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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  October 23, 2019 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. mounting evidence, a clearer picture emerges of president trump withholding military aid to ukraine for political favors. then, the social network under fire. facebook ceo mark zuckerberg faces lawmakers' ire over his defense of false political advertisements. plus, actor and activist george takei on his new graphic memoir about his family's internment during world war ii, and disturbing similarities he sees at the southern border. >> i hope that young peoe ar getting this information and they grow up with it, so by the
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time they are adults, they are a better breed of americans, aware of the history of this country. judy: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ >> major funding for the "s newshour" has been provided by -- ♪ >> moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that can access. >> consumer cellular.
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>> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems. school foundation. >> committed to improving lives through invention in the u.s. and developing countries. supported by the john d and catherine t macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions. this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. judy: a day of spectacle in the
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impeachment inquiry. trompe l'oeil republicans stormed a congressional session with investigators and forced it to a standstill. that came after today's testimony shed ctical new light on the president's actions toward ukraine. white house correspondent yamiche alcindor begins our coverage. >> we demand open proceedings. yamiche: on capitol hill, more than 30 house republicans disrupted a closed door deposition. they staged a sort of sitting in the highly secured room. they demanded that impeachment inquiry hearings be open to the public. >> we have secret hearings that are going on that we as the elected members of the united states congress are not privy to. that is simply not fair. yamiche: the scheduled witness was laura cooper, who oversees ukraine polhoy at the pentagon. she was expected to discuss the
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military aid for ukraine that president trump temporarily blocked. but republica brought cell phones into the facility where phones are not allowed. one democrat in the room called it a stunt. >> an effort to delay the inevitable. they obstructed the hearing. there was an effort to intimidate a witness. >> we can't even review the transcripts. yamiche: it was the latest escalation in a war of words over process. only members of the intelligence, foreign affairs, and oversight committees have heard the interviews and seen the transcripts. democrats say it is not unusual to hold sensitive investigations behind closed doors. congresswoman val demings of florida. >> i guess when you are desperate you go back to complaining about the process. yamiche: democrats sent a new letter to the state department
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demanding emails related to the call between president trump and ukrainian president zelensky. they also want any electronic communications between witnesses in the inquiry, plus diplomatic cables related to freezing militaryta aid and memos on efforts to have ukraine open investigations that would politically benefit trump. all this after the testimony of acting ukraine ambassador bill taylor. he told lawmakers that president trump withheld the military aid to make ukraine investigate joe biden and his son. house investigators planned to hear from other witnesses tomorrow and friday, but those plans wille delayed for memorial events for the late congressman elijah cummings. judy: yamiche, tell us more about this storming of what was supposed to be a closed briefing, a closed interrogation, and how are the other democrats and republicans reacting? yamiche: democrats say this was
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a political stunt by republicans who are angry about the process and who only want to focus on the process because they don't want to answer questions about trump's actions. republicans have a completely different view. they say this is about democrats having a lack of transparency. they say they are not really allowing all members of congress to partake in the impeachment inquiry and that is wrong. tonight republicans are celebrating this. they think it was a great thing that they upended this deposition and had this pentagon official waiting for hours. they say this is proving a point that republicans need to continue to speak out. democrats are really up in arms, saying that republicans violated critical rules of the house. the house parliamentarian ruled that the republicans who upended this testimony were in violation of the house
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deposition rules. representative thompson, the chair of the homeland security committee, sent a letter to the house sergeant of arms, basically saying the house sergeant of arms needs to take action against these republicans. house democrats are pointing to words by former congressman trey gowdy, who once said that depositions behind closed doors is a good thing to do because it gets more information out there. trey gowdy also once said that rules should be followed and there should be no exceptions made. democrats also pointing to those words. judy: a completely separate thing happened today. two of president trump's attorney, rudy giuliani, two of his associates were in court today, accused of illegal campaign contributions. they are pleading not guilty, but one spoke about some of the evidence covered by executive privilege.
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that refers to the president. what is the white house saying? yamiche: this could be really problematic for president trump, when you have an assiate of rudy giuliani bringing up executive privilege as it relates to a campaign violation case. the lawyer for lev parnas said that his client never worked for president trump, but that he did work for rudy giuliani, and as a result, there could be executive privilege is there. the attorney also said that this is being brought up beef because -- because a former attorney said he should be talking about executive privilege. rudy giuliani has emerged as a central figure in this impeachment inquiry. rudy giuliani's work could be very much connected to president
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trump and that could mean he's connected to these associates. hewe will have to see how the white house responds. it is something that we are going to have to watch. judy: another separate thing today, this was in a federal appeals court and this has to do with the lawsuit against president trump to force him to turn over his tax returns. in the course of this proceeding, the president's lawyer talked about the immunity the president enjoys against any criminal prosecution. any sort of criminal accusation. so, what is our understanding of what this is all about? what are the implications? yamiche: this case is involving a subpoena for president trump's financial records. they are seeking them as part of an investigation into hush money payments possibly paid to stormy daniels and other women who
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allegedly had affairs with president trump. the lawyer saying the president has temporary immunity because he's president of the united states. all is happening as the president's words are coming back. let's listen to what the president had to say when he was then kennedy trump. >> you know what else they say about my people? they say i have the most loyal people. i could stand in the middle of 5th avenue and shoot somebody and i wouldn't lose any voters. it is incredible. yamiche: those comments are critically important to this case. the judge and the attorneys had a back-and-forth about this. here's what that exchange had to say. >> what is your view on the 5th avenue, local authorities couldn't investigate, couldn't do anything about it? >> i think once a president is removed from office, any local authority -- this is not a
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permanent immunity. >> i'm talking about while in office. nothing could be done? that is your position? >> that is correct. yamiche: critics of the president say this is a stunning argument to make and they sa this idea of temporary presidential immunity is not part of the law. the president's attorneys are pushing back. we will have to see how this happens. the judge seemed to want to push the lawyers on this issue of the president shooting someone and being able to get ay with it while he's in office. judy: it is stunning to even be thinking in the hypothetical sense about the president shooting someone, but there you go. yamiche alcindor, thank you very much. ♪ judy: our other lead story tonight, president trump defends
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his decision to see ground in northeastern syria. said that he is lifting sanctions on turkey after the turks and russia extended a e-fias. while syrian kurds evacuate the syrian border region. the president said the credit goes to his decision to pull u.s. troops from the area. >> by the moves we've made, we are achieving a more peaceful and stable area between turkey and syria, including a 20 mile wide safe zone. let someone else fight over this long bloodstained sand. judy: the president has faced bipartisan criticism that the u.s. plout abandoned kurdish partners and greenlighted a turkish military offensive. for more, we turn to foreign affairs correspondent nick schifrin. where does wh is happening leave everything right now on the ground in northern syria? nick: president trump is
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accurate that the region right now is relatively quiet, but kurdish partners of the u.s. and bipartisan members of congress ask, at what cost? russian military police deploying two cities along the syrian turkish border. syrian regime forces going into cities that they haven't been in in more than five years. and turkey bragging that they made deals with both the u. and russia and that there kurdish enemies, they call them, are going to evacuate from a much larger area. let's look at that area. that is the u.s.-turkey buffer zone. it is 75 miles wide. let's look at what the turkey-russia buffer zone, more than 300 miles wide. turkey promised it wouldn't go beyond what the u.s. negotiated, but that buffer zone is much bigger.
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turkey today saying they would kill any syrian kurdish fighters inside that new buffer zone and russia said that would be ok with them. i asked a senior administration official. you promised to impose sanctions on turkey if they advocated a deal. why has the president lifted those sanctions? basically the official shrugged. ofhe said kurdish fighters would have to leave the area and that is an issue for the russians and syrians to deal with, not for the u.s. and efforts in congress to penalize the turks for what u.s. officials say might be war crimes. judy: you were telling us you were following efforts by the trump administration to reassure american allies in the region. nick:ni we've seen military officials and state department officials trying to reassure allies and partners that, as critics put it, the president
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abandoned syrian kurds, they trng to reassure them that they are not abandoned. we heard from a top official in the middle east. he said the u.s. strategic strength has never rested solely on u.s. might, but rathe rtnerships and alliances we have, and you saw state department pressure -- officials. they went to the kurdistan regional government. on the left is the kurdish territory in syria. we are talking about u.s. officials visiting iraqi kurds and a senior state department official said the trip was to reassure our friends in iraq that we remain committed to them and how important they are to us. this official would not say whether they were reassured. judy: nick schifrin, thank you. ♪
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judy: -- >> good evening. i'm stephanie sy with the latest headlines. parts of northern california have gone dark as planned blackouts to avert wildfires got underway this afternoon. pacific gas & electric said its outages would affect 180,000 homes and businesses. and southern california edison is considering cutting power to more than 300,000 customers tomorrow. overseas mass demonstrations in lebanon entered a seventh day. in beirut, protesters waved flags and handed out food to participants. main roads are blocked and schools and banks are closed. demonstrators accused the political elite of destroying lebanon's economy. on the other set of the world, protests are forcing change and
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she lay. -- in chile/ it has grown into a labor strike. tens of thousands of protesters were on the streets of santiago today. there has also been violence. some 5000 people were arrested in clashes with riot police. the president is offering concessions, including a guaranteed minimum wage. police in britain have a horror story on their hands. 39 bodies discovered in a cargo container on a truck. the truck was found this morning in an industrial park east of london. authorities say they believe it came from belgium. >> a murder investigation is launched and the driver from northern ireland was arrested on suspicion of murder. at this stage, we have not identified where the victims are from or their identities.
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>> police confirmed that one of the victims appeared to be a teenager. still to come on the newshour, free speech and falsehood. mark zuckerberg defends facebook before congress. what is on the line for chicago teachers? 2020 democratic presidential hopeful michael bennet weighs in on health care and syria. ltand much more. ♪ >> this is the pbs newshour. judy: facebook ceo mark zuckerberg arrived on capitol hill in washington today and was put on the hot seat about mounting concerns from republicans and democrats. amna nawaz has the story. pbs newshour produces some
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content as part of a business relationship with facebook. amna:am it is the first appearae from zuckerberg on capitol hill since lawmakers grilled him over privacy concerns a year and a half ago. zuckerberg's testimony before the house financial services committee was extensively to build support for facebook's new cryptocurrency project, libra, a global digital currency. >> the idea is that sending money should be as easy and secure as sending a message. i don't know if libra is going to work, but i believe it is important to try new things. i view the financial infrastructure in the united states as outdated. amna: that has drawn harsh criticism and lost support among regulators and the financial dustry. >> scores of stable partners have dropped out. why? >> i think you would have to ask
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them specifically. >> why do you think they dropped out? >> because it is a risky project. >> yes, it is a risky project. amna: zuckerberg acknowledged the anger surrounding facebook. but he was hit with criticism on multiple fronts, including his decision to allow false claims in political ads to stay on the platform. the decision to allow this ad, which includes false statements about joe biden and his son is drawing fierce criticism from democrats. financial services committee chairwoman maxine waters grilled the facebook ceo on e er. >> how does this new policy benefit you? it seems that a policy that allows politicians to lie could also allow facebook to sell more ads. >> from a business perspective, the very small percent of our business that is made up of
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political ads does not come close to justifying the controversy. this really is not about money. i believe in giving people a voice. >> you plan on doing no fact checking on political ads. >> we do not fact check politicians' speech and the reason is that we believe in a democracy it is important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying. amna: last week, zuckerberg defended his decision to allow false or misleading ads on the grounds of free speech. >> given the sensitivity around political ads, i've considered whether we should stop allowing them altogether. banning political ads favors incumbents and whoever the media chooses to cover. but practically, even if we wanted to, it is not clear where you draw the line. amna: his speech came after the
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biden campaign wrote to facebook, twitter, and google asking them to take down the ad. social media companies have been criticized by republicans who feel conservative voices are silenced on the internet. >> will you commit that facebook will not censor any political ad placed on your platform or in support of president donald trump? >> we believe that people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying. that doesn't just go for trump. that goes for any of the candidates. >> don't be bullied by politicians who want to censor speech. amna: in june the president said he thought the u.s. should sue facebook and google for what he says is unfair repression of his political messaging. democratic presidential candidate elizabeth warren has been taking aim at the social media giant. the massachusetts senator wrote,
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facebook is actively helping trump spread lies and misinformation. facebook helped elect donald trump once. they might do it again and profit off of it. nearly three years after u.s. intelligence agencies found that russia and other adversaries used social media to influence the 20 election, facebook and instagram along with twitter and google are still grappling with how to approach political messaging. judy: for a closer look at these issues, i am joined by vanita pta. she served as acting assistant attorney general and head of the u.s. department of justice civil rights division. we invited mr. zuckerberg to the program as well as a later time. welcome back. let's start with mr. zuckerberg's defense of the decision to leave political
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speech on his platform unchecked. he says it is a matter of free speech. what do you say to that? vanita: that is a ruse. the problem with leaving politicians' speech unchecked by fact checkers will allow massive voter suppression and misinformation to rain the platform. this isn't a hypothetical issue. we saw how facebook was weaponize by foreign actors and domestic actors in 2016. this move to totally exempt politicians from the same community standards that you and i would have to abide by his reckless for our democracy. judy: is it a slippery slope, if they start to police this and decide what is true, what is false, do we want a social media company that doesn't have a journalistic mission to be the arbiter of what is true and false? vanita: facebook decided to do this for private citizens.
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they recognized that they are not the government. they are a private company. they don't have the same first amendment obligations. they decided that they would police hate speech and white supremacist speech and activity on the platform. what is troubling here is that they have decided that politicians who have historically been the perpetrators of voter suppression are going to be held to a lower standard than you and i are. that seems incredibly dangerous in a time where we have politicians that are using the world's largest megaphone to basically spread lies, use fear mongering and other tactics to chill political participation. judy: you worked with facebook for years. you've raised concerns about their protection of civil rights, specific posts that can be used to discriminate in housing matters, whether the
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company has enough diversity in their ranks. you've spoken with leadership. have you heard anything from them that says they are going to address those concerns? vanita: the leadership conference pushed facebook to actually start a civil rights audit. a bunch of organizations were pushing for that. there has been some progress made. they had announced a policy to combat hate on the platform. they were settling some of the housing litigation and announcing a policy to combat unlawful targeting in their ads. the problem is, we were starting to make progress on having facebook fight voter and senses misinformation and disinformation. but this has threatened to undermine all of that because it allows for politicians who are
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the peetrators of voter suppression basically to go completely without any checks on them whatsoever. mark zuckerberg and sheryl sandberg are saying, no, facebook will take the elections and voter suppression very seriously. we will take down when officials lie about a polling location or ours. what they are failing to recognize is that in 2019, voter suppression looks a lot more like racial appeals, like deliberate campaigns for misinformation. you could have local officials do a coordinated campaign, saying we are going to w have police officers stationed outside every majority black neighborhood on election day, or have the president say, if you fill out the census, we are going to give your information to ice. facebook is saying that is fine even though it is complete misinformation. judy: there is an election at stake. they have said they are taking
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specific steps to try to better themselves from foreign interference. letting people know which news comes from state owned media. i hear you say that is not enough. vanita: they have made their protections against foreign actors more robust, but they are failing to recognize the degree to which domestic actors are weaponizing misinformation and racism to basically have a partisan electoral advantage. most broadcast news, when they are posting these ads, have to make decisions around fact checking. they are requiring disclosures. they are either putting warnings up or quarantining ads that contain misinformation like this. this platform is now being allowed to be weaponize just as it was inus 2016 by domestic actors for exactly the kind of
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behavior that is so corrosive to our democracy. judy: vanita gupta, thanks for being here. ♪ judy: the chicago teacher strike enters its fifth day with no clear sign it might end anytime soon. as john yang reports, teachers are calling for changes that include, but also go beyond traditional pocketbook issues. they charge that the new mayor is changing her position. john: thousands of striking teachers converged on city hall edtoday as new mayor lori lightfoot delivered her first budget. the teachers had their own spending priorities. >> the people of the city of chicago demand funding and resources go to the services of
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the city. we have to have schools that work for our children. we need a budget that speaks to our priorities. john: for the fifth day, the strike canceled classes for more than 360,000 students in the country's third largest school district. the city and the teachers union are at odds over several issues, including salaries, class sizes, and the demand for additional support staff, including nurses, counselors, and librarians. union president jesse sharkey rejected the call for teachers to return to classrooms. >> she wants us to give up on the most basic things we are asking for. john: lightfoot was elected only progressive agenda and an education platform that includes some of the changes the union is asking for. now she says the city can't afford them. >> there is a finite amount of
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money available. we are barely two years away from a moment where cps was on the verge of insolvency. john: striking teachers say she has turned her back on her pledges. >> i have students that te medicine. i don't have a nurse to help me out. john: parents scrambling to find talkse for their kids a drag on. some say they still stand behind the teachers. >> we know it is a sacrifice we need to make. john: the union said they will be back on the picket lines again tomorrow. negotiators have been meeting every day since the strike began. education reporter brandis friedman has been covering the strike for chicago tonight on w ttw. what is your sense of how far
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apart the two sides are? brandis: it is kind of hard to tell. over the weekend it seemed like we took a w steps forward. monday and tuesday, we took another couple steps back. both sides are saying they feel like they made progress. mayor lightfoot sent a letter to ctu leadership saying, we've made some progress. why don't you and the teachers come back to work while we continue negotiating. we heard the ctu president say that is not how negotiations work. i think they are making some progress and they are working towards each other, but they are up these last few days. john: some of those sticking points, it is not just the usual pocketbook issues of pay. it is class size, prep time,
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support staff. brandis: the union says they are looking to -- they are on the precipice of one of the most important contracts for chicago public schools. they want this conact to be the one that makes chicago schools into the schools students deserve. in the absence of these nurses and librarians and social workers and counselors, teaching the students is harder because they are not getting their needs met. they see this as their responsibility. john: this is the first big test for mayor lori lightfoot. some of the things the union wants in the contract are things she talked about, supported in her campaign. why is this an issue now? brandis: she did support much of
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what ctu is arguing for. whshe did not say, i'm going to put it in the contract. a lot of folks say some of what ctu is asking for does not belong in the teachers collective bargaining agreement. the teachers union has argued they don't trust politicians. just because she campaigned on these issues doesn't mean she's going to make good on them. mayor lightfoot says she campaigned on these issues and that some of them have been written into the public schools budget. ctu says that is not good enough. john: this is putting hardship on a lot of parents in chicago. they have to find things for their kids to do. how much support is there for the teachers from the parents, and is there danger that it is going to go away as this goes on? brandis: we know that a lot of
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the parents do support ctu. they are vocal. there are multiple organizations that have expressed support. some parents are on the picket line with their kids and ctu. the city does work with some sister agencies to make sure students have places to go. as far as whether or not they are going to lose parental support, not all parents do support ctu in this. ether they are a majority or minority is hard to tell. i don't think the length of this strike is going to have either side change camps. john: brandis friedman from chicago tonight, thank you very much. ♪
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judy: senator michael bennet of colorado is one of 18 democrats vying for his party's presidential nomination. he is making his case to voters, why his health care plan is better than his opponents, even as issues like syria and impeachment have taken center stage in washington. thank you for being here. let's talk about syria. you are a member of the senate intelligence committee. you've been critical of what president trump has done, but what would you do differently as president? >> i never would have taken these troops out in the first place. unlike many things in the middle east that we've done wrong, this is a case where what we were doing was working. we had been there for five years.
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it was a critical mission to defeat isis. the kurds lost 10,000 kurds in the same actions we were taking and we had managed to deal withd isis. today the president put us in a position where we are not going to have the opportunity to deal with isis and syria, russia, and iran are splitting up the region judy: the president of turkey is saying, we are sending our troops. u.s. troops would have faced off against turkey? >> all it would have taken is a strong president to say, don't cross that line. the evidence that erdogan would not cross that line is that he didn't. this was a moment of incredible weakness on the part of an american president, not just
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abandoning kurds, but rolling over for erdogan. judy: right now, would you put u.s. troops back? i don't think that is feasible. this is one of those cases where the president seems to think that he makes these decisions and then he's got all kinds of option analogy. one of those is putting troops back in northern syria. i just hope the ones that are leaving can get out safely. judy: let me ask about health care. you call your plan medicare x. it would create a public option and you say it is cheaper than the medicare for all plan. as you know, they say when they eliminate premiums, co-pays, deductibles, that means that it would be a net savings for consumers. >> i know they say that, but america doesn't believe it. even vermont didn't believe it.
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they tried to pass something similar to this. when they saw what the cost would be, a 10% tax increase on individuals, 11% on businesses, they rejected it. just like the american people are going to reject a health care plan that raises taxes. bernie sanders and i are the only people in this race who have been consistent in our positions. i admire his consistency. i wrote it on the public option. it is cheaper and would benefit the federal treasury. i think we could cover everybody in three years without stripping the american people of their choice to buy health insurance or a public option, or without raising taxes at all. judy: do you believe that a democrat who proposes single-payer, which is what
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medicare for all would be, and enhances the prospects of president reelected? >> i do. this is not just about beating donald trump. it is about winning a majority in the senate as well. if these candidates can't even be candid about how they are going to pay for these plans -- elizabeth warren has a plan for everything except for how to pay for health care, which is something she's had since the beginning of this election. bernie is honest about it. bernie is telling the american people, at least i can pay for half of my plan by raising taxes. that is not going to fly. that is one way to lose a senate race. it might be a way of losing the presidency. judy: impeachment. there's a couple other things. you waited to endorse impeachment, you said, because
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you believe it would have to have broad public support. with the information about president trump, the phone call with ukraine, the request about joe biden, are you now convinced that this president should be impeached? >> i'm absolutely convinced that he committed impeachable offenses and that we should have the impeachment inquiry that we are going to have. i think the stuff that he's done is reprehensible. our standard has fallen so low. these congressmen today rushing into a secured briefing like a mob. president trump pretending that the rest of the world isn't watching us abandon our allies and that the american people are going to stand for having a president who is asking ukraine to weigh in on the election by digging up dirt on joe biden, this stuff is terrible. judy: if the house in peaches,
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it moves to the senate. there would be a trial. are you worried that interferes with the democrats running? >> i'm not worried about it because we have a job to do and we have a solemn responsibility in the senate. what i hope for is that this whole process is going to lead to a place where we can restore the american people's confidence in government and rule of law. judy: senator michael bennet, seeking the democratic nomination for president, thank you. ♪ judy: the united nations says than 170,000 syrian people have fled their homes since turkey launched its cross-border offensive more than two weeks ago. nick schifrin sat down with journalist gayle tzemach lemmon who has followed the rise of
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some of those forced todapt yet again. nick: long before the trump administration announced its withdrawal from northern syria, the people of that region ruggled through revolution, brutality and radicalism, the battle to defeat isis, and the struggle to stabilize and rebuild. on the frontlines of that fight are so many men andme women now forced to readjust again. for their story, we turn to gayle tzemach lemmon. welcome back to the newshour. let's talk about some of these people you followed for years. many of them fled is. talk about the woman you met leaving rawwa who was nine months pregnant. gayle: when we first met this mewoman, she had just delivereda baby who was about four pounds and no one knew what would happen. she had fled the islamic state,
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given all her gold to aol smuggr who got her out as part of a convoy. her car was the first car. the fifth car blew up as it drove ovea landmine. i watched her fight for normalcy. the last time i saw her in may, it was so moving. things were going well. she said, thank god. we have this fragile stability.s a mom whose life is on the frontline of this fight against extremism. she told me, we don't want the world to save us. we just need some space and normalcy. nick: those people also needed the space within their own families. you found a woman with an extraordinary story whose own family were isis supporters, and that she fled to give her
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children a better life. gayle: a woman i met a few times. she was talking to me about how herouusband joined the sdf. her husband died fighting isis alongside other members who were backed by the americans. she talked to me about how her in-laws wanted to take control of her children. she said, no way. i will not have my children grow up among extremists. she talked to me for a while about her daughter and how she wanted her daughter to be educated. even when i pressed her about what she wanted for her daughter in terms of a husband, she said, i won't think about that now. nick: that fight for stability, for a better future, isn't only being done by kurdish people.
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but also other minorities. gayle: she is from the arab community. here's a young woman from this women's protection force, which was a group of christian young women who joined alongside the kurds, and later the other arabs . she talked to me about how her mother and father had been very against it. they thought it was shameful. when they realized her unit was protecting christian communities from the islamic state, they were really proud. they had come to accept her decision when they went to church on the weekends. she was talking about how she is in law school now and was recruiting the next generation of young women, and she said to
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me, our generation is very different. the young women are educated. all they want is stability and security. nick: how important is it that these people, the stories you shared and the people you've met, find that stability and are able to change their futures? gayle: this is not about sentimentality. this is about american national security. we talk about the war on extremism, fighting the islamic state, fighting these ideologies. these are the women whose lives live on the frontline of this battle. they are figing each day for security, for stability, anger against -- and against the extremists. that is why i think their quest for normalcy, their push for fragile stability, matters to
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each of us. nick: thank you very much for all your reporting. ♪ judy: finally tonight, long before george takei made his name in the tv show star trek and later became a popular civil rights activist, he and his family were rounded up by the u.s. government during world war ii and put in japanese internment camps. his recent graphic novel connects the way some view immigrants today with how his family and over 100,000 others were treated nearly 80 years ago. their conversation starts on the day takei's family was taken away. it is part of our regular arts and culture coverage, canvas. george: just gazing out.
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suddenly we saw two soldiers marching up the driveway, carrying rifles. they stomped at the front porch and began pounding on the door. and that i can't forget. my father answered the door. we were ordered to leave the house. they were questioning my mother and when she came out, she had our baby sister in one arm and a duffel bag in the other. tears were streaming down her face. r>> the beginning of america's war with japan open very badly. william: 1941, the u.s. naval base at pearl harbor had been attacked by the japanese and american soldiers were coming for george takei's family at their home in los angeles.
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fearing that people of japanese ancestry were potential spies, president rselt signed an executive order and more than 100,000 people across the west coast were rounded up. can you help us understand why ouyou think america reacted the way it did? pearl harbor was an absolute tragedy and a surprise. george: prior to pearl harbor, in the media, the characterization of all asians, we were either buffoons or silent, passive servants, or cruel, evil villains. that stereotype was turned against us. we were americans, but we looked like the enemy. william: the world first got to know george takei on the hugely popular tv show star trek.
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40 years later, fans still mob him at sci-fi conventions. takei has also become an influential civil rights activist. for years, he's also been telling the story of his family's internment during world war ii in a memoir, on broadway -- >> you are treating us like animals. william: and now in a new graphic novel titled, they called us enemy. george: there have been documentaries now. there have been other books written. and yet to this day there are people that don't know and are astounded when i share this story with them. william: in 1941, young george and his family were forced to leave their homes with only the bags they could carry. people lost their homes, cars, cabusinesses, either sold in
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desperation or stolen outright. george: there wasn't time to sell everything. is car, a pontiac, for five dollars. it was better than just leaving it there. people lost everything. things they couldn't sell, abandoned. and raided by those vultures. william: takei contrasts his parents' anguish about their treatment with his more childlike view, like when they were detained at the santa anita racetrack in los angeles. george: i remember my mother saying it was the most degrading thing, to take their children into this horse stall, with the smell of horse manure, but to five-year-old me, i thought it was fun to sleep where the horses sleep. so, different reactions on the
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same event. william: takei and his family were later sent to live in a camp in arkansas, one of the 10 permanent camps across the u.s. they weren't hurt or interrated, but in some camps, especially when the government try to get people to sign loyalty oath, protests were met with violent pushback. takei and his family were kept in prison for nearly four years. when the war ended, the camps were closed. takei and his family went back to southern california penniless. they had to start over again. you have been telling the story for years. why is this -- why do you keep wanting to tell this story? george: because today we are living through another cycle of this story. of mindless inhumanity.
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desperate people fleeing violence and poverty. now, children, infants being torn away from them and put into filthy cages. poor hygiene, human waste, and a boy died -- this kind of repetition of the same sort of thing that we went through 75 years ago. and with this book, i hope that young people are getting this information at that point, and they grow up with it, so that by the time they are adults, they are going to be a different breed of americans, aware of the history of this country. we have plenty of glorious chapters. some of the darker chapters are the lessons that we really need
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to learn. william: the book is, they called us enemy. george takei, thank you very much. george: thank you for allowing me to share. judy: such a powerful story. and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and tomorrow evening when i sit down with vice president mike pence. thank you. we will see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by -- >> consumer cellular gives its customers the choice. no contract plans give you as much or as little talk, text, and data as you want. to learn more, go to consumercellular.tv. >> bnsf railway. and with the ongoing support of these individuals and
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institutions. this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> this is pbs newshour west, from weta studios in washington and from our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.] >>
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