tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 8, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
twitter, facebook, instagram, and linked in. deadline white house with nicole wallace starts right now. hi everyone, it's 4:00 in washington, d.c. a man donald trump once described as quote a lot of fun to be with, 66-year-old billionaire financer jeffrey epstein was in court where he pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking with minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors. they say they seized a trove of photographs from underaged girls from epstein's residence over the weekend. the southern district of new york leading this prosecution of epstein. he was previously investigated in florida, and ultimately not prosecuted, a decision that could rock the trump administration in the coming days and weeks, along with members of epstein's circle who may also become ensnared. here's u.s. attorney jeffrey berman today. >> the alleged behavior shocks
the conscience, and while the charged conduct is from a number of years ago, it is still profoundly important to the many alleged victims now young women. they deserve their day in court. >> "the new york times" writes of today's charges, quote, mr. berman's decision to seek an indictment in manhattan was an implicit rebuke of the decision by prosecutors in miami in 2008 to enter an agreement with mr. epstein that allowed him to avoid federal prosecution and a possible life sentence, and here's where the story goes from lurid and tragic to potentially explosive for the trump administration. that implicit rebuke is a rebuke of a deal negotiated by a current member of donald trump's cabinet, his secretary of labor, alex acosta who previously served as the top prosecutor in south florida and negotiated that nonprosecution agreement for epstein. julie kay brown, investigative
reporter if the miami herald who has done ground breaking work on this story, work that happened to be credited today by the prosecutors in new york wrote this last fall, quote, acosta allowed epstein's lawyers unusual freedoms in dictating the terms of the non-profession agreement. the report adds, epstein and four of his accomplices named in the agreement received immunity from all federal criminal charges. but even more unusual, the deal included wording that granted immunity to any potential coconspirators who were also involved in epstein's crimes. as part of the agreement, acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary that the deal would be kept from the victims. that reporting from julie kay brown kicked off a fire storm of controversy around trump's labor secretary. but when trump was asked about acosta in february, he played dumb. >> mr. president, do you have any concerns about the labor
secretary related to the jeffrey epstein case. >> i don't know too much about it. i know he has done a great job as labor secretary, and that seems like a long time ago, but i know he's been a fantastic labor secretary. that's all i can really tell you about it. that's all i know about it. >> the old long time ago excuse, we have heard that before, and on epstein, trump's comments to new york magazine in 2002 stands out today. he gave that comment around the time period covered in today's indictment. the president said this, quote, i have known jeff for 15 years, terrific guy, he's a lot of fun to be with. it's even said that he likes beautiful women as much as i do, and many of them are on the younger side, no doubt about it. jeffrey enjoys his social life. but what's old is new, and today epstein is behind bars, at least until his bail hearing next week. also today, the white house and the president mum on both acosta and epstein. we are watching that space for
you, and that is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends, with us in new york, the aforementioned miami herald investigative reporter, julie kay brown. also joining us, former federal prosecutor for the southern district of new york, mimi roka, and former assistant director of counter intelligence, joining me, jeremy bash, former chief of staff at the cia and department of defense, and senior correspondent for boston's public news station, wbur, kim atkins, i want to start with you julie, i'm a fan of your journalism, your steeliness. can you take us through today's developments before you take us back to some of your original reporting that led us here? >> well, we had quite a throng of media at the federal courthouse here in manhattan and it started at 11:00 with a press conference by the u.s. attorney, jeffrey berman, in which he
displayed a huge sort of wanted poster of jeffrey epstein, basically with the mission of trying to reach out to more victims. and with the promise that they had a hot line that they could call and that they would be pushed right to the top of that phone chain, so to speak because he announced, and the fbi assistant fbi director announced as well that this is a priority for them right now, and they are going to do everything they can to put him behind bars for a long time. >> so julie, can you just take us through how we got to the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york holding up a wanted poster, publicizing a hot line to help bring out of the woodwork more victims when the last federal prosecutor who looked at jeffrey epstein sat in a conference room, i'm going to read some of your reporting back
for our viewers who may have missed this, and anyone who missed this reporting should go back and reread all of it. i reread it all yesterday. this is from some of your reporting in the fall about acosta who was the last federal prosecutor to look at epstein's crimes and to ultimately enter into a non-prosecution agreement with him. you wrote this, akos thcosta wo explain he was unduly pressured by lawyers, jack goldberger, roy black, a former u.s. attorney, former white water special prosecutor, you basically detail that acosta's defense here is that he was out-lawyered, but how did epstein end up walking away with no jail time and an arrangement that left the victims in the dark. >> well, they did a pretty masterful job of keeping this whole scandal under wraps.
they did a lot of this behind closed doors. they, quite frankly, misled not only the public but they misled the judge. did not even tell her the scope of mr. epstein's crimes that he was accused of and he never, of course, gave the victims an opportunity even to appear in court at the sentencing where they likely would have objected to him being charged. he was charged with a prosecution charge and this was all done without their knowledge, and the media really didn't know about it either. it was very carefully orchestrated so that no one would find out. >> i want to read, this is sort of, i think when we talk about the inequities in our criminal justice system, this scene depicts exactly what people worry about. you write this, on a muggy october morning in 2007, miami's top federal prosecutor, alexander acosta had a breakfast point with former colleague, jay
luckowitz, it was an unusual meeting, a rising republican star who served in several white house posts before being named u.s. attorney of miami by george w. bush. nld of meeting at the prosecute's miami headquarters, the two men both with roots in the prestigious washington law firm of kirk lanld aland, and e convened at the marriott, for the special envoy to north korea and a corporate lawyer, the meeting was critical, his client, jeffrey up steen wepste accused of, with young female recruiters coerced to having sex acts behind the walls of his mansion as often as three times a day. how did this reporting, i mean, they basically credit this reporting of yours with bringing this case back in front of federal prosecutors. can you just tie a line between what you describe in that stunning and startling scene,
and what may happen now? i heard you say on our air yesterday that there may be a whole lot of powerful people ensnared in the kind of conduct jeffrey epstein is guilty of. >> we don't have all the information from the investigation that they did in florida, but with the information that we have included a lot of e-mails that went back and forth between ensteen's defense attorneys -- epstein's defense attorneys and federal prosecutors. they were very collegial, more than cleaniollegial, how was yo weekend kind of thing, we'll meet here and meet there, and it just, it didn't sound like these were prosecutors that were handling a sex trafficker and trying to put him away in prison. this sounded like these were people who were almost working on the same side. that in itself was disturbing and on top of all of that, to have found out about this meeting, which quite frankly initially, i didn't really
understand the significance of it until i spoke with other federal prosecutors and when i told them about it, they went, whoa, that is really not, you know, something that should be happening. no u.s. prosecutor should be having a quiet meeting at a, you know, at a hotel with, you know, one of the lead attorneys for a defendant like this. and they were, you know, they pointed out to me that this really showed that there was a big problem. >> frank figliuzzi, and mimi, let me bring both of you into this. frank, let me start with you. i want to know from your perspective, just contrast what julie laid out that today the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york basically had a wanted poster up of jeffrey epstein looking for more victims to build his criminal case where in 2008, the defense attorney, a former colleague of then u.s. attorney alex acosta met off campus, off site, outside of the u.s. attorney
offices in south florida, and worked out what sounds like a non-prosecution agreement, so outside the norm that it would appear to me that u.s. attorney jeff berman rebuked it in his public statement today! yeah, nicole, i supervised one of the squads in the history of the fbi in the san francisco division. i served as the number two official in fbi miami division prior to this case coming out and i have to tell you something, as try as i might to think of any analogous plea deal where you would allow a defendant's case to go to the state, yes, maybe, that you would allow the state sentence to let you out on, during the week to go to your office, maybe. that you would let all of the accomplices off the hook and
then coconspirators, maybe, maybe not, but that you would hide, then, the plea deal from the victims in a sex trafficking case, no. so all of those totality of components to this deal, i have never seen before, particularly in a sex trafficking of minors case, so it smells very very badly, and the reason why i think the public corruption section of the southern district of new york, u.s. attorney's office is engaged in this case, is because it smells badly to them too. >> mimi roka that's exactly where i was heading with you. talk about the significance of the public corruption team, having this case, and talk about what kind of exposure, donald trump's secretary of labor, alex acosta may have for his conduct in this case. >> well, nicole, look, i think as, you know, frank and julie, and you have pointed out, there were so many red flags with that first florida plea that epstein
got. it was a slap on the wrist, a sweetheart deal, and i think we need to find out, what we need answers about is was it the result of something, you know, where acosta, his relationship with these defense lawyers, it was sort of an old boy's club. it was just a little too cozy or was it much more nefarious than that. was there actual corruption. there's no question it was wrong. there's no question it was unethical. there's no question it wasn't justice served and that is what made me so proud today was to see jeff berman and the assistant director of the fbi talking about justice for these victims. anyone that watched that press conference, really understood and believed that that is what they are seeking and that is what the prosecutors and the agents in this case are now seeking that has been denied for too long, and that's the way it should be. so the answer, though, to the
question of why that first sweetheart deal was allowed to happen, we don't know the answer yet. i think frank absolutely could be right. part of the reason at least that the public corruption unit in particular is involved in this case is that they are going to do a full probe of how those negotiations took place. was it sort of negligent, you know, sort of old school old boys network. that's the most benign explanation, i think, or was it something more calculated, more nefarious that could rise to the level of criminal corruption services. if there was some type of bribe offered to acosta, that could be a criminal charge. if he was offered, you know, obviously something tangible or intangible like the future promise of a cabinet position, i would like to know, sort of how this came about. is it just a coincidence that he
ended up as the labor secretary, and his explanation so far about why he was allowed his office to enter into this pretty shocking plea deal, just don't stand up so far, so i do trust that the southern district, if that's something they now have jurisdiction over, and that is still a big question to me, though, is sort of what they're able to probe with respect to how that deal came about, but if they are able to probe it, and if there was real corruption, i do believe that they will find it. i do think the public corruption unit could also be involved because there could have been public officials, whether they be minor ones or major ones involved in the actual sex trafficking operation. >> jerry abash, you know what they say, judge people by the company they keep. rick wilson tweeted today donald trump has three friends in jail, michael cohen, paul manafort and now jeffrey epstein.
>> the terrible irony is the secretary of labor is responsible for human trafficking. we have an endemic in our country, in our society, in which young women, young individuals are basically enslaved and the secretary of labor in our government is one of the officials responsible for stopping that. >> you're saying by letting him stay out of jail, he didn't -- i think he went to jail one day a week, out of jail six days a week, if there's evidence he committed crimes after that arrangement, he's basically an accomplice to that crime. >> it calls into question the judgment of the person who is enforcing the law with regards to human trafficking. i think there's a broader issue here, nicole, which is that this is an indictment not just of jeffrey epstein but an indictment of the legal system, a legal system that allows well connected, well heeled wealthy individuals to avoid accountability for crimes but individual prisons are filled to
the guild with people who don't have money, legal representation, african-american, come from minority communities and they have committed crimes that are victimless. eng it is -- i think it is an indictment of the entire legal system that needs to be addressed. >> i agree with that. julie is too humble to take credit for this, but the prosecutors made a point of pointing to her investigative journalism on this case as part of the reason they were standing there today indicting jeffrey epstein. pick up on jerry point, and the white house has dropped the ball. we played that sound of donald trump saying in february, oh, it's old, and where have we heard that before? we've heard that with roy moore, these are old allegations, with rob porter, his staff secretary, oh, these are old allegations. i mean, donald trump's reflex is always to feel defensive and protective to the accused man. >> and he will probably point to the fact that epstein pleaded not guilty to this as a denial. we have seen the president defend those who deny it.
today it's hard to get an answer out of the white house since there are no longer white house briefings and the white house has deferred questions about this today. i think this is something they will have to address because this is his labor secretary, and jeremy is exactly right, the labor secretary is the person in charge of investigating the same and protecting against the same sorts of crimes we are seeing now. we are talking about this is not a victimless crime. this is a horrible crime of trafficking of children, and the fact that this is connected to this white house, i think in any other administration the secretary acosta would no longer have a job already but they will have the very difficult task of defending him now. >> julie, immaterial to end where i started -- i want to end where i started. i wonder if you can pull this thread through your body of reporting, what you uncovered, what the victims have been through, what they were denied and what your understanding is of how this prosecution in the southern district of new york just so far on day one feels and looks different. >> well, it is a difference of
night and day, and i just would like to point out one thing at the bond hearing that they had today, jeffrey epstein's lawyers talked about these crimes that he committed and described them basically as victimless crimes, that these were not violent crimes, this was not sex trafficking at all. he, in fact, almost equated these victims to child prostitutes, which of course we know there is no such thing as child prostitutes. and so this is sort of a look at how the prosecutors, to some degree in florida, handled this case. these were not victims. they were child prostitutes in their mind when this happened, and i think that the -- mr. berman has made it very clear that this is a very serious crime and to try to characterize
this as anything other than a sex trafficking, really does a disservice to the criminal law enforcement community that works day in and day out to enforce these kinds of laws against children. >> frank vig lieu sooyou and i lot of questions, just talk to me about what this investigation might look like, the parts we don't yet see. we know they searched mr. epstein's residence, they found photographs. we know that the charges so far are for sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy for a sex trafficking of minors crime. there also, though, as julie points out at the top of the show, they are looking for more victims. what is sdny doing? >> there's going to be various components of this. and you can see it in the shape that we have already seen in the sense that there's a public corruption aspect to this. there's going to be the general
crimes against children aspect of this. you know who's going to play a huge role in this is the computer forensic examiners for fbi new york, they're going to come in, the fruits of that search warrant. we already know they found nude photos of apparent minors. by the way, that's huge from a legal perspective, why because when they have a detention hearing which may be scheduled for thursday, and they try to claim he's a flight risk, epstein should be detained pending trial, he may be an active offender. he's still in possession of child pornography. that's an additional charge. what i'm fascinating by is the forensic part of this. are they going to find communications dating way back, going back to mar-a-lago, going back to associations with donald trump, other players in this, there's affiliations with clinton, what are they going to find in communications and even are they going to find communications related to the
old charges in florida and now perhaps concern about new charges surfacing. >> we're always grateful to have you. julie brown, it's a privilege to have you, congratulations on the role your reporting played. thank you all for spending time with us. after the break, we have often asked on this show what foreign leaders say about donald trump behind closed doors. now we know, the private cables sent home to the uk from one of the top diplomats from one of america's oldest allies and if on cue, america's thin skinned president lashed out in the last hour. you don't want to miss this. trump defiant on the face of brand new reporting that his administration is subjects migrant children to at the board e filth, disease and unsanitary conditions in the hands of u.s. government officials, a growing humanitarian crisis with no end in sight, and as the 2020 democratic field loses one candidate, the rest of the field
out in full force this weekend. some candidates making their cases, others enjoying their surges and a couple seeking to reboot. all of those stories coming up. p [ referee whistle sounds ] [ cheering ] when you need the fuel to be your nephew's number one fan. holiday inn express. we're there. so you can be too. if you have moderate little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. 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. upper respiratory tract infection and headache may occur.
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if you have search results that are wrong or unfair, call reputation defender at 1-877-866-8555. as donald trump's bull in a china shop style foreign policy reshapes years of careful diplomatic progress, it's a question we keep coming back to time and time again. what are our most crucial allies saying behind closed doors away from the cameras about donald trump. well, now we have an answer. nbc news has confirmed the
authenticity of memos newly leaked to the daily mail, spanning, that reveal assessments of the trump administration, made by the british ambassador to the united states. from that, the memos were critical of trump's economic policies claiming they could wreck the world trade system, describe conflicts within the white house's knife fights and warned the worst cannot be ruled out in regard to allegations of trump's collusion with russia. in one of the most biting apre appraisals, saying quote we don't believe this administration is going to become more normal, less dysfunctional, less unpredictable, less diplomatically clumsy and inept. trump's trip to the uk was last month with that buckingham palace banquet and the fixings of an official visit. here's how trump responded on twitter two hours ago. i have been very critical ooabo
the way uk and prime minister may handled brexit, i told her how it should be done. she went another way. i don't know the ambassador, but he's not liked or well thought of in the u.s., we'll no longer deal with him. good news for the wonderful united kingdom as they will have a new prime minister. i enjoyed my visit. and you don't want to hear the last of that. joining our conversation, betsy wood rough, and peter baker, chief white house correspondent for the "new york times." peter baker, i must start with you. this is not normal but it is not surprising either, is it? >> well, no, of course not. he doesn't like to be criticized and unlike other presidents who often let that kind of slide off their back, president trump is of course going to respond. he's made that very clear now for more than 2 1/2 years in office, if somebody takes a shot at him, even one that was in private cables that were not meant to be public, he's going to fire back. you know, it's somewhat ironic
that he puts out in a tweet how much he was criticizing the british, and complains he's criticizing them. his criticism of the british is public, and they're still dealing with imhad. he's not willing -- with him. he was critical in private, again, not surprising, that's par for the course for this president. it's not true that the ambassador is not while liked. he's liked within trump's white house. his staff would show up the british ambassador. i think they are checking off their appointment book and crossing off things they might have had listed there had for the next few months to come. it is a breach and a big moment. this is our most important ally, and to have this kind of breach is problematic, as you know. well, i mean, i think what's problematic is when the truth bombs detonate, it's
problematic, because some of us like to pretend these things aren't the reality of the person running our country. this is what the ambassador wrote in a private cable, cables are supposed to be the most secure way, the way all diplomats communicate back to their home country. we don't believe this administration is going to become substantially more normal, i'm not sure that's indispute. less dysfunctional, less fact driven, less diplomatic clumsy and inept. it's not a personal or hyper boll hyperbolic, it would have been malpractice not to communicate that to his private government. >> and the ambassador te's statements here, his analysis is based on really good sources. you name it, some of the senior most trump administration officials got to know this guy. in other cables, darroch talks about cultivating people who
were very close to the president. for this ambassador, those relationships were his bread and butter. of course, just the same a journalist would, although in this case, the sources didn't have to worry about showing up in a newspaper. now, you know, that didn't work out. what we know however, in addition to this is that the kind of comments the ambassador made are not remotely outside the norm when it comes to the european diplomatic core in washington. his views are widely held, widely shared among our european allies. only difference here is people are scratching their heads about why he was foolish enough to put them in writing. >> you know who else, our own government, leaders in the intelligence community, even republicans on capitol hill, don't tell anybody. they actually believe that our white house is dysfunctional, it's chaotic, there's infighting, that trump's not going to change. when you want to tell him something, be simple. be blunt. that was the analysis that sir
kim darroch laid out for his government and that's dead on. i didn't think my opinion of the ambassador could go higher, because i thought he was one of the best ambassadors here in washington, and went way higher because his analysis was exactly correct. >> someone else with some truth bombs, congressman justin amash, here he is. >> when i was discussing impeachment, i had fellow colleagues and other republicans high level officials contacting me saying thank you for what you're doing. there are lots of republicans out there who are saying these things privately, but they're not saying it publicly, and i think that's a problem for our country. >> >> they have heard people in both parties give the same assessment. >> people in the white house. >> people in the white house giving the same assessment with this. this particular flub with the uk ambassador comes at a terrible time, though, because the u.s.,
assuming that brexit ever finally happens and it's done, the u.s. is going to have to negotiate a trade agreement with the u.s. and the uk will have to negotiate a trade agreement after brexit. that's one reason that he was brought over and wined and dined by the queen, something in his tweet. he liked the queen, all of his criticism was at theresa may who is leaving. there are some jitters that this could cause problems with that relationship as those negotiations move forward. otherwise, i think the most striking thing about this assessment as to what's said, i don't think any of it surprised anyone, and my favorite observation from darroch was that despite the dysfunction, the president has a high likelihood of emerging from the flames like the terminator, because somehow these controversies don't seem to stick to him. >> peter, i want you to get the last word here, one thing my experience in the white house taught me is sometimes the most
clear eyed assessment of our domestic policy, once an election is had, they have to live with the outcome, it is often the most clear eyed. for president bush, wasn't always the most favorable or generous, often the clear eyed analysis. did you hear from anyone inside who acquiesced? >> i haven't heard anyone disagree with it. well, i mean, you know, where do these stories come from. they come from people inside the white house, when you hear about factions and you hear about, you know, dysfunction and you hear about you know, these triable rivalries and infighting, the people involved were the ones, telling the story in the first place. of course they're not going to at least privately disagree with it. they might say things have gotten better this time or that time. maybe they like mick mulvaney, maybe he's doing a better job than his predecessors, nobody
can deny this was at least a reasonable assessment from a foreign government's point of view at a certain point in his administration. >> all right. no one's going anywhere. after the break, new reporting on the horrific conditions at the border has the president and his top immigration officials on defense. there's no end in sight to the humanitarian tragedy unfolding. we'll bring you the latest next. g we'll bring you the latest next. who used expedia to book the vacation rental which led to the discovery that sometimes a little down time can lift you right up. expedia. everything you need to go.
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you don't believe "the new york times" report? >> so you're asking -- >> stench of the children's dirty clothing was so strong it spread to the agent, they had scabies, chickenpox. why did you say unsubstantiated? >> you referenced three things that were unsubstantiated. inadequate food, inadequate water, and unclean cells. none of those have been substantiated. >> but you didn't deny them. that was acting dhs secretary, kevin mcaleenan, down playing a stunning and devastating piece of reporting in the "new york times" over the weekend. the times reporting on the
horrendo horrendous conditions at a migrant detention facility in clint, texas, which includes passages like this one, outbreaks of scabies, shingles and chickenpox were spread among the hundreds of children being held in cells. the stench of the children's dirty clothing was so strong it spread to the agent's own clothing. people in town would scrunch their noses when they left work. the children cried constantly. one girl seemed likely to kill herself. the agents made her sleep on a cot in front of them so they could watch her. the piece notes that border patrol agents who were aware of how bad the situation was are speaking out. a review of the operation at the clint station shows that the agency's leadership knew for months that some children had no beds to sleep on, no way to clean themselves, and sometimes went hungry. its own agents had raised the alarm and found themselves having to accommodate even more
new arrivals. the times report and coverage on cable news of it clearly got under the president's skin as he spent much of the afternoon yesterday lashing out at multiple outlets including fox news, on twitter about it, peter baker is here. i read this story, and if it doesn't make you stop and ask what the hell are we doing, i don't know what will. i didn't see anybody call this reporting inaccurate. i think unsubstantiated is sort of a government way to say, well, we didn't witness that with our own eyes. no one refuting this reporting. take us inside how this came to be and your understanding of the state of this facility, and the state of clear strain on the border patrol agents having to do the dirty work, put in motion by donald trump's cruel policies! >> yeah, this was a project we
undertook with the el paso times a local paper that has people on the ground. we interviewed not just, you know, not just activists and families and advocates but we interviewed current and former border patrol officers themselves because they're the ones who are dealing with this crisis, they are the ones dealing with this humanitarian situation at the border. they are the ones seeing it up close and trying their best to cope with it given the resources and opportunities they have available to them. it is a powerful piece of journalism. it has been unrefuted by neighbor, in any meaningful way because in fact it's true. this is a situation that's going on inside that station there and it's a reflection of where things are at the border right now, they're overflowing, they're not capable of handling the numbers that they have right there now. the money that has been approved by congress or the president presumably will do good. it takes a while before it
begins fl begins flowing in there. there are overcrowded facilities without resources and basic necessities for children who are detained there. >> kim, i read this story, and i thought here it is, the breaking humans other than the migrants they're mistreating, breaking people having to carry out the cruel policy, what comes through in the times, and el paso, is it the el paso times, peter baker? >> yes. >> it's not just the voice, the migrants, the children, without diapers, the details are horrific. you have a road map for congressional hearings on what the united states government is doing at the border in the reporting about the border agents. you can get a list of employees who work at clint, and you can call every last one of them and ask them to come to congress and testify under oath about what they were asked to do in service of donald trump's immigration policy. >> we will see that begin this
week as those hearings are set to begin. that's what makes it so puzzling, this response that these reports are unsubstantiated. at this point, we have seen first and heard firsthand accounts from not only reporters who have gone to these facilities, but many members of congress now, and presidential candidates who have gone to these facilities to the inspector general from the department of homeland security who flagged the conditions at these facilities months ago. we have seen all kinds of substantiate. it doesn't seem denying it is the best way to go about it. it seems at least from the top, the president, the fact that these facilities are like that, he sees it as a deterrent and an idea that the administration is being tough on illegal immigrants as a politically positive message for him! but where is the sort of stephen miller, donald trump, i guess, jared access of cruelty on
immigration policy rollout sgls what's really striking about the way the president has responded to this reporting, a core part of his message has been these types of conditions are defensible because we don't have a responsibility as a country to house people humanely when they're being detained. under the prior administration, there was tons of criticism from immigrants rights activists of the way, particularly that family detention was expanded. there was lots of criticism of the conditions at the border for people who were being detained. not once do you hear a senior political appointee or official in the obama administration say that the united states didn't have a responsibility just to acknowledge sort of the basic humanity of people who crossed the border and seek asylum in this country. that's where there's really just an unmistakable and incredibly marked change. >> i don't want to lose this thread because i think this is a point you have made when you said that the checks and balances on our treatment of prisoners at gitmo are more
strenuous, they are treated more humanely than the migrant children in our detention facilities and we have started the confeversation about how foreign leaders visit a country that is subjecting infants and children to conditions that we don't subject prisoners to. >> absolutely right, nicole. this is state sanctioned child abuse. it's not merely negligent child abuse. it's not even merely done under the color of law, it's done with purposeful, malicious intent to deter people from coming to our country and seeking asylum. which of course we have offered to people who are pressed around the world. that's been a hallmark of america, so the idea that we would undo that american policy by engaging in state sanctioned child abuse, i don't think there could be a more clear indictment of the way this administration has handled the crisis at the border. >> why isn't there more outcry? i mean, we started the show with the role that an investigative
journalist out of miami played in bringing the epstein case to the prosecutors a role the new york prosecutors, i'm proud to work at news organization, peter baker, they cover this day in and day out. why isn't there more of an outcry from democrats and republicans. >> because it's not white kids. it's people who are not american, mostly brown, coming into the country, and by the way, there is an imbalance, a significant structural problem with the way our immigration and slime system is set up. there's a very large funnel at the beginning, and at the end, the actual ability to get asylum is fairly narrow, and so you have an entire backlog. that is a near term recipe for humanitarian disaster. there is, by the way, a medium and long-term issues that are too hard to grapple with. i think congress does need to deal with this. the administration needs to deal with clear minded people on both
sides of the aisle, but the real answer is because it's not our kids in these terrible conditions. >> it's horrific. peter baker, congrats on the great piece of journalism in your paper, and thank you for spending time with us talking about it. the democratic field lost one candidate today but the rest are still in a mad scramble for headlines, dollars and momentum, we'll bring you the democratis state of play, that's next. e s s state of play, that's next ♪ when you have diabetes, dietary choices are crucial to help manage blood sugar, but it can be difficult to find a balanced solution. try great-tasting boost glucose control.
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weeks ago to somehow give the impression to people that i was praising those men who i successfully opposed time and again? well, yes, i was. i regret it. and i'm sorry for any of the pain or misconception i may have caused anybody. [ applause ] >> our heartfelt apology there from joe biden seeking to set the record straight about his record on civil rights expressing regret for his comments in the past for being able to work with
segregationalists. but as part of that apology, he sought to defend himself in this decades long time even making mention of his time working with president obama. >> as if my opponents want to believe i served from 1972 to 2008 and then took a hiatus the next eight years. they don't want to talk much about my time as vice president of the united states. i was vetted by he and ten serious lawyers he appointed to go back and to look at every single thing in my background from finances to anything i had done, everything. and he selected me. i'll take his judgment about my record, my character, my ability to handle a job over anyone else's [ applause ] >> joining our conversation garrett haake from new hampshire. that's where elizabeth warren is for a townhall. he's been helping us with all the 2020 headlines which
includes this one today, congressman eric swalwell announcing that he's dropping out of the race. but i want to start with joe biden, garrett. you made the smartest observation yet this cycle when you said that part of the reason biden gets stuck around the axel of these controversies is because there's not a volume business the way there is with trump where every gaff is replaced by subsequent gaff. biden's still talking about this comment. it's almost three weeks ago. what's the state of play for senator biden who still enjoys a lot of support in the democratic party? >> reporter: look, biden said yesterday that he waited to make this more fullsome apology till he was in south carolina because he wanted to address the to an audience who would feel the in the same way in which the was intended. but i think it's also an admission that they had to do this. this was not going to go away on its own. biden was in south carolina, what was the, two and a half weeks ago now for the democratic convention there, the fish fry, his interview with the rev al sharpton where he could have apologized at that point. democratic voters have been
telling me for weeks that they do want to see an apology, even if they don't think that joe biden said was all that wrong or was that crazy. they don't want a candidate who behaves like the president behaves. so i think this is a moment that biden, his campaign hopes they can turn the page. i imagine they probably wish he had deployed that obama line on the debate stage a week and a half ago. obama is still the ultimate validator for vb. his lack of an endorsement of joe biden by selecting joe biden is sort of the antidote to all of these questions about his past positions on race. they are at least hoping they can turn the page. i think it's an open question whether i think the other campaigns are going to let him. >> i'm also expecting joe biden to come out with a t-shirt with obama's face saying "i was vp." he is using obama as an ultimate defense for anything. i don't know if it's going to carry as much weight as i think he hope it's does.
nobody has run for president more in this race than joe biden. joe biden should know if somebody comes after you with your record about your record and about your own words in defending that record, you have to have a response to this. this is a presidential campaign with a lot of very good folks running as competitors. if he said -- first he said he wasn't prepared for it. and then the was sort of ham handed and he was given lots of opportunities including from reverend sharpton who was just, like, hey, this is something really offensive and gave him a chance and he didn't take that one. it's puzzling that he is -- he got knocked off his feet so easily given all of his experience in run, and he's going to have to fix that because this isn't the last controversy that he's going to have to explain. he's got the crime bill, he's got his time on the senate judiciary committee including the clarence thomas hearings with anita hill. he is going to do this. time and time again his opponents are going to more than ever now going to come after his record and he's got to be better
prepared to defend it. >> it is a good defense to say i was vetted, i was vetted by obama. obama scrubbed my record and the was good enough for him, the should be good enough for you. >> this moment is really interesting and important because as far as i can remember, it's the first point in the race when biden has gone all in using his time in the obama white house to defend himself against an attack. so this is going to be a really interesting way to test the efficacy of that strategy. the might be very successful. we just don't know at this point. we'll have to see where the polls are at in the next couple weeks. but it's very much a moment of testing to see just how much democratic primary voters are willing to forgive from o-biden, how much they're willing to forgive him for when he cites president obama. >> you know who'd be a great endorser of biden? obama. i think until obama comes out and explains who he supports, it's going to be hard for joe biden to give that narrative. >> garrett, i want to get to the
other headline real quick. eric swalwell calling the quits. >> reporter: yeah. i mean, look, not terribly surprising. he managed to squeak his way under the debate stage. he had a couple of moments but never really put together a coalition. the was hard to figure out what a swalwell voter looked like, what was the real ethos for his campaign to get going. he made the campaign from the get-go about gun control and stopping gun violence. he got to make that point in front of what was the 18 million people on the debate stage? that's a pretty good showing for him. what is he going to lose? he's most likely going to go back to the house, run for a safe seat and continue going to be a voice there. so what's the downside if you're eric swalwell? >> and that may explain why we have 28 people running for president. thank you so much for jumping on the air with us. we're grateful to you for doing that. we are going to. >> ek in our very last break. we'll be right back. if you live with diabetes,
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soccer team, the world champions. some good news. if you need to wallow in good news after everything going on in washington, get online and read everything. go back and watch the game, a high watermark so far in 2019. my thanks to betsy woodrough, jeremy bash and kim atkins. that does the for our hour. thank you so much for watching. i'm nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" with steve kornacki in for candidahuck todd starts . ♪ if it's monday, it's "meet the press daily." good evening. i'm steve kornacki in new york for chuck todd. we've got a jam packed hour with a lot of late developments including the latest on the jeffrey epstein indictment and the fallout from that which has been a spotlight on a whole bunch of his associates including president trump. we've also just