tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC July 5, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT
very advanced. >> and dangerous. >> yes. and high drama. a woman scales the statue of liberty, vowing to stay there until all migrant children are reunited with their parents, forcing tourists to be evacuated from the landmark on independence day. >> park rangers came running and just screaming, everybody get out, everybody get out! >> we didn't even spend more than ten minutes there. it was just nothing. >> i think there's a right way of protesting, a legal way of protesting. she just ruined our whole trip. good day, everyone, i'm andrea mitchell in washington. it sounds like a spy novel except it's real and deadly dangerous. two british citizens now in critical condition after being exposed to the same deadly nerve agent that nearly killed a former russian spy and his daughter earlier this year in the same area. that incident causing a
diplomatic uproar in march, with british prime minister theresa may accusing russia as the culprit and expelling russian diplomats in retaliation. nbc's kelly cobiella is at the hospital in salisbury, england, and is joining me now, as well as clint watts, an msnbc national security analyst in new york, the author of "messing with the enemy." kelly, what are they telling us? >> well, police are still saying that they're not clear, they can't confidently say these two incidents are connected, the poisoning of the former spy and his daughter in march and these two british citizens being made quite ill by novichok. other government officials have suggested these two cases are connected. in fact the health secretary earlier today said that this is
an unfortunate aftereffect of the poisoning back in march. what's clear is that these two people have been exposed to this deadly nerve agent. they are critically ill. government officials and police say they were exposed to it in a different location, a location that has not been previously investigated and was not at all associated with the skripals. they're still trying to figure out the wheres, the hows, and the whys of this, andrea. >> kelly, after this occurred back in march, they did a decontamination of the area. as you pointed out, these two victims had been in close proximity to the original source of the contamination. could it be they simply did not clear all of it, it's so deadly and long-lasting? or is there any chance that these two people could be similarly targeted by a foreign power, namely the russians?
>> police aren't saying -- they're saying they can't rule that out, that they were targeted. but they are sort of -- seem to be leaning in the direction that this was sort of an accident, that they somehow stumbled across trace amounts of novichok left behind after that attack in march. now, they're insistent that their decontamination efforts were absolutely effective, that the places they decontaminated were cleaned and are safe to the general public. but they're now look at these five new sites. and one theory, andrea, is that probably these two people stumbled on something, some gloves, a coat, a vial, syringe possibly, that were left behind in march. that's a theory, but one of the possibilities here. they have been very insistent that these two people were not
exposed. they had been in some of the same areas as the skripals but they don't think they were exposed to the novichok in the same areas where the skripals had been. >> tell us about russia's connection to novichok. it has been the source of this deadly nerve agent. it was produced in russia, it has all the signatures of russia on it, right? >> that's correct. back during the actual skripal investigation in march, they were quickly pointed to, russia was pointed to, as the ones actually directing an attack against a former spy who was in the uk. in that attack, these two individuals were targeted, and they were done in a way that they would inhale or actually like swallow the nerve agent. what seems to be the case in this new incident that popped up with this couple is they probably contacted it through skin, meaning they weren't necessarily a direct target. this plays to the theory that it was an accident. but it also shows the danger of the substance. once it's out there in the wild,
if you are a perpetrator who is going and targeting someone, they don't exactly clean it all up or even have the ability to do that. what the uk government is really struggling with is how do you identify all the places that this substance might be in, how do you make sure you clean it up. and now it's creating another public scare at a time where there's tense relations between the uk and russia, and where now here in the u.s., we're talking about a putin/trump summit here in a couple of weeks. >> speaking of that, we have new word, clint and kelly, that the president is going to meet one on one. this has been coming from the kremlin. they are going to meet one on one, presumably with their translators, or president trump did at the g20 meet one on one in a side dinner conversation of 45 minutes only with putin's translator, not with the state department translator, so no american witness or note-taker. what are the concerns, clint, of that kind of meeting, given all
of this background with the u.s., with moscow, with this incident, as well as the president repeating putin's denials of having messed with our elections? >> yeah, it's a really bizarre circumstance for the u.s. government. just this past weekend we saw six senators actually in russia. there was no real u.s. press presence. and what we heard from the event came from russian state-sponsored media, which is that the senators traveled over there talking tough, but once they got to russia, they quickly took russia's side. that's a terrible narrative especially on independence day. nato, the alliance, has really been stretched. we've seen president trump go and battle against germany, canada, the uk in some ways. and we really need a strong alliance, the u.s. does, with its allies. what does it say when we're still seeing thistive betwe tif the uk and russia over this poisoning, and now the president
is going for a one-on-one meeting with no witnesses. we saw this in the oval office, when the president had foreign minister lavrov of russia actually come into the meeting. there was no u.s. presence in terms of the media and we heard the narrative of the russian state first. the only real note-taking and accountability was from the russian media. this is a damaging and damning scenario coming up for the united states, particularly as we saw the senate intel committee roll out their report last week that said that putin did in fact order the attack on the u.s. elections in 2016. >> that report, bipartisan report rolled out on the eve of july 4th, very little notice or media attention. it basically validates everything that former cia director brennan and former dni clapper, and comey, actually, said in their report in 2017, that the russians did it and they did it to try to tip the balance of the election to donald trump against hillary clinton. thanks so much.
kelly, one last question, going into the nato meetings, first, before even the putin meetings, how uncomfortable is theresa may and are the british people about this upcoming visit, the first official visit from president trump to the uk, with all the hostility that dates back months and months, over not only migration policy but the way he's treated all of the european allies and nato allies at the g-7? >> well, there's a lot of angst and hand-wringing happening here in the united kingdom, a lot of talk of protests as well and how people plan to protest his visit. as we know, the visit is sort of being scheduled to shield the president from a lot of these protests. people still feel passionately about president trump and they do plan to come out in huge numbers to protest this visit. and then on the other hand, you now have a prime minister who will have to bring this up with
president trump. she will have to talk about the fact that two british citizens have now been poisoned by this nerve agent. whether she's able to get through to the president and press her case to the president when it comes to president putin is another matter, andrea. >> and let me just point out to our viewers, to all of you, that it is very unusual for such a large senate delegation to be in moscow. never before in my recollection has it been one political party and not only one political party but echoing the president's views toward we need to have better relations with putin and not challenging the russians at all. these are not even from the defense -- from the armed services committee, pretty much, or from the foreign relations committee. this is a delegation of appropriators, not even your top foreign policy officials. and it's all republican. i've never seen that happen. this was quite a setup for the russians, not for the americans,
before of nato summit. thank you so much for setting the stage, kelly, on the breaking news, and of course all of your expertise as well, clint. secretary of state mike pompeo, meanwhile, on his way to north korea. he took off 2:00 a.m. from washington. his first visit since president trump's singapore summit with kim jong-un. pompeo's mission is to get kim jong-un to declare the size and scope of his nuclear weapons traffic, not a small task. this is a tall order, considering nbc's reporting that the intelligence committee now agrees and is warning the white house and the state department that north korea had already cheating, expanding its weapons, not denuclearizing. joining me now, ambassador wendy sherman, former undersecretary of state under president clinton, and victor cha. both are msnbc analysts who have visited pyongyang and know how difficult it is to pin the north koreans down.
wendy, first to you, you saw them cheat. you and the clinton administration, the bush administration, both experienced this, where they make big promises. this was a promise before the world in singapore. we have yet to see anything about it, despite claims from the president afterward that north korea is really not a nuclear threat. >> we talk about how president trump bashes his allies and hugs his adversaries. here is another situation where the president is saying, i've created peace, i've created the end of their nuclear program, and actually nothing has happened. indeed the president said a few days ago that 200 remains of american soldiers during the korean war were on their way home. they still haven't showed up yet. so i think we're in a very difficult place. i think the bar is very high for secretary pompeo, and high as well because, as david sanger said in "the new york times"
this morning, he has to show that he can get a better deal than john kerry did with iran. >> and you of course you were the wing person, i won't say wing man, you were the wing person on all those trips, years of negotiations. >> yes. >> victor cha, the cheating record of north korea is well-known to all of us. but then the president declaring in minnesota a couple of weeks ago, we've already gotten 200 remains back. well, that created awkwardness for both the state department and the pentagon. they have coffins ready for all these long-grieving families wondering whatever happened to their loved ones. but there's no sign yet. this could be something they will deliver to mike pompeo, perhaps, because it's easier to deliver diplomatically than saying "we're ready for inspectors." >> the north koreans think if we
give the secretary the 200 remains, that will be a nice deliverable to take back, and of course it's important to have them returned. on the other hand, as you said, there's nothing changing in terms of denuclearization. they're augmenting their capabilities, they're upgrading their rocket engine test sites for their missiles, all for the purpose of expanding an inventory that they may eventually negotiate portions down from, but never the whole thing. i think wendy is right, secretary pompeo has a very high bar he has to meet. but the main thing is we cannot continue to give up things that are important to us and our alliances for these negotiations. for example, unilaterally suspending our military exercises in august just for the purpose of trying to get a negotiation going. we shouldn't be doing any more of that from now on. >> the president did that at the negotiating table in singapore. >> that's right. >> without prior warning to his defense secretary or his south korean and japanese allies. >> right. that's the number one rule of negotiating, wendy knows this
well too. you don't put your north korea policy ahead of your alliance policy. so what we're seeing this week is, we've unilaterally agreed to suspend exercises and secretary pompeo canceled the two plus two with india, the first two plus two ever. that means when the secretary of defense and defense secretary meet with their counterparts, in this case india, an important ally, he canceled that meeting to go to north korea for a deliverable that seems far from certain. >> wendy, what are the risks here as well for getting ahead of -- for the president getting ahead of himself, and for john bolton going out on sunday and saying that pompeo could negotiate this in a year, setting a timeline that the state department and the secretary of state have never agreed to? >> indeed. and heather nauert at the state department said others are talking about timelines, but we're not. so there's clearly some dissension inside the administration. what i think is going to be very difficult here, andrea, is we're focused on this story today.
if secretary pompeo comes away with nothing to show for it, saying we're having good talks but they're ongoing, we immediately move into the president's announcement of his supreme court pick nominee, we move right into the nato summit, then into the meeting in london with prime minister may. and then we have the championship of the world cup on the 15th and the president's summit with putin on the 16th. and indeed the russians are heading into the finals in that world cup which the whole world is looking at. even if secretary pompeo doesn't get much done, unfortunately the press cycle is such that it will disappear in virtually 24 hours as other news headlines hit all of us right over the head. >> what is the best bet secretary pompeo could hope to get from north korea? >> the most at this point is a
commitment by the north to a full reveal of their weapons and their weapons expertise. we need to have that first step. and that was of course where the negotiations ten years ago that i was a part of, that's where it broke down. because they gave a very bad declaration. and we said this is not serious. so that would be the first sign of seriousness on their part. >> and wendy, they have to agree to let inspectors in. they've never done that fully. >> they have not done -- right, they have not done that. as victor says, it's that word, "verification," that has stymied many of the negotiations over the years. indeed, not only do we need that declaration in great detail, but then we need a way to affirm that that is true, which means letting people in and letting them see what is going on and what is happening in north korea, something the north
koreans have never really loud people to do. the only one who's gotten into any of the nuclear facilities is sid hecker, who says it will take 15 years to dismantle their program. others say it can happen faster than that, but nothing can happen until we know everything about their program and that has never happened. >> sid hecker is a renowned nuclear expert at stanford, unimpeachi unimpea unimpeachable. coming up, supreme anxiety. nbc news confirming who donald trump's top three contenders are for the supreme court, four days before the president is expected to reveal his choice. a closer look at the candidates, when we return. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. my day starts well before i'm in the kitchen. i need my blood sugar to stay in control. i need to shave my a1c. weekends are my time. i need an insulin that fits my schedule. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ (announcer) tresiba® is used to control high blood sugar
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president trump says he will make up his mind about his supreme court choice by the end of the week, sparking a furious lobbying campaign from insiders before monday's announcement. nbc news has learned the list is now narrowed to three appeals court judges, unless the president changes his mind. brett kavanaugh, raymond kethledge, and amy coney barrett, all carefully cultivated by conservatives and republican lawyers. cavanaugh is at the center of an
intense debate. much of the focus is on roe v. wade but other key cases like voting rights and campaign finance hang in the balance. harry lippmann joins me, as well as pete williams. pete, in gaming this, as you know better than anyone, all of these people have been vetted and cleared by the federalist society. we have to assume they're conservatives. but among conservatives, there are those who are more true believing on some things than others. so what are the objections to cavanaugh, for instance? >> well, i think they focus on two decisions that he joined, one in dissent when he said that a young woman who was arrested as an illegal immigrant and held in detention was not entitled to have the federal government help her get an abortion. he agreed with that, but his dissent by some opponents of abortion wasn't considered strong enough. so it wasn't his position.
it was the, i guess you could say, the fervor with which he expressed it. a similar thing when he joined in a concurrent -- dissent, rather, on the affordable care act. many conservatives thought he wasn't strong enough on it, that he objected to the timing of the lawsuit on procedural grounds and didn't go in for a full-throated attack on the unconstitutionality of it, which has been a sort of central point of conservative attacks on obamacare, which is that it was unconstitutional, conscripting people, forcing them to buy insurance when they didn't want to. >> and what do we know about raymond kethledge? >> like cavanaugh, he's a former kennedy clerk. i suspect that's one of the reasons he's on the list. he is 53 -- or 51 years old. both amy barrett and brett kavanaugh are catholic. he is in thing e ing aanglican north america, which broke off
from the episcopal church because they didn't like some of the positions of the episcopal church. he is not an ivy league graduate, he went to michigan law school. he was in private practice. nominated by george w. bush and confirmed by voice vote. he co-wrote a book with an army veteran on the importance of solitude and thinking for leaders. >> interesting that it was a voice vote. so he was not controversial or they would have demanded a roll call vote at the time. >> right. >> of course there's a different test, a different standard. they're all lifetime appointments, but a different standard certainly for elevation to the supreme court. >> for the simple reason that the appeals court judges follow supreme court precedent and supreme court justices set it. >> and harry, as someone experienced as a prosecutor and as a justice department official, what are the stakes here, given the politics of it, they've got the numbers. so if it's party line or if they
persuade a couple of those red state democrats, they don't have to hold every republican to get this confirmation through. and the timetable is completely up to mitch mcconnell. >> yeah, all of that is right. the democrats are really playing a very weak hand here, both procedurally and in substance. and you make a very good point, there's been a lot of focus on the democrats trying to be able to pluck either collins or murkowski. but there are three to five democrats in red states who are at real risk of going with the choice. and that would be game over. it's been very interesting over the last 24 hours to watch the infighting on the democratic side over kethledge, cavanaugh and barrett. to us it all looks like, you know, a monolithic list, as you say, of curated conservatives. but there are little gradations of difference, stripes of conservatives. and that will really matter.
you know, the notion that brett kavanaugh is inadequately conservative would have struck anyone as nuts, does strike many as nuts, who have known him for years. but it serves to illustrate that people have different stakes. some are coming at it mainly from the point of view of a social agenda. others from the point of view of judicial philosophy. >> and let me ask you about roe v. wade, because susan collins was at a parade yesterday and was talking to my colleague vaughn hillyard about roe. she's made it very clear how she feels about roe. there are other ways to restrict women's reproductive rights beyond overturning the precedent. let me play this bit of senator collins in maine yesterday. >> reporter: why not commit to voting no on a nominee that will not tell you that roe v. wade is precedent? >> well, i think i've made it pretty clear that if a nominee has demonstrated hostility to
roe v. wade, and has said that they're not going to abide by that longstanding precedent, that i could not support that nominee. but it's not -- we don't even know who the nominee is. >> reporter: a lot of people are looking, though, and saying we need to hear that from you. >> but they have. >> so harry, it's much more subtle than that. and the way they question, i've noticed in covering all these confirmation hearings going back to bork, questioning is critical. right now dianne feinstein is under fire by many people for the way she questioned amy coney barrett. the president may be thinking, i'll put a woman up, she's dead set against roe v. wade but she may be a way of making the more liberal, more progressive senators look bad by challenging a woman. there are all kinds of ways to think about the politics of this. and there's another way of asking, you know, will you speak
about roe, and they say no, and do you believe in precedent, yes, and leave it at that. and is that good enough? >> right. all kinds of ways. by the way, i think this will be where the democrats really come to miss al franken who they made that gamble in mississippi. but he was the sharpest questioner and someone who didn't shy away from a fight. your point is really well-taken. i have a piece in "usa today" making the longer argument. but it's precarious to set this up as a question of will the candidate be against or for overruling roe, because i think we can absolutely expect the candidate to use the same script as did gorsuch, as did roberts, and attest to the notion that roe is, quote unquote, settled law. but there are many ways to undo abortion rights, whether or not the court ever actually pronounces the words "roe v. wade is overruled." and in fact that's more likely,
since the chief justice, the new swing vote on the court, is likely to be reticent to have the court actually put in the position of overruling such a key precedent. but there are actors from the states to the lower courts to litigants to the court in its own agenda-setting function who can really do everything but, can put roe on life-support without declaring it dead. >> and so much else at stake, affirmative action, we'll be talking about that later in the program, especially now given the justice department's new policy on that. well, pete williams, you're the busiest man in town for the next weeks, months, whatever, you always are. thanks for being with us today. and harry litman, thank you for coming in. coming up, race against the rain. rescuers in thailand working furiously to free the 12 boys trapped in a cave. the latest from the scene, next.
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they would put these signs on the door to let the teacher know you didn't cut off the light. the teachers, they would call us the energy patrol. so they would be like, here they come, turn off your lights! those three young ladies were teaching the whole school about energy efficiency. we actually saved $50,000. and that's just one school, two semesters, three girls. together, we're building a better california. officials in thailand are racing around the clock, trying to free 12 young boys and their coach. massive pumps have been working day and night to bring water
levels down by millions of gallons. rescue efforts could be further compounded by heavy monsoons in the forecast for sunday. bill neely, nbc chief global correspondent is in chiang rai, thailand for more on the desperate situation. bill, i know you're at the entrance to this cave in the middle of the night there. what is the hope of finding an exit strategy? >> reporter: well, it's a very timely question, andrea, because literally in the last few minutes the commander of the rescue operation, who is also the governor of the province, has just given an impromptu news conference. he's saying the waters are receding a great deal. that's due to the massive pumping operation that's been going on here for days now. he says there are three chambers next to where the boys are that are now completely dry. there is in effect only one geological obstacle to getting
the boys out. it is a large chamber that's absolutely filled with water. he was saying they're monitoring to see at what point is it possible that literally the boys' chins could be at the water level and they could wade out. this is clearly perilous stuff. but his calculation, which he said earlier today, is if he can get a 90% guarantee of safety, and only a 10% risk, he has asked the divers and, crucially, a doctor whether that is a risk worth taking. there is a weather window here. it is not rained at all for three days. that means that the water level will go down. that means the current is less forceful. there is a weather window there. that means that they have an opportunity to get these boys out. and they are clearly tempted by the idea of a fast rescue.
>> and not to be too granular here, but did it matter what their heights are? some of these kids are taller than others. if they're trying to get chin level, above the water, aren't there a lot of variables here? >> reporter: there are a lot. and we just pointed that out a few minutes ago, they're working on who should be the first out. they're not going to take all these kids out at once. should it be the youngest or the oldest? should it be the strongest or the weakest? this is almost darwinian, andrea. and as we know, these boys are all fairly weak. they've been given energy pills, they' they've been eating fried rice, there is a doctor there. but they're making difficult calculations. it is a race against time. there is a forecast that the
monsoon rains will start again this weekend. the governor, once again, was saying that's a calculation. do we go now or do we just wait until it's absolutely safe? the rains come down, they may have to wait months. that is the other option. there are three, that's get the boys out, wait until october when the monsoon season is over, or drill through the mountain, drill through a shaft to winch the boys out. there are no good options here. they're tempted clearly to grab this opportunity. but andrea, it is really dangerous. all the divers that we've spoken to and that we've heard say this could be deadly. a boy who can't swim, in darkness, who panics, who maybe has a mask on, who is breathing too much air, breathing too fast, you know, that could be potentially a deadly situation. and those boys are half a mile below me, desperate to get out right now.
>> i can't even calculate the emotional strain on them, their families. and it really is a sophie's choice, a horrible decision for those rescuers. bill, thank you so much. the whole world is watching. coming up, separation. the update michael cohen just made to his twitter account. maybe it shows he is trying to distance himself even further from donald trump.
president trump's former lawyer, michael cohen, appears to be sending signals that he could flip on the president. or is he? he's changed his twitter handle to remove his description as, quote, personal attorney to president donald j. trump. jonathan capehart, and kimberly atkins, join me now. should he have been using a twitter handle to advertise himself as personal attorney to donald j. trump? that seems unethical. >> right. we know he has new legal representation, it sounds like they're giving him good legal advice and he's listening to it, he's taking those signs off. it doesn't necessarily mean he's flipping. but it certainly opens the door for that possibility and allows him to take his own interests into account. all of the hallmarks are there for a flip. he faces serious criminal charges himself. >> he hasn't been charged with
anything yet. >> he hasn't been charged but he has investigations and he knows information useful for this investigation. >> he could be signaling, pardon me, pardon me. he can't be parted for state charges, but the federal charges could certainly be covered. he could be sending a warning flare up to the president. >> sure. remember, the other thing to keep in mind about michael cohen is not only did he advertise himself as the president's personal attorney but he also said, famously, in an interview, that he would, quote, take a bullet for donald trump, just to explain how loyal he is or was, depending on what's going to happen. and in terms of a pardon, he might be pardon shopping with the president of the united states. but one thing to keep in mind, let's say the president were to give him a pardon. he could still be called to testify. if he takes the pardon, he would be compelled to testify. and then if he doesn't testify, he could be held in contempt of court, correct me, counselor, if i'm wrong. >> the counselor is nodding
affirmatively. >> right. >> which could put him in an even bigger legal bind than he's in right now. >> and he's got very good representation, he's got the former head of the u.s. attorney's office in that southern district in new york, which is reportedly investigating him. kimberly and jonathan, i want to ask you about affirmative action. one of the things that happened sort of in the dark of night, as we were all preparing for july 4th, the white house and the justice department changing their policy as to what is appropriate for universities and colleges on considering race as one factor in admissions. worried about point out this has been widely misinterpreted in the past, but basically it's saying that race can be a factor, and ought to be a factor, as well as athletic ability, whether your parents were alums. a lot of factors that admissions faculty and deans consider. kimberly, this could be an invitation to advocates and
adversaries of affirmative action to file a case that will go to the supreme court. and this, a different supreme court. >> yes, and it will be. there will certainly be new challenges based on this new guidance. what the justice department did was basically reverse guidance to encourage schools to consider race as one of other factors, as well as legacy and other things. now this will be scourgediscour. the last time the supreme court heard this issue, anthony kennedy issued a narrow ruling allowing the use of race as one of many factors. now we're going to have a different court this time. that time, the obama administration urged the court to allow affirmative action. this time the justice department signaled they will be on the other side of this. it could really make a big difference in how these schools take race into consideration for admission. >> there is a case pending by asian-american students against harvard saying they were discriminated against in favor of other minorities, jonathan,
this is clearly -- many of the universities have said we're going to ignore this guidance. >> right. >> it's not legally binding. but it could predict a future challenge. >> sure. and that's the key thing. it's not legally binding. but the silver lining here is that the colleges and universities are saying, we're still going to abide by it, until which time a court case comes down that forces them to do something completely different. >> and we can have another long conversation about why having a racially diverse student class is a better educational model for everyone of all races. >> right. >> to be continued. jonathan capehart and kimberly atkins from "the boston herald," thank you so much. next, obstacle coursie. the growing list of challenges for migrant families wanting to be reunited with their children. (vo) why are subaru outback owners always smiling? because they've chosen the industry leader. subaru outback holds its value better than any other vehicle in its class, according to alg.
get your groove on with one a day 50+. ♪ get ready for the wild life ♪ complete multivitamins with key nutrients that address 6 concerns of aging, including heart health, supported by b-vitamins. your one a day is showing. health and human services secretary alex aczar just briefed reporters on his department's latest actions regarding separated migrant families. nbc news reporter julia ainsley was on that call. what's latest? >> i think a big takeaway here is there are nearly 3,000
children that hhs is working to reunite. we previously thought they had a little over 2,000. the reason that number is bigger hhs says is because the court order is requiring them to look back even before trump started that zero tolerance policy. so these are children who are separated perhaps may 6th when that went into effect. they also think some of these children might have been separated on their children maybe by smugglers and they don't understand that they weren't actually separated by the u.s. government so they say the number could come down. they have these very strict court deadlines they need to comply with. by july 10th, they'll need to reunite 100 children who are under the age of 5 who were separated and the rest of the children between the ages of 5 and 17 will have to be reunited by july 26th. another thing they said which really underlines our reporting from yesterday is the only children who have been reunited so far are those who were reunited to be deported with their families. going forward, they'll be able to keep them together but so far
it's only been for deportation. >> thanks so much, julia. hot off the presses as we say. you're just off that call with the secretary of hhs. and joining me now is kate lincolngold. an immigration attorney working with separated motherings. thank you very much for being with us. i saw your interview with rachel maddow monday night and was struck by what an i.c.e. officer told you on how the policy is not being carried out. you say your clients, these mothers in detention, are not being granted bond. is that still the case? >> yes. my clients still have not been granted bond and across the board we're seeing efforts by i.c.e. to delay, deny and deport as many of these parents as possible. so we're seeing long time, wait times for the credible fear interviews. denials of the credible fear interviews. >> and those are the interviews -- just to clarify, those credible fear interviews with the interviews that are supposed to be legally mandated so people can explain their credible fears of returning to
their home countries? >> that's correct, it's the first step in the asylum process. historically, asylum seekers, after passing a credible fear interview, get out of detention. we're not seeing that in the case here with these separated parents. we're seeing lots of attempts to delay, deny and deport as many as possible. it appears the reunification efforts are only for the parents who are going to be deported, not for the parents who are pursuing their cases. >> we've seen our reporters, where people were given a document to say you can see your child again, you can be reunited again, i'm paraphrasing, if you agree to leave, to go back to your country despite these, quote, krecredible fears. that's what's happening, they're given the first chance to see their kids. despite this california federal judge saying that july 10th coming up now is the deadline
for children under 5 to be reunited. >> yes, that's correct. that's what we're hearing on the ground, that this form is being used as a coercive tactic to get parents to give up their asylum claims. they're being told if they sign the form, they will have their children returned to them. >> what are their options? >> i mean, you know, i think that they need to pursue. i think that people need to continue talking about this. and i'm sure the aclu will be enforcing the lawsuit. and in the meantime, we're hearing such devastating stories from these families. these parents. a client of mine yesterday said she feels she's been buried alive in detention. and parents are calling their children from detention saying mommy where are you, when are you coming to get me. the children are not eating. it's really a devastating situation. >> and the emotions on both sides, as you just indicating, some of these children are blaming their parents for not doing enough. tell me what you're experiencing from your clients.
>> yes, the children are being told things by, you know, some officials that their parents didn't love them, they didn't care about them. i've had several mothers tell me that border patrol officers told them they didn't love their children and their children were going to be adopted. so they're hearing mo ing horri things from officials. some of them haven't spoke within their children. the ones who have are given a brief five-minute phone call, you know, and their official standing over both of them. the kids who say they're doing okay, the parents are not able to really trust that. i've heard several reports of children just sobbing uncontrollably and can't even speak to their parents because they're so distraught. >> of course the toddlers often don't even have that kind of communication ability. tragedy on every level. thank you for what you're doing, kate, thank you so much for being with us today. we'll be right back.
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and this update just in. secretary of state pompeo has just tweeted en route to north korea for those crucial meetings, good to have the press on board. that is a departure from the policy of his predecessor rex tillerson. we're all glad that they have the press on board and we're going to have an nbc reporter in tokyo waiting his arrival there when he comes out of pyongyang. later this afternoon at 2:33 this afternoon eastern, newsrooms around the world are going to stop for a moment of silence. we will as well.
to remember the five journalists at the capital gazette who were killed last week. that deadly shooting marks one of the deadly i attacks on journalists in american history. craig melvin is up next. >> thank you so much for that. craig melvin here. good afternoon to you. msnbc headquarters in new york city. supreme short list. nbc news reporting president trump has narrowed his list for the next supreme court down to just three. who he's considering and how he's putting pressure on vulnerable democratic senators who have to vote on their confirmation. this time in montana. also, poison investigation. british couple poisoned and the details are eerily familiar. it's the same nerve agent used to poison a former russian spy. now investigators are trying to figure out was this an accident or was it deliberate. also, tv spy. a new report looks at just how smart that smart tv of yours really is.