June 18, 2018
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Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is calling on the White House to "end the cruel, tragic separation of families" at the border, saying the policy is "not consistent with our values."

In a statement released Monday evening, Murkowski said that the "thousands of children taken from their parents and families must be reunited as quickly as possible and be treated humanely while immigration proceedings are pending." There is no need for a "policy designed to separate families, particularly mothers with young children, without a clear process and focus on the needs of the children," she added. "To blame previous administrations for a wrong committed today is not acceptable."

Murkowski is also "troubled that those seeking asylum are being turned away before they even have the opportunity to file their papers." If Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen can't "fix this and fast," she said, "we in Congress must." Catherine Garcia

June 18, 2018
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Former first lady Laura Bush is criticizing the Trump administration's policy of separating parents accused of illegally crossing the border from their children, and believes the United States government "should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores" and "tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso."

In an op-ed for The Washington Post published Sunday night, Bush noted that as someone living in Texas, a border state, she can "appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart." From April 19 to May 31, the Department of Homeland Security sent nearly 2,000 children to mass detention centers or foster care, and Bush said photos that have emerged showing kids at these detention centers are "eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history."

People of all political stripes "agree that our immigration system isn't working," she continued, "but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer." Bush believes Americans have "an obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents — and to stop separating parents and children in the first place," and is certain that the country can "find a kinder, more compassionate, and even moral answer" to the crisis. Read the entire op-ed at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

May 29, 2018

In response to Roseanne Barr's racist tweet about her, Valerie Jarrett said she hopes that it can be used as a "teaching moment."

Barr apologized to Jarrett and said her tweet was "in bad taste," but the backlash was swift and fierce, with ABC canceling the reboot of her show. Jarrett served as a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama and was a guest Tuesday at MSNBC's planned town hall, Everyday Racism in America, which will air tonight.

"I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment," Jarrett said. "I'm fine. I'm worried about all the people out there who don't have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defense. The person who's walking down the street, minding their own business, and they see somebody cling to their purse or wanna cross the street, or every black parent I know who has a boy who has to sit down and have a conversation, 'The Talk,' as we call it." Jarrett said Disney President Bob Iger told her Roseanne was being canceled before it was publicly announced, and she supports the decision. Catherine Garcia

February 13, 2018
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Colbie Holderness, the first wife of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, is pushing back against comments White House counselor Kellyanne Conway made over the weekend regarding the abuse that Holderness and Porter's other ex-wife, Jennifer Willoughby, say they suffered during their marriages.

On CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, Conway said she didn't have any reason to not believe the women, but when asked if she was afraid for Porter's rumored new girlfriend, White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, Conway replied, "I've rarely met somebody so strong with such excellent instincts and loyalty and smarts." This, Holderness wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post published Monday night, "implies that those who have been in abusive relationships are not strong. I beg to differ."

It takes strength to recognize and survive an abusive relationship, Holderness said, and "it's often the subtler forms of abuse that inflict serious, persistent damage while making it hard for the victim to see the situation clearly." Holderness said she lived in "constant fear" of Porter's anger, and being "subjected to his degrading tirades for years chipped away at my independence and sense of self-worth." When she did finally leave Porter, who denies the allegations of abuse, Holderness said her self-confidence was "so destroyed" and it took years to get her professional life back on track.

Because victims are so intertwined with their abusers, through marriage, children, and money, it's hard to leave, and "the bottom line is, it takes strength to pull yourself away and start over," Holderness said. It's important to remember that having "excellent instincts and loyalty and smarts" does not "inoculate a person against abuse," and it can be very easy to overlook a person's nature if you are "blinded by a stellar résumé and background." Read Holderness' entire op-ed at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

December 11, 2017
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On Monday morning, 16 women who have come forward and accused President Trump of sexual misconduct will hold a press conference, calling on Congress to open an investigation into their allegations.

The press conference will start at 10:30 a.m. ET, shortly after three of the women — Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey, and Rachel Crooks — are scheduled to appear on Megyn Kelly Today to share their own stories. Leeds said that during a flight in the 1980s, Trump groped her, and Crooks said in 2005, while working as a receptionist for a company with an office in Manhattan's Trump Tower, she introduced herself to Trump while waiting for an elevator and he forcibly kissed her. Holvey said while competing as Miss North Carolina in the 2006 Miss USA pageant, Trump came backstage to ogle the women, telling CNN she felt as though "we were just sexual objects, we were not people."

Crooks told CNN in November it's been tough to watch as men accused of sexual misconduct, like producer Harvey Weinstein, have lost their jobs, while Trump is still in the White House, seemingly untouchable. "I think it's just evidence of sort of the political atmosphere these days, we're forgotten by politicians who think it's more convenient to keep Trump in office, you know, have him just sweeping his indiscretions under the rug." Trump has denied all of the accusations. Catherine Garcia

November 27, 2017
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After President Trump made a snide remark about Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) during an event Monday honoring Native American code talkers who served in World War II, referring to her as "Pocahontas," several Native American groups spoke out against his comment.

"The name becomes a derogatory racial reference when used as an insult," Dr. J.R. Norwood, the general secretary of the Alliance of Colonial Era Tribes, said in a statement. "American Indian names, whether they be historic or contemporary, are not meant to be used as insults. To do so is to reduce them to racial slurs." Russell Begaye, president of the Navajo Nation, said that "in this day and age, all tribal nations still battle insensitive references to our people. The prejudice that Native American people face is an unfortunate historical legacy."

Trump has called the senator "Pocahontas" on several occasions. Warren told MSNBC it was "deeply unfortunate that the president of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur." Warren, who says she has Native American ancestry, has been criticized by some conservatives for registering as a minority in law school directories during the 1980s. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump didn't use a slur, called Warren's response "ridiculous," and accused Warren of lying about her heritage "to advance her career." Catherine Garcia

October 11, 2017

Adding to the bevy of sexual harassment and assault accusations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein, actress and model Cara Delevingne has come forward with her own account.

In her statement, Delevingne recalled how when she was first starting out in the industry, Weinstein called her and told her "that if [she] was gay or decided to be with a woman especially in public … [she'd] never … make it as an actress in Hollywood." Delevingne "hurried off the phone," she said, but a year or two later had another uncomfortable interaction with Weinstein, this time face-to-face:

He then invited me to his room. I quickly declined [...] I felt very powerless and scared but didn't want to act that way, hoping that I was wrong about the situation. When I arrived I was relieved to find another woman in his room and thought immediately I was safe. He asked us to kiss [...] I swiftly got up and asked him if he knew that I could sing. And I began to sing....I thought it would make the situation better….more professional….like an audition….I was so nervous. After singing I said again that I had to leave. He walked me to the door and stood in front of it and tried to kiss me on the lips. I stopped him and managed to get out of the room. [Cara Delevingne]

In her statement, which she sent to New York contributor Yashar Ali, Delevingne denounced Weinstein's actions and reminded women and girls "that being harassed or abused or raped is NEVER their fault and not talking about it will always cause more damage than speaking the truth." You can read her whole account below. Karen Hui

October 10, 2017
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On Twitter Tuesday, actor Terry Crews described an incident that took place last year, when an unnamed "high level Hollywood executive" groped him in front of his wife.

Crews said hearing about the allegations of sexual misconduct against producer Harvey Weinstein gave him "PTSD" because "the same kind of thing happened to me." While at a Hollywood function, the executive "came over to me and groped my privates," Crews tweeted. "Jumping back, I said, 'What are you doing?' My wife saw everything and we looked at him like he was crazy. He just grinned like a jerk." Crews said he wanted to "kick his ass," but knew the headlines would say "240-pound black man stomps out Hollywood honcho" and he thought he'd end up in jail.

Crews did not stay silent, though — he said he told everyone he knew that had worked with the man about what happened, and the executive called him and apologized "but never really explained why he did what he did." Crews decided not to take things further because he "didn't want to be ostracized — par for the course when the predator has power and influence. I let it go. And I understand why many women who this happens to let it go." Crews wants victims, both inside and outside of Hollywood, to know they are not alone. "Hopefully, me coming forward with my story will deter a predator and encourage someone who feels hopeless," he said. Catherine Garcia

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