tv PBS News Hour PBS November 3, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: after weeks of hearings and pleas for a harsher sentence, army sergeant bowe bergdahl receives a dishonorable discharge and no jail time for deserting his post in afghanistan. then, rare insight into the secretive regime of north korea. i sit down with a former north korean diplomat, who defected last year. also ahead, virginia gets ready to elect a new governor. a look at the high political stakes, as voters weigh the role of president trump. >> i really understand that everything that's going on has to do with the republican train and the trump train. >> woodruff: and, it's friday. mark shields and david brooks are here to talk about virginia, the russia probe indictments, and the g.o.p. plan for tax
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>> woodruff: army sergeant bowe bergdahl was spared a prison sentence today for deserting in afghanistan. a military judge at fort bragg, north carolina gave him a dishonorable discharge, lowered his rank to private and ordered him to forfeit pay. the 31-year-old had pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. he left his post in 2009, and was held by the taliban for five years, before the obama administration engineered a prisoner swap in 2014. president trump had denounced bergdahl as a traitor, and he tweeted today, "the decision is a complete and total disgrace to our country and to our military." hari sreenivasan spoke a short time ago with bergdahl's attorney, eugene fidell, who describes surprise at the sentence. >> we didn't know what to expect because military justice sentencing is so open-ended.
so virtually anything would have surprised us. >> sreenivasan: i mean, your client was facing life behind bars. what do you think made the difference? >> well, on one level, i think the judge was quite alert to the very powerful evidence of contrition on the part of sergeant bergdahl as well as undisputed evidence about the horrible conditions that he survived when he was in the hands of the hakani network. his numerous efforts at escape, which is what is expected of g.i.s who fall into enemy hands and, really, the grit and courage he showed once he was a captive. >> sreenivasan: what was his reaction to the process? >> his reaction to winding things up was, i believe, one of great relief. the uncertainty of the entire process, which has gone on for over three years since he recovered from the hakani, but, also, in particular, the last
day or so during deliberations when he and everybody else was on pins and needles as to what judge nance would do. >> reporter: do you think then crump on the campaign trail calling bowe bergdahl a "dirty rotten traitor" played into this decision? >> the judge indicated he would take into account president trump's, you know, endless flow of nasty comments, disparaging comments about sergeant bergdahl when the time came to pronounce his sentence. i have to add, the news did not stop with the sentencing because president trump, once the sentence became public, was at it again and, once again, described sergeant bergdahl in terrible terms, referring to this as an outrageous sentence and, basically, undermining the
entire rule of law in the u.s. armed forces. president trump learned absolutely nothing from this litigation. >> sreenivasan: so the fact the president today called this a complete disgrace to our country and military, does that factor into your strategy going forward? >> it gives us additional arguments, although, in my personal opinion, we have a wing unlawful command influence argument even without president trump's latest vitupritive comments. >> reporter >> sreenivasan: are you pursuing the prisoner of war medal and why? >> i think sergeant during ball is entitled to a prisoner of war meddle. he was for all intents and purposes a prisoner of war. he was held in conditions that are as bad as any conditions any prisoner of war has been held since the vietnam era, and we're definitely going to keep looking at his entitlement to a p.o.w.
medal. at present, the time that sergeant bergdahl was held by the hakanis is not part of any period of desertion, the judge made a rule on that. the period of desertion was, in fact, only one day long according to the court's findings and personally i think he's entitled to the medal. >> will you be challenging the dishonorable discharge? is that a matter of course what happens when these verdicts come down? >> since there was a dishonorable discharge, sergeant bergdahl is entitled to appellate review by the u.s. army court of appeals, the u.s. court for the armed forces and potentially the supreme court of the united states. a dishonorable discharge involves lifetime stigma and loss of benefits and we believe there are meritorious issues that have to be raised on appeal and we're going to raise them. >> sreenivasan: you mentioned sergeant berg discal's
contrition, in the past few weeks given he's heard about the injuries of those whoa rescued him, how does does he try to repay them? >> it's not an issue of repayment. what he said in the courtroom, he said that he was extremely upset about the fact that people were injured searching for him. i think his contrition is very, very clear. he, i think, has felt that completely deeply, and the fact that he pleaded guilty without the protection afforded by a pre-trial agreement speaks volumes about his willingness to accept responsibility. you don't plead guilty unless you feel guilty, and you feel that you meet the standards that have been set by the judge under the applicable rules in the uniform code of military justice. >> sreenivasan: eugene fidell,
thank you so much. >> my pleasure. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, the u.s. economy rebounded in october from hurricanes that pounded the south the month before. the labor department reports u.s. employers added a net of 261,000 jobs. the unemployment rate fell to 4.1%, the lowest in nearly 17 years. that jobless decline was due mostly to people who stopped looking for work. president trump is spending tonight in honolulu, as he embarks on a ten-day trip to asia. he left washington this morning and flew first to hawaii. from there, he heads to japan, south korea and china, with north korea expected to top the agenda. the north today condemned the latest u.s. b-1 bomber flight over south korea. state media called it "a surprise nuclear strike drill." as he left today, the president criticized the justice department for not investigating hillary clinton and democratic fundraising last year. he cited an allegation by former
democratic leader donna brazile that the election-year primaries were rigged in favor of clinton. mr. trump tweeted that it's "the real story on collusion," and he followed up, outside the white house. >> i'm really not involved with the justice department. i'd like to let it run itself. but honestly, they should be looking at the democrats. they should be looking at podesta, and all of that dishonesty. they should be looking at a lot of things. and a lot of people are disappointed in the justice department, including me. >> woodruff: and the president would not rule out firing attorney general jeff sessions if he fails to investigate clinton. for the first time, the u.s. military has carried out air strikes against islamic state fighters in somalia. officials say two drone attacks killed several terrorists today. isis is a growing danger in somalia, where a separate group, al shabab, has long been the lead threat.
separately, isis forces were ousted today from two of their last major holdings in iraq and syria. government troops in syria retook deir el-zour, capital of an oil-rich, eastern province. and in iraq, security forces and shiite militias entered qaim, along the syrian border. isis has now lost 96% of the territory it once controlled. the united nations urgently appealed to australia today to take in some 600 asylum seekers, stranded at a camp in papua, new guinea. food, water and health care were cut off three days ago, when a court ordered the camp to close. but the detainees refused to leave, saying locals would attack them. a u.n. spokesman warned today the situation is "unsustainable." >> we are trying to urge australia, again and again-- take up its obligation and its responsibility. this humanitarian emergency
should be dealt in a humane way based on compassion and international laws. >> woodruff: australia has refused to take in asylum seekers who arrive illegally. back in this country, the centers for disease control and prevention report that the rate of gun deaths rose last year, for the second straight year. that is after 15 years of little change. in all, there were more than 38,000 guns deaths in 2016, or 12 deaths per 100,000 population. the speaker of the u.s. house of representatives is urging lawmakers and their staff to take sexual harassment training. paul ryan sent a letter to all house members today. he said congress should lead by example. that is after the associated press reported several current and former female lawmakers said they had been harassed by male colleagues. and on wall street, the dow jones industrial average gained
nearly 23 points to close at 23,539. the nasdaq rose 49, and the s&p 500 added eight. all three indexes finished at record highs. still to come on the newshour: a rare interview with a north korean defector. a government report warns of more extreme weather because of climate change. actor alec baldwin speaks about the need to change a sexist work culture. and, much more. >> woodruff: as we reported earlier, president trump departed today for a lengthy trip to asia. at the top of the agenda will be coordinating pressure against north korea. the regime of kim jong-un has made significant advances in its nuclear and missile programs. the core message of the president's trip: we will not allow north korea to have the
capability to launch a nuclear- tipped missile that can hit the united states. so how does north korea view its weapons programs, and the trump administration's approach? we turn to former north korean diplomat, thae yong-ho. he was once north korea's deputy chief of mission in london. he defected last year, and now lives in south korea. >> thank you very much for joining us, mr. thae. you were telling us you led a pretty privileged life as a diplomat working for the north korean government. why did you defect? >> there are complex reasons for my defection. first of all, i did not agree with kim jong un's desperate race of nuclear and icbm programs which can finally make north korea totally destroyed and, secondly, because of my
future of my sons, i thought that, as a father, the best legacy i should leave for my son is to let them be free. >> woodruff: this is a regime that takes defectors very seriously. are you and your family safe? >> at this moment, i'm not quite sure whether my family members or relatives are safe. >> woodruff: the ones still in north korea? >> yes. i have one sister and a brother in north korea, and for propaganda, last april, north korea invited cnn team to have an interview with my brother and sister and, in that interview, they cursed me a lot, but, at that time, i was real happy to see their faces again because i didn't imagine that i could see them again in my life,
after my defection. >> woodruff: so as someone who worked in the diplomatic field for the north korean government through many years, what can you tell us about the mindset of kim jong un? >> oh, kim jong un is not a mad man. he is an intelligent guy. the past five years in north korea proved that he wants to destroy anything on his way, no matter whether it is a country or a human being. he has persecuted hundreds of senior leaders in north korea in his five years' term, including his family members like his uncle and his half brother. >> woodruff: his own half brother. what do you understand to be his view of the united states?
we've seen his nuclear buildup, the missile buildup. what is your sense of what he thinks he can accomplish when it comes to the united states? >> oh, he has a kind of illusion that, if he acquires these nuclear weapons and icbms, he could be able to compel washington to pull u.s. troops out of south korea and, once u.s. troops leave south korea, then foreign investments would follow u.s. troops out of vehicle and, if that is the case, then the south korean business also would leave, then he can stabilize the whole south korean system with his nuclear weapons. >> woodruff: but we haven't seen that happen, of course and what we are seeing is this administration, the trump administration pursue ago very aggressive policy toward the north. what do you see are the effects
of that on the north? >> i think kim jong un has been very desperate to develop its icbm and nuclear, and he even sent a lot of rhetoric warnings and declarations of nuclear tests and icbm tests. but i think that we should admit that some rhetoric by president trump and the unpredictable character of president trump actually worked to some extent to stop his desperate escalation of this conflict. for instance, when kim jong un warned of the possible test around gaum, the american territory, then president trump responded with fire and fury -- >> woodruff: and comment. -- and that kind of very strong response by
president trump actually stopped kim jong un to have the test. that's why he changed the direction of icbm from the gaum to the pacific ocean over the japanese terrorist. >> woodruff: so you're saying, to some extent, it's had a positive effect on the north. >> yes, i believe it's so. >> woodruff: we know now from reporting that there are those in the trump administration who have put forward the notion of the possibility of a limited strike, an attack against the north in order to punish the north and to keep it from developing its nuclear and missile program in the belief that could be effective. how do you think the north would respond? >> i think even a limited strike like a surgical strike by the u.s. can bring a full-scale conflict or war on the korean
peninsula because all north korean military have been trained to fire back any way if one of their or even a very small part of north korea is attacked by the u.s. given the fact that more than 10 million of south korean population are living within 100 range of tens of thousands of north korean artillery and missiles, i think if that kind of immediate and automatic response from the north korean military can create huge human loss on the south korean side and, if that's the case, then, i think american and south korean forces may retaliate in full scale, then that's why, you know, it will easily escalate into a full-scale war on the korean peninsula, which would mean huge human sacrifice. >> woodruff: huge.
almost unthinkable. you've also talked to us, mr. thae, about what you think town effective. you're saying some of the tough talk from president trump has been effective, but you've also said that there should be a better effort to communicate with the north, to reach out to the north. what do you mean by that? >> i think we should engage and try a dialogue with kim jong un, and also we should engage to break the isolation of the north korean people. i think we can disseminate the more outside informations to educate the north korean people so that we can help the north korean people to make a change. >> woodruff: fascinating. fascinating to see where this is going to lead. thae yong-ho, we thank you so much for talking with us. >> thank you very much for this opportunity.
>> woodruff: every four years, the federal government releases the national climate asssment. it is an exhaustive report undertaken by 13 different agencies, with the help of hundreds of scientists and experts. it is generally considered the most definitive state of climate science by the u.s. government. the latest one contained some unusually dire warnings about what's happening to the climate, how it's already impacting parts of the u.s., and where we may be headed. back to hari now, who has more from our new york studios. >> sreenivasan: the report finds we're in the warmest period of morning civilization. "it's extremely likely human activity especially greenhouse gases are the dominant cause of observed warning since the mid 20th century." that directly contradicts what president trump e.p.a. scott pelley and ryan zinke and others in the administration have said. scientists write the frequency
and intensity of extreme high temperature events are vier carlisle certain to increase and extreme precipitation is very likely to increase as well. there's much more. radley horton is one of the authors and climate scientist at columbia university. the phrase "extremely likely." not much room for doubt here. how do we get to that? >> you have to think this is an incremental advance. we've had several national assessments. with this latest report, more years of data, petter physical understanding and improved models. so we pushed the science forward. we feel more confident than ever extreme heat waves will be much more common, more heavy rain events and frequent coastal flooding. >> sreenivasan: what are the type of datapoints you're making to help people understand the type of changes that are coming? >> we're looking at extreme weather events, the things that impact people on the ground and our society where we're so
vulnerable. we've seen twice as many record-breaking extreme heat events as record-breaking extreme cold events so far this century. when we look across a large number of weather stations. that's with just about 1 degree fahrenheit or a little more of warming. so already a small shift in average means much more frequent extremes. some coastal cities are seeing five times as frequent coastal flooding as two generations ago, just with something on order of less than a food of sea level rise. >> the end of this century, it's likely to get worse? >> we're basically locked in to a lot of odd additional warming and sea level rise. we can avoid the worst case trajectories and minimize the surprises which are a big focus of this report. the possibility of changes such as tipping points, compounding effects of extreme events that could lead to outcomes that are worse than what the climate
models are telling us. if we reduce emissionings we reduce those kind of surprises. >> sreenivasan: so the cause can also be a part of the solution. what role does governor play? >> this is largely a government report, out of about 30 lead authors the vast majority resided in the department of energy so this represents federal science if action. if you think about the supporting data, the satellite products, the high-tech computing, the latest in computer advances, a lot of this science resides in government, so it really is a government report that underwent several rounds of review by government agencies and the public. >> sreenivasan: next week we have another u.n. conversation on climate change, when the united states says it will withdraw from the paris accords, the head of the e.p.a., d.o.e., who still doubt the words you write that the government
agencies are coming up with in this report. >> so sort of highlighting the role on the ground folks in these agencies contributing in the report, clearly whether we're talking about some of the signals we're seeing from government or the disturbing aspects of the climate science. there is a reason to be pessimistic. it's happening faster than we thought in some ways. it seems we're more vulnerable than we thought, agriculture being affected by heat waves worse than we thought. we can hold out optimism that maybe we've estimated our ability of society to quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. i don't want to be to too sangu, we're seeing a price signal sent to companies and investors commanding that corporations ask the climate question.
how vulnerable are they to climate change and how much are they admitting and could be held liable to potentially in the future. >> sreenivasan: radley horton, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: stay with us. now, the continuing revelations about sexual harassment and the larger culture. new york city police department officials said today they are building a rape case against former movie mogul harvey weinstein. he has denied recent allegations of assault. since the weinstein story first broke, numerous public figures are being pressed about what they knew, and did not know, about people they have worked with. that includes actor alec baldwin, who worked in the past with writer and director james toback. toback has been accused of harassing hundreds of women.
baldwin says he had not known toback's behavior crossed that line. but, when getting an award yesterday, baldwin spoke about the culture in the industry and his own experience. earlier today, jeffrey brown recorded an interview with baldwin about his new book, a parody of president trump. we're going to be airing that interview in the coming days. but first, here's what he said about the subject at hand. he said, i certainly have treated women in a very sexist way, i've bullied women, overlooked women, underestimated women. not as a rule, from time to time, i've done what a lot of men do. explain. what do you mean? >> i think especially in the generation i'm from, the person in charge was always a man. the president was a man, the head of the studio was a man, the director of the film was a man, and i was just conditioned to where, if a woman was contributing to the project or the process, we kind of go, okay, that's great, now let's have the guy do the talking who's in charge. a man was always in charge in my lifetime and that's changed.
>> brown: bullying versus harassment versus misconduct. define what you mean. >> well, bullying in terms if i have -- you know, if i have an argument with my wife and raise my voice, that's bullying. i'm not involved in any of the sexual harassment claims that are being made in the media now, but, in the way that we treat women differently from men, in any way, that's something we're learning we have to take a long look at and change. >> brown: how clear are the lines when you say this? you are not in any of the headlines, i don't mean to suggest that, but do you fear somebody might come forward based on past conduct. >> , who me? >> reporter:. >> brown: yes. no, no, no, not at all. i think all men -- all men, during the course of their lives, you included, i think every man treats women differently than they treat men unconsciously. you don't mean to.
you're not sitting there going this woman is less than me, her ideas are less valid, this person is less valuable to the process we're doing, we just innately treat women different because men have typically been in charge. not that we diminish women, we elevate men over women. i've certainly done that and that's something i think needs to change. >> brown: there is been a talk of a culture of complicity, people knowing things and not speaking up. you said yesterday you had heard rumors of actions. what did you know exactly and -- >> i didn't know anything but i know that when you talked about harvey weinstein and the business, for example, for decades, you knew that he was highly intrusive in the process of making films. you know, his nickname was harvey scissorhands and he was very intrusive in the path to have the directors who worked for him. number two, you knew that he was a very intense guy and very bullying guy and shouting and screaming at people and exhorting them when he didn't
get his way, and lastly you heard the rumor he raped rose mcgowen, we've heard that for decades, and nothing was done. >> brown: nobody said anything. >> what happened is rose mcgowen took a payment of $100,000 and settled her case and it was for rose mcgowen to prosecute that case. i don't think you and i are working at a job and we vet everybody we work for in terms of not just sexual crimes. racism -- do i sit there and say i want a forensic psychiatrist come and examine the entire board of warner brothers and i will never take another paycheck from warner brothers until everybody on that board of directors that runs the company have been vetted that they're not racist, sexist, homophobic, i need to have a report on that. you could do the same thing and say i'm never going to work for public television again until the board of directors who determines your paycheck -- you get the idea. >> brown: of course. where do you draw the line? we go to work and give people
the benefit of the doubt. where this thing are harvey weinstein or rose mcgowen came along was i had no idea till now she settled the case, and many people asked the question, the "new york times" in fact printed an article about this, this was online, and i found this very compelling, the "new york times" wrote an article and said, do the settlement of these cases hurt the cause of exposing and bringing us to a place of real change? when women take money and are silenced by that money, even though they took the money and were silenced because they were told beyond the money it was the right thing for them to do, keep quiet, don't make waves, it will hurt your career, when they do it does it set back the cause of change. that's an issue, i think. >> >> woodruff: and we'll have the rest of jeff's conversation with alec baldwin next week, when his book "you can't spell america without me" is released.
>> woodruff: there's an election in virginia next tuesday, in this off-year's only competitive governor's race. one that analysts will be watching for insights about voters' attitudes toward president trump. we sent our own john yang to take a look. >> yang: on a soggy fall day in richmond, virginia, the menu was cider, with a large serving of politics. >> are we going to change the course of history in this country? >> yang: it was billed as a "get out the vote" event for the virginia election, but most of the talk was about president trump's turbulent first year. former attorney general eric holder: >> if you're there with neo- nazis and white supremacists in charlottesville, you turned in your good-person card. >> yang: chelsea higgs wise, a clinical social worker, helped organize the event for democratic candidate for governor, ralph northam. >> i really understand that everything that's going on has to do with the republican train
and the trump train. this has pushed me to take all of my free time, truly, and dedicate it to the elections. >> yang: for some, mr. trump is irrelevant. tanner hirschfeld is a 19-year- old university of virginia student who is active in republican politics. he's backing ed gillespie in the governor's race. >> you know, people are coming to me, saying, "well, you can't vote for something like donald trump." i'll say, "i didn't know donald trump was running the state of virginia. that's news to me." >> yang: but polling suggests the president is casting a very long shadow over the hotly contested, off-year governor's race in the only southern state mr. trump lost. a new "washington post"-schar school survey found that nearly six in ten likely voters said mr. trump is an important factor in their vote. the same poll found the president's approval rating among likely voters at only 38%. that sentiment holds true for northam supporter eric anderson, a chemical engineer. >> gillespie has done little or
nothing to distance himself from trump, and so i assume he would go along with whatever program trump wants to institute. and that's very worrisome. >> yang: and for gillespie backer alison... how important is it that you elect a governor who gets along with president trump? >> very important. right now, i just want ed gillespie to win so i don't have >> yang: how closely do these voters associate the president and the republican candidate? when you look at ed gillespie, do you see donald trump? >> when i look at him, i don't. but when i listen to him, i do. >> absolutely not. in donald trump, i see more of an opportunist. and i think ed's been a lifelong conservative. >> no, i see ed gillespie. but nobody's donald trump but donald trump. >> charlottesville continues to ring in my ears and be the picture in my head, and that of course is donald trump. >> yang: gillespie, a former republican operative and
lobbyist, has tried to distance himself from the president's behavior, here at a july debate moderated by judy woodruff. >> i don't agree with everything the president says or tweets, and i've made that clear, but my focus is on virginia, and we have got to get virginia growing again. when i disagree with the president, i will make it clear. >> yang: while vice president mike pence has visited virginia to try to elect the state's first republican governor since 2009, the president's involvement has been limited to four tweets. gillespie's campaign ads, though, embrace mr. trump's issues: illegal immigration... >> ralph northam voted in favor of sanctuary cities that let dangerous illegal immigrants back on the street. >> yang: ...and confederate monuments. >> i'm for keeping them up. and he's for taking them down. >> yang: while polls find both issues far down on the list of voters' priorities, they are very important to some of the trump supporters who voted against gillespie in the surprisingly close republican primary. gillespie backer alison katzman, a tax preparer, did not vote for
him in the primary. at the top of her concerns: confederate monuments. >> that is one issue that i feel that is very important. it's sort of like the left at this point is tilting at windmills. we've got to get rid of the statue when that name offends somebody, and then, it's something else. >> yang: that's a concern for northam voter eric anderson. he's a registered republican, and voted for gillespie in the primary. >> what disturbs me is having won, gillespie seems to be moving, not towards the center but toward the fringe. when i see the campaign ads and he says at the end, you know, he authorized this message, he's also authorized a trump message. >> yang: northam seems to have recalculated his approach to the president after the physician got national attention for this diagnosis. >> i'm listening carefully to donald trump, and i think he's a narcissistic maniac.
>> as a doctor, no one ever asked if i was a democrat or a republican; they just want my help. if donald trump is helping virginia, i'll work with him. >> yang: while the voters we talked to are split on the president's role in this virginia contest, they do agree on the importance of the outcome. if you woke up, the morning after election day and found ed gillespie had won, what would concern you? >> i think that gillespie would be especially bad for immigrants. i think he would be awful for women's rights, particularly the right to choose. >> i would feel like those pictures, those people in charlottesville, they won. those people and groups and with the tiki torches, just walking towards me and my daughter, ready to take away our rights and say you don't matter. >> yang: if you learn that ralph northam has won the election, what would you be worried about? >> i'll be very unhappy that the state is going to go even
further to the left. >> i think this race is super important for the future of virginia politics. >> yang: one that's drawing attention nationwide for signs about the future of both parties. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang in alexandria, virginia. >> woodruff: thank you john. and to the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. gentlemen, thank you. so let's talk about virginia, mark. what does that race look like? >> well, the race on both sides, people are saying it's a 3, 4, 2-point lead. one republican said to me today, relieved that the president was out of the country because he was afraid that if he got word the race was that close, he would start tweeting and insert himself back into the race. but as we saw in john's piece, the president is very much a part of the piece. ed gillespie, a conventional republican, republican national committee staffer, became chair,
became counselor to president george w. bush, have the lyrics to donald trump's score playbook but not the music. the latest period after john's wonderful piece was that they're now running on the football players kneeling at the national anthem and saying stand up for america, virginia. i'd say this, judy, if, in fact, the democrats lose on tuesday in virginia, that it will lead close to safely war within the democratic party. >> woodruff: whoa. there will be reprisals between the north who is running a conventional, cautious campaign, and tom periello, his primary opponent on the other side. there will be questions the
democratic party won't stand in 2016 all over again. >> gillespie is the core of the center of the republican party. he's been around this town a lot. eh's the conventional republican. where the center of the republican party is that's where ed gillespie is. now it's a trump party. he's running on the issues, ms-13, gang, violence committed by illegal immigrants. the core trump issue, a lot of it is about fear of outsiders, so that core message. so it's a sign the republican party is becoming the trump party, and that if you want the run as a republican, you've got to run as a trumpian, and you can do well. he was pretty far back a month ago, 1015 points, now 3 to 5 points behind, so it sort of works. for the democrats, as mark says, this is a state, as john reported, clinton won by 5,
trump is super unpopular and their guy, pretty good candidate can't pull out a big win out of this? that would be a sign for democrats that even when trump is super unpopular they can't get big turnout, among african-americans, from people who aren't hard-core voters and that the democratic base is not super mobilized to vote and that would be a gigantic warning sign for 2018. >> woodruff: at the same time, mark, in the last couple of days, we have been hearing another sign of a big fissure, divide inside the democratic party, this book by donna brazile, prominent figure in the democratic party, former chair because there was this financial deal with the clinton campaign which was supporting the democratic party hurting for money, that the primary election last year was rigged in clinton's favor. >> she did, and it's a serious charge made by a serious person.
donna brazile, could not come at a worse time for the democrats on the eve as dave was talking about, generating interest, enthusiasm and turn out, this will do anything but. but i will say this, judy, it has the ring of authenticity about it. donna brazile was exposed herself for having given questions before a debate when she was at cnn to hillary clinton. she's a person of enormous talent. i think, if anything, this is sort of a statement of what she believes, to come clean. but i will say this, that it's proof, more than anything else to me, of how little barack obama cared about the democratic party or politics. he was great at getting elected. he got national majority twice in a row. nobody had done that since eisenhower. he was leaving the party $24 million in debt.
therefore, vulnerable to hillary clinton's codery of big givers. sanders did not have big givers as we know. >> woodruff: president trump is saying the clinton campaign should be investigated by the justice department, the f.b.i. >> i don't know about that, but those of us trying to rebut populists like trump have the disadvantage. it was an open secret the d.n.c. was on hillary clinton's side. we saw it on the schedule of the debates through the year, they didn't want to have them, didn't want to give sanders the platform, but this goes john what i imagined was the level of collusion. it's a sleazy, economic takeover of a party apparatus against the bylaws of that apparatus. it's not something that a normal campaign that respects institutions and how things should work should do. so they colluded, donna brazile, in a major way and if you're a
sanders person, you have every right to be upset. >> the reason i say president obama, anytime you have a national party and the white house the same party, the white house controls that national party. the national party was a totally -- >> woodruff: that's typical. typical. donald trump controls the republican national committee today. that's always the case. president obama just didn't like politics. didn't like the company of politicians. democrats lost 979 legislative seats, 63 house seats, 12 senate seats. in 19 states lost control of house and governorship in his time. he didn't recruit. he was great himself but he didn't like the business, he didn't like the company of politicians. >> woodruff: a different kind of economics, david, and that is taxes, the republicans did come out this week, yesterday, with their tax reform, tax cut proposal. what does it say to you about what the president and congress
wants? >> they have a vision of what taxes should be, which is to lower the rates. i think corporate rates are high. they want to attract capitalists and lower the rates. they have no idea of what individual rates should be. their bill is a honl podge of moving rates around randomly. they have no vision of how to protect families. there could have been a much bigger child tax credit. the point everyone is making that's true, they have no vision about the fiscal health of this country in the long term. i think there are some pieces of this legislation that i like -- capping the mortgage interest deduction -- there are some things i don't like, cutting the rates the way they do is super important, but it's dwarfed by the $1.5 trillion hole in the deficit. unless you solve that problem, you're not working seriously for the country. >> i agree about the deficit, judy. it will be financed from the republican votes in the house and senate by cuts in medicare
and medicaid, the constituency donald trump pledged to be the champion of. no, i would say it had its biggest day yesterday, i really do. i mean, eng it's not something that stands the daylight very well or scrutiny. it starts with 25% approval support in the country, that's the that any presidential initiative since george w. bush's ill-fated attempt to privatize social security in 2005 which died after ten months. judy, what these people forget is the 1986 tax reform act began in 1982 with bill bradley and dick gephardt and bradley gephardt. steve mnuchin and gary cohn are not dick dashon and jim baker. these people think they're going to do it on the fly, on the run?
they're absolutely delusional. >> woodruff: so both of you were saying -- >> dan rostankowski, don packwood. >> it's not going to pass. punish people in the blue states and get rid of state and local deduction, there are a lot of political mind fields. the question, does it completely die or do they fall to a limited tax cut just so they can say they passed something? i suspect they will try to fall back to something plausible, maybe just the corporate rates. i don't know what else. but they'll try to fall back to a simple, smaller tax cut. >> woodruff: i want to turn us quickly at the end to robert mueller's russia investigation. they turned out some indictments this week and not entirely prizing, paul manafort the former trump campaign managers, his associate rick gates and an
interesting plea deal with a younger almost unknown person on the trump campaign. was this a significant move coming from the special council or how do you see this? >> i think it was significant. this is a man the subject of excrete vetting, paul manafort, donald trump applies to everybody, he's only going to get the best and chose him to be the chairman of his presidential campaign. so that gives you the idea of the extreme vetting that went on. i think they are grave and serious charges, but the key to this whole indictment was the papadopoulos indictment. nobody in washington and rumored -- maybe david has better rumors than i do -- nobody ever mentioned this arrest or plea, it came as a big surprise, and now, as you can imagine, the nervousness inside for the past two and a half months, this is somebody who's already pleaded and may very
well have been in conversation. so i think it's -- you can see it from the president. he keeps talking about which hunts are going to get rid of jeff sessions. there is a nervousness and anxiety that's pandemic. >> how do you read it? all the neighbors went to defcon 9. i went to 2 or 3. manafort being a sleazy operator is not headline news. the papadopoulos is the open door and what's on the other side we don't know. maybe it leads to something, maybe it doesn't he was not a major player. to me the question to ask is what did donald trump do. there something that donald trump did something himself? that is an administration-changing event, but we haven't gotten anywhere near that so far. >> woodruff: we don't know the answer to that question. >> no. >> woodruff: david brooks, mark shields. >> what did the president know and not know and
when? >> woodruff: thank you both. >> woodruff: most of us would agree, to make love last takes work, patience and forgiveness. tonight, writer dani shapiro offers her humble opinion, about keeping the flame alive. >> it was with great trepidation that i set out to write a memoir about my marriage. we talk in our culture about marriage in either terms of romantic perfection-- what does happily ever after even mean?-- or in the blistering, miserable terms of bitter divorce. but what i wanted to explore was the beauty, along with the troubles, of duration. my husband is a former war correspondent. he is well-acquainted with, and even a seeker of, risk. i'm a homebody, happiest when everyone i love is together under the same roof. when we met, he had just returned from somalia and had planned to continue to work in war zones.
but i wasn't cut out for that life, and so he made the choice to stay home. a choice that profoundly altered his path. in these 20 years together, we've become the people we are, in part, because of each other. what does it take to walk alongside another human being over time? how do we form ourselves and against another person who may, or rather, will, grow at a different rate, and in different ways? in any long marriage, no matter how "happy," there is disappointment, anxiety, disturbance, amidst the intimacy and love. while i was writing "hourglass my 93-year-old aunt, one of the wisest people i know, called one afternoon. and as we were chatting, she asked me how my husband was doing." how are his spirits?" she inquired. it was a rough moment for him professionally, and her gentle question made me cry. my aunt paused.
and then she said, "i remember a particularly difficult 23-year period." and i thought-- what? 23 years? she went on to say that, on the other side of those years was incredible bounty. even though a difficult period lasting decades is daunting, to say the least, i also understood that i was on the receiving end of a great piece of wisdom-- the kind that perhaps can only come from having living for most of a century. we never know what's around the corner. so often we succumb to our own terror and we flee, either by actually leaving, or just simply shutting down. there is something exquisite in sharing life in all its complexity, a common language made between two people who have grown together, apart, together, apart. a dance over time. someone has raised a hand and
asked, "why did you write it?" after all, revealing the truth of one's marriage is essentially taboo. but shining a light on something only strengthens it. a long marriage creates its own stakes with every passing year, and those stakes are worthy of examination. i wanted to take a close and careful look at an enduring love. about. >> woodruff: a lot to think about. on the newshour online right now: the darker days of fall set the mood for some mystery. we asked hugh fraser, an actor in "agatha christie's poirot," and a crime novelist himself, for five of his favorites. you can find his recommendations on our website, www.pbs.org/newshour. tomorrow on pbs newshour weekend: trapped with her family in war-torn allepo, a seven-year-old girl uses twitter to send messages to the world.
and we'll be back, right here, on monday, with a look at president trump's trip through asia. that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. have a great weekend. thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language. >> bnsf railway. >> collette. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> 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 >> you're watching pbs.
newsroom. i'm thuy vu. coming up on our program, this week's key political developments from special counsel bob mueller's indictments to the gop tax reform proposal. also, as puerto rico continues to struggle torecover from hurricane maria, we'll talk to two california nurses who traveled there recently to provide aid. but first, a look at the investigation alleged russian interference in the 2016 election. this week, executives testified before congress about the role their companies played in allowing russian misinformation to spread in the run-up to the presidential election. the questions revolved around how russian operatives were able to pose as americans and spread content through facebook, twitter and google onnish