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tv   Washington Week With Gwen Ifill  PBS  May 8, 2015 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT

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gwen: a federal court rules against the n.s.a. 2016 politics picks up speed. and brand-new attorney general lynch dives into the deep end. tonight on "washington week. >> not only have these tools kept us safe, there has not been a single incident, not one, of intentional abuse of them. gwen: but a federal appeals court disagrees, declaring a post-9/11 government data collection program to be illegal. adding another major issue to new attorney general loretta lynch's already crowded plate as she launches a justice department investigation into the baltimore police department. attorney general lynch: none of us have any illulsions that reform is easy. the challenges that we face and that baltimore faces now did not arise in a day, and change will not come overnight. gwen: on the campaign trail, three new hats in the ring.
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dr. carson: i'm probably never going to be politically correct because i'm not a politician. gwen: fiorina. carly: we know the only way to reimagine our government is to reimagine who is leading it. gwen: and huckabee mike: government in washington is dysfunctional because it's the roach motel. people go in but they never come out. gwen: while the leading democrat weighs in on immigration -- secretary clinton: we can't wait any longer for a path to full and equal citizenship. gwen: leaving her husband and daughter to defend the work of their family foundation. covering the week -- pete williams, justice correspondent for nbc news, pierre thomas, senior justice correspondent for abc news, jeff zeleny, senior washington correspondent for cnn, and laura meckler political reporter for "the wall street journal". announcer: award-winning reporting and analysis covering history as it happens.
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live from our nation's capital this is "washington week" with gwen ifill. corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by -- >> we're committed to strong. we're committed to sure. we're committed to smart and light, secure and bold. in a world of enduring needs, the men and women of boeing are proud to build and deliver critical capabilities for those who serve to protect our nation and its allies and that's an enduring committedment. announcer: additional corporate funding is provide the by prudential. additional funding is providele by newman's own foundation donating all profits from
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newman ops own food products to charity and nourishing the common good. the annenberg foundition. corporation for public broadcasting and contributions to your public station by viewers like you. thank you. once again, live from washington, moderator gwen ifill. gwen: good evening. a key provision of the patriot act, which was designed to tip the balance in favor of a more secure post-9/11 nation, is scheduled to expire june 1. that's section 215, which allows the government to gather phone records en masse and store them for later search. a federal court says it's illegal. but is it? >> here are the facts. your grocery store collects 10 times the amount of data that the n.s.a. ever thought about collecting on you. there's a big difference between the n.s.a. and your grocery store. the n.s.a. doesn't sell data. your grocery store does. gwen: what congress thinks is important, because that's where this will end up. but first, what was the court's reasoning, pete?
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pete: this is the second circuit court of appeals in new york and they're talking about the authority to gather all this bulk data. this is the so-called metadata, who you call and how long the call lasts not the call itself. the court said they were given this power under the patriot act to sort of act like a grand jury and investigate but it has to be going after something relevant in an investigation. the government says we are, we're investigating the war on terrorism and need to store these records so we can look at them later. the court said the patriot law just doesn't give the n.s.a. the authority to do this. the court did say, you know, maybe the government is right and maybe they ought to be able to do this is, but if that's the case, congress has to give them the authority to do it. gwen: so then this lands in
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congress' lap? pete: it's definitely in congress' lap because you mentioned the authority for the patriot act expires june 1. the court did a very interesting thing. they said we're not going to blow the whistle on this program, even though we think it's illegal. we'll send it back to the district court and see what congress does. >> so the court did not slut it down? pete: right. they said it's definitely illegal and has to be fixed but they threw it back into congress' face. laura: what are we expectling from congress now? there's such an odd collection of people, an unusual coalition of people. pete: senator mcconnell would just like to flat reup it, turn it back on again with no changes for five years. that seems pretty unrealist. he's willing to entertain a
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short term so they can debate something later. 9 house has a different version that basically says the government can't collect anything. the phone companies would collect it and when the government wants to go diving in for data, they would have to have a specific court order for it. >> if it disapeered -- disappeared, what would happen? pete: what they do is they find a terrorist somewhere in london anywhere, you a -- as you know and look through the terrorist's cell phone and say this is who the terrorist called, let's dip into their data and then they go up one more hop and can go investigate. you were there talking to the f.b.i. director this week and said what happens if they lose this? he said it's a tool and we like if have all the tools we can but if at the lose it we'll
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continue right on. i think the intelligence community, given the choice of what to throw overboard, who choose this. gwen: maybe it's classified and they can't say this but wouldn't the smple defense be to say here's how it helped, here are the number of cases? pete: you way -- may remember this didn't work so well the last time when the n.s.a. director came up to the hill and the story kept changing. it's a difficult thing to quantify because you never know precisely how important it was. it doesn't appear to have been hugely successful but again, in the war on terror they want to have every tool they can possibly have. and if, even if the congress does come up were a fix, what the court said was even if the congress gives them the tort -- authority to do this, that's only half the battle because then we'll decide whether it's constitutional or not.
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gwen: the new attorney general has said they're backing down on it too? pete: the torge already said it should not be reupped the way it is now. gwen: first they delayed her nomination. then they confirmed her. then the hard part began. just days into the job attorney general loretta lynch has been confronted with national security challenges and domestic unrest just up the road in baltimore. today she announced she would launch a federal civil rights probe of the baltimore police department. attorney general lynch: it was clear to a number of people looking at the situation that the community's rather frayed trust, to use an understatement, was even worse and has in effect been severed in terms of the relationship with the police department. gwen: the justice department has also investigated police practices in ferguson, philadelphia, and cleveland. what does this one look like pierre? different or the same? pierre: the sail. they will look at does this exist a pattern and practice of excessive force? do they do lil yell searches
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and seizures? they'll be look at how the police department conducts investigations. the investigation will also look at the nature and makeup of the leadership of the department, we're told and also they will look at the department in terms of how it disciplines itself. it's a very he sweeping investigation and shee shows she's got to get this right because that city, as you saw last week, is a finneder box. gwen: does it make a difference that the mayor and police chief actually welcomed this asked for the investigation? pierre: there's a spirit of cooperate it seems between the mayor and police department and justice department but once the justice department gets in there and starts gig -- digging around they may find some things that are unflattering. then the question is will you -- will you agree to any reforms the justice department
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recommends? because it they don't, they can then go to a court and force you to comply. pete: you both were reporters in baltimore, on the "sufpblet" it did seem like the attorney general today was not sort of arms akimbo like going into furg -- ferguson but very much with the hope that this will not only answer the civil rights question but also really a healing thing. pierre: i think she does believe that this could help. the community is looking for somebody outside the city of baltimore to resolve the issues and i think the feeling is the justice department stepping in, sort of in the way it did in the 1960's to deal with a controversial issue, could be healing. laura: what's going to happen? it's easy to talk about healing if he front end of an investigation but if they come out with all sorts of unflattering things about the
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police -- gwen: or say the six police officers are not charged or indicted on -- or convicted ultimately? pierre: she's got two tiers going on right now. there is is the justice department investigation into what happened to mr. gray. in is again looking at the pattern and practice of the police department. there are a couple of vaff -- avenues to resolve it. you saw in ferguson they didn't get a charge against the police get but the justice department went in and said your police department is pretty foul in the way it treats african-americans so you have to make commaze. jeff: what are her other agenda items in the short time she has left in the administration? pierre: i think the biggest agenda she has right snow terrorism. we heard this week how isis is usualing social media in unprecedented ways to leverage people inside the united states and he talks about the fact
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that they are not only recruiting people using social media, they're also telling them to, quote, kill kill, kill. it was a pretty com -- somber moment in the interview yesterday, again a small number of reporters pleeting with the f.b.i. director and he started speaking in those terms. the concern is that people following them on twitter online could suddenly act in the way you saw in texas last sunday. pete: could i just ask one other question about the civil rights investigation. don't you get the impression that sometimes police departments are happy to have the duss -- justice department come in? that they could end up making changes they couldn't on their own? pierre: exactly. and they can use these investigations to get rid of rogue officers. the one thing i'm picking up on from police officers around the country is that they now know because so many have cameras, that had the rogue officers get
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caught on tape it's going to be seen. week now see what happens when ugly activity gets caught on tape by police officers. gwen: is it that stakeholders are more interested in cooperating with loretta lynch than with her predecessor? pierre: it's going to be interesting the she's got a honeymoon period -- jeff: and when the honeymoon is over, the administration will be over! greg: that's crew. -- gwen: that's true. lame duck status. thank you. >> we'll see. gwen: as the republican political field continues to take shape, it was generally agreed that this was a long-shot week where three new candidates, two of whom have never held elected office, decided why not? but are they really long shots? each has a message he or she believes will work. carly fiorina -- not hillary clinton. >> she's a hard-working, intelligent woman, but she's
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also a personification honestly, of the professional political class. there are republicans who are members of the professional political class. but hillary clinton will be the nominee for the democratic party and she is who i, if i am the nominee of the republican party, will run against. gwen: mike huckabee -- not from washington. mike: i don't have a global foundation or a taxpayer-funded paycheck to live off of. i don't come from a family dynasty but a working family. i grew up blue collar, not blue blood. gwen: and ben carson, not a politician. dr. carson: i don't want to be a politician because politicians do what is politically expedient and i want to do what's right. we have to think about that once again in our country. gwen: and then there were six. how does the field look now, jeff?
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jeff: crowded. and we're only halfway there. there are so many more announcements to come. let's start with mike huckabee. among republicans he's definitely the most well known of the three. he's been on fox news every night on his show and he actually won the iowa caucuses in 2008. it's always helpful to be running a second time, i think. the biggest question is if he will be able to stand -- expand the you have -- universe of people who supported him last time. he won because of social conservatives. he was surprised he won the iowa caucuses. he did not have any money. mitt romney was spending all this money. but he's a very good speaker. he went after one -- every one of his republican rivals there, and of course, i am not a blue blood -- i wonder who he is talking about? maybe jeb bush? interesting race and i would
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not write him off the gwen: carly fiorina has run a big business successfully, some say not so successfully. where is her support? jeff: she dwrarn ran for senate in california against barbara boxer a couple years. she has -- was the c.e.o. of hewlett-packard and had to lay off 300,000 people in her tenure. one of them happened to remember this and he happened to take ownership of the web site carlyfiorina.org and he put all these grievances he hads. so they -- she was dealing with that this week. but her entrance in the race may take gender off the table a little bit and sleel be an interesting figure in the race but she doesn't have the experience to be president. gwen: did she lay off 300,000 or 30,000?
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jeff: i believe 30,000. gwen: wour. we'll check that. laura: going back to hawk bee, he does seem to be the most viable. can he expand beyond his core group? and is there more competition for those voters this time around? jeff: great question. the lane is so crowded there. rick santorum is in there as well. but one thing going for him is the primary calendar. if he happens to win iowa, he goes on to south carolina, a primary state and then at the beginning of march is the so-called s.e.c. primary, all these southern states. he thinks that is his entryway. i'm not sure he can raise the money. pete: are they talking about anyone other than hillary? jeff: not a lot. she is the best way for them to get on television. she definitely is a punching
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bag but mike huckabee is one exception. he was spaking -- speaking this pop ulist message and that's what we're hearing from both sides. pete: other than huckabee are the other two in it to win, like carson, in it to win or to change the fombs the issues? jeff: i think he's in it to -- well, why not? why not run for president? he's constitutionally eligible and he's the newest person in politics. he's a brain surgeon by training. he was speaking at the national prayer breakfast in 2013. president obama was a few feet away and he gave a very impressive speech but he also said some pretty outlandish things. that obama crear was worse than slaferey. gwen: he likened the president to a psychopath at one point. laura: would he make some of
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the other candidates seem more moderate perhaps? jeff: perhaps but once they're on the debate stage, the fear from the republican establishment is what effect will he have? gwen: are these three watching and making decisions -- are we watching rick snider the governor of michigan, saying he's not going to run. do they say, if he can run, i can run? jeff: not necessarily because many are sitting governors and they have other things to do with their time. these people are generally just running for president. we have three senators. marco rubio, rand paul, ted cruz. the others coming up, jeb bush, scott walker, and a couple others, that's probably what the field is going to look like. gwen: very interesting point. i heard governor jindal is
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going to announce after his louisiana general assembly session is over. that's because he's got a job the jeff: and jeff -- rick perry. we always forget him. gwen: right. on the democratic side of the 2016 equation so far it's all about hillary clinton. and no one appreciates that more than the former secretary of state. so she has talked about criminal justice and gay rights and, this week, immigration reform. secretary clinton: make no mistake, today not a single republican candidate, announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. not one. when they talk about legal status, that is code for second-class status. gwen: much like the republicans itching to run against her hillary clinton is on fast forward to the general election. but first, she has to compete against herself. is there a method to the -- her policy strategy madness,
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laura? laura: i think there is both a primary election and a general election strategy. we saw her talking very strongly about immigration. you remember that executive action the president put in place that he's being sued over? she said yeah, i'll keep it good i'll look to expand it. she's wrong about there being no republican who suportss it. lindsay graham, who we didn't mention before has been a clear and consistent supporter of a path to citizenship. but putting that aside, she is absolutely positioning herself to appeal both to latino 0-2 -- voters who have had skepticism about her over the years and are used to getting shafted politically, honestly. jeff: with the changing demographics of the country, how will this helper -- her?
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she was making that speech in neff. coincidence? laura: i do not think that's a coincidence. nevada has 18% of its eligible voters latino. it is one of the states that's been competitive the last several times tanned that the hispanic vote really matters. she really is looking ahead to that and the republicans are in such a mess over immigration, they know they have to improve their standing with the hispanic voters. mitt romney did very bl with white voters but it wasn't enough to overcome how poorly he did with minorities. there is so much hostility that is viewed -- against anything that is viewed as amnesty that they don't feel they can really fully come out for it. >> she has to constantly keep answering these gezz -- questions about the clinton foundation and the money. is she lucky that this book
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came out now? will anybody remember it in november? laura: i'm shall i suppose in some sense it's better for it to come out now than later. basically it's a lot of inwendoo did innuendo, you have a lot of foreign donors giving money to the clinton foundation and of course she's secretary of state. there hasn't been any evidence of a quid pro quo and that's what her campaign is emphasizing. but does it look good? i'm not sure it looks real good and we've got 18 months for this to germinate. i'm not sure it's ez -- necessarily an open-and-shut situation. we saw this week, bill clinton in africa, they're talking to reporters, looking to highlight the good work of the foundation which he did some of but he got questions about the contributions and stumbled a little bit i think.
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>> has she weathered the email controversy? laura: i don't think it's ever going to go away. i think at some point it gets baked into the cake and people are going to make their assessments -- gwen: isn't she going to have to answer questions about it? laura: yes, before the special committee later this month. we'll see what comes out there. it's hard for me to imagine a lot of new information coming out of that hearing either about the emails or the underlying benefits aggie -- benghazi issue. gwen: before we go tonight, we send condolences to the family of jim wright, the former speaker of the house, who passed away this week. like many of the texans who came to washington, he was a larger than life presence. he was elected to the house 17 times before resigning under a cloud in 1989. jim wright was 92 years old. we have to go now. but as always, the conference
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continues online. you can find the "washington week" webcast extra later tonight and all week long at pbs.org/washingtonweek. where, among other things, we'll talk about how isis is using social media to recruit young americans. keep up with developments with me and judy woodruff on the pbs newshour and we'll see you here next week on "washington week. happy mothers day. good night. announcer: corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by -- >> we asked people to tell us something that happened in their past and something that might happen in their future. the good things were put on yellow magnets and the bad ones
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on blue. the results showed the past was a pret eeven mix of good and bad but the future was all good things. what does it plane to you? >> we all want to think about positive stuff. >> realistically there will be down times >> great to think optimistically but let's plan for whatever the future might bring. >> additional corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by boeing. additional funding is provided by newman's own foundation donating all profits from newman's own food products to charity and nourishing the common good. the annenberg foundation. the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning pe
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next on kqed "newsroom" surviving in east oakland -- >> the outside world looks at us as gangs and cliques. most of the time we look at them as family. >> they already got a guilty sign do you get what i'm saying? >> what happened in baltimore can happen here. people were tired of being tired. >> hello and welcome to kqed news room. earlier this week i interviewed three young people who grew up in east oakland in some of the bay area's poorest neighborhoods. they were all involved in street life at one time or another. what they told me was quite

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