tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 30, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
brigg et sloan, to talk about simone biles' withdrawal from the competition. "all in" with chris hayes starts now. >> tonight on "all in" -- >> we fight like hell. if you don't fight like hell, you will not have a country army. >> donald trump said just say the corruption was corrupt and leave the rest to me. >> this was an attempted coup, an attempt to steal an election. >> tonight, shocking new details of trump's push to overturn his election laws and what we know about the people helping him. >> i spoke with him that day after, i don't know if i spoke to him in the morning or no i just don't know. >> why the department is saying donald trump's tax returns must be turned over to congress. the alarming cdc data driving the mask guidance and absurd
backlash. >> how dare anyone in this dictate to my staff how they may live their lives. >> the nbc reporting on whistle blowers who were told to downplay a covid outbreak among migrant kids at a shelter when "all in" starts right now. good evening, from no, i'm chris hayes. it was a failed coup. let's call it what it was. an immediate after math of the january 6th attack in the early revelations of donald trump's attempts, both privately to overturn the democratic election, there was a back and forth about whether coup was the appropriate term. but as we learn more, it really does feel like that's the best way to describe what we are talking about here. today we got new evidence that supports precisely that. earlier today the "new york times" first reported not only did donald trump press the justice department to save the rules of the 2020 presidential
election were corrupt. there were contemporaneous notes that provist. quote. the exchange unfolded during a phone call on december 27th in which mr. trump pressed the acting attorney general at the time on voter fraud claims the department had disproved. the thing is donahue, the deputy attorney general was taking notes. and the department of justice turned those notes over to the house oversight committee and today they've publicly released them. just a heads up, they were hand when we return and difficult to read. he responded to trump saying, quote, i understand that the doj can't and won snap it fingers and change the outcome of the election. it doesn't work that way. to which trump replied, just say the corruption was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the republican congress. just say it was corrupt. the president is asking the department of justice to help him overturn the election and
stay in power. remember, the deputy attorney general is writing this down, because in that moment, he realizes the sheer transgressive gravity of what's happening. a former fbi james comey interactions with trump, holy crap, this guy is whoa, i should put it in writing. what the president is asking fo. we are learning about this now pause because the house oversight committee got access to these nodes notes, in may, jeffrey rosen what is asked about this under oath. he dodged the question. >> prior to january 6th, were you asked or instructed by president trump to take any action at the department to advance election fraud claims or to speak to i don't have turn any part of the 2020 election results? >> well, congressman, as i just alluded to in your prior question, i can tell you what the actions of the department
were. >> no, sir, no, sir. >> i cannot tell you -- >> mr. rosen. >> consistent with my obviously gaks today about private conversations with the president one way or the other. >> keep in mind that as trump was trying to get the department of justice to help him overturn the elections. trumped a his allies made multiple calls to mar cope county pressure them. one said he let it go to remember the voice mail. the michigan legislators flew to d.c. to meet with trump at the white house. there was the recording, of course, of trump's call to the georgian republican secretary of state. trump said i just want to find 11,780 votes and when none of that worked, then, of course, there was the january 6th plot to overturn the election in congress. to a similar crowd, send them towards the capitol to pressure congress and his own vice president.
we are learning more about that as well. republican congressman mo brooks of alabama is now facing a lawsuit over a speech he gave the morning of january 6th, explicitly telling the crowd to start quote kick a -- this week the department of justice denied representing brooks in the case, arguing among other reasons, quote, instigating an attack on the united states capitol would not be in the scope of a member of congress' employment. fair point. it's clear brooks was a part of the planning for trump's coup because brooks said so, himself, check this out. back on december 21st, 2020, more than two weeks of the insurrection, politico just reported it out, a good piece, president donald trump huddled with a group of congressal republicans at the white house on monday, where they strategy united states over a last-ditch ever to overturn the results next month. congressman mo brooks spearheaded to overturn the results in congress, ork kneesed a trio of white house meetings, which lasted over three hours
around included roughly a dozen lawmakers. the back and forth kevining the planning and strategy for january 6th, brooks said in a quote interview, he literally said they were meeting for a strategy to overturn the record two weeks before it happened. then on the morning of january 6th, congressman mo brooks spoke at the same rally as donald trump. we are learning when he stood up taking the protest at the capitol, he was wearing body armour. >> i have a message i need you to take to your heater and back home and atlopg way stop at the come. today is the day american patriots start taking down names and kicking ass. what other words that scare the hell out of socialists and weak-needed republicans alike join with me, usa, usa, washington, america, heed those words. because we're going to carry them rate to you.
usa, god bless america. and the fight begins today. >> yeah. go kick ass. they did. i wonder when mo brooks saw them beating the cops, cussing them, violently assaulting them. they're kicking ass. i told them to kick ass. he was not the only congressman, "new york times" says mr. trump did not name the law makers. the other once they took notes of, he represented jim jordan of ohio who he described as a fighter a. swoexman says congressman jordan did not, has not, and would fought pressure anyone if 2021. that politico report from a due days before trump's doj meeting says, quote, other members who were in attendance include some of trump's staunchest allies, including jim jordan, he was plotting on overturning the
election. earlier this week, congressman jordan was asked if he had spoken to donald trump on january 6th. listen to this response. >> first off, yes or no, did you speak with president trump on january 6th? >> yeah, i spoke with the president last week. i speak with the president all the time. i spoke with him on january 6th. i mean i talk with him all the time. i don't think that's unusual. stacked members of congress to talk with the president of the united states when they're trying to get done the things they toll the voters in their district to do. i'm actually kind of amazing people ask this. of course, i talk to him all the time. i talked with him last week. >> on january 6th, did you speak with him before, during or after the come was attacked? >> i'd have to go. i spoke with him that day after, i don't know if i spoke to him in the morning or not. i just don't know. i'd have to go back. i don't know that when those
conversations happened. but what i know is i spoke with him all the time. >> boy, he was comfortable answering those questions. isn't he? jim jordan was speaking to donald trump about the attack at the capitol happened. he could not be on the committee investigating the attack, because as congressman liz cheney said he could be a material witness called to testify. at some people out in the open, resaul saw it. when all else failed, when he could not enlist the justice department. when he did not have enough votes in congress, the last thing left to him was the more than. so he used the mob. a violent insurrection. a failed coup we saw was his final attempt after he tried everything else, but he's not done trump. devlin barrett covers the fbi. he has been covering handwritten notes published today. i wonder if you can give us
context on donald trump and the context for this note-taking. >> right. we reported earlier this week this conversation was a part of a pattern going on at the time. trump regularly calling rosen, who was serving as the acting tomorrow because bill barr had just left the department and trump kept calling him and talking about this voter fraud and these various things he had heard and seen and that we wanted the justice department to pursue and rosen, who remember is just acting. these care-taker for what is supposed to be you know hopefully the quiet last weeks of the trump administration. and, obviously, it's anything but. and he's as has been described to us in these conversations, he's trying to be friendly and hear them out but not commit to anything. and a couple times we are told he tries to change the subject and is basically unsuccessful, because trump won't let it go. >> right. so, that's a key part of this,
too. which there is a pattern here. this is a sustained effort, your reporting indicates as opposed to a one-off conversation? >> right. absolutely. and you can see also through his public statements that trump, he through the late half of 2020, trump keeps trying to throw the justice department into the argument she's making about the eexwill. before the election, tomorrow bill barr is willing to entertain and help with these notions, after the election, the mood and the relationship really changes and you know barr leaves as that relationship has soured. and rosen is sort of left there to try to manage the situation and not upset the apple cart, essentially. and there is a really dangerous dance. one former official described it to me as you know the department was on a nice edge trying to both listen to the president, not blome off or anger him or incite a greater confrontation
and at the same time, not let the justice department be used for something as alarming and, you know, counter factual. >> tell tell me about donahue here. the notes strike me as not an accident. who is he, what's his role at this point? >> right. so richard donahue is a long-tame justice department employee. he, you know, at one time he was the u.s. attorney in brooklyn. he has been a senior aide in the justice department. at the time of these notes are taken. he has been a senior aide inside the justice department for the trump administration. he's had to run interference and sort of play internal track cop a little bit on these contentious issues involving trump in the election. so he also gets wrapped up in, if you remember, the fights between president trump and the state of georgia over the count. and he has to navigate doj's you
know essentially staying out as best they can from that fight. so he keeps touching these very complicated, very tricky issues. i think you are right, the notes are taken for a reason. they were taken because he feels there need to be some kind of record that this is going on. and importantly, he needs to preserve as much what trump said, which is what we are focusing on. i think from the justice department's view, they need to preserve what they said and they did. that very important, you can see, in rosen's public and praft statements. >> yes. devlin barrett, thank you very much. >> thank you. donald trump's request for the justice department to sigh the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me sounds a lot like his request the ukrainian president said in his first impeachment who said, quote, i would like you to do us a favor, though. he was more desperate to misstate his q. because these
were his people. daniel goldman served in the first impeachment trial of president trump, prior to that, the southern district of new york and he joins me now. i am struck by the similarities here, particularly that line that is so damming. just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me. what's your reaction to that? >> yeah, you are exactly right, chris. it's the more desperate, more extreme and more untethered donald trump trying to cheat or in this case overturn the election. the ukraine impeachment was all about donald trump trying to cheat in the 2020 election. he had won the 2016 election using russian interference. he wasn't charged criminally with that, but the mueller report indicated that he certainly knew about it. his campaign knew about it and they used the russian interference. then he tried to extort ukraine into helping him cheat in the election. then he lost the election.
now he is simply going all out so to speak to overturn the election. it is a stunning, stunning request and there are other things that in the notes that jump out to me that i think will be very relevant to prosecutors looking at donald trump's conduct in the ofmath of the 2020 election. the first thing he says that jumped out to me is, you may not read the internet as much as i do. you will remember, chris, that there was a lot of internet chatter about storming the capitol right in the lead-up through january 6th and one of the issues in impeachment, too, was how much did donald trump know? well, here he is admitting that he read the internet and then the other thing, which is separate and apart from the coup here, is him, once again, asking them to prosecute hunter biden. this is the president of the united states asking the department of justice to prosecute his political enemy. that is banana republic stuff.
>> okay. you just said prosecutor. here's the thing i find really frustrating. first of you'll, the idea that anyone would let this man within sniffing distance of power is insane and a death wish. b, how can it not be the case that this is not a crime? i mean, someone once described the coup attempt as akin to someone walking down a hallway of a home and trying every door. which is kind of what he did. it wasn't that like fist indicated. it wouldn't that -- but he tried every door. now they all ended up locked, so he couldn't steam the stuff. but if one was opened, he obviously would have and that seems criminal to me just in an intuitive sense. >> well, it's all evidence that could be used as a part of some sort of se dition prosecution or
a state investigation in georgia where he tried to interfere in an election in a particular state. it's not it's not potentially criminal, i think we all need to look at all of these notes and recordings as pieces of evidence in a larger puzzle. that's why i point out that had mission of his that he reads the internet. that type of thing can be very help. pro prosecutors to piece together a case. the problem is, is that no one has ever done this before. it's not something that's ever been anticipated that a president would literally try to have a coup in order to overturn an election by will. purely by will. if my might if he could have. but as we know right now, mark milley and mark esper in the defense department were not going to let that happen. so his outlet is these acting folks in the department of justice to try to use his power and coercion to get them to do
his dirty work. they restricted. the individuals held ultimately which is why it was a failed coup. >> well, i just got to say, talk about like world historical cowardice from william barr. he knows what the guy the up to. he could have gone public. but he leaves right and utterly like preposterous and combium to the greatness of donald trump, knowing he attempted a coup in the moment and just hand over the job of protecting american democracy of said queue to jeffrey rosen and out. good work. >> up until the sycophant's res ig fakes letter, he did stand town trump on this one issue. he was his lackey and accomplice for two years. on this issue, he said there was no evidence of election fraud. that did set the stage i think for jeffrey rosen to be able to
push back a little bit so i am no fan of bill barr. i actually think on this topic, other than abdicating the throne, so to speak, he did resist. >> yes, that's true. maybe it's because i am a journalist and because i have a television show this occurs to me and to functionarys. no one goes public. everyone plays a good soldier and doesn't say anything. the guy is rattling the cable trying to overturn an election. for the love of god, say something public lip. that's just me. thank you very much, daniel goldman, i appreciate i.. donald trump went two campaigns an entire presidency keeping his tax returns hidden. today we found out the game of keep away may be over. the decision to hold his tax returns has been reversed by the garland justice department. so they must be released to congress. does this mean the public will get to see them? and why is this happening now? don't go anywhere. that's coming up.
[ "bugler's dream" playing ] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ . can you give us any insight into the real reason the president refused to release his tax returns? >> statements that he said to me was that what he didn't want was to have an entire group of think tanks that are tax experts run through his tax return and start ripping it to pieces and then he'll ends up in an audit and
ultimately have taxable consequences, penalties and so on. >> fought wrong. not wrong. donald trump managed to keep his tax returns a secret his entire time in office. which is no small feat. democrats have been drying to access them for years. in 2017, they asked the house ways and means committee to formally request ten years of his tax returns. the chairman was a republican. he shut down the effort. a year later a democrat became chair giving him legal authority under statute to formally request trump's tax returns. in a few months, he announced he will do that. the irs missed the headline to hand them over. when that didn't work, he sued. then in september 2019, manhattan district attorney vai vans got into the act.
trump continue to the challenge the oversight powers. he lost the election. shortly after he lost the supreme court case. in february this year, the supreme court allowed manhattan prosecutors to obtain trump's taxes. so they have it. earlier this month the top money man were charged with tax fraud in manhattan court. today, however, the ways and means committee finally got movement on their year's-long quest. the justice department under merrick garland says his tax returns must be released to congress soon. they could potentially be made public. a national complil reporter has been tracking these developments and jones me now. betsy, my understanding it's the supreme court the office of legal department gives legal direction that basically that office overturned a previous set of guidance that was offered during the trump administration. is that right? >> that's right. when trump's lawyers were in
charge of the office of legal council, they said as members of congress were acting in bad faith that even though congress claims to have a legislative president trump, wanted to have them to embarrass trump. therefore, they didn't have to give them to congress. that was the doj's architect. now biden's lawyers running doj, including the office of legal council, what they said is look even if some members of congress are hoping that the president will be embarrassed by the contents of his tax returns, hard to imagine why he would be. maybe some are hoping that. what the doj says even if they are help hoping that, it's not germane to whether or not congress has a legitimate reason to reach for the tax returns and the llc confirms, yes, they do have a legitimate legislative reason. one thing in history that's cited in the doj opinion is the reason congress got the power to
pick individual people's tax returns, this committee did, is because of bribery, corruption and scandal. the law was changed in 1924. because congressional vrths during the tea pot dome scandal, which involved bribery, felt that they were getting stiff-armed by the irs. they carried that investigation out. they changed the law and the first time a member of a president's cabinet went to prison was the result of that scandal. so, there is a pretty direct through-line from the reason congress has this power to what they're trying to do with the power today. >> yeah. the, i always found that the justifications on the other side fairly tortured. they had to do with congress was acting in bad faith. it seems obvious to me, the legislative intent is we're considering a law to require presidential candidates to disclose their taxes and that's the legislative intent of the house, ways and means committee. we'd like to see the one guy
that hasn't done it in 40 years to see his taxes to see if it's justifie here is the 2019 opinion they are retracting, suggesting the executive branch should closely scrutinize the committee's stated justifications for its requests in a branch of government. this seems settled. they will get the taxes. what happens now? >> what's likely to happen next is trump in his personal capacity is likely to sue to block the tax returns from going from the irs to the doj. he has taken every every step known to lawyers to keep this information from becoming public. i don't think he will roll over because the biden doj has changed the trump's doj's opinion. he's got a couple days to move in court. we'll know in the next couple of days whether or not he's going to try to take legal action to keep this from going forward. then it's likely to be litigated. i don't think congress will get these tax returns been the next
few days. but that's the next step. and the fact that doj has changed its position makes things a lot less trouble for trump. >> all right. betsy woodriffe, swann, thank you for making time tonight. >> thank you. if you want to know why the cdc says it's time to mask indoor again? you need to only look to a motorcycle rally in south dakota. we will explain ahead.
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a little preparation will make you and your family safer in an emergency. a week's worth of food and water, radio, flashlight, batteries and first aid kit are a good start to learn more, visit safetyactioncenter.pge.com . today the cdc released new data act the highly contagious delta variant and a part of the basis for its recommendation earlier this week that advantages nated people wear masks, indoors, around places where there is high degree of transmission. we first heard about this yesterday at least in part from a leaked cdc document, they say the war has changed, referring to the delta variant. we are seeing a backlash
predictably from republicans, but just not from them. from frankly all kind of folks across the spectrum. a lot of people, particularly those who are fully vaccinated are understandably really frustrated by the idea of putting max back on and feeling we are sucked back into this pandemic life. and there are some more than fair critiques of how the cdc has handled its communications over the last few months from the somewhat sudden announcement in may that maks were no longer necessary and it was an honor system to the reversal and the whip losh of learning the delta variant is quite serious, something that kind of sort of started to know four or five months ago. so what happened? part of the reality here is that the virus mutates and the data released today does show the delta variant is working, like so much over the course of this pandemic, this data, itself, is provisional and by no means
definitive. all that said, the frustration is legitimate. what doing is legitimate is this entire faction of conservative republicans who have a posed or sabotaged the virus, whether it's social distancing or closing down bars and restaurants or masks or vaccinations. they seem to be in favor of letting the virus run rampant and sickening and killing as many people as possible and incapable of marshalling or anger on behalf of saving people. instead, they have depthless wells to direct it into histrionics of being asked to put a piece of cloth over their face. >> if i were to cowardly bend the knee here like those on the left wish, what is to stop you all to take your tyranny to the rest of this country that i love. how dare anyone in this institution attempt to dictate to the patriots of my staff how they may live their lives. the rest of you will. but i will not cower and i will
not bend. madam speaker, you have come to take away our liberties, madam speaker, in this country, you are outnumbered. >> bro', this is not the battle of lexington, we're talking about putting a little mask on. that was republican madison hawthorne. and in the halls of congress yesterday, a group of about 100 unmasked republican staffers apparently protested by playing beer pong in the halls of congress with water because maybe they're not all 21. i didn't quite get the deal. now in some ways, the basic die fammics have cappinged with delta. in changed with delta. it will look pretty familiar to a lot of us. that's next. l look pretty famil a lot of us. that's next. i was contagious. i was covered from head to toe. i was afraid to show my skin. after i started cosentyx i wasn't covered anymore. four years clear. five years now. i just look and feel better. see me.
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weekend, this happens every summer, most summers. there were events and parties and an outbreak of covid. 469 people contracted the virus. nearly three-quarters were fully vaccinated. now, provincetown is a liberal place. it has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country. as a result, the rate in the provincetown outbreak was pin schedule. only five were hospitalized. four fully vaccinated. no one died. in other words, the vaccine did their job. to stress this whole thing, the led line is a happy stare about effectiveness put to an complut stress test. that is broadly in line what we have been hearing about delta variant, it's highly transmissible and even among the vaccinated but the vaccine is
doing an incredible job stopping severe illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths. there were all the times as many cases in unvaccinated people. that's the green lines, then in vaccinated people, line in blue. now look at the do you that hospitalizations in depth. there were 25 times hospital ooized and 25 times as many unvaccinated people who lost their lives. right now, according to white house, 100 million eligible americans are still unvaccinated and there are lots of events like provincetown that will happen and places with vaccination rates much lower than massachusetts. for instance, remember the sturgis motorcycle rally in south dakota, the 2020 super spreader event with the trump science, masks or social distancing, the event one study estimates could have led to over 200,000 covid cases last year alone. testimony sturgis motorcycle rally is happening in a we'll be right back. you got to imagine the folks at the cdc among others are filled
with dread. i am joined by the co-director of the cherpt for children's development and dean of the tropical medicine and author of preventing the next pandemic, vaccine diplomacy in a same of anti-science. here's the thing about provincetown study. is that i felt like tha there are two ways to interpret it. someone like, wow, there was a full outbreak amongst vaccinated people. we haven't seen this before. also, this was an incredible stress test of the vaccine's efficacy in preventing serious illness. it held up remarkably well s. that a fair clarkization? >> yeah. absolutely him look, these vaccines are still very robust in terms of the way they were designed. the original design of all of these vaccines that came out of operation warp speed last year was to stop si -- symptomatic
illness. it's a much higher way over 95% of protecting against hospitalizations and deaths. so if you are vaccinated, you are almost certainly not going to get very sick or lose your life from covid-19. the idea that these vaccines could also stop asymptomatic transmission was something that came out after the vaccine were released from emergency ruse. it was studies if israel and the you can saying, hey, in addition to the symptomatic illness, get what, it's stopping asymptomatic transmission because the anti-bodies are getting into the nose and mouth and stopping advisor shedding. that means that we could take off max and if we're vaccinated, we don't need to be tested anymore. so the only thing that's really dropped out and even that's not completely is that second performance feature. because the delta variant produces so much more virus and
even that may be fixed later on by a third immunization potential lip. so this is not time to despair if you are vaccinated. the ones that have to despair are the unvaccinated, okay, that's where we are now seeing where i live in the southern united states, we are seeing lots of unvaccinated young people now going into the hospital, even some pediatric intensive units. so the overwhelming message is rehave to vaccinate the south and the mountain warm front states where very fouad less sent and young adults are vaccinated in order to prevent real catastrophe as the schools start opening in the south in just a couple of weeks. >> so there's a question and an outstanding question, let me follow up on the provincetown question. i seen some miami todaying and fought just like randos, some with background, it's a spec
case. it's 85% men more or less. it's an incredibly intensive. talk about designing a super spreader event. there are a lot of tight quarters, hookups. there is a lot of you know people being very close to each other. that this maybe is not like the most representative of delta spreading more broadly in not as an intensively kind of virus-friendly environment as july 4th weekend at provincetown? who do you think of that? >> actually this report that came out morbidity mortalitity week didn't tell me anything i didn't know. we already knew that the reproductive member of this virus is between five and eight is highly transmissible. for me the most important thing it confirmed is that you are not going to die if you get fully vaccinated eastern against the delta variant unless very special circumstances. those who are on immunosuppressive therapy or a
couple other factors, so, i think the way it was written, they used that 74% were vaccinated. remember, there are thousands and thousands of vaccinated people going through provincetown, which probably has one of the highest vaccination numbers over anywhere and the overwhelming number of people are not getting sick. >> i guess the question comes on the mask guidance. part of the argument if you were making is they're saying look if i'm vaccinated and people around me are vaccinated and the provincetown example is an exam of the fact that, you know, that it can spread. you can have an outbreak among people that are vaccinated, in the end not have calamitous results in unvaccinated. why this new making guidance in indoor areas? >> well, the reason is this. because the vaccines are not as strong against delta if terms of
that second performance feature, of a symptomatic virus shedding. >> right. >> it means that if are you then going into a setting like that, coming home to family member who's are vulnerable such as little kids or those who are immunocompromised, you could potentially bring that virus home with you. that's the reason for wearing masks. so the truth is many of us who are vaccinated are still wearing masks in indoor settings, anyway. i don't think it will be that much more behavior. i think the important guidance is for specialty populations, those of extreme age or surrounding immunosuppressive therapy. do we feed that third immunization to keep that small percentage of break-through hospitalizations intact and will that also stop virus shedding and what about the people who have got an single dose j&j, should they get a second dose?
>> we should note natale bennett in israel, it's the first country that's doing that. that is something also to look for as we go forward. clarifyinging as always, doctor, thank you. . >> thank you. next, whistle blowers allege a covid cover-up plan, they were told to downplay outbreaks of the coronavirus among children held in migrant shelters. julie ainsley has the story right after this. r this >> for powerful allergy relief plus a cooling sensation. live claritin clear.
emergency planning for kids. we can't predict when an emergency will happen. so that's why it's important to make a plan with your parents. here are a few tips to stay safe. know how to get in touch with your family. write down phone numbers for your parents, siblings and neighbors. pick a place to meet your family if you are not together and can't go home. remind your parents to pack an emergency supply kit. making a plan might feel like homework, but it will help you and your family stay safe during an emergency.
there is a migrant shelter for unaccompanied children located near el paso texas, in ft. bliss. and this overcrowded facility house between a thousand and 5,000 children at a time. now, thanks to two whistle-blowers, we are learning about terrible conditions inside this shelter including huge coronavirus outbreaks among children and a lack of adequate masks. >> and there were these tents all over these places.
these massive tents. just crowded with -- with kids. this was an environment, in which covid spread very, very rapidly amongst the kids and, ultimately, amongst many of the staff, as well. >> we were told to not share practically everything we witnessed there. we were told to -- um -- not be on social media. to -- um -- limit our conversations about the site with close friends and family. and um, to, definitely, not talk to the media. >> the two people you heard there are the whistle-blowers. both, career-civil servants who volunteered to be detailed to the shelter when the biden administration ramped up staffing to accommodate an increase in unaccompanied minors. they filed a complaint writing quote at a town hall meeting with detailees, a senior u.s. public health service manager was asked and refused to say how many were infected with covid
because if that graph of infections is going to "the washington post" every day, it's the only thing that we'll be dealing with and politics will take over. perception will take over. and we're about reality, not perception. all the manager would acknowledge is that several children had to be hospitalized. julia ainsley, nbc news correspondent covering department of justice homeland security has been covering this story. sat down with the whistle-blowers. and nbc news has also attained exclusive audio from that facility in ft. bliss. julia, first, just to set the context here. we are talking about this is the biden administration that had a huge influx of unaccompanied minors that were spending way too long in cbp custody. and there was a concerted effort, because cbp custody is no place for kids of any kind, to move them through that system to custody of hhs. and in response to that, hhs scaled up its shelters and this is one of them, right? >> that's right. i mean, at the time, we think back to march, and president biden would announce that
another shelter was opening. he was trying to give the biggest numbers possible. he talked about ft. bliss opening for 5,000 children and potentially being able to hold 10,000 children of the that was a win for them because they were able to get children out of the terrible conditions in border patrol custody where they were never supposed to be for over 72 hours. they had a bed, a place to sleep. but instead, what it meant is because these facilities having be to emergency-intake facilities, they had to rely very heavily on contractors. they don't allow state licensing. they don't have state licensing when they do these emergency-intake facilities. so there is a lot less oversight. a lot less transparency. and that allows this kind of environment to fester, especially when you talk about those big numbers. and the whistle-blowers we talked to talked about beds being so close together that you couldn't even go through them. if you have seen from pictures we have, these are cots stacked on top of each other. they're not real bunk beds. it is the kind of environment that would make covid spread very quickly and it is also the kind of environment that, when a child has a real-medical or
mental-health concern, as many of them did, they don't get that help as quickly as they should. >> yeah. i mean, it sounds like, from the whistle-blowers, this is just an overwhelmed facility. i want to read what hhs secretary javier becerra said. he said our duty at hhs, to provide safe and appropriate care for the unaccompanied -- we take allegations of wrongdoing seriously and swiftly. report allegations not only to the office of the inspector -- sorry, i'm -- we take -- we constantly work to improve the conditions and services required to care for children in these challenging settings. i have been to ft. bliss, including this month. i have inspected conditions of facility and questioned site managers. i have spoken to children while they are in our custody. we continue to receive safe, appropriate care and every emergency site will be investigated. um, my question, i guess, for you is what -- what, now, happens with these complaints? and are there going to be changes, at this facility? >> yeah. i mean, that's the thing they're not committing to, right?
they are talking about taking piecemeal allegations and referring them authorities or referring them to internal controls through the office of the inspector general. but what we haven't heard, either, from becerra or from the white house is to do a wholesale investigation of fort bliss and other emergency-intake facilities and get to the bottom of why these contractors got this contract in the first place. the three contractors involved here who are running the facility when our whistle-blowers there, when i should point out was april through late june, they had no previous childcare experience. none of their contracts ever involved taking care of children. they dealt with military intelligence and disaster cleanup. and between the three of them, they had $1 billion in contracts. so those are the kinds of things we are taking on as investigative reporters and seems it would ba time for the administration to also be looking at that wholesale approach, too. rather than taking piecemeal allegations and as you note, some of these allegations are very serious. it's not something that you would want an inspector general to handle. you would see if someone needs
to be immediately removed from caring for those children. >> yeah, i want to play some of this exclusive audio about, um, staff being caught with minors inappropriately. take a listen. >> i can't give you daily numbers and breakouts and graphs and things like that. assume everyone has covid. act appropriately. >> we have already caught staff with minors inappropriately. if you catch them, especially if it's a staff member, you separate that minor from that person, immediately. >> that, obviously, julia, that has to be investigated yesterday. and this facility has to be made sure to be safe for children but this -- this -- this can't wait. >> right. i mean, that -- that audio that we obtained. that was taped in may. that was a may training session for employees trying to tell them, you know, please, don't -- please, separate anyone you see who might be having a sexual encounter with a minor.
it -- for us, we would think well you would do a lot more than separate them, and very quickly. they do talk about filing reports. they do talk about that but there doesn't seem to be this immediate accountability. and it's something that they admit has happened so given the fact that a manager who is training employees know that has happened, it seems like we are getting a very muted response from the administration and from secretary becerra. >> this is -- if -- if any of this is -- again, these are allegations. and there's some documentation but if any of this is remotely close to reflective, this is utterly, utterly, completely unacceptable, in every, possible way. julia ainsley, great reporting. thank you, very much. that is "all in" for tonight. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now with ali velshi in for rachel. >> good evening, chris. have yourself a great weekend and thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. rachel is enjoying a well-earned vacation. it was the biggest story in the world and what's not an exaggeration. in the middle of july