tv Democracy Now PBS July 21, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
07/21/17 07/21/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> because boycott, divestment, and sanctions have no place in my home state and no place in america. amy: u.s. lawmakers are seeking to criminally outlaw support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign against israel. if a proposed partisan law is passed, backers of bds could face up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. we will speak to rabbi joseph berman of jewish voice for peace. expandingmueller is
his probe to look at president trump business activities as well as those of his associates including his son-in-law jared kushner. we will look at how kushner tried and failed to get a $500 million bailout from qatar. did that influence how trump has been handling the gulf diplomatic crisis? we will speak with ryan grim of the intercept. then to "made in america week." pres. trump: we want to build, grow products using american goods to american labor, and american grit. amy: while president trump's touts american made products, we will look inside clothing factory in indonesia where ivanka trump brand clothing is made. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the special counsel tasked with investigating ties between donald trump's campaign and
russia's government during last year's election is examining a broad range of transactions involving trump's businesses as well as those of his associates. that's according to bloomberg news, which reported thursday former fbi chief robert mueller's probe will examine a series of real estate deals with russian investors as well as the 2013 miss universe pageant in moscow. the probe has also reportedly absorbed a money laundering investigation into trump's former campaign chair paul manafort. news of the special counsel's wider investigation came after president trump left open the possibility that he could order the justice department to fire mueller. trump told the "new york times" mueller would be crossing a red line if he investigates trump family finances. "the times" reports trump's lawyers and aides are working to dig up dirt on mueller and his team in an effort to discredit the investigation. meanwhile, "the washington post" reports trump was especially upset after learning mueller
would have access to years' worth of trump's tax returns, which the president has refused to make public. "the washington post" says trump is also considering future pardons for his family and possibly even himself. this all comes amidst a shakeup of the legal team representing president trump. marc kasowitz will no longer serve as trump's lead personal attorney. the move follows an expletive laden series of threats kasowitz sent by email to a stranger who said he should resign. in iraq, newly revealed intelligence reports show more than 40,000 civilians died in the u.s.-led battle to retake mosul from isis, a total far higher than previously reported. writing for the independent, patrick cockburn cited an official he said previous estimates of the deaths were low because thousands of bodies remain buried in the rubble. the battle, which wrapped up earlier this month, began last october and lasted months longer
than the siege of stalingrad during world war ii. back in the u.s., civil rights groups are warning a pair of bipartisan bills would criminalize free speech and peaceful protests. the israel anti-boycott act would make it a felony for u.s. citizens to support boycotts of israel and israeli settlements. they would be punishable by at least a $250,000 fine, with a maximum penalty of two decades in prison and a fine of $1 million. so far, 43 senators and 234 congress members on both sides of the aisle support the legislation. the american israel public affairs committee, or aipac, reportedly helped craft the bill and has made its passage one of the group's top lobbying priorities for the year. in a letter on monday, the american civil liberties union wrote -- "we take no position for or against the effort to boycott israel or any foreign country, for that matter. however, we do assert that the government cannot, consistent with the first amendment, punish u.s. persons based solely on
their expressed political beliefs." the attempt to criminalize the bds movement comes amid a deepening humanitarian crisis in the gaza strip where the united nations has editions have become unlivable. the senate judiciary committee voted to recommend president 20 20 thursday trump's nominee replace james comey as head of the fbi. it clears the way for christopher wray to be approved by the full senate. wray served as assistant attorney general under george w. bush from 2003 to 2005, at a time when the justice department's office of legal counsel signed off on the torture of prisoners in cia and military custody. the justice department said this week it will allow state and local police departments to seize cash and property from people suspected of crimes, even if they haven't been convicted. attorney general jeff sessions says the policy, called civil
asset forfeiture, is an important tool for fighting crime. the practice was largely ended by the obama administration after investigations showed local police routinely stopped drivers for minor traffic infrtions and seized billions of dollars worth of property. in some cases, departments used the assets to pay for luxury cars and high-powered weapons. the aclu has called civil asset forfeiture a violation of due process that disproportionately targets communities of color. on capitol hill, a pair of senators introduced a bill thursday seeking to reform states' money bail systems, which leave nearly a half-million americans in jail each day simply because they are unable to pay their way out. the legislation by republican senator rand paul of kentucky and democrat kamala harris of california would prod states to move away from the current money bail system and towards a system that allows lower-income people to go free as they await trial.
meanwhile, in new york city, civil rights activists are demanding justice for a bronx teenager who's been held at the notorious rikers island jail while awaiting trial for a 2015 crime he says he did not commit. prosecutors say 18-year-old pedro hernandez fired a shot that struck another teen in the leg, even though the victim and eight other teens who witnessed the shooting say hernandez is innocent. hernandez has turned down a plea deal that would see him released on five years' probation. he's insisting on a trial by jury, but scheduling conflicts have pushed a trial date past labor day. hernandez hopes to be released by in order to accept a full september 1 college scholarship. his family has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the $250,000 needed to bail him out. hernandez's plight has drawn comparisons to the case of kalief browder, another bronx teen who committed suicide in 2015 at the age of 22 after being held at rikers for nearly three years without trial for a crime he did not commit.
the senate on thursday voted 51-47 along party lines thursday to confirm judge john k. bush for a lifetime appointment to the 6th u.s. circuit court of appeals. bush has a long history of homophobic and sexist comments, and has compared abortion to slavery. bush has also used a pseudonym to post right-wing blog entries denying the science of climate change and repeating the false claims of so-called "birthers" who say president obama was not born in the united states. the u.s. treasury department has fined exxonmobil $2 million for violating u.s. sanctions against russia three years ago, when secretary of state rex tillerson served as the oil company's ceo. the treasury said exxonmobil showed reckless disregard for u.s. law in 2014 when it signed contracts with russian oil magnate igor sechin. the move violated sanctions placed on russia after it invaded ukraine and annexed the crimean peninsula.
tillerson said at the time his company opposed russia sanctions, calling them ineffective. at the state department thursday, spokesperson heather nauert was asked whether tillerson had changed his views on russian sanctions. >> it predates his time here at the department of state. i'm going to refrain from giving any comment. >> i understand this predates his time as secretary of state, but now he is in a position in which he is part of the team that is supposed to enforce sanctions, not violate them or allow others to violate them. so i think it is relevant to know what he thinks about -- >> i would say the secretary continues to abide by his ethical commitments, including that recusal from exxon-related activities. amy: secretary of state tillerson is known to have close ties to russian president vladimir putin, who awarded tillerson the country's order of friendship decoration in 2013. the treasury department's $2 million fine against exxonmobil was the maximum amount allowed by law.
it represents just over two hours' profit for the oil giant. in the philippines, president rodrigo duterte has asked congress to extend martial law on the southern island of mindanao, where government forces are been battling isis-allied militants in the city of marawi. the conflict has killed more than 500 people and displaced over 200,000 since fighting began in may. meanwhile, in washington, d.c., a congressional human rights panel heard testimony thursday from activists who warn filipino security forces and vigilantes have killed more than 7000 suspected drug users and dealers since duterte launched his so-called war on drugs last june. this is ellecer carlos of the idefend human rights coalition. >> our daily documentation confirmed without a shadow of a te andthe president duter of elimination, have effectively put in place
the defective social cleansing policies whereby police and vigilantes are not only encouraged, but rewarded and forced to commit extrajudicial killings. amy: congress member james mcgovern, a democrat from massachusetts, said he was troubled by reports that president duterte is planning to travel to washington this fall for talks with president trump. >> a man with the human rights record of president duterte should not be invited to the white house. and if he comes, i will lead the mean,t because, again, i we ought to be on the side of advocating for human rights, not explaining them away. amy: in april, president trump called duterte and invited him to the white house. in transcript of their conversation leaked by the intercept, trump said -- "i just wanted to ngratulate you because i am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem." in poland, thousands of protesters took to the streets
of the capital warsaw and other cities thursday, ahead of a vote scheduled today by the ruling law and justice party on a bill that would let parliament appoint supreme court judges. protesters say the measure would end the separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary. >> elections took place democratically, so their governing breaks the law, breaks the constitution. so the democracy in poland practically dies. aree new laws on the courts step in the wrong direction. that is why we want the president to veto these hills. amy: said it was alarmed by the legislation considering bringing unprecedented sanctions against one of its member states due to potential human rights abuses. in morocco, riot police used clubs and tear gas to scatter hundreds of people marching through the streets of al-hoceima thursday, as they defied a government ban on demonstrations to protest corruption and underdevelopment. the protests were the largest seen in morocco since last october, when thousands turned out in cities across morocco after the death of a fish seller who was crushed in a garbage truck while trying to retrieve
fish confiscated by police. the death became the rallying point for a wider movement for economic justice and civil liberties in the kingdom. in the mediterranean, a strong earthquake rattled parts of turkey and greece in the early morning hours friday, killing at least two people and injuring hundreds. the 6.5-magnitude quake was centered just south of the turkish resort town of bodrum, and it collapsed nearby buildings, and sparked a small tsunami that flooded coastal communities. president trump is said to make jeff homestead, second-in-command at the environment protection agency. since 2007, he has represented coal, railroads, and utility companies as a partner at the powerful firm bracewell llp on k street in washington, d.c., holmstead is also a former staffer to senator james inhofe of oklahoma, a prominent climate change denier. and in new york city, haitian immigrant jean montrevil walked
free from a federal building thursday after ice immigration officials ordered him to check in for a meeting that could have ended in his deportation. jean montrevil came to the u.s. from haiti with a green card in 1986 at the age of 17. last month when he went to his first check in under president trump, handcuffed, process to be deported until calls from his supporters apparently prompted his release. for a full interview with jean montrevil as well as his daughter and lawyer, you can go to democracynow.org. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. civil rights groups are warning a pair of bipartisan bills targeting boycotts of israel and israeli settlements would criminalize free speech and peaceful protest. the israel anti-boycott act would make it a felony for u.s. citizens to support boycotts of
israel and israeli settlements. it would be punishable by at least a $250,000 fine with a maximum penalty of a fine of $1 million and 20 years in prison. 46 senators, 31 republicans and 15 democrats, and 234 congress members from both sides of the aisle support the legislation. the american israel public affairs committee known as aipac reportedly helped craft the bill and made its passage one of the group's top lobbying priorities for the year. in a letter monday, the american civil liberties union urged senators to a poise -- oppose the passage. the aclu wrote -- "we take no position for or against the effort to boycott israel or any foreign country, for that matter, however, we do assert the government can not consistent with the first amendment, punish u.s. persons based solely on their expressed political beliefs. the bill has received backing for many prominent senators on
both sides of the aisle. democrats backing the bill include minority leader chuck ronmer, kirsten gillibrand, -- ron wyden, andrea cantwell of washington. republican backers include ted cruz, marco rubio. the bds movement was born in 2005 when a coalition of palestinian civil society groups called for people all over the world to engage in a nonviolent campaign to boycott, divest, and sanction israel until it complies with international law. their call was inspired by the international boycott and divestment initiative supply to south africa in the struggle to abolish apartheid. the attempt to criminalize the bds movement comes amid a deepening to monetary crisis in gaza, where israeli restrictions limit electricity to between two hours and four hours a day for gaza's more than 2 million
residents. gaza has been under israeli for more than a decade. in 2012, the who warned it would be uninhabitable by 2020 will stop now the u.n. says living conditions have which are rated faster than expected and the u.n. says the arehas already become unlivable. for more, we go to washington, d.c., where we're joined by rabbi joseph berman, the government affairs number for jewish voices for peace. we're also joined by ryan grim, the washington, d.c., bureau chief for the intercept. his latest story "u.s. lawmakers , seek to criminally outlaw support for boycott campaign against israel." we welcome you both to democracy now! beginm, why don't we with you. talk about the origins of this bill, who is supporting it come and where it is in congress right now. >> as you said, it is a huge priority of aipac, according to lawmakers i've spoken to, this is something they have been working on hard over the last
several months. it was introduced in march and has bipartisan support. onhe democratic side, one of the things i picked up his democrat seen -- they took a lot of heat back at home when they test for the democrats who did supporting the random under president obama. this, too many of them, seemed like a small like a call. i mean, a makeup call. the way it was presented in the lobbying effort did not talk about the criminal penalties associated with violating this statute. -- wouldours 30 asterisk amount a lot of people who were sponsored being it they were surprised. they thought it was an extension of a policy that havbeen in place for decades, nearly extending it to the eu and u.n.. in fact, a comes with these draconian penalties. you are seeing a lot of them
revisited at this moment. amy: i want to turn to audio of the intercept's interview with the maryland democratic senator ben cardin, the bills primary sponsor. you asked him about the aclu's concerns about the bill. >> we are very sensitive to of speech.eedom us preac >> the aclu said it would lend itself toward felony penalties for people if they participated -- >> we had sanctions committee would go to judiciary. i don't think we had -- i don't think that -- you are catching me -- i think i know the bill fairly well. i don't believe we are criminalized. i think our issue is u.s. participation. amy: so that is maryland democratic senator ben cardin, the bill's primary sponsor. ryan grim, talk about the significance of what he said.
>> after that, i said, so it sounds like you don't actually support criminal penalties associated with supporting a boycott, and he said, no, of course i don't. it is something to that effect. now the a so you letter has been made public and senators have had a chance to review it, i presume a number of them are going to dial back their support for it. in cardin is the author of the legislation and the way it is written, if you read the bill itself, the penalties are not mentioned. you have to reference an underlying statute it amends and once you get to die, then you see the $1 million fine and the 20-year prison sentence, which the aclu says because you brought that underlying statute into place, that criminal statute could be brought in by a judge or prosecutor. can you talk about, as they are not exactly sure what this
bill is, why so many have supported it? i want to turn to chuck schumer at the american jewish -- at the aipac meeting. >> but sometimes anti-semitism is cloaked by certain movements that profess no bias them of the suspiciously hold israel, and by extension the jewish people, to a different standard than others. there is no greater example than this insidious efforts to harm the jewish state them through the boycotts, divestment, and sanctions. is alobal bds movement deeply biased campaign aimed at delegitimize latent the jewish state and its supporters, sometimes wittingly but sometimes unwittingly, but all of the practice the modern form
of anti-semitism. and we have to call them out for that. amy: that was chuck schumer speaking at the global forum in june. ryan grim? >> one reason this will may not have been read as closely as it would have otherwise is that it has become kind of a proxy for your position -- if you are not on this bill, then you can be accused by aipac supporters of supporting bds. if you are not with us, you are against us. the irony here is it does not criminalize all boycotts of israel. so if you are a neo-nazi group and you are driven by explicit anti-semitism and you call for a boycott of israel, you would not fall under this statute. only if you're supporting bds through the e.u. or the u.n. from a pro-palestinian perspective would the precise same action then be criminalized.
for the aclu, that is the definition of a first amendment violation because the same act becomes criminalized only based on your political motivation are carrying out that act. amy: even some prominent critics against thecome out bill. in a letter to lawmakers, dylan williams of j street wrote -- "this bill could give attorney general jeff sessions the power to prosecute any american who chooses not to buy settlement products for a felony offense. that kind of authority should not be given to any administration, let alone one that has engaged in extreme rhetoric against political opponents, including threats to 'lock them up.'" let's turn to rabbi joseph berman of jewish voice for peace. positions onferent bds. but on this, you share a position. >> thank you for having me, amy. good morning. seeking toation is
make it illegal for businesses to comply with a boycott of israel or israeli settlements that is supported i and international governmental organization like the united nations. i think it is trying to preempt what we're supposed to see in the coming months -- a database from the united nations -- that list companies engaged in commerce in settlements, illegal settlements, in the west bank. we recently had a call from amnesty international that third-party states like the u.s. or the e.u. should ban settlement products from coming into the country. it is trying to preempt actions like this. so instead of trying to oppose the illegal and harmful settlements, these settlements that are destructive for palestinians, that steal their land and force them from their homes, this legislation isn't that trying to shift decades of u.s. policy understanding settlements are
illegal, according to international law, and according .o the united states i want to be very clear also that with this legislation is not. it would not make it illegal for activists to support the palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment -- or activist to say, i'm not going to buy this product from israel it is settlements because connected to injustice. this legislation, as i understand it, is focused on businesses or those engaged in commerce who my comply with a boycott that comes from the united nations or the eu, and international governmental organization. i don't want activists out there to think, oh, if this passes, i'm going to jail. there is a richly effect that people are's feared to speak out. we need to continue to speak out for palestinian human rights. amy: can you talk about where this goes from here and talk
about why you differ so much with aipac on this issue and why they have made this a central campaign this year, the significance of aipac? >> aipac is a very effective lobby. i think in many ways, they're not that different from the national rifle association, which keeps congress from passing much-needed, incredibly -- gun control. they enter into a broken system. they do a good job at playing that system. they have immense resources. they are very good at what they do. so they are able to move legislation like this. i think it is important we talk about aipac does a couple of things. they do not speak for the jewish community. sometimes they might claim to, but they don't. the jewish community is incredibly diverse in the u.s. in many ways, especially when it comes to relationships to and
views on israel and israel-palestine. they're not representative of american jews. time, they are able to move this forward. i think it is income it upon as to have to provide a counterweight. we need to change the calculus for members of congress so they're not going to support legislation like this. if you have not already, call your member of congress and the house of representatives in the senate and tell them to oppose the legislation as it comes to a vote, to not cosponsor if they are cosponsoring, tell them -- take your name off the legislation. amy: i want to turn to vice president pence speaking this week in washington, d.c. >> with the support and prayers of men and women gathered in this room, i am proud to say in my last year as governor, it was my great privilege to sign one of the strongest anti-bds laws
in america to ensure that our state never does business with those who seek to inflict financial damage on israel. because boycott, divestment, and sanctions have no place in my home state and no place in america. amy: that is mike pence addressing mitch christians united for israel summit in washington, d.c. ryan grim, can you talk about this group and what vice president pence just said? >> it is an organization that is, pushing for boycott of the boycotters. new york state has pushed in a similar direction trying to say that, ok, if you -- if you agree to dissipate in the bds make -- are dissipate in the bds movement, we're not going to purchase products from you. you must purchase products from the occupied territories if you
want to do business here in the state of indiana. or you don't necessarily have to, but you just have to be quiet about it. the is one of the things aclu was also deeply concerned about, that nobody is forced to do business with israeli companies in the occupied territories, but if you say you're not doing business there because you object to the political circumstances, then all of a sudden, you're getting caught up in the statute here or you would get caught up in this indiana law. whereas if you are just quiet about it and kept your opinion yourself, then you are not in any legal or commercial trouble. at is cut of the definition of freedom of speech issue. amy: in april, democracy now! .poke with omar barghouti he talked about israel's efforts at home and abroad to target the bds movement. >> since 2014, israel decided
its former strategy for fighting bds, propaganda or brain israel strategy, was failing. they adopted a new strategy that is based on using the intelligence services to spy on bds activists and try to tarnish our reputations based on legal warfare kind of has anti-bds legislation as is happening in many state legislatures in this country as well as in the u.s. congress and in countries like france, britain, and so on. so they have gone from a propaganda war to a full-fledged legal and intelligence war on the movement. what you mentioned is absolutely important. passed anisrael anti-bds and that would not allow any supporter of bds or even supporters of partial boycott against the illegal settlements in the occupied territories from entering the country. they are establishing these like list of israelis who support any form of boycott against israeli
institutions to bring about justice and palestinian rights. so thisi card thesm -- thisi mccarthysm is no longer a metaphor. it is truly happening. and as people are warning, there are signs of fascism taking over in israel. amy: that is omar barghouti. he was speaking when he was in new york. rabbi joseph berman, your final comment on this? >> you know, i'm concerned about this legislation. what i'm concerned about is something you mentioned earlier, what is happening with people in gaza right now who only have a few hours of electricity a day. there is incredible shortage of drinkable water. a very high level of food insecurity. immense suffering that is happening right now in gaza. that is because of the siege that is led by israel with the support of egypt.
there needs to be an end to death each. we need to see equality and dignity. i personally care deeply for the freedom and liberation of palestinians, and that is what we are struggling for an need to continue to struggle for an care deeply -- i love my fellow jewish brothers and sisters and what them also to be safe. i want to see that safety for palestinians and israelis. and the conditions, having equality and human rights and dignity that can lead us to a just and lasting peace. amy: rabbi joseph berman, thanks for being with us from jewish voice for peace. ryan grim to stay with us. we look at president trump's business activities as well as those of his associates, including jared kushner. you have done a piece on how jared kushner tried and failed to get a $500 million bailout from qatar. could that be influencing how trump that he was responsible
amy: "i ain't got no home" by billy bragg singing here at our democracy now! studio in 2011. you can check it all out at democracynow.org. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. bloomberg is reporting special counsel robert mueller has expanded his probe of president trump beyond possible collusion with russia. mueller is reportedly looking at trump's business activities as well as those of his associates , including his son-in-law jared kushner. according to bloomberg, investigators are interested in kushner's attempts to secure financing for some of his family's real-estate properties. our guest ryan grim recently of the intercept -- our guest ryan grim of the intercept recently co-wrote a piece in the intercept titled, "jared kushner tried and failed to get a
half-billion-dollar bailout from qatar." the article reveals kushner and his father, charles, negotiated directly with billionaire and former qatar prime minister sheikh hamad bin jassim al-thani, a.k.a., h.b.j., to refinance their property at 666 fifth avenue in new york. throughout 2015 and 2016 kushner sought a $500 million loan from the qatari investor to save the property. after promising talks, the deal fell through. the story was published as qatar remains embroiled in a major diplomatic dispute with its gulf neighbors, including saudi arabia. president trump has sided with saudi arabia. according to the intercept, kushner played a key behind-the-scenes role in hardening the u.s. posture toward qatar. ryan grim, you have written extensively about this. talk about what you uncovered. >> a little background, president trump went to saudi
arabia this spring shortly after that, saudi arabia, uae, and other gulf countries blocked an isolated qatar and it really donald trump took credit for that. he said, i push them. i suggested that they take a hard line against the country. he is down been totally consistent about where he stands on that, but that was his initial play. rex tillerson was trying to broker an end to this blockade tillersonkushner, blues, played a back channel role to go directly to president trump to say, no, we need to take a hard line against the country. he may havevered is reasons for having some animosity there. as he said, he was trying to secure a $500 million investment into this property on fifth avenue that is deeply underwater. the kushner companies -- it was
kind of a highflying investment will stop it made a huge splash when they jumped into it in 2007. could not have been times worse. they dramatically overpaid. the christian companies investment of $500 million seems to be entirely wiped out. i said, we will give you the money if you can find the rest elsewhere. he went to china. that blew up when it became public and around that time, the qatari said it doesn't look like you're getting the rest of the investment, so we're not able to go forward at this time. just weeks later, you have this blockade. you have to ask the uncomfortable question, what if they had made the investment? would be trump administration still be taking such a hard line against qatar or will other investors see it as retaliation for not coming forward with what otherwise would have been --
what most people in the industry see as a bad investment. amy: so of course, this meeting and saudi arabia led to a number of different developments. one of the largest weapons deals in the history of the united states with saudi arabia. jared kushner was there, also apparently close to the son of the king, who ultimately is in charge of the absolutely devastating war that saudi arabia is waging with u.s. support in yemen. all of this coming together as president trump and jared kushner and others, rex tillerson as well, when to saudi arabia. and when they came out, president trump himself claiming credit for the isolating of qatar by the gulf countries. seemingly going against his own secretary of state, rex tillerson, who was bringing
together the forces he said went back to saudi arabia and qatar, supposedly to bring these countries together. >> right. the go-between for all of this is the uae ambassador to the united states who was very close to kushner. who has beenody pushing a very hard line against qatar in washington, d.c., for years now. what the u.s. intelligence community has since leaked to "the washington post," is that the thing that the gulf countries used to launch this blockade, which were some comments posted online an attribute it to qatar, were put there by a uae hacking operation. immediately after these comments from the emir he was praising a little rough with the united states, the new service said, we were hacked, these are not real comments, we would draw them, we
don't know what happened, we are investigating how this happened. the emir never said these words. now according to u.s. intelligence sources, it was actually the uae that organized post these qatar to inflammatory comments, which the uae and saudi arabia then took umbrage at, launching this byckade that was supported president trump. like i said, they're well-known to be close allies -- kushner and the emir are close allies. they believe that otaba wrote which wasent eventually delivered to donald trump. amy: in the next segment, we're going to be talking about jared kushner wife, president trump's daughter ivanka trump and her businesses in indonesia where ivanka brent clothing are manufactured, i want to ask you,
ryan grim, about what is happening with the health-care debate on capitol hill. you cover all developments in congress closely. this week, the massive news, republican majority leader mitch mcconnell said the senate will vote next week on whether to repeal the affordable care act without a replacement, even though the bill currently lacks enough republican support to pass. mcconnell's announcement came after president trump invited all 52 republican senators to the white house for lunch, aimed at reviving stalled efforts on health care. this is what he said. >> there is a large majority in our conference that want demonstrate to the american people they intend to keep the commitment they made in four state elections to repeal obamacare. i think we all agree it is better to both repeal and replace, but we could have a vote on either. amy: can you talk about the latest developments?
it seems like it was over and then after the lunch when president trump said we're going to revive this, you will sign it, i am going to sign it, i am waiting here with pen in hand, what is happening right now? do you believe this will is dead? >> yes. it is over. this is theater at this point. if you look closely at what mitch mcconnell said, the large majority of people in our conference, they only have -- with john mccain in arizona not able to vote, they have 51 people in their conference. so that is one more than they need to have the actual majority because mike pence can break -- but what he said, they have a majority within their conference. in other words, they don't have a majority within the senate, which is what you need. what he is saying they're going on healthpen debate care reform, then they're going to present two options for the people that want some kind of replacement bill -- they can
vote for that. for people that want simply to repeal it straight up -- they can vote for that instead. that allows them to get to an actual vote, which mitch mcconnell believes is cathartic and is a necessary step to put this to rest. as the house learned, when they pulled their bill and never had a vote, it will fill a diplomatic. the grassroots were demanding action. they put together a bill in the house that was never really intended to become law, it was just paper that enough republicans could sign on to and then point to the senate or they knew it would fail. this is an effort to put people on record and say, here, you had a chance to vote. look, we're a 40 something for this and 40 something for that, we don't have enough for either so we're moving on. because trump continues to insist on this year, he had burned through weeks and weeks were he could have been doing tax reform or infrastructure or any other part of his agenda.
we are getting close to august, and he is still on this when we have known for months it did not have the vote. amy: ryan grim, thank you for being with us. we will link to your latest piece "u.s. lawmakers seek to criminally outlaw support for boycott campaign against israel." when we come back, "made in america" week. ♪ [music break] amy: "my blakean year" by patti smith singing here at our
democracy now! studio in 2015. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. it is "made in america" week according to the white house. pres. trump: we're here to celebrate american manufacturing and to showcase the amazing products from all 50 states made in usa remember the old days when it used to have made in america? made in usa? we're going to start doing that again. we're going to put that brand on our product because it means it is the best. want to build, create, and grow more products in our country using american labor, american goods, and american grit. when we purchase products, the profits stay here, the revenue stays here, and the jobs, maybe most important of all, they stay right here in the usa. amy: while president trump is promoting made in america week, we turn now to look at a recent
investigation by the guardian has revealed workplace abuse, grueling production targets and deplorably low pay at an indonesian factory that makes clothing for the ivanka trump brand label. many of the female workers at the factory in west java say the pay is so low, they live in constant debt and can't afford to live with their own children. this comes as three chinese activists with the group china labor watch continue to be -- were imprisoned, though now released, while they were arrested while investigating labor conditions at a factory manufacturing ivanka trump brand shoes in china. well, last month, democracy now! spoke to the journalist who broke the story, krithika varagur in jakarta, indonesia's capital. she talked about what she discovered in her investigation. >> i went to a factory in west java about three hours from jakarta that makes clothes for a global conglomerate that makes clothing for a bunch of high profile brands, including calvin trump.and ivanka
what i found was fairly typical of other indonesian garment factories, which is to say there were quite a few labor violations according to the workers that i spoke with. consistent unpaid overtime for poorly compensated overtime, extremely low minimum but quiteill legal, low for indonesia and quite low for asia. and reports of verbal abuse from company management. amy: talk about the people you met there, particularly the young women and what they had to say about their work conditions. >> this is a pretty large factory, almost 3000 people. the vast majority of the people who work there are women. often, they are the breadwinners for their whole family. wageact about this minimum and the reason this town has
become quite attractive to garment factories is that this minimum wage is incredibly low, even for indonesia. it is about $173 a month. this means if you are from out of town, just to save your parents don't have a house here you can day in, you can't afford to have your children live with you. according to many labor activists, this is not a living wage. one prominent activist i quoted called it the poverty wage. the working moms i met, including one that was prominently featured in my piece, simply cannot afford to have their kids live with them. they live in a different town see their grandparents and their parents about once a month. amy: you talk about this area where this factory is being particularly low wages, even for indonesia -- like you said, $160 a month, which would be $40 a week, which would be well under
one dollar an hour. because also, you describe people saying they are forced to work overtime and not be compensated. >> right. the wage is quite low for indonesia. in a neighboring town, for example, the minimum wage is over 3 million rupiah, where here it is only 2.3. when i spoke to the manpower ministry of this district, they were quite insistent this wage was important to give them competitive in the global garment market. but of course, when you look at it from the global perspective, this wage is about 40% lower than what the equivalent factory workers are making in china. earlier thised month in "the new york times" the g3 apparel group was looking to move to cheaper labor, even cheaper than china, and it has been closing down some factories. you see the downstream movement chasing lower and lower wages,
which i think this is a part of. amy: the issue of china is particularly relevant when it comes to ivanka brand -- yvonne clothes.trump brand . we reported on the three that went to a factory in china, which actually pays more than the factory visited in indonesia . they were investigating the conditions there and they have all been arrested. which is unusual, even for china right now. >> yeah. it is certainly concerning. i believe the ivanka trump brand has distanced itself from that particular factory because they don't currently produce things there anymore. i would say it is a disturbing development. amy: talk about the young woman you met in the west java factory. >> without giving too much away, she has been working all her
life. children.other to two what i would emphasize is that she is not unique in the factory. she says there are dozens of moms just like her whose main interactions with their kids are in photos on their phones that they store up when they visit them once a month. you know, they're doing honest work. they are getting a legal wage and this factor is not beyond the pale. it is a very ordinary, indonesian factory. but the fact is, even working day after day, the money they make is simply not enough. there's just a great distance moms liveives these live in and the professional rhetoric of ivanka trump who wrote a book on women in the workplace. amy: you actually shared this sort of gist of the book "women who work: rewriting the rules for success" with this young
woman, this factory worker at the west java factory. what did she say about what ivanka recommends when it comes to rewriting the rules for success? >> she thought it was funny. she started laughing. i mean, this work-life balance is totally alien to women of her in their position. they don't balance their work and lives because they want to, but because they have to. yeah, i mean, there's just a huge gap between their experience and the rhetoric that is being pushed in ivanka trump's book. she and many of them did not know who she was, but they were not familiar with the intricacies of her brand -- she and many of them knew she was,
but they were not familiar with the intricacies of her brand. amy: so shelley sees her kids about once a month, make enough for the gasoline to make a trip hours away to her family where her children are being raised by their grandparents. >> that's correct. amy: yaws a talk about president trump calling out indonesia last march for having an unfavorable trade balance with the united wases saying that indonesia cheating foreign importers. can you explain how that fits into this picture? >> sure. indonesia is one of the countries that donald trump singled out for having what he called an unfair trade balance with the united states. i believe as of last year, it was a $13 billion surplus. he promised to correct return je import/export balance of the
u.s. favor. it is ironic in that context having singled out indonesia as one of these countries, his daughter's clothing brent uses indonesian labor. amy: and donald trump keeps on saying he will penalize companies that go to other countries, talking about bringing jobs back to america. trump'z company, ivanka brand, you don't always know it is the ivanka trump brand. is that right? the name is different and they have even changed the ivanka trump brand name in some cases. >> that's correct. it has been sort of plummeting in popularity and various metro areas in recent months to the point where g3, the apparel group that owns ivanka trump, has been discreetly relabeling her merchandise to another and, apparently, without informing ran in hopes of
moving it off the shelves. i am not sure what the effects of that have been, but i think it points to the fact that her merchandise is kind of getting tougher to move off the shelves. amy: indonesia is the largest muslim country in the world. did you talk to the workers at this factory? were they aware of all of the controversy around the muslim ban, one and two of the current president, president trump, the trump, whosenka clothing are named after her, though she has distanced herself while she is an advisor to her father and the white house? >> certainly, some of them were aware of donald trump. allobvious reasons, since most every worker in this factor is a muslim, they were not fans of him. factory town like many you eithera, it is
keep his job or work on the farm. one of the people quoted in the article said they are not in a position to make employment decisions based on their principles. so as much as they have personal problems with indirectly supporting a family that has announced a muslim ban, they can't do much about it right now. amy: have you gotten a response from the ivanka trump brand? the publisher of ivanka trump's book told abc news in a statement -- have they responded directly to your keys, and next was a about the conditions in this one plant in indonesia that makes ivanka trump brand gloats? >> that yet.
amy:'s or anything else you would like to found about what you found out people in the plant feel? this is a nonunion plant? >> there are two small unions represented, but they are quite a small fraction of the total factory population. so they are less than 10% of the factory. factoriesany of the in indonesia, are there number that are going to this district of indonesia or the minimum wage , which does a the least, is extremely minimal, is even lower than other parts of indonesia? >> yeah. there are quite a few korean apparel groups in this region. and i think there are over 300 companies this year. it has become quite -- it is becoming a fairly predominant industrial zone.
in terms of the factor as a whole, i would just say it is a very run-of-the-mill indonesian garment factory. but of course, the reason it bears a second look is because of the connection to a very specific brand that is built on women in the workplace. so i think it is important to look at the supply chain of the brand that positions itself in that way. amy: krithika varagur about her guardian investigation. we will link to that at democracynow.org. all ivanka trump brand apparel are made abroad. president trump declare this week "made in america" week. that does it for the broadcast. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!] ve cheese?
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