tv PBS News Hour PBS November 9, 2018 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
captioningored by newshour productions, llc >> nawaz: good evening. i'm amna nawaz. judy woodruff is away. on california burning.: across the state, wildfires engulf tens of thousands of acres, and force mass evactions. then, democracy in action. several key races from the mierms remain too close to call. we take a look at the latest anfrom georgia, florid arizona. it's friday. mark shieldand david brooks eak down the election, the firing of the attorney general, and more. plus, a personal history. k one family looks b the legacy of world war i, a hundred years later. >> my mother was very proud of him, and i am. hsne's the family hero, i he? i think he was very brave. ho nawaz: all that and more, on tonight's pbs news.
>> major funding for the pbs nebyhour has been provided ♪ ♪ moviec ouomy for 160 years. bonnsf, the engine that ccts us. >> consumer cellular believes tt hawireless plans should reflect the amount of talk, text and data that you use. we offer a variety of no- ntract wireless plans for people who use their phones a little, a lot, or anything in
between. to learn more, go to consumercellular.tv >> financial services firm raymond james. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the tlines of social change worldwide. >> and with e ongoing support of these institutions: and friends ofhe newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for pubbrlidcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> nawaz: fires across ckialifornia are wr havoc and devastating communities. the so of sacramento, has so far left
five people dead, and has grown to more than 100 square miles. in southern california, 150,000 people have been ordered to evacuate. william brangham starts us off. >> brangham: this is the northern california town of paradise, completely ravaged by a sudden, devastating wildfire. >> we lost everything, trailers all our belongings. >> brangham: fire officials say it began as a camp fire that gd rew out of control, quickly burned several thousand ructures in its path as spread across butte county, which is about 100 miles north of sacramento. the fast-moving flames quickly forced officials to order the e 2ntire community 000 people to evacuate yesterday... >> basically the whole town's on fire right now. >> brangham: ...the smoke tning early afternoon int what seemed like pitch-black night. packed residents fled by c only to find themselves stuck in .haotic traffic ja >> it's definitely on all sides
of us now. >> brangham: some abandoned their vehicles and ran for theirives, as wind gusts up to 33 miles per hour fed the flames. but today, officials said they've already found bodies among the burned-out cars. >> it looks like the fire came from the east and came straight through town all the way to the west. big box stores, mcdonalds, safeway, other subways, buildings, offices all along clark road, completely engulfe gone. >> southbound from feather river hospital on pence is all blocked by fire. >> brangham: tamara ferguson, a nurse at a nearby hospital, shared this video as the fire closed in, trapping staff and ipatienide. in a facebook post, she wrote her goodb to her family and friends. eankfully, local police w able to evacuate the hospital soon after, rescuing every r,patient and stafncluding ferguson.
so far than 70,000 acres, and new evacuations were ordered today. >> this townradise was state officials described "catastro rescue efforts were ongoing. >> the magnide of the destruction that we're seeing is really, again, unbelievable. the fire ather conditions are extreme and we're seeing it from border to border. >> brangham: in southern california, 60 miles an hour gusts om intense santa ana winds have fueled what began as smtwl brushfires into fast- moving flames that quickly ored a combined 20,000 acres. the two blazes, the woolsey and hill fires, are continuing to tear through forests and communities about 40 miles northwest of los angeles. they've burned around 75 homes and forced residents to flee as the flames push toward the pacific ocean. >> it's just devastating, what you take for granted every day. being able to come home and rest your head on a bed.
and it's gone. >> brangham: just before dawn today, the woosley fire jumped a matejor here, highway 101, forcing new evacuation orders for the entire beachside community of malibu and its 13,000 residents. fire officials said people >> we ask that our community members heed our direction and each of our communities should be ready to pack up and go in a moment's notice. >> brangham: along the border osof ventura andngeles counties, more than 75,000 homes are under evacuation orders. that includes the city of thsand oaks, still reeling fssrom the shooting where people were killed by a gunman at a local banion wednesday ght. today, fire crews tried to put oinut the flames hat remained of homes. across the two counties, more than 3,000 firefig ers are struggling to contain the fires in what's been descred as "horrific" conditions of heavy winds and low humidity. both are expected last into next week.
for the pbs newshour, i'm william branam. >> nawaz: for more on what residents and fire officials have been through in recent days, i am joined on the phone by jeremy seigel of pbs station kqed. he's been reporting from butte county, the area of the camp fire, north of sacramento. jeremy seigel, thanks for making the time. have covered wildfires in the past. what's unique about this one? >> well, as i was driving up, i mean, just the intensity of the smoke. it was even flowing into the bay area. it was smokey down. there as i got closer to this region, it just became grayer and grayer, more smoke, and even as i was driving up the area, i was on what i thoug a was state route based on what i had looked at, and when i got closer to the area of paradise, it was completely blocked off by police. and you saw flames on the se of the highway. i started to see some of the confusn that residents have seen around here where they
think they're taking the right ad out of an area, they think they're evacuating the right and find there are flames right by or even on the road they were taking. >> nawaz: as you said, it's not just the intensity of the fires, it was the speed with which they spread that seemed to catch so many people by surprise. what does that mean about ho people were able to evacuate in advance? >> it meant a loter of people squared. a lot of people were confused. i spoke tone woman who tried to evacuate. she was following evacuation orders. as she was driving away from her nihome near the com of paradise that you've been hearing about a lot of the destruction in. she was driving on the road and she got to a point where the road was closed. eventually she and a group of people were told by fire officials to essentially shelter in place in a rite aid inside of a storefront. they were stranded there for the entire evening. she told me that she was in there with other people, she
thought that she was going to going tot she was never see her family again until early this morning a group of sheriff's deputies from surrounding areas came and saved the group of them. >> nawaz: jeremy, some folks who track these kind ofld re, because they are nothing new, is there anything unique about what we're seeing now? t >> well, wh're seeing right now is an increased frequency of these wildfires, especially ehese wildfires that ar sweeping through sometimes highly densely populated areas. we're seeing these high-intensity, extremely fast-moving fires moving into these areas that are called the wildland-urban interface where people are living close to deely forested areas. that's what's unique about this fire, and it's what we're seeing mo of in northern california. >> nawaz: jeremy seigel of pbs station kqed.ou thanks fortime. >> nawaz: in the day's other news, president donald trump rosigned aamation today
effectively blocking immigrants who illegally cross the southern u.s. border, from seeking asylum, a legal protection for those fleeing violence or persecution in their home countrie the ban will not apply to unaccompanied minors. the measures take effect at midnight tonight and last 90 days, though they could be extended. this afternoon, the american civil liberties union, the southern poverty law center, and the center for constitutional rights filed a federal lawsuit challenging the president's mr. trump today seemed to try and put some distance between himself and matthew whitaker, whom he appointed as acting attorney general earlier this week. speaking treporters on the white house lawn before leaving for a world war i ceremony in paris, mr. trump said he hadn't spoken to him about the mueller investigation. >> i didn't know matt whitaker. he worked for attorney general sessions. abut matt whitaker ery smart man, he is a very respted man in the law enforcement community, very respected at the top of the line. >z:> nan an interview last month, mr. trump told fox news that he did know mr. whitaker,
calling him a "great guy." senate minoritleader chuck schumer sent a letter to the president today, saying whitaker romust go h the senate confirmation process if he is to serve as acting attorney general. whitaker's public criticis of special counsel robert mueller's investigation has also raid concern, since he will oversee the probe in his new role. federal judge has temporarily blocked construction of the controversial keystone oil pipeline. judge brian morris of montana's u.s. district court overturned president trump's permit for the pipeline until the administration conducts a complete assessment of its environmental impact. the decision is considered a victory for environmental and usindigectivists. president trump said today the decision was a "disgrace," and thousands of jobs were on the line. mr. trump continued tcriticize journalists in the white house press corps today, insulting one erreporter and calling ano question "stupid." hahe also refuted claimsa video tweeted by press secretary sarah sanders showing cnn
rorr jim acosta at wednesday's press conference was altered. >> nobody manipulated it. give me a break. see, that's just dishonest reporting. all that is, is a close-up. i watched that; i heard that last night. they made it close-up. they showed it close-up. t>> nawaz: a video exped the associated press that a frame-by-frame comparison shows dciiscrep between the original version and the one sent out by press secretary sanders. in her forthcoming new m" oir "becominrmer first lady michelle obama tackles a range of topics, including presint trump. mrs. obama criticized mr. trump for leading the so-c birther movement that called into question her husband, former president barack obama's, nationality. she wrote, "donald trump, with his loud and reckless innuendoes, was putting my family's safety at risk. and for this, i'll never forgive him." the president responded to reporters this morning, csuggesting hments were prompted by the book publisher and attacking her husband's
policies. the florida man accused of sending pipe bombs to prominent democrats and critics of idprt trump was indicted in new york federal court today. caesar sayoc faces 30 charges that include aempted murder. he is being held in new york without bail. if convicted, he could potentially face up to life in prison. overseas in somalia, islamic extremists set off four car bombs in an apparent suicide attack in the capital mogadishu 20today, killing at leasnd wounding 17. the bom hotel near a somali police building. extremist group al-shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack. ue.s. secretary of state m pompeo and defense secretary james mattis met with their chinese counterparts today in wash secretary pompeo criticized beijing's policies in the soutchina sea, but said pressure by china on north korea was critical for ensuring denuclearization
china reaffirmed its cmitment to denuclearization, and said u.s.-china trade issues can be resolved. it's back to work for supreme court justice ruth bader ginsberg, who returned home today after a brief izhospition. justice ginsberg's nephew said the 85-year-old is working, and "cracking jokes," after a fall that fractured three of heribs this week. supreme court sessions resume on late this month. and on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average ltsost 201 poo close at 25,989. the nasdaq fell 124 points to close at 7,406. the s&p 500 fell 25 points. however, for the week, all indexes were up: t dow up 2.8%, the s&p 500 up 2.1%, and the naaq up 0.7%. ill to come on the newshour: tensions rising over several still-undecided midterm election races. e we remember thctims of the latest mass shooting in the rkited states.
hields and david brooks offer their perspective on the week's political news. plus, much more. >> nawaz: it's three days after the midterm election, and voters onin several states still know who will be representing them in congress come january. lisa desjardins reports on the ongoing, and contentious, ballot-counting process. >> desjardins: in florida, political dejvu and discontent, with protests today outside the broward county elections office, as officials riew which remaining ballots to count. >> here we go again. >> desjardins: this as pureican governor, and u.s. senate candidate, rick scott has seen his small lead over democrat, and current senator, bill nelson, decrease.
scott and his allies question why his race has narrowed in two counties, while the other statewide race, for governor, has not changed as much. last night, scott took the extraord lawsuit and calling for state involvement with officials in broward and palm beach counties. >> tonight, i'm asking the defloridrtment of law enforcement to investigate this immediately, and i am considering every single legal option available. >> drdess: as of this afternoon, law enforcement officials said scott had not yet astiked for an investi in writing. the drama has been magnified by president donald trump, who made aegations of fraud over twitter, though he offered no evidence. he spoke to reporters morning. >> rick scott, who won by-- you know, it was close, but he won by a comfortable margin-- every couple of hours, it goes down a little bit. >> desjardins: the nelson campaign, while preparing for a
statewide recount, read a statement: >> clearly, rick scott is trying to stop all the votes from being counted, and he's impeding the democratic process. >> desjards: democrats blame poor ballot design in broward county for discrepancies. the box for the senate race sat ua nderneatng column of instructions, and they argue many voters simply missed it. similarly, the state's governor's race is so close that if the current margin holds, a recount will be automatically t this, even though democrat andrew gillum conceded to republican ron desantis tuesday night. florida is not alone in the vote counting battle. in georgia, democratic gubernatorial candidate stacey abrams is pursuing multiple lawsuits. she has fallen further behind in votes in the past day, but is ng to turn that around a force a runoff election. and in arizona's back and forth u.ras. senat, democrat kyrsten sinema currently is redging oublican martha mcsally. but, electiobaofficials say ots will continue to be counted through next week. adrian fontes with maricopa county, near phoenix, pointed to outdated technology.
>> so, this is a very old system, and it was designech for a much, maller jurisdiction. we are now ne of the biggest jurisdictions the united states of america. >> desjardins: finally, in california, several house race remain too close to call, and officials say it might december before there are official results. to answer some of the lingering questions about midterm vote counting, i'm joined by tammy patrick, a senior elections adviser at t democracy fund. she previously worked as an election official in maricopa county, arizona-one place at the center of this week's ongoing ballot counting. thank you for joining us. let's just start with some .basi what ballots are left to be counted right now? are they provisional? are they absentee? and can you remind us what the difference is? >> absoloely, and thanku for having me. so all across the country, election officials, not just in the jurisdictions you highlighted, are still counted
ballot, both the ones you s mentioned, absentee,ll as provisional ballots. semantics in elections are ver critical. absentee ballots can be vote-by-mail ballots that voters received prior to election day. they regtered and returned i in a timely matter in an aerropriate, under-law mano have their votes counted. they're eligible to be counted. even though there are hundreds ofhousands if not millions of ballots that were turned in on election day or rig up unt election day, so those ballots take some time to process and need to be word through and counted. >> those returned by mail or in person? >> absolutely. it depends on the state law. in the states you mentioned here, arizona, florida, georgia, those could be turned in at election offices. in arizona they could drop thems at the pn election day and have special boxes for thosee- v-mail ballots. provisional ballots are ballots that a voter had a challenge or an iue. they wer't registered, wrong
precinct. so that's why they need toe looked at after election day. >> what's wonderful about you is y can take us behind the curtain of what seems like a mysterious process. you brought few photos of counting of provisional ballots in 22. i was astounded how many provisional ballots were involved here. >> we had about 122,000 ballots in the 2012 election that were strictly provisional. and that's why it did not surprise me to see them lining the hallways here. st did not surprise me they're l counting inch 2012, we had about 600,000 ballots in the same time frame that we'rt e talking abw. >> so this is normal? >> this is normal. so when votersiven an opportunity to receive their ballots before election day and return them up to and until election day, we have to still t hae to count them. and that's why when you have hundreds of thousands in the case of maricopa county, 500,000
people who don't turn them in until monday or tuesday's election, it will take some time after the fact. and in most cases you'll have not just days but weeks to be able to make sure that every valid and eligible vote gets counted. we als ballots coming in by military and overseas voters, and that's a e criticalment, as well. >> so part of this is how you do your job, the process as it's supposed to be, but it seems there is also a political element every year in terms of whether there is enough time to count theotes before they're supposed to be certified. we saw lawsuits in florida and in arizona over when the counting should start and stop. we also saw the president, the governor of georgia, one of the sasenators from florid that democrats are trying to steal this electionithout offering any proof. how do you think we should draw the line between a legitimate elections question and what might be political fear mongerin t? >> well,nk it's important for everyone to know that
election is a process that's laid out statutorily or by administrative rule of law of how this proceeds. so even if it's not a close election, the same process is going to take place in a close election and an election that has a wide margin, which is the ection administrative prayer, may the margins of victory be wide. ot some people, they did have their prayer answers. >> they'dere not >> they're not wide in some places. >> does it matter if somee ke the president is saying without evidence that he thinks fraud is happening? what does that do? >> i do think it's important that people in positions of power or authority, whether it's a president or a governor or any other elected official, if y are give an podium, a pulpit or a microphone, you need to take that responsibility very seriously when you call into question andle chae and incite any sort of doubt into the foundatnal aspect our democratic process.
it should not be taken lightly. people are doing tha now. end so as a voter, how can you have confide that, in fact, that is just a partisan or a political move rather than a really truly indication this there were issues, and what i s would say iat it's important to know that the process is taking place where you are. it's important know if equipment and things are being audited ang b validated, and then if you have any questions, to call up ur local eofficials and watch on tv, follow them on twitter. many of them are posting how they're doing their procedures with facebook live and what have you. so you can get into the process itself. >> so know the rules and pay attention to the equipment i think. tammy patrick, thank you so much for join us. >> thank you so much for me.ving >> nawaz: another mass shooting in america has left yet another
community stricken with gri. we want to take a moment to remember the 12 people killed on wednesday after a gunman opened fire at the borderline bar and grill, in thousand oaks, california. cody coffman had just turned 22 years old, and was in the process of joining the army. his father, jason, talked to reporters on the scene. on>> he wais way to fulfill his dream of, of serving the country. first thing i said was, "please don't drink and drive." last thing i said was, "son, i love you." that was the last thing i said. >> nawaz: ken dunham was also searching for his son, jake dunham, after his son's friend alerted him to the shooting. he tried to reach jake repeatedly. before the victims were named, he told nbc news, "i keep calling but there's no answer." 2jake wyears old. 23-year-old justin meek was a bouncer at borderline, and broke windows at the bar to help t ople escape.
meek was a recaduate of california lutheran university, , and as a social worklped support families of children with spial needs. sean adler48, also worked as a bouncer at borderline. he recently chged careers, and had opened a coffee shop earlier this year. one of adler's childhood friends tol"he "new york times," when we were younger, i got picked on. sean was my protector, i needed that so badly at that time." sergeant ron helus was a 29-year ntveteran of the ventura c sheriff's office, and the first officer on the scene. helus, who was planning to retire next year, rushed toward xchangedting and gunfire with the shooter inside the bar. ndhis frsheriff dean, delivered the news. >> sergeant helus died at the-- the sergeant passed away at the hospital... about an hour ago. >> nawaz: dan manrique was a
marine corps veteran who worked for a veterans support organization, team red white and blue. the group released a statement saying, "dan's life was dedicated to serving others during his military career and beyond." alaina housley, 18, was a freshman at pepperdine unerty, and the niece of actress tamara mowry, who r confirmed ssing with this statement: "alaina was an incredible yo dg woman. we aastated that her life was cut short in this manner." 21-year-old blake dingman also died in the shooting. his unger brother, aiden, posted to instagram this message, "we tried for hours and hours to get in touch with blake and got no response. blake, i love you so much, and miss you more than you can imagine." noel sparks was a camp counselor for her church youth program and a udent at moorpark colleg her best friend, whom she met in bible study, she lived and loved like jesus. she was genuinely caring and
loved serving people." telemachus "tel" orfanos was 27 years old. last year, he survived the route 91 las vegas massacre, america's worst mass shooting, only to die this week in ousand oaks. this was his mother's message: >> i don't want prayers. i don't want thoughts. i want gun control. and i hope to god nobody else sends me any more prayers. >> nawaz: kristina morisette was 20 years old and worked the front desk as a cashier at borderline bar and grill." i saw kristina walking around right before it ppened," a friend said." it still seems like a dream." 20-year-old marky meza jr. was ndraised in santa barbara, also worked at the restaurant, as a busboy. h "is family s"marky was a loving and wonderful young man who was full of life and ambition." he would have turned 21 in less than two weeks.
>> nawaz: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: a family history of world war i, 100 years after the war's end. and, how a man in his 60s went from a career in carpentry to blues stardom. it's been a dramatic week in politics. ully, we have the analys of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields, andnew york times" columnist david brooks. welcome to you both. happy friday. you may remember there was an election earlier this week. yesterday lisa desjardins and our political team did a wonderful breakdown looking at e new congress she called it a generational change, a lot of turnover, and demographic change, too. so david, let's start with you. looking forward, how do you see athis new congress beie to
actually legislate? >> well, occasionally you get a class that defis a generation. so 1974 you at that watergate babies. 1984 you hat newt gingrich. in this we could have the trump babies. it's a hopeful crass for two reasons. it's much more l diverse, itks the way america actually looks. secondly, it's reasonably moderate. one of the things we've seen over the lastwo days is analysis of which kind of democrats won, and in general the progressive, the ones endorsed by the more progressiie groupsot do well. those endorsed by the centrist new democratic groups did very well. so i happen to think the democratic party is moving to the left, but a lot of democratic voters not moving to the left. they tended to give some pretty big victories to moderates. >> nawaz: i'm picking up some
optimism. >> it's refreshiptimism. ignificant was a a election. what i was most larld -- alarmed by was the president's aneauncement that it was a victory for republicans. the republicans lost more seats than they did under ronald reagan or george w. bush, both acof whom accepted the that the party had suffered a shellacking. and i was particularly struck bs the dent's reaction at the repost conference. gene mccarthy, the late senator from minnesota once described a mean political opponent as being the type of person who aft the battle is over comes down from the hills and shoots the wound, and that's exactly what donald trump did the next day. he went after, named, and shame republicans who had lost, and republican woman in the congress, mia love, he went after personally and said,
mia showed me no love. and in that sense, i just never have seen anything like it. the election was about donald trump. 65% of the voters said it was miout him. and his nce of american politics to me was complete in the sense that states could almost trace -- track the republican vote for senate or major office with donald trump's favorable job rating in at state. in ohio, for example. i think the victory, david, he may disagree, but i think it was a enormous political victory for nancy pelosi. she was the one who passed healthcare in 2009 almost single-handedly. the rty paid for it in 2010. and ironically, 2018, it was the issue that democrats rode back. i thought she showed ironee discipline byng the party on that issue.
i think it's significant. 33 of 34 women eed to the house for the first time were democrats. >> nawaz: so both of you have noted that demographically there were huge shifts with this new congress. >> absolutely. >> nawaz: t they were largely in one party and not the other. david, what do you make of tt looking forward at our biggest and strongest two party, one path is moving toward master representation and one not so much. >> well, a couple things, first, donald trump seems to have lulled himself in with 45% of the electorate. and so he's built some pretty .trong barriers it's hard the see people leaving and coming in. second, it should be said for all there was a blue wave or a huge surge in turnout for the democrats, there was als huge surge in turnout for the republicans. to me that is basically the white working class sayinghu we're stiling. some of it may have to do with the kavanaugh hearings and things like that, but life in rural areas is still marked by
huge numbers of men outside t labor force. you have jobs that are part-time and a lot of economic strain. rtose people came out because they're still ng. now, can this party get outsidet 5%? i don't think so. i think trump has really walled himself in and the party is a trump party. george bush and john mccain and every other republican spent so much capital trying to win ter hispanics,ing to represent the new america, asian americans, all the groups, and a stroke, i think donald trump has ended maybe two or three decades of efforts in that direction. >> nawaz: does that make harder for these folks who are dong sent to washington to their job? >> i think so. donald trump ran on immigration, and for lot of peopl that was... that threat of both a demographically altered country, but also a threat to their jobs lnd a threat to what they f is their safety appealed to them. that's why i disagree with mark
h on healthcare, even thoe democrats -- i still think if you look around the world, what's the issue that'omant in country after country? it's national identity. who are we as nation? and that's the fundamental issue. moump has one answer. i think rats are still going to have to come up with a different answer, which emphasizes diversity. >> nawaz: i want to ask you, mark, when democrats won control of the house, they also won the power to launch investigatiohi into president, subpoena powers, et cetera. the president has already promised a war-like posture if the democrats start to investigate his personal and financial dealings.es how his play out? >> well, i mean, the president has to be sure tt his tros are behind him. i'm not as sure that republican senators like cory gardner in colorado, who is up in 2020 or susan collins many maine, who is , up in 20e going to be enthusiastic about joining lock step support of the president and his positions. just to pick up on did's
point, i do think immigration is a major issue. i think it's been cavalierly dismissed by the elite, special on the democratic side. it's ais legitimate and a realssue. i think the democrats have to come up with a response. but the democrats can set the agenda. this is a midterm election. it's a referendum on the president i do think that if the democrats come out of is stronger, although they're goingo -- the agntation, the pollerization of a primary, a contested primary, which will try d pull the party to the left. there's no question about it. >> nawaz: i wt the move on to the other big story, the forced resignation of attorney general jeff sessions and the appointment of hisnt replaceme mark who has been openly hostile to the special couns's investigation, that is matthew whitaker. david, senator collins, who mark
just mentioned, proposed today legislation that would protect robert mueller. how do you see that moving forward? do republicans move to do that? >> i was struckow by aggressive she was and signals from new senators like mitt romney taking her side o these sorts of things. i wonder if there will be a loosening in the lock-step loyalty to trump now, especially ifhey're not in solid red states, look around, i have to establish some distance, and a there may weakening in the loyalty there. so i sort of expect that tope h but, you know, donald trump does what he wants. and he's wanted to get ridf sessions for the longest time. and he went against i think members of his own administration, members of his own irty and sai going to to what i want, and i'm going to pick somebodrotect me. what strikes me about trump's attitude toward the attorney general is that aller is personal for trump. >> that's right. >> you have to be loyalty to me. it's not about the institution of the justice department or the institution of the federal rnment, it's about me.
and so i think he just doesn't even see the possibility that somebody like jeff sessions could be serving a different l yalty than persoyalty to donald trump. >> nawaz: what duds that mean fosomething like the mueller investigation, for the integrity ofhese instituons? >> first of all, amna, matthew whitaker's days are numbered at the justice department. wh donald trump said today that he wasn't sure he'd ever met him, after praising him as a great guy the last month in an interview, he's distancing loyalty is strictly a one-way street with donald trump. jeff sessis was the first and only senator for a long time who p'sorsed donald tr candidacy, and yet he disparaged him in conversation as being a dumb southerner and even worse, and the one blessing of this is that jeff sessions, sean spicer and reince priebus now will be t spart abuse, that daily
ridicule that came fromhe president. i just... to me it's beyond comprehension that you would treat people like this and expect -- david's point about the justice department being a personal attorney who works foro i think is absolutely on spot. i mean, this is his aproach. it has always been his approach to the justice department. and he wan an attorney general who is his attorney general, not the attorney general of the united states. >> nawaz: david, very quickly,o i wantouch on what was a very contentious press conference between the president and members of the press corps earlier. it ended with one of the members the white house press corps ving his credentials results. i've covered countries where that happens and now it's happening here freakily.
i. >> i thought that was distrarks what's not silly is picking out three african american reporters and ridiculing their questions. th's donald trump. sometimes questions are unpleasant, and the president's job as a publiserve. is to answer the questions. and going off on the press in a much more frankly buling posture has been against "these people." we all know what what he means by these people. >> those three reporters are april ryan, abby fill i and our own yamiche alcindor who were singled out for particular insult and derision from the president. >> particularly yamiche, and it's true of april ryan and abby phillips, but yamiche asked a egitimate question about nationalism and the encouragement of sympathy that he gave to rightna natsm,
fnd we already are aware of support, echoesupport for him for these groups and individuals, and so he immediately attacked her for a racist question. i e an, this is thdest gambit in the world. he does it over and again. it's a bullying tactic. it's a mean-spirited tactic, and it's... to me, it shows the pressure that hems feeling fro this defeat that he suffered on tuesday. i thought we got a little peek into how he treats those around him in the white house by the way he treated those in the press. the jim acosta thing is unforgivable. to use a doctored tape from info wars to somehow make the case that he had mistreated this white house intern, which he did noi don't know, i just wish sam donaldson and helen thomas had a shot at this guy.
>> mark shields, david brooks, good to talk to you as always. >> nawaz: it was the 11th hour, on the 11th da of the 11th month... this sunday simarks 100 yeare the end of world war i. at the time, it was believed to be the war to end all wars. 17 million people were killed in four years of conflict. for most, it is a piece of history, but for many families, the loss continues to resonate. newshour special correspondent malcolm brabant is part of one such family, and he brings us this very personal report about his great-grandfather. >> reporter: in my mum's modest home in eastern england, there is a gallery of those taken early. her first grandchild, her husband, and on the fireplace, the grandfather she never met: hacorporal ces swansbury of
the royal fusiliers regiment. >> my mother was very proud of him, and i am. he's very brave. >> reporter: before enlisting in the british army, charles swa metropolitan railway company in north london. it's virtually certain he drove this very engine, saved from the scrap yards when steam died out, and now operational again on a heritage lin swansbury never went beyond the railyard. he was a shunter, repositioning the engines and carriag in the sidings. today's engineer alex alder entirely understands why charles swansbury volunteered when war bre out. >> doing this job day in day out every day, for somit must hav been very exciting. for the majority it must have been extremely bore, ford excursion extremely dull. you were given this job and stuck with it for life some to be offered the j to go overseas and do something honorable and prove yourself a respectable figure in your family, for some that must have been a huge opportunity.
>> reporter: swansbury was 26, with three children. railmen, like coal miners, were vital for the war effort, and weren't required to enlist. but, he was blamed for a number of derailments, and was in trouble at work. >>on't put it in. it's the truth, mum. >> you can't put that in. >> you have to. it's the truth. it's out there. it's the truth. >> people areigging dirt out of.verybody these days now that's not right. >> but -- >> no, that's not fair. [whistle sounds] carried along on o reporter: carried alongn a wave of patriotism and propaganda, swansbury headedneor the front in belgium and northern france, and four years of carnage. the volunteeas are venerated ions led by donkeys-- the generals. historian glyn prysor follows a line of training trenches near my home west of london. how should history judge the donkeys, the allied coanders? hey were to fight a modern war without the understanding of how a modern war works.
many of e things they tried to do in the early years of the conflict, they didn't have the equip or the weaponry or the technology to succeed what you ended up with were really huge casualty numbers for minimal games in terms of yardage age territory. >> reporter: nowhere epitomizes that futility more than the somme region of france where charles real taste of action.t on the first day of the somme, 20,000 british troops were killed, 40,000 were wounded, and only three square miles of territory was captured across britain today, there are art installations representing the rivers of blood. david carter is a specialist in the history of swansbury's giment. >ld> they were form a line, march slowly forward, and you will be okay. and unfortunately the germans eadn't read that part of the script and weready with machine guns coming out of their trenches. >> these were only kids. how would you feel if lukas
went? >> reporter: my 19-year-old son luk ground, where 800 troops from newfoundland in canada went over the top of the trenches on july t1st. he next day, only 68 answered the roll call. >> if you look at the devastation of life, hy lives were lost here. just imagine the weapons and the now,ology that we have just imagine the millions that could die if something like this breaks out again. >> reporter: swansbury's unit was one of the few to capture their objective on the somme, but they lost one in four of their men. >> from reading letters and diaries men have written, they only knew what was happening in a very small area arou them, probably a couple hundred yards either side of them. they would see friends being mown down. i suspect it was only afterward the realizatiaon what escape they hadsell. some of the psychological problems occurred years afterward. >> this is a card sent to mum
>> it's heartbreaking, isn't it. please send me back my daddy. >> reporter: in 1917, tanks broke the stalemate of trench warfare. swansbury fought alongside them at cambrai in franel and poelkapp in belgium, where this replica was built by johan vanbeselaere. >> there were automatic n, barbed wire, and they could go straight through the barbed wi. they were immune for automatic guns. >> reporter: the cyclists are passing along a ridge near poelkappelle that s held by the germans. this was part of the infamous que.mire known as passchenda >> if you fell off the duck board, the chances are you would drown. it was bad that if men did fall in, actually getting them out was incredibly difficult, and often they dn't bother. >> reporter: in june 1918,
>> reporter: in june 1918, corporal charles swansbury was awarded britain's third-highest honor for bravery. historian david carter believes he earned the military medal during atack on lug farm. we identified the general location in northern france, but the farm is no longer there. swansbury's story has been hard to document precisely because a building containing his and otherecords was bombed during the second world war. >>ca it could have beeuring machine gun posts. it could have been for the way in which he conducted himself during the course of the battle. but unfortunately the citations were burned with the medal in .942, so we'll never know >> reporter: by this stage, the dynamic of the war had completely changed because of the involvement of the united states. under the leadership of gineral john peron the left, rican troops, fresh and enthusiastic, demoralized the germans, who by now had been fanorced to send old meboys to the front. >> they were ay effective
fighting force, and the germans really had no answer to the overwhelming weight of americanr fower. the battles were incredibly bloody. about 120,000 casualties in just over a million men in the field. but the americans played a significant part in the overall allied advance that led to victory. >> reporter: with victory just eight weeks away, charles swansbury's luck ran out here in northern france in september, 1918. >> charles swansbury's unit was trying to create a system ofdu trenches, anring this period they suddenly got shelled really avily. >> he was identified as being killed on the 5th and on the memorial, which means that somebody came back and said, "i w m die." >> my grand mum told me she had two or three dreams about my granddad. she was walking backward and the church doors closed andw she k he was dead.
but they came with a telegram. >> goingown with the sun in the morning, we will remember them. >> we will remember them. >> lestt. we forge >> let's we forget. >> reporter: and so to s my's church in harrow, close to swansbury's former home, where men from the parish will be honored this sunday, 100 years after the armistice, in a commemoration organized by michael channker. >> i tt's important to remember their contribution. it took away a whole generation. thank you very much. >> reporter: the photogrh will help worshippers put a face to a name engraved next to the altar alongside his younger brother frank, who died in 1918 after losing his legs. >> terrible. where on earth did you get these? >> reporter: unfortunately,
they're replicas. the whereabouts of the originals is a mystery. before leaving the former battlefields, we had one remaining duty at the ploegsteert memorial for ldiers with no known grave. >> i think to see the thousands of names up here and going to all the unmarkms gra has really given me a perspective of the waste of life that happened during the war. i don't think anyone has learned anything from the pt 100 years, and i think in a lot of ways it still could happen again. i think the world is more divided than it has been in a very long time, and something like this could very easily happen aga. >> reporter: charles fwansbury foug the circle of life, not the circle of death. his generation's sacrifice a molded todayitudes. we disdain deference.
we don't trust politicians. we question everything. and perhaps, those values will save our children. for the pbs newshour, i'm malcolm brabant in flanders. >> nawaz: let's end this week with a little inspiration: the unlikely story of robert finley. in just over three years, the 64-year-oldlues guitarist and singer has gone from working as a carpenter to performing across the country. he sat down with william brangham be a recent show at washingt, d.c.'s anthem heater. let's have a listen. ♪ ♪ ♪ medicine woman. have mercy on my soul ♪ >> i'm a 64-year-old great
grandfather, and i'm just getting ready to rock. ♪ how could you be so cold i got a burning fever ♪ every night you've got the power ♪ to make it all right >> my narome irt finley. i was born and raised in a little town called winnsboro. i'm a sharecropper's son. i guess you could say we're one of those sharecroppers that ally never got their share. ♪ i'm going to love you foreve if you'll just set me free ♪ i started playing music all smy lice i was old enough to remember. i played in the military. i happened to be the leader of the army band when i was in
germany. ♪ you know just how to hook me up ♪ but when i started to try to do the civilian band, there wast as dependent. the drummers, the bass man can't make it and stuff like this.ig th frustrating to me. it couldn't keep me busy enough to make a decent living. >> reporter: t mid-19 70s, funnily stepped away from music. he became a carpenter, luke his ther, but then in 2015, he began the lose his sight. >> i got to where i couldn't see well enough to make accurate cuts. ft the price of lumber, you can't ord to keep making
miscuts. ♪ back to your mind so i was forced then to rigetirement because of my on the carpentry. and i just went back to my music. >> brangham: that same year in 2015, finley was discovered playing on the streets of helena, arkansas.it before he kne he was recording with dan auerbach and ening for the biggest names in music. >> i'm going fhem sidewalk to the broad lway stage ins than three years. ♪ you got to take it when you can get it and get ill while you can ♪ it's a whole lot different crawling up on a stage than crawling up on top of a house, i'll tell you that. >> brangham: funnily's second
studio album gone platinum is now out. you can catch him live around the country. ♪ get it while you can for the pbs "newshour," i'm william brangham. >> nawaz: that is a great way to start the weekend, and this is the newshour foronight. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm anma nawaz. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> financial services firm raymond james. >> bnsf railway. >> consumer cellular. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their ldsolutions to the wor most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> the william and flora hewlett foundation. for more than 50 years, advancing ideas and supporting
institutions to promote a better world. www.hewlett.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institution and friends of the newshour. >> ts program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
tonight on "kqed newsroom," the midterm elections gave democrats ctrol of the house, while a justice department c shakeuld threaten the russia investigation. as california prepares for a high-profile role on capitol hill,oo we at what the results mean for the golden state. dive cse womendidates made history across the country on election night. hello and welcome to newsroom." i'm thuy vu. we begin with a constit oional debat immigration. today president trumo issued a amation to deny asylum to anyone entering the u.s. illegally, a staunchl reversf immigration policy. the migration had