tv PBS News Hour PBS March 3, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: the state of u.s.-russia relations after yet more reports of trump campaign advisors meeting with russian officials. then, a deadly war on drugs-- an inside look at the philippines' president violent crackdown. and it's friday. mark shields and david brooks are here to analyze a full week of news. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the head of the federal reserve is sending the strongest signal yet that short- term interest rates are going up again this month. janet yellen addressed a business lunch in chicago today, and suggested conditions seem ripe for another rate hike. >> the committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line
with our expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate. >> woodruff: the fed last raised interest rates in december, but officials have indicated there could be three hikes this year. a former journalist is now in federal custody for allegedly sending bomb threats to at least eight jewish institutions. juan thompson was arrested in st. louis. authorities say he made the threats, then blamed an ex- girlfriend. federal investigators cleared evidence from thompson's home today. he's also being questioned about vandalism at a jewish cemetery outside st. louis. i all, more than 120 jewish sites nationwide received threats in recent weeks. vice president pence today defended using a private e-mail account for public business, while he was governor of indiana. the "indianapolis star" reported that some of the e-mails dealt
with security matters. mr. pence had sharply criticized hillary clinton's use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state. today, during a trip to janesville, wisconsin, he insisted what he did, was different. >> no, there's no comparison whatsoever between hillary clinton's practice of having a private server, mishandling classified information, destroying emails when they were requested by the congress and by officials. we have fully complied with all indiana's laws. >> woodruff: a white house spokeswoman said mr. pence did everything "to the letter of the law" as governor. in yemen: u.s. warplanes staged a second night of air strikes against al-qaeda fighters. they targeted sites in at least two provinces. the pentagon denied reports that ground troops also took part. in late january, a u.s. commando raid in yemen killed dozens of civilians and a navy seal. tunisia will take back 1,500
asylum seekers rejected by germany. german chancellor angela merkel announced the agreement in tunis today. it came after a tunisian man drove a truck into a berlin market, last december. he killed a dozen people and wounded scores more. merkel's government took in some 900,000 migrants and asylum seekers in 2015. back in this country, president trump touted school choice as he toured a catholic school in orlando, florida today. he met teachers and a class of fourth grade students, accompanied by education secretary betsy devos. the president praised parochial schools that educated "disadvantaged" children. >> education is the civil rights issue of our time. and it's why i've asked congress to support a school choice bill, and we've come a long way, we're right out there and we're ahead of schedule in so many ways when it comes to education.
>> woodruff: the president did not say what might be in the bill. german automaker daimler a.g. today ordered a recall of more than 300,000 mercedes-benz vehicles in the u.s. they may have a faulty fuse that can spark a fire. the recall covers c-class, e- class and c.l.a. sedans, plus g.l.a. and g.l.c. sport utility models 2015 through 2017. and on wall street: stocks finished this friday, mostly flat. the dow jones industrial average edged up just two points to close at 21,005. the nasdaq rose nine points, and the s&p 500 added one point. still to come on the newshour: how allegations over president trump's ties to russia affects relations between moscow and washington, who is carrying out the philippines' deadly war on drugs, more than a dozen states seek to put limits on
public protestors, and much more. >> woodruff: this week brought more reports of repeated contacts between trump campaign aides and russian officials. margaret warner begins with the latest details. >> good morning team. >> reporter: attorney general jeff sessions returned to work today, after recusing himself from any investigation into moscow's election meddling. his recusal came after conceding he'd met twice with the russian ambassador during the campaign. earlier, he told a senate committee he had not. but today, vice president mike pence reaffirmed his faith in sessions. >> the president and i have full confidence in the attorney general. he is a man of integrity. >> reporter: reports also emerged that campaign advisers j.d. gordon and carter page met ambassador sergei kislyak, as
did jared kushner, president trump's son-in-law and adviser. recusal. >> woodruff: did you have any meetings last year with russian officials in russia, outside russia, anywhere? >> i had no meetings. no meetings. in moscow, russian foreign minister sergei lavrov dismissed the ongoing furor. >> ( translated ): i can only refer to a quote that was circulated today in the mass media, this strongly resembles a witch hunt or the times of mccarthyism, which we thought were long over in the united states as a civilized country. >> reporter: mr. trump also called it a "witch hunt". and today, he tweeted a photo of senate minority leader chuck schumer meeting with russian president vladimir putin in 2003. mr. trump said: "we should start an immediate investigation into senator schumer and his ties to russia and putin. a total hypocrite!" schumer tweeted back that he'd "happily" talk about his contact with putin, asking "would you
and your team?" later the president demanded a probe of house minority leader nancy pelosi for saying she never met with the russian ambassador. politico said she was part of a larger meeting with pelosi in 2010. >> reporter: the political storm has overshadowed any concrete steps toward improving ties with russia, as mr. trump has advocated. >> if we have a good relationship with russia, believe me, that's a good thing, not a bad thing. >> reporter: relations turned icy at the end of obama administration, over russian aggression in ukraine, and its military backing for damascus in the syrian civil war. since mr. trump took office, diplomacy between the two sides- - at least publicly-- has been limited. the president spoke with putin by phone after the inauguration. and his secretary of state, rex tillerson, met with lavrov at a g-20 summit in germany. meanwhile, uncertainty over mr.
trump's intentions toward russia is rattling american allies in europe. vice president pence and defense secretary james mattis tried last month to reassure nato partners of washington's alliance solidarity. one nato partner-- german chancellor angela merkel-- now plans to visit washington on march 14th. for the pbs newshour, i'm margaret warner. >> woodruff: a broader look now at the state of u.s.-russia relations and what is at stake for these two countries we get two views. andrew weiss worked for both republican and democratic administrations as a staffer on the national security council, in the state and defense departments. he's now at the carnegie endowment for international peace. and paul saunders, he focused on russia at the state department during the george w. bush administration. he's now the executive director of the center for the national interest, a foreign policy think tank. and we welcome both of you back to the program.
andrew weiss, to you first, what is the sense of the state of u.s. russia relations right now? >> broken. we are at a low point that goes back to the darkest days to have the cold war. president trump has been promising there's going to be some kind of dramatic resurgence. he's talked about a grand bargain with vladimir putin presumably focused on the bar in syria, the fight on i.s.i.s. he hopes to contain china and meddlesome iran by breaking ground with russia. i think that's setting expectations too high. the reason for the relationship being in the doghouse is profound and goes to the heart of who we are as a nation. >> woodruff: paul saunders, how do you see the state to have the relationship now. >> i agree with andrew that the relationship is at its worst state today since probably the 1980s. i think there is no question about that. where i would differ with andrew is i think there are opportunities to improve the
relationship. i do think there are some possibilities in syria on some other issues, arms control, perhaps, some other areas, too, and, you know, the president seems determined to try that. if he does, i think moscow would be receptive. i think it's appropriate to keep our expectations in check. i do believe there is some possibilities. >> woodruff: why do you say they're broken, andrew weiss? >> well, it comes back to the core question of how did the u.s. formulate its national security policy? our view is there is a liberal international order out there, it's been sort of the guiding structure of u.s. foreign policy since the end of world war ii to build alliances, institutions like n.a.t.o. alliance, support for alliances in east asia. the russians want to see the international order chipped away at. they believe that gives the u.s. too much authority in the world
and they've seen at home the way to build the legitimacy of the putin regime is on the back of this idea there is an external threat, and to use the united states as a boogie man that will mobilize the russian people in support of the kremlin. >> woodruff: if that's the case, paul saunders, what gives you any belief that the russians -- you listed syria and arms control as two areas you felt the russians would be receptive to some sort of overture from president trump -- what makes you believe that's the case? >> well, i think i would disagree, respectfully, with some of the things andrew said there. first of all, i think vladimir putin's legit passe in russia rests primarily on russia's economic success. now, the russian economy certainly has been stalled for the last several years. there have been some further slowdowns because of the sanctions, but most russians are living far better than at
anytime in the history of that country. secondly, as we think about the international system, the real threat to the international system is an alignment between china and russia. russia, on its own, its economy, is a tenth of ours. they're not going to destabilize the international system. >> woodruff: so what about that, andrew weiss? >> i think what we've seen in the past couple of years is a lot of tunism and risk taking, now the bred and butter of russian foreign policy, spur of the moment and provides decisions to seize crimea, launch a covert war in eastern ukraine. you see this dramatic military intervention if syria, and most recently interference in our domestic political life. so this is a different much more nimble russian foreign policy. it's very destabilizing, it's created a lot of apprehension particularly among our european allies, and the idea that the russians just want to kind of go back to normal i think is
misplaced. it is in their interest to see a destabilized u.s., to have our political system chaotic and locked in an internal division. that to them is a success. >> woodruff: that is the picture many americans are getting, paul saunders, isn't it? >> i think many americans are getting that picture and, look, i mean, there are serious problems in russia's conduct and there are serious reasons for americans to be concerned. i think there are ways to deal with that. the president has talked about dealing with russia from a position of strength. i think, if we take that approach, we can deal with many of these concerns. >> woodruff: what's at risk here? what's at stake, andrew weiss, if this relationship is in the condition that you describe? what stands to happen? >> the worst thing which i can see readily happening, we had an incident about two days ago in syria, is some form of unintentional either accident or direct conflict between our
military forces. >> woodruff: tween russian and u.s. forces? >> exactly. the risk of that happening is uncomfortably high. the russians in syria operating increasingly close to our forces. an incident we had where they were bombing where our forces were just kilometers away. in syria we've had near misses. you say brazen interference in europe to be as obnoxious and be in our face and the idea is we will be intimidated. >> woodruff: paul saunders, why isn't that a worry? >> i think it's a very considerable worry. i view that as a reason to try to engage with moscow. i think there are a lot of other reasons to try to engage. if this relationship slips from adversarial to truly hostile, and we start to see russia providing advanced weapons to china, providing more advanced weapons to iran, there are a lot of other things that could happen that could be much worse for the united states.
>> woodruff: speaking of which, in less than a minute, nuclear weapons, these are the two countries with the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. andrew weiss, what about that? >> that part of the agenda between the united states and russia is deadlocked. we're unlikely, regardless of what donald trump's policies are on defense spending, on changes, we have fundamental disagreements with the russians. they have violated a key arms control treaty, the i.m.f. treaty where russia fueled new cruise missiles that violated the treaty, they're concerned at missile control systems which they believe will threaten their deterrent. >> woodruff: how do you see the risks? >> considerable. at the same time, our economy is ten times the size of the russian economy, they can't afford -- they can afford even less than the soviet union to get into a nuclear alzheimer's race with the united states. i think we -- a nuclear arms
race with the united states. we hold the cars. i think it's a position of strength to pursue is it agenda and to address the concerns we have about russian conduct and lock in some stability in the relationship. >> woodruff: paul saunders, andrew weiss, deadly serious subject. thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: it's fair to say a reign of terror grips the philippines as its president, rodrigo duterte, wages a brutal war on drug dealers and users. according to human rights watch, more than 7,000 people have been killed in the last nine months. but who exactly is doing the killing? this story was reported by kara magsanoc-alikpala and narrated by william brangham. a warning: there are some disturbing images. >> reporter: for decades, slums
here in the philippines have been safe havens for the illegal drug trade. crystal meth is sold in these alleys just like candy. a gram costs at least $25-- that's triple the daily minimum wage-- and it's the cheapest drug on the market. in this drug den, a space users can rent to smoke without fear of being caught. it does a brisk business. the government estimates that meth can be found in nearly every community in the capital, manila, and nationwide, there's an estimated 1.3 million drug users. even kids get in on the trade. making homemade foil pipes to sell. this is the crisis that philippine president rodrigo duterte has vowed to end. one of his many outlandish solutions? encouraging addicts to commit suicide. >> reporter: soon after the new president took office, a wave of summary killings swept across the country. suspected users and dealers were
shot dead on the streets by unknown hitmen, an estimated 40 people die everyday. political analyst ramon casiple believes the violence is part of the president's strategy to sow fear. >> reporter: are these killings changing anything in the philippines, or simply a sign of nationwide lawlessness? we found answers from a supporter of the president. she goes by the name zeny, and she wants to hide her identity. zeny says duterte's war on drugs had a positive outcome in her neighborhood. many users and pushers have turned themselves in. >> ( translated ): our neighborhood became more orderly and peaceful because of his war on drugs. i voted for him because i want the drug crisis solved. it really worked. >> reporter: she says her own
son was so scared that he stopped doing drugs, which made her happy. but this mother's peace didn't last long. a group of half a dozen gunmen shot her 34-year-old son dead. >> ( translated ): six civilian men barged themselves into our home. they were carrying guns. they told me to leave, so i dashed out. they were surrounding our place. the media was there. the crime investigators, including a staff from the funeral parlor. i heard two gunshots. >> reporter: according to police and media reports, her son resisted arrest, and pulled a gun on his attackers. but zenny doesn't believe it. >> ( translated ): how can my son own a gun, for christ's sake! he doesn't even have a penny to buy himself a cigarette-- much more a gun? how was it possible for him to resist arrest when they had him cornered? >> reporter: she thinks it's a cover up by the police. >> ( translated ): everything was ready. there were plenty of police, of men in uniform.
it looks like they have a systematic procedure in place. >> reporter: currently, philippine police say roughly 64% of these deaths are vigilante-style killings. but the government says they're not responsible. they say only proper investigations can determine the real reasons. duterte's spokesman says the government wants these cases solved quickly. >> i don't have the timeline but he wants things to be done quickly and appropriately. >> reporter: but nine months into the drug war, there hasn't been a single arrest for any of these murders. this inaction is deeply frustrating to the philippine's own commission on human rights. >> investigation must be done promptly. and not only the investigation, but it must be shown that there is resolve in really coming out with a solution. or the findings are really clear and that it must be made public right away. >> reporter: so who is committing these murders? and who's ordering them? correspondent kara magsanoc- alikpala talked with a self-
described hitman. he uses an alias-- kevin. he says he belongs to a network of assassins who are protected by a political figure. he also says he's killed 15 people in the last six months. kara asked him who these killers were? and why they were doing it? >> ( translated ): they're a lot, but most of them are cops. because there is money involved. they are paid about $310 per person killed. in one night, you need to kill at least four, at least one drug lord and one pusher per night. >> reporter: this means a night of killings can earn these men more than the average filipino earns in a month. kara asked: so where's the money coming from? >> ( translated ): from our government. from duterte's office, from the municipal government, from the mayors. >> reporter: the president's spokesman rejects these accusations and says duterte didn't order these executions. he says these killings are likely just fellow drug gangs targeting each other.
>> references have been made that the deaths could be attributed to internecine killings, meaning to say people among their own peers who are doing that. personally, the president has said that he does not condone this sort of killing. >> there will be no letup in this campaign. >> reporter: but critics have reason to doubt the president. president duterte has been linked to a secret death squad back in his hometown, davao city. in the late '90s, then mayor duterte launched an anti-drug campaign. and just like today, a number of alleged drug dealers and addicts were murdered. these killings were blamed on a vigilante group called "the davao death squad". and many said that mayor duterte was behind them. >> reporter: but political analyst ramon casiple says duterte's seeming inaction
serves his goals. >> reporter: father amado picardal, who lived in davao-- believes the president was behind the formation of the davao death squad. the philippines is a majority catholic country, and the church is considered a supporter of the president, so father picardal's accusations are not made easily. picardal says former members of the death squad told him and his fellow priests that duterte was directly involved. >> i believe what is happening now is a replication and a multiplication of the davao experience. davao is the template. >> reporter: i've been around this area and seen a lot of
wakes from extra-judicial killings almost every day. you also must get confessions here from policemen or just vigilantes. >> you know, i heard from my fellow priest, the number of policemen coming for confession has increased and many of them are really bothered by their conscience. so what i would advise to policemen who would come for confession, is that "don't follow illegal orders and follow your conscience." >> reporter: in 2009, human rights watch and the philippines' human rights monitoring agency traced 1,000 deaths tied to the davao death squad. they attempted to pursue a case against then mayor duterte, for at the least tolerating these killings. but no one was willing to take the witness stand, and no case was filed. now throughout the philipines, the body count continues to soar as murderers remain on the loose.
for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham. >> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: mark shields and david brooks analyze the latest political news, and new revelations surrounding the death of emmett till-- a 14- year-old killed during the civil rights movement. but first, it's a battle playing out around the country that you may not know about: lawmakers are targeting protesters' tactics in many state capitals, setting up debates over free speech versus public safety. john yang has the story. >> reporter: clashes over a north dakota oil pipeline, demonstrations after a minnesota police shooting, the women's march in washington on inauguration weekend. mass protests are playing out on a scale not seen since the 1960s and '70s. some have turned violent. now, in state capitals across
the country, republican lawmakers are trying to rein in protests. they say it's a matter of public safety and limiting economic damage. protesters and civil liberties advocates say it's an attack on free speech. in minnesota, pending legislation would increase fines for blocking highways and airports. >> not any of us, the 67 senators at least that i work with here in the minnesota senate, want to squelch any first amendment rights at all. but it goes over the top when public safety-- the potential of public safety is interfered with. >> do you honestly think that you penalize people? >> reporter: last week, north dakota's governor signed four bills aimed at making it easier to control protests like those over the dakota access pipeline. legislation is pending in 17 other states. among their provisions: increasing penalties-- including in some cases prison time-- for
blocking roadways. increasing penalties for rioting. allowing authorities to seize the assets of anyone involved in a violent protest. and relieving drivers of liability if they accidentally hit protesters blocking a street. for a deeper look at this, we're joined by christopher ingraham of the "washington post." he's been tracking these legislative efforts across the country and joins us from fargo, north dakota. christopher, thanks for being with us. christopher, we heard some of the provisions of some of the pending legislation in the piece, but where will this take us if some of these bills are enacted into law? how much farther will this take us than where we are now? >> that's the question and i think that's what a lot of civil liberties advocates are worried about. they frame this as an assault on free speech. the interesting thing about these bills is there have been completely 100% across the board introduced by republican
lawmakers only. one of the concerns is if these laws get enacted they can be used as cudgels by whoever is in power at a given time. you look at some of the bills including the one signed in north dakota, they would do things like make it illegal to wear masks or costumes a a protest, including a guy wearing a guy fox mask at the dakota access pipeline protest, or a george washington mask at a tea party protest. so when you have these things, they could be potentially broadly applied and that's what a lot of observers are worried about. >> yang: you see a lot of bills introduced by state legislators across the country, sometimes a group behind it are pushing it, is there anything like that in this case? >> we're not really seeing evidence of a group who drafts model legislation. there is some evidence that in some of the western states you see energy and oil companies
lobbying legislators to pass these bills because, say, you know, they're worried about the coming keystone access pipeline, they don't want another north dakota pipeline situation unfolding. there is interest by some groups to do this but in a lot of cases legislators are taking the initiative to do it in response to protests they see -- protests for donald trump, black men shot by police officers, a lot of things are converging on this. >> yang: i know in your reporting you talked to civil liberties advocates. how do they think these laws would stand up to court challenges? >> that's an interesting question. one thing in multiple, people in the university as well as the aclu, they said that the supreme court and the federal courts have been really clear in the past ten years or so, specifically calling out public places like streets as places that are protected, where protests are protected.
they have doubts about whether these will pass constitutional muster. you look across the country, there is basically not a single jurisdiction that doesn't already have some sort of law on the books making it a crime to obstruct traffic. i think where they might get into trouble legally and we'll have to see how this plays out is where you try to make ate crime to specifically protest in a public street. i think that might be a dividing line some of the courts might be interested in exploring. >> yang: what's the public sentiment for bills like these, from what you can tell? >> it's all over the placements i haven't found any good polling on this. i look at the responses to the article that i wrote, and they're really cleaved down partisan lines. you have half the folks saying i was driving home and stopped by a protester on the highway and took me six hours to get home and it's a huge headache and we need this legislation, and then i hear from people who say i
have been to some of these protests, i'm infuriated lawmakers are trying to crack down, and this strengthens my resolve and go out and protest more. you can look at these bills as an indicator of success the protesters have had at bringing the issues to a national level to the extent that lawmakers feel they have to respond to them. >> yang: christopher ingraham from "the washington post." thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: from a joint address to congress to the recusal of the attorney general- - it's been a big week. to help make sense of it all, the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. so i thought we were going to be talking first of all about the president's address, but david, russia, rust, rust, it just
doesn't go away. we now have the attorney general of the united states having to recuse himself from any investigation into what happened with the trump campaign. what do you make of all this? >> it's like napoleon and the russian winter. it's just coming in droves for the past few months, just russian issues. so far we don't know if sessions had any substantive contact on the campaign stuff or anything that might be incriminating. he was asked specifically did he talk to russians about campaign stuff. there are a lot of pointless meetings in washington and he could have just had pointless meeting with the ambassador. if he had something nefarious would they really have done it in the senate office? i'm not sure the sessions stuff will rise to recusal level. i think he was right to recuse himself. in the general world, there is contact after contact with the russians and some are fishy. two questions i'm wondering
about, the first, obviously, did they have contact with russians on their campaign meddling. the second and more troubling one is who's been investing in donald trump's companies for all these years? does he owe somebody something? should we know about that? and why didn't he release his taxes? is russia at the heart of that as well? until we get to an answer -- and this is why taxes get released so you can know if somebody is really in debt to some other foreign power, and we don't know the answer to that because of his secrecy. >> woodruff: and, mark, those are questions we're unlikely to get the answers to anytime. >> under the status quo, i think that is true. the questions david asks are salient and important. as far as sessions is concerned, it follows the parent these come out after there's a press report. it happened with general flynn. unlike general flynn where there is strong more than suspicion
that he dued policy and actions with the russian ambassador, i don't think anybody who knows jeff sessions thinks that's the case. but there is one question that demands an answer, and that is he testifies before al franken, and then pat lahey, senator pro tem of the senate, said on the one hand any contacts from campaign post-election. now, leave that hearing, give that answer go back to your office, staff people are with you, your scheduler and your press person is with you. why not just say, hey, look, i did have these meetigs with the ambassador. and the question why? why does it have to come out this way? and it does fit a pattern. there's no two ways about it. i think it's a disturbing pattern. it's a distressing pattern. whether it's roger stone or carter page, i mean, these are not attractive appealing people,
whether it's pau paul manafort d his dealings. we have 17 intelligence agencies in the united states of america unanimously agreeing russia meddled and tried to discredit our democratic process, so i mean, you know, that's whom they're dealing with. it wasn't a question of just making a quick buck. >> woodruff: so, david, all sorts of questions come out of this. is it enough for the attorney general to recuse himself? do we need to think about something bigger? there is a lot of conversation about whether there should be an outside independent investigation. i mean, what needs to happen now? >> i think the recusal is right. the calls for resignation strike me as completely over the top. i think we need to know why russia. there are 200 odd countries in the world, why has so much of this administration focused on russia? is it because donald trump is very sensitive to the charge he
was handed the election by russia and rushed to focus, but the russian obsession pre-dates that which is why i think, after he declared bankruptcy -- a lot of americans actually wanted to invest in donald trump -- so who's doing the investment? he has all these luxury properties around the world. who is buying? to me, it's why the russia focus? is it some ideological thing he has for russia? is it some man crush on vladimir putin? i don't know. somehow, that's the part that needs to be investigated. i'm generally not for special prosecutors because they tend to run out of control, but getting to the core of that issue, i don't know how you'll would do it but i think that's how we need to do it. >> woodruff: that's the only way you could get to this. >> first of all, judy, david raises questions that demand an answer and how are we going to get that answer? the recusal, he had no choice but to recuse himself. the red republican wall is
breaking. when kevin mccarthy, the republican house leader, calls for his recusal, when jason chaffetz, one of the last defenders of donald trump, having said, after the hollywood access tape, that he couldn't face his 14-year-old daughter and still support donald trump. then two weeks later endorsed, again, donald trump for president. he had to recution -- said jeff sessions had to, and so did rob portman, the senator from ohio. so i think this is what he had to do. the problem with the house and senate intelligence committees is that the white house felt comfortable enough to call them and ask them to be their character witness with the press. richard burr, senator from north carolina, and the congressman from california. so the question is the only time you move to an independent, if you had an ideal -- baker
hamilton 9/11 type group -- is, quite honestly, when there is a lack of faith and confidence in the existing process. >> yes, this is why institutions matter so much. in watergate, sure, it was partisan, but you could go to a congressional hearing and there would be a howard baker or a hamilton. you had people like that. maybe there are people like that we could appoint like a 9/11 commission, but the official institutions of congress, not a lot of credibility there now and not any expectation they would act in anyout ware other than partisan bodies. this is what we see when we get the breakdown of institutions. >> >> woodruff: the way the president is responding today is by tweeting pictures of nancy pelosi and chuck schumer meeting with the russian ambassador a few years ago. let's talk about the speech
tuesday night. feels longer than that, mark. do we know more now about what president trump's priorities are after that speech? >> not really. i mean, we have absolutely -- we know general objectives but we have no idea how we're going to get from here to there, and he got an enormous amount of praise, which basically lasted until the stories about russia and attorney general sessions came out, but there is a low bar, judy. this is somebody who has called other politicians, other republicans dopey, hypocrite, stupid, lying, weak, loser, choker. i mean, so, he comes in and he does don't this, and then, all of a sudden, goodness gracious, you know, it's the gettysburg address, it's the f.d.r.'s
freedom speech. there was no hav vitriol. healthcare is going to be bigger, better, cheaper, more access. now you can't even get ahold of the plan. it's like the manhattan project at los alamos, they keep it in a locked room. maybe david has seen it, but nobody else has. >> it's in my dry-cleaner's. (laughter) i thought the speech was shakespearean-esque. (laughter) i get a lesser sense of him, because usually it's all about him and it's about the clown behavior or the things mark is talking about, but here, you have a little idea of the project. and frankly i have a little sense of why the guy got elected, because we were all having debates about big government versus small government, the normal debates, and republicans were standing
for certain things -- eliminate the national debt, be global policemen, restore the right to life -- he ignores all of that. he's just not doing any of that stuff. he's saying, you americans, you feel endangered, and i'm going to protect you. so the line i had was that he's privatized compassion and nationalized intimidation. and what i meant by that -- probably too proud of that line -- (laughter) >> woodruff: you're allowed to repeat a good line on the program anytime. >> what i meant is all the compassion to have the government, giving people a hand out or a safety net, he wants to cut that. but being tough on the enemies, foreign or domestic, he's doing in magnitude. >> woodruff: if we know a little more. >> magnetize profit and socialize loss. republican mandate for a long time. >> woodruff: is he in any better shape, mark, in terms of getting his programs through? i realize we don't know a lot of detail right now.
>> well, it made a political calculation. it's hard to argue with it. it's a republican congress. he's playing very much to his base. he's not expanding his base. he's not reaching across the divide except by not insulting. but he is catering to and holding and speaking to and speaking for his base, those who supported him. so he's 85 or 87 to 9 among republicans. as long as he's there, okay, as long as his numbers are that high, republicans are going to fall in line, they're going to support him. or they're going to at least think two or three times before breaking with him. but, judy, there is no sense of how he's going to pay for any of this. there's no sense of -- there is no more specific idea on what he wants to do on tax cuts and tax reform than we had before the speech. >> if they can find the healthcare plan under the
cushion where it's hiding, they're going to find a lot of opposition on the right. if they ever come up with an agenda, there is going to aba lot of people on his rights who are republicans who will be unhappy with the levels of spending or even the levels of tax credits in the healthcare plan. so i think on substantive matters on a lot of these issues, they're going to have a big problem and, secondly, a lot of these programs like the healthcare, it shifts risk down to the individuals. >> right. >. i happen to think it could create good markets and reduce cost but you're derchlt definitely shifting risk. a lot of americans are like i have enough risk, and i think it will come back to that. >> woodruff: we'll look at the so fa on the hill or the dry-cleaners. david brooks, mark shields, thank you both. >> woodruff: now, unexpected
revelations more than 60 years after one of the more seminal moments in the civil rights era. that's the focus of timothy tyson's new book, "the blood of emmett till," the latest addition to the newshour bookshelf. jeffrey brown spoke with him recently. >> reporter: why retell this story? what drove you to want to take another look? >> i was actually working on another book, and a nice woman from raleigh called on the phone and wanted to tell me how much she liked my previous book. she said well my mother in law is coming next week. i gave her the book for christmas and she liked it very much and we'd like to have a cup of coffee with you. she said, "well you might know my mother in law. her name was carolyn bryant." and of course, being a historian of the 20th century civil rights movement, i knew that carolyn bryant had not uttered a word in public about the lynching of emmett till since 1955. >> reporter: the woman at the store, made the claims about emmett till. >> and in whose name he was
lynched. >> reporter: remind us what she had said, and what she says now. >> in court she testified to something that was tantamount to sexual assault. to coming around the counter, grabbing her by the waist with his hands and not letting go and speaking to her sexually. >> reporter: you've broken some new ground here with having her say that the most sensational parts of her testimony were not true. >> yeah, yeah. in reference to the sort of physical piece she said, "that part's not true. nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him." >> reporter: you know i read that in your book when she says that, and in one way it's the most obvious statement possible, right? of course nothing that he did could justify what happened to him. but what importance do you feel, if any, of her finally saying it? >> i'm sure it's important to the till family and to the people who have, you know, have a kind of connection to the
case. but, you know, i certainly never thought she was telling the truth at trial. people are really interested because she's a mystery, you know. she's been in hiding almost for 60 some years. >> reporter: it was her husband who did the killing. and her brother in law. it's not clear what role she had in that. the f.b.i. investigated this in 2005 and said there was nothing to prosecute her on. a grand jury that had a black majority ruled not to indict her. >> reporter: do you know why she finally spoke? >> i can't read her mind. she didn't say. there was kind of an implication that she was in poor health and getting on in years and wanted to have her say and tell what she knew. >> reporter: i mean the real heroine of that whole episode is emmett till's mother, mamie. >> yeah, so courageous. she brings emmett's body back from mississippi and has an open
casket funeral so "everyone can see what the world did to my boy," she said. she also notified-- she gets on the phone even before the body comes back and starts calling reporters and just becomes kind of a clearinghouse for this media operation. >> reporter: and it's fascinating because she took her personal grief and made it into a kind of public awareness. >> yes, that's right. and she knows chicago and she leverages the strength of black chicago, of the institutions that had been built there over the decades-- the chicago defender, the johnson publishing, which is ebony and jet, black labor unions, and so on. with that, a movement emerges. becomes the infrastructure for the national civil rights movement.
four days later, she was asked to sit at the back of the bus. she later said, i thought about emmett till and i could not move. >> reporter: and the name emmett till, and cited him in her action. and it's cited to this day. >> he's emblematic of racial injustice in america and of the violence against young black men in particular and the ruthless indifference to the lives of young black men. so yeah, this is a story that won't let us go. >> reporter: awhat compels you and what pushes you personally to look at this history? >> the summer that i turned 11, the boy that i played with everyday, his father and his brothers murdered this young black man in public for speaking, perhaps something flirtatious, to a white woman at the store counter. and they chased him out of the store and shot him from behind and beat his head in with stocks of the rifles. and this was not a murder mystery. and they were acquitted-- really
in protest against school integration, which also had that atmosphere of war and i wondered, how did this all get started? why am i in this craziness? and that began a process of discovery that led me, you know, a long way. >> reporter: the book is "the blood of emmett till." timothy tyson, thank you very much. >> well thank you, jeffrey. thanks for having me. >> woodruff: finally, as the world's christians begin lent-- a six week period of introspection in preparation for easter-- reflections from casper ter kuile, a researcher at harvard university who shares his humble opinion on the soul revival happening outside of america's churches. >> i grew up never going to church. and as a 30-year-old married
man, i still don't. not because i don't value reflection, community, even the experience of the divine-- i do!-- but traditional religious congregations don't appeal to me-- and i'm not alone! millennials are turning away from religion faster than any other age group. according to the pew research center, more than a third of americans between 18 and 35 are now unaffiliated-- meaning when asked on surveys what religious identity they hold, they answer "none of the above." but what's really interesting is that the overwhelming majority of us 'nones' aren't necessarily atheists. two-thirds believe in god or a universal spirit and one in five even pray every day. we aren't young people who hate religion, it's a growing group that feel like they've been left behind by religious institutions. in a move that confused lots of my friends and family, i came to
divinity school, i've found countless examples of other millennials creating new forms of community that often fulfil the same functions that a traditional religious group would have. and they come in all shapes and sizes! it might be a regular meal with strangers to share honestly one's experience after losing a loved one, like the dinner party. within a few years, the dinner party has grown to over 400 tables hosted by volunteers who create sacred spaces for their guests. it might be lifting weights and climbing ropes five mornings a week, like crossfit. if you have a friend involved at crossfit, you'll know how evangelical that community is! or it might be experiencing healing and forgiveness through movement and meditation at afro flow yoga. each of these communities-- and others like them-- shape participants' worldviews, ethics and behaviors. in a culture where many are hungry for meaningful connection, these communities offer the experience of being part of something bigger than themselves. what some theologians might describe as experiencing the divine. now, you may dismiss these
communities as simple entertainment, but we're convinced that this is the new face of religious life in america. just as you'd expect in religious congregations, people in these communities build friendships and drive one another to the hospital when they need a ride. they help each other raise money to fight cancer. some are even getting involved in struggles for more affordable housing. while a few thousand churches close every year, many few are open. so as you drive through your town and notice an empty house of worship, pay attention next time you see a maker-space, climbing gym or micro-brewery. they may just be the new center of soulful community that you've been looking for. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now: we preview a new documentary on pbs's "american masters" about country music star patsy cline.
we visit her hometown and learn about her hardscrabble early days before she found fame. all that and more is on our website: pbs.org/newshour. tune in later tonight. on "washington week:" the reporter who broke the story that led attorney general sessions to recuse himself from the investigation. on pbs newshour weekend saturday: as cities become more densely populated, a new film looks at how that might spur innovation. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. have a great weekend. thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org.
>> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build immeasurably better lives. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
. >> tett: welcome to the program, i'm gillian tett of "the financial times" filling in for charlie rose. tonight for the hour a conversation about uber, snap and other silicon valley giants as well as the many facets of the sharing economy. we talk to william cohan, richard edel mnl and max chafkin. >> this idea show that america has been deeply disadvantaged by trade is so-- that the tech companies are the winners in ip, in-- in it, in selling products through a global supply chain. they have affordable products that they can sell through wal-mart that otherwise people couldn't afford. and the whole mythology around job loss is just that. and so this is a rea