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.