PBS NewsHour full episode November 18, 2019

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

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