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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  July 13, 2019 9:00am-11:00am PDT

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msnbc headquarters in new york. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." bracing for barry. new orleans and the gulf coast preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. the latest on the storm's track and its impact, next. to drink out of a toilet bowl, i believe them. >> we do have a crisis at our border. it is one of morality. >> why were we not funding i.c.e. so we have a place to be able to put people when they come through border patrol? >> border stories. congress takes up the issue and then the vice president takes a trip to a detention center. you're going to hear what both sides are saying. strange farewell. what is behind the president's praise of his outgoing labor secretary? and what does it have to do with jeffrey epstein? but we begin this hour with breaking news of water rescues as hurricane barry is bearing down on the gulf coast. at this hour coast guard officials say they've rescued 11 people as well as some pets in taribone parish in southern
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louisiana. it's about an hour and a half sore so sou-- or so of southwes orleans. in the meantime, severe flooding shown in southern louisiana. that is almost totally submerged. wow. this is what the storm surge did to roadways in louisiana. you can see a roadway there. it is the south louisiana area very close to the gulf coast, and in spite of the danger, some folks have stayed put. a reporter from nbc station wdsu caught up with one homeowner in la feat riding out that storm. >> how are you doing right now? >> i'm doing good. it's going to be all right. everybody passing is going slow. they're seeing that the shed is almost under waitter. people who live in this community, we look after each other, make sure we take care of each other. >> and baton rouge is closing
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airports. they're expecting severe weather from this hurricane with winds up to 70 miles an hour and that will extend for the next few hours. right here in the studio with me meteorologist bill karins, he's minding all the radar. we'll begin with you, marianna, and ask you how plaquemine's parish is managing this. behind you it's a mess. >> reporter: not managing too well, alex, because there was no permanent levee system placed here, especially after katrina where areas of new orleans were enforced. this is southwest of new orleans and you can already see what barry has done to neighborhoods like it is one behind me, and the storm isn't even here yet. we now know it's been upgraded to a category 1 hurricane. it will make landfall as a hurricane with winds expected of
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75 miles per hour. i want to talk to the district attorney here of plaquemine's parish, charles ballay. what is your biggest concern right now, alex? >> our big concern is this water coming in and highway 53. we have transportation in and out of plaquemines parish and it will completely cut people off if this water continues to come in. >> we're talking, alex, about storm surge, we're talking about flooding. give us some perspective. you've been here your whole life, you've been through katrina. where does this storm rank and what are you worried about specifically? >> of course, this particular area, there are cattle ranchers, so the flooding and drouwning o cattle, but also the disruption in people's lives getting all
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the health care and medicine that they need. it disrupts all of that. and also word of getting this levee system done so they can have a little bit more piece and be able to build residences and feel safe. >> so a permanent solution, not temporary sandbags. that's what you're asking for. >> absolutely. we only have a few miles of area where we don't have a proper levee. we really need that done. it's slow getting that done, i guess bureaucracy of government, but we really need that done. what we're seeing right here, this is an annual event, almost, basically many, many times. >> thank you so much, charles. he mentioned the cattle rescues, and he with actually witnessed that, alex. i don't know if we're able to show you those pictures now. cattle being rescued. the threat of the flooding and the threat of that historic rainfall you mentioned putting those animals' lives at risk. >> it is remarkable, those pictures there. imagine how terrified those animals are. how far away are you from where
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those animals are? i look at the rushing water behind you. i'm just curious if there is water flooding the area where those cattle were. >> reporter: most likely, because we're about five minutes away from where that happened. so what charles referenced, which is the speed at which this water is going to flood that highway, that is going to happen most likely in the next couple of hours, cutting off entire communities, people and animals, alex. >> absolutely. very sorry to hear what charles was describing, that one single roadway splitting up that parish. do stay safe. we're going now to msnbc meteorologist bill karins. marianna referenced that as a category 1. >> it's onshore now, so it's not like an eye or anything. i didn't want to make a big deal
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it -- it's onshore now so it won't be growing anymore, and now it's a matter of it's starting to weaken with the winds, not with the rain, though. let's get to the numbers quickly. still moving very slowly. the most dangerous storms are the ones from the rainfall that move slow. that's barry. wind at 75 miles an hour. we'll have a lot of problems with power outages, but not structures being damaged. it's 40 miles south of lafayette, louisiana. our computers were telling us this all along. right after the storm makes landfall, the rain will start moving onshore rapidly. the yellow is the heavier rain, the red is the torrential rain. you know how the roads were empty, and in the last two or three hours, you see it moving onshore. now we're beginning with our main event, possibly historic flooding over the next two or three days. in alexandria, and eventually into arkansas as we go into tomorrow, especially tomorrow evening, so it's over louisiana
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for about 30 hours. you get caught in one of these rain bands, you could sit in heavy rain for a good majority of that time. that's the fear. it's one of the ugliest-looking hurricanes on satellite you'll ever see. the whole northern portion of the storm doesn't have clouds which are the thunderstorm tops, so the bottom half of the storm is the strong side. we haven't seen many problems with damage, and now is when we'll start to see all the issues. the number one issue is rainfall. the high risk of flash flooding, this whole area of pink in mccomb all the way down to the new orleans area. this is from our european computer model. this will be updating in the next two hours. it pin poinpoints the heavy. the pink is a huge area from the mississippi-louisiana border all the way to central louisiana, including the baton rouge area. that's where our greatest concern is for flash flooding and river flooding in the days ahead. of course, we still have hurricane warnings for the gusts on the coast.
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as far as new orleans goes, you'll probably see the strongest gusts in the next two or three hours and then the winds will die down. again, scattered power outages in areas with trees and that will be the main issue. alex, as we go throughout the rest of the storm, it will be monitoring who gets the heavy rain, how much rain they get, and then we'll talk about those river forecasts. right now central flooding is predicted in central louisiana, in the same spot where three years ago they had, quote, unquote, they're once in a lifetime flood of $17 billion of damage done. one other story i just read, in southern louisiana there was a trailer that had a tree fall on it. four people were trapped inside. in that tree was a huge bees' nest. the bees were stinging the people inside their trailer, and then when the rescuers came to get them out, they were all being stung, and so, yeah, all these little stories are ongoing. talk about the worst day ever, right in. >> oh, my gosh, that is adding
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insult to skbinjury right there. that's terrible. we'll tell you how the flooding is going at the bottom of the hour. let's go to washington, everyone. across the country, protests growing as mass i.c.e. raids are expected to start up tomorrow. to be targeted, at least 2,000 undocumented family members with deportation orders. but those who happen to be on the scene might also be detained. activists reminding undocumented immigrants of their rights, including the right to remain silent, and to ask for a search warrant for agents to enter their homes. yesterday there were protests against i.c.e. across the country. some mayors are vowing not to cooperate. >> this has nothing to do with crime. if anything, this hampers our ability to address crime in our communities, because you are driving communities underground. we don't need it and we don't want it in atlanta. >> we don't typically coordinate with any sort of immigration enforcement. that's not something our police department does. we don't know why miami was chosen. >> this is about fear again.
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all of our city personnel know, we do not cooperate with i.c.e. we tell people their rights, we protect them. >> what we are working on is doing everything we can to push back against what the trump administration is doing. >> all right, atlanta, miami, new york city, chicago there, and these are the startling conditions that vice president mike pence witnessed in an overcrowded detention center in mcallen, texas. nearly 400 men packed in sweltering cages where some said they had been detained for more than 40 days, and the stench reportedly just horrendous. the vice president blamed democrats, tweeting that they have refused to find additional bed space. >> what you saw today was that the facility here in mcallen is overwhelmed. i wouldn't take the word of people that are being detained here in mcallen for how they're being treated, but i'm very confident that they're being provided with shelter and water and food and access to health care and access to hygiene.
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>> well, earlier california democratic congresswoman norma torres reacted to the vice president's comments. >> he's absolutely deaf to humanity. the smell alone should have alerted him that we need to do more. what kind of a religious person goes into a facility like that, sees those people being held in cages and children behind prison cells and says, this is the best that we can do and americans should be proud? well, you know what, vice president, americans are not proud of what you are doing to those children. >> joining me now, texas representative lloyd doggett, a member of the ways and means committee. good to have you on the broadcast. i'm curious what you saw there with vice president mike pence blaming the democrats after witnessing these deplorable conditions at the detention center that he visited, and in addition saying he would not take the word of those that were
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detained there. what do you make of that? >> well, it's more pence. it seemed to me that he was on a photo op tour, a photo op tour that apparently excluded the mask that some of those that accompanied him had to wear because the odor was so strong from the unbathed people in this area. he also went out to see the children. i don't know if he thinks, as was claimed a couple years ago, that this was just a summer camp or a vacation bible school, but he clearly did not have the sensitivity to listen to people there that my colleagues who have been there, like congresswoman torres, congresswoman ocasio-cortez, saw the humanity and the pain and suffering these people are enduring and tried to reach out and get them the medical care and attention they deserve. there is just no reason in a country like this that we should have this happen. >> i'm going to be speaking to congresswoman chu as well who was there on that trip and see
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firsthand from her what she witnessed there. as far as congress is concerned, sir, it recent the passed a $4.6 billion humanitarian aid package. when are we going to see the effects of that funding reach these centers? what is that money going to be used for, precisely? >> well, that was my big concern in voting with the congressional hispanic caucus against that proposal, because i'm concerned that money we're told is for toothbrushes and soap will be diverted to detention and deportati deportation. the administration has no excuse now. they got a blank check, essentially, for this additional amount of money that they sought. they need to be relieving these conditions, and to blame congress after they got what they want is just more of the same old hypocrisy. >> but where is that money going? have they gone to hire more agents? that's something we heard. would money have been appropriated for that instead of tooth brushes, blankets, the
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soap, humanitarian needs? is that possible? >> it's possible. i'm very concerned about it. that's, again, why we voted no because we thought there were no restraints placed on this lawless administration. the money was there before then to address these conditions. it is a policy that relies on family separation, apparently to be continued this weekend, whereas we heard yesterday children as young as four months were being torn apart from their mothers. really recognizing the love that families have for one another as a way of discouraging people from escaping terrorism abroad and applying for asylum here and then using these wretched conditions that this policy has produced as an excuse to give the president a blank check for billions of dollars. >> sobering comment right there. let's move, sir, to the big day tomorrow, the imminent i.c.e. raids. the president has confirmed they will begin them tomorrow, so let's take a listen to him. >> it starts on sunday and they're going to take people out, and they're going to bring
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them back to their countries or they're going to take criminals out, put them in prison, or put them in prison in the countries they came from. we're focused on criminals as much as we can. >> that last part there, "as much as we can." first of all, do you take the president's word that that is specifically what they're focused on, especially because officials are saying the operation can target families, can target anybody who may be there in proximity visiting somebody who gets a visit from i.c.e.? >> alex, as you know, this president a always a man of his last word. i can't be confident of anything he says, but i do have experience of that right here in central texas where a couple years ago i.c.e. conducted a retaliatory raid against our sheriff who refused properly to cooperate with them on some of their detainers without a warrant. and what we found is of the people that they detained, more than half of them had no criminal record at all, and those who had a criminal record, only a few of them had very
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serious criminal offenses. you know, if there's someone out there that poses a danger to our community, i don't care whether they've been there five generations or five days, we want them detained and removed. i'm all for addressing the criminals, but the president and his minions are always referring to collateral. collateral means when a mother who is here who has american children is torn apart from them and they're placed in foster care. that's the policy the administration is pursuing. the president has talked about these as family raids. i think what he really envisions is, once again, using the love and the family ties as a weapon against people. it just will not help us to see people collaterally removed who have done nothing but enter our country without proper documents who are working and contributing here and who would be on a path to citizenship had the bill that the senate approved on a bipartisan basis six years ago
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ever been given consideration in the house. that's my feeling about it. >> congressman, given that you're there in a border state of texas, i'm curious what's been the response from your constituents and the extent to which they're worried about this. >> well, very concerned. i spoke last evening at the texas state capitol to a crowd of hundreds. part of the life for liberty vigils that were held all across america. my staff was in san antonio for the same and in washington. i think people realize that a private prison system to hold these people where taxpayers are being charged up to $775 per day per child is not only a waste of taxpayer money, but it is an invasion of humanity. we can't take everyone who comes to this country, but we need to treat those who seek asylum with respect, see that their claims are evaluated, that criminals are removed but families are not
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torn apart. >> texas representative lloyd doggett, thank you for your time with me on this saturday. i appreciate it. side by side. why president trump may have been considering the ballot box when he shouwered alex acosta with praise. we'll explain. we'll explain. play it cool and escape heartburn fast with new tums chewy bites cooling sensation. ♪ tum tum tum tums
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. new comments made just moments ago, everyone, from the former vice president while campaigning in new hampshire. joining me now from atkinson is
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nbc's mike menley who was at that detention center with mike pence. tell me about this. >> reporter: you can see where vice president pence was speaking at a house party. he talked about how his fight was about the battle of america, talking about the i.c.e. raids we expect this weekend, calling them sinful. but then we get to the q and a. we had a forum of questions from this audience, and the former vice president was asked about i.c.e. raids. he was asked whether he would nominate anita hill to the supreme court. let's take look at how he answered that question. >> i've had a long conversation with anita hill.
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in the last conversation, could you vote for joe biden? she said yes. didn't say she will, but she said yes. a little blown out of proportion here. the fact is i think it's important that the courts look like the country. >> reporter: that anita hill controversy was one of the first biden faced as a candidate about how we handled the supreme court confirmation hearings for clarence thomas. he was asked today about his vote to authorize the 2002 bwar in iraq, biden saying the mistake he made was trusting george h.w. bush about not launching the war itself. he approached that moment with shock and awe. biden really showing signs of that debate performance, and he knows he can no longer stay above the fray. we also saw him mixing it up with some of his opponents here, especially on the issue of health care. he said we really can't go back
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to scratch. we have to build on the affordable care act. >> thank you, mike memoli. bracing for the biggest storm for the people in louisiana, next. m for the peopl louisiana, next. when the hot sun hits your ice cream lick fast like a cookie dough ninja. apply that same speed to the ford hurry up and save sales event. for the first time ever get 20% estimated savings on select ford models, plus earn complimentary maintenance through fordpass rewards. it all adds up. don't you love math? so get here asap because tasty deals and summer go fast. get in or lose out on 20% estimated savings on select ford models, plus earn complimentary maintenance through fordpass rewards. who used expedia to book
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court. some new news about hurricane barry. officials are warning about consequential flash flooding while parts of mississippi, alabama and louisiana are already under water. it is expected to be a threat to residents until early next week. let's go to bill karins. hurricane barry, now that it is a hurricane, what are the expectations? >> the name doesn't really change what the expectations are. there are different types of flooding. you can get flooding from storm surge which most of the pictures we've been showing you is. that's the winds taking the water and slowly piling it up and raising the water heights on the coastal areas. this area of the country is built for big, huge storms, so a tropical storm with 3 to 6-foot storm surges, you see water where you typically don't see it, but one guy said we get
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these once a year when a storm goes through. by the time we get to 24 hours from now, the water will start to go bye bye and people can go back in their homes. it's the rainfall that will be the issue. that's going to pile up in the rivers and that will continue to the middle of the week. there is some debate going on even in the weather community. the actual hurricanes usually give us this big alert the storm has made landfall. at the 11:00 advisory, they're saying it's still moving onshore. it's just for the textbooks, doesn't really make a difference. all the heavy rain is starting to move onshore. so these bright reds and yellows on our radar, that's where we'll get the setting. on the mississippi coastline, it's pouring from biloxi to mobile. you've been in torrential rain all morning long. it's going to drag this huge blob north to central portions
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of the state. that's why we have watches going from memphis southward, little rock, alexandria, and biloxi. we have no red. this map will be filled right here in the southern portion of the state because that's where we think the flash flooding will occur. the big question is, how much rainfall are we going to get? you notice not much in lafayette. look where the bull's eye is from morgan city, and the computer is saying baton rouge has a chance of getting 18 inches of rain. that's why we're so concerned with the baton rouge area. new orleans even with five or six inches could have problems with flooding. it's a rainfall forecast, it's a rainfall event and all that water just piles up. we're just waiting to see how bad it's going to be, alex, but
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odds are in our favor for historic in portions of central louisiana. let's go back to politics and the resignation of secretary of labor alex acosta now adding to a lengthy list of departures from the president's cabinet. the president, with acosta on saturday, said he came to the decision on his own. >> he has been a fantastic secretary of labor, and alex called me this morning and he wanted to see me, and i actually said, well, we have the press right out here, so perhaps you just want to say it to the press. but i just want to let you know, this was him, not me, because i'm with him. he is a tremendous talent. he's a hispanic man. he went to harvard. >> joining me now, josh ger steen and msnbc contribute tore lawy laura bassett, freelance
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journalist. you know you have family in the area of new orleans and you were texting them. you have a look of concern on your face. i hope your family will be okay. >> that's right, my family is right in the path of the storm. i'm from southern louisiana, and i hope everyone stays safe down there. >> on your network, you were saying you were surprised acosta's name was even put forth in the first place as potential nominee for labor secretary because of the epstein case. now that you've seen what's happened in the last 24 hours, what are your thoughts? >> i feel like this is another major breakdown in vetting. i know people have been eager to leave us at the foot of the trump administration or the trump white house and certainly much of the blame belongs there. i think the u.s. senate realistically has to shoulder a lot of blame for this as well. the basic outlines, and many of the details of the epstein saga, have been known for years and years. within literally minutes of acosta being nominated, various
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news outlets, including politico, had stories up about his connection to this very sketchy deal involving jeffrey epstein. and for whatever reason, the u.s. senate didn't choose to pursue that aggressively when he came up for confirmation. i think we can all sort of try to guess why they might have given him a relative kid glove treatment. i think it was only senator tim kaine that asked a couple questions. other senators ignored the issue and he was allowed to skate by, confirmed, and then lo and behold, new charges against epstein and the whole thing blows up two years later. the whole thing is shady. >> laura, what do you think about acosta at his side and the president praising him? >> i think he's the 13th of his cabinet members to leave and/or resign, and it's starting to look embarrassing for trump, for someone who said he was a
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businessman, whose talent was hiring the right people. i don't think he did anything wrong. i think he's a great guy. he's choosing to do this. he's doing damage control. >> so, josh, there is a theory out there that the president wants to stay on good terms with acosta to pander to florida constituents, particularly the hispanic vote in places like miami, something you were potentially alluding to. is that more than a theory? is that far-fetched or do you think this is pretty concrete? >> i don't think it's far-fetched at all. even when acosta was named, he had the endorsements of, for example, florida senator marco rubio, some very prominent political consultants down there close to the latino community said he had a squeaky clean record. i don't think that could have been squared two years ago with what we already knew about the epstein saga, but i do think that was a factor. when you have the president come out and give a vote of confidence for someone who is basically leaving his administration in a cloud, i do think there has to be something else going on.
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>> what about the questions also surrounding the president's past relationship with epstein? let's take a listen to what author james patterson who wrote a non-fiction book about epstein's arrest in florida. >> epstein was a member or at least he was allowed to go there. he apparently was inappropriate with the daughter of one of the members and trump threw him out. >> jeffrey epstein was not somebody that i respected. i drthrew him out. in fact, i think the great james patterson who was a member of mar-a-lago made a statement that many years ago i threw him out. i'm not a fan of jeffrey epstein. >> first up, josh, what do you think james patterson's angle is on all of this with his defensive stance for much of it, and how much does the president's history with epstein really matter? >> well, it matters to some extent. i mean, the president definitely
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interacted with epstein on numerous occasions. the president is trying to run away, it would appear, from quotes like the one that he gave about 15 years ago to new york magazine where he called jeffrey epstein a terrific guy, and then went on to say that he understood jeffrey epstein liked women, and i think the phrase is "on the younger side." so the president had more knowledge of jeffrey epstein than he's sort of letting on to here. i do think it is correct that epstein used to hang out at mar-a-lago a little bit. and there was a claim from one of the women who was one of the fbi victims in this case, that she was actually reached out to and solicited at the mar-a-lago resort when she was working as a towel girl. so it does cross paths with the trump saga, but i don't know if you can blame him for the entirety of what transpired here. >> laura, i want you to weigh in on this, get your reaction to all of it. >> trump and his team are
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masters at covering things up, a master about what they can see with their own eyes. he's been accused of more than 21 women of sexual harrassment. he has his arm around epstein years ago saying he's a terrific guy and now saying, i'm not a fan. i think they were friends. he was a member of mar-a-lago. he was sent out to do a tour kind of defending him, and that's what he's doing. i don't think we should put any stock in what patterson says. they will uncover whatever they uncover, and men like trump will be implicated. >> thanks to you both. the crisis at the border putting a spotlight on u.s. customs and border protection. we're going to speak with a former border patrol agent turned immigrant rights activist. that's interesting. next. activist that's interesting next hilda, i like the new do. got some layers in there, huh? the more, the merrier. got to have this stuff in the morning.
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breaking news as we're keeping a close eye on hurricane barry as it moves into louisiana. record winds are expected. the coast guard says rescues are ongoing. people and pets have all been plucked from ta rirks arktaribo. the intercept reports that the chief of border patrol
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posted in the secret facebook group in which agents mocked the death of migrants. within that secret group, carla provost says these posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity i see and expect from our agents day in and day out. any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable. jen, good morning to you. the question first out of the gate here, what inspired your move from agent to activist? >> it was basically many years of seeing that the agents that i was working with were actually committing more crimes and had more immoral and unethical behavior than the people i arrested on a daily basis who were just coming here to seek a
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better life or coming here to seek asylum. i couldn't do the job anymore and maintain my own personal values. you know, as immigration has progressed and it's gotten worse with the border patrol growing like four to five times as big as it was when i was an agent, everything we see and has been reported in the trump administration, i just couldn't keep my mouth shut anymore, especially when they started separating children from their parents just to try and deter people from coming, because that's not going to work and they know it's not going to work. >> so it sounds like there is just a cultural sense that you just could not agree with there, but the incident that i described about the secret facebook group, do you feel that's an isolated incident? that the facebook group is there, we know it exists, we believe it does according to the intercept reporting there.
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is that commonplace? >> oh, that's very commonplace. i wasn't surprised at all by it. and i don't think carla provost should be surprised at all. she was in the academy just a month ahead of me, and as a female agent, it's not unheard of to be sexually assaulted by fellow agents. i was in the academy. and they didn't do anything about it. in fact, they warned me that if i did go forward, i would end up having to recycle through another class. so most women go through this in the border patrol, and that's why the border patrol numbers are so low. and as far as the racist memes and so forth, that's fairly common as well. border patrol agents have racist terms that they use for migrants. you know, that's just what it is. it's always been that wayme. but i do feel that it's gotten
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much worse since i was in. >> your story is horrific, and i don't want to go into that in more detail right now, the fact you just mentioned your experience. i hate hearing that. but what do you think the proportion is of the extent of border patrol that falls into this category that you find offensive? is it 50%, 70%, 20%? give me a ballpark. >> i think it's more like 80 to 90%, to be honest with you. i really do. and i think that also because when you see that the chief of the border patrol is one day saying one thing, this isn't who we are and these people should be held accountable, and then the very next few days you find out, oh, she's a member of that. then you find out that some of the union heads like art de del queto is on television all the time and before congress and telling people how honorable the border patrol is and that
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they're not racist and they're great people with good morals and values, and he's a member of that same group. so i'm just not buying this. a and i don't think anybody else should. >> jenn, is there a silver lining out there? we're getting into this discussion right now and people can hear it for themselves. >> yeah, definitely. i mean, i think the silver lining is that you can have security on the border, and you can have border governance where we are protecting ourselves, but at the same time we have humanitarian actions, and we don't put people in cages because they need help. and there are a lot of people that are working down here on the border to make that happen. and that's where, i think, that we need to be going. that's where i'm hoping that we can get the rest of the country behind, and that border communities can have a say-so in how they're policed and stuff.
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i think it's necessary to have this conversation. >> jenn budd, i appreciate your candor in sharing your experiences. >> thank you much. it is one area with president obama that could cost him dearly. but enough to lose his white house bid? we'll discuss. you might take something for your heart... or joints. but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally discovered in jellyfish, prevagen has been shown in clinical trials to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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now to the race for 2020. former vp joe biden in first place among democrats in the latest nbc "wall street journal" poll. kamala harris is making claims. protesters challenging biden on deportations that took place during the obama administration. they said, we haven't forgotten 346 d peportations that took place. and here is how he responded. >> trying to straighten that out there. joining me now, policy strategist elena beverly who worked for the obama administration. talk show host and author bill press and strategist rick tyler
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and msnbc political analyst. good to see the three of you. let's see, bill, i'm going to start with you on the balancing act there by joe biden. are progressives going to take issue with that explanation? does it sound like he's affirming the trump administration's approach these looming i.c.e. raids? >> no, no, not that at all. you cannot equate joe biden with donald trump, but on your point, alex, look, i think people remember joe biden most for, of all the things he's done, for eight years he was vice president to the first african-american president barack obama. that was what is i believe his long suit, his strongest suit and it could be his weaker suit because some people disagree with what barack obama did. barack obama was known as a deporter in chief. there were so many people deported under him. i wrote a book called "buyers' remorse." i don't remember joe biden speaking out again that, by the
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way. that's not something that will help him in the latino community. i think joe biden is going to get credit for some of the good things that happened, he'll get blamed for some of the not so good things that happened. but in the end, i believe the good of the obama administration will far, far, far outweigh the not so good. >> let's get to the woman here who worked for the obama administration, elena. joe biden and what he was saying there, i'm going to read the quote, he says, i will not apologize for the deportation if that person committed a felony. i will apologize if the family was separate. will th separated. do you think people support removing felons from the united states that are not citizens? >> look, alex, i could draw a very stark contrast from my time in the white house and a contrast between obama-era deportation policies and the current trump administration,
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but i think that vice president biden needs to use this moment as an opportunity to change the narrative, to move away from the myth of the criminal immigrant to make sure that we are lifting up our common human dignity and talk about the fact that there is a policy agenda that he has that will be compassionate in terms of immigration reform. we have five other contenders in 2020 that have unveiled very robust, comprehensive and compassionate immigration policies. this should not be about framing whether or not someone was convicted of a felony or conducted felonious actions, because you could decriminalize crossing the border in an unauthorized fashion. so what i would like him to do is move away from this apology/non-apology tour and focus on comprehensive, compassionate and humane
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policies. >> rick, to you now. we have the former obama election campaign manager jim acina who is pointing at the economy in the race of 2020. take a look at this. >> he's an incumbent president who, if he did anything reaching out to swing voters with 70% approval rating of the economy currently should be in okay shape. he's got a much better economy and much better situation than barack obama did in 2012, than george bush did. >> do you agree with that, sflik isn't it a big "if" when he says if trump reaches out to swing voters? >> trump is not going to reach out to swing voters, and they plan to use all the money they give away to demonize whoever the democratic nominee is. and that's going to be a real problem. i think jim's overall point is
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when you have an economy as strong as it is, and it is strong. there are some weaknesses in it but overall it's very, very good, trump's numbers, he should be in the 60, 70% approval rating. he's not. he can't get out of the 40s. elena and bill will correct me if i'm wrong, but i think the way the obama administration decounted deportations is different than the trump administration meaning they turned it to deportations as opposed to i.c.e. conducting raids and sending those people. that's a distinction that biden focused on rather than immediately going to who is a criminal. >> let bill respond first, and then you, elena. >> rick is right in that definition, if you will, and obama got blamed for that.
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i hope donald trump just focuses on swing voters. he'll make the same mistake so many politisitivelliticsitivell. i would say look, dude, you lost the popular vote by 279 votes. this is not a time to be cocky, this is a time to reach out to swing voters. >> elena, last word to you. >> i could clearly draw distinctions between the obama-era policies, particularly to our faithfulness of due process and protecting our rights under the law and making sure there was a humanitarian approach to those deportations. i could quote cecilia nunez who is a director of policy control and a former advocate herself. i think we're comparing apples to oranges, but i think it's important for all of our candidates to look forward to the future in developing new and involved policies that make sure that we are compassionate in our
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immigration. >> okay. elena, rick, bill, it's all good. thanks very much. pelosi versus the squad and the call for democratic unity. what will it take for that to happen? to happen ♪ limu emu & doug
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next up, battering the bayou state. hurricane barry delivering record rainfall and triggering high water rescues, and the worst may still be ahead.
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>> doing their level best to provide compassionate care to these families in a manner the american people would expect. >> defending the detentions. why the vice president's remarks after visiting detained migrants raises even more ire among critics. >> people have come into our country illegally. we're focused on criminals. >> and the i.c.e. raids, the alarm on the eve of the scheduled roundup. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." we bring you breaking news on hurricane barry in three states. destroying roadway in louisiana in the fourth parish. flooding in jefferson parish. that has almost totally submerged a cemetary on highway 35. and baton rouge, residents there are doing some last-minute stocking up. officials there closed airports. they're preparing for severe
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flooding. in fact, over 18 inches of rain in the next 48 hours. coast guard officials, they're also saying water rescues are ongoing. they've rescued at least 11 people and pets in taribone parish. covering for louisiana, nbc's mary ann a tentencio in plaquem parish. the latest from there tells us what about this storm? lots of flooding, it looks like, behind you. >> reporter: that's right, alex, hurricane barry has already hit plaquemines parish in southern new orleans. i was standing in front of this scene at 4:0 0 in the morning today. it was an open field, alex.
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now it looks like a river. before we discussed with your audience about that cattle being rescued that i witnessed, and is i asked where that cattle was. it turns out they were rescued from this very field. because what our bill karins has been saying on the air, it is the storm surge, it is the flooding and the possibly historic rainfall, 10 to 20 inches that are threatening these areas now. in a place like plaquemines parish, there is only one highway in and one highway out, and most likely when you see the force with which this water is coming through, that highway is going to be flooded pretty soon, cutting off the people in these communities. and i think, alex, we really cannot underestimate the memory of hurricane katrina for many of the people here. even though the storm is nowhere near katrina levels, it happened 15 years ago. it is on the back of everyone's minds and that's why people have evacuated these areas and are not taking this very slow-moving storm lightly at all. alex? >> i have to tell you, i
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appreciate what you did there because we were concerned about how far away you were from the cattle, from that rushing river. and to think that where you are right now was a meadow or a plains on which those cattle were grazing, and just look at it. that was just from this morning. what does that portend for the whole area around you? >> reporter: it's a lake right now, alex, and that's why authorities keep telling people they should not be wandering around, should not be driving about. that's what people think, a category 1 isn't serious but it's what you don't want to be caught in. >> you don't want to be caught in that at all. let's go to nbc meteorologist michelle grossman. you see all that water. as she said, it's a lake and it's somewhere cattle were grazing this morning. that's just extraordinary. talk about where we are with this storm. >> hi, alex. she does such a good job, every
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single report, and it really does tell the story. this is a flash flood story and a life-threatening flash flood story. this will be the story at least until wednesday. we're seeing that water that needs to find its way to rivers, streams and creeks and we'll see what damage is being done. let's talk about what's happening now. barry did make it to a category 1 storm. that's not the big story. we'll have winds and power outages but the story here are the rains, and we're finally starting to see these rains. it was a strange storm. we had all that water over the ocean for so long, and now we're starting to see this come together and we're starting to see these heavy bands. where you see the darker colors, the oranges, the reds, that's really heavy rain, and the problem is we're going to see it over the same areas day after day. so at least until sunday, and then monday, tuesday, wednesday we'll see where that damage is done. let's see what we're going to do in terms of the track. a category 1 storm.
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we'll move very slowly, at a walking pace, 5 miles per hour. that will happen over the next several days. this will go out until tuesday and wednesday. we'll see coastal areas getting that rain. and once we go inland to arkansas, also mississippi getting buckets of rain over the next day or so, and then it will finally make its way into the tennessee valley, eventually into the northeast. let's swing by and look at some of the flash flood watches that's in effect. again, we see where the green is. that's going to be your watch involving tennessee, also arkansas, little rock involving alexandria. for new orleans, this shifted to the west. baton rouge and areas to the west will really be pummelled with this rain. these are staggering numbers and this will be a big problem in terms of houses, homes, businesses. a lot of money is going to be involved with this over the next several days. 18.5 inches expected in baton rouge. we're really going to watch that over the next several days. it depends where these bands set
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up in the next 48 hours, and that's what we're going to be watching. wind gusts, we're not talking about huge wind gusts, but power outages. we've seen trees on cars, we've seen trees on trailers, and that will happen again over the next several days with wet grounds, with the trees coming down, so we could have destruction there as well. let's go to the wind gusts as we go throughout time here. we're looking at 58 new orleans, 58 baton rouge, 20 as you head to the north. we'll talk more about that but we're going to focus on the rain and watch that over the next several days. >> michelle grossman, thank you for that. let's go to baton rouge and morgan chesky is there for us. is seems baton rouge really has a bull's eye on it, that it's heading your way. >> reporter: it certainly does. keep in mind we're about 70 miles inland, but that's not bringing anyone any sighs of relief in this area. what they're worried about is
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that 18 and a half inches of rain expected here, and particularly in certain neighborhoods like this one where i'm standing, we're less than a football field away from a bayou. that can be a massive problem when you have significant rainfall. the memory here is very fresh. just back in 2016, they had an incredible flood that did millions of dollars of damage here. tim johnson was here when that flood took place back in 2016. here we are about three years later, tim. you see this rain already coming down from barry and what's going through your head right now? >> we're just hoping and praying that it doesn't get as bad as they say it's going to be. >> reporter: what do you do when you think it's going to be as bad? >> you pick things up as much as you can and housewise due to furniture, and as far as appliances and all, you can't do a whole lot about it. hopefully it doesn't get in the house like it did last time. >> no doubt. back in 2016 you stayed as long
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as you could. when you did come back here, it was by boat. >> yes. >> and how high was the water right here? >> the water was right to the pinstripe on the truck here. we had 38 inches of water in the house itself. >> yinside? >> yes, inside. it was a lake back here. you had to wade through it and the street was over six foot deep. you had to swim through it if you wanted to go that way. >> how long were you out of your house for that? >> we were out of the house for almost a year, almost a full year before we got back in, got the house rebuilt, remodeled and everything redone. >> tim, you know they're saying this storm is going to bring even more rain than that storm back in 2016. >> we're just hoping and praying it doesn't. that's all we can do, you know. hopefully it will maybe skirt around us and not drop as much. so things may be not as bad.
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>> fingers crossed. tim, thank you so much for talking to us. alex, that sentiment by a number of people who live in that area. 2016 was a massive event that a lot of folks here are just getting over from, and that's why all eyes are on barry moving inland. alex? >> such heartache for all those members. i want to take you back to plaquemines parish. just look at the rushing waters. it's all about the water with this storm because it's a slow-moving storm and that water is just going to be coming for quite some time. we'll take you back there as needed. meantime, as we said, to politics and the undocumented immigrants across the country now in fear of being arrested and potentially separated from their children. the president confirmed i.c.e. raids will be starting tomorrow, targeting at least 2,000 family members with deportation orders. but those folks who happen to be around, they might also be
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detained. activists reminding undocumented immigrants of their rights, and yesterday there were protests against i.c.e. across the country. new york city mayor bill de blasio tweeted today that he has received reports of, quote, attempted but reportedly unsuccessful i.c.e. enforcement accidents in sunset park and harlem. >> you are addressing crime in our communities because you are driving communities underground. we don't need it and don't want it in atlanta. >> we don't typically coordinate with any type of enforcement immigration. that's not something our police department does. we don't know why miami was chosen. >> this is about fear again. all our city personnel know we do not cooperate with i.c.e. we tell people their rights. we protect them. >> what we're working on is doing everything we can to push back what the trump administration is doing. >> vice president mike pence
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witnessed firsthand overcrowding detention conditions of immigrants. this is what he saw in mcallen, texas. nearly 400 men packed in cages where some said they had been detained for more than 40 days and the stench was reportedly horrendous. the vice president blaming democrats, saying they have refused to find additional bed space. >> what you saw today was that the facility here in mcallen is overwhelmed. i wouldn't take the word of people being contained here in mcallen for how they're being treated, but i'm very confident that they're being provided with shelter and water and food and access to health care and access to hygiene. >> and in this last hour, i asked democratic congressman lloyd doggett when would detention centers start to receive some of the $4.6 billion that democrats have approved for financial aid? >> i'm concerned that the money
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for toothbrushes and soap will be diverted to deportation. they have no excuse now. they got a blank check, essentially, for this additional amount of money that they sought. they need to be relieving these conditions, and to blame congress after they got what they want is just more of the same old hypocrisy. >> joining me now, wanda sauers for the political press and francesca for "the daily mail." the white house and democrats are painting two different pictures of migrant facilities. why the discrepancy? >> well, that's exactly it, and by the way, alex, what's very interesting about this is president trump said yesterday that he would visit one of these detention centers or the facilities, but he hasn't been yet, and that's part of the dispute that's taking place. president trump says that democrats are lying about the conditions at the facilities but he hasn't yet been.
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he sent vice president mike pence instead. now, the vice president says networks aren't showing some of the conditions for the families and the children, children who were seen watching television in spanish. instead they chose to focus on the migrant men in cages. so a massive dispute going on about how these migrants and the migrant children are being treated specifically. sdpl >> but what is not in dispute, a lawnalana, congress approved $4 billion for along the border. where has this money gone? where hasn't it gone, i think is the question? >> so we saw from visiting mike pence that these folks are living in inhumane conditions. they're overcrowded, there is concern for their care and whether or not they're suffering, and it seems to back up what we saw in that report some time ago which describes
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these conditions. it is not clear to me at this time where that money is actually going and how it is changing the care, but i think we can agree from what we've seen there this week that these are facilities that are certainly overwhelmed and that the agency is struggling to figure out a way to house these men and women and children. >> yeah. and perhaps more people who will be rounded up in these i.c.e. raids tomorrow. and, in fact, the president has confirmed they're happening tomorrow, francesca. officials in the past have warned about the dangers of disclosing the timing of such operations, the same kind of thing we get from military operations. don't say exactly what we're doing and where we're going. so why does the president continue to publicize it? >> president obama wants to make it clear to illegal immigrants that if they come to this country illegally, they are subject to be deported. this was something, by the way, that we heard about on the stage behind me today here at the netroots nation conference. there was a panel of women,
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including rashida tlaib, who were talking about this very subject and about the conditions for the migrants in the detention centers and also the i.c.e. raids, and saying that this is going to be very traumatic and very scarring for these migrants and illegal immigrants, and it's something they'll never be able to forget and it's a very, very dark time in our nation because of the president and his border policies. >> and there will certainly be after-effects of it all. one of you, first the reaction of bob mueller's testimony now scheduled for july 24. what's behind the postponement? >> we're still hearing more of those details from some of the chairmen of these committees, but what's been clear to me this week in speaking with lawmakers on capitol hill as well as activists in philadelphia, they want to hear from robert mueller. he's made his statement saying he doesn't plan on saying anything outside the scope of his report.
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they believe more needs to be said. they believe that's part of the fact-finding, as nancy pelosi, the speaker, has described it, that needs to go on to learn what the next step should be as they do a checks and balances role with president trump and his administration. >> i'm curious, fran kes sa, how the white house is looking at these delays. do they want to get it over with or are they indifferent about it? >> well, president trump says that there is nothing else that robert mueller could have to say on the topic. he continues to claim that -- he ruled that there is no obstruction which is not what the special counsel said and also claims that there was no collusion, so he seems to think there will be nothing new out of what is coming out. however, this delay in timing is beneficial to the white house because now congress will go out of session two days after the special counsel testifies, which will definitely blunt the calls that could come out of that for the president's impeachment which is something that we've heard more this week from representatives about when they would have had a week before.
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that would have created more of a rising tide for the white house to address it, but with only two days left it will be much easier for the white house. >> good to see you both. the feud between aoc and nancy pelosi. is it about race or policy? we got some answers, next. answe. award winning interface. award winning design. award winning engine. the volvo xc90. the most awarded luxury suv of the century. ...or trips to mars. $4.95. delivery drones or the latest phones. $4.95. no matter what you trade, at fidelity it's just $4.95 per online u.s. equity trade.
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breaking news along the gulf coast at this hour as barry has apparently crossed onto land in
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south central louisiana. it is a category 1 hurricane. winds are expected to maintain that 74-mile-per-hour wind speed threshold. water has certainly already covered parts of snew orleans, and while that storm is expected to inflict the most damage in louisiana, it's expected to affect 3 million people this weekend. there are state emergencies in louisiana and mississippi. authorities in new orleans have taken what they call unprecedented precautions to close all floodgates around the new orleans area. i believe there are 24 of them there. let's go to washington and the i'll anticipated testimony of robert mueller. that's now delayed by one week. the new date is july 24th. the judicial committees will now have an extra week to prepare and all committees will be able to ask questions. the chairman of superpac bridge of 21st century.
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david, a big welcome to you. mueller's testimony is right before the congressional august recess. was this a good decision for democrats, or are they setting expectations too high for the aftermath to really do things about this and disseminate what happens on the 24th? >> well, i think the expectations have to be measured because you have to remember that mueller didn't do the democrats' work for them in the report. he took the doj policy that the senate couldn't be indicted. in a sense he did his job, but from a democratic point of view, he flinched. so i think he's not going to do their job for them this time. i think there is a lot of good news in mueller's appearance in the sense that the public hasn't had -- most of the public doesn't pay attention nearly as closely as people who are probably watching now, so there is an opportunity to tell a story, so i think that's good news. but i think there's bad news, as you said, because this is coming
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right on a recess. you're going to hear town halls. there's inevitably going to be pressure to call the question on impeachment to the democrats. the democrats are going to finally have a real strategy. they've been playing defense since barr came out and i think successfully spun this. the democratic problem has been their position doesn't fit on a bumper sticker. so now they're going to have to say, what is our strategy? right now the strategy has been we're going to chew gum and walk at the same time, but the danger is no accountability for trump. they've passed dozens and dozens of bills but the public doesn't really know that. >> if we have mueller testimony coming up, what can democrats do to capitalize on it? and does it all depend on whether the questions they're allowed to ask -- and again, they have an extra hour to do so in each committee -- do they construct some sort of narrative that constructs the most critical parts of the mueller sflo report? >> i don't think they'll get him to go outside the report. >> he said he's not going to.
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>> i think it's telling the story. i think it's telling the story of volume i, which is a lot of evidence of coordination between the trump campaign and russia and just the massive effort of the russians to interfere with the election, and then walk on the counts of obstruction in detail and make it make sense. have the counts with the obstruction and this is the first time we're really going to hear that. >> and having him speak in his own voice. david, i want to move to the ongoing clash that appears to be there between house speaker nancy pelosi and the self-described squad of the four progressive members of congress. you have congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez who responded to president trump's criticism by saying pelosi is seeking out newly elected women of color. later on, aoc said she does not think pelosi is racist, and
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here's how pelosi responded to it all. >> we respect the value of every member of our caucus. the diversity of it all is a wonderful thing. diverse ity is our strength. unity is our power. and we have a big fight, and we're in the arena. >> all right, talking about strength and power there in different approaches there, but how deep is this fracture? and do you think it's going to affect the democrats in 2020 if they don't get it together? >> well, i think one of the good things about mueller coming on the scene is maybe it will knock out of the news the democratic infighting. i think it's a significant fight. i think it's a classic inside-outside fight. i think the speaker is underestimating, possibly because of generational issues and lack of understanding of what social media means today, she's not quite grasping that they are more than four votes. on the other side, i think the outsiders were elected to stir up things, and they're doing that, and they're agitators.
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but the concern is a lot of moderates were also elected in addition to these four in the last cycle, and speaker pelosi has to protect those moderate democrats and their seats. so to the extent that the squad becomes the face of the republican party, that does play into the election next year, and it does endanger democrats of holding the house back. >> it's an absolute tightrope they're walking right now. i'm curious given all your experience of how aoc and their office have dealt with this clash, do you think aoc might have to prove how she's crafting a message or succeed by doing exactly what she's doing by captivating national attention. >> from her point of view, she may have achieved what she wanted to achieve, but i think both sides need a cooling-off period here, and i think the perception there is any racial aspect to any of this is really below the belt. i really don't see it, i don't think democrats see it, i don't think most of the public will see that, so that was an overreach on her part, i think. >> david brock, good to see you.
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>> thank you. the crisis at the border. i'm going to get the opinion of a migrant who just visited the migrant detention order, next. o. ♪ that a speaker is just a speaker. ♪ or - that the journey can't be the destination. most people haven't driven a lincoln. discover the lincoln approach to craftsmanship at the lincoln summer invitation. right now, get 0% apr on all 2019 lincoln vehicles plus no payments for up to 90 days. only at your lincoln dealer.
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some new warnings from the national weather service about hurricane barry. new warnings about how it's carrying it off the chart. officials are warning about consequential flash flooding while parts of mississippi, alabama and louisiana are already under water. we are keeping meteorologist michelle grossman very busy on this saturday. what's the latest? that kind of rain coming down is remarkable. >> it's a lot of rain at one time and it's going to be days and days of this. this is a very slow mover so you'll hear terms like historical, terms like life threatening and this is what we're going to watch over the next couple days. this is the latest. it is a category 1 storm. finally made it there at 75, 74, makes it a category 1 storm, but really it's about the life-threatening potential rain. we're starting to see the bands come on shore. most of the rains have been over
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the gulf overnight, but where you see the darker colors, that's the heavier rain, the oranges and yellows, and there's the path. it's going to take a long time there. it's almost a walking speed, 5 miles per hour. so as we go through time here sunday, not very far, and then it will finally reach the ohio valley. the big story here is a flash flooding potential. we're looking at the potential over the next several days. a lot of states involved here, arkansas into mississippi, even tennessee, louisiana and also parts of -- excuse me, mississippi. so as we look at the totals here, this is what we want to hone in on. these numbers are just huge, buckets and buckets of rain, and it will be training over the same areas for a long, long time. baton rouge, 18.5 inches, morgan city 8.5, and this is where we'll see big, big problems in terms of houses, businesses. you want to really take it careful. this is going dobto be a historl storm in terms of money. we're looking at moderate and
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high. the areas of pink is where you see the high risk and the lighter pink is moderate risk. this is what we're watching over the next several days. it won't be until wednesday and thursday we'll start to see things improving. >> that's a long ways away, michelle grossman. thank you very much. several democrats speaking out at a hearing on the treatment of migrants. alexandria ocasio-cortez among those giving her testimony. >> this is a manufacturing crisis because the cruelty is manufactured. when these women tell me that they were put into a cell and that their sink was not working and we tested the sink ourselves and the sink was not working and they were told to drink out of a toilet bowl, i believe them. >> joining me now, california representative judi chu. congresswoman, thank you so much for joining me. pretty sobering testimony from aoc, and i know you were with her on that trip she's
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describing. the picture she is painting, is it the same way you would describe what you saw? >> oh, yes. when we went into the el paso border facility, we were immediately in conversation with women -- about 15 women in one cell. it was a cinderblock cell. as soon as they knew who we were, tears were streaming down their faces as they described their terrible conditions of being there for over 50 days. some had serious medical conditions such as epilepsy and an aneurysm. they could not get medication. and yes, they did not have access to running water, and one person said when she complained to a cbp agent that he said, well, just drink the water out of the toilet. i believe these women. >> you have to wonder about vice president mike pence who said, in fact, after touring these two migrant facilities in texas yesterday, one of them certainly crammed with deplorable conditions in mcallen, he said
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it's time for democrats and congress to step up, do their jobs, end this crisis, ask thnd he added that he would not believe any of these detainees there. what do you make of that? >> didn't we just pass a $4.6 billion bill? >> yeah, you did. >> what is he talking about? that bill has been passed out, the money has been allocated and yet we don't see any improvement in the conditions. in fact, vice president pence's visit confirmed what we already have been seeing, that the conditions in these detention centers are absolutely horrific, and i was astounded that he allowed the reporters to go in there for all of 90 seconds at which time the reporters could see that the stench was horrendous, that these men had been in there for nearly 40 days without showers, without being able to brush their teeth, and they could only get water if a border patrol agent unlocked the door and let them get some water. so -- >> i want to ask you, this $4.6
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billion humanitarian aid package, where has that money gone? where is it going to? and i know that you voted against it. is that because you're not certain of where this humanitarian aid money that is earmarked for such things as toothpaste, blankets, soap, anything like that, proper food, water, better treatment in these facilities, are you worried it's not going to get there? it won't be used for that? is that why you didn't vote for it? >> to be clear, i voted on the first bill, the house bill, which actually said that the money should go towards its designated targets. it also had certain fundamental criteria for the way that migrants should be treated with regard to medical care, nutrition and hygiene. but the senate bill that was passed out finally did not have that. it was like a blank check, and i feel that the taxpayers are owed more. they are owed the certainty that
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this money should be used for what it was intended for, and that is to improve these conditions, to make sure that there is a humanitarian treatment of these migrants at the border. >> the border vote seems to be stirring up some tensions in your party of house speaker nancy pelosi who is now publicly criticizing alexandria ocasio-cortez, seeking out newly elected women of color. she has since told cnn that pelosi is absolutely not racist. where do you stand on all of this? what are your thoughts on this break between policy or race? >> well, our democratic caucus is a big tent, and speaker pelosi is the one responsible for listening to all the voices within it.
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we have voices that are of every philosop philosophy, and speaker pelosi has been listening to them. now, she was the one that actually made sure that the provisions in the house bill were there. the provisions that would have made sure that there was certain criteria for care for these migrants. so she did listen. and i believe that there can be disagreements amongst all of us, and that those disagreements can be worked out. pelosi has been, in good faith, doing that and i don't believe she's targeting any one particular grouping within us. she takes allful o of our input account. >> the story has yet to be written so we'll see what comes of this. congresswoman judy chu, thank you. the president was full of praise, and what does it have to do with jeffrey epstein?
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y epste?
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44 paths on the gulf coast this hour is bracing themselves with hurricane barry being felt throughout louisiana. several areas already experiencing severe flooding. this long-lasting rain is expected to affect more than 3 million people. louisiana and mississippi are under states of emergencies. we have hundreds of millions of residents being asked to stay indoors. that's because roadways are becoming impassable.
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let's go to the latest, the presidential administration cabinet we're talking about, that bei that being alex acosta stepping down as labor secretary over the jeff epstein deal. the president said he didn't think it is controversy was too big a distraction. >> i just want you to know, this was him, not me, because i am with him. he is a tremendous talent. i'm willing to live with anything, john, i think you know me. i've lived through things that you wouldn't believe. >> joining me now is peter emerson. he has worked in three democratic administrations, and i amy holmes, speechwriter for general fritz. peter, why do you think the president wants people to know that alex acosta's resignation wasn't his idea?
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>> there could be a myriad of answers but it boils down to a simple answer. donald trump feels that would accrue to his benefit to do it the way that he did it, so it makes it very easy for strategists, for psychologists, for analysts, for kmcommentator. it's all about me, me, me, and in that context, the answer was very straightforward. >> so benefiting him, amy, to what degree? where would this benefit the president standing side by side with alex acosta, if peter's theory is correct? and also saying he's not a fan of jeffrey epstein. >> right, i'm not sure why it benefits him and why he chose this approach to sort of save face for mr. acosta. i'm sure jeff sessions, our former ag, wished he had gotten that kind of treatment from president trump when he was on his way out. but i think the thing to focus on here is that it turned into the right result, which is the resignation of mr. acosta. i think he should have submitted
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that resignation litre a week ago when jeff epstein was first arrested and not be a distraction to the president for a full week, and it gave the impression that he was trying to hang onto his job and only several hours or days later, there he is with the president walking away. but again, i think the focus really needs to be on jeffrey epstein, his crimes and trying to find justice for his victims. >> can i throw out one possibility to you, peter, for a myriad of reasons why the president might have done this, and that being political reasons, that it might help him down in florida where alex acosta has a big name and a big history? >> me, me, me. absolutely. whether it's political, moral, ethical, it's all about donald trump. that's probably the best reason i could possibly think of. >> but he may have a bad reputation at this point down in florida so that could cut both ways. when this deal came out, everyone was horrified that he gave a slap on the wrist to a serial child predator who we now know after this latest arrest
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potentially had child pornography in his home here in new york that has been seized by police officers. so i'm not so sure that mr. acos acosta has a great reputation in florida. >> i was just told we have to go to a news conference in florida. >> is tailfailed or breached. finally, i want to share with everyone that if you are in need of a shelter, you can text lashelter to 899291 or you can call 291 to find the list of shelters that are open in your area. again, text lashelter, that's all one word, lashelter, to 898211 or call 211. i also want to caution everybody, this is just the beginning. i ask everyone to stay vigilant and be safe. this has always been projected
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to be a rain flood event, and it will be. the mast majority of the rain that's falling now will fall in the gulf. that will soon change as the storm continues to move north. we have planned, we have prepared, we have stationed folks, we've activated 3,000 members of the national guard, we have prepositioned assets including buses and pumps. shelters are open and more are opening around the state. we need you to continue to stay in touch with the news sources, heed the advice of local elected officials. do not attempt to go sight-seeing. that is very dangerous for you, but the real problem with that is you make it much more likely, if you venture out too soon, and when it's not necessary for you to do so, our emergency response people are going to have to be trying to rescue those
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sightseasightsea sightseers and not be able to focus on those individuals who need rescuing because of the flood. so be patient. if you are driving, and you don't know for an absolute abso water is safe to proceed through. don't do it. turn around and go back. that is the source of most fatalities in floods, at least here in louisiana over the last several years. the other problem with that is, often there is a current and it's imperceptible and individuals drown. you can find realtime information on all roadways in the state. by visiting 511la.org. it will indicate whether the road is under construction, whether there is water over the road, whether the road has been closed. be patient as it relates to
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cleanup activities too. don't get out before it is safe to do so. and when you get out to clean up, understand that any water on the ground should be presumed to be energized. do not handle or expose yourself to the danger of any electricity lines. it's going to be a long several days for our state, i know the people of louisiana are strong and resilient. i can assure you we are going to get through this, but there are going to be some significant challenges. the next meeting is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. tomorrow. however, we may, and i suspect we will have another press availability before that ucg meeting is over. there may be another one tonight with information that we continue to learn both as it relates to the storm and to the damage that we're seeing across the state of louisiana. and i would invite everyone to
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continue to put themselves and their families in a position to with stand the remaining -- >> we're listening there to louisiana governor, and he's talking about the severity of this category 1 hurricane. this is a slow moving hurricane, it's moving at 5 miles an hour, as it approaches homes and businesses, and people see the torrential rains coming out of there, those rains will be lasting and lingering for a while, leading to what they're saying will be widespread and pretty remarkable flooding. we're going to stay on top of this, we have michelle grossman here. she'll be following us throughout the day for us. let's go back to the conversation i was having with amy and peter. we almost were going to get to this point, the president not being one to shy away from name calling and insults. how many times have we heard him say disgusting, wacky, crazy on his twitter feed, right? with jeffrey epstein, he leaves it at saying, he's not a fan.
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why is he passing up an opportunity to disavow the behavior that epstein is accused of? >> because it's not just a failure to disavow, it's a failure that's been repeated over and over again from a moral and ethical. it used to be political level. i mean, not too long ago, these inactions and actions, and these words and this behavior would have had a political price. now it doesn't. meaning there's almost nothing that donald trump seems to do that in anyway hurts him or worst of all, dissuades his supporters, so i wish amy were right about acosta in florida. and them having some reaction, my colleagues who are doing focus groups around the country are finding this is having little resonance. so corruption, sexual assault, murder by neglect none of these seem to have any resonance in terms of trump, we know. but his supporters. so we're left at a standstill.
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>> you know, amy, alex acosta really hasn't addressed the issue that he was dealing with, and he was down in florida. wouldn't now be a good time to do it, to try to repair the negative image you believe he may be taking with him from this administration? >> what we saw that many lawyers said, is his reinvention of history in terms of the epstein case, and i don't know what to make of that, he of course wants to protect his own reputation, and he doesn't want to admit mistakes, in terms of president trump, he's come forward and said, mr. epstein was kicked out of mar-a-lago, when he was trying to approach or assault a young woman there, he did take action against epstein in that case. i think we need to keep our focus on who is the real villain of this story, and that is mr. epstein and his behavior, his outrageous behavior that should have him in jail behind bars for the rest of his life. >> mr. epstein may have been a
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person, the intelligence community had, implied that maybe mr. epstein was a spy or something -- >> very peculiar. >> that's going down a different rabbit hole, that's for sure. >> his ten tackals are everywhere. >> something i want to taking on is the exchange between james patterson and joy reid. patterson wrote a nonfiction book on the 2006 charges against epstein. >> donald trump seems to have known that -- >> no, no, no, no, no. >> he said he likes young girls. >> i don't even know what that means. epstein was a member of -- or at least he was allowed to go to mar-a-lago. he apparently was inappropriate with the daughter of one of the members and a member told trump. trump threw him out. >> he made his money helping people avoid taxes, not in profiting off of prostituting young women? >> yeah, i don't think -- he couldn't make that money off of prostituting women.
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that would not happen. >> it had something to do with investing? >> i think most of it did. clearly the guy's a genius. >> look, i need it in 15 seconds, your reaction. and some say he -- trump says patterson is a member of mar-a-lago. others say he's not. >> i discard everything he says, he's like a little twin of allen dershowitz, everything that comes out of his mouth seems to have no validity. trump made it clear that he appreciated epstein, particularly the fact that he liked women as much as trump did, and the younger, the better. patterson is obviously protecting himself and others. >> that was about 15 seconds, for which i thank you, peter, and amy as well. new information on hurricane barry, what lays ahead for new orleans at the top of the hour. ♪ sport drumming starts
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top of the hour, which means i'm out of time. i'm alex witt, up next, kendis gibson is going to take over. >> these next few hours will be critical in knowing the true impact of now tropical storm barry. the heaviest rainshowers are expected shortly. life threatening flash floods, will the levees hold? thousands have been' vac u ated ahead of the storm. barry has been downgrad

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