PBS NewsHour full episode, Dec 17, 2019
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PBS NewsHour full episode, Dec 17, 2019


JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff. On the “NewsHour” tonight: the brink of history. The U.S. House sets the stage for tomorrow’s
vote to impeach President Donald Trump. Then: clipping the wings. Boeing stops production of its 737 MAX passenger
jets, following two deadly crashes and many questions about what went wrong. And from conflict zones to Trump country — how
a small Kentucky city became a haven for refugees and why the president’s policies now threaten
that balance. CHRIS GUTHRIE, CEO, Trace Die Cast: We really
need more refugees and more immigrants coming to Bowling Green. And for our economy to grow, we need to have
people moving here to fill those jobs. JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s
“PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: It is the eve of impeachment. The United States House of Representatives
convenes tomorrow to consider the case against President Trump. But, first, lawmakers spent long hours working
out the rules for those proceedings. Once again, congressional correspondent Lisa
Desjardins begins our coverage. REP. JIM MCGOVERN (D-MA): The Rules Committee will
come to order. LISA DESJARDINS: In a small room on the Capitol’s
third floor, today, the last step before impeachment goes to the House floor. REP. JIM MCGOVERN: It’s unfortunate that we have
to be here today. LISA DESJARDINS: The House Rules Committee
will decide the process for the impeachment debate expected tomorrow. And it began with a first in this process,
bipartisan signs of respect from the Democratic chairman and the top Republican, or ranking
member. REP. JIM MCGOVERN: We take up a lot of contentious
issues on the Rules Committee. And, often, we are on different sides of many
issues. But he leads with integrity, and he cares
deeply about this House. REP. TOM COLE (R-OK): Let me begin by reciprocating
a personal and professional respect for you and other members of this committee as well,
because I do think very highly of each and every person on this committee, and particularly
of you, Mr. Chairman. But this is a day where we’re going to disagree,
and disagree very strongly. LISA DESJARDINS: At the White House, disagreeing
strongly would be an understatement. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
Look, it’s a hoax, the whole impeachment thing. LISA DESJARDINS: President Trump spoke at
an appearance with the president of Guatemala. DONALD TRUMP: This has been a total sham from
the beginning. LISA DESJARDINS: But his real outrage was
unleashed in a six-page letter the president sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today,
breathing fire in the first line: “I am writing to express my strongest and most powerful
protest against the partisan impeachment crusade.” He called Democrats’ process “disingenuous,
meritless and a baseless invention of Democrats’ imagination.” The letter raised previous themes for the
president. He blasted the FBI’s Russia investigation,
the Mueller report, and former Vice President Joe Biden. Also blasting Democrats today, Senate Majority
Leader Mitch McConnell. SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): This slapdash work
product will be dumped on us over here in the Senate. LISA DESJARDINS: The Kentucky Republican,
now preparing for a trial, rejected Democrats proposal and their leaders’ request for four
witnesses. SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL: He wants to volunteer the
Senate’s time and energy on a fishing expedition. LISA DESJARDINS: That leader, Democratic Senator
Chuck Schumer of New York, fired back that McConnell is out of line, already working
with the White House, and that senators should reserve judgment. SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Mitch McConnell said
proudly he is not an impartial juror. Do the American people want Mitch McConnell
not to be an impartial juror in this situation? And I would ask every one of my Republican
Senate colleagues, are you impartial jurors? LISA DESJARDINS: As the Senate thinks weeks
ahead, House Democrats are thinking about tomorrow, and insisting this is not about
politics. REP. KATHERINE CLARK (D-MA): We don’t know how
this may or may not affect the 2020 election, but we know this: We are a co-equal branch
of government that is going to insist that no one is above the law. JUDY WOODRUFF: And joining me now is Lisa
Desjardins. So, Lisa, this is an historic day, as we have
been saying over and over again. What do we know about the lay of the land
tomorrow? LISA DESJARDINS: Here’s what’s going to happen. The House will convene at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, 6:00 a.m. Pacific time. They will have normal opening procedures,
the prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, and then immediately begin what will sort of be
a two-part debate. First, they will debate the actual rule, kind
of the procedures ahead for the impeachment debate. And then, after that, they will get into that
actual debate. Really, though, Judy, the entire day — and
I think we will expect an entire day of debate over this impeachment idea. I expect it to last until at least about this
time tomorrow night. It could go late. The question being, how much do Republicans
object to the process? How much do Republicans try to use parliamentary
procedures to gum up the works? That could make it take longer or not. JUDY WOODRUFF: And that’s just an unknown
we can’t predict at this point. LISA DESJARDINS: It is. It is unknown. They only have a limited amount of procedures
they can use, but they do have some. JUDY WOODRUFF: At, Lisa, so what do we know
about what the president’s plan is tomorrow and how the White House is going to respond? LISA DESJARDINS: Well, I think we had a preview
in that really remarkable letter that he sent to the speaker today. He has his fist raised, and he is going to
hold, what else, a rally tomorrow night, 7:00 Eastern, roughly the time the House could
be voting on impeachment articles, in Michigan, where else, Battle Creek, Michigan. I think it’s no mistake. The White House is sending a lot of messages
here. My question is, he’s — actually has a very
defensive posture here. He’s being very assertive and aggressive on
this. I wonder how the House Republicans — if they’re
going to take that tone tomorrow on the floor or not. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Lisa, finally, I want
to turn back to that spending bill that you have been reporting on. It passed today. Democrats actually ended up having division
over what is in it. LISA DESJARDINS: Right. As we reported last night, there were some
big benefits for Democrats, things they were happy about on guns, for example, and for
election security, other things. However, today, Judy, there was real divide
in the Democratic Caucus over the president’s money for the border wall. This is the main concession that Democrats
gave away in spending bill. Let’s look. It was $138 billion, key being unrestricted
for a border wall. In the past, this money has been restricted
to fencing. This now has fewer restrictions. The president can do a little bit more with
it than in the past. Also, Judy, in this money, the president can
use military funds. There are no restrictions barring him — barring
him from taking military construction money, as he has attempted to do in the past year. And, Judy, there’s no hard cap in these bills
on detention beds. There’s sort of a suggested cap, but it’s
not enforceable. The Hispanic Caucus is furious over this and
disappointed. They’re worried that this is the wrong direction
in terms of the immigration debate. It’s the wrong concession. Other say, hey, the president wanted $8 billion
for a wall. He only got $1.4 billion. But it’s a very critical issue that this bill
is dealing with, and it was a concession for Democrats. JUDY WOODRUFF: But the — but it’s now passed
the House. LISA DESJARDINS: It has passed today. Thank you. Yes, it did. It passed today. These things are all happening so quickly. This did pass the House; 75 Democrats voted
against it, even though it was their leadership proposing it. JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, Lisa Desjardins. So much to follow. LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right. JUDY WOODRUFF: Tomorrow is the big day. LISA DESJARDINS: It is. Thank you. JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you. And now Representative Jason Crow from the
suburbs of Denver, Colorado, is one of a number of Democrats from competitive districts that
his party is fighting to hold onto in next year’s elections. In fact, prior to Crow, the district had elected
only Republicans to Congress since the 1980s, when it was first drawn. Representative Crow announced over the weekend
that he supports both articles of impeachment against President Trump. And he joins us now from Capitol Hill. Congressman, thank you very much for being
with us. Was this a hard decision for you? REP. JASON CROW (D-CO): Hi. Good to be with you, Judy. Yes, it was one that I spent time thinking
about, because I promised my district that I would be deliberate about it, that I would
take in all the information, that I would spend my time looking at all the evidence. And that’s what I did. But, at the end of the day, I came back to
my oath. I’m somebody who has taken many oaths throughout
my life. I’m a former Army Ranger and spent a lot of
time in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I took an oath again on January 3, when
I joined this Congress. So, at the end of the day, it became abundantly
clear to me that the evidence overwhelmingly supported the allegations against the president,
and that impeachment was the route forward for us. JUDY WOODRUFF: So, was there one piece of
evidence that convinced you, or what? REP. JASON CROW: No, it was the body of evidence,
right, over several weeks, over a dozen witnesses. You had Ambassador Sondland, who is a supporter
of President Trump, say unequivocally that there was a quid pro quo. And you had the president’s words himself,
right saying, do us a favor. And the president and his enablers and the
folks in the White House actually have stopped trying to actually defend the actions. And it’s pretty irrefutable at this point
what happened. It’s wrong. It’s unprecedented. It’s a violation of the president’s constitutional
oath. And it’s now time for Congress to step up
and say, it’s not OK. JUDY WOODRUFF: I’m asking because the constitutional
law professor who testified before the House Judiciary Committee on behalf of the Republicans
wrote today that this is the first impeachment process to go forward without, in his words,
a recognized crime having been committed. REP. JASON CROW: Well, there certainly are some
folks that I think could have that debate. But, at the end of the day, let’s not be distracted
by what actually happened, what we know happened and we know are the facts. The fact is, the president of the United States
withheld critical security funding from an ally that’s at war to benefit his personal
political campaign. It’s unprecedented. It’s never happened before. And, on top of that, when Congress has tried
to fulfill its duty of oversight and accountability, Congress has been met with an open and stated
policy of non-cooperation, which, in the history of United States, has never happened before. So, what we have to do is make sure that we’re
not setting the precedent that future presidents can do the same thing, whether it be Republican
or Democrat. We cannot allow this to become normal. We can’t send the message that presidents
can use taxpayer money, withhold foreign aid to advance his or her own political interests
in political campaigns, and obstruct Congress in the process. And that’s why we’re doing what we’re going
to do tomorrow. JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you say to Republicans
though, Congressman, who say this process is not legitimate because it’s just one party? There’s not a single Republican who’s joining
with Democrats that we know of at this point to support impeachment. They also, as you know, say Democrats have
been trying to get rid of President Trump ever since he was elected. REP. JASON CROW: Well, we used the process and
we used the rules actually put in place by the Republicans several Congresses ago. Courts have overwhelmingly and unanimously
said that this is a constitutional and lawful process. And just because there are folks who have
decided that they’re not going to abide by their oath, they’re not going to do what I
think the country needs them to do, does not absolve us of our responsibility to fulfill
our oath. We can’t control the Senate. I can’t control my colleagues. Only thing I can control is what I do and
whether or not I honor the oath that I took on January 3. And, for me, honoring that oath requires me
to step up and vote for the articles of impeachment tomorrow. JUDY WOODRUFF: Does it concern you, Congressman,
that less than half of the American people say in public opinion polls that they support
impeaching the president? REP. JASON CROW: No, it doesn’t, because I have
never concerned myself with the politics of this issue. I decided very early on that we have to completely
separate politics from the discussion of impeachment. This is one of the most important consequential
things that a member of Congress can do. We’re being called to do a very somber, grave
thing. I’m not happy about it. This is not an exciting time for me. This is not what I came to Congress to do. But I do have a duty to do it. So I’m not going to think about the politics
of it, in much the same way that I didn’t think about the politics of my time in Iraq
and Afghanistan. I had taken an oath to serve the country,
and I had to fulfill that oath. And the consequences will be what they will
be. But, at the end of the day, the people that
I represent, they know that I’m somebody that’s bound by my oath. They know that I’m somebody that appreciates
honesty, integrity and good government. And that’s what I’m about. And that’s ultimately what this is about. JUDY WOODRUFF: Two other questions. One is, what are you hearing from your constituents
in the suburbs around Denver? REP. JASON CROW: Yes, so, generally, people support
the action that I’m taking. I have not shied away from having conversations
about this. I held two large events on Sunday, where I
announced my support for the articles of impeachment, and I took questions. And I think people are just wanting to know
that the process was fair and transparent. But I represent a community that is fed up
with corruption in government. It’s fed up with dishonesty. They want good government. They want people to do the right thing. They want them to tell — to tell the truth. And that’s what we’re doing, right? So I’m out in the district all the time. I have held over 200 events in my first year
in Congress in every corner of my district, answering questions, having tough conversations,
being civil in the process. And, ultimately, I think people understand
that I’m somebody who does what I say I’m going to do and fulfills that oath. And we have mutual respect between me and
my constituents because of that. JUDY WOODRUFF: Last thing. Do you expect — I mean, assuming the House
does vote to impeach, do you expect there will be a fair trial in the Senate? And I ask because, today, the majority leader,
Mitch McConnell, is saying that he does not plan to call any of the witnesses that the
Democrats are asking be called. REP. JASON CROW: Well, one thing I have learned,
Judy, in my first year in Congress is that my crystal ball is broken. I have stopped trying to predict the future
and what people are going to do. I can’t control Mitch McConnell. I can’t control the Senate. And I will continue to call for a fair trial. I was asked yesterday during an interview
what my advice would be for Cory Gardner, one of our senators from Colorado. And my advice is simple. Go back and read the oath. It’s the same oath that I took earlier in
the year. It’s our North Star that calls us to put the
country first and to put the well-being of our fellow citizens above your own personal
well-being. JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressman Jason Crow of Colorado,
thank you very much. REP. JASON CROW: Thanks, Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF: And we will have full live
coverage of the House floor debate and votes on impeachment starting tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Eastern online, and you can check your local
stations’ listings for broadcast. In the day’s other news: The Senate gave final
approval to a Pentagon spending blueprint worth nearly $740 billion. It includes a 3 percent pay raise for military
personnel, the most in more than a decade. Lawmakers also added 12 weeks of paid parental
leave for federal workers. President Trump has said that he will sign
the bill. The president’s former deputy campaign manager
Rick Gates now faces 45 days in jail and 36 months of probation. He was sentenced today in federal court in
Washington, 22 months after pleading guilty to lying to investigators and conspiracy. Gates could have gotten five to six years
in jail, but the judge cited his cooperation with the special counsel’s Russia investigation. Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf
was sentenced to death in absentia today. He had been charged with treason for declaring
an emergency in 2007 and suspending all civil liberties. A special anti-terrorism court announced the
verdict and the death sentence. HAMID ALI KHAN, Senior Supreme Court Lawyer:
For the first time, a military dictator has been punished by the court under the constitution
and the law. And it was overdue. JUDY WOODRUFF: Musharraf seized power in 1999
and ruled until 2008. He is now living in Dubai. His lawyer said that he will appeal the court’s
decision. In neighboring India, an outcry against a
new citizenship law spread across more of the country. Some of the demonstrations in New Delhi turned
violent, as angry protesters clashed with police for a third day. Officers fired tear gas to push back the crowds. Protests also broke out in West Bengal and
other states. The focus is a new law that grants citizenship
to non-Muslim migrants who are in India illegally. Unions in France called new protests today
against President Emanuel Macron’s plans to restructure pensions. Scuffles with police erupted in some areas. But the protests were largely peaceful, with
thousands lighting red flares and marching through French cities. Union members insisted that crippling transit
strikes will continue right through the holidays. JEROME, Parisian Unionist (through translator):
If we accept a Christmas break, then we’re stopping the strike. If we don’t strike, then Macron is passing
his reform, since he said he’s passing it in January. So, we have to stop him. People didn’t strike for about 15 days just
to stop and say, no, let’s go see Santa Claus. JUDY WOODRUFF: Workers from the Paris Opera
and the Eiffel Tower joined the protests. Activists also cut electricity to 100,000
homes and businesses in Paris. At the Vatican, Pope Francis abolished the
so-called pontifical secrecy rule in cases of sexual abuse by clergy. Victims had charged that the rule was used
to protect pedophiles and to block police investigations. They welcomed today’s announcement, but said
they want to see it backed up with action. China commissioned its second aircraft carrier
today, further expanding its military power in Asia. President Xi Jinping attended a ceremony on
Hainan Island in the disputed South China Sea. It was part of his wide-ranging military buildup. This is the first aircraft carrier built in
China. Beijing had bought a Soviet-era carrier from
Ukraine in 1998. Back in this country, Ford announced that
it is adding 3,000 jobs over the next three years at two factories near Detroit. The automaker said that it will invest nearly
$1.5 billion to build new pickup trucks, SUVs, and electric vehicles. Hiring begins next year. And on Wall Street, the major indexes edged
higher into record territory. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 31
points to close at 28267. The Nasdaq rose nine points, and the S&P 500
added one point. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: after fatal
crashes and controversy, Boeing halts production on the 737 MAX jet; the family at the center
of the opioid crisis and the $10 billion they took for themselves; the White House’s policies
threaten a haven for refugees in the heart of Trump country; plus, much more. Just about a month ago, Boeing said that it
expected its 737 MAX jets to return to the skies next month. That’s clearly not happening. And now the aerospace giant and its suppliers
are preparing for harder times this winter. Production of the jet will shut down, for
now, beginning in January. As our aviation correspondent Miles O’Brien
tells us, there’s concern over those ripple effects and whether the safety concerns are
being adequately addressed. MILES O’BRIEN: This is what it looks like
at a Boeing airfield in Seattle, dozens of new 737 MAX jets sitting idle. Thousands of others that have been ordered
are on indefinite hold, as the aerospace giant is still trying to get clearance from the
government to fly those planes again. Analysts like Joe Schwieterman say Boeing
is feeling more pain. JOE SCHWIETERMAN, Aviation Expert: This has
shaken the company to its core. MILES O’BRIEN: Today, the biggest MAX customer
in the U.S., Southwest Airlines, announced it is canceling thousands of flights until
mid-April and will find alternate flights for those passengers affected. JOE SCHWIETERMAN: The airlines themselves
are in just a terrible spot, because they’re selling spring break, they’re selling summer
without knowledge of what their fleet is. MILES O’BRIEN: Since March, all 737 MAX jets
have been grounded worldwide following a pair of crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that
killed 346 people. Yesterday’s decision came just days after
the head of the Federal Aviation Administration testified on Capitol Hill. STEPHEN DICKSON, Administrator, Federal Aviation
Administration: The situation with the 737 MAX is unprecedented in many respects. MILES O’BRIEN: Unlike Boeing’s optimistic
estimates, he gave no timeline for when the plane would be back in the sky. STEPHEN DICKSON: We need to make sure that
the public has confidence in that airplane and I’m confident that I would my own family
and those Boeing employees would put their own families on the airplane. MILES O’BRIEN: Lawmakers also released a report
alleging federal authorities and Boeing knew about problems with an in-flight control system
after the first crash happened in Indonesia, and still didn’t ground the plane. A whistle-blower from Boeing’s factory said
he tried to sound the alarm. EDWARD PIERSON, Former Senior Manager, Boeing:
The 737 factory was in chaos. Every single factory health metric was getting
record low marks. And each one was trending in the wrong direction. MILES O’BRIEN: The company says it has no
plans to lay off the 12,000 workers at the main 737 MAX plant. JUDY WOODRUFF: And Miles joins me now to explore
some of the bigger questions for Boeing and for the FAA. Hello to you, Miles. So we heard in your piece analysts talking
about what a risk this represents for Boeing. Boeing is now saying no layoffs. But the 737 MAX is a big piece of their business,
isn’t it? MILES O’BRIEN: It’s a big piece of their business. And it’s a pretty big piece of the economy
in general, Judy. While Boeing has some pretty deep pockets
and can keep those employees on the line in anticipation of spooling things back up relatively
quickly, when you start looking down the supply chain at some of their vendors who supply
them with various widgets, pieces and parts for the aircraft, they don’t have the pockets,
the deep pockets, to be able to withstand this. So look for layoffs sooner in the larger ecosystem,
if you will. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Miles, we have — also,
we have learned more in the last week or so about what was going on internally at the
FAA in the period after the first crash. What have we learned about what was happening
there? MILES O’BRIEN: After the Indonesian crash,
there was an analysis of what the real risks were of this particular system that was at
the root cause of that crash. And it was determined that the 737 MAX, as
it is, could result in a fatal accident every two or three years, which in this day and
age is a way unacceptable rate of accident. The FAA made the decision not to ground the
aircraft however, although that — a lot of experts would look at that and say that would
be good reason to do so, instead said it would give the pilots a thorough briefing about
the MCAS system, the system at the root of the problem, and put the airplanes back into
service. Unfortunately, of course, there was a second
crash, and the grounding occurred after that. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Miles, this plays into
the larger concerns that have been out there about whether the FAA has, frankly, abdicated
too much of the oversight, the certifications to the industry. MILES O’BRIEN: Well, the basic theory, Judy,
is that no one in the industry wants an unsafe aircraft. And that is true when you talk to people. And the FAA, over the years, however, has
reduced the number of boots on the ground in these factories and deferred a lot of the
inspection process to the industry itself. This is a way to save money. And the idea is that there’s a mutual goal
towards safety. But when things get competitive, there are
a lot of temptations to cut corners. And Boeing was in a very heated competition
with Airbus to get this 737 MAX out the door. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, finally, Miles, what about
the speculation about whether the 737 MAX is ever going to come back? MILES O’BRIEN: Well, yes, there’s a lot of
speculation on that front, and understandably so. I mean, I think, quite frankly, the traveling
public has a fairly short memory of these sorts of things. Frankly, the traveling public is looking for
the lowest fare when they book a flight. The real question, I think, is, has the industry,
have the pilots, have — the insurance industry, has it lost faith in the 737 MAX? If that is the case, this is an aircraft that
might never fly. JUDY WOODRUFF: Miles O’Brien, reporting on
today’s developments around the 737 MAX and Boeing, thank you, Miles. MILES O’BRIEN: You’re welcome, Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF: Newly released court documents
reveal that the family behind Purdue Pharmaceuticals, maker of the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin,
withdrew over $10 billion from the company as the opioid epidemic got worse and worse. As William Brangham reports, this will only
increase the scrutiny of the Sackler family. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That’s right, Judy. As part of a bankruptcy filing in New York,
an internal audit done by Purdue was released in court last night. That audit revealed that, in the first 12
years of OxyContin sales, from 1995 to 2007, Purdue distributed just over a billion dollars
to the Sackler family. Then, in 2007, Purdue pled guilty to federal
charges of misleading doctors and regulators about the addictiveness of OxyContin. And in the decade that followed, Purdue’s
distribution to the Sacklers skyrocketed to $10.7 billion. That money was being transferred even as the
opioid crisis worsened, the death toll grew ever higher, and the lawsuits were ramping
up. Maura Healey is the attorney general for Massachusetts. And she is one of the many attorneys general
suing Purdue and the Sackler family. Attorney General, welcome back to the “NewsHour.” This audit that was done by Purdue showed,
as I just described, that, from 2007 to 2017, $10 billion is moved from the company to the
Sackler family. I get that there is an obvious outrage factor
to that. What is the legal case that that transfer
of money is a problem? MAURA HEALEY, Massachusetts Attorney General:
Well, there is an outrage factor because, as the Sacklers are looking to pump as much
Oxy into the market as possible, they’re also sucking all of those profits from sales out
of the company and putting those profits into their own pockets. It’s legally of significance, because our
state was the first state to sue not only Purdue, but the Sacklers individually for
their direct role in the illegal, unlawful marketing and sale of Oxy. And the problem legally with what the Sacklers
have done, and the reason we have sued them and the reason we’re fighting them in court,
is because the Sacklers, under law, shouldn’t be able to shield themselves from liability,
hide that money, essentially, that they have stolen, essentially, through this bankruptcy
process. So, Purdue has filed bankruptcy. The Sacklers are trying to use that proceeding
to say, hey, we don’t need to pay any of that money back. And in the legal world, William, we talk about
when a company or individuals do something bad, and they make a whole lot of money off
of it. We call those ill-gotten gains. This is the very definition of an ill-gotten
gain, and why the Sacklers need to be held accountable and need to pay up. That’s what justice demands, and that’s what
families all over this country, William, are looking for. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Do you have a sense of where
that money is right now? MAURA HEALEY: Well, this is part of the problem. I mean, the Sacklers have played games with
their money for decades now. A lot of it has been moved offshore, and they
have used all sorts of legal arrangements to shield those assets. We’re going to continue to pursue them. I know my colleagues will also pursue them. But, hopefully, what this report shows is
essentially what we had alleged at the time we filed our very complaint, that the Sacklers
operated through greed, they exploited vulnerable people, they made boatloads of money off of
it, and they took all of that money for themselves out of the company. That’s why we will continue to fight them
in the bankruptcy court, and that’s why we will continue to pursue them. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: We reached out to a lawyer
for some of the Sacklers, and they gave us a statement today. I would like to read you part of that. And this lawyer said: “These distribution
numbers were known at the time the proposed settlement was agreed to by two dozen attorneys
general and thousands of local governments. They have been public for months. And this filing reflects the fact that more
than half was paid in taxes and reinvested in businesses that will be sold as part of
the proposed settlement. The Sackler family hopes to reach a productive
resolution for the public benefit.” So they’re saying everybody knew about this,
most of the money went to taxes and reinvestment. And, as you know, they have also put forward
this idea that will pay $3 billion as part of this big national settlement. But I take it, from what you’re saying, that’s
not enough? MAURA HEALEY: Oh, it’s outrageous. Let’s be clear, William, right? Ten billion — first of all, we didn’t know
the extent of everything that they had taken out from the company. And, frankly, we still don’t know the full
extent. More work needs to be done. Second, we don’t know the net worth, the value,
how much money the Sacklers actually have, because that is important. They are going to be held legally accountable,
and they will need to pay up. So they have not been forthcoming with their
financial information. This is a family that, through history, has
sought to hide their financial assets. They continue to fight us at every turn. Remember, here, William, the only reason that
we know this information is because Purdue, now in bankruptcy, controlled essentially
by another entity, has produced this information. The Sacklers themselves have not been forthcoming. So, this is what we have seen from them and
exactly why they need to pay up. As for the proposed deal, it stinks, OK? And that’s what yesterday’s audit report revealed. You’re talking about a family that is offering
to pay $3 billion, not, by the way, from their own pocket. They want that $3 billion to come from future
Oxy sales overseas by their foreign company. They have not offered a dime of their own
personal money, not to say the least of any of the profits, the $10 billion-plus that
they took from the company in the last few years. So this is where we are with things. It’s why the majority of A.G.s oppose the
proposed settlement. We continue to fight this in court. And, ultimately, we’re going to go wherever
we need to go, so that there is justice. And justice will take the form of holding
Purdue accountable, but also holding the Sacklers accountable. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, Attorney General
Maura Healey of Massachusetts, thank you very much. MAURA HEALEY: Great to be with you, William. JUDY WOODRUFF: Stay with us. Coming up on the “NewsHour”: the effect that
toxic stress and poverty may have on the development of babies’ brains; and behind the scenes with
the author of the children’s classic “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!.” President Trump has limited the number of
refugees who may enter the United States to the lowest level in decades. As John Yang reports, that policy is having
an effect in what may seem like an unlikely place. This report is part of our look at poverty
and economic opportunity, Chasing the Dream. JOHN YANG: It’s fourth period at the GEO International
High School in Bowling Green, Kentucky. For 19-year-old Rehema Twizere, this math
class is just a small part of a grueling routine. She’s been up since 5:30. When school ends, she rushes across town to
Trace Die Cast, where she works until almost midnight. REHEMA TWIZERE, Refugee: It’s hard, but I
have to do it anyway. JOHN YANG: Hard, but much easier than the
life she left behind three years ago in her native Uganda. After school there, she spent hours trekking
long distances to gather water and firewood. REHEMA TWIZERE: Here, it’s not bad. You would do all those, but you wouldn’t get
paid. I don’t make much. JOHN YANG: But it’s yours. REHEMA TWIZERE: Mm-hmm. It’s mine. JOHN YANG: Even though it’s not much, it’s
yours. REHEMA TWIZERE: Yes. It’s mine. It doesn’t belong to anyone. JOHN YANG: Twizere’s story is surprisingly
common here. While Kentucky’s total population ranks in
the middle of the 50 states, in the 12 months ending September 30, it resettled the fifth
most refugees. An outsized number of them ended up here in
the small, but growing city of Bowling Green. Their first stop is usually the International
Center of Kentucky, which has helped resettle refugees since 1981. Albert Mbanfu is the executive director. ALBERT MBANFU, Executive Director, International
Center of Kentucky: When I moved to Bowling Green, my thought was, well, I’m coming to
this little small city, and I don’t think we will have up to 10 refugees. (LAUGHTER) JOHN YANG: Between October 2018 and this September
alone, more than 460 refugees came to Bowling Green. Now, though, President Trump’s immigration
policies are creating uncertainty for those seeking refuge here. This fall, the administration set the cap
on refugees at 18,000 for the year that began in October. That’s the lowest level since the official
U.S. resettlement program began in 1980. And Bowling Green, the seat of Warren County,
which the president won with almost 60 percent of the vote in 2016, felt the change immediately. In October, Mbanfu’s agency didn’t resettle
a single refugee, the first time that’s happened in his six years as director. What would you say if you had the opportunity
to sit down with President Trump? ALBERT MBANFU: Open your heart. Search your soul. The United States is the greatest nation in
the world. And, with that, they should have that moral
responsibility to say, we will give back a little to save mankind. JOHN YANG: More concerning to Mbanfu? Another Trump announcement. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
I issued an executive action making clear that no refugees will be resettled in any
city or any state without the express written consent of that city or that state. JOHN YANG: Refugee advocates feared the move
could mean big sections of the country shutting their doors to resettlement. The State Department told refugee agencies
to get written consent from governors and county executives. More than a dozen state and local governments
answered by saying they would continue to welcome refugees. Warren County’s executive didn’t respond to
requests for comment. But Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson said
he’d welcome the chance to have a say. BRUCE WILKERSON, Mayor of Bowling Green, Kentucky:
If they just give me a number and say, we’re going to give you 1,000 refugees today, where
are they from? Do they have any skills? Do they have any family members here? If we bring in somebody with no skills, no
education, and just simply a new individual, that’s going to take a lot more of our resources
to try to work with. JOHN YANG: Researchers say that, in 2016,
immigrants contributed more than $560 million to the county’s economy. At Trace Die Cast, the auto parts maker where
Rehema Twizere works, refugees and immigrants make up more than 60 percent of the work force. What’s more, Trace has about 40 job openings
right now that could be filled by refugees. Chris Guthrie is CEO of the family owned company. CHRIS GUTHRIE, CEO, Trace Die Cast: We really
need more refugees and more immigrants coming into Bowling Green. And not that’s not just a Trace Die Cast problem. That’s all the businesses here. There’s a lack of employees. And for our economy to grow, we need to have
people moving here to help to fill those jobs. And if that pipeline is cut off, then the
whole community here will suffer from that. JOHN YANG: But for local schools, the refugee
population presents challenges. The Warren County School District’s per-pupil
funding has been among the lowest in the state. Superintendent Rob Clayton: ROB CLAYTON, Superintendent, Warren County
Public Schools: Enrolling students day after day coming from refugee resettlement situations
does impact our schools in terms of the available resources that are necessary to enroll these
students. It’s not as simple as walking in the door
and giving a child a schedule and saying, go to class. JOHN YANG: GEO International is Kentucky’s
only four-year high school designed for international and refugee students. Dean of students Taylor Nash finds himself
trying to counter the president’s rhetoric. TAYLOR NASH, GEO International High School:
Our children have come to me before and have asked me, you know, why is our president saying
this? He doesn’t know what it’s like in my country. As teachers, we’re sometimes the best examples
that they have of what Americans are. That puts a lot of responsibility on us, as
educators, to try to show them that, you know, just because politicians say one thing doesn’t
mean that we’re all like that. JOHN YANG: Ndayiragije Isack owns an international
grocery store in Bowling Green. He came to the United States 10 years ago
from a refugee camp in Tanzania, where he remembers seeing bags of flour donated by
Americans. NDAYIRAGIJE ISACK, Owner, Umoja International
Market: So, we’d be like, these people are nice. They are giving this. When I get there, I need to give back. JOHN YANG: So, seven years ago, Isack joined
the Army National Guard. He says his dream is to serve overseas. NDAYIRAGIJE ISACK: When I’m hearing this comment
that we are a drain, what can we do better? My question would be, what can we do better
for you to be happy with us? JOHN YANG: So that others yearning to breathe
free can have the same chance at a better life. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m John Yang in Bowling
Green, Kentucky. JUDY WOODRUFF: Researchers are trying to better
understand the biology of stress and the many ways toxic stress can affect a child’s health. Stephanie Sy has a report produced by Yahoo
News about how frequent or prolonged adversity for a mother could affect the development
of the baby in the womb. STEPHANIE SY: When I met Lisa Thompson, like
me, she was five months pregnant. So, you’re due? LISA THOMPSON, Mother: December 5. STEPHANIE SY: Which is the same exact day
that I’m due. Congratulations. LISA THOMPSON: Thank you. STEPHANIE SY: Lisa is 18 years old, and, six
months earlier, had been homeless. How have you been doing as far as the stress
of pregnancy? LISA THOMPSON: I have had a lot of depression
a lot. So, me and the dad kind of — he’s happy about
it. He says he is going to be there. I’m worried that he is not going to be there. STEPHANIE SY: Did you think you would be doing
it on your own? LISA THOMPSON: No. I mean, I know my mom did it on her own when
she was pregnant with me. But it’s kind of scary, because I don’t want
my baby to have a life like that. I’m sorry. STEPHANIE SY: That’s OK. LISA THOMPSON: Because my dad wasn’t there
when I was born. And, basically, that’s all I know. STEPHANIE SY: Researchers now believe poverty
can begin in the womb, if a mother is exposed to toxic stress. DR. JACK SHONKOFF, Harvard University: When we
are stressed, our heart rate goes up, our blood pressure goes up. Stress hormones get released in our bloodstream. Toxic stress is when those systems are activated
most of the time. STEPHANIE SY: Dr. Jack Shonkoff, a renowned
expert on early childhood development, heads the center on the developing child at Harvard
University. DR. JACK SHONKOFF: Toxic stress is not about the
cause of the stress. It’s the biological response to the stress. And an environment that is fraught with stresses
affects gene expression. It affects how some genes turn on or turn
off. STEPHANIE SY: In utero? DR. JACK SHONKOFF: From the moment of conception
until the moment you die. STEPHANIE SY: In West Virginia, I have met
several moms in an effort to understand how the stresses of poverty might affect them,
their children and even their unborn babies. WOMAN: So, do not worry about tomorrow, for
tomorrow will bring worries of its own. STEPHANIE SY: At a food pantry held monthly
at Hope United Methodist Church, I meet Kristin. She asked that we not use her last name, but
shares a life story seemingly fraught with stress. KRISTIN, Mother: This is my daughter Skyler
, one of three. I have a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old. I got pregnant at 16. My mother and father were both addicts and
alcoholics. And I had a rough childhood. Hello? I’m at a church thing. STEPHANIE SY: So, clearly, you’re still struggling
financially. KRISTIN: Trying to get away from an abusive
guy. If you don’t believe me, you can talk with
— am I at the church right now? WOMAN: Yes, she is. STEPHANIE SY: Can you just tell me about the
stresses you were going through? Obviously, you were going through… KRISTIN: I was on Subutex when I was pregnant
with her. STEPHANIE SY: What is that? That’s for… KRISTIN: To get off opiates. (PHONE RINGING) KRISTIN: This is her dad calling. So, I’m really sorry, but I have got to go
pick him up from work. STEPHANIE SY: OK. KRISTIN: But she had had withdrawals. And I went through postpartum depression. I was alone. I didn’t have any support. My mom lives in Tennessee. I don’t have a lot of family, and my mom wasn’t
the greatest mom. So I strive to be what she wasn’t. DR. JACK SHONKOFF: We have studied resilience
in the face of poverty. One of the most important predictors of good
outcomes in the face of adversity is the presence of at least one reliable, responsive, protective
relationship with an important person. It can be a — and very often is a parent,
can be another family member, a grandparent. STEPHANIE SY: Shonkoff says this new biological
understanding suggests breaking the poverty cycle begins with pregnant moms and the right
kind of support. DR. JACK SHONKOFF: We’re already increasing the
likelihood that that next generation will do better. STEPHANIE SY: The science may be new, but
the national organization Nurse-Family Partnership has been putting it to practice for nearly
four decades. LORI ROGERS, Nurse-Family Partnership: OK,
we are headed out for our first visit. STEPHANIE SY: Nurses like Lori Rogers in Montgomery,
Alabama, pay home visits to first-time mothers, providing medical checkups and helping them
set goals. LORI ROGERS: One of the things about Nurse-Family
Partnership is to make sure that, hey, we’re asking, what do you want to do with your life? What’s important to you? WOMAN: Hey, good morning. LORI ROGERS: Good morning. We’re going to sit over here? WOMAN: Yes ma’am. OK. Look at this butterfly. Typically, our visit consists of asking how
they have been since we have been last here, whether they have been healthy, or — I try
to weigh Aubrey. I might get some measurements on her. We typically talk about Latrita, how’s her
job going. OK, well this is a daily job list. I thought I’d give you this and just see. There might be something there. WOMAN: Look at the bunny. STEPHANIE SY: The new science says doing the
type of thinking involved in goal-setting actually changes the brain, increasing executive
function, which is a key to societal success. ELISABETH BABCOCK, President and CEO, Economic
Mobility Pathways: When the work is done well, it helps to change brain wiring, so that the
individuals can basically become the navigators of their own lives. STEPHANIE SY: Beth Babcock is head of a program
based in Boston called EMPath, which uses the latest neuroscience to coach families
toward better outcomes. ELISABETH BABCOCK: We’re seeing families that,
when we work with them for three years or more, are almost doubling their incomes. The real process of helping people move out
of poverty is the process of standing beside and helping them see themselves and their
future in a different way. STEPHANIE SY: In a sense, it comes down to
love. Providing love may counter the toxic effects
of poverty-related stress, a surprisingly low-tech way to address what advanced brain
science has revealed. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Stephanie Sy. JUDY WOODRUFF: And to watch the complete documentary,
go to Yahoo.com/babybrain. Author and illustrator Mo Willems has created
beloved characters and sold millions of children’s books. Now he’s taking to the stage and making new
kinds of work for both kids and grownups. Correspondent Paul Solman has the story. It’s part of our ongoing series on arts and
culture, Canvas. PAUL SOLMAN: Now playing at the Kennedy Center
in Washington, D.C., a musical about a pigeon who really, really, really wants to drive
a bus, based on a book by one of America’s bestselling authors. MO WILLEMS, Author, “Don’t Let the Pigeon
Drive the Bus!”: My name is Mo Willems. I’m a… (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) MO WILLEMS: Thank you. PAUL SOLMAN: This latter-day Dr. Seuss even
spruced up the time-honored TV walking shot to cover our narration introducing him, letting
his pigeon do the walking. Mo Willems has created over 50 books about
characters from the boisterous bird to anxious elephant and upbeat piggy, to abandoned Knuffle
Bunny to Nanette’s Baguette. Willems is now the Kennedy Center’s first
education artist in residence, making music, art, the pigeon musical. MO WILLEMS: They’re grown adults playing with
puppets, yelling and screaming and running around. Hopefully, that’s going to engender not just
laughs on stage, but when the kids go home, the grownups will pick up a stuffed animal
and pretend that it’s a puppet and start to be silly again. I’m more interested in sparking some sort
of creativity, some type of joy that happens after the show, after the performance, after
you read the book. PAUL SOLMAN: Is that why the drawings are
so simple? MO WILLEMS: Absolutely. Every one of my characters is designed so
that a 5-year-old can reproduce it. I want my books to be played, not just read. The most important part of the book, the heart
of the book, is the audience reacting to what I have splattered on the page. PAUL SOLMAN: And, by audience, you don’t just
mean the kid. You mean the parent or, in my case, grandparent
who’s reading it… MO WILLEMS: Absolutely. PAUL SOLMAN: … acting it out, the voices. Hey, can I drive the bus? CHILDREN: No! MO WILLEMS: I need you. You are my orchestra. PAUL SOLMAN: MO WILLEMS: And if I write a book called the
happy bunny had a happy time in happy land, you’re going to read it. The happy bunny had a happy time. And you skip a couple pages. PAUL SOLMAN: Oh, God. MO WILLEMS: And you’re at the end. PAUL SOLMAN: I have been there. MO WILLEMS: Right. We have all been there. But if I write something that jazzes you and
get you to get the shame-ectomy to start yelling and screaming and jumping up and down, and
maybe tickling or what not, now, suddenly these books are magic. PAUL SOLMAN: Willems’ work is silly, sure,
but it also explores questions central to kids. MO WILLEMS: You’re just dealing with fundamental
things. Why are we here? Why are people nice? Why aren’t people nice? What can I do? Can I drive a bus? PAUL SOLMAN: “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the
Bus!” was Willems’ first book in 2003. MO WILLEMS: So the pigeon was rejected by
— and I tend to exaggerate, so we will just cut that number in half — 23 billion publishers. (LAUGHTER) MO WILLEMS: And they said the exact same thing
as the publisher that took the book. They said it’s unusual. They were all right. The question is, is unusual pejorative, or
is it positive? PAUL SOLMAN: So why did they all say no? MO WILLEMS: Well, because it’s terrifying
doing something that hasn’t been done before, right? I mean, it’s a book all in dialogue with sort
of a chicken scratch drawing. The audience is told it has to yell no back
at the book. But we never tell them that they need to do
it. Also, it’s a pigeon. It’s a rat with wings. Like, a children’s book is supposed to be
an adorable bear or a wonderful bunny, something that you want to hug and — nobody wants to
hug and squeeze a pigeon. PAUL SOLMAN: That first book earned Willems
the first of three Caldecotts, the highest prize in kid lit. MO WILLEMS: The pigeon just arrived one day
in a sketchbook, and literally the first drawing I made of the pigeon, the pigeon said, why
are you drawing other things? And he just — he was a jerk from day one. PAUL SOLMAN: But you didn’t hear him say that? You… MO WILLEMS: We communicate through doodles,
yes. So, part of the exploration for this play
was for me to ask, who is this pigeon, which is also me asking, who am I, which is why
I need to be with very close friends who can tell me the honest truth. PAUL SOLMAN: Willems co-wrote the script with
Tom Warburton, a friend since the two were animators 25 years ago, and an admirer of
Willems’ first film, “The Man Who Yelled.” MO WILLEMS: An animated film by me, Mo Willems. TOM WARBURTON, Co-Writer: Mo was very good
at branding. He was already Mo Willems even before he was
doing — he was doing his picture books. PAUL SOLMAN: In that film… TOM WARBURTON: Yes. PAUL SOLMAN: … he must mention his name,
I don’t know how many times. TOM WARBURTON: Not just in that film. In everything he does, he mentions his name
over and over and over again. Yes, yes. That was — that was just the start. ACTOR: Oh my goodness. A sheep. PAUL SOLMAN: Over the years, the two collaborated
on the Cartoon Network’s short-lived “Sheep in the Big City.” MO WILLEMS: And when we would look at the
ratings, you would get a 5, that was the number of people watching it. It was an unpopular show. PAUL SOLMAN: But their show “Codename: Kids
Next Door” was a hit. Willems went on to write for “Sesame Street,”
for which he won six Emmys. The musical poses a different problem. TOM WARBURTON: How do you take a 40-page book
about a pigeon not being able to drive a bus and turn it into an hour-long musical? PAUL SOLMAN: Stick to a good story for kids,
says Deborah Wicks La Puma, who wrote the music. DEBORAH WICKS LA PUMA, Composer: You can’t
linger in a moment for the sake of lingering in the moment or sounding beautiful. You know, the kids want to know what the story
is and what’s happening. ACTOR: What if I don’t like school? PAUL SOLMAN: Willems’ work has always kept
the child’s point of view front and center. MO WILLEMS: Childhood is inherently unpleasant. And nothing is to your scale, right? The chairs, these chairs, are saying… PAUL SOLMAN: Immense, yes. MO WILLEMS: They’re giant. They’re saying, you don’t belong here. You really shouldn’t even be sitting here,
right? And everything is big, because you don’t know. You’re new. And the grownups, they take you out of situations. Like, if you’re doing something, and you’re
having fun, some giant pair of hands grabs you and picks you up, and puts you in another
room. And you get in trouble for complaining? PAUL SOLMAN: Artist in residence Willems in
an upcoming Kennedy Center project is painting abstractions based on Beethoven’s symphonies,
to be performed by the National Symphony Orchestra. MO WILLEMS: I like to jump off the diving
board and, halfway through, ask myself, do you know how to swim? I knew nothing about music. I was — I am painting on a scale I have never
painted before. But there’s no wrong way to hear a symphony. And there’s no wrong way to express yourself. PAUL SOLMAN: From Beethoven to bird. For the “PBS NewsHour,” this is Paul Solman,
a new friend of Willems, an old friend of his books, in Washington, D.C., and my house
outside Boston. JUDY WOODRUFF: And how can you not like that? And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m Judy Woodruff. Remember, the “PBS NewsHour”/Politico Democratic
presidential debate takes place Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. I’m headed to Los Angeles tomorrow. For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank
you, and we’ll see you soon.

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