tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS March 5, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, march 5th: the fallout continues following the president's claim that he was the victim of wiretaps during the campaign. and in our signature segment: a new national park honors the life and legacy of harriet tubman. >> freedom, faith, family, community, justice, self- determination. these are the things that every day of her life, she tried to advance. >> sreenivasan: 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 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, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thanks for joining us. president donald trump is urging congress to investigate whether president obama wiretapped trump tower, the place where then- candidate trump lived, worked, and headquartered his campaign. president trump launched the controversy in a series of tweets yesterday that said, in part: "obama had my wires tapped in trump tower." in a written statement this morning, white house press secretary sean spicer said," president donald j. trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise
their oversight authority to determine whether executive mister trump has yet to offer any evidence of any electronic surveillance. today, the director of national intelligence for the last six years of the obama administration, james clapper, said on nbc if there had been a court-approved wiretap of trump tower phones, he would have known about it. >> i will say that, for the part of the national security apparatus that i oversaw as dni, there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-- the president-elect, at the time or as a candidate or against his campaign. >> sreenivasan: the white house today pointed to "reports" theorizing about phone wiretaps and email server monitoring. deputy white house press intrer view on fox news did touch on will tov-- topic.
sara huckabee sanders addressed it on abc. >> i think he's going off of information that he's saying that has lead him to believe that this is a very real potential. that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential, and if it is, this is the greatest overreach and the greatest abuse of power that i think we've ever seen in a huge attack on democracy itself, and the american people have a right to know if this took place. >> sreenivasan: former obama press secretary josh earnest said today on abc no president has the authority to order wiretaps himself. >> president trump is working very hard to try to distract the american public and the news media from the growing scandal about why his administration and why he, himself, has, at best, not been forthcoming about their talks and their ties with russia. >> sreenivasan: the fbi has investigated communications during the campaign and post- election transition between a half dozen trump advisers and russian officials, according to reports by multiple news organizations. the senate intelligence committee has also begun investigating the matter. one republican member of the committee, susan collins, told
cbs today she's seen no evidence of collaboration with the russians or the wiretapping claimed by president trump. >> what we need to deal with is evidence, not just statements. at this point, i see no evidence of what he's alleged. >> sreenivasan: the senate's democratic leader, chuck schumer, said on nbc the probe needs to be more independent. >> we need a special prosecutor to investigate what went on in the trump campaign transition and presidency. >> sreenivasan: today, the chairman of the house of representatives intelligence committee, congressman devin nunes, said as part of its probe into russian meddling with the presidential election his panel joining me now to discuss these political developments is "newshour weekend" special correspondent jeff greenfield. jeff, the news does not stop on saturday and sunday. this is partly a justification of why our program exists.
but is it possible to step back from this flood, find a little bit of common ground in the parties here? >> i can try. here's what is interesting to me. as soon as the story broke about jeff sessions and his lack of complete forth comingness to al franken, as soon as that happened, a number of republicans suggested maybe he should step out of the picture. the former and president chair of the house oversight committees who were very tough on hillary clinton, a couple of very conservative republicans, the reason this is so significant, it is a basic political rule that i call the be your own man says so,-- we always get in arguments and the way that argument ended was when a guy on your team said yeah, my guy was out. and particularly in this polarized environment, the idea that a number of republicans felt the need to step away from sessions, i think, was not only a significants but is going to
play out on some of the other things on the horizon. >> sreenivasan: how does that play into what has been happening in the past couple of days, the president's latest accusation for which there seems to be no evidence? >> well, i think it's a critical part of it because what you've got now is, and this is nothing new for the president, is an attempt to shift not kus, to say no, no, it's not me, it's them. and you've got a number of people on his side, the chairman is a good example. people like sean hannity who will simply embrace what the president has to say. but what is interesting, the two republicans who have never warmed to trump, senators graham and then-- have said something else. they said if this is just repeating some conservative website's notion, or if, in fact, intelligence agencies got a court order to look into the relationship between some of trump's associates and russia, that raises very, very serious questions. and to the extent that
information like that surfaces, i think that has the potential to put more republicans away from a kind of we're defending our president come hell or high water. >> sreenivasan: how does that play into republicans kind of toning the party line and standing by their leader that is in the white house? >> i think when we move to policy you can see where the whole notion of the potential republican fissures or cracks becomes critical. a lot of republicans who had problems with donald trump's behavior and temperment said we're going to stick with you because you will deliver us the agenda we've been dreaming of for 20 years, to the court, to health care, to regulations. now the first of those, health care is right for decision. and what you're seeing are a number of free market republicans, as they call themselves in congress, having very serious doubts about what their leader, paul ryan or mitch mcconnell and what the president have in mind. these free market republicans
are not repeal and replace. they want it repealed. they don't want tax credits. they don't want expanded medicaid, or subsidies, this is their idea. you have republican governors in something like 16 states saying you you can't take away medicaid, it's going to destroy our budget. if those republicans see donald trump as siding with the paul ryan wing, in this argument, i think it's going to make them less willing to defend donald trump on the areas that we're now talking about. you know, russian influence and the like. so that is where policy and politics i think have a real connection in the weeks and months ahead. >> sreenivasan: an there is a lot coming up in the weeks and months ahead. you mentioned the supreme coulter hearings will be coming up. more pressing will be the executive order, the refined executive order on immigration. then you've got health care. does this take the president off message? it seems so long ago that there was this brief window after his joint session or address to
congress where people said he tuck to the prompter, it seems okay. >> i think the best thing the president has going for him in the coming period is the gorsuch nomination for supreme court. because that was a tenth strike in terms of his party and the whole con secretary-- consecutive base. whatever you thought about trump, your doubts, the fact that he would remaining the supreme courted in his image appealed to republicans and conservatives across the board and picked somebody that even democrats say we have a problem maybe with his beliefs but he is clearly qualified that is the one most lakely to put him back on message. >> sreenivasan: jeff greenfield, thanks so much. >> pleasure a day of relatively peaceful, though small, pro-trump rallies across the country yesterday ended with a violent scuffle in california. at a park in berkeley, california, police arrested ten people after violent clashes between trump supporters and counter-demonstrators.
one woman said a trump supporter hit her over the head with a pole carrying an american flag. police in riot gear separated the crowds and confiscated pipes, bats, bricks, and one knife. in response to the trump administration's crackdown on undocumented immigrants, mexico is opening immigrant defense centers across the united states. the mexican foreign ministry says the legal aid centers at some 50 consulates and embassies will provide consular assistance and legal representation to any mexican migrants who request it. the pew research center estimates there are six-million undocumented mexicans in the u.s. and 11-million undocumented overall. the international organization for migration says the battle for control of iraq's second largest city, mosul, has displaced 200-thousand people. the i.o.m. says more than 45- thousand residents of the city fled in the past week alone. international aid agencies say refugee camps south of mosul are approaching full capacity. for the past five months, iraqi forces backed by u.s. air-power, have tried to dislodge "islamic state" or isis militants who took over mosul in 2014 and
declared their caliphate there. china is forecasting slower economic growth for itself, the world's second largest economy. in a speech at the opening of china's national legislature today, the chinese premier predicted a growth rate of 6.5%, down from 6.7% last year. by comparison, the american economy grew by less than 2% last year. he said china would reduce surplus steel production that is straining trade relations with the u.s. and europe. china is also planning to increase its military spending this year by 7%. this week marks the anniversary of the death of harriet tubman, the 19th century abolitionist who made history freeing american slaves through the underground railroad. in january, her home in upstate new york officially became a national park, which is now open to the public. in tonight's signature segment, newshour weekend's megan thompson takes us there for a closer look at tubman and her
legacy. >> if you step onto these grounds, you know that you're in a hallowed place. >> reporter: this property on the edge of auburn, a small city in central new york, is the place where harriet tubman spent the last 50 years of her life. karen hill is president and c.e.o. of the non-profit organization that has preserved the property and fought for it to become one of america's national parks. >> her legacy is embodied in her core values and how we lift them up. freedom, faith, family, community, justice, self- determination. these are the things that every day of her life, she tried to advance. >> reporter: tubman secured her place in history as one of the conductors on the underground railroad-- a network of paths and safe houses that brought thousands slaves from the south to freedom in the north before the civil war. tubman risked her life again and again by returning to the south
to rescue her siblings, her elderly parents, and other slaves. she is credited with personally leading some 70 slaves to freedom. tubman was born into slavery on a maryland plantation, but around age 27, she ran away and escaped to a free state, pennsylvania, where she started a new life in philadelphia. during the civil war, she served as a nurse and spy for the north, and became the first woman to lead an armed raid, which rescued some 700 slaves in south carolina. after the war, she settled in auburn, a free, land-owning black woman. the area was progressive, central to both the abolitionist and suffrage movements. >> this is the crown jewel of the underground railroad movement. this is the touchstone. this is where harriet came after completing her campaigns. >> reporter: this brick house was tubman's base when she wasn't traveling around the
country giving speeches, fighting for the women's right to vote, and raising money to support freed slaves. she eked out a living on proceeds from a book, a small pension, her farm and a brick- making business. the property was home not just to her extended family, but to the less-fortunate who needed a place to stay. tubman even built an infirmary. >> she provided free healthcare to everybody. not just to african americans, but to anybody who needed it. this is the remaining home for the aged >> reporter: tubman started a home for the elderly, funded by donations. this is the only one of the original nine cottages that remains. >> in town, there was a home for the aged, but it was segregated, it was for whites only, and so she provided this home so that the former slave could age in dignity and in grace. >> reporter: tubman lived into her 90's and died in 1913. she was buried in a cemetery nearby.
her home fell out of the family's possession and into disrepair. in the 1990's, the ame zion church-- the church tubman belonged to-- bought the home and started a nonprofit to restore the property. in 2006, it opened the visitor's center, and started giving regular tours. with the national park service now involved, they're hoping to do even more. frank barrows supervises the new harriet tubman national historical park. >> bringing a national park to a community does a few things. it certainly raises the visibility of the site. national parks are also an economic driver, because of the tourism dollars that are spent. for every dollar spent in federal funds on national parks, $10 is put back into local economies. >> reporter: the park has opened at a time of renewed interest in
tubman's life. two feature films about her are in the works, and in 2020, the treasuep dartment is due to unveil a design for a new twenty dollar bill with tubman on the front. there's also a second national park dedicated to the underground railroad chapter of her life opening this month in maryland. >> national parks are a great source of community identity and pride. it means something to say that, "i'm from the town where harriet tubman lived. i'm from the town where harriet tubman continued her legacy, and where she's buried." >> this is my great grandfather, this is harriet's nephew. >> reporter: judith bryant is the great-great-grandniece of harriet tubman. the great-great granddaughter of a brother tubman rescued in 1854. >> i wouldn't be here if she hadn't done what she did, >> reporter: she lives in a nearby house built by tubman's nephew in 1901. bryant says tubman's extended family in auburn was very close
knit. >> that was her motivating factor, and so she rescued her family first. >> reporter: bryant's mother knew the elderly tubman when she was a child. >> my mother said harriet would come and sit in the corner by the door, she would appear to doze off until somebody said something that she was either maybe a little off-color or then she would sit up and-- >> reporter: perk up. >> sit up and, yes, perk up, open her eyes and this was sort of make it understood that she didn't quite approve of it. >> reporter: bryant and her family donated tubman's bed to the park, and a sewing machine. bryant also has a large collection of family memorabilia. >> this is a 1911 bill. >> reporter: ...for a hospital stay at the end of tubman's life. >> this is a pamphlet-- >> reporter: a pamphlet featuring tubman and other local dignitaries. >> this is a picture that is not often seen-- >> reporter: bryant is proud to preserve the legacy of her great-great-great aunt.
and she's thrilled the new national park will now do the same. >> it's a wonderful thing not just for auburn but for the country. and people need to see this story and see what went on here. >> learn more about the harriet tubman national historical park and her life after the civil war. visit pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: residents of flint, michigan, an hour outside detroit, are about to be charged more money for tap water. the state, which made a decision in 2014 that caused flint's water supply to be contaminated with lead, is ending a subsidy program that reduced customers' water bills. the state says flint's water now meets federal water quality standards, but many residents feel it's still unsafe. joining me now to discuss the issue via skype from midland i"" michigan radio" reporter steve carmody.
is the water in flint safe to drink? >> the water in flint is safer than what it had been. initially more than a year ago when lead testing was done, levels of more than-- in the hundreds of parts per billion of lead were being detected in flint water. now the level is below the federal action level of 15 parts per billion. so it is safer. but it is still not pure water. it still has some lead in it. >> sreenivasan: okay. so the levels are getting better and that is kind of good enough to pass the national threshhold, right? so what are the domino affects here. if people are too poor, perhaps, to pay their water bill or the subsidy has really made up for that gap, what happ 55% of resil water customers are current on their water bills. that's after a year of having
the state subsidize 65% of their water bill. now once that 100% takes effect that they will start seeing beginning in their april water bills, the expectation is that fewer people will be current on their water bills, either because they don't have enough money to pay very high water bills or because they just don't want to pay for water they don't trust. at that point the city's going to have to make a decision whether they're going to push ahead with shutting people off or try to make a different solution. >> the irony is if you don't have enough revenue coming in, you don't have the money to fix the pipes that you need. >> exactly. the city is facing a couple of cost issues here. they have to replace pipes. they're getting some help from the federal government with that. they also have to pay for water from detroit which is their current water source, which is rather expensive. and if people are no longer paying their water bills, the state is no longer happen helping them and the city is no longer receiving a separate subsidy to pay for detroit water
t will put the budget into a big squeeze. >> sreenivasan: what is the future time line for how people can expect to get flibt water back to normal? i mean they want to switch back off of detroit water and back to lake huron, right? >> yes, this is going to take several years. a couple of things have to take place. number one, they have to replace the lead service line. the pipes that connect homes to city water mains. those have been a primary source of lead leeching too water that is going to take several years for the city to accomplish. at the same time, the city's water plan has to be upgraded so that it can begin treating water from lake huron for the new pipeline that's been built. but in order to get all the fda or all the epa approvals and approvals from the state, it's going to take several years so it will probably be past 2020 before that actually happens. >> sreenivasan: all right, steve carmody joining us via skype from midland, thanks so much. >> my pleasure.
the governing body of american sock ear is requiring all national team players to stand during the playing of national anthems. revealing the rule this weekend u.s. soccer said penalties for disobeying it would be decided on a case by case basis. the rule comes after a soccer star took a knee rather than stand during the anthem before two women's national team games last year. and finally, pope francis is calling on catholics to look at the bible as much as their smartphones. speaking in st. peter's square the pope mused about the faithful always carrying a pocket bible and consulting it as often as they check their phone for messages. tomorrow on the news our, profile of jordan peele making his direct or yal debut with the thriller "get out." >> thras' it for newshour this weekend. i'm harry sreenivasan. thanks for watching.
captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> 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:
steves: the old city is a labyrinth, rich with sights, sounds, and experiences that reward the curious traveler. -hello. -hello. i'd like a pomegranate juice, please. even stopping for a drink can be memorable. and the pomegranate -- that symbolic bundle of fertility -- provides a welcome and refreshing break between the rich sight-seeing stops this city offers. man: pomegranate is healthy, it's good for the heart and good for the blood. i hope you enjoy your drink. cheers. steves: thank you, brother. the muslim quarter holds over half of the old city's population. exploring its busy pedestrian lanes and market stalls, you feel like you could be anywhere in the arab world. we visited just before a holy day. the shops were jammed, and the energy was exhilarating. experiences are often edible and tasty.
just for you. [speaks indistinctly] while complete muslim control of jerusalem is unrealistic, many arabs envision an independent palestinian state with this part of jerusalem -- east jerusalem -- as their capital. it's a very contentious issue, and israel seems determined to keep jerusalem whole and in its control. in fact, while wandering the heart of the muslim quarter, you may see houses fortified and festooned with israeli flags. these are the homes of jewish families staking out this bit of the old city for their community. [ muezzin calling adhan ]
>> explore new wororlds and new ideas through programs like this made available for everyone through contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> i'm paula kerger, president of pbs. ken burns is a national treasure. he's been working with pbs for over 35 years making films that changed the way we look at our history, films that challenge us, start conversations and help us prepare for the future by better understanding our past. it is all made possible because of the financial support of viewers like you. to say thank you, we are taking a look back across ken's many