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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  December 10, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> stewart: on this edition for saturday, december 10: a secret c.i.a. assessment reveals that russia tried to influence the u.s. presidential election in favor of donald trump; in our signature segment, differing opinions about the rules of war; and jeff greenfield examines what ronald reagan and donald trump do and do not have in common. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg.
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corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, alison stewart. >> stewart: good evening, and thanks for joining us. widespread and intense reaction today to a "washington post" report that the c.i.a. in a secret assessment has determined covert russian hacking was in fact an attempt to help donald trump win the white house. a month before the presidential election, u.s. officials said they were confident that russia was behind the hacking of democratic party emails for the purpose of undermining the voting process, but it may have gone further than that.
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citing u.s. officials, the "post" said individuals connected to the russian government gave wikileaks hacked emails from the democratic national committee and the clinton campaign chairman. the "new york times" reported u.s. intelligence agencies had discovered the russians also hacked republican national committee computers but kept that stolen data to themselves. the republican national committee communications director, sean spicer, denied that today on cnn. >> i know that we have worked with intelligence agencies right now that are saying that we have not been hacked. >> stewart: senate democratic leaders called on intelligence agencies to hand over any information concerning russian cyber attacks of any kind and demanded a bipartisan congressional inquiry. in a phone call on msnbc's "a.m. joy," senate democratic leader harry reid charged f.b.i. director james comey with withholding information he had prior to the election on russian cyber attacks. >> the f.b.i. had this material
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for a long time. comey-- who, you know, is a republican-- refused to divulge this information regarding russia. >> stewart: and in a tweet from the spokesman for the hillary clinton campaign, brian fallon wrote: but in a statement released yesterday, president-elect trump's transition team questioned the credibility of the intelligence agencies, writing: president-elect trump won just under 57% of electoral college votes, which ranks 46th out of 58 presidential elections. yesterday, president obama ordered a full review of any cyber attacks aimed at influencing the u.s. election to be completed before he leaves office next month. joining us now for more on this story is greg miller of the "washington post," part of the reporting team that broke the
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news last night. gregg, russian cyber spying on the united states is not anything new or anything unknown, but it seems that this takes this to an unprecedented level. you can explain? >> you're right. russia has, for many, many years, been suspected of aggressive espionage against the united states in all kinds of areas. but in this case are the thing that separates this instance is what russian intelligence appears to have done with the material it got, right. so it's not a surprise that they went after material like it this on a main parties in the united states' system. but they took this trove, and they used it, and as some ex-agency people have said, they weaponnized it. they turned it into a weapon against the united states' system, against-- and possibly now, against a particular candidate. >> stewart: according to the c.i.a. assessment, who were these hackers? were they directly related to the russian government or were
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they independent actors who then gave it to wikileaks and the russian government watched with interest? >> right, so these actors who obtained this material and delivered it to wikileaks were described to us as being one step removed from russian intelligence services as known entities, as having known affiliations with those russian intelligence services, but nevertheless not necessarily part of those services. and there are still some gaps in the understanding of their role and what happened here, right. as our story said today, there is-- it's not-- u.s. intelligence hasn't, you know, doesn't for instance, have specific instructions issued to these actors. but they look eye mean, i think this is part of the emerging case, that the c.i.a. and other spy agencies are really busy assembling, and their occasion of these actors is a really critical breakthrough. >> stewart: let's talk about all the agencies. the c.i.a. has weighed in. the director of the n.s.a.,
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admiral rogers told the ""wall street journal" "last month about wikileaks that, "it was a conscious effort by a nation state to attempt to achieve a specific effect." what about the f.b.i.? >> well, the f.b.i. is-- is-- is a little harder to understand where they are on this. i mean, there's been lots of speculation about investigations and surveillance efforts that were under way during the election, but a lot of that really remains murky. director comey, notably, did not sign off-- at least publicly-- on the letter that the director of national intelligence and director of homeland security issued in late october, accusing russia, confronting russia, with this kind of intervention. and i think that's partly because the f.b.i. is still pursuing this case. it's still trying to assemble a lot of this information and is trying to stay out of the political frey that is quickly enveloping this story. >> stewart: let's talk about the politics of this.
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at any point during this time, about dany of the agencies, or the administration or anybody with information about these leaks realize all these leaks are about the doons, not the r.n.c. >> that wasn't lost on democratic lawmakers. if you add up, if you stack up all the material that has been released here, it end up on one side of the political spectrum. now, how can you not draw the conclusion that russia was trying to steer to a particular outcome here. and i think the intelligence agencies were reluctant to make that leap until they had enough evidence to back that up, and i think that's what we're starting to see now. >> thompson: gll what comes next in terms of the obama administration's calls for an investigation by january 20? >> i mean, to me-- this is a really interesting time because this sets up a big showdown. here you have an outgoing administration assembling a-- trying to consemble a consensus determination on russia's role in this past election, something that you can't really argue
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with, something so compelling, that it will override all of the opposition. and it's setting it up so it will deliver this just as this new president is sworn in, who has dismissed this from the very beginning. so to me, it's just a-- a fascinating showdown that awaits here. >> stewart: gregg miller of the "washington post," thank you so much for joining us. >> sure, thank you. >> stewart: the international committee of the red cross has released a new survey on global attitudes about war that reveals some dramatic changes during the last 20 years. the red cross hired the gallup organization to question more than 17,000 people in 16 countries, half of which are in conflict zones like iraq, afghanistan, south sudan, yemen and ukraine. the survey, completed between june and september, covered treatment of civilians and soldiers and topics like torture and migration. earlier this week, i spoke with
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the director-general of the international committee of the red cross, yves daccord, about their "people on war" survey. sir, what has been the biggest shift in attitudes in the past 20 years? >> what is interesting is when you compare what was said by people across the world in 1999, and what people are telling us tonight taid, you see two big shifts. one is very clearly related to in fact what could happen to civilians, people affected by war. when they are talking about that, they are deeply convinced that the international law of war applies and should apply, and there should be no exceptions. syrians should be protected, health care should be protected, humanitarians should be protected. whereas people in countries like the u.s., u.k., france, even china and russia, they are maybe not as adamant as they were before. so that's one of the shifts. and the other shift is clearly related to torture in terms of maybe accepting that in some
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situation, torture is possible. >> stewart: let's drill down a little bit on some of those subjects and some of those numbers. the report, obviously, highlighted the changing attitude towards civilians, but it was very different, fending on the country where's the question was asked. 78% of people in conflict zones say attacking populated areas is wrong. but when that question was asked of the permanent five it's united states, the u.k., france, russia, and china-- that number drops to 50%. is this trend across the report where the p-5 have a different attitude versus country where's there's actually conflict? >> yeah, you can start to see a real shift between the public opinion of the people directly affected by war and people in the p-5 security council country. and yes, there are elements where you see a bit of a difference. where there is consistence, people think health care is a right that needs to be given to everybody. everybody will say that. they will also say civilians
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need to be protected in general. but on specifics, it's true, you can start to see that maybe the political environment, maybe the public environment, also what happens the last 15 years, means that people are maybe more tolerant in countries like u.k., france, u.s., about casualties when it comes to civilian in war. >> stewart: one of the very interesting questions in the report was about the attacking religious sites and historical monuments and how strongly people felt that that was wrong, that that was not a part of war. i was surprised to learn, i have to say, that i didn't understand that certain monuments and historic sites were actually protected under the laws of war. >> because it is about people, it is about the culture, it's so central to all of us. and it's very true to see that people around the world, despite what we've seen-- or maybe because of what we've seen right now in the middle east-- feel very strongly, this monument, this culture needs to be protected whatsoever. and, by the way, it's interesting because they are
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saying the same about health care. i'm quite amazed because you see around the world, at least one of the places and things we are so worried about, is to see hospital, health care workers continue to be attacked. >> stewart: the numbers are very clear. 82% of respondents say attacking hospitals, ambulances, and health care workers is wrong, and that number even jump higher, obviously, in places where there are conflicts. there is an interesting twist, though. there was a question asked about providing health care to the other, to the enemy. and then the numbers shift. they go down, correct? >> that is correct, yes. not again in every country, but it's very clear when people ask, "you can provide humanitarian assistance, health care assistance to people affected," people will say yes. when they start to say can you do that co2 your enemy combatants people are more worried. it depends on the country. it's very interesting to look at afghanistan for example or syria
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or yemen where people strongly believe the wounded, whenever the side this person could be, needs to receive health care. whereas again, in some country, people are a little bit more reluctant, and maybe again, this is part of what they see through the media, what happens in the public environment, through which they are maybe exposed to, where maybe you feel the other is-- is somebody that you don't need any more to protect. and that's, i must say, the worrying trend. >> stewart: the report is very clear about torture. and it's interesting because en you dig down.eit of shift two-third of respondents, 66% said it was wrong, but a third believed captured enemy combatants can be tortured to obtain military information. the united states' fig our this was 46% said that was okay. it was just a bit higher in israel, the most in nigeria. tell us what you think about those numbers and that shift. >> i think we have always to
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look at two issues. one, i think it's positive to see that overall, people still feel torture is something totally wrong, and i think more than two-thirds of people, including people exposed on-- you know, on the daily life at what is happening in war, still feel torture is absolutely wrong. what i found interesting is-- and that's the other issue-- issh when you ask more specific questions, it's true. you see a growing tolerance in specific country. you mention nigeria, israel, but also the u.s., when it comes to torturing an enemy combatant to get information you see people are more open to that. i think maybe one of the reasons is because people feel on that case it will maybe help to save the security of the country. this is what they've seen in the media, right? if i look at the last 10 years, so many times where you torture the enemy to get information. and on the other hand, we know that torture to get information is absolutely not the right way to go, not only morally, not only legally, but tawls doesn't
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provide you with information you need because people will give you information they have just to not suffer. but sill, people in some countries feel that somewhat it's allowed. and i think maybe this is something which needs to be discussed and need to have a debate about, why people today think, at least in certain countries, that you can torture an enemy combatant. >> stewart: i hate to use the phrase "war fatigue" but in discussing this report, reading this report, i wonder if it is fatigue about war. we've had these long, endless conflicts that seem impossible in some situations, that that has had an impact on the way people feel about war and what's acceptable and what isn't? what do you think? >> i think there is maybe a different dynamic. i think it is true, people, especially when we're here in our country, we are rather safe, right? we feel that somewhat the war contained further and not touching us, and possibly, we are tired with what is happening right now in some of the countries that we know from a
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long time-- afghanistan, iraq, now syria. and the feeling is it's lasting and will continue to last. so i do understand that sometimes people feel, "why bother?" you know, it's far away. on the other hand, what i found so important to understand is that these issues will less and less be contained there. they are less and less tainting our own reality. look at migration. the people are coming to us are forced to migrate because in fact there is war. because in fact the war of law is not respected. so even you don't bother somewhat what is happening there has an influence over you. so i think we will have to get over it this fatigue somewhat, expnd what is happening there in the middle east, in africa, in the americas, maybe in asia, has an influence on us also. >> stewart: yves daccord of the international committee of the red cross, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. >> stewart: what's next for the dakota access pipeline?
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find out online at >> stewart: donald trump often invoked ronald reagan on the campaign trail this year, and, just last week, at a rally in north carolina, the president- elect used the same phrase used by reagan, "peace through strength," to describe his plans for the united states military. but just how similar the two men are is a question, and, as newshour weekend special correspondent jeff greenfield explains, their differences are a testimony about how much our political landscape has changed over the past 35 years. >> reporter: 1980: a landslide by any measure. ronald reagan defeats president jimmy carter by 10% points in the popular vote, eight and a half million votes. he wins 44 states, 489 electoral votes and sweeps a republican senate into power on his coattails. 2016: despite running 2.7
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million popular votes behind hillary clinton, donald trump wins the white house by carrying 30 states with 306 electoral votes. a shift of only 40,000 votes from trump to clinton in three of the closest states-- wisconsin, michigan and pennsylvania-- 1/30th of 1% of the national total-- would have made clinton the winner. yet it may be trump rather than reagan who presides over greater public policy change. reagan came to the presidency with the clear goal of shrinking the power of washington, as he said in his first inaugural address. >> government is not the solution to our problem. government is the problem. >> reporter: yet by the end of his two terms, not a single social program of lyndon johnson's great society had been eliminated or substantially reduced. not medicare, not medicaid, not head start, not consumer protection, not the civil rights
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act. in fact, under reagan, the size of the federal civilian workforce grew. the federal budget deficit set peacetime records, and the national debt reached an all- time high. why? one huge reason: divided government. the house of representatives was in democratic hands all eight years of his presidency, the senate for the last two. reagan had to negotiate with the opposition. and reagan dealt with a very different republican party than today's. at least a third of senate republicans back then were squarely in the moderate and even liberal camp, an all but extinct breed today. that was a check on reagan's cabinet and court appointments. by contrast, trump will have a congress under total republican control and a party more consistently conservative than back in the 1980s. that means, for instance, that president obama's key legislative victory, the affordable care act, is likely to be repealed and replaced. but just as important, a senate
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rule change democrats put into place when they held the majority three years ago abolishing the filibuster for most judicial and presidential nomination means now that they're in the minority, democrats have a lot less power to block trump's choices. and some of those choices advocate sweeping changes in federal policy. his choice for attorney general, alabama senator jeff sessions, has long opposed the justice department's attempts to block state laws that impose voter i.d. requirements. his proposed environmental protection agency administrator, oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt, is a skeptic of man-made climate change and an ally of the oil, coal and natural gas industries. his proposed education secretary, michigan activist betsy devos, is a strong supporter of charter schools and deeply critical of teachers' unions. and his choice for housing and urban development secretary, dr. ben carson, has called public housing desegregation rules failed "mandated social engineering schemes" and likened
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them to communism. trump's pick for labor secretary, andrew puzder, is a foe of the obama administration's expansion of eligibility for overtime pay and of raising the minimum wage. what this means is that once his cabinet is in place, it could represent as clear a reversal of federal policies as any in recent memory. an even more dramatic arena for change is the supreme court. in reagan's time, justices would occasionally diverge from the policies of the president who appointed them. for instance, justices sandra day o'connor and anthony kennedy voted to uphold "roe v. wade," the decision that had made abortion a constitutional right, which reagan opposed. but for the last quarter century, almost every supreme court nominee of every president has voted consistently along political lines. chief justice john roberts' upholding obamacare is one big exception. >> they will interpret the constitution the way the founders wanted it interpreted,
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and i believe that's very important. >> reporter: trump promised to put conservatives on the high court, and he'll start with the unfilled vacancy left by the death of antonin scalia. should justice kennedy or either of the court's oldest liberals, ruth bader ginsburg or stephen breyer, retire, trump could change the court for a generation by creating a 6-3 conservative majority for the first time since the 1930s. to be sure, it's not clear sailing for trump's agenda. a dozen returning republican senators, roughly one in four, rejected or never endorsed trump's presidential bid, and they may push back on some of his nominees and proposals. still, it's a striking measure of what has changed that a republican who won the two biggest landslides in his party's history could change far to office by so narrow aedsed margin has the potential to
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change so much more. >> this is pbs newshour weekend, saturday. >> stewart: the 114th session of congress wrapped up early this morning with the government averting a shutdown when the senate sent a stop-gap spending bill to president obama. the bill passed after senate democrats ended their showdown with republicans over expiring healthcare benefits for coal miners just before midnight. democrats had wanted those benefits to last through all of next year but agreed to only a four-month extension. the spending bill passed 63-36. reports from syria today say islamic state militants have retaken parts of the ancient city of palmyra in a surprise assault nine months after they were expelled by syrian forces and their allies. meanwhile, defense secretary ash carter said today the u.s. is sending 200 more troops to syria to help rebels attack the self- declared isis capital of raqqa. carter also urged u.s. arab
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partners to commit more military forces to the fight against isis. secretary of state john kerry urged russia to allow trapped civilians safe passage out of rebel-held east aleppo. syrian and russian attacks have halted evacuations and blocked much needed aid deliveries to thousands caught in the crossfire. russia claims that the syrian government has now captured almost all of the eastern half. the number of homeless has risen to 45,000 from a magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck the aceh province of indonesia this week and claimed an estimated 100 lives. as the search for survivors continues, victims have been treated in makeshift disaster tents. search dogs are being used to look for bodies in the 11,000 destroyed or damaged buildings. australia's government said today it will provide more than $1 million in humanitarian aid. in 2004, an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in aceh
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>> stewart: and finally, turkish officials say two bombs exploded tonight outside a soccer stadium in istanbul following a game. reports quoting police sources say as many as 13 people may have been killed and about 20 others wounded, many of them police officers. a police bus appeared to have been the target. while the story is still developing, officials expect one of the explosions was a car bomb, the other a suicide bomber. that's all for this edition of "pbs newshour weekend." i'm alison stewart. good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh >> pbs newshour weekend is made
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possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust-- supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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paul, wishing you a very happy christmas. my love, mary. mary. narrator: this christmas, mary and paul's bakes will take you through the festive season in spectacular style. wow, it's good. that's lovely. paul: the idea is to get people trying something different this christmas, and hopefully it becomes a tradition in their houses. narrator: mary makes a snowy-white christmas wreath pavlova... oh, it is christmas. don't you dare.