House condemns President Trump over 'go back' tweets

President Trump faces backlash from Democrats and Republicans over controversial tweets on four Democratic congresswomen of color.
27:36 | 07/17/19

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Transcript for House condemns President Trump over 'go back' tweets
Everybody welcome to the briefing room on this once and ABC's Devin Dwyer Washington well president trump in the midst of this firestorm. Over this racist tweets is off to the campaign trail in North Carolina today he leaves behind. A hot debate on Capitol Hill over how to respond in what Democrats should do meanwhile. Our Rachel Scott down on the ground in North Carolina head of the president finds. His base is if at all bothered. It seems like older trying to do is there are still clubs. Ankles discord I don't think they were meant to be gracious. It's a political view that these people happy the way I interpret this message was if you hate the country. His statement had more to do with. The third continue whisked statements that sound on America that sounded. Negative toward America. President's campaign openly acknowledging today that this is part of a deliberate strategy they see as a winning once stoking. The race debate in this country Democrats are divided over how to handle this let's bring our Ben Siegel who's up on Capitol Hill Ben. Leaders like speaker Nancy Pelosi think that the party shouldn't take the bait here they should downplay this meanwhile you've got a lot of progressives who say all of this means impeachment. Needs to happen. That's right avenue congressman Al Green from Texas he's forcing an issue that Nancy Pelosi many Democrats. Did not want to take up at this time that's impeachment he says that is the only response that congress should be having to these attacks against these congresswoman. From the president he wants to go on the record and and and condemn and taking a step further than that though yesterday on the floor. But again that's something they don't want and and that's something many members don't want before they go home for the August recess to talk about what they've done so far congress. And we know that those four democratic congressman of color at the center of the storm also supported impeachment then real quick that vote on impeachment headed to the floor tonight. That's right we're expecting around 5 o'clock eastern time on the house is gonna figure out. Leaders are gonna figure how exactly handle this because of the way that I congressman green brought this up they have to take this up today. Of course we're hearing all leaders and speaker Pelosi they are not in favor of this they're gonna try to. Set up a vote to essentially take what's called tabling this issue they'll be a vote on the floor to help put this debate aside we expect Republicans and and most Democrats will vote for that of course again on not a vote that Democrats wanted but one that one of their colleagues were. All right dancing on Capitol Hill force thanks so much Ben meanwhile. There's the debate rages on Capitol Hill there's also debate playing out outside of Washington over how offensive the president's tweets. Really are and if you consider yourself a skeptic in that camp consider this the government's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The federal agency that enforces federal employment discrimination laws. Actually has as part of its guidelines that go home back to where you came from it's a potentially fireball offense. For more on this I want to bring in a general former General Counsel longest serving General Counsel. Of the government's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission David Lopez he's now a dean at the Rutgers university law school in New Jersey David thanks so much for coming in. You know an issue in this debate we've heard so much effort people who say go back. To where you came from doesn't say anything about race literally. Doesn't say anything about ethnicity in yet. There is a history in this country that this is eight documented. Discriminatory phrase. Yes. I mean the scene document the guidelines opulent counselor and discrimination. And this is one of the examples of that was used. Add a comment that really conjunction with other comments. Could create a hostile work environment. I think what's important to remember is this is very complex question legally here. Because when the president did as directed DD. Tens of comments that war. Representatives. Elected democratically by other Americans and not act. Employees of the federal government. However ask. Federal government. Whether the president does. And his comments in his remarks. Really the tone for. The cabinet secretaries for all the managers did this cut in the government. And I think we have all ask ourselves how would we bill. I'm here. Our boss made comments like this on an ongoing basis in it and yeah. I'm going to basics. And and David is General Counsel for a long time add to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission you certainly saw a number of employment discrimination cases in your day. How common. Were cases involving the phrase go back to where you came from did you actually see. Enforcement cases involving this exact phrase. Well we. And Ali I'm separate conferences were designed to sue. To exclude. Other individuals based on their racing out cooler it's really important kind of contest like any case. In hear the comment was directed at work people all twelve representatives who are America. One of whom his problem. Puerto Rico and other to Americans but all four of them were Americans. And congress certainly. You know appeared designed to be a way to to sort of root exclude. Individuals and make him and seemed like they were not part. Our American now. And I guess the bottom line is that in your. To some sort of discrimination charge pop possibly even lose their jobs said David Lopez for General Counsel. I at the EEOC also dean now workers and university law school thanks so much for that important. Our perspective moving on out of this national conversation. About race and justice coming on the five year anniversary of the death of Eric garner he was in New York man. I killed an each whole cold involving new York city police five years ago his case became a call to action. Our for the black lives matter movement just yesterday the Justice Department announced after a lengthy investigation they would not be pressing civil rights charges against the officer there. But what is the legacy from this case in what. How the police agencies across the country responded our chief law law enforcement. Reporter and our justice correspondent your Thomas is here pier you have been following this case. Many like it for quite a long time. You think there's a positive legacy from the garner. Case fighters ago that an impact has been made it changes been made in some of these departments. Well is part of the ongoing conversation the country is having about how people of color are treated when they encounter police. And this is a case to Justice Department obviously struggled with for five years including on the the Obama administration. As to how to resolve you have the US attorney's office. In New York. Basically come to the conclusion that the officer did not. Willfully commit a criminal act in terms of taking our garments planted in that was not his intent was to to kill them it. On the other hand you had to civil rights division and Maine justice apparently think. That it was a prosecutable. Offense. But I think part of the the conversation about these kind of cases deal with the fact that something that was pretty routine. The man was easily apparently illegally selling cigarettes. On the streets of New York. How does it in with you dead. And it became iconic case in the sense that. Is caught on tape and you hear the man archer I think eleven or twelve times I can't pre I can't pre. And so that became a part. When the first cases to really. You know you explode this issue in terms of how people of color are treated when they interact with police as opposed to. Their white counterparts just this week we have it. Good good it's also changed a little bit pure how police police themselves right I mean there at least in New York City has been a push to more aggressively. Investigate these claims even as the legal avenues and challenges play out for at least internally right 222 to even look at the behavior of officers up front. I've I think the one thing that's happened in recent years is that. Most law enforcement agencies have come to the conclusion that transparency. Is a key you see many more body cameras. Being deployed throughout the country. And please see that that can be to their advantage if the police act appropriately. They can show the public that this person had a gun they were acting menacing. And menacing way this is why they were shot. But when there are bad apples if it allows him to say to her department. You don't want this person representing you look how they respond inappropriately to these situations but the issue of race. And police. Remains one of the troublesome issues in this country just this week when a case that we were working on about a black man who also happen to be a deputy police sheriff in Ohio. Who goes into an IRS building asking a question about how taxes apparently. And he's told will you have to leave because you have a side arm. And he said department policy is that he's not supposed to take office sign on to squeeze on duty supposed to keep it with them. And somehow the situation escalates a point where he decides to leave and then you see pop out in the video a security guard. With his gun drawn. And standard wealth fell again. That's the question has been raised in terms oak. Why do these things for men of color in particular escalate to the point where the big. Even though there are no charges some changes have been made some who support mr. Thomas thanks for your strict appreciate you. Well this week on Capitol Hill lawmakers held hearings on a growing number of women and girls behind bars in this country including a a growing number of pregnant women they heard from a number of high profile figures including. The author of Orange is the new black. And our Serena marshals here because she caught up with her parent firm crewman. Yes she was on Capitol Hill on seven she seemed a very optimistic that this is an issue that congress can make headway on in fact up prison reform is an issue that has bipartisan support and the tribe administration is actually. Moved forward on with recent legislation and they're up there and making sure the unique needs of women are actually dressed nanny for that legislation. It privileged college graduate a self described washed and a first time nonviolent offender arrested imprisoned. And sent on a new career path millions watched your story on Netflix. Recently that in the central prison. And turning it back yeah. This is mainly. Teicher Clemens memoir about prison life for women. Oranges a new black adapted for TV and began a conversation about female justice in this country when you look at the stories. That those women carry their life stories. You senator like wow I went through something like that I can understand passion fields since the 1980s the number of females behind bars has skyrocketed. And nearly two thirds of them mothers. Women are more likely than men to be incarcerated for nonviolent crimes in total they make up about 7% of the jailhouse population the system was. Definitely built by and for a man. I'm not for the majority of incarcerated women who suffer from pre existing trauma. Or for the mothers often single parents whose children are frequently forced into the Foster system the white collar criminal turned author telling lawmakers Tuesday it's not crying and that is driving the increase in women behind bars. But needed touring minimum sentences. Yeah. Yeah Cynthia shank the subject of an HBO documentary the sentiments. Behind bars for eight long mandatory minimum after being convicted of federal conspiracy charges related to crimes committed by her deceased ex boyfriend. The real victim is the children that are left behind you know what I went away my daughter's record to six weeks old and was sentenced to fifteen years in federal prison so I had they grew up. Without him. Her family's story helping to commends legislators to change the law for nonviolent convicts like her is that your. Favoring house arrest an ankle bracelet monitoring over breaking up families and imprisonment. Both women told me DeVon and it's one thing that they learned how to have in prison it was how to keep the hope and that's something they heard me taking with them as they talk to these legislators saying that they feel that needs these lawmakers. Are going to address the unique needs of women and in fact many lawmakers replaying to programs that they were in their own state they were already taking on some of the. Israel says they feel left out of this prison reform push it's been taking place is last few months the company restoration Harold in this big. Overhaul of the criminal justice system not a lot of that program focused on the women behind bars. Not a lot goes on the women and like within the peace there are so many unique challenges. More than a 100000 women are entering the prison system pregnant and those women are forced to have their children. And go through maternity well their pregnant in prison. They're able to have a child at a hospital but often as soon as they're released from the hospital the child is taken away. The mother returned to prison is actually one of the issues that high performance and stuck out to her most her first day in prison Messina woman who was eight months pregnant. And nine in real life and that pregnant women are in prison some of these state programs. Actually include things like nurseries. In the prison system that parents can aunts mothers can and stay with their children up until two years of age they're not being separated. From that from our. Interest in stuffs or Marshall thanks for reporting thanks for bringing that to us now to the race. Our efforts point one Indian in increasingly contentious divide among the Democrats over how to proceed. On reforming the nation's health care system in their trading accusations. About lying to the American public about how much it will cost. And with the tradeoffs are our Adam Kelsey. Political reporter covers Bernie Sanders he's here in Washington game launching a defense of his Medicare for all plan Adam. This comes amid some of the sharpest criticism yet from within his own party. Yet not just criticisms but. From Sanders perspective as easy he's trying to show American voters on the democratic side of things that his plan is different from the rest of the campaigns who also claim. That they are in favor Medicare for all we've seen some of his senate colleagues like Cory Booker Kirsten Gillibrand Pamela Harris say at various times that they support in Medicare for all program but really what they're talking about at least in. Booker harris' case is more like a public option public option of course is what former vice president Joseph Biden pitch earlier this week points and pulled out his expanded. Plan I'm sorry his plan to expand Affordable Care Act so what we're seeing now in these past couple days is like you said health care coming kind of TV top of the heap as far as issues that the candidates are talking about what we're expecting to see. You know Sanders talking about god for the next couple of days and and and leading into the next presidential debate is why his Medicare for all plan is the one true plan that will eliminate private insurance put everybody under. On the scene policy basically level the playing field as far as health care coverage goes for all Americans. Yet and raise income taxes on all Americans to pay for that trillion dollar cost that and Kelsey thank you to vision. I shared by Connolly Harris of California she also supports Medicare for all plan. I she had this to say defending her views today on CNN. But the idea that there would be any substantial difference in terms of the health care that people receive it's just not accurate. So people who have private insurance would eventually have to give that up under your plan they would eventually be covered under Medicare fraud on they would still see their doctor and that's what they want. How long would this transition take. I think in this transition is gonna have to take a man in the bill is four years I think is plastic ones that they need to be honest with him and oldest son without middle class tax hike. Without a middle class task yes. Thirty trillion. Britannia ifs there are ways to pay for it also understanding the investment that we are gonna be making in a way that is going to reap great benefits in terms of. Other costs. And Harris went on to insist that despite her call to eliminate private health insurance she would not be effectively eliminating Obama care. That drew a sharp record from former vice president Joseph Biden tickle us. I don't anybody who thinks that I mean you're either Medicare for almost reason Obama cares count. Cost period or you build an Obama care like I'm doing a news try to mimic her options I don't know order position maybe she's teaching position. Bernie Sanders accused you of lying between today he likened due to Mitch McConnell and senate analyzed he's out there have been telling lies on Medicare for. What do you make of that let anything about the personal tone. And. Let's bring our Molly Nagle she's out in Iowa she's covering former rub vice president Joseph Biden. Molly you've got bites basically advocating an Obama care plus proposal let's remind everybody this is basically keeping. The private and insurance companies here an insurance plans that millions of Americans are on that adding. A public option he also wore would pay for word by a road closings and capital gains in polls raising income tax for wealthier Americans. How are voters out there in Iowa digesting this debate do you get the sense that democratic. Our caucus goers are weighing their options between Harrison Biden on health care were forty here. DeVon they're definitely paying attention to this health care debate a lot of the voters that I spoke to really like vice president Biden's plan they like that he keeps. And what we already have and builds and grows upon it they think that that's really important. And they're hesitant about moving to a new system and the cast exactly inject into the market. Oh overall and I'm talking to voters. At these buying events a lot of them are still shopping they say they like the vice president they like his planned. The come Harris is another name that they often. List as somebody that they're taking a look at the top four top names I'm hearing are Joseph bite and Pamela Harris. Keep putting judge and Elizabeth Warren so clearly an ideological divide their butt on health care. The consensus seems to be that they all agree keeping an Obama care expanded obamacare plan is their top preference. Top preference among the Biden supporters but interest in their all paying attention it is a sharply contrasted debate in this mining oh thanks for your reporting short time ago. How we caught up with senator Michael Bennet of Colorado one of the democratic contenders one of the moderates in this race. Whose own health care plan looks a lot like Joseph Biden's he's also jumping into this fight taking on combo Harris and Bernie Sanders take a look. I think he's just a crowd incredibly important that we be very clear about what the plan is. Now because it's gonna be too late after we nominate somebody and were in a general election with Donald Trump. And maidan and mark in my concern is that I don't think people have. And made it clear that this bill makes illegal all private insurance in the country it takes insurance away from a 180 million people that get it. From their employer takes twenty million peoples and insurance who have Medicare for all most of whom love it and it takes away all the insurance that every union and America has negotiated for their membership so. I believe what we should be doing we we definitely need universal health care in this country and I think the way to get there is with the public option like my Medicare here. You have now everybody in America. Yet you talked about bill lean on Obama care giving says something of a Medicare. Option to read it and but. Senator Harris your colleague insists. Yet again today that her Medicare for all plan does not eliminate obamacare does not. Do you agree with that after. She if her plan is Bernie's plan which she has endorsed. Bernie they're legislation is very clear and burning has been exceedingly clear in straightforward on this point. That it makes illegal all and private insurance in the country except for what he calls cosmetic insurance which is. From insurance for plastic surgery that's all that's left now she may have a plan that's not. Bernie's Medicare for all plan but. Like other people in this race she's put her name on that plan and what well I don't wanna have happen here is for the Democratic Party to serve over this cliff. Behind Bernie Sanders and behind this plan that would be a tragedy for our party and for the country and it's so unnecessary. This is a plan did you could not pass in Vermont are truth be specific about the politicians in Vermont passed a single Payer system. Well once they got to the point of actually saying to the voters how they would have to funded. The voters said absolutely not. We're not getting raise our taxes that much. We're not headed triple the size of our state government that much. It your confident that Medicare ax your proposal lot like Joseph Biden's proposal middle ground. It is right for this moment you think that is the solution right now people will buy into. It's not for me it's not an issue about being together to having you be middle ground my issue is that I think. You'll be very appealing to the vast majority the American people. Who want to decide for their families. Whether they'd like to keep private insurance or beyond a public option and it up by the way it does so without bankrupting the federal government. The congressional budget offices has said that it would actually score positively for the federal deficit unlike Bernie's plan. And senator Michael Bennet of Colorado at this. We're out of time but I would I appreciate you and we will continue recovery on the campaign trail and return us sir great thanks for having me thank you very much. Well here in the briefing room we have been introducing you to eighteen to 39 year olds from across the country who have been jumping into politics. This year hoping to make a difference in their community. And shake up the political system we're calling it a series millennial who run in today were introducing you to a nineteen year old from Newtown Connecticut JT Lewis. Who just this week announced that he is running for state senate as a sophomore. At UConn he joins me now live GT picture comedy your brother. I was one of those killed in the massacre at new town back in in 2012. How did that it experience influence your decision to get into politics. Yet so Jess is actually known as a hero. So when the shooters shot out there glass front doors and started shooting in his classroom. There was a moment where begun chips. And in that interval Jesse Yonkers classmates are rough and nine of them did this is all documented. And a police reports and FBI reports. And so he's actually credited sitting nine lives. And you know I looked at his courage. And I thought every single one of us has that had the courage incited us and we all need to do our best to make the world a better place. And so for me when I can do right now I don't think will better place at least my state. Is run for state senate. And it certainly takes courage to do just that he'd be the first family member they are Newtown victim to run for office. Which show leads a lot of people the water is gun violence prevention is gun safety. A key part of your campaign. Yes this question lie and you know to where it started really got involved in school safety movement harbor. There's always kids get up who'd just lost you know friends and Chambliss. And they want to make a difference and they got into the garden are credential debate. And you know that's gonna happen here is sandy character after he's shooting the all entries or that I lost her brother. And nothing really got Donna and national level it's not it happens overnight and this is a long. Process. What are these antioxidants. What do you what do you think needs to get done to stem the mass killings. Yet no immediate need medical Helms will seek measures and what I soda kidding or very early arm. Was armed guards in schools is sandy hook. The shooter shot glass front doors and proceeded to kill kids write better there an armed guard in front and some sort of police officer in his little. I believe that road what you are today and a lot of kids. And in finally move will let you go JT you're also as you alluded to their Republican support some of the positions of president trump might surprise a lot of people because so many. Americans your age have very unfavorable views of this president what draws you to on what do you say to. Your peers who find that detestable there's. Possible Ursula what you say as a Republican. So I don't know how many very unique position right now I'm so who's lost Broder gun violence also running as a Republican. Saarc have acquitted both camps here I think that when I'm state senator. I have this really great. Opposition to bring these parties together because we all the same objective we all want to see its Asian school. We're coming at it from different angles. So in in this unique position I'm gonna sit down both groups we all want the same thing it just takes a little bit talking you know. In the communications and we don't have anymore I think RN positions. Specially as a state senator during these years together and really gonna get into and I refusal have a lot of learning but I need to bring these are terrorists. Yeah you you certainly have all. A lot of energy a lot of enthusiasm optimism you would be one of the youngest elected officials in this country JT Lewis of Newtown Connecticut running for state senate. In Connecticut part of our series millennia o.s who run thanks for coming on GT appreciate you. Finally they were saying goodbye to a legend of the US Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens passed away last night suffering from a stroke at the age of 99 was the third longest serving US justice in history appointed by Republican president. We are going on to become an icon of the court's liberal wing. He left led opposition to the death penalty of affirmation. Of abortion rights and affirmative action. And our legal analyst Kate Shaw who spent many times here on the briefing room used to clerk for Justin Stephens and we'll leave you today with some of her reflections. I'm really trust us. He was just a joy to work for all of his former clerks say that's. I'm you know Justice Stevens left the Supreme Court opening gas station one day he would follow and pumped gas for him because he was just dot spectacular to work or. What do you believe your legacy will be ruled that. This is difficult to figure out clues as late people who think getting loans should he needed huge. This one decision must Prada have really don't know the answer that there are a lot of that I am quite proud of and there are there's century have been done better. I can't say they did the Vista could.

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