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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  February 3, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: >> we're bringing back jobs. we're bringing down your taxes. >> woodruff: president trump moves to roll back regulations designed to prevent a financial crisis and imposes new sanctions on iran. then, we are on the ground in mosul as the battle to control the key iraqi city rages on. >> the front line is just up here, that's where the river tigris is, and isis fighters are trying to push the iraqi army back. >> woodruff: and, it's friday. mark shields and david brooks tackle a tumultuous first two weeks of the trump administration. all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> xq institute.
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>> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the first two weeks of the trump presidency are in the books, punctuated by a push on regulating the financial industry. john yang reports on the day's events.
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>> reporter: at the first meeting of this new economic advisory council, president trump used it to tout his plans for progress. >> we're bringing back jobs. we're bringing down your taxes. we're getting rid of your regulations. and i think it's going to be some really very exciting times ahead. we're doing it. >> reporter: the group talked banking rules and tax reform, but some also raised concerns that mr. trump's immigration order will hurt their foreign employees, and the economy. blackstone group c.e.o. steve schwarzman is the council's chairman. he described the discussion on fox business channel. >> oh, sure, one would except that it had. general kelly, who runs homeland security, was there and brought people up to date on the changes that had been made. and there was obviously concern by different people and explanation and that issue ahd to be covered and was covered.
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>> reporter: before the first meeting, uber chief executive travis kalanick quit the group over the issue after being pressed by both workers and customers. he wrote to employees: "we will continue to advocate for just change on immigration, but staying on the council was going to get in the way of that." the same kind of pressure is driving a national boycott of trump products. retailer nordstrom is dropping ivanka trump's fashion line, citing poor sales. today brought the number of mr. trump's executive actions to 20. >> today, we're signing core principles, for regulation of the united states financial system. doesn't get much bigger than that, right? >> reporter: that executive order directed the treasury department to look for ways to roll back the dodd-frank act's regulations. the 2010 response to the financial crisis was intended rein in big banks and protect consumers. the president also signed a memorandum aimed at blocking a retirement-savings regulation, called the "fiduciary" rule.
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set to take effect in april, it's aimed at making brokers put clients' interests first, when recommending investments for retirement planning. administration officials call it a solution to a problem, and the financial industry strongly opposed it. republican congresswoman ann wagner of missouri championed efforts to stop the regulation. >> taking the boot off the neck of the american people and this economy moving forward. people are crying out to cut the red tape. they are finished with the "washington knows best," top-down bureaucratic regulation that is absolutely suffocating american families. >> reporter: mr. trump capped the second week of his presidency by heading to florida for a weekend at his mar-a-lago resort. on his way back to the white house on monday, mr. trump will spend his first major event addressing troops, central
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command at macdill air force base at tampa bay. judy. >> woodruff: a lot going on at the white house this week. right up to today, white house senior advisor kellyanne conway in a situation where she had to retract a statement she made in an interview yesterday. >> yang: last night she was defending the president's immigration order and said the media never reported the bowling green massacre. one of the reasons is because it never happened. today she acknowledged on twitter that she had confused it with the arrest of two iraqi -- iraqis who had been radicalized in bowling green, kentucky. she apologized but also complained about being criticized for her slip. >> woodruff: john, you mentioned twitter, the president has continued to be active on twitter this morning tweeting again about that phone conversation that he had reportedly heated conversation with the prime minister of australia, and then another one about, of all people, arnold
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schwarzenegger. >> yang: that's right, i'll take them in order. the prime minister of australia said that the phone call was candid and frank, which, of course, is diplomatic language often for a shouting match, but he did say that, contrary to reports, that mr. trump did not hang up on him. so mr. trump thanked him for straightening that out and called the original reports fake news. then on alexander haig, there was the little back and forth yesterday from the prayer breakfast when he talked about the ratings. mr. schwarzenegger replied maybe they wanted to switch jobs, that mr. trump was better at ratings and that americans could sleep at night. he said, yes, arnold schwarzenegger did a really bad job as governor of california and even worse on "the apprentice," but at least he tried hard. >> woodruff: well, sounds like that settles that. (laughter) john yang after another busy week at the the white house. thank you.
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and in the day's other news, january's job creation was the best since last september. the labor department reports that u.s. employers added 227,000 new jobs. at the same time, the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.8%, now that more americans are looking for work. president trump welcomed the report, and said that it shows a "great spirit in the country." the jobs report and the president's move to scale back financial regulations fueled a rally on wall street. the dow jones industrial average gained 186 points to close back above 20,000. the nasdaq rose 30 points, and the s&p 500 added 16. the trump administration imposed new economic sanctions today on 13 people and a dozen companies in iran. it is a response to iran's test this month of a ballistic missile. early this morning, the president tweeted: "iran is playing with fire." and, press secretary sean spicer said the president isn't ruling out other responses, including
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military action. >> the sanctions today i think will be very, very strong and impactful, and i hope iran realizes that after the provocative measures that they've taken, that they understand this president, this administration, is not going to sit back and take it lightly. >> woodruff: later in the day, when mr. trump was asked about iran, he said: "they're not behaving." but iran's foreign minister javad zarif posted his own tweet, saying: "iran unmoved by threats. will never initiate war." we will get into the details of these sanctions, and the implications, after the news summary. in paris, security fears surged again today when a man with a machete attacked guards outside the famed louvre museum. the attacker, said to be an egyptian national, shouted "god is great" in arabic. he slightly injured one soldier before being shot and wounded himself. museum-goers had to flee, or shelter in place.
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a senior israeli official is welcoming a u.s. statement on settlements. in it, the trump white house says they do not impede peace, but that constructing new ones or expanding existing ones, "may not be helpful." in response, israel's deputy foreign minister said today: "the conclusion is that more building is not the problem." a spokesman for palestinian president abbas called for action to prevent settlement expansion. u.s. defense secretary james mattis reassured south korea and japan today that the u.s. is still committed to defending them. his first trip abroad followed candidate trump's complaints that the allies should do more for their own defense. in seoul, mattis met with his south korean counterpart, and underscored american support to deter north korea. >> america's commitments to defending our allies and to upholding our extended deterrence guarantees remain ironclad.
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any attack on the united states or on our allies will be defeated and any use of nuclear weapons would be met with a response that would be effective and overwhelming. >> woodruff: mattis later met with japan's prime minister in tokyo. the u.s. has more than 28,000 troops in south korea and about 50,000 in japan. the u.n. human rights commissioner is accusing security forces in myanmar of mass killings and gang rapes against rohingya muslims. a report today charges there's a campaign to drive them out of the mostly buddhist nation. myanmar has denied previous allegations of abuses against its muslim minority. it says it is battling insurgents. back in this country, a justice department lawyer told a federal court that 100,000 visas have been revoked under president trump's immigration order. the state department said later
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that the number is actually fewer than 60,000. meanwhile, federal judges in boston, seattle and virginia held hearings on legal challenges to the order. the boston judge extending the partial block on the order while in virginia a judge allowed the challenge to go forward. the stage is set for a senate showdown on betsy devos, president trump's nominee for secretary of education. senators voted early this morning to end debate, with democrats and republicans senators jousting over the nominee's qualifications. >> the nominee for the secretary of education is one of the worst nominees that has ever been brought before this body for a cabinet position. on the grounds of competence, on the grounds of ideology and on the grounds of conflicts of interest, she scores very, very low. >> there will be no mandates for common core, no mandates for teacher evaluation, no mandates for vouchers, no mandates for
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anything else from the united states department of education headed by betsy devos. we will be swapping a national school board for what she believes in, which is a local school board. >> woodruff: the confirmation vote on devos will come next week. it could end in a tie, leaving vice president pence to cast the deciding vote. congressional republicans are also moving to rescind more obama-era regulations. the house voted today to abolish a rule on cutting methane emissions from natural gas drilling. the senate gave final approval to dropping a mandate that energy firms disclose what they pay governments for drilling rights. we will look at the drive to roll back rules, later in the program. enrollments on the national obamacare website have fallen slightly. the government reported today that 9.2 million people signed up through the end of january. that's about half a million fewer than last year. there are no final numbers yet for the 11 states with their own
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health insurance markets. still to come on the newshour: new sanctions against iran in response to a ballistic missile test; from wall street to the environment-- rolling back obama-era regulations; the next phase of the battle for mosul, and much more. >> woodruff: as we reported earlier, the trump administration applied new sanctions today to over a dozen people and companies tied to iran's ballistic missile program. hari sreenivasan has more. >> sreenivasan: the white house says the sanctions are not related to the nuclear deal, and structured in a way that maintains the u.s.' commitments to that agreement. at the same time, the national security advisor michael flynn also released a statement today, saying: "the international community has been too tolerant of iran's bad behavior. the ritual of convening a united
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nations security council in an emergency meeting and issuing a strong statement is not enough. the trump administration will no longer tolerate iran's provocations that threaten our interests." joining me for what the new sanctions and statements mean going forward is karim sadjapour of the carnegie endowment for international peace. karim, let's put h this in context. who do these sanctions affect and what will they be prohibited from doing? >> these sanctions are very targeted against individuals and entities that are affiliated or part of iran's revolutionary guards who are involved in iran's missile program and iran's support for regional militias, and they're very targeted. they're not broad sanctions which are intended to really change iranian behavior, but i do think they're intended to do what general flynn, the national security advisor said, which is to put iran "on notice."
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>> sreenivasan: how different than what the obama administration would have done had they seen this test on their watch. >> the obama administration was reluctant to encounter iran's regional behavior because they were worried that would provoke an escalation which would jeopardize the nuclear deal which sus the obama administration's main foreign policy legacy, and the trump administration doesn't have those concerns. president trump has routinely denounced the iran nuclear deal as a disaster, and i think in contrast to the obama administration, the trump administration's national security brain trust, men like general flynn, general mattis at the pentagon, these were men who served in iraq, and they hold iran responsible for the death of hundreds of u.s. soldiers. so they felt, during the obama yearyears, that they were restrd from being able to retaliate
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against iran and now they feel unrestrained and they're confronting iran in the region. >> sreenivasan: iran said they are planning to same similar steps against members inside the united states. does this escalate? does this go further? >> i do think, hari, that we are in the early stages of an escalation which could eventually over months culminate in a military conflict either between the united states and iran or israel and iran. now, iran's comfort zone is to have kind of managed, contained hostility between the united states and iran. for four decades, that's been a central part of the revolutionary ideology, but they've stopped short of actually going into military conflict with the united states. i think that the early weeks and months of the trump administration will be a trial in which both countries are kind of feeling the other one out. iran, i expect, will want to
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show that these sanctions and the taunts from trump are not going to modify their behavior, but, at the same time, they will probably want to respond in a way which isn't going to significantly escalate. they will want probably a gradual escalation. >> sreenivasan: is the end goal for both sides here to see who will back out of the deal first, or who will, at least in the international community, lose face? >> you know, that's absolutely right, that kneeder side will -- neither side will want to gratuitously tear up the nuclear deal and be blamed for it. i think one of the things the obama administration did well is they made the case to allies that they tried to engage iran and iran didn't reciprocate and the problem lie in iran, not washington. i think the challenge the trump administration will have is you have a president in washington
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who is gratuitously blusttrouse not only toward america but its allies, and you have a president and foreign minister in iran who to much to the world seem like moderate, reasonable figures and add on to the fact that the middle east is in the throws of tumult and carnage and, for many countries around the world, including china, russia and europe, they see iran as a force for stability in the region and an ally against i.s.i.s. >> sreenivasan: all right, karim sadjapour, thank you so much. >> thank you, hari. >> woodruff: now, we're going to dig into some of the recent actions taken by the white house and congress, to roll back obama-era rules and regulations. i am joined by our own lisa desjardins and william brangham.
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and we welcome both of you. good to have you here at the table. william, i'm going to start with you. we heard john yang reporting earlier with. the administration did today go after financial regulations that were part of -- a feature of the obama administration, including a peace of dodd-frank. tell us about that. >> today is what some people would say is the beginning of an all-out roll back. some would argue dismantling of consumer protections and regulations. this order is all about dodd frank. dad frandodd-frank was to solves of 2008. critics have hated dodd-frank and all its tentacles ever since created and now the president has asked the secretary of the treasury to look at all the different rules, find out which are too costly and burdensome and potentially get rid of them.
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supporters of dodd-frank would say maybe the law wasn't perfect but something had to be done to constrain wall street since the 2008 crisis so we don't see a repeat and this move go ghost in an opposite direction. >> woodruff: the other thing i think is important is they went after a provision, again feature of the obama administration, that affects those individuals paid to give retirement financial advice. >> that's right. this is the rules the department of labor put out called the fiduciary standard. last year the department of labor said any financial advisor or broker has to follow this standard which means you have to put your clients' interests ahead of your own and not sell them a package that might kick back fees to you or might not be very good to them as a client. the industry for a long time said this is burdensome, costly, stops people from getting good financial advice and today the memorandum the trump administration put out said
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department of labor, look at these rules, figure out which ones we should get rid of. the supporter of the rules argue roughly $17 billion every single year is lost by people who are given unscrupulous advice and discouraging dismantling these ideas is a terrible idea. >> woodruff: something we certainly want to continue to pay attention to. lisa, meantime, congress move in its own way to roll back some important actions during the obama administration, one having to do with coal mining and waterways. tell us about that. >> so congress is using a seldom-used law that allows them to go after rules that were passed in the last months of the obama administration and the first one is the stream protection rule that requires mining companies to monitor streams for pollution and tells them exactly what quality those streams must meet or mining companies must fix the problem. republicans have moved this week in congress to roll that back.
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that legislation is going to president trump's desk. critics say the problem was too onerous on the companies and poorly written, affected great plains the same as the mining companies in west virginia it was aimed at. but supporters point out that, according to those who wrote this rule, it would have improved thousands of miles of streams. >> woodruff: the other thing we know congress is working on, hot-button topic, guns and the access that people who may have disabilities, and whether they have access. >> this is another big deal, something that the house passed yesterday. they would roll back a rule that had to do with an 2007 law that came out of the virginia tech massacre. it was aimed at trying to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining guns. this rule takes those on social security disability and who have been found to be mentally impaired, puts those names into the national background check system so they would be prevented from buying guns. critics -- the republican
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critics of that law say it's a problem because it's an overreach. it would include anyone who doesn't take care of their own finances. democrats say it's about safety. listen to the i split on the hoe floor yesterday. >> if you receive social security disability payments and someone helps you manage the payments, this regulation stops you from being able to purchase a firearm. your name gets added to a federal database and the burden the is on you to prove it doesn't belong there. this is outrageous. >> this would not only make it easier for those with severe mental health issues to buy a gun but also take the option for writing similar rules off the table forever, tying the hands of all future administrations. >> so that reversal of that gun rule now goes to the senate, is expected to pass, and, judy, the thing i want to impress on people is because of this special law they're using here, the house and senate can get the
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rollbacks through more quickly, they only need a majority vote in the senate, not 60 votes. we'll see a lot of these in coming weeks. >> woodruff: we're only two weeks in and already all this h is happening. lisa desjardins, william brangham, we thank you. >> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: mark shields and david brooks analyze week two of the trump administration; a stark film about race in america, told through james baldwin's unfinished novel; and, a muslim marine who tells people to ask him anything. but first, the battle for mosul. the months-long siege by iraqi forces, backed by u.s. support, has taken back about half the city. signs of life are returning to those areas, while a new offensive is in the works to capture the rest from isis control.
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special correspondent jane ferguson and videographer alessandro pavone have our report. >> reporter: weaving through re-captured streets of eastern mosul, colonel nazar naji takes us to the iraqi army outposts under his command. his men are positioned on rooftops, watching for any signs of isis fighters coming across the tigris river that flows through the city. recently, he tells me, around 50 fighters managed to cross and attack this position. >> ( translated ): they have been trying to break into the eastern side of the city, because they are now surrounded on the west side. they are besieged by the iraqi army, militias and police. >> reporter: since the campaign to drive isis out of mosul began nearly four months ago, iraqi forces, backed by u.s. air support and special forces, have retaken the eastern side of the city, up to the river. the western side is now completely surrounded, and isis is under siege. an iraqi military offensive to retake the rest of the city is
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expected to start at any time. meanwhile, isis sharpshooters are still killing soldiers on the government-controlled side. because of isis snipers just across the river, we need to use these trucks as protection. these neighborhoods were recaptured by iraq's u.s.- trained special forces, after brutal fighting. it's now up to the regular iraqi army to try to hold the line. colonel naji hears on the radio a position nearby is coming under heavy fire, and he races there to lead his soldiers. backup arrives with heavy weaponry. >> ( translated ): there is an attack by isis and the humvees
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are going to support them. there is only one injury, god willing. >> reporter: for these men, the fear is that this attack is only to distract them while isis sneaks fighters across the river. ( gunfire ) the front line is just up here, that's where the river tigris is, and isis fighters are trying to push the iraqi army back. nearby, the unit responds with mortars. ( explosion ) the one casualty- a soldier hit in the head with some shrapnel-- is patched up and raced away from the front line. but just a short distance away, a remarkable site: mosul's streets are again vibrant. life has returned to areas recaptured from isis. even traffic jams are common. just weeks ago, these streets were deadly battle grounds. now shops and restaurants are open for business. open-air markets take place every day, packed with people.
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under isis, food shortages were severe, and prices crippling. getting food is now easier, but life here is still tough. >> ( translated ): there is no water and no electricity. we are pumping water out of old wells and it's not clean, people can get very sick from it. >> reporter: the men at this tea stall are relieved that their neighborhood is safe now, but they have other worries. >> ( translated ): the education is also so important, for three years our children have not gone to school. they are behind with their studies. >> reporter: that's changing for many children in eastern mosul. 250 teenage boys attend this school. these young men would have been targeted for recruitment into the ranks of isis fighters. these boys are so determined to be here, they have come despite the lack of electricity and freezing temperatures in the classroom. they haven't been in school for years, and the teachers are delighted to see them.
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>> 100% all the students in this area love coming to school. they excited to study. >> reporter: iraqis still living on the isis side of the river don't have that chance. hundreds of thousands of people are still trapped there. sometimes, the brave risk their lives, making a run for it. back at the riverside, the army unit has spotted two men trying to cross a bridge nearby. they move into position to watch for them. captain amr abdul sadda tracks them as they approach. an armored humvee is moved in front of the bridge. in these tense moments, the soldiers have to determine whether the men approaching them are innocent civilians, or suicide bombers. this happens a lot, says the captain. >> ( translated ): every day we try to secure families trying to cross towards us, and give them covering fire. because isis are using their
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snipers on them. >> reporter: they are scared? ( arabic ) >> ( translated ): the people on the other side are afraid but whenever they cross towards us and we accept them we calm them down and tell them everything is okay, we are the security forces. we are your brothers and we are here to free you. >> reporter: then they appear. they've taken their clothes off to prove they are not hiding weapons or explosives. relieved, and still frightened, they have survived a perilous escape from isis territory. but they are part of a tiny trickle of people making it out. the rest remain trapped on the other side of this divided city. for the pbs newshour, i'm jane ferguson, in mosul, iraq. >> woodruff: now, to the analysis of shields and brooks. that is syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york
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times" columnist david brooks. welcome to both of you. so much to talk about. david, week two of the trump administration. let's start with his pick for the supreme court, federal judge neil gorsuch. what do you make of him? >> clearly qualified, first-rate legal scholar, first-rate judge, first of rate mind, apparently a first-rate person. he's the best any republican president would have done. i thought a very good pick for donald trump. the democrats have a challenge. they can either behave the way the republicans did to mar rick garland, that would be disgraceful, but that would bloi up the system. i think they have a primary loyalty to the constitution and basically the norms of how we've done justice confirmations for the past many decades and that is, if the president picks someone who is basically qualified, basically a good person, then you confirm that person if you don't agree because your side lost the election. i understand the democratic thinking, the republicans didn't
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behave this way, but i guess my belief is that two terrible behaviors don't make a good behavior. >> woodruff: what's your take on judge gorsuch? >> well, judy, first of all, i agree with david on the assessment of him. he went to georgetown prep which is a rather exclusive local prep school, then on to columbia college, harvard law school, then to oxford. but the vice president made a point when he was interviewed by you in this show, he's a fourth generation coloradan, because his resume sounds very much like all the other justices in the supreme court, and as said we should have somebody on the supreme court that went to night school or public school, but, nevertheless, he does seem by temperament. and i will say, in an administration marked by total chaos and is unsettling in the way it's behaved and the impulses it's shown by its president, this was the exception. it was incredibly normal.
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they did it well. the announcement was done well. representative kelly is respected among democrats. ron bojane who is trent lott's advisor and spokesman, so that's been well done and he seems to be a quality product. >> woodruff: and you agree with david, a tough call for democrats? >> it's tough in the sense -- i mean, the republicans were help reprehensible. they never even gave a man with a distinguished career a hearing. they ignored the constitution. the temptation is enormous. the pressure is enormous from the democratic base of the party. don't forget, i mean, the republicans responded to the tea party which was the base of their party, and i can understand that. but i think that -- you know, i think, unless there's something
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hidden about him that nobody seems to know and nobody seems to even be suggesting, i think he's going to be awfully tough to defeat, and he's a quality nominee. >> we're going to watch that one unfold. i wanted to get, david, to the executive orders, they have been coming fast and furious every day. the big one i want to ask you about is the immigration order. it's created a fire storm. we just reported a few minutes ago a couple of federal judges ruled on it because of legal challenges, there have been protests, you've got state department employees who signed a letter of dissent. is the administration getting off on the right foot or not with this statement? >> well, you know, i have been inundated by 18 inches of orders, like we all have over the last couple of weeks, and some are good. i think some are completely toothless and symbolic, but the one on the refugees is one that's truly abominable and reprehensible. we can't remind people enough
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that it responds to a problem that does not exist. that refugees in from these countries have killed no one in a terror attack. it's from homegrown people, maybe from other countries, 9/11 people, saudi arabia, some other places, so it's a response to nothing. you have to think it's an outgrowth of nativism, and there has been a whiff of nativism, to put it politely, in a lot of the measures this administration has done and it has offended our career people in the state deprtment, it's offended our allies, it's offended a lot of people around the world for no good effect. usually when there's some policies, there are pros and cons. there are literally no pros to this one. >> woodruff: any good effect? no good effect. both the president and vice president made the mistake of referring to it as a muslim ban and then tried to walk it back. no, and, judy, the irony is, in a week where the president says he wants to unleash churches, politically, from being hobbled,
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and goes to the national prayer breakfast -- i mean, forgotten is the message of christ, how you treat the stranger among you, whatever you do for the least of these, that of moses, you shall not press an alien because you yourselves have been aliens, this has been the hallmark, the defining value of the united states. we had six nobel prize winners last year, all six immigrants. immigrants have been the sustenance and the survival and the treasure of this country, and donald trump is appealing as he did during the campaign to the basest, the most selfish and literal un-american of instincts. >> woodruff: david, i want to ask you about foreign policy, but i have to come back to what you were saying, the outgrowth of nativism. you wrote a tough column this week saying this is not just a republican administration, it's
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an ethnic nationalist administration. you talked about republicans making a fausting and bargain to go along with donald trump. it's a pretty dark picture, isn't it, you've taken. >> yes, they're in an untenable position. i grew up with ronald reagan. he had a refugee crisis from cambodia and laos and he said they were welcomed. that was a republican party that believed in opportunity and possibility. it was a hopeful party. this is not a hopeful party. it does not seek possibility anywhere around the world. it sees threat and menace. frankly, reminds me of some of the reactionnaries of russia who thinks everything outside is a threat and purity is from within. that's not how we defined our country so we're in the middle of a big argument over how we
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define the american idea, and what trump has presented is an american that's not the traditional idea, not the waltman, the george washington and lincoln idea which is one of welcoming because we're the last best hope of earth. so we have hit the opposite of m. lazarus and the debate about the american ideal seems to be the core debate of in administration. >> woodruff: the opposite of emma lazarus. >> americans have gone through streaks before, the no-nothings in the middle of the 19t 19th century were the dominant political influence in every one of the northern states, the seats in the legislature alarm ability irish immigrants and catholics coming to the country, but i do think one major difference between our handling of civil rights in the 1960s when america rose to one of its most magnificent eras and
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challenges, and immigration in the 2 is century is the economy. the measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, but as franklin roosevelt said most have too little. the american income has doubled. we've seen stagnation and what happened. it comes at a cost in the psyche nat americans are less welcoming, we're more fearful, and i really think that income inequality is -- the disparity in income and the growing gap has contributed to that political climate that donald trump has exploited so brilliantly. >> woodruff: and while we're watching the immigration ban or order, however you're describing it, david, we've also watched a flurry of statements and tweets about foreign policy and reported angry phone calls
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between the president and the prime minister of australia and the president of mexico. today the white house issued sanctions, heightened sanctions against iran. there seems to be a consensus that that's a good idea. but do you see an emerging -- what do you see eemerging in terms of foreign policy from this white house? >> i have to say it has been an extremely unnerving week on the foreign policy front. the fight with the australian prime minister was emblematic. trump was right at some level, it was a bad deal the obama administration cut. i understand why they cut it, but for the trump administration, that was a bad deal. but that doesn't mean you get in a fight and a temperamental hissy fit with probably our most loyal ally who's been with us basically through every fight throughout our history. that's a sign of character characterlogical problem. then you switch to the real problems where we won't get into
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a war with australia but might get in a war in the south china sea and maybe in iran. you have to be tough with these countries but you have to feel there is some control, that we're not at the whim of one person's peak. so when we even take what tend to be sensible options against iran, i have no confidence, and i don't think any of us can have confidence that there is something steady, temperamental and in control about that. as i mentioned in the program a few weeks ago, the number of decisions the president has to take is large and none of us can be sure the sane choices will be made let alone the reasonable ones. >> woodruff: mark, in just a minute, how are you seeing the emerging national security vision from this administration? >> judy, with we want a president with a steady hand on the tiller, that's what we want. we want the captain whoas stable, who inspires confidence, and that has not been the case. this is the biggest betting week
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of the year. this is the super bowl week. anybody would have given -- would have won a fortune on the over-under. the country you're going to pick an argument with is industrial. i can't it's incredible but it's personal. all politics is personal with president trump, and that carries with it great, great problems. >> woodruff: well, we are just at the beginning, and we thank you both for your insights and hope you have a good weekend. mark shields, david brooks, thank you. >> woodruff: next, james baldwin was one of the nation's most prominent authors, public speakers, social critics and civil rights activists. a new oscar-nominated documentary opening today explores his life, and legacy.
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jeffrey brown has our look, part of our series, "beyond the red carpet." a warning: it contains offensive language. >> there are days-- this is one of them-- when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it. >> brown: his words never really went away, but the writer james baldwin, speaking here on public television in 1963, feels as relevant as ever. >> i'm terrified at the moral apathy-- the death of the heart, which is happening in my country. these people have deluded themselves for so long, that they really don't think i'm human. ♪ i belong >> the story of the negro in america is the story of america. it is not a pretty story. >> brown: the clip is from a new documentary that draws a portrait of the artist.
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new documentary that draws a portrait of the artist, though not as a traditional film biography, and of the fractured and racially divided world he shone a searing light on. it's called, "i am not your negro." >> i was free only in battle. never free to rest. >> james baldwin is probably, for me and for many other people, one of the most extraordinary author in this country. black or white. and he is somebody who changed my life. >> brown: director raoul peck is best known for documentaries and dramas about the african leader patrice lumumba and "sometimes in april," set during the rwandan genocide. born in haiti and raised in the congo, peck says for him, james baldwin was an early and abiding influence about how to see and encounter the world. >> it gave, suddenly, an explanation to feelings that i had towards racism, and toward opportunities, and toward politics, and justice and injustice.
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you know, a lot of things that, as a young man, that you have, but because there are not so many authors where you feel you are represented. or the same on cinema, there are not so many films where you saw your own narrative on the screen. >> brown: that voice. >> that voice, and to feel you belong. >> brown: baldwin was born in harlem in 1924 and spent his youth there. he later lived for years in france, where he felt he could live more freely as a black gay man. he became known for essays, such as "notes of a native son" and "the fire next time," novels including "go tell it on the mountain" and "giovanni's room," and much more, including his role as a public commentator, debater and witness. >> again, like most black americans i have encountered, they have nothing against knee grows, that's not the question. the question is apathy and ignorance which is the price we paid for segregation.
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that's what segregation means that you don't want to know what's happening on the other side of the world because you don't want the know. >> i was in some way in those years without entirely realizing it the great black hope of the great white father. >> brown: the film uses baldwin's own words and writings-- read by samuel l. jackson-- particularly, a short manuscript he never completed about three men he'd known, all of them assassinated before the age of 40: malcolm x, medgar evers and martin luther king. as a film credit puts it, the film is, in a sense, "written by james baldwin." >> so my job is to find the book, and to recreate it, which is then the film for me. that was, of course, the line and the storyline that i needed to construct that film. >> brown: that's interesting. so to make the film, make the story, to make the film that he set out to do, but wasn't able to finish. >> exactly. that's why as a filmmaker, i
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felt that i was just the messenger, i was just the person in charge to put it together, but he already wrote it. that's why i was very proud to be able to put "directed by raoul peck" but "written by james baldwin," because he wrote every single word in the film. i did not add anything, i deconstructed but i didn't wrote it. >> what people have to do is try to find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a figger in the first place. i'm not a nigger. i'm a man. if you think i'm a nigger, means you need it. >> brown: in his film, though, peck has done what baldwin, who died in 1987, could not: connect his time to ours-- through images of ferguson, trayvon martin, and others. >> when i started ten years ago to work on this project, it was because i already felt that something was wrong.
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it was for us, you know, scary because it was actually something we were working on. and now we have visual of that, images. and it made the film more urgent for us, but it did not really change the origin of all the needs for this movie and the need to go back to baldwin. because baldwin gave us the fundamentals. >> i am tired. i don't know how it will come agent about. i know no matter how it comes about, it will be bloody. it will be hard. i still believe that we can do with this country something that has not been done before. we are misled here because we think of numbers. you don't need numbers. you need passion. and this is proven by the history of the world. >> he was already a classic
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classic, and he wrote those things 40, 50 years ago. and watching the film, you think that he would have wrote that in the morning before watching the film, because those words are so accurate, they are so prescient. >> brown: "i am not your negro" will compete in the best documentary category at the academy awards on february 26. from washington, i'm jeffrey brown for the pbs newshour. >> woodruff: mansoor shams served in the united states marine corps from 2000 to 2004. recently, he has been traveling around the nation with a simple sign that reads, "i'm a muslim and a u.s. marine-- ask me anything." newshour producer mike fritz joined him while he was on the streets of baltimore, to listen in to some of the conversations he was having.
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>> you know that i have to believe in jesus christ to be a muslim? he's a very important man to us. but he's not a prophet, but that's okay. that's where we disagree. my name is mansoor shams. i'm a former u.s. marine. i was born in pakistan, came to the united states at age six. i'm now 34 years old. >> how are you muslim and a marine, if they hate you? >> because that's what i am. >> it doesn't make sense. >> never would i have thought that we would reach a state in our nation where we would be troubled or confused or frustrated by people who followed my faith. recently, i got to visit the cities of houston, denver, portland and seattle. it's always a new experience in general because you don't know how people are going to react, how they are going to take it.
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[no audio] >> some of the questions that i get as i'm out and about relate to sharia law. they'll say "do you believe in sharia law as a u.s. marine, as a muslim?" of course, my answer is "yes, i do, but not the way that you believe in it." i tell them that it's literally a path to life-giving water. it's a moral code. it tells me not to commit adultery. it tells me not to fornicate. it tells me not to drink, not to gamble, to pay my taxes, to take this is all forms of sharia law. i think americans do not understand islam. it's been amongst america for 200 years. it's always been there.
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and anyone who is an immigrant who's come to this country, ask them how hard it is to come to this country. my feelings of donald trump, or president trump, has been mixed. it's helped me to see another america, that i thought we had gone far past. however, i did take the time to write him a letter and say that he could use me as a potential resource. i don't know if he's received it. it wasn't a partisan letter. it was not a negative letter. it was not a "not my president" letter, because "not my president" technically goes against my faith as well. the quran teaches me to be loyal, not only loyal, but to obey people in authority above me. he is our president and there's not doubt about that. i feel that, at the end of the day, if we don't fix these
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things, this is going to create a larger problem for our country. the trajectory that we're headed on right now doesn't seem like a very good one. >> woodruff: a news update now. moments ago, a federal judge in seattle granted a temporary halt to president trump's order to restrict immigration. the ruling applies nationwide. tune in tonight on "washington week." a reporters' roundtable examines president trump's worldview, and the world's view of the president. on pbs newshour saturday, special correspondent nick schifrin meets up with armed citizens on patrol along the u.s. border with mexico. here's a look. >> reporter: tim foley likes to describe himself and his men as a kind of neighborhood watch. for the last seven years, the 57-year-old former army soldier, firefighter, and construction worker has led arizona border
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recon. foley describes it as a surveillance group, but members are armed with military-style rifles, legal in arizona. >> when friends come to your house, they come to the front door and ring the bell and announce themselves. >> reporter: this desert land is a well-worn route for mexican cartels. >> basically, what we're trying to do is just hurt the cartels' pocket book. this area is pretty much theirs, and we're coming in and telling them, it's not yours. it's ours. >> woodruff: that is tomorrow night, on pbs newshour weekend. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. have a great weekend. thank you, and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> xq institute.
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>> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- >> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build immeasurably better lives. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh >> you're watching pbs.
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. hello and welcome to kqed "newsroom." coming up, silicon valley's response to president trump's executive order on immigration. a report from the border from one of our reporters who's been in san diego all week. plus, legendary athletes discuss the role of politics in sports. first, we sit down with ro khana who defeated mike honda for a congressional seat last november. he represents california's 17th district including silicon valley. the son of immigrants himself, he spoke out against the executive order that not only temporarily bars visitors from seven nations but also blocks refugees from syria indefinitely. kqed's senior editor of california politics and