"Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border to at least three 'tender age' shelters in South Texas," reads the first line of an AP story that proved too much for Rachel Maddow on Tuesday. "I apologize for losing it there for a moment. Not the way I intended that to go, not by a mile," the MSNBC host tweeted after she teared up while trying to report on the article at the end of Tuesday's episode of The Rachel Maddow Show. "I think I'm going to have to hand this off. Sorry, that does it for us tonight. We'll see you again tomorrow,” she said, per USA Today, passing the broadcast to The Last Word's Lawrence O'Donnell after failing to get through the article's first lines. She wasn't the only one to get emotional.
Viewers responded "by expressing sympathy," reports CNN. Others noted they hadn't seen Maddow act that way before, seeming almost ready to vacate her chair before her time was up. "Ugh, I'm sorry. If nothing else, it is my job to actually be able to speak while I'm on TV," Maddow later tweeted alongside a link to the AP piece. It describes the facilities housing the youngest of more than 2,300 children separated from their parents as "playrooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis," with experts concerned about both physical and emotional illness. "I only got to talk to him once and he sounded so sad," one mother tells the AP of her 7-year-old son, believed to be in a shelter. "I call and call and no one will tell me where he is." (President Trump wants an immigration bill.)