tv Democracy Now PBS April 26, 2018 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
04/26/18 04/26/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> what was done, it does not look at all like a muslim ban. that fallsa ban almost exclusively on muslims. amy: the u.s. supreme court's appears poised to uphold president trump's latest travel ban blocking most people from seven countries including iran, libya, somalia, syria, and yemen from entering the united states. we will hear part of the oral arguments and at the case of a u.s. citizen in yemen whose daughter has cerebral palsy. despite her condition and her need of desperate medical
attention, the u.s. has denied her injury. -- her injury. then we air a secretly taped audio recording revealing a leading democratic party official pressuring a progressive democratic to drop out of a congressional race. then we look at how aid agencies are scrambling to relocate thousands of rohingya refugees from crowded camps in southeastern bangladesh ahead of the monsoon season's heavy rains. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the u.s. supreme court appears poised to uphold president trump's travel ban, which blocks most people from seven countries including iran, libya, somalia, syria, and yemen from entering the united states. during oral arguments on wednesday, justice anthony kennedy, who is often seen as a swing vote, appeared to side with the conservative wing of the court.
u.s. solicitor general noel francisco argued the travel restrictions were not a "so-called muslim ban," and that the order fell within the president's executive authority. francisco made the claim even though trump campaigned for president calling for a "total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states." this is justice samuel alito. >> if you look at what was done, it does not look at all like a muslim ban. there are other justifications that jump out as to why these particular countries were put on the list. it seems to me the list creates a strong inference this was not done for that purpose. amy: we'll have more on president trump's travel ban after headlines. meanwhile, the trump administration on wednesday canceled temporary protected status for about 9000 nepali immigrants, who now face the prospect of deportation from the u.s. the move came exactly three
years after a devastating earthquake in nepal killed almost 9000 people. president trump's nominee to head the department of veterans affairs appears poised to withdraw from consideration amid mounting scandals. on wednesday, new details emerged about white house physician admiral ronny jackson's behavior, including allegations he drunkenly wrecked a government vehicle and created a hostile work environment for his colleagues. jackson also allegedly routinely handed out prescription drugs to west wing staff, including the opioid percocet, the sleeping pill ambien, and the stimulant modafinil, given to senior white house officials on international trips. reports have also surfaced that dr. jackson once drunkenly banged on the hotel room door of a female employee during an overseas work trip in 2015 until the secret service intervened. president trump and his aides spent much of wednesday publicly defending jackson against the charges. lawmakers from both parties have raised concern that jackson has no experience heading a vast government bureaucracy like the
veterans a administration, the second-largest agency in the u.s. government. president trump fired the previous v.a. chief, david shulkin, who later said it was because of his opposition to trump's plans to privatize the v.a. epa chief scott pruitt heads to capitol hill today, where he'll face questions over a slew of scandals over his spending and ties to industry lobbyists. pruitt faces more than a half-dozen inquiries including charges he paid just $50 a night to live in a capitol hill condo linked to a prominent washington lobbyist whose firm represents a roster of fossil fuel companies. pruitt then lied by saying the lobbyist did not have business before the epa. pruitt had a $43,000 soundproof phone booth installed in his office, which a government watchdog agency says violated spending laws. pruitt had the epa spend $3 million on his security detail, including 18 full-time agents. he later demoted officials who challenged his use of those funds, and fired a security
agent who refused to turn on his car's emergency sirens in order to speed through a washington, d.c., traffic jam. pruitt routinely travels first- business class. an epa official told politico it's because pruitt was routinely confronted by economy-class customers angry over his policies. when traveling from home, pruitt stays in luxury hotels, and his international travel expenses have soared into six figures. as oklahoma attorney general, pruitt used a private email for state business. he later told the senate environment committee that he hadn't. president trump's personal lawyer and "fixer" michael cohen signaled wednesday he'll claim his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination when a lawsuit filed by adult film star stephanie clifford, also known as stormy daniels, heads to trial. the president has previously criticized people for taking the fifth. this is donald trump, speaking in september 2016. pres. trump: taking the fit the moment, four people plus the
government illegally did the server. so there are five people taking the fifth amendment like you see on the mob, right yet that you see the bob take the fifth. if you're innocent, why are you taking the fifth amendment? amy: by pleading the fifth, cohen can avoid being deposed and being forced to reveal information about hush-money payments paid to stormy daniels and to karen mcdougal, another women president trump is alleged to have had an affair with. the payments are a central focus of a criminal probe launched by new york prosecutors against cohen, which became public after fbi agents raided cohen's home, offices, and hotel room earlier this month. court papers filed wednesday show president trump has offered to personally review documents seized by the fbi in that raid, in trump's latest bid to claim attorney-client privilege in order to prevent prosecutors from reading over the materials. french president emmanuel macron addressed a joint session of the u.s. congress wednesday, drawing a three-minute standing ovation as he took the podium. macron claimed the u.s. and france share the values of liberty, tolerance, and equal rights and spent much of his 50-minute speech swiping at president trump's policies on
trade and the environment. he also urged the u.s. not to withdraw from the iran nuclear agreement. >> who's to say that this agreement may not address all concerns and very important concerns. this is true. that we should not abandon it without having something substantial and more substantial instead. that is my position. president macron signals he believes president trump will withdraw from the karen nuclear agreement before the deadline mid-may. in the gaza strip, palestinian journalist ahmed abu hussein died on wednesday from wounds he sustained while covering protests against israel's occupation. hussein was shot in the abdomen april 13, even though he was wearing protective gear clearly marked press. he's the second palestinian journalist killed since large-scale protests erupted in
gaza on march 30. earlier this year yaser murtaja , was shot and killed by an israeli sniper earlier this month under similar circumstance. in kandahar, afghanistan, gunmen assassinated afghan journalist abdul manan arghand tuesday as he was driving his car during the morning rush hour. police say two attackers riding on a motorcycle fled the scene and remain at large. the killing has already had a chilling effect on afghan reporters. this is abdul sami of the media group nai. >> until the safety of journalists are guaranteed and the perpetrators are arrested, we will not broadcast any news from the south of the country. amy: the killing came on the same day that officials met in the afghan capital kabul to discuss ways to protect journalists. the afghan journalists' safety committee says last year was the deadliest yet for media workers, with 20 killed and scores more assaulted or threatened. in okinawa, japan, hundreds of protesters are in the midst of a week-long demonstration against the construction of a massive new u.s. marine corps base.
on wednesday, riot police moved in to arrest scores of people as they held a nonviolent sit-in protest at the gates of marine corps camp schwab. activists in about 80 canoes and boats also held a protest offshore. okinawan peace activists have fought for decades for the expulsion of u.s. troops from their island. back in the united states, housing and urban development secretary ben carson proposed legislation wednesday that would triple the rent of the lowest-income families who receive federal housing subsidies. carson's "making affordable housing work act" would also require many recipients of section eight housing assistance to work at least 15 hours a week. nearly 5 million households would be affected. in sacramento, california, police arrested 72-year-old former police officer joseph james deangelo on wednesday, saying they have dna evidence he is the "golden state killer," a serial rapist and murderer who terrorized california in the 1970's and 1980's.
the killer was blamed for at least 12 murders, 50 rapes, and a slew of burglaries and other crimes. the is bruce harrington, brother of one of the killer's victims. >> to the entire reservoir of victims out there, my sadness is with you. for the 51 ladies who were sleep betterd, tonight. he isn't coming through the window. philippines peace activist jerome aba is speaking out after he was held for 28 hours by u.s. customs and border protection officials at san francisco international airport last week before being denied entry into the u.s. aba says the border agents accused him of being a terrorist, ordered him to strip naked, denied him food for nearly 24 hours, and then offered him only pork to eat in an insult to his muslim faith. this is jerome aba describing the ordeal. >> when i arrived at the san francisco airport, they immediately took me and
handcuffed me and then interrogated me until they deported me back to the philippines. they ask me again and again if i'm a terrorist, if i'm a communist. this i denied. i am not a terrorist. i am an activist. amy: jerome aba had been scheduled to tour the u.s. to speak out about philippines president rodrigo duterte's bloody war on drugs, which human rights groups say has led to the extrajudicial killings of up to 8000 people. president trump has cited duterte's drug policies favorably as part of trump's push to bring the death penalty to drug dealers here. and the national memorial for peace and justice opens today in alabama, a monument. steelare 800 weathered pillars overhead, each of them naming a u.s. county and the people who were lynched by white mobs. the museum's creation was overseen by bryan stevenson of the equal justice initiative. he says more than 4400 black people died by lynching throughout u.s. history. he spoke to democracy now! in
2014. >> lynching was horrific and terrifying. and we don't talk about it. we put markers about the confederacy in front of these courthouses, but we don't say word about the thousands of people that were lynched -- hundreds of whom work lynched on courthouse lawns. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. nermeen: and i'm nermeen shaikh. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. the u.s. supreme court appears poised to uphold president trump's travel ban, which blocks
syria, and yemen from entering the united states. during oral arguments on wednesday, justice anthony kennedy, who is often seen as a swing vote, appeared to side with the conservative wing of the court. u.s. solicitor general noel francisco argued the travel restrictions were not a "so-called muslim ban," and that the order fell within the president's executive authority. francisco made the claim even though trump campaigned for president calling for a "total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states." amy: lower courts have repeatedly ruled against versions of trump's travel ban saying they were unconstitutional and in violation of federal immigration law. neal katyal argued against the ban in the case which was brought by the state of hawaii. this is justice samuel alito questioning neal katyal. >> any reasonable observer reading this proclamation, without taking into account statements, think this was a muslim ban? >> i think r 50 predominately muslim countries in the world. five countries, five predominately muslim countries are on this list. the population of the predominately muslim countries on this list make up about 8% of
the world's muslim population will stop if you looked at the 10 countries with the most muslims, exactly one, iran, would be on that list of the top 10. so would a reasonable observer thing -- >> if it were just the text of the order alone, it might raise eyebrows. but we absolutely agree that it is the same test in other cases, you have to look to all of the circumstances around it, the publicly available once. the fact the order only encompasses some muslim countries, i don't think means it is not religious discrimination. for example, if i am an employer and i've to an african americans working for me and only fire two of them, and say, well, i left the other eight incremental think anyone can say that is not discrimination. >> i understand that. it is one of our fundamental values that there is religious freedom here for everybody,
adherence to every religion are entitled to equal treatment. my only point is that if you look at what was done, it does not look at all like a muslim ban. there are other justifications that jump out as to why these particular countries were put on the list. creates to me the list a strong inference that this was not done for that invidious purpose. they make a supreme court justice samuel alito questioning neal katyal during oral arguments wednesday on president trump's travel ban. we are joined now by two guests. lee gelernt is deputy director of the aclu's national immigrants' rights project. he presented the first challenge to president trump's travel ban order last year. diala shamas is staff attorney at the center for constitutional rights. she was in djibouti last month speaking to yemeni relatives of u.s. citizens attempting to come to the united states under trump's travel ban.
we welcome you both to democracy now! lee, you brought the first challenge in a brooklyn court. you're watching this in the supreme court. explain what happened and what you think the outcome will be based on the questions of the supreme court justices. >> i would hesitate to predict. i never predict. there was definitely some skepticism about our challenge. there was not a lot of talk about religious discrimination. maybe thethan i think public would have thought. i think the question i think ,hat most people, nonlawyers probably have, we all understand what the president was doing, what is this restricted inquiry in court where they're not taking into account all of the president statements? the government has argued, welcome you should not look at what someone says during the campaign. we will see whether the court
looks at it. most of the discussion centered on whether the president, regardless of religious discrimination, overstepped his authority that congress has given him. i think that is ultimately where the fight is going to be on the court, the congress could the president this type of authority to ban 150 million muslims without serious justification? nermeen: alito in the clip says the ban only applies to five muslim countries. of course, there are many more than that. therefore, it cannot be read as a muslim ban. your response to that? >> i think the response given in court was correct. well, what if you just had 10 african-americans working for you and those are the only people that you took three of them and fire them for no reason and fired no white people? i think that is the correct response. you would still say there is discrimination going on. what we feel like is they added north korea and they added
venezuela as window dressing. amy: i want to turn to justice elena kagan who question solicitor general francisco. >> this is a hypothetical you have heard a variant of that the government has come at any rate, but i want to give you -- let's say in some future time, a president gets elected who is a vehement anti-semi. says all kinds of denigrating comments about jews and provokes a lot of resentment and hatred over the course of a campaign and in his presidency. asks hisurse of that, staff or his cabinet members to issue recommendations so he can issue a proclamation of this i's andd they dot the cross the t's.
and what emerges, again, in the context of this variable in anti-semitism, what emerges is a proclamation that says no one shall enter from israel. toyou say mandel puts an end judicial review of that set of facts? >> no, your honor, i don't sleep is an end to it but i do say that in that context, mandel would be the starting point of the analysis because it does involve the exclusion of aliens, which is where mandel applies. if his cabinet -- and this is a tough hypothetical that we dealt with throughout, but if his cabinet were to actually come to him and say, mr. president, there is honestly a national security risk here and you have to act, i think then that the president would be allowed to follow that advice even if it is in his private heart of hearts he also harbored animus. amy: so that was elena kagan questioning solicitor general francisco. diala shamas, your response to
this line of questions? just said no one from israel can come in? >> i think what is obvious about that, the hypothetical that really isn't so much havoc that it will because if you just the jewish identification with muslim identification, yet exactly what has happened here. general the solicitor kind of waiver a little bit in his response there i think really signals a level of discomfort that he had and that the government is going to ultimately be facing when it of the issue,crux the issue of discrimination and the constitutionality of the ban . nermeen: can you give us a sense, for the people were not quite aware of what the impact of this ban has been and will be in the event that it is kept in place, who are the people who
are most impacted? you are in djibouti last month speaking to yemenis. can you talk about that as well as the other people who are included in this list, 150 million? >> one of the reasons we went to djibouti in the first place was in order to be able to go to where the impact was being experienced. as you may recall, the first executive order, people rushed to the airport in a sense of cass was capable -- probable in the u.s.. shifted to processing were people who are no longer in mid flight are being banned, but people who are banned to stop it is not as visible will stuff that makes it much more difficult to really understand the scope of the human impact the band has had. we thought it was important go to djibouti, which is where many yemeni applicants when to get there visas processed due to the fact the consulate in djibouti itself, the u.s. embassy in
in 2015 due town the war in yemen. so many had to travel and make an arduous journey to djibouti in order to finish processing their visa petitions in order to rejoin their families. so most yemenis are actually the direct relatives, children, spouses, of u.s. citizens or u.s. lawful permanent residents. many of them headed to djibouti for their interviews. for the state of the supreme before it wasr lifted on december 4 or afterwards to attend an interview. what happened was the moment the stay was lifted in december, they received a mass denial of visa petitions. families who had been there expecting to wait two or three weeks pending processing of their visa petitions, ended up being in djibouti for six months. some people were there for two years. amy: and so many are american citizens trying to bring a
families. >> honest everyone we spoke with were u.s. citizens and noncitizens wives, husbands, children, parents -- amy: or sick children. that is the issue we want to go to. i want to turn to neil gorsuch questioning attorney neal katyal , which pursue the trump administration over the ban. this begins with justice gorsuch. >> on the assumption we can reach the merits. of the government makes the argument, for example, aliens who are removed from this country have to bring their claims personally and third parties cannot vindicate those rights of aliens being -- who were present in this country and asks the question, why it should be that third persons should be able to assert the rights of aliens who are not present in this country. what is the answer? >> this is not a third party case. these are u.s. citizens bringing this challenge -- >> on behalf of -- >> there directly harmed
themselves. let me give you one example. not just the state of hallway whose university is directly impacted, but let's take for thatle the 10-year-old you're referring to, a 10-year-old daughter in yemen who is trying to come here because -- >> i understand that. amy: we return to that issue of the yemeni girl with cerebral palsy mentioned by neal katyal during supreme court oral arguments. she is featured in a new al jazeera documentary called "between war and the ban: a yemeni-american story" which tells the story of yemenis trying to come to the u.s., often to reunite with family members. in this clip, her father, a u.s. reportertalks to sharif abdel kouddous about his daughter's deteriorating medical condition and the u.s. denial of these is for his daughter.
>> will of the problems after the war, there was no medical care. the medical system in the country has collapsed. is a consequence of the war. >> 11-year-old daughter was born with cerebral palsy, making a more urgent for her to get adequate medical care, something that has become increasingly difficult in yemen. >> cropper medicine is not available, only substitutes. but the substitutes are smuggled through the deserts. and the heat ruins them. >> how did that affect her? amy: again, that clip from al jazeera english. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. diala shamas, tell us about this family, this little girl that her father is saying she cannot
get the medicine in yemen, now they are in djibouti. they cannot even afford to stay there. he did not think this was going to be an issue. he himself is an american citizen and she is just deteriorating. >> so his case is very illustrative, i think in part why it was part of the supreme court, was this is a family who at the very least should be given a waiver under the travel ban or the proclamation. proclamationthe that allows consular officers to provide a waiver on a case-by-case basis to anybody who meets a sort of secretary of set out in the proclamation. so you would be covered by the ban if you're yemeni national. however, a consular officer may describe -- provide the waiver if they believe it would cause undue hardship to not be allowed entry and if you were in the best interest of the u.s. and if it doesn't present -- of entry would not present a threat to
national security. then it lists examples of who may be eligible for a waiver. the little girl fits several of the criteria. she is strung rejoin her parents. she has an extreme medical condition. amy: she is just laying there in bed. he said she was not always like this. >> she deteriorated while in djibouti. she s denied a waiver. she is a letter to nine her visa and also think she was found in eligible for a waiver. this is a dramatic essence of chaos the administration has had from the start from the get-go around the travel ban. people like mr. omari are try to do their best to petition for a waiver, but look everywhere for guidance on how to do that and are not able to find any. so you would think at least with her -- frankly, many
she is a very extreme case that is illustrative of this problem, but there's a many people we met in djibouti who should qualify for a waiver. what we know is nobody has been getting them. they're sitting there in djibouti under extremely difficult conditions. djibouti is an extremely expensive country to live in in part because the economy is inflated, including the u.s. military base, and they are spending thousands of dollars a month i'm usually borrowing from relatives here in the u.s. to simply be able to sustain themselves for months and months , and in some cases, years. nermeen: let's go to a clip from yesterday's oral arguments at the supreme court on the question of the waivers. this is justice stephen breyer and solicitor general noel francisco. the clip begins with breyer. >> this has case-by-case exceptions. and as has, you know, case-by-case waivers may be appropriate in individual circumstances such as -- giving some examples -- the following. the have to be no terrorist. that is the law anyway. they have to be in the interest
of the united states and there cannot be undue hardship, which the only time the word "hardship" appears in immigration law, it says "extreme hardship." in countries of 150 million people altogether, there must be quite a few who have -- to fall within that class. >> yes, but only a small number of people that seek to come -- >> that is what i'm asking about. as far as we're concerned, if they fall within that class, there's no reason given here why they should be excluded other than the normal processes. >> a couple of responses, your honor. first, terms of the numbers -- >> i'm not asking about the numbers. they terms of the reasons should be excluded. one of the principal purposes of approximation is to have diplomatic pressure on governments to get them to change a provide as -- >> you think they should be excluded. >> not if they meet the criteria for the waiver. >> ok.
no miko that is a discussion about the waiver program. could you explain how that has been applied so far and also the question of if this ban is kept in effect, whether there is any likelihood depending on how the decision is written that other countries could be added to the list? >> those are both important questions. taking the second one, we don't know how it is going to be written but there were certainly be no reason of their pull the travel ban additional countries could not be added. i don't think anyone should assume it is just these countries or it is going to be reduced. it is certainly possible they will take countries off. they took chad off, but they also potentially good at countries if they claim those countries now meet the criteria itthe on the waiver, i think put it right, there is chaos. what came out of the argument is there are only 430 waivers and there are 150 million people covered by the ban.
if this 10-year-old little girl is targeting a waiver, it is hard to imagine the criteria are being applied correctly. amy: one thing i was astounded by was knoll francisco saying, if anyone found that they were being discriminated against, they could just of feel the decision from any individual. >> i'm not sure how that would happen. i think the government has not been all that transparent about the waivers. that is a problem on on top of the problems created by the travel ban generally. go to another case that has to do earlier this week you presented arguments in a case involving 1400 iraqis who were slated for deportation from the u.s. could you explain what the case is and who these iraqis are? >> these iraqis are primarily christian or minority sect muslims. they have been living in the country for decades. amy: in the u.s. sorry, in the united states
for decades. they all have final orders of conviction orno minor convictions, but there is a range of convictions. they have been living here notver because iraq would take them back. they have all settled into life here. they have raised shogren, raised families. -- they have raised children, raised families. they've been living easily in the country and every prior administration is allowed them to stay. the trump administration convinced iraq to take them back. so be it, there when it's in the back. we do not think they should be sent back. at the really horrendous part is they said we're going to round them up immediately and report them right away without giving them a chance to go back to court to show that if they are sent back to iraq now as christians, as minority sect muslims, their endangered of being tortured or killed by ices or other groups. also did a the federal court is, give them some time to show their way to be tortured.
the trump administration said, no, we're going to remove them in two days, so be it. so a federal district court said, look, i'm when a slowdown the process of each one can go in and show they are in serious danger if there removed. the federal court did that. just simply slow down the process, did not say anyone had the right to remain here permanently, slowed the process down. the trouble administration decided to appeal that order to the court of appeals. i argue that case yesterday in cincinnati and the government sa the district court did not have authority even to slow the process down to allow these individuals to show they would be tortured. unfortunately, the trump administration is rounding up lots of groups en mmasse around the country will stop i think there are going to be more. not giving them any time to show they're going to be tortured or killed if sent back. these individuals have been living in the country for decades, and yet now they are
given no time. when federal judges say, why do it so quickly, they've been here for decades? administration said, our mission is to remove people. it just looks like airtran in the numbers of deportations up regardless of the circumstances. amy: can you talk about the family separation? >> i have been during this work for over 25 years. the family separation practice is horrific as anything i've ever seen. they are separating asylum seeking mothers and fathers of the border from their little children. children 18 months, two years, three years. and they don't have any rationale that they can present in court. the true reason they want to deter legitimate asylum-seekers from coming to this country, so they're using the most trick on he and measure possible, -- draconian measure possible, taking the little kids away. a congolese mom and her seven-year-old daughter who made it to this country, past the initial asylum screening so they are legitimate asylum-seekers.
the mother after four days was put in another room in handcuffs and said, you're going to be detained in san diego. she heard her little girl, then six, in the other room screaming "least don't take me away from my mommy." the girl was taken away to chicago. the mother was not even told her the little group was going for four days. there were separated for four months will stop after the aclu brought a lawsuit, the government said, you were not sure was the true mom. the judge said, why not give her a dna test? course she was the mother. "the new york times goes with has just reported there are 700 kids who have been separated from their families. diegos a hearing in san may 4. we're hoping the judge will order that all of these kids be reunited with their parents and the process be stopped going forward. nermeen: what is your sense -- this is a widespread practice of the trump administration.
is there anyway to stop them? we just reported on the supreme court. it seems likely they're going to uphold the travel ban. is any reason to think these other ritual act in a way to prevent these types of mass deportations? we arei can say is hopeful. what we have been heartened by is sometimes the practice is so justnian that it doesn't put along normal ideological lines. even people who do not necessarily agree with us on the macro immigration issues are coming forward, republicans and democrats saying, look, enough is enough. you cannot be separating an 18-month-old child. we're hoping that maybe even the administration says maybe we need to relook at this. amy: we want to thank you both for being with us. we will continue to follow this and the ban decision will come down from the supreme court in june. lee gelernt with aclu's national immigrants' rights project. diala shamas is staff attorney at the center for constitutional rights.
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: we turn now to a new expose by the intercept that confirms how powerful democratic officials have worked to crush competitive progressive candidates in primaries around the country, choosing instead to back moderate, business friendly candidates. this comes after president obama used his farewell address to encourage americans upset about the outcome of the 2016 election to take action by running for office themselves.
pres. obama: if you are disappointed by your elected officials him a grab a clip or get some signatures, and run for office yourself. it. up, dive in, stay at sometimes you will win. sometimes you will lose. reservoir of goodness in other people, that can be a risk. and there will be times when the process will disappoint you. nermeen: well, today we speak with a colorado man who heeded obama's call and found himself disappointed by the process after he was repeatedly pressured by powerful democrats not to run. in fact, he recorded a conversation in which he was directly told to drop out of the democratic primary for colorado's sixth congressional district by none other than the
second-ranking house democrat. now he has gone public with the recording which was turned into an animated video by the intercept. this is clip. listen carefully. parts are hard to understand. >> one of the most competitive season the country, the sixth dcc moved into electricity program corporate lawyer is the party candidate. fishing resources, endorsements, and money to croak while elbowing out aggressive democratic but it is also the democratic party often denies they play favorites. what follows is a meeting between commerce been steny hoyer, number two democrat in the house, and levi tillemann, progressive running for the seat. that is what i expected. >> you would like me to get out of the race. >> [inaudible]
amy: representative steny hoyer and you can hear him in that recording saying "that's correct" when levi tillemann asks him if he'd like him to get out of his primary race and that the decision to back his opponent was made early on. for more, we go to denver to speak with levi tillemann, a candidate in colorado's democratic primary for the 6th congressional district, which includes denver. he is featured in the new expose by lee fang, investigative journalist at the intercept, headlined "secretly taped audio reveals democratic official pressuring progressive to bow out of election." we welcome you to democracy now! levi tillemann, explain when this meeting took place in exactly what you were told. >> this happen in december after months of our campaign receiving subtle and frequently
not-so-subtle messages from democratic insiders that there was a chosen candidate and it was not us and it were going to shovel money and resources for the candidate who quite friendly i don't think represented the values of the district. amy: explain exactly further how you met with steny hoyer, what the circumstances were. >> steny hoyer was in town on a fund-raising trip during which he was going to hold a closed-door fundraiser for my democratic opponent, but he reached out to me and asked if we could sit down and have a meeting at a hotel downtown. i obliged and told him i thought we needed to fight for truth and democracy and for democratic values will stop when i say that, that is not just in a credit values with a big "v" that is democracy with a small "." he told hugo the right thing was for democrats to get an early and put their weight behind the chosen candidate. amy: i want to go back to another excerpt of the video of
nermeen: in that clip, representative hoyer says they will continue to shovel money at your democratic primary opponent jason crow. who is jason crow? >> jason crow is a white collar criminal defense lawyer who did not live in the district when he decided to run. at the bigger problem doesn't have to do with me or my democratic opponent who has embraced the support, it has to do with the fact that this happened not just to my campaign, but to every other democrat who was running in the district and to dozens of democrats across the country. and what that means is that washington insiders are controlling the agenda. they are pumping money toward candidates who are going to fight for corporations and wall street and the establishment, and issues that progressives care about like a living wage and medicare for all and a complete transition to renewable energy by 2035 and finally,
impeaching donald trump am a those are not getting the attention they deserve in washington today. amy: let's bring lee fang into this conversation. talk about representative steny hoyer. talk about his significance and the role of the dccc and the money it is raising, who it is choosing and who it is and. is not just in the case of levite tillemann --levi tillemann. >> steny hoyer is the number two in the house. he is the ambitions to be the next figure. really skyrocketed through the democratic leadership ranks all stuffy was elected in 1981 but has played a part in the dccc for his entire congressional career. he is been a big party fundraiser, the point person in the democratic caucus to outreach to raise big bucks from lobbyists.
he is played a pivotal role in going around the country and selecting establishment candidates and helping them find race and hopefully, in his perspective, making sure they when the general election and support his agenda once elected. if you look at the colorado race, it is very interesting. we have this very vivid picture of the dynamic because of his audio recording. but this is going on all across the country. we have been covering assange january. we have been covering this on a day-to-day basis. steny hoyer and the dccc are going to the primaries and saying we would like to have establishment candidates, folks who are very business-friendly, who will not rock the boat was the come into congress. they want those folks to win their primaries. on the other hand, there are resistance and activists and other populists who are also buying for the nomination. these folks are promising bold,
progressive ideas and the dccc in public, and in some cases in private, they have said they remain neutral in the primary. that has not been the case. in case after case that we have reported on an kind of dug into, we have seen the party is shoveling resources, money, polling, data, endorsements, media coverage to the establishment and elbowingut the progressive. this colorado case is interesting because levi decided to go public and record this and decided to fight back, but this is going on from coast to coast in competitive elections. amy: tell us about what happened in houston particularly. >> and another kind of case, this dynamic playing out, in one district -- i believe the seventh district of texas, a houston suburb long-held republican seat of hillary clintonwon this district in
manning they think this is a pickup opportunity. is astablishment favorite corporate lawyer named lizzie fletcher. her,er candidate, or mows who is an activist, who has organized anti-trump resistance efforts all across the country, done a lot of digital organizing. the took the unusual step or rubber for the texas primary, they dumped opposition research. that is the term of art for political dirt on laura moser, the progressive candidate. they said they did this because they thought mosier was too liberal for the district. but that tactic, backfired. laura moser sort in the polls after the dirt was dumped and collected small dollar donations from donors all across the country and actually made the texas runoff. texas has come of a double election process and the runoff election to select the nominee will be coming up in may. nermeen: one of the other things
you may today your piece has to do with the fact that the -- before candidates are considered, the dccc tells them they have to pass the rolodex test. can you explain what that is and also the fact the dccc has renewed its partnership with the blue doc caucus? can you explain the significance of that? >> we are taught to a number of candidates to say they're first-time candidates try to learn the process in minnesota pennsylvania and elsewhere we've heard this anecdote several times. but when they go to the dccc and say, we would like to learn how to be a candidate, dccc officials say, take out your smartphone and show us how you $250,000 $200,000, just from the contacts on your smartphone. so there is kind of a money barrier for even running for office. that is why the dccc is gravitating toward corporate lawyers or folks that have a lot of wealth.
all of these kind of battles within the democratic hardy are not going on in a vacuum. there are some organizations affiliated with bernie sanders or other activist groups that are trying to influence these primaries, trying to hoist up or bold progressives as the democratic nominee. at the same time, the dccc has renewed its partnership with the blue dog caucus which historically has been culturally and economically conservative democrats, folks who oppose gay marriage, but also are friendly to tax cuts for corporations, deregulation, cutting social security. their numbers have been winnowed in recent elecons. there are not many left in congress. but the blue dog caucus is now partnering with the dccc to select establishment candidates, hoping the blue dog caucus will be renewed in this election cycle. .his is not an even fight
the centrist and conservative is fundedlue dog pacs by wall street banks, big oil, defense contractors. they are pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into these pacs to ensure establishment-for the candidates win these elections. amy: i think people are hearing a lot of parallels to the 2016 election and many feel that if bernie sanders had been the candidate, he could have beaten donald trump. even though, of course, who are clinton to get 3 million more votes than donald trump, but ultimately she did not prevail. what about those parallels at how the dnc dealt with bernie sanders? >> poll after poll showed bernie sanders as the stronger general election candidate against donald trump, but the democratic party pushed resources, media, pulling data -- every thing they could to who are clinton and make sure she won the nomination and to elbow out bernie sanders. they did not learn from the
self-inflicted wound. in fact, the democratic party is doubling down and we're seeing those exact same tactics applied in congressional races all across the country. amy: we want to thank you for being with us, lee fang, we willing to appease at the intercept and levi tillemann, a candidate in colorado's democratic primary for the 6th congressional district next to denver. when we come back, we're pointed inurmaout the rohingya b -- in burma. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: we end today's show looking at how aid agencies are scrambling to relocate thousands of rohingya refugees from crowded camps in bangladesh ahead of the monsoon season's heavy rains coming in june. more than a million registered rohingya refugees now live in a
southeastern bangladesh after they fled in 2017 amid a burmese military campaign of rape, murder, and arson that the u.n. has called a "textbook" example of ethnic cleansing. now the united nations high commissioner for refugees says at least 150,000 people are at "high risk from mudslides and floods" from the heavy rain in the next few months. some could be moved to a recently formed island at the mouth of the meghna river. this comes as more refugees are still crossing over from burma. amy: well, for more, we are joined in our new york studio by tun khin, president of the burmese rohingya organization in the u.k. and a member of the free rohingya coalition. he was born in burma, but in 1982 he was rendered effectively stateless along with a million other ethnic rohingya under a new nationality law. welcome back to democracy now! you were just in the area, you have just returned. tell us what you saw in our deep concerns about the moving of the rohingya in bangladesh who have
fled, what many are calling genocide, in burma. >> these are victims of genocide. they fled because they are facing serious massive trust cities in our homeland. -- atrocities in their homeland. i've seen many rohingyas, women are not getting proper medical aid. there are at least 30,000 rohingya women pregnant, raped women also. at least 25,000 unaccompanied children. amy: you're talking about cox's bazar. the most is the populated refugee camp in the world? >> yes. the challenge is coming after the millionalf of -- half a million will be affected by the flood and rain. it is very important
international community focus on that to protect these people. i worry there will be another natural disaster these people will face. last year they faced man-made know,er, genocide, you completely there are atrocities -- genocide, ia should say. nermeen: can you talk about what plans are in place to relocate the rohingya from the camp? >> after i learned, there try to some rohingyas, but we still do not know when and how they will do that. nermeen: what about repatriation? have any return to burma?
>> it cannot happen, repatriation. the burmese military and government systematically driven them out from their homeland, so they created -- the burmese military and government created an impossible situation for the rohingya. through its ago, people are still fleeing from burma to bangladesh. two days ago, i received five families fled. every day rohingya families are fleeing. at least one week, 10 to 15 families are fleeing because burmese military and government is arresting many rohingyas wrongfully, threatening them. amy: the un security council is going to bangladesh this weekend. what do you want to come out of this visit? >> firstly, i met the victims, they told me i want to see justice before they are returned. they want to see these perpetrators where the children have been vandalized, with her
daughters have been raped in front of them, were there signs have been slaughtered in front of them. they want justice. they want to see these perpetrators, and international, a court. this is importantly bring them into international criminal court. secondly, when we talk about repatriation, we want to return to our homeland. protector return to protected homeland. that international protection is needed. burma as a whole country, you know, secure to forces -- they do not want to say rohingya. amy: we want to thank you for being with us, tun khin. nominationtrump's ronny jackson has withdrawn from
if you're like me, you're always looking for really easy meals to whip up in a flash. that's what we're gonna do today. so please join me for my easy, breezy, and jazzy 5-ingredient recipes. ♪ jazzy ♪ you're gonna be healthy ♪ ♪ with the jazzy vegetarian ♪ jazzy, so snazzy ♪ we're gonna cook something healthy and light ♪ ♪ [scatting] ♪ jazzy, so snazzy so join me in the kitchen right now. ♪ we're gonna cook something healthy and light ♪ ♪ that's right ♪ all the recipes on today's show are quick to prepare because they require only 5 ingredients or less, and i really like that, but we're not gonna skimp on good taste. i'm gonna start with my absolutely fabulous easy black bean casserole served with a crunchy carrot and maple-walnut salad. now, for starters, tantalizing tortilla oven-baked mushrooms