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June 14, 2018

Normally, Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show, he makes jokes about news stories "everybody's already talking about. ... But this story is different, because this is the conversation everybody should be having." Under the new policy by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, more than 1,300 migrant children have been taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. "Now, if that sounds evil, then good news: Your ears are working," Colbert said. The "bad news" is that Americans "are putting up with our government saying to immigrants, 'If you come to the United States, the worst thing imaginable will happen to you: We will take your children away from you with no guarantee you'll see them again.'"

"Now clearly, no decent human being could defend that, so Jeff Sessions did," Colbert said, and Sessions cited the Bible as backup. "I will give Sessions this: That is what Romans 13:1 says: You've got to have laws," he added. "But if he had just read a little bit further, into Romans 13:10, it says: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.' But I'm not surprised Sessions didn't read the whole thing. After all, Jesus said, 'Suffer the children to come unto me,' but I'm pretty sure all Sessions saw was the words 'children' and 'suffer' and said, 'I'm on it!'"

The Trump administration is storing these kids in abandoned Walmarts and building "tent cities" on military bases, "but it wouldn't matter if you took these children to really nice hotels, or Trump hotels, we'd still be the only country in the whole damn world doing it, because it's just plain wrong," Colbert said. "So for Father's Day, call your elected representatives and demand they do something. Because I sincerely believe that it doesn't matter who you voted for — if we let this happen in our names, we are a feckless country." Peter Weber

June 14, 2018

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders hosted a tense press conference Thursday as reporters challenged her on the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the border. "The attorney general earlier today said that somehow there is a justification for this in the Bible," said CNN's Jim Acosta. "Where does it say in the Bible that it is moral to take children away from their mothers?"

Sanders said she wasn't aware of the attorney general's comments or what he was referencing, but "I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible." As Acosta started to push back, Sanders shut him down by saying: "I know it's hard for you to understand even short sentences."

As the press conference went on, CNN's Brian Karem lost his patience with Sanders' explanations. "Come on, Sarah, you're a parent," he said, standing up to confront her. "Don't you have any empathy for what these people are going through?" Watch the heated moment below. Jeva Lange

June 14, 2018

CNN's Chris Cuomo demolished Virginia GOP Senate candidate Corey Stewart on Wednesday night in a fiery exchange over Stewart's anti-immigrant views and his association with neo-Confederates. At one point, when Stewart attempted an attack on Cuomo's late father, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo (D), Chris Cuomo blisteringly shot back: "My father is dead and buried and was 10 times the man you will ever be on your best day."

CNN commentator and Republican strategist Ana Navarro, for one, loved every minute of it. "Oh honey, can I tell you something?" Navarro told her colleague afterwards. "Jason Miller doesn't have to own Corey Stewart because sweetheart, you just did for the last two segments. That is the most entertaining 15 minutes I have watched on TV in a long, long time. Forget the raccoon cam, forget the gorilla channel, just give me Chris Cuomo owning neo-Nazis, owning white nationalists."

"I'm glad you put me in that group of other wild animals," Cuomo joked back. Watch some of his "Nazi-owning" below. Jeva Lange

June 14, 2018

Two days after President Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, North Koreans are at last seeing footage of the historic meeting on state TV, The Associated Press reports. The 42-minute news program is breathlessly narrated by the nation's famous news anchor Ri Chun Hee, who goes as far as to use the honorific "supreme leaders" to refer to both Kim and Trump.

The coverage is a surprising shift for North Korea, which uses propaganda to teach citizens to hate and fear Americans. Kim, though, is the hero of the North Korean news program, with the AP noting "he was shown allowing the older American — Trump, in his seventies, is more than twice Kim's age — to lean in toward him to shake hands, or give a thumbs up, then walking a few steps ahead to a working lunch." The BBC also observes that North Korea included footage of Trump saluting one of its generals, apparently out of confusion over a muddled handshake.

Watch the famous meeting of Kim and Trump, which comes about halfway through the North Korean news program, below. Jeva Lange

June 13, 2018

Employees at Casa Padre, a former Walmart that houses nearly 1,500 unaccompanied migrant children in Brownsville, Texas, called the police on Sen. Jeff Merkeley (D-Ore.) last month, but on Tuesday, MSNBC's Jacob Soboroff was given a tour of the facility. "I have been inside a federal prison and county jails," he said on Twitter afterward. "This place is called a shelter but these kids are incarcerated."

There are currently 1,469 boys age 10 to 17 housed in the facility, with up to 30 percent of them — or 440 children — among the new batch separated from their parents under President Trump's new "zero tolerance" border policy, Soboroff explained. "The thing that strikes me, as the parent of a 2 1/2-year-old boy, is what about from 0 to 10?" Soboroff told Chris Hayes on MSNBC Tuesday night. "Where are those kids?" There are 99 other facilities housing children in 17 states. These children are "allowed outside, Chris, where we are, in the fresh air, for two hours a day," he said. "And the rest, 22 hours a day, they're inside a former Walmart."

One of the strangest things about the facility, Soboroff said, is the mural of Trump you see right when you enter, with the quote, in both English and Spanish: "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war."

Casa Padre is a licensed child-care facility run by the Texas nonprofit Southwest Key Programs (SKP), but the "tent cities" the Trump administration is envisioning won't have to be, Soboroff said. SKP runs facilities for unaccompanied child migrants in seven states and, according to a 2015 tax filing, CEO Juan Sanchez made $770,860 in annual "reportable compensation." You can read more of Soboroff's observations on Twitter. Peter Weber

June 4, 2018

The president wasn't missing, but he may have wished to be.

Former President Bill Clinton sat for an interview with NBC's Craig Melvin on Sunday for a Today segment ostensibly about the novel he co-authored with legendary thriller writer James Patterson. The novel, called The President Is Missing, was released Monday, and Patterson sat beside the former president for the interview, which aired Monday morning.

But while Melvin did ask the men about the book, the conversation eventually turned toward Clinton's indiscretions and whether he had any regrets in light of the thundering #MeToo movement. Melvin noted that detractors say Clinton should've resigned after admitting to having an affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and asked the former president whether if he were president "now, in 2018," he would've handled things differently.

Clinton immediately took a defensive tack, saying, "I don't think it would be an issue because people would be using the facts, instead of the imagined facts. If the facts were the same today, I wouldn't [do anything differently]." He added that he believes that "a lot of the facts have been conveniently omitted" from the 20-year-old scandal, blaming the renewed interest on people who are "frustrated" about the "serious allegations" of sexual assault made by many women against President Trump.

"I think I did the right thing. I defended the Constitution," Clinton said, before acknowledging that while he publicly apologized at the time to Lewinsky and her family, he never personally offered his contrition. Melvin pressed Clinton on that point, prompting the former president to issue a fiery defense of his record. Watch the full segment below — including NBC's masterful use of reaction shots from Clinton. Kimberly Alters

May 29, 2018

NBC's Megyn Kelly expressed concern about Starbucks stores turning into places where homeless people can use the bathroom during a roundtable conversation about the company's new policy to allow anyone to use the facilities, regardless of if they are a paying customer or not. "They're allowing anyone to stay and use the bathroom even if they don't buy anything, which has a lot of Starbucks' customers saying, really? Like, why?" Kelly said. She wondered if "Starbucks are now going to get overwhelmed with people and is it really just a public space or is it not?"

The conversation was prompted by Tuesday's anti-bias training at Starbucks stores nationwide, a decision that followed an incident when a store manager called the police on two black men for "trespassing" when they sat in the cafe without buying a drink.

Kelly received pushback from Jenna Bush Hager, who said: "I think some of these people don't have places to go. I've seen people sit in our local Starbucks here in New York City that are homeless, that don't have another place."

Kelly dismissed that Starbucks was the "solution," noting that homeless people can go to "churches." She added, "For the paying customers who go in with their kids, do you really want to deal with a mass of homeless people or whoever is in there — could be drug addicted, you don't know — when you're there with your kids, paying for the services of the place?" Watch below via Raw Story. Jeva Lange

May 23, 2018

President Trump spent Wednesday morning stoking fears of a Deep State conspiracy against his 2016 presidential campaign after a report last week that an FBI informant met with several of his staffers during the early investigation into Russian election meddling. Conservatives in the House have demanded a review of how the Justice Department and the FBI handled that initial probe, and the White House has invited two senior House Republicans to a Thursday meeting to give them access to pertinent confidential information. Democrats were notably not invited, and have called the move "partisan."

Curiously, Democrats in the House have an ally in longtime Trump loyalist Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.). Appearing on MSNBC on Wednesday, he told host Hallie Jackson that the Democrats "definitely should have been" invited to the meeting.

"Look, we need to be bipartisan about this, and I think it would be a lot more credible of a process if we were more inclusive," Gaetz said. "I think more members of Congress outside of the Intelligence Committee ought to be able to participate in this discussion and debate about what kind of country we want to have." Watch the discussion below. Jeva Lange

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