tv Washington Week PBS July 20, 2019 1:30am-2:01am PDT
robert: a reckoning on race and president trump. i'm robe costa, welcome to "washington week." president trump: when you see the fouron cgresswomen, if they don't like it, let them leave. robert: president trumpnflames racial tensions, criticizing four minority women who serve in the house. after republicans voice h concernse backs away from the chan but defends his supporters. president trump: those are incredible people. those are incredible patriots. robert: democrats and just a few republicans rebuke him in the house. >> inow racism when i see it. know racism when i feel it. robert: we discuss another turbulent weekext.
announcer: this is "washington week." funding is provided by- >> whenever theyhr wentgh, they went through together. life well planned. see what a raymond james financial adviser can do for you. >> babble, a language learning app that uses speech recognition technology and teachesfe real- conversations. daily, 10 to 15-minute lessons are voiced by native speakers and are at babble.com. >> additional funding is
provided by -- koo and paicia yuen through the yuen foundation, committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs statiofrom viewers like you.k thanyou. once again, from washington, moderator robert costa. robert:this week, as my colleague ashley parker wrote in "the washington post," a racist suggestion from president trump that four congresswomen of color go back became an angry rallying cry and tonight the fallout ontinues t grip washington and the nation. president trump is defending himself and his supporters. he is swatting away accusations of racism even as thousands roared "send her back" at a rally in north carolina on wednesday. here's wt the president said today. president trump: i'm unhappy where the congresswoman goes and said i'm going to be the president's nightmare. she's going to be the president's nightmare.
she's lucky to be wherehe is. robert: meanwhile, representative ilhan omar of minnesota, a democrat, was welcomed home on thursday night and spoke o against the president. >> we are going to continue to be a nightmare to this president because his policiesre a a nightmare to us and we are not deterred. robert: what's next? and what have we learned? m joinin with insights and analysis, bob woodward,r pulit prize winning author and associate editor of "the washington post.", nancy cordief congressional correspondent for cbs news. amna nawaz, national correspondent for the "pbs newshour." >> and susan page, the washington bureau chief for "u.s.a. today." bob and susan, you've been covering politicsor years and have observed the presidency up close. the stock market is u the economy is strong. yet the president, h turns to
race, turns to these tweets. whyooes he d this? bob: easier to de the creation of the universe. but we have to try to uwherstand e it's coming from and if you'll give me here.ensation i go back to watergate, the day that non resigned in the famous farewell address. he was sweating and talking aboutis mother and his father and finally kind of like this is the essence ofhat i've learned. he said, "always remember, but those hate you who hate you don't win unless you hatehem and then you destroy yourself. hate was this piston, this poison in t nixon presidency and i think now 45 years later -- and we've seen it in
variou incarnations -- but this is about hate. this is about the legittization of anger and hate and it's one of the saddest moments for they, coun think, and quite frankly, i think trump is not going t hel himself with this, even though people say, oh, tse loves it. i don't believe it. susan: race is the piston, i think, per president trump's political career. the animating principle from the beginning of his campaign was xicans are rapists and criminals, we need to build a wall. we heard it in recent weeks before the latest controversy, adding a citiz qshipstion to the census, reducing asym applications, making it harder for people to get asylum, refugees in the country. there is a consistent ptern t i do think the president crossed a new line this week.
he's always been provocative. that's part of his appeal. but to suggest that four u.s. congresswomen should go back to the countries they were originally from is something we've just never heard from president in modern times.es robert: t fit a pattern, amna? amna: absolutely. the president trafficking in racist tropes is nothing new. but this is one of t oldest racist tropes in the book. this goes back to the fnding of thiountry. every single group that has arrived on this country's shores from the jews to the italians to the irish tohohe chinese helped us build our railroads to the mexican brought in to fill a labor shortage, then deported, japanese americansntned after pearl harbor to black ks brown kids after 9/11. this has been with us since the beginning this country. the president rolling it out at this point changes the game butr
let's nott the president has this impulse. he had a bad week starting with a judge saying you cannot change your legal team as youight to get the question of citizenship on the census. it was a loss for him. a week headlines about terrible conditions at the border. he's not doing what he said he would do there. and the wee -- week was capped off by a disastrous visit by vice president pence to one ofos detention centers and at that point the president deced to lean in and get into the middle of this battle that speakerinelosi was hwith the members of the squad. bert: did he walk back his comments? was he trying to walk away from the center back chants?e what do you m of how he's handled the tweets and the rally? nancy: he walked them back for 24 hours and then wkked b the walk-back and was back to praising the peoplehehanting
"sen back" in the white house throughout the day on friday. and it almost -- we've seen this time and time again. he wasnn clearlyed by the reporting that his wife had t step in and his daughter and even congressional republicans had sent ao message t him via vice president pence, that they didn't think this was going to set the right tone for the party. and so after sayg the day before that he was unhappy with the chanting, which frankly didn't make much sense because he in that same speech said himself multiple times, they should leave, theyhould leave. but regardless he was expressing some contrition and all that changed 24 hours later and he was back to saying it was a great group of fine people. bob: but whatever label you put on this, it really isra intoe. it's not something -- i know a lot of tepublicans andy don't like this. maybe they're not going tope out at this point.
but this is not something that works. and the other side of this -- and i say this in a straightfohiard way. i the "new york times" did a wonderful story talking people who come from other countries and they told their stories of being in the parking lot or being in school and someone says "go back home" and as you go through this, you realize, this is really painful. this is awful. this is not just being told something that is impersonal and 's a stab at the heart for people. and that the president is doing this -- robert: it's bigger than politics. it's about identity, about what it means to be an american. amna: i will say as someone who
cs been on the receiving end of thosements over the course of my life, it's awful. it's awful whether it's someone in your twitter messages or d.m.'sr someone screaming out the side of a car. and you're absolutely right.s it g the heart of something else. it is different in this time.o but your earlier point about republicans at this point, bob, what's been striking for me to see is how president trump has basically forced eveoneo pick a side and even if you are not coming out and saying, as a fellow party member of his, yes, this is racist, the failure to do so at this moment,e the fail to unequivocally say, i believe this to be damaging for this country is almost just asda ging. >> i think there are two questions. one is hows d this rank through our culture in a big way and a narrow one about whether it works politically and i don't think we know the answer to that. we had a poll this week, before the rally, after the tweets, in
which we asked americans is it unamerican to -- were the president's tweets unamerican? and we found that democrats said yes and republicans said no. and we found that do you agree with the president's tweets? republicans by two to one saidit they agreed the president's tweets that the four congresswomen should go back to where they originally came fromt so clearly works with a part of his base and the question is, is the reaction that other americans have in finding it unamerican, how does that play out in an election where we knowat the that are going to determine this next election. it's going to be michigan and pennlvania and wisconsin, which have a lot of white working class voters. b: but a poll 15 months before the election -- robert: it gives us a snapshot. bob: an invalid snapshot, i think. robert: we got a snapshot of house minority leader, kevin
macarthy, spoke with nancy this week.na y: you said a short time ago that the chance of -- chants of "send her back" have no place in this country. why it a problem when people chanted but not when the president tweets it? >> the president clarifiedhat he did not tell somebody but talked about the love of the country. nancy: he said they should go back. >> if you want to read his clarification, he talked about the love of this country and said if you don't love this country, you can leave. robert: nancy, what was your takeaway from leader mccarthy and talki other top republicans on capitol hill this week? only four republicans and one independent broke from the president on this house democrats resolution condemning his remarks. nancy: i was startled by his willingness to tie himself in rhetorical knots in order to avoi criticizing theresident. he was clearly uncomfortable with the chant and wanted to get at message out there but unwilling to criticize the
president at all even though the president's words inspired the chant. so he had a number of caveats for why there was nothing problematic about what the president did and i think that republican leaders really missed an opportunity here. mitch mcconnell was m mildlye critical but did a both sides need to tone it down, with someing that was so egregious. it's clear that republican leaders want to choose theirtt ng with the president and avoid criticizing him and creating a rift withs him unl they absolutely have to but this was one of those cases where what he said was so universally judged to be over the line and inappropriate that i thought they had some cover to sically, as a block, stand up and say that was a wrong they didn't do that. there are so many situations where it's more of a gray area. this one wasn't. and yet you still saw kevin macarthy and most reperlican
le shying away from condemnation whatsoever. robert: president trump said real power is fear. is that what drives republican decision mig this -- making on this front? bob: i think you're absolutely right. we don't know what the play on all of this. i think there comes a point where political badmintonbe mes moral badminton and this may be an example ofhere this is a amoral offense. if we had kevin mccarthy here on truth serum, younow he is not applauding that. robert: why did he say it?ar bob: it's unity, it's trump's power and it's weakness that people have but i am nvinced that -- how's somebody
going to really think this is a great thing to say. >> they don't like what he saidi but the probl they do like the fact that he is making these four women the face of the democratic party. that part of the strategyoa they're on with so that's why they're walking a tight rope here because they don't mind the democratic party being painted as this far left progressive .ocialist par robert: you've gotten to know some of these women. iu were with them recently at a few event washington, amna. how have they handled this? being in this intense spotlight? amna: if you look at these four women, they have been consistent. e this isctly what they ran on, exactly what they said they dere going to do and they've continued to s the same messages and stick to their messages even through thishe battle with president. to nancy's point aboutwi republicansing themselves in knots, the last 48 hourswe e watched people like kevin mccarthy and lindsey graham even
who four years ago himself called the president a race baiting bigot twisting himself into a pretzel to add nuance to language that doesn't require nuance to understand but the president is pushing the focus on these four women, making it a battle about these four women. robert: callingm t anti-semitic. amna: calling them socialists. at the same time he's pulling theublican party further and further away. bob: he doesn't want a battle with just those four women. he wants them to be the label and the face of the leftistci ist democratic party. now, whether he's just accidentally stumbled on something that may work for h in the end or not, but -- trump doesn't thinktregically. he thinksul ively.
robert: what about speaker pelosi? you're writing the book on the ceaker, histo speaker. she's had tensions with members of the group. representative ocasio-cortez is a democratic socialist. reprentative omar has had a different view on israel than many mainstream democratic l members of tdership. at the same time, this has unified the democratic party. is there pressure on her to move forward with impeachment with urgency because of this week? >> i tnk it's enormously complicated for her. it united the democratic caucus but she was trying to minimizee thour young members of congress. other democrats in the caucus make the point -- she made this point -- they're the only four -- they do not represent in the caucus more voters than they have themselves although they have a huge sociedia presence and momentum among the most progressive democrats.is pended her efforts to put distance here and put them down a little bit because of course the democrats united behind them. and it did fuel cls f
impeachment but nancy pelosi remains totally consistent that impeachment would be the wrong thing f democrats to do and she is trying to hold that back. robert: as we've, discusshis debate over the president and race is not isolated. it affects the entire presidency and trump white house's relationship with congress. this week, immigration remained at the fore. the debt limit looms and former special counsel robert mueller is prepared to teswefy next . ed immigration, the aclu f lawsuits trying to block the trump administration's move to end asylum protections. the new re was put i place to try to tamp down the number of people crossing the u.s.-mexico border. amna, what does the new rule mean for migrants? amna: the rule is being challenged. it effectively ends any ability for largely central american migrants coming from n-contiguous countries to come into the u.s. and claim asylum which is by a w larget's been happening with those
numbers going up over the last year and a half and in the last uple of months had ticked down to seasonalca histo trend. the rule, you can't come into the united states and make an asylum claim if you haven't already made the claim in anher country you passed hondura-- el salvador, and guatemala, where most people crossing the southern border are coming from. the r it's problematic is because it's illegal. anyone under national o lawr u.s. law can come into the united states and mak a claim at a port of entry. you have to have agrments with other countries. we know the trump administration was trying to get guatemala to sign on as what they call a third safe country. they were unable to do tha pushed ahead with the rule anyway. et's now challenged in court and it's the s story again and again with some of the trump administration's efforts to endg even migration to the country. robert: we also saw this week the acting secretary of the
department of homeland security grilled on capitol hill about the migrationenters and the immigration policy. are democrats making progress or are they still feeling like they're stymied with this administration on immigration? >> i tvenk the much feel stymied. this issue sort of sank away from the headlines this week because so much energy was taken up by the feud with the squad but i think you had something like 20 or 25 democrats from the house and senate down at mccallin, texas, just yesterday and today. so they're eager to put thatdl back in the hes. this is becoming a parties partisan fsiht, the pnt and republicans arguing that if conditions are bad, it's because democrats haven't given us the money we need to improve the situation and democratsrguing you're the one putting all the people in detention camps and you didn't, you wouldn't have these terrible conditions. robert: the white hou and congressional leaders negotiate
over a spending agreement to raise the nation' borrowing limited before congress leaves for recess. the u.s. government hasn't blen to borrow since march when a cap on borrowing took effect that pmpted the latest talks. the debt limit again. you wrote a book on it, "the price of politics." bob: unfortunately i d and i sounds like an abstraction but it's not. it actually can sink the economy and people don't rlly get that. i think lots of people on the hill really don't get that. so it's a dangerous time and i think we may look back on this summer and a lot of the skirmishes, though important, the real issues are financial stability and possible war. robert: why does it matter? would interest rates spike? the stock market rattled if the debt limit is not extended? bob: yes because treasury bills
aren't as valuable because they're not going to pay the interest bec allowed to pay the interest. and you've got a whole financial system in the countrynd the world built around that so -- but igr, it's not something that somebody's going to go to the barricades over. >> both these issues, raising the debtng cei and reaching an accord on immigration, we're not able to d either one of them easily and it's a sign of how politics have broken down so c l we do is have a big fight over provocative tweets. robert: would speaker pelosi cut a deal? >> it's int speaker pelosi and republican leaders seem to have over the debt limit but it seems we have a showdown coming between the preside and his own acting chief of staff because president trump who has criticized republicans in the past for cutting deals too quickly on the debt limit, wanting them to hold o, is n saying it's sacred, you don't
want to mess with it. we know his actin o chieff staff felt very differently when he was in congress. he o was o the rabble-rousers who wasorcing showdowns over the debt limit because he felt so strongl about getting concessions from democrats, imrtantly budget cuts s it will be interesting to see how those two negotiated. robert: when the predent came in, u.s. government had 19 trillion in debts. i nows over $22 trillion. even if you're nick mulvaney, you're now onhe inside of president trump. >> we don't know exactly what's happening inside the administration. it was interesting to see steven mnuchin and larry cut low out with that same line stressing we will reach a ieal, this crucial. robert: they want the market to stay up. >> absolutely.
the messaging is there the question is h what'spening behind the scenes towards agreement. robert: what does speaker pelosi want? more spending on non-defense programs? >> more spending on veterans programs. republicans are insisting on offsets. that's one of the things getting negotiated on the hill. you feel like the leaders could negotiate a deal. it's just getting it through this pcess, including the white house, that makes it so difficult. robert: next week, bob, robert mueller comes to capitol hill. we have about a minute left. one thing you're looking to hear from m mueller? bob: something new, something concrete. hard evidence. he made it clear in his report on the major issues, trump gets off for the moment. now, that can change in a minute. the otherss is potential war. i did a chronology, 20-page chronology about iran. robert: are we heading to w?
bob: you read the chronology and you say the title of this is the march to war.be : the march to war. bob: god help us. robert: what a way to end thi program, indeed. god help us all. and tha everybody, for watching. coming up on many stations,bs te newshour" presents inside the mueller report, aat loo the results of the special counsel's two-year investigation. tune in next wednesday for the "pbs newshour's" live coverage ea the mueller hrings starting:3 at a.m. eastern time. i'm robert costa. have a great weekend.
announcer: corporate funding for "washington week is provided by -- >> babbel, a language program conversations in a new language such as spanish, french, german, italian and more. babbel's 10 to 15-minute lessons are available as an app or online. more information on babbel.com. announcer:financial services firm, raymond james. additional funding is provided by -- koo and patricia yuen throug the yuen foundation, committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning perforald by the natiaptioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and nccuracy. visiap.org.] >> you're watching pbs. oh, yes. and 4 bakers remain.
yes you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. in whie i recommend serving it with a raspberry baveroire, candied kumquats, and a cr nut brittle. narrator: last time... that is one hell of a snake. mthe bakers tackled tt tricky technical to date. presumably the wow is when you cut into it. it is absolutely raw. chetna and lpressed. nice bit of chocolate work on the top rs, good health, good health. ha ha! narrator: but richard won star baker for a record-breaking fourth time. pretty surprising! narrator: and it was tartha who had to lea tent. ...brilliant. now the 4 semi-finalists... oh, god. face the most exacting challenges so far. this is all about top notch patisserie. 20 layers?! is he going to count all 20 in all of them?