Rachel Maddow breaks down on air reading report of ‘tender age’ shelters for immigrant children

It’s not unusual for Rachel Maddow to report breaking news in the middle of her usually nightly MSNBC broadcast, nor is it unusual for her audience to see her first thoughts and reactions.

However, on Tuesday night, the host struggled to break the news reported by the Associated Press that Trump administration officials had directed immigrant toddlers and babies to be taken to “tender age” shelters in South Texas.

Her voice choked as she mentioned the age of the children and she covered her mouth, directing her studio to put a graphic on the screen.

“Thank you, do we have it?” Maddow asked, swallowing. “No.”

Finally, she ended her show and cut to Lawrence O’Donnell, who was reporting on the issue from Texas, with tears beginning to well in her eyes.

Later on, Maddow posted a six-tweet thread apologizing for breaking down on air and quoting the news lede she was unable to read.

“Ugh, I’m sorry. If nothing else, it is my job to actually be able to speak while I’m on TV,” she began the thread.

She ended the series of tweets with another final apology.

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

Rachel Maddow trended on Twitter Wednesday morning, with many viewers expressing sympathy and gratitude for displaying what some, such as filmmaker Michael Moore, described as a “moment of integrity,” while others compared the moment to Walter Cronkite’s emotional broadcast following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

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WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Rachel Maddow -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured (l-r): Rachel Maddow and Chris Hardwick -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0639 -- Pictured: (l-r) MSNBC television host Rachel Maddow during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on March 15, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MSNBC - ELECTION COVERAGE -- Election Night 2016 -- Pictured: Rachel Maddow, Host, 'The Rachel Maddow Show' on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 from New York -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) -- Moderator Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow, Anchor, MSNBC's 'The Rachel Maddow Show' appear on 'Meet the Press' in Philadelphia, PA on Sunday July 24, 2016. (Photo by: Bill McCay/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) -- Rachel Maddow, Anchor, MSNBC's 'The Rachel Maddow Show', Michael Steele, Former RNC Chair; NBC News Political Analyst appear on 'Meet the Press' in Philadelphia, PA on Sunday July 24, 2016. (Photo by: Bill McCay/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: TV personality Rachel Maddow visits the SiriusXM Studios on April 29, 2016 in New York, New York. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0429 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actress Tina Fey, host Jimmy Fallon, and television personality Rachel Maddow play 'Know It All' on March 2, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MSNBC - ELECTION COVERAGE -- MSNBC Democratic Candidates Debate -- Pictured: (l-r) Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd appear during the 'MSNBC Democratic Candidates Debate' on Thursday, February 4, 2016 at the University of New Hampshire at Durham in Durham, NH -- (Photo by: Scott Eisen/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Host of �The Rachel Maddow Show� MSNBC Rachel Maddow speaks onstage at the Road to the 2016 Election: A Campaign Preview panel presented by NBCUniversal during Advertising Week 2015 AWXII at the Times Center Stage on September 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for AWXII)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: (L-R) NBC News Political Director and Moderator of Meet the Press NBC News Chuck Todd, Anchor of NBC Nightly News and Dateline Lester Holt, Co-Anchor of �Today� and NBC News Chief Legal Correspondent NBC News Savannah Guthrie, and Host of �The Rachel Maddow Show� MSNBC Rachel Maddow pose at the Road to the 2016 Election: A Campaign Preview panel presented by NBCUniversal during Advertising Week 2015 AWXII at the Times Center Stage on September 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for AWXII)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Andy Cohen, Nicole Richie and Rachel Maddow -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 0012 -- Pictured: (l-r) Television host Rachel Maddow during an interview with host Seth Meyers on March 11, 2014 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Rachel Maddow and Michael Strahan -- Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) ? Rachel Maddow, Host, MSNBC?s ?The Rachel Maddow Show,? left, and Ralph Reed, Chairman, Faith and Freedom Coalition, right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, June 30, 2013. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Rachel Maddow and Lil Jon -- Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 14: Political commentator and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow attends the 2013 Philadelphia Book Festival at Irvine Auditorium on April 14, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: TV personality Rachel Maddow enters the 'Late Show With David Letterman' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on April 3, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/FilmMagic)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4421 -- Pictured: (l-r) Rachel Maddow during an interview with host Jay Leno on March 11, 2013 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Rachel Maddow appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 11: Political commentator Rachel Maddow signs copies of her new book 'Drift' at Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on April 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Rachel Maddow appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer and Rachel Maddow appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire
MSNBC Live -- Decision 2010 -- Pictured: Rachel Maddow, host ��The Rachel Maddow Show�� during 'Decision 2010' on November 2, 2010 (Photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW -- Pictured: (l-r) -- MSNBC's Rachel Maddow anchors live from Will McDonogh Memorial Park in New Orleans on August 26, 2010 to address the progress and struggles of the city, five years after Hurricane Katrina (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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