tv The Week With Joshua Johnson MSNBC October 25, 2020 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
interpreted their long lines differently. >> i think that these long lines are for biden. i think people are coming out because they need to see a change. i don't think trump had the enthusiasm for people to come out on a saturday when it suddenly became this cold. >> i think the president will win. i think he will be re-elected. there's a lot of people that are the silent voter. i haven't told anyone who i'm voting for. >> reporter: president trump made a stop in bangor, maine. as for vice president pence at least five people close to him tested positive for covid-19, including his chief of staff and political adviser. despite this, mr. pence spoke at an event in kinston, north carolina. joe biden will appear at a virtual concert tonight. kamala harris campaigned in person today. we will focus on the election
all next hour starting at 9:00 p.m. eastern. meanwhile, washington is refocusing on the senate. today, it held a sunday session, which is rare, to advance judge amy coney barrett's nomination to the supreme court. today's vote allows formal debate to begin for up to 30 hours. that brings senators one step closer to the final vote. that could happen tomorrow night. we will speak with democratic senator shelden whitehouse of rhode island in just a few minutes. thursday's presidential debate made a bit more news and a bit less noise than the first match-up. president trump said his administration was working very hard to reunite migrant families separated at the border. but is that true? 545 children were separated from their parents in 2017. we have been reported on what happened to them and what happens now. the latest is coming up. and the united states is not the only place with protests
against police brutality. far from it. nigeria is africa's most populous country and biggest oil producer. we'll break down the protests happening there, some of which have turned deadly. following reporting that president trump plans to fire the fbi director, christopher wray, if he wins re-election. axios is reporting he also plans to replace the cia director, gina haspell and mark es pechlt r. what more can you tell us about the president's plans if he should win another term? >> well, joshua, the president is already going through who he wants to remove. the list is a lot longer than these three agency heads, but it is not normal for someone to get rid of these types of people in these roles, intelligence roles,
law enforcement roles. of course, with a transition does come a turnover of people in kabt. but to fire or plan to fire and replace the cia director, the fbi director and the defense secretary is a lot at once. but the president has long despised, particularly when it comes to fbi director christopher wray and cia director gina haspell, he despise both of them and they're despised within trump world as well. these are people that the president has wanted to replace for a long time but has waited to do so, officials say, because he wants to avoid the political headaches of doing so before the election. >> his critics would say he wants to get rid of the fbi director because it's a very independent role. they're chosen for long terms that can overlap presidential administrations, and that he just doesn't want an independent law enforcement officer poking around the administration, potentially breathing down his neck. that's what the president's c t
critics will say. is there any evidence to back that up? >> well, the main reason that the president is frustrated with wray and haspel is because he doesn't think they're doing enough to aid him in what he believes is purging the intelligence community of people who are part of the deep state, as the president and his allies say, essentially aren't loyal to him. also for them not moving fast enough to help aid in the durham report, an investigation into how the intelligence community began the origins of the russia report and looking into whether his 2016 campaign and russia colluded. the president doesn't feel he trusts them. these are places, the fbi, the doj, he's also very frustrated with attorney general bill barr, the cia, all places that are not supposed to be political or
politicized. we've seen them become increasingly so under the trump administration. >> white house reporter for axios, alaina trean, thank you very much. >> thank you, joshua. another covid-19 outbreak in the trump administration. at least five people within vice president mike pence's inner circle have tested positive. both he and second lady karen pence tested negative this morning. among those infected are chief of staff mark short and marty obst. pence has been in close contact with marc short. the white house says he is an essential worker and as such does not need to quarantine for two weeks. he canceled introduce scheduled this weekend and will not do any form of rope line to greet supporters. contrast that with how senator
kamala harris handled a similar exposure. harris canceled all travel for four days after a member of her staff tested positive. joining us now is jamiche alcindor, nbc political contributor. good evening. >> thank you so much for having me. >> what more have we heard about the outbreak and the rationale for keeping mike pence on the campaign trail, particularly the tricks of h attribution of him as an essential worker? >> the white house is insisting he is an essential worker and all the travel he's doing has been cleared by white house doctors. they're essentially saying he has to work. critics of vice president pence says he could be sheltering in place, quarantining in his home and working from there instead of going out on the campaign trail. now, of course, not only do you have all the people who could be exposed by traveling with him,
you also have the people who have to work, including the secret service agents. there are people who are very, very critical of mike pence doing this. this is sort of another october surprise in a month full of october surprises, because the white house has been saying over and over again, we're rounding a corner, even though we're seeing spikes all over the country. mike pence's office now being another center for an outbreak does not bode well for the trump administration, or the trump campaign, but they want to put on a brave face. and part of that brave face is putting mike pence out there, saying he can travel safely. >> there's also what's happening in the senate right now with amy coney barrett and it's important he be available for that, because he plays a role in that, too. >> he does play a role in that. what will be interesting -- i don't think we'll see any slowdown when it comes to judge barrett becoming justice barrett but mitch mcconnell hadn't been to the white house and hasn't been to the white house in months, and he said mainly
because they didn't agree with the protocols white house was taking and essentially didn't feel safe going to the white house t will be interesting to see if mike pence goes to the senate and has to be on the territory with mitch mcconnell in case there's something with judge barrett's vote. you see senator mitch mcconnell really try to say we need to be safer here, wear masks, social distance. it's pretty remarkable he, himself, has stayed away from the white house this now may be coming to the door of the senate if there needs to be anything done with judge barrett's nomination. >> the vice president serves as the president of the senate so he would be overseeing the vote. >> yes. >> which confirms judge barrett and in the off-chance there's a tie, he could cast the tie-breaking vote. let me get context from you on something the white house chief of staff mark meadows said this morning on cnn with regard to america's fight against covid-19. it's a cut that's been getting a
lot of play today because it kind of said something out loud that understandably blew a lot of people's hair back. watch. >> here is what we have to do. we're not going to control the pandemic. we are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation. >> why aren't we going to control the pandemic? >> because it is a contagious virus just like the flu. >> why not make efforts to contain it? >> worry making efforts to contain it. >> by running all over the country and not wearing a mask? that's what the vice president is doing. >> i don't want to get into the back and forth. let me say this. what we need to do is make sure that we have the proper mitigation factors, therapies, vaccines or treatments to make sure that people don't die from this. >> so, yamiche, he's basically saying you can't stop it. you can only hope to contain it. is that what he meant to say? >> joshua, this was a remarkable moment. we've been hearing, and i've been hearing from sources that
president trump is, in some ways, getting resigned to the idea that americans might have to get used to living with covid-19. he's obviously getting tired of talking about it, complaining about the fact that the media somehow is focused too much on it. even though, of course, we've hit record highs just this last week when it comes to coronavirus cases and they're spiking in all sorts of places. this was mark meadows saying we cannot control it, and what we can do is try to give people the best possible care. juxtapose that with what the president was saying in january, february and march, which is we have it under control. not only is the white house saying we don't have it under control, at this point they're saying we don't think we can get it under control. we just hope that people can be treated. in some ways it hands over to joe biden something that he can talk about, because joe biden has said over and over again what president trump wants people to do is not get used to living with it, but get used to dying with this virus. >> what the president said
thursday in terms of learning to live with it. yamiche alcindor of pbs newshour, thank you very much. it could happen as soon as tomorrow night. judge amy coney barrett would become president trump's third supreme court appointment. senate voted to advance the nomination. moments later senator mitch mcconnell said this to his colleagues. >> this is something to be really proud of and feel good about. we've made an important contribution to the future of this country. a lot of what we've done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election. they won't be able to do much about this for a long time to come. >> joining us now is democratic senator shelden whitehouse of rhode island, serving on the judiciary, finance, budget and environments and public works committee. senator, good evening.
>> good evening. >> what reaction do you have from what we just heard from leader mcconnell? >> he left out the most important part, which is who they're doing it for. and when you look at the amount of money, particularly anonymous money that's gone into selecting these nominees, that's gone into funding the campaigns for these nominees goes into the groups that are constantly in front of the supreme court, telling the judges how to rule. it's time that we pull back the curtain and got a good, hard look for the american people at all of that. there's strong evidence that this is being run for a small group of very big republican donors, who are very supportive of mitch mcconnell. guess what. >> i wonder what the next step is in your view for senate democrats. the votes are there to confirm judge barrett to the supreme court and make her justice barrett. vice president mike pence is remaining active, despite having been exposed to people who have tested positive for rchd.
he could be in the senate presiding over the vote. theoretical theoretically, he could cast a tie-breaking vote if something dramatic happened. it appears the votes are not there to prevent this even though susan collins of maine put out a statement reiterating she will not vote for judge barrett because this is happening in an election. this feels like democrats, in a lot of ways, have to suck it up in this process and take it on the chin. what do you do from here? >> well, a lot depends on how the election turns out. but if we do get to control committees in the senate and we have the ability to do real investigations instead of all the covering up that the republican committees have done, then i think we need to start asking questions, like who wrote a $17 million check to pay for the ad campaigns that helped get brett kavanaugh on to the supreme court.
how was the fbi investigations for him done? who is writing checks right now for this group? how often do these same donors turn up on the list of those who funded selecting the judges and those who funded the campaigns for the judges, and those who fund the legal groups who turn up in front of the judges. we've got a lot of work to do. we can only do it if the american people give us gavels to work with. >> i wonder, senator, what the other paths are for you and other senators. and i covered the hearings last weekend. i heard you speak at great, great length in terms of the money that moves through washington, influence groups, dark money, pacs and super pacs and so on, how money flows. judge barrett, at least from what i heard in the hearings, doesn't have grounds to throw her out of her job. the larger question is if indeed the affordable care act falls in
the supreme court, what will succeed it? what legislatively will replace it? where do democrats stand in terms of the legislative procedure? >> that depends on whether or not we have a majority or not. if we don't, then we're still waiting for the proposal that donald trump has never come up with after four years of false promises about health care. or if we get gavels and we get the ability to control what goes on, on the floor of the senate, we can do a strong health care bill. we can do a bigger, stronger health care bill that will probably annoy the right-wing donor crowd even more than obama care did. but that the american people would welcome and appreciate. >> do you think that the political will is there right now to do something in a bipartisan way? we heard that cut from mark
meadows, where he kind of agreed with the president saying we'll just have to learn to live with this, cross our fingers that we could get good therapeutics and vaccines that we can get to the american people. american people are dying and unemployed right now. what are the prospects for a bipartisan deal to get us out of this mess sooner rather than later? >> mitch mcconnell has made it clear he's not interested. he's afraid to make his senators vote on this. he has been the obstruction towards getting another covid bill. it looks like treasury secretary mnuchin is ready to have a bipartisan deal. the president makes noises out of every side of his mouth. so he's a little bit hard to judge. what's clear has been the persistent indifference of mitch mcconnell to the covid epidemic and his persistent threats to obstruct a bill even if it is bipartisan coming out of the house, even with the white
house's support. so the focus here is on whether mitch mcconnell is the majority leader and can bottle up the senate. if he's not, then we've got a lot of ways to move. >> senator sheldon whitehouse, senator from rhode island, appreciate you making the time. >> thanks for having me on. we'll dive into that "60 minutes" interview that president trump walked out on. next, parents of 545 children separated at the border still have not been found. what is going on? s going on gillette proglide and proglide gel. five blades and a pivoting flexball designed to get virtually every hair on the first stroke, while washing away dirt and oil. so you're ready for the day with a clean shave and a clean face.
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this at thursday's debate. >> do you have a plan to reunite the kids? >> yes, we're working on it. we're trying very hard. a lot of these kids come through without the parents, with coy o coyotes and gangs. >> these 500 plus kids came with parents. they separated them at the border to make it a disincentive to come to begin with. >> to be clear, both the trump and obama administrations used chain link enclosures to detain migrants at the border. only plmp ordered parents taken away from their children. how did we get here? back in 2005, the george w. bush administration introduced a program to prosecute undocumented migrants at the border. that program made an exception for parents with children. in 2014, migrant children were crossing the border without their parents in droves. so the obama administration
built facilities to house them while they were processed. these facilities required partitions to separate different groups. border patrol used chain-linked fences. critics described them as cages. there was no policy to detain these children and parents separately until the trump administration, and that policy came with no plan to reunite them. nbc's julia ainsley joins us now with the latest. julia, if a child shows up with their parents to seek asylum at the border tonight, what happens to them? >> well, it would be very hard for them to seek asylum at all. even though the president ended the family separation policy through an executive order the end of june of 2018, they now would be sent back into mexico to wait until they can come and have their asylum hearing, or they would be told once you get in front of a judge, if you
passed through a country on your way here, any other country where you could have theoretically claim asylum, you should have claimed asylum there. they would have to apply for things known as the convention against torture, holding of removal and those things have a much higher bar. it's much harder to get asylum now but they wouldn't be separated. they wouldn't send the parent to be prosecuted by the justice department and the child into the custody of health and human services. we know, by and large, that has stopped. but for 545 children who were separated from their parents in 2016, the consequences remain. the lawyers for aclu and other pro bono groups tasked with finding the parents say it's virtual virtually impossible to find them because two-thirds of them have been deported. even though they have people on the ground in these countries trying to find the parents it's very hard and covid makes it that much harder. the last thing i would point out, these aren't trump administration lawyers trying to
find the children. these are lawyers for groups like aclu, nonprofit law firms because the government shrugged that responsibility and said it was too onerous to try to find these parents. >> this feels like one of the policies that the trump administration enacted that seems to frustrate and infuriate people across the political spectrum. i've heard so many people say they can't find these parents because they didn't give a damn. they don't care about these children. they don't care about these parents. they didn't bother to make a system to track them, because they didn't care what happened to them. that's why this has occurred. is there any evidence to back that up or is there another explanation? is this possibly something that was intended to be done and then there was a logistical problem, or the system just fell apart? >> well, let me take you back to 2018 and may 3rd, when there was a situation room meeting with all the president's top advisers, and they said we need
to start prosecuting parents because we're seeing too many parents come across the border with their children and we think that we are incentivizing them to stay here because we don't prosecute people with children like we do adults but in order to do that, we would have to separate them because you can't send a child into the custody of the u.s. marshals. as a result, they went ahead and moved forward anyway, knowing it would lead to separations and knowing they didn't have a system to track the parents and children as they moved through the system. they looked back to a pilot program that they had done and said what were the lessons learned there? that they didn't want to separate any child younger than 12. they determined those children were too young to find their way back to their parents on their own, because they didn't have a system then and they didn't create a system in 2018 that would keep them together. so the intention was to try to drive down the numbers of families that they were seeing come across the border to try to
cham claim asylum. what they didn't put in place and knew would happen as a consequence, they didn't put in a system to reunite them. they did a show of hands vote and moved forward anyways. >> julia, i wonder what the conditions are like now and what they may be like going forward. "the atlantic" visit aid detention center and saw some really horrific conditions. a number of kids had not had a chance to bathe since they crossed the border, they were wearing the same clothing they crossed the border in. some of them were covered in fluids, including breast milk for the teenage moms who were breast feeding. is there any way to improve the conditions they are in or help these children out in any humanitarian way? >> the 545, we understand none of those are in the custody of the u.s. government anymore. they've been moved out of house and human services.
sometimes they go to live with a family member. sometimes they are brought in by a sponsor. in this case, we're talking about children who have recently come across the border, whether they be with their families or on their own, what we call unaccompanied minors. they are often staying in customs and border protection longer than they should be. when they moved to health and human services they are, by and large, in clean places even though it's no substitute for being in the care of your parent. they do have schooling, meals. i've toured those places. it's when they stay in the custom and border protection facilities for too long that it becomes a problem. it becomes a problem when it gets overcrowded and these systems don't work to take care of children. they weren't built for children. so, until we see a change in those policies, unfortunately, some of those conditions can't happen. >> nbc's julia ainsley, thank you for the latest on this. >> thank you. coming up, owners of some
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halloween 2020 should have been perfect. saturday night, under a full moon, a blue moon, and on a weekend when millions of us could probably use some fun after an extremely hard year. covid-19 does not have to kill your plans. it should definitely alter them. but you can still have fun next weekend if you want. here is what the cdc recommends. you can still hand out candy to trick-or-treate trick-or-treaters. just avoid direct contact. set up an outdoor station with individually bagged treats so kids can grab and go. if trick-or-treating feels risky, stay close to home, carve a pumpkin, watch a movie, host a costume contest outdoors, weather permitting. the white house held its annual halloween event with added precautions. guests were limited, the party duration was extended to let families of militaries and first responders attend. face masks were required.
neither the first lady nor the president wore them. of course, the standard guidance applies, including social distancing and masks are still a must, especially if you can work it into your costume. still to come, black lives matter is an american movement. the fight against police brutality stretches around the world. we'll update you on the protests in nigeria, some of which have turned deadly. that's just ahead. stay close. y. that's just ahead. stay close ♪ it's still warm. ♪ thanks, alice says hi. for some of us, our daily journey is a short one. save 50% when you pay per mile with allstate. pay less, when you drive less. you've never been in better hands. allstate. click or call for a quote today. i wanted more from my copd medicine, that's why i've got the power of 1,2,3 medicines with trelegy.
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if you caught snl last night you may have noticed the band for the musical guest her wearing t-shirts that said #endsars, that's a call for social change in nigeria. social protests around the globe beyond black lives matter. about 70 people, including 51 civilians have reportedly been killed since protests began
there. at issue is a police unit called sars, the special anti-robbery squad. protesters want sars disbanded. it's been accused of harassment, extortion, torture and extra judicial killings. on tuesday, amnesty international reported soldiers fired on unarmed protesters as they sang nigeria's national anthem. at least 12 protesters died. nigeria's president said he would shut down sars but made no mention of that attack. joining us now, from the associated press, ron jackson. >> thanks for having me. >> what's the latest? >> there's been a curfew imposed
but there are still protesters out in the streets. >> it seems like president buhari's last speech just made the protesters angrier. was there anything in particular he said that made them mad or perhaps something that he didn't say that upset them? >> it was what he did say. at the beginning of this, he came out and said they were going to disband sars but he did not make mention of the atrocities that the squad was accused of, nor did he make any mention of the young man that was killed by -- allegedly killed by sars in delta state and southern nigeria that was a tipping point. >> remind us why americans should be could gnizant of what happens in nigeria? why is that nation important to the u.s. and the world? >> nigeria is important to the
u.s., to the world for a number of reasons. it's one of the big egest oil producers for one and has been a long-time ally of the united states in terms of fighting terrorism in western africa. and for those reasons alone, i think it's an important -- important for americans to really understand. plus back to the arab slavery, a number of african-americans are descended from people who came from that region. again it's a very critical, important ally for the united states. >> here in the u.s. with the black lives matter movement there's always an array of sociopolitical and economic issues wrapped around the relationship between law enforcement and civilians. i'm guessing the same is true in nigeria, especially because it is a nation with so much oil wealth. as i understand it, the gap between where the wealth is and everyday nigerians is pretty
wide. >> yes, it's very wide. unemployment is very high there. the level of corruption has always been an issue. people there are saying that they are asked to pay at checkpoints that are setup by police for no other reason than to ex-tort peoptort people. there is a gap between the leaders who are wealthier than the everyday people. and there are things like, you know, license to get fuel for your cars because the gas isn't there, even though nigeria is one of the largest producers of oil in the world. it didn't refine the oil. so, therefore, the oil is taken from there, refined elsewhere, in the u.s. and europe, brought back and then people are paying for that. but sometimes there are
shortages. there are issues with power. there's constant outages. you're sitting somewhere and the power just goes out. and so that, along with all of the other things, this issue along with the other things, it's setting people off. the killing of a young man in delta state, that really started this with sars, it's really a tipping point for all of those issues. >> briefly, ron, any prospect of these protests ending amicably? >> well, you know, there are people in government who are saying that they want this end peacefully. i believe the speaker of the parliament there said he would not sign a budget unless there were some reforms. there are a number of judicial bodies that are set to be looking into some of the killings that you mentioned from
sars but, again, i think what the young people are saying there is that look, this is but one of the issues that needs to be addressed. there are systemic issues that need to be addressed. >> until that happens, you're going to see this protests going on. >> the associated press, good to see you again. thank you very much. >> thanks for having me. >> the after math of president trump's fight with 60 minutes. that is next. tonight... i'll be eating chicken tikka masala with garlic naan. [doorbell chimes] cheers. i win again, patrick. that's siiir patrick. oooooow. sir. my gums are irritated.
the big story on 60 minutes frs 60 minutes. at least in part. during an interview at the white house, trump walked out. and called out the correspondent for not wearing a mask. while talking with producers in the white house. on thursday the president released what he said was an unedited version of the entr view. claiming it showed bias against him. releasing it broke an agreement to use the footage only for archive purposes. they called out the white house for unprecedented decision to release the interview. let's discuss now. media correspondent for npr news. welcome. >> good to talk with you again. >> did this make a difference? was this more heat than light? as per usual. i watch the interview, i think it is what you would have expected in an interview between
stall and trump. what's the upshot? >> that's about right. the president did the interview because he felt he had to. much like the final debate. because he felt he had to for a position of being back on his heels on particularly sure footing entering the final weeks and days of the election campaign. he didn't have a great affirmative argument to make at this time. it's been one of the things that his allies and adviser have been trying to con joel him into doing. he seems subdued entering it. i didn't watch the whole unedited version. that he posted on facebook as a taunt. as you mention on thursday. he seems subdued and a bit prickly. and likes the give and take. a new yorker. a guy who can master and handle
and subdue and beat down the media. he explained he didn't want tough questions he wanted fair questions. as though those were necessarily distinct. >> part of what got me when the president released this sper view is there's a constitutional concept called prior restraint. which is a form of government censorship. a government actor will attempt to prevent the free expression of ideas particularly journalism. by making some action that could have a chilly effect. and prevent that expression from having full intended effect. so to me it felt like a deeper dig. act of prior restraint. and a chilling effect. on 60 minutes. it didn't seem to have that impact. because the interview went forward. but is there something else going on? is there a deeper dynamic? >> i would read it in two ways.
it didn't prevent them from making their own choice. attempted act at sabotage. it allowed the president to return to the familiar embrace of what he started with in the campaign. that is assault on the press. particularly identifying somebody in the press as an antagonist. as his opponent. and particularly often a woman. if you think about the start of the campaign think of him descending down the escalators. for me, the way in which the campaign really kicked off was august 2015. the firs primary debate for the republicans trump felt the room. and there were nine other republicans on the debate stage with him. he said i'll make meghan kelly one of the moderators. i'll make her the opponent and ice everyone else. similarly making a final closing argument for a case for his record and what he's done in the first provide and provide and
present for the second term. he decided or felt that she was the opponent and fence with her. and former vice president. that was probable. you saw that and felt that throughout. certainly when she went and interviewed vice president pence, subsequently. there was no reverence she offered for the office of the vice president. she said to him, what was that about? when trump walked out. she really said she felt insulted. both by the president and the vice president. they repeated the campaign records they have been offering on the trail. >> how did the interview with joe biden and kamala harris fair? i presume it went more pleasantly. and presume that it ended properly. >> the funny thing is almost felt like it was from a different era. it was not confrontational in the same way.
she challenged senator harris about her differences in prior positions with her running mate. the former vice president. that she's had to succeed to positions. and his age. and a bit about the claims he's made about china policy in which there's perhaps not quite the record that he would like to claim for the obama biden years. i think there were the kinds of congressional challenges you see a good journalist trying to press. to the candidates they're interviewing. there isn't the same fencing -- either the pat rhetoric they are trying to fight through with vice president pence or the met ta argument they are having. with president trump. who always seems to be acting as both the candidate. a president on one hand. and his own campaign strategist.
describing what is happening in the act of doing it. >> does anything in what we saw tonight on 60 minutes moved needle in the campaign? any big revelation? >> i don't think so. i think if you look at something like the question of obamacare. replace it and protect preexisting conditions. every day he doesn't have an answer it's tougher to convince people who are anxious about the issues that he's a safe bet to vote for. if they are undecided. >> they could have just been watching this program. they could have looked at you and you would have summed it up. in like four minutes. and would have had more fun watching -- they'll learn next time. good fo see you. thank you. >> you bet. >> it's the top of the hour. i'm josh johnson. you're in the right place. this is "the week."