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PBS NewsHour full episode October 9, 2019


JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff. On the “NewsHour” tonight: crossing the line.
As Turkey sends troops into Syria, I sit down with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about
the latest international flash points, including China and Ukraine, genesis of the impeachment
moves. Then: a constitutional clash. The White House
refuses to cooperate with Congress in the impeachment inquiry, creating a test of the
balance of powers. Plus, we return to the Bahamas to see how
life on the islands is recovering and the future threats of climate change. KERRY EMANUEL, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology: What we’re already seeing is a greater incidence of the really strong hurricanes,
just more strong storms, and more rain, more flooding from tropical cyclones. JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s
“PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Turkey unleashed its military
offensive in Northeastern Syria today by air and on the ground. Turkish forces have now
crossed the Syrian border, hours after their warplanes carried out airstrikes targeting
U.S.-allied Kurdish forces. A Syrian war monitor reported that at least
seven civilians and one member of the Kurdish-led force known as the Syrian Democratic Forces
were killed. Siobhan Kennedy of Independent Television
News narrates our report. SIOBHAN KENNEDY: Within days of President
Trump announcing U.S. troops would withdraw from Northeast Syria, Turkish jets began taking
off. Their targets, Kurdish-controlled Syrian border towns. Smoke rising from artillery shells, the long
trail of cars, and many people on foot also leaving the city. President Erdogan had given the order to launch
the attack. RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, Turkish President (through
translator): I wish success to our heroes, and I kiss each of them on their forehead. SIOBHAN KENNEDY: He tweeted: “Our mission
is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border and to bring peace
to the area.” Today, though, he brought firepower against
Kurdish forces and panic to civilians. Since the defeat of Da’esh, or ISIS, Kurdish forces
have controlled the part of Syria east of the Euphrates backed by a limited number of
U.S. troops. In August, a three-mile buffer zone was agreed,
running along the Turkish border, to be jointly patrolled by Turkey and the U.S. But President
Erdogan has always wanted to go further, 20 miles inside the border, to push back the
YPG, who he considers terrorists allied with a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey. As shelling began on the border towns of Sari
Kani and explosions rocked Ras al-Ayn, Kurdish-led forces warned of humanitarian catastrophe.
But with no U.S. support, generals called on civilians to move to the border to fight AHMAD MOUSA, Spokesman, Syrian Democratic
Forces (through translator): We send a message to the whole world again. We will not target
Turkey. But if they insist in attacking us and occupying our lands, we will trigger our
right in defending our project until last blood. We are ready to face any kind of attack. SIOBHAN KENNEDY: As Kurdish forces engage
in battle, the worry is, no one will be left to guard the prisons filled with more than
10,000 ISIS fighters. Donald Trump has long said ISIS is defeated
and today said the U.S. didn’t endorse Turkey’s attack, calling it a bad idea. Families have
begun to flee their homes in the worst-hit towns, panicked and confused. But Turkey is certain, determined that now
is the time to strike. JUDY WOODRUFF: That report from Siobhan Kennedy
of Independent Television News. Meanwhile, in Washington, President Trump
said he remains committed to taking U.S. troops out of the Middle East. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
We have been talking to Turkey for three years. They have been wanting to do this for many
years, as you know. They have been fighting each other for centuries. We’re getting out
of endless wars. We have to do it. And, eventually, somebody was going to have
to make that decision. And, frankly, we are getting a lot of praise from that decision. JUDY WOODRUFF: We will talk to U.S. Secretary
of State Mike Pompeo about Turkey’s operation in Syria and other things after the news summary. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden
said for the first time today that President Trump must be impeached for abusing his power.
Mr. Trump faces an impeachment inquiry by House Democrats following a whistle-blower’s
account that he asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden and his son. The former vice president told supporters
today in New Hampshire that Mr. Trump is — quote — “shooting holes in the Constitution.” JOSEPH BIDEN (D), Presidential Candidate:
Donald Trump has violated his oath of office, betrayed this nation and committed impeachable
acts. To preserve our Constitution, our democracy, our basic integrity, he should be impeached. JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump responded in
a tweet, saying that Biden’s call for his impeachment was — quote — “so pathetic.” Meanwhile, President Trump is facing new accusations
of sexually assaulting women. “Esquire” magazine published an excerpt of a new book titled
“All the President’s Women” that details 26 previously unreported claims of unwanted sexual
contact. That includes one woman who went on the record
to describe an instance at Mar-a-Lago in Florida in the early 2000s, when Mr. Trump, she said,
groped her and forcibly kissed her. Mr. Trump has denied the claims. California’s largest utility provider shut
off power to more than a million people today. It’s the biggest planned outage in the state’s
history. Pacific Gas and Electric said that it hopes to stop its equipment from sparking
wildfires during the hot and windy weather. About 800,000 customers will eventually be
affected across 34 counties in Northern and Central California. Officials warned the blackout could last days. KIP HARKNESS, Deputy City Manager, San Jose,
California: As long as those high winds are there, the power will be out. PG&E will not
begin restoring power until those wind conditions are down. And then, at that point, it can take up to
five days for the last customer to be restored. We will be working with them to increase the
velocity of that restoration and restore as quickly as possible, but it is in their hands
and their infrastructure. JUDY WOODRUFF: PG&E came under increased scrutiny
last November, after California’s deadliest and most destructive fire was determined to
be ignited by the utility’s transmission lines. That fire killed 85 people and destroyed more
than 10,000 homes. The FBI arrested an official at the Defense
Intelligence Agency today for leaking classified information. The Justice Department said the
30-year-old was charged with disclosing top-secret data about a foreign country’s weapons systems
to two journalists, including a reporter he was dating. No further specifics were provided. Montgomery, Alabama, known as the birthplace
of the civil rights movement, has elected its first black mayor in the city’s 200-year-history.
Steven Reed, a 45-year-old probate judge, made history after winning Tuesday’s run-off
election. He celebrated the victory at a rally last
night. STEVEN REED, Mayor-Elect of Montgomery, Alabama:
This election has never been about me. This election has never been about just my ideas.
It’s been about all of the hopes and dreams that we have as individuals and collectively
in this city. JUDY WOODRUFF: Prior to this election, Montgomery
was one of only three cities in the Deep South with a population of 100,000 or more to have
never elected an African-American mayor. In economic news, stocks rebounded on Wall
Street, ahead of a new round of U.S. trade talks with China. The Dow Jones industrial
average gained 182 points to close at 26346. The Nasdaq rose 80 points, and the S&P 500
added 26. In Ecuador, thousands of protesters, led by
indigenous groups, held a nationwide strike today, amid a week of unrest and anti-government
demonstrations. President Lenin Moreno has refused their calls to step down over fuel
price hikes, and has moved government operations out of Quito, the capital. That’s marches in the city were largely peaceful.
But down some streets, protesters rolled flaming tires at security forces, who fired back with
tear gas. And three scientists were awarded the Nobel
Prize in chemistry today for their development of lithium ion batteries. They laid the foundation
for the commercially rechargeable batteries now powering our smartphones, laptops and
electric cars. One of the winners, 97-year-old John Goodenough,
who is a professor at the University of Texas, is the oldest person to ever win a Nobel Prize. JOHN GOODENOUGH, Nobel Prize Winner: I didn’t
ever lobby for or look forward to this particular day, but I’m very happy that it’s arrived.
It’s been very nice to receive a recognition. JUDY WOODRUFF: Ninety-seven. Wow. So, Goodenough shares the prize with a British-American
chemistry professor and a Japanese scientist. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: one-on-one
with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; a return to the Bahamas after the storm; the White
House refuses to cooperate with Congress — what to know about this constitutional clash; and
much more. Last week, we concluded our 10-part series
on China. Earlier today, I sat down with the secretary
of state, Mike Pompeo, to ask him about a number of things we reported on in that China
series. I also asked him about his role in President
Trump’s controversial telephone call with the president of Ukraine. But we began with the news today that Turkish
troops have launched an assault in Northern Syria. Secretary Pompeo, thank you very much for
talking with us. MIKE POMPEO, U.S. Secretary of State: Judy,
it’s great to be with you. Thanks for having me on. JUDY WOODRUFF: I want to turn first to Syria. Today, as you know, Turkish armed forces crossed
the border into Northern Syria with a mission of, in essence, cleaning out, wiping out — wiping
up the Syrian Kurds, the YPG. Right now, it appears that we don’t know where
this invasion is going to end up. Does the U.S. take responsibility for whatever the
outcome is because the U.S. has given Turkey a green light? MIKE POMPEO: Yes, well, that’s just false. The United States didn’t give Turkey a green
light. JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump spoke with
President Erdogan, and, after the call, the president said that Turkey would be moving
in. U.S. forces were withdrawn from the area. So there was a change in U.S. policy, one
that you had supported. You had supported staying close to the YPG, the Kurdish — Syrian
Kurdish U.S. allies that had helped in the fight against ISIS. MIKE POMPEO: Well, remember the mission, Judy. The mission was that, when we came into office,
there were people being beheaded, people being burned, people in cages. President Trump made
the decision that we would begin a campaign that would take down the caliphate. We have
succeeded in that. On the phone call on Sunday night, it became
very clear that there were American soldiers that were going to be at risk. And the president
made a decision to put them in a place where they were out of harm’s way. That’s what we
have done. President Trump has been unambiguous about
making sure that radical Islamic terrorism, wherever we find it, this administration will
take it seriously. And I think the success that we have had in Syria, along with many
allies of the defeat ISIS coalition that the State Department put together numbers countries
in the dozens and dozens. I’m confident that we will continue to protect
the American people from that terrorist threat. JUDY WOODRUFF: Have you personally changed
your thinking about being — viewing the YPG as U.S. allies? MIKE POMPEO: The Turks have a legitimate security
concern. We have talked about that. I have talked about that repeatedly. They have a
terrorist threat to their South. We have been working to make sure that we
did what we could to prevent that terror threat from striking the people in Turkey, while
trying to achieve what is in America’s best interest, the threat from radical Islamic
terrorism emanating from Syria. We will continue to do that. JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s striking, the Republican
opposition to this, not just the Senate majority leader, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell,
who said it’s a mistake, in essence. Lindsey Graham is — has called it a stain
on our honor, American honor. This morning, he said this will ensure the reemergence of
ISIS. MIKE POMPEO: Yes, that’s certainly not what
I believe will happen. I’m — I’m confident that President Trump
understands the threat. Remember where we were — and I love Senator Graham. He’s a
friend. But remember where we were when this administration came into office, and now just
judge us by our results. We have achieved a good outcome there. We
have taken down the caliphate. There are ISIS remnants that remain. We will continue to
be in a position to do what we need to do to keep the American people as safe as we
possibly can from this threat. But it is not only in Syria. It emanates from
Iraq. There are a dozen other countries where the threat from radical Islamic terrorism
continues to exist. And we, the United States, has to make sure we position our forces, our
resources appropriately to reduce that threat to the United States. That’s the — that’s the mission set, Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF: But just as a quick clarification,
you’re saying the U.S. doesn’t take responsibility for whatever the outcome is here, casualties,
ISIS reemergence, and so forth? MIKE POMPEO: We’re going to work to make sure
that ISIS doesn’t have the caliphate that extends across a broad swathe of Syria in
Iraq, which is the place that we found ourselves when this president took office. JUDY WOODRUFF: China. The “NewsHour” has just completed a series
of reports on China. And I want to ask you about what the administration is doing with
regard to China. Just yesterday, the State Department has been
and this week is stepping up sanctions on Chinese officials, Chinese firms that have
been involved in repressing Muslim minorities in China, the Uyghurs, the Cossacks, and others. But how complicit, my question is, is China’s
top leader, Xi Jinping, in all of this? MIKE POMPEO: Well, Xi Jinping leads the country.
Just like the leader of a tank platoon, a small business or a country, you’re responsible
for the things that happen in your name. We have watched this in the dust-up this week
with the NBA. But this problem extends far beyond this. The desire and the actions that had been taken
on the ground to take down the Muslim faith or destroy the Uyghur ethnicity in the West
there in China is something that the State Department has spoken out about loudly. And
we hope China will change its direction. We think — I think this is not only an enormous
human rights violation, but we don’t think it’s in the best interest of the world or
of China to engage in this kind of behavior. JUDY WOODRUFF: Will Mr. Xi himself be held
accountable in the end, do you think? MIKE POMPEO: We’re doing everything we can
to reverse the course of action that’s been chosen there. We have — we have now put 28 new countries,
Commerce Department, on the entity list, companies that were enabling the repression that’s taken
place there. The State Department did its part by placing visa restrictions. We are going to continue to talk about these
human rights violations. As the president has said in another context, in Hong Kong,
we want to make sure that these issues are handled in a way that is humane. JUDY WOODRUFF: Hong Kong. And you mentioned
what’s going on with regard to the NBA. The Chinese are now retaliating against Americans
who speak out in favor of the protesters in Hong Kong, the manager of the Houston Rockets,
the professional basketball team. They’re now pulling — they won’t air a couple of
NBA games in China as a result. Is what their — how appropriate is this?
What does it say about China that they’re doing this? MIKE POMPEO: Yes, I think American businesses
have the right to make the decisions that they make, as long as they’re lawful. They
will have to make their own business decisions. But I think not only what we saw this week,
but this has been going on for sometime. I think American businesses are waking up to
the risks that attend to their company. It may seem — it may seem that it makes profit
in the short run, but the cost, the reputational cost to these companies, I think, will prove
to be higher and higher, as Beijing’s long arm reaches out to them and destroys their
capacity for them, their employees, in the NBA’s case, team members and general managers
to speak freely about their political opinion, something that we value so deeply here in
the United States. JUDY WOODRUFF: There’s been talk, as you know,
about whether Hong Kong authorities will have the Chinese army involved in dealing with
the protesters. Does the U.S. have a plan for what it would
do if that happened? MIKE POMPEO: The president has made clear
our objectives there and the way that we want to make sure this proceeds. China made a commitment. It was with the United
Kingdom, then submitted to the United Nations. They made a series of promises. And I think
the whole world’s watching. They’re watching Beijing to see if it truly will live up to
the commitments that it made. It made promises to the people of Hong Kong
and, indeed, to the world about their system, one country, two systems. Our expectation
is, they will continue to live up to that. And to the extent that they take action, the
president has said it needs to be the case that they behave in a way that is humane. JUDY WOODRUFF: The — our reporter Nick Schifrin,
when he was in China, did extensive reporting, talked to a lot of officials about exporting
— Chinese exporting their surveillance technology to many other countries, so that they can,
frankly, surveil on their own citizens. Is it too late to stop the spread of Chinese
technology for those kinds of purposes? MIKE POMPEO: Judy, the world has got to make
some decisions. And every country will make its own sovereign one. I have been out talking about this for a year-and-a-half
now. The Chinese Communist Party has access to information that runs across Chinese networks.
It’s in their basic laws. I don’t think it’s in the best interest of
any country to take the data from their private citizens, and place it in the hands of the
Chinese Communist Party. And I ultimately believe that the world will
see that communications network that are built on Western values of openness, transparency,
rule of law, contracts, property rights, all the things that we have come to know and rely
on for our capacity to communicate around the world, I think the world will see that,
and they will demand that every network, every system comply with those rules. So, no, I don’t think it’s remotely too late. JUDY WOODRUFF: In the so-called Belt and Road
Initiative, China exporting its infrastructure expertise around the world, it’s clear now
— I mean, Nick Schifrin talked to a number, again, of officials who say the Chinese are
everywhere with this. And they’re — they say the U.S. is just not
on the playing field. MIKE POMPEO: Yes, so China is free to have
their companies compete around the world. We want that. We encourage that. If they show up with a straight-up transaction,
and a Chinese company beats a European company or an African country or an American company,
so be it. That’s fair. That’s reasonable. But what you have seen and what we are pushing
back against — and I will concede that, for 20 years, the world under-reacted to this,
not only the United States, but all of the West. What you’re beginning to see is an acknowledgement
of this challenge, where these transactions aren’t fair. They’re showing up with money in brown paper
bags. They’re putting debt on nations that they can’t possibly repay, so that they will
ultimately be able to exert political influence. I think the world is waking up to these threats
and these risks. And I am confident that, over time, this will not prevail. And to say that America is not present is
just inaccurate. JUDY WOODRUFF: In just the short time that
we have left, I want to raise Ukraine. You were on that phone call between President
Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine. Did you think at the time when you heard it
that what the president was asking for was appropriate? MIKE POMPEO: You know, everyone keeps asking
you about what the whistle-blower said on this phone call. I heard last night people
talking about someone heard the call and was frightened. Well, we have the readout from the call. We
have what was the best effort to put together a transcript from the call. And I know what this administration has done
with respect to Ukraine. We have worked diligently on this. I’m proud of our results. I remember where Obama left Ukraine. It left
it at 80 percent of the size that it was when he came into office. And Vladimir Putin hasn’t
done that. And I think, frankly, the most important reaction
to that call, because I — I was on it — I — I was on the call. I listened to it. It
was consistent with what President Trump has been trying to do, to take corruption out.
I found that to be wholly appropriate, to try and get another country to stop being
corrupt. But the most important reaction is from President
Zelensky himself, who said, no, I didn’t feel pushed, I didn’t feel pressured. Everyone keeps suggesting that, somehow, there
was undue pressure. I assure you, countries all around the world every day call me to
try and get America to behave in the way that’s in the best interest of their country. They
try to apply pressure to me. And we work on it. We work on it diplomatically
to achieve good outcomes for the American people. And the results, the results that
President Trump has achieved with respect to our relationship with Ukraine, I think,
will stand on their own as a hallmark of success of the State Department and what this administration
has done. JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, just finally, you know
that there’s been no proof any misdoing on the part of Vice President Biden. MIKE POMPEO: You all keep repeating that line,
as if you’re working for the DNC. JUDY WOODRUFF: I’m definitely not working
for the DNC. I’m an independent journalist. But they’re — the European Union, the U.S.
Embassy in Kiev, the International Monetary Fund, and other international organizations
felt that that prosecutor was corrupt and thought he should be removed. There’s no evidence that what Vice President
Biden was doing was corrupt in some way. So, my question is, where’s the — where’s
the rationale behind this? MIKE POMPEO: There is no one who has stared
at Ukrainian activity over the last years that doesn’t understand the risk of corruption
from that government, oligarchs behaving in ways that are deeply inconsistent with basic
fundamental rules of law, principles, private property. You — no — no one disputes that. For a nation
to seek help from another country, to say, did you mess around in our elections in 2016,
was there a corruption that was engaged in, that is completely appropriate activity. JUDY WOODRUFF: Have you decided, just finally,
that there will be cooperation with the House impeachment inquiry? MIKE POMPEO: Oh, goodness, I have made clear,
I think the White House has made very clear, we will ensure that we do everything we’re
required to do by the law and the Constitution, every time. JUDY WOODRUFF: Secretary Mike Pompeo, thank
you very much. MIKE POMPEO: Thank you, Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s been five-and-a-half weeks
since Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas. The complexities of the storm and the recovery
are in some ways just beginning to reveal themselves. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien went to
the Bahamas for the weather mapping app MyRadar.com. He reports on the resiliency of the Bahamian
people and what research tells us about the links between climate change and the increasing
ferocity of hurricanes. It’s the latest in our science series, Leading
Edge. MILES O’BRIEN: At the Rand Memorial Hospital
in Freeport, the damage is not instantly obvious, and yet it is utterly complete. The prognosis for the 59-year-old facility
is uncertain, little more than a month after Hurricane Dorian arrived. SHARON WILLIAMS, Rand Memorial Hospital: Almost
immediately, the whole hospital was inundated with water. MILES O’BRIEN: Four to six feet of water.
Health services administrator Sharon Williams has worked here for nearly 40 years. She walked
me through the one-story facility, wards, the intensive care unit, and the recently
upgraded operating suite, all ruined by the saltwater flood. Does it break your heart to see all of these? SHARON WILLIAMS: Very much so. It is heartbreaking.
It is very much heart-wrenching. This has been our second home for years. MILES O’BRIEN: It could have been so much
worse. On the day Dorian hit, there were more than 200 patients here, 28 of them bedridden.
But Sharon Williams had a plan. Each staffer was assigned a handful of patients, charged
with getting them out, quickly and safely. SHARON WILLIAMS: Nobody panicked. No matter
the fear they were feeling, everybody was contained and calm, so the process was orderly. MILES O’BRIEN: Were you scared? SHARON WILLIAMS: Yes. I can tell you there
was a bit of fear. If you don’t have some fear to make you second-guess sometime, then
you make stupid mistakes MILES O’BRIEN: And you didn’t lose a patient? SHARON WILLIAMS: And I didn’t lose a patient
and we didn’t lose a staff during that time. MILES O’BRIEN: Right now, they are providing
care here, thanks to help from USAID and relief organizations like Samaritan’s Purse and the
International Medical Corps. Its volunteer doctors and nurses are taking
patients in tents at the site of a destroyed clinic 30 miles away in High Rock. Here, the
acute phase of open wounds and broken bones has evolved into the chronic concerns of interrupted
prescription medications and mental health. This woman collapsed after discovering some
clothing that belonged to her two grandchildren who were swept away in the storm. Physician Scott Lillibridge is the medical
coordinator. DR. SCOTT LILLIBRIDGE, International Medical
Corps: We’re trying to get ahead of the chronic disease cycle of diabetes and hypertension
right now. And if you focus only on the acute phase,
you’re going to miss all these layers that need to happen. What I am really worried about
at this point is that we keep our eye on the long game. MILES O’BRIEN: Scientists say the long game
for the Bahamas as a whole is also very uncertain, as the certainty grows linking climate change
and a greater frequency of strong hurricanes. Kerry Emanuel is a professor of atmospheric
science at MIT. KERRY EMANUEL, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology: What we’re already seeing is a greater incidence of the really strong hurricanes,
just more strong storms, and more rain, more flooding from tropical cyclones, both freshwater,
because there’s more rain, and the saltwater from the storm surge because of two things.
The storms are stronger and the sea levels are coming up. MILES O’BRIEN: The Bahamas archipelago, about
700 islands and 2,400 cays stretching 760 miles from Florida to Cuba, sits low in the
water, mostly just a few feet above sea level. KERRY EMANUEL: You raise sea level by half-a-foot,
it’s a big deal. You can get a lot more flooding for the same storm than if the sea level back
where it was 100 years ago. MILES O’BRIEN: Are we at a point where we
have to think about whether the Bahamas is an unsustainable place to continue living
in? KERRY EMANUEL: Unfortunately. And that’s actually
happening in the Western Pacific. MILES O’BRIEN: These island nations are cannon
fodder in the relentless invasion spurred by climate change, the first casualties in
a war they didn’t start. HUBERT MINNIS, Prime Minister of the Bahamas:
When one storm can obliterate an island state or a number of states in one hurricane season,
how will we survive? MILES O’BRIEN: Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert
Minnis clearly had this on his mind when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly
on September 27. HUBERT MINNIS: I add my urgent plea to the
cries and voices of many other leaders, urging the nations of the world here assembled to
treat the global climate emergency as the greatest challenge facing humanity. MILES O’BRIEN: Mr. Minnis and U.N. Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres toured the largest shelter for Dorian evacuees in a Nassau gymnasium
two weeks earlier. Many of the 700 or so people here are undocumented
immigrants from Haiti, squatters, living on Abaco Island in what was a slum called the
Mudd, now a flattened field of debris. Nevertheless, Shella Monestime is among those
longing to return to Marsh Harbour. SHELLA MONESTIME, Bahamas: Because that’s
where you used to live. So, automatically, you want to go back. Home is home. Home is
home. But, to me, I really don’t want to be in there.
With this, my young baby, I really don’t want to be there. But I ain’t got no choice to
be in there, because nowhere else to go. MILES O’BRIEN: Without deeds or papers, for
them, the path back to Abaco is littered with obstacles. Indeed, the government is threatening
deportation. They are refugees, first from oppressive politics
and poverty, and now perhaps from the force of nature itself. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Miles O’Brien
in the Bahamas. JUDY WOODRUFF: Stay with us. Coming up on the “NewsHour”: betting on Nevada
— how Democrats are courting a key voting bloc for 2020; plus, say it ain’t so? — new
details on the Black Sox scandal 100 years later. It is clearer than ever the impeachment process
has put this country’s legislative branch and executive branch into direct conflict. A strongly worded letter from the White House
yesterday informed House Democratic leaders that it will not be complying with the impeachment
inquiry that is now under way. William Brangham has more. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Calling the entire impeachment
process illegitimate, that letter from the White House lays out its arguments as to why
it is completely rejecting the House’s requests for documents and witnesses for its inquiry. To help us decipher the legal footing for
this argument, I’m joined by Jamil Jaffer. He’s a professor of law at George Mason University
and previously served as associate White House counsel for President George W. Bush. Professor Jaffer, thank you very much for
being here. Let’s talk a little bit about the arguments
put out in that letter. One legal argument was made is that this is
simply not a legitimate impeachment inquiry because the full House has not voted to authorize
the impeachment inquiry. Is that laid out in the Constitution as a
requirement? JAMIL JAFFER, Former Senior Counsel, House
Intelligence Committee: Well, William, there are no requirements in the Constitution for
how the House is supposed to conduct an impeachment inquiry. But prior practice suggests that the House
should take a full — a vote of the full House to initiate the impeachment inquiry. As you
can imagine, this is a huge issue. It’s a conflict between two coordinate, co-equal
branches of the government, one investigating the other, somewhat outside of the normal
purview of what the House does. Typically, the House does legislation and
oversight. This is a quasi-judicial proceeding. And so it’s been the practice, although certainly
not a constitutional requirement, for the House to take a vote of the full House before
beginning an impeachment inquiry. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So there’s no precedent
for it, but this — I mean, there’s precedent for this, but there’s no requirement for it. Let’s just say the House were to hold this
vote and formally call this an impeachment inquiry. Is there precedent then for the White
House or the subject of impeachment to say, I’m not participating? JAMIL JAFFER: The challenge is, typically,
in this scenario, when they when they vote to pass a resolution to initiate an impeachment
inquiry, there are also procedural rules in place which provide a certain amount of due
process to the potential target of the impeachment, in this case, the president of the United
States, including the right to call witnesses, the right to cross-examine, the right to be
present or have counsel president at hearings and the like. And that’s normally the process, in part.
And it also gives process, by the way, procedural rights, to the minority, typically so that
the majority is not accused partisanship or doing something inappropriate. So that’s generally the ticktock. And so you
see the White House saying, this is illegitimate, it’s inappropriate. But they’re basing that
on practice, not on a legal requirement. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: I see. So that was the other
argument that the White House has been making, is that, you’re not letting us do all of the
things that we think of as traditional due process. But wouldn’t those — in the normal procedure,
wouldn’t those happen in the Senate, meaning that the House votes to impeach or not, and
then, if impeached, the president takes his case, so to speak, to the Senate, where the
due process practices would occur? JAMIL JAFFER: No, that’s exactly right, William. And it’s a point that a lot of people have
been making out in the media over the last 24 hours after we saw this letter, that, look,
the impeachment proceeding in the House is like a prosecutor doing an investigation,
and then bringing charges before the grand jury. And then, eventually, the trial comes,
and that’s in the Senate, where you have a jury, in this case, 100 senators, presided
over by the chief justice. And that’s where the president or the person,
the target of impeachment, gets to present their case. Now, that is — that is true that that’s — those
are the analogous proceedings in a — in a criminal proceeding. But, of course, an impeachment
isn’t a criminal proceeding. It’s a quasi-judicial proceeding. It’s a political matter. And, typically, because it’s political and
involves two co-equal branches of the government sort of going really head to head, it’s been
the practice of the House to give unusual protections in the charging process to the
target, because they recognize that if, in fact, the House is to vote articles of impeachment,
even if the president isn’t convicted, that that has huge effects on the presidency itself
and the person in the office of the president. So they want to ensure also that they’re not
being seen as partisan, so they give rights that they wouldn’t otherwise have to, to the
other side in the minority in the impeachment inquiry, and to the target of the impeachment,
in this case, the president. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: I know we say that this
is an inherently political process. And, sometimes, in Washington, D.C., especially,
that can be used as somewhat of a slur. But that’s really by design in this case, right?
I mean, the framers could have said, judges only handle impeachment. But, in this case, they knew, we are going
to let the political actors, the House and the Senate, deal with this. JAMIL JAFFER: No, that’s exactly right. And it’s actually also a reason why we’re
likely to not see judges get involved in this process, because, as we watch this process
go forward, you hear a lot of people saying, well, what happens if the president doesn’t
comply? Can Congress go to — can the House go to the courts and try to get an enforcement
of subpoenas? That’s a possibility. That may happen. But what if the president just refuses to
do anything and refuses to comply with the current inquiry, right? One might say, well,
the courts are likely to stay out of it, because this is a quintessential political question,
that is, a question that the Constitution texturally commits to the coordinate branches,
the political branches of the government, because — because the Constitution, our founders,
our framers didn’t intend for this process to be in the courts. They intended for it to be in the hands of
the House on the one hand and in the Senate for the trial and the ultimate decision on
the other. And they didn’t define, by the way, what they meant by high crimes and misdemeanors.
It’s a term in the Constitution. It definitely had a meaning at the time they wrote it, but
it wasn’t defined anywhere in there. And there’s no — there’s no specific standard
in the Constitution by which the House or the Senate must judge the president. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, Jamil Jaffer
of George Mason University, thank you very much for being here. JAMIL JAFFER: Thanks, William. 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. JUDY WOODRUFF: Tonight marks the 100th anniversary
of a notorious moment in baseball’s history, the White Sox losing to the Cincinnati Reds
in the 1919 World Series. The scandal that followed stained the sport’s
reputation and is still talked about to this day. As our correspondent Stephanie Sy discovered,
new research has called into question much of what baseball fans long thought they knew
to be the scandal’s underlying narrative. STEPHANIE SY: It was 1919. World War I wasn’t
far in the rear-view mirror. Race riots were engulfing the nation. And on the South Side
of Chicago, the White Sox were batting 1000, favored to win the World Series. So when they lost to the Cincinnati Reds that
year, even with Shoeless Joe Jackson slugging it out with 12 hits, baseball fans were shocked.
It was this play that first alerted baseball insiders that something funny might be going
on. The three-second clip shows the White Sox
botching a chance to turn a double play against the Reds. Eight White Sox players were later
accused of conspiring with gamblers to throw the World Series, including Shoeless Joe,
whose exact role is still disputed. He and the others were banned for life from
professional baseball. For decades, Eliot Asinof’s book “Eight Men
Out” was viewed as the definitive account of what happened. ACTOR: I will put my Joe Jackson up against
any player in the circuit. STEPHANIE SY: As was the movie adaptation,
which told the story of a miserly team owner, Charles Comiskey, known for spending on everything
but his own talented players. The resentful players, the story went, were
led by ruthless gamblers to throw the game. ACTOR: Eddie is the key. We don’t get Eddie,
we forget about it. STEPHANIE SY: But 100 years since the 1919
World Series, a very different story is coming out. JACOB POMRENKE, Society for American Baseball
Research: The 1919 White Sox were one of the highest paid teams in baseball. STEPHANIE SY: Jacob Pomrenke chairs a committee
whose sole purpose is researching the Black Sox scandal. Its findings have been compiled
in an online article titled “Eight Myths Out” and examined in a new podcast, “Infamous America.” JACOB POMRENKE: This idea that the Black Sox
players conspired to fix the World Series because they were underpaid, because they
felt resentful toward their salaries or their poor treatment by their owner doesn’t really
hold up to scrutiny. All baseball players in the early 20th century
were paid better than typical American workers. STEPHANIE SY: Was it ultimately greed that
drove those players? JACOB POMRENKE: I think — yes, greed is,
I think, the primary motivation for how the Black Sox scandal happened. I think the Black
Sox players saw a high reward for what they were doing. They could make as much as their
yearly salary in one week for fixing the World Series. And I think they saw very little risk of getting
caught or getting punished. ACTOR: I have to keep the best interests of
the club in mind, Eddie. STEPHANIE SY: The scene in “Eight Men Out”
when pitcher Eddie Cicotte is denied a bonus by the team owner? ACTOR: Twenty-nine is not 30, Eddie. STEPHANIE SY: Completely made up, says Pomrenke.
And that’s not all. It was originally believed that it was the
gamblers that approached the players about the fix. You say that’s not true. JACOB POMRENKE: No, this is another one of
the myths about the Black Sox scandal, is that the players were kind of conned into
throwing the World Series. But it was actually their idea. STEPHANIE SY: How do you know that? Was that
through testimony that was later revealed? JACOB POMRENKE: Yes, that is through the grand
jury testimony of Eddie Cicotte and Shoeless Joe Jackson and some of the other players. STEPHANIE SY: Jeff Kisseloff, Eliot Asinof’s
literary executor and friend, maintains that Asinof’s conclusions about the players’ motivations
for cheating still hold up. He shared Asinof’s research notes and letters
from players from the 1960s, which back up his thesis about poor pay. In an e-mail, Kisseloff
said: “It should be pointed out the bulk of what Eliot wrote more than 50 years ago holds
up to a remarkable degree. He should be paid respect for his enduring and pioneering work.” For his part, Pomrenke doesn’t cast aspersions
on Asinof, who died in 2008. JACOB POMRENKE: I had no idea when I started
researching this story that there would be so much new evidence that has come to light.
A lot of the new sources of information, such as the contract cards at the Baseball Hall
of Fame, the legal documents at the Chicago History Museum, and even the film footage
that you can now watch on YouTube of the 1919 World Series, all of that stuff is new in
the 21st century. STEPHANIE SY: Another common refrain when
people describe this scandal is that it was a singular event. JACOB POMRENKE: No, this is — one of the
most important aspects about understanding the Black Sox scandal is to know just how
rampant gambling was in the baseball culture at this time. We don’t actually know if any other World
Series were fixed, but it’s possible that some other World Series were fixed before
1919. STEPHANIE SY: The lasting impact of the Black
Sox scandal was that the players’ harsh punishment served its purpose. Not since 1919 has there
been a major fixing scandal in baseball. But the sport has had other scandals. And
Jacob Pomrenke wonders if the times aren’t becoming ripe for a repeat of history. Sports
gambling has again become big business, with a Supreme Court ruling last year allowing
states to legalize it, opening the door to a multibillion-dollar industry. JACOB POMRENKE: I think baseball has to take
great precautions to protect the integrity of the game, because, as we saw in the Black
Sox scandal, it’s very easy for people to get caught up in the gambling and possibly
altering the outcome. STEPHANIE SY: Do you think America wants to
hear this version of events? (LAUGHTER) JACOB POMRENKE: It’s certainly a more complex
story, but most history is, right? Most history is a lot less simple than kind of the myths
that we all want to believe. STEPHANIE SY: The filmmaker of “Eight Men
Out,” John Sayles, wrote in an e-mail that he was aware at the time, as was Eliot Asinof,
that most of his information came from participants and observers who had their own agendas. But he pointed that the new revelations are
only somebody’s else’s version, and you have to decide what to believe. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Stephanie Sy. JUDY WOODRUFF: Last week, we brought you a
different sports story, this one about some of the top adaptive athletes in the world
who play for professional tennis while using wheelchairs. Tonight, we bring you the story of an amateur
athlete, Minda Dentler, who has this Brief But Spectacular take on finding strength through
sports. MINDA DENTLER, Amateur Athlete: I take the
subway to work. And, sometimes, when I go up the stairs in
the subway, people will like pat me on the back and say, “Oh, good job,” like as if,
like, I have achieved something by going to work. I was born in Bombay, India. When I was about
6 months old, I contracted polio. It’s a disease that affects your nervous system. So my legs
became paralyzed. And my birth mother, she realized that she couldn’t take care of me,
so she decided to leave me at an orphanage. I was adopted by an American family at age
3.5, and I moved to Spokane, Washington. I have a sister the exact same age as me. I
was crawling on the ground, and my sister was running around, being a typical toddler. It took a long time for me to be able to walk.
I had to undergo a number of surgeries to basically straighten out my hips and my legs,
so I could use leg braces and crutches to walk. All of the kids around me, they were able
to run and jump. And recess time was the worst for me, because I wouldn’t be able to do much
of anything. When I was in business school, one of my friends
was training for a marathon. One day, she was like, hey, Minda, I think you should check
out this organization. It’s called Achilles International. And it’s a club for athletes
with disabilities. It took me probably three or four months to
get the courage to make the phone call. And, fortunately, the person who answered the phone
was Dick Traum, who is actually the founder of Achilles. And he said: “Hey, you know what?
We have practices on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Why don’t you just show up at 6:30 on Tuesday,
and I will loan you my bike?” I showed up on Tuesday. He loaned me his bike.
And that was the first time that I was able to feel the wind in my hair. And I — man,
I went really slow. I went like maybe 100 yards, but it was the coolest feeling to ride
a hand cycle for the first time. To train for the Ironman World Championship,
it was about a nine-month endeavor. And this way day in, day out, doing the workouts. My
husband was super involved in my journey and the preparations. I made the swim time limit.
I made the bike time limit. And, finally, when I was on that run, I was
ecstatic. I knew I had a marathon to go, but I knew that I had it in the bag. And by the
time I made that final right-hand turn on to Lee Drive, I realized how much it really
meant to me to finally get it done. MAN: You are an inspiration, Minda. And you
are an Ironman! (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) MINDA DENTLER: I was so excited, but I was
in a lot of pain, too, because I had been exercising for a whole 14 hours and 39 minutes. But crossing that finish line was something
else. By completing the Ironman World Champion, and just being successful in my life, having
a full-time job, having a family, getting married, having a degree, I think gives me
that confidence, knowing it doesn’t matter who I am, what I look like. I’m able to be
successful. My name is Minda Dentler. This is my Brief
But Spectacular take on living with my disability. JUDY WOODRUFF: And that’s an inspiration. And you can find more episodes of our Brief
But Spectacular series at PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief. And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m
Judy Woodruff. Join us online and again here tomorrow evening.
For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank you, and we’ll see
you soon.

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