tv PBS News Hour PBS March 1, 2018 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshoutonight, turmoil in the white house-- tensions brew between the chief of staff and jared kushner after a security downgrade, while one of the president's closest aides leaves. also ahead, president trump lannounces new controvers tariffs on steel and aluminum. what this mes for the economy and international trade. then, heightened threat-- oarussia's president putins a new arsenal of nuclear weapons that would lve nato's defenses useless. and, an exclusive newshour vestigation uncovers allegations of sexual misconduct within the u.sforest service. >> it just feels like you're like screaming into a void,s like, "tppened," and nobody hears that. >> woodruff: all that and more
on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology e and improvedconomic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> carnegie corporation of new iork. supporting innov in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and carnegie.org.
pp>> and with the ongoing t of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pie station fromrs like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the trump white house finds itself searching for stability, again, tonight, in a swirl of damaging developments. the president's right-hand ruefully acknowledged as much today. lisa desjardins begins our coverage. >> desjardins: it wasupposed to be a celebration-- white house chief of staff john kelly speaking at an anniversary event for the department of homeland security, which he used to run.
but he gave a nod to tensions a w job. >> the last thing i wanted to dm was walk away ne of the great honors of my life, being the secretary of homeland security. but i did something wrong and god punished me, i guess. >> desjardins: late last week, kelly stripped "top secret" security clearances r more than 30 white house aides, who had temporary status.t fiong them: the president's senior adviser and son-in-law jared kushner. it's not yet clear how that affecthis many roles, including work on middle east issues. kushner also fes new questions about his family's real estate business. yesterday, "the new york times" reported the khner family firm received more than half a billion dollars in loans from ll street companies, after jared kushner met with them at the white house. kushner has denied any wrongdoing. at today's white house briefing, press secretary sarah sanders came to his defense. >> jared is still a val od membthe administration. he's going to continue to focus on the work that he's been doing.
>> desjardins: in addition, a report in "the washington post" suggested officials from china, israel, mexico and the united arab emirates saw kushr as exploitable and at one point hoped to manipulate him. to this swirl, add the impending loss of president's longest- serving aide, hope hickswho yesterday announced she will soon leave her job as white house communications director. >> are you going to be answering all of the committee's questions today? >> desjardins: hicks' announcement came one day afte she told the house intelligence committee that she's occasionally told "white lies" for the prident, but not about anything related to the russia probe the committee is inatvestg. one more open fracture-- president trump has reignited his public feud with attorney general jeff sessions. over twitter, he called sessions "disgraceful" for deciding not to launch a special prosecutor probe of how the f.b.i. has conducted its russia investigatn. in a rare move, sessions pushedh back statement that as long as he is attorney general
"he'll carry out his dutith integrity and honor." that may turn out to be more than an internal feud. today, "the washington post" also reported special counsel robert mueller is investigating the president's attempts to pressure or oust sessions to determine whether he wasob ructing justice. for the pbs newshour i'm lisa desjardins in washington. >> woodruff: and we'll talk more about the power dynamics insideo the white with philip rucker, white house bureau chief at the "washington post." phil, welcome back to the program. so we thought there was instability at this house before, but i think this week, with the departure -- announced departure of hope hicks, this back and forth withhe attorney general and the president, the jared kushner concerns, and even speculation about the president's national security advisor h.r. mcmaster. where aree? >> judy, it is a truly chaotic moment for thindwhite house, it reminds me of the early days
of the presidency back at the beginning of 2016 when, every day, there wew a n brushfire to put out. and that's what we're going through right now. jared kusas been diminished by this downgrade in his security clearance and the knives are out for him.is other admation officials are trying to harm him internally. there's a bit of a power struggle with the chief of staff john kelly. kelly ems newly empowered with this move against kushner but it really is unsettling and the president's closest aide hope hikes is departing. >>oodruff: hope hicks leaving, the president lashing out at his own attorney generalh speculation about h.r. mcmaster. where is the steadyi hand in this white house? >> there doesn't seem to be one and i n't know if there ever
has been one, in part because of who the president is. he sets the culture and the tonm for this govt himself at the top, and he likes chaos. he feels he thrives in this sort of environment, heikes spontaneitiy and likes to make decisionsmpulsively without a lot of process and that's what we see today with the news of tariffs in trade, that came as a huge surprise to some of the staff in the white house, a very instantaneous, spontaneous announcement in thameeting with the executives. this is what the p to have.ikes it doesn't bring solace to veterans of washington or elsewhere in the government or certainly military or capitol hill, but it's trump. >> woodruff: so essentially what you're saying is the president seems satisfied with things at this -- operating at this level which, from the outside, looks chaotic. >> he likes the chaos. doesn't mean he's satisfied.
he's clearly dissatisfied with his tornl. he's been lashing out at him this week. privately the president has been very upset about what he sees as hisative media coverage of son jared kushner and thean security cle issue and has been bubbling for weeks about the russia probe. robert muelr is getting closer to the oval office with these indictments and interviews. >> woodruff: almost more than we can cope up with. thank you, phil rucker, for doing that for us. thank you very much. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: we'll return to the particulars involving jared kushne later in the program. in the day's other news, wall street was hit hard again, after president trump announced he's imposing stiff tariffs imported steel and aluminum. it sparked fears of a trade war, and major indexes dropped weller ov percent. the dow jones industal average lost 420 points to close below 24,609. the nasdaq fell 92 points,d e s&p 500 sank 36.co
new gurol bills emerged in the u.s. senate today. that after president trump said he's open to imposing compreheive background checks, raising the age to buy assault- ype weapons, and taking a guns from those deemed a risk. r republican mario, from florida, also called today for seizing weapons fromeople identified as threats, but he stopped short of broad background checks. >> there are things we can act on and do, and this we can continue to argue over, debate and perhaps do in the futurehe. but onhings we agree on, and they happen to be things that could have prevented thewi attack, an prevent future attacks, let's get those done. >> woodruff: minority leader chuck schumer answered with a ree-part democratic proposal. he called for universalck background c as well as a debate on banning assault-type weapons. >> the only hope of passingat this, given emocrats are
so strongly for these proposalsp is tsident persuading republicans and frankly giving them cover from the n.r.a. >> woodruff: senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said his first prioritybanking bill. as for gun legislation, he said: ee'd love to do that at s point." the u.s. ambassador to mexico announced today she's stepping down, the latest high-level diplomatic departure from the trump administration. roberta jacobson has been ambassador for nearly two years, and worked for the state department for more than 30 years. she ted today that u.s.-mexi relations are at "a crucial moment," but said she wants to expnilore other oppores. in syria, no relief again today for rebel-held suburbs of damascus.li syria's ry has been pounding eastern ghouta, while edits ally, russia, has caor a daily, five-hour truce. in genevtoday, u.n. officials complained their call for a 30-
day cease-fire is being ignored. they dismissed the russian plan as unworkable. >> but i have to declarehat i know no humanitarian actor, zero humanitarian actor who thinks that five hours is enough for us to be able to deliver relief into eastern ghouta. >> wdruff: the russians, and syrian state media, claim the rebels in eastern ghouta are blocking or even killing vilians who try to leave. it is now a crime in pold to accuse the polish nation of holocaust crimes committed by g namany. the new law took effect today. warsaw says it is not an effort to deny the holocaust. opponents say nationalists want to block any discussion of polish complicity in the mass murder of jews. an official vatican magazine today slammed the treaof nuns inside the roman catholic church.
"women church world" reported they're exploited as indentured servants by cardinals and bishops, and receive little pay. it described nuns cooking, cleaning and waiting tables, but rarely getting a chance to use their intellectual gifts. back in this country, housing secretary ben carson says he's asking to cancel the puhase of a $31,000 dining set for his office. it drew intense critthis week. in a statement today, carson said: "i was as rpsed as anyone to find out that a $31,000 dining set had been ordered." and, public schools across westm virginianed closed for a 6th day as teachers stayed on strike. the state house approved a five percent pay increase last night, but today, the state senate vod against considering th bill immediately. still to come on the newshour: russia's boast that its weapons can breach nato defense.
a closer look at jared kushner'. business deali women claim pattern of discrimination at the u.s. forest service, and much more. >> woodruff: president trump promised during the campaign to get tougher on trade, and today he took a major step byun anng new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. it has led some experts warn of a much biggerrade war. but at a meeting with industry leaders, mr. trump said the u.s. needed to crack down o countries flooding american markets with cheap metals. and he told the business leaders the move would give them a big boost. >> pretty much all of you wi immediately be expanding if we u ve you that level playing field, if we give at help. and you're going to hire more arworkers, and your worker going to be very happy.
they're going to be very, very happy.s and again, whaen allowed to go on for decades is disgraceful.gr it's deful. ch woodruff: mr. trump said he would announce wountries would be targeted next week. there would be 25% tariffs on peeel, and 10%n aluminum. the president has edly threatened to take tougher measures against china. for a look at what this might mean, we turn to greg ip of the "wall street journal." greg, thank you for being with us. before we get in the reaction to all this including in the markets, what would tariffs at this level, 25% on steel, 10% on aluminum, generally, what would that mean? well, for companies in the united states that make steel and aluminum, it's great news. those companies will have higher profitargins because thean sell their steel and aluminum at higher prices.
ithe good news for workers because industries have lost a lot of workers because of import penetrion in the lastew years. fewer jobs lost and maybe some ad gd. it'sd news for parts to have the country where the mills are located. it's bad news for a company that uses steel and aluminum. that's way mor companies and workers than produce ut. ample,biles, for ex aerospace, the companies that make soda because of the soda call, tinfoil, the consumers, you and i will all pay a tiny bit more, maybe too little to notice,ut more for the products. >> woodruff: we have graphics showing some of that and m cbe show that to the audience while we're talking. but, in essence, so the president sees winners in this country, but there are others who are worried that the reaction from abroad is going to flead to harm other parts of the american economy. >> well, absolutely, and we've seen this mov before. in 2002, president george w. bush raised steel tariffs partlo
rotect workers in west virginia, and the analysis of tha decision later showed it actually hurt the u.s. economy because it raisedost so much in industries that use steel. right now people are worried not hejust about immediate impact on the u.s. industry, but what if all these other countries who feel we treated them unfairly retaliate and not only does it hurt us in consumption of the products but our ability to perform in foreign markets are affected. the negative impact on the stock rket, a tiny bit of harmless growth, a little bit of inflation, secondly, though, it also speaks to the overall degree of uncertainty and concern about this administration. you know forhe first year of trump's presidency it was all about less regulation and less taxes. businesses love that. sow they're seeing the l positive side of it, more protechism. at theouame time eno conflict both within the white
house, trump advirs, the administration and allies in business and the republican congress. >> woodruff: and we were told th there was serious disagreement inside the white house as you just are suggestint ovs and also confusion about whether this was going to be announced today we were told he one point it was not and president announced it a few minutes later. >> yes and some of the details have yet to be heard. we don't know which countries will be hit with tariffs, how long they will last and maybe other te ten factors that will e into play. >> woodruff: all of which we'll wait to see. greg ip, thank you vuch. >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: just weeks before his l-but-guaranteed re- election, russian president vladimir putin gave his overof versio state of the union today. as nick schifrin reports, putin used the occasion to shooff new weapons that he says can defeat u.s. missile defenses,
and maintain a deadly balance with the united states. >> reporter: resident vladimir putin today unveiled a grand vision for his country's future, and what he called the to achieve it: new, nuclear weapons. >> ( translated ): no one wanted to speak with us constructively. no one has listened to us. you listen tus now. >> reporter: he showed animations of weapons he called invincible. a hypersonic missile capable of crossing continents in seconds, and a never-before-acknowledged nuclear powered cruise missile tiat can slalom between missile defense systems calls a long term threat. it's not clear the weapons even exist. but putin said he wasn't bluffing. >> ( translated ): any use of nuclear weapons against russ and its allies will be perceived as a nuclear attack on our country.e sponse will be immediate. >> our nuclear triad has kept us safe for more than 70 years. >> reporter: putin's return to cold war rhetoric comes one epnth after the u.s. announced its own plans toy new nuclear weapons, and greater
willingness to use nuclear weapons. putin said he was responding to american threats. >> ( translated ): the growing military strengtof russia is a secure guarantee of peace because this strength preserves and will always preserve a balance of power in the world. >> reporter: to no surprise, russian lawmakers responded with prai they said putin once again made russia a global superpower. >> ( translated ): the theory about russia as a regional myperpower with a weak eco disappears from the american political thinking. >> reporter: the speech tookst place ver two weeks before the russian elections. he framed the u.s. as an adversary and himself as the e only leader stugh to meet the challenge. we turn now to richard burt. he was the chief u.s. arms control negotiator during the strategic arms reduction talks with the soviet union during the reagan administration.o he arved as assistant secretary of state for european affairs. in's now at mclarty associates, a business consufirm. richard burt, thank you very much. >> good evening.
>> schifrin: is this all about domestic politics, president putin not worried about threats to russia but his own power? >> part of it is certainly about bricks. i mean, there is an election in march. nobody's going to beat vladimir atin, but putin wants to get good chunk, 70% or more, of the vote, and he can't talk about an economy that's rapidly growing. he doesn't have the kind of consumer economy t dominated the early part of the century. people's living standards are actually falling. so he's playing the great power card. he's saying i brought russia back, we're a global superpower, and our technology is first class, it can competewi effectivel the united states, and, so, you can rest >> schifrin: that i am the only one who caneake on united states. let's look at it from his perspectiviv for a second. says you withdraw from the anti-ballistic missile treaty,
you're creating missile defenses that can counterour onclear we so we have to counter back. what's wrong with that? >> putin is not entir wrong. we did withdraw from the abm treaty in 22. i personally think that was a mistake because the russians tend on these kinds of iues to be paranoid. the one thing they liked about the abm treaty is it gave them a sense both sides newere vble to anile nation, there was a mutual assured destruction at the time, so it made the soviets fe and the russians later that they were co-equal nuclear powers. they werne afraid, w the abm treaty was abandoned, that the ited states would use its superior technology to be able to engage in aotentialuclear first strike and that we could then politically dominate them. concernedey have bee about that, and that paranoia i think coupled wit the putin's desire to look strong has led ta
fairly significant nuclear buildup. >> schifrin: there is the buildup happening in russia and althe united states hasd about a buildup or modernization of its weapons. do you feel an erosion of arms control? >> i feel both of those. we are entering a new arms race for sure. reminds me of the 1970s and '80s. i don't think americans are that focused on this at this poi, but us the not only the russians modernizing their forces, with some very capable weapons they know how to build and maybe some fictional weapons we don't know whether they will build or not, but the russians are cereal deciding they want tosee clear weapons as an important element in eir policy. the trump administration is going doing the same. in fact, even under barack obama, the united states decided to enge in a $1 trillion-plus nuclear buildup with new msile submarines, new intercontinental
rangeli bic missiles, new strategic bombers, so we're kind of sleep walking into this new arms race. si don't think eithere in the near term is going to gain some important advantage, but under these conditions, we could lead to a situation where one or t se othee felt that, in a crisis, a serious disagreement, that the other was going to strike and that that's when, you know, people begin to make mistakes. they make miscalculations, andro theem, secondly, is we don't have any arms control negotiations underway, ande re an important treaty, the i.n.f.y signed in 1987 which could collapse in the nexb yeause we believe the russians are cheating and they claim we are not following the treaty. >> schifrin: quickly, should the u.s. be concerned about this? sh americans be concerned about these new weapons or concerned about this sleep walking into a -- >> ihink it's more of a sleep walking problem.
i think what we need tois d find a way to get back into a serious conversation with the lessians on controlling n weapons. the longer we wait, the more difficult it will be, ny o because both sides will have better weapons, but with these new technologi the sort that putin talked about today, it's going to be a lot harder to design effective agreements to control this new arms race. >> schifrin: richard burt, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: as we reported earlier, the white house is swirling with new questions and allegations of possibleof conflictnterest for jared kushner, president trump's senior advisor andon in law. here for more on the fallout, politicalland legally, i'm joined by, evan osnos, a staff writer at "the new yorker," and patrick cotter, a defense attorney and former federal prosecutor.
and we welcome both of you to thean program. snos, i'm going to start with you. let's remind everybody first, what are jar kushner's responsibilities? what is his role at the white house?>> e's a very broad portfolio. one of the things he's in charge of is trd ng to fa peace agreement in the middle east. he's also in charge of the relationship with mexico. he's also been tasked with managing relations wit china. on top of that on the domestic front, he's also in charge of trying to redesign goverinent, fiways to make things more efficient and in charge of bringing more innovation into the government. >> woodruff: so a modest portfolio. te yes. >> woodruff: you w piece for the "new yorker" about a month ago on his interactionne with c officials and how complicated that was. you put that together with reporting in "the washington post" this week on how qting officials from four different countries on how they tried essentially to manipulate him, take advantage of him. what do that add up to? >> there's a pattern and the
pattern anas it relates to c and these other countries is american iofntelligenccials were picking up intercepted communications that showed the leaders of these other countrs, mexico, israel, the uae, were seeking contact with jared kushner because the ty wanttry to use his business commitments -- debts, obligations,eed for investment -- as a way to try to manipulate him on policy points. so they were actively seeking having diplomatic encountersn with himis role at the white house because he knew he had thisol extensive por of business interests and that was a vulnerability. >> woodruff: which raises a lot of questions. patrick cotter, separately, there's been rerting this week -- we know there were confct questions from the beginning because jared kushner came from his family's business, hundolds of millions ofrs in investments there, but, yesterday, the "new york times" reports about two majorl financirms both apollo and tigroup, top officials there
meeting with jared kushner at the white house and around the same time both firms lending hundreds oflions of dollars to his family business. what does that add up to? >> well, we're not sure, but the danger to mr. kushner is that he may -- he may -- have exposed himself an allegation that he violated the bribery of a government official statute. 18usc201. anthat makes it a crime for anyone to offer or accept anything of value to a government official in exchange for an official act. if a prosecutor could link the benefits that apollo and citigroup were seeking and t benefits mr. kushner got, the roughly $500 mlion loans from those two entities, there could be a viable prosecution against mr. kushner. >> woodruff: how unusual is it for top government officia to
be in these kinds of mtings with people whom their firms or firms they are associated with stand to benefit from financially? >> it's amazingly unusual. it is basic protocol for government officials to run what is known as a conflict check or a due diligee check to make sure that, before they meet with prerate financial its and persons, they don't have any kind of a conflict. that coul not possibly have been done in this case, and it's rather sattunning at this high level and this far into thh administration such a check wasn't done. >> woodruff: and evan osnos, as if all this weren't enough, u have the swirling questions around his security clearance, the fact tt it's now 13 months into theew administration, jared kushner still does not have a full security clearance and he was downgraded this week. >> yeah, this is, in a sense, the culmination of the iss s we
haen talking about. from the very beginning, jared gkushner had troubting a security clearance partly because he had very complex business interests around the world, he wasn't willi divest himself of those. also, at the very begin, he mader roars when he filed for clearance, he left off contacts with hundreds of foreign officials and later gave them. he hadn't gotten his ft track clearance. last month we were hearing from intelligence and law enforcement they were concerned, they felt there was something in his profile or portfolio that mean he couldn't receive that, and without that it's hard to work at that high level when you don't have access to that clearance. the question is how much "jeopardy" is jared kushner in? i saw the "wall street journal" lead editorial, a newspaper iendly to the president, saying it's time for jared kushner and ivanka trumpto leave the white house staff. they can advise the president
but from the outside. my question to you is, as much as we know ahat's happen, how much jeopardy could hee in? >> well, i will ipoint outs a high standard for a prosecutor to prove bribery of a gernment official. it's not enough to show benefits went back andforth. prosecutors are required to show quid pro quo, this for that, before they can prove bribery, i think he has exposure. if i was advising him, i would sa he definitely has criminal exposure, but, at the same time, i think it would be a tough job for a prosecutor to make that very high standard of quid pro quo based on what we know today. though, ofourse, we may not know everything. >> woodruff: for sure. evan osnos, it's a different standard to judge "jeopardy" from a political and a foreign policy making perspective. but how do you size that? >> well, the probl for him is this is a problem that is not going to go away.
sometimes when you have a scandal, it's because you did something and that problem is behind you and the bavior is over. this is a structural problem in the nature of jared kushner's employment in the whe house, d as long as he retains these foreign assets and as long as he continues to hese kinds of problems with a security clearance, it's not going to go away, it's going to be what we washington call a distraction for the white house, it takes energy and makes it diffilt for him to be effective inside the american system and in his dealings with foreign officials. >> woodruff: at the very least, one more headache for this white house that has its share. osnos, patrick cotter, thank you very much. >> you're welcome. thanks, judy. >> woodruff: stay with us, coming up the newshour: making sense of companies' responses to the national gun debate. and a brief but spectacular take on why music is key to learning.
as the me too movement h grown to include problems in government, we have an exclusive investigation tonight about the u.s. forest service and allegations of longtime sexual misconduct and gender discrimination within the agency. from its inception in 1905, the forest service has been a male- dominated field. even today, women make up only a thirof the service and even less, just 13%, within the ranks of fort service firefighters, who perform extremely dangerous important work across th country. but as william brangham and our production team report, women say that not only have they faced hassment and discrimination, but when they speak out about it, they are punished even more >> he was like, "i'm glad you're on the crew because you're sexy and you have a nice ass." and i was like, "excuse me?" >> brangham: this y your boss? , yes. >> brangham: last summer michaela myers was working as a
firefighter in oregon with the u.s. forest service. as she detailed in a formal complaint, she was repeatedly sexually harassed by her older male supervisor. >> and then he would touch me, he'd grope my butt, my waist. it was just uncomfortable. >> brangham: at first, she debated whether to report him: she said a male colleague .rned her not >> he was like, "well if you want to stay in fire, this is gonna happen and you can report it and face retaliation or you can do nothing and stay in fire." >> brangham: those wer choices you were given? >> yes. >> brangham: speak up and get beaten down for it, or d.l with >> yeah, yeah. >> brangham: and michaela myers is not alone. the pbs newshour has spoken to 34 women across 13 states who claim they've experienced gender discrimination, sexual harassment and in some cases, sexual assault and rape in the u.s. forest service, and many said when they spoke up, they faced retaliation.
newshour producer elizabeth flock has been reporting this story for months.am >> what reallythrough to us was this culture of retaliation that they talked about and when ty reported misconduct the reprisal they face which took so many different forms from withholding ofraining to denying or stripping their duties and sort of a slow chipping-away of theme until these felt they weren't a part of the workforceg >> bm: this issue first got national attention in late 2016, when forest seice employees from california told congress about rampant sexual harassment and retal. >> he had taken a letter opener, he poked my breast, both breasts, with a smile on his face in an arrogant way, like he could get away with it. i stood there in shock. he has cornered me in thehe bathroomas lifted my shirt up, he has stalked me.
>> brangham: represeative trey gowdy pressed lenise lago, who's a senior official in the forest service. >> if memory serves her perpetrator was allowed to retire.rr is that t? >> yes.el >> you mean tome that someone can engage in the conduct ms. rice just described and avoid all consequence whatsoever? >> per the federal regulations, yes. someone can retire or resign in lieu of being removed. >> brangham: we asked the u.s. forest service to talk with us on camera about this. i'm standing in front of their headquarters right now. they declined our requests. off-camera, a senior official said they have taken steps to addresthis problem. they've established a toll-free hotline where employees can file complaints, and later this year, they'll have mandatoi- harassment training for all employees. >> i would come home just covered in either soot or dirt from working and i really liked that parof it. >> brangham: abby bolt is a orttalion chief in california's
sequoia national ft. when s first got into firefighting 20 yes ago, she knew it was a tough and machoen ronment. she didn't complain about the pornography left on her truck seat, or the physical hazing. and later, as she rose through the ranks of the forest service, she saw other women speak up, and suffer for it. >> watching somebody that would file a complaint, or make a complaint, immediately became the problem. we have the term "that girl," or "those girls".ha >> bra "that girl." >> i don't want to be one of "those girls." i've introduced my plf that way ple before. i'm like, "hey, i'm abby. don't worry, i'm not one of those girls" or... >> brangham: one of those girlse being e who simply says, "that behavior is wrong, let's do something about it."ly >> exa i was trained that way. don't be one of those girls >> brangham: bolt says six years ago she had a harrowing experience where this culture of not-complaining came back to haunt her. in 2012, while she was fighting a fire in colorado along with multiple other agencies,
another firefighter, not from the forest service, raped r. >> it was in a hotel room, toward the end of the assignment and... i just don't think i can say the word, but... we know what sexually assaulted means, right?i ke up the next day covered in bruises. and i was just like, "this is not happening. i'm not this person. i'm not this girl." >> brangham: she got a rape kit and filed a police report, but she didn't end up pressingnd charges, a didn't report it to the forest service. >> i could just see this whole process going down, and the only person that was going to lose everythi gonna be me and my family. they were gonna-- i've seen how it goes down. the person that complains becomes the trash. >> brangham: this firefighter did report her attack, and soon felt like she was the problem.
she asked to remain anonymous, and for her voice to be changed, out of fr of retribution. her story began two years ago when she was working a fire in efntana and was raped by another forest service fhter. >> what turned into just a normal drinking night with a few buddies turns into basically m resulted in me being raped. i woke up and my barracks had been rummaged through, i had no clothes on, i had no sheets. i felt ashamed that been partying or been letting loose, like i had somehow brought this upon myself. w th how i initially felt. i really didn't want to go forward. i did not want to ll anybody. i didn't. i really didn't. i felt like it was going to be more problems. >> brangham: but s. did report her rapist was arrested and she believes fired by the forest service. she was satisfied at first, but
then, she was transferred immediately to a new forest. when i showed up to the new forest, they denied me any classes, any courses, any trainings. >> brangha when she complained and asked to go back, she says they tried to force her out.ll this wasithin a month of her rape. >> what they said was, "this n't the meeting i know that you were expecting, but we've had some complaints that you have had a vulgar language, showed innuendos, and been inappropriate." >> brangham: what do you think is going on there? >> i think that i was a problem. i think that my privacy was not protected, that my story was known. and that i was a problem because i was speaking out because i was telling about a sexual assault. that's exactly how i felt.ow that's i feel still. >> brangham: rather than be fired, she says she was advised to resign, that way she could take another position within the service, which she did. the forest service wouldn't talk
specifics about any particular woman's case, citing privacy concerns.ha last year, ma myers decided to report her supervisor's alleged groping. >> i wanted justice, but i wasn't in it forome personal vendetta. i don't want this to happen other women. and, i don't want him to do it in the fute. ns brangham: her complaint detailed severalnces of inappropriate physical contact. once he "rubb butt," another time it was her "inner thigh." another time he "grabbed breasts," put his hand between her legs and groped her. two months later, the forest service sent her a letter. >> it said, an investigation against allegations of misconduct was conducted, and we found that there was no misconduct. so then, it just feels like you're like screaming into a void, like, "this happened," and nobody hears that.
or, they hear it, and don't believe it at all.ng >> bm: her case was closed, and that supervisor continues to work for the forest service. despite that, she's going to work another season with the forest service, this time in washington. she says she had inquiriesrom several states, bunot oregon, ere she worked before. >> i'm on some oregon blacklisto the oregon mlacklist. it's very much a good old boys' culture. it's a man's world, in fire. or, they think it is. >> brangham: abby bolt says, completely separate from being raped, which, remember, she did not port, she's also enduredye ars of consistent bullying and harassment from her supervisors. she says it intensified afterge she filed nder discrimination complaint in 2014. recently, she's been gettings, anonymntimidating notes at work. one singled out that she was single-mother, another an
article insinuating she was a manipulator. when she officially complained, she was told "the investigation could not proceed as there wasso no accused pto interview." last october someone scrawled" quit" onto the window of her vehicle. bolt says the cumulative effect of all this bullying is wearing her down. >> i have sat in my truck, in never-- after the notes that were left, i couldn't get out of my truck. u i would puto the office and i just couldn't get out. i don't know. i felt so weak. you think you're crazy. i mean, i've really gone through a lot of this like, "i am crazy." because, i'm-- you have official le from all the way at t washington office level, telling you in documents, that none of it's-- they're either not going to look into it or they've denied your grievance, or, you spoke up and they said, "there's nothing to see here." and you start to feel nuts. >> brangham: bolt worriesow speaking outeans the retaliation is only going to get worse, but she wants other women to know they're noalone. >> there's so many women out
there that a so afraid. you know, i've talked to them and i've said, "you need to speak up." and i'll hear, "i'm so close to retirement abby, i can't." or"i've come this far." or, "i have to support my family owd i can't do that." if i lose my jobbut it helps make it a little bit better. i'm at the point where i stand up for what's right. and if that-- at this point if that's what it means, that's what it means. w night,ham: tomor we'll look more at the retaliation women in the forest service face when they speak out. for the pbs newshour, m william brangham in sequoia national forest. >> woodruff: that report was produced by lorna baldwin and emily carpeaux, and included extensive reporting by elizabeth flock and joshua barajas. online, you can read our expanded coverage of allegations of sexual misconduct and reprisals wiin the u.s. forest service. hear more womens' stories, see photos and video. that's at pbs.org/newshour.
>> woodruff: let's return to thd debateeaction around guns, and the calls for new action. many notable companies are jumping into the fray in a way they have not previously. in a moment, hari sreenivasan will have a conversation about that.on omics correspondent, paul solman begins our look with this update, part of our weekly series, "making sense." >> reporter: 17 students and educators were gunned down in parkland, florida, two weeks ago, and corporate america is responding. kroger announced today that its fred meyer stores will no longer sell firearms and ammunition to buyers under 21. joining walmart, which cims 130 million americans shoppers a month. walmart did stop selling high- powered rifles like the ar-15 in 2015, but said "this is done solely on customer demand."
yesterday, however, walmart announced that "in light of recent events," it is "also removing items resembling assault-style rifles" from its website: toy weapons, that is. the first company to restrict sales this week was dick's sporting goods, which not only raised the minimum age purchasing guns to 21, but announced an immediate halt to the sale of all assault-style rifles. c.e. edward stack told abc's "good morning america" that parkland was the tippi point. >> looking at those kids and those parents it moved us all untaginably and to think ab the loss that those kids and those parents had, we said we need to do something and we're taking these guns out of all of our stores permanently >> reporter: the retailer announcements come as other companies are trying to di fance themselvm the national rifle association. united airlines will no longer offer discounts to its members. nor will rental car agencies hertz and enterprise.
d r insurer metlife. and atlanta-basedelta airlines will discontinue reduced rates for n.r.a. members. that prompted georgia's lieutenant governor casey cagle to threaten retaliation. >> i'm tired of conservatives being kicked around on our values and it's me that we stand up and fight and show corporations that conservativeta values are imp. >> reporter: cagle presides over the georgia senate, which today passed a tax bill that includes elripping a long-standing jet fuel tax break for. as for the n.r.a., it has called the moves made by delta and others "a shameful display of political and civic cowardice. the loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single n.r.a. member from our mission to stand and defend the and some companies are maintaining their relationship with the n.r.a. fedex continues to offer shipping discounts to n.r.a. hembers though it says it disagrees with t n.r.a.'s
stance on assault weapons. this is economics correspondent paul solman for the pbs newshour. >> sreenivasan: this may be relatively uncharted territory when it comes to guns and ammunition. t there's a history of corporate america taking actions on other disive issues, with mixed results. nancy koehn tracks these kind of corporate actions and is watching the developments this week. she's a business historian atth harvard business school. and joins me now.sa soy, there have been several mass shootings companies could have taken a stand on. what's different now? >> i think we've reaed some kind of tipping point, preari, n terms of public opinion, public demand f action, a sen that the line has been crossed and something has to be done that's distinguished this moment from other moments afterat gre tragedies in these mass enootings. >> sasan: how much risk is it these companies are facing? are they doing economic
calculatio saying this is all the possible customers who are n.r.a. members i mightpset but there are more gun owners not n.r.a. members and more people who don't own guns? >> there is always an important element of calculation and making smart bets and thinking of alternative scenarios to any act of governance,nything a serious leader does, so i think that's a part of this but i don't think that's the entire story. i don't think mo of the companies, these men and women at the top of companies, are thinki t, i need to get n.r.a. i think this is about we need to change the rul engagement, and we need to pressure the most important representative group for gun owners into leading the responsible gun safety. i think this is about how do we begin some kind of chain of action that makes a positive difference. so the piece here is partly about calculation. it's partly about what will moyy
ems, my investors, my community, my consumers think, and then there is the piece that's simply about men and women who lead, wantingo take constructive action in something they do every day which is to try to move organizations toward a desired end. >> sreenivasan: you have the situation of a backlash inhe case of delta airlines in georgia and the tax breaks they could have gotten, this is a consequence of them taking a position. ta yes, it most cly, is and i suspect delta will not be the only large cporation that suffers some kind of backlash or negative consequences of that company taking a stand on this issue. but again, you know, gernance saul about tradeoffs and -- is all about tradeoffs or reaction in hethe end in face of something more positive. i think all the companies decided to weigh ion this. kick sporting goods nyso more
assault rifles sold and raising the age for gun owners. wal-mart follows within 24 hours. there's the aspect of leaders looking atnd others saying, they're willing to take the reat, i'm willing to take the heat, not only my organization, but a piece of this is also always about the leader's moral compass. >> sreenivasan: put this in historical perspective for us. on the one l hand, hg do consumers remember why they're boycotting something, and then you look at something liken divestmentuth africa that was slow but led to change. >> this is one of these answers that typically csumers boycott or retaliate against a brand or come back to it or have short attention spans. but we've seen, over time, this kind of action not only of consumers but activists, employers, bankers, investors
looking at their portfolios vis-a-vis gu manufacturers. thatart makes a difference over time. not in one fell swoop, but over time, great changes have happened from this kind of unorchestrated but -- and unorthodox action with business playing a role. >> sreenivasan: nancy koehn of harvard business school. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> woodruff: next, we turn to another installmenof our weekly brief but spectacular series where we ask people about their passions. tonight, we hear from stanford thompson, founder of "play on, philly!" he explains why access to music is crucial in the classroom. >> i grew up in a musical household in atlanta. d i have seven siblings. we all played music. my parents are both retired
music educators and we always had a rule in our house that yoo only athe days that you practiced my parents, they grew up at a they taught me and my siblings growing uphat we would have opportunities that they didn't. and if we took advantage of them, then we could see ourselves on a path to become a professional musicia i was able to study with musicians with the atlanta symphony orchestra and worked arreally hard for several to earn a spot at the curtis institute of music in philadelphia. i was able to play the staples of the orchestral and chamber music repertoire with worldre wned conductors and musicians just about every week. i went back to philadelphia in 2010 and founded play on philly, which now serves over 300 students every day after school for three hours. we work in under resourced neighborhoods, mainly in west philadelph.
and each student is able to access our program tuition free, and able to get access to get ndhigh quality instruments teachers on a daily basis. it might sound like that our aim is for these kids to become professional musicians. we really care most about them becoming really great people. our kids are still performing a letter grade aheadadn every ic subject. and we know it's because we teach them to expand their memory, to control inh to help them lengthen the amount of time that they can focus on something. eaese are skills that they the moment they begin to make music. take a violinist. they have to figure on their left hand where to put their finger to create a certain pitch. their right hand, of course, will then control how long they're able to hold that note. they alshave to look at the music and determine which note they are supposed to play, how loud, or maybe how fast or how slow. when you stimulate the brainr like that urs every single day, then that's what helps to o turn the closome of the
damage that is done because of the amount of stress they live with. and, of course, brain development that's important, especially for younger kids, to make sure that they can go back into a classroom, focus for a nger period of time, be able to memorize the information so they can go home ando the homework, and then recall it later at the end of the year on a on a standardized te. we all have the responsibility of providing the best instruments to the poorest kids. that we provide the best teachers to the most marginalized kids. and that we continue to provide the best musical opportunities for e most vulnerable kids. my name is stanford thompson and this is my brief but spectacular take on how music can create rmony and opportunity. >> woodruff: you can watch additional brief but spectacular episodes on our website,pb org/newshour/brief. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here
tomorrow evening with ma shields and david brooks. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. or >> major fundinghe pbs newshour has been provided by: >> consumer cellular understands that not everyone needs an unn.mited wireless p our u.s.-based customer service reps can help you choose a plan based on how much you use your phone, nothing more, nothing less. to learn more, go to consumercellular.tv >> supported by the rockefeller foundation. promoting the well-being of humanity around the world by building resilience and efclusive economies. more at rolerfoundation.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals.
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