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tv   MSNBC Live With Katy Tur  MSNBC  August 9, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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apple tv. really you have to make a concerted effort not to be able to watch this show. it's kind of everywhere. right now my friend amend picks up. >> and i was thinking your weekend was about to start. you got a couple more hours. hang in there, my friend. good afternoon, everyone. i'm in for katy tur. it's 11:00 a.m. out west, 2:00 p.m. in new york. we're in the wake of two mass shootings and president trump is in the hamptons attending two multi-million dollar fundraisers for his re-election campaign. before boarding air force one in washington the president again insisted that gun reform is coming and that the nra is on board despite reporting that the gun lobby had actually warned president trump that his case wouldn't like it. uldn't like it >> i have a great relationship with the nra. i have a lot of respect for the people in the nra and i have spoken to them on numerous occasions, numerous occasions,
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and frankly, we need intelligent background checks, okay? this isn't a question of nra, republican or democrat. i spoke to mitch mcconnell yesterday. he's totally on board. he said i've been waiting for your call. he is totally on board. we don't want insane people, mentally ill people, bad people, dangerous people, we don't want guns in the hands of the wrong people. i think that the republicans are going to be great and lead the charge, along with the democrats. >> if that sounds familiar to you, it might be because, unfortunately, we've been here before. shortly after the mass shooting at a school in parkland, florida trump promised to, quote, be very strong on background checks. in fact, he said he'd stand up to the gun lobby. but as you can imagine, trump ultimately backed down. and remember this is a president who has repeatedly declared himself a champion of the nra
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and the second amendment. >> you have a true friend and champion in the white house. no longer will federal agencies be coming after law abiding gun owners. [ cheers ] no longer will the government be trying to undermine your rights and your freedoms as americans. your second amendment rights are under siege, but they will never ever be under siege as long as i'm your president. there's no bigger fan of the nra and these guys are great patriots. they're great people and they want to do something. they're going to do something. don't worry about the nra. they're on our side. half of you are so afraid of the nra. there's nothing to be afraid of. >> today's big question is this. will the president retreat on gun control this time as well? joining me to talk about this,
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white house correspondent hans nichols. political white house reporter gaby orr and aaron blake. hans, let me pick up on that last theme. the president said remarkably similar things about gun control last year after the parkland shooting. we had some of that in our montage that we played. in fact, here's the president in his own words again. it seems like we may not have that sound bite but it's similar to what we had in the montage that we played earlier talking about his support for the nra, the second amendment and his support for background checks. what is different this time around? >> kristin welker asked that very question to president trump on the lawn and the president responded with a simple word. he said time. now, he also seemed to suggest that the house has changed and that's true. now house democrats are in control of one chamber of congress. he also suggested there's been
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some movement in the senate side. in the barometers i've looked to on this aren't necessarily senator lindsey graham who is of course traveling with the president today and talking about red flag. red flag has broad bipartisan support. when you get to background checks you get into more contentious controversy and just who is going to be willing to go that much further. think of it as a spectrum. democrats obviously want to have much stricter background checks. it's a question of how far republicans are willing to go along that spectrum. the president's indicating some willingness to move on that, and he says that he has some republican movement as well and that mitch mcconnell is on his side on this. i think we need to hear more directly not just from mitch mcconnell but also a lot of rank and file senate republicans to see whether or not they're with the president and whether or not everyone's defining the terms and talking about the same thing when they're talking about background checks. >> we're going to get to the capitol hill aspect of this in a moment but let me play that
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sound bite that i was referencing earlier. listen to this, hans. >> we're going to be very strong on background checks. we're going to do very strong background checks. it doesn't make sense that i have to wait until i'm 21 to get a handgun but i can get this weapon at 18, i don't know. i was curious as to what you did in your bill. >> we didn't address it, mr. president. >> you know why, because you're afraid of the nra. >> he's blunt there saying that he's actually pointing at that representative and saying it's because you're afraid of the nra. interesting enough he said that he has spoken to officials at the nra on numerous occasions. what, if anything, hans, can you tell us about those talks and whether or not the nra is going to get on board with what the president wants to do or the other way around? >> the president's reading of those talks, his interpretation, is there's been a little softening from the nra and that they may give him a bit and i stress bit of a pass to do something on background checks. the president kept saying meaningful. he must have said meaningful close to two dozen times on the
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south lawn. the issue here again is we haven't heard the nra's side of that conversation. now, it's also unclear whether or not when the president said he's had multiple conversations with the nra, whether or not he was referencing his going to their conventions. a couple months ago he was at their convention in indianapolis and gave a full-throated defense of any sort of attempts to take guns away, so we'll see to what extent the president walks away. remember, he has two veto threats on the two background check legislation pieces that have passed the house. those are firm veto threats, so he may have to reverse himself if he's going to move towards the direction of background checks. >> gaby, let me hone in on the issue of the nra because the president has said more than once that the nra would get on board but that's not really the impression i'm getting when i'm reading this statement that's actually been issued by wayne lapierre, the chief of the nra. let me put that on your screen. i'll read part of it.
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the nra opposes any legislation that unfairly infringing upon the rights of law-abiding citizens. the proposals being discussed by many would not have prevented the horrific tragedy in el paso and dayton. worse, they would make millions of law abiding americans less safe. do they have the political capital to pass gun reform? >> i believe that statement that was put out yesterday by nra ceo wayne lapierre also said that the things being talked about right now on capitol hill are simply sound bite solutions, so it doesn't seem like there's an appetite within the gun will bey at least to support anything that's being talked about right now, whether that's the red flag laws or background check legislation. at the same time though it's important to look back at what happened after the parkland shooting when president trump said he was going to do
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background checks, said he was going to do at least something and ended up directing the doj to regulate bump stocks out of existence. the nra didn't really put up a fight when he did that. they issued a statement after the president's directive and said this is something that we disagree with, that we've never endorsed bans on anything. yet, they didn't run ads against him or run ads against republicans who said that they favored that move. so i do think that there's precedent for this administration to do something, knowing that they might get a pass from the gun lobby and from those leaders that the president has routine lly aligned himself with. >> the capitol hill aspect of this is is that speaker pelosi and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell don't see eye to eye on this. she wants him to call the senate back into session, a power he has granted to him by the constitution. it does not appear that's going to happen. it seems trump and mcconnell are on the same page when it comes to trying to do anything quickly.
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>> yeah, and the past here weighs heavily upon any actions that the senate is going to take. one of the tough things about this for congressional republicans is even as many of them might ultimately be persuadable on this issue, none of them are going to leap first before the president comes out and supports some actual specific legislation. he can talk generally in vague terms about some significant or very strong background checks, but until he endorses a specific piece of legislation and makes clear that he's going to go to bat for it, they're not going to be the first ones to go out there because they've seen him too many times float an idea and then back off of it, not follow through on these things. one of the real ironies here is that even as the president has gone back on this issue to some degree, said he was going to get tough on the nra and then ultimately did not do that, he really, probably more than any recent president, has the ability to make this happen. he has such credibility with the
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republican party base that if we were to get behind something like this, i think it would pose a very difficult conundrum for the nra where they would basically have to choose between fighting a battle with the president that they might lose, they might actually lose that battle because of his support among the base, or they might just give him a pass. i think the president suggested as much today. he said maybe the nra would ultimately be neutral on something like this. so will he ultimately make the decision to try and fly in the face of what the nra wants to do? i think that's very much to be decided but ultimately i think if this is something he really wants to do, he can get movement on it. >> this could be one of the biggest intra policies among the republicans in the coming months. we'll see how it all plays out. thank you all very much. while washington debates gun control, the president is in the hamptons. as we mentioned at the top of the hour, right now he is back home in his home state i should say for a duo of fundraisers
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hosted by wealthy developers he's known for years. later this afternoon president trump will travel to his golf club in new jersey where he's expected to spend the next few days, leaving the president out of washington with a lot going on, to be specific. as the associated press notes, with his poll numbers stalled and his ability to rally the question, he is being tested by an escalating trade war with china that may slow the economy, rising tensions with both iran and north korea and in the aftermath of the mass shootings last weekend, pressure to act on guns and face accusations of his own role in fostering an environment of hate. lots of pressure facing the president. he's not in d.c. for that. joining me now from new jersey, nbc news white house correspondent kelly o'donnell. good to have you with us. the president was actually touting these fundraisers on his way out of the white house today and seems to be boasting about the millions. do they have any concerns about the optics of the timing of these fundraisers?
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doesn't seem like he has it if there were any. >> reporter: frankly, i think no because he had spent time honoring the victims and making a trip to el paso and dayton and seeing first responders there and there was some criticism about how he handled that, but it is a campaign season and that work goes on as well. it's also august in washington. congress is out of town and the president is beginning what is officially his summer vacation. he'll be staying at his home which is on the grounds of one of his trump branded golf properties over the next ten days or so. he will be conducting some official trips and some campaign trips from that as a home base here in new jersey. we've seen him do that in the first couple of years of his administration. so this is pretty standard business. the president did talk about the fundraisers and what is unusual is it's coming at a time where those who are hosting the fundraisers and sort of the atmosphere around it has been
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drawing some new criticism and there has been some boycotts of some of the business people who have been associated with supporting the president. mr. trump talked about that today as he was departing the white house. steven ross, one of those who is hosting a luncheon that's happening right now, here's what the president talked about and the high dollar value that he expects to get for his campaign and the republican national committee. >> steven ross is a great friend of mine. he's a very successful guy. we were competitors but friends in real estate in new york in the old days. he's a great guy. he is -- by the way, i think he's probably more inclined to be a liberal, if you want to know the truth, but he likes me. he respects me. the controversy makes steve ross hotter. he'll figure that out in about a week, but he's very happy. he's very successful. a lot of people are going. we have two fundraisers. one is steve, one is another gentleman. i guess they're going to raise 11 or $12 million.
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>> reporter: so the president's suggesting somehow that developer ross is now hotter because there are some people who want to boycott some of his fitness businesses as one example because of his association with the president. we'll see how that plays out. that has not been something we've seen when the president has done fundraisers typically in the past. it's one of the iterations of how campaign season has certainly intensified, and as i mentioned, the president will be vacationing over part of the next ten days or so and still doing some official business and we'll see the president doing some travel and some other things that are related to his job. always the challenge for presidents to have some recreation and all the duties of the president go with them no matter what. >> kelly o'donnell, thank you. still ahead, the president makes it clear that i.c.e. raids this week that left children without parents to come home to, well, that was actually to send a message. plus an nbc news exclusive.
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code this president has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation. >> he is someone who gives -- who empowers white supremacists
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and who condones their behavior. >> we're sitting around here waiting for mitch mcconnell to get his marching orders from donald trump who's causing white nationalists to go around shooting people of color in the united states? most 2020 democrats appear to agree that president trump's rhetoric inspires white nationalists and white supremacists here in america but a few candidates are going further calling the president himself a white supremacist. >> you've been very clear that you believe the president is a racist. is the president a white supremacist? >> he is. he's also made that very clear. >> one of your 2020 rivals, congressman beto o'rourke told me this morning that he believes president trump is a white supremacist or a white nationalist. do you agree? >> i do. >> why is it important for you to come out yesterday and say that you think the president is a white supremacist? >> so, i was asked a question and i gave an honest answer. >> based on his words and actions, yes, he's a white
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supremacist. >> so, has labelling the president a white supremacist become a new litmus test for 2020 democrats? joining me to talk about this, republican political correspondent and contributor and host of fox media's considerate, michael singleton and senior adviser and msnbc contributor adrian elrod. michael, let me begin with you. the president addressed today as he was walking on the white house south lawn. take a listen. >> i don't think it helps. first of all, i don't like it when they do it because i am not any of those things. i think it's a disgrace and i think it shows how desperate the democrats are. i will say this, for them to throw out the race word again, racist, racist, racist, that's all they use for anybody. they called nancy pelosi a racist. she's not a racist. they call anybody a racist when they run out of cards. i'm winning in the polls. they're desperate.
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they've got lousy candidates. they've got bad candidates. >> after everything this president has said and done, is that deflection sufficient? do you think that will actually hold up? >> look, i think this strategy is problematic in this way. while democrats are focusing on this regard, they're not talking about policies. they're not talk background how, if they are elected, they're going to improve the lives of voters. i think people's minds about donald trump are pretty much made. you have two camps, either you love the guy or you hate the guy. continuously telling those who are on your side what they already believe does not increase turnout. it does not give them motivation. it's like, okay, hey, thanks for agreeing with me but -- >> can i just say -- sorry to cut you off but to that point, why does that philosophy or strategy apply to republicans? why do people say the president can be racist to fire up his base but when the democrats say he is a racist and that
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motivates them, that's not going to work? seems like a double standard. >> i don't know if republicans have said that it's a racist strategy and it's working and we're going to keep doing it. >> not that they're saying it's a racist strategy. they're saying he's firing up his base and people have talked about how doubling down on this kind of rhetoric -- >> you're talking about the rhetoric, sure. i'm following you now. >> things like send her back, the immigrants, infestation. that language is increasing. >> i've been on the air with you several times and i think you know my opinions about the president as do most viewers who are watching this now. that's not the strategy that i would probably input. it's not the advice that i would be giving the president as i do think words matter. i think the rhetoric does sort of create a mood in the country that furthers division and strife which i don't think any leader should do. i don't think anyone wants to be responsible when those words turn into actions like what we
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recently saw in el paso and toledo. again, going back to my original premise, 2020 is going to ultimately come down to turnout. every single data that's out there points to that reality. so the question comes down to what can you do to motivate as much of your base as possible in those key swing states, and i think democrats have to do more than constantly say how horrible the president is. >> fair point. adrian, to that point and i want to go back to something that michelle obama always said, when they go low, we go high, so the question then becomes is there a little too much hand wringing on the side of the democrats, that if somebody says this president's a racist and we see this backlash like don't go down that road, stay focused on the policies, americans don't want to hear this name calling, they want to see how you're going to make their lives better, what's the strategy here and are the democrats in the right spot or going down the wrong road? >> i don't think when democrats running for the presidency call
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him a white nationalist are doing it on a limb. at the same time this is what donald trump wants. he's baiting democrats. he's going so extreme on some of his behavior, some of the policies and obviously the race last week, this previous week. he's going so extreme that he wants democrats to call him that so his advisers can go out there and say democrats are crazy, i can't believe they're calling me a white supremacist. how insane is that. that's what he's trying to do. i would agree with michael to an extent but i don't think democrats are letting this drive the agenda. right now this week has been one of the worst weeks of donald trump's presidency and it's also impacted millions of americans across the country in terms of the shooting and of course the i.c.e. raids in mississippi. i think democrats had to do what they had to do this week. i think that they made a very strong point, but we also got to focus on the issues because americans see every day when they turn on the television the
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horrible things that donald trump is doing. they don't need democrats to remind them of this. they want to focus on what are democrats going to do to improve my life, health care, jobs, the economy, those kitchen table issues, and democrats have got to focus on that. >> that is not what donald trump did back in 2016. he did not run on a policy platform. he ran on a platform that brought in a lot of rhetoric that people have said was racist, anti-immigrant, fear mongering in 2016. it worked for him. >> ahman, it worked for him but you're talking about two distinct groups of voters and i appreciate your question but i would argue and i think most political scientists would agree that republican voters for the most part view things very differently than democratic voters. the idea of nationalism where you sort of see within the republican party a growing percentage of voters in the base that are saying i am concerned about the direction of the country because of ethnicity, different language versus democratic voters. >> okay, so here's the question
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that i wanted to pose to you, adrian. is there a concern that republicans are going to absorb this white supremacist language or criticism and use that to paint donald trump supporters the way they did with the deplorables comment, basket of deplorables infamously used in 2016 and that may backfire? >> there's always a risk but going back to what i said earlier, i think the democrats are not necessarily think about this in the lens of the political calculation but simply trying to do what they can to call out donald trump for what he's doing. we've got to keep in mind hillary clinton won the election, popular vote, by 3 million more votes than donald trump. i think we have to assume or at least hope that most of those voters who supported hillary clinton will be supporting the democratic nominee. really this comes down to how is that 2% to 3% of swing voters, undecided, moderate republican voters out there and independents, how does this impact them, what do they think.
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i think most of those folks and we've seen this in plenty of polls, believe that donald trump is a white supremacist or white nationalist. >> thank you both very much. >> thank you. next, the fallout continues over this week's i.c.e. raids in mississippi. children were left crying without a parent to go home to and the president makes it clear it was all by design. [leaf blower] you should be mad at leaf blowers. [beep] you should be mad your neighbor always wants to hang out. and you should be mad your smart fridge is unnecessarily complicated. but you're not mad, because you have e*trade which isn't complicated. their tools make trading quicker and simpler. so you can take on the markets with confidence. don't get mad. get e*trade and start trading today. with retirement planning and advice for what you need today and tomorrow.
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welcome back. we've got breaking news. a federal appeals court just unsealed more than 2,000 pages of documents related to jeffrey epstein. joining me now, nbc news investigations reporter tom winter who is making his way through these documents before we interrupted you to bring you on set. what have you learned about these documents and what is their significance to the ongoing investigation? >> this is actually not tied at all to the criminal investigation to your point there. this comes from a civil lawsuit that's actually already previously settled. there was an appeal taken to the second circuit court of appeals saying, hey, there's a ton of documents and filings in this civil case and it's a civil case
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between jeffrey epstein's top assistant and who, according to court documents and filings, had knowledge of this thing epstein had going with underage girls back to the early to mid 2000s and it was a suit brought by one of those victims, virginia roberts. she brought this case saying when maxwell comes out saying i'm not a liar, i know who i'm talking about, i have a lot of evidence to back up the things that i'm saying. what we're getting today is all the underlying exhibits and some of the filings in this case being put out into the open. we don't have them all yet so as you said, close to 2,000 documents here. we know that we have more to come. there's obviously a lot to digest. it also means that our understanding of the full record isn't complete and it's important for people to know that. so today we're getting the first part of the book but there may
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be the second part of the book that's going to change a little bit of the information that we have. there are a couple of important things in here that i want to talk to you about. it's important to know that virginiaoff offry has never indicated she had a sexual relationship with donald trump and it's important that no reporting has ever tied her to that. however, she explicitly states in a transcript today that, in fact, no, she never had sex with the president, and on top of that, she never saw any of the other girls that were in jep jey epstein's company at the time have sex with donald trump either. what we do know from her statements and her deposition and the transcripts from that deposition but also documents her attorney was able to get, she did work at mar-a-lago. that's been publicly reported before but we have documented
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evidence of that today. that was in 2000. we've been seeing images of jeffrey epstein with the president, in his company back in the early 2000s. there's been video from nbc' archives from that time period is that in 1997 according to the pilot's records, he was on board his plane in january of 1997, epste epstein's private plane, along with the defendant in this lawsuit and several others whose names are difficult to make out. those are the two main points here but obviously there's been a lot of questions in the tabloid world and on the internet whether or not donald trump was involved sexually in this particular case and in this particular instance as far as this victim is concerned, this alleged victim, virginia joffry, formerly virginia roberts. she says no. >> quickly, do we know of any other similar cases that may be
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in the past that could have a similar document dump, like something else that's working its way in the courts? >> super question. i know exactly what you mean. there are a number of civil proceedings still ongoing in this and you remember that one of the reasons why we've arrived at today and why this case has gotten so much interest is because that nonprosecution agreement involving the former secretary of labor, alex acosta, who was the u.s. attorney in miami at the time, victims there brought lawsuits involving that nonprosecution agreement saying, hey, we didn't get a heads up that they were going to this agreement. they violated our victims' rights. in fact, a judge in miami found that to be true. so those civil proceedings are still ongoing. most of the filings there have been public, not all of them, to your question. so it's possible that we see more of them in the future. certainly in this case our understanding is that we will see more filings made public in the future, so we're getting selected chapters of this book. >> i'm going to let you get back
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to trying to make your way through those 2,000 documents. thanks, tom. turning to the topic of immigration today, the president touted that what people saw happen in mississippi believe it or not would actually serve as a deterrent for migrants looking to come here to the u.s. watch this. >> this served as a very good deterrent. when people see what they saw yesterday and like they will see for a long time, they know that they're not staying. >> so here's what we saw happen in mississippi. children left in tears without parents to go home to after their first day of school, after a massive i.c.e. raid swept up nearly 700 people. a 9-year-old girl pleading for her father, watch. >> my dad didn't do nothing. he's not a criminal. governments please put your heart, let my parents be with
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erielle resh everybody early. >> more than half are still in government custody separated from their families. joining me gabe gutierrez and from washington nbc news correspondent covering the doj and dhs, julia ainsley. let me begin with you. what has the community there been doing for these separated families in the past couple of hours? >> hi there. as you can see, this is a church in forest, mississippi where donations have been pouring in for many of these families. one of the organizers here tells us that just yesterday they had about 150 or so people come in here and you can see some of these volunteers gathering some of the materials here. just to give you an idea of how this spread across the state, this is the local paper here, i.c.e. raids rock state. really, these communities are reeling. so many of these communities have so many of these workers and as you mentioned, 680 people rounded up on wednesday. we have spoken with a couple of
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families this morning including an 18-year-old girl who says that she learned that her father had been detained while she was at school on wednesday. she still doesn't know where he is at this point. we also spoke with an undocumented worker. he says -- he didn't want us to use his last name. he says he goes by the name joe. he works at one of these facilities and he says he narrowly missed being rounded up on wednesday because he worked on another shift. i spoke with him this morning. take a listen. >> what's your message for president trump? >> mr. trump, you put your hand on your heart. the people is scared about everythi everything. >> reporter: many of the folks we've spoken with today say they've been in this part of mississippi for more than a decade. they are struggling to figure out what happens next. as you mentioned, about 400 people or so that were rounded up on wednesday, they are still in government custody. they're being held in facilities
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both here in mississippi as well as louisiana. i.c.e. coming back and saying that they are a law enforcement agency, not a social services agency. we spoke with a superintendent here though who says it was one of the most traumatic experiences for some of his children in his district that he's seen in his entire career. >> stay with me for a second. julia, i want to come to you. you learned that i.c.e. did not notify mississippi child protective services of the raids and was not able to guarantee that they actually had somewhere safe to go. what did i.c.e. do in terms of any advance steps for the children that were going to be impacted by these raids obviously? >> reporter: they told me that they are a law enforcement agency and said we're not a humanitarian agency but we took steps to try to ameliorate some of the humanitarian concerns, but that doesn't mean that they can guarantee and obviously they can't guarantee because of the
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faces of the children we're watching now that every child had a parent to go home to. when they left what was for many of them the first day of school for mississippi because they did not contact child protective services or give advanced warning to schools. they said that might have tipped off these workers that a raid of this scale was happening and they might have gone into hiding and they wouldn't have been arrested and i.c.e. wouldn't have been able to carry out its mission here. instead, they kept that all under wraps. there's really no protocol. we've been looking into this today, what i.c.e. has to do. it is typical however when they go to a house, if they're going to arrest an individual and they know that there are u.s. citizen children that will be left behind that they will bring someone from child protective services to figure out where this child is going to go next. is there a relative that can take care of them or do they need to bring them into the foster care system and there's a way for that to take place. when you have a raid of this scale, 680, there's no way they
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can do that. the things they did provide is they said they talked to the people when they were first arrested at their work site and they released about 30 of them, many because they had children under the age of 5. 270 were released later in processing. they say that was because of custody concerns. some of them explained that they were the only ones taking care of their children and they were given a phone call so they could make arrangements for relatives to come pick up their child at school. but just speaking or hearing from the superintendents of the schools down there, it's clear there was not a plan in place and that many children went home to empty houses and are now in the hands of local nonprofits. >> really quickly, julia, do we know if any of the seven plants that were raided wednesday are going to face any legal jeopardy for hiring these undocumented workers? obviously we see the images of what has happened to these innocent people but what are we talking about in terms of those that actually hired them? >> i'm glad you're asking that question. it's the same one that i asked the u.s. attorney for the southern district of mississippi yesterday. he stumbled a bit and said i
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have to remain vague. it was as if he couldn't say who's under investigation but he couldn't confirm there's an investigation at all. so right now we don't know that any of them will face penalties. it could be they will face civil penalties and pay a fine rather than criminal penalties. a lot of people are outraged by that and say the real perpetrators here, the real criminals are the companies, not the people that simply signed up for a job. >> thank you both very much. to an nbc news exclusive. we're gaining access to the mexican national guard as they patrolled the border with gal mat la. watch. joining me i sudden say from mexico city is cal perry. i know you went on that trip along the border. what more can you tell us about what you saw there when you spoke to the immigrants there? >> reporter: we so often talk about the dramatic effects the
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trump policies are having on the u.s. southern border. this started when the president leaned on mexico, threatened tariffs. there are 11,000 national guardsman along that border with guatemala. the other half of the city are the thousands of people at the border city who have been deported or who are waiting in mexico to start that asylum process. we spoke to a couple of young men. take a listen. >> what do you think of everything that's happening with president trump and all of this? >> you know, i actually understand, you know, what a president -- i mean, what trump is trying to do. he's trying to protect his country. >> what was that like? people talk about it all the time but what is it like? >> it's horrible. you're living a different life and all of a sudden you end up being somewhere elsewhere you don't know nothing.
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>> reporter: people feeling very out of place growing up in america and ending up in southern mexico. both of those individuals had been previously deported by the trump administration. the other thing that is important to note as we're down here along that southern border with mexico city but whether we're in mexico city or there, the thing that's also having an effect are these i.c.e. raids and the shooting in el paso. people here are talking about both of those things, specifically feeling like migrants, immigrants and people of a mexican nationality being targeted. >> thank you very much. you can see more of cal's exclusive coverage tonight on "the last word." a summit to combat online extremism is being held today at the white house but without a key voice in the debate. we're going to tell you whose it is, next. debate. 're going to tell you whose it is, next johnson & johnson is a baby company.
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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. welcome back. the white house held a summit on violent online extremism this afternoon in washington d.c. marking one of the first times this administration has tried to tackle this issue. in fact, president trump pledged to do something about online extremism following the el paso shooting, but it is unclear just how seriously the administration is taking the summit. in fact, the president wasn't even there, opting instead to fundraise here in new york. joining me now, "washington post" reporter and msnbc technology contributor tony rahm and former fbi special agent clint watts.
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tony, let me begin with you. we don't know much about this event but what have we been able to learn about who was there and how it was put together? >> this is one of the first instances in which the white house is doing something rather publicly around online what we saw today was a gathering of senior administration officials the companies in room included amazon, facebook, google and twitter and microsoft as well. the conversation was about what those companies are doing to combat online extremism, especially given the fact that we've seen so much hate speech go viral and the reality that much of that hate speech can trigger real world violence like we saw in el paso. >> i know you recently wrote that the friday event aims to gauge how some of the silicon valley companies spot and remove
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posts that that threaten communities. are they eager to share that knowledge? >> certainly because it helps the companies show that they're doing something in the face of a major problem. facebook for example has told us in recent months that it's taken down millions down millions of posts that violate its rules around graphic or violent content or terrorist propaganda, and so forth. but the message from regulators around the world is that this hasn't been enough. and there is this added concern about the companies or the websites that weren't in the room today. i'm thinking of two in particular, one called gab and another called 8chan where a lot of this awful stuff does tend to appear. we are talking about hate speech and extremism. >> clint, there's an interesting irony here in the sense that a couple weeks ago the white house was hosting a lot of social media influencers, people that they say have been kicked off of social media. and a lot of them who trade in
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conspiracy theories, which, in their own way are part of that kind of atmosphere, if you will, that incubate some kind of the radicalization to get conspiracy theories out there. how is it that the white house is trying to have it both ways? >> they're not going to. it's ridiculous. if i were the tech companies, imagine you have the social media summit just a month or two ago and a lot of the people that were kicked off with for threats of violence. and at the same time these big tech platforms has already pushed extremists off. and where do we see the extremists crop up? when it was islamic, they were at telegram. so what are you going to have the big tech companies do? are they supposed to go police small platforms? no. that leads to tight competition which, by the way, the doj, what are they doing, they are looking
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at break up some of the big social media companies. so it seems almost really silly activity. >> yeah, especially for a president who constantly goes after and tries to criticize social media. what are the larger ways. i mean, if you were genuinely to advise the white house to deal with online extremism, what would you tell them needs to be done realistically? >> i think the big thing is detecting them online and then intercepting them on the ground. that's kind of where we got to over about a decade, right, in international counterterrorism. that means you got to have much, much more human intelligence with domestic terrorism. people going into places like gab and 8chan who are the small number of people -- >> i can see, you know, first amendment defenders saying, whoa, red flags. >> they would say that, but in terms of investigators you have to be able to see when that person puts up the post that says "hey, i'm going to do a shooting here." you have to have a way to detect
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that. at the same time we can't expect the doj or the fbi to be able to top these. the other thing we could be doing though is we talked a lot about countering violent extremism. we wasted a lot of energy on community outreach. but there were some programs that were successful. one of them was called moonshot cv. they went after both islamic extremists and white supremacists. i think those techniques are very smart. >> very quickly, tony, what do you get a sense of in terms of the bias that the white house accuses social media of having against conservative bloggers and influencers on there? is that something that the white house may try to link to this saying, hey, you know what, combat violent extremism but don't silence the voices that support us? >> the president has accused these companies of being biased against conservatives even though at times the evidence that he has cited for that has been easily debunked by experts
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in the digital space. and you can see that juxtaposition from the social media summit just last month and the conversation that we're having today. so when you talk to the tech companies they say it puts them in a bit of a bind because they're being told on one hand keep your hands off content. and on the other hand that they should be much more active in the kinds of stuff that they take down or that they leave up. >> it is a slippery slope indeed. tony romm, clint watts, thank you both very much. new new and get ready for the butter cow because we are talking iowa. one more thing after a quick break. break. ohhh. ahhgh. so imagine how we cheered when we found tide pods sport. finally something more powerful than the funk. bye. i love you too! he didn't say that. tide sport removes even week-old sweat odor. if it's got to be clean, it's got to be tide.
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all right. one more thing before we go over the next few days nearly every 2020 candidate will descend on the iowa state fair. a weekend filled with butter sculptures, that's correct, that's true, games and just about anything you can eat on a stick or deep fry. it's a rite of passage. this tradition dates back to 1954 when president dwight eisenhower hit the fair with president hoover. jimmy carter was the first to make it an official campaign stop in 1976 after winning the democratic nomination. and fair moments have sometimes made for awkward political headlines headlines in 2007, late republican senator fred thompson stopped by. here he is in fact getting a photo op with an adorable little pork chop. only one problem, he did it wearing these loafers. reports thought they were gucci.
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thompson pushed back said, no, they're worth hundreds, not exactly the smartest attire. and what happens at the fair doesn't always stay at the fair. take 2012 when mitt romney tried to make barack obama a one-term president. romney went to the fair and got heckled by iowans who wanted him to raise taxes on corporations. romney responded by saying corporations are people. then of course there's 2015. donald trump wanted this visual to stick with him where at least with the voters. he arrived at the fair in his own helicopter and offered up helicopter rides to children. he used it as the backdrop for his entire visit and told voters he was along to spend $1 billion of his own cash for his maga campaign. all right. that wraps up things for me here this hour. i'm filling in for katy tur.
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ali velshi picks things up right now. >> i have to say can i check out what kind of loafers you're wearing? >> i don't have anything that fancy. um, here's the question. the pig's name was pork chop? >> seems so. >> that's a little foreshadowing. >> no, i'm being told no. >> all right. so it wasn't named "porkchop." because i think if you're a pig named pork chop you need to change your name. good afternoon. we have break news, hundreds of pages of previously sealed documents have been released from a case brought by one of financier jeffrey epstein's accusers. joining me to talk about this is tom winter who's been looking through those documents. tom, i know you got some chance to talk about this a little bit. but let's just reset the stage. who is the accuser at the center of this case and what is in these documents? >> right. so that's the important question. so in this case one of jeffrey epstein's alleged victims virginia roberts now virginia
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