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tv   The Beat With Ari Melber  MSNBC  July 26, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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scott and presidential candidate tom steyer. the beat right now starts with yasmine in for ari. >> we'll be watching sunday, for sure. after mueller, democrats say they're already in impeachment investigation. a democrat now calling for impeachment joining us. also, mitch mccobble under fire for block election security bills. . as russian meddles in elections right now. i'm going to be joined by two senators who went inside a migrant detention center in el paso today. we'll start with an escalation in the obstruction investigation into president trump. thous judiciary chairman nadler saying "an impeachment investigation is under way," cite asking impeachment as his legal argument in a petition filed today to get secret mueller grand jury material. watch this. >> today, we are filing an application for the grand jury material underlying the mueller report. that information is critically important for our ability to
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examine witnesses including former white house counsel don mcgahn and to investigate the president's misconduct." >> nadler acknowledged asking the court for secret grand jury material means they are looking at impeachment. >> the committee is exercising its authority to investigate all these scandals and to decide what to do about them which could include articles of impeachment. we filed that with the court. we are doing this not just as part of normal oversight but also because it's part of our article 1 authority and responsibility to consider all representdies including possibility of articles of impeachment. we're considering what remedies we can do including the possibility of articles of impeachment. >> all right. so when asked if he believes they're already in an impeachment investigation, nadler saying in effect here is the petition.
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the words impeach or impeachment mentioned 85 separate times with the argument citing this, a constitutional power of the utmost gravity approval of articles of impeachment. right now, 96 democrats are calling for an impeachment inquiry, seven have come out in support after mueller's testimony including the highest ranking democrat so far congresswoman catherine clark, the sixth ranking house democrat based her decision on "unprecedented stonewalling and ob sfrukzstruction." >> jill wine back, did, sam seder, host of the majority report radio show and christina beltran, nyu professor. jill, i got to start with you. to do or not to do. what does this escalation mean to you? >> it means that mueller really set the stage for this. he established some really key points that may not have been delivered in a dramatic fashion
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but the facts are there that there was no exoneration, that he found at least five instances of obstruction where all three elements of the crime were committed, and there was actual evidence to prove those, that he needs to proceed on those. there's also impeachable offenses that aren't necessarily crimes you. mentioned stonewalling, for example. stonewalling interferes with congress's oversight powers. congress has the power of impeachment and the power of oversight. and president trump is interfering with both the investigation of criminal acts, just like richard nixon, obstruction of justice, cover-up, that's what it is. but in addition he has taken a blanket approval of nobody cooperating. he has said no one will cooperate. i won't give you any documents. this is not just on the criminal investigation. it's on whether or not can he is separating families. this is a terrible invasion of the powers of congress.
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and our whole constitutional framework requires that we have that. >> so the big question is where are democrats heading, sam. what are the next steps? are they heading towards an official impeachment inquiry leading to possible impeachment? what is their plan or do they even have a plan? how significant is we heard jerry nadler saying in effect, this is an impeachment inquiry? >> i mean, look, i don't have inside information in terms was dynamic between nancy pelosi and jerry nadler. but he clearly is moving forward. and she clearly has over the past several months you know indicated that she doesn't want to move forward or if she wants to move at an incredibly slow pace. look, the facts are overtaking her desire. it's become increasingly obvious there's multiple grounds for impeachment. but once you even get past the civics and duty of congress, from a political standpoint, it
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makes total sense. >> it does. >> of course it does because the idea, look, they've already passed 60 bills that are message bills. some of them are great. some of them are okay. they have not resonated with the american public. the bottom line is, there is nothing left for them to do. they need to maintain their oversight. just from the strictly a political standpoint. you need the civics part to justify this. but from a political standpoint, something needs to fill the vacuum that exists between now and the election. we saw some indication what the republicans are willing to do. donald trump today was talking about investigating president obama. if the democrats don't fill that will vacuum, the republicans will. and from a political standpoint, they needed to fill that vacuum. >> christina, there's a question of timing here, as we well know, they're headed on vacation off for the entire month of august. if you think about the timing of all this, we couldn't be looking at the launch of an impeachment inquiry even till late fall. right? then we would be well into the primaries by january. and then you have the election
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in november 2020. there is a political cue lus happening here for the democrats. >> they have to deal with the timing of this. i don't think it's really a problem. i agree with sam. politically, this is just a critical moment for a couple reasons. one thing that's key here is while they're on break, i think, well, i'll back up. one thing happening in this dream that mueller was going to be the patriarch who created the conditions for us to stay now we're ready to impeach. >> that the didn't happen. >> no one is coming to save us, right? the only people that will save this democracy are the citizens and elected representatives who are holding themselves accountable and who care about the constitution and want to do this. so two things i think will be important. during the break is what are citizens going to be doing in terms of showing up at town hall meetings and saying we demand this. >> and that's huge. that's how they spend their time in august is having town hall meetings. will they ask their constituents the question of should we pursue sbooim impeachment. >> the leadsership role they
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could play, we're not going to get him out of office through impeachment. there's going to be something key about basically putting a stamp on donald trump that says there is criminal and corrupt. this is somebody who is not protecting the constitution. the whole question of russian interference in the election, there should be a mass march in the fall demanding these bys around russian interference happen because it's our democracy at stake. the cavalry is not coming. it's citizens having to take care of this with their representatives. that's the case representatives have to hear. >> jill, the grand jury material as we well know and also don mcgahn and enforcing that subpoena, talk first about the grand jury material. what are they expecting to see with this material? >> r. >> they're expecting to see revealing compelling evidence. based on what i know from the watergate case and grand jury information that we turned over under the same rule, we applied to the court for of 6e
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exceptions and gave it to the house judiciary committee, i know that was what led to their impeachment. they used that material and i believe there's very compelling evidence in the 6e material. the best thing is getting don mcgahn that's like john dean raising his hand and saying i'm here to tell the truth. it's much better to hear a live fact witness than to hear the supervisor of people who talk to the fact witness say. >> but to play devils advocate here, they wanted mueller. they got mueller. and a lot of people saying he didn't necessarily deliver the decision that they were looking for and that they were going to launch an impeachment inquiry. how are they so the sure that don mcgahn will do that? >> they accepted mueller because they were denied everybody else. the president and barr have interfered with their investigation, their oversight, their impeachment powers by refusing blanket refuse to let any witness testify. the only one they would let
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testify, honestly, even if we had had arch i cox or leon jaworski testifying, they wouldn't have known all the facts any more than we would expect mueller to. i interviewed the witnesses, not archie cox. we need the people who were on the trial team or in this case in the investigation to deliver the message. and i also want to adjust to the what sam said, i think that we know for sure that nancy pelosi supported the action that was taken today. that has to mean that she has moved somewhat from opposing any action to allowing the initiation of steps. and there's a lot of reason that i think that people back home during the august recess are going to say you have to do this. here's the danger of not doing it. i get on twitter all the time. people say what's the point of being a democrat in the why does it matter. >> i'll add too, i don't know that it's a coincidence, who
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knows but jerrold nadler is now facing a primary challenger who is running on the idea of impeachment. other members of the democratic leadership. >> and members of the senate, as well also now coming out for impeachment. >> they are looking at primary challenges. >> so you think this is a political cue lus for nadler. >> everything is a political cue lus frankly. they're politicians. >> a personal one. >> i think frankly i'm not convinced it's not a personal calculation for nancy pelosi. you know, there is the iron law of power in institutions is that people would rather maintain power within an institution than necessarily increase the power of the institution itself. you know, it is unclear to me why nancy pelosi would put the brakes on this. but you know, so i think all politicians act in what generally what is their best interests. and incentives come from all different directions. >> incentives clearly come from a public organizing and
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mobilizing around this. at some point expecting they need to craft a narrative. if they're not going to, progressive organizations need to craft the narrative. they can't wait for perfect witnesses to many could and reveal the political strategy. that has to o to be forged by elected officials. >> some that i've spoken to have said it is time for them to make a decision because we are heading towards an election and possibly the only way to impeach this president if that's what you're angling for is to vote him out office come november 2020. >> there's a lot that could happen during the recess. >> a lot of reactions on my panel. jill, you first. >> a lot can happen. the lawsuits are going to proceed. by the time congress comes back and it's important that they take the recess to hear from their constituents, i can tell that you in watergate, after the an saturday night massacre when everybody got fired, archie cox and the attorney jinl and deputy attorney general got fired, it
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was the public reaction that three days after they got fired, nixon said okay, i made a mistake. >> what did you say about nixon. >> he's a crook. >> you respected the rule of law. i will say this, look, i don't think that there's anyone in the country who thinks that impeachment is going to lead to donald trump leaving office. the point is, you need to put down a marker who is accountable and what the president can get away with. if the republican party wants to stand in front of in between providing justice and accountability for donald trump, let them run on that. i think that's the point that the people are pushing. > i think you can gather all the stuff around russian interference. fundamentally our democracy is so threatened this should be a five alarm fire. i do think they're going to have to put this out as an organized event for movements. the power of narrative is something democratses have consistently failed on. this is their moment. >> there's a five-alarm fire in the control room right now. they're telling me to wrap. thank you guys all.
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have a fantastic weekend. still ahead it, i'll talk live to a lawmaker who is now in the impeachment caucus after seeing mueller testify. later me interview with two senators who just went inside that controversial destrengthsing in el paso reporting back on the conditions they found for children inside. plus, why moscow mitch is trending today. we'll talk about putin's next hack with the former u.s. ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul. and a new revelationing about nixon's taxes that could blow a big hole in the president's defense. i'm yasmine vas ewingian. i'm yasmine vas ewingian ily and it really shows. with all that usaa offers why go with anybody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. it was funny because when we would call another insurance company, hey would say "oh we can't beat usaa" we're the webber family. we're the tenney's we're the hayles, and we're usaa members for life.
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we are back with one of the latest democrats to call for impeachment, one of more than half a dozen coming forward in the wake of bob mueller's testimony. congresswoman lisa blunt ro cluster saying "future generations will look to us and ask where we were, what we did, and if we fell silent." she joins me now, lisa blunt rochester. thank you for being here. really appreciate it. you said today. >> thank you. >> you said today this had exchange of mueller's testimony was a key moment for you. let's take a listen to that. >> did you say director mueller, that the president was credible? >> i can't answer that question. >> director mueller, isn't it
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fair to say that the president's written answers were not only inadequate and incomplete, his answers showed that he wasn't always being truthful? >> i would say generally. >> why did that particular answer exchange help change your mind? >> well, first of all, yasmine, thank you for why having me on the show. the decision to even you know come out in favor of at impeachment inquiry was one that i didn't take lightly and that was really important to make. that exchanging in addition to director mueller talking about the fear of this being the new normal actually was a tipping point for me. you know, we has already received there 44-page document that showed us ten instances of obstruction of justice. but for me, i actually thought back to the part one of that document where we talk about the
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russian interference in our elections. i thought about myself as a -- i grew up in the 1960s, and we used to have to do these air raid drills where you would get under your desk or get in the hall and put your hands over your neck because we were concerned about tornadoes and about the soviet union. them attacking us. and we've actually been attacked. our country has been attacked. and to have a campaign, a presidential campaign actually welcome it for their own gain and then to learn from this testimony that our president has not been totally truthful to me called for us to take bold action. and to say that in order for us to get the information we need, in order for us to get the cooperation we need, we need to move forward with an inquiry into impeachment. >> so in fact, you say in your statement i believe opening an
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impeachment inquiry gives us firmer legal ground on which to stand. why? >> well, for one thing, we all know that oversight is one of the roles of congress. and we are doing investigations. we actually have six investigations going on from different sub, committees that are doing incredible work. but when you actually embark on an impeachment inquiry, impeachment is one of the things that is enumerated in the constitution. and so therefore, the courts would be more, we would be working faster in terms of getting that cooperation and in terms of getting those documents i believe and so for me it, adds an extras level of oversight. it actually adds more weight and credibility to what it is that we're trying to accomplish, and the bottom line is, nobody is above the law. and so whether it's the president or anyone else and you know, this inquiry would help us get the answers and get them in
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a more expeditious way. >> senior adviser to the democratic congressional campaign committee antoine sea wright. good to talk to you. thanks for joining us on this. mueller's testimony may have helped change the mind of the congresswoman but has it is shifted in your belief public opinion? >> i don't think so. i think the speak ser taking the right approach and leadership is taking the right approach, that is a marathon, not a sprint with in. we have to continue investigate agen will edge lating. if you look at one simple thing this idea we cannot govern if we do not win, we won up and down the ballot in the 201 because we won in places that donald trump won in 2016. if you talk to those individual members and you ask them what their constituents are saying, they're saying i want you to commit to do what you said you were going to do, the reason we put you here. and impeachment is not on the top of their minds. now, does that mean that posture
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and position will forever be this way? no, but i think that the congress and leadership is taking the right approach and i think that the congresswoman definitely is doing the right thing by representing the interests of her constituents but these members who is help us make up the majority have to respect the wishes of their constituents. >> doesn't it depend though on who exactly you're talking about or to? if you're talking about the democratic base, yes, in fact, it is likely they would support impeachment proceedings, the launching of an a inquirainquir. if you're thinking about a swing voter, hoping for someone who voted for trump reluctant lit in the 2016 and now looking for a new president and not sure where to put their vote, however they will vote for trump if there's nobody better, is there a risk democrats could lose those swing voters they're hoping to get this time around.
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>> it's a risk either way. these members have a responsibility to act according to the people who sent them there. we're a diverse caucus. the fact of the matter is we see that playing out publicly when you have members who want do go down the impeachment highway and those saying let's not do at all. i think time will tell how that plays out. i think we're taking the right approach by building the case and insuring that every voice is heard. i think the speaker and committee chairs and leadership is doing a good job being includesive in that conversation. >> congresswoman, you want to jump in. >> i most certainly do. i want to say the speak ser doing a phenomenal job. she has led us. she has serious concerns brn any divisions this could cause if we don't have a strong case. i support that. the reality is you're correct. this is not the conversation that you might hear from a lot of people even though within the past 48 hours and 24 hours i've had more calls into my office in support of it than ever.
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but i can tell you we can go down two tracks at the same time. i'm on the energy & commerce committee. part of what we've done that hasn't been reported is just last week, we passed out of committee 25 bills that included health care bills, that included stopping robocalls, that included protecting our consumers and climate change. 25 bipartisan bills. so the american people do need to note what we're doing for them but we have a job. mueller did his job. we've got do ours. >> lisa blunt rochester and an-2009 twoin twaun write. >> why is mitch mcconnell block election security bills? we're back income 30 seconds. election security bills? we're back income 30 seconds look limu. a civilian buying a new car. let's go. limu's right. liberty mutual can save you money by customizing your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. oh... yeah, i've been a customer for years.
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huh... only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ >> welcome back. mitch mcconnell is under fire for punting on election security bills as his own committee issues an alarming new report. the bipartisan senate intelligence committee led by a republican finds russia successfully targeted all 50 states. that russia's going to do it again in 2020. and that "little has been done to prevent it from happening." the report notes the committee has seen no evidence that votes were changed. the report comes after bob mueller said this. >> is this in your investigation, did you think that this was a single attempt by the russians to get involved in our election or did you find evidence to suggest they'll try
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to this again. >> it wasn't a single attempt. they're doing it as we sit here and expect to do it during the next campaign. >> they are doing as we sit here. mitch mcconnell is doing nothing about it blocking two election security bills calling them partisan legislation. this morning my colleague joe scoreboro p scarborough put it like this. >> he is aiding and abetting vladimir putin's ongoing attempts to subvert american democracy according to the republican, fbi, cia, dni intel committee, all republicans are all saying russia is subverting american democracy and moscow mitch won't even let the senate take a vote on it. that is un-american. >> okay. joining me now is the former u.s. ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul. thank you so much for joining us on this. you have been at the ire shall
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we say of russian president vladimir putin. you full well know what it's like to be the focus of russia in general. and of moscow. what is your response to mitch mcconnell? >> well, i won't be quiet as dramatic as joe just was there, but i agree with him entirely. this is not a partisan issue from democrats and republicans. what is more american, what is more patriotic than protecting the votes that americans will cast in the 2020? and i think this new report could give him an out. he and the president. because remember, in the past, we are talking about dysinformation on facebook, the hacking of the dnc and publishing that. those were designed to help candidate trump and hurt candidate clinton. but this new report really focuses on what the russians were planning to do on election day to disrupt the integrity of the vote. that is not for trump. that is just to undermine
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democracy and by the way, as the report points out, they had a public releases dysinformation campaign designed with things like #rest in peace democracy. so that i think could help to say this is something we all should get behind. it wasn't just that putin was trying to help trump, which he was, but he was also planning to disrupt the elections in general and that's something we should all get behind to stop. >> you also have mitch mcconnell saying basically this is a highly partisan bill and he said that spent two years that some folks sent two years hyping up a conspiracy theory about president trump and russia, of course, referring there to the democrats. but as mitch mcconnell well knows, every intelligence agency has said that russia interfered in america's elections. it is not just the mueller report. it is not just bob mueller's testimony from wednesday.
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it is every intelligence agency. and mitch mcconnell is not new to washington as we well know. he has been there quite some time. the fact he would go so far to say this is a partisan bill and basing that on the investigation that the democrats launched that he says went on for two years unjustly, it is perplexing to me, why would mcconnell not support something like this? >> well, i think he does -- i'm speculating. i know more about russian politics than american politics. i just was on capitol hill a couple days ago talking to senators about what is going on with the many bills by the way. there's a couple that are ahead in the queue. there's lots of really good legislation to help protect the vote. and i think he doesn't want to prolong the story about what the russians did. but i think it's a real political mistake for mitch mcconnell and the republicans for two reasons. one, this is not about partisan issues for the future. why are they just assuming that the russians might do there? the iranians might do this.
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why might not the high school silicon valley hackers here where i live disrupt the elections? we need told protect our elections from all adversaries. some of the things are very bipartisan. the deter act for instance is co-signatured by marco rubio. last i collected he's a republican. it's a great idea. the legislation says something very simple. if there is new intelligence that shows that russians or any other foreign actor interfered in our election, automatically, sanctions will go into place. tell me how that's partisan. that sounds pretty straightforward american to me. >> and in fact, there was a piece out today, i believe "the new york times" talking about how iran was doing just that. 7,000 accounts have been shut down on twitter where iran has been sewing discord acting as if they were an iran american woman in seattle, a harvard university student and so on and so forth. the article says is the disinformation campaign that
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iran is involved in is not as sophisticated as russia yet but they believe it is headed in that direction. ambassador mcfaul, good talking to you. >> thanks for having me. >> still to come, two democratic senators just toured a detention centering in el paso and they will be revealing exactly what they saw. plus, why revelations about richard nixon's tax returns could undercut donald trump's attempt to keep his secret. could undercut donald trump's teatmpt to keep his secret behr . staining be done... and stay done through every season. behr semi-transparent stain. find it exclusively at the home depot. [ text notification now that you have] new dr. scholl's massaging gel advanced insoles with softer, bouncier gel waves, you'll move over 10% more than before. dr. scholl's. born to move. to deal with the problem.icians but they wouldn't. so we took it to the voters
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>> tonight new fallout from the trump immigration agenda. moments ago trump announcing he's reached a deal with guatemala to restrict asylum applications from central america. we should note, however, that the guatemalan congress likely needs to sign off on the agreement first. it's unclear whether this would go into effect if at all. this as nbc news is reporting active duty u.s. troops now stationed inside a border patrol
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facility in the texas, some saying they may be close to violating a federal law which prohibits the military from the acting as a police force. and the border patrol chief in el paso was just reassigned following reports showing unsafe and unsanitary conditions in nearby border stations. in a moment, i'm going to be joined by two u.s. senators just inside one of those detention centers in el paso. but first a look at how their colleagues in the houses are addressing these issues grilling the acting director of i.c.e. over a number you have troubling reports including a story "the beat" covered last night. a u.s. citizen detained by border patrol officials for 23 days despite presenting his state i.d., his social security card, and his birth certificate. the i.c.e. director telling congress it's not in his authority to say the who is or who is not a citizen. watch there. >> i.c.e. does not have the lawful authority to say anybody
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is or is not a citizen. what we do is when we are provided with probative evidence that an individual in our custody is looks to be a citizen, we will release that individual from custody. >> what troubled me with your answer is when someone looks to be a citizen. you know, i've got a list here of nine guadeloupe placentia from my community, you advance it when they look to be a citizen. it strikes me all of these individuals are latinos and that you're talking about how someone looks. so can you talk to me a little bit about. >> i was not referring to anybody's appearance. that was clear if anybody listened to the context of what i was saying. > tonight the trump administration also expanding so-called expedited removals claiming the power to deport any undocumented immigrant anywhere in the u.s. who is can't prove they've been here more than two years potentially without seeing a judge. i'm joined by mazie hirono and
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tim gain. we appreciate you talking to us this evening very much. you were just inside one of these facilities, senator hirono, what did you see? >> when you go into these fats, there were not going to be the kinds of hundreds and hundreds of people that have been there even six months ago but nonetheless to see the cells even the agents referred to these places as cells is to realize that if there are 12 people, 13 people crammed as had been the case in these crews that no way for us to be treating people who are just wanting to seek asylum in our country. that's one thing. but what we see is a dysfunctional kind of system and it starts with the president and his attitude toward others especially immigrants and he is doing everything he can to stymie the ability of people mainly fleeing from the northern triangle countries to seek
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asylum as they are legally entitled to do. he is doing everything he can. he's sending them to mexico to await asylum hearings and now we understand he wants them to go to guatemala, one of the countries so many are fleeing from because it happens to be one of the murder capitals in the world. it's as though he wants all the other countries to step you but in the meantime, our country is not. we are a country of immigrants. >> snosh kaine, i want to play some sound from a boy named abner, 1 years old interviewed by our own julia ansley. this was an nbc news exclusive interview talking about the conditions that he faced inside the facility. let's take a listen to that.
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>> so senator kaine, he's talking about the fact that he wasn't even given a cup to drink water with which we know is incredibly essential. especially in climates like where he was being detained. he was given nothing to wash with like so. we have heard of instances of not even a toothbrush for young children. what needs to change? what needs to happen to improve conditions in these detention facilities? >> well, yasmine, we have to have minimum standards for them. the house passed a bill this week for health and safety standards for any of these facilities and the senate needs to act on those. second, we have to fight against the kind of overcrowding we saw because we talk to families who had similar experiences but as
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senators hirono said, we were in a different posture because the attention that was put on these facilities has caused the government to the dramatically reduce numbers. so the numbers of them down. if you're in a facility run by custom and border patrol and they have -- it was built for 100 adults and now they have 750 kids in facilities that aren't air conditioned that are dangerous where kids are getting communicate kabul diseases and they can hardly isolate them from each other, they don't have the supplies to deal with the numbers. here's the problem. cbp after they do intake and clear somebody, threw call hhs and say we have a child that the office of refugee resettlement has to pick up. hhs said sorry, we can't do it. the numbers were growing and growing in the facility and it was completely intolerable. the first step was an important one. the attention drawn by congressional visits by journalists doing good workforced other agencies to start doing their jobs. so the numbers have come down.
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but the president's actions in cutting off asylum claims and sending people back to unsafe locations whether it's a single man forced to go back to ciudad, mexico, you can't send somebody back to unsafe location. we have to fix the laws, insys upon minimum standards and keep the public focus, attention and pressure on so that these facilities are run in a way that would comport with american values. >> senator hire robe know, what do you make of this -- go ahead. >> well, i also saw that interview with that young man. and so we know that these facilities, the longer children are in these facilities the more traumatized they are. this can be lasting trauma. and so there are alternatives to detention. we don't need to have more and more children being deemed unaccompanied minors because we are so narrowly defining what a family member is and making them
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go through ever higher hoops so that the children do not have to be deemed unaccompanied minors and therefore, in the custody of orr, office of refugee resettlement. so there are a number ofnings that we need to do, but for the children being traumatized we need to have social workers. we need to have child care experts available to talk to these kids. it's not just volunteer or nurses aides, et cetera. we need professionals because we are damaging these children by the thousands with our policies. >> senator kaine, what is your reaction to the news that this american citizen was improperly detained as an illegal immigrant? >> it's of a piece with other things we've heard. look, the policies of the administration ye yasmine, right at the nexus of cruelty and incompetence. there's an intentional cruelty and also sort of an incompetence about oh, wow this guy had
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records that showed he was an american citizen. we didn't pay attention to them. you saw the same thing in the family separation policy. they separated families but they didn't keep good records where the kids were going so that here a year after they've been ordered to reunite families they're still -- there are still children not able to be reunited with their families. the administration is doing this sort of cruelty coupled with incompetence leading to results like this american being detained for weeks losing 26 pounds while in detention. he never should have been there in the first place. but that is an acceptable by-product to the administration that is insisting upon these cruel and incompetent policies. >> while i have you both here, house democrats as you well now know, now saying they're going to start an impeachment investigation. not at impeachment inquiry. your own colleague senator ed markey i believe yesterday stood on the senate floor and said we need to start an impeachment inquiry. senator hirono, what are your
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thoughts? is it time? >> i called for the senate for the house to begin an impeachment inquiry the day robert mueller gave his press conference making it very clear that the russians had interfered with our elections big-time, two that but for the office of legal council's admonition, they would have made a decision regarding indicting or charging a sitting president and so i called for an impeachment inquiry about three months ago i think. >> i'm not surprised that more in the house are reaching the conclusion after mueller's testimony. the testimony i think was pretty clear that look, we were blocked from recommending an obstruction of justice charge by an olc document. and mueller has said when the normal legal process is blocked dealing with the president, the only remedy is a congressional remedy. if you give conduct like this a free pass, then you've
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essentially said there's no standard. the house is going to do what they're going to do and mazie and are in the senate. the senate becomes a juror on something like this and would take it up if it came to us. the mueller testimony elaborating on the report demonstrates there have been a whole series of breaches of the behavior that we would expect from the office in the most serious ways. >> senators tim kaine, mace i hire reason know, thank you both. appreciate it. >> democrats think they have checkmate on trump's secret taxes. it all goes back to richard nixon. that's next. all goes back to r nixon. that's next.
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welcome back. in the fight over donald trump's tax returns, democrats say they just pulled out of their sleeve. watergate era documents say their demand for taxes is are unprecedented. releasing letters from 1973 showing the irs handed over richard nixon's tax information on the very same day that house democrats asked for them. you can see one letter here. the irs commissioner telling democrats they are receiving, quote, true copies of the original joint federal income tax returns filed by richard m. and patricia r. nixon. not only that, the 1973 requests cited the same law that democrats are relying on today, that 1924 law requiring the treasury department to furnish tax documents.
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democrats say all this refutes steve mnuchin who called their demand for trump's taxes an unprecedented request and who said he has never even heard of such a request. >> we will follow the law. >> thank you. >> i would expect that we would. i'm not aware there has ever been a request for an elected official's tax return, but we will follow the law. >> joining me now, pulitzer prize winning journalist david cay johnston who has been digging into trump's finances for years. his book about the trump white house is called "it is even worse than it looks." thank you so much for joining us on this. how relevant is this nixon era precedent to getting trump's taxes? >> well, it's totally relevant, yazmin. in the year since 1924, there is not a single known case of the irs not turning over a tax return on request. in fact, congress has at least three employees who work out of the irs just to examine tax
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returns every day. and by the way, president trump has the same authority as the house ways and means committee to see anybody's tax return on written request. what's kind of appalling sheer that the treasury the treasury secretary says he is unaware of something he should know about, and if he simply asked his staff, they would have told him immediately that the statement he actually made is nonsense. >> so -- so david, what is the difference here then? why can they not furnish the president's taxes when asking for them from the irs? and what do you see as the main difference here between the current president and then nixon? >> well, the fundamental difference here is that richard nixon at the end of the day, a former naval officer in world war ii was a patriot who resigned when he realized that he in fact had committed crimes, including by the way tax crimes. donald trump is a lawless man. he is the third generation head
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of a white collar crime family. and when it comes to our constitution, he has this belief, as he said just this week, that as president he is empowered to do anything, which is not at all what our constitution says. donald is a dictator in waiting, and in case is a good example of his belief that he should simply rule, not administer, but rule the country forever. >> so what about starting at the state level? why not using new york state's new tax laws to acquire the president's at least state taxes while they're still going after the federal taxes? >> well, as a matter of legal strategy, accepting the new york state version of his tax returns, which they could also get on the governor and other elected officials might undercut with some judges the argument that they want to see his federal tax returns, which are going to be very similar, but not identical. so they want to make sure this law, section 6103 of the tax code is enforced, just as it has
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been since 1924. >> all right, david cay johnston, thank you. have a good weekend, david. ahead one more thing about donald trump and french wine. i'll explain, next. xpla, innext [alarm beeping] {tires screeching} {truck honking} (avo) life doesn't give you many second chances. but a subaru can. (dad) you guys ok? you alright? wow. (avo) eyesight with pre-collision braking. standard on the subaru ascent. the three-row subaru ascent. love. it's what makes a subaru a subaru. introducing zero account fees for brokerage accounts.
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this overturns a lower court ruling. trump on twitter calling it, quote, a major victory. and one programing note tonight. msnbc is launching a new documentary series "american swamp." jacob soboroff and katie tur reporting on the murky underbelly of american politics. debuting this sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on msnbc. it is going to be awesome. and those are two good friends of mine. also, one final thing before we go tonight. it is an alert to all wine lovers out there. >> are you going to slash tariffs on french wine? >> i might, i might. french put on a tax on our companies. you know that. wrong, wrong thing to do. they should not have done it. i may do that. i've always liked american wines better than french wines. >> so if you enjoy some french wine, my friends, cheer, because
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you may not be able to get it anymore unless you pay a lot of money for it. so with that, did that work? have a great weekend, everybody. you can catch me on mornings at first look. "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. decision time. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. is there still time to impeach donald trump? if so, how much time? is september as one top democrat told me last night the time to put up or shut up? house democrats claim they're already putting maximum pressure on president trump and his administration. >> the committee is exercising its authority to investigate all these scandals and to decide what to do about them, which

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