In The New Yorker:
Will Anyone in the Trump Administration Ever Be Held Accountable for the Zero-Tolerance Policy?
By Jonathan Blitzer August 22, 2018
….I asked the current Administration official whether the outcry over family separation had caught the government by surprise. It had, the official said. “The expectation was that the kids would go to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, that the parents would get deported, and that no one would care.” Yet, when it became clear that the public did, the Administration chose not to change course.
Early this afternoon Senator Claire McCaskill (D) stopped by a coordinated campaign headquarters in Lee’s Summit in Eastern Jackson County to speak to and greet campaign volunteers, many who were later going out for door to door campaigning or phone banking on behalf of Democratic Party candidates. Close to a hundred volunteers were in attendance.
And, of course, outside in the parking lot were the usual opposition trackers and costumed actors. Don’t ask.
Senator McCaskill spent about twenty minutes covering a wide range of issues important to working families in Missouri and giving a campaign update to the volunteers.
After speaking to the campaign volunteers Senator McCaskill took a few minutes to answer questions from the media:
Question: …Could you talk a little bit about the drought and your concerns about Missouri right now, [cross talk] [inaudible] can do about it?
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): Well [crosstalk], the, the, our agricultural community is getting a double whammy right now, um, a drought and tariffs. Uh, it is a crisis, um, that, frankly, I don’t, I’m not sure that the president really understands that many of these markets we’re losing, particularly soybeans in China are not going to be easily recoverable. I mean, this is something we’ve spent millions of dollars, working towards establishing a market for soybeans in China, and now they’re sourcing their beans somewhere else. Well, they’re not going to come back to American soybeans like that. Uh, it will be, um, a hangover that will dramatically affect our state for some time to come. Even if it gets fixed. And it doesn’t appear to me that it’s getting fixed anytime soon.
And, the drought, obviously, we’re going to be doing a lot of work that, to get, there are programs in place to help when we have drought or flood, and obviously, we’ll be monitoring those programs and making sure that those monies are getting out to the farmers, the crop insurance, the other things that they’re entitled to, on a timely basis.
Question: So, a lot of your Democratic colleague are calling for, uh, the delay of Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing. Where do you stand on that?
Senator McCaskill: I’m not sure that, uh, first of all, it, it’s not going to be delayed. Um, I’m trying to avoid all the political posturing on this nomination and keep my head down and figure it out based on his record, based on his opinions, on issues that I think are really important.
Dark money being at the top of the list. Um, I have begun to look at some of his opinions about dark money and I’m concerned. he wrote one opinion that said he wasn’t sure that we could constitutionally limit the ability of foreign countries to come in do issue advocacy. Well, if you notice those ads that are hiding as issue advocacy and they say call someone, that’s issue advocacy and I think most people would say those are political commercials.
So, I’m very worried about, um, what has happened with dark money and that’s going to be one of the focuses of my decision is, is his opinions and what he says in the hearings about dark money.
Question: And you met with him earlier this week [crosstalk][inaudible].
Senator McCaskill: Uh huh, I did.
Question: Is there anything else that stood out to you from talking with him?
Senator McCaskill: Well, we, we spent a lot of time on that. I’m not going to go into the details of the conversation, but we spent a lot of time on dark money.
Question: Senator, you said after the primary that your Supreme Court vote is not a political winner, that there are going to be people in the state that are mad at you either way. How, are you concerned that this could really effect your reelection, that this could be a, a big issue in the race, and depending on how you vote?
Senator McCaskill: Well, I, as I said, and I do believe this, that there’s not a side to take that would be a political winner. Which I think in, it’s one of the nice things about representing a state like mine, you’re never going to make everybody happy with a vote. So what you try to do is the right thing. And be able to explain it. And so I’m going to make up my mind based on the concerns I have about constitutional decisions that have been made over the last decade and that could change with him on the court. And I will, uh, explain my vote to Missourians based on those issues and hope they understand.
Show Me Progress: Senator, based on reports, the administration, when they were dealing with immigrant families, they, the, the reports stated that they, they didn’t really make plans because they didn’t think anybody would care.
Senator McCaskill: You mean about separating [crosstalk] the children?
Show Me Progress: Separating the children.
Senator McCaskill: I don’t know that I’ve seen that report, but obviously that’s, um, that would be troubling. Because I think anybody would realize that pulling babies out of their parents’ arms is never a winner under any circumstances. And, I mean, I think we’ve got to secure peoples’ appearance at court, but there are plenty of ways to do, secure peoples’ appearance at court without separating children from their families.
After taking questions from the media Senator McCaskill remained at the headquarters and continued to speak with and greet individual volunteers. Selfies are definitely a campaign ritual these days.