comparing what's happening this year in terms of border apprehensions to what happened last year in 2017, but what he's ignoring is the fact three other previous years the rate of apprehensions was roughly the same as now. if you take out last year as an aberration, there's really no particular change in the number of people trying to cross the border. in fact, this is also kind of a seasonal high, and generally this declines as the year wears on. so that's sort of lie number one that we can put to rest. the second question is, where does it stand relative to history? and if you go back in history, you can see that the number of border crossings in the last several years has been at the lowest level it's been since 1971. if you go back to the year 2000, it was up over 1.6 million, and
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so it is possible if you look at the little extrapolation we did here that the number of border crossings could be slightly higher this year than last year, but we're bumping along for a variety of reasons. the financial crisis caused a lot of people from mexico to decide the u.s. wasn't actually such a great place to come after all. things in mexico notwithstanding some of what we saw there, but in the broader mexican economy have gotten better, there are more jobs, more things for people to do, so the number of people trying to cross the border has generally been trending down. >> is any of that, steve, tied to policy? in other words, president obama, who president trump accused of being weak on immigration and the border, it is the economy, yes, but is it something president obama did to bring about that sort of precipitous drop during his two terms? >> actually, yes, in fact, i didn't show it in this graph, but if you looked at the number of border patrol agents assigned to the border, it's going up sharply. it's down lately because of budget cuts, but it had been
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rising sharply. yes, we did a lot more to enforce the border and, in fact, obama did consider policies like what trump is doing but rejected the idea of separating families, but he did step up the enforcement of the border of people trying to cross illegally. lastly, let's deal with the question whether people who come here as trump said are rapists, murderers, carrying drugs, a few good people. look at the record of immigrants who come to the country. so what you can see here is that illegal immigrants actually are incarcerated half the rate of native-born americans and legal immigrants are incarcerated at an even lower rate than that. so the whole notion we're bringing in gang members and people who are going to rape, murder, and pillage our country is not born out by the facts. coming up, live to the southern border for an update how the president's policy is playing on the ground. we're back in a moment with much more "morning joe."
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what guides me is ensuring that the public is going to be safer and that these forests can be sustained and enjoyed by the community in the future. theresa may just came out against the policy. >> british prime minister says the pictures of children held in cages are deeply disturbing. this is wrong, not something we agree with, this is not the uk's approach. >> this was my point when i was
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saying yesterday, the world is watching. the world is watching what's happening here. outrage over the separation of parents and children has led to governors from at least eight states to announce they will not send their national guard troops to the u.s.-mexico border. maryland's republican governor tweeted yesterday, "until this policy of separating children from their families has been rescinded, maryland will not deploy any national guard resources to the border." north carolina's democratic governor roy cooper also tweeted, "the cruel policy of tearing children away from their parents requires a strong response. i'm recalling the three members of the north carolina national guard from the border." virginia's governor, ralph northam, said recalled four troops and one helicopter. and massachusetts governor charlie baker rescinded his offer to send helicopters and personnel. new york governor andrew cuomo
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announced monday the state would not deploy its national guard, calling the administration's treatment of families a moral outrage. meanwhile, cuomo announced yesterday that his state plans to file a multi-agency lawsuit against the trump administration for violating the constitutional rights of immigrant children and their families who have been separated at the border. >> meanwhile, attorney general jeff sessions coming under fire from members of his own church. a group of more than 600 united methodist clergy and members filed a formal complaint against sessions. the charges include child abuse, immorality, racial discrimination. the complaint says sessions advocacy and actions have led to harm against thousands of vulnerable humans. sessions has not publicly responded. and pope francis has weighed in on the trump administration's immigration policy. the pope telling reuters he
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supported recent statements by u.s. catholic beneficiaishops wd the separations of children and families, quote, contrary to our catholic values and morals. we get a report from stephanie rhule in mccallen, mexico, and gabe gutierrez is just across the border from texas in mexico. stephanie, we'll begin with you. you're looking at how this policy is playing with evangelicals, a group that's long stood behind and supported president trump. what are they saying about this? >> you know, they are somewhat split, willie. there is a new quinnipiac poll that says 66% of americans asked oppose the child separation policy, that sounds logical, but 55% of republicans, they support it, and within that 55%, you still have a large majority of evangelicals. i know you pointed it out a moment ago, franklin graham, who said he opposes this and some
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other evangelicals, but for the most part they stand with the president because they believe his ideology supports their overall values, and that's what's stunning. i want you to take a listen specifically to those right here in this community in mccallum. >> blind faith is how you have to trut the lord. we have to put our faith in him. >> the lord and elected officials are two different things. >> yes, but i don't believe any person is in any office that god has not allowed it to be there. >> he leads trinity baptist church in mccallen, texas. >> i do care about these kids. i just don't know what to do, but i've got to put my trust somewhere. i can't solve it, so i'm trying to believe the government will do that which is right, because they are ministers of god for righteousness. >> mike jones, an evangelical christian from north carolina questions whether the jarring images of children at detention
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centers are even real. >> i don't believe it. i think it's all a big lie. like i said, i don't think that's happening. i don't think that the people who are so-called being separated are what the news has portrayed them to be. >> also in north carolina, antioch baptist church pastor places the blame squarely on the parents. >> who am i upset with? it's the parents. the parents who bring their children to the border to violate the law. >> but other prominent christians are publicly blaming the administration. more than 600 leaders and members of the united methodist church signed a formal complaint against attorney general jeff sessions, a member of their church, who quoted the bible to defend the immigration policy. accusing him, among others, of child abuse. and evangelical graham didn't mince words on the christian broadcast network. >> i think it's disgraceful and
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terrible to see families ripped apart, and i don't support that one bit. and i blame the politicians for the last 20, 30 years that had allowed this to escalate to the point it is today. >> pastor sutton said none of them speak for him or then else. >> every baptist church is autonomous and independent. >> but for these christians, there's no question about standing by a president championing their ideology. >> what happened was millions and millions of people all seemed to wake up at the same time, and they begin to have a sense of nationalism. out of that awakening, donald trump said all the things that the people wanted to hear. he believed them and he's true. he's honest. >> willie, i just want to share this one point with you, that last pastor that i spoke to, you would think here in mccallum he would be entrenched in this
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migrant crisis. he wasn't exactly up to speed. it's not because he's ill informed. here in mcallen it's not a crisis. it's an issue. i thought i was going to come down here and see people in the streets and it would be chi yachtic, this idea of migrants flooding in. it's just not the case. it's definitely an issue. this is a border area, they need to be careful with their relationship with mexico, they care about border security, but every store i walk by in almost every window there's a help wanted sign. the immigration issue is, there are more jobs than there are people, and the more people i talk to on the ground here, they are saying we've got to find a solution. so i just want to impress upon people at home, here in mcallen where it's actually happening, there are not migrants that have overrun this town. there are not criminals who have stolen jobs. there are people that are trying to figure out the right path for immigration. it's very different than what you're hearing. >> that's really important context and so interesting,
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steph, to hear the pastors put it in a context of politicians being agents of god, therefore, i implicitly trust them to do what is right. and, therefore, i implicitly tre decisions they are making, specifically on this issue now, are correct. as we pointed out a moment ago, pope francis disagrees with that assessment. he calls the policy immoral. >> willie, to your exact point, it was that baptist pastor when he kept talking about morality, i was saying -- i brought up president trump and his history and the fact that he lies, and he stopped me and said, but in the end, god wanted him to be president and it's god's will, and we have to give the president the path. and he felt like many others, you don't criticize god, you shouldn't criticize our leaders, so for someone like me, i was shocked to hear that, but i certainly listened. >> so revealing. stephanie rhule, thanks so much. we'll let you go. >> can i just make one point to
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you? the point that is pretty hypocritical for these pastors who talk so much about the most important thing is pro life, it's stunning that they are willing to say that about unborn children, but they are not willing to consider these children who are being torn from their mothers and have no idea when they'll see them again. when you think about the welfare of a child, it should possibly never begin or end. >> as you pointed out in your piece, as well, many pastors and religious leaders coming out against this policy. see you in a few minutes. top of the hour, 9:00, gabe gutierrez is on the mexican side of the border. gabe, what are you seeing there? >> hi there, willie. migrant families here are waking up this morning, we're here in mexico, the u.s. side, brownsville, texas, is just across from there. over there you can see some cbp agents. these are migrant families, some
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of whom have been waiting here for days. there you see a young child asleep. they spent the night here in a lengthy rainstorm overnight. this family that we've spoken with, they say they've been here since at least sunday seeking asylum. the department of homeland security, they say these migrant families that want to come here to the ports of entry seeking asylum, they will not be separated from their families and they will be processed within 72 hours, but some of these families say, listen, they are just waiting longer than the 72 hours. and we spoke with another family that have been here since sunday, one mother with her young child, 3-year-old son. we learned overnight she was taken in for processing, but again, this other family that we've been talking to has been here since sunday. immigration advocates say that the trump administration is essentially setting up a difficult situation for these people, on the one hand telling them to come and apply for asylum here, but making them wait in difficult conditions somehow and that's why some of
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these families cross the border illegally, but immigration courts are overflowing here in parts of south texas. certainly, this controversial crackdown making it difficult on both sides of the border right now. >> gabe, just to be clear what we're looking at behind you, those are people who are going through the process the right way, they've applied from asylum and are waiting to hear back if they can cross in. the alternative would be to cross illegally and risk being apprehended and lose their child. >> yeah, that's exactly right. we were talking with some of these mothers. they say, look, we don't want to cross over illegally. they say they are fleeing violence in central america. the families we've been speaking with here in particular are from honduras. some of them saying they are fleeing gang violence, one family say two of her husband's cousins have been killed, so she's trying to come over here. one other mother says she did try to come to the u.s. once before, was deported, but
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decided to try again for fear of her family's safety, but they say, look, they are waiting here, they are trying to get in, but the cbp agents say there's no room, they are letting them in when they can, but it's taking longer in some cases than the 72 hours dhs says the migrants are supposed to be waiting. >> we'll be checking in all day, gabe, thank you. the american medical association has released a statement that reads in part, "it is well known that childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences created by inhumane treatment often create negative health impacts that can last an individual's entire life span. therefore, the ama believes strongly that in the absence of immediate physical or emotional threats to the child's well being, migrating children should not be separated from their parents or caregivers." meanwhile, we have a new trump tweet. moments ago, "the fake news is not mentioning the safety and security of our country when
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talking about illegal immigration. our immigration laws are the weakest and worst anywhere in the world, and the dems will do anything not to change them and to obstruct. want open borders, which means crime." there he goes again. so, the pictures that we've been showing you, this is what the world is watching. the pope has spoken out. theresa may has spoken out. we're diminishing our place in the world, tearing apart the fabric of the country, but even more importantly, we're separating children from their mothers. that's the bottom line. that's donald trump's policy. this is nothing to do with the dems. this is nothing to do with congress, unless they want to act across the board and do something today to stop this, 100 senators, but this is what is brought to you by president donald j. trump. and this is happening right now.
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up next, some of the nation's top tech companies came out against the trump separation policy. that's next on "morning joe." at&t gives you more for your thing. your getting serious thing. that moving out of the friend zone, moving in together and getting two of everything thing. those fur babies preparing you for real babies thing. that one for me, one for you, us together for the rest of everything. buy one iphone 8 and get one iphone 8 on us.
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the chancellor of germany has personally responded, as president trump pushed bogus claims about crime in her country for a second day in a row. yesterday trump tweeted that crime in germany is up 10%, plus officials do not want to report these crimes since migrants were accepted. other countries are even worse. be smart america." speaking to reporters, german chancellor angela merkel cited figures showing a nearly 10% drop in crime nationwide, bringing it to the lowest level since 1992. the leader of the world's fourth largest economy added, "the interior ministry recently released the criminal statistics, and they speak for themselves. we're seeing small positive
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developments and we must, of course, continue to do more on the fight against crime." but think about that. that she has to respond to america's president lying about her country. think about our place in the world. yesterday, president trump also took this swipe at canadians. >> and, by the way, canada, they like to talk. they are our great neighbor. they fought world war ii with us. we appreciate it. they fought world war i with us, and we appreciate it, but we're protecting each other. there was a story two days ago in a major newspaper talking about people living in canada coming into the united states and smuggling things back into canada, because the tariffs are so massive. the tariffs to get common items back into canada are so high, that they have to smuggle them in. they buy shoes and they wear
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them. they scuff them up. they make them sound old or look old. no. we're treated horribly. we can no longer be the stupid country. we want to be the smart country. >> is it okay? sounds like maybe he's got a -- he's losing his mind. >> there's nothing to say. there's nothing you can say. >> there are no words. how do you justify -- put this in context, there is none. >> so, apparently, the back reference here, we'll make it even odder for you, because it appears the president was referencing a recent opinion piece in "the new york post." trump seems to be talking about the writer's anecdote about how her nephew once hid expensive italian shoes when returning to canada. we know he reads "the new york post," he loves the new york papers, and apparently he only believes the media when it's convenient to him and back slap
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his crazy story. and it would be funny, if it all wasn't so sad. willie? >> so you have him attacking yesterday canadian shoe smugglers, lying about angela merkel, and theresa may the prime minister today condemning what she's seeing on the united states border with mexico. three of our closest allies. let's bring in cnbc's dom chu. how are the markets reacting to the trade tensions between the u.s. and china? >> i mean, it's a six-day losing streak for the dow and arguably it's the most important driver of what's happening in the markets, both here and abroad. that ongoing trade dispute between the u.s. and countries around the world, including canada, mexico, china, and, of course, members of the european union, developments on that escalation of trade conflicts with those countries has been the biggest driving force, arguably, in what's happening so far. now, we have new news this morning, interesting on the positive side perhaps, this is according to "the wall street journal." it's reporting talks between the
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u.s. and german automakers may have opened up the idea of ending german import tax on american made cars, but in return they want the u.s. to drop the 25% tax on imported trucks and suvs and large vans. of course, we'll be keeping a close eye on anything auto related on the heels of that report. again, something to watch there. on the immigration front, a slate of high profile corporate chief executives have come out with very vocal statements about separating migrant children from their parents and the latest from jpmorgan chase ceo jamie dimon. in a report he referred people to a business round table statement that called the separation policies cruel and contrary to american values, adding that he strongly agrees with the statement and that his heart goes autoto affected families. he's not the only one. microsoft's ceo, facebook's ceo, mark zuckerberg, tim cook, all weighing in on this particular
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issue, guys, as well. back over to you. >> dom chu, thanks. up next, in addition to immigration, there's another issue that's languished for years on capitol hill without a solution. gun reform. our next guest, david hogg, is a leading voice on the issue, and he joins us straight ahead on "morning joe." have you smelled this
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for consistently powerful relief of your kid's allergies. let's put the usa over the nra. this is the start of the spring and the blossoming of our democracy. so, let's take this to our local legislators and let's take this to midterm elections as those policies will change as they come. i say we will not stop until every man, every woman, every child, and ever american can live without fear of gun violence. and that i say, no more. we can and we will change the world. >> that was parkland florida shooting survivor david hogg speaking for the march for our lives back on valentine's day. david's sister also was in the
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shooting but she lost four friends killed in the tragedy. the first counts of the shooting and the movements sparked in its aftermath, entitled "never again. "the proceeds of which will be donated to charity. morgan and david hogg joins us. good to see you both. >> thank you. >> it seems that both of you, particularly, david, have become activists and political actors and i haven't seen many people ask you how you're doing in the wake of none of us will imagine, god forbid have to imagine. how are you doing? 17 of your friends were killed and you were there. how are you feeling? have you had time to grieve while you've been on the road? >> we have to, but as my sister says, we see these people as characters even when they're on tv. the best thing i can say is imagine the person you hold the
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closest and love the most and imagine them being shot and killed. that's what these people were to someone and many other people. that's what happens every other day, in d.c., since the beginning of the school year, in chicago, over 150 kids have been murdered on the streets under the age of 21. and we don't hear their voices. oftentimes when i'm going out there and i may feel disrupted or just sad about what's going on, a lot of that comes from lobbying in congress and see the inaction of our politicians. and to take action, like, for example, paul ryan, if he's going to take any action to allow a vote on universal background checks. and i get so depressed when i go there. but then i go to different parts of d.c. and different areas where i met with people like zion kelly who spoke at the march, whose brother was killed. and i see the strength and love and compassion within them.
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and how they strive every day to fight through the gun violence and really work to save each other. that's what we hope and how to change the future. >> what about for you, lauren, you lost four very close friends. how are you doing? >> i'm doing good. but something that i talk about in the book for me and david and our friend, activism has become our therapy. it's one of the best ways i found to feel. while we're on our road to change tour, being around our friends is much of our lives, we've become a family. it's something i've never really experienced outside of my own family. but we gained this bond that none of us should have had. but it's the shared common experience that brings us so close to together. >> what's your level, both of you, what's your thinking about the fact that the level of gun violence has reduced in a way the sense of shock about it? within this country? and you're dealing with it, you've dealt with it as very few
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people have dealt with it. and yet, city by city, the sense of shock with mass murders, school shootings. it's there for an hour or two when it's on tv, maybe half a day. and then we move on. >> honestly, i think a lot of it may come down to the way the media covers these tragedies. especially in communities of color and socioeconomical status. they say it's gang violence. zion who was walking home from d.c. his brother was shot and killed close to home. america, if you live on a block that has a gang on it, the media automatically assumes you're part of that gang even if you're not. a lot of the time when you're out there and you're just trying to make your community covered, people see it as hopeless and that you can't do anything. on friday night, when i saw what they do every friday on the south side of d.c. at
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st. boniface church -- >> chicago. >> sorry, chicago. where they march for peace every friday night. that's what gives me hope. and those people in these communities that we've gone to from ferguson, to d.c., to chicago, i know this is going to change. that's kind of what this book shows, too. america has to learn about empathy. you got to put yourself in these people's shoes. they lost people. people that die every day in america are people just like you and me. they're kids like just everybody here was at one time. and they're kids just like yours. and somebody has to look at that suffering and never be able to talk to them for the rest of their life. that's why we wrote this book, to practice empathy. >> thank you so much, both of, for continuing to fight for what is right. i know you've had doors slammed on you by members of congress in washington. and i know it's been a very, very difficult experience just trying to get your message across, let alone everything, and we appreciate it. you're always welcome here.
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>> thank you. >> final thoughts this morning, mike barnicle, start with you. >> well, you know, to their point, we are living in a country today for the first time in my lifetime where we have a president of the united states who seeks actively on a daily basis to divide us. rather than bring the country together. and it's incredibly troubling. incredibly depressing to think that we live with this each and every day. >> despite all of the outrage we're seeing on tv, despite all of the outrage we share, this is an issue, i'll say again, the president does not mind. he doesn't mind this fight because he thinks it helps him win in 2018. he believes he's elected on the immigration issue. he feels like it's a wedge issue like nfl kneeling for the national anthem. this is a fight he's happy to have. >> well, and we know about him. i mean, there are some troops we have been able to dediscuss in almost a year and a half of covering this presidency. and also in the runup to the
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election. there are, and i will say this carefully, tendencies to be abrasive, or you could say racist. bigoted tendencies, sexist tendencies, racist, a sexist, a bigot. that's at the top. and then the question is what's happening around the top. and how does our democracy function. we're expecting others to step up. tomorrow on the show, we're going to do our best to look for solutions, to talk about solutions. to talk about what people can do. if people don't believe baby's should be separated from their mothers, watch our show tomorrow morning. we'll talk about what you can do, who you can call. we'll talk about what legal aid organizations can do. what doctors can do. what members of the congress can do. we will pressure this president to pull back on this policy. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks

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