News Wrap: Julián Castro drops out of 2020 Democratic field


In the day’s other news: The Democratic presidential
primary field narrowed again, with Julian Castro dropping out. The former Obama housing
secretary had failed to make headway in the polls or in raising money. He was the only
Latino still in the race. We will return to the presidential campaign
with the latest fund-raising reports after the news summary. Top Democrats are stepping up demands for
full disclosure at a Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. They said today that claims
by the online forum Just Security prove he is hiding something. The site reported that unredacted White House
e-mails show Mr. Trump directly ordered a hold on security funds to Ukraine and later
ordered their release. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is threatening
preemptive military strikes against Iran to prevent further attacks on Americans in the
Middle East. He pointed today to incidents, including Iraqi militiamen, backed by Iran,
storming the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad. Esper predicted that Iran will try something
else, and said the U.S. cannot wait. MARK ESPER, U.S. Defense Secretary: We have
all the capabilities inherent in the United States military to either respond to further
attacks or to take preemptive action if additional attacks are being prepared. JUDY WOODRUFF: The Pentagon has already sent
more troops to the Middle East. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised
the alarm today about a new rush of Syrian refugees. He said thousands are fleeing from
Idlib province, the last rebel stronghold in Syria. The exodus began when Syrian and
Russian forces intensified their assault on Idlib. In Ankara today, Erdogan said Turkey is struggling
to manage. RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, Turkish President (through
translator): Right now, 200,000 to 250,000 people are moving towards our borders. Right
now, we are trying to prevent them with some reciprocal measures, but it’s not easy. It’s
difficult. They are humans, too. We cannot put barriers and barbed wire against humans,
like the West does. JUDY WOODRUFF: In Washington, the White House
said President Trump spoke with Erdogan today and joined in calling for the fighting to
de-escalate in Idlib province. The Trump administration today announced a
ban on most of the flavored e-cigarettes used by teenagers. The ban applies to cartridge-based
products, but it does exempt menthol and tobacco flavors. It also exempts large tank-type devices
that mostly cater to adult smokers. Thirty-nine of the 52 Republican U.S. senators
asked the Supreme Court today to overturn Roe v. Wade. That’s the decision that legalized
abortion. More than 160 House Republicans also signed the brief supporting a Louisiana
law. It requires that doctors performing abortions have hospital admitting privileges within
30 miles. The court will hear arguments in March. North Carolina will have the largest coal
ash cleanup in U.S. history. The state said today that Duke Energy will dig up nearly
80 million tons of toxic ash at six sites and move it to lined landfills to prevent
leaking. A 2014 leak contaminated 70 miles of the Dan River. On Wall Street, major indexes surged to new
record closes after China’s Central Bank announced economic stimulus measures. The Dow Jones
industrial average gained 330 points to close at 28868. The Nasdaq rose 119 points, and
the S&P 500 added 27.

Amy Walter and Domenico Montenaro on 2020 Democrats’ ‘volatility,’ impeachment politics


And now it’s time for Politics Monday. Here to analyze all the week’s political news,
Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report and host of public radio’s “Politics With Amy
Walter,” and Domenico Montanaro. He’s a senior political editor at NPR. Thanks so much for being here. Amy, this is the Democratic field still in
flux. We’re two months away from the Iowa caucuses. The people are having bus tours. There are TV ads. How wide open is this field right now? AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: Well,
you laid it out pretty well in your opening with the fact that you have two candidates
really focusing on their weaknesses this week. So, Joe Biden is ahead in all the national
polling and has had a pretty consistent lead for the entirety of this campaign. It’s narrowed a little bit since he first
jumped in. But his big problem spot is Iowa, that very
first state that kicks us off, where he’s somewhere maybe second, maybe he’s third place. But he’s certainly behind Pete Buttigieg. Pete Buttigieg’s problem, as you pointed out,
is not with Iowa, where he could win, and even do well in New Hampshire, where he’s
been moving up in the polls. His problem is the states that come afterwards,
states that are — have many — a more diverse electorate, many more African-American voters,
many more voters of color, where he still has not been able to pick up much support. And he’s not just in North Carolina. He’s spending this week in Alabama, which
is also — I think it’s a Super Tuesday state — and in South Carolina as well. DOMENICO MONTANARO, Political Editor, NPR:
You have got half to two-thirds of Democratic primary voters saying that they’re not decided
on the race. They don’t have their minds made up. And what does that lead to? Volatility. So that’s why you have seen these sort of
spurts from some candidates and then decreasing back down. The most recent, maybe the biggest development
of the campaign has been Elizabeth Warren’s surge and then collapse. When it comes to her talking about Medicare
for all as a replacement to private insurance, that has been a very difficult position for
her to try to defend. And I think a lot of Democrats actually very
curious why she went that far, when, honestly, with the way the Senate is currently, there’s
no way that that would pass anyway. So why go that far and take that position,
when she could have put it as a goalpost and say, this is a goal, but not what we’re going
to do maybe right away when I get into be president? So, you know, there’s a lot that still could
come. And we’re in this final stretch now until
Iowa, where you’re going to see voters start to really make up their minds. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, you’re talking about
Elizabeth Warren having a peak and then crashing. Amy, you’re talking about this idea that that
the former vice president, who had all this name recognition, is now struggling in Iowa. AMY WALTER: Right. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: But, Domenico, you think
that there are clear top-tier candidates, even though polls show that Democrats haven’t
really made up their minds all the way? DOMENICO MONTANARO: Look, I think this is
the time of year we need to start talking about paths to the nomination and not the
time of year we talk about national polling. You know, national polling is always sort
of like a barometer of, you know, how well somebody might do or how people feel about
them. But it’s not a national race. You know, if that were the case, then Hillary
Clinton and Rudy Giuliani would have been the 2008 nominees and ran away with it. You have to have a path. And as Amy was laying out, Joe Biden does
have a path still, even though he has this fractured, you know, quarter of the Democratic
Party, it looks like. You know, if he were to win, place or show
in Iowa, top three, kind of still be in the game in New Hampshire, he can retain what’s
held him up, which is that 60 percent of African-American support. And if he can do that, then he has a shot
of winning in the South, where black voters make up the majority of Democratic voters. But that doesn’t mean that some other candidate
can’t come along and take some of those voters away. If he finishes fourth or fifth in Iowa, that’s
going to completely — could completely collapse his momentum, if there was any. AMY WALTER: Yes, we could absolutely be looking
at the possibility that there is a different winner in each of the first four states. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Which would be incredible. AMY WALTER: Which would be incredible, and
then lead us into Super Tuesday, where, by the end of March 3, 40 percent of all the
delegates will have been selected. So we can then be getting into this discussion
of, is anyone able to really coordinate? DOMENICO MONTANARO: And then we’re talking
about Mike Bloomberg, who’s been spending all this money. I mean, he spent $50 million in his first
two weeks of advertising to get his name I.D. up there. He’s not even competing in the first four
states. Nobody’s ever done that before. I mean, he’s got the money. He can do it, but, still, putting that in
context, I mean, that’s 20 times what Everytown spent in Virginia, a group that he backs,
for gun control. And, remember, they were able to take back
the Virginia state House and Senate just based in many ways because of that $2.5 million
that Everytown was able to pour in and outspend the NRA, which only spent about $300,000. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, I saw a lot of Michael
Bloomberg ads this weekend. DOMENICO MONTANARO: Yes. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Something else that I saw
this weekend, Senator John Kennedy on “Meet the Press” defending President Trump. Here’s what he had to say. SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): And I believe that a
Ukrainian district court in December of 2018 slapped down several Ukrainian officials for
meddling in our election as a violation of Ukrainian law. Now, I didn’t report those facts. Reputable journalists reported those facts. Does that mean that Ukrainian — the Ukrainian
leaders were more aggressive than Russia? No, Russia was very aggressive, and they’re
much more sophisticated. But the fact that Russia was so aggressive
does not exclude the fact that President Poroshenko actively worked for Secretary Clinton. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Amy, we know that Ukrainian
meddling in the 2016 election is a theory, a debunked claim that’s been pushed by Russia. It benefits Russia. Our intelligence community, they have not
said that this is true. They have not backed this theory. They say Russia was the one who meddled in
the 2016 election. So what’s going on here? It seems like Democrats and Republicans can’t
even agree on the facts. AMY WALTER: Right. What’s going on here is that Republicans — and
we’re seeing this, I think, also in this report that they just released today from the House
Intelligence Republican report — that the president’s interest in Ukraine wasn’t just
about Joe Biden, and it wasn’t just about digging up dirt on his rival, that there are
real reasons the president had to be wary of Ukraine. There’s a lot of corruption in Ukraine. There’s a lot of political sort of malfeasance,
and it’s very murky. And introducing that element into it is also
making the case for the president to say, look, all I was doing when I was making these
calls to Ukraine was to say, you guys got a lot of problems. You got a lot of corruption. I was absolutely right to question that. DOMENICO MONTANARO: Look, the truth is the
truth, though. And the fact is, the U.S. intelligence community
has said that Ukraine was not who was pushing a government-led effort to, you know, hack
and to interfere and to put out memes and, you know, try to get people voting for Donald
Trump. That was Russia. Russia did that. And we have a president of the United States
who doesn’t believe his own intelligence community, because it doesn’t suit his needs. Yes, there were Ukrainian officials who were
upset about President Trump potentially being president, but a couple op-eds and tweets
are not the same as a government-backed effort to get somebody installed as president. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Senator Kennedy’s comments
are coming as this impeachment inquiry continues to move through the House. Amy, tell me a little bit about what you make
of Republicans spending a lot of money on ads arguing that President Trump shouldn’t
be impeached and shouldn’t be removed. AMY WALTER: Yes. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: How vulnerable are Democrats
who are moderate and how vulnerable are Republicans who are moderate? AMY WALTER: So, like you — if you were watching
TV wherever you were for Thanksgiving, I was watching some live events and seeing a lot
of ads that were — I was in South Carolina, where there’s a freshman member of Congress
named Joe Cunningham, Democrat, a lot of advertising from Republican groups encouraging this freshman
Democrat to vote against impeachment. So I took a look at the districts where you
do have freshman Democrats, swing districts, districts that Trump carried. And you have Republican groups spending anywhere
between $300,000 or $500,000 urging these Democrats to vote no on impeachment. At the end of the day, I don’t think that
they are going to sway these Democrats. But here’s what’s more important. Even when I talked to a Republican today,
his take on this is, look, are we still going to be talking about impeachment by the time
we hit the November 2020 election? I don’t think so. I’m under the same impression. I just believe that we are going to — this
is quite remarkable, that there is going to be an impeachment of the president of the
United States for the third time in history. It is both remarkable and predictable in this
very partisan era that we’re in. And by the time we hit next summer, we will
probably have moved on to something else. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: And, Domenico, we only have
about 30 seconds left. But talk a little bit about the Democrats’
timeline here. Amy is saying that this might not be something
that we’re talking about when the 2020 election rolls around. DOMENICO MONTANARO: Yes. I mean, look, the fact is, Democrats want
to get this out of the way too. I mean, they don’t want this to be the dominant
issue. You have half-a-dozen Democrats who are in
the Senate who would have to sit for a Senate trial. They don’t want to have to be doing that in
the middle of campaigning in Iowa or New Hampshire or elsewhere. Democrats want to get this out of the way. They do feel, though, that at least it hasn’t
hurt them, that pushing for impeachment, they haven’t lost independents. They gained some. And it’s firing up the base. So it’s a win-win. And, basically, views of President Trump are
as locked in as they ever were. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, thank you so much,
Domenico Montanaro of NPR and, of course, Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report. I appreciate you both being here. AMY WALTER: You’re welcome. DOMENICO MONTANARO: Thank you.

Tamara Keith and Amy Walter on Buttigieg’s surge, Democratic wins in the South


And that brings us to Politics Monday. I’m here with our Politics Monday team. That is Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report
and host of public radio’s “Politics With Amy Walter,” and Tamara Keith from NPR. She co-hosts the “NPR Politics Podcast.” And welcome to you both. We have some new poll numbers. Shall we dig in? TAMARA KEITH, National Public Radio: Indeed. AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: Let’s. AMNA NAWAZ: Let’s go to Iowa first. Take a look at some of these numbers. This is from a new poll in Iowa for CNN and
The Des Moines Register. Look who’s at the top of this poll right now. Pete Buttigieg leads with 25 percent of support
in the state. After him there, you see Senators Warren,
former Vice President Biden and Senator Sanders. And then you have got the rest of the field,
or that’s basically everyone else, polling below 10 percent. That is in Iowa. Amy, start us off here. AMY WALTER: What is happening? Right. AMNA NAWAZ: What is happening here? How — that’s a 16-point surge, we should
mention, for Buttigieg. AMY WALTER: No, it’s pretty remarkable that,
of all the candidates, this is the one candidate who has gone literally from zero to the lead. Back in March, I think he was polling somewhere
around 1 percent or 2 percent. But what’s remarkable about Iowa right now,
we have had four polls since March from The Des Moines Register, which is the gold standard
of polling in the state. And while it’s very volatile, right, we have
had three different leads in these polls, so four polls, three different leaders, they
have been the same four people. It’s been of the pool of four people. We have a huge field, but the same four people
are mentioned as either one, two, three, or four since March. And so what we’re seeing is, yes, there is
some volatility here, but it’s not, at this point, opening a lane for somebody who is
not in those top four. AMNA NAWAZ: Tam, what do you see when you
look at these numbers? One of these things for the voters is like,
do they want someone who reflects back to them their values? Do they want someone who will beat Donald
Trump? What does this say to you right now? TAMARA KEITH: I think part of what this says
is that Pete Buttigieg has a pretty strong ground game in Iowa. And this is a unique state. It has a caucus system. He raised a lot of money earlier this year,
and he spent it. He’s investing putting staff on the ground
in Iowa. He just did a bus tour through the state. All of those things, like, being someone who
is the mayor of a small city and having time to meet a bunch of voters, that can actually
matter in a state like Iowa and can be reflected in this poll. AMY WALTER: And it certainly helped Elizabeth
Warren over the course of the summer, when people said, well, why is she now moving ahead,
as she was in a June-September poll? TAMARA KEITH: Yes. AMY WALTER: I can’t remember which one, but
it was that she had been building this ground game here. One thing to talk about too is the fact, like,
why are we spending so much time on Iowa? It has… (CROSSTALK) AMY WALTER: It has 45 delegates. California has over 490 delegates. But we know that really for the last 40 years,
with an asterisk on 1992 — and I’m not getting in the details. We don’t have enough time. (LAUGHTER) AMY WALTER: But the Democratic nominee for
president has won Iowa, New Hampshire, or both. So, those two states, again, for the last
40 years, have told us who the nominee will be, which is why Iowa, one or the other, right,
is so important. And it also sets the narrative. And it sets the media expectations really
for a good — obviously, for the next week, before we get to New Hampshire, but it really
does winnow the field pretty quickly. TAMARA KEITH: And Iowa, though, is not perfectly
reflective of the Democratic Party or America as a whole. AMY WALTER: It is not. TAMARA KEITH: This is the criticism. (CROSSTALK) TAMARA KEITH: Iowa and New Hampshire are super
white. AMY WALTER: Yes. TAMARA KEITH: And it just is what it is. They’re also highly educated. And there are — there are a lot of demographics
that make Iowa and New Hampshire not your standard reflection of the — of the broader
Democratic Party, which is where you get to South Carolina, where we also have a new poll,
and where Pete Buttigieg is in fourth place, but, like, barely registering. AMNA NAWAZ: Let’s see if we can put that up,
so you can talk to these numbers while people look at them at home too. This is the latest South Carolina poll from
Quinnipiac out today. A very different picture here, right? TAMARA KEITH: Well, and Pete Buttigieg knows
that he’s had trouble with African American voters. He’s been working on it pretty much most of
his campaign, at least since the summer. But it continues to be a challenge. And you see that in polling in South Carolina. It’s also not clear how he’s doing in Nevada,
which is the state that comes after that. And then it’s Super Tuesday, which is a whole
bunch of states, including California. AMNA NAWAZ: And you have mentioned to our
producer earlier, Buttigieg now being on top in some ways in Iowa, does that make him more
of a target for his fellow candidates? AMY WALTER: Right. So, look — so here’s what we have seen. In December and through March, it was Biden
who was on top in Iowa. Scrutiny gets onto Biden. Then it moves over to Warren. She’s leading. Scrutiny on Warren and her Medicare for all
plan. She starts to dip a little bit. And now we see Buttigieg on top. And you will remember we have a debate on
Wednesday. And I’m sure his friends and colleagues on
the stage with him will have a couple questions for him to answer. AMNA NAWAZ: That is a prediction from Amy
Walter, who hates to make predictions. AMY WALTER: Yes. AMNA NAWAZ: But you do bring me to Elizabeth
Warren. And I want to ask you about sort of an evolution
her Medicare for all plan. This has been sort of the defining issue for
her candidacy. And she seemed to, I don’t want to say evolve. It’s shifted a little bit now. She’s rolled out sort of a timeline for how
she plans to get there. AMY WALTER: Yes. AMNA NAWAZ: What do you make of that? AMY WALTER: It’s that whole trying to have
cake and eating it too or whatever the phrase — however the phrase goes, which is, she’s
been getting a tremendous amount of criticism, even from Democrats, for a plan that would
kick people off of their private insurance and institute a Medicare for all or basically
a single-payer system. What she has offered is to say, well, OK,
for the first two years, I will be able to push through a public option, which is, people
can stay on their private insurance or they can buy into a Medicare system, similar to
what Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden are talking about, many other Democrats are talking about But then, by year three and four, all those
people who’ve gotten in the public option are going to say, this is so great, I’m saving
so much money, the health care system has been so incredibly altered in the years since
it’s been implemented, that we’re going to do then Medicare for all. TAMARA KEITH: But let me just say that I have
covered presidents. And their third years and fourth years tend
not to be when they pass most of their most meaningful legislation. AMY WALTER: Right. TAMARA KEITH: And that’s why candidates always
talk about, on day one, or the first 100 days. AMY WALTER: Day one. TAMARA KEITH: There’s a reason for that. Midterms happen. Things come screeching to a halt. AMNA NAWAZ: Does this open her up to criticism
that she’s changing her tune, that she’s lining up more with moderate candidates? TAMARA KEITH: It has opened her up to criticism,
remarkably, both from the Bernie Sanders side of the world and the Pete Buttigieg side of
the world. She’s getting it from all angles, in part
because she decided to go out there and say that she had a plan and put it in writing. AMNA NAWAZ: Right. Tam, I’m going to give you the last word on
something else here. I want to make sure we get your take, because
the last time we were sitting here, I was asking you about these three key Southern
states in which President Trump campaigned very heavily for the gubernatorial candidates
there, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Those are the margins by which President Trump
won election back in 2016 in each of those states. You said watching those races would paint
a picture, or at least give us an indication of what’s ahead. What do we now know? TAMARA KEITH: Well, I will just say that President
Trump at a rally said, you have got to give me a big win, please, and said that the eyes
of history would be watching, that people should send a message to Washington and the
Democrats in Washington. Well, guess what happens? Two out of three of those ended up going to
the Democrat. Now, he will say that the Republican in Kentucky,
good guy, he says, but deeply unpopular. And he will say, well, John Bel Edwards, it
was close, and it was super close. But the reality is that the president couldn’t
get them over the finish line. He went and did a bunch of rallies, put a
lot of personal capital — political capital out there to say, like, I’m the president,
I can drag them over the finish line. And he didn’t do it. AMNA NAWAZ: Amy, a few seconds left. Want to weigh in on this? Sorry. AMY WALTER: A few seconds. Yes. If I am a Democrat in the more moderate side
of the equation, I looked at those and said, what those two Democrats did, the ones who
won, they ran as a centrist. They ran on building on the Affordable Care
Act, not on Medicare for all. The Medicaid expansion is very popular in
those states, i.e., Democrats, stay toward the Affordable Care Act and building on that,
not moving too far to the left on health care. AMNA NAWAZ: That is what worked for them there. AMY WALTER: Yes. AMNA NAWAZ: Amy Walter and Tamara Keith, always
good to see you guys. TAMARA KEITH: Thank you. AMY WALTER: Thank you.

PBS NewsHour full episode November 18, 2019


AMNA NAWAZ: Good evening. I’m Amna Nawaz. Judy Woodruff is away. On the “NewsHour” tonight: Hong Kong chaos. Tensions escalate, as police and protesters
clash at a local university. Then: rules of war — how President Trump’s
latest pardons raise serious questions about military justice. And our Politics Monday team breaks down the
latest from the campaign trail and results from key governor’s races across the country. All that and more on tonight’s “PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) AMNA NAWAZ: Police in Hong Kong tightened
their siege of a university campus tonight, where hundreds of protesters remain trapped
inside. It’s the latest bout of violence the city
has seen in nearly six months of protests. In other parts of the city, protests fueled
by the stand-off continue. Nick Schifrin has the latest. NICK SCHIFRIN: Overnight and through the morning
darkness, the streets of Hong Kong remained a battlefield. The police pushed to retake the campus of
Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University. And students used any means necessary to hold
their ground. Through masks that protect them from tear
gas, they plead for help. WOMAN: I really hope that someone could give
a helping hand. NICK SCHIFRIN: In a predawn raid, Hong Kong
police arrested a student journalist and repeatedly asked the student to stop recording. Some protesters fled on motorcycles. The police arrested more than 400 trying to
flee. Protesters tripped over barricades and were
tackled to the ground. This is the crescendo of six months of protests
that started against the law that would have extradited criminal suspects to mainland China. But, today, demonstrators are calling for
fundamental reform. And mainland China is threatening to escalate. For the first time since the protest began,
this weekend, Chinese soldiers left their Hong Kong barracks and cleaned up debris wearing
T-shirts and shorts. And, today, China’s ambassador to the United
Kingdom blamed the West for instigating the protests and warned the protesters. LIU XIAOMING, Chinese Ambassador to the United
Kingdom: To restore law and order, violence must end, and the violent perpetrators must
be brought to justice. This is the only way to safeguard the interests
of the public and secure a better future for Hong Kong and cement the foundation of one
country, two systems. NICK SCHIFRIN: The two sides are on a cycle
of escalation. Police say they’re defending themselves and
warned they could begin using live ammunition. But protesters say they are responding to
police brutality and demand the city give in to their demands. OLIVIA, Protester: We want a peaceful Hong
Kong to be back, but I think, before that, the government has to listen to the people,
and the police has to stop whatever they’re doing. And I hope that Hong Kong can go back to the
previous Hong Kong as soon as possible. NICK SCHIFRIN: For more on what this standoff
means for Hong Kong, and mainland China, we’re joined by Kurt Tong, who just finished a 29-year-career
in the State Department. He was the most recent U.S. consul general
to Hong Kong, who served there from 2016 to July 2019. He’s now a partner at the Asia Group, an international
business consulting firm. And welcome to “NewsHour.” Thanks very much. KURT TONG, Former U.S. Consul General to Hong
Kong: Thanks, Nick. It’s a pleasure to be here. NICK SCHIFRIN: What is the significance of
this we’re looking at right now, this standoff in this university, one of the first times
where we have seen protesters actually try and hold a little bit of ground? KURT TONG: Well, I think that’s right. It’s a departure in strategy by the protesters
to establish, essentially, a situation where they’re under siege, rather than using their
old philosophy of move like water, have a protest, and then leave before they could
get arrested. So I think it creates some new risks, both
for the protesters, but also for how the police handle it. NICK SCHIFRIN: So the police handling of not
only this moment, but throughout this process, the protesters have talked about things like
police brutality. That’s the language that they use. And we do see videos of police beating up
protesters, for sure. Do you believe that some of the police actions
over the last few months have fueled the protests? KURT TONG: I think that’s right. I think that the police have been under intense
pressure. Personally, I don’t think that they were particularly
well-trained for this kind of circumstance. And so they’re having an emotional response
to people coming at them violently and, in some instances, responding inappropriately. Inappropriate is a such a weasel word. I mean responding violently in ways that they
shouldn’t have. That is something that the protesters are
now calling for an investigation of. And that probably makes sense to do that. It is important to remember, at the same time,
that the protesters have, if you will, taken first blood in terms of making this a violent
situation. NICK SCHIFRIN: Of course, behind the police,
literally in a garrison in the middle of Hong Kong are PLA soldiers, or Chinese soldiers,
and we saw them out in T-shirts and shorts… KURT TONG: Right. NICK SCHIFRIN: … in response to this in
the last day or so. Talked to some people who fear that it could
be some kind of test run of some sort. Do you share that fear, that the Chinese military
could respond in some way, if this violence continues? KURT TONG: The fact of the matter is that
there is a significant military presence in Hong Kong, which is not designed for crowd
control or for police activity. China, of course, has immense police resources
across the border that are not, again, prepared for working in the Hong Kong environment under
Hong Kong law. So I think that the options for the mainland
in terms of direct intervention are limited and bad. And so I don’t anticipate that happening. But they have from time to time — for example,
earlier this fall, they released a video of them practicing this kind of activity. And I think that was — that was intended… NICK SCHIFRIN: And we have seen the rhetoric
increase from Chinese officials, including Xi Jinping. KURT TONG: And that’s intended to scare people. NICK SCHIFRIN: Scare people as a level of
deterrence. You don’t think it will go beyond that? KURT TONG: I certainly hope not. And I think it would be a mistake if it did. NICK SCHIFRIN: Which brings us to the U.S.
response. The U.S. has, in fact, warned China not to
go further than it has gone. And we have saw Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
today in the State Department say two things. One, he endorsed the idea of that police investigation. And he also gave a little bit of a reference
to some — one of the protesters’ key demands. Let’s take a listen. MIKE POMPEO, U.S. Secretary of State: We call
on Chief Executive Carrie Lam to promote accountability by supplementing the Independent Police Complaints
Council review with an independent investigation into the protest-related incidents. As the United States government has said repeatedly,
the Chinese Communist Party must honor its promises to the Hong Kong people, who only
want the freedoms and liberties that they have been promised in the Sino-British Joint
Declaration. NICK SCHIFRIN: Must honor its promises and
police investigation. Is that an adequate U.S. response? KURT TONG: I think that’s a good response. Certainly, I think what Secretary Pompeo said
is right. And that — we need to keep in mind that there
is some limits to the reach of the United States to influence events within Hong Kong. But, certainly, calling for a thorough investigation
of what has taken place is a natural thing to do in this circumstance and an important
thing to do. And the reference to the 1984 Sino-British
Joint Declaration, I think, is spot on. It’s really important for everyone in this
circumstance to really think carefully about, what are we trying to achieve? What are they trying to achieve? What are the protesters trying to achieve? What does China want? What does Hong Kong? What does the United States want? NICK SCHIFRIN: And quickly, in the time we
have left, U.S. officials are weighing even more drastic options, for example, even removing
some diplomats from Hong Kong, some kind of sanctions. Would those moves be positive, do you think? KURT TONG: I think that it depends on who
the sanctions are on. Removing diplomats, I don’t think, is necessary
unless it’s unsafe. The — I would… NICK SCHIFRIN: Could it send a signal, though,
to remove diplomats? KURT TONG: It could. But it — would it be effective? I would question that. I think that the bigger question here is,
whatever the U.S. does, a matter of U.S. policy should be carefully designed to really have
an impact on the situation in a positive way, not an emotional response to short-term exigencies,
but, rather, how do we reinforce this idea of a Hong Kong that’s part of China, but is
very different from the rest of China? To be specific on that, it’s important that
the United States not do something that actually ends up hurting the Hong Kong people more
than the intended target, which would — in the case of a bad situation there would be
the Beijing government. If Hong Kong is — no longer has autonomy,
then we should treat it like it no longer has autonomy. But if it has autonomy, I don’t think we should
take away our recognition of that autonomy because of a short-term situation, because
Hong Kong serves the United States’ interests, being a great place to do business and a communication
point for dealing with China. And it’s also a place where seven million
people live, that — most of whom we like. And we don’t want to take away their livelihood
just to spite Beijing. NICK SCHIFRIN: Kurt Tong, until July consul
general in Hong Kong, thank you very much. KURT TONG: Thank you. AMNA NAWAZ: In the day’s other news: Iran’s
powerful Revolutionary Guards warned protesters they will face — quote — “decisive action”
if nationwide unrest doesn’t stop. People occupied streets and set fire to cars,
banks and other buildings over the weekend. They were angered by a 50 percent hike in
gasoline prices. The government cut off Internet access in
an effort to smother the protests. ALI RABIEI, Iranian Government Spokesperson
(through translator): Today, the situation was calmer, more than 80 percent compared
to yesterday. Only some minor problems remain. And by tomorrow and the day after, there will
remain no riots. AMNA NAWAZ: The protests took place in dozens
of cities and put more pressure on Iran’s government as it struggles with an ailing
economy and U.S. sanctions. In Iraq, anti-government protesters again
seized a major bridge in Baghdad, burning tires to block traffic. They also held a funeral procession for a
protester killed by security forces. More than 320 demonstrators have been killed
in recent weeks, as they demand a new government and political and economic reforms. The Trump administration is softening its
policy on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced today
he will abandon a 1978 State Department legal finding that the settlements are inconsistent
with international law. Pompeo said the finding had hindered the path
to peace. MIKE POMPEO, U.S. Secretary of State: We have
had a long time with the policy, the legal interpretation announced today being the other
way, and it didn’t work. That’s a fact in evidence. We believe that what we have done today is,
we have recognized the reality on the ground. We think, in fact, we have increased the likelihood
that the vision for peace that this administration has, we think we have created space for that
to be successful. AMNA NAWAZ: Today’s move is one of a series
of Trump administration decisions that weaken Palestinian claims to statehood. North Korea declared today it doesn’t want
— quote — “meaningless nuclear talks” with the U.S.. President Trump had hinted at a
third summit with Kim Jong-un. But North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Kim
rejects any summit unless he gets something tangible. A senior official said — quote — “We will
no longer gift the U.S. president with something he can boast of.” Kim has demanded that the U.S. offer acceptable
terms by the end of the year, in return for him ending North Korea’s nuclear program. The city of Venice, Italy, struggled to begin
recovering today, after unprecedented tidal flooding. On Sunday, tourists and officials waded through
historic St. Mark’s Square, though some businesses stayed open despite the water. The mayor said the record flooding is a warning. LUIGI BRUGNARO, Mayor of Venice, Italy (through
translator): Venice is a way to give a signal that we need scientists here. They need to come here and create a permanent
place where they can study and then recount what is happening here because of climate
change, with all its effects. Venice is a frontier. We are in the trenches. AMNA NAWAZ: The water levels on Sunday reached
nearly five feet for the third time in the past week. That had not happened since record-keeping
began in 1872. Back in this country, a congressional watchdog
group says at least 60 percent of Superfund sites are prone to flooding or other effects
of climate change. Those sites contain hazardous industrial waste. The Government Accountability Office called
today for the Environmental Protection Agency to state explicitly that it will focus on
the problem. President Trump has often derided talk of
climate change. Seven people are dead after two shootings
in different parts of the country. In Duncan, Oklahoma, three people were killed
today outside a Walmart. Police said the gunman shot two people in
a car, before killing himself. Meanwhile, a manhunt is under way in Fresno,
California, for two men who shot and killed four people on Sunday evening. It happened at a backyard gathering where
about 30 people, including children, were watching a football game. Six more people were wounded in the shooting. ANDY HALL, Fresno, California, Police Chief:
They walked into the backyard and began immediately firing into the crowd; 10 of those 16 people
at that event were hit and struck by bullets. The unknown suspects fled the scene on foot. What I can tell you is, this wasn’t a random
act. AMNA NAWAZ: Police say some of the victims
may have been involved in an incident last week. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has
ordered a hold on letting House Democrats see President Trump’s tax records. A federal appeals court had ruled in favor
of enforcing a House subpoena for the documents. The Roberts order today blocks enforcement
for an unspecified time to give the high court time to issue a definitive ruling. President Trump is backing away from a plan
to bar sales of most flavored e-cigarette products. He had said in September he would announce
a ban to try and curb teenage vaping. But it was widely reported today that he changed
his mind after being warned that a crackdown could cost jobs and votes. And on Wall Street Today, the Dow Jones industrial
average gained 31 points to close at 28036. The Nasdaq rose nine points, and the S&P 500
added one point. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: the latest
in the impeachment inquiry and what to expect in the second week of public hearings; how
President Trump’s latest pardons raise concerns about military justice; our Politics Monday
team breaks down the latest from the campaign trail; plus, a new exhibit of paintings by
Winslow Homer examines the artist’s fascination with the sea. The stage is set on Capitol Hill for the second
week of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. And as White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor
reports, there’s word today he may testify on his own behalf. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: On CBS’ “Face the Nation”
Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited President Trump to appear. REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): If he has information
that is exculpatory, that means ex, taking away, culpable, blame, then we look forward
to seeing it. The president could come right before the
committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants, if he wants to… MARGARET BRENNAN, Host, “Face the Nation”:
You don’t expect him to do that? REP. NANCY PELOSI: … if he wants to take the
oath of office. Or he could do it in writing. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Today, President Trump responded
on Twitter. He wrote: “I like the idea and will, in order
to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it.” President Trump is accused of withholding
almost $400 million in military aid from Ukraine in exchange for probes into his political
opponents. Over the weekend, Republicans continued to
defend the president. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who sits on the House
Intelligence Committee, said Democrats don’t have a case because Ukraine never followed
through with any of the investigations. He also appeared on “Face the Nation.” REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): The Ukrainians did nothing
to, as — as far as investigations goes, to get the aid release. So there was never this quid pro quo that
the Democrats all promised existed before President Trump released the phone call. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: In an interview today with
“NewsHour”‘s Judy Woodruff at a cancer fund-raiser in San Antonio, former Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson criticized the president’s actions. JUDY WOODRUFF: What is appropriate and what
is proper in the role of a diplomat? REX TILLERSON, Former U.S. Secretary of State:
Well… JUDY WOODRUFF: And in American foreign policy? REX TILLERSON: Yes,. I mean, clearly — clearly, asking for personal
favors and using United States assets as collateral is wrong. There’s just no two ways about it. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Meanwhile, House Democrats
on Saturday released two more transcripts from closed-door testimony. They came from Tim Morrison, a departing National
Security Council official, and Jennifer Williams, a career State Department official who is
an aide to Vice President Pence. Both were on the July 25 call between President
Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. On it, President Trump pressed Zelensky to
investigate Democrats. Morrison testified that he had — quote — “concerns
about a potential leak of the call for political reasons.” He also was concerned about how its release
might affect the Ukrainian perceptions of the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. But he said — quote — “I wasn’t concerned
that anything illegal was discussed.” Williams testified the call seemed — quote
— “unusual and inappropriate.” She said it shed some light on possible other
motivations behind a security assistance hold. In a tweet on Saturday, President Trump went
after Williams. He called her a never-Trumper and accused
her and other witnesses of attacking him. Williams and Morrison plan to testify publicly,
along with Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, National Security Council director
for European affairs, as well as Kurt Volker, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine. They all will appear before the House Intelligence
Committee tomorrow. AMNA NAWAZ: Yamiche is here with me now to
break all of this down. Good too see you, Yamiche. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Great to be here. (LAUGHTER) AMNA NAWAZ: Let’s start with the week. It’s a big one, right? We have three days of public hearings, a number
of officials coming before Congress to testify. Walk us through who we’re going to hear from
and why they matter. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, we have a full schedule
this week, a packed schedule, really. And Democrats want to do this to make sure
that they’re basically laying out their case. So, if you look at this calendar, there’s
just a number of officials, both current and former officials who are serving in the Trump
administration or who has served in the Trump administration. There are three key people that I’m going
to point to. The first is Lieutenant Colonel Alexander
Vindman. Now, he’s someone who is still working at
the National Security Council. He’s their Ukraine expert. And he’s someone that has a Purple Heart. He’s someone that Democrats point to and say,
this is someone with a very good character. He’s someone who’s patriotic, who served the
country. They’re going to be pointing out that he is
someone who had concerns in real time with the July 25 phone call between President Trump
and the president of Ukraine. Vindman listened into that call and then went
his superiors and said, I have concerns about the way that the president is asking for investigations
into Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Republicans, though, say that Vindman has
been inconsistent with his testimony. They also say that he’s someone who can’t
really speak to whether or not the president did something that’s impeachable, so he shouldn’t
essentially be coming before Congress in this way. So that’s one person that they’re going to
be pointing to and kind of — you’re going to hear the contrasting, contrasting messages
between both parties. Second person is Kurt Volker. He is a longtime Foreign Service officer. He is someone who is a special envoy to Ukraine
from the U.S. He’s no longer in that role. But he’s someone that Democrats are going
to point to and say, when that call came out, and everyone learned what happened on July
25, he says he was surprised and troubled. But Republicans, again, are going to be making
the case that Kurt Volker said he was never, himself, requested to do anything wrong. He’s also going to say, they think, that he
is someone who is going to say that Ukraine didn’t know in real time that this money was
being held up. Essentially, they couldn’t be bribed, because
they didn’t know that there was a bribe happening. And the third person is Gordon Sondland. He’s the person that’s going to be — everyone’s
going to be watching. AMNA NAWAZ: Yes. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: I’m going to be watching,
because he is someone who is — he’s the European Union ambassador. He is a close ally of President Trump. And he’s going to be making the case, essentially,
that he was in direct contact with President Trump. Democrats say that he knew that President
Trump wanted these investigations before and after the call, and that he was pressing — pressuring
for that. Republicans are going to be making the case,
essentially, that Sondland is someone who maybe had been — was acting on his own, but
that the president didn’t directly say, I need you to do this for me. So there’s going to be a lot to watch there. AMNA NAWAZ: A lot to watch, indeed. And some of those folks are going to raise
concerns about the president’s behavior and what they allegedly saw. President Trump’s already been tweeting about
some of them before we even hear from them publicly. What are you hearing from Republicans, from
his own party about the president’s actions. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: The shock of Friday and
the president going after Ambassador Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, in real
time during the impeachment inquiry has not worn off. I have talked to a number of Republicans who
essentially are saying, are you talking to White House sources? Are they going to be able to control the president
this week? And the answer, of course, is no. No one at the White House can stop the President
Trump tweeting. So Republicans are hoping that the president
won’t undermine their messaging and won’t be attacking a lot of the witnesses’ characters. But the president’s already been doing that. He’s already been tweeting, saying, these
are never-Trumpers, these are people that were bad ambassadors. So we’re going to have to watch very closely
President Trump’s Twitter account, because it’s likely going to be very active in real
time. AMNA NAWAZ: And, meantime, related to his
Twitter account, you just reported there in your piece, Speaker Pelosi had said he’s welcome,
the president welcome to come before this hearing and testify and give us his account. He has tweeted he might be open to that. What do we know about that happening? YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, the president says,
hey, you have questions for me, I want to give you some answers in writing. The issue is that the House is already looking
into whether or not the president lied to special counsel Robert Mueller during the
Russia investigation. Essentially, he provided written answers there. And special counsel Robert Miller said those
answers were inadequate, and that he really was not happy with the fact that he couldn’t
have follow-up questions to the president. The other thing to note is that Democrats
say, this is really the president playing games here. The president, if he really wanted to come
before Congress, could come and sit before the lawmakers and answer questions. They also say that he could provide people,
like acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who has refused to come before Congress, to
come and actually speak to Congress. They also say he could tell his national — his
former National Security Adviser John Bolton to come before Congress. They could provide, they say, documents at
the White House to help this impeachment inquiry. They’re not really doing any of that. So Democrats are essentially saying, we understand
that the president wants to provide us written answers, but that’s just not quite good enough. AMNA NAWAZ: It’s a good reminder too a number
of White House officials there we haven’t yet heard from. A busy week ahead. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Thank you. AMNA NAWAZ: You’re going to be following it
all. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Yes. (LAUGHTER) AMNA NAWAZ: Our White House correspondent,
Yamiche Alcindor, thanks, Yamiche. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Thanks. AMNA NAWAZ: And you can join us for special
live coverage of the public impeachment hearings. We start tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern. Late Friday, President Trump intervened in
the legal cases of three U.S. service members, all of whom had been accused of war crimes. Against the advice of the Pentagon, the president
pardoned two of the men and reinstated the rank of the third. As William Brangham reports, these cases have
ignited a debate about justice in war and whether these moves undercut the military’s
own legal system. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That’s right, Amna. Despite the objections of some senior officials
in the Pentagon, President Trump believed these men had been wronged by military justice,
and so he stepped in. In a statement issued Friday, the White House
said: “For more than 200 years, presidents have used their authority to offer second
chances to deserving individuals, including those in uniform who have served our country.” The first pardon went to Army Lieutenant Clint
Lorance, who in 2013 was convicted of second-degree murder for ordering members of his platoon
to shoot several Afghan men approaching on motorcycles. Lorance had been sentenced to 19 years in
prison. The second pardon was for Army Major Mathew
Golsteyn, a highly decorated Special Forces officer who later admitted to killing and
burning the body of a suspected Taliban bomb-maker in Afghanistan. He was to go on trial next year. The third case involved NAVY Seal Eddie Gallagher,
another highly decorated man who earlier this year was acquitted of killing a suspected
teenage ISIS fighter. Gallagher was demoted, though, because he
posed with the dead boy’s body in a photograph. President Trump reversed that demotion. Joining me now are two people with very different
views on the president’s moves. Retired Lieutenant Colonel David Gurfein had
a 25-year career in the Marines. He is CEO of United American Patriots, which
is an advocacy group that supports service personnel when they get into legal trouble. And retired Lieutenant Colonel Rachel Vanlandingham
had a 20-year career in the Air Force as a lawyer. She’s now a professor at Southwestern Law
School, where she teaches criminal law, constitutional criminal procedure, and national security
law. Welcome to you both. Rachel, to you first. The president in his statement on Friday said
that these three men were deserving of this pardon, deserving of mercy, as he said elsewhere
in the statement. I know you have been very critical of the
president’s move. What is your concern? LT. COL. RACHEL VANLANDINGHAM (RET.), Southwestern
Law School: My concern, I think — I hope everyone is deserving of mercy, but by pardoning
these three individuals, he undermines not military — not just the military justice
system. He undermines his own military commanders. In the military, it is senior-level commanders
that make the decision to bring charges against one of their subordinates. It’s not lawyers. And guess what? In the military, it’s also military members,
those who understand and appreciate the operational complexities of the battlefield, that sit
in judgment of their peers. So by pardoning these individuals and saying
they’re deserving of mercy, what is he saying about the commanders and the fellow military
members that found these three — at least — that two of the — excuse me — that we
had two convicted war criminals earlier this year that were pardoned. We have Lieutenant Lorance, a convicted war
criminal, pardoned, and Golsteyn’s war crimes court-martial that’s been aborted. And so what message is President Trump sending
to the folks that sat throughout all these processes? And what message is he sending to those individuals
that are adhering to the commands of their senior leadership, that are adhering to the
proper and honorable way to fight? I’m not sure this is about individuals being
deserving of mercy. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: David Gurfein, there’s a
lot there that she’s arguing. One of the points she’s arguing is that these
guys were tried by a military court, by military prosecutors, by a jury, theoretically, of
their peers or higher in rank. You think that the president did the right
thing making this pardon. What do you — give me the argument there. LT. COL. DAVID GURFEIN (RET.), United American Patriots:
Absolutely. The president stepped in. And it’s not about the combatant commanders. It’s what happens after that call is made,
and it’s about the individual’s rights. And this is one of those things where we have
seen across the board prosecutorial misconduct, we have seen investigator abuse, we have seen
unlawful command influence. And we can go into detail in every one of
these cases. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But you believe, in all
three of those cases, those types of offenses occurred? LT. COL. DAVID GURFEIN: Absolutely. And we can go into details with every single
one. But we have seen exculpatory information that
has been hidden. It was not brought to bear. We have seen lies told by senior officers
to protect the perception of the institution and also perhaps to protect their own careers,
where you have had appeals which should be identifying all these wrongdoings that were
not even allowed to go forward. Biometric evidence proved that the so-called
civilians that were ordered to be killed by Clint Lorance were not civilians. These were enemy combatants. And when brought to the appeals court, they
said they would not dive into the abyss of biometrics, which is bizarre. See, this is where — how we solve cases with
DNA and skin cells where — coming off of IEDs and improvised explosive devices that
have killed Americans prior. These were enemy combatants, make no mistake
about it. Same in Mat Golsteyn’s case, where he ambushed
and killed an enemy combatant, and next thing you know, he’s being brought up on murder
charges. And it went and was investigated. And in that investigation, they found no evidence
to support this allegation, other than Mat said, he killed an enemy combatant, which
many of us have done. That is not a crime. And so they still didn’t like it. They didn’t like the rumor of it and that
he was talking openly about this. They stripped him of his Army Special Forces
tab. They took his Silver Star. And the next thing you know, they held him. For over nearly 10 years, they have had this
over him and his family’s head and continuously said, hey, we’re going to get to this. And they kept bringing him on. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Rachel, I’d like you to
follow up on some of this. But, again, David is making the point that,
in each of these cases, there was some serious misconduct. You were a JAG lawyer. You prosecuted cases like this. We don’t have time to litigate all… LT. COL. RACHEL VANLANDINGHAM: I defended cases. I — of course we don’t. I was an appellate defense counsel as well. And my heart is with the defense. But I’m also — my heart is also with the
rule of law. And the rule of law involves process. There are numerous appellate courts established
to ensure that legal errors, if they do occur, and travesties of justice, if they occur,
are remedied. Lieutenant Lorance’s case regarding exculpatory
evidence that was supposedly withheld, it didn’t matter who those individuals were. And that’s what the Army Court of Criminal
Appeals held. They said there was overwhelming evidence
that not only he committed murder; he committed attempted murder, obstructed justice, solicited
lies, and made — and threatened individuals. Those individuals that he killed were found
by overwhelming evidence, by the testimony of his own subordinates, to have posed absolutely
no threat to him or to his teammates. They were on foot walking back to their motorcycles
at the direction of the Afghan National Army, who commanded them to do so. Yet Lieutenant Lorance ordered them to be
killed and fired upon, ordered them to be murdered, despite their lack of threat. He knew of no evidence at the time that they
— that they were any type of any combatant. He was only given the orders to ensure that
he protected his troops against those who posed some type of imminent threat. And all of his troops testified very clearly
to other fellow military members that those individuals did not pose a threat and they
were gunned down indiscriminately. And Lieutenant Lorance created further Taliban
threats and created greater risk for the Americans that were honorably serving there. You know why? The third individual that he tried to murder
actually wound up going and then joining the Taliban and committing attacks, because he
turned — because he knew that the Americans were going to go after every innocent Afghan
as well, at least according to Lieutenant Lorance. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Again, I know it’s very
difficult. And our viewers are probably somewhat confused
by the sort of avalanche of details we’re getting into here. I’d like to step back, David, for a moment
and look at a criticism that some people have made, veterans primarily, that, in pardoning
these three gentlemen — again, putting aside, slightly, the specifics of what they have
been accused of — that this gives free rein to the occasional bad actor out in the war
zone and that the rules of war don’t apply if you can exert enough political pressure
and get your case thrown out. What do you make of that criticism? LT. COL. DAVID GURFEIN: I think it’s interesting that
we talked about, in this situation, that Clint Lorance killed civilians. The biometrics prove they were not civilians. So the next argument is, well, he didn’t know
that. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: OK. I… LT. COL. DAVID GURFEIN: And so I’d like to just, if
I may — but he did act within accordance with the rules of engagement. And of all the things that he was found guilty
of, violating the rules of engagement, he was found not guilty. So everything that’s being said here about
how he acted inappropriately, his peers found that he did not act inappropriately. He acted, and all of his soldiers came home
alive. (CROSSTALK) WILLIAM BRANGHAM: OK, I hear what you’re saying,
but what about this larger question of the criticism that many veterans, people who have
served in Iraq and Afghanistan and earlier combat missions, that this sends a terrible
message, that the rules of war sometimes are not going to apply? LT. COL. DAVID GURFEIN: No, what’s — the message it
sends is that, when you act in combat, and you make the right decision, or even if you
make the wrong decision, that you will be treated fairly, and you will receive your
rights. And this is where our warriors, they swear
to support and defend our rights, and yet they don’t get the same protection that perhaps
an individual who would go into a school and gun down children with intent is getting. So, here we’re seeing time and time again
where these warriors, they’re being thrown under the bus for political reasons. And what’s interesting is, we saw right after
Clint Lorance’s case a patrol outside Bagram, Afghanistan, they knew that Clint Lorance
got put away for murder. And a motorcycle came towards their patrol. And they had to make the decision what to
do. They chose not to engage. Those four individuals are dead. Our warriors should not have to question whether
or not they’re going to go to Leavenworth for pulling the trigger and doing the right
thing at the right time for the right reasons. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: I realize there are so many
complicated details in all of these cases. And I’m sorry we can’t get into more of these
here tonight. But, David Gurfein, Rachel Vanlandingham,
thank you both very much for being here. LT. COL. DAVID GURFEIN: Thank you. Appreciate it. LT. COL. RACHEL VANLANDINGHAM: Thank you so much. AMNA NAWAZ: We turn now to the Democratic
presidential race. Over the weekend, candidates still trying
to break through in the crowded field headed West. SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), Presidential Candidate:
Hello, Nevada Democrats! AMNA NAWAZ: As impeachment news consumes Washington,
a show of force by the 2020 Democratic candidates in Nevada. SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), Presidential Candidate:
This is a fight to end that national nightmare called Donald Trump. AMNA NAWAZ: In Las Vegas Sunday night, 14
of the 2020 candidates made their pitch to Nevadans, who’ll vote third in the party’s
nominating contest. DEVAL PATRICK (D), Presidential Candidate:
I’m confident there is a path. AMNA NAWAZ: The lineup included former Massachusetts
Governor Deval Patrick, who entered the crowded race just last week. HARRY REID (D), Former U.S. Senator: When
we get that nominate, we’re all going to join together. AMNA NAWAZ: Former U.S. Senate Leader Harry
Reid, still a giant in the state’s politics, made an appearance and a call for unity. But beneath the surface, the struggle continued
over what kind of Democratic nominee should lead the party next, a centrist like former
Vice President Joe Biden. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), Presidential Candidate:
The risk of nominating someone who wouldn’t beat Trump is a nation and a world that our
children and our grandkids won’t want to — won’t want to live in. AMNA NAWAZ: Or a progressive like Massachusetts
Senator Elizabeth Warren, who often warns against running what she calls a safe campaign. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), Presidential Candidate:
We’re not going to change it by a nibble here and a little bit of change over there. We’re going to change it with big structural
change. AMNA NAWAZ: It came a day after former President
Barack Obama, a moderate Democrat, made rare comments on the 2020 race and a veiled criticism
of that big structural change. Mr. Obama said — quote — “This is still
a country that is less revolutionary than it is interested in improvement. They like seeing things improved, but the
average American doesn’t think you have to completely tear down the system and remake
it.” He warned candidates to — quote — “pay some
attention to where voters actually are” and that — quote — “we also have to be rooted
in reality.” MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), Former Mayor of New
York: I got something important really wrong. AMNA NAWAZ: Meanwhile, another potential late
addition to the Democratic race, Michael Bloomberg, apologized for the stop-and-frisk policing
policy he led while mayor of New York, and has since defended as a means to combat crime. MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: I spoke with many of the
innocent people affected, and listened to their frustrations and their anger. AMNA NAWAZ: The policy, granting police broad
authority to detain and question people, overwhelmingly impacted people of color, and is largely seen
as out of line with the current Democratic Party. MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: I was wrong, and I am sorry. AMNA NAWAZ: Today, Bloomberg picked up a key
endorsement from Stephen Benjamin, mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, and one of the state’s
highest-profile black politicians, who applauded Bloomberg’s apology. And that brings us to Politics Monday. I’m here with our Politics Monday team. That is Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report
and host of public radio’s “Politics With Amy Walter,” and Tamara Keith from NPR. She co-hosts the “NPR Politics Podcast.” And welcome to you both. We have some new poll numbers. Shall we dig in? TAMARA KEITH, National Public Radio: Indeed. AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: Let’s. AMNA NAWAZ: Let’s go to Iowa first. Take a look at some of these numbers. This is from a new poll in Iowa for CNN and
The Des Moines Register. Look who’s at the top of this poll right now. Pete Buttigieg leads with 25 percent of support
in the state. After him there, you see Senators Warren,
former Vice President Biden and Senator Sanders. And then you have got the rest of the field,
or that’s basically everyone else, polling below 10 percent. That is in Iowa. Amy, start us off here. AMY WALTER: What is happening? Right. AMNA NAWAZ: What is happening here? How — that’s a 16-point surge, we should
mention, for Buttigieg. AMY WALTER: No, it’s pretty remarkable that,
of all the candidates, this is the one candidate who has gone literally from zero to the lead. Back in March, I think he was polling somewhere
around 1 percent or 2 percent. But what’s remarkable about Iowa right now,
we have had four polls since March from The Des Moines Register, which is the gold standard
of polling in the state. And while it’s very volatile, right, we have
had three different leads in these polls, so four polls, three different leaders, they
have been the same four people. It’s been of the pool of four people. We have a huge field, but the same four people
are mentioned as either one, two, three, or four since March. And so what we’re seeing is, yes, there is
some volatility here, but it’s not, at this point, opening a lane for somebody who is
not in those top four. AMNA NAWAZ: Tam, what do you see when you
look at these numbers? One of these things for the voters is like,
do they want someone who reflects back to them their values? Do they want someone who will beat Donald
Trump? What does this say to you right now? TAMARA KEITH: I think part of what this says
is that Pete Buttigieg has a pretty strong ground game in Iowa. And this is a unique state. It has a caucus system. He raised a lot of money earlier this year,
and he spent it. He’s investing putting staff on the ground
in Iowa. He just did a bus tour through the state. All of those things, like, being someone who
is the mayor of a small city and having time to meet a bunch of voters, that can actually
matter in a state like Iowa and can be reflected in this poll. AMY WALTER: And it certainly helped Elizabeth
Warren over the course of the summer, when people said, well, why is she now moving ahead,
as she was in a June-September poll? TAMARA KEITH: Yes. AMY WALTER: I can’t remember which one, but
it was that she had been building this ground game here. One thing to talk about too is the fact, like,
why are we spending so much time on Iowa? It has… (CROSSTALK) AMY WALTER: It has 45 delegates. California has over 490 delegates. But we know that really for the last 40 years,
with an asterisk on 1992 — and I’m not getting in the details. We don’t have enough time. (LAUGHTER) AMY WALTER: But the Democratic nominee for
president has won Iowa, New Hampshire, or both. So, those two states, again, for the last
40 years, have told us who the nominee will be, which is why Iowa, one or the other, right,
is so important. And it also sets the narrative. And it sets the media expectations really
for a good — obviously, for the next week, before we get to New Hampshire, but it really
does winnow the field pretty quickly. TAMARA KEITH: And Iowa, though, is not perfectly
reflective of the Democratic Party or America as a whole. AMY WALTER: It is not. TAMARA KEITH: This is the criticism. (CROSSTALK) TAMARA KEITH: Iowa and New Hampshire are super
white. AMY WALTER: Yes. TAMARA KEITH: And it just is what it is. They’re also highly educated. And there are — there are a lot of demographics
that make Iowa and New Hampshire not your standard reflection of the — of the broader
Democratic Party, which is where you get to South Carolina, where we also have a new poll,
and where Pete Buttigieg is in fourth place, but, like, barely registering. AMNA NAWAZ: Let’s see if we can put that up,
so you can talk to these numbers while people look at them at home too. This is the latest South Carolina poll from
Quinnipiac out today. A very different picture here, right? TAMARA KEITH: Well, and Pete Buttigieg knows
that he’s had trouble with African American voters. He’s been working on it pretty much most of
his campaign, at least since the summer. But it continues to be a challenge. And you see that in polling in South Carolina. It’s also not clear how he’s doing in Nevada,
which is the state that comes after that. And then it’s Super Tuesday, which is a whole
bunch of states, including California. AMNA NAWAZ: And you have mentioned to our
producer earlier, Buttigieg now being on top in some ways in Iowa, does that make him more
of a target for his fellow candidates? AMY WALTER: Right. So, look — so here’s what we have seen. In December and through March, it was Biden
who was on top in Iowa. Scrutiny gets onto Biden. Then it moves over to Warren. She’s leading. Scrutiny on Warren and her Medicare for all
plan. She starts to dip a little bit. And now we see Buttigieg on top. And you will remember we have a debate on
Wednesday. And I’m sure his friends and colleagues on
the stage with him will have a couple questions for him to answer. AMNA NAWAZ: That is a prediction from Amy
Walter, who hates to make predictions. AMY WALTER: Yes. AMNA NAWAZ: But you do bring me to Elizabeth
Warren. And I want to ask you about sort of an evolution
her Medicare for all plan. This has been sort of the defining issue for
her candidacy. And she seemed to, I don’t want to say evolve. It’s shifted a little bit now. She’s rolled out sort of a timeline for how
she plans to get there. AMY WALTER: Yes. AMNA NAWAZ: What do you make of that? AMY WALTER: It’s that whole trying to have
cake and eating it too or whatever the phrase — however the phrase goes, which is, she’s
been getting a tremendous amount of criticism, even from Democrats, for a plan that would
kick people off of their private insurance and institute a Medicare for all or basically
a single-payer system. What she has offered is to say, well, OK,
for the first two years, I will be able to push through a public option, which is, people
can stay on their private insurance or they can buy into a Medicare system, similar to
what Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden are talking about, many other Democrats are talking about But then, by year three and four, all those
people who’ve gotten in the public option are going to say, this is so great, I’m saving
so much money, the health care system has been so incredibly altered in the years since
it’s been implemented, that we’re going to do then Medicare for all. TAMARA KEITH: But let me just say that I have
covered presidents. And their third years and fourth years tend
not to be when they pass most of their most meaningful legislation. AMY WALTER: Right. TAMARA KEITH: And that’s why candidates always
talk about, on day one, or the first 100 days. AMY WALTER: Day one. TAMARA KEITH: There’s a reason for that. Midterms happen. Things come screeching to a halt. AMNA NAWAZ: Does this open her up to criticism
that she’s changing her tune, that she’s lining up more with moderate candidates? TAMARA KEITH: It has opened her up to criticism,
remarkably, both from the Bernie Sanders side of the world and the Pete Buttigieg side of
the world. She’s getting it from all angles, in part
because she decided to go out there and say that she had a plan and put it in writing. AMNA NAWAZ: Right. Tam, I’m going to give you the last word on
something else here. I want to make sure we get your take, because
the last time we were sitting here, I was asking you about these three key Southern
states in which President Trump campaigned very heavily for the gubernatorial candidates
there, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Those are the margins by which President Trump
won election back in 2016 in each of those states. You said watching those races would paint
a picture, or at least give us an indication of what’s ahead. What do we now know? TAMARA KEITH: Well, I will just say that President
Trump at a rally said, you have got to give me a big win, please, and said that the eyes
of history would be watching, that people should send a message to Washington and the
Democrats in Washington. Well, guess what happens? Two out of three of those ended up going to
the Democrat. Now, he will say that the Republican in Kentucky,
good guy, he says, but deeply unpopular. And he will say, well, John Bel Edwards, it
was close, and it was super close. But the reality is that the president couldn’t
get them over the finish line. He went and did a bunch of rallies, put a
lot of personal capital — political capital out there to say, like, I’m the president,
I can drag them over the finish line. And he didn’t do it. AMNA NAWAZ: Amy, a few seconds left. Want to weigh in on this? Sorry. AMY WALTER: A few seconds. Yes. If I am a Democrat in the more moderate side
of the equation, I looked at those and said, what those two Democrats did, the ones who
won, they ran as a centrist. They ran on building on the Affordable Care
Act, not on Medicare for all. The Medicaid expansion is very popular in
those states, i.e., Democrats, stay toward the Affordable Care Act and building on that,
not moving too far to the left on health care. AMNA NAWAZ: That is what worked for them there. AMY WALTER: Yes. AMNA NAWAZ: Amy Walter and Tamara Keith, always
good to see you guys. TAMARA KEITH: Thank you. AMY WALTER: Thank you. AMNA NAWAZ: And finally tonight, the mysterious
meeting of land, sea, and sky through the eyes of 19th century American artist Winslow
Homer. Special correspondent Jared Bowen examines
at an exhibit of the landscape painter’s enchantment with seascapes. It’s part of our ongoing series on arts and
culture, Canvas. JARED BOWEN: Many an artist has heard the
siren call of the sea. For Winslow Homer, it would change his life. BILL CROSS, Curator: We think of him today
principally as a marine painter. Until age 33, though, he had never shown a
marine painting. JARED BOWEN: Until then, Homer had been a
well-known illustrator who’d captured the Civil War from the front lines. He was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
and was a New Yorker by the time he found the sea as a painter in 1869. He was enchanted, says curator Bill Cross. BILL CROSS: The times of day, the times of
tide, storms washing in and washing out, the mysterious meeting of land sea and sky was
alluring to him, as it is to us. OLIVER BARKER, Director, Cape Ann Museum:
We have been able to assemble 51 works by Homer here at the Cape Ann Museum. JARED BOWEN: Oliver barker is the director
of the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, where Homer at the Beach commemorates the 150th
anniversary of the artist as a marine painter. OLIVER BARKER: We know he came here on four
separate occasions, initially to Manchester and then three separate occasions to Gloucester. And so it wasn’t accidental. JARED BOWEN: Homer initially sought out the
sea up and down the East Coast. In New Jersey, he found heavily populated
beaches, with crowds in wool bathing costumes like this one. But as he moved north, Homer found vastly
different vistas. He discovered industry in a Gloucester shipyard
and the solitude of rock-strewn beaches. OLIVER BARKER: He was very inspired by the
ordinary people of Gloucester. I think, as time went on, he started to show
some of the beauty of the surrounding areas. There are these glorious sunsets. JARED BOWEN: This is the first marine painting
Homer ever exhibited, inspired by Singing Beach in Manchester. It went on view in New York. And, says curator Bill Cross, the critics
hated it. BILL CROSS: He received disdain because he
was ahead of his time. JARED BOWEN: Homer had embarked on his marine
painting after a lengthy trip to France, where he was exposed to all that was new in European
painting, photography and Japanese prints, none of which had yet taken hold in America. BILL CROSS: Homer was using diffuse light,
had little narrative content. And the critics wanted less sketchy paintings. They wanted a work that included figures. JARED BOWEN: The hostile reviews continued
with these two works called Low Tide. But, here, Homer’s response was equally hostile
and physical. I know this is a trick question, but one painting
or two? BILL CROSS: Both. (LAUGHTER) BILL CROSS: Homer made his most ambitious
painting based on his visits to Long Branch, New Jersey, in 1869, and exhibited that, to
scorn. JARED BOWEN: Scorn from the critics? BILL CROSS: Scorn from the critics. He removed the painting from the exhibition
before the exhibition ended and took his own knife to it, dismembered the painting, and
turned it into two works. Only once before in U.S. history have these
two paintings been brought together in this way. JARED BOWEN: Part of the beauty of Homer’s
works, the light, the glint of the sea, and even a lot of the landscapes are still as
they were. Living on Ten Pound Island in Gloucester Harbor,
Homer painted some 100 watercolors over one summer. Today, he’s known as one of the best watercolorists
ever. But he had a profound role model, his mother. BILL CROSS: She exhibited her watercolors
in New York before he did. And when he exhibited his watercolors for
the first time, she was in the same exhibition. JARED BOWEN: Cross says the 11 years of works
in these galleries are tantamount to an artist in a process of self-discovery, one that would
result in the most significant works of his career. What made some of the greatest works? BILL CROSS: He was discovering these places
in himself through the application of three essential lessons, travel widely, experiment
boldly, and love deeply. JARED BOWEN: For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Jared
Bowen of WGBH in Gloucester, Massachusetts. AMNA NAWAZ: In September, the Trump administration
proposed an annual refugee cap of 18,000 people for the year 2020. That’s down from the low of 30,000 refugees
this year. But what makes someone a refugee and another
person a migrant? Tonight, writer Dina Nayeri offers her Humble
Opinion on that important difference. DINA NAYERI, Author, “The Ungrateful Refugee:
What Immigrants Never Tell You”: In 1989, when I was 10, I arrived in Oklahoma as a
refugee. In Iran, my mother had been threatened with
execution for converting to Christianity, so we were recognized as political dissidents
and granted asylum. According to American law, refugees are entitled
asylum because they have suffered persecution and face future danger, whereas economic migrants
must prove their merit. The difference between these two groups may
seem obvious, danger to one’s life, but, in practice, it is anything but. When you apply for asylum, either at the border
or in an embassy, often before you have had legal advice, you’re given what’s called a
credible fear assessment. Let’s say you’re from Central America and
a gang demanded money from you. You refused, and they threatened to kill you. Naturally, you fled. At the U.S. border, the officer will ask for
the specific reason that you refused the gang. The truth is there are many reasons you didn’t
pay. You don’t have the money. It stinks to face extortion every day. But if you happen to say to the officer, “Because
I didn’t have the money,” then you don’t qualify for refugee status. But if instead you say, “Because I don’t believe
gangs should be running my country,” that would make you a refugee. Why? Because you have a well-founded fear of future
persecution based on your political opinion, that the country shouldn’t be run by gangs. Think about that for a minute. If you testify that the gang said, “We will
kill you, you cheapskate,” you’re just a migrant. If you say they said, “We will kill you, you
traitor,” you’re a refugee. Seems arbitrary, doesn’t it, to hang an entire
person’s fate on the gangster’s insult of choice? I come from a family of doctors and scholars. When we had our asylum interview, we knew
that our Christianity was the central question. If my mother had been less educated about
what she shouldn’t say, she might have wept about her marriage or a lack of money after
we escaped Iran. If she had, would our asylum have been denied? Would I be a writer now, or a frustrated housewife
forced to live under a head scarf? I’d like to believe that would have been a
waste. So here’s my question: How meaningful is the
distinction between migrant and refugee? Is this really a useful way to decide how
much people have suffered and what care and protection we owe to our fellow man? And how exactly do you define a life in danger? If a life is sure to be wasted in poverty,
without education, opportunity, or purpose, isn’t that a kind of danger too? AMNA NAWAZ: And that’s the “NewsHour” for
tonight. I’m Amna Nawaz. Join us online and again here tomorrow at
9:00 a.m. Eastern for special live coverage of the impeachment
hearings. For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank
you, and we’ll see you soon.

Another Poll Shows Medicare For All Is A Winning Issue For Democrats


According to a new CBS news poll, 56% of people
here in the United States believe that providing healthcare is something the federal government
should do for the people of the United States. 56% say, hell yeah, there needs to be a government
run healthcare program. And what’s shocking is that nearly half of
these people who say the government should be running a healthcare program, nearly half
of them also say, even if it means getting rid of private insurance. Now, this same CBS news poll says that roughly
75% of the people they talked to said they actually do like their insurance. 75% like their insurance, which obviously
means 75% of people have never had to stay for a few days in a hospital or go in for
an emergency surgery because that number seems a little bit high. But nonetheless, you can like it but the portent
thing is 56% say government gotta get in the business of providing healthcare. Even if it means we lose what we’ve got because
we’re going to gain something better. The point of this poll. The reason this is significant is because
this is the latest in a long line of polls showing that people want government run healthcare
is because last night at the democratic debate, you had Democrats up on that stage, alleged
Democrats. You had Klobuchar, you had Buttigieg, you
had some other folks, Biden and Harris saying, no, people need to have choice. We can’t just have a government run program. Maybe make it part of Medicare for all who
want it. As we have repeatedly said, Medicare for all
who want it is basically being set up to fail. Just like the affordable care act, Medicare
for all who want it can be dismantled because if you only have certain percentage of the
population that’s below 100 who say, yes, I want this plan later on, the government
can come in when Republicans control everything again and eventually they will. Eventually Democrats will, but they can come
in and say, we’re just going to get rid of it. They have that authority. Yeah. People might get pissed off, but they’ll also
forget about it. Cause as a whole, as a public, we’re kind
of stupid. That’s just the way we are. But if you enact it and you say, this is the
only game in town, this is what everybody gets rich and poor alike. This is your healthcare. You don’t have to do anything. You just go to a doctor, you fill out your
name, you get diagnosed, and you leave. They do that. You can’t take that away. I mean legislatively speaking, you could,
but you couldn’t do it without massive public backlash. And that’s why on this particular issue, again,
and this is based on the polling, you go big, you go all the way. Because if you half ass it, like they half-assed
the affordable care act, it’s going to get destroyed. It’s going to get dismantled and it’s going
to end up being something that people aren’t even sure if they like it or if they don’t,
or even if it does anything for them. You got to go big. This is what the public wants. Medicare for all, anything less is a losing
issue for the Democrats.

Corporate Democrats Panic As Joe Biden Continues To Fail


I think it’s appropriate at this point to
say that, uh, the moneyed interests in the democratic party starting to kind of freak
out a little bit because their guy Joe Biden just isn’t doing too well. In addition to the fact that his momentum
has been going backwards ever since the very first democratic debate, we now have him being
attacked by the president and the right wing relentlessly over his son’s business in Ukraine. And even though Biden and Hunter Biden have
not been accused of anything illegal, it’s still suspect it’s still shady and it’s still
hurting him. And that is why in the last couple of weeks
we have seen Elizabeth Warren now emerge as the front runner in the democratic race for
the first time since he announced he was running. Joe Biden is not the front runner and that
scares the moneyed interest, the corporate elite, the centrists who are running the democratic
party because if they don’t have Biden, they got nothing left. And that’s what’s freaking them out. We have seen reports recently, wall street
insiders, tech insiders, big business owners, openly fretting and attacking both Bernie
Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Because now those two are looking more and
more likely that they’re going to emerge as the last two standing in the democratic primary. And I can’t think of a better two to have
left. but what about all the centrist? What about all the Corpus? What about all of that money? They tried to pump into Joe Biden. Well It turns out that’s nothing compared
to the grass roots small donor money that Bernie Sanders is raising 25 million compared
to Biden’s big money, 15 million. He’s tanking folks and he knows it. His campaign came out earlier this week and
said, look, we’re pretty much guaranteed we’re going to lose the first three primaries and
caucuses like they’re actually planning on losing now. And that’s why the moneyed interests are freaking
out because if Biden goes down, they’ve got nobody left who they gonna put their money
behind. Camilla Harris, she’s back to polling in the
single digits and falling. Cory Booker, he never broke 2% Beto O’Rourke. He’s kind of crazy. Pete, Buddhajudge. Now there’s an idea. He has taken more money from billionaires
than any other person running on the democratic side. He is openly attacking the idea of small money
donors. He’s attacking Elizabeth Warren, he’s attacking
Beto and he’s kind of showing that he’s pretty damn arrogant and ignorant about what the
party needs. And that just is the perfect recipe for corporate
as Democrats. So as Biden continues to fall, you can expect
the corporate media, the corporate of the democratic party, they’re going to start propping
up Buddha judge, but it’s not gonna work at this point. It might actually be too little too late. Thank God. Because we need real structural change and
reform within the democratic party and within the government itself. You don’t get that with Biden. You don’t get it with Buddha judge or Harris
or Booker or O’Rourke or Gillibrand or Klubachar or any of the other ones. You get it with Bernie Sanders. You get it to a smaller degree with Elizabeth
Warren. But you do get some of it with her. Everybody else. Nope. And that’s what scares the moneyed interests,
not just that things are going to change, but that things are going to change forever. It will never go back to being the same. And that is another reason why this primary
is so important, because it’s not just about just changing it right now. It’s about changing it forever. And honestly, there is one candidate that
wants to enact the biggest changes to the party and to the system itself. And that’s the person who will be getting
my vote in these primaries.

Democratic Debate Recap – Who Won And Who Needs To Drop Out


So last night was the forth democratic presidential
debate, 12 people on that overcrowded stage. And what we learned from that debate is that
there is a couple of winners up there and there’s quite a few people that really need
to drop out as soon as possible. To me, before I get into this, the most interesting
thing I’ve found during these debates is that it hasn’t increased my support for any particular
candidate, but it really has made me dislike even more members of the democratic party
than I disliked before. And that was my biggest takeaway last night. So let’s start with the losers. Biggest loser of the evening. Tulsi Gavart absolutely looked foolish up
there on that stage for every single question that she was asked, even when they went into
her wheelhouse, she couldn’t do it. So I think Tulsi is pretty much finished after
this debate. That was a horrid performance and a lot of
people are walking away from that with a sour taste in their mouth. A couple other folks that really rubbed me
the wrong way. Amy Klobuchar, what a horrible person. I mean just in general as a human being, Amy
Klobuchar is just awful. But substantively, regardless of my personal
feelings for anybody, Amy Klobuchar was up there arguing with Elizabeth Warren about
why we can’t or shouldn’t make progress here in the United States. That that’s odd. That’s not ever something you want to hear
from somebody running for president. You don’t want to hear scale it back folks. We’re not going to do good things. And yet that’s all Amy Klobuchar had. She had a very combative attitude towards
Elizabeth Ward and I think it’s because Klobuchar right now is fighting for her life and she
thought she could win it back last night. She couldn’t. Other two biggest losers for me of the evening. Number one, Andrew Yang. Wow. I’m getting tired of hearing Andrew Yang talk
about UBI. UBI, UBI folks, UBI, UBI, I don’t know if
you know this, but UBI, Oh my God. Come up with another plan and I know the yang
gang’s gonna go he’s got over a hundred plans on his website cause you literally say that
exact phrase every time somebody says that, almost like it’s a pre made response. I don’t trust him, I don’t like him. His plan is awful. His value added tax would increase costs for
consumers through the frickin roof and yet he’s sitting there saying, we shouldn’t have
a progressive income tax. We should just have a value added tax. That’s a tax on American consumers folks. Andrew Yang is not serious. Andrew Yang doesn’t have an actual plan to
solve the problem of automation, which according to economists isn’t even a problem. Not now nor in the near future. So why waste our time? Andrew Yang is not a horrible person. He’s not a horrible candidate. He’s got some ideas that he has not fully
flushed out and they’re not ready for prime time. That’s the thing with Andrew Yang. Also, I would feel better maybe if he were
a member of an administration, get a little bit of experience in there. Try to put these policies in place that way,
which is actually a lot easier. And then we’ll see if they can work. But I don’t think Andrew Yang is ready in
any capacity to be president of the United States. Now, the person who pissed me off the most
from that debate, mayor Pete, Pete Buttigieg running to the center faster than anyone I
have ever seen. In fact, he is running so fast towards the
center that he’s already on the right, this man, much like Klobuchar and even Gabard sitting
there telling us during that debate that we can’t do these things, that we need to scale
back our promises, that we need to aim lower and that we just all need to, you know, be
a little bit nicer, not go for these things that would actually help Americans. You know, the things that other countries
have already implemented, like Medicare for all universal healthcare. Um, we somehow just can’t do it. Pete says we can’t, we’re not smart enough
here in the United States. I guess I don’t like that. I don’t like hearing that. I don’t like centrists and I’m sick and tired
of mayor Pete downplaying the Progressive’s on that stage. It’s disgusting. It’s unnecessary. And he’s attacking others not to tear them
down or expose their flaws, but to elevate himself that is low, that is dirty. I do not like mayor Pete and I wish he would
drop out today. Another person who did not perform exceptionally
well at the debate. Um, aside from most of the other folks on
the stage, I was very disappointed in Elizabeth Warren’s performance and I’ve read this morning
and last night a bunch of different pieces. Everybody’s got their particular winners in
their losers and every list is different. A lot of people had Warren kind of towards
the top of people who did well. I didn’t see that. I didn’t, I saw her be very evasive. I saw her seem exceptionally nervous for some
reason. That really threw me off. I mean at one point her hand was shaking. She handed up here near her face when she
was talking. You can see it visibly shaking that that was
weird to me. She seemed nervous and this is an experienced
woman. This is a very confident woman. So I don’t know what that was about, but it
gave me the wrong impression. She again, was evasive with her answers, couldn’t
go straight forward on the issue of taxes and universal healthcare. Bernie had the jump in and answer that question
and that brings us to the winner. It was obvious folks. Bernie Sanders killed that debate. Not only that, but he also got some pretty
amazing adores endorsements from three quarters of the squad. Uh, Ilana O’Mar, AOC and Rashida Tlaib are
all endorsing Bernie Sanders. That is huge. And another winner of the debate, believe
it or not, folks, was Joe Biden. And one of the reasons Joe Biden, one, the
only reason Joe Biden could be considered a winner is because he didn’t get to talk
very much. And that’s why this entire format is infuriating. People need to see who Joe Biden is. They need to remember that this is the human
GAF machine. And by not letting him speak, which I feel
was intentional, he didn’t make as many mistakes. Now. He made mistakes when he talked, but because
they let those other, you know, one percenters fight amongst themselves so much. Joe Biden just had to sit there and not be
stupid. That’s not fair. We need to see Joe Biden being Joe Biden,
but because they didn’t talk to them all that much, he also merged as a winter. Next debate. I say no more than five. Let’s go ahead. Let’s, let’s whittle this down. Let’s get it down to five. No more than that on the stage, and it needs
to be just the front runners too. Let’s not have this random drawing. Some good people this night. The others on this night. Nope. Let’s have a debate with Bernie. Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg. Maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s what we’re down to. Maybe that’s the top tier and that’s all we
need to see. But we can’t do another double digit debate. It’s not letting people have enough time. It’s not letting them get into the issues
like they need to, and it’s really not helping anyone make the case as to why they should
be the next president of the United States.

The hot topics 2020 Democrats could debate tonight


JUDY WOODRUFF: We turn now to the Democratic
presidential race. Twelve candidates will take the debate stage
in Westerville, Ohio, tonight. It comes after former Vice President Joe Biden’s
son Hunter Biden spoke publicly for the first time about his role as a board member of a
Ukrainian gas company during the time that his father was in office. President Trump has spread unsubstantiated
claims that the Bidens engaged in illegal dealings in Ukraine, and sparked the current
impeachment inquiry by pressuring the country’s leader to look into it. In an interview with ABC News, the younger
Biden admitted poor judgment in taking the position, but he denied any wrongdoing. HUNTER BIDEN, Son of Joe Biden: Did I make
a mistake? Well, maybe, in the grand scheme of things,
yes. But did I make a mistake based upon some ethical
lapse? Absolutely not. I made a mistake, in retrospect, as it related
to creating any perception that was wrong. JUDY WOODRUFF: And Yamiche Alcindor is at
the debate site in Ohio, and she joins me. Yamiche, hello. So, how much do we expect this issue of Joe
Biden and Hunter Biden to come up tonight? What do you — you have been talking to these
campaigns. What are they saying? YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, this is first Democratic
debate since Nancy Pelosi launched that formal impeachment inquiry. So Ukraine is going to be a hot topic tonight. Sources I’m talking to on a number of campaigns
have been prepping for that question, and they’re also questioning Hunter Biden coming
out the morning before this debate. Now, other campaigns, not the Joe Biden campaign,
say that this is Joe Biden wanting to put this to bed, wanting to have Hunter Biden
out there to kind of talk about his business dealings, to try put — get out ahead of this. But other campaigns say, look, this is a problem
because Hunter Biden does look as though he was profiting off of Joe Biden’s name. And that is problematic, especially as Democrats
are trying to make the case that President Trump had children that were profiting off
of his name. But the Biden campaign has been very clear. They say that they didn’t arrange this interview
and that Hunter Biden wanted to come out and defend himself. But I think Ukraine is going to be a big topic
during tonight’s debate. JUDY WOODRUFF: Yamiche, I also want to ask
you about Senator Bernie Sanders. As we know, he had a heart attack a couple
weeks ago. He has been off the cam pawn trail ever since. Tonight will be the first time he has come
back since then. What do we know about how he’s doing and about
how the other campaigns have reacted to all that? YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Senator Bernie Sanders is
eager to tell people that he is back and stronger than ever. I spoke to a campaign aide for him for a long
time today. And that person said, Bernie Sanders really
had a piercing moment of clarity when he had that heart attack. And that person told me that he really wants
to talk about how health care is now such a fundamental part of his campaign. He sees Medicare for all as an even more important
thing that all Americans should have, because he says that, if other Americans had a heart
attack like he did, they might have all been bankrupted. I did push the Bernie Sanders campaign and
say, well, is he healthy enough to go on, and, frankly, is he going to — is the Democratic
Party possibly going to be in a bad situation if he gets sick again if he wins the nomination,
and then is getting — and then has issues during the general election against President
Trump? They told me — their response was, anybody
could get hit with anything, people can die in plane crashes, people can also get in car
crashes, all sorts of tragedies can happen. And they say, we want people not to move in
fear and that they should feel comfortable voting for and supporting Bernie Sanders. JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, Yamiche, Senator
Elizabeth Warren, who has been — was already one of the leaders in this race, she’s risen
even more in her status as a front-runner. What are the other candidates — how are they
responding to her pickup in the polls? YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, I should tell you,
Judy, Elizabeth Warren is very happy, but very cautious about the fact she’s been seeing
a rise in the polls. Her campaign tells me that she understands
that there are going to be phases in this race, and that, even though she is rising
now, that that could change. Senator Harris’ campaign was — a really interesting
take on this, because they say that she saw a bump, Senator Harris saw a bump after the
first debate, but they saw that as a — quote — “sugar high.” So other campaigns are starting to look at
Elizabeth Warren and trying to really prepare to make contrasts. They say that they want to talk about her
health care stances. So we should explain — we should really expect
people to be possibly criticizing Elizabeth Warren in a different way, because she is
now seen as an emerging front-runner here. JUDY WOODRUFF: And finally, Yamiche, you sat
down today with one of the candidates, Tom Steyer, of course, the billionaire entrepreneur. This is going to be his first debate that
he’s participated in. What did you learn about how he plans to approach
this? YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Tom Steyer told me that
he really sees this as introducing himself to the American people. He understands that he’s starting a little
bit later than other people. He understands that he has a lot of work to
do, but he tells me that, really, he’s going to be talking about climate change, he’s going
to be talking about really changing Washington to help everyday working people. I put the question to him, how, as a billionaire,
are you going to relate and make the case that you understand grassroots people, understand
working-class people? He said, I’m going to be saying that I traveled
with people, I have talked to a lot of people, I understand what people are going through. He also said that he wants to make it clear
that, even though he’s a billionaire, he sees himself as a grassroots person. He also made the case that he was out front
very early calling for the impeachment of President Trump. He made the case to me that Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t
have launched an impeachment inquiry if not for him pushing for it. He launched his campaign to impeach Donald
Trump in October 2017. Of course, Nancy Pelosi would probably take
issue with that. But Tom Steyer is trying to put himself out
there as someone who is a front-runner and rally leading on the issue of impeachment,
which, of course, is going to be another big topic during this debate. JUDY WOODRUFF: And you’re — he’s absolutely
right about the fact that he was the one candidate who was out there running ads specifically
about impeachment well before we got to the point where we are today. Yamiche Alcindor, we will be watching. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Yes, October 2017. JUDY WOODRUFF: Exactly. (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Yamiche, you’re going to be
watching that debate tonight, Westerville, Ohio, Otterbein College. Thank you very much.

Why Nevada’s Culinary Union isn’t buying Medicare for All


JUDY WOODRUFF: We turn now to the Democratic
presidential race. The state of Nevada is third in line to vote
in the primary contest next year. That gives it a key role in picking the Democrats’
presidential nominee. As John Yang reports, a labor union dominated
by women and Latinos could decide the winner. JOHN YANG: Susana Loli’s quiet neighborhood
is eight miles and a world away from the crowds and clamor of the Las Vegas Strip, but 23
years of cleaning hotel rooms there has allowed the Peru native to build a life she’s proud
of, thanks in large part to her union, Culinary Workers Local 226. SUSANA LOLI, Culinary Workers Union: I can
have a better job, better pay, better health insurance. I have a house and a car. My life has changed. My kids went to the university, and, for me,
was the best. JOHN YANG: Sixty thousand Nevada hotel and
casino workers are represented by the Culinary Union, by far the state’s largest and most
politically influential. The majority-Latino, majority-female union
reflects the changing face of U.S. organized labor and Nevada’s increasingly diverse population,
now nearly 30 percent Latino. The union has negotiated generous employer-paid
benefits, including top-tier health insurance. More than 140,000 workers and dependents get
free care at the union’s clinic and pharmacy. Loli has relied on that for her family, and
for herself when she needed surgery after an on-the-job injury. SUSANA LOLI: I was moving something and pushed
with my leg, and I feel something popping. The next day, it was swollen, my knee. And I cannot work like that. It’s expensive, thousands of dollars. JOHN YANG: And, for you, if you don’t work,
you don’t get paid, right? SUSANA LOLI: Yes. JOHN YANG: Like Loli, fellow union member
Mirtha Rojas also works at a hotel on the Strip and is a naturalized U.S. citizen. MIRTHA ROJAS, Culinary Workers Union: I’m
from Cuba. JOHN YANG: She came to America in 2000 with
her daughter, Nancy, who now has a 3-year-old son of her own, Juan. Rojas first worked non-union jobs in Las Vegas. And what were the differences? What — between the job and what you were
getting from you employer at the non-union hotel and what you were getting at the… (CROSSTALK) MIRTHA ROJAS: Very different. For example, the health insurance, I need
to pay for me, for my daughter, very expensive, every month. So, in the union, don’t pay nothing. JOHN YANG: Last year, she was part of the
union’s political organizing, considered the state’s most effective Latino voter turnout
operation. About 250 culinary workers took leave from
their jobs ahead of the midterm elections, knocking on some 200,000 doors and registering
10,000 new voters. MIRTHA ROJAS: We got it. We win. JOHN YANG: On Election Day, Democrats won
up and down the ballot. REP. JACKY ROSEN (D-NV): Our union is a lifeblood
of our community. JOHN YANG: Including Jacky Rosen, who flipped
a red Senate seat to blue. Rosen joined the Culinary Union during a summer
in college. REP. JACKY ROSEN: The acceptance speeches, everything
was at Caesars Palace, and that’s where just about 40 years ago I was that summer waitress. JOHN YANG: Rojas says she will be back at
it next year. MIRTHA ROJAS: Yes, I’m ready. (LAUGHTER) MIRTHA ROJAS: I’m ready, because this is important. We need to stay together. JOHN YANG: Nevada’s Democratic presidential
caucuses in February will be the first big test of the candidates’ appeal to Latino voters. And that’s why the support of the culinary
workers is so coveted. Jon Ralston is editor of The Nevada Independent,
a nonprofit online news site. JON RALSTON, The Nevada Independent: I know
it’s a cliche, but the Culinary Union is the 800-pound gorilla of Nevada politics. And, by the way, both sides recognize this. The Republicans are afraid of what the Culinary
can do, and the Democrats want the Culinary to do what it can do. JOHN YANG: Former hotel worker Geoconda Arguello-Kline
is the top official of Local 226. GEOCONDA ARGUELLO-KLINE, Culinary Workers
Union: The health care issue, for the members, it’s number one. JOHN YANG: That could be a big problem for
Democratic presidential candidates pushing Medicare for all. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), Presidential Candidate:
Medical for all, this is our opportunity. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), Presidential Candidate:
Medicare to every man, woman and child. JOHN YANG: Progressives argue that if health
care was out of contract negotiations, unions could press for higher wages. Local 226 members aren’t buying it. GEOCONDA ARGUELLO-KLINE: I don’t think that’s
the solution for them. I don’t think that the members will listen
to me about that. SUSANA LOLI: No, I want to continue with my
health insurance, the same plan. For us, work perfect. MIRTHA ROJAS: I love my health insurance because
it’s the best. So I want my health insurance. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), Presidential Candidate:
I’m not going to let anyone, Republican or Democrat, take it away, period. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) JOHN YANG: Moderates like former Vice President
Joe Biden oppose Medicare for all. It’s an issue with organized labor beyond
the culinary workers. JON RALSTON: Other unions here, like AFSCME
and maybe even SEIU, their members love their medical plans. I think the prospect of losing that is going
to weigh on their minds, especially if another candidate — the most likely one, of course,
is Biden, if he sticks around — to keep pointing that out — you could lose your insurance
with Warren or Sanders. JOHN YANG: While union leaders and rank-and-file
members like Rojas and Loli are still deciding which candidate to back, they have a clear
message about what it will take to win their support. SUSANA LOLI: They have to know about the benefits
that we have. We have good health insurance, good pension,
good pay. It’s very important. MIRTHA ROJAS: We need somebody working together
with the union. Immigration is important for me, because,
when somebody’s coming here, somebody’s having dreams. JOHN YANG: The faces of what could be crucial
support next year, when Nevada helps pick presidential winners and losers. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m John Yang in Las
Vegas.

Republicans Accidentally Destroy Trump’s Biggest Attack Against Biden


One of Donald Trump’s biggest attacks on Joe
Biden, the one he thinks that’s really sticking with the public that’s resonating well and
taking down Biden is the fact that Joe Biden was basically the guy in charge here in the
United States demanding that Ukraine fire their prosecutor Shoken because he wasn’t
doing his job. But according to Trump, he wanted him fired
because he was allegedly investigating his son, which is not actually what happened yesterday. A resurface letter from the year 2016 emerged
showing that, Oh, Joe Biden wasn’t the only one asking for this prosecutor to be fired. Now, we already knew that other countries
had asked for the prosecutor to be fired. The UN had chimed in and said, you’ve got
to get rid of this guy not prosecuting corruption. He has corrupt himself. And then a letter in 2016 signed by Republican
senators Rob Portman, Mark Kirk and Ron Johnson called for removal of this prosecutor. Democrats also signed it, democratic Senator
Dick Durbin, Jeanne Shaheen, Chris Murphy, Sherrod Brown, Richard Blumenthal, all signed
on to this letter, sent it over to Ukraine. Prosecutor respired roughly a month later. But this blows up that entire argument from
Donald Trump that Biden was doing this to protect his son. You had Republicans in the Senate and Ron
Johnson, by the way, has come out. So I don’t remember signing that letter. I don’t remember that. Kay will happened. Your names on it, your signatures there, you
may not remember it, but it happened and if you can’t remember it then that’s probably
a good sign. You shouldn’t be serving in the federal government
anymore because your mind slipping a bit. This is hard evidence. Republicans were with the Democrats on this
particular issue. So what now? Now we know this is, this is bunk. Well, unfortunately the conservative media
isn’t going to talk about this letter. They’re not going to give it the coverage
that it deserves and they’re not going to mention the fact that no, Joe Biden did not
do this to protect his son. Now that still doesn’t answer the question
or address the issue of whether or not Biden engaged in any quid pro quo. I’m going to withhold your aid unless you
fire the prosecutor. That could still be an issue for Biden and
let’s be honest, that’s not a good thing to do. Anyway. The aide had been passed. I mean essentially Joe Biden did to a lesser
extent what Donald Trump has been accused of doing, which I have discussed earlier. I don’t think what Biden did was technically
illegal. Maybe it was, and if it was hell yeah, investigate,
prosecute, do whatever you need to do. I 100% think what Donald Trump did was illegal. We have text messages to prove it, but now
we also have an email for a letter from 2016 that proves the Joe Biden was not alone in
calling for the removal of this prosecutor. It’s probably not going to stop Trump from
using this talking point, but anytime anybody sees it, you need to throw this letter back
in their face and remind them that there was pretty much global unity calling for this
prosecutor to be removed and that is not a scandal. That is not illegal. This prosecutor was corrupt as hell and wasn’t
prosecuting corruption because he was part of it. That’s the part. Republicans still seem to have trouble getting
into their skulls.