Julián Castro (D-TX) campaign builds momentum. TRANSCRIPT: 7/2/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.

Julian Castro, Bill Pascrell

RYAN GRIM, D.C. BUREAU CHIEF, THE INTERCEPT:  So that means if you – if

you craft a message that appeals to people who were turned off by Democrats

in 2016, but clearly are willing to vote for them because they voted for

them in 2018, then you`re probably also just incidentally going to capture

a bunch of those Obama to Trump people as well. 


So that right there gets you your majority. 


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  All right.  Joy Reid and Ryan Grim, thank you





HAYES:  That is ALL IN for this evening. 


“THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right now. 


Good evening, Rachel.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Chris.  Thanks, my friend.  Much



HAYES:  You bet.


MADDOW:  Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.  Happy to have you



This was the scene outside Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn`s district

office in Houston, Texas. 


What you can hear people saying there is “close the camps, close the



It was the same slogan at the federal building in Raleigh, North Carolina





PROTESTERS:  Close the camps!  Now!  Close the camps!  Now!  Close the

camps!  Now! 




MADDOW:  This was the scene in New York City today. 




PROTESTERS:  Close the camps!  Close the camps! 




MADDOW:  Again, “close the camps.  Close the camps.”


These protests around the country today, these are not something that had a

ton of lead time or a ton of national press attention.  These were a fairly

spontaneous thing.  But there were “close the camps” protests that sprung

up all over the country today, red states and blue states alike. 


On Friday last week, you might remember the head of the Homeland Security

Department in the Trump administration told Congress that unfortunately his

department, Homeland Security, was dealing with a new national sensation,

that`s the word he used, a sensation that had been unfairly created by what

he called unsubstantiated allegations, unsubstantiated allegations of

terrible conditions and crowding at facilities locking up immigrants run by

his department.  He said the claims about those facilities and the

conditions in which immigrants, including little kids were being held,

those were all unsubstantiated claims. 


There was no reason for the national uproar over this.  There was no reason

for this unfortunate sensation.  All of the supposed concern and criticism

about those alleged conditions, they weren`t based on reality and they were

just making things harder for his department. 


We heard something similar from an unnamed Customs and Border Patrol

official who did a press call with reporters last week.  After a group of

lawyers came out of border patrol facilities in Texas describing what they

said were the worst conditions they had ever seen in decades of monitoring

conditions at facilities like that.  After those lawyers came out of those

facilities and started telling those stories, Customs and Border Patrol

official who would not give his or her name did a press call last week with

reporters in which that official said, quote, I personally don`t believe

these allegations.


Well, today, the actual Department of Homeland Security released their own

photographs and their own report, which they labeled a management alert,

documenting exactly the same kinds of conditions in these facilities run by

the Homeland Security Department that it`s own officials had been

dismissing for the past week as unsubstantiated and sensational

allegations.  This report from Homeland Security, from the inspector

general, is about conditions in which both adults and kids are being held. 

The report is titled, “Management alert: homeland security needs to address

dangerous overcrowding and prolonged detention of children and adults in

the Rio Grande Valley.” 


This is the inspector general from the Homeland Security Department

reporting on what its personnel found when they made unannounced

inspections at these facilities run by the Trump administration in south

Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. 


And, again, this comes right after the head of that agency and some senior

official of border patrol went on the record with these public

proclamations about these terribly unsubstantiated hysterical allegations

and how they don`t really believe anything is wrong in these facilities. 

Well, here is their own department spelling it out, and remarkably,

including pictures of what exactly they`re describing.  Start with just one

of the five border patrol facilities they say they visited in south Texas. 


This is the Ft. Brown station, which is run by the Border Patrol in

Brownsville, Texas.  And this is not like in some border netherworld that

isn`t America, right?  Some place that Americans never go to.  This is not

some facility separate and apart from American life where we could never

have any idea this was happening in our midst. 


I mean, the Ft. Brown Border Patrol station in Brownsville, look at it on

the map.  It`s right next to a FedEx shipping center, a subway sandwich

shop.  A little strip mall called Veterans Plaza, a bunch of churches

nearby.  It`s basically right next to one of the campuses of the University

of Texas, their Rio Grande Valley campus is right there to the west of that

facility, just a stone`s throw from this Border Patrol facility that is run

by the federal government of the United States with our taxpayer dollars,

and according to the Homeland Security Department`s inspector general, and

it is the Homeland Security Department that is running that facility,

according to them that – this is what`s going on inside. 


Quote: Senior managers at several facilities raised security concerns for

their agents and the detainees.  For example, one called the situation a

ticking time bomb.  We ended our visit at one border control facility

early, this is the facility in Brownsville, because our presence was

agitating an already difficult situation. 


Specifically when detainees observed us, meaning detainees observed the

inspectors, they banged on the cell windows pressed notes to the windows

with their time in custody and gestured to things that indicated their time

in custody, evidence of their time in custody, for example, beards.  And

see figure 6.  Here is figure 6. 


You see on the door, we`ve blown out that upper right-hand corner.  It says

capacity 41.  That`s the maximum capacity, the rated capacity by the fire

marshal for the number of people who are ever supposed to be in that room. 


According to homeland security inspectors at that moment, there were 88 men

being held in that room with a maximum capacity of 41.  Some of them,

quote, signaling prolonged detention to inspector general staff.  That

photo taken on June 12th, 2019.  You see the sign there, “help, 40 days.”


In these overcrowded conditions, Border Patrol was unable to meet its own

standards.  Although agency standards require Border Patrol to make a

reasonable effort to provide a shower for adults after 72 hours, most

single adults hasn`t had a shower in Border Patrol custody despite some

being held as long as a month.  In some facilities, Border Patrol is giving

detainees wet wipes to maintain personal hygiene.  Most adult detainees

were wearing clothes arrived in days and weeks, and even up to a month

prior.  Further, although standards require agents to remain cognizant of

detainees religious and other dietary restrictions, many single adults had

been receiving only bologna sandwiches.  Some detainees on this diet were

becoming constipated and required medical attention.


At that same facility, at that Ft. Brown station, again, right in the

middle of that normal American neighborhood in Brownsville, Texas,

inspector general also posted this photo of women – you see there on the

left, and again there in a cell.  You can see the capacity on the door. 

That`s an overcapacity cell.  You see the woman there at the front wearing

an infection control mask pressing her hands up against the glass, the

women holding their hands up to try to communicate with, to try to plead

with the inspectors. 


On the right, that`s another cell.  That one designed specifically for

women but it`s holding adult men.  That cell, again, capacity, 41.  The

inspector general says when they took that picture, there were 71 adult

males in that room.  You see one man there holding his hands up the glass

as if he`s praying.


At that facility in Brownsville, and at another one about an hour west in

McAllen, Texas, the Homeland Security Department`s inspector general says

single adults were held in standing room only conditions for a week, some

single adults head for more than a month in cells that were this crowded. 

Literally not enough room to sit down let alone lie down.  Standing room



These are more images that the inspector general included in its report

today, specifically from the border patrol facility in McAllen, Texas. 

These are the conditions in which they`re holding families.  Again, these

aren`t people who have been convicted of any crime, being held by the

federal government in conditions that the U.S. government didn`t used to

get itself into, at least for this duration because they didn`t have the

same kind of policies about holding on to people indefinitely. 


I mean, you can see these aren`t facilities that are designed to hold

people for any length of time at all.  This is a pen basically, a concrete

floor.  And they`re holding people in conditions just like this for weeks

and months at a time. 


The inspector general`s office has blurred out a lot of the faces in these

pictures, but as you can see, this includes little kids being held in these

conditions.  Including in one of those photos where they`ve got the Mylar

blankets that kind of look like aluminum foil, in possibly one maybe both

of those images, it`s hard to tell.  We tried to get higher resolution

photos from the Department of Homeland Security.  They wouldn`t give us

anything at higher resolution. 


In those photos, as you can see, it looks like those kids may be being held

on their own away from adults, away from their families.  But, again, at

this resolution it is hard to see.  There is another facility where the

inspectors dropped in unannounced.  This is Weslaco, Texas.  I think it`s

the way you say it, Weslaco.  It`s in between McAllen and Brownsville. 


And, again, this is in the middle of a normal American neighborhood.  This

facility is right next door to an olive garden and a longhorn steakhouse

and there is a Lowe`s home improvement right there on the same side of the

street, next to the local police station, across the street from a Super 8

motel.  These are the conditions inside that facility in America. 


And this is not like an overcrowded waiting room where people are parked

for an hour or two before they`re processed and moved on.  This isn`t a

waiting area.  This is housing.  This is the living conditions as provided

by the U.S. government, as provided on an indefinite basis for days, for

weeks, for more than a month, even for these little kids. 


It`s not like this is a room where they hang out and then they go to the

room where they sleep.  This is it. 


Legally, the U.S. government cannot detain kids specifically longer than 72

hours before it needs to move them out somewhere else, but in this case,

it`s just holding on to them.  The inspector general says even in these

five facilities they found hundreds of kids being held beyond that legal



According to the inspector general, quote: Children at three of the five

border patrol facilities we visited had no access to showers.  At the

facilities, children had limited access to a change of clothes.  Border

patrol had few spare clothes and no laundry facilities.  Two facilities had

not provided children access to hot meals until the week we arrived.


And, again, this is the agency`s own report on its own behavior, right? 

This is the inspector general from the Homeland Security Department.  And

for the second time in a month they have put out a report like this. 


This is a management alert, second one in a month, specifically about

dangerous overcrowding and prolonged and inappropriate detention facilities

– detention conditions.  Those conditions identified in May and now

identified again as a serious issue that requires immediate attention,

while our prior management alert identified similar issues with respect to

single adults, this alert highlights additional concerns with respect to

unaccompanied children and families being detained in the facilities we



Quote: we remain concerned that homeland security is not taking sufficient

measures to address prolonged detention in border patrol custody.


Now, when it comes to this new report with these photos from these

facilities in Brownsville and McAllen and the towns in between, we know

that the Homeland Security Department and the Trump administration got

advanced notice that this blistering report was coming out.  And we know

that two ways. 


First of all, we know it because “BuzzFeed News” had a report a few days

ago that this was coming and that this report was going to portray

conditions that were dire and shocking.  “BuzzFeed” reported that it was

already circulating inside the Homeland Security Department but had not yet

been publicly released.  Well, we also know, however, that the Homeland

Security Department got advanced notice that this report was coming out

because when they did finally publicly release it today, at the

introduction to the report today, the inspector general says overtly that

the department was provided a draft of this report.  They were allowed to

provide comments on a draft of this report before this final version of it

was published so we could all see it today. 


So, they knew this was coming.  They`ve known this was coming for more than

days, maybe as much as a week or two.  Pictures that they included in the

report they say were taken around July 11th, July 12th.  How soon after

that they knew this report was coming, we don`t know, but they had advanced



We know they knew the while country was about to see these pictures of

these families and these little kids and these men and the standing room

only cells with people pleading for help and banging on the glass and

saying they`ve been held in conditions like this for 40 days.  Please help. 


They knew this was coming.  They likely knew this was coming today.  Well,

what`s the consequence of that? 


Tonight, NBC News is reporting that somehow customs and border patrol

urgently figured out a way to move out most of the kids they admit were in

their custody.  As of a month ago, Border Patrol said they had 2,350 kids

under their control.  As of today, the day this report comes out,

miraculously they say it`s down below 300. 


Now, we don`t know what it was that lit a fire under Border Patrol to

finally start moving kids out of these conditions in such significant

numbers, but between, you know, close the camps, close the camps becoming a

rallying cry across the country and these photos being released and this

inspector general report being released documenting this stuff and letting

the department know, hey, in a few days we`re going public with this and

everybody`s going to see these images. 


And with van loads of Democratic members of Congress turning up at these

facilities now and describing what they saw, and at least in some cases

refusing to hand over their phones so they could despite the insistence

from the agency actually videotape what was going on inside these

facilities and take pictures.  Somewhere in there, pick your – choose your

own adventure here.  But one of those things might have become at last an

effective pressure point on the Border Patrol to move hundreds, maybe as

many as 2,000 kids out of their custody in short order. 


Today, there was another one of those congressional delegations that went

into the facility holding immigrants in Homestead, Florida.  Yesterday, it

was members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus who showed up at some of

these facilities in Texas. 


When I mentioned that at least in a few instances we had members of

Congress who were able to take pictures or videos inside these facilities

despite the agencies telling them not to, one of the videos I`m describing

there was shot by a member of Congress named Joaquin Castro from Texas. 

He`s the brother of presidential candidate Julian Castro, who incidentally

is going to be live on set with us in just a moment. 


I know we featured this video from Congressman Castro on the show last

night.  You may have seen it.  But just watch toward the end here when you

can hear the discussion in the room and it becomes clear one of the things

these members of Congress are doing in the room is pressing the staff at

this facility, this facility in El Paso, advocating for these women who

they`ve been interviewing, who they`ve been meeting with and who need some

very specific medical care that they haven`t been able to get. 


There, for example, is a discussion about a woman who has had medication

taken away from her.  Some of the members of Congress in this delegation

said they spoke to a woman with epilepsy who had not been given access to

her anti-epileptic medication.  There is also discussion on this video with

another woman who is told she needs to get a biopsy. 




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  There`s a woman here, the doctor told her she needs a

biopsy for the lump on her back. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We don`t have the facility for that here, but we`ll

make sure that we`ll continue her care.  It`s on her record.  When she gets

to her next stop, wherever that is, whether it`s in our custody or out,

those records go with her. 




MADDOW:  You hear the person representing the facility there saying, oh, we

obviously don`t have the ability to do anything like that here.  I mean,

clearly, these women are now being housed in a room with no furniture just

with blankets, right? 


So, no, we don`t have the facility to get you your biopsy, but we`ll make

sure you get access to that when you go to your next stop.  We`ll make sure

it`s noted in your – will you?  Really?


I mean, that`s individual members of Congress in the room pressing on

issues like that.  Saying is this woman going to get her biopsy?  She`s

been told by the doctor that she needs to have this biopsied.  What`s going

on with that?  We`ll make sure that gets handled. 


Having a member of Congress there or ten pressing on an issue like that

tends to make a pressure point out of circumstances like that.  And indeed

after that video was shot just yesterday at that border facility in El Paso

by Congressman Castro, today in El Paso, these community doctors who have

been involved in treating immigrants, they came forward to say, no, they

are not getting adequate access to these immigrants, to the kids, to the

mothers, to the fathers, to the families, to the individual adults

traveling through here. 


They say contrary to the way it has been done in the past, by the time

they`re being allowed to see anyone who has been in federal custody, they

are finding that the people who they`re finally getting access to are

dehydrated, they`ve got untreated infectious diseases.  They`ve been denied

medications for chronic diseases, even if they had it with them when they

came in.  They`re now getting people from the U.S. federal government in

such bad shape they`re finding it to be dangerous in unprecedented ways. 


So, these local community doctors from these neighborhoods in America

nearby these facilities where these folks are being held, they`re demanding

more access. 




DR. CARLOS GUTIERREZ, PEDIATRICIAN:  There`s no one better than us to take

care of these men, women and children.  We have the contacts of other

specialists if we need those specialists.  They don`t. 


And to this day we are not allowed any contact with whoever is providing

the medical care over there and that`s just – that`s just not – it`s very

upsetting and I hope to God that this changes quickly.  So, no contact is

allowed between whoever is providing medical care in their centers and us

on the outside. 


That is piss poor medical care.  That is not medical care.  That`s



And we ask over and over and over again – I`ve been interviewed by

multiple news agencies, and that is my biggest beef, let us in there.  We

have the doctors that are willing to go in there. 




MADDOW:  The pressure on this is only going to increase, both locally in

the neighborhoods and communities where these facilities exist, but also

around the country.  It`s only going to increase in coming days.  I mean,

part of the reason we know that is because Congressman Elijah Cummings on

the Oversight Committee in Congress has announced next week, Friday, July

12th, there is going to be an oversight hearing in Congress on the

conditions of these facilities at the border and the behavior of the

Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol in



Congressman Cummings had previously acted the secretary of homeland

security and the head of Customs and Border Patrol to come and testify.  He

says that he had no confirmation whether or not they would appear.  Now he

is restating that demand. 


And I think it will be hard for those officials to stay away.  I mean, the

homeland security secretary has been proven wrong now by his own agency,

right?  He went to Congress and said these allegations about bad conditions

in his facilities, these were just unsubstantiated allegations that were

creating a sensation.  That was a handful of days ago. 


Now, his own agency has published these photos and this urgent management

alert calling exactly the same alarm, right?  Saying exactly the same thing

which he was dismissing as unsubstantiated just days ago. 


Customs and Border Patrol has had to announce there are two separate

inquiries into a Facebook group exposed by pro public ka which includes

thousands of posts from what appeared to be current and former Border

Patrol agents, including overt threats to specific members of Congress and

mocking the deaths of immigrants in federal custody. 


And so, the pressure is only increasing on the Trump administration, and by

the individual officials responsible within the Trump administration as

more is known and as more alarms are sounded about what they`ve been trying

to do to these human beings who have come into their clutches on the



But we are in what I think of as a position of sort of political and moral

tension right now, where the exposure of what they`ve been doing and the

pressure it is engendering.  That pressure is having an effect, but it`s

not like they`ve been doing any of this stuff by accident, right?  And it`s

not like they`re terribly ashamed of anything they`ve been doing. 


The Trump White House is not exactly losing sleep over any perception that

under President Trump, the U.S. government might be particularly abusive

toward immigrants.  I mean, the White House, for example, has just

announced that the president still wants to launch a nationwide roundup of

immigrant families, families specifically.  They make sure they get that

into every discussion.


This proposed roundup from the president he initially promised it would be

millions of people rounded up.  It has been delayed several times in the

past couple weeks.  He`s been firing his way through federal agency heads

until he gets someone who is going to agree to do it the way he wants it. 

But he`s now announcing, the White House announcing President Trump wants

those rounds of immigrant families around the country to start right after

the Fourth of July.  Kind of the finale for the fireworks, right? 


On the second night of the Democratic debate last week, on Thursday, the

Trump administration also floated a new idea on immigration, which is the

sort of thing he might, like, cook up in a lab if you were trying to design

the most gut-wrenching, merciless designed to be offensive policy, right,

that you could possibly imagine.  Something that was designed to stoke

outrage and show off, you know, cruelty and intentional infliction of pain

for people who least deserve it, like it was a contest for that.  This is

what you`d submit to try to win. 


This was the headline at NPR on Thursday.  Quote: Trump wants to withdraw

deportation protections for families of active troops. 


They think that there hasn`t been enough outrage.  They`re not getting

enough supposedly negative attention for the way they treat immigrants, and

so the next anti-immigrant thing they`re floating, and they floated it

right as the Democratic presidential candidates were getting to the debate

stage, I`m sure they were hoping this would be a topic of discussion. 

Literally what they`re floating now is deporting U.S. military families,

deporting the family members of active duty serving U.S. troops. 


How do you like that?  Does that get you mad? 


I mean, the pressure against these agencies does have an effect on what

these agencies do.  The courts do have an effect on what they can get away

with.  Just today, an ACLU lawsuit was successful in blocking the Trump

administration from keeping people locked up wholesale for the crime of

requesting asylum in this country, which is not a crime. 


The Trump administration changed U.S. policy after decades so that now the

response of the U.S. government to somebody asking for asylum is that that

person gets locked up with no hearing.  According to a federal judge today,

you cannot do that under the law and the constitution.  That federal judge

today block what the Trump administration has been trying to do,

essentially reinstating the previous process that the U.S. government used

for the last half a century to deal with asylum claims. 


The Trump administration today also gave up on its effort to basically try

to hot wire the U.S. Census in a way that appeared to be deliberately

designed to undercount Latinos and thereby undercut Latino voting power and

skew districts towards Republicans and white people in particular at least

for a decade and maybe even longer. 


A Supreme Court ruling striking down the Trump administration`s effort to

re-jigger the census last week was written in such a way that the Trump

administration could maybe have tried to come back at it and convince the

court to let them try and do it in time for the 2020 census.  But today,

the Trump administration gave up, they decided they couldn`t do it, and at

least for the 2020 census, they will not try to get away with that this



And so, in this environment, in this position of political and moral

tension, what do you do if you`re, say, a Democratic presidential candidate

who is trying to earn the right to represent the Democratic Party in the

general election to defeat Donald Trump?  You`re a candidate who cares

deeply about an issue like this.  As polls show most Democratic voters do. 


I mean, it turns out that outrage does have an effect.  Exposure does have

an effect.  Pressure does work.  The courts do provide some refuge. 


And also at the same time, this is the turf on which Donald Trump wants to

contest the next election.  He is running on purpose on a position of

maximum cruelty toward immigrants of every station – kids, families,

literally the family members of serving active duty U.S. troops.  Who else

you got? 


I mean, he is running on like a kick puppies platform, right?  So the

Democratic Party is coming in deeply opposed to what he`s doing and trying

to say, you know, this ground on which you are changing American values and

American policy and treating people in this way, we can want to contest you

on this ground and the more they do, the more Trump administration wants it

and the more they keep upping the ante in terms of their performative

cruelty on this issue. 


And these are real people`s lives.  And if this is one of the issues you

care most about, how do you beat the Trump administration?  How do you beat

President Trump on this issue in the election?  While being cognizant of

the fact that this is exactly the fight that he wants to have and anything

you throw at him on this he thinks makes him stronger. 


I know just the guy to ask.  Stay with us. 






JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Some of us on this stage have

called to end that section, to terminate it.  Some, like Congressman

O`Rourke, have not, and I want to challenge all of the candidates to do







CASTRO:  I just think it`s a mistake, Beto.  I think it`s a mistake.  And I

think if you truly want to change the system, then we`ve got to repeal that





MADDOW:  That was the first night of the Democratic debate last week.  A

strong performance and very well-regarded performance from Julian Castro. 


He was the U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Obama

administration.  He was also the mayor of San Antonio, Texas.  He is now

quite obviously a candidate for president in the Democratic primary. 


Secretary Castro, thanks for being here tonight.  It`s nice to see you.


CASTRO:  It`s great to be with you, Rachel.


MADDOW:  I have a lot I want to ask you but because this is the first time

I`ve seen you since the debate, I do think that – I think it`s inarguable

that you had a strong performance and I know that some polling numbers,

particularly a Univision poll of Latino voters today, showed a big bump for

you since the debate. 


Let me just ask you how the debate has affected your campaign? 


CASTRO:  Well, in all the ways that you might think.  First of all, I was

glad to have a great night that night.  And my name ID has been lower than

some of the other candidates.  So, I know I had an opportunity to introduce

myself to a lot of new voters.  A lot more money, a lot more media

attention and I think gathering support, as that Univision poll makes



MADDOW:  In terms of the money, the fund-raising quarter ended this week. 

You`re going to be putting out numbers presumably soon?


CASTRO:  We are, in the next couple of days.  But we had our best four

fundraising days in the four days after the debate.  And now, we`re –


MADDOW:  Of the entire campaign? 


CASTRO:  That`s right.  We`re up to 116,000 unique donors.  As you know,

this is important because you need 130,000 unique donors to get on to the

September debate stage.  And we raised in the three or four days after that

debate about a million dollars.  So, you know, for – look, I mean, I`ll

set expectations now.  I`m not going to be anywhere near the top in terms

of fundraising, but I had a lot stronger second quarter than first quarter. 


MADDOW:  And having that fundraising there, obviously, that`s a

demonstration of strength in terms of your organizational capacity. 

Practically, what does that mean in terms of hiring staff or what you plan

to do with the money raised? 


CASTRO:  Well, it means we`re going to capitalize on this momentum,

staffing up, getting more organizers on the ground in these early states,

and at the headquarters in San Antonio and just the ability to compete.  As

you know and folks know out there, it takes money, it takes resources. 


And so, I just see this campaign getting stronger and stronger and

stronger.  I have always said that I don`t want to be a flash in the pan

candidate.  I want to build a campaign that gets stronger between now and

February 3rd, 2020, when Iowa caucuses, and that`s what`s happening. 


MADDOW:  In terms of your policy platform, you were the first candidate

among all the myriad of Democratic candidates to put out a full immigration

proposal.  It`s part of the reason I wanted to talk to you tonight. 

Particularly given this homeland security inspector general report with

these images from multiple border patrol facilities in the Rio Grande

Valley, the inspector general for the second time in a month sounding the

alarm about really unconscionable conditions there. 


I wonder if you see that actually as a good sign that the people who are

supposed to be blowing the whistle on this are doing so, or is this a bad

sign that this is a second time in a month they`ve had to do something and

the Trump administration is still denying there`s a problem? 


CASTRO:  Well, it`s good sign in a sense that somebody is getting in there,

getting these images, and, you know, shocking the conscience and hopefully

spurring people to action in that administration.  It`s a bad sign in that,

you know, this is not the first time that that`s happened either with the

inspector general or other images that have gotten out.  And they don`t

seem to care.  Like you said, it seems like the cruelty is the point. 


What we have here is a moral crisis, a failure of moral leadership on the

part of this president.  And so, I`ve said, look, I`m going to be fearless,

I`m going to be bold, I`m going to offer a completely different vision on

what we should do on immigration to make sure that we have an immigration

system that`s fixed, that works with border security, but that never treats

people like this again.


And that`s the conversation that you saw on the debate, which is that I

believe when centerpiece of that is repealing Section 1325 of the

Immigration and Nationality Act so that not only this president but future

presidents can`t ever use that law to incarcerate parents and then separate

them from their little children. 


MADDOW:  Secretary Castro, if you could stick with us for just one quick

break, I do want to talk to you specifically about what it means to be

campaigning ultimately against Donald Trump on this issue, given how much

he welcomes this controversy. 


Secretary Julian Castro is our guest.  We`ll be right back.  Stay with us.




MADDOW:  We`re back with former HUD secretary and 2020 presidential

candidate, Julian Castro. 


Mister – Secretary Castro, thanks for doing this. 


The Justice Department today in sort of a surprise announced that they are

not going to try to get that citizenship question on the 2020 census.  The

Supreme Court ruling last week, and the Justice Department – the Trump

administration could have gone back at it.  They could have tried again. 

They`re not going to.  And the 2020 census is not going to have that



The fact remains that they tried to, they tried really hard to do that. 

And I just – strategically, I wonder as you think about the prospect of

becoming the Democratic nominee, running against Donald Trump, he is eager

to be seen as being I think as cruel as possible to immigrants.  I think

he`s eager to be seen as acting against the interests of Latino voters, and

certainly Democratic voters. 


I wonder to the extent that you fight him on this stuff, and you`ve made it

such a priority in your campaign so far, how much do you worry about

playing on his turf and playing to an image that he likes for his base? 


CASTRO:  Number one, I don`t think we have any choice.  He has a huge

bullhorn, and so, he`s going to make this an issue.  So I believe that we

have to offer a compelling strong alternative. 


Now, I`ve said that we can maintain border security, but what I`m betting

is that there are enough people out there that know that we can do this a

better way.  And if he`s going to proceed with a dark heart of cruelty,

then I want to proceed with a heart of compassion and common sense. 


And I`ll tell you, about a year ago, I was at the Ursula Processing Center

down in McAllen, Texas, on the border.  I was there to join activists

protesting the family separation policy.  And as sad as the situation was

with the little children that were inside that facility, what gave me hope

was that the activists that were there, they were white, they were black,

they were Asian-American, they were Latino. 


In other words, it was people of all different backgrounds from throughout

the country who were united with their compassion and their values, their

belief in humanity and a common respect for these human beings, no matter

the color of their skin or the fact that they`re not American.  I`m betting

on that, even as he bets on cruelty. 


MADDOW:  I think that there are Trump administration officials who are

susceptible to pressure and susceptible to the form of sort of course

correction you expect from government when things get exposed in a way that

the president himself is not.  I think that we`ve seen changes within

Homeland Security, even within Border Patrol – some of these things have

been exposed – and as the courts and the press and protesters have put

this kind of pressure on the administration. 


I wonder if – again, as somebody who cares deeply about this stuff – if

you think that individual Trump administration officials should basically

be hauled up to account for these things?  Should there be an impeachment

effort against cabinet officials who have overseen these sort of things? 

Should there be potentially, you know, other – other approaches toward the

officials rather than toward Trump himself in terms of the people who are

carrying this stuff out? 


CASTRO:  Oh, I think there should be accountability all the way around, and

I hope that with Representative Cummings, with the other chairs of these

committees, that that`s what they`re going to do. 


I will say also, though, Rachel, I know because I led a federal department





CASTRO:  – the Department of Housing and Urban Development, I know that

there are career officials that are not a part of this agenda.  They are

our great hope in those departments to do the right thing, to expose the –

you know, cruelty and the evil that is happening, you know, to do what they

can to call attention to what they see.  We see that with some of the

things that are happening, the leaks that happen out of the White House. 

We`ve seen that with the Department of Homeland Security, in addition to

the work of the inspector general. 


And I call upon them, those career officials, to do what they can to push

back, to stop this cruel agenda of the president. 


MADDOW:  Julian Castro, secretary of Housing and Urban Development during

the Obama administration, mayor of San Antonio, now a candidate for

president in the Democratic primary – we`ll see your second quarter fund-

raising numbers in a couple of days.  We`ll see you on the next debate

stage at the end of the month. 


CASTRO:  Thank you.


MADDOW:  Sir, thank you for being here. 


CASTRO:  Good to be with you.


MADDOW:  Much appreciated.


All right.  We`ll be right back.  Stay with us.




MADDOW:  Ever since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives

two years into the Donald Trump presidency, it`s basically been brick wall

versus brick wall in terms of Congress trying to get information from the

executive branch, trying to get witnesses, trying to get testimony, and the

president and the White House have been blocking absolutely everything. 

And when two immovable objects like that smash into each other it`s a

recipe for, you know, rubble and dust, but not much useful. 


That said, there is a third branch of government which can sometimes

resolve these things when Congress and the executive branch collide.  So

far, Democrats have been warning that they are happy to go to the courts

but you can`t go right away.  If you want to win, you have to go through

the process.  You have to request the information and then have the – make

the request for information more sternly and then you have to follow those

respects with subpoenas and then when the subpoenas don`t get respected,

then you have to try to enforce them, but you have to show the courts that

you`ve gone through all those steps. 


Well, the only fight so far with the House has gone through that entire

process and finally got the court on oversight matters are when they sought

Trump`s financial records from his accounting firm and his bank in order to

look into allegations of bank fraud and insurance fraud that had been made

against the president.  The president then sued those companies, sued

Deutsche Bank and sued Mazar`s accounting firm to try to stop them from

complying with Congress` subpoenas.  Judges in both of those cases sided

with Congress overwhelmingly and almost instantly ruled those subpoenas

were valid and they must be respected. 


And those cases now are still being appealed.  They`ll still be worked out

in the end, but it was a really bad start for the White House.  By the time

Congress – the Democrats in Congress got to court, the courts were ready

to hear their case and in both cases, it was like a first round knockout

against the Trump White House. 


I mean, on this oversight stuff with Congress so far, the Trump

administration is 0 for 2.  Well, now as of today, here comes number three. 

This time, it is the case on which the Trump administration honestly would

appear to have the worst legal prospects because the law in this case is so



This is the federal lawsuit today filed by the ways and means committee in

the House against Trump`s Treasury Department and the IRS demanding that

they turn over Trump`s tax returns.  The chairman of the committee have

requested the president`s tax returns under black letter century-old law

that said the returns must be handed over, but the Trump administration

still refused.  The chairmen of the committee then subpoenaed the tax

returns but the Trump administration still refused. 


The primary point the committee is now making in its lawsuit today, now

that they`ve decided to take this to the courts, is that the administration

really doesn`t have a leg to stand on in refusing to comply.  I mean, the

text of the law says the treasury secretary shall furnish any tax return

the committee chairman requests.  The committee says in its lawsuit that in

all the decades this law has been on the books, quote, the committee is not

aware of any instance other than its request for President Trump`s tax

return information in which the Treasury or the IRS has failed for comply

with the plain meaning of the law and provide information requested by the



And so far, you know, when these congressional oversight battles have made

it all the way to court, we have seen two of those instances before,

Congress has won.  This third one is teed up as today – as of today – as

to whether or not Democrats` expectations on this are as high as it might

seem from their filing.  We`ll find out next from a member of the committee

that brought the court – brought this case to court today. 


That`s next.  Stay with us. 




MADDOW:  Today, they went to court.  The Ways and Means Committee in the

House today filed a lawsuit to get President Trump`s tax returns.  The

Trump administration has been refusing to hand them over despite the fact

that there is black letter century-old law that says they have to hand over

those tax returns when the committee chairman makes that request.


This lawsuit today caps a long process.  One member of that committee, in

fact, made his first formal request for the president`s tax returns 2 1/2

years ago, less than two weeks after Donald Trump`s inauguration.  The

congressman who did that, who has been on that from the very beginning is

Bill Pascrell of New Jersey. 


And Congressman Pascrell joins us now. 


So, thanks for being here. 


REP. BILL PASCRELL (D-NJ):  Good to be here, Rachel. 


MADDOW:  Why has this been so important for you from the beginning?  You

were really on it from the very start. 


PASCRELL:  Because – and I wanted it to be a nonpartisan thing.  I sent a

letter to Kevin Brady, who was the chairman at the time, Republicans were

in charge.  I said, let`s do this together because it`s going to be big. 

When I tell you it`s going to be big, Kevin, it`s going to be big. 


No, you cannot meddle into the president`s privacy.  I said, you birds just

did this two years ago when they were investigating the head of the IRS. 

Took 51 tax returns from people who were in, quote, unquote, liberal

organizations without any hesitation whatsoever under this law, 6103, which

they conveniently forget in two years, and I said what did you find out? 


They found out nothing.  The thing was dismissed.  Nothing was found wrong. 

These people are exposed and their records exposed. 


I believe we have a right to find out every president`s financial

background, how he made his money and what is he doing, not only because of

possible conflicts of interest, and there`s plenty to look at with this

president, but because I want to know if the president of the United States

is paying his fair share of taxes like I have to. 


Don`t forget, this is what sunk Nixon in the very beginning.  They went

after him in court, but they found out he hadn`t paid his taxes.  You know,

it`s $550,000, something to that effect.  In today`s numbers it would be



I believe we have a right to know, and this is not for the public.  It has

to go through procedure.  There has to be a hearing.  The committee will

vote to see if anything, if nothing will be exposed to the community, to

the citizens of our country, to the rest of the Congress. 


That`s the law, 6103 is very clear and I think 61 – 6214 even better of

the code because that says to Mnuchin, the defenders of the throne, the

enablers, to Mnuchin and Rettig who didn`t have the guts to come forward

because that`s how the request goes, to the head of the IRS.  And they

backed down and basically thumbed their nose at the Article I part of the



We exist.  And by the way, we are Article I.  President`s Article II.  With

all due respect, regardless to who the president is, we have a right to

this information.  And when you begin to take a look at this man, the

president`s history in the past, this is not a Democrat or Republican

thing, this will weaken the Congress if we don`t stand up, and I can assure

you not only the members of the Ways and Means Committee that are

Republican, but the rest of the Republicans in the House of Representatives

and the Senate have backed off their responsibilities.  They should be

ashamed of themselves. 


MADDOW:  Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey from the Ways and Means

Committee – thank you, in part, I want to say for explaining what happens

that stuff received in executive session and voting whether or not it can

be made public.  Keep us apprised as this lawsuit moves forward. 


PASCRELL:  I will. 


MADDOW:  It`s good to have you here.


PASCRELL:  Good to see you.


MADDOW:  We`ll be right back.  Stay with us.




MADDOW:  I just wanted to recap something that we learned tonight from

Secretary Julian Castro, who was here in studio with us for the interview. 

He had a big night at the first night at the Democratic debate. 


A piece of news that he gave us, which I don`t think has been anywhere else

is that his – he and I guess his campaign are telling us tonight that they

had 115,000 unique donors now.  They had their four best fund-raising days

of the entire campaign in the four days since the debate, raised over $1

million since the debate.  Interestingly, though, Secretary Castro would

not tell me what his quarter two fund-raising numbers are in total. 


Those are fund-raising totals that we are going to start to see over the

next few days from every campaign.  So far Mayor Pete Buttigieg of Indiana

has announced a gigantic second quarter fund-raising total, $24 million. 

Bernie Sanders has announced as of today that he raised the same amount in

quarter two that he did in quarter one, $18 million, which is a lot but

obviously he`s flat from quarter to quarter.


We expect now that the quarter has closed that we will get every campaign

telling us how much money they have raised and how much they`ve got on

hand.  That will have a further sort of sorting effect in how people think

about the various tiers of these candidates. 


All right.  That does it for us tonight.  We`ll see you again tomorrow. 




Good evening, Lawrence.







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