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tv   Washington Week  PBS  July 9, 2021 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT

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not send anoer generation of war in afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome. yamiche: president biden defends withdrawing u.s. troops from afghanistan but he faces accusations he's leaving the country as it teeters on the edge of clams. and haiti's president is assassinated. what role will the u.s. play as the island nation falls deeper into crisis? meanwhile, more cyberhacks with alleged links to russia. plus, six months after the capitol attack, former president trump sues social media companies for blocking access to his accounts, next. ♪
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announcer:this is "washington week." corporate funding is provided by -- >> for 20 -- 25 years, consumer cellular's goal has been to provide wireless service that helps people communicate and connect. our u.s. service team can help find a plan that fits you. visit consumer to learn more. announcer: additional funding provided by -- the estate of arnold adams. koo and patricia yuen through the yuen foundation. committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities and sandra and carle delay magnusson. and contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. once again, from washington, mad
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rator yamiche alcindor. yamiche: good evenin it's been 20 years since u.s. troops enter afghanistan in the wake to have september 11 attacks in 2001. thursday president biden announced a complete withdrawal of u.s. forces by august 31. the move will end america's longest war. here's president biden explaining the mission there. president biden: the united states did what we went to do in afghanistan, to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and to deliver justice to osama bin laden. we achievedhose objectives. that's why we went. we did not go to afghanistan to nation build. yamiche: but for serious concerns about what wall happen. republican senator lindsey graham criticized the move and tweeted that he fears, it will be president biden's "biggest mistake yet." in just one of the many foreign policy issues facing president
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biden. president of haiti, jovenel moise was asass nated in his home. >> this is a threat on the democracy of our region so it's very important for all of us to consider how we can work together and to make sure that those things do not repeat. yamiche: pressure is building on one key question, is the u.s. doing enough to help the island nation? meanwhile, in recent days, another ransom wear attack hit american companies and the republican national committee confirmed that air i.t. provider was attacked by hackers, believed to brussian. perspective bidenaid the u.s. will act against the hackers if russia does not. and this week marks the sixth
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-months anniversary on the attack on the u.s. capitol. joining us are miami herald and caribbean reporter jacqueline charles. joining is us from haiti, and in studio, dan balz, chief correspondent for the "washington post." leigh ann caldwell, capitol hill correspondent forn news and weijia jiang, cbs correspondent for cbs news. weijia, talk to us about the decision to pull out of afghanistan. president biden has been out forcibly defendingis position. weijia: right, that's what happened yesterday. the real news is that his deadline moved up from what he initially set for september 11 and now plans to get all the troops out b the end of august. this was an opportunity to explain why and he made clear that from the beginning the u.s. was out for, one, hunting down
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osama bin laden and two, eliminating al qaeda's threat to the home lan he said both were accomplished and therefore it is time to pull out. he got a lot of questions about the civil war that looks like is already unfolding and about the fall of the afghan government and whether the u.s. would bare any responsibilities for the chaos likely to erupted and he said no. because we've done our part, not only for those two things but also equipping and training the afghan forces that he said had the capacity to defend themselves. his own intelligence communities assessed that it was likely that kabul would fall, maybe in the next six months and i asked him about that and he rejected that assessment. i don't know if he meant that the content was wrong or that that assessment was wrong but we widely reported along with other outlets that that is what they
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found was likely going to happen. but even if that were the case, he's made clear his priority is national security, national interests and he believes this is absolutely the right move. yamiche: he rejected the idea that this was going to be the responsibility of the u.s. to nation build and also rejected any sort of the comparisons of etnam when i questioned him about that. dan, he is the fourth commander in chief to oversee this war in afghanistan. talk abo what you see and what it says about bideen and his foreign policy agenda. dan: there is a line of consistency about what president biden has thought about this for many, many years. during the early stages of the o bama administration, when they did a major evaluation and there was a request for a significant increase in troops which they ultimately did, joe biden as vice president argued against
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that. so what he is doing now is fulfill is ideas that he had pursued jemplet he's right that the initial goals were, as he said, to get osama bin laden and to try to make it impossible or less possible for afghanistan to become a breeding ground for terrorists but as with all of these missions, the role of the united states expanded and we wanted to do other things beyond training the afghan military forces. we wanted to bring general stability to the country, if possible, which no outside country has been ever really been able to do there. we wanted to do something to make it a better life for women and girls -- girls in afghanistan, who now face a setback if the taliban really do take over. those were things that we're not -- now walking away from and there will be consequences but he's made clear he's prepared to accept those consequences.
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yamiche: dan was clear and the if the has been clear, he is willing to accept the consequences of this decision. we pointed out lindsey graham, who's been critical of a number of things. what are you hearing on capitol hill? leigh ann: and senator graham was also critical when president trump was talking about removing forces from afghanistan as well. but also senate motor leader mitch mcconnell put out a scathing statement a couple of weeks ago criticizing this plan and republicans are prepared to ma president bind own this decision. this was a decision that a president was going to have to make at some point. his predecessors were unwilling to do it and now that president biden has done it, republicans are going to sound the alarm and this is not a story that's going to end today. this is a story that's going to develop defending on what happens in afghanistan moving forward and this is something that could have big political
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consequences, perhaps, for president biden, even though the american people at this point are supportive of it. yamiche: and talking about a story that's going to continue, we turn to haiti and the assassination of the plt, from jovenel moise. on wednesday, i questioned president biden about the situation. what's your reaction to th haiti president being assassinated? president biden: we need a lot more information but it's very worrisome. yamiche: jackie, you're the best reporter on hatey in the world. so happy that you could join us. what's the latest on the assassination of the president and two american citizensnd do the haitian people believe the government's version of events? jacqueline: we don't really know what the haitian version of events are. we're not getting a lot of
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information. last night they announced there were 28 in all, two of whom were haitian americans but we don't know how they gained access to the president's home and yet could not find their way out of the neighborhood. there were 17 arrests. 15 of whom were colombians and they were -- by the population. when i returned to my hotel last night, there were two additional arrests that were made and it was the population that went and grabbed these people and turned them over to the police. yamiche: the crowds gathering and attacking people and attack -- taking them into custody. it's tan extraordinary situation. the late president have had been facing calls to step down. what are you hearing about what the people in haiti want for their government and what does your reporting tell you about
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what might happen next? jacqueline: we have two duly prime ministers. the one who had resigned and who the president, for lack of a better word, fired. thavers president guiseppo. who has not yet been sworn in and then today, just now, the president of the senate, which is the only legal constitutiona institution that exists today is 10 people instead of 340 because the terms ended. they voted to name joseph their provisional president. so who will be in charge of this country next week? that is the question and we don't know. haitians don't believe in democracy anymore, they don't believe th politicians. they just wants to be able to live, eat, feel secure. they feel violated. this whole idea that foreigners came in and did this, they're still tryingo grapple with.
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yamiche: and haitians and haitian americans have been very critical of the biden administration's policies toward haiti. some saying he's continuesing the policies of former president trump but the u.s. is sendsing a delegation, including f.b.i. officials. what roam do people in haiti want to see the u.s. play here and how might president biden respond? jacqueli: i think one by sending in the f.b.i. they're hoping to get some answers. again, was this an inside job? how'd these people gets that close? there's been a lot of criticism of president biden to pay more attention to haiti and not do what his predecessor did, which was sort of ignore it. haiti has a lot of needs, the biggest of which is probably the security issue. pouring money into the haitian national police is not going to get it. the u.s. has to figure out where
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the middle ground is. they've gone from sort of overreaching with haiti to ignoring it over the last few years so they have to find that middle ground where people feel they're being listened to and they can come up with a policy that addresses people in haiti and also addresses u.s. interests. yamiche: jackie, thank you so much. we're going to connue to follow the story. thank you so much for your reporting and joining us tonight. and dan, i want to now turn to you. talk to me about what shift we might see in the u.s. policy here and what options president biden has in front of him? dan: the options are not particularly good. the united states has had a long involvement in haiti. we ohm -- occupied the country for 20 years back in the early part of the 20th century. we happened military forces there in the late 1990's, trying to create stability and democracy. we sent enormous hospitals of
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aid after the terrible earthquake in 2010, i think it was. instability has been the rule, not the exception in haiti and the united states' role has been to try to bring some stability to it. they've asked for u.s. military forces to come in and try to help at this moment. it seems unlikely that we would do that. given that we're trying to pull out of afghanistan. there will be diplomatic support, aid, rhetorical support but this is a very stuff tough country to try to bring stability to. yamiche: russia is another big foreign policy story playing out. weijia, what's your reporting telling you about where the president is seeing things going? weijia: the president had a phone talk with president putzen this morning. afterwards he said he was
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optimistic. he reiterated the message he delivered three weeks ago. i know you were there in geneva talkingbout how it's putin's responsibility to crack down on these ransom wear attacks even if they're not carried out by state actors, as long as they're on his soil. and then the kremlin said even though putin noted russia's willingness to curb theismannfest tations, they're claiming that no inquire ryes on these issues have been received from the u.s. in the past month. of course, that is very different from what the president just said along with other officials if the administration who pushed back immediately and said that's not true. in fact, the president today sent ooment warning so what happens now is the retall occasion -- retaliation, the response, and sources told us that in the next days or weeks there will be action against russia.
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some that we will see and some we won't but the burning question is what it will take to actually stop vladimir putin. even though he's denied any responsibility, he has the power to stop these people carrying out the attacks in russia and so far hi hasn't used it. yamiche: i also want to go to the fact that tuesday marks six months since then-plt donald trump supporters and right wing militants attacked the u.s. capitol. house speaker nancy pelosi is putting together a special commeem to look into the siege. what do we know? what are the next steps here? leigh ann: everyone is waiting on what g.o.p. leader kevin mccarthy is going to do. he's allowed five seats on this committee. speaker pelosi has appointed her eight members. one of them is including representative liz chaney, a
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republican. and mccarthy has not said if he's going to appoint republican meers to this committee but our sources on capitol hill are telling us that he is, in fact, going to do so and he is currently talking to his members to determine who he is going to appoint. so who he aappoints will set the direction and tone of the committee. he has a wide swath of republicans in his conference that range from january 6 deniers all the way to republicans who voted to impeach the former president because of january 6. so whatever he chooses is going to be heavily scrutinized. is he going to take this seriously or is he going to make a mockery of it? and my sense is that it's probably going to be somewhere in the middle, he's going to have a mix of members. because representative, for example from, rodney davis, the head of the house administration committee, he's someone who
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voted in favor of creating the january 6th commission. he told me this week that republicans were so fearful of the january 6 commission becoming political and bleeding into the election year next year -- what they're now getting is their worst nightmare. this is a very political committee that is going to do investigations but is going to be controlled by democrats and republicans are going to have to figure out how they're going to deal with it. yamiche: and i have to and you about something else at the capitol. it's sorts of head spinning when i read this headline. it is is the capital police who saved lawmakers' lives are rung out of money. there's a supplemental funding bill that has stalled in the senate. explain what is going on. leigh ann: i know. the fencing around the capital is starting to come down as we speak. this has been the most visual portion of what happened january
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6. that fencing is coming down, which i also need to say that talking to rank and file capitol police officers, they're not very happy about it. they're still worried about the security threats but the decision was made. meanwhile, there is a funding gap for salaries of police officers. the houfplgs passed a navenlg funding bill about a month ago to accommodate all the increased needs of capitol police including all the overtime, equipment, etc., etc. well, capitol police are now running out of money for skal rills and could run out by mid august and would have to furlough people. the reason is because that bilal is stuck in the senate. there are some republicans who have said in the past that they don't think additional money is necessary so there is some political wrangling but this publycyization of the fact they could run out of money is also a
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prudent political ploy to put pressure on the senate to act. yamiche: dan, former president trump sued these tech companies because he's been blocked from the access to his account. what do you make of this law lawsuit? is it a distraction and how important sit for former president trump to continue to falsely claim that the election was rigged? dan: let's start with the lawsuit. we know from his history that he's an incredibly litigious person. he likes the idea of filing lawsuits and he does them often for reasons of publicity or distraction and i think that falls into this category. every legal expert who has looked at this says it's a frivolous lawsuit, that the grounds of the argument are that facebook and twitter and social media platforms are, in a skenls, part of the government and therefore they can't affect his first amendment rights.
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they're. no part of the government. they're private institutions. private companies so that argument will fall apart. there is a debate about what you about these expense in terms of regular lailting them but that's a separate issue in terms of what he's done. as far as continuing to push the idea that this was a stolen, rigged election, it's simply continuing to put fuel on top of this fire within the base of the trump support and to try to keep that stirruped up as a way both to keep him prominent, to disrupt his party in any ways he can and to keep focus on the democrats. and i think -- it's interesting, i think more republicans are trying to walk away from that in quiet ways than perhaps at the beginning. yamiche: i want to turn to voting rights. president biden met with civil rights leaders. what the white house strategy? we're seeing .comleaders
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passesing hundreds of laws to restrict voting. >> we know that president biden is going to philadelphia on tuesday to make a big speech, according to white house officials, about voting rights and about the need to protect them, especially as they're seeing so many of what you just mentioned, laws being changed around the country. and so we think that it is just the start of a series of speeches, as he's indicated before, that he will make but there's really little that he can do at this point from his view. he has to continue to try to push for those lawmakers on capitol hill to pass some sort of legislation, which is why he brought the vice president on as well. that is going to be a very difficult feat. yamiche: befe we go, i want to turn tohe pandemic. just as the country was ready to go back to a new norma -- i was. the debt avel variant of the covid-19 virus is raising fears. on thursday, the c.d.c. director
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announced the delta variant is now the dominant covid strain in the united states and this week the olympics announced that spectators would be banned from the games in tokyo after jan announced a state of emergency among rising covid fares in that country. is -- fears. in that country. is the president changing his strategy? >> they're sending out investigation investigators to areas. but the problem is these areas are red for the most part. even know the president gave a speech about the things he's doing to make it easier to get the vaccine. the question is no longer whether you can access the vaccine. the question is how you can change people's minds who have decide that would philosophically, they don't believe in the science, they don't believe in their elected officials, they don't believe
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that president biden is trying to help them and i think they're at a loss right now, even though they've tried dferent groups and worked with different leaders. they're relying on people at the local level to, in their purview, talk some sense into the holdouts. if you look at who's getting ck, hospitals zies -- hospitalized, dying from covid are people who have refused to gets their shots. yamiche: dan, what do you make of this politicization that continues with this virus and vaccines? dan: it's one more example of the terrible problem this country is in this terms of the way people see things and the inability of people to accept a set of facts or science or medical expertise. we're a few days away from july 4th. the president had set that as the day to open up and yet in the days after that we're realizing that there are
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problems ahead with this delta variant and because of a lack of vaccines in a lot of parts of the country. weijia is right, they're sometimied at that point in what they can do to overcome that. yamiche: it's an incredible time in our country, to think about the politicizationnforming what's gong on on capitol hill capitol hill. that's all the time we have. thank you for being here and sticking with us every week. thank you to our panel for their insights and thank you all for joining. don't miss our "washington week" extra. we'll continues the discussion on the covid-19 vaccine and tune in to the pbs newshour all week for raising the future: the child care crisis in america. that's every night starting next weekend -- week. i'm yamiche alcindor saying good night from washington.
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-this program is made possible in part by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [ chorus singing in german ] ♪ ♪ -in 1930, germany is a liberal democracy... ♪ ...with elections, parliament, and the rule of law. ♪ just four years later, freedom of speech is over. most of the political opposition is in jail, and the government is in the hands of murderers.


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