tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC July 18, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
like? who is african american and willing to publicly stand behind the president at that point. >> both of you always bringing the nuggets. thank you aaron blake, nancy cook. preert you being on the show. craig melvin picks up the coverage now in new york. i'm headed over to the white house i feel like it's going to be a hissy one. >> thank you. craig melvin here at headquarters in new york city where we are following several developing stories on this very busy thursday morning. first of all, outrage over those send her back chants during the trump rally last night. even some republicans expressing their unease today. also, documents connected to president trump's former fixer, michael cohen, those hush money payments. those documents will be made public. a judge has called them, quote, a matter of national importance. also this hour, jeffrey epstein back in a federal courtroom where the judge will be deciding if he's going to be released from jail to his mansion on house arrest. and also happening right now
on capitol hill, a live look here as lawmakers are grilling acting dhs secretary kevin mca lienny about the conditions inside those migrant detention facilities and the separation of families. we've got it all covered, but we start on capitol hill where house democrats just drew a big line in the sand. you see the speaker there, the podium, microphone, but no reference to the president's continued attacks on four female representatives of color. no questions from reporters, and no mention of the president's rally wednesday night saying this. >> she looks down with contempt on the hardworking americans saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country. [ send her back ]. >> and obviously and importantly, omar has a history of launching vicious
anti-semit anti-semit anti-semit anti-semit anti-semit anti-semitic scenes. >> screeds. >> we break this all down. anna palm he, he "politico's" senior washington correspondent. together they are the playbook team. also with me, former democratic congretswoman donna edwards who is now a contributing columnist for the "washington post." former republican congressman carlos and name political analyst and tim alberta, he is also of course the author of the new book "america carnage" on the front lines of the american civil war and the rise of president trump. jake, let me start with you. this nonreaction from speaker nancy pelosi.
how long do we suspect it's going to last? >> well, i mean, listen. it was a pretty tailored hee recent talking about the minimum wage. but we just caught up with congresswoman omar on her way to the house floor about ten, 15 minutes ago where she basically said she's going to continue to lift people up, those are her words, not mine, she's going to talk about things that matter to her. she decried racism, said it's bad, it hurts people, it tears people apart and she's going to try to do the opposite. lift people up. vote for what she believes is good policy, $15 minimum wage which is getting a vote on the house floor right now. interestingly enough she had her daughter with her today in the cap tal to, shed she was spending time in washington, brought her daughter on to the house floor. she was definitely interested in talking. she spoke with reporters for a couple minutes and then went on to the house floor. so she's definitely not ducking this controversy. and the president is obviously going to make this a center piece of his next couple weeks, months, who knows how long.
and on capitol hill we have basically unfettered access to these members of congress so we can get answers from them. but pelosi's theory of the case is that they should talk about policy and they shouldn't always talk about the president. she said yesterday she didn't want to get into the president that much. she wants to talk about poll sand the investigations, and that's what she's going to try to do, i presume. >> anna, lock her up, lock her up, that that was the mantra of those rutrump rallies in 2016. send her back, is that what we're going to hear the next 45 days? >> he's spoking those septemberments when he's goi sentiments on the campaign trail. you heard them go to that several times in the rally. i think the question going to be do republicans, you already heard some top republicans say they don't like his rhetoric. you had mitch mcconnell say it's time for the president to turn
down the racist -- kind of the rhetoric right now that's happening. so the question's going to be, how -- how does the president react when he gets this pressure from republicans? there's also a lot of discourse on the hill of concern about the safety for representative omar and the other members that the president has singled out in these speeches in terms doff they need more security? is there going to be some kind of need to have more capitol police around these members as he continues to attack them. >> tim, this theme from the president that if you don't like this country you can leave, likely doesn't surprise the folks that know him best. the people that you talk to for your book, what do they say behind closed doors about the president in moments like this? >> well, there's a tremendous amount of unease and anxiety within the republican party at moments like this. and obviously there's a gaping disconnect between how many of these republican-elected
officials feel in private when they watch that kind of video clip from last night and what they say in public. and we've seen already republicans on capitol hill this morning where jake and anna are essentially giving air cover to the president and dismissing it or down-playing it or maybe just saying, oh, i didn't see that. you guys are hung up on these things, we're trying to create jobs, et cetera, et cetera. there's an enormous gulf between how republican-elected officials feel about the president privately. and frankly many -- the fears that many of them have about what he is doing to the country, what he's doing to the party, what he is doing to, you know, the concept of conservatism and sort of tearing at the social fabric of our culture beyond the political arena itself. and then what they will say publicly. justin amash talked to me at great length about this in the book and said part of the reason he was getting ready to leave the freedom caucus at that time
and the reason he left the gop itself was because he was so disgusted at the due police tis nature at many of these republicans who in private would sound off on the president and tell them how worried they were about what he was doing to the american public and then two minutes later see them on fox news lying through their teeth about the president and providing him all the cover he needed to continue -- enabling him to continue doing and saying these things. >> congresswoman edwards "new york times" columnist thomas friedman weighed in on the democrats, the 2020 campaign, it is a fascinating read. i encourage everyone watching and listening on sirius satellite radio to read it. but part of what says in the article, he writes i'm struck at how many people have come up to me recently and said, trump's going to get re-elected, isn't he? dear democrats there are not complicated. just nominate a decent, sane person, one committed to reunifying the country and creating more good jobs. my colleague brian williams, he
asked thomas friedman on the 11th hour wednesday night expand on what democrats should do. here's what he said. >> what i would have done with the democrats, i would have tonight announce we're having a national telethon, okay, and our goal is to raise $100 million to rec register 100 million new democratic voters in every swing state and every swing district in the country. every time trump makes another racist statement, we're going to have another telethon. thank you, donald. thank you for helping us raise money to register more democrats in swing states and districts around the country. but if you just come back and say you're a bad guy and everyone's a bodh guy, we know that. his supporters don't need more information. they're not interested in information. >> he goes on to say, congresswoman, that the revolution can wait. are democrats anywhere, anywhere near that kind of coordination or unit toy pull something like that off? >> well, i think if you look at the polling, democrats across the board say that they want
somebody, first of all, who can defeat donald trump. and they want someone also with whom they agree with their ideology. look, i think we can, as democrats, we can have it both ways. the president is predicating a campaign on hate, on racism, on dividing the country. democrats can stay focused on an economic message that will lift up people. today's fight for $15 an hour minimum wage is part of that. and fighting for healthcare that americans care so much about. and so i think that we can fight on the terms of the substance, the policy at the same time that we all recognize without having to indulge every chant that the president seeks to say without having to indulge that every time and respond to it. people can see what the president is. they know that he's dividing this nation. and it's up to democrats to pose
an alternate agenda, a positive agenda, and unite the country. and i think that we're poised to do that. >> congressman car bellow, what's it like to be a republican in the age of trump? how can one survive politically without adopting the president's views? >> well, craig, my position is that the two-party system is bankrupt. and obviously republicans are going through a very difficult time. it is true that most congressional republicans privately condemn the president's conduct, yes they're unwilling to say so publicly. that's a crisis in leadership within the party that has to change. and, by the way, i agree with tom friedman. in the 2020 election, the democratic candidate is going to have to make a compelling case for change. what does change mean in 2020? well, the order of the day is division, it's vitriol, it's nasty rhetoric. the opposite of that is unity,
civility, decency. that's what change has to look like in 2020 for democrats to be successful. and no one should underestimate this president. friedman's right and the people who are going up to him saying donald trump can win, certainly, it's probably a 50/50 proposition today. so if the democratic party wants to be successful in 2020, they have to make a compelling case for change. and change doesn't mean more yelling and nastier rhetoric and continuing this race to the bottom, it means showing americans that we can be at a better place, that we can disagree without disqualifying each other. that noun that one will be told leave this country, that people told me when i was protesting against the clinton's administration of the handling of the gonzalez saga. i had people come up to me and say why don't you go back to
your country even though i was born in this country and my parents are naturalized citizens. change has to reject all of that in 2020. >> anna, these -- the continued attacks on these four congresswoman of color and this send her back, go back chants last night at that rally, how do democrats neutralize that? is it -- is it the pelosi suggestion that they just ignore the president? is that going to be the prevailing strategy? >> it appears to be the strategy that leadership wants to employ right now. nancy pelosi has time and again said that she does not want to have to respond to every single comment the president makes. i think she doesn't think it's effective politics for democrats. she wants to be able to have an agenda that is robust, that democrats can run on. i think whether that's realistic or not, because everybody is talking about it, we're talk bug it here on television, but everybody in the halls of congress and elsewhere are talking about what's happening now between the president and
the quote unquote, squad. and neither side is necessarily going back to their corners and saying, all right, we've had enough of this, really tense fight. i think the president is going to continue to bring this day in, day out on the campaign trail through the 2020 election. he believes this is an effective strategy for his re-election. >> tim, i want to read this short excerpt from your book, quote, rarely has a president so thoroughly altered the identity of his party. never has a president so ruthlessly exploited the insecurity of his people. what's your sense, tim, can you explain the president's ability to do that? >> look, donald trump has identified in a slice of the american population a deep-rooted, unease with the demographic transition overtaking america at this moment. and obviously inherent in that are feelings of racism and xenophobia and nativism, we know
that. what's interesting, craig, is to think about this, and obviously this transcends politics in many ways. this is a cultural crisis for us at this point. as a country we need to think there about what happened last night and what's been happening over the last ten to 20 years, frankly, in terms that are much bigger than politics. but if we can distill it down and think about what this means politically for 2020, donald trump is giving the democratic party an enormous gift right now. and for as ugly as the scene is as the one that played out last night, it's important to realize that what donald trump is doing is not just mobilizing the left, he's not just giving ammunition to the progressive base and to donors who want to help, you know, build up the party in these states and donate to the dnc, donate to any member of these liberal causes that are going to mobilize voters in 2020. what donald trump is also doing is alienating a huge chunk of his coalition from 2016 that helped him win, namely suburban,
moderate republicans who are college educated, white collar, upscale, they live in diverse communities and they don't like this kind of stuff. and we know from the exit polling that in 2016 a lot of these republican voters, traditionally republican voters, whether it was because they wanted tax cuts or deregulation or supreme court justiceors whatev justices or whatever, they held their nose and voted for donald trump. but two years later they voted for democrats. that's why democrats retook the house because they took dozens of seats in suburban metro areas in dozens of states around the country. and while donald trump is galvanizing his core base of supporters with this rhetoric, he's unwittingly alienating this other half of the coalition that he needs to win re-election. >> thank you, jake, anna, donna, congressman, thank you, congresswoman, thank you. and tim alberta, that book is "american carnage on the front lines of the american civil war and the rise of president donald
trump ". back to the breaking news we mentioned a few moments ago, the unredacted search warrants paid to hutch money payments by donald trump's former fixer to porn star stormy daniels, those documents just posted online. tom winter nbc news investigative correspondent has been combing through them over the last few minutes. mia wiley, msnbc analyst joins met. tom, i know you've had a few minutes to start sifting through. what do you see so far? >> so, craig, bottom line is there's about 20 pages of unredacted materials that lay out why the fbi should be able to search michael cohen's properties and electronic devices and be able to put together a case. had is the fbi's affidavit to the judge saying, hey, we believe we have reason, probable cause, it's called a probable cause affidavit to be able to do these searches. and what we're getting now is not new information in that
these payments occurred, that michael cohen was involved, that american media, the publisher of the "national enquirer" was involved, we've known all that since august of last year. what we're getting today say snippet of how involved the president was when he was then candidate donald trump. this comes from the document. this is the fbi agent writing. it says i have learned in the days following the access hollywood video cohen exchanged a series of calls, text messages, and emails with keith davidson, at the time he was stormy daniels' attorney. david pecker and dylan howard of american media, the publisher of the "national enquirer." donald trump and hope hicks who was press second for trump's campaign. he continues writing saying based on the timing of these calls and the content of the text mess and emails i believe some of these communications concerned the need to prevent clifford, stephanie clifford that stormy daniels' legal name, from going public. particularly in the wake of the access hollywood story.
it continues to describe a series of phone calls that occurred starting october 8th. there were phone calls that cohen had received from hope hicks and then at some point they get donald trump on the phone for over four minutes, according to toll records that the nib wfbi was able to get fr michael cohen's phone. they're not saying they have donald trump's phone but michael cohen's phone. then there were a series of calls made between cohen and hicks, at least several times, and they were following conversations that occurred between cohen and people at the "national enquirer" as well as the president. there were several calls that occurred. bottom line here, craig, nothing changes the fact whether or not there was a scheme in play, as prosecutors put it, to pay stormy daniels' silence. whether or not michael cohen was involved, whether or not the "national enquirer" were involved. but that individual one who michael cohen identified as the president is involved and it's
detailed here. it's not based just on michael cohen's word. i think that's an important revelation from today's document. in fact, this it is based on the fbi agent's review of telephone records belonging to michael cohen where they have identified donald trump, then candidate donald trump's phone number, and have pointed out there was several phone conversations that occurred and in the estimation of the fbi agent in their probable cause filing here that the president was involved in this campaign finance scheme. >> again, the document appears to be about 269 pages long, so i know you're still going through it. tom, it looks like there's some sort of wire transfer that's referenced as well on august -- excuse me, october 27th of 2016, which would have been just days before the election. what more do we know about that? >> so that's all tied to the payments that we know that were occurring with respect to a payment to stormy daniels' then attorney, keith davidson, and it was money that was going to go to keith davidson and then he
was going to give that money to stormy daniels. so that's what that payment is about. and basically what the fbi agents have to do here is they have to say, look, based on the information we've already gathered, you know, it's one thing for us to say, hey, we think that a payment occurred and we think there's a scheme here. they went through the banking records. they went through toll records. they had access through a court order warrant to michael cohen's icloud account and some of his email messages. so they were able to piece together these conversations and these discussions as they move forward with their case. and really by michael cohen pleading guilty last august, a lot of this kind of granular detail that we expected to get today and we are getting, a lot of that granular detail, craig, we weren't going to see because if they had filed an indictment at the time and michael cohen wanted to go to trial, a lot more of this information would be made public. but it wasn't made public at the time because he agreed to plead guilty to two counts tied to this campaign -- these campaign finance violations. >> matt miller, your reaction to
what you just heard there. and we should point out that we're still sifting through this voluminous -- >> one important point there, craig, if i can just interrupt you. >> go ahead. >> there are 269 pages here. there's an additional five search warrants that have also been filed and in the process of uploading that. back to the control room and getting that to you literally as we speak. but the probable cause affidavit is pretty much the same throughout all of them. so this key 20 pages that we get today is really the bulk of the unredacted information that we're going to see. so it's just this one section for folks that are going through this at home. >> matt. >> i think tom has it exactly right, as usual. i think what we see in this document is the fbi developing evidence to support the theory they had at the time, which is that this payment was made to influence the election and that michael cohen had made it in coordination with and at the direction of then candidate donald trump. of course they eventually confirmed that theory because they got michael cohen to admit to it. michael cohen swore to that in open court and the justice department eventually said it it
in their own words in a filing last december. it's just kind of i think a look at the early stages of the investigation. there's another document, though, we're waiting to see that i think will be equally important, and that's a document that they filed -- the justice department filed under seal earl year th ier this month about the end of the investigation. and i'm wondering whether we'll get any clues as to why this investigation ended with no further charges, either against the trump organization, against any employees of the trump organization, or against, you know, or if, you know, the justice department was holding this case open for possible charges against the president himself after he left office. it seems it's been closed. i want to look at that filing and see if we get any detail why. >> proffer, what kiessor, what potential legal jeopardy do you see here? >> i'm with matt here that there's all this evidence that suggests, certainly suggests in terms what we've heard in news
reports, the "wall street journal" had reporting at one point that said that donald trump had a meeting, essentially, with the head of ami, mr. pecker saying what can you do for me when i run for office? there's a lot of suggestion that there may have been more evidence. we don't know what evidence they did or did not uncover. but the issue whether or not there's a campaign finance violation here it seems to me is still an open question at least for the public based on what we've seen. we know that michael cohen also showed, not just as tom is reporting, that this confirming contact and phone calls, but that he was able to show his reimbursement for checks, you know, from payments that he made. and remember that essentially the defense here as far as we've seen it from rudy giuliani, donald trump was doing it to protect his marriage, his family relationships, except that we also know that these things happened years before the
payments were made and the arrangements were made. so it was really at the time of the election and around the election and after the access hollywood tapes. that leads a lot of us to say there's still legal exposure there if the department of justice did not have a memorandum saying you cannot indict a sitting president. >> tom, i know you're going through these documents in realtime. what else have you found? >> couple things. one that hope hicks was interviewed by the fbi and she told the fbi that to the best of her recollection, quote, she did not learn about the allegations made by clifford, stormy daniels, until early november 2016 and she told them she did not recall kind of a three-way phone call that occurred between trump, cohen, and herself. so that's a little bit of an interesting piece of information from here. one thing i want to address with respect to a statement that matt miller made regarding the closing of this investigation. it's clear here based on the documents that i read and based on the reporting that we've had, i think we need to look to the
mueller report essentially to guide us. it's the justice department's belief that the sitting president of the united states based upon their policy cannot be indicted. so i think that answers the reason high this case is close. the it it it's clear based upon what the fbi said they uncovered and the search warrants at least had knowledge was involved in directing these payments. i think that's something to consider here is whether or not if the president was in any other office or in private business whether or not he would be under indictment at that point. i think that that's something that bears a look at. but i think the fact that hope hicks, based upon what i just read to you was interviewed by the fbi and was asked about these specific phone calls is certainly interesting and a bit of a new wrinkle here, something we hadn't ladder about before. >> tom, while i have you here, the judge allowed the prosecutors to black out some limited references to this
uncharged third party. what more do we know about that? the identity of that person is still unclear, right? >> i'm still trying to go through that and it's a little unclear to me whether or not, craig, that that may have to do with something else that cohen pleaded guilty to, which was something involving his taxicab medallion. i'm still going through that. i've noticed no redactions in this particular 20-page section. it was entirely blacked out back when we first got access to the search warrants a couple months ago. it appears to be totally unredacted today. i'm not seeing anything at the moment, but we're still going through it that indicates that anybody's name is being withheld here this morning. >> matt miller, it would seem as if, again, this is just based on what we're sifting through right now, but it would seem as if there was sufficient evidence that the president of the united states was involved in illegal activity. >> yeah, that's exactly right. the justice department has already said that. they said he directed the commission of this crime. they essentially, without using
these words, named him as anne unindicted coconspirator in court last year. i think the question tom poses is the right one. are they closing this investigation with no further steps because the president is the president and he can't be indicted? although i will say he's not going to be the president forever. if he loses re-election, you know, he'll be a private citizen at 12:01 on january 20th, 2021. that time will still be within the stat ought to of statute of. i'm wondering if they're closing it down with if they have reason to support charges against the pred they could reto and bring those charges then. or if they've decided that there's just not enough evidence to charge the president because they can't show that he knew that this was a crime, which is one of the unique requirements of campaign finance law. although i have -- that really does lead to the question, which is the same one the mueller team grappled with. did the southern district of new york ask for an interview with the president? did they consider subpoenaing
him to the grand jury in there are a lot of questions to this investigation that we've never really gotten the answers to. including did they decide to close this investigation on their own or was it at the direction of the attorney general? i think those are very significant questions the justice department has an obligation to answer in the coming days and weeks. >> matt miller of course reference sdny, the southern district of new york. professor wiley, i think a lot of folks are probably wondering what now? ia do where do we go dpr here? >> i think we're going to see some congressional oversight over the department of justice's handling of this case and whether or not there was any communication from the department of justice in d.c. to the sdny around how it should handle it. i agree with matt. by the way, i think that will be a huge fight. i am sure what we will see is the department of justice saying we're not going to give you that information. but i think for the american public there's no question that understanding and having some trust in whatever this process
has been and clarity about whether or not the decision revolves around the olc, the office of legal counsel, as matt points out, mueller made very clear and used very careful language that while he couldn't implicate a sitting president, he could not exonerate a sitting president. i think that's the kind of language and analysis we need to know whether or not that's what happened here in the southern district. >> all right. tom, i know you're there in aspen on a different assignment, but please continue to sift through these documents and if there is something else that jumps out at you, come back and report that out for us, please. mia, thank you as always. matt miller, matt, thank you. will he be released? a judge set to make that decision about accused sexual predator jeffrey epstein today as he seeks to be released on bail. we are going to go live outside the federal courthouse. that hearing we're told
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courthouse. and the separation of families. courthouse and the separation of families right now, i've just been told breaking news. jeffrey epstein is going to be staying in jail. we were waiting to find out whether he would be locked up, remain in jail, or released on bail. it sounds like we just got word nbc stephanie gosk live outside that courthouse in manhattan. and nowadays a former corruption and fraud prosecutor for the u.s. attorney office, southern district of new york, stephanie, i'll start with you on this breaking news. jum didn't seem to spend a great deal of time on deciding whether to lock him up or keep him locked up i should say.
>> reporter: well, that would be no time at all this morning. the hearing began and he immediately just said it, that there -- that bail has been denied and jeffrey epstein will stay in prison. so just to understand that and put it into context, federal prosecutors have had been arguing that he not get bail. they said he was a flight risk, a risk to the public. his defense team had put forward a number of stipulations where he could get bail and wear an ankle monitoring system, also stay in his home, his $77 million mansion during that time. the judge said that's not going to happen. now, if jeffrey epstein is convicted on the two charges that he's been charged with, sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for the purpose of sex, he could get up to 45 years in prison. in other words, craig, he could be in jail for the rest of his life. >> kahn, you said to me just a few moments ago that you would
have been flat out stunned had the judge decided to grant bail in this case. it looks like -- looks like you were correct. did the judge even seriously consider this request? >> i think he considered it. >> yeah. >> and then he dismissed it out of hand. this was a ground ball. this was an easy call for the judge to make given that he seen appears to have been continuing to commit crime. i got three words on that, girls nude pics. they found a cd that shows perhaps he's still committing crime so it's an easy call for the judge to make. >> how long to you expect this process to play out? how long do you think it will take before this epstein trial starts? >> i think it will take at least a year. the government's going to continue investigating and i think epstein's lawyers are going to probably want to keep investigating themselves. i don't think they're going to push for a quick trial date. >> you're your former unit at the sdny is investigating this case. this is something that continues
to fascinate me despite what we heard from the assistant da in that news conference last week or the week before. what does that tell us that it's the public corruption unit and not the unit that's typically tasked with investigating crimes like this? >> i'll say two things on that. one, it tells us that the manner in which this case came to the southern district of new york means that there was a public corruption aspect to the case. that's why the unit got the case. and that case could have come to the southern district of new york because of the investigation into the npa into -- >> what's the npa have some nonprosecution agreement that the southern district of florida prosecutors entered into. i do think there's probably some public corruption aspect to this case. and second, there is the -- that unit does have the seals do this kind of case. if you'll recall there was the prosecution of then governor elliot spitzer. >> that's right. >> that was a public corruption
case but it was a prosecution case. on top of that, maureen is one of the prosecutors on this prosecution team and she it is actually a violent crimes sex trafficking prosecutor. >> and we should point out, obviously, that the afore mention is the daughter of the former fbi director james comey. some public corruption, kan, to be clear would include bribery? >> correct. >> other things that would fall under the umbrella of public corruption would include what else? >> actually many things. bribery, wire fraud if there was any fraud related to anything involving the npa. basically the public corruption unit, it's really who is the person being investigated that matters. a person who's a public official, even like spitzer who committed prostitution could come under the guise of a public corruption. >> is epstein likelihood that someone else will face charges in connection to this case? >> i think that's very likely,
coconspirators have already been named. people who were recruiting these young children to epstein. so anybody who's had any contact with epstein should be a little worried. >> hey, steph, are you still with me there? did we -- >> reporter: i am, craig. >> did we learn anything else during that very brief hearing that apparently just wrapped up a short time ago? >> reporter: well, the judge went on to say that the reasons he's denied bail is because he believes that jeffrey epstein is both a flight risk and a risk to the public, craig. and that, you know, federal prosecutors in their argument for both of those things said a number of things. when it came to flight rask they pointed to his contract ordinary wealth, more than $500 million that they know of. they also talked about what fbi agents found in a safe in epstein's home, including dozens of loose diamonds, quote, piles of cash as well as an expired passport from the 1980s that was not under jeffrey epstein's name
but had his photo. the defense team said that that passport was used because jeffrey epstein had fears about traveling to the middle east as a jewish man in the '80s and he felt that that identity would somehow protect him. regardless, the judge clearly listened to those arguments about flight risk, agreed with them and also believed that he is still a danger to the public. craig. >> steph, nbc news dug up this video that was shot about 27 years ago of now president donald trump, then private citizen president trump, with jeffrey epstein that the party at mar-a-lago. this is palm beach, november of '92, more than 15 years before his plea deal in florida. what more have we learned about the relationship between the president and jeffrey epstein? >> reporter: well, think it's worth pointing out, craig, that palm beach said that high-society, wealthy said, it's a fairly small circle. it's not surprising that both
donald trump and jeffrey epstein, that they knee each other, they both were in that circle at the time. that they went to parties together is really no surprise. i think what makes it interesting is when you look at the way the white house has described their relationship, the way the precip himself has described their relationship last week following the charges against jeffrey epstein. he did acknowledge that they knew each other years ago, that they ran in the same circle, but he said, quote, i'm not a fan. i was not a fan. earlier in 2002, donald trump gave an interview to new york magazine where he called jeffrey epstein a terrific guy. so seemingly conflicting perspectives that way. but that video adds context to that relationship. craig. >> stephanie gosk outside that federal courthouse. thanks as always for your reporting. kan, one quick question before i let you go. we will learn more during the course of discovery and the trial, will we learn more about
precisely how jeffrey epstein amassed such wealth and maintained that wealth? is that something that we're going to get a glimpse of? >> we may if it becomes relevant to the charges that the southern district of new york have brought. but i expect that there could very likely be an offshoot investigation into his finances. >> what leads you to believe that? >> because they just -- there are too many red flags about them. it has the hallmarks, his wealth has the hallmarks of a money laundering operation. >> ah. >> so i have to think they're going to look under the hood and kick the tires on this one. >> all right. thank you. stay close to us on this one. we always enjoy your insight and analysis. acting dhs secretary kevin mcaleenan hot seat right now on capitol hill. the house oversight committee is questioning him about the conditions inside those migrant detention facilities that he oversees. they're also asking him about the separation of families. we will go live to the hill. we'll also take a look at the latest on these massive
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facilities. it's on break right now. we're watching for it to start back up any moment now. so far mcaleenan said that progress is being made and he defended his department. >> these efforts have reduced in custody numbers if from a high of almost 20,000 in june to under 10,000 yesterday afternoon. for unaccompanied children, health and human services now has adequate bed space. we've reduced from 720 kids at the border to 350 with an average of 35 hours in cbp custody. and throughout this period, the men and women of dhs have served with vigilance and compassion. >> julia ainsley covers the department of justice and the department of homeland security. and chris is president of lutheran immigration and refugee service. she's also a former policy director to first lady michelle obama. chris, thank you so much. julia, let me start with you. what do we make of what we heard so far from the acting dhs secretary? >> so far not the fireworks we were expecting. there's a lot to take him to task on, but right now what
they've been focused on is the report that this committee did, the democrats on oversight that went through specific cases of family separation that have happened recently. so far he hasn't wanted to comment on specific cases, but he says that separations are rare. that we're back to the policy that we would have seen before zero tolerance last summer that systematically separated children from parents because they crosseder illegally and it's what you would have seen under president obama. a lot of them are saying these children are being separated for something not fair, like a prior charge for marijuana possession and that that shouldn't be cause for separation. but he's not wading into the specifics. what i've been expecting to see, which i haven't, is more talk about those conditions and border stations. the very last question before they went to recess touched on that, but they still haven't pressed him as much as i thought they would. >> chris there is what we heard from the acting secretary about child separation specifically. >> these prosecutions as all
criminal prosecutions do, result in a temporary separation of parents and children. this practice lasted six weeks, ended 13 months ago. >> all right. my understanding is, chris, that you've actually worked through your organization on the family reunification process and you contend that family separation is, in fact, still happening. is that right? >> yeah, absolutely. so we were one of the two agency approached by the government to help them reunify families as this crisis broke out last summer. and i can tell you though the policy has ended, the practice continues. since june 2018, since the end of the zero tolerance policy, we've had nearly 40 cases. i've had four babies under the age of 1 separated. and we're one of many agencies. so the estimate we have right now is that there's been about 700 children that have been separated in recent months. >> well how do you square that with what you heard from the secretary there?
is he -- is he unaware of that? >> yeah, i mean, honestly i'm not sure what data he's looking at. because we flagged this concern in 2017 to our agency contacts and we we continue to report about these cases each time they come about. the reality that even 30 children from the zero tolerance policy have not been reunified a year later, these are facts we've given to the government. it's not the data, it's not the facts, the statistics the anecdotes i can share with you. we had an 8 month old separated from a parent on christmas eve. this is not unusual. >> while we're having this conversation, this is a live look inside the capitol rotunda. protesters have assembled. they are positioning the
government to do something about the conditions inside these migrant detention facilities. it would see as if they're being arrested there inside the rotunda. several of them on the floor right now. a live look. i also understand your group has been providing services to those seeking asylum and you've toured facilities like the one in homestead, floor. what did you see there and how did what you see, how did that square with what we've heard from secretary mcaleenan's claim that the conditions have improved? >> yeah, i mean, i'll tell you it's just not a reflection of reality. visiting homestead, having visited through my staff, what we're still seeing is a crisis. i walked into homestead, at the time i visited it was 1,700 children. it was intended to expand to 3,2 3,200.
when you're warehousing children in those conditions, it's not surprising we have six children who have died. some of the pictures you're seeing are of those children. i met with a mother last week. ms. juarez, whose daughter died in these horrific conditions. the daughter and the mother were placed in what i.c.e. calls an ice box. for three weeks she pleaded with doctors to give her doctor the care she needed. they wrote it off as an ear infection and she died of a viral infection. and the conditions that these children are being placed in are horrific. there are alternatives. we provide a transitional foster care. we provide group homes where they're better for the children, they're better for taxpayers because they're a third of the cost. when you look at homestead, what we're paying companies is $775 per child, per day, to keep them. when you realize that these for
profit companies have turned to their profit centers, of course you're going to see the sexual abuses that have been reported, as well as the tragic deaths. >> chris, thank you. and again, as we've been having this conversation, a live look inside the capitol rotunda as these peaceful protesters are being arrested. these are folks that we're told are there protesting the conditions inside these migrant detention facilities. we've probably seen about a dozen folks arrested so far. several of the folks being arrested appear to be older. again, leaving the rotunda right now as we speak. protests happening there, also massive protests in puerto rico. calling for the governor to step aside, to leave his job. the protests are only growing. this was the scene last night in
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nearly 900 of his private chats revealing a slue of sexist and homophobic messages to his advisors. gabe gutierrez is on the story for us. he's in san juan. what's the governor saying about all of this? >> reporter: hi there, craig. within the last few minutes we got an update from the governor. he said he heard yesterday's protests, but he went out of his way to say he will not resign. he says he's repeatedly asked for forgiveness. actually, in the last few days, he held a news conference and said while he believes those chat messages were inappropriate, they are not illegal. for right now, he's hanging on. i want to show you a little bit of the scene here. these are boarded up businesses we have seen over the last several hours here in san juan. i will show you something pretty amazing. we look over there, that wall, just a few hours ago was pretty much entirely covered in graffiti asking the governor to resign. private citizens have come and try to paint this historic area. if you walk with me, bear with
me, it's getting a little crowded here. craig, this is the spot where these protesters ran into authorities yesterday. they clashed with police in riot gear. you can see as we walk over here through this crowd, journalist and onlookers, you can see there's a major police presence still here just down that block is the governor's mansion. that is where thousands of these protesters converged yesterday. they came here to this area, to this intersection. they first started throwing firecrackers after hours of peaceful protests. then the riot police threw back tear gas and pepper spray and tried to disperse the crowd. this is an escalating political scandal. several days of demonstrations across the united states in new york, and miami. the governor insists he'll not step down. this is the pent up frustration that is spilling out into these streets following the aftermath of hurricane maria, where an
estimated 3,000 people died. many puerto ricans blame the governor for not responding to the crisis effectively. now it's unclear where this goes. we could see more protests over the coming days. again, the governor saying he will not resign. >> we know you'll stay on it. thank you for joining me this hour. "andrea mitchell reports" starts right now. and right now on a special edition of "andrea mitchell reports," live from the aspen security forum. hate speech, the president escalating his attacks against congressman ihlan omar. stoking his supporters' anger at a campaign rally. >> omar has a history of launching vicious anti-semitic screeds. inside