tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC June 24, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
and a vision of our future and a vision of our future of our america. >> this election is not about one person and one office, it is about who we are as a nation and who we must be to each other! >> again, keep it short and you make it clear who you really are. that's "hardball" for now. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> the political debate hurt these children -- >> the president defending government treatment of migrant children that one doctor described as torture facilities. >> we're doing a fantastic job under the circumstances. >> tonight, why 300 children were just moved out of a texas border facility. >> flu, lice, children looking after children. >> and why things are likely about to get worse. then -- >> he was just doing a limited strike. >> oh, just a limited strike. oh, well, i'm sorry. >> how the president keeps provoking the war he says he doesn't want. plus, brian stephenson on
the fight for racial justice in the age of trump. and why are many media outlets shrugging their shoulders at the president being accused of rape. >> it became a fight. and it was -- it hurt. >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. a week after a big political controversy about what precisely to call immigration detention facilities, we are learning day by day even more horrifying details about the conditions at those places. we now know of two customs and border protection facilities where hundreds of children were detained under dangerous conditions, in some cases for up to weeks at a time forced to care for each other amidst outbreaks of lice and flu. a doctor who visited one of the detention centers said the conditions "could be compared to torture facilities." one law professor who saw some of those conditions firsthand will join me in just a moment.
but already today under pressure, the government has now moved more than 300 children out of one station in clint, texas. and nevertheless, broader questions remain. why do these conditions and situations keep happening over and over? who is in charge? where is the accountability? are there other facilities we don't even know about with similar or worse conditions? but the president and the vice president were forced to defend and address those conditions and turned to blaming democrats. >> well, we're doing a fantastic job under the circumstances. the democrats aren't even approving giving us money. where is the money? you know what? the democrats are holding up the humanitarian aid. >> we'll get a response from a democratic member of congress in just a few minutes. we do know that since the president ramped up his rhetoric about a border wall in january and had a big showdown fight about it, the number of crossings has risen sharply, as has the number of people in detention and reports of conditions going from bad to even worse. here with me now someone who saw the conditions at that facility in clint, texas in person.
professor warren binford, a professor of law. professor, first just tell me what you saw in that facility. >> well, we saw children who were being forced to live in hord horrendous conditions that no child should ever have to live in. you mentioned influenza. removed the blankets and being forced to sleep on the cement ground. many children report they regularly were asked to sleep on the cement including infants and toddlers and preschoolers. we saw the children who were dirty and some of them smelled. we saw their clothes were stained. there was no soap. they were infrequently allowed to brush their teeth or take a shower. even then, it was only for a moment or two. they were fed food that is not suitable for children on a
regular basis and given the same breakfast, lunch, dinner day after day. we're talking about instant foods, kool-aid, frozen burritos. it just is not a wear to care for children who are our responsibility as a nation. >> let me ask you this. the conditions you describe sound just monstrous. >> yeah. >> how many children are there and how long were they there and where were the adults? >> yeah. so this is one of the things that shocked us right away. we did not even have this border patrol facility on our radar when we were planning our trip, this inspection, but we had heard the week before we left that there were children that were in recent weeks being moved to this facility, so we showed up there not sure how many children were going to be in this facility with maximum capacity of 104. there were over 350 children, chris, and we scanned the list and immediately we saw 0, 0, 1, 2, 4, 5. there were all ages. there were infants, toddlers, preschoolers and we couldn't
figure out where they were keeping them. we talked to the chief officer and he indicated they recently expanded the facility but we couldn't see an expansion. after we were done with interviewing on the first day, we drove around the facility and the only thing we could see that appeared to be new as a metal warehouse with no windows. we couldn't fathom that the american government would truly be keeping hundred of children in a metal warehouse. yet, in fact, when we came back the next day and asked the border patrol and the children that is, in fact, where many of the children were being kept. >> why were these children -- they shouldn't be there. they should not be in this cbp facility. >> no. >> they shouldn't be there longer than 72 hours max. what category are they in? why were they there and where were the adults that they should be attached to? if there were any. >> basically what happened is all of the children that i interviewed, they had come to the united states with adult relatives, and they were coming to family in the united states.
so they all -- almost all of them had telephone numbers, at least the ones that were verbal. they were basically trying to bring their families together. they were separated from their families at the border. some of the family members were parents. we had one family where the father, the mother and the sister were taken in one direction and this little girl, who was probably about second grade, was taken in another direction. she didn't want to go with the border patrol and she was very upset and her father came to her and said, honey, it's okay, they're going to take you to a place that's better for children and they, in fact, took her to the clint border patrol facility. so basically you've got children coming across the border with relatives, being taken away from the relatives. they're supposed to go to border patrol to be processed and then within a matter of hours, because border patrol stations are notoriously horrendous places, they're supposed to be transported into orr custody. the office of refugee resettlement wasn't assigning these children to a placement quickly enough to be reunited with their families. so, really, that's where the breakdown is.
it's not so much with the border patrol, it's really with orr not coming and getting these kids and giving them to their parents immediately. >> so this is key. you're saying the office of refugee resettlement, which is under the department -- under hhs and notoriously was part of the bureaucracy that oversaw child separation, that they are essentially just allowing these children to languish in these facilities? >> right. and i don't want to say that they're allowing them to languish because that's not precisely i think the dynamic that we're seeing here. what we're seeing is massive mismanagement of -- >> yeah. >> -- of this department. and a tremendous waste of taxpayer money. so that, for example, right now many of these children are being put when they are in orr custody in placements at places like homestead and the walmart, which i've visited, the tent city when that was open, which i also inspected. these facilities cost about $750 per day per child. that is what we would pay to put a child in the ritz-carlton.
>> yeah. >> these are not ritz-carltons. and to make it worse, these kids are being kept there not for the 20 days they're allowed to be kept by law, but, rather, for five, six, seven -- we've interviewed children who have been in these facilities for longer than nine months at this cost. if you do the analysis, chris, you will find out that you can save the taxpayers $1 billion a year simply by taking the children who have families here in the united states, who have parents in the united states, and placing them with those parents. >> all right. professor, thank you so much for sharing that. >> you're welcome. thank you, chris. i want to bring in congressman michael burgess, republican of texas. congressman, i would imagine the first question is that you and your colleagues agree that these kinds of conditions are appalling and unacceptable. >> well, certainly it hasn't been my experience. i've visited orr and cbp facilities on a lot of occasions, as recently as three weeks ago down in mcallen. i'm going again this friday. so i've made a lot of effort to spend time on the ground.
what i will tell you is that the conditions i saw in mcallen at the customs and border patrol facility three weeks ago right at the end of may, they've always -- it's always been tough down there. it's tougher than it's ever been because of the numbers of people that are coming across. and when they are -- when they are picked up, yes, they do go to a customs and border patrol facility. that is what we charge our men and women who work for customs and border patrol. that's what we charge them with doing. and i will also say, i do take a little bit of exception to people who denigrate the motives of customs and border patrol. these men and women are heros. there were four people found, a mother and three children, found deceased down in mission, texas, according to the a.p. earlier today. i don't know what the cause of death was. they said it didn't appear to be homicidal violence. presumably they died because of weather conditions. these are the people -- the types of people that customs and border patrol picks up and rescues on a daily basis. hundreds every day. >> sure.
>> and those facilities, yes, they are -- are they strained? you bet. chief garza was when i was down there last time said, i've got men i have to take off off the line to go to walmart and buy pampers. >> congressman -- >> wait, wait, wait -- >> wait a second. >> what congress needs to do is appropriate the money to orr. >> we are going to talk about that. >> so they can take the children in a timely fashion. >> i want to return to the question. this is obviously something you've devoted time and resources to. close to your heart and you've visited these facilities. you and i agree the conditions described by that lawyer and others in the facility in clint -- >> i don't know. i have not been to that facility. i can't speak to that. >> but do you think she's making it up? >> chris, i don't know. the stuff that i was hearing reported in the news was not what i was seeing at tornio. at homestead air force base, not what i was hearing on the news media. >> you think this is fictional? >> i don't know if it's
hyperbole. i know that the hatred for this president is so intense people are liable to say anything. i got to go look for myself and see for myself. >> let me ask you this. one of the things you say mr. garza says they're overwhelmed and the folks who work for cbp in mcallen are overwhelmed. there are thousands of these children who do not need to be detained, spending $700, $800 a night, taxing the customs and border protection and thousands of family members don't need to be detained. >> are we under any obligation after those children are taken into an hhs facility to an orr facility, are we under any obligation to make certain were they go -- >> sure. >> is what is intended? >> yeah. >> i will tell you, when i the first started going down there in 2014 and orr was sending kids off to who knows where, no one called to check on the child after they got there. there was no follow-up. >> you agree in principle -- >> i went through an adoption procedure years ago. it's very, very intrusive with
all the social workers. nobody was even asking a question. >> you agree in principle, there is a question, what is the ideal situation? talking about children. the ideal situation from a policy perspective, you would agree, is if they have a family member in the states they can go to for the u.s. government not to stretch its resources and have to look after them and put them with those folks. >> someone need to check that things are as they said they were going to be. >> sure. >> i was in another hearing with the helsinki commission in october of 2016 and we heard from a number of people trafficked by family members. the fact they're going to live with a family member is not home free, it can still be trouble. i'm grateful now that the orr does do some follow-up. they do provide the child with an 800 number they can call in things aren't going well. >> we have stories of family members not even being contacted. obviously it should be the case through this processing system that family members are contacted and that they are also tracked so that we can have
children go to family members and not be lying on the floor being cared for by an 8-year-old. >> well, look, in the orr facilities and your last guest was dismissive of the orr. i've been to the facility in brownsville, texas. yes, it's a former walmart. there is not a lock on the door. children are free to love at any time and they don't. you know why? because they're well taken care of. they're going to live with family, not mother or father, but generally family. that's a good thing. >> let me ask you this. there is a certain line of thinking publicly said by the administration and sometimes not that harsh conditions, harsh conditions for a 2-year-old, say, with lice who is being cared for or even unpleasant conditions or not ideal conditions are part of the policy to act as a deterrent. >> i absolutely disagree. >> no, no, no, let me just ask
-- >> you have people who advocate for open borders and a vast safety social net. what do you think is going to happen, chris? >> you do think it is a deterrent? >> i think an open borders policy is not in the best interest of the united states of america. and i do think a secure border is in the best interest. look, i travel down to central america. i saw the conditions on the ground there. i get that there are problems. but there are much better ways of dealing with this. >> sure. >> than what has grown up over the past five years. that was prior to president trump taking office. i also understand the intense hatred for this administration, but you know what? he's going to be your president for another four years after this. >> well, whether that's true or not, my focus is more on children with lice crawling through their head in a u.s. facility that we are as citizens responsible for. >> wait a minute. those children arrive with the lice and they are -- >> you don't know that. you do not know that. >> i do. >> you don't know that. >> well, wait a minute -- >> they contracted the flu in the facility is the reporting
that we have. >> that is not true. when i was down in mcallen. >> you were not in the facility, sir. i just talked to the lawyer who was just in clint, texas. you just told me you're not in clint, texas. you don't know what they got there. >> i know about mcallen. >> i'm talking about clint, texas. >> mcallen was under quarantine because of flu. i went to see for myself. in fact they weren't quarantined. that's what was reported in the news media. chief garza says we had a number of cases people arriving having contracted the flu in the stash houses in mexico and dropped on our side of the border. >> here's my fundamental question. >> what were they supposed to do but take care of the children with the flu that arrive at their doorstep. >> i get you're a doctor. you've cared for patients throughout your life. you're a member of congress. you clearly are invested in this issue. you have empathy for the members of the cbp who i would agree have a very difficult job to do. i guess my question is, do you understand why people get upset and worked up when they hear these stories about children and why they feel a pull to care for
these children in a way that you would want your own children cared for if they were running from a desperate situation? do you understand that impulse? >> here's the deal, chris, i think the men and women atticus toms and border patrol represent us well. they're dealing with an impossible humanitarian crisis, an impossible load. i'm on the rules committee. we're working on a bill to come up with money for orr. the kids can't leave customs and border patrol until orr has a bed open up. so that money needs to be funded. you know what? it's been denied 17 times. the president first asked for it much earlier in the year. it should have already been appropriated. here's the bad news. we're not going to vote on it until all likelihood until after the fourth of july recess. >> the president just issued a veto notification on the new legislation we'll talk about in a second. final question here. we've seen the president twice in the last month issue emergency declarations to appropriate funds he thought were necessary. $15 billion in tariff relief.
for the great patriotic farmers as he referred to them. $4 billion for emergency funding for the wall. clearly when he thinks it's important, found ways to unilaterally use the office of the executive to make that funding happen. shouldn't he do that here? why won't he do that here? >> well, in both of the instances he used a tool provided to previous presidents by a previous congress. look, this one would be simple. the senate passed a bill out of their appropriations subcommittee 30-1. that obviously is a bipartisan product. that bill could be voted on on the house floor tomorrow and go down to president for his signature and he would not veto that bill. >> all right. congressman michael burgess, thank you very much for making time tonight, sir. >> thank you. >> both the house and senate are expected to vote this week on spending packages on the border. the congressman just referring to, lawmakers could vote as soon as tomorrow on a $4.5 billion emergency funding measure which would include some additional oversight requirements as well as restrictions on how the funding can and cannot be used.
now, that's different than the senate legislation, which has already been passed. the house proposal does not include any funding for the department of defense. the house package would reinstate aid to el salvador, ho honduras and guatemala. only to be detained under sometimes horrifying conditions. even with safeguards, the house measure, some democrats could still balk had handing over know more money to a administration they view as treating migrants so appallingly. here with me one of the members of congress from washington state. your colleague michael burgess there and many republicans up to and including the white house say they need more money. they need more resources in the hands of orr, cbp and i.c.e. and democrats are standing in the way. what's your response to that? >> it is absurd. the way that these kids are being treated is unconscionable. we are watching ongoing family separation happening. if you listening to professor
binford, you heard her say that these kids are being held out of every standard that we have applied and this administration has continued to do things like metering policies that drive up the numbers at the border. they are not releasing these kids. only 12% of these children, according to the reports that i've seen, chris, are actually kids that don't have parents. so they should be immediately fast tracking, getting those kids out of there. not using for-profit detention centers. which let me just remind you, elizabeth warren and i wrote a letter to homestead because john kelly, who oversaw family separation, went to join the board of homestead that is now charging $700 a night for -- to hold a child in these conditions. so the thing that really frustrates me is we have standards in place for how people are supposed to be held in detention. we have the flores settlement that is the law of the land that says that children cannot be held for more than 20 days and
that they need basic things like food and water and medical care. and this administration is lawless. it has taken the money that we have given and it does not follow any of the conditions that we lay out, and then they say to us, you know what? give us more money. well, let me tell you something. how do we assure that they are going to actually follow the law and not allow for families to be separated? we have a court decision that said that thousands of families were separated and now they're doing it right in front of our eyes and they want us to give them more money for that? this is a -- it is a crisis that has been created by the administration. they cut aid to central american countries that would have helped address the situation in those countries. they started the metering process, which basically has slowed to a trickle the processing of asylum seekers across the border, which is why you saw those families -- those people who had died today. this hot sun and they're having to travel to try to find one open point of entry to come in and wait outside, waiting to be
able to demand the legal right to asylum. they have continued family separation in spite of court orders and now they are trying to hold hostage these kids. they've said they wanted to deport 1 million people across the country, and i just -- i don't have words to describe how horrendous and lawless this administration is. and how they are inflicting long-term damage on thousands of children. and this is the united states of america. >> they're saying to you basically you got to pass -- you got to give us more money. there is a capacity issue. and i hear what you're saying, which is you don't trust them. you don't trust the money will be spent. >> we just gave them an enormous amount of money through the regular 2019 dhs appropriations process. there is a -- and as you said very accurately, they seem to be able to find money for things that they want and they declare an emergency. suddenly they are keeping kids without toothbrushes and soap and mattresses because
apparently we haven't given them enough money? that's absurd. >> so are you a no on this vote? that's what it sounds like. >> i have been trying to figure that out, chris, and i'll tell you what, i -- we have asked for some things that would give us a stick that would say, for example, right now, you know, flores is the law of the land. i think that they should be in compliance within three months. that is too long in my book. that's 90 days and i don't think we should give a year for people to be in compliance with flores. i don't think that we should allow for, you know, $155 million to go to the u.s. marbl marshals to refer people for federal criminal prosecution. i am torn. obviously this is a tough decision. we're trying to figure out if be can ka make the bill better. so we demand accountability. at the end of the day, for me, if i had a administration that was actually doing and meeting the conditions that were already laid out and the laws that are already in place and i knew that
i could trust them, that would be a different question, but they have continued to break the law and at the cost of these kids. and what the professor said is right. this is an incredible waste of taxpayer dollars. >> yeah. >> incredible mismanagement of the agencies. and ongoing every step of the way. >> all right. congresswoman, thank you so much for sharing your time. >> thank you. next, how president trump has brought us to the threshold of war. even today taking another step toward potential conflict. the latest escalation in two minutes. ation in two minutes. my experience with usaa has been excellent.
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against iran. today the president unveiled his latest move, announcing new sanctions that will do little except inflame the situation. "new york times" reports "the new sanctions are aimed to prevent tom iranian officials from using the international banking system and financial vehicles set up by europeans and other countries. do not likely keep substantial assets in european banks and additional pressure from sanctions is likely to be minimal." so the president almost went to war and now issued sanctions that said will do nothing and continue to humiliate and box in iran's leadership. it is obvious rhetorical de-escalation. the president doesn't want war and mad at his advisers beating the donald trump for it. he's out there doing the exact kind of thing that folks for john bolton have pushed for. a reminder here, donald trump is the one who pulled out of the iran deal. donald trump is the one who hired folks like bolton and mike pompeo, appeared to further escalate the situation with
sanctions. no one made him do those things. donald trump is the president of the united states. he's the person who has brought us to the threshold of military conflict. joining me now, the woman who led the u.s. negotiating team that established the iran nuclear deal back in 2015, ambassador wendy sherman, she's now an msnbc global affairs analyst. i guess first on the announcement of the sanctions, which seems sort of like a diss track more than anything, is there much of a bite here? >> not much, chris. i think your summary was pretty good. most of the folks who were targeted, quite frankly, were targeted under the anti-terrorism executive order. the supreme leader was under the new executive order, and, quite frankly, none of them have much to do with international financial institutions because international financial institutions don't want to have anything to do with them. they have their own ways and manners to continue to make themselves quite well off. >> as someone who worked in -- on the negotiations that led to the joint agreement that has now
been ripped up by donald trump, what do you think that move has done to bring us here? >> oh, when donald trump withdrew from the joint comprehensive plan of action known as the iran nuclear deal, he isolated us more than he isolated iran because for over a year, even with the u.s. withdrawal, iran has stayed in compliance with the deal. working with our european allies of the united kingdom, france, germany, with the european union and with russia and china. and, in fact, all of the parties, not including iran and not including us, will be meeting at the end of this week to see if there is any way they can hold this deal together. in fact, i think the russians are sort of licking their chops that they get to try to lead a way forward on this deal. and everybody's playing into russian and chinese hands in that regard. the president's going to go to the g20 at the end of the week to try to get everybody on his side. but they don't want to be on his
side. they want to be on the side of the joint comprehensive plan of action. one last point, chris. to your last story, when the united states warehouses children, we don't exactly go to the g20 with a kind of moral authority we need to say that we don't want nuclear weapons and we want diplomacy, perhaps backed up by the threat of force, but we want diplomacy been not just coercion. >> is there any out for diplomacy for iran? it seems like there are a series of escalatory actions by the president. he likes deals. we saw what he did with north korea and renegotiating nafta. if he could get a donald trump-branded deal, he would probably take it. is there any opening that has been left for iran to pursue that? >> well, i think there is an opening. we know that the president likes photo opportunities. he likes those banner headlines that say "we're bringing peace
and democracy to venezuela." "we're bringing peace and democracy and can does ondos." we're bringing the best economic plan to the palestinians and we can make iran great again. so the president loves all those headlines. there is just no there there. >> right. the iranians i imagine get that. part of the problem is he wants a deal that is essentially the deal that he ripped up and walked away from that is under his control, but the iranians don't have any incentive to pursue that. >> i think the iranians are certainly being hurt economically by these sanctions. but they are generally a culture of resistance. they lived through an eight-year iran/iraq war that was quite punishing, including chemical weapons attacks on their people. and it took a u.n. security council mandate to get the end of that war. so they're not going to capitulate. >> right. >> i think at the end of the day they'd get back to the negotiating table but not with
donald trump in the way that he's doing it. so i don't say it can't happen, and susan rice, the former national security adviser, had a good op-ed in "the new york times" laying out some potential ways forward. not because she wishes we were here. none of us wish we were here. but here we are. >> finally, john bolton. you know, he is legendary as a bureaucratic infighter in the worlds that you have often occupied and the apparatus of american diplomacy in the state department and other places. how much of that is true in your experience and how much do you think he is sort of the point of the spear here? >> i think you said it right. there is no question that john bolton has never seen a war he didn't want to wage, and i must say, secretary pompeo has become his best buddy in trying to put on maximum pressure which leads one to war. they boxed the president into a corner that is creating an escalatory cycle between our hard hardliners, bolton and pompeo, and their hard
hardliners. >> right. >> the islamic revolutionary guard corps and the quds force. but you are right, at the end of the day, as the president has told us time and time again, he is the decider, he is the one who decides. i'm glad two minutes to midnight he decided not to take that strike, but he needs to decide to get back to the table, but diplomacy is going to require him to put something on the table. >> yeah. >> to get the kind of dialogue he wants. >> all right. ambassador wendy sherman, great thanks. >> thank you, chris. ahead, is the fight for racial justice going in the right direction in the era of donald trump? i'll talk to brian stephenson about that and his new documentary next. i wanted more fromentary net
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the first democratic debate's coming up in just 48 hours from now. it's clear that one of the central axis of debate in the democratic party in this collection is criminal justice, policy and reform. senator kamala harris' record as a prosecutor, cory booker's call for large-scale clemency for nonviolent drug related offenses. most recently, mayor pete buttigieg facing heated criticism from black residents of south bend for the oversight of that city's police department whose officer shot and killed a black man in that city on june 16th. the democratic party is right now very publicly wrestling with how to advance racial justice and fused together a strong multiracial coalition in the era of donald trump and into the teeth of acute white backlash. joining me now, bryan stephenson, executive director of the equal justice initiative. subject of the new hbo documentary "true justice." debuts on hbo on wednesday.
>> good to be with you. >> i've been wanting to talk to you as i've watched the democratic primary unfold as someone who has worked in the criminal justice system for decades now. where you see us at this moment. because it feels like there has been in many ways a lot of progress. >> mmm-hmm. >> politically. substantively. even if you look at the numbers of just incarceration. but you're someone who has just watched the trajectory of the system grind on and unfold for so many years. where do you see us now? >> we have made progress. there are bans on mandatory without life or parole sentences for children that didn't exist. we have seen some leveling of the prison population. there is a movement. there is some bipartisan support for bringing down the prison population. but we still have so much work to do. we still are the nation with the highest rate of incarceration in the world. we will have excessive punishment. we still treat drug offenders and people drug dependent as criminals instead of seeing that
as a health problem. what we don't reel is is criminal justice is driven by states. congress can't fix this. a lot of states have done nothing to substantially reform their system so we're still spend $80 billion a year on jails and prisons. we still put too many people in jails and prisons who are not a threat to public safety and we still have this horrific problem of error, wrongful convictions. i still believe our system treats you better if you're rich and guilty than poor and innocent. that's a crisis we need to address. >> an incredible moment in the documentary hits on this point. someone is talking about his own conviction and what the police officer said to him when faced with the possibility he didn't do the thing that he was accused of doing. take a listen. >> i asked him again for the first time, why am i being arrested? he said, you want to know why we arresting you? he said you robbed a restaurant manager and you killed him. i said you got the wrong person. i ain't done all of that.
he said let me tell you something right now. i don't care whether you did it or didn't do it, those fiere's things that are going to convict you. number one, you black. number two, a white man is going to say you shot him. number three, you're going to have a white prosecutor. number four, you're going to have a white judge. number five, you're going to have an all-white jury. and he said, do you know what that spell? conviction. >> is that still as true in the regions of the country that you work in as it was when he was being told that? >> oh, i think it absolutely is, and i don't think it's regional. i think all over this country we tolerate errors. we accept these tragic mistakes. anthony ray hinton was the 152nd person to be proved innocent after being sentenced to death. we're now at 160. that means for every ten people
we've essex cuted in this country, we've now identified one innocent person on death row. it's a shocking rate of error. >> that is a shocking rate of error. >> if you went to the store and somebody said 1 out of 10 apples will kill you if you touch it, nobody would sell apples. we would not tolerate -- >> planes. could you imagine if airplanes did that? >> absolutely. we still have these states actively trying to execute people. i don't think it has registered the way it needs to. there is not a region in this country that can claim they have not innocent people in jails and prisons. when you have a system that immunizes police and prosecutors and judges so that they aren't accountable you don't provide people the resources they need to defend themselves. you tolerate bias and discrimination. you political size these systems, you're going to have the kinds of mistakes that mr. hinton's case reflects and it's why i've argued the death penalty isn't about whether or not people deserve to die for the crimes they've committed, do
we deserve to kill? when we tolerate this kind of err? misconduct. i think still really we haven't turned around on that kind of punishment reoccupation. >> you know, one of the main theories of a lot of your work is about the sort of continuity between the system of slavery and then apartheid, jim crow and the modern criminal justice system and this sort of continuities there. i guess i wonder, you know, you have this incredible memorial to the victims of lynching that has been widely celebrated that i've been wanting to go to very badly. how much does the reckoning with history -- how much is that a necessary precondition to what we do now? >> i think it's a critical precondition. the united states supreme court legitimatated slavery by saying black people are an inferior race. they're 3/5 human. after the civil war, they then struck down all the laws that congress passed that would have allowed black people to vote, that would have protected them. >> and there were many.
lest that be forgotten to history as well. >> they struck down the ku klux klan act to keep black people from being lynched by the thousands, yet the court never felt the need to reckon with the legal rulings that created 100 years of segregation. we celebrate brown and loving, the moments in the court's history when they did the right things. then they retreat to the ill tolerance. if that's our history, we're not going to have a justice system that is accountability, that is fair, that is liable. i think the history part is critical. i don't think we can get to the kind of justice we want until we talk honestly about the native genocide, slavery, lynching, segregation, our tolerance of racial bigotry. >> bryan stephenson, thank you so much for coming by. the film is wednesday night on hbo. thanks very much. >> thank you. coming up, surprising new numbers about just how closely democratic primary voters are following the 2020 election. what that means for this week's big debates ahead. fact is, every insurance company hopes you drive safely.
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today the president used one of his go-to denials when it comes to sexual assault accusations. telling "the hill" of carroll, "she's not my type." you would think that prominent writer accuses president of rape is the very definition of news, whether or not the allegation is provable. and yet it was bizarrely missing from the front pages of most major newspapers. garnering this single column placement in the "washington post." while carroll did appear on "nbc nightly news," msnbc and cnn, the accusation was weirdly absent from political discussion on the news and it's fairly remarkable that it was. i can understand newsrooms being wary of a first-person account published in a memoir that they themselves didn't report out, but it's an on the record accusation of violent sexual assault with two people confirming that carroll told them of the assault contemn rainusly. that's a very serious allegation against the most powerful person in the country, following, we
should note, 15 other women who have made allegations of sexual misconduct against donald trump. the media's treatment of the allegation has not gone unnoticed. indeed, today "the new york times" executive editor said "we were overly cautious in how they handled the story." there is a kind of perverse dog bites man quality to this story. almost no one is surprised by the accusation. it seems to me important to resist the soft bigotry of low expectations that produces a news environment in which everyone shrugs their shoulders at the president being accused of rape. accused of rape. my experience with usaa
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because you, dear viewer, are watching my show right now, listening to my voice, you are probably not the typical democratic party primary voter. you are by definition paying close attention. many are not. a new poll finds that just 35% of democratic pry mire voimary o have been paying close attention to the campaign 65% have only been saying some attention, not much attention or none at all. 22% of democratic primary voters
say they know a lot about the candidates' positions, the majority, vast majority, 62% only know a little bit about where the candidates stand. another 15% don't know a thing. that's part of why the first s days is a big deal. nbc news, msnbc, telemundo, host the first debates of the 2020 cycle with 10 candidates on stage each night in miami. for millions upon millions of potential voters who don't know a ton about who's running, why, what platform, the candidates will have a chance to start with a nearly blank slate. joining me now, msnbc contributor, "new york times" columnist michelle goldberg. also with me, tiffany cross, co-founder and managing editor of the beat d.c. and special correspondent of the daily beast whose new piece in the new york review of books discusses what he casts as a divide between the younger urban left-leaning people on twitter and older traditional moderate people who make up the actual
backbone of the democratic party. on that note, michael, lets me start with you. it's easy to easily generalize these categories. it's a big difference between the super invested folks who are following this and can tell you what policy rollouts beto o'rourke has done versus what elizabeth warren has done and the vast majority of voters who are just beginning to tune in and tune in for the first kind of event moment on wednesday and thursday night. >> exactly right. if, indeed, they even tune in -- >> that's a good point. let's hope, michael, come on. >> yeah, let's hope. but, yeah, there is a big divide, and that's what my piece is about. and, you know, the typical democratic voter, chris, is not somebody who's spending all day on twitter and obsessing over these details. typical democratic voter is somebody who's poor, working class, fairly low education level, and, you know, just not somebody who -- somebody who probably works pretty hard for a
living and not somebody who probably has a ton of time to devote to doing this. that's your democratic rank and file. it's a very different constituency than, you know, people like us or people who watch these shows obsessively. >> and that's part of, i mean, i think that's been part of the point of the, you know, when people talk about biden, they talk about -- they compare sort of, like, online groups or activist groups and biden who, you know, interviews with folks in south carolina are like joe biden, joe biden, i know joe biden, joe biden was the vice president for barack obama. if barack obama was running in this field, i don't think there's a person alive who doesn't think he'd win the field extremely easily, so that's a big part of what's driving the basic dynamics of the field right now. >> this is not my observation. someone pointed it out to me. once they did, i realized i was seeing it everywhere. liberal intelligence, people are deciding between elizabeth warren and bernie sanders, some exceptions, maybe kamala harris. on the ground you talk to people all the time who are deciding between bernie sanders and joe biden. >> right. >> those are the ones they've heard about, other people sort of blend together.
>> which also speaks to how early it is and how people don't know all the candidates. you ask people to list who's running -- >> i would say some of these candidates are not really doing the country and party a great service by clogging up the democratic debate stage. you know, and there are other people who i think do bring a lot to the debate, but it's just, i mean, we do this for a living and i'm not sure that i could name off the top of my head all the 23 candidate. >> there's 25 by the way. >> sorry. right. and i was silting next to somebody at the fish fry, you know, it's a famous event that james clyburn holds in south carolina. >> over the weekend. >> and she said to me, someone who's super smart, engaged enough to be at a big political event, she said, you know, i keep mixing ining up elizabeth and amy klobuchar. to people who watch these shows, these are different candidates, but aesthetically are different types. >> that's why i keep thinking about this and this is why i think the debate night will be interesting. i think of it as really two contests. to me, there's a contest to pick the nominee, then there's this
kind of ideas contest and sometimes they can even move in parallel, like, it may just be that the ideas -- a bunch of ideas get adopted as a consensus ideas of the party, for instance, we got to do something big on climate then whoever the nominee is sort of inherits that at the end of the long process. >> yeah, i think that's a good point. i just want to go back to something michael said earlier about the democratic party. look, i think that -- i take iron wi issue with that. i think the democratic party more of a big don't party, that's why you have so people running. you have a lot more diversity on the democratic party, not just ethic diversity, diversity of thought, ideas. for the past year we've all been picking apart this whole socialist debate and what lane different democrats fall in. on the republican side, it does tend to be a more myopic group of people, a more, you know, white male party. i think there are different people in the democratic party with who are looking for different things and i know we cautioned, let's not get in the circling firing squad but i think that, too, speaks of the party and that, you know, people
are a little more intellectually curious about things. >> well -- >> and i'm sorry, go ahead, chris. >> no, finish your point. >> i think people are more intellectual curious about where people. stand, you know, you can't just get on a stage and say we're going to build a wall and mexico's going to pay for it and everybody walks away and beli believes that. on the democratic side, you'll have people pick apart the statement and find out what it means. you're seeing that with some of the plans elizabeth warren has put out there and joe biden dustups we faced and even with mayor pete, what he's dealing with back in indiana. >> yeah, let me ask you this, michael, in response to that, i mean, you know, you got a new -- there's a new student debt proposal out by bernie sanders today that would essentially forgive $1.6 trillion or cancel essentially, pay through some of it in student debt. a new war tax that beto o'rourke -- it's been a real heavy policy focus. do you think that's clearly part of the drktsna of a certain par the democratic party, coalition, caring about policy, do you
think that's going to ultimately matter a lot in how voters decide their votes? >> sure. yeah, but is it going to matter more than, you know, who can beat donald trump? probably not. >> right. >> i mean, that's -- that's the big question i think on everyone's mind. i mean, the democratic party spans from left to mainstream liberal to centrist moderate. and all of those factions are represented. there are even conservatives in the democratic party. 15% -- >> south of that. >> -- of people who are democrats self-identify as conservative. it's very diverse ideologically. they will disagree on whether we need medicare for all or expansion of obamacare or this or that but they all essentially agree we've got to beat donald trump. that's the first thing everybody is going to be -- >> yes, the one point of complete unity is that. >> right. actually i think that's why this debate is going to be -- >> exactly. >> -- potentially perilous for joe biden. i wrote this in my column. i have a lot of affection for
joe biden, but he does not seem formidable when you see him up close. right? he's kind of a haulting speaker. he's all over the place. you don't see him be able to dissect donald trump if they were on the debate stage together. i wonder that some of this confidence that he's the most electable candidate will evaporate if he doesn't perform like that on the debate stage. >> can i respond to that? i think this whole thing that he's the most electable candidate is not necessarily accura accurate. when you look at polling you have to consider who's being polled. these are people typically older answering a land line. a lot of that fed into the whole rise, that joe biden is the most electable. there are people all across the country who never felt like joe biden was the most electable candidate which, again, i think this is why so many people will tune in tomorrow night. thr there are a lot of people, new voting electorate who are just coming in, some voters were 8, 9 years old when joe biden was named vice president with barack obama and they're just getting to know him and looking at him in 2019 through that lens,
comparing him to things that he did 10, 20, 30 years ago. >> yeah, the one thing i will say about electabilities in general, proposition joe biden or anyone else, is performance will matter for exactly that reason. right? >> oh, yes. >> right. >> people will cotton to folks whether it's joe biden or elizabeth warren or people that people aren't thinking about, if they're good in the debates, that will matter a huge amount in the argument of how good they would be against donald trump. michelle goldberg, tiffany cross, michael tomasky, thanks for being with me tonight. that's "all in" for tonight. "the rachel maddow show" begins now. >> thanks, my friend, much appreciated. >> you bet. >> thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. you might have heard the first presidential debate of the 2020 election will be held this week in miami on wednesday night and also on thursday night. which is why i am in miami tonight. i'll be here all week. tip your waitress. try the veal. we're starting to get reports about people setting up debate watch parties all over the country for wednesd