tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC July 4, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
over to like 10,000 miles. i love all the zeros. right? i like 1-1. i like susan's birthday because in our family, susan's birthday lasts a month. that's awesome. and i love the fourth of july. i love everything about it and there is nothing that we can do as a country that would make me not love our birthday. because our birthday is one of the single best things we ever did, celebrating independence, celebrating the declaration of independence is something that's for absolutely everybody. i hope you have an excellent fourth. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. i knew you would be doing transcript night about what happened in court. i have so many favorite moments, but if i have to reduce it to one, my very favorite moment is when the government lawyers in the census case says to the judge, is it possible that we can do this on monday? no! the judge just flat no. one word. judges don't often give
scheduling answers that are quite as clear instantaneously as that one. it was really great. >> is it possible that we can do this on monday? the court, no. mr. gardner and again -- oh, okay. the court again says no! are you seriously going to keep talking? i said n-o. n-o. no. >> in most other federal courts in america, that would be a perfectly reasonable request. there's a lot of federal judges who will not be working on friday, but this judge is. friday, 2:00 p.m. he wants an answer. what is the president up to and what is the government doing in this case. >> does the justice department speak for the government anymore does it represent what the government is doing or do we just rule biffi at from what the president retweets and misspelled on his phone. thanks, man. >> and who speaks for mark
zuckerberg? the other big question of the day. >> good night, lawrence. >> tomorrow the president who has never inspired a majority of the american people will try to do that once again. he will absolutely definitely surely fail once again because donald trump has no idea how to speak to a majority of the american people. it wasn't always this way. presidents of both parties have struck inspirational notes with the majority of americans. at the end of this hour, we will show you a republican president who did that at several points in his presidency, even with people who disagreed with him. especially on the very last day of his presidency when, in his final speech as president of the united states, he praised immigrants who he hoped would continue to come to this country. we'll be joined by a republican who worked in that president's administration and who is now running for the republican presidential nomination against donald trump.
but we begin tonight with the breaking news of the night. federal judge today demanded that the trump justice department explain a trump tweet and the trump justice department admitted that they have no idea what the trump tweet means. federal judge george hazel conducted an emergency telephone conference with the justice department and some of the lawyers representing plaintiffs in the census case that was just decided by the united states supreme court last week, preventing the census from containing a question about as we reported here last night, the trump administration surrendered to the supreme court yesterday. they formally surrendered and began printing the census without a citizenship question as ordered by the u.s. supreme court. the commerce secretary announced the census was being printed without the citizenship question. and then this morning, the president tweeted the news reports about the department of commerce dropping its quest to
put tcitizenship question on th census is incorrect or to state it differently, fake. that sent george hazel into action, rounding up lawyers and to find out what was going on. in a transcript of the conference call today, the judge said, this morning i saw a tweet that got my attention. i don't know how many federal judges have twitter accounts, but i happen to be one of them and i follow the president. i saw a tweet that directly contradicted the position that mr. gardner shared with me yesterday. joshua gardner is one of the justice department lawyers in the case. the judge asked attorney gardener a simple question. is the government going to continue efforts to place a citizenship question on the 2020 census? attorney gardner said the tweet this morning was the first i had heard of the president's position on this issue, just like the plaintiffs and your honor. i do not have a deeper
understanding of what that means at this juncture other than what the president has tweeted. no one on that call knew what donald trump's tweet meant including donald trump's justice department attorneys. attorney gardner did confirm that the census is in the process of being printed without the citizenship question. another justice department lawyer told the judge, we at the department of justice have been instructed to examine whether there is a path forward consistent with the supreme court decision that would allow us to include the citizenship question on the census. we are examining that, looking at near term options to see whether that's viable and possible. the judge ordered the government lawyers to tell him by 2:00 p.m. friday if the government is going to continue fighting the case. the government lawyers asked for a delay until monday because of
the fourth of july holiday, to which the judge as i just said, simply said no. the judge then told the government lawyers, if you were facebook and an attorney for facebook told me one thing and then i read a press release from mark zuckerberg telling me something else, i would be demanding that mark zuckerberg appear in court with you the next time because i would be saying i don't think you speak for your client anymore. leading off our discussion tonight, neera tanden, president of the center for american progress and eugene robinson, associate editor and pulitzer prize winning columnist for the washington "washington post." he's an msnbc political analyst. this was a remarkable, very quick telephone conference today where the president tweets something and we bring america's best legal minds to study it and none of them can figure out what he meant. >> right. and they work for the president. so the president is the client in this and they have no idea.
they clearly had no idea this was coming. they thought the issue was settled and the president tweeted that it wasn't settled and so they have to now i guess, they guess try to find a way to unsettle it again and to try to come up with some rationale, which the judge was clearly not amused. and they must be scratching their heads saying what are we going to come up with that's not going to get us laughed or yelled out of court or whatever. we better come up with it by 2:00 p.m. on friday or this judge, who knows what this judge might do if we don't. so it was an extraordinary moment in the life of this country. >> and neera, they would have to begin to suborn perjury from the commerce secretary to get him to change his under oath testimony about why he wanted a citizenship question.
they want to figure out a way to give the supreme court a different reason why they wanted one. as you listen to or read the transcript of the government lawyers, they expressed zero confidence that they are even going to be able to come up with aer to of this case. they say basically, they're using words like "might be possible." >> when you read the transcript, what is clear is that we have a government by chaos, which is not new, although it seems that we take it to new heights day by day. this is a new height. essentially, what happened here is that the department of justice, the department of come measures understood last week's supreme court decision as basically saying they have to go forward with the census without the citizenship question because those people live in reality and the census is supposed to start taking place months away. we are talking about printing millions upon millions of documents and they live in that reality.
i don't know if fox news or one of the president's donors or some crazy right wing news site attacked the position and then the president does what he often does, which is listen to the far right of his base versus his own government and put out a tweet. and in we have essentially the department of justice scrambling to keep up. but i think what happened here is the judge in the case recognized that this is a farce. i almost feel badly, but not quite, for these lawyers who are going to spend the next 36 hours scratching their head, manufacturing some possible rationale. they are likely to get laughed out of court which will just be an embarrassment for them, but hopefully it will mean our census is not ridden with racism and xenophobia. >> gene, this is a game the president plays. he's been defeated before like
on mexico paying for the wall, and then he continues to tweet that mexico will pay for the wall. this is an instance in which if you continue to tweet things that aren't true, there is a judge who can drag the government lawyers in to court and say okay, 2:00 p.m. friday, at the me exactly what's going on here. so the tweeting game ends at 2:00 p.m. friday. >> yeah. it certainly does. this is a whole new sphere. mexico will pay for the wall, he can tweet whatever he wants and there are no consequences, but there are immediate consequences here. these lawyers have to come in, and as you say, they can't just come in with some ridiculous theory that amounts to suborning perjury or something else that might get them in hot water with legal associations, with bar associations. they have to take this seriously because after all, this is a federal court. you have to take things seriously in a federal court.
words have meaning and they have consequences. >> so the president is going to have a campaign rally at government expense tomorrow in washington, where he will pretend to be trying to inspire the country, but of course once again, he will surely only be speaking to people who voted for him. let's take a look at some polls that shape the frame that the president be speaking in tomorrow. he will be speaking to a country where according to gallup now, 45% of the country wants donald trump impeached and removed from office. in addition to that, we have a recent pew poll that is very relevant to tomorrow. how do you feel when the president speaks? what are your feelings when he makes public statements? 76% are concerned. confused, 70%. embarrassed 69%. exhausted 67%.
angry 65%. insulted 62%. frightened 56%. and what the president is going for tomorrow, only 36% of americans are ever proud of the president when he speaks or feel pride when he speaks and only 33% have ever felt inspired when donald trump speaks. that's the audience he will be speaking to tomorrow. >> yeah. i think, you know, the issue here is whether he is speaking from a teleprompter in which he basically says a bunch of words we all know he doesn't mean, or he speaks from the heart and creates all the emotions on the first column. what i felt reassured by is i literally have all of those emotions in one day listening to donald trump. i think the reality of this is that the president is going, is, you know, we are about a year
and a half from this election, less than a year and a half from this election and he is deeply unpopular. the important issues around impeachment is that the numbers are moving up. they were in the 30s and they are now at 45%. perhaps after robert mueller testifies, it will be into the 50s. that's a new moment in the country where you have a majority asking for impeachment and removal. that will start putting some pressure on republicans in races like in cory gardner's race and susan collins' race where you will actually see some of them finally feel at least some pressure around impeachment. >> and gene, another set of polls that is the president is facing today, morning consult poll showing his disapproval in very important swing states like michigan, wisconsin, pennsylvania, ohio, and florida, much higher disapproval than an approval. michigan 55% disapproval, 40%
approval. this is a campaign event for him tomorrow. and those numbers don't look good. >> no, they don't. remember last time in 2016, he had to thread the needle in wisconsin, michigan, and pennsylvania. you look at the numbers and there is no longer an eye in that needle. it's closed. there is no way to get a piece of thread through there. he would either have to change those numbers dramatically or come up with some other theory of how he gets to 270 electoral votes. i'm not sure how that would be. i'm fairly confident that what he is doing tomorrow is not a good start. i am biased. i live in the washington area. we here feel a certain ownership and a lot of pride in our fourth of july celebration on the mall. to have it sort of usurped in this way by any president to
give a political speech is really an outrage. something that some of us have strong feelings about. maybe the president likes it that we have strong feelings, but we have strong feelings anyhow. eugene robinson and neera tan n tanden, thank you for starting us off tonight. when we come back, yesterday's inspector general's report condemning the conditions that adults and children are subject to in custody at the southern border told its story in words and these pictures. the inspector general's team could not be stopped from photographing what they saw because their authority overrides the authority of the people running those institutions reporters and members of congress do not have that authority. generally have been forbidden from using cameras inside, but some of the children are showing the world the conditions that they experienced in pictures they have created with crayon and markers. we will show you their drawings next and we will be joined by a
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charities respite humanitarian center at mcallen, texas. the most prominent drawings have the cages where they were held on cold concrete floors without access to soap or toothbrushes. the incoming president of the american academy of pediatrics, dr. sarah said in a statement "no amount of time spent in these facilities is safe for children." she described what she saw when she visited the border patrol detention facility in the mcallen, texas. >> when i opened the door, the first thing we -- that hit us was the smell. it was the smell of sweat, urine, and feces. i heard crinkling to my left and there was a sea of silver and there were young children in there, unaccompanied boys in there with no expressions on their face. no laughing or jokes or talking. i describe them like dog cages with people in each of them. the silence was just hard to see.
>> joining our discussion is pediatrician dr. julie linton who is co-chair of the american academy of immediate ticks immigrant help special interest group. doctor, what should we know about children held in these kinds of conditions? >> what we know is that there is no amount of time in detention that is safe for children and the conditions under which they are held, cage-like fencing, extending from the floor to the ceiling, lights kept on 24-7 that are incredibly disorienting for children, children lying on mats on concrete floor with nothing but a crinkly blanket to cover them, threaten the short and long-term health of children. >> what about the medical care? how much is the gap between the medical personnel they need and the medical personnel they have? >> my colleagues on the border last week, including dr. goza
who we just heard, shares that in the facilities that they went to, they saw not a single pediatrici pediatrician. we as the american academy of pediatrics are asking for urgent presence of expertise at every step of the border. we know that the law enforcement agents are there to protect our border and we as pediatricians are there to protect the health and well-being of children. >> we've had a lot of reports this week about bad behavior by people working in and around those facilities. let's just for the moment assume those people doing their very best. what don't they know that you would need to know in order to be able to properly care for children in these situations? >> children are not little adults. they express illness different than adults do. this means their vital signs may be different so they may breathe more quickly, it may be hard to detect the subtle signs of illness under a t-shirt. children can get sick more
quickly than adults. they require more fluid for their weight. we dose medications based on the weight of a child where an adult has a standard dose. we have expertise in detecting the differences between a child who is well and a child who has a minor illness and a child who has a serious illness. if we don't urgently change the process we have at the border with pediatric expertise, i can anticipate there will be more deaths to come. >> dr. julie linton, thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. when we come back, senator mazie hirono who visited the institutio institutions locking up people at the southern border will join me next. at the southern border n me next.
experience with children in federal custody in mcallen, texas. inside the border patrol warehouse on ursula avenue, the doctor saw a baby who had been fed from the same unwashed bottle for days. children showing signs of malnutrition and dehydration and several kids who in her medical opinion were exhibiting evidence of psychological trauma. at ursula, the children she examined were totally fearful but then extremely entirely subd subdued. she could read the fear and they were perfectly submissive to her authority. i can only explain it by trauma because that is such an unusual behavior. she had brought along mickey mouse toys to break the ice. the kids seem to enjoy playing with them, but none resisted when she took them away at end of the exam.
at some point, the doctor mused you are broken and you stop fighting. joining us now is mazie hirono of hawaii, a member of the senate judiciary committee and she has visited some of the detention facilities at the southern border. thank you very much for joining us tonight. appreciate you being here. >> thank you, lawrence. >> senator schumer said today about the inspector general's report, a border patrol worker's facebook group painted a picture of a toxic culture at u.s. customs and border protection that can only begin to be changed by immediately firing and replacing top leadership at the agency with law enforcement professionals who have training and expertise in working with vulnerable populations. do you agree with senator schumer on that? >> yes, of course. i introduced a bill along with a number of my colleagues who are very concerned prior to all of
these more recent revelations as to the conditions. i had a bill that would provide a minimum level of care for the children in these facilities. so these horrific pictures, the trauma that these children are undergoing and by the way, the president saying oh, they are being better treated and they are experiencing life better i'm paraphrasing, than what they knew before. in that kind of an environment where the president says such things, where is the incentive to improve conditions for the children and people in terribly overcrowded facilities? i think it starts at the top and believe the president's totally antagonistic attitude tomy grans is manifested in sft 7,000 or so people who participated in the secret facebook where they made fun and mocked people who are suffering and people who are dying and also members of congress who expressed care.
>> the president defended those people by saying our border patrol people are not hospital workers, doctors, or nurses. what's your reaction to that? >> my reaction to that is we do not have a basic standard of care. as you heard from dr. linton just a little while ago, we need to have professionals there such as pediatricians who know how to take care of children, who are able to recognize various problems and illnesses that children have. these are not the kind of people who are in the facility. so what we have in these facilities are people who are not trained to do this kind of work or to take care of these groups of migrants. >> senator, if the inspector general of homeland security can go into these facilities and take photographs, why can't members of congress go in and take photographs? >> that is a very good question and apparently the administration does not have a good answer at all.
so when members of congress go, we ought to be able to talk to the people and take pictures and i think that they have a lot to hide as they don't want us to do that. by the way, they have not been able to point to net legal or statute rit basis on which they are denying these kinds of access to members of congress as well as to the press, by the way. >> when members of congress come, there is always advanced notice, the facility knows they are coming so they can improve things. the inspector general was conducting spot checks that apparently were unannounced and the inspector general has said, the acting inspect irgeneral has said she will continue to conduct those spot checks. >> i'm grateful for that. by the way when the most receipt group of members of the house went to these facilities it's pretty hard to clean up facilities that are soso overcrowd. there is no way that you can move people around.
what they saw were terrible enough. those were announced visits. >> senator mazie hirono of hawaii, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> when we come back, new polls that show good news, bad news for joe biden and a new front-runner in the iowa caucuses. that's next. (vo) parents have a way of imagining the worst...
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polling below 4%. iowa is a completely different story. iowa is the first state where voters deliver a verdict on the candidates. in a new iowa poll today, elizabeth warren is on top with 20, followed by kamala harris with 18. joe biden with 17% in iowa and bernie sanders at 12% and pete buttigieg is polling at 10% in iowa. the last four democratic pressure nominees won the iowa caucuses. today, many of the candidates were campaigning in iowa, speaking in west des moines. senator kamala harris used her authority as a criminal prosecutor in describing donald trump. >> donald trump has predatory nature and predatory instincts. the thing about predators you should know is they prey on the vulnerable.
they prey on those who they do not believe are strong. and the thing about predators you most importantly know, predators are cowards. predators are cowards. when we look at this campaign and we look at the task before us, it will be to successfully prosecute the case against four more years of donald trump and i am prepared to do that. >> in des moines today, senator bernie sanders talked about his opposition to the president's immigration policies with this preface. >> let me preface my remarks by telling you what you may or may not know. that you are looking here at the son of an immigrant, somebody to came to the united states from poland at the age of 17 with very little education, with no money in his pocket, and who
polls in the iowa caucuses tonight. >> talk about what makes the nation great. a nation is great when it lives its values. right now america at the border, america in our immigration policy that is designed to maximize the terror of families, america, a president that threatens that next week he is going to start raids on people who live here in the united states of america and pose no threat to us, pose no threat to anyone, this is not an america that lives its best values. >> neera tanden and eugene robinson are back with us. near la, you're the presidential campaign veteran here. which spot would you rather have in the polls right now? the lead in the national polls
that joe biden has or the lead in the iowa caucus poll that elizabeth warren has? >> well, honestly iowa matters a great deal. whoever comes out of iowa usually catapults into the rest of the country. a lot of these things are expectations. i do think that the poll today out, the national poll out for biden was helpful to him because i think a lot of people may well be expecting that his trajectory would continue to decline and that expectation would be deeply problematic for him. i think what we're really seeing with all the information that's come out over the last couple of days is that this is a top tier of three people, senator warren, senator harris, and vice president biden. it's a compelling race. a lot of people were talking about how the race was pretty
static. i think kamala today with her prosecuting the case against trump and the predator language really is continuing what she did last week which is to make the case that she is the person who can take this fight to trump. that really helped her last week. i think she's trying to keep that streak going in iowa so that the polls will flip even more. >> let's listen to what joe biden said about what the president is planning tomorrow in washington. >> what do you think of president trump's parade tomorrow? >> i think he missed the essence of who we are. this is about celebrating why we are the country we are. i'm incredibly proud of the military, but this sort of -- he misses the whole point about why we're the country we are. everybody knows we are the most powerful country in the world physically, but we're losing our standing in the world. i think we should celebrate freedom. we should celebrate why we are the people we are.
>> and gene robinson, joe biden and none of the candidates take every question that gets thrown at them by reporters but if you give them a question about trump, he's ready. >> yeah, because that's his initial play coming out of the blocks. it got him the big lead in the polls. he went directly at trump in the way the other candidates weren't doing. and it's still serving him well. don't count biden out of this. i would add a fourth candidate. in neera as top tier, i would add bernie sanders. he's pretty close in the polls. second in some. a little lower in others. seems to have faded a bit in iowa, but he's sitting on a ton of money. which will serve him well. there is another candidate who is sitting on a ton of money and that's pete buttigieg.
but he really hasn't gotten a lot of traction. this of course, all flows from the debate last week. which /* in which buttigieg did not gain ground and kamala harris had a great night and joe biden had a bad night. now he's got a real race. it never was going to be a coronation, but we can see that this is a real race and he's going to have to start drawing distinctions between himself and the other candidates. slulg >> the biggest number that joe biden has in the new "washington post" poll and it's one of the worst numbers that pete buttigieg has, by the way, is the which candidate has the best chance of defeating donald trump and joe biden gets 45% in that one. way ahead of everybody else. bernie sanders at 18. senator warren is 7. senator harris is 9. julian castro is 2.
pat buchanan of pete buttigieg is down at the bottom at 1. that 45%, that overwhelming lead in best chance of beating donald trump is joe biden's biggest asset. >> it has been and i think eugene is totally right when he came out of the box, basically making attacking trump his greatest weakness which is his response to charlottesville, xenophobia and racism. he was able to unite a desperate party in many ways behind him. people who were even liberal voters have been supporting joe biden. and you know, one debate, it's very early. he has the opportunity to come back and i think if he demonstrates in realtime that he can make the strong case, it will be a race. but eugene is right. i don't count out bernie sanders at all. he has a lot of resources to go the distance and he has very strong support. that support seems to be falling in iowa, but it can go the distance a long time as well. >> gene, this variance in the
poll in the "washington post" poll, is the one that varies the most with the other polls. that's the kind of thing that will shake itself out overtime. when we get past the next round of debates, we will probably have more clarity in the polls by then. >> yeah. we probably will. the polls will be all over the map and they are snapshots and that's why a lot of analysts sort of average the polls and try to get a sense of where the race is from that. i think the real take away is the rise of warren and especially the rise of harris into that -- firmly into that top tier. they were not necessarily firmly there before the debate, but they are definitely there now. they will be factors in this race. >> let me just say quickly, i think kamala harris' growth in iowa, early on in this race, a
lot of people thought she would not even compete in iowa. iowa is an overwhelmingly white state. the fact that she is surging there and she hasn't even really built out a field operation yet. senator warren had one for a while. so i think you'll see a lot of change. i think the most important thing about this race is it's extremely fluid. we have had primaries before where candidates rise and fall, rise and fall. i think the most important thing is a level of interest and involvement and engagement. the ratings last week were very, very high. that's an important signal that people are very engaged in the democratic primary and that's really to the good. >> neera tanden gets account last word on the democrats tonight. thank you both for joining us. appreciate it. when we come back, tonight's episode of "it wasn't always this way." we'll show you a republican president who knew when to drop political rhetoric and deliver an inspiring mess and about america. and we will be joined by a republican who worked in that
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i'm richard lui in the msnbc newsroom. following some breaking news. california surveying the damage from its largest earthquake in 20 years. the 6.4 quake struck about 125 miles east of bakersfield, but could be felt as far away as los angeles. authorities report minor injuries and light infrastructure damage. and in the nation's capital, rainy conditions for the president's fourth of july event currently under way. that's it for us. now back to "the last word." when we finish this luncheon, i hope you'll stick around a little while. we're having a tag sale upstairs, and everything must go. >> that was president ronald reagan's last speech as president, the day before the next president took the oath of
office. on the eve of donald trump's campaign rally in washington, paid for by the american taxpayer with the reluctant involvement of the u.s. military, it's worth remembering once again it was not always this way. before washington republicans became trumpists, the political figure they claimed to love the most in american history was ronald reagan. you never hear republicans mentioning ronald reagan now the way they constantly did before donald trump became their object of adoration. ronald reagan was a conservative republican president who was opposed every day by everyone who you would expect to oppose a conservative republican president, but he did earn varying degrees of respect with democrats and great respect with some democrats who sometimes worked with him, but most often opposed him. on his final day in office, president reagan gave the presidential medal of freedom to one of those democrats, mike
mansfield, who served as the senate majority leader longer than anyone in history. ronald reagan knew what almost every politician in those days knew, which was when to drop partisan rhetoric, something donald trump will never learn, which he will once again demonstrate tomorrow. here is more of president reagan's speech on his final day as president of the united states. >> now, tomorrow is a special day for me. i'm going to receive my gold watch. and since this is the last speech that i will give as president, i think it's fitting to leave one final thought, an observation about a country which i love. it was stated best in a letter i received not long ago. a man wrote me and said "you can go to live in france, but you cannot become a frenchman. you can go to live in germany or turkey or japan, but you cannot become a german, a turk or
japanese. but anyone from any corner of the earth can come to live in america and become an american. this i believe is one of the most important sources of america's greatness. we lead the world because unique among nations, we draw our people, our strength from every country and every corner of the world. and by doing so, we continuously renew and enrich our nation. while other countries cling to the stale past, here in america we breathe life into dreams. we create the future, and the world follows us into tomorrow. thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we're a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy and new ideas, and always on the cutting edge, always leading the world to the next frontier. >> for our final round of discussion, we turn to bill
weld, the former republican governor of massachusetts. he is running for the republican presidential nomination against president trump. and governor weld, you worked in the reagan justice department. we are now on the eve of a republican president using taxpayer money for basically a campaign rally that we have traveled a great distance in republican world in washington from that final day of the reagan presidency to what we're going to see tomorrow. >> a word about the last point that president reagan made there, lawrence. i think of that whenever i see the olympics. the italians look like the italians. the ethiopians look like the ethiopians. the americans look like everybody. same point, same point. yeah, i served as assistant attorney general with great pleasure under president reagan. i served him for seven years. now today he's saying that what the department of justice committed to yesterday based on a supreme court ruling has no
effect because he's tweeting. otherwise he is basically saying there is no law. he's left any pretense of observing the rule of law. he is saying i the president am the law, and we're getting pretty far down that road of what i would call the death throes of democracy. if you look at ancient rome, the generals would go have a triumph in britannia, in germania. they would come back and have a big parade called a triumph in rome. at least they paid for them themselves. even julius caesar did that. he might have had to borrow the money, but he paid for it. and that's bread and circus, and that's the road the president seems to want to take us down. >> governor, you just made a bunch of references that donald trump is not going to understand, so i have to break it down for him, if you're trying to get through to him. but i do want to get your reaction to what we saw in the justice department today. this is an extraordinary moment where a federal judge is saying to justice department attorneys what did the president of the united states say today?
and none of the legal minds involved could explain to the judge what the president meant by what he said. >> well, of course they didn't want to even try to do that, because the president said that what happened in the supreme court and what his justice department had represented in the court was fake. fa-a-k-e f-a-k-e. if you lead the tweet, it's in capital letters. the reason it's fake because it's not what donald trump wants to have happen, because we wants the world to conform with what's going on in his head. and that very often has very little to do with the reality of what's going on out in the world. with institutions like the supreme court of the united states, the united states department of justice, the people in charge of the border, who are holding children in cages smelling of feces and urine. does the president really think that's going to improve his image in the mind's eye of the country? i think he is so mixed up in his own head that he really doesn't even know. >> what happens if the trump
administration defies what is the currently standing supreme court order on the census? >> well, if they defy a supreme court order, they're not going to do too well in the justice system. >> but would they be able to go forward in some way with the census, even when the supreme court is saying no, you can't do it that way? >> no, they would run back to the supreme court and say we want a clarification, and, you know, we want to try to overrule this, persuade you to do otherwise like a petition for rehearing. but the department and all its representatives committed in court that they were not going to have a census question, that it was part of the effort to suppress voting. this administration seems interested in suppressing voting in any jurisdiction, whether it's a substantial nonwhite population. it's the opposite of what they should be doing.
>> governor bill weld gets tonight's last word. coming up on msnbc this independence day, the democratic debates. both nights in their entirety. that's next. good evening, everyone, i'm lester holt, and welcome to the first democratic debate in the race for president. >> hi, i'm savannah guthrie. tonight it's our first chance to see these candidates go head to head on stage together. we'll be joined in our questioning tonight by our colleagues, jose diart. >> what sets them apart and which of these presidential hopefuls has what it takes. >> well, now it's time to find out. >> tonight, round 1. new jersey senator cory booker, former housing secretary julian castro, new york city mayor, bill de blasio, former maryland congressman john