Rachel Maddow, arguably one of cable television’s most popular hosts, could not keep herself from choking up while reading a report about the U.S. government sending babies to “tender age” shelters after they are separated from their undocumented parents at the southern border.
Maddow was in the midst of her Tuesday evening program when the Associated Press reported that Trump’s officials were sending children below the age of 13 to at least three “tender age” shelters in Texas, where hundreds of babies and young children are being kept. The government is reportedly planning on making a fourth facility functional in Houston as the number of immigrant children continues to grow.
The MSNBC host struggled to get started with the first lines of the report.
“The AP has just broken some new news,” Maddow began, absorbing the meaning of the words, before adding, “This is incredible.”
But soon after, unable to continue, she asked her program’s producer to show a graphic accompanying the report. But when no graphic came on, she passed the news to the hour’s next host, saying, “I think I’m going to have to hand this off.”
She then said “sorry” before handing over the baton to Lawrence O’Donnell.
Viewers of Maddow’s show took to social media after the host left the program abruptly, saying they had never witnessed the usually composed host break down on air. Maddow then took to Twitter herself, apologizing for not being able to do her “job” properly, adding that the AP report included lawyers and medical providers at the “tender age” facilities witnessing “rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis.”
“If nothing else, it is my job to actually be able to speak while I’m on TV,” she tweeted. “I apologize for losing it there for a moment. Not the way I intended that to go, not by a mile.”
The AP report comes in the middle of intensifying domestic and international pressure against the Justice Department’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has seen more than 2,300 children being separated from their undocumented parents at the southern border. Protests have been carried out in several U.S. cities, calling on president Donald Trump to reverse the decision, while as the Inquisitr reported, Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was booed out of a Mexican restaurant near the White House on Tuesday night for defending the policy.
Even so, Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have insisted that the separated children are getting standard care and that there is no option but to separate them as their parents face criminal prosecution for attempting to seek asylum in the United States.