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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  January 21, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> stewart: on this edition for saturday, january 21: donald trump's first full day as president, as anti-trump marchers protest in cities across the world. and, reforming how congress does business. former members have hopes for bipartisanship. next, on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust-- supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided
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by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, alison stewart. >> stewart: good evening, and thanks for joining us. on donald trump's first full day in office, the nation's capital saw a massive protest of mr. trump's policies and presidency, and a call for the protection of rights. organizers say hundreds of ousands of people from all over the country came to washington, d.c. for what was a billed as a women's march on washington. protesters packed the entire route from the capitol to the white house, making a formal march nearly impossible, though many attendees marched on their own following a rally that lasted most of the day. there were also hundreds of sister marches in cities all
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across the u.s., and overseas from argentina to australia. newshour weekend's ivette feliciano has this report, from washington. >> reporter: the first marchers began arriving near the capitol building before dawn. there were women-- and men-- of all ages from all over the country. a mix of ethnic, religious, and class backgrounds. among the many first-time demonstrators was janet chen, who brought her eight-year-old daughter, molly. they're worried about the republican rollback of affordable care act, or obamacare. >> i have a heart defect, and i want to get health insurance when i'm older, but i might not be able to. >> i think it's important that the next generation of little girls stand up for women's rights and realize there's a real threat to women's rights in this country with the incoming administration. >> reporter: debbie snowdon came from north carolina to support abortion rights and funding for
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planned parenthood. >> it's really important to me verse roe vs. wade, take awayy abortion rights in this country. i'm very concerned. i'm at an age when i can remember us fighting for those rights, and it's really hard to believe we're in danger of losing them. >> reporter: while the overriding message we heard from people here was anti-trump, the issues motivating marchers were as diverse as the crowds here. anjum khan, from maryland, said she's concerned about muslim rights and trump's promise to ban muslims from entering the country. >> when he said he's going to eradicate islamic terrorism, that's wonderful! like, yes, please do that. but in doing that, don't trample on my rights. >> reporter: rohima miah has marched on washington before for civil rights and was among the protestors at the inauguration yesterday. >> as a black woman with a 30-year-old black son that lives in new york city, it should be an issue for all people-- that our children are safe. >> reporter: judy ames, a gay rights activist since the aids epidemic started in the 1980s, was here with a group of gay musicians.
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>> we just don't think that women's rights and civil rights and everybody's rights should be just trampled on and thrown away. it's ridiculous. >> reporter: the march's wide- ranging policy platform advocated for economic justice for women, keeping abortion access safe and legal, immigration reform, police accountability, union rights, sex worker rights, and environmental protection. >> women matter. ( cheers and applause ) and we will not be shy about standing up to what matters to us. ( cheers and applause ) and here's what matters to me: that my daughter inherits a world where a healthy environment is a basic right for all of us. >> reporter: march leaders, like actress america ferrara, whose parents are from honduras, said their rights are under attack. >> we are america!
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( cheers and applause ) and we are here to stay. we will not go from a nation of immigrants to a nation of ignorance. >> reporter: long-time political activist gloria steinem called on the crowd to use their "people power" to keep a close eye on the new president. >> trump and his handlers have found a fox in every chicken coup in washington. and his twitter finger must not become a trigger finger. >> reporter: kristin rowe- finkebeiner, the head of the group, moms rising, called for equal pay for equal work. >> women make 80 cents to a man's dollar. moms earn only 71 cents to a man's dollar, and moms of color earn as low as 46 cents to a man's dollar. >> reporter: and activist filmmaker michael moore had this word of advice for the assembled women. >> you have to run for office!
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you! yes, you! >> even if you're not sitting in the white house, even if you're not a member of the united states congress, even if you don't run a big corporate super pac, you have the power! >> and we the people have the power. y >> reporter: after the speeches, the protesters intended to march about 2.5 miles from near the capitol, along the national mall, to the white house. but they were unable to do that-- in unison, as planned-- due to the size of their crowd. the same thing happened in chicago, where 150,000 people turned up for a rally at grant park-- so many more than expected. in new york, some 200,000 people rallied outside the united nations before marching through manhattan in support of human
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and civil rights. in los angeles, tens of thousands of demonstrators converged on downtown's pershing square. overseas, thousands of trump protesters took to the streets of london. in paris, thousands marched near the eiffel tower carrying signs saying: "we have our eyes on you, mr. trump." among the thousands of trump protesters in sydney, australia, one woman said, "we want to send the sign to the women in the u.s. that we are all in this together." >> stewart: ivette feliciano reporting from washington, thanks. president donald trump's motorcade passed by some protestors in washington today, without incident. it happened this morning, after mister trump and vice president mike pence had attended an interfaith prayer service at the national cathedral. in the afternoon, the president met with officials at central intelligence agency headquarters in northern virginia, though his pick for c.i.a. director, mike pompeo, has yet to be confirmed by the senate. >> very, very few people could do the job you people do, and i want to just let you know i am so behind you, and i know, maybe
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sometimes you haven't gotten the backing that you've wanted, and you're going to get so much backing. maybe you're going to say, "please don't give us so much backing." >> stewart: in one of his first acts in office, president trump yesterday signed an executive order directing executive agencies to stop enforcing regulations related to the affordable care act, also known as obamacare. as the administration works with congress to repeal and replace the former president's health insurance reforms, the order would "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay" any taxes or penalties for not following the mandate to have insurance. last night, the president and first lady melania trump attended three inaugural balls, sharing their first dance to a song made famous by frank sinatra, "my way." ♪ ♪ >> let me ask you, should i keep the twitter going or not? keep it going? i think so. i think so. >> stewart: and he has. mr. trump tweeting this mornin"" i am honored to serve you, the
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great american people, as your 45th president of the united states!" joining me here in the studio to discuss the start of the trump presidency is newshour weekend's jeff greenfield. jeff, you were a speechwriter for senator robert f. kennedy. so what struck you about the trump inaugural speech? >> how much it was consistent with the most forceful arguments of his campaign. there was very little give in saying, "okay, now that i'm president, i've got to be a little different." yeah, there were touches about "we have to be together and we'll be unified." but the central arguments of his campaign, that the big shots in washington have betrayed you, have gotten rich and powerful at your expense, and all those countries overseas have prospered at your expense, was front and center in the speech. and i did not expect the speech-- actually, i was wondering before, would he be as forceful and blunt and tough about that as he was in the campaign? and the answer was yes. >> stewart: well, from that
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speech, what should we be looking for in terms of policy? >> one of the things that if i were a republican leader in congress would give me a little bit of agta, is that when he says the establishment has betrayed middle-class and working class people, he's talking about both parties. it's another reminder, in effect, he is a third-party candidate who happened to get control of one of the two major parties. so on issues like big infrastructure program, for instance, which is not part of the republican playbook-- >> stewart: they're not going to be so happy about spending money on infrastructure. >> that's part of it. free trade has been part and parcel of the republican playbook for 60 years or more. he is clearly not a free trader. and then when he says, "we're going to have insurance for everybody" which is at least something he said in one of his interviews, well, how does that square with the republican congressional agenda which no matter what plan you look at, looks to be a lot more cost effective, is one way poput it
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in terms of coverage. so there are signals there from the inaugural to the shock of some people in washington that he apparently means to try to do what he said he was going to try to do. >> stewart: jeff, let's talk about today's events, the huge protests that are happening in major cities, and in smaller cities all across the country. it's the women's march in washington. and if you go to their website, this is their stated purpose: given the size of these marches and the-- and how far spread they are around the globe, it seems like it's more than that. >> i think it is really almost a primal expression of fear, anger, determination to push back on donald trump. whether it's what he's had to say about women, the actions that he's beasted of, his positions on things like
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abortion and planned parenthood. but i think it would be a mistake to look at this march as a singular march. the definition that you gave us, that's pretty broad. what can mean everything from affordable health care to pay equity to, you know, abortion to gay rights-- >> stewart: climate. >> yeah. so i think it's different from, for instance, the marchs about vietnam or the right-to-life march that will happen in a few weeks. we know what those marches are about and you can be very specific. i just inning this case it's ill are in a state of almost shock that donald trump is the president of the united states. >> stewart: jeff greenfield, thanks so much. >> pleasure. >> stewart: watch gloria steinem's speech at the women's march on washington. visit facebook.com/newshour. the nation's new congress faces the challenge of overcoming the partisan rancor that produces gridlock.
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in tonight's signature segment, newshour weekend's megan thompson spoke with two longtime members of the house of representatives who just left office, to hear their prescription for change. >> reporter: democrat steve israel served in congress from 2001 to 2016, representing a politically centrist district on long island. a few years into his tenure, he co-founded the "center aisle caucus." the effort to foster bipartisanship regularly drew around 25 democrats and 25 republicans to a chinese restaurant near capitol hill. >> we had a kitchen timer. five minutes to state your disagreements, and then 55 minutes to figure out where you could agree. it was sublime. it was so liberating. you know what i learned from that experience at center aisle caucus? democrats and republicans are going to disagree 75% of the time, and that's okay. the problem with washington is that we're so busy beating each other up on the 75% that we will never agree to, that we forget that there's 25% waiting to be
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passed. and that can be passed quickly. >> reporter: back in the capitol, israel found, those agreements behind the scenes rarely became policy. one example: infrastructure. >> so, i'd have conversations with colleagues on the other side of the aisle who would say, "yeah, we're spending the lowest level of financing on infrastructure in recent history. we need to do more. we need to generate those investments." but they couldn't say that in public because they would be tarred as tax-and-spenders. and they just couldn't withstand that label. >> both parties are very, very partisan. >> reporter: for 14 years, republican candice miller represented macomb county, michigan, just north of detroit, a swing area of a swing state, won twice by barack obama and then won by donald trump. she was michigan's secretary of state before serving in congress. >> i've been used to reaching out across the aisle and working with democrats. and we worked pretty well in
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macomb county because of that. but then, of course, when i went to congress, i found it was a much more partisan environment. >> reporter: she agrees with israel-- partisanship impedes progress on big issues. >> whether that's dealing with entitlements, or dealing with national defense, or dealing with so many things that face us, we need to come together in some ways, on some of these huge issues. >> reporter: with its tea party wing insurgent in 2010, republicans picked up 63 seats and regained control of the house. >> i think that the tea party was a result of people around the country who were just absolutely fed up with the way that washington was operating. because the way that president obama was really operating with all of the executive orders, with obamacare. so many governmental overreaches-- i think there was a huge pushback. >> reporter: but, miller says, the party's shift to the right affected its own ability to get things done. in 2015, some of the most conservative house members formed the freedom caucus, which voted "no" as a bloc on many issues.
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>> it really hindered, i think, the ability for the republican conference when i was there. even though we were in the majority, we couldn't get the optimal kind of bills that we were looking for done. >> reporter: israel says the polarization in congress has grown because of partisan redistricting-- the way states redrew house district lines following the 2010 census. >> too many congressional districts are drawn to protect a republican incumbent or a democratic incumbent. and if they're drawn to protect a democratic or republican incumbent, that incumbent necessarily has to cut further and further to the left or the right. if you had less partisan redistricting, where districts were kind of drawn more towards the middle, you would have more meeting in the middle by members of congress. >> reporter: israel supports taking the redistricting power away from state legislators and putting independent commissions in charge. miller says that's not so simple. >> you're never going to take politics out of politics; it's just impossible. so when they say, "well, we're going to get a non-political group that's going to draw these lines."
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uh, okay. ( laughs ) i don't know if anyone believes that. i don't know who these nonpolitical people are, they're going to draw political lines that have no interest in politics? maybe. >> reporter: israel, who will now chair an institute on global issues at long island university, left congress in part because he came to dread the fundraising. >> i'm steve israel and i approve this message. >> reporter: not >> reporter: not just for his own campaigns, but for fellow democrats, when he chaired the democratic congressional campaign committee. >> i actually calculated the amount of time that i spent raising money for my re- elections over 16 years: 4,200 hours on the phone asking people for money, dialing for dollars. 1,600 separate cocktail parties. that's 4,200 hours that i wasn't spending trying to figure out how we're going to strengthen medicare, trying to figure out how we're going to make sure that the middle class grows their paychecks.
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>> reporter: the need for infrastructure improvements is one area where israel and miller see common ground. in her new job as macomb county public works commissioner, mediate area-- and quite ah a frankly, this could happen in lots of places in our country, because we have not addressed infrastructure. we've not invested enough infrastructure. and so, i'm very hopeful president trump will be able to get a very good transportation and infrastructure investment bill through. >> reporter: as congress gets down to business under the new president, miller and israel have this advice for new members. >> you might only be there for one session of congress. you might be there for a much longer time. but be bold, don't be afraid to be bold. do the right thing, be bold. never forget who you actually are representing, though. these are your bosses. and so, always remember your constituents before you think about your party. >> number one, find a friend with whom you disagree. understand there are no absolutes in washington. most of the issues that you're going to be dealing with are
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actually in a gray area. and so, find somebody who you like but somebody who you disagree with, and start to learn from one another. >> stewart: the only cabinet- level trump appointees confirmed by the u.s. senate so far are defense secretary james mattis and homeland security secretary john kelley, both former marine corps generals. also on the job is national security advisor michael flynn, who did not require confirmation. but many vacancies in the administration's national security team remain. joining me from washington to discuss that is "politico" correspondent michael crowley. michael, so president trump visited the c.i.a. today, and he was very complimentary, but as we know, through most of the trapsition, he's basically derided the agency. so how does that relationship move forward, and what should we be looking for-- looking at as
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it moves forward? >> well, i think as trump himself said at the c.i.a. today, he's going to have his own director coming in. his nominee is mike pompeo, who is a republican congressman. now, democrats are putting up a little more of a fight than had been expected a couple of days ago. it's not guaranteed that pompeo is going to go through. but i think the trump team's view is that the heads of the intelligence communities at the top levels were obama appointees, and at the c.i.a., you have john brennan, who has already resigned, and also, likewise, the director of national intelligence, jim clapper, has also reviend. and i think there was, you know, not a good relationship between trump and either of those men. so he's going to have pompeo coming in at the c.i.a., and probably former republican senator dan coates coming in as director of national intelligence, and i think the hope on his team is that that will be a fresh start. you won't have, you know, kind of mistrust, you know,
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poisoned-- a poisoned well that you might have had with those two guys who were on their way out. but the last thing i'll say about that is i don't think that solves the problem. among the rank and file i think there is a lot of confusion, distrust, and even anger at the way trump has talked about the intelligence community the last self weeks. so just changing the leadership isn't going to solve the problem. and i don't know how he fixes it. it's really going to depend on i think whether he takes their advice, seems to take them seriously, listens to them, and whether his new senior leadership can kind of repair the relationship moving downward. >> stewart: so far, what has mr. trump signaled as his national security priorities. >> well, i think that he has made clear that possibly his top priority-- i mean, you know, make america great again, of course. and as he said in his inaugural speech, america first. he is saying he wants to reorient our foreign policy in a way that, you know, the way i hear it spends less money and
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blood and treasure overseas defending allies, building up the militaries of our allies, so they can protect themselves. it's a little bit more of a "you're on your own" attitude towards our global aliewnses, including the nato alliance, for instance. that has left our allies very unsettled. i think when you kind of get into policy issues, really fighting isis and islamic radicalism are at the torch his list. he seems topping that there's almost nothing that's worth using our military and diplomacy for beyond crushing isis and crushing its, you know, ceend of similar organizations, like al qaeda. but hes has not really spelled out in policy terms how that would work. what he would do that's so different from the obama administration, and the last thing very quickly, of course, he's made clear that he wants to have a new relationship with russia, which is going to be a very tricky and complicated thing to do given the cloud,
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frankly, over his election that russia interfered in the election to trump's benefit. >> stewart: michael crowley from politico, thanks so much. >> thanks for having me. >> stewart: at a meeting of european nationalists in germany today, french far-right leader marine le pen urged europeans to follow the example of britain and the united states and "wake up." le pen, a candidate for president of france, said britain's vote to leave the european union, and the election of president trump, were blows to what she called the "old order." the french election is in may. in the west african nation of gambia, the leader who lost an election has finally agreed to step down. yahya jammeh said today he will give up power and leave the country. jammeh, who seized power in a 1994 coup, was refusing to accept his defeat last month by adama barrow, who was sworn in on thursday as gambia's new president. an african military force led by
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senegal had entered the small nation of two million people this week to force jammeh to step down. in pakistan today, at least 18 people were killed and dozens more injured when a remote- control bomb exploded in a crowded vegetable market. a militant group that targets shi'ite muslims claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred in a predominantly shi'ite muslim tribal region on the northwest border with afghanistan. in northern italy, a bus carrying hungarian students returning from their annual ski vacation in france crashed near the city of verona today. italian police say at least 16 people died, most of them teenagers. 26 other people were injured. the students, family members, and teachers were returning to budapest when the bus hit a highway pillar and burst into flames. in central italy, three days after an avalanche, rescuers saved four more people today. they were among 30 people staying in a hotel that was buried in snow on wednesday after earth tremors triggered
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the avalanche. nine survivors are said to be in good health, but five people died, and at least 15 are not accounted for. >> stewart: finally, the justice department has cleared pru's son-in-law jared kushner to serve as a senior white house adviser saying the appoint does not violate antinepotism laws. kushner has said he'll work for now pay. that's all for this edition offed week. i'm alison stewart. good night. captioning sponsored by wnet cc1 test message media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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>> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust-- supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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