tv KQED Newsroom PBS October 21, 2018 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT
tonight on kqed "newsroom," with le than three weeks to go to the november elections a look at key california congressional races and how silicon valley is being tested by the saudi crisis. plus we'll hear from state senator kevin de leon, the man trying to win dianne feinstein's seats in the senate. and the photographer who brought us an intimate view of president obama's white house, his visual comies on president trump, has made him an instagram star. hello and welcome to kqed "newsroom." i'm thuy vu. we begin tonight with politics. around the state some high-stakes congressional races are turning nasty. in san diego county republican representative duncan campaign has sought to portray his opponent as a muslim terrorist. meanwhile, in the central valley represent stiff devin nunes is
attacking his hometown paper itlling the "fresno bee" a left-wing rag fors examination his business interests. plus the trumpadministration's latest foreign policy challenges, from immigration to how the disappearance of journalist is putting pressure on america's relationship with the saudi government. joining us now to discuss all these issues are carla marinucci, senior writer with john myers, sacramento bureau chief for the "los angeles times." he joins us via skype. and sean walsh, a republican strategist with wilson walsh consulting. welcome to you all. let's start with the s crisis. president trump now says he believes that the saudi journalist jamal khashoggi is ead but is not holding yet the saudi crown prince responsible. yesterday we also saw treasury secretary ste mnuchin after much pressure saying he will now pull out of the investmnt conferen coming up. sean, what kinds of challenges does this case president for the trump administration? >> they're huge. huge. they're our largest ams
purchaser. california is actually dependent on saudi oil coming here because we're a bit of a fuel island. the economy and the stock markep can be veryked. so right now the economy's thriving. this is all coming right before the midterm t election huge implications. >> this story's been going on for more than a week. intelligence sources say today d at it's inconceivable that the saudi prince t know what was going on in that lacon. at this point there are ripples in california. when you have $6 billion in saudi investments in silicon valley and huge pensionus and universities that also have investments here, there's going to be pressure now for people to say do we want -- doeshis represent what california's about, to have investments with hais government when the contention is they dismembered a journalist for the "washington post" in a consulate? the outrage has just b think worldwide. >> so where do they go from
here? cause again, the saudi sovereign wealth fund owns stakes in companies like uber, tesla. billions of dollars of investment in silicon valley and the tech industry as a whole. >> i think they he to be -- they, a, have to get all their facts straight. and he's not the king. he's the crown prince. there's other folks there. so how do you take appropriatai measures t the people who perpetrated it? i'd go a little bit slower, get all your ducks in, r don't shoot from the hip, and then when you do it the united states has t act for freedom. it has to act for journalistic integrity. and it has to act in its interests. but it has to act smart. >> let's move on to -- >> shooting from the hip. you i was just going to say ooting from the hip is what happens during an election season. we are right before an election of, and tis kind international crisis to carla's point has ramifications to campaigns everywhere else. people being consnt on a message is hard to see at this time of year. >> also another issue that's been big, as we approach the midter, is immigration, john. we're also hearing a lot this week about how i trump is over the caravan of
migrants traveling from honduras to ourouthern border. also yesterday we lhaarned national security adviser john bolton and white house chief of staff john kelly got into a huge argument, a loud argument over immigraion. what does this say about how the trump administration is executing its immigration policies right now? john. >> phaicywise i thinks a tough one to answer. certainly from myre perch i mean, i think that there have been so many questions throughout all of these months about has the policy been consistent, has it been communicated clearly, does the administration have a plan in advance for when families and children have been coming to california. but the politics of, this again, i get back to what i said a moment ago. election day is around the corner. this is a live wire, it would seem like tme, especially for epublicans running f contested house seats in california. every step the trump
stration makes you are going to be tied to i think by your democratic challengers. >> i think, john, you're off insofar as i think this puts attention to the fact that we have failing policies at the border and we do not ha border control. so i actually think this motivates republicans to come to the polls and vote and conservative democrats. i thnk this undermines the democrats when they talk about faly separation. when you have the family separation policy change, you had 30,000 more people come to the border in one month. so this is a big political issue and it's a big potential e for republicans. >> but i think -- listen, president trump in the videos he's putting up, in the tweets he's putting up,of pictures these caravans have -- i think we've seen this movie before in california. they keep coming. 187. we know howd that plaut for the republicans in california. and i'm wondering, as much as it may energize some of president trump's base, will it also energize latino voters, democratic voters who see this sort of same theme?
president trump is trying to play this caravan as some kind of national secuty threat. it's not. >> and to your point, because they keep coming, i think that'e wh see this frustration now. right? and these tweets and how irate he is over the caravan. and there's also much speculation about a white house proposal to continue pursuing a family separation policy, basically offering parents now a choice. you can stay in family detentior with hildren as long as your immigration case proceeds. it could take years. or you allow your children to be taken to a shelter, to -- so o thaher guardians can seek custody. cara, why is this iss coming up again now? and wasn't it settled by the court? >> i mean, issue, it's just kind of amazing that considering the kind of press that hegot the first round on this family separation, we know how it plays with womenvoters, suburban women voters particularly who are going to be very, very fluential. the immigration policy of the trump adminitration rig now
is just kind of amazing in terms of the way it's grabbing headles not only on family separation but on h-1b visas wheree idea of letting spouses of h-1b holders now noo r. and that can really affect silicon valley also. on both these issues i think the trump administration is playing a risky game with regard to immigration policy. >> that's what i was going to say. i just ink it's live wire. i think sean made a really good point a moment ago, c and ituld certainly play well for republicans. it's just a live wire. no one really knows where it's going. you're talking about a president who works without a safety net. and i think a loof people are going to have to watch every zig and zag out of >> and speaking of live wire and midtermelections,john, let's talk about some of the congressional races. you brought them up earlier. some key congressional races are getting veryy. na especially the duncan hunter race. the republican duncan hunter was over the summer indicted for
fraud. and as this race goes tight er e is stepping up his attacksn his democratic challenger amar campa-najjar. tell us what he's been doing. >> this is one of those efforts where the candidate is trying to distinguish hims lf from his opponent and he's saying his opponent's too liberal. that would be the moar able version i think of what congressman hunter has said. the less charitablers vn is he's suggesting his opponent has ties to extrosist groups a the country -- across the world i should say. certainly linking back his opponent's grandfather who was involved in th gs in the past in terms of the kidnapping of olympic athletes decades ago. rit's an uglye. and what i find really interesting is that the duncan hunter race wasn't on the radar of battleground races in california until the indictments came down.th and's a solidly republican district down there in southern
california. and you wouldn't think someone coulan lose it bu indicted congressman in these circumstances who knows? >> and then also he called him a radical muslim. christian.najjar is >> yeah. exactly. and he think all of that raises some really fascinating questions about where the line is on campaign strategy. and to your point, thuy, ha accusationsit is way over the line. but duncan hunter's probably in the race of his life right now. i mean, certainly the best case scenario is that he wins. the worst case scenario is that -- the best case scenario is he win and he's further prosecuted in the courts. the worst case scenario he loses and he's prosecuted in the courts. i think he's fighting political life in this raise. >> another contentious rac sean, devin nunes, the republican chair of the house intelligence committee. weaw him in the headlines a lot with the russia invesogation. he's at war with his own hometown newspaper, the "fresno bee." he's attacking it f running harsh editorials. for running investigative
articles on his business enterests. is taking a page out of president trump's playbook? >> i just think that the entire election cycle here is about as ugly as we've seen in a couple of generations. so let'sake a step back. the entire california pathoray forward nancy pelosi to take the speakership, again, a lot of it does run through california. the democrats were feeling very, very good about three, four weeks everything has narrowed. you have from kavanaugh to w elizabetren to hillary clinton, kinof floating a trial balloon she's going to run again. you name it. >> adrenaline to the gop?>> o the gop. and the democrats have now turned it on. they have 10-x vand-raising ages in these races. republicans were very depressed a few weeks ago. now they're in the fight for their lives. and the person who makes the mistaklast is probably the person who's going to lose. mimi walters is in much better shape today. even dana rohrabacher is looking better. i will call it out. duncan hunter ev though he's
indicted is probably going to win. there are other races in more trouble. but republicans are looking a lot better today than they did three weeks ago. >> fund-raisinge advantor the democrats has been amazing. but sean is right. democrats have made some strategic mistakes in the way they brought up differenis es. elizabeth warren being a good example. so at this point he's right, it's all ab tt getting ou vote. and the democrats are energized there but so is the republicans on this point. >> a lot goinga lot to watch. i want to thank you all for being with us. sean walsh, also carlamarinucci and john myers from sacramento. nice you have to you . >> thank you. >> thank you. >> and now a look at thesenate race. this week california's candidates for senator sat down for their only public face-to-face conversation in this campaign season.t incumbent se dianne feinstein and her challenger, state senator kevin de leon, discussed their differences at a forum hosted by thecy public po institute of california in san francisco.ei tein has represented california since 1992. de leon says it's time for a new
way o thinking in washington. he served for 12 years in the state legislature andas president pro tem of the state senate. he says his top priorities in washington would be immigration reform and single payer health care. as part of our election coverage, kqed politics senior editorowcott shafer satn with kevin de leon earlier. >> senator de leon, welcome. >> thank you. >> you are running against a 26-year incumbent in dianne feinstein, and i'm wondering, are u saying essentially t voters that she has been ineffective as a senator? >> let me say, scott, that i think these are very dangerous, consequential timen our nation's history and we're engaged in a battle for america's soul against a president without -- i the status quo in washington is either unwilling or incapable of fighting back. so i think strongly it's time we stop biding our time and biting our tongue while this president unravels california's progress.
>> when you say you're not afraid to fight back, like what do you mean by that? >> well, i think that on the issue of climate change, on the issue of i.c.e. agents who have been pursuing mothers and fathers, betraying american children, on the hssue oflth care and medicare for all, these values are not being represented in washington you see today. and that' why i want to be a new voice. i think it's time for a new approach and a new changeoday in california. >> so senator feinstein is known as a centrist, center-left senator, somebody who reaches across the aisle. where would you put yourself o the politica spectrum? >> to me it's not so much about being more to the left or being more to the right but it's about actually moving forward with policies that are common sense, t i've accomplished here in california. 100% clean energy. sanctuary state. eqal pay for wom doing equal work. >> why not say those are just iberal policies? >> i don't think they're liberal policies. to me these are policies that ro i the human condition for all individuals. to me it doesn't matter if you
voted for trump, bernie sande or hillary clinton. elevating the minimum wage to $15 while theinaction in washington is $7.25, that improves the economic life of all families in calirnia. >> so what makes you say -- ecause you're telling the voters, look, don't hire her again, hire me. why would you be better at being u.s. senator representing california than she is? >> because it's time to have someone who's going to fight for the values that w care deeply about on the issue of health care because srongly believe that it's not a universal right for the wealthy. i believe indicare for all, not medicare for some. on the issue with regards to climate change, which is an istential threa to our humanity and to our planet, let's put tis country on track to 100% clean energy like i did here in >> senator feinstein has a lot of seniority and our other k senatoala harris, does not. if you were to win, we'd have two senators, you know freshman senators. why would the state want to throw out all that seniority and all that experience? because that's how the senate works, right?
is seniority. >> but scott, let me say this, that seniority means nothing if you don't use that seniority. it's just that simple. what we witnessed with kamala harris as well as coryooker and other senators during the hearings of brett kavanaugh before the judiciarycommittee, you saw them be assertive and make motions for adjournment. we didn't see that from the ranking member of the judiciary committee. so seniority means nothing. whether people agree or disagree ith elizabeth warren, i will give her credit in that she elevates theositions she cares deeply about to a national level. >> one of the things senator feinstein has beenfo criticized is holding on to the letter that brett kavanaugh's christine blasey ford gave her, that she hang on to it too long. what would you have done i you'd been in the senate if that letter had gone to you? >> clearly i would have made sure that her confidentiality, her privacy were protected. the unfortunate part about the judiciarye commit is they have no process. no processes that exist to deal
with the confidentiality of a citizen who comes tefore judiciary committee to say hey, i was sexually assaulted by thit individual fear for my life. i would have made sure we could protect her and her confidentiality, her privacy, and then i would engage my colleagues on the judiciary committee and say we have this before us and turn this letter over to the fbi. it was the leadership of the other members of the judiciary committee, other democrats, who insisted and implored senator feins tin to tu document over to the fbi. >> so there are currently just 23 women in the u.s. senate. dianne feinstein is one of them. is it really a good time to remove one of ose senators from the senate and replace her with another man? >> i can tell you, this is that i've slways been aong supporter of women in politics. and being in positions of power to impact life for all calnsornians, for all ameri i've been inspired and motivated by someone like my mother and by womeno janitors and care
workers and nurses who have overwhelmingly endorsed my candidacy. ultimately, this specific race is not about gender. this specific race is about values and the valuese that want represented in washington. you see my campaign manager, aln of myr staff are all women in my campaign for the u.s. se ate. ultimately it's not about gender. it's about having the right values representing california in washington. >> you have championed immigrant rights, both legal and undocumented immigrants. you authored sb-54, which is now known as the sanctuary state law. and many people, republicans in particular, are criticizingi poi to that law and local sanctuary laws as well as a battering ram to beat up democrats that they're running against. does it cncern you at all that that issue is being used against your fellow democrats? >> this is a issue that's personal to me, obviously coming from an immigrant family. but this is about authenticity and it's about the values you adhere to, not political short-term gain.he this is an example of a
huge contrast between me and the back in 2015 the senior senator floated seriously the iea in t u.s. senate of outlawing the establishment ofar sanc cities. had that bill passed back in he 2015donald trump started attacking and undermining our laws in california andighard-wo would not have been able to pass the state >> some call for the abolishment of i.c.e. do you agree with that? >> let me saye this on abolishment of i.c.e. because i think some folks are taking it very personal. i.c.e. lost its way. instead of focusing on terrorism, on drug traffickers, weapons traffickers, violent criminal felons, they have focused on mothers in the mission district, in east san jose or in fruitvale in oakland selling tamales or fruit. instead of dealing with the real issue, which is normalizing the legal status of millions of
hard-working americans throughout the country, they have weaponized this police agency to terrorize young ildren and their mothers. >> if you're successful in november, if you're elected and you go back to washington what's the first thing you want to get done? >> several things. i think health care for all. i believe in medicare for all,t for some. the existential threat of climate change. i want to put this naon on a track for 100% clean energy by introducing a national clean energy plan. nd immigration reform. e need to lead the rest of the country becauseve the largest number of immigrants in the united states right here in california. we need to be that leading voice. those are the three main issues that i want to move forward, that i can grow this economy, put people to work and bring prosperity to all californians and to all americans. de leon.senator kevin thanks for being here. >> scott, thank you. oneafootnote, we an interview with senator dianne feinstein scheduled for next week, and we hop you'll tune in then. moving on now to politics in pictures chief official white house photographer for preside
obama, pete souza spent a lot of time with him and took a lot of pictures. roughly 2 million of them. souza became an instagram celebrity by documenting the white house.at lely he's become even more famous for using his pictures td takgs at the current president, posting photos of obama on instagram with captions that challenge tweets, quotes, and news from president trump. souza has compiled those into a new book titled "shade, a tale of twopresidents." pete souza joins me now in the studio. nice to have you here. >> thanks for havin meon. >> first off, for those who may not know, it the title of your book "shade" plays off the atrase "throwing shade." can you explain that means? >> it's making snarky comments about an individua individuals that maybe are not so positive. >> w that yo intention when you started posting nostalgic photos of president obama on instagram with your own captions? >> that was my intention. i just didn't know it was called
throwing shade. >> and why did you feel a need to do that, to put up these photos with captions that define the contrast between the obama administration and the trump administration? >> i mean,ow i saw difficult a job it is to be president and how serious president obama took it. he respected the presidency so much. and we don't see that now. and that was the reason why. i mean, if mitthn romney or mccain or marco rubio had been president, i wouldn't be doing this because they -- i know they would have respected the office of the presidency. but now we've got a guy that lies every day, he bullies people. he's disrespecting the office. h i felt i a voice to speak out. >> and as a private citizen now you feel like you can? >> i can. absolutely. >> and i want to show a picture heric one of theres from your book. it's from your instagram account. it's p ature of president obama talking with female aides.
and you added a newth caption says "respect for women." now, clearly this photo took on new meaning for you more recently given current events. how often does that happen when with your photos in that your perception of them changes over itme? >> well, i thindoes. the interesting thing about my instagram feed is sometimes i post something in a reaction to something he's tweeted or a news sry and post it on instagram and people don't know what i'm referring to and they have to ge goo find out what happened that day. in the book i make it very clear what i'm referring to because on one page you see a trump tweet and on the other page you see my response. >> when you first took that photo, though, what was your thought then? just another meeting? >> it was just another meeting. nd president obama had a lot of women in top positions. in his last three years the top three national security aides
were all women. which is extraordinary. >> and now of course in light of the "me too" movement and current events and the current administration that's changed for you, what is it like to tellow president obama around and a all these trips with him? >> well, it was very hard on your personal life. but no, it was a great privilege. it was a great way to see the world. oftentimes president obama would try to go and visa cultural site when he was in a country he hadn't been in before. thosetr were the bests, when we got to do something like that. >> and did you get to see hnother side of that we don't? thingl, i mean, the great about my job too is i saw him in all compartments of his life. i mean, isi in theation room with him. but then i'm often withm and the girls, him and the whole family. so i saw all the apects of his life. and he's not any different than we perceive, than most people
perceive. he's probably funnier than people realize and he's more disciplined than peop realize. but he's not like really different behind the scenes. >> ands you were photographing him, did you try to be a fly on the wall? did you develop mre of a close relationship with him? a conversational relationship? >> yeah, i h a conversational relationship with him. but you know, my job was to be an observer, to be a recorder of visuals. an w there were some daysre i might not say anything to him and then other days we might have a conversation about family or the ball game, the latest ball game, that kind of thing. >> wer there things yo decided not to photograph or perhaps were told you can't photograph? >> no. i pretty much hads acco everything. every single photograph that i made, io9 mi every single photograph is now in the national archives. >> ihafind tso amazing.
that's a lot of photos. nearly 2 million. how can you go about finding the right picture when you want to post something? do you have a special system of organizing your photos? >> no, it's pretty much just up here. >> all 2 million? >> no, not all million. bacally, i'm choosing photos from one of the ones we had made public whi he was in office. we made -- given his level of transpancy, we made lots of pictures public on flickar, instagram, facebook, whitehouse.gov. all those pictures are stored in my head. so oftentimes when trump makes a tweet i know exactly which photo i want to post. >> you were also an official white house photographer for president r gan. what wa like working in the reagan white house? >> it was different. i mean, reagan was in his 70s, and i was in my 20s. i was not the chief photographer. so my level of access was not as good. but i did get to know presiagnt
a little bit. and he too respected the office of the presidency. you know, politics aside. he was a decent human being. so i sort of feel i can makes thse now and not be called partisan because i've worked for both a democrat and republican. >> and you feel like they hhedle presidency in the same way or in a similar manner despite differences? >> i mean, i think president reagan was more of a big picture guy. and you know, just because of his age he wasn't as active. but he respected the office. and as much as president obama did. >> i know this like asking someone to name their favorite child, but do you have a favorite photo from your obama days? >> you know, there are i mean, my main goal was to reate the best photographic archive that'ser been done on a president. and i'll let other people choose which they think are the favorites or the most important.
>> well, you created quite an incredible archive. pete souza, it's been such a pleasure to talk to you. your newbook is titled "shade, a tale of two presidents." thank you f being here. >> thanks for having me on. ? and that will do it for us. as oways you can find mor our coverage at kqed.org/newsroom. nkm thuy vu. tou for joining us. ♪ ♪
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