tv PBS News Hour PBS February 22, 2019 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: house democrats introduce legislation to block president trump's declaration of a national emergency, which would fund the construction of a wall at the southern border. then, an on-the-ground report from venezuela, following hardline supporters of president nicolas maduro, as they organize miaolitias amid political there. then, a conversation with playwrarell mccraney. his new play, "choir boy," tells the story of a black, gay student making his way through an all-male boarding school. >> at its root, that's the main q:"uestion about "choir b how much space can we make for eacdother in our community, our legacy, and our futures? do we make enough space for enthe people who are diff than us? >> woodruff: and, it's friday.
mark shields and david brooks are h e to consider the democratic response to the national emergency, and bernie sanders's entrance into the 2020 race. all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connec us.
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and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.t hank you. >> woodruff: democrats in the u.sat. house of represees are set to try to terminate president trump's national emergency declaration. it would divert pentagon funds to build a southern border wall. but democrats introduced a resolution today to block the maove. t the white house, the president promised to veto any meare passed by congress to block his emergency declaration. >> will i veto it? 100%. 100%. and i don't think it survives a veto. we have too many smart people that-- who want border security, so i can't imagine id survive a veto. but i will veto it, yes. >> woodruff: later, in a visit to laredo, texas, speaker nancy pelosi said there ino national emergency, and that mr. trump created a crisis. >> but we will be fighting him
on this usurpation of power in the congress and in the courts. and so this is a path. i don't expect him to sign it, but i do expect us to send it. >> woodruff: meanwhile, pentagon officials briefed congressional staffers today on how they might implement the president's order. lisa desjardins spent part of her day at the pentagon. and she joins me now. lisa, what are you learning about when the pentagon plans tw try to implemet the president wants? >> i spoke to the same senior dentagon officials who brie congress. they told me this -- right now, they are assessing exactly what projects te needed at the border. they're working with the yepartment of homeland secur on that. they think, within weeks, they will have that list. then, judy, to my question about timing, they said they think, within months, they hope to be ready through an expedited process to begin some construction.
>> rerurter:. >> wo: so if they're going to take this money to use it to build a border wall, where is it coming from? >> well, there are two large parts from the department of defense. one has to do with how they fight trafficking. that isll nebulous, w watch that closely. the other is specific. it deals with military construction projects that been banned but not yet begun. i was able to obtain a list of 00 projects that meet that deciption. universe. lar not all of these will be chosen. when we ask dotoday of how the narrowing the universe and whether they would delay olr canhey said there is one pot they will not use that is funding for military housing which has been in e adlines because there is substandard housing that needs repair.ca also e they won't use that, they could use funds for schools, hospitals, many other facilities, things that are popular. the states that have the most
numbers of projects, california, maryland, alaska, and north carolina, red and blue states alike. >> woodruff: as we reported, lisa, the house is reported, expecting to planoc to blk what the president is doing with the declarateyn. assumeing do, what will be next. >> it will pass tuesday ishat we expect in the house. then under the special provision triggered the national emergency, this goes straight to the senate and mitch mcconnell must holda ve within 18 days. it is expected to pass there. it needs republican votes but alrnody we ka few republican senators pushing back on the national emergency. the question in chambers is once it gets through congress, is there enough support to override a vet. a lot of pressure on republicans over this. we're going to watch very carefully. >> woodruff: fascinating. lisa desjardins, thank you for your reporting. in the day's other news, the trump administration announced it will bar family planning
clinics from referring women for abortions, if the clinics receive federal funds. abortion opponents praised the move. aberortions rights suppo condemned it, and are certain to challenge it in court. a lirnia couple who chained and starved many of their 13 children at thr home, pleaded guilty today to torture and abuse. david turpin appeared stoic as he entered his pleas in riverside. hin,s wife, louise turried. they will spend at least 25 years in prison. police found the children after one escaped and called for help. they ranged in age from 2 to 29, and were starving andg in filth. e r&b singing star r. kelly will face multiple counts ofex aggravatedl abuse involving victims who ranged in age from 13 to 17 years old. he was charged in chicago today, with crimes going back at least as far as 1998. kelly is 52, and a grammy- winning artist, but accusations
of sexual misconduct with minors have edfollim for years. he has his initial court appearance tomorrow. at the vatican, a landmark summit on sexual abuse by clergy turned to the question of accountability today. indian cardinal oswald gracias called for acknowledging of cover-ups, and for reporting abuse cases to police. >> the sexual abuse of minors and other vulnerable people notn ly breaks divine and ecclesiastical law, it is also public criminal behavior. the church does not live in an isolated world of its own making. those who are guilty of criminal betahavior are justly accoe to civil authority for that behavior. >> woodruff: the response of abuse victims was mixed. some a gracias himself has failed to confront abuse in the indian church. soldiers in venezuela opened fire ar the brazilian border today, amid opposition attempts to bring humanitarian aid.
witnesses said at least one person was killed and several wounded. the government has threatened to close all its borders, in a bid to.s block uaid. mendanwhile thousaof venezuelans are fleeing on foot. we will have a look from inside venez puela, later in tgram. a new report finds that iran is still complying with the 205 nuclear accord. the international atomic energy agency sd today that the islamic republic's stocks of nuclear m the agreed limits.in that is despite the u.s. lwithdrawing from the pat may, and re-imposing sanctions. israel's first lunar mission is on its way to the moon. the lander was aboard a space-x rocket that blasted off from cape canaveral, florida last night. the non-profit group behind the project celebrated. >> i witnessed "apollo" landing as a child, and i dreamed to be at this situation of launching my own spacecraft.
i have been working in the project for five years. i joined five years ago, and wee reaming about this moment. he woodruff: the "apollo" missions of960s and '70s made the trip to the moon in thr days, thanks to giant "saturn 5" rockets. without that kind of boost, the israeli craft has to orbit earth in growing circles, until lunar gvity finally pulls it in in april. baryck in this coupolice in jupiter, florida are charging new d engltriots owner robert kraft with soliciting prostitution. ey say that he was captured on camera at an illicit massage parlor, as part of a crackdown on sexrafficking. the charge is a misdemeanor. the 77-year-old kraft denied any wrongdoing today. the actor jussie smollett's character has been cut from the season's final two episodes of the "empire" tv series.
the executive producers announced it today, after chicago police charged smollett staging an attack on himself. smollett's lawyers say he maintains hisnnocence. on wall street, stocks gained on hopes that the u.s.-china trade lks could reach a deal before ore u.s. tariffs take effect. the dow jones industrial average gained 181 points to close back above 26,000. the nasdaq rose 67 points, and the s&p 500 added 17. and, ten u.s. airmen from world war ii were honored today for sacrificing themselves to save a group of english children. on february 22, 1944, the crew delib derately flew theaged plane into trees, to avoid a park. today, u.s. and british aircraft made a special fly-by over sheffield in tribute, as thousands loed on. tony foulds was one of the children whose life was spared
that day. he's now 82.r, >> i would never dream of taking my own life like these did. i feel, and i've always felt, that i killed these.i t's something i've always thought. ways had guilt in my mind. >> woodruff: foulds lobbied for years to ve the americans honored. he also tends a small memorial to them, inhe park. stie ll to come on thwshour: the shifting messages on u.s. troop withdrawal from syria. supporters of president nicolas maduro form militias in venezuela. a new development in the sex abuse case against hedge fund manager jeffrey epstein. and, much more. >> woodruff: today, the trump administration made it clear thait would not withdraw from syria-- at least, not completely.
that is a change from the plans president trump announced in december. to talk about the future of the u.s. mission there, i'm joined by our nick schifrin. nick schifrin, hello. what exactly is the u.s. announcing? >> the administration says they will keep a couple mon troops in orthern and northeast syria and a couple hundred troops in southern syria, and, so, let separate those two to understand it and let's zoom out to understand northern and northeast syria first to understand where the battle against i.s.i.s. is. in 2014, this is the height os.f i.i.s., 30,000 square miles dhey controlled across syria an iraq. today the self-declared caliphate is down to just a few miles. i.s.i.s. fighters have had a chance to dig in for years. it's very difficult ngfighti and civilians are trying to evacuate and the fighting has hat to pause. br t it's only a matteof time before the battle is over and the u.s. has won, the caliphate will have been defeated
physically. that is the factrehedent used when did he made this pronouncement on twitter in december. our boys, our young women, our men, they're all coming backs, ad they're coming back now. we won. >> the problem with that is, ei.ven without landi.s. contains the capacity to be an insurgency, it contains the capacity to keep on fighting. the military, by the way whinich wasn'rmed by military made the announcement, always said id needed time to stabilize the area to make sure i.s.i.s.w ouldn't return. the problem is who stabilizes if u.s. troops leavte. he brits and phench would not do it if the u.s. left, turkey is not capable of doing it alone andk would att u.s. partners anyway, so white house and defense officis admit that turkey, u.k., france, israel, the kurdish partners all said don't leave. so it took a few months, but today president trump basically retreated fra from his prevanus age and said this in the
white house white house we could leave a small force along with others in the force, whether n.a.t.o. troops or whoever it might be, so that it doesn't start up again. and with tha i'm okay, because it's a small tiny fraction. >> officially the number the 2200. rit now there are 3,000 because the military says it needs to plus-up to draw own to pho hundred. >> woodruff: you just talked about the need to stabilize what is there and others would need do that, right? where does that stan >> it's not clear where that stands. that's the problem. today you're seeing defense officials meeting with their turki partners and white house official tells mthere's some hope to get the brits and french to take thiover because it is a necessary effort. but we heard from the foreign secretary of britain say the other day there's "no prospect of british foes replacing the americans in syria." so the administration still has this problem, and it is a big problem judy, a senior defense official this week told me that i.s.i.s.
insurgentsy still had millions of dollars, thousands of fight, uad was ay strong than in 2011 when it was known in al quaida in iraq before the u.s. withdrew from iraq. so i.s.i.s. is still a potent force. >> woodruff: there is sill a force of some u.s. troops in southern syria. where does that stand? >> a coue hundred troops in southern syria at base called atan right along the jordanian border. this is along a route iranians hsmave used tgle weapons all the way to beirut. itill stay open anthe mission will be to try to counter the iranian infence in southern syria a very difficult mission. two different missions but still inside syria. >> still inriside >> woodruff: nick schifrin, thank you. >> thank you.
>> woodruff: as we reported, there was violence on the venezuela-brazil border today, as opposition groups try to ering aid into venezuela. this also a confrontation brewing on venezuela's western border with colombia, where american-supplied aid is waiting to flow into venezuela. juan guaido, the opposition leader the u.s. recognizes ve president ozuela, is hoping to push supplies across that border tomorrow. so far, that aid is being stopped by the government of president nicolas maduro, who still enjoys substantial support inside the country. tonight, with suppt of the pulitzer center, special correspondent nadja drost and videographer bruno federico te us to meet some of those still pledged to maduro, and to what they call the "rolution," led y his predecessor, hugo chavez. ( chanting in spanish >> reporter: at a subway station
in caracas, volunteers ask passersby to sign a petition manding the united states keep its hands off of venezuela. >> ( translated ): let's sign for peace! sign in support of the motherland and against the yankee intervention! come on, grandma, let's sign. >> reporter: in the last three days, this team has collected 9,000 signatures. >> ( translated ): we want to support our president with signatures. we don't want them to take him out because maduro is really the president. how can they take him out when he legally won? >> reporter: for the six million of 20 million eligible voters who voted for maduro in national elections last year, it is unfathomable that the president of the opposition-led national assembly, juan guaido, might get away with assuming the presidency of venezuela. and, while backing for president nicolas maduro has plummeted across the country, he still manages to count on a swath ofe pulation for support. particularly in poor areas like antimano, that benefited from the largess of maduro's bedecessor, hugo chavez.
here, chavismo, tnd of socialism popularized by chavez, is still a force strengthened in reaction to the owing power of the opposition, backed by the uhe.s. and over 50 countries. comnal council leader reina lira guides us through this neighborhood center, a cornerstone of community organizing and government services. it offers residents preschool, internet, and classes, like this exercise group for grandmothers. people wait tir turn for a basic medical consultation, and eyeglasses. chavismo in action. >> ( translated ): on some days, material doesn't come, but when it comes, we are attended to. now i can see, thanks to th revolution. >> reporter: lira, and many other chavistas, suffer the same hardships as anyone else, but they don't necessarily blame muro. the president and many of his f hollowersave blamed the economic crisis on an "economic war" waged by the u.s. in an attempt to destabilize the country. >> ( translated ): even when
they are attacking him in a brutayalblocking him economically and with all the goods that can't arrive, president nicolas is putting in hefis besrt. he doesn't make food expensive, he tries to raise salaries, and he gives us subsidies. >> benefited the poor didn't exist when lira grew up. she remembers christmas without ts, and not eating thr meals a day. but she saw her life and her neighborhood change for the better after chavez became president. >>translated ): as the poor, we were re-vindicated. we became able to study when before we couldns . venezueldn't have immediate medical attention, and when the revolution came, they had a doctor atheir side. >> reporter: many venezuelans continue to credit chavismo with redisy'tributing the counoil wealth through social programs, and giving the poor a voice in venezuelan politnos. but the ec crisis has been a crisis for chavismo support. maduro's followers are a minority, but a passionate one. for lira, her debt to chavez guarantees her continued support for the government. >sl> ( tred ): i think those
of us who have stayed loyal to the revolution is because we feheelotherland in our veins. the love for chavez and for the rcaevolutiot be bought. >> reporter: the more the revolution is threatened, and thehe greaterfforts to unseat maduro, the more dedicated their support of him. ronny gutierrez a welder in he neighborhood. his work clothes belie his other duty: heeding the call to defend the revolution. >>( translated ): we go about as civilians without anyone noticing us. you come here and don't know i'm a militia. that's how i surprise the enemy, i cd ome from behind disarm them. that is our work. >> reporter: every saturday, the volunteer militia do training exercises, but today, hundreds of them march through the streets of antimano, sending a message by their sheer numbers. last year, maduro announced a campaigno raise the number of militia to two million to confront the united states. the large civilian militia is an annex to the military, open to
anyone, even those lacking m ilitary training. awe schoolteacher during th, captain luisa yaguara has both ideological and military training behind her. doesn't want a military invasion, but says she and nearly two million militia are ready. >> ( translated ): we'll arm men and women so that noankee boot steps here, and he who does, dead he will be. >> reporter: the strong u.s. support for juan guaido's effort to take the presidency from maduro, and concern over threats to national sovereignty, can cbring even thotical of maduro to the side of defending his right to the presidency, says sociologist margarita lopez. >> ( translated ): sectors who o ave been loyalavez become unified. there are some dissidents and critics of maduro who won't support the opposition because the opposition has been bought off by imperialism. >> rtre: yet it's the chavistas who are most unyielding. in a stronghold of chavismo, the neighborhood called "23rd of jacanuary" blankets cas
hillside. it was from here that thousands of residents came down the hills toroco the police when chavez was captured in an attempted coup d'etat in 2002. today, their chavismo is partly defined by the way the community has organized to resist the economic crisis. ce of food scarcity and skyrocketing prices, this community has created a project to t tguarantee its own food security, involving farmers outside ocaracas to grow crops and sell them directly to the community, avoiding the use of intermediaries, so the community can buy their goods at lower- than-market prices. and as you can see, it's a very popular option. about 1,000 families come to this market every week. ana marin is a leader of a chavista neighborhood collective that started the market. says the poor did bette until the economic crisis hit. >> ( translated ): the crisis came, the economic blockade, sanctions, and internal corruption that means that a lot of government policies don't reach the people. >> releporter: nevert, they
are ready to defend what they gained from the revolution. >> ( translatedpo ): if the tion takes over the government, we are not afraid. we will keep resisting because we are going to defend our accomplishments. because they have cost us lives. >> reporr: far down the hill in central caracas, near the presidential palace-- home to maduro for now; coveted by juan guaido-- maduro backers on motorcycle taxis gather. the head of this group, gustavo martinez, says the current tirhreat to president has put them on the alert. >> ( translated ): we carry out permanent monitoring in this miounicipality and at the nl level. it's vigilance to defend the peace of our people, so that no m the opposition puts on riots and disturbs venezuela's peace. us motorbikers, we are ready. >> reporteramid all the uncertainty of who will govern venezuela, and how, one thing is certain: chavistas won't let the government be toppled without a fight. reporting from caracas with bru'mno federico, iadja drost for the pbs newshour.
>> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: mark shields and david brooks anaze the latest political news. and, a conversation with playwright tarrell mccraney on his play, "choir boy." but first, a federal judge ruled yesterday that prosecutors, led by labor secretary alexander acosta in 2008 when he was u.s. attorney in florida, broke the law by concealing a plea agreement. as amna nawaz reports, the sex crimes case involved more than 30 underage victims. >> nawaz: the plea deal a decade ago for billionaire hedge fund manager jeffrey epstein reduced charges of federal sex crimes, wienth a pal life sentence in prison, to lesser state chaorrges of soliciting a m and just 13 months in county jail. epstein was accused of building a vast network of underage girls, some as young as 13--
girls he sexually abused in his florida mansion, and allowed other adult men to abuse as well. in2011, acosta wrote that was not aware of the full extent ofn epstein's abuse w struck the plea deal. many of the details only came to light late last year, when the "miami herald" published an extensive investigation, including interviews with dozens of victims. the work was led by reporter julie k. brown, who was awardeda the george pord earlier this week. and.ulie k. brown joins me n julie, welcome to the "newshour". it's an extraordinary piece of reporting. it boggles the mind, though,why it took so long to come to light. so just start theusre. telow did you first learn about this story? why did you start to dig at i the way you did? >> well, you know, pieces of this story, thene of this story had been known for many, many years a lot of journalists had written about this deal, sort of scratching their heads ability how could mething like this happen. and, when alexander acosta, the
miami u.s. attorney in miami was nominated by president trump last year as labor secr or in 20717, rather, as labor secretary, i sortf wanted to hear what he was going to say when he would be asked about this case, and i was kind identify stopshed that he wasn't account much about it alall and the answers that he did give really weren't responsive to the questions he was asked. and, so, i thought, you know, it's been a long time -- is was before the #metoo movi emen, butkept thinking, i wonder what these victims, these girls, at the timy were 13, 14 and 15, now in their late 20s and 30s, are thinking about the fact he has advanced so r in his career after, in essence, in their minds, betraying them. so i about trying to -- i set about trying to find out who these victims were and, eventually, convinced just a handful of them, quite frankly,
to go public works but i smoke to many more than a handful of them. >> reporter: and the details they share in the interviews with you are so incredible, jaw-dropping, and the consistencies across so manyf o their stories. i want to share a quake piece of one interview from one woman you interviewed, virginia roberts, and here's what she said used happen at epstein's house. >> it ended with sexual abuse and inrcourse, and then a pat on the back-- "you've done a really good job," like, you know, "thank you very much, and here's $200." you know, before you know it, i'm being lent out to politicians and to academics and to- people thayalty-- and people that you just... you would never think, how did you get into that position of power in the first ple, if you're this disgusting, evil decrepit person on the inside? li>> reporter: julie, wome virginia lived for over a decade knowing the u.s. attorney alex acosta in this case declin to
prosecute the man who abused them. when you first approachehem, were they willing to talk to you? >> no, that was probably the harst part, trying to convince them to trust me because a lot --s i mentioned, there h been a lot written about the case. they have never really spoken publicly because, quite frankly, they felt that their story likely had never been told, so part of what i did was i did some homework on it, i interviewed some sexual assault survivors and some counselo to try to prepare me not to interview them in such a way as to get to the root of their trauma without retraumatizing them, which was a delicate balance. >> reporter: help us understand that because, obviously, in your series of reports, you lay out the physical evidence, the witness testimonies, everything there was to build a case against epstein. how do we understand this decision not to prosecute? what do we know about what
happened behind the scenes before acosta made that decision? >> we actually know a lot becae these girls, after th deal was signed, they filed a federal lawsuit against the government alleging and claiming that they violated the crime victims rights act because they didn't inform these girls of this plea bargain, and they kept it secret, and as part of this lawit, the governmentad to turn over a lot of e-mails and letters, and those e-mails and letters showed a pretty collegial relationship between the prosecutors and epstein's lawyers. >> reporter: and we know now the federal judge yesterday said the way the plea deal was signed without notifying victims was illegal. sarah sanders at the white house was asked about that today becuse as we noted mr. acosta was the labor secretary uer president trump and she said it's something they're looking into. t from the victims' perspectives, what do they want to see happen?
what does justice and accountability look like all these years ler? >> they really want to see him go to prison. they want to see him punished for the crimes that he committed. we knowecause of vidence that has come to light over the past several years that he wasn't just doing this in palm beach. he's accused of trafficking irls in new york and other plas around the world, and, tion that'the qu out there is why haven't federal authorities reopened this case or at least opened a new case in anoer jurisdiction? and i think that these women feel that prosecutors in th justice department have just worked to help cover up this case rath than expose and, you know, what epstein did and to find somkind of justice for these girls. >> reporter: a lot of questions still remain. julie k. brown.
it's ae n incredipiece of reporting you've done for the "miami herald." thank you so much for being with us today. >> thank you. >> woodruff: one moreews development this evening. president trump announced on twitter that he is nominating mbbassador to canada kelly craft as the u.s.sador to the united nations. aides to both the president and senate majority leader mitch cconnell recommended craft for the job. she is a prominent republican donor. as house democrats gear up to fight president trump on his emergency declaration, 2020 democratic hopefuls gain a new challenger in their ranks: senator bernie sanders. fanor analysis on thimore, it is time for shields and brooks. that is syndicated columnist mark shields, and "new york times" columnist david brooks. hello to both of you. >> judy. al>> woodruff: so let's t about, mark, what the democrats announced today. they said they re going to do
this, but they officially put word out today they were going to vote on tuesday basically just to negate, cancel what the president is trying to do, dmeeclare a nationalency to find money to pay for a wall on the southern border. is this a smart move? i >> a smart move? well, it will pass the house. the are 226 co-sponsors right now. nancy pelosi does something wl, she does loot of things well, but she knows how to count, and the question is how many republicans. there's one at this point from michigan, but others who will come over. >> woodruff: only e. at this point, that's right. so then it moves to the senate. i mean, i think it's a moment of somere truthity for republicans. i think susan collins of maine has already indicated her own opposition to the president's position. i think corey gardner of colorado up for a tough ra next year may be another and
there may be others as well. i othi system works best when there's a vitality and energy in all branches. i don't think there is any question ths is protecting the institution. i mean, when the president goes ahead andey appropriates mon that was denied by both the democrats and the republicans in the conference, most recently, you know, i think it's a question of prerogativ responsibility and authority. >> woodruff: so, david, do the democrats have a real shot at blocking what theresident wants to do? >> no,, because they would have to get a veto-proof majority, and if they get out of congress, donald trump will veto it. it may pass the senat there were six or seven, when he declared the emergency, six or seven republicans said i don't likely think it's a good idea, and they may wind up voting against it. if you're going toote against donald trump about anything, it's the easiest. you can say it's not about eology or the wall, it's just about congress and the way we --
it's about theti cotion. they all took an oath to sar allegiance to the constitution and the constitution says congress has th has the power oe purse. if it was a unanimous vote, it would get 90 votes. but ere's a weird -- you kn, you bug them about. this there's a level of supine passivity, a lessned helplesswhere it doesn't even cross the mental barrier that maybe i should buck the president on this one.od >> ff: you're talking about the republicans. >> yeah. you would have to do studies on mall-treated pets or something, like why don't they get up and o something? but it's neven in their brain register, it's just i go along right now, i just go along. and it's not even a conscious choice anymore. >> woodruff: doesn't have anything to do are w reelection or anything like that? >> of course it does, that's the animal instinct at play. i think the vote of ohio would understand an occasional vote
aga.inst the preside there is not an issue a lot will be voting on, it's procedural issue. >> woodruff: no chance they could override? >> first veto of the president's administration. i don't see a t two-thirds being there. there may be a reach in theus if enough republicans screw up the courage to do so. but i thk the mark sanford experience just haunts republicans, it terrifies them. they look over their shoulder, they syesha dose ton wall in the sunshine. mark sanford, the wormer republican governor, congressman from south carolina whom the president just absolutely kind of trashed and endorsed his up to th previously unknown opponent in the republican primary and mark sanford wnt to defeat. >> there's one more reason.
they have no power now. they gave gave athe power of theierr leip to nancy pelosi and mitch mcconnell. so they gave that away a long time ago. they're doubly bound into this learnethis -- leard helplessnes. >> woodruff: benders announced officially this week he's going to run again for president. his time it's a little different. >> it's a lot different, judy. the very s we peop wrote bernie sanders off in 2015 in our profession are writingim off again in 2019. bernie sanders is cranky, bernie sanders is not well-groomed, bernie sanders just connects with voters. i mean, in the summer of 2015, he on successi nightin port lrntiond seattle and louisiana -- this is august of 2015 -- drew crowds of 27,500,
5,000, and 28,000 into arenas. the idea of a democratic event in los angeles is basically dinner at george clooney's house with stephen speilberg and barbra streisand singing. >> woodruff: well, for some. yeah,'tut democrats don do big events, and bernie connected. i just point out he raised $135 million in small contributions. he really changed it. he raised 50 million more than donald trump did in continue co. itb was a remare performance and he did connect. but it is different. he doesn't have a single identifiable flawed opponent at this time. he's competing -- i mean, because donald trump is seen as so vulnerable, every democrat who isn't under indictment or detox is basically running for president. it seems that way. >> woodruff: i mean, how different is this fie, vid? >> compared to past?
it's pretty different. one, it's hard to catchli htning in a bottle twice. you get that moment of excitement, and it's -- it go away. john mccain caught lightning in a bottle i2000 and won the nomination later. he was the shi new penny when running tbenls hillary clinton last time. now there are a lot of people with similar poly positions as bernie sanders. they're younger, more diverse, in the of elizabeth warren, more substanti'sve. ard to see the avenue he had before, but you would think a ynger, more diverse version of bernie sanders would be the ticket. >> woodruff: and republicans, mark, jumping all over the fact that bernie sanders i democratic socialist and they say they are happy to point out that there are several of these democrats, who you mentioned, who are veering in some of theey
positions re taking in the direction, republicans say, of socialism. >> i just pointed out to david that catching lhtning in a bottle, i don't know if you covered reagan '76 and '80 campaigns -- >> woodruff: david was too young. he w still in grammar school. >> judy, creeping socialism, i i first heat when i was nine years old. it was a charge of conservatives, republicans against terrible ideas like social security and medicare and medicaid and national parks, and you name it. it's all creeping socialism. it's socialistic until it's accepted and passes and people actually like it, i enj, it becomes part of their life, and donald trump, in 2016, as you recall, promised not to touch a single grey hair on the head of social security and medicare. system wititalistic
the eight-hour workday and five-day work week, the true lievers of capitalism object and yell in pain. but i just think americansre very pragmatic, that the idiolog believes it works. masost horked for americans. >> woodruff: you're a long time defender of socialism. >> i am, back to 1948, the communist manifest o. very fine document, by the way. (laughter) it's craziness. i would make na distinct between government that provides a safety net foenr people bad things happen to them they can't do anything about when they're born in less fortunate circumstances, so if you want tax credits, signed se me up,
rage subsidies, i'm for all that, but i thi fnk youd americans don't like government taking over large sectors of industry and complicated s of our society. when benders has medicare for all, theware going to takey your private health insurance. i think you will find people like private health shorn's. when the green new deal takes over, people will be suspicious that government is do that.to so there are two ways the government will be active. it needs to bacve in mending inequality and redistributing money for e middle class and working poor. in my view and a loft americans' view, it does not ed to be acting in taking over a lot of private sectoracvity. >> that is not the majority position of the democratic party. the green new deal is aspirational, i don't think it's
pragmatic by any means. when you talk about socialism, people get upsetnd understandably so. i think you're talking about healthcare as the democrats did in 2018 and thes republicid take it away under donald trump end millions of americans wer without healthcare who had it under barack obama. you kesnow, that bec a different debate than talking about medicare for all. >> what sentence did barack obama smore than any other, if you got healthcare, you can keep healthcaroie, we're not to change your healthcare. and that's all gone. medicare is now the standard democratic position. >> i really question whether it is, and whetr it wilbe. but, i mean, i don't think -- i think it really sis aong man to do the socialist thing, and -- >> woodruff: there is excitement, though, among some of the unger democrats. >> no question. i mean, i agree on that, but don't think you can look at the new green new deal and say i'm
going to run on that in iowa in 2020 ande the nominee or be the winner. i just don't think you can. i mean, that's a very pragmatic and practical decision. >> well, kamala harris seems to be. cory booker has made gestures, lizabeth warren. >> i would also point out as peter hart the great pollst, er sambers at this point in any presidential race are the equivalent of being written in wet sand at the ocean's edge. >> woodruff: polers? poll numbers. it's talking about who's ahead and isn't. at this l point, tast time there was a republican president seeking reelection is george w. bush, the leading democrat was joe lieberman who eight contests later d not won a single delegate. >> woodruff: if we haven't leablrned to be he about polls by now -- >> humility is what's recommended. >> woodruff: mark shields, david brooks, thank you. >> thank you.
>> woodruff: comingo terms with their identities as young men move through high school is one theme of the hit broadway play, "choir boy." jeffrey brown reports how celebrated playwright tarrell mccraney is busy writing more work for film, television and the stage, as part of "canvas," our regular series on arts and culture. >> brown: the new play, "choir boy," is set in a mostly black, all-male boarding chool... >> my mother would never! >> brown: young boys yearning and learning to become men. they-- and the play itself-- use music to express joy and sorrow, anger and pain. ♪ ♪
>> it's a play with music, but it's not a musical. i thi folks don't even recognize that the young mens inging on stage have very little help. there's no orchestra. it'sit just them singingeach other, making those harmonies. so that in itself is sort of astonishing. but the nakedness of it, the of bareness of that i what's always been thrilling about what negro spirituals are. >> brown: t 38-year-old mccraney, author of eight previous pla and winner of a macarthur genius grant, burst onto the national sta as the oscar-winning co-writer of "moonlight," a film based on his own life growing up gay in liberty city, miami. an outsider in his own community and the wider world. in "choir boy," he gives us "pharus," an astonishingly talented, curious and seemingly confident 16 year old, who ho appens gay.
jeremy pope plays pharus in a sensational broadway debut. >> thank drew for leing me live alongside these others boys who don't have a problemay disg ill will towards me. but if i remove one of themrom my persons without somebody drawing attention tow myiss or wrist, i need to be put down? brown: pharus is a scholarship student with little support from hoch, hoping for a ce at bigger things through this prestigious school. but this is a place where his sexuality is not acknowledged. >> what is vital to e story, and personal, is that pharus is clehosen to do his , and to odnly bring your talent not to bring the rest of you. and that, i feel like that has been something that has hpened to me my whole life. if it's n my blackness, if it's not my queerness-- it's like, justring the talented part of you, don't
but just bring the talent. come do the thing we ask you for and leaveom the rest at ♪ ♪ >> brown: pharus is a character 'twe dften see on stage, and certainly not on broadway. for mccraney, he's a modern emthbodiment olong but unspoken history of the black church and the music that sustained so many. ♪ ♪ >> oftentimes the folk who lead us inho singing songs at churches are young queer men. and it's something we don't talk about.s it'mething we don't mention in public. and sometimes we admonish those same queer bodies, who are often very gifted at singing and preserving that legacy. when i was commissioned to write a play, i wanted to write about wt es it mean as a community, the black community, to pass down this legacy, this very treasured legacy, to these bies that we sometimes often don't even regard as full human bei >> i did not kick that mean boyo
out of the because he could sing better than me. >> brown: >> brown: in "choir boy," harus, still so young, i confronted with painful choices that will play out for the rest of his life. >> if you're from where people like pharus and myselfrom, the options that are coming before you are limited, in terms of what you can be in life, or what you see that you can be. what you're told that you can e. what infrastructures are there that you can actually achieve. athnd you have to make decisions pretty early, because the other options are, here's this drug gang that you can get a part of. >> brown to be, especially if you're 12 or 14. >> and many young people grow up inev that environmen now. i think it's important for me to keep shining a light on that. >> brown: mccraney's writing is now showing up in a variety of forms, including a screenplay for the new netflix film, "high flying bird," by director steven soderbergh. and, a new tv series, titled "david makes man," is in production for the own network, with oprah winfrey and michael b. jordan as executive producers. in ahaddition to all
mccraney heads the playwriting department at the yale school of drama. do you see a connective thread in your work? >> oh yeah, for sure. i know that i'm consistently working in a place of love and commuty, consistently working about black people in particular. only by bringing your full self, by only bringing your true osyncratic self, the wei parts of you-- i had a professor who'd say: bring yourself, warts and a to the table-- do you get the most out of your art. >> br you want people to walk out of the theater with? >> when you walk into "choir boy," i hope you walk in hungry for some questions, and then i hope you walk t full of uestions. especially about how much room we makfor each other. at its root, that's the main question about "choir boy:" how much space can we make for each other in our community, and our legacy, and our futures? do we make enough space for the people who are different than
us? ♪ ♪ >> brown: "choir boy" runs broadway through march 10. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown in new york. ♪ ♪ >> woodruff: across the country this weekend, many pbs stations will air a black history month special, "an evening with ken henault," the african american who was chairman and c.e.o. of american express for 17 years. jeffrey brown is back with a preview. >> brown: making histord accessible ailable to all is the goal of the history-makers, a chicago-based oral history project collecting the stories of african-americans from all around the world.
accessible online, free of charge, the collection inclus a range of people, some famous, some not so. resident barack obama and his ife michelle, actors marla gibbs and ruby dee, captainsf industry like communications mogul kathy hughes and earl graves, and many others have shared their stories. julianna richardson is the organization's founder and joins me now. welcome. >> pleasure to be here. >> brown: tell us first ab the idea behind histriel-makers. how do you think about it? >> the goal was really to create the nation's largest african-american video oral history air kiefs. there had been virtually no attempt to record the black experience with the first voice since the w.b.p.a. slave narratives. there were 2400 slaves interviewed in the '30s as part of the w.b.p.a. project. >> brown: i named someam well-known, but how do you pick? >> we're looking for leaders in many ways, but wooe really k
through people's lives to help tell a more mplete history of the african-american experience, and now we've done 3,200 interviews.0. >> brown: 3,2 3,200 interviews in 413 cities and towns across the united states and some abroad. >> brown: so you have one coming up airing on pbs. >> yeah, we're so pleased about that one. >> brown: the businessman ken chenault. >> yes. >> brown: tell us about that one. >> ken chenault, a lot of peohie don't kno story, though he has been the well-known leader of american express, te c.e.o. he went to harvard law school and was really wanng to practice law. >> brown: and rose to quite a business career. > oh, quite a business career. >> brown: we've got a short clip. >> what company has tried to focus on is reinvention and transformation, and i feel i played my part while ia there, but i think what's also important was thcoitment
that the company had to service, which really resonated to me, because we only did well if w served people well. >> brown: what have you learned after so many of these conversations and profiles? >> we've learnedhhat te african-american experience is very diverse, a lot more complicated than, you know, we know. a lot of things that people don't know of, like we were recently in alaska, you know, and people were laughing, like, what about black alaskans? it's too cold up there! but the black alaska story goes back to the mid 1800s. >> brown: yeah. so we've -- i would say that the 20th century is really impactful. >> brown: one personal note i want to add for our audience is my colleague g an ifill was the long-time host for many years. >> we owe a lot to gwen and miss
her still. she was our anjill and interviewed eartha kit and dil.e ca >> brown: it meant a lot to her. i remember her telling me about it all the time. >> i think herroject is increasingly important in terms of being able to show val you. >> brown: the history-makers, julianna richardson. thank you very mucthh. >>k you. >> woodruff: how nice to remember that series. gwen, so important to her. and ththat inewshour for tonight. don't forget "washington week" later this evening. i'm judy woodruff. join us online,ond again here n monday. for all of us at the pbs newshour, have a great weekend. thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs ns ewshour en provided by: >> babbel. a t language program taches real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, french, german, italban, and more. el's ten to 15 minute lessons are avaable as an app,
r online. more information on babbel.com. >> cconslular. >> bnsf railway. >> american cruise lines. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs srotationviewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour roductions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> you're watching pbs.
♪ -next, a "kqed newsroom" special on local business leaders changing the way we live, work, and connect with our communities. -we sent out to build a resource that connected neighbors to the information that was most relevant to them. -a co-founder talks about helping neighborsn tear dowwalls online. also, an executive at reddit talks about the challenges facing the popular online forum. -what we have ied to focus on is, what is the core that makes reddit powerful? and it's that conversation. -plus, we hear how one startup is winning or consumers by ditching brand labels. -millennials don't want to buy the products they grew up with, because ose brands were "trust marks," and they lost trust. -and a ceo's mission to make the food industry more green. -it's very personal, and it's very high-impact. we need to do somethinabout ou. -hello. i'm thuy vu. a