tv PBS News Hour PBS June 21, 2019 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on t newshour tonight: on th brink-- tensions remain between iran and the united states despite president trump's canceling retaliatory airstrikes. then, harsh detention-- new details about conditions in a government facility for immigranchildren. plus, it's friday, mark shields and david brooks analyzeewll the week'sincluding the standoff between the u.s. and iran, and democraticdi presidential cte joe biden's comments about working with segregationists. and, behind the curtain of "be more chill," the youthfu musical that's made it to broadway despite the critics. >> it's kind of refreshing to have a show for whom critics are
absolutely irrelevant. the first time i saw it in n york, it was like what going to a beatles concert must have been like. i hope this will be a gateway drug for kids who have neverri exced theater before and say, "hey, i had a swell time." >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has beeropded by: >> text night and day. >> catch it on replay. >> burning some fat. >> sharing the latest viral cat! >> you can do the things you like tlado with a wireless designed for you. with talk, text and data. consumer cellular. learn more at consumercellular.tv >> babbel. tilanguage app that teaches real-life conversaons in a new language, like spanish, french, german, italian, and me.
>> financial services firm raymond james. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social c nge worldwid >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corpor bion for publadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the weekend is beginning amid a swirl of speculation about president trump's intentions toward iran. he says he was on the brink of ordering air strikes last night when he pulledack.
iran says it, too, is practicing restraint-- despite shooting down a u.s. militaryrone. foreign affairs correspondent nick schifrin begins our coverage. >> schifrin: in tehran today, the revolutionary guard corps showed off their catch: the charred remains of the.s. drone they shot down. but as he invited camera crews to document the destruction, gedral amir ali hajizadeh s yesterday could have been deadlier >> ( translated ): at the same moment when this aircraft was being tracked, another spy aircraft called p8 was flying close to this drone. that aircraft is manned, and has around 35 crew members. we could have targeted that plane. >> schifrin: 6,000 miles away, in an interview with nbc, president trump described discussing options with military commanders, and also said yesterday could have been deadlier. >> they came and they said, "sir, we're ready to go. we'd like a decision i said, "i want to know something before you go. how ny people will be killed in this case iranians?"
they said, came back, they said, "sir, approximatelou150." and i t about it for a second and i said, "you know wh? they shot down an unmanned drone, plane, whatever you want to call it. and here we are sitting with 150 dead people that would have sken place probably within a half an hour afterd go ahead." and i didn't like it. i didn't think, i didn't think it was proportionate. >> schifrin: iran says it used this interceptor missile to shoot down the drone. the u.s. military says it's located here, along iran's coast. former senior military officials tell pbs newour the president was likely given options to attack that missile site, its command and control, and its radar systems. and those former senior military and diplomatic officials say the military strike options presented to theresident would have included casualty estimates from the very beginning. it's not clear why the president
received that information so close to giving an order to attack.th bue former officials say it raises questions about the decision making process. >> taking the president at his word today, the key fact, how many people are going to die before this attack-- was apparently not in the president's mind until really before moments before he was going to order the attack. so that suggestions to me a breakdown of the process, that should be one of the first factt table. >> schifrin: brett mcguirk was a senior state departmentfi ofal until he resigned in december in protest to the administration's decision to withdrawal from syria. he says the strike the president described could have quickly escalated. >> an erican attack that took 150 iranian lives-- particularly in response to an attack that took no american lives-i think the iranians would be in a position just given how they think, that respond to that. therefore there would be another reckless provocairon by the ians, putting the onus on president trump to have to respond again. >> schifrin: that fear was echoed today by speaker of thepe house nancsi. >> a strike of that amount of
collateral damage would be very provocative. and i'm glad the president did not take that. >> schifrin: but some of the present's allies called his response weak. number three in the house republican leadership, liz cheney of wyoming. >> schifrin: but the military says it's still ready to respond, should the president change his mind. for the pbs newshour, i'm nick schifrin. >> woodruff: and our white houso espondent yamiche alcindor joins me with details on what happened within the trump administration. so, yamiche, what do we know nou the president's decision to call a halt to this mission, this what was going to be a
strike on iran? >> well, by the president's own account, this really comes down to him, at the last minute,ch ging his mind and thinking that killing 150 people wasn't going to be a "proportional response" to what iran did to the u.s. military drone, which was, of course, to shoot it down. the president said he was moved essentially by a moral decision by hito say this wasn't going to be fair if we do this. it's important to notehe president laid out different time lines for how this happened. on twitter he said it wa only ten minutes before the mission happened, and some reports said the anes were even in the sky. but in the interview with nbc news, he put the estimate at more than 30 minutes and said there was no actual plan, approved yetat this was all him still thinking about whether or not he wanted to approve the plan. the bottom ldene, the pre is really relying on his own instincts and saying i'm going to listen to the foreign polm i, but ing to make the decisions in the white house. >> woodruff: yam been talking to a lot of people.
what is your understanding of the politics at work hee for the president? >> the president is really stuck in a decision-making mode. on thene hand, he has th promise he's made to be reel really strong on iran and really make sure they're not going to have a nuclear weapon, but onhe the hand he's made a promise to his base he's not getting into end less wars on the middle east. he pulled out of the iranea nudeal, he made it clear iran is a bad actor and they're a corrtion, but the president, just in florida on tuesday, said to a crowd of thousands of people, i'm not g going your children into a war, i understand what it's like to send men and women off to war and i don't want to do that. nk's important to note on capitol hill, thg about the politics of this, there's an effort moving to the hill that would ban the president fro using funds to get into a war with iran witout quonk congressional authorization. than effort that's bipartisan. so we havpeople really looking at the politics of this and saying the president needs to be
wary. a another part of this that's ritten attention is the fact the president was s details of dengsion-making about somet that's normally kept under wraps, we should say. what is your understanding about that? >> well, one of the most remarkable parts of this who story is the president was sharing all of this so openly on twitter and in its interview with nbc news. so many reporters including myself were feverishly looking for details of the presid thinking, and this morning he laid it out there. this is what the president does, he likes being able to to be transparent in his mind, he likes not having ate fil i should say i talked to a lot of supporters in floyda who sa they love the president tweets, they think this is a good thing for him. we've never seen anything like this in a president, but this is the president's style and he's sticking to it. >> woodruff: yamiche alcindor reporting to us from the wte
house, than thank you so much. >> woodruff: and now for the view from tehran. special correspondent reza sayah is there, and joins me via skype. hello, reza. first of all, what was the recollection to president trump tweeting that he had indeed called for a strike on iran before he decided to call it of >> judy, like much of the world, iranians and the iranian government were engross bid these tweets that cofirmed mr. trump had okayed a ilitary strike against iran last night and abruptly called it off last minute even after the missionun waerway. even if this is true, that means for iraans, this is as close as they've come to seeing the u.s. attack iran, to see iran and the u.s. go to war since 1988, that's when the u.s. attacked and downed a small iran within warship in the persian gulf. so this acknowledges the gravity of the situation, one that acknowledges that the situation is getting closer to a possible
open conflict. the reaction has been firm inat hey've said, look, we've downed the u.s. drone, we claim it, we had tght to down the u.s. drone because iran says it crossed into iranian territory, but they've also beenre mea even though the head of the anian revolutionary guard said they're prepared for war even though they eve said they do no want war. >> woodruff: the shooting down of the american drone, certainly it was seen as an act of aggression. some of it see it as an act, maybe of inviting an attack by the u.s. what was the thinking behind that? >> i think tat seems to suggest at this point that perhaps the iranian government is changing its strategy, it's taking a step towards becoming more aggressive agait this maximum pressure campaign by u.s. president donald trump.
ever since mr. trump last year pulled out of the iran nuclear deal, reimposed those economic sanctions, added new ones, iran hadn't done much, it had not reacted in ane aggressay. it had stayed in the nuclear agreement. but over the past month, you've seen indications of them take more aggressive steps, threatening to ramp up what they call a nuclearrogram andnow they've attacked a u.s. drone. remember, even if this drone would have encroached iranian airspace, iran could have chonon to attack it considering the climate and rising tensions. it chose not to do that. >> woodruff: what about the people of iran? what are ordinary iranians saying about all thi >> as you know, judy, iran ybs have been through a lot ever since te islamic revolution in 1979, 40 years of political andn ic isolation and pressure and threats and sanctions.
they have been through a w t. they kw to roll with the punches. they're resilien but this time, you sense that they're rattled. they are a little scared. today i was in a coffee sho this morning. you had everyone asking this question -- an attack by the u.s.? is there going to be war? again, this is the closest we've seen the u.s. ad in go to war, so it's causing a lot of anxiety. >> woodruff: reza sayah reporting for us from tehran. thank you, za. >> you're welcome. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, the >> woodruff: in the day's othe news: the u.s. supreme court threw out a murder conviction and death sentence for a black mississippi man citing racial bias in jury selection. a 7-to-2 majority found curtis flowers was deprived of a fair trial because a prosecutor excluded black jurors-- over six trials. flowers could now face a seventh trial.
a mass government roundup may begin sunday for migrant families who have received deportation orders.an several news oations report immigration and customsen rcement-- or ice-- is likely to launch pre-dawn raids in major cities. president trump tweeted earlier this week that millions of migran will soon be deported. long-t jean carroll is accusing president trump of sexually assaulting her back in the 1990s. in a memoir-- excerpted in "new york" magazine-- she says it ppened in a department store dressing room. carroll is the 16th woman to accuse mr. trump of sexual assault. the president denies all of the claims, and he said today that he has never met carroll. the state of missouri refused today to renew an abortion license for a planned parenthood clinic in st. louis. it is the last missouri clinic doing abortions, but audge's previous order will let it
continue-- at least for now. planned parenthood vowed to challenge the licensing decision. >> we will continue to fight for our ability to deliver high- quality, patient-cented healthcare and that includes the full range of reproductive healthcare. so i want the people of missouri to know that people in need of reproductive healthcare that they can come to pla parenthood. the doors are open. >> woodruff: last month, missouri's republican governor also signed a law banning mostei abortions aftet weeks of pregnancy.on inkong: there were fresh protests today, demanding that city leaders scrap a proposal allowing extraditions to mainland china. more than a thousand demonstrators-- wearing black-- erllied outside the police headquarters and gent buildings. s,hers marched in the streets and put up barricaut there was no violence. violent, anti-russian ashes did break out overnight in the rmer soviet republic of georgia and at least 240 people
inre hurt. some were left bleafter police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrtrying to stormhe parliament building in tbilisi, the capital. anti-russian feeling runs deep m in georgia aftcow helped two georgian provinces break away, in 2008. protesters from across europe gathered in western germany today to call for action on climate change. organizers estimate 20,000 people filled the streets. the protest came a day after the european union failed to agree on a plan to make the e.u. carbon neutral by 2050. >> ( translated ): it's simply a shame and terrible what happens. germany, among other industrial nations, is one of the countrien responsible for climate change, and we do not feel the effects yet in comparison to the countries in the global south, and it is simply essential to take to the streets against it and to protest. rm woodruff: today's rally took place near one of y's
largest coal mines. back in this country: 11 republican state senators in oregon stayed off the job for a second day to block climate legislation. majority democrats are pushing a measure to make dramatic cuts ir nhouse gas emissions. republicans want a public referendum insteadfuand they've d to show up, to deprivena the state of a quorum. wisconsin's state supreme court ahas upheld the legality special legislative session that curbed the powers of the rnincoming governor and at general. democrats won those jobs in november, and republican lawmakers called the session afterward, in december. the laws they passed still face a legal challenge in federal court. russian-born businessman felix sater was a no-show today before the u.s. house intelligence commite. he worked on a proposed trump tower for moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign-- before the project was abandoned.
his lawyer cited health reasons today. democrats said they will now subpoena sater. and, wall street's week-long rally finally ran out of gas.e w jones industrial average lost 34 points to close at 26,719. the nasdaq fell 19 points and the s&p 500 slipped three. still to come on the newshour: t on the brink u.s. senators respond to the current tensions nbetween the u.s. and ira details of the conditions that dren face at a migrant detention center in texas, and much more. >> woodruff: we return to our top story, the trump administration response to iran shooting down an american drone.to sejack reed, democrat of rhode island, is the ranking member of the armed services
committee; he was one of the lawmakers the white househe briefed ondministration's options for dealing with iran. i spoke with him elier and i started by asking if president trump was right to call off the strike on iran. >> i think he made a correct decision bause, as he indicated, it would be disproportiote. we lost an expensive drone, but without any casualties. to inflict up to 100 casualties in anttack in iraq -- excuse me -- in iran would, i think,n have beet the appropriate response. >> woodruff: what do you think ny alternative would have been? and wasngress being notified? >> well, the president called together leaders of congress yestday and did not indicate any speceic plan, indicated had a range of plans, but he did listen to our concerns, and i made it my point we have to be very cautious here because any tion against iran could be
reciprocated by asymmetric attacks across the region from afghanistan to lebanon, so we have to be very careful there are things that we can and should do. we have to insist on the ability to fl in intnaonal airspace. our drone was in international airspace. that could have en demonstrated by a multi-national flight of fighter aircraft or other aircraft. to hav maintain navigational waters. we could have done that, again, ti-nationaln a m fashion. and we can take other covert means to indicate that we are not going to accept the downing of one of our drones. >> do you have any concerns that the u.s. looks indisive or weak because of this -off-again move on the part of the administration? >> i think that, if it could be done over again, rather than, at the st moment, calling off the strike, if it could have been
sort of eliminated from the list of options previously and pursued other less kinetic options, then we wouldn't have been in this pricament of a last-minute cancellation based on the sudden legalization of the casualties that would result. but i think that, again, more careful thought, more delibate thought about alternatives that are very proportional and alternatives that recognize there could be likely retsipouro case by the iranians to any particular type of kinetic strike iiran, that consciousness should be in place. >> woodruff: you mentioned the nee,tiation, is that possi though, with the kind of maximum pressure campaign the administration has undertaken? >> well, i think the maximum pressure campaign has resulted
in significant depredations in iran in terms of the economy but it's also promptingmuch more hostile actions in the region and i think, perhaps unwittingly, the attack on the drone. so we're getting into s dangerous territory. i think it would be good to re-think this maximum pressure campaign to see if there's an avenue and a series of areas in which we can have some discussions, maybe through thirt s. >> woodruff: finally, i just want to ask you to step back and look at what happened, how this decision was made. what does it say abo military decisions that have to be made at one time or another at the a edme we don't have a confi secretary of defense. we know there are disagreements between the president and some of his senrio advisors. >> well, i think it shows that that's not a thorough process, and some of that might be a function not only of the difficult administrative predicament of not having a
confirmed secretary of defense, some of itight be the national security council is notti fuing as a new central arbiter of opinions but are more focused on the pon sithn bolton embraces which is maximum pressure and effect against iran, and it also might be a function of the presippnt's kind ofach which is not going into full detail until it appears at the last moment, when he recognized this would be a serious attack wih as much as 10 1 * hundred or 150 casualties at a minimum. so i think it's a function of all of these things, but the first thing that can and should be done is getin place a confirmed team at the department of defense and then also look very carefully at the decision-making process so that, when the president gets options,
everything's on the table, including the potential casualties in any type ofta mi operation. >> woodruff: senator jack reed, rankingember the senate armed services thank you. >> thatch. thank you very much. >> woodruff: and now for the perspective of aakepublican la, chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, senator james risch of idaho. senator, thank y, for joining at do you make of mr. trump's decision to make a strike and then call it off yesterday on iran. >> i saw the president agoo nice with this decision.w at the table at the white liuse with a group of people, military and intnce was represented there, in a broad spectrum of political people from congress were there. the president gave everybody an opportunity to express their opinions, to express heir vie of the upside and downside of all the various opt tiot were there on the table.
he listened carefully. he didn't take one side or the other. he anguished over this and was very concerned about, obviously, the man aspects of this, what happens when kinetic action is used, but also with his duty to defend america and present the front that america has to present when dealt with confrontation from aligned forces. >> woodruf ultimately, do u think he made the right decision? >> well, look, i'm not going to go thewh. i'm going to say is this is not a republican or a demra decision. this is an american decision, and the person making -- only one persth can makat decision. that room was full of people, veryh-ranking people, but there was only one person in that room that could make the decision. we need to all pray for him as he makes those kinds ofon deci >> woodruff: what do you make, though, of the fact that it was at the last minute that the presidt asked about how many
lives would be lost and then decided to pull back? >> you know, i think theen preswas very aware that there were lives lost. i think, when that decision -- when that advice was given to him, i think he was a little taken aback that it was going to be 150 people, and i know what he was thinking about was the proportionality of the response, shooting down an unarmed drone versus killing 150 people. i think, at that moment, that weight came to him, and that was a decision thaait, like i d, he had to make. again, i hope the iranians won't come away from this saying, oh, this guy is week. they're -- weak. they're dealing with donaldtr p and not another president and he is deeply committed to protecting the country and sois no about it. >> woodruff: so you don't think the united states or the president looks indecisive? >> i don't think the united stoes comes out of this king indecisive at all. out of all the countries on the face of anet, no one is
more concerned abt civilian casualties than america, is and i think that weighed heavily on the thesident as he made is decision. look, there's going to be other things follow this, notne ssarily kinetic, but that is responsive to what the iranians did. >> woodruff: what will that be?th >> well, looke president's going to make that decision, also, and i'll leave that to him to makthe announcements. >> woodruff: when you say not necessarily kinetic, you mean arnot necessarily the mil do you think there should be a military response to their shooting down a drone the president has to make t decision. i sat and listened to the same ahings he listed to, and it is very difficult decision. the question for him is what is proportionate tohooting down an unarmed drone. do you respond to that with kinetic action that causes injuries or death? he has to make that dec and only he can make that decision. >> woodruff: senar, do you ink it's realistic to expect iran to be restrained as the u.s. continues its so-called maximum pressure campaign under
president trump? i don't know about the expectations for them to be restrained. what my expectation is is that they would do what any reasonable human being would do, and that is say, look, we want nationcurity, what's the best way to get there? is it continue to go down the road to try to develop a nuclear weapon, to support terrorists all over the world, to violate the u.n. resolutionsbirong from testing rockets? is it better to go that way or dodiwhat north koreand say, you know, there's a better path to follow? and if they think this thing through correctly, they will do themselves and their people a great favor, and the iranian people are just as much a victim oo this as everyone in the world is. >>uff: senator, quickly, with regard to north korea, it's not clear, is it, they have given up the nuclear path, is it? >> well, they've done no more or
nucl testing. they've certainly stepped away from that. they have told us, they've toldd the chinese, they've told the world that their goal is to geo ta nuclear-free korean peninsula. that's where-all want to get. that's not where wwer months ago. >> woodruff:enator james jamesrisch, we thank you have bn much. >> judy, good to be with you, as always. >> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: mark shields and david brooks break down another jam-packed week of news. plus, behind the arrival of the musical "be more chill" on broadway. but first, a new report is again casting a spotlight on the harsd ions for migrant families and children who are being detained by the u.s. governmente the mexican border. william brangham gets a first- hand account about what some
children are dealing with at a detention facility southeast of el paso. >> brangham: that's exactly right, judy.ci the ased press detailed conditions inside a customs and border patrol detention center in clint, texas where allegedly 250 infants, children andbe teenagers arg held. according to the a.p., there's not adequate food, wat sanitation. the report describes teen thers and other younger children being asked to care for infants d toddlers on their own, with little or no help from any adults.rd warren bins one of the lawyers that visited that texas facility and spoke wh the children being held inside. she's a law professor at willamette university in oregon. >> professor binford, thank yo very much fing here. as i mentioned, you were inside this texas facility. can you gi us some sen of what it is you saw inside? >> yes, basically, what we sawr are children, who are malnourished, who are being severely neglected, they are being kept in inhumane
conditions, they are essentially being warehoused, as many as 300 children in a cell with almost no adult supervision.re we have chicaring for other young children. for example, we saw a little boy in diapers, ore had no diapers on. he should have had a diaper on.o he was. when i was asked why he didn't have a diaper on, i was told he didn't need it. he immediately ated and he was in the care of another child. the children are hardly beingan fehing nutritious and being medically neglected. we're seeing a flu otbreak, a lice infestation, we have children slefling on the or. it's the worst conditions i've witnessed in several years do g these inspections. f> reporter: what you're describing is har us to put our heads around as this is inside u.s. government facility. where are the children's parents? were they coming across the border alone, comingesith famind separated? how did they get there? >> almost none of the children
we interviewedad come acoss alone. essentially, they came across the borilr with fam and they are trying to be reunited with family who are living in the united states. almost every child that i interviewed had family, parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents, siblings in the united states who are waiting for them and ready to care for them. >> reporter: we know the american academy of pediatrics end many others, as you wer testifying, said these are not the kinds of facilities for children, around my understanding is that, under federal law, these children are supposed to only be kept for about 72 hours, and then transferred to alth and human services facilities elsewhere. is that going to happen with these children? would that be a better outcome for these children? what do you know about their future? se the goal for all t children is to eventually place them with their family. the facilies you're saying they're supposed to be transferred to, those are not required by law, that'the way the administration is doing it. these children could be placed with their families immediately if we wanted to that. basically, we're taking children
away from their famy at the border, we're putting them in inhumane conditions in border patrol faci where they shouldn't be at all, not even a few hours. and that 72 hours, that's the maximum that somebody ioss su to be kept there, and the innerch are supposed to be moved through these these cilities as expeditiously as possible. >> we ask d for a comment and haven't gotten one yet, but we've heard governmental isficials say we were caught flat-footed on t we built the facilities for single men, now have the influx of children.m we y don't have the capacity, staff or funding to properly care for theseil en, and congress needs to pass more money so we can do our job better. is tt our sense of what's going on there? >> that's exactly what i'm hearing from tl border pat officers who spoke to us, you know, privately in the hallways. they are n our team. they don't want the children there. many are parents themselves. they know these children don'tan belong there they need to be with their families. they're saying that orr and n
i.c.e. at coming to pick up these children and process them ir be reunited with the families. >> reporter: professor warrend binf willamette university, thank you for your time and coming forward with this. >> thank you. dr >> wf: this week in politics: joe biden comments on working with sanregationists, tensions with iran escalate an new heights. it's time for thysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york columnist david brooks. hello to both of you. a very, very full week., rk, let's talk about what we are leading with tonight and that is, again, the tense btuation, standoff, whatever you want to call itween the united states and iran, with the latest news being president trump had authorized a military strike -- or alt authorized, and then the last
minute pulled it back. what do we make of this? >> well, the president is keeping his word we made durg e campaign to be unpredictable, and i think unpredictable is what this qualifies as, judy. it's a little unsettling, obviously, becausehere is no thrrior like jim mattis in the room, you don'te sense that this has been welthought out, and the idea that the country is preparedthere is no sense of what our objective is and how we will know we've succeeded and how the country ets on board and whether, in fact, we have, as -- for example, george h.w. bush had 39 nations in the coalition in 1991 when hwas responding to the invasion of kuwait, and this is -- we are virtually alone. i mean, it'ses uttling. i believe the president did -- upset he found out so late in the game that nobody tho ugto
tell him that we're talking about human casualties, but that's where we are. >> woodruff: what does this say to you, david, about this sort of last-minute reverse >> this seems disproportionate to me. donald tru and st. augustine have one thing in common with this stategy. i don't know donald trump's theory of the iranian regime. exey have beepanding their terror activities and seemingly stepping up the pace, buta s therttle within the iranian regime we should be conscious of to try not to tilt things over to the hard core radicals, or do we just need to lay down some deterrents? is there a way we could sweet talk them into being nicer? there are all these things. it's all about the regime. are they or we the aressor here? these are the basic questions that underlie how you react. to know how you re, you have
to know how they will react, and you have to have a theory of what they're thinking. a normal president would give an oval office address and tell us. but we don't have that. i don't know what the proper deterrence is becuse i don't know what will deter or what their goals are. >> woodruff: marek, is th clarity in the administration's approach to iran? >> no. no, there isn't, judy. the old saying in washington is if you want people in on a rocky landing, make sure they're on bod for the takeoff. going back to george h.w. bush, who was probably the model in this regardyou know, he got his position ratified by the united nations secur and approved by democratic house and a democratic senate, so that there was a sense of what our objective was, what -- why the force was being applied, and h that the been an international effort to enlist support, a successful one. all of that is missing here, judy, and, so, as ase conence, i think, as david said, both
turiosity, anxiety and jus tension. >> and tactics are sort of driving strategy. so we have accidentally walke into thissition where we've drawn a red line where pompeo said you cannot kill americans, and if you do that, sudenly, u know, things change radically. so that's a red line. so if they do end up killing americans accidentally or on purpose, then what happens? and if you don't have the overalstrategy, they have so many tools at their disposal. they could do cyber war fair, tack the iranian forces spread around the immediately, go after the iranian navy. lots of things. some would kill people, some would not kill people. but if you don't have an overall strategy, you don't know the order tore do those things soarvetion riday becomes its own decision point and you're stumbling around in dark doing one thing, then they doth something, and seems a perfect recipe forscalation. what about the the question i
was asking senator risch and oesator reed and this is this have longer lasting effect in that does it give the senseat his is an administration that is indecisive, weak and thenhave -- in other words, are there lasting effects or is i something you just move on and on to the next crisis?>> he next crisis -- well, i don't think -- i don't want to accuse the president of be weak, just as a citizen, quite frankly, not taking off my analyst hat because, you know, he did shoow restraint aut policy that he has not been able to articulate oexplain, and, therefore torques enlist support for it. so we're all by ourselves here, judy. there are no allies and, youow i think that's a consequence of everything we have been through for the first three years of this administration. >> yeah, and at e core, i think he is america first, and
that goes back to whether he kns or not to sort of an isolationist tendency, we should not get involved in foreign adventures, and that's pretty much where the american people are now and even wrehehe republican party is. so i think there's that core. but if you looked at his rhetoric, you would think he's the most aggressive person on n rth because hi rhetoric is we'll bring dore and death upon you. so a gigantic gap between thel way he ks about what he's been doing. >> it's the maximum application isort of contradictory, maximum application of force to the iranian regim yet not getting involved or we're not getting involved in any foreign entanglements, which would collide. i mean, maximum fceat some point could lead to a foreign entanglement. i think that's the dilf:ma. >> woodrompletely different subject area but at's what happened this week. among the democratic candidates for president, joe biden was
making remarks and referred to senators he worked with in the 1970s he tinted necessarily agree with. james eastland from mississippi, herman talmadge of georgia. these are knowto be people who had spported segregation but he was extolling the ne to work with people he disagreed with successfully. >> jesse holmes disagreed with upon bono but helped him and saved lives in afric if you're a congressman and have a segregationist, you have to work with the person. it's about politics and you hope have conversations anange their minds. engagement is usually the right thing. having said this, when i look at what's happening in they, democratic pahis seems to be almost entirely generational. so the older folks, frankly,
john r. leis today was strong defender of biden, he said, yeah, we worked h people in the k.k.k. in the civil rights movement, but some of the younger folks said, no, you don't touch that. and i sort of understand the argument, but i don't think it's right if you're in a boy and you're dealing with people who are elected. >> woodruff: he tid get in hot water, mark. is it purely generational? >> he did get in hot water, and it was a gift, actually, in a strange way, the iranian tojoe biden because it got him out to have the hot water and into his wheelhouse politically, which is international, known, short footed, understanding the players and so forth, all of gwhich seems to be miss from this administratn. i agree with david to this extent, politics is a matter addition, not subtraction, judy. you're looking for converts, for people to come over to your ide, you're not looking for
heretics, huntinwn people who are somehow morally defective or imperfect to be banished to outer darkness. it was no accident when the democratic had jim eastland and her man talmadge, they were in a eajority that meant people lik phil hart and mike mansfield and greatennedy could write legislation. we had the civil rights act, voted in medicaid and passed the g.i. bill, it s remarkable. you can be pure and noble and say i don't want anybody on my side bu who were absolutely pure, i don't want anybody who might have sinnedin my church. that's a prescription for minority party. it must be satisfactory to be as noble as cory booker and harris and elizabeth warren and bernie sanders to tisk tisk joe bidec it is no dent that joe biden alone of anybody in public life had been asked to ve the eulogy at strom thurman'sfu
ral and hollings funeral add john mccain and ted kennedy and george mcgoverns' funerals. it's the politicshe practiced. it's imperfect pol aitics with imperfect man but it's the ght politics. >> woodruff: you may have to work with people across the aisle but why did he have to hold them up as examples? >> he was tone deaf on that, and mentioning segregation, he could have said i disagreed with john mccain but was friends with hi. raising segregation was tone deaf even for people mye. that's just -- that's problematic. it is a moral problem. if david duke were in the hallway, would i want to talk to him? no, and i get that. yet i do think this attitude that morality is about cancelina other people,ning speakers, shutting people down, calling them out, telling them you're
apunged from society, t instinct to me is a dangerous instinct, even if i getn private life, that i don't want to talk to a person who's an ou and cist, i just don't want to talk to that person. in congress, that's a little different. they were elected by the people in the state in congress you're trying to get something done. it's not about your own per virtue, it's about what you can do for america and if you have to work with them you have to rk wi them, it seems to me. >> woodruff: but today, it seems to me, there's a requirement -- i guess the p.c. requirement is raised. >> maybe, so judy, but if you think about it, the most universally admired legislator in the last half century is ted kennedy, liberal line of the senate, and what did every obituary, every eulogy, every tribute to him sa? he worked across the aisle. he worked with orrin tch to pass children's health insurance for working parents who din't get insurance through their jobs
and their employers. he passed aids aid, he passed title 9, voting rights, working ross the aisle with ludman, john mccain, nancy casonbaum, john dole, republicans. >> woodruff: but we're not seei as much outthat. >> we have republicans that's perfornce like kristen gillibrand said she wouldn't al with pro-life. if you're going to draw a boundary of acceptable opinion to only uspr ressives, then you are really draw ago small boundary. we're not having democracy, we're just having s a camwhere you're not allowed to have diversi y of opinion. t the segregationist thing, that's the hard case. i get that. o mo us don't want to deal with that. but in politics, youa do t you've got to do to deal with the majority and sometimde you have tl with people you
hold your nose with. >> woodruff: these are tough questions.h >> it's a toestion. i worked on capitol hill 1965, the senate voting rights act, william fulbright, the principal octave for the war in viewetnam down and mike mansfield said i'm going to tote vote for t and he said, no, you'll lose in arkansae need you more here. so he voted against the civil ce rights an though he wanted to to preserve his options and preserve the case of being against the war in vietnam. moral choice, i'm glad he made it. >> woodruff: a lot for us to think afnlt thank you very much, mark shields, david brooks. >> woodruff: finally tonight, there's a broadway hit that's broken many of the conventional rules of how to make it on the great white way.
jeffrey brown visited the stage of "be more chill" recently and reports why this coming of age musical is hitting high notes oth a certain audience even while failing to wr many critics. it's part ofcanvas," our ongoing arts and culture series. ♪ : >> broe stress, the awkwardness, the sheer horror of hi ♪ chool. in the musical "be more chill"e ry unhappy and uncool jeremy ingests a pill-shapedup "scomputer" that changes himop into aar kid. mayhem and magic ensue. ♪ the st y itself may cover familiar ground, but the story of the musical is anything but. "be more chillcould be creating a new model for broadway. 37-year-old joe iconis wrote the music and lyrics. >> i was shocked by what
happened because it's not something that'sver happened before. >> brown: in 2015 the play opened in a new jersey theater and received a less-than- enthusiastic by "new york times" critic charles isherwood. that, thought iconis, was that. >> when we closed in jersey i thought the show was dead. but i thought that because it was. no one wanted it because the wah our theater business works or has worked up until now is that you need that "new york times" review if you're a little show like ours in order to come into new york. >> brown: yeah, but you went a different route. >> it went a different route, >> brown: but not by plan. the play was no more.e but st recording of its music-- including the song, "michael in the bathroom"-- became a huge viral sensation.ng >> ♪ i am g in the bathroom at the biggest party of ♪ yeth >> brown: with its themes touching on the anxieties and essures of teenage suburban mfe. it inspired socialedia memes and fan art, clubs, online ande
then livperformances. to date the recordinbeen streamed some 300 million times. will roland plays jeremy and george salazar is his friend michael. >> well a couple of people found this album, found out about the show, told their friends about the show, shared the album. it was like a multi-level marketing scheme in a way. it's what they tell you, they're like "if you tell five friends had they tell five friends, then suddenly you'll a million friends," and that's literally what happened with this show. >> brown: with a built-in fanth baseplay got an off- broadway run and then opened in the grand lyceum theater in march. >> people feel kind of represented by this. it's a cast of people who look like the people you'd see on the street. it's a cast of ten incredible actors, incredible singers, and okay dancers who are representative of society.
it's not ten instagram models in a musical, you have people of all shapes and sizes, all colors and backgrounds and so i think the success to the show is the show. >> i think the thing that's really worth noting here is that this is not an adaptation of a blockbuster film. there are no world class celebrities in it.th there's g in this that is trying to say, "oh well this will get butts in the seats." >> brown: but it did, and outside the theater patrons told us why. 23-year-old lauren hugh arrived early in the morning to buy a matinee ticket andtayed to get autographs afterwards. ol>> the thing i think is s it's not big money backers that brought this show to broway, it's beautiful the theme that came through phenomenon of all the fans. without this fans, like, this show would not be on broadway right now.
>> brown: and miona williams, on a school trip, was brought to tears when she got an autograph. for their part, the critics have continued to howl, with >> i like his friendback, even though he treated him like -- >> for their part the critics >> brown: for their part, the critics have continued to howl, ilth headlines like: "'be more chill' is dopey, sand somehow very popular". and "this ming of age musical is a real pill to swallow." >> i think the show is pitched at a very particular frequency, which is like some dog whistles to the ears of people who are under the age of probably 21. >> brown: "new york times" co- chief theater critic ben brantley had some harsh things to say in his review, but alsoec ret for a production that seems to be "critic-proof". >> it's kind of refreshing to ave a show for whom criti absolutely irrelevant.fi tht time i saw it in new york, off broadway, it was likea going to aes concert or a one direction concert must have been like. wai hope this will be a ga
drug for kids who have never enced theater before and say, "hey, i had a swell time." >> brown: "be more chill" comes on the heels of severalic successful ms about teen angst, including "dear evan hansen"-- will roland waan original cast member theree oo. but thosfollowed a more traditional route to broway, where production costs run high and ticket prices regularly top $100. do you see this as a potential new model for the way theater and broadway can work? or is this kind of a one-off? >> i certainly hope 's a potential new model. the idea that a little show can make it to broadway because actual human beings love it, not because it has name recognition, brand recognition-- that's i think, a dream. >> brown: for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown on broadway.
>> woodruff: on the newshour online right now: as we mark the 50th anniversary of the stonewall riots, a major turning point in the fight for gay rights, we asked the new york public library to share someok young adult that feature lgbtq characters. you can find those suggestions on our website: pbs.org/newshour. robertosta is preparing for more on president trump's decision to cabsle an airstrike against iran. newshouer weekend saturday: a new series from foodalist mark bittman on the future of inod, a global look at what communities are to tackle food scarcity and waste around thworld. and we'll be back, right here on monday. i'm judy woodruff. have a great weekend.
thank you and good night. f >> major fundi the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> kevin. >> kevin! >> kevin. >> advice for life. life weln planned. learre at raymondjames.com. >> consumer cellular. >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, french, german, italian, and more. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> the william and flora hewlett foundation.50 for more thaears, advancing ideas and supporting institutions to promote a better world. at www.hewlett.org. >> and with the ongoing ipport of thetitutions and friends of the newshour.
hello, everyone and welme to ""amanpour and company." ire's what's coming up rch. s a gruesome murder that happened outside of authorities. >>he saudi authority of foreign affairs joins me, an investigation that categorically blames his state for the murder of the journalist jamal khashoggi. as saudi arabia and the untted states mhe pressure on iran, is europe getting squeezed wein the middle. peak to the former french ambassador to the united states and the united nations gerard araud. and the greatestiolinist alive, itzhak perlman is on the program, on playing conducting and ma