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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  April 6, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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captioning sponsy newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judyoodruff. on the newshour tonight: the trump administration announces new sanctions against russia, while multaneously proposing new tariffs on chinese ports. then, inside isis. how the islamic state grp financed its brutal reign over vast areas of the middle east. plus, it's friday. mark shields and reihan salam idnsider escalating trade tensions, the prt's decision to send troops to the border, and much more. and, singer harry belafonte remembers his friend, dr. martin luther king, jr., 50 years after the assassination of the civil rights icon. >> if he were alive today, that means the course of history that has led us to where we are today would not be the history we would be having.
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if dr. king had lived, there would be no today as we know it. >> woodruff: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 1 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
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>> ts program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your vbs station frwers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: president tmp's agenda faces new challenges tonight, from china, to russia,o to h cabinet. on trade, the president, overnight, orderedhe u.s. trade representative to consider $100 bill tion in niffs on chinese goods. that is on top of recent levies steel and aluminum, and another $50 billion in proposed pealties. still, white house economic advisor larry kudlow counseled calm today in remarks to reporters. >> now, we're not running a trade war. if you read this thing, it's just a proposed idea, which will be vetted by the u.s. tradend representativehen open for public comment.
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nothing's been executed. i read about it. there's no "there"here yet. t, there will be. >> woodruff: separately, treasury secretary steven mnuchin acknowledged a trade war is possible, but he added,ut "we're absy willing to negotiate." the uncertainty sent major stock ridexes down more than 2%. the dow jones indu average lost 572 points to close at 23,932. the nasdaq fell 161 points, and the s&p 500 sank 58. nc another front, the trump administration ann new sanctions to punish russia. the targets are 24ussian government officials and tycoons. the white house blamed what it called russia's "malign activity" around the world. all this, as the president is pondering the fate of e.p.a. administrator scott pruitt, tonight. he is under fire over a low-cost condo rental, big pay raises for
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his aides and pricey travel. today, mr. trump tweeted that pruitt is "doing a great job but is totally under siege." later, white house press secretary sarah sanders echoed the support, but said an ethics review is ongoing. >> the president feels that the administrator has done a good job at e.p.a. he's restored it back to its original purpose of protecting the environment. he's gotten unnecessary regulations out of the way. we're continuing to review any of the concerns that we have. and i'll keep you posted on ifer s anything-- ( reporters crosstalk ) --if there's anything further on that frof:. >> woodrhis was also h.r. mcmaster's last day as nationalr security adv the president removed him, over pocy and personality differences. hundreds of staffers applauded mcmaer today, as he left the white houswith his wife. former u.n. ambassador john bolton replaces him on monday.
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and now to put the president's week in context, our white house correspondent yamiche alci mor is here wi yamiche, so first scott pruitt. where do things stand with him? the president contio defend him is. that right? >> that is rite. stcurrently scott pruitt il in his job, but the trump white house has shown that things can change really that president trump has said he's doing a fantastic job. the associated press reports today the two men t. scott pruitt met to lay out why he should keep his job. part of the reason why he and president trump say that he's doing a good job athe e.p.a. is because he's getting regulations, taking away regulation, he's changing environmental policy, and he's seen as someone who isul succesn his job. that said, the white house outside of president trump has been a litetl bit less laudatory. sarah sanders said today there is still an investigation into ott pruitt's behavior, and chief of staff john kelly according to sever reports has
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told president trump that he should fire scott pruitt, but the president is noking his advice right now. >> woodruff: in fact, that's been reported promin and a lot of comment on that, about hiether the relationship between the president an chief of staff. so yamiche, there were several other things going on today we reported. the administration announces these new sanctions against russiali ogarch. why are they doing this now? what is the overall stance thvey oward russia? >> well, the overall stance they have toward russia today is an all-out messaging platform. they wanted to really hammer home the point that they think that russia hin been engage troubling behavior. the day started with an 8:0m.0 hone call with senior administration officials telling me and other reporters that these sanctions against 24 russian offi of a number of activities, including unermining western democracies, but also carrying out cyber attacks. they then released a white house
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memo saying ruiosia's beh was both destabilizing and malicious. and then sarasanders went to the white house press briefing today, and she said that russia really needs the change its behavior. l this is happening a president trump continues to be criticized about how he talks about vladimir putin. but it's really important to point out the people that ared being sanctioe really close to vladimir putin. there are actual things that are ing on. there are some teeth behind this. >> woodruff: so in many ways a contrast with what we've seen before from the administration. finally, yamichethese tough words toward china on trade. the president late last night at the white house anouncing we aty'lr aking about imposing newo ta xeon.c s whati is go cihng on there, ao do you understand what the administration's posture is in >> the admintration's posture is that they want to get into this war of words with china, and neither country is backing down. as a resu, as you pointed out, the markets are really rattled.
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some of the places that were really hurt today were tech companies and banks, seeing their stocks fall. the other thing that's important here is that president trump rad on this that he wanted to be tough and he wanted to have these kind of trade conversations, but he's laid ouh that he alsinks that americans might feel a little pain. while stuceve n has said there might be a trade war and larry cud low is saying we don't really want, that today at the white house he alreadlaid out this slogan. i'm imagining white houseus officials migh, which is blame china, not trump. you can already kind of see tha on t-shirts. you can already see that in messaging. this is a white house that'sr gearing up f what might be explaining to americans on why they're paying mo mon. >> woodruff: meantime, financial markets rattleled because of mixed signals. >> there are a lot of mixedon signals goin but the thing that is pretty clear is that president trump seems to beery serious about the fact that he wants to have these tariffs.
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china is saying, if you do, that we're not going to back down. we're going to essentially have things against youand wee going to pass our own sorts of policies to hurt americans, and it's key to pnt out that me of the people that would be hurt, of course, as we've laid out on this shrow, are famers and soybean farmers and people who really backed trump and really had this idea that he wa, going in this new wave of america that was going to be prosperous. and what we're seeing now is it could be really destabilizing. >> woodruff: both economically and politically. yamie alcindor, thanks ver much. >> thanks. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, u.s. job growth slowed in march, due in part to late- winter storms. the labor department reported that employers added a net of 103,000 jobs, that's down sharply from february. the unemployment rate for march held steady at 4.1%, where it's been for six months. federal reserve chair jerome powell gave an upbeat appraisaly of the ecooday. he said the fed will continue
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gradually raising interest rates. the governor of arizona announced this evening that he's sending 150 national guard members to the u.s.-mexicobo er next week. that is in response to president trump's proclamation tvos week, ing california, arizona, new mexico and texas. the president says that he wants a total of 2,000 to 4,000 guard members to deploy. to the middle east, where fresh violence broke out along the gaza border todaoo and israeli shot dead nine palestinians. gazan heal officials said over 1,000 others were wounded. thick smoke billowed as palestinians burned tires to obstruct the vieof israeli snipers. the troopsesponded with live fire and water cannons. in all, at least 29 palestians have been killed in the last week. the militant group hamass organizing the protests. in south africa, former president jacob zuma made his first court appearance on
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corruption charges, and insisted that they are politically motivated. he is accused of fraud, racketeering and money laundering in an arms deal from the 1990s. the 75-year-old arrived at the packed courtroom in durban for a brief hearing. afterward, he rallied with supporters and proclaimed his innocence. >> ( translated ): it has now appeared to me that those that are in charge of the law, and politicians as well, and just as everyone has human rights, i'm singled out as not having any human rights. they talk about me whatever way. yuth be told, they are lu that people are no longer beaten. >> woodruff: zuma served asid prt for nearly nine years, and resigned under pressure in february.ha his triabeen adjourned until june. ntuth korea's former president park geun-hye was ced today to 24 years in prison, in a corruption scandal. a judge in seoul ruled that the 66-year-old park was guilty of charges ranging from briberyo extortion.
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he also fined her more than om6 million. park was driven ffice a year ago. dozens of other top governmentde and business l have been convicted in the same scandal. back in this countryfacebook has announced that peoe who run "issue" ads on the site will now have to confirm their identity and location. c.e.o. mark zuckerberg also endorsed legislation to make social media identify those who place ads for political candidates. zuckerberg is set to testify before congress next week, about recent disclosures of massive privacy breaches. republican congressman blake edfarenthold of texas resi suddenly today. it followed revelations that he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim. farenthold had already said he would not run for re-election. in a statement today, he said, know in my heart, it's time for me to move along." and, former democratic u.s. senator daniel akaka of hawaii died today.
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he was the first native hawaiiae elto congress, and served more than 30 years, first in the house and later in the senate. daniel akaka was 93 years old. still to come on the newshour: the white house targets russthn oligarchs weeping sanctions. investigating the tr hp business am presidency. inside the intricate bureaucracy ofsis. and, much more. >> woodruff: we return to the trump administration's latest sanctions against russ john yang has that. >> yang: judy, to explain ese new sanctions against 17 russian government officials and seven of russia's richest men, we turn to special correspondent ryan chilcote reporting from london. ryan, thanks for joining us. what makes these sanctions
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different from the sanctions i that are alrea place? >> well, these sanctions are very had-hitting, and in contrast to the sanctions we'veb seore, these go after somebi russialionaires specifically and exclusively for their ties or at least they appear to exclusively for their ties to president vladimir putin. so in the past theru tmp administration, the obama administration has sought to have a lnk between a specific event, whether it's the annexation of crime, yeah iwhether it wasghting in the eastern ukraine, and the individual they sanctioning. but in this case it's proximity to the kremlin. another change is that very early on we saw what they called sectoral sanctions. seconders of the russian ecom were sanctioned to put pressure on those seors, the oil industry. in this case, very targeted, going after people that at le in washington, d.c., they think te close to president putin.
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>> yang: some ofhese people are close to president putin. tell us about them. what are some of the names that jump off the list at you? a> well, the most interesting of the individuals has been sanctioned is worth about $7 billion. deripaska is well-known in the united states as having a business relationship with paul manafort. many people in the u.s. suspect that he may have acted as some nd of intermediary between the trump administration and the kremlin. he has denied that. d heinitely interesting. victor vekselr, anot interesting choice. he's in the oil industry. he's been behind the drive to diversify the russian economy a away from od gas. he's a huge fan of the united states. he's a big investor in silicon
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valley, and he's been trying to kind of help ruia with his money turn the corner from being a petro dollar state, if you will. so interesting that he has been targeted. again, of course, the idea is that he's somehow close to president putin. and finally, the third person i would point out out of the twoh dozen is former son-in-law of vladimir putin. i say former because sirill shamalov was married to one of vladimir putin's daughters, but he is now divorced. the treasury is saying he effectively benefited from that marriage, and because of that and the proximity to the russian president, he should be sanctioned. >> woodruff: >> brangham: how likely are these sanctions to succeed in changing vladimir putin's behavior? >> i don't think they're likely to succeed in changing his there was an interesting comme yesterday saying, oligarch
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sanctions? what oligarchs? we don't have oligarchs in russia. in one senset's laughable that he's making light to this, but there is some truth in what he's ying. there are no real oligarchs in the sense that there are people that can exercise power or influence o vladim putin. russian billionaires, russian olaarchs, if you want thell them, that they may enjoy their wealth at the pleasure of i president putiyou will, but they can't fours him to change his behavior. so the idea of putting sanctions on them and they get upset and go to president putin to say, you know, don't do x, i don't think that's going to work. >> brangham: on the ne hand you have these new sanctions. on the other you have president titrump calling vladimir to congratulate him on his election, talking about inviting the white house for a summit. what message is this sending ths russ >> in the kremlin they decided along time ago that president
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trump is politicalpotent, as the russian prime minister put it once. ethey believe all of t actions he's taking against russia are because he has to, because of political pressure that's being exerted on him. and they see that despite their hopes and their confidence in present trump, they see that the relationship is on a downward spiral, and that definitely is not something that they're very happy about. that said, they are hopeful that at some point, you know, politics is a crazy thi, maybe will have more power and he will be able to if not improve the relationshi stop its deterioration. >> brangham: special correspondent ryan chilcote fr thanks for joining us. >> pleasure. >> woodruff: next, william brangham examines a reporting project delving into the
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intersection of business, politics and influence in president trump's washington. forrangham: this is a fir the united states-- a president who also owns a vast business empire exploring this duality-- commander in chief and "chief executive"-- is the premise behind a new investigative effort called "trump inc." it's a collaboration involving the online investigative site propublica and new york public radio's wnyc.nt and, they our help as well. two of the journalists heading sois effort are wnyc's andrea bernstein, who is ne of the hosts of "trump inc.," the podcast, and eric umansky. he helps steer propublica's trump inc. coverage online. welcome to yst both. f our viewers are going to remember, when the president weymouth the president, he said, i'm going to tck away ifere
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are any profits i'm going to put them into the treasury. your entire effort seems to untangle the idea of whether or not that's actually has happened. tell us about that. >> the message was he wast going to be involved but that he was not going to separate himself. i think that's sort of the essence of what the problem is here. because his message was so confusing. he said, i could run my company and run the country at the same time. i have a no-conflict suation. and s attorney created the impression there was going to be a wall between the two. but, in fact, as we've been reporting in the podcast, thee e many ways in which there are interchanges between the presidency and th trump organization, and there is massive sense of con wfusion in whre trying to do is sort out what is happening in there tionship. >> and another thing we're trying to do is look at how many unanswered questions there are
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how many things we simply don't aow the answer to because the trump organizati the white house hasn't disclosed them. so who is the trump organization borrowing money from? m?o is the trump organization making money fr you can go on and on. who are their partners? these are fundamental questions about who quite literally has an interest in the trump organization or vice versa. >> just to gi example why this is so confusing. we have campaign finance laws. people know about that and understand, you should look to see who is contributing to a campaign to find out who is trying to influence somebody. well, right now the president has, for example, five actecive pr in india. and people are buying condos in india, and because in indians law, we don't know who those people are. many o them paid $40,000. the advertising was if they put down that money, they could have
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dinner with the president's son, who is also named donald trump. many people did that. we don't know who they are. people literally around the world are giving sizeable sum to the president's company at the same time he's making foreign policy and other decisions that not only affect the world, but also could affect his businesses around the world. >> bngham: let's talk about a specific feature, the megacasino in atlantic city, the former trump taj mahal. it is not shuttered, not nperating information. why was that ofrest to you? >> we're always hearing these questions about money lauannderg the mueller investigation and so forth. well, the trump taj mahal is a case where there ws allegations, there were record fines given by the federal government for lack ofntrol about money laundering, not once, but twice. in fact, at th trump taj mahal. they were warned and they were
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warned and they were warned. they eventually got hit with a $10 million fine.el that t you something not jst about the trump taj mahal itself, but really about the trump businesses and how they have worked an how they, you know, when they have been scrutinized often have been able to, yes, they got a record finey and then tept on operating. >> brangham: another one of the epodes you deal with touches on this question that a lot of people have had, which is why does the esident seem so reluctant to criticize russia for his entire year in offaice thus and as you drill into this, you explore something known as "alternative financingone possible answer. can you explain what that is? >> so this is the theorthat was articulated by glen simpson, who is the founder of fusion g.p.s. they investigated trump's businesses, first for repubd can rival en for the democratic rival of trump during the ca bpaign. angham: this is the
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genesis of the famous dossier. t exactly. we didn't look dossier. we looked at the fact-finding that led up to it and the the that is articulated is that what the president was doing with russia was notes inly building a tower in moscow, because we know that never happened, but he was being financed by russians in other ways that helped his business. so, for example, in panama, there were a number f russian buyers who bought condos ea ly on ahat enabled the trump organization to get a bond so they cou build it. if you looked at a number of his projects around the world in new york and elsewhere, this was a big way thhe got financing. so it's sort of a clue as to what mueller might be looking for and a clue to the kinds business dealings that president trump may have had with the russians when he was licensing his name to build real estate around the world.
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>> we also know the trump organization began to spend a lot of money on things where e 's far from clear whe money came from. it doesn't mean it came frofam ous places, but we don't know. they had an enormous infusion of cash around their golf courses, golf courses in scotland and elsewhere. where did that money come from? we don't know. >>rangham: lastly, one of your more recent episodes, you gave some homework to your audience out there. you're asking them to help you unpack i believe it's 2,7rd00 reyou have about the political appointees who are now within the a trudministration. what are you looking for, ? wht are you interested in? >> so propublica for the past year has been putting together and gathering and requesting records about all of the appointees that trump has made.n by the way, some of it is as basic as who are the app these are many more than senate-confirmed appointees. do they own companies?
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what chance are they involved in? have they previously been lobbyists? are thereos dises around that? it's an enormous amount of information. we want people to help us. we have put what we called reporting recipe online, how you can -- any viewer or listener can go, dig into the documents themselves, and it's not magic. it's not that hard. it can be enormously helpful. >> brangham: we can find all that on trump inc. on umansky, and andrea bernstein, thank youing foing here. >> thank you for having us. >> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: mark shields and reihan salam take on this week's news. and, harry belafonte remembers his friend, martin luther king, jr. and now,e'd like to introduce
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a new correspondent here at the newshour, amna nawaz. amna, welcome. >> thank you so much, judy. it is great to be here. >> woodruff: we have so glad to have you. tonight you have a story about a recently discovered trove of documents that give us newin ght into what life was likeis unde. tntrol back in 2014. now, by late 201se isis forces were driven out after months of fighting, a bombing campaign, and block-by- block battles. e t they left behind evide how they controlled the city and their would-be caliphate. this came in the form of thousands of documents,yt detailing evng from how residents were punished, to how taxes were levied. the story comes to us from rukmini callimachi, a reporter with the "new york times." and i asked her earlier what these documents reveal about how isis controlled so much land, and so many people, for so long.
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>> i think the biggest revelation you see in these documents is it helps us answer the question of the group's longevity, why did they stay in power for so long. e think our listeners hav probably heard of the theory that isis was financed by black maet oil sales. s black market oil salere a part of isis' spreadsheet, but the documents i recovered showed that they relied overwhelmingly on things tht could not be bombed. the people under their control tho were being taxed, e commerce that those peo generated, which was also taxed, and the dirt under their feet. agrilture was actually an enormously important source ofnc fig for isis. the spread sheets that i recovered included the dailyee gross revenue for the islamic state, and it showed that weeks and weeks after the start of the military operationm to take basul, the group was making literally millions off of this like thsale of flour, the sale of barley and wheat, sheep milk, the most boring things possible, which
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are of course the very thgs that you cannot bomb. there's no clear way to bomb a barley field or a flock of sheep without completely ruining the landscape of northern iraq. >> reporter: you spent over a year searching for these documents. tell me a little bit more about how and where you found thm. >> we found the first big batch of documents in december 01 and i did a total of five trips to mosul. we ended up finding records in 11 cities, towns, and villages. and the thing that we learlrned on was that we were essentially in competition with intelligence agncies who were also trying to find these records. we didn't have almost any luck searching the major isis headquarters, the headquarters of the military bases or of their major offices. we learned to stay off the beaten track, and, for example, the first batch of documents that we got was in a tiny village called omr khan located southeast of mosul. it's a place where security
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forces had gone throu very rapidly. so i think they hadn't properly searched it. we wento a building that villagers had identified as one of the opinion industries of. is inside the actual building we found nothing. on the way out i stopped at what i thought was an out house w befowere allowed to get into the car. it was in this out house, which was not out house, tht we found hundreds and hundreds of documents. >> i want to ask you about one specific story you highlighted in. there it's the story of a man who is an agriculture department employee. there he basically signed f on isis orders to seize land from targeted groups. i'm curious what you heard on the ground there about why people in mosul decided to stay and basically help facilitate the isis regime. >> so isis, as you know, is a sunni group. they are 100% sunni. so as soon as they to over th area, christians, shias, yezidis
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fled immediately. what the people told me is that they stayed for a ht of reasons. they wanted to protect their families. they wanted to protect their home, which they knew would be seized if they left. and it wasn't immediately clear to what extent they would become icllaborators with the isl state. what isis did is soon after taking the city of mosul, they nounced on the loudspeakers of mosques that civil servants needed to back the work, and as a result, basically the entire public servant core went back to work. so they kept the city going as they would have if they wer working for the iraqi government. buis used the know-how of the iraqi government tld its own state. it built its state on the back of the one that came before. >> reporter: from the people you spoke with there, is there any concern that after the city has been leveled and all the fighting, the seeds ofas discontenteen sewn, are they concerned that isis could come back? >> absolutely. you are seeing this even in the very first days of the
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liberation. isis cel a remain in tha. you hear of suicide bombings routinely or people being kidnapped or altercations. and deadly clashes with police. the same grievances that allowed this group the take hold in the first place are still very much present. people complain of the corruption, of the iraqi state, of not being given a fir shake unless they have what is calle connections to people in power. so all of that remae s. and ing that was actually the most frightening i think to read in these documents and to see through interviews that i did with people is h good isis was atoverning. we don't often talk about. this but the streets werecl ner under isis than under the iraqi government. the sewers wereess likely t overflow. this is what people told us. and the fact that the iraqi state cannot take care of those basic things is the kind of thing that festers. and it causes people to show
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sympathy f this group. >> reporter: rukmini callimachi, thank you for your time. >> thank yo >> woodruff: from calling for a national guard presence at the u.s.-mexicanorder, to floating the withdrawal of u.s. troops from syria, the president's announcements this week raised more questions than answers. that brings us to the analysis of shields and salam. that is syndicated columnistel mark s, and "national review" executive editor, reihan salam.ih , welcome to the program. and, mark, you are more than indicated, you're syndicated. >> thank you. part of the syndicate. >> woodruff: so let's start, ming from the top of thesht, and ad the president putting out the word. the white house late last night saying they were looking
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serisly at mortaxes, more tariffs on china. and thenhe prsident's chief economic adviser larry cud low saying today, well,, no, no we're still in negotiation.o what are weake of this? the president clearly wants toe send srt of signal to china. >> no question about it, judy, and he has. i think it'fair to say. larry kudlow is an interestingse i first ran into him working on the anti-war campaign of senator jean mccarthy, then worked for edmund muske then he worked for reagan, and now he' whaver donald trump, is and one can't be absolutely sure. i think his time is short because 's been casat the interpreter of donald trump, and donalderump senses himself t world's greatest communicator, and he doesn't need an interpreter. but that having been said, i think it's fair to say that china in the shoert run, in t long run, they're in tougher shape on this than we are,
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because we're a bigger share of their market. but in the short run, which iswe wherll live, especially in a november election and the reyblican majority hanging thread, i think the prsure will mount on donald trump politically from his own base. these are red states particularly being felt with the soybeans and the retaliation by the chinese. so i think that's where t is politically. i mean, if you're a republicanup or reelection this year, and at this point, more republicans rr aha etth year since 1930, which was the middle of the depression, which tells you something about how they see ito want to talk about tax cuts. that's what you want to talk about. you don't want to talk out trade and immigration and borders quite fra and i think that's where the president's returned. >> woodruf reihan, how do you see the calculus?
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>> i disagre mark raises a very good point where he says the chinese have been shrewd. they are targeting the farm constituents, republican constituents, but there is the fact that donald trump presented himself as a differentind of republican. he's a third ca a party candidate running under the repubbanner, and protectionism is ultimately popular with many people. when you talk abo the neative impacts here, the thing is that y totimes we have a tende overstate them, because a lot of the negative impact is borne by companies that have relied one pply chains, but the thing is ovrall think back to the soviets. a lot of farmers said this wil hurt me, but ultimately i support the policy. you might have people say, s, china, they engage in a lot of trade abuses and this is somethinwhere they need to clamp down. so that's why i think that, asa opposed tocuts which are a classically orthodox republican thing to do, here donald trump left to his own devices is
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trying to do soething a bit different that might be appealing to people who other wooz >> woodruff: you don't see mixed signals coming from the administration or do you? >> iel absolsee mixed signals. part of this could be the sainess of, this is mypening bid, and i try to get something halfway,ut there are definitely mixed signals. >> i respectfully disagree in the sense if you wato go back to the grain embargo, you ask democrats who lost their seats at that time under jimmy carter. i do think quite bluntly that dolld trump is paying presidential politics, and he's keeping his promise. he's talking about his constituents. that'shy he returns to tariffs. that's why he returns to the border and dsthe hof rapists descending upon us, quite contrary the fact and reality. but i don't think, judy, that this is helping rhublicans are increasingly discouraging
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situation and condition heading into november 2018. mentioned the border. i do want to ask about that, reihan, because the presidem, ash the e 24-hour period he said we want to bring the u.s. troops home right away from syria, he said, we need to snd u.s. troops to the border. now that later turned out to be the natial guard, but the president is saying 2,000 to 4,000. but we find out later when he's making these statement, the administration wasn't prepared. the pentagonreasn't preto explain what was going on with the troops in syria. they say there are nolans as far as they know to bring them home immediately so what is the president trying to accomplish? >> well, one way to think about it is that every president has set of ideas and commitments, and then they winding up beingst pretty frted. by the time you get into your administration, you recognize the limits of your authority. that can be very difficult. you look at barack obama, for llexample. he rran as an anti-war candidate. he came into office and found, gosh, thnational security
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establishment has a very different position to me, and ncredibleng this pressure, this responsibility that's weighing on me, and then you wind up taking positions tthat are not necessari ones that are your first instinct. donald trump, however, he's taking this diffeact where he's actually negotiating in public. so he may well get these arguments from folks who want to take a more rtrained, cautious approach, but then when he makes these statements in public, then it actually foces folks into his administration who might want to push against those tendencies to align with him to the extblt pos and that is kind of negotiated with his own administration, happening in public. s >> woodrufo he's trying the move the bureaucracy, mark? what do you think? >> i'm not sure. ife were, i think he would invest time trying to persuade rather than bombastical make these pronouncements. i'm going to sign the bill, the ending bill.
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i'm not going to cyber it. oh, i did sign it. jeff sessions has gone. jeff sessions is still here. i think that unpredictability cabe an asset in international relations to keep your adversaries off balance. uncertainty and anxiety are knotty in any administration, whether it's republican or democratt because whatasically means is that people are uncertain about their ownosition, their own longevity, and their relationship with each other. and i think it's just pernicious over a period of time. >> woodruff: is there a danger of too much uncertainty? >> i think there is a lot of danger of uncertainty. there is another way to look at si, though. with a lot of prnts you eventually have a divorce with base out of that sense that this person has gone native, let's say. this person made a series of promises andd commitment, a donald trump is particularly vulnerable to that, because he is the candidate of authenticity. he is the caidate who gained
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this enormous following because the sense that he was genuinein anhe like other conventional politicians. but conventional politicians are conventional politicians because that kind of discipline and careful planning and not letting things blow up in your face works, right? but he senses that vulnerability and he's speaking to it at a time when there isn't much of a republican agenda in congress. so then when the deck is cleared, and he gets to fill that vacuum with his own instincts. >> there is no republican agenda. that's it. that's one of the progoing forward. what your going the fight about is cabinet confirmation, and this is like that. i woodruff: you bring up the cabinet. nt to ask you both about scott pruitt, the environmental protection agency adminhetrator. mark in some hot water, some questions about some ethical decisions he's made. the president has said both he's doing a fantastic job, and the press secretary at the white house says they're considering carefully, they're doing an ethical reiew. what is on? >> an ethical review could take
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a while, judy.s thisn with illusions if not delusions of grandeur. i mean, gina mccarthy, his predecessor at e.p.a. goby with a driver. he wants a three-car cavalcade wherever he es. he wants sirens blaring to get through traffic. he got deal that scott pruitt, ouldhoma state official, not get, and this is a $50 a night bedroomand toal access to the home on capitol hill in a nice town house. only paid $50 when, in fact, you sleep theral not a bad dor a mortgage if you can get that possibly. so i really dohink that this is man, whether it's looking at $70,000 desks, flying frst class, checking out $100,000 a month charters for aircraft, i think this is man who has gob to the swamp. he's creature of the swmp at this point. >> woodruff: reihan, we eearned in reporting that the chief of staff at hite
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house has urged the president to fire scott pruitt, but the president so far disagrees. >> well, i'll make two tt pruitt.ns about s the first is that this is someone who really is a political talent,nd my sense is that regardless of the outcome of what happens here, we have not heard the lasfrom him. he's enormously charismatic and he's very effective. with regard to these etca considerations, the truth is we don't know the whole story yet. we'll find out, but one thng i can say is that many senior officials in the trump administration really have faced security concerns that their predecessors haven't. scott pruitt hahad to cancel various public events because of security concerns. so some of the concerns about having a cavalcade and what have you, this is stuff that's absolutely embarra wing, but i t to give him the benefit of the doubt to gauge how much of this rlecteds legitimate concerns. >> the one reference to security
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that i've seen documented was that somebody shouted out to him on an airplane about his policies. i mean, it was not -- >> there have been eve canceled out of security concerns. this is not the kind of thing we necessarily are keen to tal about publicly, but it's the kind of thing where i don't know the whole story, so i'm wilstng to sughere is something else there. >> woodruff: i want to end on a different note.t we've only gbout a minute, a little more than a member. but mark, this week we mark 50 years since the assassination of dr. martin luther king. we spent a lot of this week talking about his legac if you were here during the civil rigs movement, lived through it, watched it, what are you thinking >> well, 50 years ago this monday, judy, i was in ebenezer baptist church. there's a church where ding c king's funeral was held. richard nixon, robert kennedy, hubert humphrey, jaclyn kendy, chuck percy, nelson rockefeller, jean mccary.
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but we what struck me most of all is the crowd ofpl0,00us march from there to morehouse college where he waso be laid to rest on a very hot day, rocked by the city hall of atlanta and the statehouse. the statehouse was less dramatic with harmed guards with rifles and the city hall, the city too busy to hate. it was draped many black crpe. so i said, what a remarkable man that he had this reaction an this legacy. >> woodruff: just in a few >> there are millions of americans, myself among them, whose lives wouldn't be nearly as rich and full and complete and full of opportunity as they are without martin luther king, jr., so we all owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. >> noquestion out it. reihan salam, mark shields, thank you both very much. >> thank you
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>> woodruff: and finally, as we mark the 50th anniversary of dr. martin luther king, jr.'s assaination, special rrespondent charlayne hunter- gault sat down with one of his closest friends, artist and activist harry belafonte, in his home. charlayne began by asking mr. belafonte how he first met dr. king, some 65 years ago. >> he was coming to new york to speak to the ecumenical community at the baptist church. a young black artist on the rise, i began the make a bit of noise on my own terms. i began the violate the codes of racial separation. i understood e evils of racism i was 26. i lismtened to hi.
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i was just absstolutelck with the way in which he presented his case to the black community, condemning them to bo noe engaged in the social destiny of black people. >> really? >> yeah. >> that must have gone over big. >> it was over very big. be that was very big. what do you remthe most about him? >> his intellect. i didn't quite understand how man just 23 yrars old aleady with a ph.d. from the university could put togethe this view of black life in a way that was most contentious ad most rebellious agnst the system. i would love to meet you. we were in the basement of thech
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baptisch. he sat at the table after he had spoken to religious lea wders, d th the beginning of our relationship. what he said took almost four hours. >> oh, my. what made him such a spcial person you think? >> divine intervention. i think the path he set for himself became most antagist to many members of the black church, his father included.i daddy kingn't like making all this trouble with white folks. >> reporter: is that right?e >>h. and martin, knowingt that would be somewhat challenging to his father, stepped up anyway i and saie got to do this. he was very concerned that in choosing him to be the leader of the movement, he might be leing people into hars way.
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he said, i'm not cut out for thw . i don't knat to do. >> so he had his dous? >> oh, he had doubts as to his qualifations. he was willing to be patient. he was willing to take on the responsibility because he had a vision eventually for what he thought he might be able to achieve. he wasn't too sure about it. it was very mucoh in clict of what that might lead to. >> reporter: and he also had icmily at that time. did he have con there about being away from them so much? >> he did not understand how daunting all of this had become. he really was thinking it would be a year or two to strisghten out hing of riding on the bus and segregation laws and b that coudealt with in
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short order if there was enugh power behind his leadership. t when we got into it, it turned out to be much more than that, because once he got into the idin of endg segregation, he then had to talk abouty. pove he then had to talk about housing in the south. martin luther king went down and established a relationship with the garbage worker but then found out that their plight was part of a much bigger canvas and he had to taghke on the pof all poor people. >> reporter: black or white or any color. >> black ore, whnybody call up in then just economic system. >> reporter: now in his "to the mountaintop" speec which was his last -- >> and i've seeno the prmise land. >> reporter: he spoke then, that was 1968, of how the natn was sick. he said trouble in the land,l confusion around, and yet he
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remained hopeful because he said at that time, only when it ish dark enocan we see the stars. what enabled him to stay hopeful and you, too? >> his moral sense of justice. he really felt that what he was doing was morally correct. >> reporter: what do you thinkwo he would bing on today? >> the impact if he had lived, his impact on universal orer, his impact on the globe, his impact on the world has taken on such a humongous power that we was shaping human >> reporter: because he said, you are all wrapped in a single .garment of desti >> exactly. there's no way out of this. you all can do what you want to do, but i'm going to have to wrestle with the fact that you have to deal with it >> reporter: what do you thi it would take today to make his
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dream of the beloved community a reality? >> until white america decides to identify a moral course of history, i don't think anything is going to happen.e i think ca will self-destruct. >> reporter: the civil rights movement was black and white together. >>eah. >> reporter: that's not the case anymore? >> that's the case, but it's not the fact. the case is that we have to fix it, the fact is that it's not fixable if white folks don't decide to change their course of conduct. is it lynched? is it murdered? as you look around, never before in my9 1 years of history as an american have i ever seen the nation more racially divisive than it is at this very moment,d ing the days of the ku klux klan and the segregation laws of the south.
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>> reporter: do you have any hope from the young people who have now after the tragedy in florida who have taken to thest ets and taken to the capital and arsaying that they're going to continue, do you get any hope for them? >> yes, i get great hope for them. get great hopfrom young people. there are young people in the forefront. 24 is a young person. hei not a kd, but all around him were these young men who were 18 and 19 and 20. >> reporter: so it may be a moment of passing the baton? are you ready for that? >> yes.e we've ready for it. >> reporter: well, harry belafonte, thank you for joining us. >> well, what are you going to do with the baton? >> reporter: good qustion. >> woodruff: harry belafonte saying he was shping human history of martin luther king, jr.
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and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. nve a great weekend. thank you and goight. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, french, german, italian, and more. babbel's ten to 15 minute lessons are available as an app, or online. more information on >> financial services firm raymond james. >> bnsf railway. >> consumer llular. >> entertainment studios. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems--
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tukufu: we're the history detectives, and we're going to investigate some untold stories from america's past. this week, does this all-american tape player have a secret linkan to hitler's ge wes: s this mailbag once owned by a legendof the american west? elyse: and did this mysterious box once hide an illegal birth-control device from the 19th century? elvis costelloe ♪ watchin' thtectives ♪ i get so angry wh the teardrops start ♪ ♪ but he can't be wounded 'cause he's got no heart ♪