Trump condemned for tweet calling impeachment probe 'a lynching'

Lawmakers responded to Trump's comments and 2020 Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke talks immigration policy.
29:54 | 10/22/19

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Transcript for Trump condemned for tweet calling impeachment probe 'a lynching'
Yeah. Everybody welcome to the briefing her mom Devin Dwyer of Washington great to have you with us on this Tuesday a lot of news to get to today including a growing bipartisan controversy now. On Capitol Hill outrage really over president trumps comparison of the impeachment inquiry. To win chain in the United States here's the tweet that set off the firestorm. I the president tweeting that if a Democrat becomes president some day perhaps the Republicans. How will win the house even by tiny margin they can impeach the president without due process or fairness or new legal rights all Republicans must remember what they're witnessing here. A lynching. Of course the term has invoked the dark history in this country. A violent end public hangings are predominantly African American man but also women. Children in Jews largely in the American south during Jim Crow. During the period between the civil war in World War II historians estimate. But some 4000. African American men were lynched in the United States members of both parties today expressing their outrage at the president's comparison. Here's a sample of some of the feedback take a look at what Susan Collins Republican senator of Maine is sane. She says lynch Sheen brings back images of a terrible time in our nation's history. The president never should've made that comparison and Bobby Rush. Civil rights leader Al longtime congressman from Chicago. A tweets that you think this impeachment is even then Sheen. What the hell is wrong with you do you know how many people who look like Amir Dan Lynch since inception of this country. By people who look like you delete the tweet in a short time ago the senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. Also weighing in on this in a rare rebuke of president trump saying he would not have used the word lynching. Although he did support the president's characterization that impeachment is an unfair process and want to bring in our investigators our correspondent. Cure Phillips she's here she's Ka I'd done a lot of reporting on the history of impeachment and Scott passionate about very passionate mess and put some context around justices did a lot of people were perhaps scratching their heads going here we go again with the political correctness policeman and release an error. Look lynching for talk about community sanctioned killings okay white mobs would come and cheer on and take pictures. And en route on the fact that black people were being tortured and lynched hanging from trees also Jewish men also black women black children. I mean for president trop to make that comparison I wonder. Our viewers better understand the context some of the pictures you're talking about cure we have some disturbing. Historical images here we won't leave them up for long which is to help you. Understand the context in which these remarks come out ahead it's been so upsetting to a lot of people including. But several members of the Congressional Black Caucus and we're joined now by the chairwoman. Of the Congressional Black Caucus Karen bass congressman of California. I think you so much and Adam congresswoman for being here and give us your reaction what did you think of when you first saw this week. Well. I do think that the president is consistent that every time his back is against the wall he throws out a racial bomb. And he knew that today was going to be a day of explosive testimony. In the depositions and I think he did that to throw us all off. He has done this time and time again but how dare he compare. Our constitutional. Obligation. For oversight. To a hate crime. I think sometimes that he knows so little about the United States history. That he doesn't realize that thousands of people were lynched that these were actually socially perhaps that they were advertised in the paper. Bring your kids come out and watch as burned to death a black person. What does this imbalance someone these were social events that it's is a terrific part of our history but frankly it's not that long ago. I mean Texas just a couple of years ago X and Q to demand because he had lynched. Another man and this was within the last ten years so the idea that he would trivialize. And everything is always about him that he would trivialize such an egregious moment in our history and compare it. To what is really my constitutional obligation. In congressman all of this very well said there all of this comes as the president prepares to make his first visit. Two historically black college and universities you know on Friday he's going down to Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. Where he'll be along side a number of the democratic candidates. And what's your message to him as he got prepares to go to this campus and what should students. Members of that historically black college. What message are they sending him as he is he arrives there. Well I actually think it's probably too bad that he's going because I have no doubt in my mind. What he's going to go and say he wants black people to congratulate him because he's done so much for us which is a complete lie. When he says that the black employment rate is down that's fine but that's not because of any specific program that he did whatsoever. If anything he is in the midst of attempting to shred everything that has been accomplished in the civil rights movement. And all lengthy litigation that happened afterwards. And right now he is proposing to throw over a million people off of food stamps and clearly the majority of people that are on food stamps or white. But poor African Americans are also impacted by this as well. And finally act congressman bass at just got to ask you said at the top of your comments that you thought that some of this was. Intended to be a distraction from the testimony that we're hearing today from Bill Taylor the former ambassador. An eight you were in that testimony in that deposition what was it that you heard that you think the president wanted to distract from well. As you know I'm not allowed to talk about what happened in the meeting but I can say this I can tell you that the ambassador did not retract his statement. When he said that he thought it was crazy the idea that you would withhold military assistance to an ally for political gain. I can tell you that the ambassador did not retract that state. Plowing and dad this is Bill Taylor someone who has a career diplomat well respected cook like I'm leaders in all parties let me just say something because I serve on foreign affairs I travel the world a lot. I go to embassies all the time and every time I go to an embassy I have to. Act like a cheerleader. Because the staff in the ambassadors are so demoralized. Because of the way that this administration. Has talked about them cut there. They're re sources and just completely. Have shoved them aside. Think every time I go to another country I go win and I thank them for their service I tell them how much we appreciate what they're doing. And I think it's a sad state of affairs I think what is happening to this president though is that this is though he bends of the state of the State Department I think that things are unraveling for him. Because I think they have decided that they cannot take it any longer. Karen bass congressman of California chairwoman of the congressional -- black caucus thank you so much for your time really appreciate you coming on ABC news live congresswoman. I and our thanks to Ben Siegel who is there producing Karabakh you here because. You know and this is all of this is erupting at such a time the president is under siege really and he has very few Republican defenders in this well and then do we saw what happened with Mitch McConnell today issuing a role that disgust that tape the Republican we're breaking. With president trump and his characterization of the Ukraine phone call. I read it but got a statement yesterday had me read my book golf. You know I'd let out of bed bed bad said that. Had I spoke up about it bill. It might bode well what the president did you pray that they got off he said. Phone call. That I've read. He told him that his phone call when he's pretty president was okay. Mean obviously we're gonna name positions. In the line of you couldn't yeah I don't recall any conversation. With the president about that phone call. Here are rare instance when you have the president saying he talked to the leader was praised by the leader and the leader going on in front of cameras insane while actually. I never talked to the president about that. A lot of these Republicans staying away keeping their distance right and that the same time Angie and I got a chance to look through the opening statement from Bill Taylor today. And Democrats coming forward saying it was very dramatic it was detailed it was a lengthy and even representative anti. Hello and the Democrat from Michigan saying that the US diplomats account was very troubling so it's going to be just to see how this all plays out sure isn't real quick let's go over to the White House where Jordan Phelps is reporting today Jordan power. Officials there responding to this whirlwind of news in controversies or on the president today. All prompted by yet another tweet and some damning testimony. DeVon the White House is trying to Bryant's past says. White House deputy Press Secretary hoping to Italy told reporters on the White House north wind today that the president simply wasn't comparing himself to the nation's. Dark history in lynching. DeVon that's a hard argument to make of course because that's the precise word the president chose to use this morning in his tweet. No effort here two or indication that the White House is going to walk back that uses that's. Phrase that loaded phrase or that the president will delete that tweak. I diddley also trying to brush this off suggesting this is just another day at the White House saying people are upset at what the president says all the time. I Amy's instead trying to pivot the discussion. To the president's record saying that he's actually done a lot that's being positive for the African American community when he specifically to criminal justice reform. I and a strong. Employment numbers among the African American community DeVon to try you push back against Holland. Another head spinning day at the White House to put it mildly Jordan Phelps thank you so much we turn next to a controversial new immigration policy the trump administration. Is rolling out this week at the Justice Department the agency says all unauthorized immigrants apprehended at the southern border including knows Seeking Asylum. Well now need to provide samples of their DNA. Quinn owner immigration reporter is here along with marine shot she is that with these show you a senior policy. Advocate in policy council thank you for being here Noory and let's sort you Quinn because. Obvious idea of collecting DNA samples. From immigrants coming across is had scratch or for a lot of people seem very complicated and controversial. Right of course and it's something that has civil liberties advocates very concerned because obviously DNA being such a person on identifiable thing. It could implicate you know US citizens who might have relationships with people trying to cross the border. This is something the term administration has been trying for some time they rolled out a pilot program to test people. What they call frat fraught with fraudulent family units in that are booked into immigrant detention earlier this year. Again we still don't know what to this will look like at the actual ports of entry Homeland Security is still figuring out how they're gonna start. Collecting the DNA and feeding that into a criminal database but we're expecting a good morning. Yeah ignoring U we're talking about this the ACLU obviously opposes this policy for a number reasons were in get into that that. It's very. Intrusive to collect DNA from someone it drew blood drawn swab we don't know how they're gonna do it here but. I'm that would require a degree of interest city. It's the most intimate kind of information than a person can give over it's their genetic information tells you about. We're kind of illnesses their pre disposed to it can even help you Trace where there are other family members are in the United States. And we're talking about a policy the trump administration wants to pursue that is really sweeping its extraordinary means. Hundreds of thousands of people every year getting their DNA forcibly taken. And then where it lives and how it is used as. Not anybody's yeah. They haven't spelled it out Quinn they say the Justice Department says in a pot in a statement that this policy is intended to be to beef up their database to prevent. Criminals from coming and and to cross reference. Some of these migrants of crime. It's right exactly this will go into the FBI national database and seized by police departments across the country. That's the idea behind this so if when people are booked into and you know regular jails local jails sometimes. What their information is taken and run against this database to see it pass criminal records. I guess the sounds expensive. It doesn't on costly and and not exactly sure it's not exactly clear with the resource strain has been put on the Department of Homeland Security over the past year. How they're gonna find the money to roll this whole thing Al. Like a similar look we're expecting some details on on exactly what's gonna happen at ports of entry because keep in mind there are also people. Who were not authorized across that are attempting to go through the legal process at US ports. It Noory and our Anderson ACLU is gonna wait to see some of the fine print before you organization decides whether to challenge this in court like so many of other policies. That ACLU is challenging. Bob before we go I want to get you to sort of answer critics to this that we've seen on social today sort of wondering what we already collect fingerprints we take pictures. Migrants who cross asylum seekers. Other entranced. Perhaps at an airport coming over from overseas why not what's so wrong about collecting DNA is just one added layer of infamy. Your fingerprints are going to be used to say you might actually be predisposed to an illness and then you're gonna need insurance and you're gonna need public benefits so we don't want to let you enter. Mean we've even got people saying that we can use DNA they're claiming that they can use it to get your sexual orientation. This is extremely dangerous for the government re saying hey we can just take us from people even are not under criminal investigation. Just because they want to keep us all under surveillance they wanna dehumanize the Arab population but we're also talking up this potentially eventually spreading to everybody else in. As certainly concerning a force asylum seekers people who are sensibly trying to get away from some other abuses in their home countries. Certainly concerning to a lot of people ignoring sharp thank you so much quite knowing thank you for coming on as always. Immigration policy front and center of course on the campaign trail as those Democrats target president trump and today. Former Texas congressman that'll work was here in the briefing room to talk about immigration policy. And a number of other issues out on the campaign. Congress and purchasing fake permanent sense of the administration today announced let's move forward with fists proposal to collect DNA samples from migrants coming across the border. It's worth it if it prevents for stops even one crime they say this is a crime prevention tool. This is park the fear that the president is trying to stoke about immigrants and asylum seekers and refugees. We know that they commit crimes in this country at a far lower rate than those were born in this country. We know that they arrive at our border as vulnerable as defenseless as desperate as a human being can be. And not only is he proposing taking DNA from these asylum seekers he's already place him in cages separated them from their families. Walks a lives of seven children. Over the course of the last year and that's happening in the wealthiest. The most powerful country on the face the plan and one that is comprised of immigrants and asylum seekers and their sons and daughters so. This is absolutely the wrong policy and to answer question no it does not improve the security or safety of our communities or country. Yeah and they did there does seem to be some evidence that these these policies as extreme as they may be. Seemed to be having some deterrent affect him in the numbers have been coming down. At the border do you attribute some of that decline in the migrant crisis to what they've been doing. You rest in his isn't going to to the cruelty. And the torture committed by this president against defenseless children. Or this orwellian names of migrant protection protocol where you have. Tens of thousands of asylum seekers wading into what is or Tijuana or month the morals not able to process their asylum claims here. That may have some effects but is that the price that were willing to pay is that something that we want to have on on our conscience a stain on our memory. I think we need to follow our own asylum laws. And recognize that that part of the greatness. Of this country is owed to those who chose us and in came here. When they had no other place to go to S president I will never separate if gambling or incarcerate. A child or treat them with the inhumanity. That they have been that they've received from from this president under this administration. A want to rewrite or immigration laws so that they fully reflect the reality on the ground the fact that these are silencing you cannot criminalize. The border crossings. I would never criminally prosecute anyone. Seeking Asylum or refuge but never incarcerate another film infected in for profits migrant detention centers anywhere in this country. Going forward. That this is. Perhaps that the greatest promise that we have as a country those who choose to come here and by their very presence. Take a stronger more successful and I tell you this from the perspective a law passed so. One of the safest communities in United States of America by their very presence and make us safer and more secure than we would have been otherwise. Ask you about a big controversy today in Washington I know you've seen it because you've weighed in on it on Twitter a lot of Democrats have been condemning prison Trump's use of the word lynching. In comparison to impeachment. You've been traveling the country been talking to a lot of people do you think. We've all become sort of desensitized. To these sort of outrageous statements by him do you find that voters are just sort of it's baked into the cake with Donald Trump and mean. This is just yet another in a long litany of things that have people. Fired up. He certainly wants to normalize this bizarre behavior. These kinds of injustices the lies that he's been telling but its answer saying earlier I was in Alabama. In Montgomery. In the legacy museum and the memorial to peace and justice. And there you see the names of the African Americans who were lynched in this country from 1877. Turning point now fifty. Absolutely every single county in and not just in the deep south of and that's the preponderance. Of the victims but throughout this country. For the president to invoke that word to describe what he's experiencing as the most powerful man on the face of the plan today. It white man who's enjoyed privilege and power unknown to so many millions more in this country is one of the most obscene things I've heard him say. In an administration that is rife with obscenities so he sees a white supremacist yes absolutely and not only has he brought forward in into the open. He racism and intolerance and hatred that has long defined the American experience for too many. But he's also directed and its violence towards populations the don't look like. Or love lycra prey like the majority we saw that brought home to us El Paso, Texas on August 3. When a gunman armed and AK 47 opened fire in a Wal-Mart. Repeating the same words the president he's warning of an invasion of an infestation. A being replaced by Hispanics as a member of the white majority so this president. Poses a mortal danger tour fellow. I get so many in your state support him. If not for those reasons in the language that he uses for a host of other reasons but do you find. Those people particularly people in the middle the kind of does the Obama swing voters people voted for Obama voted for Donald Trump are they also racist. Do you see a strain in those people of white supremacy how do you explain. That juxtaposition. It if you're talking about Texas the support he may have enjoyed in 2016. Has largely evaporated. In a head to head contest with Donald Trump the polling indicates that we would come out on top in this is a state. That west elected or were selected a Democrat for president in 1976. With Jimmy Carter's so. The trends that we see in Texas where last year we only loss by two point 6%. To Ted Cruz won more votes in any Democrat have before won independence for the first time in decades. And nearly half a million Republicans. That's the way that we defeat Donald Trump in November 22 when he. And Texas with 38 looked coral college votes can make that victory decisive so there's no open question that the president can exploit. To try to to build upon the division he's created in this cause so you think you're the most electable democratic candidate in this race I do an in Texas. Makes that case more clearly than anything else. That I can say though those 32 electoral votes not only put Donald Trump away. Forever but they also forever changed electoral landscape in the United States of America they allow us to build the majorities we need to confront climate change. To rewrite our laws when it comes to immigration or health care or including more people in the economy are very ambitious agenda before us the ability dipped to defeat Donald Trump. And then bring this divided country together again is important for going to be able to overcome any or all of the. Changes in how do you convince more Americans. Like the Texans that believe in you. That you were electable in a red state how do you make that Kim and we're in crunch time now that you're seeing red numbers of Elizabeth Warren Joseph Biden you've been hanging out. In the single digits under struggling to get into the November debate but what we're way here we are. How do you kicking into gear what is the case you need to be making you. Almost always in in presidential cycles at this time in the election the front runner. Loses their their perch those in single digits ultimately rise up now that's almost always been the case at least in in the democratic. Primary so take some comfort in my reading of history some comfort in the fact that almost 90% of our fellow Americans those will be voting. In the democratic primaries have yet to make up their minds you have to win Iowa. We have to do very well in in Ireland and facts after this interview and headed to Iowa to be with those who will decide the first caucus. In in the nation sister and I should have a chance to answer their questions and be with them in their community hard. Are days away finally when asked about FaceBook because they announced this week that Russia is already laying the ground work to metal again. In the 20 morning election and the company announced some steps they're taking do you think FaceBook is doing enough to prevent a repeat of 2016. No and we're not doing enough as a country to hold them accountable. Right now legally we treat FaceBook and other social media platforms. Akin to a utility. As all they have no control over the content that passes through their pipes. When in reality they're more like a publisher of the securing the content that we see you and I. The people on FaceBook and become the products on FaceBook as they must be regulated as a publisher would be regulated. Held accountable for the contents of his published and the fact that they've allowed Donald Trump. To purchase advertising lies about Joseph Biden prospective democratic challenger shows that FaceBook right now is not obeying the rules of the road that we need. To protect our democracy and ensure that we have free and fair elections in 2020. Mark Zuckerberg surface a lot of questions tomorrow on Capitol Hill he'll be here and you'll be in Iowa congressman thank you so much thank you appreciate it. And for more on FaceBook and foreign attempts to influence voters in the Tory Tory campaign and joined now by Jennifer bridal and assistant professor. Communications at Syracuse University also social media expert Jennifer it's great to see you. Is so what did you make of this news from FaceBook that the Russians are back at it again using the platform. On do you think the companies doing enough. Absolutely not and will be a lot of attention on what Russia is doing what I am staying thinks I'm here politics and producers that I can gain on what's called US steep media. And not just calling attention to this because a lot of people don't understand that. United States government also state media here and netted the used faced look at the last two years. So innocent announcement from ace that they also mentioned something to sculpt governments in your gear and said that. It's especially egregious when a government. Anti. Essentially its own people some you're today that it it dropped public intentions it isn't anyone who's read the residents suites today. Our last week or last month. I understand that domestically mediate the east here so plenty of folks are not Russian I Randall you need to be taught about what's happening here. We have and IE abused by so many actors. Who are seeking to push misinformation including some of the campaigns as you know well and I guess a Biggs a question after going through between sixteen cycle hearing. And this reports from Robert Mueller about what he found on the platform I mean how can all of us. Better equip ourselves to suss out fee can use misleading information foreign interference. On FaceBook I mean what practically speaking it in specifically what can we look for. Ticket to nowhere if we're seeing it in action right before our eyes. That's a great question lucky look down XIH news misinformation. But we need to just about the basics of influence in propaganda at this point so. In the past. And federal propaganda luck that have been considered here in the United States that we do. The public understand that these social media arms are not regularly. And FaceBook and Twitter and others putting for the site yet and they're doing more to prevent this meddling that took place. And 116 at it and done enough. So there's our dinner use labels that we need to make sure that the supplies. All of the media out here that will be influencing us when it's not like. Free press or the Internet and media. You know described as publicly funded click pure and PR. Not in the same category and it's like whites and America. Which in mean. Yet here. Or YouTube has been lately actually a little while let you know Russia today and let's. You know we call state media are state troll it just knowing that there are. A multitude. Of places where we could be experiencing influence. Both domestically and importantly and you know people just make sure that consuming. You know it highlights from boats that they know and trust and you know considering the source even more so going into one point. And news decide. You we saw so many of these accounts that we're just remove it also in 2016. Were of groups purporting to be grassroots organizers of political activity rallies for Donald Trump. Perhaps some protesters against Joseph Biden or whatever the like. Mean how do you would you be leery if you were. A politically engaged FaceBook user or participating in any of those groups right now I mean should there sort of be a blanket. Skepticism. Of any of those tools. Any label would be count fraudulent. At this point loss and seeing them ripping off the patriotic terms like freedom or liberty especially. Knowing those hurt have needs that are popular. Within politics. What's shocking in the latest announcement is that the island new. This is an account that it's brought done and we knew that black lives matter group what was her it'd. I just can't believe that FaceBook is not seeking more proactive research in an attempt to make sure that that wasn't being use. And so they introduce those kind of look protected protect. Government officials and it won't Alexander that I'd be running for office. But we need to do a better rapper with some of the people who are running for instance welts and only you know. The leaders and political movements or social movements as well it is they are also eating art. Jennifer bridal as an excuse deputy assistant professor of communications at Syracuse university's ocean the expert. Jennifer thanks so much for coming on appreciate your views. Finally finally today organ a pay tribute to one of our former colleagues when I fall of the PBS news hour hoop passed away in November 2016 after a long battle with cancer she was 61 well today. She made it onto a stamp the US Postal Service release this stamp in honor of black heritage month Gwen Eiffel. A scene there in the 2008. Photo will be recognized in as the 43 stamp. In that series she of course is a giant. In media for seventeen years as a co anchor. Of the news hour and we salute. Gwen Eiffel and all journalists over there remembering her today. On Devin Dwyer Washington we are here every day 3:30 eastern time. On ABC news live hoping download BBC news have to follow the latest all the stories you talked about the dangerous for your tomorrow. I'm thirty I'll be here to see that.

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