tv Washington Week PBS September 24, 2021 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT
yamiche: power, politics and peril. >> no one is off the table. we're going to determine what went wrong in the lead-up to january 6th. we're going to find out who was involved. >> it just goes to show this is more about politics than anything else. yamiche: the january 6th committee subpoenas four former aids. and bob woodward with "peril" which sheds new life on president trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election. robert costa joins me to discuss the historic reporting. plus, mounting challenges for the president. the biden administration faces widespread backlash after haitian migrants are chased down
by u.s. border patrol agents using horses and reigns and president biden fights to unite his party and avoid a government shutdown. >> since democrats decide to go it alone they will not get republicans' help with raising the debt limit. next. announcer: this is "washington week." corporate funding is provided by -- consumer cellular. the estate of arnold adams, p the yuen foundation, rose herschel and andy shreaves and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
once again from washington, moderator yamiche alcindor. yamiche: good evening and welcome to "washington week." the january 6th insurrection was 206 days ago but the consequences of that day continue to dominate american life, politics and the republican party. thursday, the house committee investigating the capitol attack issued subpoenas to former president's trumps closest aid including mark meadows and former trump advise or steve bannon. this comes as former president trump continues to lie about the election and push tes to recount votes. joining us tonight to discuss all of in the authors of "peril" bob woodward, associate editor for "the washington post" and investigative report what robert costa, national political report what for "the washington post" and former moderator of "washington week." i'm so excited to have you here back at the table.
o ija jang. the committee issued these subpoenas to these four top aids. i wonder what does it reveal about these advise ors may have known about january 6 and the president's mindset and what role president trump might have played in insighting this insurrection? >> well, this is the big question. what we found in our reporting is that there are real connection that is these people have to the insurrection and the mentality behind the insurrection particurly steve bannon who was talking to trump as we report in some detail in seeing some things that we can't say on the air about how central it was -- well, you -- you're best -- robert we talked -- robert: we talked a lot about it.
bannon was about this process ahead of january 6. we always have this image of president trump watching television idly as this unfolded. what really matters for us and now it seems for the january 6th committee is what was going on in the days before january 2nd, the pressuring of senators lee and graham and others. john easman pressuring vice president pence in the oval office. january 5th, steve bannon, rudy giuliani and others at the willard hotel. danka vino was with president trump late into the night in the oval office talking about how to pressure lawmakers. the reason they sighted this book is they realize there are people who know a lot about what president trump was doing at the time. and that story still has to be told in a bigger way. yamiche: what did your report
what reveal about who president trump is at his core? and the role of him being encouraged by people around him but also the grip that he has on the republican party. bob: well, he is and costa has the endurance to actually listen -- listen to the current trump rallies. they are amazing. there's a lot of nonsense about the stolen election. but then, he gets on and he starts talking like winston churchhill, we're not going to give up. we're going to keep going. it's to the trump supporters. it's passionate. it's very emotional. and it brings them into the process of, you know, you are my people. and so as we try to get some distance from the events, trump is on the march.
yamiche: today the white house secretary said that he will not assert executive privilege to protect any former aids here. what does that mean for the aids when it cos to executive privilege? bob: anything can happen with this, but in the past what has occurred is the president will say, oh, yeah, i'm going to turn over all the documents and all the material from my predecessor, and then the white house lawyers get in there and say, ok. you do that. then there's goi to be -- your success or who will release material about you, and they say, oh, yeah, well, maybe we aren't going to go down that road. we will see, but the january 6th committee in the house deserves a lot of credit for going about this meticulously.
you can't rush to like let let's subpoena trump. you build from the outside and like we tried to do as report whats, you talk to lots of people. yamiche: could people also turn on president trump? could we see people testify before congress? there's this tight nit group of president trump loyalist but we've seen trump not be as loyal to the people -- bob: from the water-gate hearing there are sometimes surprising. >> always surprises and big ones. you ow, we're going to see. and we need to be patient. not only the january 6th committee, but the justice department is investigating this. have charged 600 people? you know works are those people? who brought them all together? who were the operational manager s? the -- what will kill off
something like this, frankly is impatience, trying to rush to judgment. yamiche: and we covered president trump together and experienced so many things together during those four years. there's of course, these audit that is are going on that president trump has called for. we got results from arizona that said president biden won by a larger majority -- a larger margin than what was thought of. and that was the g.o.p.-d audit. but we're seeing audits in in peaceful and texas what does it same about president trump's grip on the republicans? and what does it mean that trump could influence people to have recounts even though he clearly lost to election? >> i think to bob's point that it just shows the power and the relevance and the dominance that donald trump continues to have despite everything that we've seen from him. despite all of the other investigations that have
unfolded back of him. and yet, here he is and he has that firm grip i think at one point there were republicans who looked at january 6th and said this is it. this was the other shoe. and we saw them slowly but surely starting to criticize the president starting to try to untangible those connection they had built for so many years. but as soon as he saw the fact that he still garnered support that he was actual able to raise a significant amount of money, i think those calls got a lot quieter. you know, it's just very indicative of who trump is and something that they talked about as well was the language that he has created. so when he's at these rallies, when he's issuing statements. he is using the language that he wrote to connect with his supporters. and it still resonates. and it i a language that they miss and they want to hear more of. despite the audits, despite the
results of the audits, they still want to hear those catch phrases from the president to be reassured that their actually still in the right, despite fact that is show their not. yamiche: and you said that the calls to really try to tamper down the rhetoric that led to january 6th have gotten quieter and they've also changed, you the of house leader kevin mccarthy who based on my reporting called the president angrily trying to get him to stop the january 6th insurrection. i'm wondering about whether former president trump haseen attacking -- what have been his allies, lindsey graham, mike lee. what does this say about where this is going? but we wonders that senator mcconnell said this could b a fading brand, the trumpism, the trump brand. is there any signs of that? are there any signs that this is a fading brand or is mcconnell a little off here? >> i think one thing that we
have learned in covering the former president is that we can't ever say for certain, right? and nobody really can. but again, what hasn't changed as much as we would have thought especially since january 6th is the way that the people who vote for donald trump in -- and support donald trump have been impacted by this. you know, even in this statement that he released in response to those subpoena that is were issued, he was saying this is just an extension of the witchcraft -- witch hunt that he experienced. he was making threats. he, was, you know, saying that he had executive privilege, executive power that he no longer does. and so again, it's sort of an echo chamber that people cannot seem to escape. despite all the other forces on the outside that are proving that, you know, perhaps he's lying. yamiche: robert, the vice president -- vice president
pence at the time he eventually certifies the election what went on behind the scenes when it came to all the different people in had to sort of lean into this election and to decertify, what ds it tell us about the fragility that it took a very, very careful balancing of all of these people doing what the constitution had to do for this election to be actually certified? robert: seeing what sticks with me wn you look at vice president pence, january 5th, he's with president trump one-on-one, just hours before this rally is supposed to happen, hours before the insurrection happens and president trump says, do you hear the supporters outside gathering on peaceful avenue? wouldn't it be cool turning to vice president pence if you had the power to not certify an election? wouldn't it be cool? it washe temptation of power. and when vice president says no, it's not within the constitution. i can't do, he was told by vice president quayle you have to
count the votes. president trump badgering him, you have to do this. help me, mike. you won't be my friend any more if you don't do it. bob: and it was an unsteady road that we found in our reporting for pence. he wanted to accommodate trump. he had been subservient to trump. and so he was -- he was looking for an out. and if he had -- it's -- in the end, he followed the law and the constitution. but if he had gone out there and said, you know, i'm confused, i can't decide and walked off, we would have had a constitutional crisis because who's president? what about the legitimacy of the presidency? and he did not do that, but if you look at what we found, which
is charted in great detail in the book, he wanted to see, oh is there some way to do it? and in the end, i think under the influence of his advise ors, his staff, his lawyers who were telling him, you know, you just can't. that's not the law. that's not the constitution. yamiche: your last words in this book, they say, the peril remains. explain that. explain the danger that remains. >> well, he's out there. he's got this support. and the question you have to ask is, people like senator graham, senator mike lee of utah have bailed on him beuse they investigateed these claims of the stolen election and found zero evidence to support that. and so now, as you report here trump is saying, oh, they ought
to -- senators graham and lee ought to be ashamed. those are -- those are his loyalists and they said, it just isn't there. i hope people -- not partisan reasons or anything -- look at the facts, and look at that, gee, that's a bit of a cold shower to see what lindsey graham and mike lee did and how they went to the floor of the senate and said, it ain't there. yamiche: and meanwhile, the biden administration is facing a series of challenges there is a firestorm over shocking video of border patrol agents chargeing a haitian migrants thursday, i broke the story that the u.s. special envoy for haiti resigned over what he called inhumane and counter productive deportations of haitians and later that day i questioned jen
psaki how the predent hasn't condemned the actions >> why hasn't the president condemned the actions of the border patrol agents? why is he not doing that? he's not at at the bully bull pit himself talking about these images? >> his actions made clear how horrible these images are including an investigation, include ago change of policy including conveying clearly that this is not acceptable and this is -- he's not going to stand for this. yamiche: less than 24 hours later, president biden spoke out about the migrant crisis. he said he took full responsibility for the situation. >> to see people treated like they did, people being strapped, it's outrageous. i promise you, those people will pay. they will be an investigation underway now. and there will be consequences. yamiche: joining the conversation from miami to talk about the migrant crisis is jacqueline charles.
she's the caribbean report what for the miami herald. talk a little bit about these images meant for people who saw them especially haitian-american who is have been so much trauma with the assassination of the president, the earthquake there so many things that have happened to haiti with the insecurity what were people telling you about what these images meant to them? >> as you mentioned, for african americans it immediately took them back to the slave patrols but for haitian-americans especially here in south florida, it was an example of the double standard that they have endureed under u.s. immigration policy. here in south florida in miami, in particular, we had wet foot, dry foot, that was the law enacted by the clinton administration until the obama administration got rid of it wher cuban migrants when they reeved on u.s. soil they were allowed to say. after one year and one day, they could apply for t residency but haitian who is were caught
at sea they were returned to their country of origin. we had guantanamo bay where we had 60,000 asians where we had 213 mine or who is were re-returned back to haiti. and a lot of people forget that there were haitians who arrived here in south florida and they too final finally received something immigration benefit but only after the activism of the community. when i spoke to haitian-americans, immigration advocates that's what was what came to mind to them. you were seeing the double standard in terms of haitian immigrants no matter what was happening in their country, they were always perceived as economic migrants and therefore they were immediately returned back to haiti while other migrant who is come seeking asai lem are often arowed to go through the court system and make their case. yamiche: were also tad border, mexico and texas. why are migrants making these
dangerous journeys? and what does it reveal about the u.s. strategy the migrant at its keep were 14,000 haitian migrants today. d.h.s. said it was cleared out. tell me a little bit about what what you're hearing from migrants based on your reporting. >> that's one word, desperation if we take a step back, these are migrant who is left haiti after the 2010 earth quake the u.s. was preparing for migration crisis after january 12th torsion 10 when port-au-prince was nearly destroyed by a 7.0 earthquake and over 7,000 people were killed. but that crisis did notappen that's immediately. it was two years after, we started to see haitians fleeing to brazil. at the time brazil needed workers. they were preparing for the world cup and the olympics. as brazil's economy started to turn, they started having their own issues with corruption. we started seeing migrants moving to chile and then to haiti. 1% of haiti's population which
is 11.5 million, 100,000 haitians migrated from haiti to chile. then we started to see this migration the 7,000-mile trek to the u.s. southern board we are mexico. i was there in tijuana, i talked to migrants. that's what you're seeing again with the surge. you know d.h.s. were saying that they were caught off guard. but earlier this year in february, i wrote about a surge of migrants on the border of tijuana. a month ago there were 3,000 migrants who were in a camp in two weeks that camp had about 3,000 people. but so the fact that they were caught off guard by nearly 15,000 migrants not all of whom were haitians but the majority were, is quite interesting. they tell you in terms of their desperation they did not want to go back to haiti. what does it say that this country was far worse than in 2010, in 2012, in 2014. meaning since that tragic
earthquake, the country has not improved. and they do not see a life for them. so today as we've seen the u.s. continue to do these reparation -- these deportation flights, and i think there have been that's 21, it's very interesting to see what's going happen to these migrant who is have been returned. yamiche: a quick follow-up. what led to the resignation afoot based on your reporting, daniel foot? and where do things go next? where is all this going now that this has happened? >> daniel foot says it in his letter. first and foremost, there was the frustration on his part, you know, when he saw in terms of the refugee crisis how the, the biden administration was handling that. he called it inhumane. he's well aware of the conditions in haiti. one of the things that happened when f o o te dime haiti, he was apointed two weeks after the assassination of the president. he started talking to people especially a lot of people in society and they were talking about the security issues.
i host add panel where he talked about the country not being prepared to go to elections because the secure, the armed gangs, that was first and foremost, the biggest challenge that was facing haiti today. it was a challenge. >> and is a huge challenge -- it's a huge challenge that's facing haiti. we're going to move on to some of the challenges. because there are so many facing president biden title 42, where is it going? and these border patrol horses they've been using them since 1924, do you know if their going end totally or temporarily? >> t secretary of homeland security says that's all under review because that policy is temporarily under hold after we saw the image, the mounted units are not in dell ri o right now -- del ri o. right now. this is excitingly why the president is under so much fire because he promised to dismantle what he called inhumane policies
left over from the previous presidency. title 42 is one of the most controversial rules that former president trump was using to turn migrants away without question citing a public health emergency without giving them an opportunity to apply for asai asylum. that's why we're hearing from democrat leaders who are saying why are you still using this? why aren't you making exemptions for these migrants whenever before, you were calling similar practice inhumane and moral. but they really double down today and defended title 42 citing the deadly pandemic that we are still facing. yamie: what's the way the president is dealing with this reveal about who he is? there are so challenges that he's facing? what did do we learn at how he's looking at the presidency?
robert: we need to go back to a cross roads he faced early in his presidency. we document this in his book. around february 2 1s, where he decided to gobbing big. use reconciliation on that $2.4 billion rescue plan. he was eight years as vice president. he was known old joe. in terms of the old joe you knew around the senate where he could cut a deal. he made a choice to go big, to work in lockstep with progressives like senator bernie sanders and others and that led to the rescue plan passage and now he's trying to go big on another major snding plan. but the question is, can it last? he have the political capital to get someone like senator manchin come along? a lot of these senators their weary of going forward. yamiche: there are so many things that are sort of on the horizon when you think about the looming government shutdown, when you think about the idea that booster shots were introduced. so there are american who are scrambling to get them.
there are so much on the president's plate. we have to leaf it there. there's so much to talk about. thank you to bob, robert and ueija. be sure to tune in to the pbs newshour. germany heads to the polls to vote for angela merkel's success or. join judy woodruff for analysis. and our conversation on peril will continue ton "washington week" extra. find it on our social media and on our website. before we go, this was a tough week. images of those haitian migrants broke my heart and the hearts of others. despite what differences we have, we are all human who is deserve to be respected. i'm yamiche alcindor. good night from washington. bob: nicely done. er mean, you really -- i mean, you really, what jacqueline and i was --
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