MSNBC's Brzezinski chokes up in describing CNN gun violence town hall: 'You saw rage'

MSNBC's Brzezinski chokes up in describing CNN gun violence town hall: 'You saw rage'
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Mika Brzezinski fought back tears early Thursday while describing CNN's town hall on gun violence held in response to a mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead. 

"You saw rage on the part of the parents and part of these kids who go to school wondering if they’re going to get ... gunned down," the MSNBC host said on "Morning Joe."

"I don’t know how you go through a night like last night and don’t find yourself profoundly changed on this issue and willing to bend whether it costs you or not politically," Brzezinski said of the event, which aired live on CNN Wednesday night.

"And you didn’t just see courage — and we’re going to show you after the break. You saw rage. You saw rage on the part of the parents and part of these kids who go to school wondering if they’re going to get ... gunned down, kids across the country and kids who have had it happen to them," Brzezinski continued as she began to get choked up.

"This is rage at this point. So coming up from the White House to the state house in Tallahassee, to schools across the country, you’re going to hear from kids who are the future on this issue on every level," she concluded. 

The CNN event included Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP group's ad calls on Graham to push for election security: 'Are you still trying?' Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick joins CBS News as contributor Trump: Bolton 'was holding me back' on Venezuela MORE (R-Fla.), Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonAl Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Democrats target Florida Hispanics in 2020 Poll: Six Democrats lead Trump in Florida match-ups MORE (D-Fla.), Rep. Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchHouse panel advances anti-gun violence legislation Gun debate to shape 2020 races Trump plays to evangelical base with hard-line support for Israel MORE (D-Fla.), and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, along with students and parents from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of the mass shooting last week.

The televised event had several dramatic moments, including the father of a victim killed asking Rubio what he would do to prevent future gun violence.

“I absolutely believe that in this country, if you are 18 years of age you should not be able to buy a rifle. I will support a law that takes that right away,” Rubio replied.

The 2016 GOP presidential candidate was also asked by student Cameron Kasky if he would no longer take money from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“Sen. Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA in the future?” Kasky asked.

“I do support the Second Amendment," Rubio replied, not answering the question directly. "And I also support the right of you and everyone here to be able to go to school and be safe. And I do support any law that would keep guns out of the hands of a deranged killer, and that's why I support the things I have stood for and fought for.”

“The influence of these groups comes not from money. The influence comes from the millions of people that agree with the agenda,” Rubio continued.

“Wait, hold on,” Kasky injected. “So, right now, in the name of 17 people, you cannot ask the NRA to keep their money out of your campaign?”

Rubio again avoided answering directly, instead saying, “If people want to support my agenda, they’re welcome to do so.”

“But they buy into my ideas, I don't buy into theirs,” he added.

Rubio, 46, has an A+ rating from the NRA and has received $3,303,355 in donations from the association since getting into politics in 2000.