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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  May 8, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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captioning sponsoredy newshour productions, llc d >> woodruff: gening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, these u.s. hudiciary committee votes to hold attorney general william barr in contempt of congress, a move the democratic chairman says amounts to a constitutional crisis, as president trump asserts executive privilege over the mueller report. then, escalating tensions with iran-- a year after the u.s.he pulls out ofuclear deal, tehran signals it too will stop complying with parts of the landmark agreement. plus, inside a megafire.n miles on the race to protect california from devastating wildfires. >> you reallalmost need to know every tree, every bush, every piece of grass and what its state is to really predict what's going to happen. >> woodruff: all that and more
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on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, french, german, italiael and more. ba 10-15 minute lessons are available as an app, or line. more information on >> supporting social solutions to the world's most pressing problems--
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.>> the lemelson foundati committed to improving lives through invention, in the u.s. and developing countries. on the web at >> supported by the john d. andr catherine t. mur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at >> 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 n from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff:here is an ancalating showdown between the two ends of pennsy avenue, and both sides are digging in u.eir heels. the chairman of th house judiciary committee says it has today taken a "grave and momentous step." lisa desjardins begins our
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coverage of the mounting clash over access to the entire mueller report. >> desjardins: todayr moves in an escalating fight between branches, house democrats called a rare hearing, the first step toward holding g the attorneral in contempt of congress. judiciary chairman jerry nadler pointed to reforals to testify and over an unredacted mueller report. >> the trump administration has taken obstruction of congress to new heights. >> desjardins: simultaneously,um the administration made its own statement. the department of justice sent nadler a letter saying the contempt vote was unnecessary t and th president is exerting protective executive privilege over the documents democrats want, meaning the agency will not turn them over. that raised already heated demperatures at the capitol. >> i can only conche
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president seeks to take a wrecking ball to the constitution of the u.s. the first time in the-of the united states a president is now exerting executive privilege over every aspect of life. >> unfounately, we have an administration that is choosing to have a temper tantrum that is designed to accomplish one thing-- and that one thing is never let the real facts of the mueller report come to light. > >> desjardins: republicans charged democrats are playing politics. >> what a cynical, mean- spirited, counterproductive and irresponsible step it is. >> my democratic colleagues have weaponized our oversight abilities. d jardins: republican jim sensenbrenner said the attorney general cannot hand over all ofu thler report, because grand jury testimony in m particult stay secret. a >> i think it olutely shocking that the majority of this committee is going to ask
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the chief law enforcement officer of the united states to commit a crime. shocking >> desjardins: democrats rejected the argument as hyperbole.>> o one is asking the attorney general to disobey the law. a we're asking torney general to obey the law andel produce the mur report and the supporting documentation. >> desjardins: at the white house, hard pushbacke t the commitd chairman nadler. >> the attorney general is protecting information, grand jury information, confidential information that he cannot release. the fact that the chairman knows that and continues to ignore it is absolutely absurd. >> desjardins: charging contempt of congress is a power lawmakers ve held since the 1700s, but it is rarely used against members of the executive branch, and even more rarely against the attorney general. there was a sense of the stakes on both sides. >> i think people should recognize this is a deadly serious moment our democracy is being tested.
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the rule of law in our basic institutions that have made our democracy the envy of the wo td are beinted. >> our democr >> our democratic colleagues seem to be on a mission. they're determined to destroy attorney general barr, or at least discredit him in the eyes of the american people. >> desjardins: the vote reflected the sentiments-- a party line split with democrats voting to charge the attorney general with contempt. the resolution now movthe full house. >> woodruff: this evening it is being widely report that republican-led intelligence committee has subpoenaed donald trump jr. they intend to ask, reportedly bhis meeting with a russi lawyer at trump tower in newark ins 016 and effoby the trump organization to build a trump high rise in moscow. and lisa joins me now, along with our white house correspondent yamiche alcindor. hello to both of you. so, from your perspective, yamiche, what are these power
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moves about that the white house is making? and what is their rationle for claiming executive privilege? >> well, this really comes down to historic power plays between the white house and congress, each using their constitutional powers to really go head adto so on the white house's side, the president is saying the democrats are bitter abo the 2016 election, and as a result, they're carrying out partisan democrats, of course, say they're just going and doing oversight over the president, that he should be held accountable. en it comes to exerting executive privilege, the white house has two rationales for this. the first they say is the material congress wan t wane actually illegal to release. they say there are issues with law enfuorcement sorces, intelligence sources, and also grand jury material. lhe other thing that white house aides have been ng me today other than the white house wanted to exert executive privilege before the hearing because they wanted to protect attorney general bill barr. they say that it's going to be harder for him to be held in contem if the president exergt executive privilege. so this is really about the
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white house trying to have bill barr's back. >> woodruff: and, lisa, you're talking to everybody on thehi . what are they saying? what are democrats saying this is all about? and why do they reject e president's claim of executive privilege? >> that's so interesting about protecting the attornegeneral because democrats believe that the president already waived executive privilege here by allowing this testimonyn the first place to robert mueller. they had that's when he should have claimed ecuti privilege, not now. so they say that that's not an argument that they can put stock in. they also say that this is about more than what's happening. increasingly, judy, i feel, not just tension, but a larger concern from democrats. they see a potential erosion of checks and balances. i talked to representative powell, and she was thinking about south amer dictators and how one small erosion in checks and balances can hurt a democracy. >> woodruff: and so back to you, yamiche. where does this go from here? and what is the white house
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saying about, you know, some of the democra calling ths a constitutiweal crisis? >>l, the battle between white house and congress is just getting started. on the issue of contempt, the o.j. put out a very strong statement today saying that attorney general bill barrul should not beed into releasing information that he thinks is illegal. o then you're moving one idea of executive privilege. there's this idea that there might be push-ck between robert mueller and don mcgahn, the former white house counsel,s tofying before congress. the white house is saying that separate issues and they haven't made a determination on whether or not they uld allow at to go forward. i was talking to a white house source today. that person said the white hohae already told don mcgahn not to turn over any documents to congress because of issues of executive privilege. then, of course, this idea broaning it out, don jr. being subpoenaed by the republican-lld senate inence commit really goes to the heart of this idea that congress might now start having fight president's own party and his son. and then lastly, this idea of
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constitutional crisis. i put the questionirectly to sarah sanders today and said, what, do you make of the fact that there are people saying that tesident's edging the country closer it closer to a constitution crisis? she said democrats are the ones overstepping a that the sprt on firm legal grounds here. so she's back up the president, as democrats are, of cours sounding the alarm. >> woodruff: two totally podifferent-- completely te sets of arguments. so, lisa, we see the congress moving closer to a full house vote on this quen of contempt. historically, does that mean the house is likely to gewhat i wants? >> it's complicated, judy. what ends up naepg these cases, as i reported, executhe bra contempt of congress is very rare. we've seen a couple of cases in recent years. one, white house counsel harriet myers before george w. bush, and eric holder uder president obama inspect both of these those cases, judy, it went to court. the courts took a long time to decide and it went through appeal after appeal.
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in the end, while the courts upheld the ideofa, the concep congress having this power, the court does dnot want to ceenf it, and the presidents at the time were basically able to run out the clocks. those documents wee obtained by congress in both cases, but generally, not until a new president was elected. so running out the clockr is vey possible here for president trump. however, there's something exceedinglrare that some democrats are talking about. they have a different power of contempt tt they're not invoking now. it's called an inherent contempt of congress, which means congress itself can wedge-- can assess fines, and long ago, used to actually imprison people itself. some democrats are saying perhaps it's time for them to try and use that power, which has not been used since 1935. >> woodruff: i was going to say that has not been used for a very long time. >> there used to be a house jail. of course, no longer. >> woodruff: well, it's-- it seems to me it cldn't get much more serious than it is now, but we're watching. you and yamiche, thank you,
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both. yamiche alcindor, lisa desjardins, we thank you. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, iran's president declared his country will step up enrichment ouranium, if the 2015 nuclear deal is not renegotiated. he warned of action in 60 daea, unless eurnations help mitigate u.s. sanctions. the u.s.nswered with new sanctions on iran's metals industry. and, in london, secretary of state mike pompeo called forns unity agtehran. >> they've made a number of statements about actions they threaten to do in order to get the world to jump. we'll see what they actually do the united states will wait torv obthat. i am confident that as we watch iran's activity that the united kingdom and our european partners will move forward together to ensure iran has no pathway to nuclear weapons
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system. >> woodruff: the u.s. withdrew from the nuclear deal one year ago. today, russia blamed washington's actions for iran's decision. but israel warned again that it will not let iran obtain nuclear weapons. we will delve into all of this, after the news summary. this was election day in south africa, and the ruling african national congress faced strong challenges, after 25 years in power.wi voters lined u a chance to voice their frustration with corruption scandals and surging employment. there were signs that overall turnout was low. in this country, a colorado teenager appeared in court a day after a school shooting that left one student dead and eight wounded. 18-year-old devon erickson kept his head down dung the hearing. alongs arrested tuesda with a girl who is a juvenile. there was no word on the motive for the shooting. the border patrol reported today that more than 100,000 migrants
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were caught at the southern border in april, for the second month in a row. meanwhile, a federal appeals court agreed tuesday to makingai asylum seekersin mexico for immigration heargs. the 9th circuit court in san francisco let the policy stand, pending a legal challenge. driverfrom ride-share companies uber and lyft protested their pay in ten major u.s. cities today. they turned off theismartphone apps, cutting their connections to would-be customers. drivers argued they are getting poverty wages, but the companies they work for are earning billions in profits.ll >> arivers, you know, everywhere in the country deserve a fair pay and fair treatment. are hoping that this wil make a big impact and make app- usbased companies listen t >> woodruff: the strike comes two days before uber's initial public stock offering.
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the company says it expects to be valued at $91 billion. in oregon, thousands of teachers staged a walkout today, to lobby state lawmakers. they demanded more funding for schools, and protested large class sizes and low graduation rates. it's the latest in a wave of her strikes that began i west virginia last year. tv ads for prescription drugs will have to start showing list prices of the medications. the u.s. department of health and human services announced the rule today. it affects drugs that cost more than $35 for a month's supply. wal-mart is raising itmum age to buy tobacco products and e-cigarettes to 21, from 18. the world's largest retailer says the policy takes effect in july, at all oits 5,300 u.s. stores. the u.s. food and drug arministration had put wal and others on notice for selling
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tobacco to m on wall street, a late sell-off wiped out a rally as inveswars ed for trade talks with china to resume tomorrow. the dow jones industrial average gained just two points to close at 25,967.el the nasdaq20 points, and the s&p 500 slipped four. and, britain's new royal baby now has a name: archie harrison mountbatten-windsor. the parents, prince harry and arhis american wife meghane, announced it today, and showed off their newborn for the first time. the baby is 7th in line to the british throne. still to come on the newshour: the president of iran says his nation may soon restart banned nuclear activity. new tax information reveals the scope of president trump's business losses, and much more.
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>> woodruff: today iran announced it plans to stop complying with portions of the nuclear deal it signed with western powers in 2015. iran stopped short of withdrawing from the deal altogether. but as nick schifrin reports, the announcement increases already escalating tensions with the united states. >> schifrin: judy, the iran deal made a fundamental trade: iran restri in exchange for sanctions relief. one year ago today, the trump administration withdrew from the deal, and has since re-imposed sanctions. today, iran said it would not abide by all the deal's restrictions. number one, the deal limits iran's stockpiles of low- enriched uranium, wh nuclear fuel, and heavy water, which is used to operate a nuclear reactor. today iran said it would no longer adhere to those limits. and if iran does exceed the caps, it will no longer be in compliance. and then iran threatened even
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more dramatic actions: to produce a bomb, u need to enrich uranium at 90%. before the deal, iran enched uranium at nearly 20%, which u.s. intelligence said meant iran could break out and createe a bomb within months. after the deal, iran enriched uranium at 3.67% and removed most of its centrifuges, moving breakout time to more than one year. today, iran said if it doesn't receive economic befits allowed by the deal in the next 60 days, it not would adhere to "any" limit on uranium enrichment levels. and it would also take a plan to convert the arak nuclear reactor so it doesn't produce large amounts of plutonium, anotherfo of nuclear fuel, and cancel it. despite those threats, iranian president hassan rouhani said today iran was still in the deal. >> ( translated ): our nation shld know that we have not withdrawn from the nuclear deal. they should not think that the d nuclear des not exist anymore. today we announced a reduction not withdrawal. >> for more onhis we turn to iran's ambassador to the united
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nations, maj takht ravanchi. ambassador, thank you so much for joining the newshour today. you've gone a whole year since the trump administration pulledt out ofhe iran deal without responding in a major way. y respond today? >> over the last year, we exercised extreme patience in ordeto show that iran is ready, iran ias redy to take extra mile in order to show that it is sinceren its implementation of the nuclear deal. but, unfortunately, the u.s., of en its closest allies, we have not received the economic nefit that we were promised to receive based on the nuclear deal. and then, we were left with no other option than to say that for 60 days, we are going to stop implementing, or to cease
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performance of some of our obligations, voluntary obligations, based on the nuclear deal. and we will se what will happen during the next 60 days. the windoomof diy is not closed. we believe that iran will speak, will negotiate with the partners, the remainian partic of the j.c.p.o.a., and we will see what will be the outcome of the negotiations. >> schifrin: ambassador, you say that were ft with no other option. but why do you need to enrich uranium at a higher level than 3.67%?en what's your inons by doing, that or possibly doing that? >> well, for the time being, e are adhearing to the j.c.p.o.a. on the limit of the eichment, the level of enrichment. what we have said is for the next 60 days, we are going just to be free for our-- we are not
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talking about enriching more than 3.67% for the next 60 days. >> schifrin: but president rouhani did say today that yo would enrich higher than 3 opinion 67, if you didn't get the economic incentives, tha have not come so far. >> of course, we will. of course, we will. e reason is our partners have had more than enough time flafort year and a half or so, for the last year or so-- i'm sorrpe- to comate what the americans have done to the j.c.p.o.a. so if they cannot do i in the next two months, that means that the political will is not there. and then we will actn accordance with our national interests. >> schifrin: today, president trp said that he still hoped to meet with iran's leadership. does irve any interest in meeting with president trump? >> there is-- i mean, there isit no utin meeting somebody
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who carelessly tear apart, you know, an international agreement. it was not an agreement between iran and thenited states. other countries-- the european unn-- were part oit. so all of a sudden, we see that the president mes and says, " don't like it because of so many reasons," because the former president took the initiative to sign such an agreement with iran. so how can we trust somebody who carelessly and recklessly do something like this? >> schifrin: ambassador, quickly, in the time we havear left, thersome people who i'm talking to here who are experts on iran fear that the speech by president rouhani today will allow hard-liners here in the u.s., and perhaps isra, a stronger case to argue that iran is not t.stwort what's your response to that? >> i think the hard-liners, asor our eign minister has coinedne
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itanyahu, bolton, they are doing whatever they can, no matter what iran does. so it doesn't matter how we are dealing with j.c.p.o.a. their agenda is to provoke, their agenda is to agitate the situation. their agenda is to prepare a war against iran. we are not trying to wagwar against anybody, but definitely we will defend ourselves not. matter w >> schifrin: ambassador majid ravanchi, thank you so much for your time now ith me for the trump administration's view is brian hook, the state department's representativfor iran. brian hook, thank you for coming back to ther. newsh you just heard ambassador ravanchi accuse the u.s. saying your real intention is to provoke iran and "prepare for war." is te u.s. intention? ca i didn't really hear what he said. just say today what we saw
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with the iranian regime is another example of nuclearl. blackm this is a strategy that they've used very effectively for many years. they do it to intimidate other nations so that they then give iran th economic benefits that it think-- that they think they deserve. and, in fact, iran s not need to be enriching any fissile material at a level that isat above is required for a peaceful nuclear program. so we're very happy to be outside of the iran nuclear deal.we have a lot more freedomo deter exprawn prevent it from ever acquiring a nuclear weaponh >>rin: you call it nuclear blackmail. president rouhani said iran would no longer abide by the caps on heavy water and low-enriched uranium. he threatened in 60 days to do more when it comes a to enrichment. but they are in the deal. and as you heard the ambassadoro say, dcy is still an option. so, in some ways, is their
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response restrained? >> you know, i think-- as i said earlier, i think this is theg iranian e, the world's leading sponsor of terrism, threatening to enrich levels of uranium beyond what is necessary for a peaceful nuclear program. they have also used the nuclear program to-- as cover expand their range of activities, to run an esiist revolutionary policy around middle east. and it runs all the way from lebanon to the houthis in yemen. so what we'one outside of the deal is to drive up the sts of iran's very expansionist foreign policy, and also being outside of the deal th the enormous economic pressure that we're able to put on this regime. we're in a much better position to achieve our national security goals outside of the deal. >> schifrin: i think your critics would point out that it would be easier to con iranian-maligned behavior while restricting their nuclear program. >> well, iran is stilln the
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iran nuclear deal. we're outside of it. and so we' not under any of those restriction any longer. when we were in theeal, we weren't able to use any of our oil andnking sanctions against iran to chae their malign behavior around the middle east. we've now sanctioned almost 1,000 iranian individuals and organizations for a range of activities around the nuclear program, the missile program, the regional aggression, and the arbitrary detention of american citizen. we are seeing a dif hrence. ir had to cut its defense budget for two successive years its biggest client in the middle east, hezbollah, has been making a publ appeal for dations because the money from iran is running out. so we're very happy with the positive impact that we' having just in the one year. and today is the one-year anniversary of us getting outs of the iran deal. >> schifrin: brian hook we have about a minuteft so i want to ask you about the maximum pressure came caem. you talked about aost 1,000
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people or entities. today you announced new sanctions on iran steel, copper and aluannum. getting ack to the table to renegotiate what you called a bigger nuclear deal. is theyo any evidence thaur maximum-pressure came caem is convincing iran to come back to the table? ell, we have a goal of getting to a new and better deal to succeed the existing iran nuclear deal, which is only limited to the nuclear program. we are interested in an agreement that would address the nuclear program, the missile program, regional aggression, human rights abu, d the like. secretary pompeo made that very clear about a year ago. the ciewnd of demands that we-- that we have placed on the islamic repehublic to bave more like a normal nation and less luke a revolutionary case. putting in place that sort ofi clarity, we , has been very helpful for the international community and it's highlighted iran's regional aggression. and we're having more countries
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come our way over the last year because of ourlo dicy. >> schifrin: brian hook, special apresentative for irn at the u.s. state department. let's leave it there, thank you so much. thanks, nick. >> schifrin: we now turn to ambassador wdy sherman. e was the lead u.s. negotiator for the nuclear agreement with iran during the obama administration, and is senior fellow at the bell ford center at harvard. you heard me ask brian hook where the u.s. intention is to provoke iran, to wage war, which we heard from the iranian ambassador. >> i hope that the u.s. intention is not to provoke iran to leave the deal or to provoke iran into a regional conflict. indeed, i think that president rouhani very carefully threaded nge needle today, not lea the deal, but beginning to take steps to say, "please, le's not escalate the situation." i wish the trumpministration were as measured in its approach. and i would say to bryan hook that-- and to the trump
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administration-- what have they gotten as a result of withdrawing from this deal a year ago? there is more maligned behavior in the msdle east, not les. americans are still in prison and missing in iran.l the iranian pedo not have more freedom. and the administration has set iran back on a path to perhaps working to obtain nuclear weapons, exactly what we stopped from happening. >> schifrin: so youust said the u.s. has led iran on to that path. buas i asked the ambassador, why should iran enrich more than he67? what's wrong withre they are right now? and why isn't that criticism-- >> iran is very happy toy staat 3.67% in its enrichment ofm uran, indeed, the joint comprehensive plan of action, the iran dl, stays in place. and those limitationsre for quite some time, and it is all abou a- >> schifrihough, as you know, your critics say not long enough. >> i know they say it's not
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forever. it's at leasteasolid for 15 rs that you cannot go above a certain stockpiles limit. you can't go e 3.67%. but even after that, there are limitations on at iran can do, and there is the most extveen monitoring and inspection of iran of any country in th world. >> schifrin: iran said, as you heard the ambassador, that we'll enrich beyond 3.67 if we don'te get thcentives that the j.c.p.o., that the iran deal intended for iran toet g. the europeans would be the ones to help deliver that. caethey deliver th incentives economically to keep iranwit this deal? >> i think it's very tough because, as i think you knw right well, the u.s. secondary economic sanctions s if you deal with the central bank of iran you can't deal with an american bank are incredibly powerful because, que frankly, virtually every company in the world would choose an american bal over the centnk of iran. and when you marry that with the g l sanctions, with the administration try go to
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zero exports allowed around thet worley're very powerful sanctions. the u.s. has to be careful in what it does, though. if we use these sanctions too much, people will begin to saysh that wld no longer have the dollar as the reserve otrnssy for the world. the r thing i point out, nick nmy view, there are tactics here but no strategy, and certainly no consistent strategy. if we take a look at north korea, if we take a look at venezua, if we take a looat how we're dealing with the chinese, we see a very different set of standards. >> schifrin: the u.s. ployed a carrier group to the middle east, as well as a bom squadron, in response to intelligence, according to the officials i spoke to, in which iran was planning to target u.s. troops and u.s. allies-- saudi arabia, the united arab emirates. radoesn't that show then deal didn't improve iranian behavior? >> we never said it would improve irathnian behavior ie region. what we did say it we needed to get the nuclear weapon off the
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table so it would not deter our actions and our partners' and allies' actions in the region. and we could then use all of the sanctions we stillad on iran to press them to the table to deal with their malign behavior, the state snsorship of terrorism, their human rights abuses, and their keeping americans in prison, and not bringing back missing americans to our home. >> schifrin: very quickly, i only have a few seconds left. iran's strategy seems to be wait owg the trump administration. if a democrat is elected in 2020, should he or she rejoin the deal and/or try and expand it? >> i think every democratic candidate that i've heard have said they would immediately rejoin thl.e de but like in any arms control negotiation, you usually have a follow-on agreement. >> schifrin: wendy sherman, leadra.s. negotiator on the n deal, thank you very much. in f >> schifri a view from the streets of iran, we have more online where i talk to special correspondent reza sayah in tehran.
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that's at >> woodruff: congressional democrats are expected t tomorrow whether they will go to court to obtain president trump's recent tax returns. the president broke with modern tradition by rusing to release s returns. democrats and other experts have questioneder there could be information about foreign ntvestors, debts or other business arrangein those returns. today, the new york stnate approved a bill that would allow the president's state tax records to be turned over to congress. as william brangham tells us, this line of inquiry picked up new fuel overnight after a new york times investigation shed light on the president's past tax records and his large business losses. >> brangham: judy, the times' thvestigation found that a very moment donald trump was portraying himself as the most successful dealmaker of the nineteen eighties anacnineties, hial balance sheet told a very different story. the times' analysis found mr.
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trump lost more than one billio dollars betw85 and 1994. the report says, "year after year, mr. trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual american taxpayer." those combined losses, the article contends, enabled him to avoid paying income taxes for eight years. the president and his legal team have called the times' report inaccurate. i'm joined now by one of the reporters who broke this story: russ buettner of the times. russ, thank you very much for you have painted this really remarkable portrait of thides den donald trump's financial life. help us understand why w he losing so much money during this time? >> well, if you look back at the records from that era, he w being things at extraordinarily high prices, and then taking on even more debt to build them out to his design. and the n thevenues that he brought in never supported that
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debt load. so with ch acquisition, he would go further into the red ink, andhe losses just moued as the years progressed. >> brangham: and whre these ventures for people not that familiar with his history? >> hearriginally ted building apartment buildings. he would make a condominium building that would sell through and keep the retail space. then he branched out into a variety, eclectic collection of he bought an offshoot of the n.f.l. he bought a football team. he bought an airline. he started opening casinos that were extraordinarily expensive. he bought landmark new york city hotel, and all of that jst mounted up to about $3 billion in debt he took on over just about a five-year period. >> brangham: and as your p reponts out hereby did have some successful ventures, but in any given year, seems, the losses from other ven swamped those returns. >> that's exactly right. he wou cld-- he'onstantly sort of changing focuses.
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there was a period of time that lasted about two years where he would by buywith borrowed money large holdings in a public corporation, leak a news that he had boughathat, and t he might take the company over. and as soon as the stock went up, he woul. sel he made about $60 million over a couple of years doing that. and then the market figured out he was not going to take over the companies and the stock reactingnd that sort ofed. but like that, there were these ventures that he did make moneyn but the losses from his company, his companies, hs other enterprises, would wash away all his tax liability for eve those extraordinary gains. >> brangham: the president, as you know, has said fit off, that everybody was doing this back in the 80s and 90s. and he also said your reporting was inaccurate. given that you don't actually have a signed copy of president trump's tax returns, how did you compile this data? and how do you know it is actually accurate? >> what we have is a printout
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from president trump's tax transcript, which is prntout from an official database that the i.r.s. has kept since the 1960s of every tax return that's filed by every individual every year. there are interality controls on that data. it's used for a variety ofpo cy setting reasons. they use it to target any bring printouts of it to audits. if you wanted to request yourself, you could file thatth request he i.r.s. and they would give it to you as an official record the return you filed. it's a very reliable record usea for very imp things for a long time. >> brangham: lastly, this isng coof course, amidst the fight of congressional democrats trying to get more recent tax returns from president. what might those returns tell us that we don't now know? >> we're guessing into a vacuum a little bit becstause we really don't know. but we could certainly tell for the first time,maybe, if his claims of wealth are really accurate. we would be able to see howab prof his businesses are.
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he's reported on his disclosure forms revenueigures, not profitability. and profitability has been a problem for donald trump throughout his career. we could tell what thurces of those incomes are. we could tell whether he has ana propertiesare in jeopardy. we could tell if he's got partners that he hsn't disclosed. we could tell if he's got more debt than what he's allowed and who he's borrowed money from. and we could look for cflicts of interest that might not be apparent now between his publici and all the countries around the world where he has investments in money-earning properties. >> brangham: all right, russ buettner of "the new yk k times," thu very much. >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: as the first person to declare his candidacy for the democratic party's 2020 presidential nomination, john delaney has been running for president for almost two years.e the buman and former
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maryland congressman now faces n crowded fielthe challenge of taking on some well known nsmes. and john delaney je now. welcome again to the newshour. >> thank you for having me, judy. >> woodruff: so, decialg quickly on our ad story tonight. we're reporting on president trump exergt executive he will not turn over to congress the full mueller report. do you think, again, just quickly, this moves the congress any closer to impeachment proceed jootion well, i think it moveslemoves the congress closev having more tigations into trying to subpoena the reports and those things, as i think they should, as part of thir oversight responsibility. i wouldn't say it initially moves them closer or not to impeachment. i think what the congress and what speaker pelosi are going to focus on s makire the congress full fills its investigative and oversight responsibilities.'r and i think thgoing to fowive get that report, as they should. >>uff: let's talk about you and your campaign. as we said, it's a crowded field, more than 20 peopleor
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running president, serious candidates. ow does john delaney sta from all the others? >> well, i'm a problem solver by nature. and i think that's when we really need. our next president needs to be a responsible president expainl president would bring this country together, remind us that this notion of common purpose is central to who we ard actually start find something comoon ground and solving problems and bring some new big ideas. and that, in many ways, makes me a more centrid an moderate candidate. i'm probably the most moderate candidate in this fi>>eld. oodruff: really? >> yeah, i think so, because i'm very focused on problem solving. right, i really want to get th because that's what i think this country needs. i think congress and the legislative process and the president have largelyen absent in getting things done that matter to the american people. and i want to bring back this notion that we can actually tackle these pblems, and we can kind of achieve the potential that we have as a people, but we have to work together to do it. >> woodruff: well, speak of
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moderation, you have saiabt some of your more liberal opponents-- or i should say competitors-- you've talked arout medfor all, which some of them advocate, as af- "hked socialist policy." you would support instead a publicption. >> absolutely. >> woodruff: medicare-like option for people under the age of 65. that wouldn't cover every american, though, would it? a weltually, i do have a universal health care plan that actually does cover every american. public option is sodothing i woulright away. that's kind of a first-100-day agenda that i think i can geto done timprove health care for the american people right away. but then i would push for my an to create universal health care, where every american has health ce as a right. i just don't believe the way to universal health care is with a government-only program. that's why i think the mdicare for all proposal is in fact bad policy because it makes the government the only provider of health care. and we have ample evidence to suggest that if the government
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is the only payer in health care, it will never pay enough. right now medicaid and medicare don't cover costs. if you take private insurance out of the equation, i think the >>wflt health care would go down. oodruff: so you would keep private insurance. >> absolutely. >> woodruff: but find a way to cover everybody. >> you can do tt. my proposal leaves medicare alone. it creates a new government plan that everyone gets from when they are bor when they're 65. we roll medicaid into that. thateans everyone has health care from when they're born to the end of their life. but i also allow thetm to out, get a small tax credit, buy their own pln or do what medicare beneficiaries do, which is touy b supplemental plans. that creates a mixed model of government planss pluivate health insurance. it gives the american people what theany fundamentallyt, which is choices and options. >> woodruff: all right, let's talk very quickly. you spent a lot of time campaigning all over the country, early pritery sta your home state of maryland,
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big-city balt, has a lot problems, city problems-- violence, tensions between the races, poverty. what would you do in the short run to help cities like baltimore? >> i think we have to invest in them at the end of the day. i think nothing hapns unless someone invests. and i think for many of these communities the's been chronic underinvestment in public education, in job creation,n transportation. >> woodruff: and where would the money come from? >> well, you've got to make it a priority. because i think if you don't make it a priority youll act spend more money. i think the cost of doing nothing is not nothing. and we are seeing firsthand with the state ofd' marylfailure to really invest in baltimore, the way they should hav that all citizens of maryland are actually now paying a much higher price. >> woodruff: there are so many things i want to ask you.ur campaign, you resorted to some pretty unconventional means to try to spread outnuheber of people donating to your campaign. you at one point i think 22
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months ago, you would put in $2 of your own money for every charitable contribution to charity for anyone who contributed to your campaign. so how many more people did you pick up? >> we got quite a bit. you know, we got thousands and thousands of additional donors for it. it was smple, judy. we have to get 65,000 deernz. >> in order to participate. >> you don't have to. i have qualified for the debates because of my performance in the polls but this is another way-- >> woodruff: but you still need to raise money from 65,000? >> it's an either/or. you either qualify through the lls or qualify with 65,000. but we want to get both. and i would ratheactually give money to charity than to give s ney to digital marketing firms, because thaind of what you have to do to get that many donors. >> woodruff: are you at? 65,0 >> we're not there janet yt, but we're making good progress. >> woodruff: we said you arefi tht democratic candidate to announce. you announced back in july 2017. i think nobody has ben campaigning more than you have in the state of iowa. there have been hundreds of campaign events -- iowa, new
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hampshire, and other states. but are you still at1% in the polls. let me just say. the others who have gotten in the race, they're ahead of you. why do you think you've struggd to get your identity out there? j we're doing better in other polls. t had a poll in new hampshire that had us doing better. we had a poll in iowa that had us at a higher rate. i ink we're doing great on the ground. thing race is wide open. we have eight offices open in iowa, as big of a campaign team as anlsyonee. four county chairs of the 99 in iowa have already endorsed me. none of the other candidates combined have any endfrorsements any county chairs, right. i've been to all 99 counties in iowa. i've campaigneverywhere. i thk this race is wide on. they're not going to caucus in iowa for 10 months. and i just think we're in a really good position on the ground there. and i think at the tend of the day, my ideas ar better. the debates will, i think, start making that point grg on may 8, 2019, john delaney. >> it's so nice to be hee.
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thank you. s >> woodruff: ien six months since the most deadly and destructive fire in rnia history-- the camp fire. night's edition of pbs's "nova" is a harrowing first person account of that disaster and whe it fits into a global trend toward more frequent massive fis. the documentary, "inside the megafire," comes from les o'brien. and he has a story for us tied to it about how researchers are breaking new gund in understanding the dangerous spread and intensity of wifires. it's part of our regular series on "the leading ge" of science. >> this has got the potential for a major incident. >> reporter: when firstrr respondersed at the camp fire, the flames were already so fierce and the winds so strong they had trouble getting close to the fire.
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>> eyes on the vegetation fire. got about a 35 mile per hour sustained wind on it.>> reporter: fanned by high winds, fed by drought stressed trees, theire moved incredibly fast, consuming an acre of forest every second. a horrific scenario was unfolding, that also presented an opportunity for scientists to fitter understand how wilds spread. we're not going to get through, they are doing active suppression right there. lets go up and see what we can find. >> reporter: so meteorologist craig clements and his team froa jose state university sped .right toward the inferno in the crosshairs: paradise, lifornia. a town of 26,000 nestled in the sierraountains. it was the morning of november 8, 2018, and everyone who lived there had to leaven a hurry. >> time to get the ( bleep ) out of dodge. this is tting heavy.
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>> reporter: they were forced to run a gatlet through flames. there are only four roads that lead off the anof them were perilous. >> oh my god, there's fires everywhere. i don't want to die here.o i don't want te. >> reporter: with the frantic exodus still underway, we drove in the opposite direction, eventually meeting up with clements and his team close to the fire line. they had found a relatively safe vantage point toather some a precedented data. we are driving ie of a kind custom rig. the scientists hope to use i peer into the fire in a way that no one else has before. >> we need to better understand fire spread and the meteorological data is one of the key components. and yet we never measure thingsc
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on ave wildfire. we usually use a satellite. we see plumes in the radar, which is great. but we're not really seeing what's going on right here. >> reporter: plumes-- the columns of smoke and gm that rise fe flames-- are more than a sign of fire. they also create their o weather. and craig suspects that they actively spread the fire. but how? to understand, he aims a sophisticated lidar right at the plume. lidar is like radar that uses a laser am instead of radio waves. it bounces off the smokeat partic as they are propelled by the wind and returns information about speed and direction. >> we've been able to slice through a plume with our lidar. and we've been able to measure ele rotation and the wind associated with the rotating column and so that's pretty exciting. >> reporter: the plumes at fires like these are complicated systems.
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as hot air rises, cooler air rushes in. it's called fire-induced wind. >> we don't know how that fire- induced wind from the plume interacts with pushing the firefront.if he plume goes up, does any air or smoke come back down ando if i come back down, can that spread the fire in different directions? it's these interactions that we call fire atmosphere interactions and we dohat have a greale on how they propagate fire spread. >> reporter: a big fac the exponential spread of the camp mefire: spotting. hot embers, also called firebrands, launched and carried by 50 mile an hour winds landed as much as a mile ahead of the fire front. new spot fires started again and again. rapidly, randomly. but exactly how spotting fuels the growth of megafires is one of the big unknownscin wildfire nce.
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craig clements hopes his workle migh to some answers. >> this is a real strong low level jet coming down off the mountains. >> reporter: right now, wildfire prediction models are not sophisticated enough to factor oin all of the complexiti the atmosphere and terrain. a and they donount for spotting at all. >> we are trying to forecast how many spot fires there will be and that's something no model right now can handle. >> reporter: at the national center for atmospheric research in boulder coloro, they're leveraging their expertiseth modeling w and climate to give teams on the ground battling a wildfire a better sense of what the future holds. >> fire is very challenging tobe predict use there are a lot of factors that are involved not really atmospheric or traditionally atmospheric. ho reporter: atmospheric scientist william y showed how the latest models can see trouble as it brews.
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in ts case, close to home. the cold springs fire happened 16 miles wt boulder, in the little town of nederland in july of 2016. >> there was good data from this particular event in terms of hes the fire prod. the burned area boundary and that made for really good verification data for our model so we can then use that to fine tune the rate of spread and heat content and flame length information. >> reporter: the model is designed to allow them to predict the rate of spread of the fire 18 hours in advance,wh and run " if" scenarios for different moisture levels in the forest. >> we're trying to simulate the general characterist a fire but we will definitely not be able to say at this second and then in this location a tree is going to burn or a building is going to burn. you really almost need to know every tree, every bush, every piece of grassnd what its state is to really predict, what's going to happen. >> reporter: fire ecologist jennifer balch and her team from
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the university of colorado are ying to find more precise, more efficient ways to assessst foealth so that the models can be more accurate. she is focused on eight 30 by 30 meter plots, many of which were heavily damaged by the cold springs fire. their work begins on the ground, in the traditional way. ik>> all right, it looks l3.8. >> reporter: oncprthe trees are ecisely measured and characterized on terra firma, balch and her team fly a drone 100 feet above each plot. the drone carries sensors that capture the same parts of the spectrum as those on board nasa satellites. by comparing these higher resolution drone scans with images from space she hopes find the dots and connect them. the holy grail: understanding how a forest is doing from >> my hope i we can
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actually get away from the intensive fieldwork and use drone-based observations,rb ne, and satellite-based observations to understand what's going on across thousands of trees. >> reporter: to betternd understa the big picture, scientists who study wildfires need to explore them up close. on a good day, it's laborious. on a bad day, perilous. >> if anything happens, we got to go and our escape route is this way. >> reporter: by the time it was over, the camp fire was theli det and most destructive de people died, nearly 19,000 structures were royed. for scientists, the stakes justify the risk. for the pbs newshour, i'm miles o'a.ien in paradise, califor >> woodruff: nova's "inside the
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megafi" airs on most pbs stations and streams online tonight at that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again hereni tomorrow e. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbsas newshoureen provided by: >> ordering takeout. >> finding the west route. >> talking for hours. >> planning for showers. >> you can do the things you like to do with a wireless plan d signed for you. with talk, text ta. consumer cellular. learn more at >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, french, german, italian, and more.
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>>tnd with the ongoing supp of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public b and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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hello, everybody, and welcome to "amanpour and company." here's what's coming up -- >> this police officer does not want us to film, but wha we believe is right there, as close as we've been able to get. >> iide china's surveillance state a washington and beijing talk trade. we look at what's not up for discussion. then how countries can cope with crises. jared diamond, author of "upheaval," gives me a 12-step guide for the world. plus, how one woman reacted to her husband's crime, his child porn habit, by takin her story on stage and staying with him