Harris (D-CA) rise, Biden (D-DE) falls. TRANSCRIPT: 7/1/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.

Guests:
David Rothkopf, Maria Urbina, Jennifer Palmieri, Taylor Levy
Transcript:

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Rachel.

 

And we have some polling coming up in this hour showing that Julian Castro

did win some hearts and minds during those debates.  His image improved. 

There is all sorts of internals saying who do you like better as a result

of the debate.  He is one of the people who benefitted. 

 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  I saw the early fund-raising numbers that his

campaign put out saying that he got a big bump in fundraising right after

that first night of debates.  So, I had a feeling we would see poll numbers

follow.  But I`m looking forward to it.

 

O`DONNELL:  Yes, that was my anecdotal experience.  My – civilians out

there who let me know what they were thinking, we are kind of texting in,

hey, Julian Castro.  I like that guy.  People hadn`t paid attention to him

before.

 

MADDOW:  I think that, you know, the campaign matters, the way the

candidates talk and compete with one another matters.  Everybody said that

the fundamentals will be true no matter what happens in the campaign. 

Well, when these guys get it out there and mix it up, it makes a

difference.  This is a super exciting part. 

 

O`DONNELL:  It will be fascinating to see what the candidates are like post

debate, especially the ones who did very well.  So, we`ll be watching.

 

MADDOW:  Thank you, my dear. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Thank you, Rachel.

 

MADDOW:  Thanks, Lawrence.

 

O`DONNELL:  Drinking out of toilets, that`s what children are being told do

by our Border Patrol according to members of Congress who visited the

Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, that has been condemned by the

inhumane conditions there. 

 

That visit came on a day when a news group described a secret Facebook book

of over 9,000 current and former members of the border patrol who engage in

vicious comments and jokes about the adults and children in their custody

and attacks against the members of Congress who came to visit those

children today.  The Facebook posts include graphic sexual jokes about

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  She gave her reaction to that

after visiting the border patrol station today and we will bring you that

at the end of this hour. 

 

But first, the photo-op presidency went to North Korea on Sunday.  The

president of the United States who can never be believed is trying to

convince you that it was just a spur of the moment decision made by the

president on the road who was headed for South Korea and thought maybe I

should be the first person to set foot into North Korea.  But that is not

how it happened. 

 

“The Hill” is reporting that a week before the president stepped into North

Korea, he told them in an off-the-record portion of “The Hill`s” interview

that he might meet with the murderous dictator on his trip to South Korea. 

“The Hill” now revealed that off the record portion of the interview in an

exclusive interview with “The Hill” last Monday.  Trump said he would be

visiting the DMZ and he might meet with Kim.  “The Hill” delayed publishing

news of the trip earlier in the week at the request of the White House

which cited security concerns about publicizing the president`s plans that

far in advance.

 

And “The Wall Street Journal” is reporting that on Wednesday, President

Moon of South Korea told foreign journalists who`s visiting Seoul that the

U.S. and North Korea had engaged in behind the scenes talks about a third

summit between the two countries` leaders and so, that third summit

happened right there, on Sunday.  It was planned. 

 

So there is no reason that anyone should believe that President Trump`s on

the fly tweet was written before all the details of the meeting were locked

down.  If Chairman Kim sees this, I would meet him just to shake his hand

and say hello. 

 

The president did a little more than shake his hand and say hello.  He said

it was an honor to step across that line into North Korea. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I said, hey, I`m over here. 

I want to go to Chairman Kim.  We got to meet and stepping across that line

was a great honor. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL:  A great honor to actually be standing in the country where Kim

Jong-un has starved so many people and murdered so many people, and

tortured Otto Warmbier.  A great honor, that`s what Donald Trump thinks is

a great honor, because it was all about the photo op that the press staff

for the first time in the history of the Trump presidency fought for the

American press to be allowed to get a good picture of the photo-op. 

 

Some observers have mistaken the new White House Press Secretary Stephanie

Grisham pushing around North Korea security staff as fighting for the First

Amendment rights of the traveling White House press corps, but, of course,

she was fighting to keep her job because the only thing that matters in a

photo-op is the photo.  She didn`t fight for the right of anyone to ask the

most murderous dictator in the world a question. 

 

Previous presidents have refused to give North Korean dictators the

international legitimacy that a meeting with the president of the United

States used to confer.  But by now, it is clear to the world that Donald

Trump doesn`t know what legitimacy is.  So, he cannot confer legitimacy on

anyone. 

 

Of course, President Trump demanded nothing in exchange for granting Kim

Jong-un another meeting.  Donald Trump has no idea what his words and

actions will mean to his place in history books, but he does understand the

Guinness Book of World Records.  And in order to emphasize the degree of

difficulty of his photo-op achievement of stepping across the border into

North Korea this weekend, he had to lie about it. 

 

Donald Trump decided the best way to make his photo-op look like something

difficult was to tell yet another lie in his stream of pathological lies

about President Barack Obama. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  President Obama wanted to meet and Chairman Kim would not meet him. 

The Obama administration was begging for a meeting.  They were begging for

meetings constantly.  And Chairman Kim would not meet with him. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL:  Former Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes

tweeted, Trump is lying.  I was there for all eight years.  Obama never

sought a meeting with Kim Jong-un.  Foreign policy isn`t reality

television, it`s reality. 

 

Former national security adviser Susan Rice tweeted: At the risk of stating

the obvious, this is horse crap. 

 

President Obama`s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, also

said President Obama never expressed around interest in meeting Kim Jong-

un.  “The New York Times” is reporting that the Trump administration

officials are working on what would in effect be complete surrender to

North Korea`s dictator on nuclear weapons.  Donald Trump has said that the

complete denuclearization of North Korea is the only thing that he would

call success, but now his administration is working on a possible proposal

that North Korea be allowed to keep its nuclear weapons program as it is

today and freeze the development of more nuclear weapons. 

 

National security adviser John Bolton issued a panicked tweet about this,

saying I read this “New York Times” story with curiosity.  Neither the NSC

staff nor I have discussed or heart any desire to settle for a nuclear

freeze.  This was a reprehensible attempt by someone to box in the

president.  There should be consequences. 

 

That was John Bolton advocating that the president find and fire whoever

leaked the proposal that John Bolton seems to know nothing about.  John

Bolton sent that tweet from Mongolia where the president sent him instead

of allowing John Bolton, the national security adviser, to accompany the

president to the meeting with Kim Jong-un.

 

But why would the president need his national security adviser when he had

the highest ranking Trump White House staff member with him?  Ivanka Trump

who finally said something that we can all agree on was there.  She told

reporters that her getting to shake the hand of the murderous dictator was,

quote, “surreal.”

 

Leading off our discussion now was David Rothkopf, a commentator on foreign

policy and national security issues.  His next book is “Traitor: The Case

Against Donald J. Trump”.  Also joining us, Tim O`Brien, the executive

editor of “Bloomberg Opinion” and MSNBC contributor. 

 

And, David, am I wrong to believe that the world has been paying attention? 

Has shifted a bunch of things that had in place for American presidents,

like the notion of the president conferring legitimacy?  This is a big

thing I`m hearing about, oh, Donald Trump made the mistake of conferring

legitimacy.  That`s only true if the world thinks Donald Trump can confer

legitimacy on anyone. 

 

DAVID ROTHKOPF, FOREIGN POLICY EXPERT:  Well, you can`t confer legitimacy

on people who value legitimacy, right?  But Kim Jong-un does not value

legitimacy in a traditional sense.  He`ll take any kind he can get. 

 

So, for Kim Jong-un to have Donald Trump come to him, cross the border,

bring his two most trusted advisers, Ivanka and Jared, who he slipped into

the meeting unbeknownst to the White House, despite the fact, of course,

that they were not really eligible for security clearances and the

discussion would be about nukes, for Kim, that`s a big victory.  And for

Trump then to leak – and I suspect the person Bolton is most angry at in

his tweet is Trump because Trump is the one who is boxing Bolton out,

boxing Pompeo out, because he wants a deal.  That`s another big win for

Kim. 

 

And as you say, if what we do is end up with a freeze where North Korea

gets to keep 20 to 60 nuclear warheads and we lift sanctions, we kind of

reward them for keeping their nuclear warheads, what a catastrophe that

will be. 

 

O`DONNELL:  But a worse deal than the Obama-Iran deal. 

 

ROTHKOPF:  Dramatically worse.  The Iranians would say we would like one of

those, too, please, sir.  Of course, there is one problem.  The North

Koreans have broken the last two deals they signed with us and we can`t

count on them to do anything. 

 

And we broke the last deal that we had with the Iranians.  So, nobody can

trust us to do anything.  This is all about the transaction.  Trump getting

a win, Kim getting a win, and their countries, not so much. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Tim, Donald Trump clearly wants to find a way to say, by the

Republican convention if not sooner, here`s my big win.  Big win with North

Korea, whatever he will describe as a big win. 

 

TIM O`BRIEN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Yes, you know, the idea that Donald Trump

thinks strategically about things should be put to rest, hopefully finally

by the events of the last weekend.  He thinks theatrically and

cinematically about everything.  And for him, a big win is that he gets to

stand in the DMZ and he`s the first president to ever have done so. 

 

O`DONNELL:  It`s – the Guinness Book of Records thing is the big win for

him.  He`s content with that, right?

 

O`BRIEN:  Completely.  That`s the problem here.  He doesn`t really care

whether or not he gets us down the road to a sensible place on foreign

policy with Iran, with North Korea, with China. 

 

What he really wants is to be able to say, he looks wonderful.  He thinks

that about his family members and himself and he will ice out his White

House aides to get here and ice out ultimately the American public.  And I

think that`s what`s dangerous here, is that his thinking isn`t goal-

oriented and is completely self-referential. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Tim, let`s stay with Ivanka Trump`s word for this – surreal. 

And there she has my complete agreement.  There is the president, there`s

his daughter in this situation.  What did that conjure for you watching

that? 

 

O`BRIEN:  It`s another episode of “The Apprentice”.  Unfortunately, it`s

happening in North Korea.  It wasn`t just surreal there, but the whole

weekend from the Ivanka perspective was surreal beginning with the G-20

meetings. 

 

She was popping in and out of meetings she was not qualified to attend. 

She lacks the intellect, experience, and insight to be sitting with the

president in a number of these meetings, and the DMZ visit was sort of this

bizarre cherry on top of a very strange weekend in which the Trumps were

putting U.S. policy and the U.S. position in the world geopolitically to

their own self branding mission. 

 

O`DONNELL:  David, let`s go back to John Bolton`s situation.  It`s the most

desperate public statement that I am aware of a national security adviser

ever making in the history of the job.  Here he is.  He is off literally in

Mongolia, which kind of sounds like the punch line of a joke between Russia

and China. 

 

An important place in the world, but not visited very often by American

officials.  And that`s where the president has sent him specifically so he

won`t be there. 

 

And then the “New York Times” said the Trump administration is working on

basically a form of caving to North Korea, which North Korea it`s not clear

they accepted or if they did, they would cheat on it later.  Bolton

desperately tries to tweet into this story and his tweet includes two

things.  One, the story is not true.  Two, a direct message to the

president, find and fire whoever leaked this idea to the “New York Times.”

 

What does this tell us about where John Bolton is in this administration

and how long he will be in this administration? 

 

ROTHKOPF:  Well, John Bolton is in Mongolia. 

 

(LAUGHTER)

 

ROTHKOPF:  That`s where he is.  You know, they sent him there, but it`s the

kind of, you know, metaphorically the second time they sent him there in a

week.  A week earlier on the Iran deal, he was pushing let`s go, let`s go

to war, let`s do this. 

 

And Trump was like, oh, John, you are a warmonger, get out of the room,

we`re not going to do that.  I`m not going to go to war and he sort of

patted him down, patted him away and jokes about him.  Trump goes around

and says, you know, he`s a mad man, you know?  I`m not like that.  But it`s

good to have him around. 

 

Then he gets – goes off and sends him to Mongolia.  John Bolton is the

pretty face of American national security.  That`s it.  There is nothing

else going on there. 

 

Trump likes to do it all one on one.  Just like there is no need for a

press secretary and there is no real need for a national security adviser. 

He meets with Putin alone.  He meets with MBS alone.  He meets with Xi

Jinping alone. 

 

He does these things – I mean, he has people on either side with him

sometimes at the table, but he does it all one on one.  And, you know, the

clock is tick.  How many Scaramuccis does Bolton have left.  I don`t know. 

 

O`BRIEN:  What`s strange is he can`t get it done alone.  As much as he

thinks he wants to pull this off on his own, he lacks the firepower and the

ability to get anything done programmatically. 

 

ROTHKOPF:  You got it right.  And, you know, with all respect, Ben Rhodes

got it wrong.  This is a reality show.  Donald Trump views it as a reality

show. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Well, Ben Rhodes wasn`t saying this isn`t a reality show.  He`s

saying foreign policy is not a reality show. 

 

ROTHKOPF:  It shouldn`t be, but I think Trump foreign policy is a reality

show. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Yes.

 

ROTHKOPF:  It`s about the shot.  It`s about the dramatic reveal.  It`s

about the cliff hanger and what may happen next. 

 

It`s not about national interest.  It`s not about outcomes.  It`s not about

anything national security has been about.  But it is exactly what “The

Apprentice” used to be about. 

 

O`DONNELL:  David Rothkopf gets the LAST WORD in our opening round. 

 

David Rothkopf and Tim O`Brien, thank you both for starting us off. 

 

And when we come back, we have new polling, important new polling of the

Democratic presidential candidates after the debate.  There are some very

big gainers, big winners in these post-debate polls, important developments

in those polls at this stage of the game. 

 

And also later in this hour, you will hear from a 12-year-old girl who

lived in the horrific conditions inside the U.S. Border Patrol facility in

Clint, Texas. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TWELVE-YEAR-OLD GIRL HELD IN DETENTION FOR 12 DAYS:  Yes, some children,

like the age of my sister, they cry for their mother or their father.  They

cried for their aunt, hey missed them.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL:  We now have our first set of post-debate polls from the

presidential field of the candidates and the new polls shows Senators

Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris moving up, moving up in a big way. 

 

In a new Morning Consult poll, Kamala Harris doubled support moving up to a

tie for third place with Senator Elizabeth Warren at 12 percent.  Bernie

Sanders unmoved at 19 percent.  Joe Biden is down in that poll 5 points,

but remains a strong front-runner in the poll with 33 percent.

 

And then a new CNN poll out tonight shows Joe Biden dropping 10 points,

down to 22 percent, which still leaves him in first place while Kamala

Harris moved up nine points to second place with 17 percent in that poll. 

Elizabeth Warren gained eight points in that poll and moved up to 15

percent.  Bernie Sanders lost four points, and moved down to 14 percent. 

 

But technically the margin of error leaves Senator Harris, Senator Warren,

Senator Sanders all in a statistically tie. 

 

Joining our discussion now is Maria Urbina, national political director of

Indivisible.  Also with us, Jennifer Palmieri, former White House

communications director for President Obama and a former communications

director for Hillary Clinton`s presidential campaign. 

 

Jennifer, what happened?  What do the polls tell us?  Let`s just – let`s

put it out there.  It`s a snapshot.  It could change next week.  It

apparently is a reaction to the debate. 

 

Your reaction to that? 

 

JENNIFER PALMIERI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR PRESIDENT

OBAMA:  Yes, I did note that Biden`s pollster had tweeted that this was

over a weekend and we shouldn`t take them too seriously.  She went for the

king and she got him and she went up nine points.  You know, he went down,

Biden, in that CNN poll by 10 points and Kamala Harris went up nine. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Wait, wait, guidance for the audience.  When you see polls that

have different movements in them. 

 

PALMIERI:  Yes.

 

O`DONNELL:  Kamala Harris moved in both, but in one Joe Biden drops much

more in the other. 

 

PALMIERI:  Right.  In the CNN, he drops down to 22. 

 

O`DONNELL:  How do the campaigns read that when they get two different –

 

PALMIERI:  I think they are outliers, right?  But it can make the staff

nervous, because you`re like, is that – which one of this is the outlier. 

And yes, it`s hard to poll over a weekend in the summer.  There is lots of

reasons to doubt exactly where Biden is, but certainly you have to

acknowledge that Kamala Harris had a strategy to go after Biden and he was

going to do that to her benefit and to hurt him and that seems to have

happened. 

 

I think that it doesn`t mean that it`s going to stay in that order, you

know, of Biden, Harris, Warren, Sanders, but I do think that it means we

have entered the dynamic stage of the primary where the safety has been

taken off and Biden is not – you know, can`t be viewed as the ultimate

front runner and this thing can be dynamic and you will see a lot of lead

changes from now on. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Maria, what do polls mean for activists and volunteers and

energy in the different campaigns? 

 

MARIA URBINA, NATIONAL POLITICAL DIRECTOR, INDIVISIBLE:  This is great for

our community and our community of organizers.  Our community has been

really excited and engaged from the beginning, all the way from the very

first Democratic forum here talking about Democratic reforms.  We saw the

movement get really involve and we have started to see the early insights

around Castro, for example. 

 

When our movement gets to know Castro, they get really excited about him

even though they don`t know a lot about him coming in.  We saw that after

the first debate night when we released our first SMS flash poll of over

6,000 members.  And what our 6,000 members said that first night that

Warren and Castro took it. 

 

So, what`s exciting for us is activist who is continue to be engaged across

their communities, Indivisible leaders are engaged and they are sort of

calling this a little bit earlier than we are seeing in some of the public

opinion polling.  That`s a good thing because it means it is not

inevitable.  It means this is dynamic and we are happy to be engage and a

part of this race this early on.

 

O`DONNELL:  Jennifer, I think to no one`s surprise, Donald Trump, Jr.

retweeted a racist tweet about Kamala Harris, that brought out Elizabeth

Warren and other Democrats immediately basically standing up for Kamala

Harris. 

 

Here`s the way Joe Biden responded to it.  He said: The same forces of

hatred rooted in birtherism that questioned Barack Obama`s American

citizenship and even his racial identity are now being used against Kamala

Harris.  It`s disgusting and we have to call it out.  When we see it,

racism has no place in America. 

 

PALMIERI:  Yes, and I think everyone – as far as I could discern, each of

the presidential candidates had some sort of comment about that in response

to what Don, Jr. did.  And that was a disturbing story behind the troll

farm that created that moment. 

 

O`DONNELL:  That strikes me as Donald Trump, Jr. manages to unite all of

the Democratic candidates after a debate.  Who else could do that? 

 

PALMIERI:  It`s true.  We will call on him often once we get to the general

election and we can count him to help –

 

O`DONNELL:  All right.  We`re going to squeeze in a break here, and when we

come back, we`re going to continue with more of the information in these

polls and some new and positive information for the Buttigieg campaign. 

That`s next. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL:  Today, Mayor Pete Buttigieg`s campaign announced that they

would bring in $24.8 million in the second quarter of 2019.  That`s more

than three times the amount that campaign picked up during the first

quarter.

 

And a new poll from “HuffPost” UGov found that the candidate who did the

most to improve the image among voters was Senator Elizabeth Warren. 

Fifty-eight percent of voters in that poll said that their views of

Elizabeth Warren improved after the debate compared to just 4 percent who

said their views of Elizabeth Warren worsened.  Fifty-eight percent also

said that their view of Kamala Harris improved after the debates with more,

9 percent, saying that their views of her worsened. 

 

They were followed by former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian

Castro, 44 percent of voters said their opinions of Julian Castro improved

after the debates, with just 7 percent saying opinions of him worsened. 

 

Maria Urbina and Jennifer Palmieri are back with us. 

 

And, Jennifer, what do you make of that part of the polls, saying my view

of this person improved?  That seems like a very important internal. 

That`s a building block.

 

PALMIERI: Yes. Yes, there is two big - there`s two questions like for us,

like we have the - did your view of that person improve or do you want to

know more about them? Right? And I think the lesson to the candidates,

they`re looking for that number to go up. Like, Julian Castro, I think, saw

that. It`s like how I`m interested in him. I want to know more about that.

I think Amy Klobuchar saw that, too.

 

But for both Harris and Warren, in the beginning of this primary because

it`s already been going on for six months and where we still have, I think,

more than seven months to go before anyone votes, but the men were doing

well. Right? Early polls had Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg and O`Rourke leading

and the women were trailing.

 

And I think that having worked for a woman candidate myself that it

sometimes it takes voters longer to buy in to women candidates, and you see

that surge happening now with both Warren and Harris. I noted that in the

CNN poll, they went up - I think Kamala went up nine and Warren went up

eight, and the 17 points all came from white men. But that may be - I do -

I suspect that maybe that support for women might be more durable because

they`ve (ph) been tested a little more.

 

O`DONNELL: And Maria, there`s also this electability issue, which voters

have been talking about a lot. And the Huffington Post`s YouGov poll still

shows Joe Biden at the top in electability, 57%, but it`s a drop. In the

last month, it`s a drop for him on that electability score and then an

increase for Senator Warren, increase for Senator Harris, Bernie Sanders

staying right about the same, Pete Buttigieg staying right about the same,

and a drop for Beto O`Rourke. But now you have Senator Warren and Senator

Harris climbing up in a territory relatively close to where Joe Biden is

now on that electability issue.

 

URBINA: That`s right, Lawrence. And it`s a considerable drop for Vice

President Biden, and it has to be noted. I think the other piece that`s

true here is that for all of the historic candidates in the race, once

viewers and candidates - pardon me - once voters and activists get to see

them on stage, get to see them compete, get to see their visions put

forward in an exciting and clear and specific way, folks are reacting to

them. And so that`s part of what you`re seeing is they`re getting to know

them. They`re being excited by them.

 

And one of the things that we often hear from our movement is that it`s

early, that they want to get to know folks, and that - yes, sure, Vice

President Biden and Senator Sanders have early support because of their

name ID. They`ve run major national campaigns. So they come into this cycle

well-known.

 

Now, as they took the stage for the first time with a slate of historic

candidates with big ideas, bold ideas, and immigration and democracy

reform, you are seeing folks get excited right alongside them. And that`s

what we are seeing over the weekend.

 

O`DONNELL: And Jennifer, as we`ve learned repeatedly now, you cannot win

the Democratic nomination without the black voters, you can`t win the

general election without black voters for the Democrat. And the CNN poll

shows a big shift in what`s happening with black support for Kamala Harris.

It was 6% after the debate. Now it has shot up to 24%. Joe Biden, very

strong at 49%, still very, very strong at 36% as the leader among black

voters. But that`s a pretty big movement for Senator Harris.

 

 PALMIERI: And it`s sort of - I mean, it`s like a dam-breaking moment for

Senator Harris because if black voters had, say, consolidated behind Vice

President Biden, that was going to make it very hard for anyone to

ultimately move up in a sort of sustained way. And - this is just one -

these are polls - this is just the first set of polls and they were done

quickly.

 

And I think what matters now is what does Senator Harris - what does she do

next? Does she continue to go after Biden? I`m not sure there`s a lot of

percentage in that. She`s probably going to go out and make her own case.

She knows that people are going to be watching her in the next few weeks.

We have the debate coming up in - at the end of July. That could be set up

for as a comeback moment for Joe Biden if he`s able to deliver a stronger

performance.

 

But the black voters consolidating behind Biden had been sort of a

(inaudible) for him. And I think that I`m not surprised to see the race

become more dynamic. It doesn`t mean that Joe Biden can`t become the

eventual nominee. I bet his staff is not surprised to see these numbers

move around like they are, but it does mean that we`re in a really

different part of the campaign than we were a couple of months ago.

 

O`DONNELL: Jennifer Palmieri and Maria Urbina, thank you both very much for

joining us. I really appreciate it.

 

URBINA: Thank you, Lawrence.

 

O`DONNELL: Thank you. And when we come back, a 12-year-old girl who has

endured the horrific conditions inside that U.S. Border Patrol station at

Clint, Texas, you will hear her speak on video.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): It was ugly in there.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: It was ugly in there. That was how a 12-year-old girl described

the conditions inside the U.S. Customs and Border Protection station in

Clint, Texas. She and her six-year-old sister were held for about two weeks

there after being separated from their aunt.

 

She told a lawyer, who will join us in a moment - a partner of the lawyer

who will join us in a moment, that the children were not allowed to bathe

or play and somewhere locked away when they cried for their parents. Here

are portions of the video made by one of the girl`s lawyers and obtained

and released by the Associated Press.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): They gave us little food. Some children

did not bathe, they didn`t bathe them. They treated us badly where we were.

They were mean to us.

 

ALISON GRIFFITH, STAFF ATTORNEY, THE ADVOCATES FOR HUMAN RIGHTS` REFUGEE &

IMMIGRANT PROGRAM (translated): Were there many children there?

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): Yes, there were many children and they

were treated badly. They didn`t bathe. They gave them little food, children

were crying.

 

GRIFFITH (translated): And would they sometimes scream?

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): Yes, some children, like the age of my

sister, they would cry for their mother or their father. They cried for

their aunt, they missed them.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: And she says the children were forced to sleep on the floor and

were not given the medical care that they needed.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

GRIFFITH (translated): And where did you sleep? Did you sleep on beds?

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): They slept on just the floor.

 

GRIFFITH (translated): Did they give you blankets or not?

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): They would only give us one blanket.

 

GRIFFITH (translated): And was it enough to withstand the cold?

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): No, some children were sick. They said

that they`d take them to hospitals, but they wouldn`t take them.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Attorney Taylor Levy of El Paso, Texas helped reunite the girl

and her sister with their mother in the United States.

 

Attorney Taylor Levy will join us after this break.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: Here`s more of that video interview with the 12-year-old girl

who was held at the Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

GRIFFITH (translated): Anything else you might remember from inside the

detention center that made you scared or feel uncomfortable?

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): The way they treated us, some children

did not sleep, almost. It was ugly in there.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now is Taylor Levy, an immigration

attorney in El Paso, Texas, who helped reunite that 12-year-old girl and

her sister with their mother here in the United States.

 

Thank you very much for joining us and I appreciate you helping us. Tell us

about how you got into the legal position of representing this little girl

and how long it took for you to get her reunited with her mother.

 

TAYLOR LEVY, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Thank you so much for having me here

tonight. I`m an attorney here in El Paso, Texas. I was contacted by the

girl`s other attorney, Alison, who works for the Advocates for Human Rights

up in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota. She contacted me because she knew

that I did work on the border.

 

She contacted me through some friends, and that was during the weekend. And

she said that Border Patrol had called the mother and told them that since

the girls kept getting hospitalized and they kept bouncing back to the

hospital, they would be willing to release the girls to the mother if she

flew down from Minnesota. So she kind of dropped everything, jumped on a

plane and arrived on Sunday, June 2nd. And then we worked a lot on June

2nd, on June 3rd to get her reunited.

 

O`DONNELL: And their mother has been in the United States for a few years.

At this point, they were living with their aunt. And is - are the - the

girls` mother, is she undocumented at this point?

 

LEVY: The girls` mother is an asylum-seeker. She had to flee their home

country, flee in extreme domestic violence about four years ago because the

abuser said he was going to kill her and beat her repeatedly. And at that

time, he was not hurting the girls. So she was able to flee successfully

seeking asylum in the United States. And the girls were then later

targeted, and that`s why the aunt had to make the decision to bring them to

the United States as well because they weren`t safe anywhere in their home

country.

 

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Congressman Joaquin Castro said today after

visiting that facility.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): When we went into the cell, it was clear that

the water was not running. There was a toilet, but there was no running

water for people to drink. In fact, one of the women said that she was told

by an agent to drink water out of the toilet.

 

These are the conditions - these are the conditions that have been created

by the Trump administration.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Were you surprised by any of those distributions inside?

 

LEVY: I was absolutely not ascribed (ph) by any of those conditions that

were explained either in that clip or in the rest of the clips that we`ve

heard today from the Congress people.

 

O`DONNELL: I want to show some video that Congressman Castro took while he

was inside the facility. They were not supposed to use their cameras in any

way and - but Congressman Castro managed to get his on. There`s a little

bit of background sound that you can hear from that video. This shows the

way some of the adults are being kept there. And we also have other members

of Congress who were in there today. And you met with some of them after

the fact and some of them had a very emotional reaction to what they saw.

Tell us about that.

 

LEVY: I did. After the tours, I was able to meet with Congresswoman

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and also Pressley. We were able to meet. They came

and toured one of the enunciation house sites of hospitality along with a

few other activist groups. We met and we spoke to them for a couple of

hours. They were clearly very emotional and affected by what they had seen.

I think one of the biggest things that we were trying to tell them about

what they had seen, it was so much better than it would have been had they

not known that there was a Congressional visit.

 

The aunt of these little girls, for example, we`ve been trying to get her

out of those conditions for over 35 days, and she was just surprise

transferred to an ICE facility in Arizona on Sunday. And we know that those

cells that are shown in that video that Joaquin Castro leaked, those are

much fewer people than are normally held in those cells. They normally

don`t have blankets like that. That was actually very surprising.

 

O`DONNELL: Attorney Taylor Levy, thank you very much for joining us and I

really appreciate it.

 

LEVY: Thank you very much.

 

O`DONNELL: When we come back, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went

to the border today, as ProPublica revealed a Customs and Border Patrol

Facebook page, not an official page, but one that involves current and

former workers on the Border Patrol that includes graphic sexual jokes as

well as other attacks about Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. That`s

next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Well, we saw today was

unconscionable. No child should ever be separated from their parents. No

child should ever be taken from their family. No woman should ever be

locked up in a pen when they have done no harm to another human being. They

should be given water. They should be given basic access to human rights.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: That was Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Clint, Texas

today outside the Border Patrol station there that has been holding

children in unsanitary and unhealthy conditions.

 

Before the Congresswoman got there today, A.C. Thompson reported in

ProPublica that a secret Border Patrol Facebook group with over 9,000

current and former members of the Border Patrol have been attacking the

Congresswoman on Facebook. A.C. Thompson told Chris Hayes what he found in

that Facebook group.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

A.C. THOMPSON, PROPUBLICA REPORTER: When I see members of federal law

enforcement agencies posting memes about essentially sexually assaulting a

sitting Congresswoman - I have never seen anything like that. It is so, so

upsetting and so vulgar.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: The Facebook group includes graphic sexual jokes about

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In Texas, she tweeted this today.

Just left the first CBP facility. I see why CBP officers were being so

physically and sexually threatening towards me. Officers were keeping women

in cells with no water and had told them to drink out of the toilets. This

was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress.”

 

Joining us now is Maria Teresa Kumar, the President and CEO of Voto Latino

and an MSNBC contributor.

 

Maria Teresa, your reaction to that visit to the border today and what

we`ve discovered about ProPublica`s reporting about that secret Facebook

group of current and former Border Patrol agents?

 

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, VOTO LATINO PRESIDENT & MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first

of all, the fact that the Congressional members delegation actually had

access, I applaud them because they were forceful to make sure that we

could actually see what was happening, that despite the fact that the

Border Patrol confiscated their smartphones and they were still able to get

audio and video shows that, first of all, this should be completely

transparent to the rest of the country. What are they trying to hide? These

are asylum-seekers. These are individuals that are coming to the country

asking for asylum, and they`re being treated horribly.

 

Lawrence, the fact that close to 9,500 Border Patrol agents are on that

Facebook group, there are 20,000 Border Patrol agents in total. So we`re

talking about nearly half of individuals that are present and retired that

are participating in a toxic culture that is basically feeding this idea of

not only inhumanity but it allows it to translate into real life policy and

behavior.

 

The fact that they`re going after a sitting Congresswoman and using it in a

misogynistic way just details the fact that they are doing that - if that

they`re doing that to her who actually has power and resources to draw

attention, imagine what they`re doing to the children and to the families

and to the women who don`t have that access.

 

The fact that we also know that the majority of the children that are in

these detentions, Lawrence, they have families living in this country.

Close to 70% of the children actually have a relative that they can pick up

the phone and be reunited tomorrow. But instead, this President decides

that cruelty is the policy, and they want to make sure that they`re

creating a caustic behavior that is going to be enduring and unfortunately

traumatizing these individuals is unacceptable.

 

And I do applaud the members of Congress that were finally able to break

through and have the rest of the country reveal what is happening inside.

 

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Congressman Castro said about that Facebook

group of current and former Border Patrol agents.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CASTRO: That was a vulgar, disgusting and vile page. That shows,

unfortunately, that there are many within CBP who have become desensitized

to the point of becoming dangerous to the migrants in their care and to

their coworkers.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, this Facebook group makes jokes about people dying

at the border. So the desensitized I think is not quite the word for what

we`re talking about.

 

KUMAR: No, it`s absolutely grotesque. And I have to - there are agents that

enlisted themselves to basically protect this country. And right now, the

resources that they are taking away from identifying individuals that can

actually cause us harm and that are perpetuating a culture that is caustic,

that is dehumanizing, that is the crassest of our possible behavior.

 

We have had six children die under this President. Before then, zero. So

there is a strong contrast. When the American people are hearing that there

is - that there are folks coming into the border and that we just don`t

have the resources, that is not true. We are spending as taxpayers $700 on

each individual that has been incarcerated. We can`t even get them

toothpaste. We can`t even get them the basic decency of being able to sleep

at night so that they can actually see the next day.

 

And unless there is really reckoning from the top of the administration all

the way on down, we are going to see more deaths and we are going to see a

stain on our history. And we have to make sure that we continue this

transparency, because the idea that, again, these children have relatives

in this country that they can be released tomorrow but instead this

administration is maximizing cruelty is not only inacceptable, but it`s all

on our watch. And we have to make sure that we continue this coverage.

 

Lawrence, I applaud you because this is not something that`s new to you.

You have been doing this from the very beginning and you have been sounding

that alarm.

 

O`DONNELL: I have to say it`s very moving when you go to the region. When I

was down there, I couldn`t get into any facilities, but just standing

outside of them and gazing at them and just realizing what you`ve heard

about what`s going on inside them is a very moving experience.

 

I want to listen to Congresswoman Nanette Barragan who told Chris Hayes

about her experience today. Let`s listen to that.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. NANETTE BARRAGAN (D-CA): When we got to Clint, Chris, they locked the

kids in these rooms so we wouldn`t talk to them. And there`s a Plexiglas.

You had a small child, maybe three, four years old running up to the

Plexiglas to try to touch us through the glass, to try to get our attention

and asking for his father. It`s pretty heartbreaking.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, your reaction to that?

 

KUMAR: It`s - everything is heartbreaking, and it`s under our control. I

was in Homestead, Florida, literally 40 minutes outside of Miami. I got

lost trying to get there with two other activists. And you know what they

told me, Lawrence? They said turn right on the Walmart. We turned right on

the Walmart. It was the end of the road.

 

We were able to get out of the car in the middle of suburbia, and we were

able to witness children walking around in dead heat in Homestead wearing

grey shirts and neon caps, making sure that they were identifiable, walking

around, knowing at the time that we had activists outside trying to make

them feel like they were welcomed but knowing that those young people

inside were two, three, five years old, 17 years old with family in this

region, and we couldn`t get them out because the government has decided

that it`s much more profitable to keeping them there than being just and

being humane.

 

O`DONNELL:  Maria Teresa Kumar gets tonight`s LAST WORD.  Thank you very

much for joining us tonight.

 

KUMAR:  Thank you Lawrence.

 

O`DONNELL:  That is tonight`s LAST WORD.  “THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian

Williams starts now.

 

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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