tv PBS News Hour PBS June 23, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> sreenivasan: good evening. i'm hari sreenivasan. on the newshour tonight: obama administration knew of russian meddling in the presidential election, and the internal debate about how to punish president putin. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff, reporting from institute's spotlight health conference. as congress fights over replacing obamacare, we tackle the controversy over drug pricing with stephen ubl, head of pharma, the nation's largest pharmaceutical trade association. >> we think, as an industry, the pricing model needs to evolve. we need to move away from paying for volume, to paying for the value of care. >> sreenivasan: and, uniting a
community through health. how one muslim-based group is bringing a chicago neighborhood together by focusing on its most basic needs. >> how you going to change anything in your neighborhood, if you really can't start with the place that really sustains the neighborhood? and that's the food, right? >> woodruff: and, it's friday. mark shields and david brooks are here to analyze the week's news. >> sreenivasan: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> 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.
>> sreenivasan: the senate republican health care bill has suffered another critical defection-- the fifth so far. nevada republican dean heller announced in las vegas today that he can't support the bill in its current form. >> it's going to be very difficult to get me to a yes. they have a lot of work to do. but you have to protect medicaid expansion states. that's what i want. make sure we're taken care of in the state of nevada. that's going to be a very difficult lift, because i can see the other side is going to have a problem with that. >> sreenivasan: four other senate republicans oppose the measure over its subsidies. but with democrats united in opposition, g.o.p. leaders can't afford to lose more than two of their own and still pass the bill. president trump says he wanted to force former f.b.i. director james comey to be honest about their conversations, when he suggested there might be tapes. he spoke to "fox news" after announcing yesterday that he did not make recordings. as for firing special counsel
robert mueller, he said, "we're going to have to see." later, the white house said mr. trump has no intention of doing that. in cincinnati, the murder trial of a former university police officer ended today in a hung jury for a second time. ray tensing killed an unarmed black man during a traffic stop in july 2015. he testified that he feared sam dubose was trying to drag him, or run him over. after a judge declared a mistrial today, dubose's family called it an "unjust result." city officials urged calm. >> as a city, we will make sure that people who are feeling a variety of emotions-- and in my opinion, justifiably so-- have a right to express themselves peacefully. and we have every expectation that that will be the case. >> sreenivasan: the university of cincinnati fired tensing last year, after his indictment. north korea is denying responsibility for the death of otto warmbier, the american student it held for more than a year. he passed away this week, days after being returned home in a coma. in a statement, the north korean foreign ministry said, "the fact that warmbier died suddenly is a
mystery to us as well." saudi arabia and three other gulf arab nations have issued 13 demands to qatar. they've already imposed an economic blockade, accusing the persian gulf kingdom of supporting terror groups. today, they said qatar must shut down the broadcaster "al-jazeera," and downgrade diplomatic relations with iran, among other steps. qatar had no immediate response. officials in london began evacuating five apartment buildings late today, over fire concerns. hundreds of people are affected, and repairs could take several weeks. the buildings have siding similar to a high-rise that erupted in flames last week, killing 79 people. investigators confirmed today that the siding on that building likely contributed to the flames' rapid spread. >> preliminary tests show the insulation samples collected from grenfell tower combusted soon after the test started. the initial tests on the
cladding tiles also failed the safety tests. >> sreenivasan: the investigators say the fire started in a refrigerator. they're considering manslaughter and other criminal charges against companies that built and maintained the apartment tower. negotiations are officially underway to sort out britain's exit from the european union. today at an e.u. summit, british prime minister theresa may promised no e.u. nationals living in the united kingdom would have to leave. may called it a "good, constructive start," but e.u. leaders were less enthused. russia's national election commission has barred opposition leader alexei navalny from running for president. the commission says a criminal conviction for embezzlement makes him ineligible. the anti-corruption activist maintains the case was politically motivated. back in this country, u.s. military leaders will seek a six-month delay before allowing transgender people to enlist. the associated press reports service chiefs are sending that recommendation to defense secretary james mattis. he will make the final decision. a ban on transgender troops serving openly ended last year. the service chiefs want more time to develop policies on the
change. president trump has signed a bill aimed at making the government more accountable to military veterans. vets and their families looked on during today's ceremony. the bill gives the department of veterans affairs more power to fire employees, and it protects whistleblowers. and on wall street, stocks struggled to make any headway. the dow jones industrial average lost two points to close at 21,394. the nasdaq rose 28 points, and the s&p 500 added three. still to come on the newshour: new revelations on the obama administration's response to russia. the head of the nation's largest pharmaceutical group on the battle over health care. how a muslim group is re-building a chicago community. and, much more. >> sreenivasan: there are new revelations today about how president obama learned of
russia's efforts to tip the 2016 election in donald trump's favor, and how his i spoke a short time ago to greg miller, national security correspondent for the washington post. and i began by asking about the role putin played. >> in early august, the c.i.a. comes to the white house with a really warrickable piece of intelligence. it's drawn on sourcing deep inside the russian government. it establishes that putin himself is directing this operation. this election interference is just unfolding in the united states. but it goes one step farther than that and that's what's most interesting and extraordinary to me. it also captures putin's instructions on what the objectives of this operation are. he identifies these objectives as denigrating, damaging hillary clinton, trying to help defeat her and trying to help elect donald trump. >> you also point out the levels of secrecy and precaution taken
by the administration and the intelligence agencies and how this information gets to the president and even how people need to talk about it and share information. >> yeah, it's likely remarkable the precautions that the administration was taking with this information. this intel, when it's delivered to the white house, is brought by courier in an envelope with restricted markings on it. it's eyes only, which means it can only be shared with the four people who are named on the envelope, president obama and three of his senior aides. when they're done reading this thing, they have to put it back in the envelope, send it straight back to the c.i.a. it gets in motion a series of high-level meetings at the white house in the situation room. only four senior officials are initially allowed to participate, although that circle begins to widen in the ensuing leaks. even there, there are things that i didn't know about how the white house works that,
apparently, in the situation room, there are video cameras that send feeds to other offices in the white house so that others sitting at their desks can monitor what's happening in that room. all those feeds were shut off for these discussions. the only time that happened before was in h the runup to the bin laden operation in 2011. >> sreenivasan: let's talk about what the obama administration tried to do about it. they debated a menu of options for quite some time. >> they debated and debated and debated. that went on for months after this bombshell intelligence report from the c.i.a. they get off to a fast there are groups, n.s.c. inter-agency groups convening ad
or other targets offline for short periods, even releasing embarrassing information on putin, the way he was sort of accused of orchestrating embarrassing leaks about hillary clinton. none of those end up surviving this debate process that goes well past the election deep into november and december. >> sreenivasan: you also high light bureaucratic hurdles that the department of homeland security goes out to states that could be affected by this hacking and say we would like to help but the voting infrastructure in america is not deemed critical enough? >> yeah, and this is one of those cases where the hyperpartisanship of our country now really works against our security interests, in many ways. so this is a case where the obama administration is just trying to reach out to state officials saying russia's attacking us, we are worried about what might happen on election day. we want to try to help make sure that all of our voting systems
are secure. we can run scans. we can try to be of assistance here. and republicans, in particular, state officials resist this and see it as sort of an overreach, an attempted federal takeover of state authorities and argue against it. rest you know, you point out that this is in the backdrop of a climate where there is an underlying assumption that hillary clinton is going to win, where donald trump has gone out and said the election is going to be rigged anyway and really not until after the election does the obama administration start to put all these pieces together. >> yeah, i don't think you can overestimate the importance of that because the assumption in the white house and as well as across media organizations like ours and across the country, frankly, there was just an assumption that we were looking at a coming clinton administration. so inside the white house, their deliberations are, well, this is all important, but we've got
to -- we're going to have time to deal with this after the election. in fact, if we don't finish dealing with it, well the clinton administration certainly can, and, also, they don't want to take any action leading up to the election that would be perceived as interfering politically to help hillary clinton. they're worried that would contaminate her expected triumph. >> sreenivasan: greg miller, the reporting is fantastic, you and your colleagues as well. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: as the battle over health care rages in congress, one constant complaint from consumers is over drug prices. judy woodruff is in colorado with our look at that issue. judy? >> woodruff: thanks, hari. the pharmaceutical research and manufacturers association, or pharma, is the nation's largest group representing drug companies. stephen ubl is its president and
c.e.o. i sat down with him here at the aspen spotlight health conference today, and began by asking about the latest republican plan to overhaul obamacare. it's still a fluid dynamic, as you know. we haven't taken a formal position on the bill. i think it's clear there is a direction towards more autonomy for states to shape their insurance markets as well as shaping their own insurance we'y engaged in this discussion, and the the prism with which we'll look at it is making sure that patients have access to the breakthrough treatments and cures our industry is developing. >> woodruff: the other major healthcare associations, hospitals, doctors and others have been pretty critical. is the pharmaceutical industry alone in a way or almost alone in not being as worried, as critical of what the republicans are doing? >> well, i think it's fair to say that those stakeholders are focused on the same issues that
we are, but, again, i think the bill is still making its way through the process, and we'll be very engaged as the possess unfolds. >> we heard president trump during the campaign speak about the high cost of prescription drugs, i guess it was not long after the election he talked about the drug companies getting away with murder. we're now hearing, though, that the administration may not be coming down as hard on the pharmaceutical industry as some thought, moving to a different system. is that your sense of what's happening, that you're going to get maybe a better treatment from this administration than some had expected? >> i don't think i want to speculate on what the administration will do in this area. i will say that we had a very productive discussion with the president, with some of our leadership earlier in the year, and i think the president's focused on two things. one is ensuring that we continue to lead the world in developing better treatments and cures and, two, on jobs, ensuring that we
have more domestic investment in the united states, and i think our industry is really poised to deliver on both those fronts, and our industry spends $70 billion a year in research and development which is more than any other industry. so, in general, we're encouraged by the direction we're heading. >> woodruff: i think everybody agrees drug prices are out of control in this country. pfizer announces it's raising the prices of 100 drugs by 20% including well-known drugs like viagra and lyrica. drug companies have been sued by some state attorneys general, alleged collusion and rising prices. what do you see is the problem here? >> i should start by trying to make sure we're on the same fact basis. if you look at express scripts, a leading p.v.m. in the industry, farm -- p.b.m. in the industry, pharmacy ben sit
manager. in 2016, drug expenditure went up 3.5% and net prices up 2.8%. going back three years ago, prescription drug is lowest growing prices in healthcare. f.d.a. approved a number of new drugs, medicaid was expanded and a new cure for hepatitis c was introduced which revolutionized the treatment of that disease and will obviate the need for liver transplant as well as reduce the incidence of liver cancer. we're now on the back half of that spike, if you will. the python has digested the tennis ball and estimate drug spending will be between 4 and 6% for the next ten years, roughly in line with overall healthcare spending. >> woodruff: at the same time, a lot of finger pointing going on in the healthcare industry
between the drug companies, the pharmacy benefit managers, hospitals, insurers. a lot of those fingers are pointed still at your industry. >> we think there are. we take these issues very seriously and we think there are pricpragmatic, consumer-oriented solutions to address some of the issues that have been raised. a lot of the media attention in the last year is focused on companies that are really nothing like our member companies. they are companies taking old drugs without market competition and raising the price dramatically and we think there are policy solutions primarily at the f.d.a. that would address those situations. similarly, we think as an industry, the pricing model needs to evolve. we need to move away from paying for volume to paying for the value of care. >> woodruff: i was reading that's what the administration -- is among the things the administration is looking at. also, the critics look at it and say, in the end, it may work for some people but not for
everybody who needs prescription drugs. >> well, again, our sector may be a little bit lagging other healthcare sectors in this movement towards paying based on value as opposed to the volume of care, but it's one of the rare areas in healthcare policies everyone agrees, payers want to move in this direction, providers want to move in this direction. cancer therapy, we want to be able to offer novel discounts but there are a number of public policy barriers that stand in the way of moving that direction. >> woodruff: one of the fundamental questions i've heard out there is why can't, for example, veterans administration folks get drug prices much lower than what ordinary people can get? why can't there be -- why can't there be some sort of movement in that direction? why can't there be negotiations with medicare over the price of drugs? >> i think there's been a little bit of acrinicle trial on this question. if you look at countries that
have adopted models like the v.a. on a broad scale, the u.k., for example, what you find is that patients have less access to novel therapies, and we think that would be a movement in the wrong direction. so the v.a., keep in mind, is a closed system, a relatively small number of hospitals and consumers. if you take those price controls and expand them to the entire market, you're going to reduce patient access and we think create distortions that impact the rest of the market. so we believe it's much better to move in the direction of negotiations in the private sector between our members and plans, again, to try to achieve some specific metrics tied to patient outcomes and then be reimbursed on a differential basis based on whether the patient actually achieves those outcomes. >> woodruff: 33,000 people
died from opioid abuse in 2015 and expect the number to go up this year, so on. towns are overwhelmed. critics are saying so much of this lies at the feet of drug companies that are promoting drugs that people get hooked on, and then those same companies minimizing or even trivializing the impact. how do you as someone who sits in such a responsible position look at this? >> i can assure you that, speaking personally on behalf of the industry, that no one trivializes the crisis that we're facing in this country around opioids. but it is a multi-factorial crisis. there are a lot of stakeholders that need to come together on a solution, prescribing physicians, manufacturers, treatment facilities, state and local governments and, for our part, we're committed to engaging with all those stakeholders to find solutions.
>> woodruff: is there going to be a change, do you think? >> for an example, the industry is in favor for mandatory training for healthcare professionals to learn more about pain management, more about appropriate prescribing. so we want to be part of the solution to this problem. >> woodruff: stephen ubl, pharmaceutical manufacturers association, thank you very much. >> thank you. great to be with you. >> woodruff: some of the most influential figures in healthcare care are here in aspen, and we will air some of my interviews with them from spotlight health next week. plus, at the end of the broadcast, we will meet a choreographer who explains why we always feel better after dancing. hari? >> sreenivasan: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: mark shields and david brooks take on the week's news. one reverend's mission to bridge racial and class divides through what he calls "moral revival." and, exploring the connection between art and health. but first, the south side of chicago has long been plagued
with some of the highest crime rates in the nation, but one man is trying to transform this area by focusing on the everyday needs and the health of those who live there. jeffrey brown has our story. >> reporter: along this stretch on chicago's south side, rami nashashibi is a familiar face. he's the founder of the nonprofit, iman, the inner city muslim action network. and for more than 20 years, he's focused on the root problems these neighborhoods face. >> so, violence, poverty, lack of real meaningful job opportunities, lots of young people with very few meaningful trajectories. this set of blocks was ravaged by the foreclosure crisis. >> reporter: nashashibi grew up the son of a jordanian diplomat. he first came to the u.s. for college, and later got a ph.d in sociology from the university of chicago. he started iman in 1997, to help bridge divides he saw here between muslim immigrants and black americans.
the organization has grown ever since, and now has an annual budget of nearly $4 million, with funding from a mix of grants and private donations. this is social activism, he says, grounded in faith. >> we've been unapologetically rooted in the values and spiritual tradition that comes from the muslim community, while, at the same time, acknowledging that so much of that is also very universal. >> reporter: one major focus of the organization now: neighborhood corner stores, the small shops that many here rely on, in the absence of supermarkets in these neighborhoods. but they're also places that have historically generated tensions between the arab immigrants who own them, and their african-americans customers. iman is trying to change that. >> that corner store doesn't have to be what many corner stores in chicago are: often a place of death, a place of... not a spot that you really want to go into. that we could radically
reimagine it. >> reporter: at the morgan mini-mart in englewood, sami deffala, who immigrated from palestine, is one of 60 store owners in the area who have signed onto iman's "corner store campaign." >> we've been in the neighborhood for 27 years. >> reporter: the idea is to bring everyone together around a common need: fresh and more healthy food. >> we've stepped it up. with their help, we've been able to acquire fruits and vegetables that are subsidized, a lot lower price, and in turn, we sell them at a lot lower price. so that way it's a win-win, right? >> reporter: and it's much needed, says iman's shamar hemphill. >> you know, it's a war on nutrition, that's constantly killing a lot of communities. black men die at higher rates, contributing to their diet. how you going to change anything in your neighborhood, if you really can't start with the place that really sustains the neighborhood? and that's the food, right? >> reporter: sami deffala says the process has created a new trust between him and his
customers. >> people talk, people in the community talk. "hey, listen, that guy is a good guy there, you know? you don't want to go in there and do him any harm or any wrong." >> reporter: just a few blocks away, iman also operates a free health clinic. here, physician's assistant muna odeh, whose family immigrated from palestine, treats many like 58-year-old jerome reynolds, a diabetic without insurance. >> people who are under-served and often forgotten. and a lot of times they feel that they are not in control of their situation, and not in control of their health, because of their limited access to funds and insurance. >> reporter: here, too, there's an emphasis on making better food choices. and there's another benefit to this interaction, muna odeh says: a better understanding of muslim americans. >> all they know is what they see on tv. obviously, that's not ever
painted in the best light. that's especially important for me, being a muslim female who's covered, who wears a hijab. it shows them that we are the same. our struggles are all the same. >> reporter: dr. angela odoms- young, a professor of nutrition at the university of illinois- chicago, is studying iman's work. she sees positive results. >> traditionally, we used to focus on individuals. can you make a good decision when it comes to healthy eating? we now know, from a research perspective, that community matters. it's really important that you have access to fruits and vegetables, not just what you can do as an individual. >> reporter: odoms-young says that iman is helping to break a long-held myth that residents of low-income communities simply don't want healthier food. >> there's many people in low-income communities and communities of color that are very interested in having access to healthy food options.
but one of the big problems is the structural barriers. >> reporter: another structural barrier here: finding jobs for men like khalid partee, a former gang member and drug dealer. >> i did 14 years in federal prison. >> reporter: after his release, partee earned a technical degree in heating and air conditioning ventilation. >> i graduated in a year and half at the top of my class. >> reporter: he credits nashashibi with helping to turn around his life. he now teaches construction skills to men recently released from prison. it's all part of iman's re-entry program-- designed to provide both jobs and to fix up abandoned homes in the neighborhood. >> if we can get them a trade quickly or get them accustomed to being in a working condition, you start making better decisions, because you got people who rely on you now.
>> reporter: for nashashibi, it's all part of meeting the needs of residents in these often-neglected neighborhoods. but even after 20 years, he admits that far more work is needed. >> you know, for every one person you're able to employ, there's 50 that are looking for jobs. for every block that you stabilize, there's the sense that there's 25, 35 blocks that need that exact same intervention. >> reporter: undaunted, iman is actually expanding. it's opened a new center in atlanta, and hopes to expand its work to other cities around the nation. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown in chicago. >> sreenivasan: and, to the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields, and "new york times" columnist david brooks. let's talk about the healthcare plan the senate rolled out this
week. are you surprised about what's the same, different with the house bill? >> i'm a little surprised. it's sort of obamacare light. it's not going to work. it's functionally nonoperational because it will encourage them when they're healthy to exit the system and go back when they're sick and that's a recipe for a death spiral, so functionally i don't think it will work. politically, i think it's canny. mitch mcconnell had the two wings of his party and i think he steered as well as is possible to steer down the mid toll give the right, the ted cruz folks, the cuts in medicaid and medicare, he gave the center the structure of obamacare with some of the rules about pre-existing conditions. so politically i think it's an act of skill. as i look forward, is this going to pass, i think probably not because i don't think you can get the whole republican party behind this thing but i'm reminded not to underestimate mitch mcconnell. >> sreenivasan: have the
republicans made the case this is something better or just not obamacare. >> it's not obamacare. you have to start with what kind of country we're in. we're in a country where we're widening in equality. i think it's possible to be a conservative and to support market mechanisms basically to redistribute wealth down to those who are suffering. this bill does not do that. it goes the other way. i think fundamentally, it does not solve the basic problem our country has which is a lot of people are extremely vulnerable. to a solution of the range of healthcare problems, i don't think it's it or repealing obamacare, it's a cheaper version of obamacare. >> sreenivasan: mark? two things hit me. first of all, we know there's been no debate, no hearings, so that's been the cry, but it's interesting because there is no public case to be made for the republican plan, none. i mean, at least with the obamacare, affordable care act, you could say no lifetime limit, children can stay on their parents plan till age 26.
no pri pre-existing condition to deny you coverage, no lifetime illness will knock you off. there is no public case that has been made in either the house or the senate. so they hold no hearings, and there is no public debate because they don't want to take the time to make the case because they don't have a case, and they don't want to give the opposition a case to make -- the time to make the case against it. what it is, the only thing the house and the senate are consistently faithful on is that it's a major tax cut. it is a redistribution. obama, who is, you know, if anything, overly moderate for many tastes did, in fact, lay it among the most advantaged among us to pay, to cover people who couldn't afford it in his plan, and a 3.8% tax on unearned income for those earning over a
quarter million dollars became the rallying cry, the organizing principle for the opposition, and that's the one constant through it all. warren buffett, to his ever lasting credit, pointed out that he will get a tax cut under the republican plan this year of $630,000. that's the redistribution. you know, the richest nation in the history of the world, it is a terrible indictment, a sad commentary that the most vulnerable among us, the least -- the least among us are really tossed off as a political statement. >> sreenivasan: what's the democratic counter to this? what about the the things they can agree on that need improvements? why not come up with a counter and a fix and propose that? >> good question. that's one of the reasons there is not been any debate or an
opportunity for debate. no, the democrats have chosen to focus all attention on the other. one of the problems the democrats have, they learned this week in the georgia six, that there are limits to being against donald trump, although donald trump expands the limits on a regular basis, there are limits to being against him as a political strategy and to have political relevance to voters. you have to be no. >> sreenivasan: what do you think of the likelihood of passage? >> you know, i am not sure. mitch mcconnell is a master inside player. he's a terrible outside player. he doesn't make a public case for it, but inside he knows the senate well, and we've had now five senate say that they would have problems with it, which is sort of the opening negotiation, and dean heller whom we saw earlier in nevada is in real trouble. he's up for reelection in a tough state, a state that expanded medicaid.
medicaid, hari, is healthcare for poorer americans, and what this plan does is essentially starve medicaid. the senate does it slower, the house does it faster. >> sreenivasan: he brought up the selections. we've had five now. the republicans seem to be holding. the democrats? >> i thinkates big loss. if the democrats are going to pick up seats, it will be in upscale, highly educated, suburban seats. this was tailor-made for that a seat that trump barely won. after all that's happened in the last four or five months they can't pick up the seat, that to me is indictment. it's first a sign that there are limits to being anti-trump. second, the trump phenomenon is based on deep structural things in the economy driving people to support the republicans. some deep structural things in the company that people are extremely distrustful of government and washington.
there's also a sign that the republicans despite all that's happened are still considered the party of change, and if they want change, they're still likely to go to the republicans. finally, it's a sign the democratic party is too coherent. they have a bernie sanders wing which is strong and coherent, but that's not the kind of wing that's going to work in this district, and the democratic senator, aside from the one candidate they had down there, is meager. >> sreenivasan:, mark, he had a four-point answer. >> i'll cut it down to two. politics isn't like the olympics. in the olympics you get a silver, bronzens medal, there's only one winner. david's right. close only comes in horseshoes and hand grenades and slow dancing. coming in second and even a good second and a close second dufn don't do it. -- doesn't do it. coming in first is a win.
it's a district mitt romney carried by 24 points and john mccain carried by 19 points, but one of the things that turned out is when you spend that much money, and give the republicans credit for turn ought the voarkts when you spend that much money, the intensity and passion of the democrats is neutralized by the turnout. there were 260,000 people who voted tuesday in a special election which is 50,000 more than voted in the 2014 general election. so, i mean, it was a remarkable turnout, and you can't argue that if we just had two more days, it would have been -- i think the democrats have to come up with what they are for. what is it rather than simply being against donald trump. >> i do think i would be curious to hear mark's view on this, i do think nancy pelosi can be a very masterful leader inside but i think she's become a central liability for people around the
country. the question will be, okay, if they got rid of nancy blows where as party leader, would the next person be just as unpopular? potentially but potentially not. if you're a democrat, you have to think who is the face of the party. >> sreenivasan: pelosi says she's worth the cost. >> nancy pelosi, i've said before, was the most effective house speaker in my time in washington. what she did, we talk about the affordable care act, barack obama did not pass the affordable care act, nancy pelosi passed the affordable care act. she passed it three times to the house of representatives. she raised $140 million last cycle for democrats. tragically, money matters. paul ryan's political action committee with unnamed donors spent $7 million in this splerkz. so i think, you know, republicans have been running since 1984 when jane kirkpatrick gave the key note address at the convention against san francisco
democrats and, you know, maybe nancy pelosi not a dress designer and buy off the rack and whatever else, i don't think it will change, i don't think she'll be the determining factor on the ballot on voters minds in 2018. >> sreenivasan: finally, the statements coming out of the white house more specifically from donald trump, yesterday saying he didn't know there were any tapes or any recordings, that he didn't make any. this follows a dozen false statements at the rally he had in iowa this week and you go back to how president obama bugged trump tower or the millions of illegal votes for hillary or the size of the crowd at the inauguration. any structural competence to the office because it doesn't seem to have any impact on him. >> yeah, and i wonder what's going to happen to our debate after trump leaves. do we snap back to what we consider are the normal standards of honesty or is this the new norm? even though it doesn't seem like trump to point out as my paper
did the definneddive guide to the lies of donald trump, i think it's still worth making the case. the thing we have to fear most is essentially a plague of intellectual laziness, a plague of incuriosity, a plague of apathy about honesty, and once the whole political system gets affected by that, then we're really sunk, and, so, i do think keeping his feet on the fire no matter how little he pays a price for it is still worth doing. mark? >> i'll say he's paying a price in the sense the "wall street journal," nbc poll ask voters who do you believe, james comey or donald trump, and 2-1 james comey who, until a month ago, was a villain to the democrats because of the hillary clinton race. overwhelmingly, americans do not believe he's honest, trustworthy, knowledgeable, experienced or has the right temperament. by a 48 to 16 margin believe the opposite and that is a real liability for anybody who wants
to lead a country. >> in that same poll you see 78% of democrats, 17% of republicans have that trust. mark shields, david brooks, we'll leave it there. thank you. >> sreenivasan: we hear a lot about how divided our country is along many lines: race, class and, especially now, our politics. but in our next "race matters" conversation, newshour special correspondent charlayne hunter- gault talks with the co-authors of the book, "third revolution: how a moral movement is overcoming the politics of division and fear," about their successful efforts in success in bridging those divides. >> reporter: in recent weeks, reverend william barber stepped down from heading the n.a.a.c.p. in north carolina to focus on what he calls a "national moral revival," updating the poor people's campaign started by the reverend martin luther king, jr.
that linked the civil rights struggle for african americans to demands for equality for all poor people. >> there was this thing, if you will, called the white southern strategy. and the goal of it was undermine black and white fusion coalitions. what we're going to do is, we're going to figure out a way to talk that makes poor whites think that they're losing, because black people and brown people are gaining. and what you do in that is you make poor whites, who should be allies with poor blacks, think that their problem, their poverty, is being caused because black and brown people are acquiring something or taking something from them. >> reporter: so what led you to try and bridge that gap, and what made you want to do that? >> dr. king said, back in the '60s, he said, the only transformative force that could
really, fully transform america would be for poor whites and blacks and brown people and working people to come together. >> reporter: jonathan wilson- hartgrove's conversion began when he first met reverend barber. before that, he had been a young conservative who had worked both for the moral majority, a political group associated with the christian right and the republican party, and also for conservative south carolina senator strom thurmond. what was your own attitude about poor black people and black people in general? >> so, i was raised in the southern baptist church. i was raised in a sundown town. until 1983, there was a sign at the edge of our town that told black people they weren't welcome there after the sun went down. >> reporter: i've read that you called yourself a racist in those days. >> sure. i didn't know i was a racist, but reverend barber helped me see that i was racist, and more importantly, that my racism was getting in the way of loving jesus, which is what i really wanted to do. >> reporter: wilson-hartgrove first heard reverend barber some 20 years ago, at a meeting called by the north carolina
governor, where barber was just to give a motivational speech to young people. hartgrove was moved, and began to understand how racism had been used as a tool to divide. growing up poor, he had not seen what he had in common with poor black people. >> we were taught to believe that there were people who were poor because they chose to be poor. and that narrative kept us from seeing the way that our religion was being used to pit us against other people. >> reporter: reverend barber has even taken his message into appalachia, and up to mitchell county, north carolina. >> mitchell county, north carolina. a place where, in 1920, all the black people were run out of town over the accusation of a black man raping a white woman. it's 97% white, 77% republican. >> reporter: wary but undeterred, reverend barber seized on the invitation of this
rural white church. >> i went in and talked to them for about an hour. and i said, listen, this legislature just cut, denied medicaid expansion. there are a thousand people in this county that would get health care, and they can't be black because there are no black people up here. they cut funding for public education. you are losing teachers here. and they have to be white. now, you voted for some of the people, because of what they told you where they stand on prayer in school and homosexuality, but let's look at what they are doing, and how it is hurting you? >> reporter: so basically, what you did was to talk to them about the things that they had in common. and it registered, it permeated their consciousness. >> you talk to people honestly, you talk to them about what it means to be a human being, and you show them the hypocrisy. you know, you show them how they're being fooled, if you will. that people are saying, i care about your best interests, but
those people are actually putting in place policies that are hurting everybody. >> reporter: what strategy did you use to reach people who had been brought up like jonathan? what did you do to convince them that this was not right? >> i know that many of my white evangelical friends, or many african americans who bought into this kind of a public engagement-type faith, a form of theological malpractice. to try to suggest that jesus was just about a little prayer, a little preaching and a little worship and a little charity, and not recognize that the very jesus that white evangelicals claim to lift up was a brown- skinned, palestinian jew who's first sermon was challenging the economic exploitation of the empire. >> reporter: reverend barber and wilson-hartgrove have been working together in a multi- racial movement known as "moral monday"-- weekly protests held on the grounds of the north
carolina state capitol in raleigh, aimed at helping citizens understand their common interest around such issues as health care, voting rights and immigration; also, how they are affected by these and other governmental policies, regardless of race or class. >> when we went into the first moral monday as diverse clergy in vestments, first some people laughed. they said we were a nuisance. but then they started seeing more people come, and they looked diverse. they said, that's my teacher getting arrested, that's my doctor, that's a black man and white man walking together. that's a jew and a rabbi and a christian. what's going on? so people began to, even though they didn't get arrested, they could come-- >> reporter: the moral monday movement is the foundation for reverend barber's latest project that he intends to take to some 25 states. >> what can be learned from our experience is that white people need to talk about race honestly. we need to say, of course we're
racist. this is a country that's built on white supremacy. you know, it's not like it's a personal failing. i inherited this racism. it's about structures that pass on what we inherited, right? inequalities that we inherited are written into these structures. and when we help white people think about that, i think we're making it possible to form alliances that we haven't been able to form. >> and black people can't be afraid that-- we have to look back in history, when black and white people came together right after the civil war and formed, we fundamentally changed this country. when black and white and brown people and jews and christians came together in the civil rights movement, it was transformative. >> reporter: are you at all optimistic that the kinds of things that you're doing are going to make a difference in ending racism? >> i think racism is the fundamental challenge to the american project.
this is a country that was built on the original sin of race-based chattel slavery. it is how the, you know, concentrated capital in this country from the very beginning has maintained power. but i don't think that the future of america is possible without dealing with it. >> i'm hopeful; optimism is a different thing. i believe we have to be the kind of, what i call moral dissenters, moral defibrillators who shock the nation. but we also are seeing something in the wind-- you have white people marching with black lives matter. you see the women, you see moral monday, i had a friend of mine who's a sikh and she put it like this. quickly, she said, a tomb is dark and a womb is dark, but there's a difference. a tomb is death, a womb is possibility. it's dark now, but if we push and push together and come together, i think this is a birthing moment in the 21st century. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, i'm charlayne hunter- gault.
>> sreenivasan: we go back to judy now in aspen. judy? >> woodruff: thanks, hari. we want to introduce you to alonzo king, a noted choreographer who believes dance improves our spirits, and that in turn has a direct effect on our health. take a look. >> my name is alonzo king. i'm the artistic director of alonzo king lines ballet. it's a san francisco-based international touring ballet company. we were invited to the health festival here at aspen, and i brought four dancers from the company to do a demonstration and talk about how health and art are intertwined. my mother took dancing at university, and when i was a kid, she would show me things and i had a blast. i love moving, so i never stopped.
there is a triumvirate of body/mind/soul that is in a balancing act for health. if something is imbalanced, then it's with dis-ease. the performance that we do here on friday is largely a lecture demonstration. displaying how dance is really ideas, that it's thought made visible, in the same way that music is thought made audible. our hope is that the mind will be stirred and the heart will be moved. you want them to hear it and to have a response to it. when i first began dancing, i had no idea that it was a profession. i just knew that it was an experience that made the outer world dim. and i felt larger and euphoric.
and i realized that when you have that experience inside yourself, you know that every human being has that potential for that experience. >> sreenivasan: tune in later tonight. on "washington week," robert costa's roundtable of reporters put the g.o.p. alternative to obamacare under the microscope. find out how your health coverage could change, depending on where you live. that's later tonight, on "washington week." on pbs newshour weekend saturday, are privately run prisons helping or hurting the system? >> woodruff: and before we go-- on my way to colorado this week, i stopped off in nebraska for an exclusive interview with the so-called oracle of omaha, billionaire warren buffett. we had a wide-ranging conversation-- everything from taxes to healthcare, to why there aren't more women in top roles in business.
there was another report that came out recently the fortune 500 boards of companies, the number of women board of directors members has gone down. we don't see that many women running companies, even as we used to be, or maybe there are a few more but it's not a dramatic. what's going on with women -- >> this country made such a terrible mistake. we said all men are created equal in '70 and '76 and proceeded to act like women were entightsled to be secretaries, nurses and teachers and we took 50% of our talent and put them on the sideline in this country. it makes me very optimistic about america because at least we're getting to the point where we're starting to use close to all our talent compared to when we said 50% don't count. in columbia business school, there was one woman in our class, maggie shanks, my sisters, i have one on each side three years on each side of me, and they are absolutely as smart as me.
we i.q. tested together and my older sister says i came close. (laughter) so they didn't have remotely the same opportunity. they were told in millions of ways, by all kinds of signals from both parents, that they were loved as much as i was but their job was to marry early and well, and for me the sky was the limit. and it was a very, very unfair world. and we made significant progress. there is more progress in some areas than others, but we've still got a long way to go. >> woodruff: and much more. part part one of my interview with warren buffett airs monday night. and that's it from aspen for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. >> sreenivasan: and i'm hari sreenivasan. from all of us at the pbs newshour, have a great weekend. thank you, and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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. >> glor: welcome to the program, i'm jeff glor, sitting in for charlie rose. we begin this evening with a newly unveiled senate republican health-care plan. we talked to vann newkirk of the atlantic, kevin whitelaw of bloomberg news and philip bump of "the washington post." >> while republicans were trying to put together something which they feel confident can pass both the house and the senate in final form and can get the general support of the american public, this bill isn't substantially different enough from the house bill to actually change, i think, the minds of a lot of americans. a lot of the parts of the bill, particularly around medicaid and cutting taxes for wealthy americans, those remain. i think those are probably the most problematic parts of it. >> glor: we conclude with charlie's conversation with the executive chairman of alibaba, jack ma. >> in the past 30 years u.s.a. domestic consumption was the engine of glo