tv PBS News Hour PBS October 22, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: what's being called a "damning account." the top u.s. diplomat in ukraine testifies behind closed doors that president trump directly tied military aid to personal political gains. then, shifting alliances. russia and turkey announce a deal to take jnt control of a vast swath in northern syria, following the withdrawal of u.s. troops in the region. and, a conversation with 2020 democratic presidential hopeful senator kamala harris, as she campaigns in iowa ahead of the first in the nation caucuses. plus, one on one. our amna nawaz speaks with
former secretary of homeland security kirstjen nielsen about her controversial tenure enrcing the administration's immigration policy. and then finally, "rethinking college." the airline industry is booming, but the cockpits are empty. how community colleges are tackling an unprecedented pilot shortage, by prepang students to take flight. >> it's very competitive, and there's only so many. and so, as this shortage increases, the pool gets smaller and smaller, and you can imagine it's going to be more enticement, more bonuses. all the airlines want to grow. >> woodruff: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshou >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> consumer cellular offers no-contract wireless plans thatp are designed to help you do more
of the things you enjoy. whether you're a talker, texter, browser, photographer, or a bit of everything, our u.s.-based customer service team is here to find a plan that fits you. to learn more, go to consumercellular.tv >> bnsf railway. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributionso your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the congressional impeachment inquiry now has critical new evidence tying president trump to possible abuse of power. it came today from the man ukraine.the u.s. embasn white house correspondent yamiche alcindor begins our coverage. >> alcindor: a new day. a new startling witness in the
growing impeachment inquiry. this time, it was ting ambassador to ukraine, bill taylor. taylor delivered a 15-page opening statement that stunned the room. taylor said gordon sondland, the u.s. ambassador to the european union, had been told by president trump "that he was n asking for a 'quid pro quo.'" "but president trump did insist that president zelenksy go to a microphone and say he opening investigations of biden and 2016 election interference." freshman democrat andy levin of michigan called taylor's testimony "disturbing." >> all i have to say is that, in my 10 short months in congress-- it's not even noon, right? and this is my most disturbing day in congress. >> alcindor: taylor had been ambassador to ukraine a decade ago. he agreed to fill in again in june, after ambassador marie yovanovitch was abruptly removed. in text messages to gordon sondland, the u.s. ambassador to the european union, taylor voiced his concerns.
he called it "crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign." sondland then replied, "the president has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo's of any kind," and, "i suggest we stop the back and forth by text." today, house democrats said those messages, and taylor's deposition, are central to their impeachment inquiry. meanwhile, there was bipartisan backlash to president trump comparing impeachment to lynching. early today, the president tweeted that, "all republicans must remember what they are witnessing here-- a lynching." the blowback came quickly. house majority whip jim clyburn: >> well, i think the president classifying a constitutional remedy to an unlawful, egregious act such as lynching is beneath the dignity of the office of the president of the united states. >> alcindor: tim scott, the only black republican in the senate, also spoke out.
>> there is no question that the impeachment process is the clost thinof a political death row trial, so i get his absolute rejection of the process. i wouldn't use the word "lynching." >> alcindor: g.o.p. leaders like house minority leader kevin mccarthy and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell distanced themselves from the president's language. >> given the history in our country, i would not compare this to a lynching. >> alcindor: but south carolina senator lindsey graham, a close ally of president trump, defended him.>> this is a lynchy sense. this is un-american. >> alcindor: and, white house deputy press secretary hogan gidley said this: >> he's not comparing himself to those dark times. whether you're white, black, brown, red-- it doesn't matter. his polici have lifted all thes boats in this cotry, and that is the story. >> alcindor: all this comes as new reports suggest russian president vladimir putin and hungary's far-right leader victor orb negatively influenced president trump's view of ukraine.
both countries view ukraine as hostile to their own interests. >> woodruff: and yamiche joins me now, even as this story continues to develop. so yamiche, it's pretty clear that ambassador taylor, what he had to say startled lawmakers in what he had to say about the administration in exchange for information about what happened in 2016 and going forward about joe biden that the ambassador was saying the administration clearly withheld military aid. at he had to say today?arn about >> bill taylor is a top u.s. diplomat in ukraine. he came to capitol hill and delivered stunning testimony. i spoke to several people who were in the room, and they told me that there were audible gasps and people were really sighing and really surprised by the fact that bill taylor was laying out what he believes was a pressure
campaign by president trump and his personal attorney rudy giuliani to really pressure ukraine to investigate democrats for his own political gain. i want to walk threw some of that 15-page opening statement, because it was stunning, even as bill taylor spoke for hours. some of the things he said is ambassador sondland, the e.u. ambassador, the ambassador to the european unio said he had talked to president zelensky and a top aide to president zelensky and told them that although there was not a quidam, -- quid pro quo, if president zelensky did not clear things up in public, we would be at a stalemate. i understood stalemate to mean ukraine would not receive much-needed military assistance. everything was dependent upon such an announcement, including security assistance some you saw bill taylor rely walking lawmakers through what he felt was a pressure campaign to get ukraine to do things to benefit president trump politically, and it's also stuning to put in that statement that bill taylor said he pushed back on ambassador gordon sondland and said, you
know, why is president trump doing this? it seems crazy, and gordon sondland told him, well, president trump is a businessman, and he feels as though he needs to get what's owed to himbefore he signs, and bill taylor essentially said, well, president trump isn't really owed anything from ukraine. and gordon sondland basically doubled down and said the president needed to get what he wanted to get before this military aid would go to ukraine. >> woodruff: yamiche, given, that how does what ambassador taylor had to say, how does this fit into the overall impeachment inquiry at this point? >> democrats say that bill taylor is now a central part of the impeachment inquiry. they say his testimony is really evidence that president trump was engaged in this quid pro quo. now, a number of lawmakers came out praising bill taylor for his words. i want to also explain that bill taylor talked specifically about the president's personal attorney rudy giuliani. here's what he said. he said his involvement, "shows how the official foreign policy of the united states was
"undercut by the irregular efforts led by mr. julian giuli" so he's saying mr. "g.q.'s" personal work was entertained and was troubling to him. that doetails with what all the other people have been saying to lawmakers that have come to capitol hill. the former ambassador to ukraine that was removed said the same thing, and that's what we're seeing is a clearer and clearer picture of the fact that rudy giuliani was doing the president's bidding, but tere are lawmakers that say this is just the beginning of this and that bill taylor will be possibly leading to gordon sondland, the ambassador to the european union, being called back to congress. they're also saying his testimony might accelerate th impeachment inquiry. so we'll have to really see how these developments continue as bill taylor might just be the beginning of other people being called back to congress. >> woodruff: and separately,a mogadishu, you -- separately, yamiche, you heard the president comparing this inquiry to a
lynching. i know you have been talking to the white house. how does this -- what does this say about how they view this impeachment inquiry and how they're dealing with it? >> president trump understands what a limping is, and he rally was trying the use the stronst language that he fell possibl to explain the facat he feels as though he's being wronged by this impeachment inquiry. the white house is saying he did not mean to compare himself to the mass murder of african-americans, which is what lynching refers to, but that said, there ray will the of people, including members of the president's own party, who are up in arms with his use of the language of lynching. we should explain to people that lynching is something that happened between 1882 and 1958 according to the naacp, and about 4,700 americans were lynched, the vast majority of them were african-americans. so there are people who are still alive whose family members were lynched and killed just because they were african american some this is painful history president trump was talking about that. being said, there are democrats
who arreally saying this is more othe same from esiden trump, that he's been someone who has been using they consider racist language and other things that have really been making race relations in this country harder and harder and the divisions deeper. but there are republicans who say the president should feel wronged because they feel as though the impeachment inquiry is unfair. >> woodruff: interesting to hear the different reangsts from the two republican u.s. senators from south carolina, tim scott and ken graham, to the president's comments. yamiche alcindor reporting for us from the the capitol today. thank you, yamiche. >> thanks so much. >> woodruff: the cease-fire between turkey and syrian kurds expired earlier today, but was quickly replaced by a new agreement, brokered by vladimir putin, not the united states. now, the fragile truce will
continue, and as nick schifrin reports, it raises the question, where does the leave the u.s. and their kurdish partners? >> schifrin: with cameras flashing, syria's top two powerbrokers met to discuss, and divide, northeast syria. in the russian resort of sochi, turkish president recep tayyip erdogan sat down with his host, russian president vladimir putin. after a six-hour meeting, erdogan said turkey, russia, and the syrian regime together would evict kurdish fighters known as the y.p.g. >> ( translated ): y.p.g. terrorists and their arms will be taken farther than 30 k.m. from the border. their fortifications and positions will be destroyed. turkish and russian joint patrol will begin. >> schifrin: that is not what the u.s. expected. last week, u.s. and turkey negotiated a buffer zone, 18 miles deep and 75 miles wide, where turkish forces, in blue, entered, and kurdish forces retreated. and this is the area turkey and russia agreed to: the syrian- turkish border all the way to
iraq, and the strategically- important towns of manbij and tal rifat in the west-- an expanse of more than 300 miles across. and after six da, the turks and russians promise joint patrols, indefinitely, within six miles of the border. russian forces have backed and saved syrian president bashar al-assad's regime. today, russian president vladimir putin called the agreement a permanent solution. >> ( translated ): in my opinion, these decisions are very important, maybe even momentous, and will allow to resolve the situation. >> schifrin: but today, russian ally assad met with his forces in idlib, the final rebel stronghold. he called the agreement an "illegal annexation." >> ( translated ): erdogan is a thief who stole the factories, stole wheat, stole oil in collaboration with isis, and now he is stealing the land. >> schifrin: the u.s. also objects. today, the administration's point man on syria, ambassador james jeffrey, told the house foreign affairs committee that the russian-turkish agreement
increased instability. >> in the process has scrambled the entire northeast, undercut our efforts against isis, and brought in the russians and the syrian regime forces in a way that is really tragic for everyone involved. >> schifrin: the administration has promised to impose new sanctions on turkey. jeffrey did not follow through on those threats, and instead called the russian military "paper tigers." >> the ability to patrol with the russians, 10 k.m. deep, and a potentially, not particularly believable russian commitment to get the y.p.g. out of that area. turkey has not really gained that much from this. >> schifrin: but it's not clear the u.s. can do anything about it. u.s. troops crossing from syria into iraq were dubbed "traitorse by kurds, who up until last week, called them partners. today, the pentagon said u.s. troops would move to iraq to fight isis. but, iraq said those troops don't have permission to stay in the country. u.s. defenseecretary mark esper promised not to keep them there forever.
>> the aim isn't to stay in iraq interminably. the aim is to pull our soldiers out and eventually get them back home. >> schifrin: today, the white house authorized $4.5 million to help the group known as the white helmets, who try to protect civilians from assasd and russian bombs. but while millions have fled syria and the regime, nearly 200,000 more civilians have now fled the turkish incursion. some escaped to iraq. others, like this group still in syria, wait to cross the border. >> ( translated ): the future is gone. we left our future. i left and came here, just so we can save these children. >> schifrin: but it's too late to save many kurdish forces who fought against isis, and were killed by turkish-backed troops. in total, more than 700 have been killed. >> woodruff: and nick joins me now here, and with us from northern iraq, special correspondent jane ferguson, on assignment there near the syrian-iraqi border. so, jane, tell us, you have been talking to people there. how are people who live in that
area affected by all these changes? >> as we heard there, judy, from nick's piece, up to 200,000 people have already fled that area, and what we're likely to see going forward is a great deal more people fleeing. there is huge uncertainty. now, if this deal does bring an end to the fighting, that's only one facet for kurds living in that area. they will be very afraid of the prospe of seeing thin arces acre border, although it won't be as deep across the border as erdogan initially wanted, the full 20 miles. those six miles are still host to many kurdish families. it's still part of the kurdish heartland. so we're likely to see me people fleeing, both within syria, being internally displaced, but also across the border here in iraq. we've seen families arriving every day. and they're not just fleeing the fighting. they're fleeing the prospect of a potential turkish occupation
of their homeland. >> woodruff: and, nick, what do these changes mean for the united states, the things that the u.s. has focused on, including those isis prisoners who were being held by kurdish fight centers. >> 10,000 isis prisoners according to the u.s. are being held by kurdish fighters. for the first time today we saw a senior u.s. official, jim jeffrey, who we saw in that piece, admit that dozens, not hundreds, dozens of isis fight verse been released. the syrian observatory who tracks pretty much everything that happens in syria says that 8400 isis -- 800 isis family members have already been released. jeffrey admitted that the u.s. has no way the track any of the isis fighters that have been released. he expressed confidence that the kurds who are still guarding these prisons would still continue to do so, but he said that some of the prisons are inside the new turkish-russian safe zone. he said he did not know what was going to happen to those prisoners. it's a good remind their isis remains a threat. the pentagon itself, the inspector general a few months
ago said there were 18,000 isis members across syria and iraq and in syria still establishing resurgent cells basically trying to become an insurgency again. >> woodruff: and separately from this, jane, back to that news conference today with turk ey's president erdogan and vladimir putin of russia, you were listening to that along with us. you were telling us you were hearing some of the finer points that were being made. what were you focused on? >> what was interesting, judy, wasn't just what was said but what wasn't said. erdogan has had extremely strong language in recent days talking about cracking skulls of the terrorists, but what we heard today was this push to get wpg or the kurdish fighters out of the 20-mile buffer zone. he was very specific about saying fighters. now, he wasn't specifically saying kurdish civilians. that's likely in response to a huge aim of concern and global concern and fear over ethnic cleansing of those areas, over a
potential plan by erdogan to de-kurdish the area, so to speak, because in the background, you know, the context to all of this and this buffer zone and pushing these kurdish fighters out is erdogan's plan that he talked about openly to resettle several million syrian refugees, most of whom are arabs in those areas, in what is the kurdish heartland. so that has caused massive concern about whether or not that would clarify or qualify as ethnic cleansing. now, by saying that they want the kurdish fighters out, they haven't really clarified what would happen to their families, the communities that they come from that live in those areas. they have not talked about having any kind of peace deal or any kind of deal for the kurdish fighters to put down their weapons. instead they have said they just want them to leave that entire area. where that leaves the many, many other kurdish families and civilians who are related to these fighters is not clear at this stage, and there's still a
concern that there could be a huge ethnic shift in that area as a result of the organization of this deal and how it pans out in the coming months. 123450 and it's so important, nick, because as jane is saying, the turks are saying, we're only concerned about the kurdish fighters, but some are interpreting that as they're being opposed to all people of kurdish heritage. buttic nick, what i finally want to ask you about is how the map has changed. the u.s. believed it had an understanding with turkey about how far turkey was going to go into northern syria. now it appears the turks may be going further. what is the u.s. reaction going to be? >> the russian-turker safe zone is four times the size of the u.s.-turkish safe zone. today kurdish fighters and kurdish leaders said the turks were attacking themutside the agreed-upon u.s.-turkish safe zone. so both of those are abrogations of the deal that vice president
mike pence, secretary of state mike pompeo agreed with president erdogan in ankara. if u.s. has vowed to sanction turkey. this morning, a few hours before jim jeffreys testified, a senior administration official reiterated that to me and a few other. >> reporters said if the tuviolatthe agreement, we long very a agreement to lift our sanctions. u.s. threat was made before the russia-turkey deal was announced, and we will see if the u.s. follows that up. meanwhile, on the ground, assad has more control over territory today. the turkish gains have been cemented. of course, russia has more influence diplomatically and it's not clear the u.s. can do anything about it. >> woodruff: although they will say we've had this understanding, it's not clear, as you say, where they go. >> it's up to the u.s. to follow through on this threat to punish turkey. >> woodruff: it's not only russia winning here diplomatically, if you will,
it's the russian military. jane, they're along the border between syria and iraq. you were telling us as soon as the u.s. troops leave, it's the russian troops coming in. >> it's been a remarkable turnaround, judy. in just about a couple of weeks since we have seen the announcement from president trump that the u.s. troops would be pulling out to now seeing russian troops not just vladimir putin negotiating this deal in sochi, but, yes, russian troops will soon be patrolling the entire border area up and down all the way here to the iraqi border, and it's been a massive turnaround. it can't be stressed enough how much of a reversal that is. we've of course seen images of russian troops entering into hastily evacuated american bases along that border. and now we'll see russian boots along the ground along the entire stretch of it. it reay solidifies that military presence along an extremely strategically important area of the middle east that cuts between iraq and
lebanon, and we'll see russian boots on the ground there potentially indefinitely. there's been no mention of when they would leave if ever. >> woodruff: jane ferguson reporting from the iraqi side of the iraq-syria border. nick schifrin here with me in washington. thank you both. >> thanks very much. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, protesters in lebanon were out in force again, rejecting a promise of economic reforms. security forces in beirut and elsewhere tried to persuade demonstrators to clear the roads, but thousands still turned out, demanding the government resign. >> ( translated we are staying in the streets. this is the sixth day, and we will stay for 60 if they don't want to leave. the people do not trust this political class. we don't believe them anymore, because today, they say something, and tomorrow they change. >> woodruff: embattled prime minister saad al-hariri met with western and arab ambassadors
today, seeking foreign investment to help lebanon's economy. n afghanistan, taliban fighters stormed a checkpoint in the north, killing at least 15 policemen. the attackers struck in the ali abad district of kunduz province late last night and set off an hours-long gun battle. government and taliban forces have been fighting in the surrounding region for several weeks. lawmakers in britain vot today to back a brexit plan-- in principle-- for the first time. but, they demanded more time to consider the enabling legislation. britain has already asked to again delay leaving the european union past october 31. european council head donald tusk said today that he supports the delay. voters in canada have handed prime minister justin trudeau a second term in office, but they've taken away his majority in parliament.
trudeau won monday's national election, despite an ethics scandal and revelations that he had worn black-face years ago. as the counting confirmed his victory, he and his wife greeted a cheering crowd in montreal last night. >> to those who voted for our party, thank you for putting your trust iour team. thank you for having faith in us to move this country in the right direction. and to those-- and to those who did not vote for us, know that we will work every single day for you. >> woodruff: trudeau's ruling liberal party will need support from at least one other party to form a majority coalition in parliament. the new emperor of japan formally announced his reign today. naruhito proclaimed his ascension as the country's 126th monarch during an elaborate ceremony, complete with traditional rituals and costumes. the 59-year-old inherited the throne in may, after his father
abdicated. back in this country, the trump white house is bracing for a new book expected to offer a scathing insider's view of his presidency. it comes from the same anonymous official who wrote an essay last year, and said many in the administration were actively blocking the president's orders. the new book will be out next month. former president jimmy carter has been hospitalized in georgia after falling at home last night and fracturing his pelvis.fr spokeswoman said the injury is minor, and mr. carter is in good spirits. at 95, he is the oldest former u.s. president, ever american consumers will have more choice under obamacare next year. the trump administration says that 20 additional health insurance companies will participate in the affordable care act. at the same time, the administration is asking a federal appeals court to rule that the entire law is unconstitutional. on wall street today, the
dow jones industrial average lost 39 points to close at 26,788. the nasdaq fell 58 points, and the s&p 500 slipped 10. and, t u.s. stvice announced a new stamp today honoring our late newshour colleague gwen ifill will appear on a commemorative "forever" stamp. it's to honor her trailblazing, decades-long career in print and broadcast journalism. the stamp will be available next year, as part of a "black heritage" series. gwen died in 2016, of complicaons from cancer. still to come on the newour: a conversation with 2020 democratic hopeful senator kamala harris of california. former homeland security head kirstjen nielsen, on her controversial tenure at the top of the department. and, learning to fly at community college-- students take on the pilot shortage.
>> woodruff: with justr 100 days from the first votes being cast in the 2020 democratic presidential primary, 18 candidates are competing for their party's nomination. one of them, california senator kamala harris, joins us now from iowa city, iowa. senator harris, welcome to the newshour. and i am gng to start with a question we've -- >> thank you. good to be with you, judy? >> woodruff: good to be with you. i'm gog the start with a question i've posed to every other democratic hopeful we've interviewed, and this is why you. what do you say to voters who want to know why you are most qualified to be the next president? >> well, i think there is no question that justice is on the ballot in 2020. anneand justice is on ballot whe talk about healthcare justice,
reproductive freedom justice, economic justice, criminal justice, you know, just disin terms of equal pay for women. all of these things are on the wall lot, incruding the fact that we have probably the most corrupt and unpatriotic person that has ever occupthe white house. and i have a career and a background and a history of working on each of these issues and fighting in the name of the people. when i stand in a courtroom, when i sta befowh the ute states senate and when i stand before the people of iowa city, where i am right now, it has always been for the people and understanding that a harm against any one of us is a harm against all of us, and also fighting for the people with the spirit and the understanding that it's all the people regardless of race or gender or the party with which they're registered to vote or the language their grandmother speaks. >> woodruff: so much to ask you, senator, but let's start with something you mentioned. s that's healthcare. >> yes. >> woodruff: you were an original support of senator bernie sanders' medicare for
all. during the course of the campaign so far, there have been some exchange with you about whether you thawing that that should or shouldn't include private insurance, but in the end, in the summer, you came out with plan you're calling medicare for all, but it would keep private health insurance. i want to say that senator sanders' campaign is saying this is not really medicare for all. they say you have folded to the interests of the health insurance industry. >> well, they're wrong. i have always supported medicare for all. i was very happy to sign onher withny's bill. i give bernie frankly aclt of credit for moving the conversation to where it is now, but i thought we could do better. in particular i traveled the country, and there are lots of folks out there who want medicare for all. they want to know everyone is covered, that we bring costs down, that preexisting conditions will not be a ban to access to healthcare. but people don't want us to take away their choice. and similar to medicare right
now, the current form of medicare. people have the choice to get private plans in addition to the public plans that are available. so what i am proposing is medicare for all. and in my plan, as distinguished from bernie and warren's plan, yes, people do have a choice of getting a private or a public plan. but it is going to cover everyone. it's going to bring down costs, and i should also mention, i'm not going to increase taxes on the middle class families. >> woodruff: let me ask you about that, because joe biden's campaign has take an look at your proposal and what they are saying about it is that it pushes this meicare for all ten years into the future, and they say it is going to create a large, a huge tax increase on the middle class. >> they're wrong. they're wrong. first of all, even kathleen sebelius, the architect of the affordable care act, said my plan is the most effective in getting coverage for everyone. i give a ten-year window, yeah,
because in particular our friends in organized labor said, hey, kamala, we negotiated down our wages or we didn't take an increase in wages so we could have a better healthcare plan, and those are usually negotiated over a four or fife-year basis. the medicare for all plan offered by some others on the stage would do a four-year transition, which would not be enough for folks in labor to be able to renegotiate. so i said, okay, let's do ours at ten years, but the fact remains that in our plan, over, half the population will be in the plan within the first five years, but we do gie a longer span of time for those who need to renegotiate such as folks in organized labor. but the reality is right now, judy, 30 mill wherein people don't have access to affordable healthcare. and doing nothing is absolutely not an option. >> woodruff: let me ask you about a story that is one of our headlis tonight, and that's what's going on in syria. you know with president trump deciding to pull u.s. troops out of northern syria. the turks have come across the border. i know you have been critical of
the president's decision, but my question to you is what would you do differently. once the leader of turkey says we're coming across the border. what do you do? >> okay. well, first of all, i'm the only person on the debate stage who serves in the senate intelligence committee, and i am also on the senate homeland security committee. ly tell you that there is no question in my mind, and i think most would agree, that donald trump taking this unilateral action based on appartly a phone call has now delivered four wins for russia, iran, syria, and isis. and he has put our national security at risk bad on his unilateral action. what would we do going forward? listen, each day it changes, because he has basically played into the hands of the russian, who are now dictating what turkey will do in terms of the kurds at the border.
and i frankly believe that there is, yes. >> woodruff: what would you have done differently? once you had that conversation with the president of turkey, president erdogan, we're going across the border, do you get into a war with the turks? >> well, i think that we have to understand there are many interpretations of that conversation. but there is nothing that was a changed circumstance. if the united states of america and the commander-in-chief of the united states of america says we are not going to abandon the kurds, who stood with us, fought with us. because let's remember, that was a counter-terrorism mission. that was not a humanitarian mission. we have been in syria because of isis and the threat that isis poses to our national security. and the kurds stood with us, and by the ten ts of thousands by se estimates died in battle in a battle with us fighting isis. so in that conversation, to your point, judy, there had to have been, there should have been
from the commander-in-chief of the united states some backbone to say we're not going to abandon our friends. we're not going to stand become and let this border be opened up so you can massacre the people who stood with us. >> woodruff: i don't want to be too -- >> yes, i absolutely would have handled that conversation differently. >> woodruff: i don't want to be too speculative, but your point is that you would never have taken u.s. troops out. you would have left them there? >> no, no, no, that's not whath i'm saying. we need to end these endless wars. we need to bring our troops back, but we have to do it in a responsible way. and certainly not because erdogan has said, i want to get in there and claim that territory. certainly not because putin knows that it is in his best interests and it's always been part of his long-term plan the increase his reach into the middle east. and this is the problem with the way that donald trump conducts foreign policy. it is transactional based on a fen call instead of
understanding that there are long-term, not the mention short-term consequences for every action not to mention every word he speaks. >> woodruff: i just want to cover a couple of other things while we have you, senator, and that is the impeachment process. do you agree with the approach by the house of representatives to focus narrowly now on the president's dealings with ukraine, the leader of ukraine, or should this be a broader inquiry? >> i'm not going to second guess what they're doing, but i do believe that, again, as i said, justice is very much on the ballot, and there has still not been any real consequence or accountability as it relates to the findings inathe mueller report. we all know that bob mueller and that report were very clear tht but for a memo in the department of justice saying that a sitting president can't be indicted that donald trump would have probably been indicted. but i think that it is right
also for the inquiry to focus on the matter at hand, which is that there was clearly and we know that from the testimony we're hearing about today, there was clearly quid pro quo, and the president of the united states committed a crime it appears, even by his own confession, when it comes to soliciting assistance from a foreign government in a way that would benefit his campaign and benefit him personally and politically. >> woodruff: a matter of a few second, concern about whether this impeachment inquiry interferes with the 2020 contest among democrats, that its attention away from what your message is? >> i think we can walk and chew gum at the same time. i'm here in iowa city. the concerns that ple have when i'm doing the town halls and the meetings many living living rooms that i'm doing are varied. people are concerned about whether their democracy is being undone by donald trump.
they are worried about whether the system of justice still has any integrity. does the rule of law matter? and they are concerned about the fact that almost half of american families can't afford a $400 unexpected expense or a $500 medical bill will bankrupt them. these coexist as priorities. and i think we need to be able to never underestimate the intelligence of the american people to be concerned about the integrity of their government and that concern is borne out of a love of country. they want to know government works for them in giving them medical care, giving their perior public education,not a certainly than what they're getting. and a number of other issues. >> woodruff: senator kamala harris joining us tonight from iowa city, iowa. thank you, senator. >> thank you, judy. i appreciate it. thank you.
>> woodruff: the trump administration's policies on separation of families, migrt children, border security and immigration have been some of the most controversial and criticized policies throughout the president's tenure. former homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen was known for specifically executing and defending those policies when she headed the depament between december 2017 and april of this year. in a rare interview, she sat down this afternoon with amna nawaz at the fortune "most powerful women" summit in washington. and amna joins me now. >> hi, judy. >> woodruff: you had a chance to talk to her. tell us more about the circumstances, amna, how did she happen to be at this event. we were saying this was her first interview in many months. >> it's her first since leaving in april of this year when she resigned. we haven't heard much from her. when she was head of homeland security she rarely gave
interviews. ople have to register and pay in advance to attend. it wasn't open to the public. it was hosted by fortune. it's called "women in power." her presence at the summit got a lot of outrage. basically because people said she shouldn't be give an platform in this kind of environment to talk about her policies. actually people who were booked on the panel backed out because nielsen was going to be there, including filmmaker gree hampton, singer brandy carlisle, even former secretary of state hilly clinton. she cited a scheduling conference, but a source said she didn't want the share the bill with nielsen. >> woodruff: well, there is a lot of conoversy around what happened during her tenure. one thing that got the most attention was the administration's policy of separating families, especially children, at the border. you asked her about that. >> i did indeed. she had the sign off on that policy of separating children at the u.s. southern border. i asked her, knowing everything ine knows now, lookin back,
does she regret making that decision. here's what she had to tell me. >> i don't regret enforcing the law, because i took an oath to do that, as did everybody at the department of homeland security. we don't make the laws. we ask congress to change the law. congress reviewed the law in 2006, and decided to continue to make it illegal to cross in that manner. what i do wish had worked a lot better, is that the coordination and information flow were simply insufficient for thampnumber of people coming. family felt at any time that they had to cross the border illegally. this is this terrible, dangerous journey. it's terrible. so what i regret is that we haven't solved it, and what i regret is that that information flow andrdinatn to quickly reunite the families was clearly not in place. and that's why the practice was stopped through an executive order. >> it's somewhat remarkable to hear her say she does not regret the decision. it's easily one of the most
controversial policies. she stuck close to the same talking points she had back when she was running the agency. all they were doing was enforcing the law. we have to continue to point out there, is no federal law that mandates the separation of children from their parents at the border. we know this was done because of a department of justice policy change saying everyone had to be prosecuted, so nielsen had to sign off on those families beng separated. we also know thousands of- result. the authorities are still trying to figure out exactly how many and how to reunite them all. >> woodruff: still trying to figure out how many. >> that's right. >> woodruff: separate from all this, you have been reporting on this, are the concerns that have since been raised about the effect this separation has had. >> that's right. >> woodruff: there's been a lot of research and looking into that. and you talked to secretary nielsen about that. >> woodruff: i did. there has been a lot of scrutiny since the policy ended. a lot of people called to testify before congress about what they knew and when they knew it. we knew officials on the care and custody of those children side said, we were raising red flags. we knew this would be traumatic
for children. we didn't want them to do this. we also know people within dhs, which was nielsen's agency, so i asked her, did any of those concerns reach you about the harm to children. here's what she had to say. >> nawaz: did people ever specifically raised the concern that children would be traumatized or resulted as a result of this policy? >> not when i was-- not during that. >> nawaz: not directly to you. you never heard those concerns? >> not from staff, no. i mean, i think from a bigger-- >> nawaz: from child welfare experts? anyone outside the government? >> from the biggest-- this was nothing new, to be clear. so, from a staff perspective, i think, you know, there was this belief that to not enforce the law would encourage trafficking, would encourage children to be used as pawns. and the law enforcement officials had taken an oath, which is why the operational entities recommended that we choose to enforce the law. we never enforce it 100%. if you had two parents coming across, we chose specifically not to refer both parents to
that one parent could stay with the children. as i said, we did try to limit as much as possible in a tender age situation, but it wasn't-- it clearly wasn't working. so we stopped it during an executive order. and we have been hopeful that congress will look at this and really take very seriously what is the best way to do this. i mean, the debate-- the debate is very false. >> judy, we know now contrary to what nielsen was saying, tender age children were never separated, dozens of children under the age of five were separated. we know it took the administration several week after putting the policy into place before they ended it with an executive order, and there are still concerns about ongoing separation at the border. >> woodruff: amna, there was another ongoing discussion about whether this was a new policy or not. i think while she was in office, she said there was no policy. >> woodruff: that's right. >> what did she have to say today? >> that's been the line of the administration. this was in the a new policy. we have to continue to remind
people around the facts. this was a policy enacted by this administration. it wasn't done by previous administrations in this way. they made prosecution law, which made them change the separation law. it's a semantic argument they have been making. it's in the a official policy, but it was definitely a new practice. >> woodruff: finally, amna, did you ask her about why she left? she was, what, in the administration 16 months? it was tumultuous. what did she say? >> there was a long history of reports about tension between secretary nielsen and president trump, him wanting her to go further to stop the large numbers of people that we saw coming across the southern border and her willing unwilling to do that. we know that he tweeted back in aril that he wanted to go in a tougher direction when it came ig immigration. within 72 hours she had handed in her resignation. here's what she had to say about why she left the administration. >> nawaz: what led you to resign from this administration? >> well, what led me to resign is, there were a lot of things that there were those in the
administration who thought that we should do-- and just as i spoke truth to power, from the very beginning, it became clear that saying no and refusing to do it myself was not going to be enough. so it was time for me to offer my resignation. that's what i did. >> judy, we should remind people the agency remas in a bit of turmoil. when nielsen left, kevin mcaleenan took over. he's been the acting secretary. ten days ago he announced he's resigning, as well. he has a few more days left on the job, but we still don't know who the next person will be to lead this 240,000-person agency. that will be the fifth person to fill this role in the administration. >> woodruff: no permanent choice, and we don't know who the acting next choice is. >> not yet, we do not. >> woodruff: amna nawaz, thank you very much.yo
>> woodruff: and nowto a critical issue facing the airline industry: an unprecedented pilot shortage. pilots are retiring in droves, it turns out, and not enough new pilots are being trained. boeing says the global aviation industry will need 800,00 new pilots over the next 20 years. special correspondent cat wise recently traveled to bend, oregon, to visit a community college training students. it is part of a broader effort by community colleges to better prepare students for the workforce, and the latest in our series on "rethinking college" and part of our regular segment, "making the grade." >> so today, i thinke'll work on steep turns. >> reporter: oa recent morning, student pilot beverly taylor and instructor adam mitchell headed to a small plane at the bend, oregon airport. >> parking brake set and operative. documents, check. >> reporter: as taylor went through her pre-flight checklist, and closely examined the plane, mitchell quizzed her. >> what's our nose strut called? >> it's called-- i know it-- oleo.
>> yep, air oleo. >> reporter: after nearly 70 hours in the cockpit, taylor earned her private pilot's license earlier this month, the first step on what is often a time-consuming and expensive journey to become an airline pilot. growing up, taylor never thought she'd be where she is today. >> i grew up kind of poor. like, single mother, we lived in a trailer park. and none of my family members went to college. you know, they all had kind of, no huge jobs, so i never pursued it. >> reporter: after high school, taylor spent six years in the navy. when she got out, she learned she could use the g.i. bill to pay for pilot training. she could have applied to one of the four-year aviation programs around the country, but she wanted to start her new career as quickly as possible. >> i'm 27 years old, which is not old, i know that, but i'm not fresh out of high school. i don't want to have to go through the whole bachelor's system. it's a good opportunity for me. >> reporter: taylor is six months into a two-year pilot
training program at the central oregon community college in bend. it's one of about 70 similar programs at community colleges around the country, gaining in popularity as word spreads about opportunities in the aviation industry. >> this is an unprecedented time to be interested in aviation. >> reporter: karl baldessari is the director of the program, which began 13 years ago and currently has about 200 students enrolled, learning to be airplane, helicopter and drone pilots. 70% who begin the program, complete it, and there's a waitlist to get in. graduates walk away with an associate's degree in aeronautical science and all the flight hours and certifications needed to be a commercial pilot. the price tag for airplane students? about $80,00for tuition, fees and flight time. a four-year aviation bachelor's degree can cost more than double that amount.
many of the students, like taylor, are military veterans using their g.i. benefits to launch into new careers. taylor's instructor, adam mitchell, is also a fellow vet. >> we like to showcase everyone's first solo, because it's when they are actually sort of becoming a pilot. >> reporter: the 37-year-old is a former enlisted medical specialist for the navy and marines, who completed both helicopt and fixed-wing pilot training. for the past eight months, he's been teaching to build up his flight hours. but, he's about to move on. >> i've just hit 1,000 hours. aclyi ink today's flight put me over 1,000 hours. so i just got picked up by kind of like a regional corporate airline, up in seattle. >> reporter: mitchell's quick move into the new job probably wouldn't have happened just four or five years ago. back then, new pilots would typically spend several years teaching and flying commercially before earning enough hourto become a corporate or eventually an airline pilot.
starting salaries at the regional airlines were about $25,000 a year. now, because there is a big demand for flight instruction time, recent pilot grads like mitchell are getting their required hours done a lot faster. and, baldessari says, because of the pilot shortage, the airlines are ready to snatch them up. >> today, the difference is that after about 15 to 18 months as an instructor, these airplane pilots can move directly to the airlines. the regional airlines will take them right on, and those airline salaries have, essentially, doubled. >> reporter: the pilot shortage is leading to greater competition between the airlines for new talent, and some companies are starting to recruit students when they are still in school. >> good afternoon, how you all doing? all right, super jazzed,uper jazzed, super excited to be here. >> reporter: bryan mckune is the manager of pilot development for alaska airlines. >> we're the fifth biggest airline, but we're probably the top place to work at.
>> reporter: mckune visits the central oregon community college campus, and 22 other aviation programs, twice a year, to cruit students for horizon air, alaska's regional carrier. many of the other major airlines now have similar recruiting efforts. >> just keep us informed of your hours. >> yeah, i've been doing that, getting emails about that. >> reporter: students accepted into horizon's competitive program, like military vet bryce thorton, receive a $7,500 stipend for school costs and a guaranteed job after they graduate and meet the required flying hours. >> we don't want to end up in a situation where we don't have enough pilots. it's very competitive, and there's only so many. and so, as this shortage increases, and the pool gets smaller and smaller, you can imagine it's going to be more enticement, more bonuses. all the airlines want to grow. >> reporter: how much the industry grows will depend, in part, on efforts to diversify and expand the workforce. >> i'm going to turn off the
seat belt sign at this time. >> reporter: currently just 5% to 7% of pilots in the major airlines are women. baldessari says one of the goals of his program is to improve those stats. >> i think it's impoant to actually market ourselves to women, to show them that this is absolutely a viable career path for them. it's just as important to be able to employ women faculty, instructors, you know, as mentors, as role models, as examples of exactly what you can achieve in this industry. >> reporter: there's also an effort underway to recruit future pilots while they are still in high school. the central oregon community college aviation progr recently donated a used f.a.a.- certified flight simulator to a nearby school in sisters, oregon. 35 juniors and seniors are enrolled in a unique program teaching them to become pilots, before some even have their driver's license. sheryl yeager is the school's flight science instructor. >> the fact that we can hook them in high school, and then
funnel them into c.o.c.c., which is kind of the plan, it's a career waiting to happen. and it's a really good career. >> reporter: back at the bend airport, student beverly taylor is perfecting her takeoffs and landings. after she completes her training next yr, she plans to keep her options open, but she wouldn't mind becoming a test pilot for nasa one day. for the pbs newshour, i'm cat wise in bend, oregon. >> woodruff: and on the newshour online, conventional wisdom has long held that organic products are healthier for you and better for the environment. but, a new study challenges that assumption, predicting that more organic farming could actually lead to higher greenhouse s emissions. we considethe implications of these findings on our website,
www.pbs.org/newshour. we'll be watching that. and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again right here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and we'll seyosoon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> consumer cellular. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals.
. hello, everyone. welcome to "amanpour and company." this week we're dipping into the archives and looking back at some of our favorite interviews of the yr. here's what's coming up. the intellectual extraordinaire whose books have sold in the millions. public figure malcolm gladwell on his ideas and the need to challenge our own. ♪ it's one of leonard cohen's most iconic songs but who was marianne? exploring the troubled relationship between the musician and his muse. plus the midwestern pioneers who helped shape the ideals