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PBS NewsHour full episode October 15, 2019


JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff. On the “NewsHour” tonight: Bolton back in
the spotlight. Revelations that the ousted national security
adviser raised alarms about Rudy Giuliani and the Ukraine affair add fuel to the impeachment
inquiry. Then: the city at the center of the fight. A look at the critical role of Manbij, Syria,
the former Islamic State stronghold now caught in the middle of the Turkish incursion. Plus: Rethinking College. As the cost of a degree goes up, housing prices
go up right along with it, and students feel the pinch, struggling to afford it at all. SARA GOLDRICK-RAB, Temple University: We estimate
that approximately one in two undergraduates is finding their housing to be unaffordable. I mean, the most typical thing that we will
hear is a student who says, I’m going to have trouble paying my rent this month. JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s
“PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: The inquiry into whether to
impeach President Trump is ramping up, now that Congress is back in session. Despite the White House trying to block the
process, depositions from longtime diplomats are shedding new light on the Trump administration’s
approach to Ukraine. For the latest, I’m joined by our own Lisa
Desjardins. Lisa, you have been reporting, talking to
people all day long. What are we learning today? LISA DESJARDINS: Well, we may have some developments
any minute in terms of how the House proceeds. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as we speak, is
holding a meeting with her Democrats, who just returned from two weeks of recess, and
she is also holding shortly after this a news conference with reporters, where I’m told
she will make an announcement. The speculation is that this is not only about
impeachment, but about a possible full House vote. Nancy Pelosi has indicated she’s considered
a full House vote to start this inquiry. Within minutes, I think we will learn whether
she’s going to go ahead with that. There is a lot of speculation that she will,
but that’s speculation, so we will see. This on a day when we had plenty of other
activity as well. We had new testimony today, a behind-closed-doors
deposition from another State Department official. In this case, his name is George Kent. George Kent is the — essentially the Eurasian
or Ukraine-Russia expert, an assistant deputy secretary. He spoke today. And his testimony is still ongoing, as I understand
it. Also today, we had Rudy Giuliani responded
to a subpoena from the House for documents from him. He’s obviously a central figure now. Let’s look at what he said in this letter. It just came out a few hours ago to the House
that wants documents from him. He wrote defiantly that — he said: “This
appears to be an unconstitutional, baseless, and illegitimate impeachment inquiry.” He’s rejecting their request for documents. Actually, it’s not a request. It’s a subpoena. It’s interesting. Of course, Judy, he’s a former prosecutor
himself. He knows the power of subpoenas. Here he is rejecting it, perhaps inviting
a contempt move against him. JUDY WOODRUFF: So there was a former White
House aide, Fiona Hill, an expert on Russia, worked in the National Security Council. She testified yesterday before the committee. Reverberations today about what she had to
say. LISA DESJARDINS: Quite a lot. Fiona Hill is someone who was in the inner
core of the White House, the National Security Council. And here’s what she testified. She said she was increasingly concerned about
Giuliani and what some saw as sort of an underground or rogue diplomacy effort on his behalf — on
his behalf with the president. She told John Bolton, the national security
adviser at the time, and also a White House lawyer at Bolton’s urging. She said that Bolton saw Giuliani himself
as essentially a grenade that could explode in any situation for those around him. So, she basically says she was raising questions
about what Giuliani was doing with the president. And we understand that today’s testimony by
many Mr. Kent also reinforced that as well. JUDY WOODRUFF: And Lisa, we know — frankly,
it’s hard to keep track because there are so many pieces of this happening. LISA DESJARDINS: Yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: But what else are we expecting
to see this week? LISA DESJARDINS: Well, we have more deadlines
for documents. And we’re waiting to hear from the Pentagon
tonight. We’re also waiting to hear from the Office
of Management and Budget. We have just heard from the vice president,
Mike Pence, who was subpoenaed for documents. He has said he doesn’t feel he needs to respond. He doesn’t see this as an official impeachment
inquiry. We also have more depositions coming, Judy. Let’s look at some of these spaces. Here, we’re going to see some longtime diplomats. There, you see Michael McKinley. He’s actually a former adviser to Secretary
Pompeo. There, you see Gordon Sondland and also Laura
Cooper. She’s one of the assistant secretaries of
defense. Let’s highlight Mr. Sondland there,because
it was his texts that we made such a — we looked at so closely a few weeks ago about
the president wanting deliverables when it came to Ukraine. So his testimony is particularly something
to focus on. JUDY WOODRUFF: And I know it’s hard, with
all this going on, to step back and look at it all, but where does this impeachment business
stand right now over — and you’re waiting — as you said, we’re waiting to hear from
Speaker Pelosi. LISA DESJARDINS: OK, deep breath. Here’s what we have got. First of all, a possible House vote, a full
House vote on an inquiry. We’re waiting minute to minute to learn about
that. Second, after that, Giuliani concerns are
rising, it seems, in all corners. Then, third, Judy, actually, we have seen
both parties launching TV ads. And I want to look at them, because they’re
targeting particularly vulnerable members. We will start with this ad from the right. This is a group that is launching ads, a group
that — I guess we will show it in a second — launching ads against vulnerable Democrats,
Abby Finkenauer of Iowa. There are also — there’s a deluge of ads
against some Republicans. You will see in just a second. Now, this is a conservative ad against Abby
Finkenauer. And there you see some of those kind of favorite
targets for conservatives. But next we’re going to go to this ad, which
is targeting a Republican, Senator Joni Ernst in Iowa, as not being tough enough on the
president. So, Judy, we’re seeing this war ramp up. What the tells me at this time is that both
parties think there are a lot of persuadable Americans. They think Americans have not made up their
minds yet and they want to get out there and do it for them, pay a lot of attention. JUDY WOODRUFF: You can understand it. There’s a lot at stake. LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right. JUDY WOODRUFF: Lisa Desjardins, we will be
waiting to report on what we hear from Speaker Pelosi. LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right. JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you. In the day’s other news: Turkey showed no
sign of stopping its widening war in Northeast Syria, despite new sanctions announced by
the U.S. More Turkish military vehicles deployed toward
Syria during the day, and, after nightfall, Turkish rockets pounded Kurdish forces around
Ras al-Ayn. Meanwhile, France and others warned that the
U.S. withdrawal in Northeast Syria and the Turkish offensive will lead to chaos. EDOUARD PHILIPPE, French Prime Minister (through
translator): Each day, each hour that passes, we can see the devastating consequences of
these decisions. This is devastating for civilian populations,
who packed the roads to flee the fighting. This is devastating for our security, as I
have said, with the inevitable resurgence of Islamic State in Northeastern Syria and
probably also in Northwest Iraq. JUDY WOODRUFF: Also today, Russia extended
its influence in the region, sending troops with Syrian units who took the town of Manbij. We will take a closer look at the situation
there after the news summary. In Spain, violence erupted for a second night
in Catalonia, after nine separatist leaders were convicted of sedition. Riot police charged hundreds protesters in
Barcelona, swinging batons and even tackling people to try to break up the crowd. All of this came after more than 170 people
were hurt in last night’s clashes. Back in this country, new information emerged
on the fatal shooting of a black woman by a white policeman in Fort Worth, Texas. It came from Atatiana Jefferson’s 8-year-old
nephew, quoted in an arrest warrant. He said they heard noises outside, and that
Jefferson pointed her gun at the window an instant before she was shot. But Police Chief Ed Kraus said today that
changes nothing. ED KRAUS, Fort Worth, Texas, Interim Police
Chief: The gun was found just inside the room, but it makes sense that she would have a gun
if she felt that she was being threatened or that there was someone in the backyard. There’s absolutely no excuse for this incident,
and the person responsible will be held accountable. JUDY WOODRUFF: The officer, Aaron Dean, resigned
yesterday, and was charged with murder. We will return to the story later in the program. Actress Felicity Huffman reported to federal
prison in California today, in the wake of a college admissions scam. She will serve a two-week sentence at a low-security
facility outside San Francisco. Huffman pleaded guilty to paying to fix her
daughter’s SAT score. In economic news, China warned that a tentative
trade deal with the U.S. could still collapse. The English-language China Daily suggested
that President Trump might cancel the deal. Last Friday, the president suspended a tariff
hike and said that China would buy $50 billion worth of U.S. farm products. On Wall Street today, strong earnings reports
boosted stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 237
points to close at 27024. The Nasdaq rose 100 points and the S&P 500
added 29. And two passings of note. The first person to walk in space, former
Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, was laid to rest outside Moscow today. His feat came in March 1965, three months
before the first American space walk. Today, hundreds of people turned out for the
funeral. They included former astronaut Thomas Stafford,
who joined Leonov on the first U.S.-Soviet space mission in 1975. Alexei Leonov was 85 years old. And author and literary critic Harold Bloom
died Monday in New Haven, Connecticut. The longtime Yale professor was renowned for
defending Western culture and literature against modern trends. His breakthrough work, “The Anxiety of Influence,”
dealt with how artists deal with inspiration and became a catchphrase. Harold Bloom was 89 years old. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: how the Northern
Syrian city of Manbij is a microcosm of the larger fight; an officer in Texas is charged
with murder, and a national debate over police violence is renewed; what to watch as the
2020 Democratic hopefuls take to the stage in tonight’s debate; and much more. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said
today that he wouldn’t agree to President Trump’s request to declare a cease-fire in
Northern Syria. The political map of that area has been redrawn
since the U.S. military began withdrawing in the last few days. Nick Schifrin examines how one city, Manbij,
represents how profound the consequences of that decision could be. NICK SCHIFRIN: The story of Manbij is the
story of the Syrian civil war, and a city that achieved hard-fought stability is becoming
Syria’s most contested battleground. In 2012, Manbij residents joined nationwide
protests and called for the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. They took over the city. In 2014, those rebels lost the city to ISIS. An English-speaking ISIS fighter filmed celebrations
downtown. MAN: You can see it’s beautiful. All the brothers are here. We are celebrating. Alhamdulillah. NICK SCHIFRIN: In 2016, the U.S. fought back. American and European airstrikes targeted
ISIS fighters, and U.S.-backed majority Kurdish forces provided the ground strength. The fight was difficult, and many Kurds died. Months later, the city was liberated, but
decimated. ISIS’ paint had barely dried, but the Manbij
military council met in this small room to plot the city’s recovery. Slowly, life returned, assisted by U.S. troops
who arrived in 2018 as part of a strategy to stabilize cities to prevent ISIS’ return. The top U.S. general in the Middle East even
toured a revitalized market without body armor. U.S. troops conducted patrols with Kurdish
partners to try and maintain that stability. By this past January, Major General Jamie
Jarrard proudly received a Kurdish flag and hugged Kurds he called his partners. MAJ. GEN. JAMIE JARRARD, U.S. Army Special Forces: Our
presence here has enabled this area here to be stable. NICK SCHIFRIN: The U.S. military also established
joint patrols with Turkey. But, in the last week, those patrols ended. Overnight, the U.S. started to withdraw, and
the free-for-all began. From the north, the Turkish military is advancing
toward Manbij and vows to seize control. Their offensive has already wounded and killed
civilians. From the south, Syrian TV showed Syrian troops
entering Manbij for the first time in seven years. And in the middle, those are Russian troops,
who today announced they are keeping the peace. On Facebook, a Russian journalist showed off
a U.S. base completely abandoned. Manbij’s future is unclear, but what is clear,
it won’t be controlled by the U.S. or its partners. JUDY WOODRUFF: The fatal shooting of a black
woman by a white police officer in Fort Worth, Texas, has left anger in that community. And, as Amna Nawaz lays out, it is raising
once again many questions on a larger scale about police training, race and the use of
force. AMNA NAWAZ: Judy, this shooting came less
than two weeks after a former police officer in Dallas was convicted of murder for fatally
shooting a man in his home. In this case, Atatiana Jefferson was playing
video games on Saturday with her 8-year-old nephew when a neighbor saw her front door
ajar and called the non-emergency police line to express concern. Body camera footage shows officer Aaron Dean
and his partner circling around the home, walking through a gate into Jefferson’s backyard,
before stopping at a window. Dean then shouts, “Put your hands up,” and
then he fires his gun. Jefferson’s nephew, who was in that room,
says his aunt pointed her gun at the window after hearing noises outside. Joining me now is Seth Stoughton. He’s an associate professor of law at the
University of South Carolina. He is also a former police officer who served
in Tallahassee, Florida. Seth Stoughton, welcome to the “NewsHour.” I want to ask you about what we know about
the exact circumstances in this case. The interim police officer — interim police
chief, rather, Ed Kraus, said earlier, nobody looked at that video and said there was any
doubt this officer acted inappropriately. You have seen that body camera footage. What, to you, says his actions were inappropriate? SETH STOUGHTON, University of South Carolina:
The thing to focus on here is the officer’s approach as he walked up to the window, the
actions preceding the shooting. What officers do leading up to a use of force
can make a use of force either more or less likely. In this case, the officer’s failure to identify
himself, the officer’s failure to attempt to contact anyone in the house led to a pretty
tragic and horrifying result. AMNA NAWAZ: What other questions do you have
right now? Based on what you know so far, based on what
we have seen, what do you think we still don’t know that you would like to know? SETH STOUGHTON: Oh, there are lots of things
we don’t have right now. We don’t have statement from the officer. My understanding is, at this point, he’s not
cooperated with the investigation. I haven’t seen a statement from the partner. I understand there has now been an affidavit
filed as part of the indictment for — from the 8-year-old nephew. I would like to see information that may not
have been included in that affidavit, information about training and policy of the agency. The goal here should be twofold, one of which
is to pursue legal action against the individual officer to hold him accountable, another of
which is to see if we can improve what the agency and other officers are doing to make
this less likely to happen again in the future. AMNA NAWAZ: You mention that training. I want to ask you about that now, because
Aaron Dean, the officer in this case, joined the force in April 2018. He graduated from the police academy. He underwent some kind of training there. Based on your experience and what you know,
what would that have entailed? How would he have been trained to assess risks
and threats? SETH STOUGHTON: So, there’s a lot of variation
in police training. There are more than 600 different academies
in the country. And I can’t speak to his particular training
experience. Generally, though, what I want to see is officers
getting a robust exposure to tactics. Tactics are the procedures and techniques
that officers use to mitigate risk and threat, to make sure that they are as safe as the
situation allows them to be. And because the officer is as safe as they
can be, they don’t have to use force against the individual with whom they’re interacting. There is too much of an emphasis in police
training on the risks that officers face and the severity of those risks. And, to be very clear, there are risks in
policing, and we shouldn’t underestimate those risks, but we also shouldn’t exaggerate those
risks. The tactics and equipment and training that
officers get now make policing today significantly safer than policing was 15 or 30 or 50 years
ago. Unfortunately, a lot of police training emphasizes
to officers that they need to act without thinking, they need to act first, that any
delay, any hesitation can be fatal, that complacency can be fatal, that anyone they interact with
on any call can potentially be armed and willing to kill them. That sets up a really dangerous dynamic for
officers. As they approach a situation, instead of reviewing
the facts in front of them in a way that makes sense in the context of that interaction,
they’re reviewing the facts in front of them in a way that — looking through the lens
of fear and risk and threat. It hurts community policing, and it can contribute
to avoidable shootings. AMNA NAWAZ: I want to ask you something about
the bigger conversation we’re having now that we seem to have again and again, based on
something that the attorney for the Jefferson family, Lee Merritt, said earlier today in
a press conference. Take a listen to what he had to say. S. LEE MERRITT, Attorney for Jefferson Family:
This is a moment where we get to have serious conversations about systematic problems within
policing, particularly as it concerns policing the African-American community. AMNA NAWAZ: Seth Stoughton, you mentioned
some of those training issues you would like to see addressed. We hear Lee Merritt mentioning these systematic
problems. We seem to be having this conversation again
and again every time there is another black American shot by a police officer. How do we stop from having this conversation? What needs to change? SETH STOUGHTON: Well, at some point, we need
the change from conversation to action. And we are. There’s good reason to think that at least
some agencies are moving in the right direction. Having the conversation is important and necessary,
but we have been having the conversation. It’s now time to do something about it. We could see not just changes to training
or changes to agency culture, but also changes to state law, for example, changes to the
way that officers are supervised are evaluated. Thinking beyond just throwing more training
dollars at officers is going to be a necessary part of improving policing. AMNA NAWAZ: Seth Stoughton, a former police
officer who is now an associate professor of law at the University of South Carolina,
thank you very much. SETH STOUGHTON: Thank you for having me. JUDY WOODRUFF: We return now to one of our
main stories of the day, the escalating war in Syria following President Trump’s decision
to withdraw U.S. troops. Nick Schifrin is back with a lawmaker at the
center of the response. NICK SCHIFRIN: In Congress, there is bipartisan
anger at Turkey for its campaign inside Syria, and at President Trump for withdrawing U.S.
forces. One of the lead authors of legislation that
would sanction Turkey is Maryland Democrat Senator Chris Van Hollen. And he joins me now. Senator, welcome to the “NewsHour.” We watched earlier today a video posted on
Facebook of a Russian journalist walking through an empty U.S. base. What is the impact, in your opinion, of President
Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Northeastern Syria? SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): Well, Nick, it’s
a devastating impact, both in terms of Turkey now attacking the Syrian Kurds, who, of course,
have been our main partner in the fight against ISIS, and now could well lead and will likely
lead to a resurgence of ISIS. Also, we have just handed Russia a lot more
leverage in the region, as you just indicated. So, this is a disastrous decision. The Congress will be calling upon President
Trump to reverse it, but calling upon him to reverse it is not enough. In my view, we need these bipartisan sanctions,
if we’re going to have any hope of influencing Turkey’s misconduct in their attacks on the
Syrian Kurds. NICK SCHIFRIN: So, you mentioned bipartisan
sanctions. They are co-sponsored by Republican Lindsey
Graham. They would, among other things, sanction senior
Turkish officials, restrict their visas, target Turkey’s energy sector, prohibit U.S. military
sales to Turkey, and even require a report on the net worth of President Erdogan. Why are those steps the best way to change
Turkey’s behavior today in Northern Syria? SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Well, they will also include
sanctions against two Turkish government-controlled banks, including the Halkbank, which is in
the news today, just an indictment brought down against it, because what we need to do
is say to Turkey that you’re going to feel economic pain unless you stop your aggression
against the Syrian Kurds and pull back your forces and your proxies. Look, the reality is that by withdrawing our
100 Special Forces, President Trump has essentially taken away a lot of the leverage we had in
the region. But sanctions is our next best opportunity
to influence what’s going to happen there in the days ahead to protect our Syrian Kurdish
allies and to try to prevent the resurgence of ISIS, which is guaranteed, if the Turk
— if the Syrian Kurds essentially have to spend all their time fighting Turkey, instead
of fighting ISIS. NICK SCHIFRIN: You mentioned that there are
only about 100 U.S. special operations forces in this area. President Trump called that a policing effort. They were on a stabilization effort. He said, we don’t need to do that kind of
effort. And he also announced that Turkey would feel
pain for their incursion into Syria. He’s announced sanctions, as you know. And, of course, Vice President Pence will
be on his way to Ankara soon. Why are those steps not enough? SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Well, first of all, those
100 Special Forces were the Special Forces embedded with our Syrian Kurdish allies. And they were what was stopping Turkey from
launching this attack on our partners. So, when Trump decided to withdraw those Special
Forces, he essentially green-lighted Turkey’s actions. With respect to sending Pence and the announcement
yesterday on sanctions, this is like a peashooter, right? He announced some sanctions on Turkish steel. The reality is, Turkish steel exports to the
United States represent about one-fourth of 1 percent of all of Turkey’s exports. So that’s not a serious response. And the president still says he’s going to
meet with President Erdogan here in Washington in November. I mean, what kind of signal does that send? So that’s why it’s important that Congress
act on a bipartisan basis. You have got a lot of momentum to stand up
for our Syrian Kurdish allies, to stand up against ISIS. And we’re going the use whatever tools are
at our disposal. They are not perfect tools, but they’re the
best we have got right now. NICK SCHIFRIN: Military officials I talk to
acknowledge a level of anger among those special operations forces soldiers inside of Syria
for withdrawing and leaving Kurdish partners. But they argue, strategically, that Turkey
is more important than Kurdish partners. Turkey is a NATO ally since 1952. Are you worried about the consequences of
a sanctions bill like the one you’re advocating on an ally on Turkey, whose cooperation is
vital in so many areas? SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Well, a couple points. One, these sanctions would be lifted if Turkey
ends its aggression against our Syrian Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS. So, Turkey has it within its power to relieve
the sanctions that would take effect under this bill. Second, under President Erdogan, you have
seen Turkey really take positions inconsistent with NATO priorities. For example, they just recently took delivery
of the Russian S-400 air defense system. The United States and NATO said that that
would put NATO pilots at risk, because we want to use the advanced F-35 fighter. Turkey thumbed their nose at us. They took delivery of that system. And so we have had to discontinue our partnership
with the F-35 with Turkey. That also is a trip wire for U.S. sanctions. So Turkey, under President Erdogan, has taken
a number of steps that undermine its role and responsibilities in NATO. And we can’t just sort of say, OK, Turkey,
whatever you want. We need to insist that Turkey be a full partner
in NATO and a full partner in the fight against ISIS. And, as you know, Turkey allowed ISIS fighters
to transit its territory many years ago. They looked the other way while ISIS grew
in strength. And it was the Syrian Kurds who were our partners
there, not the Turks. And so killing our partner — allowing Turkey
to kill our partners in the fight against ISIS also sends a message that we’re an unreliable
partner. So, the United States has to, for its own
national security, hold Turkey to account here. NICK SCHIFRIN: Senator Chris Van Hollen, Democrat
of Maryland, thank you very much. SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Thank you. JUDY WOODRUFF: Stay with us. Coming up on the “NewsHour”: high crimes and
misdemeanors — getting to the heart of the elusive criteria for impeachment; as the cost
of student housing soars, debt and homelessness follow closely behind; plus, author Elizabeth
Strout on revisiting the character Olive Kitteridge in her new novel, “Olive, Again.” We turn now to the Democratic presidential
race. Twelve candidates will take the debate stage
in Westerville, Ohio, tonight. It comes after former Vice President Joe Biden’s
son Hunter Biden spoke publicly for the first time about his role as a board member of a
Ukrainian gas company during the time that his father was in office. President Trump has spread unsubstantiated
claims that the Bidens engaged in illegal dealings in Ukraine, and sparked the current
impeachment inquiry by pressuring the country’s leader to look into it. In an interview with ABC News, the younger
Biden admitted poor judgment in taking the position, but he denied any wrongdoing. HUNTER BIDEN, Son of Joe Biden: Did I make
a mistake? Well, maybe, in the grand scheme of things,
yes. But did I make a mistake based upon some ethical
lapse? Absolutely not. I made a mistake, in retrospect, as it related
to creating any perception that was wrong. JUDY WOODRUFF: And Yamiche Alcindor is at
the debate site in Ohio, and she joins me. Yamiche, hello. So, how much do we expect this issue of Joe
Biden and Hunter Biden to come up tonight? What do you — you have been talking to these
campaigns. What are they saying? YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, this is first Democratic
debate since Nancy Pelosi launched that formal impeachment inquiry. So Ukraine is going to be a hot topic tonight. Sources I’m talking to on a number of campaigns
have been prepping for that question, and they’re also questioning Hunter Biden coming
out the morning before this debate. Now, other campaigns, not the Joe Biden campaign,
say that this is Joe Biden wanting to put this to bed, wanting to have Hunter Biden
out there to kind of talk about his business dealings, to try put — get out ahead of this. But other campaigns say, look, this is a problem
because Hunter Biden does look as though he was profiting off of Joe Biden’s name. And that is problematic, especially as Democrats
are trying to make the case that President Trump had children that were profiting off
of his name. But the Biden campaign has been very clear. They say that they didn’t arrange this interview
and that Hunter Biden wanted to come out and defend himself. But I think Ukraine is going to be a big topic
during tonight’s debate. JUDY WOODRUFF: Yamiche, I also want to ask
you about Senator Bernie Sanders. As we know, he had a heart attack a couple
weeks ago. He has been off the cam pawn trail ever since. Tonight will be the first time he has come
back since then. What do we know about how he’s doing and about
how the other campaigns have reacted to all that? YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Senator Bernie Sanders is
eager to tell people that he is back and stronger than ever. I spoke to a campaign aide for him for a long
time today. And that person said, Bernie Sanders really
had a piercing moment of clarity when he had that heart attack. And that person told me that he really wants
to talk about how health care is now such a fundamental part of his campaign. He sees Medicare for all as an even more important
thing that all Americans should have, because he says that, if other Americans had a heart
attack like he did, they might have all been bankrupted. I did push the Bernie Sanders campaign and
say, well, is he healthy enough to go on, and, frankly, is he going to — is the Democratic
Party possibly going to be in a bad situation if he gets sick again if he wins the nomination,
and then is getting — and then has issues during the general election against President
Trump? They told me — their response was, anybody
could get hit with anything, people can die in plane crashes, people can also get in car
crashes, all sorts of tragedies can happen. And they say, we want people not to move in
fear and that they should feel comfortable voting for and supporting Bernie Sanders. JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, Yamiche, Senator
Elizabeth Warren, who has been — was already one of the leaders in this race, she’s risen
even more in her status as a front-runner. What are the other candidates — how are they
responding to her pickup in the polls? YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, I should tell you,
Judy, Elizabeth Warren is very happy, but very cautious about the fact she’s been seeing
a rise in the polls. Her campaign tells me that she understands
that there are going to be phases in this race, and that, even though she is rising
now, that that could change. Senator Harris’ campaign was — a really interesting
take on this, because they say that she saw a bump, Senator Harris saw a bump after the
first debate, but they saw that as a — quote — “sugar high.” So other campaigns are starting to look at
Elizabeth Warren and trying to really prepare to make contrasts. They say that they want to talk about her
health care stances. So we should explain — we should really expect
people to be possibly criticizing Elizabeth Warren in a different way, because she is
now seen as an emerging front-runner here. JUDY WOODRUFF: And finally, Yamiche, you sat
down today with one of the candidates, Tom Steyer, of course, the billionaire entrepreneur. This is going to be his first debate that
he’s participated in. What did you learn about how he plans to approach
this? YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Tom Steyer told me that
he really sees this as introducing himself to the American people. He understands that he’s starting a little
bit later than other people. He understands that he has a lot of work to
do, but he tells me that, really, he’s going to be talking about climate change, he’s going
to be talking about really changing Washington to help everyday working people. I put the question to him, how, as a billionaire,
are you going to relate and make the case that you understand grassroots people, understand
working-class people? He said, I’m going to be saying that I traveled
with people, I have talked to a lot of people, I understand what people are going through. He also said that he wants to make it clear
that, even though he’s a billionaire, he sees himself as a grassroots person. He also made the case that he was out front
very early calling for the impeachment of President Trump. He made the case to me that Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t
have launched an impeachment inquiry if not for him pushing for it. He launched his campaign to impeach Donald
Trump in October 2017. Of course, Nancy Pelosi would probably take
issue with that. But Tom Steyer is trying to put himself out
there as someone who is a front-runner and rally leading on the issue of impeachment,
which, of course, is going to be another big topic during this debate. JUDY WOODRUFF: And you’re — he’s absolutely
right about the fact that he was the one candidate who was out there running ads specifically
about impeachment well before we got to the point where we are today. Yamiche Alcindor, we will be watching. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Yes, October 2017. JUDY WOODRUFF: Exactly. (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Yamiche, you’re going to be
watching that debate tonight, Westerville, Ohio, Otterbein College. Thank you very much. It is a power that has been exercised only
rarely in American history: the power to impeach a federal official, even a president. The U.S. Constitution mentions impeachment
only a handful of times. Article 1 assigns the sole power of impeachment
to the House of Representatives, and assigns the sole power to try all impeachments to
the U.S. Senate, where a two-thirds vote is needed to convict. Article 2 of the Constitution describes what
offenses may be cause for impeachment and removal: treason, bribery, or other high crimes
and misdemeanors. But how did the impeachment power come to
be in the first place? And have public views about these powers evolved
over time? Some questions for presidential historian
Michael Beschloss, who joins us now. Welcome back to the “NewsHour.” MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, Presidential Historian:
Thank you, Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF: Michael Beschloss, so, the
founders, where did they come up with this idea of impeachment in the first place? MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: Well, the idea was that
a lot of the founders, and when the Constitution especially was being written, the whole system,
the whole new America was designed as a way to be different from England, with monarchs
and the despots of Europe and tyrants and so forth. They wanted to make sure that no president
ever became a tyrant or abused his power. And they were thinking of them in terms of
men in those days. And so the result was that impeachment was
supposed to be a crucial check on presidents who perhaps behaved badly. But among the founders, there were two groups. One was a group that, you know, feared power
and wanted impeachment to be used if a president strayed. Others were sort of in the spirit of Alexander
Hamilton that wanted strong presidents, strong central government. They were worried that the power of impeachment
would be used sort of like a vote of confidence in the British Parliament, that, if members
of Congress didn’t like something that a president did, some policy, they would impeach him. JUDY WOODRUFF: So they came up this term,
as we just cited, for reasons of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. How did they pick those terms? MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: That was basically a product
of the fact that they couldn’t agree on exactly what the grounds for impeachment would be. They were sure that treason and bribery would
be grounds for impeachment. They weren’t sure about other things. So, as with so much else of the Constitution,
they decided to leave it to Congress to interpret. Gerald Ford, in 1970, much, much later, a
little bit casually said grounds for impeachment are whatever a majority of the House of Representatives
says it is. JUDY WOODRUFF: And over time, you were telling
us that our political leaders looked at this and looked at the distinction between getting
rid of a president or another central leader in our government just because we disagree
with their policies, vs. because they have done something really terrible. MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: That’s right. I mean, the intention was very much to reprimand
a president for having done something that could be interpreted as treason, bribery,
or other high crimes and misdemeanors. James Madison, when he was looking at those
things, he said, you know, unfitness would be one reason. Negligence would be another learn. Perfidy would be another reason. But they knew that it would depend on Congress
to make the decision. JUDY WOODRUFF: So, we look back. Impeachment has only been invoked, what, a
handful of times in the 243-year history of our republic. MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: Right. JUDY WOODRUFF: But, Michael, three of those
in the last 45 years. Why? MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: Because people have experienced
impeachment processes in the last couple of generations, perhaps they’re a little bit
more prone to use than they would have before. If you went before Richard Nixon, you would
have to go all the way back to Andrew Johnson, 1868, to look for an impeachment process in
history. And that was one that historically wasn’t
well thought of, because, historically, Andrew Johnson was saved from removal by a Kansas
senator named Edmund Ross, one vote. And Ross essentially said, I think Johnson
shouldn’t be impeached because I don’t think his infraction has been large enough. And also he said, essentially, that he thought
that Johnson was being impeached for reasons of policy, as we were talking about earlier,
rather than because there was a — there was treason, bribery, or another high crime. And that generation of Americans came to agree
with that. So there was a reluctance to go to impeachment
later on. JUDY WOODRUFF: But, as we said, just since
Richard Nixon, this is now the third time, Congress looking seriously. They have got an impeachment inquiry under
way right now. Does it say that our system is more political
than it used to be? What do you think it says? MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: I think there are two schools
of thought. One would be that the impeachments of the
last number of years were done for political reasons. Richard Nixon would have said that, for instance. He said that the move to impeach him in 1974,
he said — and these were his words — was an effort to overturn the mandate of 1972. Others would say that, in the case of Nixon
and in the case of Clinton and later in our own time, that these are cases of real infractions. JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump is saying he
won’t cooperate in any way with this House inquiry. How does that compare with how other presidents
have cooperated or not? MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: There has been evidence
of that in the past, historically. James Buchanan, there was a movement against
him, and he said, I will not cooperate. It didn’t go very far. Richard Nixon, one of the three articles of
impeachment against him was contempt of Congress, because he refused to cooperate with subpoenas. (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Because he refused to cooperate. MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: Yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: And then you were also telling
us Bill Clinton, President Bill Clinton, did cooperate. (CROSSTALK) MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: There was no such article
of impeachment. In the Clinton case, there were only two. JUDY WOODRUFF: Michael Beschloss, looking
back for us, thank you very much. MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: Pleasure always, Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF: The burden of student debt
is getting more attention in this election cycle. One key part of the problem is the rising
cost of student housing. Between 1989 and 2017, room and board on and
off campuses went up by more than 82 percent at four-year public universities. Correspondent Hari Sreenivasan recently traveled
to Philadelphia to see how college students there are coping with housing costs. It’s the latest in our special series on Rethinking
College and part of our regular education segment, Making the Grade. HARI SREENIVASAN: Badia Weeks loves spending
time in the pool with her young students. The 19-year-old teaches swim lessons five
days a week while attending Philadelphia’s Temple University. She’s a junior majoring in exercise and sports
medicine. Weeks is doing well academically. She has a 3.5 GPA. But outside of the classroom, she’s struggling. BADIA WEEKS, College Student: For this apartment,
it’s about $6,000 a semester, which, honestly, I feel like isn’t worth what I get. Me and my roommate both pay that, so it’s
like we’re paying $1,500 a month each. HARI SREENIVASAN: The two-bedroom, one-bath
apartment was assigned to her by Temple after she transferred last spring from a nearby
private college. Weeks, who is on her own financially, covers
her tuition through scholarships and her part-time wages. She says she tried hard to get into a cheaper
apartment near campus, but didn’t have any luck. Affordable housing options are becoming increasingly
hard to find. Apartment rents in Philadelphia have gone
up 25 percent over the past decade. So, several months ago, she took out a private
loan for $5,000 to pay for her housing. BADIA WEEKS: It’s upsetting. Having to be in debt just to live on campus,
I feel like is a little ridiculous. HARI SREENIVASAN: She’s not the only one going
into debt for housing. A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
analysis found that, for many students, living costs exceed and even dwarf the cost of tuition
and fees. SARA GOLDRICK-RAB, Temple University: It’s
a very serious problem. HARI SREENIVASAN: Sara Goldrick-Rab is a professor
of higher education policy and sociology at Temple who studies housing costs. SARA GOLDRICK-RAB: We estimate that approximately
one in two undergraduates is finding their housing to be unaffordable. The most typical thing that we will hear is
a student who says, I’m going to have trouble paying my rent this month. They don’t necessarily eat every day. Or they aren’t able to come to class every
day because they cut the money that they would have spent, let’s say, on gas for the car
or on the subway. HARI SREENIVASAN: Our perception of college
is, you know, students living in a building, ivy-covered walls. That’s not the norm. SARA GOLDRICK-RAB: That is vanishingly rare
in today’s colleges and universities, to the point that only about 12 percent to 13 percent
of the nation’s undergraduates actually reside on a college campus. HARI SREENIVASAN: Last year, Goldrick-Rab
founded The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, a research center dedicated to
finding solutions for the financial and logistical barriers that prevent students from graduating. At Temple, there are efforts to assist food-insecure
students, and a university care team helps connect students in a housing crisis to emergency
funding. WOMAN: We have been able to support them also
then with the resources of our counseling center. HARI SREENIVASAN: But one of the biggest challenges
here, and at many other universities, is the lack of affordable housing on campus. Goldrick-Rab says public colleges and universities,
facing budget cuts, see food and housing as revenue streams. SARA GOLDRICK-RAB: If you begin to see housing
as a profit center, then you begin to charge students more and more simply because you
can. The other thing is that a growing number of
schools are really trying to attract a certain kind of student and family. It’s a family with a lot more disposable income,
and it’s a family that is going to pay more tuition with less financial aid. So the residence hall rooms for students are
larger than they used to be. The amenities are more substantial. HARI SREENIVASAN: It’s a similar story off-campus. New luxury buildings are catering to wealthier
students around Temple and other college campuses around the country. But not everyone can afford that kind of living
experience. One out of four people in the city of Philadelphia
live below the poverty line, so you would think this would be an affordable place to
live. Philadelphia also has another distinction,
however, which is the second most number of colleges and universities of any city in the
nation. And that makes affordable housing hard to
come by, whether you’re at a big four-year university or even a two-year community college. Just steps away from downtown, 26,000 students
attend the Community College of Philadelphia. Like most two-year schools, housing is not
offered. A 2018 study by Goldrick-Rab and her colleagues
found nearly 20 percent of the school’s students were experiencing homelessness, and more than
half were housing insecure. THOMAS, College Student: Everything. I’m not ashamed to say that, shelters, couch
surfing. And it’s been things that I had to do. HARI SREENIVASAN: Thomas, who prefers to go
only by his first name, is one of those without a consistent roof over his head. He’s a first-year student who works in the
campus bookshop, but says he can’t save enough to get an apartment. THOMAS: The deposit is unreal. The deposit is three times the rent. I can’t even manage the one-time rent that
I’m trying to manage from work, let alone have the money to save for it. It just isn’t practical. HARI SREENIVASAN: A new program, in an old
convent, hopes to help at-risk students like Thomas. SANDRA GUILLORY, Depaul USA: So this will
be a typical room. Students will have fully furnished beds, desks,
dressers, and they all have their shared sink with shared bathrooms. HARI SREENIVASAN: Sandra Guillory is the Philadelphia
director of Depaul USA, a nonprofit focused on homelessness. They plan to rehab this convent to house 24
students from colleges across Philadelphia. Students will be asked to pay $150 a month. SANDRA GUILLORY: Our top priorities are students
in their final years of school, so third, fourth, fifth, years of school. They have the most student loan debt, and
if they dropped out of school today, they would have that debt, and no degree, and they’d
be worse off than if they had never gone to school. HARI SREENIVASAN: The $17,000 it will cost
to house and feed each student per year will be split between the students, the city of
Philadelphia and private donations. SANDRA GUILLORY: If we can get them to graduate,
they will never have to worry about homelessness hopefully ever again, poverty. Their children won’t have to worry about this. HARI SREENIVASAN: For her part, Temple’s Badia
Weeks is hoping to squeeze in more hours in the pool this semester, so she can save up
and possibly avoid another housing loan next semester. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Hari Sreenivasan
in Philadelphia. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, by the way, the new housing
program at the old convent is expected to open to students in January. Finally tonight, a new addition to our “NewsHour”
Bookshelf. The fictional character Olive Kitteridge is
the creation of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Elizabeth Strout. Olive is abrasive and difficult, known to
everyone in her small Maine town and loved by many readers around the country. In a sequel that’s out today, Strout has brought
Olive back. Jeffrey Brown headed north to talk with the
author for our ongoing arts and culture series, Canvas. ELIZABETH STROUT, Author, “Olive, Again”:
Very often, I absorb people that I just pass on the street. JEFFREY BROWN: When Elizabeth Strout was a
young girl, she would sit in the car with her mother, parked on a street like this one
in Bath, Maine, watching the people walk by. ELIZABETH STROUT: She’d say, oh, look at that
woman. She doesn’t seem too eager to get home. And I’d think, why? Why? And I’d lean over the back seat and I would
say, what is it about her? JEFFREY BROWN: Yes. ELIZABETH STROUT: And my mother might say,
oh, well, her coat hem hasn’t been mended for a while, or some little detail. I mean, I was immediately interested in what
the woman’s story was, and wanting to go home to see what her home looked like and what
her other clothes would look like. JEFFREY BROWN: Years later, Strout would become
known as a writer with an uncanny ability to conjure up the inner lives of her characters,
many of them in small-town coastal Maine, most famously in the novel “Olive Kitteridge,”
which won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize and was later made into an award-winning HBO series
starring Frances McDormand. ACTOR: What’s depression? FRANCES MCDORMAND, Actress: It’s bad wiring,
makes your nose rot. Runs in our family. ACTOR: Your mother is not depressed. FRANCES MCDORMAND: Yes, I am. Happy to have it. Goes with being smart. JEFFREY BROWN: Olive, a seventh grade math
teacher and wife of the local pharmacist in the fictional village of Crosby, is overbearing,
hard to love, but complicated and compelling. FRANCES MCDORMAND: I’m waiting for the dog
to die, so I can shoot myself. JEFFREY BROWN: And now she is back, older,
if not wiser, in the new novel “Olive, Again,” long after author Strout thought she was through
with her often ornery character. ELIZABETH STROUT: She just showed up. She just absolutely showed up again. JEFFREY BROWN: And what does that mean, she
just showed up? ELIZABETH STROUT: She just — like, I could
feel her right behind me, and I could hear her thoughts. And I thought, well, I better get this down. Many of my characters come to me gradually,
or they will sidle up to me or something. But Olive, just, boom, she’s just there. JEFFREY BROWN: For some, coastal Maine is
a vacation spot, picturesque harbors and towns, a place to visit and then go home. For Strout, it was home. And her family, dating back generations to
Puritan days, was part of a different Maine, hardscrabble, isolated, old ways hard to hold
onto amid economic and cultural change. She grew up in tiny Harpswell. Her father’s funeral was held in this congregational
church. She worked as a teenager in a nearby country
store, now a small museum. We spoke in the old Harpswell Meeting House,
dating to 1757, across the street. ELIZABETH STROUT: When I was a young child
here in Harpswell, there was a tremendous amount of isolation for me. We didn’t have a television. And I was by myself. A great deal of time, I spent outside alone,
climbing on the rocks, making friends with the periwinkles or the tree toads or whatever. And so… JEFFREY BROWN: Not people? ELIZABETH STROUT: Not people. JEFFREY BROWN: Yes. ELIZABETH STROUT: And I was fascinated by
people. I mean, I was happy in the woods, but I was
— or on the rocks, but I was fascinated by people, and always, always wanted to know
what I could about people. JEFFREY BROWN: So, you grew up imagining the
lives of people? ELIZABETH STROUT: Yes, I did. I just — in one of my books, Jim Burgess
says, people are always telling you who they are, if you only listen. And I think that — obviously, I wrote that,
but I think it’s true. I can only speak for myself as a writer, but
the compulsion to find out what it feels like to be another person, because we will never
know. In the original “Olive Kitteridge,” there
was a story that was sort of set right there, where the waitress falls off the cliff, which
is not yet really a cliff, but I made it more of a cliff. JEFFREY BROWN: Yes, which you’re allowed to
do. ELIZABETH STROUT: Yes, because I’m a fiction
writer. JEFFREY BROWN: Yes. But it’s fiction grounded in reality. Maine has one of the nation’s oldest populations,
and in the new novel, we watch Olive age after the death of her husband, Henry. It’s also, again, a novel of linked stories. In most, Olive is the central character, but
sometimes she’s at the periphery of her neighbors’ lives. ELIZABETH STROUT: So, I thought, well, I can
make the community a part of this, and this will be about the community as well and everybody’s
particular relationship to Olive, and yet they, of course, all have their stories, because
they’re people. And I realized that Olive is such a force
that, if we see her on every page, if she’s in every story full force, it’s just too much
to take. It would be too much for me to take as the
reader. And I’m always thinking about the reader,
and always — it’s like I’m in a dance with the reader. What does the reader need now? JEFFREY BROWN: You really are? Because a lot of writers I talk to don’t. They say, well, I’m not thinking about the
reader at that point. ELIZABETH STROUT: Right. I’m always thinking about the reader. I have an ideal reader. I mean, many years ago, I realized that, if
I make up characters, I can make up a reader. So, I made up an ideal reader, and the reader… JEFFREY BROWN: And who is that? ELIZABETH STROUT: Well, it’s somebody who’s
patient, but they’re not super patient. JEFFREY BROWN: Yes. ELIZABETH STROUT: And it’s somebody who needs
the book, if I can deliver it to them. So I have a sense of responsibility for them. JEFFREY BROWN: Strout still keeps a home here
in Brunswick, but unlike many of her characters, she left Maine long ago for a very different
life in New York, living in the big city, but realizing her true subject was life in
a small town. ELIZABETH STROUT: In a small town, you will
find it all. You will find the impoverished people, and
you will find the people at the top. There’s always a social hierarchy, no matter
where you are. And it’s fascinating to me to take a look
at that close up in a small environment. JEFFREY BROWN: The novel “Olive, Again” is
just out. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Jeffrey Brown
in Harpswell, Maine. JUDY WOODRUFF: And a news update before we
go tonight. Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives
met earlier this evening. The “NewsHour” can report the consensus among
those members is not to hold a formal vote on going ahead with the impeachment inquiry
at the moment. The president, in a letter to the House, said
the executive branch wouldn’t participate in an impeachment inquiry without a vote or
the ability to have counsel question witnesses. We are told that many Democratic members of
the House do not want to be seen as letting the White House dictate how a separate and
equal branch of government conducts itself. That reporting from Lisa Desjardins. And that is the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m Judy Woodruff. Join us online and again here tomorrow evening. For all of us at the “PBSNewsHour,” thank you, and we’ll see you soon.

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