Trump shows altered hurricane forecast map. TRANSCRIPT: 9/4/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.

Guests:
Duane Sanders, Jensen Burrows, Cecile Richards, Nicole Austin- Hillery, David Smith
Transcript:

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

 

And listening to your Brexit discussion tonight, you know, when I was

working in the Senate I used to once in a while wonder would the

parliamentary system be better.  I`m not wondering that tonight.  We`ve

never seen anything like it. 

 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  We`ve never seen anything like it, and it is –

I mean, we do have parallels in terms of emerging or expected schisms

within the parties and pressure within each of the parties and pressure

even on the two-party system, that`s something, you know, that comes around

like a carousel every election cycle in this country. 

 

But the idea that the system itself may not be able bear the strain of

what`s being done to it by people who don`t care for the norms that have

governed since time immemorial, that is something that we fear but they`re

actually living through it. 

 

O`DONNELL:  It sure makes a Constitution look like a good idea. 

 

MADDOW:  Yes, or one that`s written down, yes, I`m glad for that. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Yes, thank you, Rachel. 

 

MADDOW:  Thank you, Lawrence. 

 

O`DONNELL:  The shortest honeymoon in history, that is what one British

political historian is calling the collapse of Prime Minister Boris

Johnson`s majority in parliament this week.  It is British governing chaos

like nothing we have ever seen.  And we have the video of Boris Johnson

being verbally attacked in parliament today, directly to his face, as is

the British tradition.  That is later in this hour. 

 

In a new inspector general`s report, it`s horrifying and predictable.  It

describes the psychological and emotional trauma suffered by children

separated from their parents at the southern border and held in custody by

the Trump administration.  Easy to predict that there would be emotional

trauma involved in that.  We`ll have the details of that report later in

this hour. 

 

And some of those details are very difficult to read.  The report quotes

people working in those facilities who see firsthand the damage being done

to these children.  In an op-ed piece for “The New York Times,” a former

Senate staffer Mark Schmidt (ph) described what he called the extreme and

unprecedented corruption of Mr. Trump and his allies. 

 

And today, the Trump administration took that in a direction where no one

has gone before, forcing “The Washington Post” to actually consider whether

the president committed a crime when he showed a weather map, showed a

weather map in the Oval Office with what looks like a black sharpie line

added to it. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We thought we would give you

an update on the hurricane.  We got lucky in Florida, very, very lucky

indeed.  We had actually our original chart was that it was going to be hit

– hitting Florida directly.  Maybe I could just see that, Kevin.  It was

going to be hitting directly.  And it would have affected a lot of other

states.  But that was the original chart. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL:  Well, it`s not exactly the original chart.  It`s the original

chart plus that black line that reaches into Alabama where the president

had earlier this week incredibly predicted the hurricane would go. 

 

And later in the day, a reporter asked the president about that black line. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REPORTER:  That map that you showed us today looked like it almost is like

a sharpie. 

 

TRUMP:  I don`t know.  I don`t know.  I don`t know. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL:  I don`t know. 

 

And “The Washington Post” reported today that altering that map could be a

crime.  “The Washington Post” reported, quote, altering official government

weather forecasts isn`t just a cause of concern.  It`s illegal, per 18 U.S.

Code Section 2074 when addresses false weather reports. 

 

Whoever knowingly issues or publishes any counterfeit weather forecast or

warning of weather conditions falsely representing such forecast or warning

to have been issued or published by the Weather Bureau, United States

Signal Service or other branch of the government service, shall be find

under this title or imprisoned not more than 90 days or both. 

 

The president seemed more concerned today about justifying his false

prediction that the hurricane would hit Alabama than he was concerned with

the death and destruction that had already hit our neighbors in the Bahamas

where the official death toll is increasing tonight as searches and rescue

continue around the clock. 

 

In a moment, we`ll be joined by the health minister for the Bahamas for the

very latest on how the islands are dealing with the crisis there. 

 

And according to the latest tracking, Hurricane Dorian is once again

picking up strength.  The National Hurricane Center shows that it is still

a category 2 hurricane with sustained winds back up to 110 miles per hour. 

And the hurricane has actually widened now. 

 

Once again tonight, we will get the latest update on the storm track as

soon as it is released by the National Hurricane Center.  That will be

minutes before the end of this hour.  Meteorologist Bill Karins will join

us once again with that breaking news later in the hour tonight. 

 

Hurricane Dorian is currently off the coast of Georgia and could make

landfall in South Carolina tomorrow and possibly make landfall there, and

possibly make landfall in North Carolina the next day, on Friday.  The

National Hurricane Center predicts these areas face a triple threat of,

quote, destructive winds, flooding rains and life-threatening storm surge. 

Massive evacuations are already under way, as South Carolina is bracing for

some of the worst flooding in 30 years.

 

Ali Velshi will give us a live report from Charleston, South Carolina,

tonight, in just a moment.  Storm warnings have now been lifted in the

Bahamas as residents are beginning to assess the catastrophic damage after

Hurricane Dorian stalled over the Bahamas for two days as a category 5

hurricane, destroying thousands of homes and leaving vast areas underwater. 

 

Officials confirm to NBC News that the death toll in the Bahamas is now up

to 20.  Rescuers used boats and jet skis to continue their rescue efforts. 

The U.S. Coast Guard is assisting with those efforts, rescuing dozens and

airlifting many to medical facilities. 

 

Jensen Burrows is a lifetime resident of the Bahamas who rescued several

people, using his jet ski, including a mother and her two children.  Jensen

Burrows will tell us the story of those rescues in just a moment. 

 

But joining us now by phone from Nassau is the Bahamian minister of health,

Dr. Duane Sands. 

 

Dr. Sands, thank you very much for joining us tonight. 

 

DR. DUANE SANDS, HEALTH MINISTER OF BAHAMAS (via telephone):  Good evening. 

And it`s a pleasure to be here. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Tell us what the latest conditions are in the Bahamas. 

 

SANDS:  Well, at this point, things have returned to normal.  If you were

to look outside, it`s a clear, sunny day today and no wind.  And it belies

the absolute apocalyptic conditions that we had a few days ago. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Well, from a public health perspective, what is your biggest

challenge? 

 

SANDS:  Well, at this point the primary concern is to get food and water to

the affected individuals, but also to rescue individuals who may be trapped

in their homes.  We have had massive likely contamination of all the

groundwater.  And there are a number of dead animals.  And we have found a

number of deceased persons as well. 

 

So, the risk of public health, diarrheal diseases, and rodents and other

vectors creates a public health nightmare if it`s not managed properly. 

 

O`DONNELL:  What management techniques do you have for this water situation

where the water supply has been contaminated? 

 

SANDS:  Well, basically, recommendations are that you not consume any

groundwater, to consume bottled water or to ensure that if you do have to

consume groundwater that it`s either boiled or chlorinated.  And we are in

the midst of distributing chlorine tablets.  But the preference is bottled

water. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Do you have any sense of when we will really know the final

casualty count since the ability to recover bodies is still restricted? 

 

SANDS:  We have an incredible building code.  Structures are meant to be

able to withstand up to category 4 hurricanes.  And despite this, many of

the structures have been devastated, pummeled, destroyed.  And so, we

literally have to go door to door through many homes, Abaco and Grand

Bahama are very lengthy islands with populations that are spread out in

small settlements. 

 

So, it`s going to be a long time to go from door to door to door, given the

fact that areas are still flooded, and that access is not as simple as it

might seem. 

 

O`DONNELL:  What are the most urgent needs in the islands now? 

 

SANDS:  Right now, we have obviously a need for food and water to those

persons who have been cut off.  But access to medical attention, we have

had just a tremendous amount of support from the U.S. Coast Guard and the

U.S. government in particular.  So we have been able to evacuate injured

persons to the nation`s primary health facility in New Providence. 

 

But getting to the injured, getting to the ill, and providing them with

nutrition, hydration, medical attention.  And then it is shelter, basic

shelter.  There are many people, for instance, in the clinic in Abaco, we

have more than a thousand people in that clinic purely because they have no

place to live. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Dr. Duane Sands, the health minister for the Bahamas, thank you

very much for joining us tonight, we really appreciate it. 

 

SANDS:  Thank you, Lawrence.  Good night. 

 

O`DONNELL:  And we`re joined now by phone by one of the residents of the

Bahamas who has offered to help rescue stranded neighbors.  Jensen Burrows

is a native of Freeport in the Bahamas.  He made nearly a dozen rescues on

his jet ski after offering people help on Instagram. 

 

We`re joined by phone by Jensen Burrows. 

 

Jensen, thank you very much for joining us tonight. 

 

JENSEN BURROWS, FREEPORT RESIDENT (via telephone):  It`s a pleasure, good

evening. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Tell us what you`ve been doing to rescue people and how you`ve

accomplished it. 

 

BURROWS:  Well, we were trying to get people from their homes for two days

but we just couldn`t get them because of the bad weather.  Finally,

yesterday, we were able to do our first rescue, a cabinet minister and his

family who we felt was a top priority to evacuate.  In the midst of

rescuing him, the jet ski turned over twice because of the strong force

winds. 

 

And from there, we were able to rescue over 100 people, which included

elderly, handicapped, infants, and also dogs.  The water conditions were so

hard (ph), we didn`t know whether we were over water or land.  Some

instances, I just pulled up in person`s driveways, person`s bedrooms and

living rooms for rescue. 

 

O`DONNELL:  And how were you able to get fuel for the jet ski to keep it

running? 

 

BURROWS:  Well, the day before, what I did was I went – my friend told me

to go in on the jet skis because we may need them, you know, during the

storm or after the storm.  So I went out, I filled up the jet skis, and I

got them ready, not knowing that I would need they will during the storm. 

So, we were already gassed up, fueled up and ready to go. 

 

O`DONNELL:  And have you ever experienced anything like this?  Have you

been through hurricanes before in the Bahamas? 

 

BURROWS:  I`ve been through many hurricanes.  But I`ve never, ever been in

one like this.  I think this is the worst I`ve ever seen in my 34 years

living in Freeport. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Jensen Burrows, thank you very much and thank you for the work

you did to save and help your neighbors.  We really appreciate it.  Thank

you.

 

BURROWS:  I appreciate it.  Thank you. 

 

O`DONNELL:  And for more on how South Carolina is now bracing for the next

stage of Hurricane Dorian, we turn to MSNBC anchor and correspondent Ali

Velshi.  He`s in Charleston, South Carolina, tonight. 

 

Ali, what are you expecting there? 

 

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT:  Well, we`re in what seems to

be a tropical storm at the moment.  It`s not going to get full hurricane-

force winds.  But right now, this storm is due south of us. 

 

And it`s headed probably within tens of miles of Charleston.  It won`t come

here, but we`ll have stronger winds by tomorrow morning, by midday tomorrow

and finally by 6:00 tomorrow, we`ll get the heaviest winds.  You can still

see, there are some winds.  There are some people in Charleston right now,

most of this area has been evacuated.  It`s been under mandatory

evacuation, about a half million people here. 

 

The problem around here is that it floods all the time.  Charleston is a

place that experiences a lot of flooding.  So, you`ll see this restaurant

is boarded up and it`s got sandbags, except the city ran out of sandbags

about halfway through the day today, so flooding is going to be a concern. 

 

The city has opened up all of its garages in town.  They`re multistory

units where they are allowing people to park.  But as you know, the issue

is flooding more than it is wind damage around here, across South Carolina. 

 

The other issue around here is that the area is saturated.  It`s been

raining.  It was raining last year.  You remember when Florence came up, it

was a tropical storm too, and yet it took lives and it caused a lot of

devastation, because the water has another to go. 

 

So, tomorrow, this is – by the way, this is Market Street.  This is the

middle of historic Charleston.  This is the street where you would normally

– there would be open air stuff, the best pralines I`ve ever had are on

this street.  It is empty.

 

That issue is that this is all going to be flooded.  Tomorrow morning, this

will all be flooded and, of course, so will the coastal areas around here. 

So, that`s the danger here, the flooding and whether or not people have

taken the evacuation order seriously, because you just don`t know, when the

power comes back, what your transportation situation is going to be and how

you can get out and get health care if you need it. 

 

So, police have asked people to leave here.  They`ve tried to lower the

level of the lakes in the area to allow for flooding.  They`ve got –

they`re ready with FEMA vehicles.  They`ve got high water vehicles.  They

even have boats ready to rescue people in this area.  But they`re really

hoping most people have just left, Lawrence. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Ali Velshi, thank you very much for joining us with that report

tonight.  We really appreciate it. 

 

Thank you, Ali.

 

And when we come back, a new poll has some campaign news for Donald Trump

in a key swing state, a state that Donald Trump won last time.  Cecile

Richards was a powerful voice as president of Planned Parenthood and now

with her new group, Super Majority, she`s working to mobilize women voters

in key states for the 2020 election and beyond.  Cecile Richards will join

us, next. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL:  There is new polling tonight that shows Donald Trump behind in

the crucial swing state of Wisconsin, a state that he won in the last

election by less than 1 percent of the vote on his way to squeaking out a

win in the Electoral College. 

 

The new Marquette Law School poll shows Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden

ahead of Donald Trump 51 percent to 42 percent.  The poll also shows Bernie

Sanders ahead at 48 percent to 44 percent.  Elizabeth Warren is tied with

Donald Trump at 45 percent.  And Kamala Harris is tied with Donald Trump at

44 percent.  The poll did not do any other one-on-one matchups of the

Democratic candidates against Donald Trump. 

 

And there was more unwelcome news for the Wisconsin Republican Party today. 

If you are a 40-year-old Wisconsinite, there has not been a day of your

life when Jim Sensenbrenner has not been a Republican member of Congress

representing suburban Milwaukee.  He gained national fame as the member of

the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of President Bill

Clinton and served as one of the prosecutors of Bill Clinton in the Senate

impeachment trial.  He announced today that he will not seek reelection to

a 22nd term in the House of Representatives. 

 

Without Jim Sensenbrenner running, the Republicans will have more of a

struggle in holding on to that suburban House seat.  One year serving in

the minority in the House of Representatives is about enough for Texas

Republican Representative Bill Flores who became the fifth, fifth Texas

Republican member of the House of Representatives to announce he will not

seek reelection to what polling indicates is now and will likely continue

to be a House of Representatives controlled by the Democratic Party. 

 

Why are so many Texas Republicans giving up on a career in the House of

Representatives? 

 

We`re joined now by someone who knows a thing or two about Texas politics. 

Cecile Richards` mother, Ann Richards, was the governor of Texas.  Cecile

Richards is now the co-founder of the new group Supermajority, a national

group helping women get involved in civic action. 

 

So, let`s start with Texas.  What`s happening? 

 

CECILE RICHARDS, CO-FOUNDER, SUPERMAJORITY:  Well, the interesting thing, I

think Texas is kind of a microcosm of some trends we`re seeing around the

country.  One is, of course, of these congressional seats, we have four

congressional seats now that are held by Republicans.  Very competitive. 

And every single one of those races is – the challengers are women,

including Wendy Davis who ran for governor, now challenging in a

congressional race. 

 

The whole electorate is shifting, and it`s shifting based on women and

people of color getting more engaged in politics.  We saw a 15-point

increase in voter turnout from the last midterms to this year, and that is

– that is really what`s fuelling the activity. 

 

And I – it`s fascinating too, John Cornyn, of course, who is up for

reelection to the United States Senate, a very weak incumbent, four women

are challenging him.  I think that is really the name of the game in Texas,

and we`re seeing it across the country, women are on fire politically. 

They are the majority of voters, increasingly the majority of activists,

donors and candidates. 

 

O`DONNELL:  And the president`s approval rating among women voters, let`s

just take a look at that in the Quinnipiac poll, approve 33 percent,

disapprove 62 percent.  So, women`s disapproval of Donald Trump is higher

than the national total.  So, they are kind of the leading voting force

against the president. 

 

RICHARDS:  Absolutely.  I mean, that is why Supermajority, we are finding

all across the country, women who are raising their hand and saying, I`ve

never been involved in politics, I`ve never registered voters or knocked on

doors, I want to learn how to do it, and that`s what we`re doing.  We`re

getting on the road, actually, on September 15th, starting with Stacey

Abrams in Georgia and going all across the country.  These women are

desperate to find out how can they actually turn things around in this

country and increasingly are recognizing that they`re going to be the

deciding voters in 2020. 

 

O`DONNELL:  What is motivating them?  Is it character issues of Donald

Trump, is it policy issues? 

 

RICHARDS:  I mean, it`s both, Lawrence.  One, it`s certainly character. 

Women, and we just a finish a poll in the field shows women feel like

they`re losing their rights under this administration.  They feel like the

president disrespects women, which he does every single day. 

 

But they`re also concerned about issues that they want to see addressed by

this government, affordable access to health care, the fact that we have no

national childcare plan.  And that`s an issue that doesn`t only affect

women, it affects men as well.  These are issues that women are tired of

being put to the side as women`s issues and are saying, actually these are

fundamental to our economy and women`s ability to, you know, succeed in the

workforce and to support their family. 

 

O`DONNELL:  What are you finding that they`re saying about the president`s

treatment of families and children at the southern border? 

 

RICHARDS:  Well, I think this is an issue – I mean, it`s interesting, they

were talking about Wisconsin.  I heard about this from a Wisconsin mother

who said I cannot look and see what is happening to parents, the separation

of families.  These are issues that touch women all across the country, not

only at the border, and I think that`s what we`re seeing in the Midwest as

well. 

 

And again, I think it`s not just women in Texas.  Arizona, Florida.  It`s

women everywhere.  I think, you know, we will see in 2020 and super

majority is committed to running the largest women to women voter turnout

program in the country. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Cecile Richards, thank you very much for joining us –

 

RICHARDS:  It`s so good to see you. 

 

O`DONNELL:  – in your new job tonight, really good to have you here. 

Thank you.

 

RICHARDS:  Thanks a lot. 

 

O`DONNELL:  When we come back, what would make a child say I can`t feel my

heart?  That is in an inspector general`s report about how children are

describing the emotional trauma inflicted on them when the Trump

administration has separated them from their parents at the southern

border.  That report was written by an acting inspector general who Donald

Trump did not appoint.  That`s next. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL:  A new report from Joanne Chiedi, acting inspector general of

the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, describes the

psychological and emotional trauma being suffered by migrant children in

Trump administration custody at the southern border.  One program director

at one of the facilities that was studied by the inspector general said,

quote: Every single separated kid has been terrified. 

 

The report states: some separated children expressed acute grief that

caused them to cry inconsolably.  The report quotes a medical director at

one of the facilities.  Physical symptoms felt by separated children are

manifestations of their psychological pain.  You get a lot of, my chest

hurts, even though everything is fine medically. 

 

Children describe symptoms.  Every heartbeat hurts.  I can`t feel my heart,

of emotional pain. 

 

And one of the program directors interviewed by the inspector general gave

this report.  A 7 or 8-year-old boy was separated from his father without

any explanation as to why the separation occurred.  The child was under the

delusion that his father had been killed and believed that he also would be

killed.  This child ultimately required emergency psychiatric care to

address his mental health distress. 

 

Julia Ainsley has been this covering this story for NBC News.  She has been

to the border repeatedly and has herself spoken to people in these

facilities.  And we are lucky to have her with her view of the inspector

general`s report.  Julia, it really is one of the painful documents to read

about this story. 

 

JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY & JUSTICE REPORTER:  It is,

Lawrence.  And for some time, we heard from the American Pediatric

Association warning about the long term effects of separation, even if the

separation was at max two weeks.  And we know some went on for months as

the government struggled to reunite these families.

 

But this report really brings it home because you`re able to hear through

the mouths of the children and through the mental health workers who worked

with them the anguish that they were in. And they said some of the

unaccompanied children who came on their own, were teenagers, they also had

mental health challenges. But it was those who were separated that were

under so much distress because of their feelings of anxiety and abandonment

but also because they were so young.

 

Many of the children who come on their own, like we said, are teenagers,

but there were children who are under the age of five who were separated

under zero-tolerance. And some I`d say just didn`t even have the words to

say what they were going through. One mental health worker said the little

ones don`t know how to express what they are feeling. They described having

chest pains. What you`re describing there.

 

And so this report, even though we`re now over a year out from this policy,

it really brings home the long-term damage that those two months had and

really puts into perspective what is happening now as we see children who

are held longer than they should in detention facilities, children who were

taken apart from their grandmothers or aunts and uncles, and some children

who are still being separated from their parents for different reasons.

 

O`DONNELL: And Julia, this was written by Joanne Chiedi. She is the Acting

Inspector General. And we may - it might be the only reason we have this

report is that President Trump has never appointed anyone to be the

Inspector General of Health and Human Services. And so we`ve had holdover

of government employees there.

 

And Joanne Chiedi, as far as I could find out today, first went to work in

government during the Clinton administration. And so she`s worked her way

up to this position to be able to do this. And it is a very thorough, very

professional report, exactly the kind of oversight that you would expect

from the department, especially on a program that for them is relatively

novel on this scale, this level of detention and separation of families.

 

AINSLEY: That`s true. I mean, the report is remarkable in its level of

detail. They went to 45 different facilities. There are 100 facilities like

this across the country. Another thing they found, Lawrence, that I think

is worth noting is that six of those 45 facilities that they dropped in on

did not require background checks, either FBI fingerprinting or background

checks required by Child Protective Services for the employees before they

started.

 

And I found that just to be a tragic coincidence, because when I was in

Tornillo, Texas, right outside of El Paso, last year, that we were in these

tent facilities that were overcrowded with children. And HHS then said the

reason we are so backed up is because of these very long process we have to

follow in order to verify the identity of the parents that we`re going to

reunite these children with.

 

They were requiring those parents to go through FBI fingerprint, background

checks, but not the employees who were taking care of the children in these

facilities. So it was tragic to read that and to know that there were

employees there who didn`t have to go through a background check at all

before being hired.

 

O`DONNELL: Julia Ainsley, thank you very much for your reporting on this–

 

AINSLEY: Thank you.

 

O`DONNELL: –and for joining us tonight on this important subject. Really

appreciate it.

 

AINSLEY: Thank you.

 

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

 

And when we come back, today`s Inspector General`s report is horrifying,

but it is predictable. It`s predictable for anyone who has been following

the news about these children and what`s been happening to them. Nicole

Austin-Hillery has actually visited some of the children being held at the

southern border. She`s one of the very few people who`s actually been

allowed inside to speak directly with the girls and the boys and the babies

in Trump administration custody at the southern border. She`ll join us

next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: Here is more from today`s Inspector General`s report on the

psychological and emotional trauma suffered by migrant children in Trump

administration custody at the southern border. A program director at one of

the facilities told the Inspector General, “The little ones don`t know how

to express what they are feeling, what has happened. Communication is

limited and difficult. They need more attention.”

 

We`re joined now by one of the few people who has been inside the places

where the Trump administration is holding children in custody at the

southern border. Nicole Austin-Hillery is a lawyer who has been

representing the interests of these children for years. And so it is only

through the powers of the court that she has been allowed to gain this

precious access to these children and share with us, once again tonight,

what she has found in her visits with these children.

 

And joining us now is Nicole Austin-Hillery. She is the Executive Director

of U.S. Programs for Human Rights Watch. Thank you very much for joining us

again tonight. And I read portions of this report, and they are quotes.

They`re real things from people who are working inside. And yet they are so

obvious, and we could have all predicted that this is exactly what little

children would be feeling.

 

NICOLE AUSTIN-HILLERY, U.S. PROGRAMS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS

WATCH: Lawrence, it`s common sense. If you take a child from his or her

parent, there is going to be a reaction. And that reaction is usually going

to be negative. When you take a child to school on the very first day, for

the very first time, and you separate them from their parent, oftentimes

children cry. We know that is standard.

 

So what does the Trump administration think would happen if you take

children who are from another nation, bring them to a strange new place and

take them away from their parents? You will get the results that the

Inspector General`s report documented. You will have children that are

inconsolable, that cry uncontrollably, that are frightened, and that are in

fear for their own lives, who have no idea what`s going to happen to them

or what has happened to their parents.

 

This is consistent with what I saw when visiting the detention facility in

Clint. I had children that I spoke to who cried uncontrollably, with whom I

could barely carry on a conversation because they were afraid, Lawrence,

and they had no idea what was about to happen to them and what they could

expect from day to day.

 

O`DONNELL: I want to go back to something I mentioned and quoted in the

previous segment that`s on Page 11 of the Inspector General`s report. And

this is the Inspector General now just delivering what a program director

has told the Inspector General. And it is this. I`m going to read it again.

 

It`s a - “A seven or eight-year-old boy was separated from his father,

without any explanation as to why the separation occurred. The child was

under the delusion that his father had been killed and believed that he

would also be killed. This child ultimately required emergency psychiatric

care to address his mental health distress.”

 

And Nicole, what I`m struck by there is the word “delusion.” I`m not sure

why that would be a delusion. It seems like a perfectly reasonable

possibility in that child`s life experience, that his father has been

killed, and a perfectly reasonable fear that he could be killed himself.

And so this strikes me as emotional distress, not mental health distress

and not what you would call a delusion.

 

AUSTIN-HILLERY: No, not a delusion at all. Lawrence, when we talked to the

children in Texas and we asked them questions, to try to gauge what their

understanding was of their experiences, these children did not know exactly

why they were separated from their parents. They often didn`t know where

their parents were. They didn`t know when they would see them again. They

didn`t know what had become of their parents in many instances.

 

So, of course, it is quite predictable that you would have children who

would suffer this kind of emotional distress. And this kind of emotional

stress does indeed we know from other research that it can lead to mental

health issues.

 

Look, at Human Rights Watch, we did reports as far back as the start of the

Trump administration`s zero-tolerance policy. And we started documenting

what the experiences were of the children and the experiences of their

families because we can`t stop just with the children, Lawrence, we have to

also look at what`s happening to the families.

 

Our researchers showed in their reports that the families in total were

suffering from the same kinds of experiences. So it has a trickle-down

effect. It impacts the parents and it impacts the children.

 

O`DONNELL: Every word of this report I read, it feels odd to read it

because it just seems so obvious. For example, a program director saying,

“We need more psychiatrists, neurodevelopmental psychiatrists, and

psychologists.” Well, of course, they do.

 

AUSTIN-HILLERY: Exactly. And the problem here is that while it`s very good

that this report has been made public today and that we`re having this

conversation, the next question is, what now? It`s one thing to expose

what`s going on. It`s another thing for the Trump administration to then

say, OK, we have this data, it`s been documented, and now here is what

we`re going to do next. We haven`t heard that, Lawrence. We have no idea

what they`re going to do with this information. And frankly, we really

don`t have a great expectation that they are going to act on it.

 

We have seen when they`ve received other types of information, when myself

and other colleagues and other advocates reported on what we saw in Clint

and in Homestead and in other facilities, we really didn`t see a difference

in terms of the protocols and what the administration was doing to create

change and make sure that the outcomes were different.

 

That`s what we now need to be putting pressure on the administration about.

Now you have the information. What are you going to do to ensure that the

outcome is now different and that these children receive the care that they

need so that they will not suffer from these same mental health issues that

the OIG`s report has documented.

 

O`DONNELL: Exactly. And the profile and courage in delivering this report

to us today is Joanne M. Chiedi. She is the Acting Inspector General of the

Department of Health and Human Services. She was not appointed by President

Trump and might not be long in that job if it`s up to President Trump. And

this kind of work is crucially important, and we are so lucky that someone

took on this duty in the department and got this done.

 

Nicole Austin-Hillery, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

 

AUSTIN-HILLERY: You`re welcome, Lawrence. Thanks for having me on.

 

O`DONNELL: And when we come back, imagine, if you will, Alexandria Ocasio-

Cortez or Katie Porter or Adam Schiff or any other member of the House of

Representatives getting to yell questions at Donald Trump on the floor of

the House of Representatives. Well, a version of that happens routinely in

the British House of Commons during Prime Minister`s questioning time. And

it did not go well today for new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. We

have the video, next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: Saying Boris Johnson is a loser is not so much editorial comment

as it is simple reporting of what has happened to Boris Johnson in every

vote in parliament this week when he became the first British Prime

Minister since 1894 to lose his first vote in the House of Commons. He has

now lost his first three votes in a row, which might be a record for a

British Prime Minister. And here is how Boris Johnson`s day went today.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Under any circumstances, this

country will leave the EU on October the 31st.

 

IAN BLACKFORD, MP, SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY: We have seized back control

from a prime minister who is behaving like a dictator more than a democrat.

The Prime Minister must be stopped.

 

JO SWINSON, MP, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS: He knows he cannot get the great deal

because there is no such thing as a great Brexit deal. And he is scared of

being found out.

 

JEREMY CORBYN, MP, LABOUR PARTY: He`s desperate, absolutely desperate to

avoid scrutiny.

 

TANMANJEET SINGH DHESI, MP, LABOUR PARTY: When will the Prime Minister

finally apologize for his derogatory and racist remarks–?

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

PAUL BLOMFIELD, MP, LABOUR PARTY: Does the Prime Minister understand why

across this country people find it difficult to trust a word he says?

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: The House of Commons passed a bill that would prevent the United

Kingdom from leaving the European Union without a negotiated settlement

with the European Union. That bill has gone to the House of Lords where it

is expected to pass.

 

If it becomes law, the British Prime Minister will be required to request a

90-day extension on the October 31st deadline for a Brexit deal if no deal

with the European Union has been agreed to by October 31st. Boris Johnson

has been promising that he would lead the United Kingdom out of the

European Union on October 31st with or without a negotiated exit agreement

with the European Union.

 

And to explain it all, we are joined now by David Smith. He is the

Washington Bureau Chief for “The Guardian.” And David, I have been brushing

up on my British parliamentary procedure, and it is - it is a daunting task

because the complexities strike me as much harder to explain than anything

that happens in Washington.

 

Ultimately, when I sort through everything that has happened, it now seems

that where we are headed, and this could be thanks to Boris Johnson`s

misfired strategy, is ultimately toward this 90-day delay. Is that what`s

most likely?

 

DAVID SMITH, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE GUARDIAN: I think there`s a

significant chance of that. But what we`ve learned over the past three

years or so with Brexit is that just expect the unexpected. And it`s been

very unpredictable and volatile and hard to imagine what will happen.

 

What I`m looking at is right now perhaps two scenarios. One is the no-deal

Brexit Boris Johnson seems to be pushing for. The other is that perhaps

we`ll inevitably end up with a general election and Jeremy Corbyn, Labour

leader, has suggested that once legislation is passed against a no-deal

then he`d be willing to go ahead with an election. So, so far, he`s

resisted it because he thinks it`s a ruse on Johnson`s part. But overall,

it does remain extremely difficult to see one way or the other what the

outcome is going to be.

 

O`DONNELL: So Boris Johnson loses these votes and he does what is the norm

in these circumstances for a prime minister, which is he says all right,

then I`m calling for an election so that we can sort this out at the ballot

box with voters. And then he gets denied that request to have an election.

Parliament votes against that. And partially because not so much that many

of them don`t want the election, they just don`t believe him about when

that election would be. That seems to be Corbyn`s biggest stumbling block

on the election is that he doesn`t believe Boris Johnson when he says he

would have an election on, say, October 15th. Is it up to the Prime

Minister to decide when this election is?

 

SMITH: No. What we`ve seen today is parliament really asserting its

authority and telling Boris Johnson, no, you can`t have an election. He

would have needed two-thirds of parliament to go ahead with that. So,

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said this offer of an election, it was

like being offered a poisoned apple by the snow queen. And really he

suspected that it was all a trick, that once an election was underway,

Johnson would find some sneaky way to exit the European Union without a

deal. It`s really extraordinary, as Johnson himself pointed out at Prime

Minister`s questions for the opposition to turn down the chance of an

election where they theoretically might win power.

 

And I think what we`re seeing here is a real reassertion of parliamentary

power. Boris Johnson has, in the past, expressed admiration for Donald

Trump and his style of being a wrecking ball and forcing things through

without much debate. But he`s come up against a parliament that`s willing

to push back and willing to play hardball and take him on. And so far,

Johnson seems to be losing to parliament.

 

O`DONNELL: Was there - looking back on it, have we hit this point because

of Johnson`s missteps? Did he have - did he make some strategic mistakes

getting to here?

 

SMITH: Some say that. Some still believe that he has planned all this and

with the help of Dominic Cummings, his Svengali, it`s all a clever grand

strategy that will ultimately lead to potentially a no-deal Brexit and

indeed an election where they believe Johnson would increase his majority

and be empowered.

 

But I think also to take a step back, remember, this has been a political

crisis of more than three years, which also mired his predecessor, Theresa

May. The bottom line is that Brexit put Britain in terrible shape and

really still parliament is struggling to deal with that.

 

O`DONNELL: David, I remember I was here when the final Brexit vote count

came out, and it was the breaking news of this hour. I ended up doing extra

coverage on it. And I remember sitting here thinking that night, well,

they`re going to have to have another vote once they see what the deal is.

Whenever there is that divorce deal, the country will have to have another

vote on that. Seemed obvious to me, but we`re not there yet.

 

David Smith, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate

it.

 

SMITH: Thank you.

 

O`DONNELL: And when we come back, we have breaking news. We`re going to

have the latest on Hurricane Dorian`s path, the latest announcement is

coming up just in a few minutes from the national weather trackers about

exactly what the latest track is. We`ll be right back with that.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: Breaking news. Let`s go right to NBC Meteorologist Bill Karins.

Bill?

 

BILL KARINS, NBC NEWS METEOROLOGIST: Lawrence, it`s back to a Category 3

major hurricane. Dorian has increased in intensity just a little bit, up to

115-mile-per-hour max winds. And if anyone has yet to evacuate in eastern

North Carolina, you don`t have much time left. In South Carolina, it`s

probably too late. Hopefully everyone listening to their emergency

managers. Still slow moving at seven miles per hour. The heavy rains moving

on the coast. We`re tracking the eye here. And we`re mostly now going in a

northerly direction. And due north is Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Wilmington,

and all of eastern North Carolina. And you are in the path.

 

As far as the new forecast goes from the Hurricane Center, this is it.

Major Category 3 storm, only roughly about 100 miles away from Charleston.

It goes north overnight. By early tomorrow morning, still a major Category

3, and then paralleling the coastline, possibly making a landfall here into

the Cape Fear River, the Wrightsville Beach area, Wilmington. At that

point, winds would likely be about 105 to 110. And if you go through the

eye, you could have gusts to 120 miles per hour. Yes, that`s in areas of

Wilmington, North Carolina, possible tomorrow, Lawrence.

 

O`DONNELL: Bill Karins, thank you very much for updating us. Really

appreciate it.

 

And that is tonight`s LAST WORD. “THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian Williams starts

right now.

 

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight, and apparently with the stroke of a

sharpie, an attempt by the Trump White House to rewrite weather history as

we all look on. And as we say about so much of what we cover around here,

we`ve never seen anything like this.

 

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

BE UPDATED.

END

 

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