tv Politics Nation With Al Sharpton MSNBC August 27, 2017 5:00am-6:00am PDT
say no. thank you so much. thank you! so we're doing it. yes! start saying yes to your company's best ideas. let us help with money and know-how, so you can get business done. american express open. good morning and welcome to "politics nation." i'm here in washington, d.c. today because tomorrow i'll be joined with religious leaders from across the country in a march for justice. it marks the 54th anniversary of dr. king's i have a dream speech and takes the trump administration to task for endangering that dream. in a moment, we'll talk with a trio of faith leaders about the important message at the heart of this gathering, a gathering
not of nostalgia, but of challenges today. and later in the show, a barrage of decisions came down from the white house late friday, including the controversial pardon of sheriff joe arpaio of arizona. and i have an issue with that one. but we start with the overwhelming damage along the texas gulf coast from hurricane harvey. it's now a tropical storm, but harvey is bringing catastrophic levels of flooding that could continue until thursday in many parts of texas. search and rescue efforts are just beginning as the slow moving storm continues to spawn flash floods and tornadoes. rainfall is expected to reach historic levels totaling as much as 40 inches in some areas. let's go to bill karins of the
weather channel where houston is receiving the brunt of the storm right now. >> good morning to you, reverend. unfortunately, this is the worst case scenario we've seen he overnight. people are dying in the houston area from the catastrophic floods. we've had five reports of fay talgities fatalitie fatalities, we've had 1,000 rescues of people. they have sent outay fatalities, we've had 1,000 rescues of people. they have sent outy fatalities, we've had 1,000 rescues of people. they have sent out fatalities, we've had 1,000 rescues of people. they have sent outfatalities, w rescues of people. they have sent out messages to not go into their attics. go out window and climbing up on the roof instead. last time we heard reports like that is when we dealt with katrina many years back. the rainfall in the houston area last night and the last 24 hours has been as high as 20 inches of rain. and it is still pouring through the region. harvey is located by victoria, but the bands that are coming in off the gulf have not stopped. the storm has stalled and the torrential rains are focused right over from galveston into the houston area. there is a flash flood emergency for over 5 million people.
we have water rescue trucks on their way from san antonio that are driving to try to get to houston to help with the rescues. 911 systems are overwhelmed in the houston area. they said do not call 911 if you have water in the first floor of your home. and if it's only lower than your knees, do not call 911. that is how dire the situation is in the houston area. this could end up being one of the worst floods that we have ever seen in our country. and the longer this continues with the radar looking like this, the more lives that will be lost in and around the houston area. the sun is now just coming up. we'll start to give you all these pictures. it is so bad in some of the bay u bayous inside the downtown area that the rescue crews conditions even get into them to the worst hit areas. and this isn't like with scene in when people were trapped on the roofs waiting for rescue. it was sunny and clear. it is pouring. there ois occasional lightning.
this is not ideal conditions for helicopters to fly in. until it stops raining, the situation will only get worse. all of the by ayous have overflooded and the water is still going up. here are some of the rainfall totals we've had. remember, we were saying when this storm started, we thought we could get some between 2 to 3 feet of rain. we've done that overnight. 10 to 20 inches of brain is in the pink to the purple. that is in the houston area. and we're foe on cussing on houston because that is like our fourth largest city in the country. but other areas i'm sure are dealing with similar problems from galveston to bryan, texas, 10 to 20 inches of rain. and some of the totals, 13 near houston, 17 outside. the houston airport is closed because the water is over the runways. they said some of the houses, the water is up to the second floor of some of the houses.
just to give you, i'm sure you've been in and out of that airport, you try to picture it. >> oh, yeah, many times. certainly our prayers are with the people and we'll keep updates and certainly for the families of those five fatalities, it's a very, very serious, serious issue. thank you so much, bill karins. now to correspondent sarah dollop in galveston, texas near houston. >> reporter: good morning, rev. from galveston will the rain continues to fall, winds whipping up again, no break in sight for residents here. overnight during a three hour period, the area received 5 inches of rain and you can just imagine the problems that that is causing in these coastal communities that not only now are dealing with the threat of flooding, but also with the damage from the hurricane, we're talking about damaged homes,
businesses, schools, churches. it's a tough go for people here who haven't gotten a break yet. we know that schools are canceled through wednesday. meanwhile the port of galveston also remains closed, about 20,000 cruise ship passengers who were scheduled to return still stranded some of those boats waiting out at sea, others at other ports until conditions are safe enough to return. rev, back to you. >> thank you, sarah dollop. hurricane harvey appears to have given the white house an opportunity for a weekend news dump. first it was the presidential pardon of sheriff joe arpaio, after the 85-year-old was convicted after ignoring a judge's order to stop rounding up people he suspected of being illegal immigrants. the white house said in part, quote, after more than 50 years
of admirable service to our nation, he is worthy candidate for presidential pardon. also friday the president made the ban of transgender troops official signing an order that directs the pentagon to move forward on the ban. but it remains unclear what will happen to transgender personnel currently serving. the order also bans the defense department from providing medical treatment to transgender service members. and to top it off, there is the ousting of sebastien gorka, a deputy adviser to the president who had ties to far right political groups and called islam an inherently violence religi religion. and also on friday, robert mueller's team issued subpoenas seeking testimony from multiple public relations executives tied to ex-trump campaign head paul
manafort. i want to bring in ray suarez, a veteran journalist and currently visiting professor at amhurst college and jason johnson, politics editor. let me start with you, jason. i marched on sheriff arpaio and debated him on several occasions. let's be clear that he was convicted of racial profiling. i mean he was profiling latinos. >> yes. >> pulling them over and checking out whether they were immigrants, many of them american citizens, american-born citizens. for the president to issue his first pardon to someone that was convicted, not just accused, convicted of racial profiling, three weeks after charlottesville, what does this mean? >> i've been saying this all along. the president of the united states is a terrorist
sympathizer. he sympathizers with far right groups, he sympathizes with whites nationalists and this is just par for the course. it's not just a matter of racial profiling. it's not just a matter of just rounding up latinos whenever he did some sort of raid and not paying attention. it's the people who died in his prisons, abuse of women, putting c cameras in women's bathrooms. so the fact that the president of the united states wants to use his pardon power for this kind of person is a symbolic message that he has no integrity about pardons and we have to be very, very careful going down the road. >> give me a sense as i had gone to arizona many times rallying around this issue in particular, if you are a latino or even look like you are a lalatino, what kd
of fear did you live with under sheriff arpaio and now to see him become one that is pardoned for those deeds and act as if he was -- what he did was admirable. i mean not only pardoned, but praised as the first pardon that president issued. give me a sense of how it is for latinos to have lived under hip and him and how they must be feeling many of them in arizona an around the country.hipand hi feeling many of them in arizona an around the country. >> sheriff arpaio was very proud of the label that he himself gave himself but also cultivated as america's toughest sheriff. and basically it meant in many cases running the maricopa county system as a personal law enforcement thiefdom. he did not respond to orders from federal judges. he did not respond when the justice department told him on occasions to stop doing the things he was doing. and when the arizona state
legislature passed sp 1070, basically making local police departments part of the immigration enforcement system in the state of arizona, he very vigorously and enthusiastically jumped in and maintained his police department's posture even after sb 1070 was shot down by the supreme court. he was a man who was running his own world and in an arizona where the fraction of the population that is represented by latinos grows with every census, this is a state that is uncomfortable with the fact that it's going to be some day a majority/minority state once again and the police were pretty tough. >> now, i understand from reports i believe in this morning's "washington post" that the president had even engaged in conversation with attorney general sessions on trying to
stop the case on arpaio. do you have any background on that? and what are the implications of that? >> well, it shows a president who i guess you could say he doesn't understand because he's perhaps as little experienced as he is with the way the system is structured. it's a very unconventional thing for a president to interfere with an already ongoing investigation and prosecution. joe arpaio has been under continuous investigation since the george w. bush administration even though the prosecution was dismissed as political and biased by both donald trump and joe arpaio himself, this is something that has been going on under republican and democratic administrations. and a president of the united states sought to influence the attorney general about an ongoing investigation and prosecution. it is very, very unusual.
is it illegal? well, it lives in a sort of gray area. but it is certainly not the normal practice for a president and an attorney general. >> now, jason, when we look at this and as all kinds of americans are watching us this morning, if you can be admired and pardoned for on racial profiling of latinos, you could be pardoned and admired for racially profiling anybody. blacks, asians, people of different sexes. i mean this is a different precedent that is being set here. >> like i said, it's akin to terrorism. think about the law enforcement people that we've heard donald trump admire throughout the time of his president city. rudy giuliani, sheriff clark and joe arpaio. it's clear his perception is
that he considers violence against those who do on not consider to be true americans and who one day might rise up against him politically. it's not even that important. it's not like arpaio was in jail and he was taking him out, but i think this goes even further and that is the problem. if he will use his pardoning power this early in his administration for someone who was clearly wrong by -- >> and convicted. >> convicted. imagine what he will do the moment he starts to -- >> three weeks after he made this good people on both side, violence on both sides. i mean charlottesville just happened and you will pardon someone for racial profiling. and the transgender thing. to come with this kind of declaration on transgender people in the military while you're talking about engaging in afghanistan, the signal there again, divide. divisiveness. >> and i don't care about people in texas, i don't care about the
law, i don't care about the rule of law and i don't care about political norms. that is the president we have right now. that is the president that we must be vigilant about watching his behavior because he does not care about bringing this country together or letting this country function. he only cares about his personal biases and bigotry. >> and we're -- i'm out of town, but we're watching this while the nation is praying because a level 4 hurricane was hitting texas at the time he issues this pardon and signs this declaration. in the middle of a hurricane, biggest we've seen in texas in decades. this is what the president does. >> well, it's an old washington custom to dump big news after 5:00 on a friday. but it rarely comes as you say in the middle of one of the worst hurricanes in the century so far. it's incredible. >> all right. thank you ray suarez and jason johnson. coming up, more outrage throughout the hispanic civil
liberties and legal communities after a pardon from president trump puts sheriff arpaio above the law. i have more strong feelings about this after the break. don't let dust and allergens get between you and life's beautiful moments. switch to flonase allergy relief. flonase outperforms the #1 non-drowsy allergy pill. when we breathe in allergens, our bodies react by overproducing 6 key inflammatory substances that cause our symptoms. flonase helps block 6. most allergy pills only block one and 6 is greater than 1. with more complete relief you can enjoy every beautiful moment to the fullest. flonase. 6 is greater than 1 changes everything.
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it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. welcome back. an outrachbyououtrage after prep issued a controversial pardon for sheriff joe arpaio who was convicted for disobeying a judge's order to stop racial profiling. and today we learned that president trump a few months ago asked attorney general jeff sessions whether it would be possible for the government to drop the criminal case against arpaio. but he was advised that would be inappropriate.
well, that didn't stop him. i want to bring in maria theresa ku perm kuma, she is an msnbc contributor. and raul reyes, an attorney and contributor to nbcnews.com. maria, you and i both have protested arpaio down through the years, but notwithstanding our protests and that of many other groups and people, he was convicted. and of racial profiling. which means that the law would uphold that against any ray shall profiling as any group, but this is not just latino community though certainly we should stand with them. it means safety for every community. this president in the middle of a storm, we were at a level 4 when he did this, not knowing what fatal heities we faced, not knowing what disaster we faced, he pardons him. many feel as you and i have talked about off camera that he
was going to dismiss gorka so the hard right was going to be mad, so he gives them arrest by crow. but the sense activitiitivity o country is going through means nothing. >> ashd tnd the fact that he di on on the heels of charlottesville. say arrive arrest share wrif ars a birther. and the concern is that this idea that he sir consume vebtded the courts, he is undermining the constitution because the courts found that arpaio was in violation of the fourth amendment, that was just the tip of the iceberg of the violations that sheriff arpaio was being called out for. if you see his record, he prided himself in calling his tent jailscentration kacamps.
this is in con tradition of the eighth amendment saying that he was violating eighth amendment for cruel and unusual punishment. he was terrible. >> so when i went to phoenix, what maria just talked about, when i went dealing with some of these complaints, that stem from civil rights complaints, but we looked at it much broader, shack li shackling women during child birth, all of this wiped away by the president. >> and you have to consider these are only the abuses that we know about. because sheriff joe was dealing in many cases with undocumented people who made due to language barriers or because they were so vulner shl m nenerable may have can'ts against him. what we learned this weekend, we learned that president trump
does leave in amnesty. he believes in amnesty for a convicted racial profiler sheriff joe arpaio. and i know we've all been out to arizona looking at these issues. arizona is about one third latino. phoenix where maricopa county is situated a about 40% latino. the vast majority of these people are legal american citizens. they are not undocumented. and dwroyet to sheriff joe, all these people look as though they are possibly illegally in this country. and this i think all americans should be concerned about. if you believe in our constitution, if you believe in the 14th amendment which guarantees equal protection under the law, you should be deeply troubled of the abuse of public trust and account ability. >> you know, maria, he says, he being the president, in his speech this week he starts with reading the teleprompter and he's civil.
and then he goes off the rails in his rally in phoenix and he implies there that he is going to do what he did with sheriff arpaio and he goes in deeper than his language that came right after charlottesville in defending it, and he kind of sanitizes quoting his own speech. and then he comes back in front of the american legion i believe in reno and calls for unity. and now you turn around and do something like this. and you and many others have tried to say, yes, we must fight for our community, but we must do it with unity. people of all religions marching in washington tomorrow, ministers showing unity. i was criticized by some in the black community by leading marches. but you have to fight for everybody if you're going to protect anybody. what happened that the unity that this president talked about? >> arizona will be ground zero for the next election where he
basically wants to dump senator flake because he feels that he has been dishonest. every single time that he has these really terrible rhetorics, whether it was pennsylvania, now you see it in arizona, he's going because he's campaigning and he recognizes that he just wants to put another set in his k56r camp. this idea that he is representing all americans? it is clear that with the part of joe arpaio that he is only talking to a third of americans and that is a shame. because what you are saying right now, people are hungry for a unity. we need national i'd tid adenti patriotism. and the majority of americans are on the right side of history. >> ray, the fact that senator jeff flake in arizona and john mccain have both denounced this pardon, what does that say, ares going to finally start standing
up to this president's device sf vice sifness? >> i hope so. there is also news that paul ryan spoke out against the pardon as have a wide array of latinos, civil rights advocacy groups. so it's a start. but i think this is a question that lawmakers across the country should ask themselves, is this a pardon that -- do they support this basically endorse chlt of profiling and discrimination against our fellow citizens, are they okay with this. while sheriff joe was pursuing all of these latino citizens in arizona, he was also costing the taxpayers tremendous amounts of money, some $40 million in lawsuits, $70 million just defending his rcase along. so that's why they voted him out. >> thank you maria and raul.
coming up, black children in alabama expected to tolerate statues of slave holders. then conservatives in arizona should be able to tolerate mexican american students embracing their past. and later, more than 1,000 ministers are making their way to washington, d.c. right of t justice. we'll be right back.
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>> reporter: city and county officials say if we get a foot, foot nafd within a matter of hour, our creeks and rivers conditions handle that and they will overflow in the neighborhoods and on to freeways and exactly that has happened. behind me, you see an example of that. we have a car over here that went into the water in the dark, it is so difficult to see some of this flooding. and that is what happened. we know that at least two people have been killed so far in the storm. we know that 1,000 people have been rescued so far. we know that people in flooded areas, homes are flooded up to the second story and have been told to get on the roof and wait for daylight to be rescued. there are hundreds of cars that have been stuck like this. and the really difficult part of this is as they have gotten 20 inches or so, just today, that they may get way more than that in the next several days. this is day two of a five day
event at least. this is the worst case scenario for houston. they want to think that they have prepared as much as they can, but they know that their creeks and bayous cannot handle that amount of water and significant flooding has already happened. they worry that it will be much worse in the next several days. >> thank you, jacob rascon in houston, texas. still to come, the state of civil rights in america as we prepare to march on washington. i'll be right back. this is the story of john smith. not this john smith. or this john smith. or any of the other hundreds of john smiths that are humana medicare advantage members. no, it's this john smith. who we paired with a humana team member to help address his own specific health needs. at humana, we take a personal approach to your health, to provide care that's just as unique as you are. no matter what your name is.
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phoenix tuesday night. and there against his standard backdrop of elderly white conservatives and a token black supporter, he again tried to justify his both sides response to the charlottesville tragedy. and teased his now realized pardon of former sheriff joe arpaio. earlier that day in nearby tucson, a federal appeals court judge ruled that a 2010 state law that shuttered a high school mexican american studies program was racially discriminatory. the law enacted the same year as the state's controversial sb 1070 immigration law prohibited courses that promote perceived racial resentment or allegiance to specific ethnic groups. at least that was the sales
pitch from conservative officials at the time. officials that would eventually use the law as a campaign prop. but the judge wasn't having it writing, quote, both enactment and enforcement were motivated by racial an any an any mus. and they were pursuing the ends to make political gains. here at politics nation, we've consist entently said that representation matters. because by 2030, hispanic citizens are slighted to become the ethnic majority in arizona. any state political party that hopes to remain in business must be receptive to their concerns. a great way to not do that is by telling his panic youth in the southwest of all places that by learning both their successes and their sufferings, and the
sufferings of their ancestors in this country, they are somehow hostile to white americans and thus american history at large. because to hear thousands of g bigots and the president tell it, confederate history is american history and should be preserved, not just as school book chapters, but also in the form of taxpayer funded statues of violent racist traders on public property. but are black children in alabama expected to tolerate statues of slave holding terrorists and not be offended by that past? then conservatives in arizona should be able to tolerate mexican american students empty bra embracing theirs past. because the students of today become the voters of tomorrow. and in that future, they gotcha. become the voters of tomorrow.
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welcome back. i'm in washington, d.c. where tomorrow i'll be joined here by religious leaders from across the country in a march for justice. it marks the 54th anniversary of dr. king's i ha"i have a dream" speech and it takes the trump administration to task for endane ee endangering that dream. taking part to spread that message is reverend franklin richardson of grace baptist church, rabbi wechterman from reconstructionist association, and jim wallace, president and founder of sojourner's magazine. thank you all for being here. rabbi, explain to me why you as a female clergy and a rabbi feel it's important on this day that we stand up and say to the trump administration and others, because this is nonpartisan,
that the dream and the tenants that dr. king and others represented needs to be underscored today and we feel it's at risk if we don't? >> well, thank you, reverend, for being here. and i do want to mention that my prayers go out to the people of texas hoping for a quick resolve of the disaster that they are experiencing. thank you for asking. of course we need to be there. dr. king's dream is yet to be fulfilled with so much still to be done in terms of access to health care, mass incarceration, educational in-equity, economic disparity. we are not yet the beloved community that dr. king called us to become. so it is my honor and pleasure and my duty too be there with you tomorrow and i'm very much looking forward to joining together with priests, ministers, imams, gurus, rabbis,
and other faith leaders from across the country to represent the need to keep marching forward on that dream. >> now, dr. richardson, it is important people understand that dr. king was a baptist minister. never held office, never sat in a legislative seat. he fought from the moral authority and headed sclc, southern christian legion conference, saw his work as religious and moral leader which is why we've called on all faiths to make this statement tomorrow. >> yes, i think it's very important for us to understand that the moral fiber of this country is being challenged. we cannot afford to allow what is going on in america to go unaddressed by people of the faith community. we have faced with the most difficult time -- one of the
most difficult times in our history. we've seen gains being taken away, leadership of the country becoming a bigot. we see affirmation of actions that we never thought would happen. and martin luther king's dream is far from being pufulfilled. and i think it's important i don't understand the march tomorrow, this must go back in too every xh to every community, every church, every synagogue. this must become our mission to challenge the moral fiber of america. the affordable care act is not only the fact that 24 million people won't have health care. how many people will die because of it? it's a moral issue. how many people are going to die because of the absence of health care? so it's i don't understand politipol i don't understand politics or race. we have to standing up and be counted. >> jim wallace, no one has been
more vocal than you. you have always tried to raise as an evangelical that the moral issues here supersede the politics. and i think by not trying to as we did on the 50th anniversary we had over 50,000, not trying to get masses, laymen are welcome to walk with us, but faith leaders to raise a moral issue is something that we've not seen in a long time if ever in in country to have over 1,000 clergy people say we're coming to give a message. >> i think that is very significant. because what it says is that race isn't for us, isn't t. isn't just a political issue, it's a theological issue. a biblical issue. racism is america's original
sin. and in charlottesville, the issue wasn't just marches, it's systems. it's racial difference, superiority. white supremacist, not white suprema supremacy. so this is for us a faith issue, a gospel issue. and to say that clearly which we will tomorrow is really important thing. >> now, rabbi, when you look at this weekend in the mix of the storm and as you express all of our prayers for the people in texas that are still under this real, real emergency situation, and in the midst of this, we see the president pardoning someone who was convicted of racial profiling and we see the acts around transgender and other things going forward, it seems like we are overindexed in pulling the nation apart. is it your hope and mine and others tomorrow that we can also show despite as jim wallace just
said we may have political differences that moral leaders will stand together on certain basic moral principles and start trying to have some at least unity of what the country should be standing for in terms of respect for one another? >> absolutely, reverend. i certainly breypray and hope s. it is clear that all of our faiths teach that we are created in god's image and god created all of us, every single human being, with the same inherent spark of life and value. and that is what we are there to represent. the fact that this administration and this president is continuing to show his deafness to the experience of marginalized and -- preow op americans of all stripes is what calls us forth to be loud and profound proceed at the time thi prophetic voice for take truth. so we must link arms from across
faiths, from across races to say this is what the america that we want to build should look like. >> dr. richardson, one thing we've heard in the black community, where has the black church been. we've had every kind of crisis from trayvon martin to ferguson, eric gardner, are other issues. and many of us in the civil rights community and i'm a minister devout baptist, and you chair the board of our megachurch that you have in wednesday che quest wednesday chewes westchester county, but isn't it important that the black church come to the forefront? we still convene more people than anybody in black america on
a weekly basis. but what are we preaching? >> well, i think it's really a critique of the african-american church, the black church is not where it ought to be before we've gotten distractgospel. we've become more internalized. eve not become protest driven and i think it's costing our respect in our communities. people -- there's a millennium generation that's not giving the church consideration that it might give it because we have become in some ways irrelevant. we've got to challenge ourselves to be more vocal. we cannot sit by while the dictator tendencies of this president has its impact on our communities and leading our nation to a place of crisis. the church must stand up. the biblical mandate is clear in the gospel and we can not allow the church to stand back. and i'm grateful for the number
of pastors across the country joining us tomorrow. i recognize that it is -- it's clearly a time for us to shake our own situation and challenge our own communities to address this problem. >> and jim, you've written it and challenged america's original sin. >> the rabbi said it well, what's at stake here is skren sis chapter 1 where god created us in god's image and this is really at stake, not just for marchers in charlottesville but in our systems, criminal justice, voter suppression, education, economics. we're going to be talking tomorrow about what's happening to people insistence. what's at stake here is the image of god. one of presidential pardon goes to a convicted racist it convicts that president of those same crimes and this is an assault, an insult to my brothers and sisters who are
latino and tomorrow we'll march for the image of god and this must challenge us all across our lines, pull pits need to preach that racism is a sin and repentance doesn't mean not just feeling guilty or sorry, the word means turning around. what do acts of repentance mean? actions are necessary more than just words here. >> let me thank you reverend richson of grace baptist and jim wallace and rabbi. we'll be right back. you always pay your insurance on time.
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apparent, it's not in your giving reality. it is where you're going, it's what you dream to be. it's easy in this time of arpaio being pardoned and bigotry being demonstrated in a divisive president and colin kaepernick being punished for protest. you got to dream past your despair. the young folks say stay woke. when you do stay woke you got to do some work. we can't give up. dreamers didn't give up. that's why we live better lives than they did. that does it for me. thanks for watching and to keep the conversation going, like us at facebook.com/politics nation and follow us on twitter at politics nation. i'll see you back here next sunday. i'm accident free.
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good morning, everyone. i'm alex whit here. we're approaching 9:00 a.m. in the east and 6:00 a.m. out west. breaking news at this hour. an ongoing emergency in houston. hundreds of water rescues overnight and into this morning where there's catastrophic flooding and people are trying to escape the rising waters. >> she's very scared and nervous and she's trying to make sure her babies and her get upstairs to her neighbors. just pray that's all i ask. just pray for my babies. in parts of the state, damaged vast and complete. some towns out water or power or sewers or phone service. all this in the hurricane aftermath. but the storm remains. it is hanging over the lone star state with downpours still reported at this hour. details on when it will end ahead. at the white house, new fallout from president trump prehurricane moves including word from a key republican party