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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  July 11, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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my thanks to elise, jordan, jeremy bash, most of all to you for watching. that does it for our hour. "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts now. ♪ well, if it's thursday, it's "meet the press daily." good evening. i'm chuck todd here in washington. we've got a lot of breaking news happening in this hour alone, including our nbc news "wall street journal" first look of the cycle of the 2020 democratic primary. we're going to have those numbers for you live in a second. you are also looking live at the white house where at some point we expect the president to
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announce something in his fight to get the so-called citizenship question onto the census. it does appear he is simply going to ask the commerce department to continue to do what it does. an administration source tells nbc news that the president is going to direct his administration to get that citizenship data through other ways, which they already do. we have no that what that means. he's actually going to announce that in a minute. because the administration might be thinking that it wins politically by keeping up this fight even if it lost legally. how? well, maybe might be frightening hispanics from even filling out the census forms. we'll have much more on this breaking news when the president speaks. i think they are trying to decide whether to do it indoors or outdoors. but in the meantime, we have breaking news. it's a bit of a shakeup in the presidential race that you're going to want to see right here first on "meet the press daily." these are the first nbc "wall street journal" polls. this is the front page of the
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leader board, folks. and the big news is that the biden and warren are at the top and sanders is not. so why is biden and warren in the lead? because this is race is a tale of proprimaries. biden leads by 20. while warren lags as you see there among the top five candidates she is in fifth place. but among liberal democrats, warren is ahead of everybody. she leads by 11 while it's biden who lags a bit in that one. as big of a story as who's jockeying at the top is who's stuck at the bottom. look at all these names. at either 1% which gets you to the next debate or basically less than one at zero. sitting governors, none of them are going to make the stage at the third debate in september with numbers like these. but let's go back to the top tier. and, frankly, we do have a top tier of five candidates. biden and warren, they're 1-2 position shows you that democrats are divided and not just along ideological lines. they are also divided about what
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specifically they want from a candidate and a nominee and how much they want it. joining me now bloomberg news, marcus, and column bisque at the washington post, and betsy woodruff. as also our fourth member is former republican congressman. he is down in the lovely place of miami, florida. hello to all of you. so, betsy, let me start with you. first reactions here. biden under 30, warren surging, sanders is, i think, the most interesting story out of this poll. >> it's interesting that the only demographic, at least as far as these numbers were broken down where sanders is winning is 18 to 49-year-old democratic primary voters. with the youths he does, with just about any discreet group on here, though, he's having a hard time. the other thing that stood out to me that this poll shows is how much of a problem elizabeth
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warren currently has with african-american voters. among white voters she is at 22%. with african-american voters, she is only at 8%. that is something she's going to have to change in a significant, big, fast way if she wants to be a competitor. >> and i think the interesting flipside of that is vice president biden among those very same african-american voters. they have him at 46%. and this is after some unfortunate comments that he has apologized for after the debate, after his comments, after his apology. so this is the fallout. that is very good news for vice president biden. >> by the way, pete buttigieg, 3% among african-americans there. yes, warren has problems, buttigieg has more problems. >> and that's an improvement compared to the recent polls he's gotten which are even worse. warren at 17 points. i'm struck by the
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african-american voters, biden still dom united states 46% to harris. now harris definitely helped herself in a certain way. >> it's the first time she's been in second among african-american voters. >> warren far behind. warren has a way to go with african-american voters. >> it is most important for demographic primary voters. a candidate who shares my view is 51%. a candidate with the best chance to beat trump is 45%. now i highlight this because it is almost the exact breakdown between liberal democrats make up 53% of our poll, and moderate to centrist democrats make 45% of our poll. so it won't be a surprise to you that i think that breaks out a bit along ideological lines. >> vice president biden is trying to speak to both the liberal base and to swing voters at the same time. his theory is that he needs to build that coalition when those swing voters if he's going to
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succeed in november. in a way he's running for the primary and the general at the same time. there's a lot of risk associated with that these days because base voters tend to dominate base primaries. he can make it. and by the way, this polling has to make the president and his team a little nervous. joe biden being resilient is not something that i think the trump team wants to see. i still believe he's the candidate they fear the most because he can compete for those voters that president trump took away from hillary clinton in 2016. so i think looking at needs numbers has to make a few people in the white house a little nervous. >> well, we're going to have those numbers for you over the weekend. that'll be i think interesting for folks to look at. so for the table here i want to show you, we also asked you among democratic primary voters, do you want to see more change even if it's complicated, more
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costly to do. we tried to reword this. 54% want something even though they may be less likely and more costly think medicare for all, they still are more aspirational about it with 41%. here's what's interesting there. in that group, you won't be surprised. warren leads among. >> she has a plan for big change. >> and it's interesting that she's doing better than sanders is in that group, given that sanders has spent the last four years using very explicit terminology, uses the word "revolution." the fact that that messaging hasn't made him the winner among this particular group of democratic primary voters is indicative i think of a challenge for him going forward. one other sanders' problem. he's only polling at 3% among primary voters who are over 50. that's a huge issue given the way that age impact how people vote. >> given the fact that old people vote. >> that's right. >> and the revolutionaries and
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the increment lists, most of this breaks down cleanly. we know where biden. >> and the voters have figured it out. the voters know who are the big detailed people, who are the big idea people, who are the people who are trying to get everyone to get along. >> and we know who the revolutionaries are. kamala harris is a little bit of both. she embraces some incrementalist ideas. she is supporting the single-payer bill that warren has co-sponsored. so some of them are walking the line here, whereas others are cleanly in one category or the other. >> and you can see to the harris point that in these groupings she doesn't perform at the top of either group. she doesn't perform at the top of the revolutionaries or at the top of the moderates, but she performs adequately in both. and the question is whether that's the compromise is a lane for her in this situation. >> i tell you, though, carlos, i feel like i'm hearing ruth's description and i remember people saying, oh, marco rubio
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is a guy like this description of kamala harris is the description that most republicans gave marco rubio four years ago. he's a little bit of the base that he's a little bit of the governing wing. he could straddle this fence, and as we find out primary voters don't like straddlers, right? you got to pick a side. >> yeah. the perfect candidate isn't always the candidate that wins. and certainly marco rubio who i supported in 2016 after jeb bush dropped out was a very attractive, charismatic, strong candidate for republicans. but that's not what voters were looking for that year. and i think what's happening to bernie sanders, chuck, is something that could happen to president trump. he was loud. some people would say he was radical. same thing with the president. the first time you do that, it calls a lot of attention. the second time it starts getting a little old, and people start looking for other options. >> no. the president himself is
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realizing his tweets don't get the same amount of attention. he wants to blame social media. it's probably because people are just worn out by him. >> that's the market. >> let me put up the big one here on issues which we asked about single-payer health care. overall, was a split that was fairly even. 44% in favor of it, 49% against it. >> but when you look inside the numbers and you see these splits, 72% of democrats want it, but only 36% of independents and only 14 of republicans. ruth marcus, those aren't numbers that tell you they can run on single payer, at least when i look at that independent number. that's to me the warning sign for democrats there. >> and they the democratic candidates are going to have to get a little bit more specific and a little bit more clear including to themselves senator harris about what they mean when they say "single-payer." we are all going to have a little bit of an education on that. >> and the voters are waiting to see. >> and the voters are waiting to see it. and it's a real challenge for the democratic candidates to be
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able to describe and concoct a single-payer plan that both attracts and animate the base and it doesn't freak everybody else out about what's going to happen to the health care they have and they like. >> they say do you want medicare for all? they say yes. then you tell them eliminating private insurance doesn't necessarily mean they're going to lose their doctor hospital. and they say, oh, yeah, i like that one. there is another possible analog for kamala harris. she either looks perfect on paper but can't translate it or she's another barack obama. i don't know. >> what's interesting here, our polls basically say the two candidates with growth potential, they see as harris and buttigieg. >> and that's why i think the next debate is going to be so critical because the question is, um, vice president biden seemed to have survived a very bad debate according to this poll.
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how will he do next time around? what will that be? senator harris clearly benefitted from the debate. can she capitalize even more on the next one? >> something that's going to turbo charge buttigieg or has the potential to is the fact that donors love him. he was able to raise so much money in the second three months of this year. as he's trying to narrow that gap, the fact that he'll be able too hire a bunch of people, push out ads, potentially engage in a strategic way could be a game changer. >> carlos, do you look at this, do you try to look at somebody that you would get comfortable voting for if you wanted to choose somebody other than donald trump? i know you're not the biggest fan, but you are also a party loyalist. is that how you look at this race as you're watching it, or do you look at it through another lens? >> chuck, i think the 10 to 15% of republicans who disapprove of republicans are watching this democratic primary closely. they are hoping that someone emerges who they could support. not going to agree with this person on a lot of the issues, but because they're so turned
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off by the president's rhetoric and his style, the democratic nominee could win a significant share of republican votes. now, if it's someone to the far left it's going to be very difficult for those republicans to reach that far. but if it's a centrist like biden or like buttigieg who appears to be trying to occupy some of that center space as well, i think those candidates could be successful among the dissfd republicans. >> you know, the final poll number i want to put up here is we asked democrats who they were impressed with at the debate. i want to put up the top four. and you were allowed to give up to three answers. harris the top one at 47. warren next at 32. buttigieg and biden sort of a distant tied for third. harris owned night. two and it seems as if -- here's 60% told our pollsters say they
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watch that debate. >> when there was the initial perception that she was in something that could be arguably viewed as the kids-table debate, that can you see someday anxiety. but the fact that it went well for her, voters seem to be pleased and excited about how she performed. i think that's a relief. >> not only that. but i think we look back and say warren won the first debates, not harris. harris, by taking biden down, also had to take on some water doing it. warren kept her hands clean. >> there was a difference in opinion in the warren team. >> this poll says. >> mostly undercards. not once in that debate on the first night did anybody turn to elizabeth warren and challenge her, not once. she had a free ride, basically. >> which is something we have to remember, yet, ruth. she was in the barrel pre-campaign trying to fix this native american issue. >> so i think they both won, warren and harris.
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>> well, no doubt. >> i think warren won and didn't have to take on any water to do it. >> harris needed to do i think to break out and to show herself. there is, you know, a history of people, the attacker who takes down the frontrunner is never the one who actually really benefits from the attack historically. but you got to do what you got to do. so i think they each won their night. >> i want to come back to this later in the hour. but i do think a lot of the 1%ers. among people that don't normally act desperate. >> there were some candidates at the bottom tier who had some impressive moments. we're not seeing that in the poll. >> and you can't say it's a name recognition issue anymore. that's the issue. >> there has to be a point where the bookers and gillibrands realize that despite their best effort, they haven't caught fire
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and the moment may have passed. >> we'll see. i think the july debates will be fascinating. >> the point is when the money monies run. >> so you guys are stick around up ahead as we wait to hear what the heck the president is about to say about the census and the citizenship question and whether he's just going to order the federal government to do what it always does when it comes to studying citizenship. we are going to try to figure this out. and later the democratic divisions obviously are in full display of the presidential race. well, guess what, there's a new rounding fighting between nancy pelosi and alexandria ocasio-cortez. the more, the merrier. got to have this stuff in the morning. oh, that's too hot. act your age. get your own insurance company. carlo, why don't you start us with a little bit of cereal? you can spread it all around the table. and we're gonna split the warm hot dog. and i'll have a glass of grape juice to spill on the carpet. oh, uh, do you want some to spill? act your age. get your own insurance company.
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welcome back. we've answered one question, mark, about the president's upcoming remarks on the census citizenship question. the where will be the rose garden. but we still don't know exactly what the what is. let's go to kelly o'donnell. she is live at the white house. also with her, correspondent pete williams. what is the president announcing
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today, period? >> reporter: well, chuck, the where is in itself a story because with rain threatening the idea that the president would not give up on the notion of doing this in the rose garden says a lot about his mood, and it's sort of a metaphor for the larger issue. the president has a vision of what he wants to do and doesn't want to back away from that. now let's talk about the citizenship question. it's nearly 11 hours since the president tweeted about his plan to hold this event and through the day it's been one of the instances that really stands out in my memory of covering the trump administration where it has been very difficult to get any answers about what would actually be in the specifics. we've been told it's an executive action but told not to call it an executive order, that it might be one of the other tools available to the president. we've been told that it might be a track separate from the census, which has been what this fight has all been about where the president wants to have a
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means to find out how many u.s.s ises are in the country, how many noncitizens, how many immigrants who are legally here but not are naturalized are present. he wanted tooed that with the census and because of the legal roadblocks and the timing constraints, he may have hit the end of the road. so we expect the president will talk about the decision he's made to call upon the commerce department to do this question. but we don't know the form it will take or if it will have anything to do with the census any longer. chuck? >> all right. so, pete, this sounds like to me the president was desperate to get the justice department to find a legal way to do this, and they just couldn't do it. is that your sense, number one? and, second, if the president is going to order the census bureau to keep track of american citizenship, as you wrote earlier, it's asking the census bureau to do a job it already does. >> yeah. i think you're right about it that. i think the justice department
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realized that after the supreme court ruling we couldn't offer for the commerce department to offer another explanation after the story wilbur ross offered was not persuasive, not believable. anything else now commerce does is we still haven't decided why yet. so that was foreclosed and it only -- which is that the government repeatedly told courts including the supreme court that all this had to get wrapped up by the end of june because that's when the printing started. so to come back and say with that the in hand, maybe we have a little more wiggle room, perhaps was a tough sell. >> i think it may surprise many people to know that the census counts everybody, the entire population. not just citizens, not just people who can vote. it counts children, for example, and perhaps the president didn't realize that himself. it certainly would be a legitimate thing to find out how
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many noncitizens there are, but the census bureau already does this through two means. first of all, it sends out every year something called the american community survey to a random selection of about 2% of american households. >> can i pause you right there, pete? it is our single favorite thing to do for data download and "meet the press." we love that survey. viewers may not realize how important that survey is to some of the demographic work we do all the time on air. anyway, i pause to let you finish. >> well, you've just give away one of the secrets to your competitor. but according to some of the most recent data in that survey, 22.5 million. so it takes the data it gets from that, but it also gets data from other government agencies. you have to be as is citizen to get a passport, to get a job, so it relies on data from the social security administration from the department of homeland security, from the military, from states. it takes all of us together and
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through complex algorithms tries to figure out how many citizens and noncitizens there are. now, at least it's an estimate. and so what the president may well say is to the government, you've got to do better, try harder, and perhaps that's one of the things he's going to say today. and of course what it doesn't do is give states noncitizen data that they can use on a district by district congressional district block by block level to do redistricting. and that may be one thing that especially republicans are eager to get. but in any event, the census counts everybody. and those total numbers are used to determine how many seats in congress the state gets, not just the number of citizens. >> and very quickly, pete, one other question i have on this. i assume there was still a one lawsuit that was out there, especially the attempt to get that new information about the now deceased republican
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mapmaker. all that's gone now, i assume, after all of this? >> well, we'll see. there are two lawsuits pending. there's still one in new york, and there is oral argument scheduled july 23rd on the request by new york and other states and other groups to permanently enjoin the government from putting this question on the census. if the president says today i give up and if the government files in court and says we're not going to do this anymore, then i would think that would moot out that lawsuit. and another one still pending in maryland, that one never went to the supreme court raising a second claim that putting this question on the form would amount to unconstitutional discrimination. same thing i think would apply there. >> kelly o'donnell, tell me, the president has spent half his day with some of the more unique characters on twitter on the right side of twitter. what kind of mood is this going to put him in, do we think? and how will that impact his remarks? that seemed to be one odd event
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you had to cover there. >> reporter: he called it a social media summit, and he had some of his favorites who he said he didn't necessarily know what they looked like, but he certainly understood their voices in the conservative space. and some of them are going to be in the rose garden. he invited them all to go from the east room where the summit was being held to participate in this event. so it will be kind of a conflation of his sort of echo chamber of supporters in a space at a time when he is talking about something that he believes is so core to his ideology. he was very much lamenting the fact that he believes the social media corporate entities are unfair to conservatives. he keeps saying that this is a 15 to $20 billion expense the u.s. census and how is it impossible to ask a question that he considers so straightforward? >> i wonder where he gets that dollar figure. >> reporter: he takes it from the budget and he talks about it all the time that the estimated
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cost of conducting the census is 15 to 20 billion. that's what he has been kind of pounding at. so you'll have in this rose garden event when it eventually happens some of his most ardent supporters and some who are in the band of communicators on that side of things that some would call conspiracy theorists. so it's an unusual day of sort of different ends of the president's -- yes. >> i think we just all need to be careful if he tries to conflat the press with some of these tweeters that he's trying to have taken more seriously. >> reporter: very much so. >> kelly o'donnell, pete appeals, thank you so much. when he begins speaking on the executive action, we will take that. also ahead, we got the raucous caucus, tensions running high with speaker pelosi and alexandria ocasio-cortez. that back in forth continues. let's sneak in a break. with fidelity wealth management you get straightforward advice,
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and i said what i'm going to say in the caucus. they took offense because i addressed, at the request of my members, an offensive 2000et that came out of one of the members office that referenced our dems. i addressed that. how they are interpreting and carrying it to another place is up to them. but i'm not going to be discussing it any further.
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>> welcome back. that was speaker nancy pelosi this morning. hours after fresh woman congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez deified. alexandria ocasio-cortez told the washington post, quote, when these comments first started i kind of thaugt that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of. but it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful, the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color. aoc is referring more to the squad, but the tension is causing controversy beyond the speaker and those four members. according to one report, demographic congresswoman says it is, quote, unbelievable that aoc, quote, using the race card. kasie hunt joins along with sahil, betsy. we heard hearsay yesterday she
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doesn't have regrets, she doesn't look backwards. >> and i think it's going to be the same nancy pelosi tomorrow, chuck. although i will say that you can see that flash of irritation from her and she went on to another reporter asked a follow-up question on the same topic. and, you know, she snapped a little bit and said i'm not going to talk any more about this. when she has previously maintained a relatively good-natured facade about it. so i think that speaks to the underlying emotion here and the fact that this has all taken a sharper turn in the last couple of weeks. i do think that tweet from -- it was alexandria ocasio-cortez's chief of staff who tweeted, he compared blue dog moderate democrats to southern democrats from the '40s, functionally segregationists. >> right. >> that really did anger a lot of people and was really the focus of pelosi's comments yesterday. but i think that, you know, you have this bigger issue where pelosi is now saying, look, i'm going to handle this privately.
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but the problem is she didn't. she didn't interview with maureen dowd in "the new york times" and compared that to the fact that they only have four votes here in the house. she's a vote counter. but this is a new way of doing politics. as we know, donald trump has really fundamentally changed how you do things kind of the way the media covers what happens and aoc is very tapped into that way of doing business. so, you know, i don't think we've quite seen the end of this quite yet. you know, but i'm interested to see if they now try to build their relationship or if it continues to fracture. >> that's the question i have. sahill, you spent a lot of time up on the hill there. and i don't think nancy pelosi fears them yet because, as she pointed out, they got four votes. this isn't the freedom caucus yet. they don't have a block yet. moderates have a bigger block to essentially hold her hostage
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sometimes. they seem to have more power over her than the squad right now. >> yeah. i mean, there's been a cold war brewing between the squad and speaker pelosi for a while now, and she is right that there are only four votes. she has pointed that out on numerous occasions. there is a frustration and an irritation among many democrats including new members, including moderate members that these four new young women are getting a lot of the attention and kind of setting the conversation on the air waves. but the reality is the median house democratic is closer to the centrist wing of the caucus than the squad which is why pelosi feels comfortable throwing shade to her left. >> i spoke about this with a moderate congressional democrat earlier today that the way that pelosi has handled this friction is a really important moment of leadership for her. and those moderates many of whom are in seats where they are hanging on by the skin of her teeth see her willingness to go after these four progressive democrats as very important.
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they see her as being on their side and willing to sort of go to bat for them. >> and let's recall that the threat to her speakership to the extent it was a threat after the election was from these moderate democrats, right? >> i know. >> who said san francisco liberal nancy pelosi, not really sure i can support her. >> she is the moderate holding up the who knew. >> if this feels like the lioness kind of cuffing around the cubs. but sometimes the cubs get big enough to bite. >> does the squad look like a liberal freedom caucus to you? because they don't seem to have the numbers yet. >> well, but this is how it starts, chuck. and nancy pelosi watched not so quietly for eight years as john boehner and paul ryan struggled with the freedom caucus when they led house republicans. she does not want to be in that position. it is a horrible position, a speaker that cannot control 218
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votes or count on 218 votes in the house is a weak speaker is an ineffective leader. and paul ryan and john boehner were in that position. nancy pelosi watched, laughed sometimes, heckled. other times she knows how difficult it's. she does not want to be in that position, and that's why i think she's being so aggressive. >> kasie hunt, is there any empathy outside the fore for the squad here? do they have the ability to build their coalition? >> i think they may have a little bit of leeway. but it's certainly not as deep as -- i think betsy made an absolutely great point there. house speaker nancy pelosi is worried about her majority and her majority is -- >> are you a citizen of the united states of america? >> we are going to listen to the president about citizenship. >> i'm sorry. i just can't answer that question. and that's after spending billions and billions of dollars. there used to be a time when you
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could answer questions like that very easily. there used to be a time when you could proudly declare i am a citizen of the united states. now they are trying to erase the very existence of a very important word and a very important thing, citizenship. they're even coming after the pledge of allegiance in minnesota. i'm proud to be a citizen. you are proud to be a citizen. the only people who are not proud to be citizens are the ones who are fighting us all the way about the word "citizen." today i am here to say we are not backing down on our effort to determine the citizenship status of the united states' population. i stand before you to outline new steps my administration is taking to ensure that citizenship is counted so that we know how many citizens we
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have in the united states. make sense? we will defend the right of the american people to know the full facts about the population, size of citizens and noncitizens in america. it is essential that we have a clear breakdown of the number of citizens and noncitizens that make up the u.s. populations. imperative. knowing this information is vital to formulating sound public policy, whether the issue is health care, education, civil rights, or immigration. the we must have a reliable count of how many citizens, noncitizens, and illegal aliens are in our country. the department of commerce sensebly decided to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census as has been done many, many times throughout the history of the united states. unfortunately, this effort was
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delayed by meritless litigation. as shocking as it may be, far left democrats in our country are determined to conceal the number of illegal aliens in our midst. they probably know the number is far greater, much higher, than anyone would've ever believed before. maybe that's why they fight so hard. this is part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of the american citizen and is very unfair to our country. the supreme court ultimately affirmed our right to ask the citizenship question and very strongly it was affirmed. but the supreme court also ruled that we must provide further explanation that would have produced even more litigation and considerable time delays. the case is already in three federal district courts that have been to be totally honest, extremely unfriendly to us.
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these delays would've prevented us from completing the census on time. it's deeply regrettable, but it will not stop us from collecting the needed information. and i think even in greater detail and more accurately. therefore, we are pursuing a new option to ensure a complete and timely count of the noncitizen population. today i will be issuing an executive order to put this very plan into effect immediately. i am hereby ordering every department and agency in the federal government to provide the department of commerce with all requested records regarding the number of citizens and noncitizens in our country. they must furnish all legally accessible records in their possession immediately. we will utilize these vast federal databases to gain a full, complete, and accurate count of the noncitizen
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population including databases maintained by the department of homeland security and the social security administration. we have great knowledge in many of our agencies. we will leave no stone unturned. the census bureau projected that using previously available records, it could determine citizenship for 90% of our population or more. with today's executive order, which eliminates long-standing obstacles to data sharing, we are aiming to count everyone. ultimately, this will allow us to have an even more complete count of citizens than through asking the single question alone. it will be, we think, far more accurate. the census bureau can use this information along with information collected through the questionnaire to create the official census. in other words, as a result of today's executive order, we will be able to ensure the 2020
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census generates an accurate count of how many citizens, noncitizens, and illegal aliens are in the united states of america. not too much to ask. this will greatly inform a wide array of public policy decisions. this information is also relevant to administering our elections. some states may want to draw state and local legislative districts based upon the voter eligible population. indeed, the same day the supreme court handed down the census decision, it also said it would not review certain types of districting decisions, which could encourage states to make such decisions based on voter eligibility. with today's order, we will collect all of the information we need to conduct an accurate census and to make responsible decisions about public policy, voting rights, and representation in congress.
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in everything we do, we will faithfully represent the people of the united states of america. i would like now to introduce attorney general bill barr to the podium. thank you. [ applause ] >> good evening. thank you, mr. president. and congratulations on today's executive order, which will ensure that we finally have an accurate understanding of how many citizens and noncitizens live in our country. as the supreme court recognized, it would be perfectly lawful for the federal government to ask on the census whether individuals are citizens of the united states. and it's entirely reasonable to want to know how many citizens and noncitizens there are in the united states. in fact, the federal government has routinely asked questions
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relating to citizenship ever since the 1820s. but while the supreme court correctly recognized that it would be entirely appropriate to include citizenship questions on the census, it nevertheless held that the commerce department did not adequately explain its decisions for doing so on the 2020 census. because as the supreme court recognized the defect in the commerce department's decision was curable with a better record, the president asked me to work with secretary ross to determine whether there remained a viable path for including a citizenship question on the census. i did so. in my view, the government has ample justification to inquire about citizenship status on the census and could plainly provide rationales for doing so that would satisfy the supreme court. and therefore there is no question that a new decision to
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add the question would ultimately survive legal review. the problem is that any new decision would be subject to immediate challenge as a new claim in the three ongoing district court cases. in addition, there are injury instructions currently in place that forbid adding the question. there is simply no way to litigate these issues and obtain relief from the current injunctions in time to implement any new decision without jeopardizing our ability to carry out the census. which we're not going to do. we're not going to jeopardize our ability to carry out the census. so as a practical matter, the supreme court's decision closed all paths to adding the question to the 2020 census. put simply, the impediment was a logistical impediment, not a
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legal one. we simply cannot complete the litigation in time to carry out the census. one other point on this. some in the media have been suggesting in the hysterical mode of the day that the administration has been planning to add the citizenship question to the census by executive fiat without regard to contrary court orders or what the supreme court might say. this has been based on rank speculation and nothing more. it should be obvious there has never been -- this has never been under consideration. we have always accepted that any new decision to add a citizenship question to the census would be subject to judicial review. turning to today, i applaud the president for recognizing in his executive order that including a question on the census is not the only way to obtain this vital information.
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the course the president has chosen today will bring unprecedented resources to bear on determining how many citizens and noncitizens are in our country. and will yield the best data the government has had on citizenship in many decades. that information will be used for countless purposes as the president explained in his remarks today. for example, there is a current dispute over whether illegal aliens can be included for a portionment purposes. depending on the resolution of that dispute, this data may be relevant to those considerations. we will be studying this issue. congratulations again, mr. president, on taking this effective action. >> thank you very much, everybody. [ applause ] >> what you heard there looks like president trump was explaining what he was doing, and attorney general bill barr
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was explaining why he couldn't do what the president actually wanted to do which is add a citizenship question to the census. but let me bring in pete williams. so, pete, what the president announced here, how much -- how new is this really than what the government already does when it comes to citizenship? >> um, somewhat. the president saying you need to do a better job of sharing data. he says that this would eliminate any restrictions that there might be on sharing data. i'm not sure i know what those restrictions are. he mentioned two sources of this data. the department of homeland security and the social security administration which the census bureau already mines to get information on the picture of how many noncitizens are here. but perhaps -- basically what he's saying to the federal government is do what you've already done, but just do a better job of it, and try harder. by the way, this is basically what some of wilbur ross' advisers proposed that he do,
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and he rejected that in favor of trying to put the question on the census. so, the government is concluded as the attorney general said, there is just no way to get this done. they'd have to keep fighting in the courts. i think that the government had reached had reached this position before the fourth of july anyway. the president said isn't there some legal way and they finally apparently convinced him the answer is no and this is the best fallback. interestingly enough in, the president's statement said why we need this data, he did not mention redistricting apportioning members of congress. >> but bill barr did. >> he will well, he suggested m there's a way to resolve this question whether enumeration should be based solely on citizens. >> where did that come from? >> i'm not quite sure. i don't know what he's referring to. >> neitherdy, okay. >> every census since the founding of the republic has always been on total population. opponents of what barr is
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talking about said when congress put the 14th amendment into place which broadens the picture how you figure out the number of congressmen each state gets, they debated an rejected the idea of counting citizens and said persons, not citizens. >> yes, it's a key reminder there. pete williams, thanks very much. let me get to the political fallout here. carlos, let me start with you because i think look, there, the way the census is done could have done significant financial changes to the state of florida, things like that. does this look like a republican party that wants to besfiks to member of that when the president does all this illegal this and illegal that. >> that's the issue. considered isolation the idea of asking if people are citizens or not, perhaps that can be okay. it's been done in the past. the problem is when you put it
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in the context .president's rhetoric and in the context of a lot of the administration's actions with regards to immigration. look, the administration has done itself some favors here in south florida with venezuelan voters, cuban-americans, nicaraguan americans but they are also hurting themselves with niece anti-immigrant policies or policies that at least can be shown to be anti-immigrant. so again, under normal circumstances, perhaps, yeah, ask if people are citizens. that's fine. maybe that's important data. but gimp the context -- and you heard the president right there going for the culture war, making this a cultural issue saying people aren't proud of being american citizens, that has nothing to do with this. that's why people question the president and a lot of people are offended by this. >> politically, ruth this looked like a short-term gave for him and long-term major pain for the
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republican party going forward. >> a long-term problem for the republican party going forward. and short-term is, a major humiliation for the president and this administration. >> he was -- him admitting he couldn't do what he wanted to do today. >> the three-word summary of the attorney general's remarks is congratulations on losing, mr. president. and they didn't just lose. they lost in the most muay humiliating fashion, they lost at the supreme court and instead of recognizing that which was evident from the timing and the face of what the supreme court did, the president and they recognized that, they said okay, we're not going to press it. the president ordered them to find a way to go forward. they couldn't find a way to go forward. if they've talked for months, years about how essential it was to add this very question to the census that there was no other way to do it that was effective other than through the census. so major and humiliating loss. don't get fooled by the
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congratulations, mr. president. >> but betsy, it does feel as if the president in some ways decided i know i've lost but i'm going to make sure my base knows that i'm always, always, always thinking of figuring out how to weaponize the immigration issue in politics. >> that red meat was exactly the way he started the speech. it's something that frustrated congressional republicans. i spoke with a republican aide last week who said they were just very fatigued of the census issue, tired of having to deal with it and put out statements and lo and behold it, keeps going. as you and pete pointed out, perhaps one thing we can't overlook is what the attorney general said about congressional districting an morningsment. the entire point of adding this question to the census would be so parts of the country with large hispanic populations would have less representation in congress. >> let me put up the infamous, i apologize, guys, i'm asking you
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for something i think was a section ago. in the control room, but i believe we have a version of that when the hidden file that was found on the republican mapmaker's a deceased republican mapmaker, basically the whole point of the citizenship thing was how you could essentially draw more republican districts. >> you've got to wonder how and whether that weighed on chief justice john roberts. he cares about the reputation of the court. it's difficult for him to okay i an plan whether he one of the architects was saying this was about mam mizing. >> here it is up here. don't you think the discovery of this while they were deciding the case files on the drive show he wrote a study concluding adding a citizen question to the census would allow the republicanton attracts more gerrymandered maps to sty my democrats. he wrote the key portion of a draft justice department letter and claiming the question was needed to enforce the 65 voting rights act, the rationale at
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administration later used. >> it's so key to know why the good faith argument as to why people oppose can asking the citizenship question which is undercounting people hurts american citizens. the government apportions resources on things like education and infrastructure on the basis of how many people live there. if you're in an area of undocumented people, they're still using schools and roads. do you want less money because you're living in an area with a lot of undocumented people? it hurts americans. >> one quick thing. even before the -- those hard drive files were found, it was clear that the administration has presenting to the court what the chief justice politely described as a contrived reason. i think he couldn't stand the notion of being told to pretend to be a fool in accepting or not accepting this ridiculous rationale that it was to protect people and the voting rights act. i also think there's something very potentially dangerous going on in what the attorney general
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said which is not that you would by suppressing, counting be able to draw better districts for republicans but that's he's suggesting and maybe i'm overreading it a potential earthquake in the entire way we does district. >> i smell law sues saying no, no, no, no challenging the apportionment say in florida and texas. >> he's a smart guy. he does not say that idly. >> the president referred to gerrymandering in thera, he made. he talked about the ruling that gave more leverage to these state map drawers. that's not a mistake. these are connected. >> carlos occur bella, does the rhetoric about the census, one of the things interesting about this story in hispanic media this has been covered more heavily than not hispanic media. i wondered put it president's rhetoric intimidates some hispanics from participating. >> there's some of that. it's also the old divide and
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conquer strategy. pitting one group of americans against another. making white americans think that these hispanic voters are coming in and somehow diminishing their votesors egalitarianism in our country. it's this divide and conquer strategy that has pushed our politics into this horrible state we're in. the truth is that the solution to all of this is to reform our immigration laws. then it doesn't really matter whether you put a citizenship question on the censor not. but clearly a lot of people, the president included, prefer the politics of immigration over the solutions for immigration because if plays well come campaign season. >> well, and i think we'd, we've got to figure out how to take the politics out of map drawing. i don't know how -- it is state by state. >> the supreme court allowed us to put the politics into map drawing. >> the democrats are in a odd
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spot. do you still fight to reform the laws state by state or do you say, you can't beat them, join them. >> many democrats are endorsing the idea of enendorse diagnose independent commissions free. >> partisanship and other democratic led states like new jersey who tried to gerry mander themselves. >> or illinois. >> many people watching that press conference might have come away with the press conference account government does not already try to count how many undocumented people there are. i looked up while the president was speaking, dhs has as office of immigration sticks that looks at this is the than simply asking people in a way they can refuse to answer. 12 million people, flat for 12 years. >> we've been doing this over and over again. it's -- it is interesting to watch the president try to take a loss and make it not look so bad. >> as a base will probably believe it's a win. >> ruth, betsy, carlos, thank
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you all. they'll be back tomorrow with more "meet the press" daily". "the beat with ari melber" starts right now. no more legal fights for you. >> it's all over. >> yeah. >> i'm not show sure, but i take your point. chuck todd, thank you, sir. >> thank you, brother. >> we have a big show. breaking news. >> president donald trump just massively caved in his long-running battle to try to force a citizenship question onto the u.s. census. as i was just discussing with my colleague chuck todd, this does actually bring an end to the supreme court level legal wrangling that the president lost in spectacular fashion. but i will show you what he said. president claims this surrender does not mean he's backing down. >> the supreme court ultimately affirmed our right to the ask the citizenship question and very strongly it was

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