tv PBS News Hour PBS March 1, 2019 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good eveng. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: security check. revelations that president trump ordered his son-in-law, jaredr, ku be given top-secret clearance over objections from the white house chietaff and u.s. intelligence. then, it's friday. mark shields and david brooks are here to analyze michael cohen's testimony, and what the failed nuclear summit meanfor the u.s. and north korea. plus, actors ethan hawke and paul dano on their roles in the broaay revival of sam shepard's play, "true west." >> sam shepard is unbeevably funny, and he's a deeply spiritual man. and he's got a profound sensibility about america, and it's not knee-jerk macho. ha's many, many things.
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>> woodruff: presirump is facing new criticism today amide lations he demanded his former chief of staff john kelly ve his son-in-law jared kushner a top-secret security clearance. it was first reported by t "new york times." mr. trump has previously insisted he played no role. top house democrats have vowed to continue investigating the white house security clearance process. we will take a closer look at what is at stake, after the news summary. the parents of otto warmbier rebuked president trump today for not holding north korea's leader kim jong-un responsible for their son's ath. the detained student returned to the u.s. in a coma before passing away in 2017. this week, president trump said he took kim "at his word" for not knowing about warmbier's mistreatment. today, fred and cindy warmbier issued a statement saying, "kim and his evil regime are
responsible for the death of our son, otto. no excuses or lavish praise can change that." later, president trump tweeted, "of course i hold north korea responsible." pakistan released a captured indian pilot today. the move was billed as a "peace gesture," after tensions flared beeen the two countries ov the disputed kashmir region. s walked the pilot across the pakistani border back into india befe he was whisked away for a medic examination. owds of people celebrated his return. the u.s. treasury department has announced a neround of sanctions against the maduro regime in venezuela. they target six top members of the venezuelan security forces responsible for blocking humanitarian aid deliveries. the u.s. recognizes opon leader juan guaido as venezuela's rightful president. at the state department, u.s. special envoy elliot abrams
responded to concerns that guaido's support might be fading. >> i'm not concerned about loss of momentum that some people allege. what underlies all of this is not anything the united states is doing.es what undert is the desire of the venezuelan people to escape from the conditions of dictatorship and economic misery they are suffering, that has not dinished. >> woodruff: during a visit to paraguay today, guaido announced that 600 members of the venezuelan military have nowro abandoned ma government. n e u.s. department of state is offering a $1 millunty for information leading to the capture of osama bin laden's n, hamza. he is believed to be the new leader of al qaeda. hamza bin lan has called for acts of terrorism in western capitals and threatened revenge
for his father's death in 2011. the government of saudi arabia also announced it isping bin laden of his citizenship. a deadly siege by al shababom militants inia's capital has ended with all of the attackers killed. 29 civilians also died. mali forces battled the extremists overnight to dislodge them from a building in mogadishu, after the ailitants bombearby hotel. meanwhile, the u. military announced its latest air strike on cenal somalia killed 26 al shabab fighters. washington state govnor jay inslee announced today he is running for president, joining a growing democratic field. the former congressman led the democratic governor's association in 2018 when the party flipped seven gubernatorial seats. inslee told supporters in seattle that combating climatege chill be the centerpiece of his campaign. >> because i believe in our r ability e to any
challenge. this we know, we are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation who can do something about it. >> woodruff: inslee is the 13th democrat to launch a presidential bid. ts. secretary of state mike pompeo today pledgdefend philippine forces should they come under attack in the south china sea. it was the first sucsupublic nce from the u.s. pompeo met with president arodrigo duterte in manil reaffirmed the allies' 1951 mutual defense code. tensions are high in the internatnal waters, which china claims as its territory. the u.s. insists that it has freedom of navigation. the canadian government today formally gave the een light to start extradition hearings for huawei executive meng wanzhou. meng faces fraud charges in the u.s. she was arrested in vancouver in
december. the chinese telecom company is accused of stealing trade secrets and violating u.s. sanctions on iran. meng has maintained her innocence. and, stocks closed higher on wall street today, amid optimism that the u.s. could reach a trade deal with china. the dow jones industrial average gained 110 points to close at 26,026. the nasdaq rose nearly 63 points, and the s&p 500 added 19. still to come on the newshour:re reports thatdent trump rejected concerns from antelligence officials and his own legal team to his son- in-law top-secret security clearance. an alarming look at ture of climate change in a new book, "the uninhabitable earth." mark shields and david brooks examine cohen's testimon the failed nuclear summit, and muc
more. >> woodruff: now, the latest controversy at the white house revolves around family, contradicting statements, ignored concerns and national security. the president was silent today amid new revelations about a trusted adviser. the "new york times" and the "washington post" reported today that president trump orderedla that his son-i jared kushner, get a top-secret securitylearance, despite concerns from his own chief of staff and intelligence officials. that contradicts what presidentm told the "times" in january, and what his daughter ivanka td abc last month. >> the president had no involvement pertaining to mync cleaor my husband's clearance. zero. >> woodruff: today, white house counselor kellyanne conway defended the president on "fox news." >> the president has the absolute right to dowas described. >> woodruff: kushner had ay temporcurity clearance for
more than a year, as his background check hit delays. some white house officials expressed concerns over his past business dealings. during the transition after the election in 2016, kushner sought investments from chinese, russian and qata entities. his family's company had amassed more than a billion dolls in debt on a development in new york. he divested himself ter he joined the white house. >> the way that good legislation should be made in washington is when everyone's at the table. >> woodruff: since joining the administration, kushner has taken on a wide portfolio ranging from criminal justice reform to middle east peace. just three days ago, kushner met with saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman, suspected of involvement in the murder of a journalist. he's also t with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu, with whom his family has ties. kushner has had to update his
federal disclosure forms at least 40 times to include contacts with foreign officials. last year, the "washington post" reported foreign officials fromd four countriesiscussedne using kur's foreign and business ties to manipulate himm today, a spo for kushner's lawyer said, "the clearance was handled in the regular process with no pressure from anyone." t investigations into kushner's security clearance and the president's actions are underway. house oversight committee chair elijah cummings has threatened subpoena white house documents about clearance protocols if they are not submitted by monday. so, what is it abos kushner and mily's business that have raised questions, as far back as during the 2016 campaign?is caleb melbart of the reporting team at bloomberg news keeping track of the business and its workings.
cable cable, welcome to the "newshour". m we know the kushner fy has been involved in real estate and reements development well before donald ump started running for president. tell us what that business was, where was it. right. long before the campaign, this was a real estate family that had grown up doimeng apas in new jersey, in maryland, but right around right before the financial crisis, they made a big move into new york and to manhattan and what that meant was they spent a record-breaking $1.8 billion on one particular office building, 66 5th avenue in new york, then market tanked and they were sitting on building absolutely drowning in debt, and that was a pemro they kicked down the road for anyears and yearsd it really started to come to a head during the campaign. i> woodruff: so this all happened, as you years before donald trump started running for president.
why did it becom issue? did the debt keep building, putting them in a vulnerable how did that develop? >> yeah. in 2011, they hadn oortunity to refinance their debt, slightly me generous terms to try to help them turn things around. but they failed andr, as tump started running for president, they decided to go for a moon-shot plan, and they wanted to knock their building down and build another twice as tall inan its placed there weren't too e u.s.nvestors here in th who would even look at a plan like that, and that meant they would have to go oeee real will you, the place they saw the most interest was chinaa and theyked to a company there and were close toutting together a deal to save their building before the debt was duu in fy of this year, actually, but that fell through. they had talks with qataris, with saudis, wih a french billionaire, with a korean sovereign wealth fund.
they likely went all over the globe looking for someone tohe them save this building. >> woodruff: and as you reported, cabl caleb melby, thas going on as donald trump was becoming prede. >> absolutely. jarred and his family were having advanced negotiations with the chinese firm. after that fell through and jared entered the white house,hi father, other members of his family and company continued to have conversatih s wittari officials both to have the sovereign wealth fund in that country and also other private businesses there as well. those conversations basically led up to the time when qatar's neighbors, saudi arabia and the united arab emirates, le a blockade of qatar which trump and the administration supported,bohich eve thought was odd because qatar is historically a u.s. ally.f: >> woodro what all this adds up to is it would havea
presenteal potential conflict of interest for jared kushner. >> we see his family having conversations witsovereign entities at the same timee and his broad mandate for oversoutheast seas policy is making decisions. >> woodru: we're nt told what was holding up the security clearance, but we can assumed that this the something serious -- that there was someing about that was related to that. >> certainly, there are questions outstandingbout tht business deal. even right now, as we're trying to figure out exactly how hat security clearance came to be. we don't know what was discussed in those meetings between, say, jarred's father and are qa or between jared and the chinese firm as the president was coming to power either. when we talk about conflict of
interest, we're talking about parallel priva business interests and public decision di mcing oppores. >> woodruff: jared kushner is taking on thert follow, meeting with the saudis andqa ris and question marks about where interests li. >> absolutely. having him visit mohamed bin salman right now to get everybody on board for hisas middlepeace plan, that's somebody he's developed a clotie reship with and somebody who also has control over a sovereign wealth fund, the saudi public investment fund. >> woodruff: a lot ofti qus about this and we'll continue to ask them and appreciate your reporting. caleb melby with bloomberg news, thank you. >> thanks f
>> woodruff: climate change continues to grow as a political issue in america. just today, washington's governor, democrat jay inslee, announced he's running for president and will make climate change a central campaign theme. this comes after democrats in the house recently put forward their own aggressive plan. but william brangham te ks with thor of an alarming new book which argues that we're barely ackwledging the severity of this crisis. >> brangham: "it is worse, much worse, than you think." that's the first sentence of mavid wallace-wells' terrifying new book about c change. it's called "the uninhabitable rth: life after warming. in it, wallace-wells marshalls the last scientific research which, he argues, points to one un-impeachable fact: that our use of fossil fuels-- which admittedly has powered so much prosperity and growth across the world-- is now the single
greatest threat to our survival. one that he says, "has brought us to the brink of a never- ending climate catastrophe." david wallace-wells is a fellow at the new america foundation, and a columnt and editor at "new york" magazine.e. welc >> thank you. >> reporter: i have to admit, i haven't been alarmed by a book as yours. we posted the fit chapter of your book on the web soot. i would encourage people toadre it to get a sense of your argument. but help us understand what deem won't appreciate about the severity of this problem. peed.e first thing is we long thought climate change was happening very slowly, that it was unfolding fastest at a decade time more like ceenturies and idn't have to worry about it in our lives, maybe our ahildren's lives but was something to worrout for the granhehildren. halfmissions we've put in the saturdays fear we've done it
in the last 30 years, so the speed is overwhelming. and if we lived off the coasts, we often thought it was a matter of sea level rise andd we wo be safe, we could live inland, it would be okay. eth an all encompassing threat, much beggar than sea level rise, impacts the economy which cou be 30% lower than without climate change by thend to have the sendcally, could impact health, twice trade warty by the end of the cenry that's the scope. the severity, scientists talked about 2 degrees celsiuss there old of catastrophe. we're on track to feet to 3-4 degrees celsius by the end of the century and that's uunconscionable. we're only seeing peakso far. we'll see much more.
>> reporter: 2, 3, 4 degrees, the distinctions might seem trivial to people not immersed in thi 3 degrees, 4 degrees warming is vetentially calamitous. >> we would hahe u.n. suggest as a billion climate russia investigation, many as live in north america and south america combie would have $600 trillion of climate dancing, double of the wealth that exists today, and twice as much war. the impacts would be everywhere, not just sef-, arctic melt or droughts, but there would be no life untouched. >> reporter: the natural inclination is to say that's ,yperbole, it won't be bad we'll find a fix. seems like you have to guard against apathy, anihilism and complacency. your book seems to be argui nothing would be worth talking about if we didn't have some way
to fix it. >> that's exactly how i feel, and i think when we consider the climate horrorshat's possible, it's important to remember those are a mark of how much power we retain in the moment. the average person can think of scary scenarios, global refugees crisis, famine, drought, heas waat kill people around the world and think it's over. but if we get to that situation, it will be becse of what we do from here on out. nothing that happened in the past til a few years ago is going to affect climate going forward. the thing that will wri the story is the actions we take moving into the future, and tha means the climate of the future is always within our control as a human scies. how we manage tht is complicated. there are many observe tackles ahead, but this is not something that is inevitable at all. we could avert all these dilsters if we colectively decided to take action quickly. the question is how quickly and at what scale we will take
action. >> reporter: you argued that panic is appropriate in response to this and that panic can be productive. how so? >> when we think about the campaign against cigarette smoking, drunk driving, these are puic campaigns tht drew very clearly on fear and were successful as a resu s. the u.ys that in order to avoid catastrophic levels of warming we need a global mobilization at the level of world war ii we know from history we didn'tfying that war out of hops or opt it was out of fear and alarm. i don't think fear and alarm are the ly way to talk about climate, i think there are reasons for optimism. the possibility is with the green new deal and there ar aresonss for hope. but e big picture, the science is teifying every finding sig scientists cop we've riday makes the world look bleerk and we should allow ourselves to be alarmed and
respond in kind. >> reporter: with faced with news about how awful climate ange sharks there is a recollection of people to say what can i do individually. you seem to argue that individual actions are well meaning but not enough. >> and i worry it can be a distraction. i think people who are moved to live more rhsponsiblyn it comes the carbon, i ( applause ) them, that's noacialtion but the contribution you can make as an individual, adding up all your lifestyle choices is completely trivial to the impact you can have through politics. >> reporter: through voting. i do think so. the story of climate change is so lage and al incom encompassig nat the reaction ofvidual can't make a dent. all that cn makeourse change is policy action at national and international level. we have that action at our hands by globalizing around gessur
leaders to honor climate commitments and i think that's much moraimportant tn what you buy, eat or wear. i worry it's a littl distraction from political action. >> reporter: "the uninhabitable earth: life afted warming," dallace-wells. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: sy with us. coming up on the newshour: a new documentary details allegations of sexual abuse committed by michael j. plus, actors ethan hawke and paul dano on the revival of the play, "true west." it was a turbulent week in the trump administration: from hours of damningmony from the president's personal lawyer, to the collapse of nuclear talks with north korea. to help navigate the different twists and turns, shields and brooks. that is syndicated columnist mark shields, and "new york oktimes" columnist david b
welcome to both of you. are you ready to navigate the twists and turns? >> just another week in rome. >> woodruff: all right, on that note, we're going to tal about michael cohen's testimony all week long. david, before the house government oveight committee, what was your main takeaway? >> we learned trump asked about the moscow bui the way through the campaign, we learned about the $35,000 check. we learned a few things, but to me it was more of a moral occasion than anything els w druff: a moral occasion? a moral occasion. what it illustrates is a president and frankly michael cohen o long ago decide celebrity and wealth is more important than beg a good person, and they've dragged us all down with us and the people wo they've dralgd down most is the house republicans who decided that their own
leader, they tinted care whether donald trump was a good or bad guy, they were going to rip the skin off michael cohen, so they attacked him. what struck me is how moral corrosion happens is you decide to ignore trump and to do that you have to mlyoristance yourself from him, and then morally distance yourself om him every day and eventually just get numb to everything. and other people on the committee said we all knew this, it's unrarble. that's how moral corrosion happens. >> wodruff: how did you see it? what roleh did te republican questioning take when most of them went after michael cohen rather than that yo talking abot president trump? >> they tooled the old attack route, judy, which is if you can't arg theubstance, you go after the source. if you can't deal with thet menlts, you she messenger. that's what their strategy was
testimony very fact that not a m singber of the republican committee defended donald trump what he was charged to have alleged to have done to me was revealing. they just decided to go aftermichael cohen. michael cohen's defect ar there, they're on the record. he's going to pay for them, thec legal de in particular, but there was nom ayoff for hito lie. the mural crowd was sting there, the robert mueller special counsel, they know exacd.y what he sai if he said anything that was false or pgerred himself, he faced problems. so there was strong incentive for him not to lie. it reminded me of the scriure the meek will inherit the earth, and if that's case the congressional republicans will be land rs because they are
the most docile group of people when it comes to any judgment or opinion on what donald trump does. >> woodruff: david. naly don't fear fi judgment. i don't mean that in the ultimate since. p mary judgment. the idea that you can side and sub born your cowl seoul to someone who lies constantly and you won't pay f that, how does that work? michael cohen ultimately paid, donald trump will ult pay.ely most people who lie and cheat their way through life will ultimately pay. why you want to rich your career to that kind of wagon is a mystery to me because that's not the way the law of the universe works. >> woodruff: the republican argument is michael cohen is a flaw character, he's lid before and a lot, why should we believe him now?me >> we ack to there was no inaccidentive and there was a strong disincentive for him to lie in his appearance under oath
on television before the world, and the world could heawhat he was saying and it could be stacked up to what he had previously said and sworn to. no, and he acknowledged the fact -- i mean, you spend ten years with donald trump an it's going to come at a moral cost, i'm sorry. that is the lesson we've learned. the one peson in this entire administration that has gotn away with a reputation enh seems to bseems nickia haley. everyonelse is wounded and tarnished by that association. >> dan coats. i can think of a few. the thing that got me about cohen is how many times did you become a thug to small businessmen to sff them for dealing with the trump administration?
500 times. i don't know if it's illegal or what, but it's unbecoming in the extreme. so i don't treat michael cohen as repentant. i think he didn't have ther ai of someone who's repented or faced the spiritual mus, he just decided one side is against his interest, donald trump, and the other side are for his ainterests and he'll sy something nice. i don't think he lied, but he is basically catering toe thft in some sort of go fund meca aign that will pay his legal bills. >> woodruff: de?s this adva >> i don't have that kind of moral x-ray. i don't know if he was a sinner and came a saint. i will say that the story of 500 people d you threaten entities, did you threaten onu donald t's behalf, is a good question from the congressman
from california. and he said 500. but the thing about it is, when he stiffed the small businesses, the plumbers and electricians who did work in the tru projects and he came back, donald trump loved to hear about it and reveled in it. at what point do you say ere's no honor and nothing to admire? >> woodruff: and he made a point of sharing that. >> that's right, hed di. he did not set out to flatter him. >> woodruff: does this adve ance se of impeachment against donald trump? >> i think a little. we know the trump tower stuff the moscow, the hush money. i think to think there's much more and everybody agrees and i , too, that alexandria ocasio-cortez did a good job of slaying down qustions and focused a lot on the business side of the trump empire.
if i'm republican, there's bad news to come from there, whether tax another things anhat's what the southern districts of new york is looking int i'm less concerned about the russian collusion and more to everything else. >> i.e. that hedvanced the collusion case not at all bu he gave them leads, suggestions, people to talk to, to interview, and, you know, i would say eough stuff to keep several committees going i did want give a shout out to elijah cummings, the chair. i thought he did a good jobs, i thought there was an earnestness and direct nesdz about -- directness and summation tha said we have to return to normal. >> woodruff: and handled very
delicate moments. to north korea, david, thees ent went over, i think, with high expectations of what was going to come out of that but came back empty handed. was there -- and we've talked on this program about who's -- whose responsibility that was. there ware disent about whether it's the u.s. or the h koreans, but what doe this tell us about trump foreign policy and the approach to foreign policy? >> i actually give the trump administration a fair amount of credit on. this you talked to the pople with security clearances a couplef years ago, they were terrified. i ask is it worse, they would say it is worse. now we're in a better pla south better to talk and at least keep theengaged ad better to probe to see if there's anybody in the regime that's willing to be semidecent. i'm glad donald trump walkee away from al rather than
have a cheap political win. are we in a good ace? no, but in a lot better place than two years ago akd i th the administration's policy has been baslyiceasonable. >> is he right to leave with no deal? yes, absolutely. it had to bother him that te professionals both in diplomacy and intelligence who had been openly skeptical about the whole deal were vindicated and validated. e,ter such a euphoric and ecstatic first dat was almost inevitable that the cup would ru into rod blocks andn some rumblesthe road, and that's what happened. 50 years after he was firstto askeo there by his country, donald trump went to vietnam and, you know, i think that he never came to deal with the fact that north korea is noh onlye least democratic with
the lea economic freedom than any country in the world, it's 43rd of the pacific asian countries in terms o development. the only thing is they have nuclear weapons. the idea he'll give that up is a pipeline.>> said it was reasonable policy. the emotional at fos ferks are app plalg paling. to say this guy is my friend, like him, he didn't kill an american. this regime practices slavery. >> woodruff: and worse. and worse, mass murder. so the iea that emotionally we b can budddy up to the guy, that part i want to add is appalling. >> i accept his addition. >> woodruff: speaking of that, what the predent had toay
about otowarmbier, the american student who was therend came back home in a comey and died. >> i spoke to a friend ofp' tr a couple of months ago and this guy hates conflict. he won't do it to your face. >> woodruff: trump. trum he won't offend the people in the room. he'll kiss up to people in the om and tweet about them behind their backs. >> he kisses up but kicks down. you're nice to people up here, but people who are below you,er s a mistreatment and maltreatment. >> woodruff: when he came back to the unit states, he said, i hold north korea responsible, but that was not what he sdai when he was over there. >> and not to warmbier's parents. >> woodruff: mark shields,
david bru.oks, thank yo >> thank you. >> woodruff: a new documentary is reigniting estions about the life and legacy of pop icon michael jackson. john yang has the story. and we want to warn you, that se may find the details disturbing. ( ♪ "smooth criminal" ) >> yang: nearly a decade after his death, multiple grammy winner michael jackson's music and showmanship can still cast a magical spell. ♪ ♪t buestions about his private life can still cast a dark shadow. >> yang: in 1994, jackson paid more than $20 million to settle a lawsuit alleging he sexually molested a 13-year-old boy. ( cheers ) and in 2005, he was acquitted on ten counts of child molestation, serving alcohol to a minor,
conspiracy and kidnapping. now, accusations of inappropriate conduct back in the headlines, with "leaving neverlafo," a two-part, -hour documentary to be broadcast sunday and monday on hbo. the film tells the stories ofja wade robson ans safechuck. robson, a dance teacher who did choreography for n'sync and britney spears, says jackson initiated him to sex when he was seven years old, and the pop star was 31. he alles the behavior continued for seven years. >> he started talking about how much he loves me. what this is, is us, how we show our love for each her. other people are ignorant, they're stupid, and they'd never understand. if they ever found out what they were doing about this sexual stuff, that he and i would bed pulled apart aever be able to see each other again and that
he and i would go to jail for the rest of our >> yang: safechuck, a former child actor who appeared with jackson in a pepsi ad, says jackson abused him over six years, beginning when he was ten. >> secrets will eat you up. you feel so alone. >> yang: their families tell how jackson won their trust: >> he just came across as a loving, caring, kind soul. it wasasy to believe he was just that. >> yang: ...and, how they feelab t him now. >> michael's gone, but it doesn't change the fact that hee stroyed these people. and that the world still goes on loving him. >> yang: on "cbs this rning" this week, jackson's family launched a pre-emptive strike against the film and the accusers. >> we know our brother. our brother would not do anything like that. then he comes out ten years after he died, saying stuff like that. now they are suing the estate for tens of millions of dollars. >> yang: jackson's estate is
suing hbo r $100 million. it claims the film violates a non-disparagemenclause in a deal the network made in 1992 to broadcast a jackson concert. in a statement, hbo said: "despite the desperate lengths taken to undermine the film, our plans remain the same." to discuss the film, the director, dan reed, joins us now. what was your intent?'t why did you wao tell -- want to tell this story? >> the intent rose out of an opportunity, which was my cidental discovery of wade and wage robson and jam safechuck, who i read about as the plaintiffs i aivil suit against the jackson estate. so here were o young men who claimed that, as children, they had been sexually molest bid the singer. seemed to me here was anto opportunitry and find out if these guys had something true
to say, whether they were genuine, and if theyer are genuine, perhaps there was a way to finally delve a bit deeper into this continue varies that had lasted for so long. >> how did you determine or satisfy yourself thathey were genuine now? >> well, the reason why wade in particular, because wwas an adult when he testified in jackson's vor in 2005 during the criminal trial, the reason why wade changed his story, and that's what it looks like, and i can understand why people query that, that story of wade's awakening is the story of the film. that's, you know, it takes four hours to upack tht. when you reduce it to its simplest, de, as a child and a victim of michael jac formed a deep attachment to his abuser. hoe fell in love with michael, and that relationship shaped his teenage years and his adult lfe
up to, you know, his mid 20s, so he's 22. he stands upn court ane knocks it out of the park in defense of michael and he is defense witness number one, and probably one of the mostt importasons michael was acquitted of the child sex abuse charges of the 13-year-old. why did he change his mind? he didn't want hi mentor, the man he will be in a sexual relationship, his idol, het didn't wm to go to jail so he lied. a few years later he had ald chi and his own son and he scribes thmoment when he looks at his son and imagines michael doing the things to his son tha michael did to wade as 57-yea eold and becomraged and can't stand the thought and prompted him to look deeper into thhis rtationship h michael
because he used t think it was a relationship with a sexual component with michael and there waoff-->> michael jackson says u didn't go to thm to get their side. what is your response? >> lest thk of that for a serkd. i didn't make allegations about the michael jackson estate in my film. they're barely mentioned. i don't didn't say tey molested children so why would i go to them for comment? they don't know anything of anyo use ut what happened behind a locked beroom door between wade robson at age 7 and michael jackson. f what the jacksmily do admit is michael spent many, many nights in bed in the company of little boys. you know, they've never really disputed that. and, so, they've not disputed that wade and james had long
acquaintances or friendships, if you like, with michael so there are many, many facts about this story that are easily corroborated, but the central facts is the question of what happened behind those closed doors, that's the central the question of the film, and i don't think that the family of the estate have anying useful to say about that, and they also have a massive interest and a big financial vested interest ii to cover it up, so they certainly weren't credible or, pyou know, imartial witnesses in the story. >> woodruff: so much of the reason for all this attention th film is michael jackson, but as a viewer, iound most affecting the story of these two young men and the effect at this had on them and their families, and i would like to play a little bit of james safechuck talking about the effect it had on him as an adult. >> one of the weird things is not liking yourself and not
knowing why. i didn't know why i had these problems or flt these ways, constant antyxnd depression and not knwing why you are like that. >> reporter: now, he could be talking about the the fects of something at the hands of a ach, it a teacher, a co doesn't have to be a celebrity. talk a little bit about that part of the film. >> you know, what this film is really about is to families coming torms with the disclosure of a long-held and very dark secret,which is the sexual abuse of their sons at hae hands of michael jackson. it's not about m. it doesn't really matter that he was a popa str. i of course it matters because this is a story that's now significant because of michael's magnitude in our cul, tut this could have easily been a story about an uncle ori prest
or any trusted figure or figure of authority that a mother or father might trust to spend time with their child, and that's hot i eople to see this film. i think it's a valuable document which chronicles over two decades of the story's family entanglement with a predatory pedophile. the pedophile could be anybo this could be anybody and this is how it happens. it's not a guy in a dirty trench itcoat wag at the school gates that bundles the child into a van or ant' ally, the man or the woman you trust with your child. one of the things yo need to watch out for as a parent is anybody who pays for attention to your child than you would normally do and anyone who seems to have more care about your child than is normaand, you know, he said that's a real tell-tale sign. i would like people to watch th
film and with educated about how sex abuse and grooming likely happens. >> reporter: dan reed, director of "leaving neverland" on sunday and monday on >> woodruff: next, the revival of a modern classic rican theater: sam shepar"true west." the play has been a magnet for great actors since it was ritten in 1980. at the famed sardiestaurant, jeffrey brown recently spoke toe the duo to take it on. it is part of our regular series covering arts and culture, "canvas." >> i want something of value. you got anything of value, lee? >> brown: "true west" is a tale of sibling rivalry spiraling to the breaking point
>> i am about to kick your ass out of here. >> oh, now you're going to kick me out? oh, oh, now i'm the intruder. >> brown: going at it nightly in a new broadway production by the roundabout theater: 48-year-old ethan hawke, as le menacing, a petty criminal and drifter; and paul dano, 34, as austp,, a buttonedtraight-arrow, hollywood screenwriter. twbrothers, locked in a psychological-- and eventually physic-- battle of wills, while house-sitting their mother's southern california home. hawke was first approached about the revival severayears ago. >> i was planning to say i'm the, the wrong guy. and between the phone calls to plan the meeting, and the meeting, sam passed. so the mting took on a whole different tone. >> brown: "sam," of course, is sam shepard, the pulitzer prize- winning aywright and actor, who died in 2017, known for his portrayals of rootlessch
acters making their way at the fringes of the american dream. "true west," premiered in 1980, is considered one of his mastero s, and has seen notable stagings, including on broadway in 2000 with philip seymour hoffman and john c. reilly, and an earlier production at the steppenwolf theater in chicagoic with john malkand gary sinise, one that was filmed and shown on pbs, where a 14-year- old ethan hawke first saw it. >> and i had seen or heard nothing like this play, and it-r was hak concert, half... i didn't know whether it was malkovich i lo you know, steppenwolf, or sam shepherd, or was it the hank williams song in the beginning. what was it that was so good? >> brown: but it did something. did something to you. >> and then i went to library and i got seven plays, you and i just started chasing all this stuff.
>> i didn't have the same relationship to it that that ethan did, but the more time i've read the play, including throughout our entire process, the more there was to be mined. and that's the most exciting thing for an actor. >> a lot of actors are drawn to this like catnip. a little bit like hemingway before him, sam has a reputation of toughness. and so, guys often try to macho that up. and if you do that, you actu lose. sam shepard is unbelievably funny, and he's a deeplyit spl man. and he's got a profound sensibility about america, and it's not knee-jerk macho. it's many, many things., >> all rig said it was the most authentic western he'd come across in a decade.d >> he likeat story, your story? >> yeah, what is so surprising about that? >> it's stupid. >> brown: as the play develops, the brothers' roles shift. ey, that's my story we'r talking about. >> it's a bullshit story, it's
idiotic.me two ains chasing each other across texas, are you kidding?th >> brown: lder brother lee encroaching into his brother's turf-- writing-- with unexpected and unwelcome o ccess. >> whou think is going to see a film like that? >> all right, first off, it's not a film, ml right? it'sie. that's something saul told me. >> oh, he did, huh? >> yeah, yeah. >> sam was trying to write abou. a self it's not that austin and lee are the same self, but each self is hurt and fractured, and weet these double natures. you know, these aspects that are spinning around and creating these cyclical, you know cyclone that these guys are caught in. >> and parts of ourselves that we reject or that weraid of, or... >> running from. >> brown: by the much alcohol has been consumed, and mayhem ensues. the actors, working with director james macdonald, hato decide how to play it. >> that's not a scene that when i read the play in my bedroom or whatever, at my desk, that i can fully comprehend odream, until we're throwing ourselves around and getting lost in. so that the way that stuff developed was really, was fun, was challenging.od and,we're so drunk by that point in the play. >> each scene we get a littler drund a little drunker.
you start to feel drunker and drunker, you know? it's a hypnosis. when nina simone sings, what makes her great is she hypnotizes herself. she hypnotizes you.gh and in our job there is tove hypnotize ours just be inside this play. >> that's right. i mean, and that's beautiful. it's still surprising us. and that's why we rehearsal a lot. so you can get a littllost and still not hurt each other.s >> there icollective energy that starts to happen with the auence, you know, and with other actors, and with, youe know, thole act of >> brown: hawke and dano both started acting vy young, and have sought a variety of different kinds of artistic experience. hawke has appeared in more than 70 films of all kinds, included a widely acclaimed performanc" in last year'sfirst reformed." he directs films and plays, and s written three novels. dano, who first appeared on broadway at age 12, made his directorial debut last year with the film, "wildlife," an adaptation of the novel by
richard ford. >> making a film is something i wanted to do for a long time. and i was, i'm so happy i got to go do it, you know. and your brain just starts to dream that way. it is about learning. and that still is probably one of the parts that gets me off the most, is trying to figure out how to do it, you know, and that's what gets me excited. >> the great challenge in an actor's lifes, we're all only as good as our opportunity. you see something, a piece of art at a very high level, and it's a little bit like a northin star or some where you go like, oh right, i want to be a part of that, and i want to doth . and i know i'm not doing that at a high enough level yet.so anou just go back to work. >> brown: "true west" runs through march 17 at the americat airlines theer. on broadway, i'm jeffrey brown for the pbs newshour.
>> woodruff: political junkies stay with pb robert costa breaks down what michael cohen's testimony and jared kushner's security clearance mean for the president. that's tonight o"washington week." tomorrow's edition of pbs newshour weekend looks at how isis is stepping up attacks in libya, despite previously losing grou there. and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. have a great weekend. thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> on a cruise with american cruise lines, you can experience historic destinations along thei issippi river, the columbia river and across the united states. american cruise lines fleet of small ships explore american landmarks, local cultures and calm waterways. american cruise lines, proud
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tonight on kqed newsroom, president trump under siege as his former lawyer calls him a liar and a racist. while in california, the state gop undergoes major changes. we'll have a round up of political news. president trump and kim jong un fail to reach aseeal in their nd summit. we'll take a look at the ramifications. show an alarming number of s califoia police officers have committed crimes themselves, nearly 12,000 of them so far. hello, and welcome to kqed newsroom, begin with a growing confrontation over the presidency. michael cohen, president trump's former personal lawyer delivered a scathg account wednesday of what he says was a lying, cheating president who use money and power