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tv   Matter of Fact With Soledad O Brien  KOFY  June 4, 2017 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT

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announcer: right now on "matter of fact." she was the only woman on the watergate trial team reviewing the nixon tapes. >> it was pretty dramatic to hear the voice. announcer: so, what if president trump taped his conversations with james comey? >> i would love to hear them. announcer: hear what she says about investigating a president. plus, a new 'civil war' -- over taking down the symbols of the confederacy. >> i think there is a distinction between history and historical propaganda. announcer: what do you think? and wonder woman breaks another glass ceiling. find out why some theaters are hosting this film for women only. >> you will soon find out. ♪ soledad: i'm soledad o'brien.
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welcome to "matter of fact." a week of lawyering up at the white house as president trump and his son-in-law, jared kushner, hired private attorneys to represent them in the russia probe. it's all because of expanding investigations by special counsel robert mueller and the widening congressional probes into russia's involvement in the 2016 election. the biggest developments of the week. special counsel mueller cleared former f.b.i. director james comey's appearance before a congressional committee. former national security advisor michael flynn was subpoenaed by both congressional intelligence committees, as was trump's longtime personal lawyer, michael cohen. is the scope of the investigations reaching watergate proportions? jill wine-banks was an assistant special prosecutor in the watergate investigation. it is so nice to have you joining us. you were on the watergate team. there were plenty of people, who were citizens, who said this is
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a witch hunt. that was pushed by those who supported president nixon. similar things happen around trump, there are plenty of people, including president trump himself, saying this is a witch hunt. what would you say to them? jill wine-banks: it is not a witch hunt. not only is there a lot of smoke and a lot of accusations that demand to be investigated, we know that the russians hacked the election. we know it impacted the election, and we don't know whether they had any help from americans. and if so, who? soledad: so what do you think are going to be the most valuable things that come out of the special counsel's investigation? what is he looking for right now? jill wine-banks: the special counsel is looking backward. he is looking at existing laws, federal laws, and whether they have been violated and by whom. the public will never hear anything from that investigation unless there is indictment for
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criminal charges, and then we would know something. otherwise, it is protected by grand jury secrecy and should never be leaked or revealed. and i think it is important in this instance for the public to have transparency right now. and the house or senate committee that has public hearings, much like the ervin committee did during watergate, provides that purpose and they would be looking forward. are there federal laws we ought to put in place to prevent future actions? soledad: does the mueller investigation and the congressional investigations, do they interfere with each other? in any way, is one blocking the other? jill wine-banks: they need to coordinate. if the senate, for example, wanted to immunize someone to get their testimony who the special counsel was looking at as a target for prosecution that would be a problem. they need to coordinate that sort of activity. soledad: do you think this leads to impeachment? is that the path we are on? two weeks ago, you didn't think so.
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jill wine-banks: right now, all i can do is judge what i have read in the newspapers, what i have seen on television. and when you see this much smoke and this much circumstantial evidence and assuming all these things are actually true, it cod lead to impeachment. soledad: what are the things that strike you as the biggest problems for donald trump? jill wine-banks: we can start with possibly the most obvious which is obstruction of justice, which is a federal crime. you do need intent to obstruct justice. if you ask the a.g. to leave the room so you can have a private conversation, during which, and i am assuming that the memo exists and that comey will next week testify that he was asked to drop the flynn investigation, and if you know it is improper to discuss an ongoing investigation, then that is obstruction of justice. that is enough evidence there. soledad: in the watergate case, you had the tapes. there was the smoking gun. what would be the smoking gun in
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this particular investigation, the mueller investigation? if comey is taking notes, does that rise to the same level of a smoking gun? jill wine-banks: it can be, because he is a trained person who takes contemporaneous notes and they would be pretty credible. it is not as powerful as hearing the voice of nixon and haldeman, his chief of staff. there is no substitute for that. but it is pretty close. and remember, the president threatened that there are tapes. so, maybe there are. that would be very exciting. so, i am waiting to see what accumulation of evidence this drip-drip-drip of pieces of fact and facts matter. soledad: jill wine-banks thank you for joining us.
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next.cer: president trump: i was elected to represent the people of pittsburgh -- not paris. announcer: the president pulls out of the paris accord. soledad: so, pulling out -- what does that mean? announcer: find out how the decision could affect you. and later -- >> dr. martin luther king was assassinated. and my school refused to put the flfl announcer: what are the lessons soledad: it is news some would
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call a decision heard around the world. president trump, who has previously called global warming "a hoax," announces his decision on u.s. participation in the paris climate agreement. president trump: the united states will withdraw from the paris climate accord. soledad: just what are we leaving behind? the paris agreement is a global pact to fight climate change, backed by nearly 200 countries.
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its goal is to limit planetary warming by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions. it includes a u.s. pledge to significantly reduce emissions by 2025. hundreds of american businesses oppose withdrawal. chevron and exxon mobil, microsoft, apple, starbucks, the gap, and others argue the agreement generates jobs, limits environmental damage, and keeps america's place on the global stage. sarah ladislaw is director of the energy and national security program at the center for strategic and international studies. she was at the u.s. energy department during the george w. bush administration. it is nice to see you. sarah ladislaw: thank you for having me. soledad: i mentioned that are hundreds of businesses, and also even people within president trump's own group, who are against what he has said often -- that he doesn't believe in climate change. he says versions of, "give me a break" about it or china
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iply. how unusual is that, these businesses are actually taking the lead in something of this magnitude on a global stage? sarah ladislaw: i think one of the things you find that is really interesting is now companies have said we think that the long-term trend in the global economy is toward lower carbon energ and we d't want to be confused about that. we want some clear signals so we can prepare for that future, and it is a part of their strategy. soledad: any withdrawal is really a 2019 withdrawal. sarah ladislaw: yeah, so i think that is an often missed point. i'm glad you brought it up, which is that the president can signal whatever they want right now, but the fact of the matter is in the agreement it takes a long time to execute on that withdrawal. i think that is a good thing. it could give people some time to continue this conversation long past a decision or counter-decision or whatever the case might be that is made, to consider whether or not actually
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pulling out of the agreement is the long-term interest of the united states. soledad: if the u.s. loses the seat at the table, or walks away fully from the seat at the table, can others step up and do it without the u.s.? sarah ladislaw: i think if the u.s. pulls back, the effectiveness of the agreement, which the goal is to limit emissions, to prepare the world for a change in climate, to move financing to countries for which climate change is an existential threat, that those efforts will be harmed without u.s. leadership at the table. soledad: we also lose -- "we" being the united states -- also lose the opportunity for some of these green jobs that are going to be created. sarah ladislaw: absolutely. when you think economic leadership, most countries around the world are trying to skate to where the puck is, not be protectionist about their economies and try to hold onto thgs the way that they used to be. i think there is an idea that because there is real, social and economic mobility issues in this country and this administration is trying to speak to them, that you have to
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do that by rolling back the clock and bringing back industries that are not as competitive as they once were. when point in fact, the united states has huge advantages when it comes to a whole bunch of different things, whether it is renewable energy, whether it is storage, whether it is the data that will feed into these new energy economies. so, i think we do need to think about what the agreement actually brings to the table in creating competitive advantages for the u.s. while - oh, by the way -- doing something important like dealing with climate change. soledad: nice to have you. announcer: next on "matter of fact." growing up among confederate heroes. >> when i was a kid, i wondered if general lee died just a year or two before i was born. announcer: how do we tell civil war history without honoring a history of hate? and later -- backlash over wonder woman. is girl power getting a bad rap? >> how can a woman possibly fight in this?
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soledad: the famous battle of appomattox court house marked the defeat of the confederacy in 1865. but their place in history lives on. the city of new orleans just took down a massive statue of confederate general robert e. lee -- the last of four confederate monuments removed after the city council declared them a public nuisance. in a speech that went viral, mayor mitch landrieu defended the action saying, "there is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it." correspondent diane roberts looks at how the controversy playing out in new orleans is reverberating in state houses and cities across america. diane: renewed interest in confederate symbols began two years ago, after avowed white supremacist dylann roof shot and killed nine african american parishioners at an historic black church in charleston, south carolina.
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one month after the attack, the state confederate battle flag was removed from the south carolina capitol grounds. the issue is intense because many fear their southern history is being removed. others say the symbols of slavery are too painful to witness. last month, new orleans removed a statue of robert e. lee statue, the last of four taken down in the crescent city. during a recent speech, mayor mitch landrieu pointed out these statues tell only 'part' of history. mitch landrieu, new orleans mayor: these monuments ignore the slave slavery it stood for. diane: what some call the struggle between heritage and hate stretches beyond new orleans. recently, vandals struck a st. louis monument honoring confederate soldiers and sailors. the city's mayor wants to have a removal plan for that statue by the end of june. residents of brandenburg, kentucky, celebrated their new confederate soldiers of the american war statue -- the same statue removed from the
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university of kentucky six months earlier. southern heritage also stands in baltimore, where the city is considering the removal of its confederate statues following in the footsteps of new orleans. for "matter of fact," i'm diane roberts. soledad: garrett epps is a writer, lawyer, and teacher who grew up in richmond, virginia. he says the veneration of the confederacy marked his youth and it is time to take the statues down. soledad: nice to see you, sir. garrett epps: great to be here. soledad: so richmond, virginia, the second capitol of the confederacy. what was your childhood like in terms of those statues? were they pointed out? was it a big deal or something people did not notice? garrett epps: you have to understand that, for most of my childhood, i lived a block and a half from the equestrian statue of lee that is the center of everywhere we went, we were going past confederate generals -- gen. steward, gen. lee, gen. jackson. the school i went to, you were
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divided into two teams. you were either one of the lees or you were one of the jacksons. our school colors were red and gray, the two colors of the confederate army. so, the confederacy was in the room with us. soledad: when i, as a north-easterner, would ask people about confederate statues or even the confederate flag, they would say this is our family legacy and history. garrett epps: i think that is right. the confederate statues are the product of a -- of a very particular time in southern history. not of the post-war era but of a generation or two later when the system we came to call segregation was being put in place. soledad: if they are not about honoring civil war heroes, what are they statues to? i'm asking. garrett epps: statues to an imagined south that was all white. an imagined south in which the war was not fought for slavery,
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it was fought for some notion of freedom that was never quite explained. soledad: so like a white supremacy statue. garrett epps: exactly. they were the symbols of white supremacy. soledad: was there a time when things shifted for you, when you realized that these things you had been fed your childhood were propaganda essentially? garrett epps: i turned 18 just a few days after dr. martin luther king was assassinated. and my school that i attended, and some of the institutions in my neighborhood, refused to put the flag at half-staff, even though president johnson had ordered that that be done. they said they would not do that to honor dr. king, they didn't feel he deserved that honor. but i saw the effect that had on people who were shattered with grief because of the loss of this amazing leader and who were being told by people in power,
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"your grief doesn't count, your history doesn't count, we will not take the slightest account of who you are and who this man was." and to realize how hurtful that was to them, that probably turned my mind to the idea of civic imagery and how much we live by symbols. soledad: mr. epps, nice to see you. thank you for talking with us. announcer: months of protests did not stop the dakota access pipeline. soledad: now, an online news magazine says protestors were targeted by a private security firm. announcer: were protestors being treated like terrorists? plus -- wonder woman takes on the world. >> it's what i am going to do. announcer: why the movie is taking some hits online.
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soledad: six months of massive protests over the dakota access pipeline didn't stop its construction. as of thursday, the 1200-mile
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pipeline, running from north dakota to illinois, was fully operational. now, an online news magazine, "the intercept," says protestors were targeted by a private security firm using aggressive counter-terrorism tactics, working with local law enforcement. the website says the security firm was hired by the pipeline er.elopin "the intercept" released documents describing the use of "military-style counter-terrorism measures" against what the company called an "ideologically driven insurgency." the pipeline was the focus of heated protests and sometimes violent clashes last year when the standing rock sioux tribe construction site in cannonball, north dakota. nearly 200 tribes and thousands of supporters opposed a portion of the pipeline that went under the missouri river, the main water source for the tribe. according to the associated press, police made 761 arrests
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between august and february. the tribes say the report proves "police and security were essentially given permission to carry out war-like tactics" against the protestors. energy transfer partners, the developer, says its only concern was safety for all involved. announcer: when we return -- "wonder woman" on the big screen -- with showings for women only. soledad: not everyone thinks this is a good idea. soledad: with the recent
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onslaught of superhero movies, we're getting a new big-budget movie focused on a female comic book character: wonder woman. the movie opens this weekend. and thanks to alamo drafthouse cinema, five theaters are hosting women-only screenings around the country. that means, from the audience to the staff, only people who identify as female get in. >> what are you? >> you will soon find out. soledad: they'll see the iconic "wonder woman" take a lead in
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fighting the war to end all wars. along the way, discovering her full powers. the alamo drafthouse did make apologies to its male patrons. their announcement says, "apologies, gentlemen, but we're embracing our girl power and saying 'no guys allowed.'" not much of an apology. not everybody thinks this is a good idea. it's generating some backlash online. like this tweet: "yeah, sexism is great! let's see more businesses banning on the basis of gender!" or this one: "feminists = hypocrites" not everybody reacted negatively. there were men who sided with the theater. "it's one showing out of a number of showings of a movie where women can go and see 'wonder woman.' you tell me what's wrong with it." as for the theater? they're planning more female-only showings. so however you're going to see it this weekend, it is getting great reviews. i'm soledad o'brien.
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we'll see you next week on "matter of fact." [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, whh is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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