tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 11, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PDT
tonight on all in. >> my relationship with the president is new victim comes forward. >> if i wasn't afraid to come forward sooner, then maybe he wouldn't have done it to other girls. >> tonight new detailed of epstein's alleged crimes, and new scrutiny of the president's relationship with him. >> i was not a fan of his. that i can tell you. i was not a fan of his. then congress holds hearing into the horrific treatment of kids inside the migrant camps. >> it's child abuse, pure and simple. >> plus rumors of divisions in the democratic caucus as the house speaker calls for unity. >> it's all puppies and rainbows. and fresh off his praise of american revolutionaries. >> our army manned the air, it ran the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do.
>> the president heads off teleprompter again. >> the kidney has a very special place in the heart. >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. optimism chris hayes tonight. as donald trump's labor secretary defends the sweetheart deal he cut with known sex predator jeffrey epstein, we're learning devastating new details about how exactly epstein operate and how close he once was to the president of the united states. we already knew that the two men knew each other well. epstein had multiple private numbers for trump in his address book, and in 2002, infamously, the current president of the united states described the sex predator epstein as a, quote, terrific guy, adding he's a lot of fun to be with. it is even said he likes beautiful women as much as i do, and many of them are on the younger side. late last night "the new york times" reported that back in 1992, 28 young women, young women, were flown into what was supposed to be an exclusive
party at mar-a-lago, but the only guests were trump and epstein. that's it. just those two guys hanging out. the party's organizer told "the times" that he had warned trump about epstein's taste for underaged women, but trump dismissed his concerns. the organizer saying he pretty much had to ban jeff from my events, but trump didn't care about that. we also now know more about how epstein operated. among the many properties he owned was an island off the u.s. territory of st. thomas where the ap reports that security guards would intimidate scuba divers who got too close. everybody called it pedophile island, according to one local. it's our dark corner. epstein plead not guilty monday in new york on charges that include sex trafficking of underaged girls. prosecutors allege he abused dozens of girls, some as young as 14 and say he kept cds in a locked safe with labels including, quote, girl
picks-nude." this morning a new accuse said she was recruit bade female associate of epstein when she was just 14 years old and a high school freshman here in new york city. >> did jeffrey epstein rape you? >> yeah. he raped me. forcefully raped me. knew exactly what he was doing, and i don't think cared. what hurts even more so if i wasn't afraid to come forward sooner, then maybe he wouldn't have done it to other girls. >> araoz, who is not part of any criminal case against epstein did not report the alleged abuse and rape to authorities at the time. epstein's lawyers did not reply to multiple requests for comments on her allegations. last year the "miami herald" reported it had identified about 80 women who say they were molested or otherwise sexual abused by epstein from 2001 to 2006. and more than a decade ago florida prosecutors prepared a 53-page indictment accusing epstein of preying on young girls.
but according to the former palm beach attorney the indictment was ableded after epstein lawyers and the current secretary of labor, a man charged with overseeing regulation of text trafficking and prosecution thereof, alex acosta, who was then the u.s. attorney for the southern district of florida. acosta agreed to a deal giving epstein immunity from federal prosecution which could have meant a life sentence. instead epstein registered as a sex offender and served 13 months in county jail with work release privileges. he then returned to his lavish lifestyle. today democrats sent a letter to acosta inviting him to testify in a hearing july 23rd about his role in that nonprosecution agreement. and acosta himself gave a press conference in how he blamed state prosecutors for ho acase was handled. that earned a blistering response from the former palm beach state attorney who said, quote, i can emphatically state
that mr. acosta's recollection of this matter is completely wrong. federal prosecutors do not take a back seat to state prosecutors. that's not how the system works in the real world. in the press conference acosta was asked repeatedly whether he would apologize to epstein's victims, and he would not. he insisted his office acted appropriately at the time and pointed to a 2008 article that cast his actions in a positive light. >> times have changed and coverage of this case has certainly changed since that article. we now have 12 years of knowledge and hindsight, and we live in a very different world. today's world treats victims very, very differently. today's world does not allow some of the victim shaming that could have taken place at trial 12 years ago. >> joining me now, democratic senator tina smith of minnesota
who has called for acosta's resignation. do the secretary's performance here, his arguments persuade you in any way that what he did was right? >> not at all. acosta needs to go. and this argument that times have changed over the last 10 or 12 years, i mean, come on. it's not like this happened when women didn't have the right to vote and men walked around in top hats. it's not that long ago. and i think we have to keep in mind that this job that acosta has is a job running the department of labor. the purpose of this agency is to stand up for people who don't have a lot of power in a world where powerful, rich people just exactly like epstein and others are there to take advantage of you this. is what his job. and i think it makes him particularly unsuited to continue as the secretary of labor. >> is there consensus among your caucus on this? i saw the few folks joe manchin and cortez masto do not seem to be in terms of calling for his
resignation. what is your sense where the caucus is at? >> i can't speak for my whole caucus. i've had conversations with many people. jon tester really stands out. he talked this morning about how he supported acosta initially. and with this new information coming out, he can't see how he could possibly stay in this position. i mean, let's be clear. this is a prosecution that completely ignored the rules which say that you need to check with the victims before you come up with a plea deal or a non -- come with an agreement with the perpetrator. and at the very least, he didn't do that. and that is just unacceptable. >> it looks like there is going to be some oversight hearings in the house. would you like him to come? would you like to see that? would you like it to come from the senate? it seems today was his one go of it. but i suspect there will be more opportunities for him to explain himself. >> well, we'll wait and see. i suspect that he had one
audience in mind when he gave his press conferences today, and that was the president of the united states. we'll see what he thinks about it. i don't think that he persuaded me nor many of my colleagues that are really worried about the way in which he couldn't even apologize to these now women. these were -- these were children. they were teenagers when this happened to them. so i would love to see some oversight here. but as you know right now, we don't do a lot of oversight in the united states senate. the united states senate is kind of the place under mitch mcconnell's leadership where good ideas go to die. >> what is your broader sense of the message that this white house and administration sentenced to women and to survivors of sexual violence, sexual assault and sexual harassment from the top on down when you look at the president, the things he said, the way that he basically said that the woman who accused him of rape on the record was essentially not attractive enough for him to rape, was not his type, to the defense now of acosta. >> well, when the president said
that, that infuriated me because he chose to be disrespectful of a woman and to suggest that sexual assault is not about power and violence, which is what it is. but i think the administration has an opportunity to show what they think about this by the actions that they take with acosta. you know, the department of labor is charged with overseeing human trafficking, along with all sorts of laws that protect the dignity of people who are working. protect people against wage theft and the rights to organize collectively for better working conditions. and i think they can show us how they feel about women by what they do with acosta in the coming days. and i don't think that he should stay in that position. >> all right, senator tina smith, thank you so much for being with me tonight. >> thank you so much, chris. i want to turn to former u.s. attorney joyce vance and msnbc legal analyst and pbs news
hour correspondent yamiche alcindor who is also a political analyst. you had supervisory role, right? you had people working for you that were prosecuting cases that were running things up to you as the boss for important decisions to make, which is the role acosta was in. he was not the sort of line prosecutor on this case. were you persuaded by acosta's account today of why things went down the way they did? >> you know, chris, i wasn't, not in the least. and i spent almost -- well, i spent more than 25 years at doj. i was a line prosecutor. i ran our appellate division. i was ultimately the u.s. attorney. one thing that anyone in a u.s. attorney's office knows is that the buck stops with the u.s. attorney. and so this notion that he tried to throw the career prosecutors, the fbi, the state prosecutors under the bus and not take responsibility for the decision here to let epstein off with a nonprosecutive agreement really rang very hollow.
>> yeah, that's one of the things the palm beach prosecutor said in response, yamiche. this was not a -- there was a version of this one could see where you could say look, i think we probably got this wrong in hindsight. i wish we had done it differently. that was not at all acosta's position today in that press conference. >> people close to the president tell me that acosta was really encouraged to have this press conference. >> yes. >> by president trump. >> so you saw him certain times looking directly into the camera while he was answering questions from reporters like me. he looked into the camera and said i wouldn't have done anything differently. i understand what's going on here. and the media is getting this wrong. and it sounded a lot like president trump, who of course is the person who told him to hold this press conference. i think what you see there is him not apologizing, not saying i regret some of the things i did. i could have done things differently. and he is doing that because frankly the president doesn't do that. his boss is essentially saying look, get on tv.
give the best defense you can. if you perform in the way i think is appropriate, then i'll give you -- i'll let you keep your job. if not, i won't. what you saw was him shifting blame and trying to tell other people you could have done a better job and i was a hero in the situation, but in reality, he wasn't really saying here are the things i did wrong and here are some things i could have done differently. >> and joyce, it strikes me he may actually believe that too. it's always striking to me that people in powerful positions often have a very hard time saying they did something wrong in retrospect. not just trump and not just acosta. as a uniform fact about it, but particularly the idea that the local prosecutor was going to screw it up and the feds salvaged it. you know, does that scan to you? >> you know, it just really doesn't work. excuse me. and i doubt quite honestly that's what acosta truly believes. he was one of these u.s. attorneys who was and really still is revered by the people who worked for him and with him. i think he has to know that they got this wrong. and these cases are complicated.
and i always hesitate to question, to second guess other people's judgments, but there is enough on the table with this case that at least in hindsight we know that they got it wrong. what would have been so horrible about apologizing to the victims, coming clean, and saying that he did it wrong? it's obvious to everyone but acosta at this point. >> and yamiche, i think you're right, the analysis that is a performance for the president. you have these people sort of whispering in the background trying to soften the ground. always i see all these articles that acosta was on the rocks even before all this. he was not a right winger department of labor. maybe he is expendable. >> acosta also said during the press conference mick mulvaney called me up and told me to tell reporters that we have an outstanding relationship, that everyone is going great.
that is an admission and a sense of transparency basically saying your boss's right-hand man told you to go on tv and say this. i think is acosta letting people know look, people told me i needed to do this, so i'm going to do this. i was struck by the idea that i asked him very specifically what is your message to the victims, and his message was you should come forward. he didn't say anything like i'm sorry this happened to you. even if i think i did the right thing, here is what we should have maybe been thinking of you, and we're sorry that you weren't satisfied with the outcome that would have been him not admitting a wrong, but he would have at least been giving the victims something to hold on to. instead what he essentially did is put the onus on the victims, put the onus on the state prosecutors, put the onus on the state grand jury. basically, everyone has something to blame and everyone is to blame for this. >> yes. >> except for secretary acosta. that's pretty striking. that also in some ways mirroring the president's own behavior. >> joyce vance and yamiche alcindor, thank you both. quick correction on something i said earlier. senator cortez masto of nevada does and has called for
secretary acosta to resign. i think initially i saw a first quote from her, but since then her thinking has developed. so apologies about that. ahead, how jeffrey epstein fits into one of the defining features of our era where the powerful seem to get away with whatever they want. the impunity of the elite, in two minutes.
one thing i noticed about jeffrey epstein's arrest that it created, at least initially, a rare moment of relative transideological unity. parkly that's because epstein has been linked to prominent democrats and republicans and partisans of all stripes are hoping he brings down someone on the other team. but it's also because epstein seems to be the perfect example of a certain kind of elite impunity, those in power getting away with things, and that has been one of the defining features of our era and an engine of discontent and anti-establishment behavior that continues to royal all politics to this day. or as michelle goldberg put it in her latest column, if it were fiction it would be both too sorted and too on the nose to be believable like a season domestic violence penned by a doctrineaire marxist.
who wrote an entire book on how the titans of finance escaped criminal charges in the aftermath of the financial crisis. it really does read like an almost over the top morality play. >> right. and it keeps getting more and more so, right, when you read about this private island that he had, never mind the bizarre temple it seems he built on this island. but the fact that it was known locally as pedophile island, and yet as far as we know, it was never searched. and, you know, the thing about jeffrey epstein is this was out in the open before his arrest, right? donald trump was famously cloeted saying, you know, he likes beautiful women as much as i do, many of them on the younger side. it was kind of a wink, wink, nudge, nudge thing. and then he goes to jail and he comes out.
and he is not shunned, right? he is shunned by some people, but he is still having dinner parties. he is still walking around manhattan as if this was just a little kind of a traffic skirmish or something. i think one of the grim and horrific lessons of our politics in recent years is that you can buy your way out of the most disgusting of crimes. >> one of the lessons that comes to me watching acosta today, jesse, made me think of you and your book, i don't think acosta made a corrupt deal in the same way i think there are a lot of editors who said no to investigative stories on very powerful men in the me too movement who don't think they made a corrupt deal, and there are prosecutors who didn't prosecute folks at the major banks. they all think on the merits this is the right call. we didn't have enough.
but the didn't have enough in the context of extremely powerful legal teams breathing down your neck. >> there is an institutional problem that they don't investigate these cases properly. they don't prosecute the cases properly. they're incompetent. so we lost the will and the ability to prosecute top corporate executives. but then it goes on and over and expands. so we're not prosecuting tax crimes. we're not prosecuting high end real estate. we're not prosecuting corporate lobbying. we're not -- >> paul manafort is the best example. it's hanging out there, just climbing it up everywhere he goes and nothing until he just falls -- he happens to stumble backwards into the mueller probe. >> and epstein also is sitting there with this i'm so sad that i have been focused more on the potential for white collar crime here than the sex scandal. but nothing about his business or career makes any sense at all. and so is he -- >> he is apparently a billionaire. he is managing billionaires. we've only ever heard of one client. the whole thing doesn't add up. >> and his mentor was a famous ponzi schemer who is now in prison. >> i forgot that detail, yes, that too. >> the other thing i think is important, this isn't the fist time that acosta has had to account for his behavior in this case. he wrote a letter to the daily
beast in 2011 when they were investigating part of this, and a lot of it tracked with what he said today, but not all of it, because at that time he was making a much bigger deal about what they were up against in terms of the power of epstein's attorneys. you know, that's probably a less convincing argument to make politically like how could we stand up to alan dershowitz and these two other lawyers. >> kenneth starr. >> it was this assault and we couldn't withstand it. it's a pathetic excuse. that's kind of the best case scenario, the least corrupt version of what happened here is that they folded in the case of all of the money that he had to spend on his defense. >> i also think about cy vance in the manhattan district attorney who has quite a record that there was evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the trump children in misrepresenting in violation of criminal statute of law the vacancy rates of a condo they're trying to sell. just didn't press charges. vance also got money from the trumps.
harvey weinstein with the tape, the infamous tape. cy vance doesn't press charges. and in this case, they asked to downgrade what level of sex offender he was. the judge is what the heck you doing? it makes you wonder. >> and incompetence in dsk. the list goes on. and there was there was a columbia university ob/gyn 19 accusers in the sexual assault. vance's office didn't give him any jail time at all, any prison time at all. there is incompetence. there is potential corruption. here acosta possibly, vance possibly campaign finance, donations, mark kaz wits the trump lawyer gave a donation to vance and overruled his prosecutorial team who wanted to bring charges against donny trump jr. and ivanka. you run that, and if his children had been charged with felony fraud, does he become president? very hard to imagine. >> i almost am seeing this -- there is also this sort of blooming conspiracy theory around epstein, because it is so macabre.
there is like this idea that it's like a pizzagate scenario. there is this enormous pedophile ring that involves every famous person you know and it's all going to be revealed. >> and then it is, right? >> i guess sort of my feeling is because it fits so perfectly so many of the sort of aspects of our era and elite impunity, maybe people are getting ahead of where the facts are. >> the conspiracy theorists this culture of corruption, depravity, et cetera. in the case of pizzagate they have this insane conspiracy theory that the president of the united states is actually a hero in all of this as opposed to a participant, right? that's the central myth at the heart of pizzagate. but you're right, that this does feed into all of our kind of cultural tropes about what -- >> what they're doing behind closed doors. >> yeah. so when it turns out that at least part of that is try, exactly. >> it's very difficult to tell where wild conspiracy theorizing ends and where things really are
today the house oversight committee held the first of three hearing into the treatment of migrant children at the border. one guatemalan mother, yasmin juarez talked about the death of her 1 1/2-year-old daughter. juarez, speaking in spanish through a translator told congress about she and her daughter's detention in march of last year.
director of project lifeline, which works to help immigrant children. also joining me jacob soboroff, who has broken numerous stories about the treatment of migrants at the border including allegations of sexual assault and retaliation by border agents in yuma, arizona. ms. frye, let he start with you today. you spent time in migrant detention facilities with children. what did you want to make clear to congress about what you have seen? >> i wanted to make it clear that this is cruel and unusual and intentional punishment of children who haven't done anything, who are coming here, fleeing draconian circumstances.
they're children who are come into our care, and we treat our dogs better than we treat these children. i wanted congress to understand that you can't throw money at it, that once they were outed for what was happening at the clint facility in el paso, they released a cbp went down from 2500 children to 350 before the appropriations bill came out. this isn't a situation where you throw money. this is a question of the choices we make. and the choices that we make as an american people. >> jacob, you have reported about this yuma facility, and relate something that hope fry said that is something before congress and the nation, which is to what degree are these facilities essentially overwhelmed and incapacitated by a genuine upsurge in families and children arriving, and to what degree is there something broken in the culture of cbp and i.c.e. vis-a-vis how the people who have to care for these children are treating them? >> i think that's the committee question, chris, because what we've seen so far is in texas in the rio grande valley where ms. fry was, where i have been in that mcallen border patrol processing station and obvious overcrowding issues, unsanitary conditions, children getting sick, no extra showers, toothbrushes, et cetera.
at this point it's familiar to all of us. that's also what was going on in yuma, and what we discovered when we got what are called significant incident reports from children that are moved from the border patrol station in yuma into health and human services. but what we discovered that we had not yet seen in texas and yuma was a systematic effort allegedly by border patrol agents to intimidate, and in the worst case abuse and do illegal activities in which these children were the victims, including alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl who was groped on her breasts and her genitals by a border patrol agent is what she told her case manager at hhs. we heard about literal retaliation for asking to have clean water and edible food by a group of young boys. the mats were taken out of their cells by border patrol agents. so you have to start to look closer at this.
and certainly, perhaps some of the same stuff was going on in texas as well as in arizona. >> i want to play a clip -- hope, did you want to say something? i'm sorry. >> i did. the same thing is going on in the rio grande valley border patrol sector. we talked to many children who were actively punished by having mats taken away from them at 3:00 in the morning, having the door closed so they couldn't go to the bathroom. for some infraction, for asking for something. i talked to mothers who had tried to get their children seen by the doctor because they had fevers who were then the blanket, it's a piece of thin aluminum foil actually was taken away from them as punishment for trying to get their child seen. so i think that may be a systemic problem not unique to yuma. >> there is also a question of how many people are being detained. and one of the things i think has sort of flown under the radar here, jacob, is when that shutdown happened over the border wall, the funding deal that was struck was going to cap the detention beds at 40,000, right? this is one of the things the democrats said the trump
administration is detain together many people. it doesn't need to detain these people who are not a public safety threat and we now have i.c.e. saying they have 54,000 beds. they have shot past the cap congress put on them in terms of the number of folks detained. >> this is what deterrence looks like. we've talked about this throughout the entire course of this crisis that has been amplified by the trump administration. they want migrants to see what's going on. they want it to look this way because they believe people will turn around and not come to this country by using what appeared to be cruel conditions, inhumane conditions, inhospitable conditions. if they truly wanted to cap the number, they would cap the number. but we continue to see people incarcerated. we continue to see people in conditions that are frankly not good for their health. if they want to get people out
of these conditions, they could do it, chris, but they continue to lock people up. >> the final question, hope. go ahead. >> can i add something to that? the rio problem, the cruelty starts at the border patrol, but the actual clog in the pipeline are the orr shelters where the children, unaccompanied children go where they are failing to release them because those shelters are run by for-profit contractors. so they make a per head, per bed dollar on each child. so there is no incentive to release children. it's failure to release that causes the backlog that causes children to be kept unbelievable amounts of time at border patrol in he's horrible conditions. >> all right, hope frye and jacob soboroff, thank you both. still ahead, new orleans could be under water on saturday be, the trump administration is going to great lengths to stop you from finding out why. plus, when trump speaks from the heart, that's tonight's thing 1, thing 2, next. i'm just a normal person who got an awful skin condition.
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and read a speech for half an hour and just leave. >> the beautiful thing is i don't use teleprompters because i speak from the heart, right? and the head, but the heart. >> well, the heart and the head and the heart and the head. of course once trump became president, he started using teleprompters all the time, especially for big events like his fourth of july jamboree. >> in june of 1775, the continental congress created a unified army out of the revolutionary forces encamped around boston and new york. our army manned the air. it ran the ramparts. it took over the airports. it did everything it had to do. >> you heard that right. they rammed the ramparts and took over the airports. in the 1770s. trump blamed that flub on, you guessed it, his teleprompter. >> the teleprompter went out. and then at the end it just went out. it went kaput.
so i could have said -- and actually, right in the middle of that sentence, it went out. and that's not a good feeling. >> now as someone who has also been there when the prompter goes out, i completely good. it is not a good feeling. but it's not just technical problems that create problems of that magnitude. that's when you get moments like this today. >> the kidney has a very special place in the heart. it's an incredible thing. >> it truly is. the off prompter hall of fame thing 2 is in 60 seconds.
donald trump gave a speech in washington today ahead of signing an executive order on kidney disease and care. and for the most part, trump stuck to the script and everything went smoothly. but just as he was wrapping u, the president went off prompter, and things got a little weird. >> have worked so hard on the kidney. very special. the kidney has a very special place in the heart. it's an incredible thing.
people that have to go to this, people that have loved ones that are working so hard to stay alive, they have to work so hard. there is a esprit de corps, there is a spirit like you see rarely on anything. >> very special place in heart for the kidney, and with that our list of all-time greatest trump ad libs got a little longer. >> this is a tough hurricane. one of the wettest we've ever seen from the standpoint of water. >> i hope they now go and take a look at the oranges, the oranges of the investigation, the beginnings of the investigation. >> take care of the floors, you know, the floors of the forest. very important. i was with the president of finland, and he said we have a much different. we're a forest nation. he called it a forest nation. and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things. and they don't have any problem. >> you've really put a big
investment in our country. we appreciate it very much, tim apple. >> that was down there, and i watched our police and our firemen down in 7-eleven, down at the world trade center, right after it came down. >> if you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations. you house just went down 75% in value. and they say the noise causes cancer. you tell me that one, okay? rr, rrrr, and of course it's like a graveyard for birds. >> the kidney has a very special place in the heart. it's an incredible thing.
we showed you images on monday of the absolutely insane flooding in washington, d.c. when the capitol was soaked by 4 to 6 inches of rain every hour. this guy, for instance, talking on a cell phone while standing on the hood of a car on a flood highway. now here are some images from new orleans this morning where some parts got up to 10 inches of rain. this is just part of a broader trend. this map shows rainfall this past month. the darkest color on the map is the darkest record rainfall. the last 12 months are the wettest ever across the u.s. from the standpoint of water. but that's just the prologue, because right now the first potential hurricane of the season, possible hurricane barry, like the hbo hitman, is forming in the gulf of mexico. it is forecast to become a tropical storm and could develop into a hurricane before it makes landfall on saturday. now that doesn't sound too bad.
obviously new orleans has seen worst, except the storm surge being projected right now could push the mississippi river up to 20 feet. and the lowest river levees along the mississippi are about 20 feet. not great. meteorologist eric holthouse warns if the mississippi breaches a levee, it may not be possible to return it to its previous state. quote, this would cripple america's agricultural and petrochemical industries, deal a fatal blow to new orleans and change the course of american history. gulp. louisiana's has already declared a state of emergency. climate tollists agree climate change crisis may have more and more precipitation. the trump administration is making sure you never heard about it.
a state department analyst resigned in protest after the white house blocked portions of his written testimony to a congressional panel to exclude data and evidence of climate change and the threat to national security. the white house and republican party basically all of it, they can close their eyes and stick their fingers in their ears all they want. as the people of normalcy will tell you, the water will come. ll tell you, the water will come. do you want me to go first or do you want to go first, brea?
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so you save hundreds of dollars a year on your wireless bill. xfinity mobile has the best network. best devices. best value. simple. easy. awesome. click, call or visit a store today. as former house speaker john boehner will be the first to tell you, keeping a house majority is no easy feat. the house majority appears to have fissures, both rhetorical and substantive. nancy pelosi passed a supplemental funding bill for the department of homeland security that was identical to a bipartisan bill that emerged from the senate. pelosi barely won a majority with 95 defections over the fact the bill it no new constraints on customs and border protection and standard of care. they called it a betrayal of american values. pelosi responded with a swipe and an interview with the "new
york times," all these people have their public whatever and twitter world, they don't have a following. they are four people. that's how many votes they got. she followed it up with a stern talking to today where she warned members to keep intraparty squabbles in the family. is this normal friction upholding a caucus or something deeper? congresswoman from maryland and matt fuller. i will go to you. i will remember you knocked off a sitting democratic incumbent who was part of the establishment and protected by him and you came to congress as a sort of insurgent, i think it was fair to say. i wonder what your perspective as you watch it unfold. >> for feels like deja vu. i think there is understandable tension and always has been between progressives and the
leadership. their jobs and responsibilities are different. the progressives's responsibility is to push the envelope and leadership to maintain the caucus. they need each other. i think that for a progressive, they are asked all the time. take one for the team. give one for the team. every once in a while, they need the team to give one for them. >> that's interesting. i saw you tweeting about this. you have been a chronicler of the house republican majority that was a remarkable thing to watch. it had this freedom caucus. that was a third party. a junior partner in a coalition. 40 votes or 45? >> 35. >> because of that they had tremendous leverage over what john boehner and paul ryan can do. what do you think is developing? >> the same dynamics are playing out.
pelosi is right that they are four votes, but she's wrong that it's just four votes. outside of congress, it's the heart and soul of the democratic party. what i think you will see is these four members work -- there is a 97-member progressive caucus and parallels with the republican party. you had the study committee which is how the freedom caucus was create and we say 35, but it was really the freedom caucus and more like 20 and 25. a good way to think of it is consent rick circles of hell. it doesn't matter that they are part of the caucus, but they are there. you will see that again with democrats. the four are going to figure out a way to convince 12 or so. they are going to get new members into congress. i think you will see a new freedom caucus on the left and figure out this is the only way to flex their muscle. nancy pelosi forced them in this
position. >> i guess the question is how do you -- overtime, leadership has gotten more and more power. chairs have gotten less and the house runs on a stricter party line vote than it used to than a generation ago. what do you think about the more public pronouncements and people tweeting at each other or tweeting critiques or giving interviews where they are not towing the line? >> one, it was probably inappropriate to tweet about individual members or for staff to do that. also, i don't think it was the best move for speaker pelosi frankly to call out those four by name. if you actually look at the final vote on border security, it was 95. it wasn't just the four who were opposed to that bill that came out of the senate. there is leverage there. i think that leadership is going to have to be smart about the
way it is that they both use and challenge the progressive caucus. progressives have to be smart about what it is they are demanding out of all of the caucus. >> it's important to focus on here aside from the tweeting. there is a substantive disagreement. the folks said money is not the issue. the problem at the border detention facilities is not because of resources, but the standards and the culture and there needs to be strings attached. there was a debate and disagreement about what needed to be done. >> the four members voted against the democratic plan from the beginning. this was not good enough for them. yeah, i guess i get pelosi's gripe. if you are not going to vote for the democratic plan, why are we even in on the whole conversation. which again, this is a parallel
you will see with the republican party. john boehner and paul ryan saying if you are not going to vote for our bills or budget, why are we including you in the negotiations? they have a fundamental disagreement about the cure for this crisis and don't think it's money. >> yeah. do you think -- where do you think it goes next? >> i think this was one instance. i suspect that there is going to be more reserve on both parties about who gets called out more publicly. i do think this continues to be a fight that gets played out within the caucus on these substantive issues. >> thank you both. tonight, 53 minutes in front of reporters, multiple opportunities, and yet no apology to jeffrey epstein's
victims. labor secretary alexander acosta defends the plea deal he kept 11 years ago as a u.s. attorney that now threatens his job. the devastating and lurid charges against a long-time friend of the president who was also a sex offender now means the president has three acquaintances in jail. it also means more major drama for this president's circle including his cabinet. and how dire is the threat to our upcoming presidential election? and if it's as serious as what congress was briefed on today, why isn't this man more concerned about it? all of it was "the 11th hour" gets under way on a wednesday night. well, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 902 of the trump administration. and today the secretary of labor, alex acosta, was fighting to keep his job, and he did so on live television.