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tv   Ronan Farrow Daily  MSNBC  March 5, 2014 10:00am-11:01am PST

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global powers are in paris to talk about ukraine. we're waiting on remarks from secretary of state john kerry and potential sergey lavrov.
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we'll keep you updated. they're trying to find an exit to this crisis. we have heard from secretary kerry once. here he was earlier laying the foundation before the talks began. >> the united states of america, the russian federation, and the united kingdom of great britain and north ireland reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of ukraine. weapons will not be used against ukraine. >> congress is stepping in, and russian president vladimir putin, here was speaker boehner this morning on the subject. >> steps that have not been taken over the last three or four years frankly allowed putin to believe that he could do what
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he's doing without -- without any reaction from us. but given where we are, we're here in a bipartisan way trying to irk with with the president. >> john boehner urging more action and the u.s. is not alone in offering up assistance. the european union is now offering a massive aid package, $15 billion to the interim yo ukrainian government. here to help sort through all this is senior obama adviser david axelrod, always a pleasure to have you on the show. first question, put yourself in the room with secretary kerry and foreign minister lavrov. they have been in conversation with a lot of these players. how do you think secretary kerry is best equipped to deal with russia? what can he offer them? >> well, first, let's note these two have had a lot of conversations since the secretary took over and before. so these are familiar figures,
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and they're talking real politics in that room. i think what's become apparent to the russians in the last few days is the ramifications of the situation for their economy, and that's something they have to consider. so i think what needs to be found is a way for them to off-ramp, as the term has been used, and not appear to be surrendering their position on the ukraine, but allowing some sort of mutually agreed upon arrangement to move forward on which elections will move forward, the troops will withdraw, and certainly won't advance. and there's some stability restored to the -- restored to ukraine. >> you make a good point in saying russia's economy is already feeling the effects of some of this instability, and further economic news, we learned the house could vote as
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early as thursday to fasttrack assistance to ukraine. besides that, is there anything congress should do to stabilize the economic impact of this? >> i think congress should take a cue from the president here because there will be the need for sanctions, some of which the president can invoke on his own, if in fact these talks don't succeed. and i think voting the aid, standing by the president on these sanctions, is a lot more productive than trying to point fingers of blame in ridiculous ways as we have seen in the last couple days. >> speaker boehner this morning said u.s. actions over the last few years allowed putin to think he could do this, referring specifically to the flub, as it was perceived on syria. senator john mccain has added, calling our foreign policy feckless. you personally have been in the oval office with this president. you have seen his relationship
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with putin. how do you respond to what they said? >> what is clear is putin was responding to events in ukraine, not to any perceptions of the u.s. what happened was he made a $15 billion play to try to wrench ukraine away from the european union, and when president yanukovych or then-president yanukovych took the deal, it created tremendous unrest in ukraine and ended in his being deposed. that created a big crisis for russia. this is not the result of four years of decision making on the part of the president. the president got on the phone and spent 90 minutes with putin and outlined what the ramifications would be. kerry's been talking to lavrov, and now i think those are becoming clearer. but to say this was the result of something, i mean, it was very clearly a reaction to a misplay on the part of the russians with the ukrainians and an underestimation of what the
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reaction to that would be. >> we talked to ambassador mcfall yesterday, the outgoing ambassador who was previously our most recent envoy to russia who said he thinks putin is just behaving on impulse, it's not calculated at all. do you agree with that assessment? >> well, i know that his impulse is to try and -- is very nationalistic. we know that, and this has been true throughout his tenure there. i don't buy one member of congress said he's playing chess and we're playing marbles. i don't think he thought many moves ahead when he made this decision. so yes, i agree with mike mcfall, who is obviously a student of putin and russia. now the question is, we're here. how do we defuse this? both sides are pondering this. how do we defuse this in a way that allows putin to face his people, having charged up the hill. but leaves the ukraine in a
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position of territorial integrity. >> all right, thank you so much, sir. always a pleasure to have you here. former obama senior adviser david axelrod. we will come back to him. >> remember, it's not just ukrainians caught in this cross fire. today exclusively on the show, we'll hear from an american couple trapped in kiev with four ukrainian children they just adopted. with adoption in our own families, it's the story of don and leeza jenkins. they traveled to kiev in early february to bring home three girls and one boy. all four have lived in orphanages in ukraine for most of their lives. the family's story started with the adupgz of one teenage girl through a group called project 143 which brings orphans to the united states. that led the jenkins to the girl's friend and the girl's sister and their little brother, eventually. three siblings all in need of a
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home and of parents to love them, but shortly after the jenkins arrived in kiev to bring their children to topeka, the revolution broke out in independence square. with the state of ukraine in lem bow, they can't get the passports they need for their children. they can go themselves but they're staying with them. more than a month later, they're still waiting because the arrival of the russian troops has further destabilized the country. the family is living in a kiev apartment less than a mile away from that square. don jenkins joining me from ukraine to talk about what he's going through. i so appreciate your joining us here. >> i appreciate you calling. >> you have been updating the world on your situation through your wife's facebook page. have you been in touch with the embassy there in ukraine and have they done anything to help you? >> yes, we have been in touch daily with the american embassy and also with senator pat
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roberts' rauoffice back in kans. we e-mail back and forth. i make phone calls to the american embassy. they're doing everything they can, but ultimately, there hasn't really had an impact on the end result. we're still without the final passport. >> what is the explanation of the hold-up? why can't they be issued or an emergency provisional document be issued? >> that's one of the biggest questions because, you know, we understand the government officials were out, new people were brought in. we knew that was going to slow things down. we knew when putin, you know, took over crimea and started asking people here to enlist for -- they're trying to get soldiers prepared for battle. and we know that a lot of people are trying to get out of ukraine to avoid that situation because nobody wants to fight a losing battle. we were told we have to keep in the back of our minds that some of these people that are fleeing may be the very people that are
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responsible for getting us our passports. i'm not saying that's what's taking place. we're told we have to keep that in the back of our minds. the reason for not having the passports seems to be the elusive question because i know the american embassy has reached out to the passport office, and you know, our governmental officials in the united states have reached out to them just asking them, you know, for help. and they won't even give us an idea of if the passport is set to be printed, if it's already printed and it's something else, or where it is in the process. it seems like a simple question that can't be answered. >> the apartment where you're staying is blocks from unless square. you sent us a cell phone video of protesters literally outside your apartment. what is it like to be that close to the chaos? >> that was scary. you know, that particular moment, they were -- i don't know, you could look at the
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video, 75 to 100 people standing outside our apartment. they were gathering and marching toward independence square. they weren't in any combative state of mind. they were peaceful, gathering and marching, but at this point, it's like, what is happening? why are people gathering? why are more people heading to independence square? it puts us in a frame of mind where we don't know. we can't turn on the public television because we don't speak ukrainian. we don't understand what is happeni happening. we look out our window, two days after we got here, you could see the glow in the sky with the flames and smoke, and you could see on tv, pictures of the embassy, but we don't know what was going on at that point. we didn't want to vercher out. >> let's talk about the children. you just went through an adoption which is a grueling emotional process in the best of circumstances. now you're trapped in this chaos. how are the children reacting and how much are they aware of what's happening in their home
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country? >> oddly enough, the children are really unaware of what's going on. keep in mind that they're from -- they live in orphanages in villages five and a half hours south of kiev and they have no access to television, limited internet access, and they're teenage girls. they're listening to american pop culture and talking to friends on their form of facebook here. they haven't been diving into too much of the political news. if they watch tv, it's a cartoon. they're very unaware. they didn't know who putin was. they didn't know who barack obama was. i told them, do you know who barack obama is? no, they don't know who he is. they're very ignorant of that information, but you know, it's something that's probably in our favor at this point because it's
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enabled -- we want this to be a happy time for them. we don't want this to be something where this was bloodshed. we want them to remember the positive experience in their life and being a family, they're happy. we're happy. everything has been a joy. it's getting harder and harder. >> we're all following the story. we really thank you for taking the time to bring it to us. please keep us posted on your situation. we would love to keep our viewers updated. >> no problem. thank you. and coming up, on the hill, a different kind of chaos. heated clash broke out today between congressman darrell issa and elijah cummings at a hearing on capitol hill. it got very, very personal. take a listen. >> the mikes did go off by claiming that this has not been a real investigation. >> and hillary clinton reportedly made her first comments on the ukraine crisis, and you will never guess what
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she's comparing putin's actions? to. >> plus, later, how this [ bop must-see video is making our heroes and zeros. stay with us.se for only 50 delicious calories.
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welcome back to "rf daily." major fireworks on the hill. sashort time ago, elijah cummings and darrell issa had an explosive exchange at a hearing regarding allegations the irs targeted tea party. when lois lerner pled the fifth, chairman issa adjourned the hearing before cummings had a chance to ask a question he wanted to ask. cut off the mike. it was a brutal personal exchange. take a listen. >> i'm -- no, let me say what i have to say. i have listened to you for the last 15 or 20 minutes. let me say what i have to say. i have one --
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>> ms. lerner, you are released. >> first, i would like to use my time to make brief points. for the past year, the central republican accusation in this investigation -- >> we're adjourned. close it down. >> before our -- >> thank you. >> all right, everybody behaving like adults as usual on the hill. a frustrated congressman cummings continued to speak even after his mike was cut off. take a listen. >> if you will sit down and allow me to ask a question, i am a member of the congress of the united states of america. i am tired of this. we have members over here, each who represent 700,000 people. you cannot just have a one-sided investigation. there is absolutely something wrong with that and it's absolutely un-american. >> you know, just civil,
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efficient business as usual. issa gave his rationale to reporters outside the hearing room shortly after that. >> after she had established she was pleading the fifth, you still asked several questions yet you didn't give your democratic colleague the same opportunity. >> he was not intending to ask her questions. >> he didn't have a chance to ask. >> he said he had questions to ask. instead, he began making an opening statement even after the committee was adjourned. therefore, the committee stood adjourned. >> virginia congressman gerry connolly was present in the theatrics today. thank you so much for joining us. shortly after you left the room, you tweeted the following. issa stoops to a new low, refusing cummings a opportunity to speak. shame on gop majority. isn't issa correct in saying the hearing and the questions were at an end at that point? >> no, look, this is the
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people's body. and democracy needs to be alive and well here in the house. what you saw, just what you just showed was a profound abuse of power by a chairman of a committee. and he is turning our committee into a star chamber. precisely the kind of thing the founders anticipated in crafting the fifth amendment to protect citizens from that kind of abuse of power. unfortunately, we saw it in full display today by darrell issa and the majority. >> meanwhile, the actual focus of the hearing was of course supposed to be lois lerner, the former irs director who has been the target of a number of republican-led hearings. she pled the fifth today. to issa's point what would have been gained continuing to question her after she had pled the fifth? >> why did issa bring her back and question her at all? under the d.c. code of ethics for the bar association, it is actually a punitive action, subject to ethical review and
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punishment to bring someone before a legislative body who has clearly said, i intend to invoke my fifth amendment right. but just to push back slightly on the point, she had been called before and had spoken and not invoked her fifth amendment, which i think is one of the issues here that the republicans on the committee argue she has waived that right in the past. what do you say to that? >> i say the republicans are not entitled unilaterally to say to any citizen they have waived their right. if you look at case law, it couldn't be clearer going back to the mccarthy era, the quinn case before the supreme court of the united states. all defer ngs has to be given to a citizen who invoked the fifth amendment, and it's not up to a partisan group of one committee unilaterally to waive the constitutional rights of any citizen in the united states. that's what darrell issa and company are trying to do, and now to bother tea party members who say they're concerned about the government on their necks.
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this is an egregious abuse of power by a government entity, the republican majority of our committee. >> what's next for the oversight committee when it comes to this investigation? >> the republicans have clearly tried to cook the books here. and they want to bring a contempt citation against lois lerner, and the sole reason is this plays well with their base. they did polling and the irs issue plays well with their base. the rights of the citizens are trampled on is just a casualty of war from their point of view. it's a shameful episode that harkins back to the civil rights era. >> it's a story that has been getting a lot of buzz today, and we're going to cover it later in the hour. it involves a nasty family feud playing out in a new jersey courtroom. an 18-year-old girl is suing her parents, demanding they pay her high school, college, and living costs. she claims she was abandoned.
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her parents said she left home because she wouldn't follow their rules. it has a lot of people worked up. that's why it's our battle of the day. parenthood, it will kill you. who do you think was right, the teen or her parents? you can chooweigh in by choosine of two hash tags. wait until you see where that ends up on the show. >> and up next as well, our call to action this week, you remember, is on voting rights. we ask what is your number one challenge when it comes to the vote? here's zachary who says the lines have become excessively crowded when i need to go, monday through 59:00 to 5:00 range. we'll have more on the issue all week. keep your responses coming. [ female announcer ] the secret to luminous, shiny color?
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welcome back to "ronan farrow daily." the ukraine crisis is also having repercussions in american politics. republicans are blaming president obama for vladimir putin's invasion of crimea. senator mccain said obama has a, quote, feckless foreign policy where nobody believes in america's strength. adding to the chorus, lindsey
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graham of south carolina took it a step further, pointing to benghazi. >> the world is never in a better place when you have a weak, indecisive american president and russia is a symptom of that madness. it started with benghazi. when you kill americans and nobody pays a price, you invite this aggression. >> senator graham followed up with this tweet on tuesday afternoon, again implying at the end of the day, it goes back to the b-word, benghazi. a new poll shows the 2012 attack on the consulate of benghazi is taking a political toll, specifically on former secretary of state hillary clinton's numbers. pew found benghazi was named the most negative thing from senator clinton's career, cited by 15% of those polled. 18% found nothing negative about her career. today, hillary clinton's first extensive comments on the crew crane crisis are causing a stir at a private fund-raiser in calf. last night, she reportedly made comparisons between putin and adolf hitler.
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what's that rule that says there's only a certain amount of time in every conversation before that happens? she was quoted as saying the following. if this sounds familiar, it's what hitler did back in the '30s. all the germans who were the ethic germans, the germans by ancestry in places like czechoslovakia and romania and other places, hitler said they're not treated right. i must go and protect my people. that's what's gotten everybody so nervous. joining me in the studio is mark halpern, coauthor of the book "the game change" and "double down" and msnbc political analyst, and we're joined by msnbc political analyst howard fineman. two political experts on this beat a lot. thank you for being here. happy to have you. what do you make of the latest controversy? first, any thoughts on the actual veracity of the historical comparison? >> it's dangerous to go down that road, but the fact is not
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only is the hitler comparison in some ways apt that secretary clinton sees it, but the cold war comparison people are making. her remarks offer a great wijdo not just into her mindset but what a lot of diplomats are saying privately. one other thing she said people publicly want to use calming rhetoric to diffuse the situation, but her metaphor shows you the gravity to which top diplomats in the country including secretary kerry are not privately underplaying the extent to which this is one of the most dramatic developments we have seen since the berlin wall fell. >> going to you, howard, it is the case, of course, that this is an event that is potentially destabilizing, certainly the immediate region around ukraine and with some likelihood europe as a whole. europe has leapt into action. do you think the world war ii comparison is resonating amongst the european powers right now? >> among european powers, i think to some extent.
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but times are changed and russia is much more bound economically into western europe than used to be the case. so while the europeans on one hand diplomatically might want to be drawing lines in the sand with putin and so forth, they also have tremendous numbers of economic ties that have developed and putin has been very shrewd to enhance his own leverage in western europe. for example, the germans economically have become very close to the russians. they're kind of the linchpin of western european policy. the fact the western europeans and the eu are willing to loan the new ukraine government $15 billion to replace the money that putin has taken off the table shows that they're willing to play ball, and they want ukraine to be part of the european system. so that's what's going on with europe, and i think if they can follow through and if they can help the new ukraine government not only survive but thrive
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economically, then i think that will be as good a result as can be expected in this crisis. >> how important do you think, howard, this relationship with russia is to hillary clinton's future political prospects? obviously, she worked extensively with lavrov and other russian officials while she was at the state department. i was at the state department at that time. i saw how important that relationship was. of course, one of the memorable moments in that relationship was a bit of a flub where secretary clinton presented a reset button to the russians, and unfortunately, the russian word inscribed on it read not reset but overload. not a personal mistake she made, but a moment of big awkward laugh for all parties involved. so starting with you, howard, do you think that as we see president obama getting hillary for perceived weakness on this, that is something that will stick to clinton or is it at the prefer periphery of her reputation.
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>> i thought it was fascinating hillary was at least behind closed doors for the most part in california, tagging hard to the right on this issue, making her hitler comparison. because i think what she's going to be criticized for among other things certainly by conservative commentators and maybe by a challenger in the democratic primaries is where were you on russia? you thought the reset was going to work. you took medvedev seriously when putin was pulling strings the whole time. you know, is it possible, ms. clinton, when you were part of the obama administration you didn't take russia and putin seriously enough? her people say, look, we got the start treaty negotiated. we did other key things. we weren't looking the other way. we weren't naive about putin and his desire to put the soviet union back together, but i think that's the line she's clearly worried about being attacked on, and i thought it was fascinating
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that she sort of went as hard as she did in that setting out in california. >> mark, what do you think secretary clinton can focus on in terms of the positives? it's interesting to note in the same pew poll we talked about earlier, there was a significant contingent who said they didn't find any negatives. clearly, there is that strong base there. what should she be pivoting to right now? >> if she runs and gets caught up on how do i answer every question that happened in the administration and overthinked it like she did the iraq war in 2008, she'll have a rough road. if she rather focuses on smart answers about hard things and her future agenda and her strengths, i think a lot of this stuff will be in the weeds. she bears some responsibility for the administration's policies. she was a supporter of obamacare, of the russia policy, but she's not running as an incumbent, and we have seen as george herbert walker bush, the last person to get a third party
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for one term did, you have to figure a way to pivot a little bit, embrace what you support, criticize what you didn't agree with, but do it authentically. don't pick and choose based on what pollsters say. i have no doubt what she said in the california fund-raiser, as hard lined as it was, reflects her thinking. you know she is pretty hawkish on foreign policy, and i think she was under no illusions about putin but they had to deal with him because of the circumstances they found when he took office. >> i was in the administration therefore i'm close to the issues, but i think the stable of issues she cultivated as her own from women's issues to education could be an antidote to some of that. >> it's the strongest part of her portfolio. if she's the democratic nominee, the republican nominee will try to dismiss all that and try to criticize what the weaknesses are. there are weaknesses in the foreign policy, her traditional achievements as secretary, are not as strong as the soft powers. >> whatever you think of her,
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she's being forthright on the issue. we have gotten news secretary clinton will be speaking later today at ucla on this subject. we'll bring you update on that on msnbc and we'll discuss it on the show tomorrow. to both of you, thank you so much for joining us. we're going to go back to them for updates as we get political analysis, but first, we're also going to check in on a battle of a day that you guys have weighed in in force on. today, it's on the story, remember, of a new jersey girl suing her parents for school and living costs. she claims she was abandoned. her parents claim she left home because she wouldn't follow their rules. i feel like these fights happen all the time. they usually don't end in litigation. we avlsh who do you think is right. here are the responses. 24% saying the teen. not a lot of support for the young lady. 76% siding with the parents. bill picked the teen. he said a child is as good as its mentor.
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a parbt should raise their child to respect and abide. >> she chose to leave. she doesn't deserve a dime. find a job like other adults are trying to do. we've got more on the story coming right up. and up next, how this dramatic video of water rushing in on a car filled with children is tied to our heroes and zeros. you won't want to miss this. stay tuned. pay my bill. phone: your account is already paid in full. oh, well in that case, back to vacation mode. ♪boots and pants and boots and pants♪ ♪and boots and pants and boots and pants♪ ♪and boots and pants... voice-enabled bill pay. just a tap away on the geico app. ♪ huh, 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. yup, everybody knows that. well, did you know that some owls aren't that wise. don't forget about i'm having brunch with meagan tomorrow. who? seriously, you met her like three times. who? geico. i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out
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♪ make every day, her day with a full menu of appetizers and entrées crafted with care and designed to delight. fancy feast. love served daily. welcome back. it's that time. heroes and zeros. one piece of video riveted our entire team here at 30 rock today. it happened on daytona beach, and it is heart-stopping. video taken by a passer by. here's the story. first, a pregnant mom intentionally drives her van into the ocean with her three children inside. bystanders and life guards run towards the van to help. as the waves are rolling in and the water rushes into the car,
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hysterical kids reportedly shouted our mommy is trying to kill us. please help. then they scream, there's a baby, there's a baby. these amazing heroes managed to pull one of the small children from the car. one witness reported the mother had an awful, blank, spaced out look on her face. the children, age 3, 9, and 10, are doing okay. they were taken to a local hospital, but for driving in without hesitation and taking fast decisive action, all those impressive rescuers are our heroes today. on another note, a profoundly dysfunctional family is the focus of today's zero. the case made for tabloid tv in a new jersey courtroom, 18-year-old rachel canning is suing her parents. parents she says abandoned her. her parents maintain she was disobedient and got kicked out of school and she voluntarily left four months ago to live with her best friend's family. they stopped paying her tuition, and now she wants them to pay up
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for her private high school and her college education, according to rachel, she's an honor student and the victim of verbal and physical abuse by her parents. those distraught parents, the dad is a former police chief. they say they were just disciplining a bad kid who wouldn't obey their rules and got herself suspended from school. so far, the judge is coming down on the parents' side. take a listen. >> we want to establish a pr precedent where parents live in constant fear of establishing basic rules of the house? they institute a rule that junior doesn't like, junior can move out, move in with another family. he can sue for child support, attorney's fees, cars, cell phone, and a few hundred grand in college. >> doesn't this sound like a lot of family fights we all relate to but with much, much inappropriately higher stakes. will rachel get her money?
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the whole family is due back in court in april. rachel maintains she's being wronged and she's with her friend's family, not going home until this is resolved. the judge has recommended counseling. sound like the bear minimum in this case, but for bringing this family mess into court where it doesn't belong, rachel gets our zero today. and this story, of course, is tied to our battle of the day. we asked you to say whether you agree with the parents or the teen. here is the final tally. our winner with 78%, rfdparents. clearly a lot of parents relating to that fight. thank you to everyone who weighed in today. up next, thousands of dying migrants at the border with mexico in pursuit of the american dream. we have an in depth exclusive look at the dangerous plight of these unidentified victims in today's world unseen. that's coming up next. iwe don't back down. we only know one direction: up so we're up early. up late.
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throughout this debate, their rallying cry has been "secure the border first." if you visit the border, you'll discover that security is about the last thing you can find there. if you want the proof, just come with us to the medical examiner's office in pima county, arizona. tractor-trailers busiest morgue on the entire border. and we're taking you inside thanks to our exclusive partnership with a media startup company that penetrates the deep web with traditional search engines cannot delve into. that is exactly where we found the people in this story. take a listen.
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>> the numbers are staggering. >> in this cooler are the remains of about 100 unidentified my gran-- migrants. >> since 2001, about 2,000 dead migrants have spent time on these shelves. >> what we end up in arizona is a mass fatality disaster every single year. >> more confounding, 830 body remain unidentified. >> it's almost like having a plane crash every single year. but you don't have the passenger manifest. you don't know who is among those dead that has been recovered. >> one thing is that is known -- pursuit of the american dream cost them their lives. >> this particular case is fragmented remains. it consists of essentially this skull. >> welcome to the pima county medical center in tucson, arizona. the busiest morgue in the country for migrant deaths.
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>> the unidentified remains are here for as long as it takes to finish with our examinations and investigation. >> this is the end of a journey that begin about an hour south at the u.s./mexico border. >> and you can see a trail starting from the top of the hill and leading all the way down here. and you see backpacks. you can see water bottles. >> border patrol agents caught more than 120,000 migrant ts trying to make the trek last year. nearly 200 others died. >> this is the first time in four years that we've seen an increase in deaths. it really is due to the fact that the smugglers are pushing people out to more remote areas and taking more chances with lives of the people that are crossing. a lot of times when border patrol agents in the tucson sector encounter a dead body, they've died due to exposure to the elements.
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whether hypothermia or dehydration in the heat. extremely dangerous for anyone to be walking here. you physically can't carry enough water to sustain yourself while you're crossing an area like this. >> so the bodies pile up. >> the reason the problem is because people are unidentified. they have a reason to use an alias if they're apprehended. >> a few years ago, peoplima co was so overwhelmed with cases of unidentified remains that it had to build another cold room to deal with the overflow. >> the border control enforcement changed in patterns over time in response to illegal crossing activity and made it more difficult to cross in highly populated areas. they maved into more remote -- modified into more remote areas, and unfortunately that resulted in increased deaths for us that we just didn't have in the past. >> the center for human rights tries match reports of the missing with the unidentified
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bodies in the morgue. >> this man was found in the summer. this past summer. and he has a very unique tattoo. and we've been searching for him, and we still haven't found anybody, any of the families that have described that tattoo. >> reporter: other clues are found among the personal effects they carry. >> we have these little fragments of a story, maybe little fragments of who they are. >> some of the items we can use sort of like clues, but a lot of the items are very humble, normal items that anybody traveling would be carrying. >> even the smallest details are important. in one case, a mother identified her son's remains because of the button on his pants. >> the button had been sewn so that the pants would be just a little bit bigger. and she remembered her husband doing that for her son shortly before he crossed. >> for the medical examiner's office, the investigation is further complicated by the fate of the re-- the state of the remains. >> here in southern california, it's a dry and hot environment.
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when people die outside, they can mummify or become skeletal quickly. >> this was lying in the desert for probably more than a year. maybe one to five years. >> our anthropologists can help with information that we can't get from an autopsy. >> like reading the bones, some people say. >> but all too often the bodies are not identified. >> what happens to remains when we finish our investigation is they're buried or cremated. >> and this is where they finally end up. in a dusty section of the county graveyard in a kind of giant filing cabinet. a monument to the ashes of the unknown and unclaimed. >> a moving story. our thanks to vocative for the work on it. that wraps things up for me. it's my favorite time of day,
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t "the reid report" with my favorite colleague, joy reid. stay tuned. she can print amazing things, right from her computer. [ whirring ] [ train whistle blows ] she makes trains that are friends with trees. ♪ my mom works at ge. ♪ [ ship horn blows ] no, no, no! stop! humans. one day we're coming up with the theory of relativity, the next... not so much. but that's okay. you're covered with great ideas like optional better car replacement from liberty mutual insurance. total your car, and we give you the money to buy one a model year newer. learn about it at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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happy hump day. welcome to "the reid report," i'm joy reid. let me say, wow, what a day. later this hour, president obama speaks from connecticut on the fight to raise the federal minimum wage. we have announcements straight ahead. we'll take you there live as soon as the speech begins. we're waiting on a news conference from paris. secretary of state john kerry and the possibility of a diplomatic solution in ukraine all coming up. we'll have the latest as those things develop. we start with the fireworks over the potomac this morning. one of the gop's favorite attacks on the white house. no, i'm not talking about today's 50th vote to dund or repeal bicycle -- defund or repeal obamacare. happy birthday anyway, gop, your hatred of obamacare doesn't look a day over 49. no, i'm talking about the high drama of at all things a house government overnight sight hearing.

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