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tv   The Beat With Ari Melber  MSNBC  August 13, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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thanks for watching. that's all for tonight. chuck will be back tomorrow with much more "meet the press" daily". but right now "the beat with ari melber"". good evening, ari. >> thank you so much. we have a lot in the show. a provocative new 2020 add linking donald trump's rhetoric to yes that, horrific el paso massacre. attorney general bill barr under pressure with new details emerging what happened in the jail that the trump administration ran where jeffrey ep speen died. an activist demanding gun control from mitch mcconnell. all of that tonight. the trump administration defending its plan targeting low income legal immigrants. it's basically become a new flash point, a full defense of this rather unusual change to
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immigration policy, an attempt to punish legal immigrants if they participate in legal programs like getting food assistance or participating in medicaid. donald trump's top immigration official ken cuche any little today saying the statute of liberty poem should basically be rewritten based on this new trump policy requiring immigrants to prove they're unlikely to need ned public assistance. would you also agree that emma lazarus's words etched on the statute of liberty, give me your poor are part of the american ethos. >> had they certainly are. >> it's kind of a trolling. trump's immigration chief responsible for these real powers saying sure, give me your tired and your poor but and ending his own edition, stand on
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their tone feet. a lot of people feel a lot of sen mentality for at least the rhetoric if not the reality of the statue of liberty's goals. but it's also very different from just hours before when he commented on the very same topic. take a listen. >> you were complementing a public charge rule for the first time. isn't that septemberment, give us your tired, your poor, still operative in the united states or should those words come down off the statue? >> i'm not prepared to take anything down off the statue of little bit. >>ive give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and will not become a public charge. >> mr. cuccinelli saying he's not going to take it down and now putting up his own revisions. this is not just obviously a rhetorical discussion. that's not why it's leading the news tonight. this is very, very real. and this attempt to the sort of defend the targeting of low
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income legal immigrants comes with a context. it comes of course, after these heart breaking accounts that emerged from the fallout of the mastiff i.c.e. raid that left many families separated and left up this public cry, call it testimony, if you want, that we've all heard now and that's worth hearing again from an 11-year-old girl in tears. >> i need my dad. my dad did nothing. he's not a criminal. >> today nbc's gabe gutierrez interviewed acting i.c.e. director asks for reaction to that very video. >> we conduct our operations with professionalalism, compassion and humanity and try to minimize the impact on the innocent people of the situation. however, we have to enforce the law. the parents or the individuals that are breaking the law are ultimately the ones that are responsible for placing their children in this situation. >> you see the very different
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ways to defend these policies. cuccinelli picking a fight with poetry, the acting i.c.e. director talk up compassion blaming the parents. think for a second. could compassion and professionalism involve a process where there was communication when you have a minor who is now separated from her parents? i put that question to you with this reporting. five days later she doesn't know where her father is. this immigration policy is the reality right now. raids that leave these children in tears in the wake of a mass shooting targeting latinos, no effort to the communicate with people about the realities of those folks who are now separated. ripping children away from their parents at the border. there's a new court filing from the aclu that says that family separation policy is still very much on while the trump administration claimed it's not. speaker he will pel is speaking out on this effort and says it is to demonize and terrorize immigrants and calls the new
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policy that have come out while congress is on recess hateful and bigoted. ken cuccinelli we profiled on the show for his extremely conservative record is pushing back himself. he says as you heard, it's not too much to ask migrants to be "self-sufficient." before i turn to the panel, i want to leave one final thought on all of this news you've just heard as it jumbles tooth. mr. cuche any little is carrying out the trump plan, the trump agenda. and that idea that everyone must be self-sufficient misreads america in ways. first, there is nothing wrong with people who happen to receive federal benefits sometimes. whether they're seniors on social security or veterans who get health insurance or workers who get unemployment insurance because they've lost a job by no fault of their own in a recession or corporate decision or children who get food assistance. let's remember there is no
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insult, no failing in participating in those programs at some point in your life. it's part of our social safety net. long funded and operated if you want to get political by yes, administrations in both parties. then there's the immigration piece of this, second. america's ethic has striped to welcome people regardless of what they look like or what they make. in fact, when it does come to struggle when that is a part of the analysis of where people are coming from and what they went through, our rhetoric and our asylum policies have long noted sometimes it's the people in the most trouble who need america. and while we don't let them all in, that's not the rule, we can't let them all in, say many politicians and while we haven't always lived up as a country to that goal, we've certainly strived for it and talked about it. that's why we all know the rhetoric in the statue of liberty poem that everyone is fighting about, give me your
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tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free. the idea is pretty simple. america is where some of them might get to cop for a better life. not that the door to america sk completely shut unless you already have one. with that we turn to our expert panel it, leah rigore, mary executive director of the national immigration law center and washington anchor catty kay. mariel elaina, your thoughts? >> thank you, ari. as an immigrant from colombia and a lawyer, it is deeply offensive to sear acting director cuccinelli talk about this as self-sufficiency. the fact is that this is the country, the land of opportunity. that is the story we have told ourselves for several centuries now. and we know that in fact, the majority of americans at some point in their lifetime are
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going to need to rely on certain types of safety net programs whether it's unemployment, whether it's nutrition assistance, health care, whatever it is. these are anti-poverty programs for that very reason. they're anti-poverty. they're meant to help people make ends meet when they're facing a hard time which was my own family's experience when we first arrived in this country in the 1970s from colombia. >> leah, listen to the president on all this today. >> maybe there ought to be a different poem on the statute of liberty. do you think that should be saved? >> i don't think it's fair to have the american taxpayer, you know, it's about america first. i don't think it's fair to have the american taxpayer pay for people to come into the united states. >> leah? >> well, you know, ari, i think cruelty is the point. that much is an apparent. the president is being explicit about it now.
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this isn't about the law. if it was about the law and if it was about taxpayers and things like that, we'd actually see that the corporations involved in bringing people over or who break these rules and profit from these rules that the government would be paying attention to them. they're not. we see that all the time. instead, what we see is that this is about donald trump's you know quest to make america look a very particular way. he was very honest about that in that statement he just gave to the press. this isn't about bringing america back to say the 1960s or 1970s. this is looking more and more like bringing are america back to the 1924 and jaund reed act, about making a certain kind of america, one in which it's not just undocumented immigrants targeted but also legal immigrants who are from particular backgrounds who are of certain ages from certain countries. that much is clear. >> i didn't know you wanted to go there, get into the johnson reed act. we can do that, professor.
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you're referring to the last time that the federal law explicitliage knocked that will kind of discrimination, which was later revised in '65, not perfected by any means but at least the government was no longer on record admitting that it was going to ban people based on for example, national origin from asia or in religion with quotas against jews. what do you see as the way they're kind of giving the game away and how far back they want to go in these policies? >> immigration reform in this country has been far from perfect particularly in the last 20 years. but one of the things that is striking, really striking about the trump administration is the rhetoric and the language that around immigration and how that is tied explicitly to policy. so donald trump saying that mexico is sending its worst, sending rapists and drug degree dealers, saying that mexican drugs are discriminatory, making
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racist statements around that using language about invasion about a coming hoard, about the dangers of migrants, that and explicitly tieing it to policy that for all purposes really is about excluding people from this country and about creating a system that since it can't be done through congress and hasn't been done through congress, really kills legal and undocumented immigration. legal immigration through a thousand backdoor cuts. that part is important and that part is different. >> appreciate both your erud it/io n. i'm turning to katty kay. i don't think it's a secret to the regular viewers that you happen to be everybody somewhere else. >> i'm an immigrant in this country, first generation immigrant. i pay taxes and am effectively a taxpayer in this country. a lot of illegal immigrants also pay taxes in this country.
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i think the idea that this is something to do with taxes or welfare is a total red herring. >> that's what i want to drill down with you on. which is who is being targeted. and let me have for your analysis ken cuccinelli pressed with that question, wait a minute, it is now become diagnose quite clear that certain groups are being targeted, targeting the poor has least since '65 if not before been disfavored and what where they are from and what they look like is supposed to be unconstitutional. take a listen. >> why shouldn't the latino community feel targeted? >> this is not new. this same question might have been asked when immigrant ancestors were coming all through the 140 years. this apply across the world. >> this apply to more latinos? >> if we had been having this conversation a couple hundred
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years ago, it would have applied to more italians. >> i'm not sure he is the best advocate and most convincing presenter of these ideas. it seems that is every time we've thrown to a clip, he's putting his foot in his mouth claiming he, not senate confirmed, he should be re-wright the statute of liberty poem and making the latino, italian compare responds i leave that to him. i ask you is this accurate and what is he missing? >> so the idea that somehow immigrants are going to take welfare based on the color of their skin is a complete misnomer. as we know, the vast majority of recipients of food stamps in this country are lightweight, not african-american, not hispanic. i think there's only about 10% of recipients who are hispanic. let's put that to one side. the professor took us back in side. let's jump toward. this is all about 2044 when america becomes a minority white
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country. a bit like king knute, the trump administration is desperately trying to stop the tide of that. steven miller came into the white house wanting to target illegal immigration yes, but wanting also right from the beginning of this administration to target legal immigration to try to make america in the image that the trump administration would like to have it which is majority white. we know they have spoken about taking norwegians and smot people from african or hispanic countries. this is about race and keeping wherk white. it's not about the welfare, taxes or economics. >> marie elena. >> completely go agree. what this racially motivated rule does not do is change the eligibility rules about immigrant access to nutrition or health care but what it does do is actually change the political power dynamics. what they're trying to do is
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have millions of immigrants not be able to become permanent residents and eventual voters. there is their way to eventually have minority rule, a country a majority of people of color in the future. >> this traction perfectly with the next question i wanted to ask the professor which is you've also done a lot of the politics on this. i wonder what you think about the politics here after the president has had let's be clear, rough times even by his standards you know, this convicted sex offender that the trump administration was an us could of having staff too looent lenient on, then mysteriously dies in jail, the trump administration overseeing that, a series of reports about his handling of these massachusetts shootings while not causal certainly had the shooter echoing language of the president and all the other problems. here are the politics, leah, here we go again. what i mentioned at the top which is the insinuation that participating in any public
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program makes you somehow suspect and reagan quo do that in a domestic context with african-americans. we're seeing it in the immigration context. walk us through your view of the political playbook here. >> you know in, times of crisis for donald trump, he very quickly falls back on the -- on you know, the culture wars and what it amounts to the race wars and immigration wars. so this is his favorite and perhaps the easiest punching bag for him. this is how he started his campaign. this is how you know, this is how he ran his campaign. this is what he did, what he focused on in the 2016 special elections and especially the 201 elections and pulling it out again to appeal to his base. this is not about growing his base. this is not about that. one thing i would push back on and really think about is, how often has this been successful
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for donald trump? we may point to 2016 but we can look at 2018 and see that this idea of the so-called hoard, this myth of the hoard, the fear of the hoard didn't pan out. the caravan didn't play out in his favor at the ballot box. what it ended up doing is creating, you know, playing a role in the increased frenzy and rhetoric around race that had devastating consequences but politically, didn't seem to -- didn't payoff for him. >> leah and marie elaina, thank you both. have i one more thing in new york for katty kay. that is steven miller. steven miller has maintained a tremendous amount of influence over immigration policy. he worked for jeff sessions. he's now joust lasted jeff sessions and viewers may know him as someone hob isn't on camera all that much and yet sometimes seems to as i mentioned outlast and out rank the attorney general, the border
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czars, dhs. it is remarkable. some people say i wish we didn't have to deal with this or that person. we have to deal with what's out there, whether you want to listen to mr. miller or not. i say that as a kind of disclaimer for sprurpz here he is on the very issue that has become front and center about the statue of liberty. take a look. >> the statue of liberty says give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free. it doesn't say anything about speaking english or being able to be a computer program snir the poem that you're referring to was added late ser not part of the original statue of liberty. more fundamentally, more fundamentally. >> you're saying that does not represent what the country has always thought of. >> i'm saying the notion. >> steven, i'm sorry. that sounds like some national park revisionism. >> 2017 and that was something they backed off of because they
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didn't want to go to war with the statue of liberty. is this now the in the playbook? is this not something they're backing off? this is from what 2017 is now too extreme is being normalized in 2019. >> is he goes on to say give us your wretched and homeless. it's very hard in steven mill area's ideal america to imagine this white house embracing the wretched refuse and the homeless of the world. they have normalized a lot. this is this battle going on continually over the wall. they haven't managed to build the wall. they are trying through other means to satisfy the base on immigration policy. but specifically what's new here is this idea of targeting legal immigrants. that is steven miller. that's something he has wanted to do. i've heard him say it from the beginning of this administration and now he feels with this order he can do it. it willing be challenged in the
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courts. >> you just put your finger on it, they have slowly but finally moved from talking about the undocumented where there's a legal line to admit no, they don't like, and i say this if you don't mind, they don't want certain people have your status, who are just legally here participating in our economy. we learn from, we listen to, paying taxes. now they're saying the fact that you came here itself should be targeted. >> yeah, i have four american kids, i have an american british husband. i find it hard to believe that i will be chucked out but i'm very conscious of the fact that people who don't look like me who come with more difficult circumstances than me to this country where you have always welcomed migrants it has been the value of america, it is the thing that distinguishes this country from other countries and i fear that's going. >> we really appreciate your clarity here. katty kay, always good to have you on my thanks to all of our guests. we have so much more. the justice department now ducking responsibility in the an apparent suicide death of
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jeffrey epstein. details emerging is larger failures in prisons you the the trump administration. later, trying to turn trump's race-baiting against him. you'll never guess where the new attack is airing. and later house democrat leading the charge in reforming gun laws is here. plus a report on the administration's attack on the endangered species act. i'm ari melber. you're watching "the beat" on msnbc. watching "the beat" on msnbc. things happen. and sometimes you can find yourself heading in a new direction. but at fidelity, we help you prepare for the unexpected with retirement planning and advice for what you need today and tomorrow. because when you're with fidelity, a partner who makes sure every step is clear, there's nothing to stop you from moving forward.
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new questions tonight whether donald trump's department of justice will take full responsibility for what we've now seen as one of the greatest law enforcement failures of the trump era, at parent suicide of the high profile prisoner jeffrey epstein. today the attorney general is taking related action reassigning the federal warden where epstein died and placing two of the staffers on leave. mr. barr continues to ignore how he and donald trump are in charge of all this and responsible for that will prison. take a look at "the new york times" report that one of the two officers charged with checking on epstein the night of his very death was actually not a "full-fledged correctional officer." we don't know the from that reporting yet why one of the guards wasn't apparently a full-blown guard. here is broader context though the we have been reporting on. prison employees have been warning publicly about what they
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say are these dangerously understaffed prisons. workers forced to serve 16-hour days. and prisons regularly compelling teachers, nurses, secretaries or other support staff members to step in and basically work as corrections officers. that can stoke a dangerous situation and these employees are saying it's a product of policy of understaffing, of yes, the trump administration which has famously bragged about limiting federal spending, having acting secretaries leaving positions vacant and even instituting departmentwide hiring freezes. i'm joined by a veteran prosecutor who knows many of these issues paul henderson. thanks for coming on "the beat" sir. >> happy to be back. how are you? >> i'm good. we look at this issue and as with any individual case, journalists, viewers, lawyers will all agree you can't immediately know the full causality and the exact situation.
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that's what reporting and investigations are for. >> right. >> but in a broader sense, do you think this case cos shine a light on the potential problems and the potential linkages with how these prisons are being run by bill barr and donald trump? >> i think the it already has. i mean, these are tough jobs that many of these wardens have trying to balance out costs against public safety. but it's clear from this case and i think we're having more discussions now that you know, i have concerns as well as many others do about the standard of care in government facilities. and what this means for the trump administration and whether or not there's a shift in priorities through default economics noose privately for profit institutions. that's the question that's being raised when we're looking across the country at how these institutions are basically run. that's obviously at the forefront. now that we're talking about this big case that everyone is talk about and this is a real tragedy that should not have happened and could have been prevented and that's why we're seeing some of the actions that we're seeing now and all of this
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is going to be under review what took place in na institution and why. although we can presume some of the why is going to be associated with short faus in staffing and costs. >> and whatever as you say, whatever that picture looks like, whether there's going to be accountability, it's the job of the attorney general and the president to say the buck stops here. the reassignments may not be a necessary corrective. i think that's in the mix. as of tonight, mr. barr has not taken full responsibility. he left this acting official in charge confident whole bureau of prisons. the deputy position vacant as we've been reporting. >> correct. >> then you get into the receipts. i happen to know you a little bit. i know you like evidence and receipts. it's not about the people's general ideas what was obama like, what's trump like, who gives more speeches about law and order. some of this comes down to the minutia, the almost dry aspect. i want you to tell us, the dry aspect of who is actually
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serviceably running the government. look what obama did this. they had over 2,000 additional correction officers hired, not because he did or didn't like correction officers but because he dealt on a policy level with running the federal government. with donald trump, it's about 372. your view? >> my view is that there are shortfalls that are now systemic this these institutions. so when we examine why the standard of care is what it is, you can't have that conversation without evaluating what these budgets are, what these staffing issues aren that's exactly what this case is bringing to the forefront. we know the measurable shortfalls in this case with epstein already from the press. we know that he wasn't being monitored on the schedule that he should have been monitored. we know that people were moved in and out of his room. we also know that he ended up dead. i mean, that's a real issue.
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>> final question, if he did commit suicide, which is doj's current statement they say "an apparentoid," do you think he did that because he saw no way out and too much of a coward to face the rest of the process. >> i don't know that we're going to get the answer to question. i do know his dating is going to open the door to a lot of lawsuits against the correctional facility and also in the civil courts against many of his victims that will be suing his estate because the criminal court against him, the criminal case against him may go away but the civil cases are just beginning. the estate is going to be both proactive against the correctional facility and trying to say the standards weren't met and having to pay out whatever money they could be liable for in the suitses coming from a lot of his victims and unanswered questions what can be proven or shown from his behavior before he died, whether or not the government will be able to use any of that information to answer these questions. we'll wait for the autopsy to
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get some of those answers and start more of the litigation. >> counselor, paul henderson, thank you, sir. >> thanks for having me. >> absolutely. turning next to a 2020 democrat trying to use trump's race-baiting against him, jason johnson joins me when we're back in 30 seconds. n johnson joins me when we're back in 30 seconds. volunteerism. fundraising. giving back. subaru and our retailers have given over one hundred and sixty-five million dollars to charity. we call it our love promise. and it's why you don't even have to own a subaru to love a subaru retailer. love. it's what makes subaru, subaru donald trump continues to come under fire, of course, for his record on race, something we've been covering tonight. now there's a 2020 democratic hopeful taking aim at his
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policies and somewhere that might reach not only donald trump but his, quote unquote, base julian castro running this ad speaking directly to trump. >> president trump you referred to countries as. [ bleep ] you urged american congresswoman to go back where they came from. you called immigrants rapists. in el paso, americans were killed because you stoked the fires of racists. innocent people were shot down because they looked different from you, because they looked like me. they looked like my family. words have consequences. s have . >> no word yet on how that's playing with the fox news audience but the trump administration is facing off political threats with a lot of real he policy. so you have to factor that in. consider this new rule that basically says now this government, this country wants to favor wealthy immigrants over
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all other ones and that experts say could limit family-based immigration from places like mexico, central america and africa. i'm joined by jason johnson, politics editor for "the root." good to see the you, sir. >> good to see you, ari. >> we've been doing a lot of policy and a little bit of history and ethics tonight. i'm going to start you on the politics then we can get back to the ethics. how do you rate as a political writer the impact of that added. >> when i first saw it looked like the background of america like chilledish gambino. but what i like is castro is doing something that i think took democrats forget to do. there is no problem with going on fox news, there's no problem with going on conservative or right wing radio shows but you got to keep your message consistent. i like the idea that castro is saying look, i know this is fox news. but i still believe there's people there who understand this message these poses are
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dangerousing. > it stands out for that decision among others. you mentioned him in the differentiated parking lot. we'll put that back up. there are other possibilities. eminem famously did his freestyle battle against trump in a similar empty lot. i don't know why that's considered a great staging ground. the other possibility jason, is like all of us because we're all people, he had a long night and can't find his car? >> it could be that, as well. he could have actually been lost and just had the camera crew there talking to him on a regular base of the. >> anything could happen. i'm going to make a hard turn from that terrible joke, my bad, my apologies to again we've said the politics. now the ethics. something you've spoken a lot about and our viewers have heard a lot of your great analysis on this which is what does it mean in 201 to the deal with a president who acts this way this blatantly, this repeatedly from charlottesville to el paso? senator warren coming out here
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and making this as far as i could tell something she is not sugar coating. it's a theme of her current battles with the president and it echoes what castro is doing. take a look. >> a man who has used racist language and racist imagery over and over and over and most of all, a man who wings and nods at the white people who havists and who in turn is embraced and celebrated by the white supremacists. you know, when the white supremacists call donald trump one of their own, i tend to believe them. >> right. >> what is the significance of that? >> well, i like the fact, ari in all honesty, i think most of the democratic candidates, warren, buttigieg, castro, booker, there's been a bit of hedging from harris and biden but most have been clear, the president is a racist, a white supremacist and there are negative consequences to this. that's what i think is important about what warren just said.
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it's not just that he's a bad guy and putting forth white nationalist policies but the violent organizations that had these beliefs see him as their lead per that's a very important message not just for the soul of this country women is important but to make people recognize, white america, this is dangerous for everybody. a president who enkerns this behavior leads to higher levels of terror. >> i've got one more thing. it's serious. i got one more thing before we go. we talk sometimes but you didn't tell me before this interview that you were going to mention childish gambino. i did not know you were going to do that. the beat team is so on it, as you were making that comparison, we have now built live out of the control room side by side you're right. look, those are similar backgrounds. >> it's the same thing. >> yes. >> i just wanted to see castro dance. >> castro's coming out of iowa city, always a good place for
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politics. i don't know at this hour where gambino is coming from. jason johnson, a fascinating comparison. we appreciate you. i'll see you again on "the beat," sir. >> thanks, ari. >> one more piece of housekeeping everyone should know julian castro will be on the lard word with lawrence o'donnell at 10:00 p.m. tonight. check out the last word and definitely for that interview. up ahead, why is trump gutting protections for endangered species? we've seen gun control activism, more is planned. we'll get to that with democrats uncorking a new push. h democrats uncorking a new push ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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do something. do something. do something. do something. do something. do something. >> do something. from the streets of dayton, ohio, to now the u.s. congress. house democrats demanding senator mcconnell do something
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on gun control, talking about a background check gun bill that will passed six months ago. >> it takes no currently to put on the senate floor a bill that is supported by 90 plus percent of americans. >> they've got to act. we've got to start to do something. so our kids can start school and not look at me and say, "are we safe? ". >> the house has done its job to save these lives and now mitch mcconnell needs to do his. >> what takes courage is to look a special interest group in the eye and say enough is enough. >> this activism comes as we still learn details about these shootings. dayton ohio, police, now estimate that the killer shot 26 people in 32 seconds. i just want to pause on that. because think about that. we've covered these things. we talk about them. we're exhausted by them.
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that is the fact of the technology of the weaponry. 26 people in those 32 seconds with this assault weapon. congressman anthony brown who is a army veteran also talked about the role of weapons today. >> we make this nation safe and secure when we take weapons out of the hands particularly weapons of war out of the hands of people who have no business having those weapons. >> and we're happy to say on "the beat" amidst this difficult topic, congressman brown made time for us. thank you. >> it's great to be on with you this afternoon. >> yes, sir. you said "weapons of war." why is that important to you. >> because when you look at the weapons that have been used recently in fact over the years in these mass shootings, they're assault rifles. and weapons with large capacity magazines. these are the very types of weapons that were issued to me when i went to iraq, when my
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klieg colleagues went to afghanistan. they were issued to us so we could do a very important mission if called to do and that's to kill people. that's what we do when we go to war. >> let's reflect on that point. you're saying and you know a lot more about this than a lot of us. you're saying those weapons in their structure in their weapon design technology are for killing others and not for defending yourself in a civilian context? >> they are designed to inflict as much harm and casualty and death as is humanly possible. that's how we outfit the american soldier. >> can i ask you one more on this. your time, sir, as they say. we'll yield it back to you. that's what you say in the house floor. i'll yield it back to you. i want to get this from you as a lawmaker and as a veteran. you're saying there is not a lawful civilian context where someone would ever need to shoot
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and kill 26 people in 30 seconds in the united states. >> absolutely. i think there's no place on the streets of america or even in the homes of america where you needs an ar-15 or like that to defend yourself. look, we handguns, shotguns, no one's talking about denying that to americans. we're talking about these assault weapons, high capacity magazines, that have been used time and time again top inflict mass carnage in schoolhouses, in theaters, in nightclubs. we have to take those off of the streets of america. >> my final question to you is about whether this time is different. one indicator we've been covering on the show here is senator mcconnell now says he's open to some of this stuff but as you know he's been fighting it. your democratic bill, he hasn't put a vote to it. now the president claims he's open to it. take a look. >> talking to mitch mcconnell. he's a good man. he wants to do something.
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he wants to do it i think very strongly. he wants to do background checks and i do too and i think a lot of republicans, too. there's nobody more pro second amendment than donald trump but i don't want guns in the lands of a lunatic or a maniac. i think if we do proper background checks, we can prevent that. >> congressman, my final question, part of my job is sometimes i have to ask questions that are so basic they might make me sound a little stupid. are you ready? >> i'm ready. >> if mitch mcconnell wants to do it, why hasn't he done it. >> well, obviously, the nra has got a strongalhold around his neck because as you've reported, 90% of americans support universal background check. there's a bipartisan support in the house. and i am certain that there are republicans along with democrats and independents in the senate that will vote yes on that bill. mitch mcconnell has to honor the democratic process, bring the bill to the floor. if there are differences that's
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okay, we can hammer those out. but he should be able to pass a clean bill for universal background checks that the house sent to him now 165 days ago. >> you've been there, you've done it, you speak with clarity. and i think a lot of people are edging including in ohio and other parts of the country edging towards okay, is it time to do it. congressman brown, thank you so much for being on "the beat" tonight. >> thank you, ari. >> appreciate it. we turn to a whole different topic that we think is important around here. donald trump now trying to undercut the very law led by a republican back in the day that protects our endangered species. and what's really going on when we come back. species. and wh'sat really going on when we come back i used to book my hotel room on those travel sites but there was
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it's just another way we're working to make your life simple, easy, awesome. go to to get started. here's new trump campaign gimmick that you could just dismiss as a kind of a joke, a dig at people who are concerned about the environment on a daily basis, but it's actually linked to something much larger. donald trump's campaign is selling trump branded plastic straws because they say, quote, liberal paper straws don't work. okay. people do all kinds of things in politics. but the trump administration is also taking direct policy aim at america's most important conservation law, so important you've definitely heard of it, the endangered species act. it has been credited with experts by saving from extinction the humpback whale, the grizzly bear and panda bears. now come on, who is against
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panda bears? the trump administration has released new guidelines to try to gut the way the law works, basically making it easier to take a species off, yes, the endangered species act list. that's kind of a key part of the endangered species act. these rules make it harder to also deal with the threat of climate change when considering the protections for animals. think about polar bears or sea lions, and over 1,600 other species that have been protected by the act at some point in time. the rule change comes as the united nations warns a million plant and animal species face the risk of extinction because of us, because of people, even though as i mentioned, many of us love animals. now donald trump's roll-back would led mining and drilling company proceed with projects that would otherwise be banned under the law. and this is big. for the first time regulate coerce be allowed to consider what they call the economic
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impacts, aka losing money, before animals get listed for this protection. and that falls in line with something else, which is the goals of at least certain troop trump officials, including the interior secretary who is a former oil lobbyist and his department, yep, drafted these changes. all of this adds to a litany of trump actions that we journalists have been tracking, environmentalists say clearly weaken key protections. you have the pullout from the paris climate agreement. you have obama era fuel efficiency standards that have been diluted and a whole lot more. now think about the politics of all this, because it's easy to look at the straws and the trolling and say this is how it always is and that's what happens when republicans are in control of the white house. well, i'm actually going to tell you that talking point wasn't always the case. remember, this act was passed by republican president nixon who argued a strong economy and clean environment can go
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together. >> there are those sometimes who say that the two are in conflict, that it is impossible to have a productive society like america, the most industrialized nation in the world, and a clean environment. we can have both, and we shall have both. >> and we shall have both. you know, you see any video of nixon and you remember democrats these days are often comparing trump to him on issues like obstruction of justice or what's impeachable. well, here is a contrast to nixon, and it's one many democrats and environmentalists object to. they want donald trump to be more nixonian when it comes to protecting these animals. when we come back, i've got something you might want to see. late night comedians absolutely roasting donald trump's new conspiracy theory, when we're back. hen we're back ight sleep without frequent heartburn waking him up. now that dream is a reality. nexium 24hr stops acid before it starts for all-day,
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here on "the beat," you may know we don't just repeat donald trump's conspiracy theorists with no basis. in fact, we're very careful not even to mention his targets to launder. we will consider this tonight, material he has given to late night comedians. >> this has set off a wild wave of conspiracy theories online, the sort of stuff that only unstable tin foil hat loons could possibly believe. so donald trump -- >> he's basically the dad that when a fight breaks out in the little league game he runs into
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the field, but instead of breaking it up he starts body slamming the third graders, yeah, take that, take that, take that! >> the president's tweets are so insane the news can't even show them now. it's getting to the point when he talks to reporters they're going to have to blur out his entire face. >> only a slight stretch. well don't show some of those lying tweets. that does it for "the beat." "hardball" starts now. send them back. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. send them back. until recently, that was the message donald trump and his legions were sending to the four progressive women of color serving in the u.s. congress. now it's to the world. the president once said his only priority is stopping illegal immigration. well, now his administration is taking un


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