tv PBS News Hour PBS April 18, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, a secret mission-- president trump confirms that the c.i.a. director whom he's nominated to be secretary of state, met with north korea's leader kim jong- un. what this means for nuclear negotiations going forward. then, we remember the matriarch of a polital dynasty. reflections on the life and legacy of barbara bush. >> she had a very fortunate life and a very fortunate end in many ways. >> woodruff: and, what's behind . e racial disparity in maternal mortality in the ud what can be done to bridge the gap. all that on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> woodruff: the nation's chief spy, and possibly, soon-to-be chief diplomat, has washington zzing tonight. mike pompeo's clandestine mission to pyongyang sought to lay the groundwork for a u.s. - north korea summit. william brangham begins our coverage. >> brangham: the news broke last night just as president trump was hosting japanese pri minister shinzo abe at mr. trump's private club in palm beach, florida. this morning, mr. trump confirmed that mike pompeo, c.i.a. director and secretary of state-designate had met secretly weth north korean leader kim jong un over easteend, in north korea. the president tweeted: "the eting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed. details of summit are beinged workut now." cothat unprecedented summiuld come in may or early june, andth effort to roll back north korea's nuclear program will be
topic a. at his confirmation hearing last ulursday, pompeo spoke hop about the upcoming trump-kim atmmit. >> i'm optimistic he united states government can set the conditions for that appropriately so that the president and the north korean leader can have that conversation, will set us down the course of achieving a diplomatic ocome that america so desperately, america and the world so desperatelyeed. >> brangham: the c.i.a. director never mentioned, in public or behind closed doors, thahe had already met with kim. the chairman of the foreign relations committee, republican sb corker, welcomed the n today. >> i'm fine with it. i really am. s ve known for a long, long time that the backchann've had with north korea have been through our intelligence agencies and the c.i.ain particular, so i think it's natural he would be a person that would be a first contact. b ngham: but the committee's ranking democrat, bob menendez,h was ly critical of pompeo's omission, and said that as a result, he'll oppose his nomination.
>> if truth and being forthcoming as the secretary of e ate nominee is one of the standards we'd likto see for the next secretary of state, ile think he fd that. >> brangham: pompeo, while on the hill today lobbying for his nomination, wouldn't answer questions about the visit. despite that, president trump waved off any concerns todayab t his nominee's prospects. >> i think he's going to come through. i think mike pompeo is extraordinary. i think mike pompeo will go down as one of the greaatsecretary of . >> brangham: china's leader xi jinping had his own summit with kim jong un, in beijing, last month. inday, a spokeswoman for china's foreign ministry a encouraged the u.s. to formalize its own summit plans. >> ( translated ): we welcome the united states and north korea beginning direct contacts and dialogues. as the saying goes, well begun is half done. we hope the dialogue will be carried out smoothly and yield good outcomes. >> brangham: japan is less
enthusiastic about all this, and north korea figured high on the trump-abe agenda this week. but the prime minister was careful not to sound critical, h whene spoke to reporters yesterday. >> ( translated oth japan and the united states have been demonstrating leadership in applying the maximum pressure campaign against north korea which actually successfully made the north korean side start seeking dialogue with us. so it is fair to say that our proach has proven to be successful and the right one. >> brangham: at the same time, tokyo is demanding that north korea abandons its medium-range ballistic misses, the kind that have already flown over parts of japan. the japanese are also insisting on the release of their citizens who were abducted by the north decades ago. meanwhile, diplomatic effortsh between nod south korea are also picking up steam. kim jung un ansouth korea's president moon jae in are to meet next week in the demilitarized zone between their nations. they hope to lay the groundwork for a peace treaty formallyn ending the korr. for the pbs newshour, i'm
william brangham. >> woodruff: we'll get the take of one of president trump's advisers on the pompeo visit to north korea, later in the prram. in the day's other news, international inectors were again denied access to the site of a suspected chemical attack in syria. the visito the town of douma was called off after a u.n. security team faced gunfire there on tuesday. meanwhile, u.s. lawmakers from v both parties acing concerns about president trump's authority for last weekend's missile strikes against syria. syria's neighbor iran put its military might on display today and issued a defiant warning against would-be attackers. soldiers marched through the streets of tehran, missiles rolled by and jets flew overhead to mark "national armyay." president hassan rouhani said iran needs its growing arsenal, regardless of sanctions. >> ( translated ): we tell the world that we will produce ore acquy weapons we need, and
will not wait for their approval. we do not seek their view on this. n er have and we never will we are not living in a normal region, and weweee invading have built bases around us. they maintain an illegal presence..s >> woodruff:sanctions on n an will resume unless president trump agants a waiver next onth. in the meantime, britain, france neand germany have propose european sanctions. edba's national assembly m today to name a new president, as raul caro gets ready to st down tomorrow. the 86-year-old leader enteredth chamber with miguel diaz- canel, his designated successori but, he'll rhead of the communist party, the island nation's most powerf post. raul castro took over as president after fidel castro, his brother, fell ill in 2006.n backis country, a power failure blacked out all of puerto rico, for the first time since hurricane "maria" struck last september.
officials said an excavator accidentally took out a transmission line. it's the second major outage toh hiu.s. territory in less than a week. officials say it could take 24 to 36 hours to restore power. fire crews in oklahoma fought to corral wildfires that have burned since last week. the flames have swept through drought-stricken land, destroying homes and barns and killing at least two people. the largest fire has burned more isthan 400 square miles an only 3% contained. news today of two women who say they had affairs with president trump in 2006. the "national enquirer's" parena company rd former playboy playmate karen mcdougal from a deal that barred her telling her story. and, on twitter the president mocked porn star stephanie clifford. he said a picture she released, purportedly a man who threatened her, is "a total con
job". ericans got an extra day today, to file federal income tax returns. the i.r.s. web site for filing online was down most of tuesday, due to a hardware failure, so the agency moved the deadline back, 24 hours. returns and payments are now due by midnight tonight. and, on wall street, the dow jones industrial average lost 38 points to close at 24,748. the nasdaq rose 14 points, and the s&p 500 added two. still to come on the newshour: the enduring legacy of first lady barbara bush. what's at stake after the c.i.a. director's meeting with kim jong un. and the strikingly high infant and maternal mortality rates amg black americans.
>> woodruff: s was a wife and ther to presidents, but a lack of pretention and a sense of b humor that couself- deprecating were what endeared barbara bush to the american people. the stood out in a crowd, shock of white hair that earned her the family nickname "silver fox." h'it was part of barbara b determination to be herself, as she recalled in 2004 for a pbs documentary. >> who's jealous of an overweight white haired woman? nobody. so i think that was in my benefit in a way. >> woodruff: the future first lady was born barbara pierce in new york city in 1925, to marvin and pauline pierce. her father was president of mccall corporation, of "redbook" and "mccall" magazine fame. the family lived in rye, new yoth, where barbara grew up three siblings. from there, she went off to smith college, but in 1945, sher
ped out to marry george bush, who was on leave from the navy. they'd met four years earlier. the couple moved to texas in 1948 with their first child, a son, george w. he was soon joined by a sister, robin. but she developed leukemia and died at the age of three, a tragedy that reshaped the family. three other children followed, and barbara went on to oversee a total of 27 moves as her husband's career took themhe aroundorld. from texas, where he built his fortune in the oil fields, to politics and public life. in the 1960's and '70's, barbara ngs by his side for two lo u.s. senate bids, a winning campaign for a u.s. house seat, and stints as u.n. ambassador, chair of the republican party and c.i.a. direcr. in 1980, he ran for president and ultimately ended up as
ronald reagan's running mate. as a political spouse, barbara bush's wry sense of humor endeared her to many, but, she later acknowledged, it didn't suit everyone. >> i tried to behave myself, but i'm a little impulsive, so occasionally i said things i was sort of sorry i said, but i think i believe them. caused her trouble in 1984 when she referred to geraldine feraur oh, the democratic vice presidential nominee, as something that "rymes with rich." mrs. bush quickly she remained plain-spoken after her husband won the white house for himself in 1988. right from the start, the new first lady set a new tone, downplaying fashion, for instance, in sharp contrast with her predecessor, nancy reagan. >> please notice the hair, the
makeup, designer cloth ( laplhter ) ( se ) and remember, you may never see it again. >> woouff: in 1989, she even wore camouflage gear on ratrip to saudia during the first gulf war to visit with u.s. troops at thanksgiving. mrs. bush also made dogs a fixture in the first family's life. millie, their springer spaniel, had the run of the white house >> this is pickles. >> woodruff: millie produced a famous litter of puppies, displayed before the washington press corps when they were just a few days old. >> do you really want to keep one? >> well, i haven't won that battle. >> woodruff: in time, mrs. bush was inspired to write a best-g sellildren's work, titled "millie's book." she reminisced about it in 2012 at the george w. bush presidential library. >> she made over a million
dollars for charity. as george says, i worked all my life, got the highest job maybe in the world, and my dog made more money than i did. >> woodruff: writing her own book was just part of a larger campaign for literacy in america. barbara bush took an active role in several literacy organizations, including the one she founded. >> remember we have a new baby in the house. i have now spent more than 25 years promoting famieracy as i truly believe that being able tread, write and comprehend is one of the keys to a very succeful, happy life and that a literate society is important to keeping our country safe andtrong. >> woodruff: but when it came to her husband's presidency, thur first lady td political fighter.sh staunchly defended his failed re-election bid in 1992, in a newshour interview at t republican national convention. >> what's the matter withan
amer you're in the best shape of anyone in the world. don't americans know that when you achieve peace it costs money? peace is costly. we ought to be willing to payfo the fact that we go to bed every single night of our life freer and safer because of george bush. things are turning judy, and they are coming to a strong economy. but we're going to have to all work for it. but it's because peace and we ought to be darn grateful to george bush.>> woodruff: eight years later, she was back campaigning again, this time for her son, george w. bush, in his 2000 pridential run. here she was in new hampshire.ha >> tnk you for all you'reoy doing for my i woodruff: and in 2016, she campaigned yet aganew hampshire with another son, jeb, faas he made his ultimateled bid, for the republican nomination. >> it's great to be back in new mpshire.
people have good values. >> woodruf mrs. bush made one of her last public appearances in march, with her hustind and presid scholars, inll e station, texas. campaigner, literacy advocate, first lady, mother, and wife; and, as her family described barbara bush, their linchpin. barbara bush was 92 years old. in dallas today, her eldest s ild, president george w. bush, opened up about mily's loss. he sat down with the pbs public affairs show "in principle," hosted by amy holmes and michael gerson, who, we should disclose, served as one of the younger president bush's white house aides. mr. bush began by discussing his father, and how he was mourning. >> i'm very appreciative of the outpouring of sympathies, m particularly f dad, you know. at age 93, he's going to miss mother. after all, they were married for 73 years. i'm comfortable with her passing
because she was comfortable with her passing. and she td me point blank, "i do not fear death. i know there's a loving god." and i told our daughters and mry brotnd sisters, "wow, what a beautiful, beautiful lesson." i don't want to sound cavalier, but i truly am at peace, and i feel very blessed. erus my mothi can just hear her saying, "get on with your life and do something good." >> what advice did your mom give you about being president of the united states? >> keep your eye on the ball, keep your nose on the grin grindstone, and i told her, "that's a hell of a position to be in." >> a little awkward? >> yth. a of psycho-babble about my relationship with my parents during the presidency, and it's natural, because people haven't had a chance to ask many presidents what it's like to be esident with your father being a former president and mother former first lady.
and the most important thing they told me was, "son, i love you, and we're proudf you." which is the most important thing any parent can tell child. >> so, mr. president, did you have a chance to say good-bye to your mom? >> i did, yeah. laura and you o wever and saw her at the hospital. she was doiel prettyl, feisty still, which is a good sign. she and i used to needle each her in a friendly way. and then a doctor walked into this hospital room and mothider "do you want to know why george w. is the way he is, doctor?" and the doctor didn't have any choice. and mother said, "because i drank and smoked when i was pregnant wit him." so i knew she was feeling pretty good. and then a week later she went downhill. she chose no-- didn't want to have any life-sustaining care. in other words, she was ready to move. and they made her comfortable. and i called her yesterday, when i ha wthe sense that s ready to go. she couldn't talk back, but i told her how much i ved her. and my brothers and sisters did
the same thing. and then she was by dad's side. interestingly enough, he sat there for, you know, four, five hours, i'm told, and a preacher came in and read the bible, andt my br neal read "mom's memoirs." >> oh, wow. >> it's aweet seen when you think about it. >> that is sweet. ate lifead a very fort and a very fortunate end in many ways. >> woodruff: you can watch the full interview friday ght at 8:30, on pbs's "in principle." and in a statement, the elder president bush said,i always knew barbara was the most loved woman in the world, and in fact i used to tease her that i had a complex abou fact. we have faith that she is in heaven, and we know life will go on, as she would have it.he so crossushes off your worry list." now, for a deeper look at the former first lady's life, i'm joined by c. boyden gray, who was white house counsel to president george h.w. bush and remains a close personal friend
to the bush family. reverend bonnie steinroeder, who served as the pastor at the church in kennebunkport that the bush family attended during their summers in maine and susan page, white house "reau chief for "usa toda and authorf the upcoming book "the matriarch: barbara bush and the making of an american dynasty," which ll be out next year.an thank you all three for joining us. we do appreciate it. boyden gray, i'm going to start with you. it's so remarkable to me, we just heard both president bushes comment with this, saying we are comfortable with this. she was comfortable with her passing. we heard h.w. bush say, "cross the buss off the wry list." that tells you a lot about her is and her family. >> it says at reaal. she went out the way she lived her life. she did it her way, sheid it honestly, she did it straightforwardedly. it was a dignified way to go. those of us who worked with them feel so lucky to have been
exposed to such-- to such love and strength. >> woodruff: susan, you've been working on this book, which we mentioned, about barbara buss thoming out next year. and i was struck, one of the things-- you said you've been struck by how she was often ceived, underestimated b people. what did you mean by that? >> well, one of the reasons i thought she deserved a biography is that people had, think, a perception of her as a warm grandmother and a very soft-- the national grandmother with the white hair and the big pearls. and that's true that she's a warm grandmother. but she was ao pretty sharp. she had great political instincts. she d notesitate to express herself and her opinions to her husband and her sons. and i think she was influential in the white house in a way that people perhaps din't understand. it's not that she took over health care, like hillary clinton. but she was a voice in the ear of her husband an her son on
what mattered, on what to focus on, and on who to trust. she could spot a phony a mile away. >> woodruff: pastor steinroeder, you met the bushes when you were-- you had just begun, i think, working at the church inne knkport. and you said it was right after y9/11, and said mrs. bush came over to you, made a point of comi over to you talk about that bher. >> well, so, it was sunday after 9/11. i had been scheduled to give my call sermon at the church where i would preach, everybody would vote on me. 9/11 happened on that tuesday, so i ripped up my sermon, i showed up my first time in this church. i looked out and the president's parent. you kn, president george bush, barbara bush. i don't remember what i said, i just preachethe best i could. and afterwards she came up to me
and she hugged me, and she said, "your words so comforted me. i'm so glad you're our new pastor." and what i realized in tht moment twasn't me who had comforted her. she was comforting me. i feel like that set the tone for our whole relationship. >> woodruff: and you told us thatent on to have a great friendip with the. boyden gray, i want to come back to you. there are so many pa ts of her liat are really interesting. i want to go back to what susan was saying about barbara bush's influence in the white house on her husband. how did you see that? >> well, she-- she was on top of everything. she didn't get involved, as susan said, in individual policies, except very, very rarely. but she knew everything. she was politically very, ve astute. and if she thought staff was not serving her husband well, orth somebody was cutting corners, she would let it be known, quietly, but strongly. and no one ever messed around when shewas watching. so she was an enormous watchdog
for him, and she was anus enor tower of strength. she never flinched. she never blinked. and ime always supported to the fullest. it was a remarkable partthnershp they had. >> woodruff: susan, what's an example of that. you talked to us about the difficult, the painful times at she went thrugh, and often we didn't have any idea that that was going on. >> you know, it's true. she is from a very exalted lineage. she had a direct ancestor come over on themayflower." she's a distant cousin to the 14th president, franklin peerls and, of course, she had lived a life of privilege and position. but she had the gef and pain that people have in their livse. she a daughter to leukemia. she had a battle with depression in 1 she told me she contemplated suicide at that time. she was diagnosed with graves disease soon after becoming first lady. that was something that caused
her great difficulty up to the-- forever, until the end her lie. but in ways that she never-- you know, she nevepr comlained-- at least she never complaipped in public. she was very-- she was stoic. and she told me that the struggle with depression, for instance, gave her-- >> woodruff: which a lot of people weren't aware of. >> weren't awareof. she disclosed it in her memoirs. le didn't know about it the time. her struggles with depression gave her empathy with people who were having trouble. she came to learn that you really need somtimes to seek help. and she said she wished at that point she had done that. >> woodruff: and pastor steinroeder, you saw that in her, didn't you? >> i totally saw that in h. when susan was saying in the beginning that people ceend of misunderstood her, s yes, she was strong and smart and kind and funny, and all those things. and i received her love. i also was scolded by her more than one time. and she just had thet bigg
heart and was a very compassionate and generous person. and i just want to add, you know, a lot of people will help you if you go and ask.a barbsh never waited to be asked. she looked around to see where the need was, and then she stepped in to need to help other people, which is one thing that for me made her unique and spe >> woodruff: pastor steinroeder, i want to stay with you for just a moment, because one of the things you talkwied us about is how you at some point-- they invited you to many events ate their hom in kennebunkport, and often you were the only democrat there, or the would be democrats with republicans. how did you observe the partisanship around them. >> they were the most eye know it sounds fun tow say-- they were the most nonpartisan people i have ever met.y i mean, thnew that i was a democrat. they never brought it up. they were friends with evenybody. their were people like olympia snowe, former senator of
maine, what i took to be some fundraisers and my husband and i. but everyone got along. and, again, they were so nerous in spirit and as their pastor, i can say, they took very serisly their christian calling to help their neighbor, to love their neighbor as themselves. and their neighbor didn't have red or blue or man or woman or whatever station you were in life. they picked their friends. they helped people because they were loving and they cared. >> woodruff: boyden gra want to you pick up on that because those values carried over to the buh presidency, to not only their four years in the white house when he was president, but the time as vice president. their time throughout their lives in public service. >> well, they were incredibly generous with their time and their attention. and they helped everybody in the family, in their family, everybody who worked with them for them, in every way they could. it was the role mod they'll thy
set was extraordinary. and i just hope that we can maintain this, using heife as an example, and 41's example. extraordinary couple. and-- bu at the same time, very warm and very-- and veryovi. and they-- you know, as a partial matter, they helped me raise my daughter, and i'm very grateful for that. one sort of acdote, when my daughter was graduating from high school, erote president bush and said, "would you come and speak at my graduation?" and he immediately replied yes. and barbara stepped in and said, "no, george you can't dohat. you refused to do any of your grandchildren's grauations and you'll do that for the rest of your life and nothing else so you can'to it for eliza." but the thought remained, and that was what was imrtant. >> woodruff: susan, on this whole business of how were to both political parties,
and, yet, there was tension with this president, wasn't there? >> yes. well, you know, barbara bush was a fierce defender of her family, against any critics of her husband or of her son either son, all of her sons. but when donald trump was so caustic toward jeb bush during the 16 primaries, i think she found that very difficult to take, and she made it clear she didn't like that. and she expressed concns to me in interviews in recent months about the direction of the party that she's been part of for so long. and i think one reason we see such a big outpring today is i think other americans think are we headed in theight direction? can we revive some of the civility that marked the bushes? >> woodruff: and we should note that mrs. tru, menia trump, the first lady, is going to the services, but it's our understanding that president trump is not attending. is that correct? >>ell, i knowhat she's accept and he has not yet. >> woodruff: has not yet, so we don't w whether he is or not.
pastor steinroeder,ou spoke, you touched on this a minute ago, her strongt fai that was clearly a huge part of her life. i mean, from what you were telling us. >> it was a huge part of her life, and of president bush's life as well. and you could see it through everything. you could see it in their relationship. you could see it in the motivation that they felt toeo help otherle, to be good people, to be kind, to be generous.t we talked abith quite a bit. but she was never heavy handed about her faithusecashe was-- i don't even people realize, but my experience of her is she was alsoery private in many ways. so she was very clear about her faith. she would help anybody. but e never tried to force her viewdz or her beliefs on anybely . and i do think that's probably what helped her at the end of her life to have that sense of peace because we had talked a long, long time ago about her beliefs shashe knew she uld be reunited with the people she
loved who had gone before her. >> woodruff: boydon gray, you were in touch with the family, in the past, you have been very close to them.be but you've getting regular reports in the last few weekhos. did she approach the end? >> well, the same way she did life. as i said earlier, she wanted to go out witthe dignity that she always lived with and alwayshi ted. and she didn't want to b felt sorry for. she wanted to go out with the o ki grace that exemplified her life. and she did it. and itt a greaample, and it's something that i hope all americans look at, because this is the way-- this is the way to finish off a fabulous, fabulous life. >> woodruff: and her son were saying keeping her humor until the very end. >> very end. having a bourbon right before she died. ( laughter ) >> woodruff: literally, the
day or so before. >>es. >> woodruff: well, it is so wonderful to be able to remember such a remarkable wan. boyden gray, susan pagepastor steinroeder, thank you all very much. >> thank you for having me. >> woodruff: a short time ago the president and japanese primz minister sabe met reporters at mar-a-lago, mr. trump's florida estate. the president spoke again of the anticipated summit later this spring with north korea's kim jong-un, and of the prim minister's role in bringing
north korea closer to the bargning table. >> during our visito asia in november, we had tremendous success enlisting support for our campaign of maximum pressure on the north korean regime. as younow, i will be meeting with kim jong-un in the coming weeks to discuss the denuclearization of the korean peninsul hopefully, that meeting will be a great success, and we're oking forrd to it. it would be a tremendoh thing for norea and a tremendous thing for the world. so we will be doing everything ssible to make it a worldwide success-- not just for the united states or south korea or north korea or jap but for the entire worl hd. pe to see the day when the whole korean peninsula calive
together in safety, prospatriot, this is the destiny of the korean people who deserve and have gone through so much over the years we hope it all works out. we'll be trying very had. i want to thank the prime minister for his insight and support over the pasar as we have pursued the dream of a peaceful nuclear-free korea.oo >>uff: that's president trump speaking just a short time ago. so now we're joined by our white house correspondent yamiche alcindor. yamiche, the president referring to this meeting a few weeks ago between c.i.a. director mike pompeo, the north korean leader. what are we learning abo and what do we know about the meetings the president is having right now with the japanese >> well, the president has characterized the meeting that mike pompeo had wh kim jongn as something that was very prd uctive. he se meeting went smoothly. he tweeted out this morning. and he said that he is now
looking forward to some sort of diplomacy with north korea. the prime minister of japan really made it very clee that his top priorities with meeting with this president, with meeting with president trump, is that he wanted to work on the denuclearization of north korea. heaid it was his top priority. that's what he wanted to talk enout. and it seems prestrump is take a different tone. before we remember theck nd-forth between him and the leader of north korea where they were name calling. in this case, it seems as though things are getting a little bit under way and going smoothly. >> woodruff: there has been some reporting with whether the japanese are entirely on board with what's gong on. what are we learning about the conversations between president trump and minister in terms of the relationship between the two leaders, the countries? >> well, the relationship is one that is both-- they both have this-- this-- they really want the goal toave north korea be denuclearized. but they also havehis ide of trade. while president trump has saidhe wants to work with japan, and the prime minister has really
tried to flatter the pres sident ying he's taking a very leading voice on north korea there's also this idea that president trump thinks that the trade that we have with japan right now is not fair, and he wants to of japan to pay m he wants japan to be buying more military planes. he said that in hispeech, in the press conference today. so there's this idea that he w realnts japan to beef up what they're doing in terms ofom buying stuff he u.s. and that's where things could get a little shaky. it seems as though right now-- they played all day playing golf, it seems like theye ying to get to know each other and things seem to be going smoothly. >> woodruff: it's fascinating to watch, allaking place at mar-a-lago. yamiche alcindor, thank you very much. >> woodruff: now a view from the white house on mike pompeo's trip to north korea and thete diplomatic sf play between north korea and the u.s. we turn to victoria coates, special assistant to the president ansenior director on the national security council. w victoria coatecome. >> judy, thank you for having
me. >> woodruff: we heard the president say just then that he's going to be meeting with north korea's leader in coming weeks. does that mean this meetinis definitely, for sure, is going to happen? >> he was actually a little bit mo specific earlier on today. he said early june if not a littlebit before. so i would say that sounds pretty confirmed to me. >> woodruff: the reason i'm asking sospecifically about whether it's on is because the other day the president said, "well, we may be meeting or we may nobe meeting." so there's no doubt in your mind the meeting is happening. >> there's no doubt in my mind they intend to meet but we have to remember the north koreans have a vote as well. a lot of this discussion has been contingent on their willingness to tk about denuclearization. and that is our goal. f so i some reason they were to do something, i could see that being a spoiler. but i think from our perspective, given the very constructive meetings director pompeo had, and the tone coming out of north korea right now, we would be very heful. >> woodruff: well, let's talk
about those meetings that mr. pompeo had with north korea's leader, highly unusual.. priser , kea secret for a while. what came out of those meet rntion what did the united states leaabout the north korean leader from those meetings? ,> well, i mean, as you kno that's the first time since 2000, that we've had a meeting on that level. and i think it was very important before we go in a to proposed presidential engagement that we have someone the president very much trusts, somebody who can speak forhe president, meet with that person, take their measure. i'm not going to sto the details of the meet, but you can dimagine what kin of sort of preparation and detail that you'd go through. and, also very much, as i said to establish that our goal for the peninsula is something that they're willing talk about and consider. >> woodruff: well, are they prepared? i mean, what we'v told-- >> they've said that yes, they are. >> woodruff: so that means completely dismantling this program that they've spent years buildi s up,nding money on,
pouring all their time and energy building up, that they're prepared to completely get rid of it? >> well, they're at least willing to have that conversation. and we've been very clear that the verifiable, complete, and ir-rersible dismantlement that nuclear program is our goal. so they know gng in that that is what we're looking for. hen president trump came into office, one thi made very clear is that he was gog put this campaign of maximum pressure on north koree'a. so spent a great deal of time and energy over the last 15 nths applying that pressure. we've gotten excellent support out of, obviously, south korea and japan.d we've also ome support from china, which has been unprecedente and i think that really is starting to have an effect. >> woodruff: are you already looking at how do youerify once they dismantle? >> that's always-- trust but vrify. it is always ty difficult thing, is to get an inspections program in place that you are confident that, inde, your goal has been met.
so nobody is making light of this task. i think it will extremely tfficult, but so far, we, i think, have reasbe hopeful. >> woodruff: and we know that ioning the ment president's meeting today and yesterday with the japanese prime minister. one thing the japanese are concerned about, they say, is conventional weapons. even if the nuclear progr goes away, they're worried, because they're so close, about north korea's conventional weapons program. is that oing to be part of these talks? >> well, i think we certainly have to address it. i think that's definitely a lesson from our experience with iran a couple of years ago, that we do need to pay attention to a full arsenal, and as the president said in the press conference, he's very aware of japan's proximity to north korea. i mean, i think that was clear last year whe the prime minister was at mar-a-lago the previous time, and there was that test, and you could see on the p how close it campaigns to japan. that's a very different reality that tve to face. and the president clearly appreciates it.
a> woodruff: another thing that we are-- has been raised is whether, as part of this negotiation or the meeting, the north koreans somising to return the three americans who arll being held in detention in north korea. are-- are-- is the administration talking to them about that? do youe xpect those peoll be released? >> the president has been very clear that the return of unjustly detained american .itizens is a top priority for this administrati he's worked very hard on if. there are a number of us who have personally engd with some of the-- some of the families. we have a lge number of peop who work on it. so i think he has made that ver clear, and i think his raising of the japanese detained citizens was a significant moment in the pre conference today. that's, obviously, a top priority for the japanese. i don't want to speak to conditions or preconditions or anything like that. but, certainly, i think he's been very, very clear that he wants our people back. >> woodruff: tse were japanese citizen who were taken in the 1970s and 80s. what about the lation for the
meeting? is pyongyang one of the places you're look at? >> we'vheard so many dferent places. i mean, it's been almost like a global tour. i've heard sweden, finland, mongolia, vietnam. i think the answer to that question, given the number of places is nobody knows yet. >> wdruff: is pyongyang a possibility? >> i have not seen that raised ibility, buts a pos since i don't think anybody knows, anything could bele poss >> woodruff: do you come away-- does the administration come away with a better understanding of this opaque regime after mr. pompeo meeting? >> oh, absolutely. >> woodruff: what can you say about him or about his govern tnt that-- >>nk it's very important to get thatha fir knowledge. and, obviously, i wasn't there, so i don't want to put words in rector pompeo's mouth. but he is a very astute student of hn nature. he is very talented at putting himself in somebody else's
aoes. because as we loo the north korean regime, it's inexplicable to us. why would you spend your money and energy on this?o you what is your motivation for doing that. and i think gettingkind of perspective, so you understand, you know, what is their currency what are they looking for in tis negotiation would be enormously helpfthe director. and that's something he's, obviously, highly trained at. >> woodruff: and you're saying that some new information came across. >> well, finitely you're going to get-- obviously, from meeting somebody firsthand, it's alway very, very different from seeing >>em on screen. so... oodruff: victoria coates from president trump's national security council, thank you very much. >> it's a plu,asure. thank udy. >> woodruff: the united states has a problem with maternal mortality and it's one that's been getting worse. the u.s. is one of only 13co
tries where the death rate is worse now than it was 25ag year and among the worst of wealthiest countries in the world. between 700 and 900 american o men die each year from problems relatedegnancy, childbirth or complications up to a year later. there are as many as 50,000 cases annually where women face dangerous and even life- threatening situations. as part of our ongoing series race matters, amna nawaz looks at why it's dramatically worseam g african-american women. it's the focus of this week's segment, "the leading edge." >> nawaz: the statistics are stunning. black infants are more than twice as likely to die as white infants, a racsparity that is wider today than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery. anblack women are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as white women. for a closer look at what's behind those numbers,
we turn to linda villarosa. her in-depth report on the subject ran in the "new york times magazine." and monica simpson, executive director of sistersong, e country's largest organization dedicated to reproductiv justice for women of color. in 2014, she testified before the united nations committee on the elimination of racial discrimination.li a and monica, welcome to the "newshour." linda, i'd like to start with you. help us understand these numbers. whats going onn america, in the lives of black women, in oui medical commu that's causing this? >> well, what i found in my reporting were really o things, both related to race. the first was that simply the experience of living in america as a black woman does something to your body that causes low birth ight babies, tha causes maternal mortality, that causes infant mortality. second, is that there is a kindr ism in the health care system, and most of it
unconscious. it's a kind of bias that's existed for a long time that we've known about, that is affecting the birth experiences of bla women in america. >> nawaz: so, monica, let me ask you now, because this conversation about the black-white disparity, it's long centered on things like wealth d education, right, t ideal being poor, less-educated women are likely to have negative outcomes. but we heard the story of serena williams who had her own serious complications during her delivery and she shared them very publicly. that turntd convsation on its head. is that kind of experience more common than previously though >> unfortunately, it's veryco on. and what is so critical about this, this issue, is that we just came out of black matern health week. the black momma's mattero alliance fthis important work that we did that we took to the u.n. we were actually picking up stories like this and hearing this across the board from so s ny black women acris country. but it didn't matter what their
sociconomic status was. it didn't matter, you know, what their education level was. here we are looking at serena williams, in p, who was the world's best athlete.de shinitely has support. she's definitely not dealing with, you know, economic sues. and she still was deal with the fact that she almost lost her fe after givingirth. thissistic we can see the thread, right, through her story and so many women, black women across the country. unfortunately, their outcomes were sti just not-- they were >> nawaz: linda, i want to dig into something you mentioned about the other things happening in women's teves. yo the story of a woman whose daughter is stillborn, her medical story begins and ends with the pregnancy and the delivery. out in your report trace her story back much,uffle further. tell me why that is important, why an understanding of that complete story isecessary to understand why things end up the way they do. >> i think what her story told was really aof stor empathy.
so you could really understand what women go through during pregnancy and childbirth. and her baby died, anhe almost died in 2016 from preeclamp sia. and that is high blosod presure during pregnancy. so when she ended up getting pregna again a year later, she was terrified, so she really needed a lot of support because she was very much afraid of coming home empty-nded again. and i think telling that stor really is a story of humanity. it's a story of resilience. and it allows people to really understand what is happening in thlives of black wo today. >> nawaz: and you used a couple of phrases in your report i'd love for you toexplai "toxic stress" and "weathers." hoedo those work in context of this conversation? >> so when you hear the wordyo "stress,kind of think of, "oh, i feel really stressed out or i nee to tak a chill pill or relax." ss is they, toxic stre
result of aggressions that happen to you and insults that happen to you, and in this case, race related. it can be everything from "i tedl that i'm trea differently. people think i'm less intelligent," to "i am being discriminateagainst byhe police in housing and in my irkplace." and those actuals been prove than those have a physical effect on the b bodyause every time you get stressed out in this way, and if it happens repeatedly, all of your systems fire up. and if your systems continually fire up, they break down. d "weathering" is the ideal because of these repeated insults and this repeated firing up the system, the body ages premat aely. and so- it's not on the outside. i mean it could be, but it's on the inside. and that all comes to a head during what is essentially sta ss test of a woman's body, and that is pregnancy and childbirth. >> nawaz: and, lindh awhen you say that it's bee proven, i
want to be clear about this, linda, in your report you talk about the body of evidence, the statistical evidence, that traces back years and years. tell me about tha >> one thing-- well, how i learned about it-- specifically, infant mortality-- how i learned about the discrepancy between an educated black woman has a higher chance of her baby dying than a white won with an eighth grade education was in 1992 when one of my professors in grad school handed me a study that had this, this kind of data in it. and it was in the "new england journal of medicine." and i argued with him. and he said, "no, this is real." and i went back and talked to one of the women who was a author of that study, you know, several months ago, and she had collected 174 studies that werei similar things, whether they were about race in the-- you know, the effe of race on the body, or the effect of race in health care. and i said, "my gosh. you have 74t foonotes here, 174
haotnotes." and she said, "yoe to prove things. you can't just say 'it's race'." so this is a thing. >> nawaz: so monica, i want to ask you about this now. there is, obviously, the livedpe ence that contributes to this, and there is also, as you mentioned, what happens, or what we now know happens by and large to women of color, particularly black women, inside the health re system. you testified about that racial disparity beforehe united nations. what if anything is being done to address that so f? >> absolutely. one, we have to address the fact that we have lack of medicaid pansion in this country and the lack of access to health care. it's still huge. in the south overwhelmingly, we saw that we didn't see an expansion of medicaid. so thousands of people are stil left without access to their basic health care. we also looked at the fact that, unfortunately, we are still dealing witht absinence-only education that doesn't give a comprehensive, you know, overview for folks for them to
understand their body and what happens to their bodies and to help people plan and about what they want for their lives. that is also very critical to this had. and then thinking about the fact that research is still needed, right. we still need to get accurate numbers and continue to feed these statistics and let people derstand the fullness of this issue. and then that will help us think about how tmoe this in terms of policy and making sure that our electeofficials understand that we need to have this handled, right nour policies, and we need to move forward with proactive leglpislation that s us get on the front efned of this issue to see some of-- to see these numbers decrease. from bringing those stories from on the ground, you know, the statistics are real, and so are the stories, from so many folks who have experienced oppression. they've experienced discrimination. you know, within the system. >>nawaz: linda, you mentioned the conversation over 25, 30 years ago now, toda what do you think is the next thing that needs to happen to alleviate
that disparity? >> i think that whavt wee to do is change the medical systemh sog is deeply embedded, you know a kind of eye mean, i don't want to say individual people are racist. maybe tht is part of it. but this is a-- something that'm dded in the system. it's baked in. and we have to, startath m school and before, to start getting doctors to face-- and other medical providers -- to face uncocious bias that is affect the care that women of color and everyone reeives in the health care system. so i think that's a very, very important first step. nawaz: linda villarosa, monica simpson, thanks for your ytime. >> tha so much. >> thank you! thanks. >> woodruff: on the newshour at moments ago at the end of his press conference with prime
minister abe of japatrn, presidt p was asked if he would fire deputy attorney general robert rosenstein or snscial cou robert mueller. president trump said despite news media reports tha he is considering firing them that they are "still here," and he wants the investigations put behind us.at and th's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodrf. for all of us at tth pbs newshourk you and see you soon. >> consumer cellular believes that wireless plans should reflect the amount of talk, text and data that you use. we offer a variety of no- contract wireless plans for people who use their phone a little, a lot, or anything in between. to learn more, go to consumercellular.tv >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language.
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