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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  July 6, 2019 4:00am-5:00am PDT

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good morning everyone. i'm kendisgibson in new york. it's 7:00 in the east. 4:00 out west. where there is breaking news. 7.1 earthquake in southern california as many people there are waiting for daylight to survey the damage after that powerful quake that rocked the region. >> i've never been through anything like this in my life. so that's horrifying. we don't know what the damage is yet and we're just going to wait until it's daylight and figure
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it out. >> this is the biggest one i've ever felt in my life. absolutely. >> that says a lot from californians, no doubt. the citizenship question. justice department lawyers pushing ahead for a controversial change to the census. and maybe not the last we've heard about the american garland. remember him? we'll tell you about the presidential candidate who said he's open to renominating him. we are going to start with the breaking news. take a look at that. listen in. >> oh, my god. oh, my god. >> all together. >> that is the moment right there as a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck southern california late last night. look at that pool. and that was nowhere near the epicenter. it struck near richcrest late friday night and that, by the way, is also where a 6.4 magnitude quake rattled nerves one day earlier.
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we're told there many roads have buckled and broke apart as a result of this. others were closed because of falling rock. as you can understand, items fell off many supermarket shelves and people poured on to the streets overnight seeking shelter. we're told there are many families who are sleeping on the street because they're too scared by the aftershocks. fires did break out following gas line eruptions. officials are reminding residents to be prepared. >> make sure you're stocking up just in case that we have something bigger than we had today. it's, you know, stuff starts crumbling and these stores can't get back open. we need to make sure that, you know, if we can't get to you right away, you have to be able to take care of yourself for a period of time. >> california would expect to have a magnitude 7 once every 15 or 20 years. the last one was 20 years ago.
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we would expect to have a 6 every three years or so and bigger surprises we've gone 20 years without a 6. think of this is a return to what california is supposed to be doing rather than really the last 20 years was the standard. >> officials are waiting for sunrise on the west coast to get a more accurate damage assessment. nbc's molly hunter has more on what it was like for people dealing with the strong tremors. >> reporter: good morning. it was unlike anything i've ever felt. a magnitude 7.1 quake. it was violent. it was scary. we were actually just in our hotels over there. we were asleep getting ready for our today show live hit and i felt a little bit of shaking and all of a sudden waking up to a violent jerking shaking. my whole room felt like it was on hinges almost. i was on the first floor and apparently it was a little bit easier on the first floor. up on the third floor where the rest of my crew was, look, our
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sound guy was literally chucked out of bed. everything in his room off the desk. the furniture, everything a total mess. really scary. i guess on the third floor, there was a hotel personnel who went around knocking on doors to make sure everyone was okay. i got out of my room so fast. as soon as we got out of the room, we drove over to a fire that we saw. a huge plumes of black smoke. i think we have video of that a couple of blocks away. red hot flames. it was that structure fire and officials have said that several of those house fires popped up. we spoke with the family who had been inside. they said the woman living there got out but all of her possessions were ruined. now everyone in that residential area was just sitting outside not sure if they should go back inside. not sure what they should do. and we spoke with a local resident named warren cooper. warren described how his entire house was ruined. >> my house is completely on the ground and levelled. destroyed.
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shut the water main off. a gas main off. it was a mess. made sure everything was okay. locked my dog up. >> is your dog okay? >> he's fine. he's locked in my vehicle. went to my apartments. i take care of about 14 units. i did welfare checks on every one of them. >> reporter: knocked on every door. >> beat on every door. >> reporter: do people answer? >> absolutely. i made sure everybody was okay. i got their dogs out in the cracks in vehicles. kids all loaded up. shut off the gas there. >> reporter: and what warren was doing is exactly what the mayor said everyone should be doing. make sure that everyone is accounted for. it's going to make the job for the emergency services when the sun comes up so much easier. and officials have said they're well resourced. well staffed. when that light comes up, they'll be out looking for damage, trying to figure out if there's anyone who needs help who hasn't gotten it. we are in front of the regional hospital. they were so nervous about internal damage.
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they actually evacuated patients earlier today. they were treating patients in the parking lot. they since moved them back in. but no doubt a lot more information when the sun comes up. >> all right. thank you to molly hunter there. i want to bring in right now reagan baldwin, a geophysicist. he joins me on the phone. thank you for being here. >> caller: yes. good morning. >> describing this as a foreshock. the 7.1 quake. the one on thursday as a foreshock and this was the big one. what is going on here? >> caller: well, you never know which one might happen. you can always get a larger quake after the initial big shock. so, you know, certainly the one a couple of days ago, the 6.4 was a significant quake because it has generated, you know, hundreds, if not thousands of aftershocks over a two-day period. and this one occurred. it also is accompanied by
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aftershocks occurring every several minutes or so. >> yeah. many of the seismologists there at corral tech saying there's a in 10 chance of an even stronger quake over the next few days. >> caller: that's correct. you never know if this is the biggest one yet or if there could possibly be a larger one. about 1 in 10 chance is the probability. you know, based upon other earthquakes that have occurred in the past. >> we've heard so much about the san andreas fault. what do we know about this fault? we learned it has been growing in the last few days. >> caller: it has. this is an area called the eastern california shear zone. there's quite a number of faults throughout the whole area.
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they can present quite a hazard. it's not always known faults that are a possibility of producing earthquakes like this. so i don't think i've had an exact fault line that has been identified yet. i think cal tech is probably still working on trying to identify the fault here. just imagine this took place in the small town of richquest. population about 20,000. if it happened 120 miles to the west, where los angeles is located, what would this have meant? >> caller: it would have been a different story, i think, it would on the order of some of the faults that occurred in populated areas in previous decades. >> all right.
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>> thank you to randy baldwin. we're going take you back to the quake's opepicenter, by the way for the damage and injuries at the bottom of the hour. we'll move on. a federal judge now ordering a case to go forward on whether a citizenship question can be added to the census. the judge is saying the lawsuit from immigrant rights groups will focus on whether the trump administration was steep in discriminatory motive, that was a quote here. this order issued after the administration that government lawyers are looking at all available options for adding the question to the 2020 census. ask. >> we're thinking about doing that. it's one of the ways. we have four or five ways we can do it. it's one of the ways we're thinking about doing it seriously. we're doing well on the census.
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largely hailed as the winner of the first democratic debates. we're learning that senator kamala harris is far behind her top rivals when it comes to fundraising. harris raising nearly $12 million in the past three months. that's behind the second quarter totals announced by pete buttigieg and joe biden as well as bernie sanders. and now we're learning the mystery is deepening over vice president mike pence abruptly cancelling the new hampshire trip this week. here is what the president told reporters yesterday. >> you'll no about two weeks. it was a very interesting problem they had in new hampshire. and i can't tell you about it. it had nothing to do with the white house. there was a problem up there and i won't go into what the problem was but you'll see in about a week or two >>well, according to the "washington post," a top political official in asssalem,w
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hampshire said he was unaware of any security threat that would have caused the vice president to cancel his trip. joining me now is a washington correspondent from bloomberg news and abigail tracy, a writer for "vanity fair." i want you to weigh in on the mystery. both of you. what are you hearing about this mystery surrounding the vice president suddenly calling off his trip? kevin, you first. >> i got nothing. [ laughter ] >> there's a lot of speculation. i was at the white house yesterday and truthfully within the last two days, this has been the chatter in the basement of the white house in the press rooms. look, he cancelled the trip. the vice president's office putting out a statement saying that he was not going to be going. and it's been the talk of the press corps. behind the scenes. no one has got anything. and president trump yesterday saying we're going to know and his favorite time period. a week or two weeks.
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>> to be specific. abigail. >> i'm in a similar boat as kevin. i think one of the key points is because the white house and vice president pence's team didn't have a coherent messaging strategy about, you know, the reason for his decision not to go to new hampshire. they really guaranteed that this is going to continue to be a story and continue to be a source of, you know, intrigue among the press corps.. i think we'll see what happens but, you know, because they failed to really come out with a coherent message initially they've sort of, you know, made sure that this is going to continue to be a story line. >> president trump they're not saying what it is. they're encouraging the questioning, which, you know, i mean, maybe we'll know. maybe it was something that is obvious that we're just don't know about. >> yeah. they're encouraging the mystery by the president saying we'll find out in a week or two. the vice president's office said we'll find out in three weeks. it initially they said it was an emergency call back. who knows. maybe we'll find out. let's turn to 2020 politics.
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kevin, are you surprised by the fundraising numbers for senator harris? >> i got two things for this. first and foremost, i talk to a lot of strategists who say she had a break out first debate moment but then the entire quarter of fundraising went on well, well, well before the first debate. you can't really, you know, hold it against her. i think we under estimated, this is according to the strategists. i think we under estimate the power of the electorate. it's a marathon not a sprint. i think when you look at in terms of how the candidates are fundraising, i mean, it's not like she made less than a million dollars. she made $12 million. she pulled in a pretty good haul. i think in terms of how this quarter went, it'll be interesting to see how she does in the upcoming quarter. i also think it's going to be interesting to see how the various candidates, including senator elizabeth warren, for example, contrast other candidates with her fundraising for. will there be a debate around
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whether or not candidates are pulling in money from large financial donors, large financial institutions, banks and whatnot. that will be something i keep my eye on. >> to be honest, you know, she, look, senator harris pulled in about $12 million in the first quarter and at the time, many people were saying, wow, these are really impressive numbers. so for a little perspective. let's talk about the poll numbers in the meantime. you have joe biden who is still in the lead followed by bernie sanders and then double digits there elizabeth warren and kamala harris. abigail, what can we parse from all of that? as far as trend lines? >> yeah. i think when you're looking at the poll numbers, it's key to look at momentum. obviously, in this field you see the momentum behind elizabeth warren, behind kamala harris. not so much behind senator bernie sanders and also joe biden and i think what we're looking at the numbers it is important to kind of take them in the context of the debates as we touched upon.
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one of the key take aways i have from the numbers was that all of the $12 million that kamala harris brought in, about $2 million in the last 24 hours or immediately after the debate. i think when we're talking about momentum, we're looking at that. i think once elizabeth warren releases her numbers, it will be key to see if there's something similar we see in the 24 hours after the debates in terms of momentum. because i think when we're looking at the poll numbers, a lot can be said about name recognition when you're looking at bernie sanders and joe biden. so the key is to sort of watch where those trend lines are. i think right now they're in favor of harris and warren. >> can we put up the poll numbers again from the "washington post." i want you to take a look at this, kevin. you can see the top-tier candidates there. you know the fundraising numbers. who is in trouble? >> you know, i don't want to -- look, i think that you look at some of these lesser tiered candidates who have struggled to get above 1 and 2%, struggled to
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get traction with donors. you look at the folks like john hickenlooper and i think it will be tough for them to make a case. you look at people like maryann williamson, for example. people who caught on in in a viral moment but this is is a serious campaign. it's a serious election. and i think that, you know, on the debate stage in detroit, michigan in a couple of weeks and abigail knows this, i think there's an intensity surrounding the top tiered candidates. eventually when you get to the next stage of the race, they're going to be jockeying for the same. former vice president joe biden saying he's center left then you've got senator elizabeth warren who is running very masterful lane in terms of trying to garner bernie sanders' supporters and whatnot. this is going to get increasingly, increasingly intense. as that evolves, i think that you're going to start to see people drop out. >> evolve. [ laughter ] as opposed to the opposite.
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>> kevin and abigail, thank you. southern california is reeling from the two most powerful earthquakes seen in decades. why experts say more could be on the way. why experts say more con the way. (vo) parents have a way of imagining the worst... ...especially when your easily distracted teenager has the car. at subaru, we're taking on distracted driving [ping] with sensors that alert you when your eyes are off the road. the all-new subaru forester. the safest forester ever.
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the trump administration is pushing for a way to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, but there's no plan on how they might do that. nbc hans nichols has the details on that and more.
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good morning. >> reporter: good morning. the challenge for the president in his legal team this morning is trying to figure out some sort of strategy that can pass legal muster to include that citizenship question, but the clock is ticking. the census forms are already being printed without that question on it. before leaving washington for his golf club in new jersey, president donald trump refusing to surrender on including a citizenship question on next year's census, raising the pocket of ab executive order to do so. >> it's one of the ways we're thinking about doing it very seriously. >> is the president considering his options, his lawyers are playing for time. telling a judge on friday they know what they want to do, but not how they want to do it. and trump is interpreting last week's 5-4 supreme court ruling against the citizens ship question as a temporary setback. >> i have a lot of respect for justice roberts. he didn't like it but he said come back.
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essentially he said come back. >> reporter: trump's focus on the census after his controversial salute to america's military mite on the national mall blaming a verbal slip up suggesting there was airports during the revolutionary war. >> at the end the tell prompter went out. >> reporter: trump responded to joe biden's claim that he is a bully. >> he's the bully you used fun of when i was a kid that stuttered and i would smack them in the mouth. >> i don't think i'm a bully at all. i don't like being taken advantage of by other countries, pharmaceutical companies. >> reporter: and the president looking for victory abroad on another field. wishing the women's world cup team in france. putting aside his dispute with meg megan rapinoe. while admitting he might not watch the final.
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>> i hope they do well. i might not watch the final. >> reporter: so there is nothing on the president's public schedule this weekend. that's time to either watch the world cup, meet with his legal team, or perhaps even sneak in a round of golf. >> i'm surprised by you limiting to one round of golf. hans nichols there with the president. next it could be joe biden's best strategy to victory or maybe not. trategy to victory or maybe not. - how many people love you unconditionally? while you ponder that, consider adopting a rescue pet. there are 6.5 million of them; they all need a forever home. it would mean the world to them, and they will love you forever.
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if you look at what we've done and straightened out, i call it the obama/biden mess. >> president with a little subtle dig there. actually not so subtle at joe biden in a twist on one of his go-to lines. so the "new york times," in the meantime, is reporting as mr. biden stumps in the country on his record in the obama administration, mr. trump sees a political advantage in taking down his predecessor and trying to lift himself as an outsider taking on a system that he has lead for more than two years.
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well, joining me now is former ceo for the dnc, jess o'connell and executive director of emily's list and joseph pinion. welcome to you. joseph, what do you make of the president's strategy there? >> i think it's apparent to most people that joe biden is probably best positioned to take on donald trump in areas where he's done well. you talk about three states where he was able to win by close to 73,000 votes. so look at the pennsylvania, looking at wisconsin, looking at michigan. i think donald trump is trying to speak to those voters early and often in efforts to try to stem -- >> but their whole approach of being the outsider? work for him? >> i think it has worked for him thus far. i think that, again, we get stuck in the loop and don't seem to realize there are vast americans who see donald trump as a disruptive force. doing exactly what they elected him to do. go to d.c. and shake things up. >> he's definitely has shaken
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things up, jessica. weigh in on this. he promised to drain the swamp. he's been there as part of the washington swamp for the last two years and now an interesting take. he's kind of going now saying he might be the outsider and joe biden is part of the washington elite >>well, look, obviously we have a long way to go on this democratic primary. i'm not sure, you know, that the polls matter all that much today. if you look at this time for the republicans during their primary, we have jeb bush, marco rubio, ben carson, and scott walker in the top four. so there's going to be some movement and some shifting. i think vice president biden is now fully aware he's in a fight and he's in a real primary and there's a lot of questions to be asked and answered of the candidates running. i don't think it's a good strategy for president trump to go after barack obama. i don't think that's going work well. i think if you look at what happened in this last election,
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what animated people is a contrast to president trump. what you'll see from all the democratic contenders is they're providing a vision that is different for america and contrast from donald trump. that's what we're going to need. we'll need unity at the end of this thing. >> i want to get your take on this. does the president not know how to run against kamala harris? i mean, obviously she's had the momentum but his focus has been on joe biden. he talked about her debate performance and said, you know, that joe biden got beaten up. does he not know how to run against her? >> to the contrary. i think that the reality is most republicans will tell you that joe biden poses the greatest threat to a trump second term. i think he's done person by person where was it was talking ted cruz lying ted. going after the person he believes is the strongest threat to his re-election. >> but he's come out and attacked elizabeth warren. he's attacked bernie sanders.
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he even had an attack against pete boouttigieg but nothing against kamala harris. even if he considers biden to be his greatest threat, he hasn't come out after her. >> i think donald trump has shown a long history now of not knowing how to handle women. and not being good on women's issues and dealing with women. he's had a lot of women leave his staff and his cabinet along the way over the last two years. so i think it is going to be a challenge for him to deal with these women that are leading both elizabeth warren and kamala harris in a top tier of the democratic primary now. but every democrat is a threat to him now. this is a fight. democrats are going to unify at the end of this. the only thing that is happening now is work on the issues of what we're going to fight on. he's uncomfortable with women and that has been made clear throughout his tenure. >> let's talk about some of the issues here and the issues to
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fight on possibly. because, you know, another obstacle for the president has been the border wall all week long. an appeals court upholding a lower court's block against using pentagon money to build the wall. so this was trump's signature campaign issue, joseph. he's promising 2016. how big of a problem will a lack of progress on his wall be with his base heading into next year? >> i think, obviously, it's going to be a problem the wall hasn't been built. having said that, i think that's why you see the exhaustive efforts being made by president trump and the administration to act as if they have basically done everything within the legal per view and pushing some of those legal limits to get it done. i think, you know, this is clearly a battle trusted strategy for him. i think irrespective of what happened in the midterms, we saw there was pushback there. i think there are people still inside the trump administration who believe that pushing this bringsmanship, when it comes to immigration is going to be his silver lining to get through to
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re-election. >> all right. jess, i kind of hinted to this at the top of the show. so joe biden is reviewing or reviving, rather, a fight from 2016 in a new interview with iowa. starting with this line. when asked if he would be open to nominating garland again. what do you make of that? >> well, look, i actually think that's a really good sign. i think one of the things that the vice president biden needs to do and is doing is to reflect kind of on the lessons learned along the way. we all have that in our experience, and we need to hear that from him because where we are today is a totally different place than where we were four or five years ago. i think the more he can show that, the more he can articulate that, the better he'll do with
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more democratic primary voters. in terms of mitch mcconnell, he couldn't be more right. mitch mcconnell continues to hold up every pass of substantiative legislation passing through the house. he is a hard stop on everything coming through. and it means basically government has ground to be a halt under mitch mcconnell. you have the president that is trying to pass policies that majority of americans don't agree with and mitch mcconnell who is blocking policies that a majority of americans agree with. so this is broken right now. >> and joseph, as you know, many republicans ran against, in essence, nancy pelosi. could it be a winning narrative for the democrats if they ran against mitch mcconnell come next year? >> to be completely frank, i don't think that mitch mcconnell has the name id on the rank and file democratic voters that nancy pelosi does with rank and file republican voters. so i think that realistically, this election has and always will be a referendum on
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president trump. it will be people going to the polls to try to decide if they were better off than four years ago. i think to quote the old phrase, it will be the economy stupid. it was back in the '90s. i think it will be this year. it's a matter of voters saying do they think the economy is going well for them or not. >> all right. we'll leave it there. thank you guys. we're following breaking news out of southern california. the aftermath of last night's massive earthquake. why it could be hours before crews know the extent of the damage. he extent of the damage fact is, every insurance company hopes you drive safely. but allstate actually helps you drive safely... with drivewise. it lets you know when you go too fast... ...and brake too hard. with feedback to help you drive safer. giving you the power to actually lower your cost. unfortunately, it can't do anything about that. now that you know the truth... are you in good hands?
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oh, my gosh. >> we're back now with breaking news from southern california. the new video that is coming in overnight. the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that rocked remote areas near richcrest friday night. that roadway you see there blocked as a result of that -- of the earthquake. it was a strongest quake in the region in some 20 years. felt more than 100 miles away from sacramento to san diego and as far east as las vegas and we're told parts of arizona. here is a look at what happened during a pelicans/knicks nba game being played in las vegas. fans started feeling it. the players did not feel it at the time but fans started running for the exit as a result of this. some of the equipment was swaying. initial assessments in the california area under the cover of darkness, mind you, revealed
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plenty of damaged roads and plenty of fires that broke out following gas and water main breaks. officials will get a better sense of damage when the sun comes up. sunrise in the area, at 5:41 local time. about an hour from now. nbc's molly hunter is near the epicenter in richcrest, california. what is the latest here? >> reporter: good morning. watching that opening video you had, it's just down the road from here. we spoke with a resident who said you have to get out there. it's so much worse than richcrest. it's even more remote and off the grid. he said there's no power, no water. and he said right where that video was showing all the damage and kind of the cracks on that road, he said that continues throughout the entire town. so we'll make sure to check that out. here in richcrest, power is coming back on. and we're here at the hospital still. i explained earlier that officials are so worried about
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internal damage you can't see from the outside. they evacuated patients, brought them out. they were treating them in the parking lot here. they've since moved them back inside. officials will be going door to door, building to building today to look for that damage that may not be obvious to the naked eye. there is some damage, though, that actually is obvious to the naked eye. our crew was in a mobile home park and they saw all of those mobile homes it was practically unlivable. we spoke with another guy named warren cooper. i think we have sound from warren. >> everybody okay? >> reporter: panic throughout the city. inside businesses and in the streets. the massive 7.1 quake shook this town a day after being rocked by a magnitude 6.4 foreshock on the fourth of july. >> everything gone. >> yeah. >> reporter: the violent shaking
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causing this home to go up in flames. you can see the thick black smoke. firefighters working to put it out. >> reporter: many residents sleeping on sidewalks after dozens of homes were severely damaged or completely destroyed. >> we're not going to leave. this is our home. but at the same time it's really scary to be in the house. >> i checked on my house and it was gone. so i lost my house today. i don't know if i -- >> reporter: grocery store owners had barely finish cleaning up after thursday before friday. >> i thought this is it. the end of the world. it shook like crazy. >> reporter: some 3,000 residents in the area are without power and in nearby trona, california a quake split the highway making it difficult for emergency services to reach residents. >> this side of the vault is that way. this moved that way toward the north. >> reporter: fearing structure
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damage, richcrest regional hospital, the area's only trauma center protectively evacuated patients. the latest quake was centered 150 miles northeast of los angeles. the largest to hit the region in 20 years. 20 million people in the quake zone felt as far away as las vegas, arizona, and parts of san diego. an nba summer league game had to be suspended. officials at this las vegas arena worried about safety under the swaying overhead score board. >> i felt the ground beneath me moving left and right. >> down in los angeles, the quake was even felt at dodgers stadium. >> i think we have another earthquake. >> yeah. we have an earthquake going on. >> reporter: nerves are frayed in this town, a sober warning from scientists about future seismic activity in the area. >> we should be expecting to record earthquakes here for a long time. >> that's dr. lucy jones, the expert in this region on earthquakes. she also said there's a one in ten chance we'll see another magnitude 7 or above quake.
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that feels pretty high to me. that means there's 0 a 90% chance we won't feel that strong a quake but these aftershocks just keep coming. >> yeah. i did take note on thursday while i was watching the press conference with dr. lucy jones. he said there was a 1 in 20 chance much a stronger earthquake. she was right. we hope there isn't a stronger one going forward. molly, you were mentioning it was going to be sunrise in about an hour there. i imagine officials will be going door to door. what sort of efforts will they be making to track the damage? >> reporter: that's right. it was so hard because power went out last night and became dark, obviously, very quickly after that strong quake. it was hard to assess, actually, how many injuries and how much damage. but officials have said that there is is a lot more damage and a lot more injuries than there were after thursday's magnitude 6.4. not only will they be going door to door but getting vehicles out. they say they have more
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resources than normal ready to go. hit the streets. even get up in choppers to assess how bad it is. >> they have a long day ahead of them. molly hunter there. thank you to you. the president continues to push to add a citizenship question on the 2020 census. why one judge is looking into the possibility of discrimination by the white house. that's next. also, on a lighter. ♪ -- note. it's about a potential seismic shift in power in the nba. espn reporting that super star kawhi leonard will be taking his t talents from toronto to los angeles but not to the lakers. he's going to the clippers. additionally the clippers traded for paul george. making them legitimate title contenders. espn said the news has stunned
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immigrant rights groups suing to stop a census citizenship question. that order issued after the trump administration told the judge that government lawyers are looking at all available options for adding the question. joining me now is attorney and nbcnews.com contributor and nbc legal analyst. danny, i want to start with you. what does the decision mean going forward for the administration? >> the administration fought the issue of discovery saying, well, if we go back and come up with a different reason, we don't really need discovery. we don't need depositions and exchanging documents or giving this stuff to the plaintiffs. if we go back and change our minds. and the judge says that's not accurate. we're going to have discovery on this issue. and discovery is something that the government, the administration, really isn't too wild about having happen because discovery is always an opportunity for plaintiffs to get inside the inner workings of a corporation or, in this case, a government agency. if they do, they get to the inner workings, they may
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discover more about this discriminatory motive. discovery is going to be bad for the government. they want to avoid it, in this case particularly. >> i see raul weighing in and agreeing with you. we'll get your thoughts on that in a second. here is what the president had to say about this yesterday. >> you need it for many reasons. number one you need it for congress. you need it for congress for districts. you need it for appropriations. where are the funds going? how many people are there? are they citizens? are they not citizens? you need it for many reasons. >> the president is saying why the census question is so needed. and, raul, you tweeted about that saying that statement was an awkward one >>well, oh, yeah. absolutely. because for one thing, what we're seeing overall broadly is the whims of the president basically running up against legal and logistical reality. what the president was saying here that this citizenship question is necessary on the census for redistricting.
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now the number one that was not part of their supreme court case. that was not included in their rationale. number two, that was something that the solicitor general specifically denied was part of their intent in pursuing this case to add the questions to the census. so we see already conflicting information from the white house and to echo danny's point on why this discovery is going on in the maryland court case will be bad for the administration, is because the supreme court basically gave the trump administration a chance. a second opportunity if they can come up with a rationale that maybe they would allow the citizenship question. but the problem is, if they had a good rationale, they would have used it. meanwhile, we are going to see more evidence coming forward and just as the supreme court case started working his way through the high court, we've seen more evidence coming out about potential discriminatory intent against latinos and immigrants. we're seeing the files of a deceased republican operative come forward with evidence of
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how some of the political machinations went into producing this question. so the more of this evidence that comes out, again, it's not good for the trump administration. it will make it harder for them to make their case. meanwhile, the census needs to go forward now. they need to get this out to something like 130 million households and the constitution says it has to be done by april 1st. so there's a very strong timeline here. >> they said they're continuing with the print, at this point. i want to pick up on that. because maybe they have an end around. one of the available options being this executive order. there are some lawyers within the white house telling the president it's within his right. can he? >> i love how the president makes an offhand comment about executive orders and we go scurrying around to figure out whether or not this is constitutionally permissible. at first blush, it appears -- >> more things happened based on his tweets.
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>> right. the president wields tremendous power with his tweets. let's not be misguided by that. the president can do a lot of things with his tweets and including set policy. so to discuss the possibility of an executive order while it's just theoretical, at this point, on the one hand, the president has broad executive order power. on the other hand, the census is already laid out. the procedure is already laid out in existing federal law. so i can see a court taking a look at this executive order as an end run around the supreme court's decision. >> exactly. >> but on the other hand, raul, what if a court looked at it and said, well, an executive order on this issue maybe it's maybe it's a political question we're not allowed to reach. i don't think that's a likely outcome. but, again, this is just completely new ground that we're on. using exec tv orders to bypass supreme court opinions in this context. in the context of the census. who knows. the president, we know, is willing to try executive orders
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to do virtually anything. >> i see it's a difficult legal hurdle for the administration in this case. the constitution gives the power over the census explicitly to congress. congress delegated most of that to the secretary. congress delegated most of that authority to the secretary of commerce. so it just seems like the supreme court, if it reached them, in terms of the legality of the executive order would be very disinclined to approve this end run sort of around a decision that is already weighed in on. >> let me get to the bare bones of this. whether the president really believes in this or he didn't want to really take an el from the supreme court. 24 hours prior, they said, all right, we won't put the question there on the census form. and then the president said we're going to do something. >> my sense it's both. that the president really wants to do this and he does not like being defeated. especially something that is so
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public. and we've seen from the beginning his administration has sought to depress potentially, suppress latino and immigrant participation in the census. i think it's a little of both. >> one more thing, considering the president and the way he reacts, he could be viewing the supreme court decision as a major loss. it's not a major loss for the government. they said they can include the citizenship question on the census but not your administration, president. that's the kind of thing that would induce president trump to retaliate with something like an executive order or some other extreme measure. after all, he's learned that why not try it? i don't have to pay for the government lawyers who litigate it. >> to be one of the government lawyers over the last few days trying to figure out what they're going to say to the judge. all right. thank you. at the top of the hour, 7.1
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