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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  November 7, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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captioning snsored by wshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, two major stories that could provees to be critical of american politics a justice. president trump asks jeff sessions to resign as u.s. attorn general. what this means for the future of the special counsel's investigation into the hours earlier a different tone. >> it really could be a beautiful, bipartisan type of situation >> we believe that we have a responsibility to seek common ground. >> woodruff: but that tone has already turned. how a new balance of power reflects deep divides in our nation. all that and more on t ight's pbs newshour.
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>> and with the ongoing suort of these institutions: og >> this m was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: it's been coming for months, and today it happened. we learned the fate of jeff sem ions. willangham begins our coverage. >> brangham: asked about thes status of torney general this afternoon, the president punted: >> i'd rather answer that at a little bit different te. >> brangham: that different timeintwo hours later. a tweet he announced his atrney general was out. in an undated letter also released today, jeff sessions made it clear who forced today's move, writing: "dear mr. president, at your request, i am submitting my resignation."
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of his time at the j department, sessions wrote, "we have operated th integrity and have lawfully and aggressively advanced the policy agenda of this ainistration." sessions' departure will again focus an iense spotlight on special counsel robert mueller's ongoing investigation into how russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election d whether any members of the trump campaign conspired in that effort.e >> i hrecused myself. >> brangham: as attorney general last year, sessions infuriated the president by recusing himself from direct oversight of any investigations relating to the 2016 camign. this was two months before muller was even appointed. it no improper discussions russians. >> brangham: sessions did so cause of lingering questions over whether he'd been truthful about his own meetings with russian officials during t the president never seemed to
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forgive sessions for his recusal, and repeatedly and publicly criticized him for it: >> he took the job and then he said, "i'm going to recuse oself." i said, "what kia man is this?" i am disappointed in thern at general. he should nohave recused himself almost immediately after he took office. c he should hatainly let us know if he was going to recuse himself, and we would have used a-- put a different attorney general in. i'm disappointed in thattorney general for many reasons. and u understand that. >> brangham: sessions' recusal put the nuer two at the justice department, assistant attorney general rod rosenstein, in charge of mueller's probe, and in the 18 months he's overseen it, he's been a stauncu defender oler's independence. but now that oversight changes hands. the presidt announced matthew whitaker, formerly sessions chief of staff, would immediately become acting attorney general until a replacement is
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wher has been publicly critical of mueller's work, writing in this op-ed for cnn that the special counsel was going too far, "mueller has come up to a red line in the russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing." on capitol hill today, the reaction from democrats wassw t: >> i've just heard the but i'this: protectingr mueld his investigation is paramount. it would create a constitutional crisis if this were a prelude to ending mueller investigation. >> brangham: house minority leader nancy pelosi tweeted today that whitaker can't have any oversight of the mueller investigation,riting that," given his record of threats to undermine and weaken the riosia investign, matthew whitaker should recuse himself from any inlvement in mueller's inveigation."
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the attorney general's departure is a striking fallback duringai the ca, then senator sessions was one of then candidate trump's earliest and strongest supporte. >> make america great again! >> brangham: sessions' support throughout the campaign was crucia in convincing hesitant republicans about backing donald trump, and after the election, he was one of the first people named to the cabinet. but now, his firing could trigger one of the biggest many are ccerned sessions' firing could trigger a much deeper crisis. fo for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham.e >> woodruff:t comments now from one of president trump's longest serving advisors - kellyanne conway. she and i spoke a short time ago and i began by asking why the president asked mr. ssions to step down. >> the presideea's made very for a very long time his disappointment in the initial recusal from all things related to the 2016 election and
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campaign, and it's been a fraught relationship for quite a while. but as the president said in his tweet just today, judy, he thanks the continual, jeff sessions, for his service and wishes him well. in hitis resig letter, the attorney general said that he ia icularly lauding of the brave men and women in our law enforcement. of course, the attorney general is the chief law enforcement officer of the nation. that means he's been responsible for the u.s. attorney's offices, and a lot of the good that has happened on the prendsident the attorney general's watch, including cracking down onat trannal criminals, certainly breaking the back of the opioid crisis, really putting it to the ms-13 gangs, and i think some of the atistics bear out tese policies have been successful. so we wish the attorney general very well. and i think what's mostat remarkable is he president has called for a continuum in the attorney general's office by tasignating the chief of to be the acting attorney general and keeping in place the
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depu attorney general, mr. rosenstein. >> woodruff: and that's what i want to ask you about, becauseng our understanhe person the president named to be acting, matthew whitaker, is soone who will be overseeing the mueller investigation, the special estigationinv mr. whitaker is someone who has called for an end to that investigation. so does that mean the president expect m. whitaker to shut the investigation down or limit it? >> no, that is not the reason that the president asked matt whitaker to ep in as th attorney general and with an eye for a new attorney general to be named soon, as the president said today, judy.n we have beold by many people in public reports that perhaps the mueller investigation n. winding do we're not sure. you know, because pbs has reported as well, tht there have been different negotiations between thes presidentside counsel and mr. mueller and his team. but as far ashe investigation goes, with it winding down, the president has sad, "let's
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comply," and hopefully we'll be able to get through it quickly. the president in his press conference today judy marede rence to the mueller investigation. he said there is no russia collusion. we spent millions and mlions clars in taxpayer money. we'll wait for the report, but if this was about russia collusion from the beginning, as the president has said, there is no collusion. he's called this a witch huaxnt and and we'll see what the report says. >> woodruff: so just quickly, he doesn't-- you n't expect there to be a change in any way-- mr. whitaker won't be in any way dealing with therussia investigation. >> no, no, i'm not aware of wha you aseviously, which is that in making this move, the president is trying to shut downtown inves tgation. i kne media have also asked for probably the st of the part of the year is he trying to fire bob muellee is hying to fire rosenstein who ove?rseeing muell none of that has been true. as the president made clear today in his press conference, it's true. he has the right to end the investigation. he has complied, he and i thinks
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33 witneave testified and complied, produced papers, over one million pieces of papers have been produced. the president and is team have been very client with the investigation. he has not tried to shut it down or compromise it whatsoever. >> woodruff: i also asked kellyanne conway about the election results. we'll have that later inprhe ram. but starting with the news of attorney general sessions departure i'm joined by john carlin. he was the chief of staff under former f.b.idirector robert mueller and the justice department's top national security official under former attorney general loretta lynch. carrie johnson covers the department of justice for npr and our own capitol hill correspondent, lisa desjardins. so let me begin with you, carrie johnson, since you do cov that department. what's the reaction there to the departure, the forced departure of the attorney general? how is he sen there? >> judy, this was a long time coming.
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there's a grim joke on the d.o.j. beat among the reporters that we've updated jeff sessions' political obituary three or four times this yea today, it finally became necessary. that said, there's some dismay a inside justiong the career lawyers and the political appointees at the way hisde rture was handled today. you saw several dozen people, senior people at the justice department, as well as line attorneys, gather outside in that d.o.j. courtyard to sendsi off jeff ss as he left the building for the last time this evening. and there is some sense that his ouster is unfr, in a way, because anybody who was affiliated with the trump campaign would have had to recuse from this russia probe, and it was nothecret t sessions was the president's first and best ally in congress in the course of the campaign. so people inside d.o.j. could never understand the sour of president trump's frustration over that recusal. >> woodruff: just quickly,
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following up, carrieohnson, has had this seemed to affect the work of the departjunt of ice? >> moral has already been quite low, judy, in part because of president has gone outhis way to attack some people inside the justice department by nam w, l as some senior officials. remember, starting last year with the firing of f.b.i. director james comey, condition continuing this year with the firing of f.b.i. deputyor dire there has been a lot of controversy and turmoil surrounding the d.o.j. an f.b.i. these folks inside the justice department are trying to do their job day to day. this can be difficult with the constant assault and barrage ad attacks from the president on twitter and elsewhere. >> woodruff: to john carw.lin john, we heard kellyanne conway say she does not expect what the president is asking, matthew whitaker, who will be acting attorney general now-- to end or in any way liit the mueller investigation. but knowing the department as you do, how do you think this
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affects the chain of command, the relationships inside the department of justice, that could affect the oversight of i thvestigation? >> well, look, there's no one who does his mission andps kee his head down and follows the facts like bob mueller. that's been his career from when he was a marine to when he was a line prosecutor, sow was director of the f.b.i. so i think even with this news, that team is going to continu to follow the facts. and look what they've uncould have had so far. i mean there have beover 30 individuals charged. you've had a former campaign manager of a major campaign convicted by a jury of his peers of serious felony offenses for taking money secretly, in part, from russian interests. you've had a russian campaign to interfere in our elections through social ia, through hacking into voter databases, and troughhacking and targeting one political party laid out in t detail sohat we can protect ourselves.s
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so ien an important investigation that's fed other investigations that now continue to take place in the national security division and at u.s. attorney offices, and it's integrity of t our department and our country to let it play out. >> woodruff: lisa desjardins, somebody who covers the hill, talks to both democrats havefollowing this investigation very closely. republicans are saying let's get it over with, as the president has. what are we hearing today from the congress about this? >> amazing how much reaction i t within just the two hours of this story breaking, especially by an exhausted group of senators and staffers after the midterm election. and that's the first thing you heard was from democrats, like chuck schumer, they are questioning the timing of this announcement. to be honest, jud this is not a surprise for anyone in congress. in fact, let's go back to augu i. at that tiad multiple sources confirm ago and this was reported at the time-- thatam lindsey grad a phone conversation with president trump stressing to him, "do note fire jefions now." that was in august. he said, "wait until after the
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election." that word got out. people expected this after the election. but almost no one expected it the day after the what wearing from democrats, they are concerned about matthew whitaker. they want him to recuse himselfo mothem. dianne feinstein is calling for him to make a public appearance and say he will not interfere. >> woodruff: john kerry back to you, given the reaction all around to this, what do we know right now about matthew whitaker? >> you know, he was a u.s. attorney in the george w. bush administration in. he has a close working relationship with senator chuck grassley, who is currently the chrman of the judiciary committee. pad whitaker told me last year at the justice tment christmas party that he was making it a personal mission to improve relations between senior officials at justice and the white house. heppears to have succeeded in great measure. and he was promoted without being senate confirmed to be the
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acting attorney general today. the question inside justice for some people and on capitol hill for democrats is whether he's too close to the white house as this investigation by the special counseldges closer to the trump campaign, and as other investigations and u.s. attorneys offices may be look intogths trump organlfation it >> woodruff: john carlin what, does this all say about the independence of the jdeustice rtment, the independence of the attorney general, from the white house? >> and i think that's what's critical. there havetieen close reships between the attorneys general and the white house before, but at the end of the day, we ed to ve confidence that the integrity of our-- parcularly our criminal investigations who's targeted, at type of evidence is collected, how it's collected-- is not directed for politic purposes. that is true with the mueller investigation, and i think in terms of the prior comments of mr. whitaker, they need to be examinedand then there's a
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process within the justice department with consultation with the ethicsfficials t see whether or not it requires recuals. but it'so true for the conduct of public corruption and other types of investigations. i believe just today, the president indicated that he might want the democrats in cong iss to be investigated sounded like for criminal purposes-- by the justi department. that's the type of statement by the commandein chief that kes it all the more important that the officials at justice department are clearly not going by direction from the white house, bute instead following the facts and doing the law.e and there ousands and thousands of career officials, agents, and prosecutors who have sworn an oath to the constituon, and i trust and have faith that they're going to-- they're going tdo their allegiance to that oath. >> woodruff: well, it raises so many y, lisa desjardins, in terms of confirming a permanent,
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replacem notice that senator lamar alexander put out a statement saying, "i have aof lorespect for jeff sessions." he said, "the one thing this es make certain is the mueller investigation will continue to its end as it should because no new attorney general can be confirmed who will stop that investigation." >> that is an important statement, but you have to also remember that the tru administration has been known for keeping acting officials in those positionsor longer-than-usual amounts of time. under law, matt whitaker can stay in that position for six months or more, and the trump administration has ended that, really without suffering any penalties. so he's a person to watch right now. obviously, senators want the mueller investigation to not be infringed upon, but that's what wehave to watch. >> woodruff: so many questions tonight. i want to thank all three of you, lisa desjardins, john carlin, and carrie johnson. thank you so much.
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>> woodruff: the ouster of sessions jolted washington, as it was still absorbing the aftermath of the mid-term elections. the results changed the political landscape, giving democrats control of the u.s. house of representatives, and republicans a wider margin in the u.s. senate. t republican party deified history to expand our senate majority while signtnifi beating expectations in the house. >> woodruff: president trump called a white house news conference to ut the election returns, and claim personal credit for expanding that senate majority.e >> we saw ndidates that i supported achieve tremendous success last night. as an example, of the 11 candidates that we campaigned inth during the last week,ht won last n
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>> woodruff: in heated exchanges with news reporters, the president denied that his attacks on migrants promoted racism. he also blamed the loss of the g.o.p.'s house majority on a surge of g.o.p. retirements and incumbents who distanced themselves from him. he even argued he can get more done with a democratic house, than with a paper-thin g.o.p. majority. >> if we won by one or two or three orour or five, that wouldn't happen and the closer it is the worse it is. this way, they'll come to me they'll negotiate. maybe we'll make a deal, maybe we won't, that's possible. but we have a lot of this in common on infrastructure. we want to do something on healthcare, theyant to do something on healthcare. >> woodruff: but, mr. trump warned that if democrats launch investigations of him, that would be the end of any cooperation. >> now we can investigate, they look at us we look at them. it goes on for two years. then at the end of two years
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nothing is done. >> woodruff: house minoritycy leader nelosi, the likely speaker-to-be, insisteds democrll hold the president accountable, after foining more than 30 seats their first majority since 2010. >> yesterday's election was not only a vote to protect america's health care it was a vote to restore the health of our democracy.s we as democre here to strengthen thenstitution in which we serve and not have it idbe a rubber stamp for prt trump. >> woodruff: that could mean inveigations of everything from mr. trump's tax returns to russia's role in the016 election. on the senate sidemajority leader mitch mcconnell played down concerns that divided government will meanridlock.
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>> even though we have obviously big differences over things like taxes and judges, there were plenty of other things we've did together and thereat no reason th would stop simply because the house now becomes democratic. >> woodruff: but democ senator chuck schumer suggested president trump and his party now have good reason to worry. >> last night was a really good night for democrats. and what happened last night doesn't bode well for president trump and republicans in 2020 and beyond. >> woodruff: democrats are also counting their gains in theer ranks of grs, winning at least seven state houses last night. wall street rallied on t ection news. analysts said divided government will likely mean no new taxes reand regulations, and no al of the affordable caw act. the nes industrial average gained 545 points to clo at 26,180. the nasdaq ros194 points, and the s&p 500 added 58. all three indexes arore than 2%.
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let'turn now to our yamiche alcindor at the white house. we reported earlier on the president's forcing out his attorney general jeff sessions. we've been trying to understand what happened. at do you know from quar reporting before i ask you about the election, what do you know from your reporting about the decision to ask the attorneyto generao? >> reporter: well, jeff sessionss' firing was a long time coming. president trump for months was raelg against jeff sessions. he really blamed jeff sessions for a special counselad been appointed. to look at the president's campaign' connections with russia, the president really looked at jeff sessions as someone who was a thorn in his side. he want to fire him for a lon time. the one thing that was really surprising to white house aides timingtalked to was the when he announced he fired jeff he had what long press conference are but didn't break
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the news.s white house aiid they expected the president to talk about jeff sessionse and didn't do it so he broke the news after. >> woodruff: let's talk aboutec the on. we just heard the president nareport commenting on some waysee might be able to work ldth democrats, and other ways where there ce a problem. what are you hearing from learning from your reporting? >> well, the president embased bipartisanship with a big caveat. he said democrats, i'll work y with you iu don't investigate me. that's a big deal because democrats are already sigthnalig they want to look at the president's tax returns, that they want to look at thether or noe was any sort of violation, any sort of obstruction of justice when he fired jeff sessions. the president is already saying, "hey, if you democrats keep down this road, i'm not ring to wok with you." but he did say on infrastructure, on health care, on trade, and on the ayvironment, that he couldbe see himself working with democrats. and this, of course, newlyat demoally controlled house that's coming soon enough. >> woodruff: finally, yamiche, i wanted to ask you about
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something. t u asked the president a question todaye news conference. and let's listen to just a part of that. >> on the campaign trail you called yourself a nationalist. some people saw that as emboldening white nationalist-- >> i don't know why you would say that. that's such a racist question. >> there are some people who s the republican party is seen as supporting white nationalist because of your rhetoric. what do you make of that? >> i don w't kno do i have my highest poll numbers ever with african american? why do i have the among the highest poll numbers with african american? that's such a racist question. honestly, i mean, i know you have it written down... >> woouffthat's a racist question.dr >> wf: yamiche, tell us what was going on there. >> the president's tense relationship with the media was on full display in a rare way today. the president had been talking to other reporters and really railing against them. he called reporters rude, hostile, unfair, reporters rking with cnn, nbc, other
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networks. by the time i posed my presidene the dent had been pacing at the podium just moments before. he was already kind of hyped and amped up, and frustrated with the media. and the president is on the defense because he doesn't like talking about his rhetoric. he doesn't like there is somee whationalists who are supportinghe president. the question i posed today was timely. today, patrick casey, a leader of evropa, tweeted that he was at the white house today. so as want president said that the question was racist, and he was literally having white nationalists at the white house. i posed the question to sarah handers, why was patrick casey here, and who was he meeting with? who invited him? i haven't gotten a response from the white house yet. that's a really, i thipe, somethinle are looking at and are very concerned that there e whiteationalists in the white house as the presidend just asking about them is racist.
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>> woodruff: you were doing your job as a reporter, and yamiche alcindor, we thank you. >> thanks, >> woodruff came >> woodruff: let's stay at the white house now, and more of my interview with counselor to the president,ellyanne conway. we ran part of that interview earlier, where she spokabout the deision to fire jeff sessions. here now is the rest of our conversation. >> yesterday was anotherng history-maay for donald trump, the president, judy. in the last 80 years, oy eight time has the president's party in power picked up any senate this year with the president's leadership and him barnstorming the country with these reallies, 53 rallies since he took office, 30 rallies in just the last two months ago, the president's-- the president and his party reified those odds and a picking up two, possibly three new senate seats. that is histg.ory mak and i think it gives a real buffer in the united states senate for more judicial nominations for more executive nominations to go through. and so that is-- whlen you ta about the house, it's
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disappointing but not surprising, that the house would go to the party out of power. certainly th economy, we want to keep the booming economy going. and thicere's no indion that there's an appetite among voters in some of those swiocng demt districts to have incessantns investigatnd endless subpoenas. the democrats, i hope nancy pelosi, if sh's eected speak ewill be sincere in extending an olive branch. the president said he'd like to work with her. woodruff: i noticed at today's news conference, the n esident made a point of criticizing, evn graight some republican members of congress who ran for re-election but were defeated. he said they didn't embrace him closely enough. and i saw this afternoon, one of them, congressman ryan costello, who represents part of philadelphia. he made this statement. he said to deal with harassment and filling spewed at g.o.p. members of congress in tough seats every day for twoears because of the president, to bite your lip more times than
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you would care to, to disagree and separate from the president on principle and civility, to lose because of the president, and have him... on you,angers me to my core. why did the president criticize these republicans? >> that sounds leak a pretty unhappy person at this point. i'm not going to comment further on his particular comments. i guess he decide to be very bold after the eection results. but that, as it's said, we'refo happ his service and the many times he supported the president's agenda while in congress wch was more frequently than not, judy. the president is make the point utat he was o there helping to campaign for members of congress, but particularly people running for the senate and some of the govtnorships, ant he made the difference. you know, the trump touch matters.'s a trump bump out the the president is also saying there were other candidates he offered to raise money for, to do robocalls for, appear for,
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fused andflatley some of them lost. >> woodruff: the last thing i want to ask you about, kellyanne conway, is the president's testy exchanges with news reporters today at the whi house. he-- there was some critical back-and-for, and with my pbs "newshour" colleague, yamiche alcindor, she asked a question of the president about whether his ing the tem "nationalist" referring to himself as a tionalist was giving encouragement to white nationalists. he told her he thought iwas a racist question. what do you think the answer to the question is, though? >> well, i would just notte, judyday president took 68 questions from 35 reporters and as many reporrs in the pre corps have said, we are the most accessible administration they've covered, and that he is the most accessible president. he proved that today by taking i believe what he was saying to your colleaguia meche is the implication of raishism in the
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word "nationalist" is very unfos unate. therdifference between nationalism and white nationalism, and i have to teleb you sy who has been here from day one, i rest tremendously always being put into this toxic stew of racism and sexim, misojanism an xenophobia. it's a lot on our shoulders because it's not fair. and, you know, judy yu ove handled your career very differently than many people. i think in tday's mea-a meche exaccept thed-- many people are out there trying to make a name for themselves and getting heated and disrespectfu with the president. you saw that in an earlier exchange with a reporter from another network that i won't name. >> woodruff: just make two edick points. one is that i ashis question because i've seen republicans raise questio i about wheths appropriate for the president to use the term "nationalism" for the ver y
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rease've just been discussing. and, also, just to say a word on behalf of my colleague yamiche.o she woul ask a racist question. record. get that on >> well, i think that questions with racist implications, though, maybe that is a better way of saying it than how it was said, but it's the implications are-- are wei aghting. anin, the president took 68 questions from 35 different rerters today. i know as a very well and deey respected many of the press corps for many years, judy-- ustk epidemic-- i know you m appreciate as we all do a president willing to engage in front of the cameras for 9 minutes nonstop, including with your colleague from pbs. >> woodruff: we thank you very much for talking with us. >> it's my pleasure. >> woodruff: kellyanne conway, thank >>eroodruff: let's take a cl look at the election now, specifically some of the big
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winners and losers from last night. lisa desrdins is back to help break it down. >> desjardins: for republicans, the show me state owed up. missouri's attorney general josh hawley captured the state's much coveted u.s. senate seat toppling docrat claire mccaskill. s it was ate president trump visited four times. >> thank you, mr. president for your leadership, thank you for i'm going to washington and standing up for our values. i said that i would fight to secure our border and i will. >> desjardins: in defeat, mccaskill nodded to new voters and volunteers spurned into action this year. >> what i feel the most pain about tonight are all of the people who for the first time many of them in their lives sai ing to do more than just sit on the couch and cuss the tv. i'm going to show up. >> desjardins: republicans passed texas, where ted cruz, who ran against president trump just two years ago, successfully defended his seat from democratic
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superstar, and fundraising liernaut beto o'rourke. >> we saw a $100 m race with hollywood coming in againsi the stat the nationalag media coming inst the state, but all the money in the world was noatch for the good people of texas and the hard working men and women across our state. >> desjardins: for o'rourke, in defeat, talk of a new movent. >> this team, of which we are all members, in some iway isng s going to stay together and is going to continue tiro aspto do great things. >> desjardins: that was also a theme for tallahassee mayor andrew gillum, another progressive, who fell just short in his bid to flip the florida governor's mansion to the democrats. >> i believe that we have to have a table in this ste that is long enough, that is wide enough, that is deep enough to fit all of us. i still believe that we got to have that table. but y'all were just going to
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have to do a little bit more work in order to build that table. >> desjardins: but gillum was an exception on a night where democrats took over several republican governor mansions, defeating wisconsin governor scott walker, winning in kansas and in michigan, where prosecutor gretchen r is the governor elect.e but for thft, the grand prize was control of the house, which democrats won in large part thanks to first-time female candidates in suburban districts. like former combat helicopter pilot mikie sherrill in new jersey >> i think we can have a great effect, i think we can have a transformative effect because a lot of us are used to breaking through barriers. i think as women, that's what we've been doing our entire career. >> desjardins: democratic women stacked up a large num firsts: sharice davids in kansas ero is openly gay. she and another wiast night will be the first native american women in congress. it's the core of this campaign has been about trying
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to figure out ways to make sure that as many voices and experiences as possible, that we have in this community, are being heard by our elected representatives. >> desjardins: ayanna pressley and jahanna hayes will each be the first black men in congress from their new england states. and democrats rashida tlaib and the first twol muslim women to serve in congress for each party, some wins, some for the pbs desjardins. lisa >> woodruff: beyond the results of individual races, each election brings with it exit polls: snapshots of where americans stand on major issues. amy walter has been pouring through them to decipher what they tell us about this moment. you just can't get enough time with us, amy. >> i feel like i have not left this chair ino hurs. >> woodruff: we did let her leave momentarily and come back. >> momentarily. >> woodruff: so, amy, mixed results last night. as the prsaesiden, they did well. they were able to pick up seats in the senate, republicans, but
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a different story in the house. what do you see in looking through these numbers? >> yeah, this might remind you a little bit what we saw in 2016, a candidate d very well, won the popular vote by more than two million votes, and yet lost the electoral college. this is sort of what we saw inel thtion map in 2018. and what i did was i looked at two thing they ask-- there's a house national poll, basically, all the people who voted in every single house race, right so it basically a big national survey-- versus the individual states. here are a couple of things that stood out to me. first, on gender. we know that women overwhelmingly summiting mocrats. we just saw lisa's package about all the women candidates who were successl. look at that: democrats -- womevote forward democrats by 19 points. and democrats only lost meny four points. so that was a pretty impressive showing nationally. >> woodruff: nationally.
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>> right. but then look at a state like indiana, wherenator joe donnelly, democrat, lost. they are what you find is women went for democrats, but only by three poi intsnstead of 19. and the republicans won men by 17 points. in other words, republicans did even better with men in these red states, and democrats did not do as well with women.f and that sort repeats itself in so many of the battleground senate races. so this is how you get to a situation where you have democrats having such a great big night where we talk so much .bout this gender gap and, yet, did not find that same success in other states. and you looked, also, at education, you looked at age. >> we looked at education, age. again, these are theorts of numbers that democrats wants to hit with white college graduates. they are winning over on the
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elnational levdemocrats winning those over by aid points, losing whites without a college degree by 24 points. this is a slight improvement om 20 taken 16. but now look at the indiana senate. not as well. democrats doing not as well with those sort o voters. a national poofl voters, democrats do really well. so you had wholech of people that turned out and showed up in california or new york or in some ofse theetro areas. but if that's not where those battleground senate statesere, it was not as, you know, it was tht as determinative. >> woodruff: almosstory of two different elections. >> it was two vy different elections. >> woodruff: and with age. >> age was really a very significant difference. 25 points democrats won those younger voters under 45 years old. older voters, they also lost-- i'm sorry, republicans won by onpoint. but now you go to a state like ly wina, democrats those younger voters by two points.
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again, i think you had a lot of younger ters showed u but many of them living in places that were notndiana, they were probably determinative in many of these house races, or in some cases they showed up to vote in districts that weren't competitive at all. it's a reminder to us that there are, again, munsltiple elect even when there's one national election. and in 20 twen we're going to ve a similar diej. democrats could find themselves hitting big numbernationally, but in the states that determine the electoral college battleground map it could look different. >> woodruff: you also looked, amy, tsunami trump factor. we, of course, have been talking about that, the extent to which the presidt made this a referendum on himself. >> he did. in the hou they hop he wouldn't make it a referendum on himself, because in so many of dthe suburbatricts, the president was basically toxic,ar somewhound 40%, 45%
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approval rating in those places. but when you look at the map of where republicans flipped senate seats or held ono senate seats, plaeses like mzor, indiana, tennessee, texas. look at north da president had a 62% approval rating in north dakota. wherpresident was popular, republicans won. where the president was unpopular-- nevada, under 50 p47% approval rate ago the democrats won. there was one big exception, of course, and that's joe march nin west virginia, a state where the president has 63% approval rating. manchin was able to hold on. but there is a very strongee correlation beyour opinions of the president and how you voted in the senate race or the governor's race in your state. >> woodruff: so fascinating to look through these numbers. and i know you're con do that as the days go by. >> we'll keep goio. >> druff: amy walter, thank you very much. >> you're welcome, judy.
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>> woodruff: as we have heard, there were a number of historic victories last nightta john yans with one of those winners. j >> yany, yesterday five- term colorado democratic congressman jared polis became the first openly gay man to be elected a u.s. governor, winning about 52% of the vote. he joins us now from denver. governor-elect, welcome. mr. polis, congratulations, and welcome to the newshour. i want to ask oyou, firf, it was only about 25 years ago that coloradorsoteassed an amendment that banned state or local protections for gay men and lesbian women. how-- did you reect on that? and how did it feel last night when the same state elected you its chief executive? cl well, you know, i think it's importantsure for many l.g.b.t. coradoans and supporters of equality here. it's a great step our colorado brand. that had been a little bit of a
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tarnish on colorado from a generation ago. and i think people know colorado is open for business, and regardless of who you are or who you love or your race or anything about you, we would love to have you comure to o great state to make our quality of life even better. >>ang: you have always run as an openly gay man. your first race was in 2008, right after colorado had bannedg same-sex mar did you ever wonder if that was the politically right thing to do, or politically best thing to do? >> well, look, again, you know, when you put yourself out thereo for publice, you always want to talk about what are your ideas to improve our quality of life? and for me personally, i just never let who i am hold me back from offering my ideas about how to make our state greater and fix our roads, improve our schools, save people moy on health care. i'm glad the voters agreed with my ideas. and i'm looking forward to working to get them done as governor. >> yang: well, let's talk about some of those things you
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want to do for cou orado. n on a campaign that pushed universal health care in a state that rejected it at the polls two years ag. you were pushing gun violence prevention in a state with a lot of hunters and sportsmen. and renewable energy in a state where the oil and gas industry is pretty influentials. how are you going to get those >>things done? ell, again, i think the future and a forward-looking vision is what won out at the end of the day. there's nothing inconsistent about uniting colorado's past, which we honor, with our future. we are a state of gun owners and hunters and sportsmen, and there's nothing inconsistent with that an additional steps to reduce gun violence and have safer gun ownership. looking forward to working with our legislature tpass a r flag law, and a temporary gun hold on people haing a mental crise. we have a goal of hr wole state reaching 100% renewable by
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in2040. we knohe meantime, of course we still burn fossil fuels, and that's why we'recu d on the demand end of making the grid renewable and making sure we improve automobile efficienc >> yang: what's your first priority when you take office? >> well,'ve got commute over to find my way to the capitol. and get ready to wk. we're going tow work right out of the gate with the legislativi session, actually starts a few days before i get sworn in on making sure that we can move forward on saving people money on health care and getting kindergarten opportunities to every colorado family. our state only has half-day wekindergarten. ant to get to full-day dind ndergarten in our first session. i'm looking forward to working with republicans and independented and democrats so colorado will be better in the next fivto0 years. >> yang: in that answer you talked about healtedcare. you tabout expanding kindergarten. colorado, in certain areas,
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still has an anteitaxtiment. how are you going to pay for those things? the great thing about our statee isovernor and legislature can't raise taxes. only the people can. the people juresjected several tax increases. i didn't support them, either. ays a questioalw of how do you make government more efficient. how do you do more with what you have. in health care, the answer is sending less, not spending more. end far too much on health care. we want to use a bundle payment system in medicaid, like arkansas has done, which saves 20%, 30%we're looking to create a high-risk pool like alaska and oregon have done, and get the high-risk cases off the books of insurers to have a downward pressure on rates. we have ideas and they alle sav money. >> yang: let me ask you about the job yiewrs leaving. at advice would you have about thur house democratic colleagues about deeg doolg wresident trump now that they have the majority? >> i think we need to be responsible. an dat the end of theay, it's not about politics and gain gaid
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partisanship. it's about how to make our country better. i hope thas why peoe across the country stepped up and ran for office. of course, holding the president accountable is part of ourtu consonal system. but we should never take our eye off the ball of what we can do to improsecute quality of life for families across our entire country. >> yang: do you think they ought to be pushing-- pressing investigations of the president. >> if there is wrongdoing, there should be investigations. but i think it should be centered aeound saving peo money on health care, growing our economy and making it work for everybody and improving our schools. and the iitchen-tabues that i think people will want, the house of representatives and senate to makethrogress on. k the electorate wants people to work together, not just be at eachh others'roats all the time. we do that enough around election time. kt's really time to wor together, because at the end of the day, republicans, democrats, independents, we all care abod our we all care about our quality of life. let's try to find common ground.
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>> yang: governor-elect jared polis from colorado, thank you.> oodruff: there are still outstanding questions about last night's amna has that story. >> nawaz: let's take a deeper look now at two states with key ghces still too close to call: in florida, the rofile senate race between current democratic senator bill nelsonoi and ou republican governor rick scott is headed for a recount. and in georgia, the race for governor between democacey abrams and republican secretary of state brian kemp was still a ne neck. i'm joined by adam smith, political editor for the "tampa bay times," and andra gillespie, professor of political science at emory university. welcome to you both. thank you for being her and, andra, i want to start with you. we should timestamp thiwes. e talking about 5:00 eastern the day after the election, of course. and i want to ask you to give me sort of a quick update because these are evolving races owhere things are now. we should art with a little bit of news, too, in georgia.
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we have a spokesman for brian kemp's campaign claiming victory, even though it hasn't been officially called. what's the latest on the race? >> so, as of about 2:30 this afternoon, all of the precincts had reported, and brian kemp had a lead of about 65000 votes, so that's a margin of about 1.5%. stacey abrams hasn'tonceded yet because she wants to make sure every absentee vote and provisional vote is counted an she claims there might be some absentee votes that are rerouted. >> adam smith, over to you. a spokesman for rick to the scot said this vase over. senator nelson has not conceded, though. where cowe stand right now? >> well, it doesn't even really matter if he conceded yet. we have a law florida, if the race is within half a percentage point there ha to be an
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automatic machine recount, and that seems to be the case right eaw. rick scott by approaching 40,000 votes. and we still have, apparently, about 100,000 vtes that haven't even been counted yet, most of em in south florida. so we'll have a better handle on it by saturday. those votes will have to be counted. some of those are mail ballot that were turned in election day, or provisional ballots. and it's likely we'll still be within a half a percentage point and there will be a macunhine re >> let's take a step back, though, often draw, i want to talk tow you about this how we get her in the fir this was going to be an uphill battle for stacey abrams. it's a deep-red state. there's a lot of history to be made if she won.t did you expecto be this close going in? >> i actually did expect it to be this close. have seen the margins for gubernatorial candidates shrink in last few election cycles.
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where you would have seen candidates win by double-digit in 2014 carter lost to diehl by about eight perntage points. because of the heightened political polarization and democraticinnthusiasm and rest in this race, and also because of stacey abrams' efforts to grow e,the elector to reach out to new voters, and to deeply engage them and mobile ice them to get them to turn out to vote. it was very likely shwas going grow the democratic base, and she made ever effort to narrow that gap. even if she does eventually lose this race, she has to beed credor having gotten out as many democratic votes as she did. >> florida has a history of high-profile races. did we think we'd end up her >> yeah, florida, it's just traordinary. we're talking about a state with 13 million-plus voters and over and over and over again, we have top-of-the-ballot races that come down to the last pernte
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voice. that's the last governor races, last couple presidential elections and lord knows the 2000 recount. >> you mentioned saturday we might know more, in the next few days. adam, stay with me here, and giving give me the timeline moving forward. when could we have a result in this case race? >> this is florida, so that's always astery. but we should by saturday know whether we will have an tomatic machine recount. they put a lot of these ballots back through the machines, and then hopefully the machines counted reliably, and it's relatively stable to the old result. if it then gets to be a quarter of a pointi dfference between nelson and scott, then you go to 6hand recount. and we're talki counties. they would be looking at ballots where there were either no votes cast or counted for the senate candidates, or an overvote where at least two votes-- where theyt weressed out. >> andra gillespie, it's worth
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reminding people, this one contest was peppered withs allegati voter suppression. brian kemp, of course, secretary of state, was overseeing the same campaign-- rather, same contest he was running in. we have any idea about whether or not that played a factoren and what hanext? give me the time line moving forward. >> well, stacey abrams is going to wait to see if every vote is coisted. her tea also on the ground, and so they are collecting stories about voting irregularities. there were some polls that had to stay open late because there were very few vothiing macs, where some people may have been discouraged from voting, and so given the ster of allegations, abrams is likely to not back dowilunthe has exhausted every recourse and made sure that everybody had a ght to vote farly and that the final vote count is a fair vote count. i don't think that her constituents and her supporters would probably take it very well if she conceded very quickly without making sure that she
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exhausted every pential investigation and recourse. >> andra gillespie of emoryad university smith of the "tampa-bay times," good to talk to both of you.f: >> woodrnd before we go, three international stto note. international stories to note: president trump and russian president vladim putin will t hold a summit when they meet this weekend in paris. they will be there to mark 100 years since the end of world war i. instead, president trump said the will try to hold talks at the g-20 gathering in gentina later this month. meanwhile, secretary of state mike ppeo's planned meeting with a top north korean envoy has been postponed. it was set for tomorrow, but the state department said today it wi happen later. talks on eliminating the north's nuclear arsenal have made little progress in recent months, but president trump today played down any concerns. he hopes to meet with north's korea's kim jong-un for a second time, early next year. and, in yemen, a saudied coalition has captured a major
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road leading to the crucial red sea port of hodeida after weeks of stalemate. air strikes pounded shiite rebels in the city, and ground troops captured a neighborhood that is just three miles from the port itself. the u.s. has supported the saudi coalition, but last week, it f call a cease-fire. and that's the newshour for tonight. m judy woodruff. thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: mer cellular understands that not everyone needs an unlimited wireless plan. our u.s.-based customer service reps can help you choose a plan based on how much you use your phone, nothing more, nothing less. to learn more, go to >> kevin. >> kevin! >> kevin. >> advice for life. life well-planned. learn more at in
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>> and with the onsupport of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made fossible by the corporatio public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. or captioning spo by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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hello, everyone, and welcome to "amanpour and company." with here's what's coming up. election day in america. as results pour in, we take a bird's-eye view politics in this country, looking forward with lessons from the likes of the unlikely bipartisa duo, republican and democrat governors, kasich and er hickenlo. plus, important journalism has a major renaissance in the trump era. y "nk times" editor dean beckey tells us how he navigates the new normal. and economic disruption defines our times but the author of "sapiens" tellse that artificial intelligence will bring plenty more of that.


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