Rachel Maddow breaks down on live TV during report about detention centre for babies

MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow broke down in tears during a live TV segment yesterday about detention facilities for babies and children under the age of three.

The moment comes after a storm of criticism towards the Trump administration over its policy of removing undocumented children from their parents.

Harrowing footage has emerged from detention facilities in Texas, where children who crossed the US border have been separated from their parents and are being kept in cages.

Maddow had been attempting to read a breaking news alert about a detention facility for babies and toddlers under-three, but was overcome by emotion.


She said: “AP has just broken some new news, and this is incredible… Trump administration officials have been sending babies… and other young children… to at least three ‘tender age’ shelters in South Texas.”

The anchor attempted to continue to read the breaking news item, taking long pauses as she sobbed.

Rachel Maddow (MSNBC)

She eventually opted to end the show without finishing reading the item, saying:  “I think I’m going to have to hand this off. Sorry. That’s all from us tonight, we’ll see you again tomorrow.”

The next MSNBC host, Lawrence O’Donnell, then covered the issue.

On Twitter Maddow explained what happened.

Rachel Maddow addressed the incident on Twitter

She wrote: “Ugh, I’m sorry. If nothing else, it is my job to actually be able to speak while I’m on TV.

“What I was trying to do — when I suddenly couldn’t say/do anything — was read this lede.

She shared the script segment, which stars: “Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents to at least three ‘tender age’ shelters in South Texas. Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the ‘tender age’ shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. Decades after the nation’s child welfare system ended the use of orphanages over concerns about the lasting trauma to children, the administration is standing up new institutions to hold Central American toddlers that the government separated from their parents. ‘The thought that they are going to be putting such little kids in an institutional setting? I mean it is hard for me to even wrap my mind around it’, said Kay Bellor, vice president for programs at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, ‘Toddlers are being detained.'”

Rachel Maddow (MSNBC)

She added: “[It is] all from this Associated Press story that broke while I was on the air tonight, but which I was unable to read on the air.

“Again, I apologize for losing it there for a moment. Not the way I intended that to go, not by a mile.”

Maddow previously spoke about Mike Pence’s anti-LGBT policies.