PBS NewsHour full episode October 2, 2019


JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff. On the “NewsHour” tonight: REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We’re not fooling around
here. JUDY WOODRUFF: Democrats threaten the White
House with subpoenas if they don’t turn over documents related to the Ukrainian affair. Then: guns in focus. The Democratic candidates for president are
in Las Vegas, making the case that they have a plan to address gun violence. And revving up for the future. Despite leading the world in greenhouse gas
emissions, China’s market for electric cars is transforming the global automotive industry. QIU KAIJIN, Vehicle Industry Analyst (through
translator): The government’s goal of cutting emissions is aligned with its promotion of
the electric vehicle industry. In total, there are about 400 million vehicles
in China. And, every day, they produce a huge amount
of emissions. If a number of those become electric, then
it will have a great impact. JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s
“PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Top House Democrats in the
House of Representatives are pressing their impeachment probe tonight, and warning against
obstruction. President Trump is blasting the investigators
and the whistle-blower as traitors and spies. White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor
begins our coverage of this day’s events. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Today, a warning from House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a top lieutenant leading the impeachment inquiry. REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The president probably
doesn’t realize how dangerous his statements are, when he says he wants to expose who the
whistle-blower is and those who may have given the whistle-blower that information. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: House Intelligence Committee
Chair Adam Schiff said stonewalling will be treated as grounds for impeachment itself. REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We’re not fooling around
here, though. We don’t want this to drag on for months and
months and months, which appears to be the administration’s strategy. They will be strengthening the case on obstruction
if they behave that way. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Schiff also took on Secretary
of State Mike Pompeo, who is challenging demands for documents and testimony. REP. ADAM SCHIFF: We are deeply concerned about
Secretary Pompeo’s effort now to potentially interfere with witnesses who — whose testimony
is needed before our committee, many of whom are mentioned in the whistle-blower complaint. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: In Italy, Pompeo acknowledged,
for the first time, that he was on that contested July phone call. It was on that call that President Trump requested
the president of Ukraine investigate former Vice President Biden and his son. MIKE POMPEO, U.S. Secretary of State: As for
was I on the phone call, I was on the phone call. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: But Pompeo again ripped
into Democrats, who want five current and former State Department officials to testify. MIKE POMPEO: We will, of course, do our constitutional
duty to cooperate with this co-equal branch. But we are going to do so in a way that is
consistent with the fundamental values of the American system. And we won’t tolerate folks on Capitol Hill
bullying, intimidating State Department employees. That’s unacceptable. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: The State Department’s inspector
general, Steve Linick, met today behind closed doors with key House and Senate staffers,
at his request. He reportedly provided documents related to
the State Department’s actions regarding Ukraine. Meanwhile, the House Oversight Committee announced
it will subpoena the White House on Friday for records of the president’s dealings with
Ukraine. Chairman Elijah Cummings said the White House
has so far shown a — quote — “flagrant disregard” of previous requests. Democrats also warned President Trump against
abusing potential witnesses. Again, Adam Schiff: REP. ADAM SCHIFF: The president wants to make this
all about the whistle-blower and suggest people that come forward with evidence of his wrongdoing
are somehow treasonous and should be treated as traitors and spies. This is a blatant effort to intimidate witnesses. It’s an incitement to violence. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: During an Oval Office meeting
with the president of Finland, President Trump went after the Democrat again. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
He should be forced to resign, Adam Schiff. He’s a lowlife. He should be forced to resign. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: President Trump agreed in
general whistle-blowers should be protected, but not the whistle-blower who reported his
conversation with the president of Ukraine. DONALD TRUMP: He wrote a vicious conversation. In other words, he either got it totally wrong,
made it up, or the person giving the information to the whistle-blower was dishonest. And this country has to find out who that
person was, because that person is a spy. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: At a joint press conference
later in the day, President Trump responded to a report in The New York Times that the
Intel Committee got an early account of the complaint. The president claimed Schiff may have written
parts of it. DONALD TRUMP: Well, I think it’s a scandal
that he knew before. I’d go a step further. I think he probably helped write it. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: A spokesperson for the congressman
said in a statement that the Intelligence Committee didn’t review or receive the whistle-blower
complaint in advance. Meanwhile, President Trump refused to answer
questions about what exactly he wanted Ukraine to do regarding the Biden family. House Democrats will hold a closed-door deposition
tomorrow with the administration’s former envoy to the Ukraine, Kurt Volker. He resigned from the State Department last
week. And former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie
Yovanovitch will be deposed next week. She was abruptly recalled in May. JUDY WOODRUFF: And Yamiche joins me now, along
with our congressional correspondent, Lisa Desjardins. Hell to both of you. Another fast-moving day. Lisa, so back to what the House is doing there,
they are now saying, we are prepared to subpoena the White House for documents. What you have learned about what they’re seeking,
the timetable for this, and so forth? LISA DESJARDINS: This is a large category
of documents, in fact, 13 different categories of documents, that the House has been requesting
for many months. And what they’re saying now in this memo to
the White House — in fact, we will show you some of the memo — is that now time is up. Now we think we need a response, and we’re
ready to subpoena you. There, you see some of the memo. And look at this strong language from Chairman
Cummings here: “The White House’s flagrant disregard of multiple voluntary requests for
documents, combined with stark and urgent warnings from the inspector general about
the gravity of these allegations, have left us with no choice,” essentially, other than
to issue a subpoena. They have not issued a subpoena yet. That is planned for Friday. But I think really all this speaks to, again,
something we have brought up, is that a court battle is looming here. One other thing, in that document, they’re
saying, we’re not approaching this lightly. And they say, the White House, it’s not just
that they refused these documents. They say the White House hasn’t even acknowledged
the requests at all. JUDY WOODRUFF: And it’s interesting that they’re
telegraphing that they’re going to do this before they do it. LISA DESJARDINS: It is. That’s right. JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Yamiche, you have been
talking to folks at the White House. How are they responding to this? This is a direct request. It’s — as Lisa says, the language is very
aggressive. What are they saying? YAMICHE ALCINDOR: The president is responding
to the subpoena by House Democrats or the planned subpoena by House Democrats with anger,
but not quite defiance. Today at the press conference at the White
House, the question was put to President Trump, do you plan to comply with this subpoena that’s
supposed to be filed on Friday? The president said, I’m willing to work with
the House Intelligence Committee and Nancy Pelosi. So he didn’t say, I’m not going to provide
these documents, but he also wasn’t clear about what he might provide. He also said that Nancy Pelosi is — quote
— “handing out subpoenas like cookies.” So he was basically making the point that
Nancy Pelosi is harassing him and that these are too many subpoenas going around. But there is a history of the White House
not wanting to provide documents to Congress. The White House says a lot of that has to
do with executive privilege. Democrats say that this is the White House
who stonewalling on a lot of documents. It’s also important to note that Rudy Giuliani,
the president’s personal attorney, is going on somewhat offensive here when it comes to
legal tactics. He’s saying that he might sue House Democrats. These are some of the same people who are
now seeking documents from the White House. They are two separate things, the president’s
personal lawyer and the White House. But what you’re seeing here is a legal battle
that’s shaping up here. And President Trump is not quite sure exactly
what he’s going to provide. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Yamiche, as we saw, the
president addressed all this in two separate sessions with the president of Finland, first
in the Oval Office, and then they had a joint news conference scheduled. That news conference turned out to be very
little about his meeting with the president of Finland, and so much about this impeachment
inquiry. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, this was a tense press
conference, even for a president that has had very, very tense exchanges with the media
and other foreign leaders. Now, here we had the president lashing out
at the whistle-blower. He said, I believe in protecting whistle-blowers,
but this person essentially doesn’t — doesn’t — shouldn’t have that protection, because
they’re saying something about me that I believe to be a lie. It was very interesting to watch him also
take answers — I mean, take questions from other reporters from a different country. So a Finnish reporter stood up. And it was quite a moment. The Finnish reporter put a question to the
president of Finland: What favors has President Trump basically requested of you today? And the room gasped. It was, in some ways, a really poignant moment. And it really showed that President Trump
is facing, really, scrutiny with the whole world, because, in this case, he’s trying
to do foreign policy, but he’s already being accused of having corruptive behavior with
this president. The president of Finland said, I essentially
haven’t been asked to do anything by this president. But it’s quite a reminder that, when we see
the president lashing out and being angry, it’s not just about the domestic politics. It’s also about the fact that he’s being accused
of using his relationships with these foreign leaders that are coming to the White House
for nefarious things and for his own political gain. JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it was a striking — a
striking exchange. Lisa, another thing that happened today, unusual,
in that the State Department’s inspector general, supposedly an independent official inside
the different federal departments, asked for a briefing with the Congress behind closed
doors. It was in private, but I know you and other
journalists are trying to find out what happened. LISA DESJARDINS: We know a lot about what
happened. And, Judy, I think the best word I can say
is, it’s pretty weird. The inspector general gave this short notice
to Congress. Congress is out of town. So it was staffers and one member of Congress
who attended this briefing. And in that, the State Department attorney
general — inspector general, as Yamiche has reported, brought sort of some documents having
to do with this whole Ukraine discussion. What were those documents? Those documents were, in the words of Representative
Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, it was a series of disinformation papers about
conspiracy theories in Ukraine, some having to do with Vice President — former Vice President
Biden and his son, some having to do with the former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. And Raskin said he himself didn’t think there
was a charge of wrongdoing in all of this, more that the I.G. for the State Department
was covering his bases, saying to Congress, here’s a packet of material that was sent
to Secretary of State Pompeo. We’re not sure if Pompeo pushed this around
the State Department or not. But for Raskin, it speaks to this idea that
someone is putting out theories against the ambassador within the Trump administration. But to speak to how strange this was, Judy,
here’s a picture of the cover page of these documents that Representative Raskin showed
me. Look at that. It’s in calligraphy. It looks like it could be from 1780. It really is strange. I want to mention it just because we have
been reporting on it. And it shows that some of these things are
very substantive. Some of these things, it’s really not clear
what they mean. JUDY WOODRUFF: And it’s not clear where this
came from to Secretary Pompeo. LISA DESJARDINS: Yes. It’s a major question mark. Did it come, in fact, from the White House? There were also folders involved that came
from the Trump Hotel. Was this some sort of false flag? I don’t know. There’s going to be conspiracy theories about
this. But Representative Raskin said he thinks this
is actually a distraction. He’s not paying attention to it. Who knows? It was odd. JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, covering all the developments
today at the Capitol. Lisa Desjardins, thank you. Yamiche Alcindor, thank you. In the day’s other news: A sell-off hit Wall
Street for the second straight day, amid worries over trade and the economy. The Trump administration announced tariffs
targeting $7.5 billion in goods from Europe. And a private survey found that U.S. hiring
slowed in September. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly
500 points to close at 26078. The Nasdaq fell 123 points, and the S&P 500
gave up 52. Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger
was sentenced today to 10 years behind bars for the murder of a black neighbor a year
ago. Guyger said she entered the wrong apartment
and shot a man she thought was an intruder. She could have gotten life in prison, and
a crowd outside the court booed when the sentence was announced. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
has called off campaigning, for now, after a heart procedure. The Vermont senator is 78. He had chest pains in Las Vegas on Tuesday,
and doctors inserted two stents into a blocked artery. This afternoon, Sanders tweeted that he is
feeling good, and he touted his push for Medicare for all. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin today dismissed
fears of his country meddling in U.S. elections, even making a joke of it. The Kremlin has denied U.S. findings that
it interfered in the 2016 presidential election. At a forum in Moscow, Putin made light of
the issue, and pretended to confide that Russia has similar plans for 2020. VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russian President (through
translator): I’m telling you as a secret, yes, we will definitely do it in order to
deliver you the best of fun. Just don’t tell anyone. You know, we have plenty of our own problems. We are dealing with domestic problems, and
this is our key priority. What is the point for us to meddle in some
election in some other country? JUDY WOODRUFF: Putin said he has a good relationship
with President Trump. He also said he doesn’t mind if his calls
with Mr. Trump are made public. In Iraq, security forces killed at least seven
people and wounded dozens in new clashes with anti-government protesters. That made nine killed in two days, with hundreds
more wounded. Thousands have taken to the streets of Baghdad. Security forces used water cannon and tear
gas to try to disperse the crowds, and then began firing live rounds. The protesters are demanding jobs, better
services and an end to corruption. Hundreds of students and supporters in Hong
Kong condemned police today for shooting a teenage protester. They held rallies and marches against police
brutality and demanded accountability. The 18-year-old protester was shot on Tuesday
as he struck an officer with a metal rod. Officials said today the wounded teen is in
stable condition. North Korea may have fired an advanced nuclear-capable
missile from underwater for the first time since starting nuclear talks with the U.S. It happened early today, and South Korea says
the missile came from 10 miles off the North’s coast, and possibly from a submarine. It landed in Japanese waters. And, in Tokyo, Japan’s defense minister condemned
North Korea’s actions. TARO KONO, Japanese Defense Minister (through
translator): This missile launch, which appears to have fallen into Japan’s exclusive economic
zone, is a serious threat to Japan’s security, and without any prior notice. Landing in such a zone was a dangerous act
for aircraft and ships. That is extremely problematic and violates
the U.N. Security Council resolution. JUDY WOODRUFF: The missile launch came one
day after the North said that it will resume talks with the U.S. In Washington, the State Department said that
Pyongyang should — quote — “refrain from provocations.” The British government today proposed a last-minute
Brexit deal to the European Union, as a Halloween deadline approaches. The new proposals focus on a key sticking
point, keeping an open border between E.U. member Ireland and British-ruled Northern
Ireland. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sounded a conciliatory
note as he addressed a conference of his ruling Conservatives. BORIS JOHNSON, British Prime Minister: This
is a compromise by the U.K. And I hope very much that our friends understand
that and compromise in their turn. The alternative is no deal. And that is not an outcome we want. It is not an outcome we seek at all. But let me tell you, my friends, it is an
outcome for which we are ready. JUDY WOODRUFF: E.U. officials said they welcome
the new proposal. Johnson said he hopes to make get a final
agreement deal at an E.U. summit in mid-October. This day marked one year since Washington
Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul,
Turkey. Activists and friends gathered near the site
today to demand justice. They included The Post’s owner, Jeff Bezos,
and Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancee. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said
this week that he takes responsibility for the killing, but that he didn’t order it. Back in this country, President Trump denied
that he ever talked of things like digging a moat to stop border crossings. The New York Times reported that, last March,
he suggested an electrified border wall, a moat with alligators, and even shooting migrants
in the legs. Today, he said — quote — “I may be tough
on border security, but not that tough.” And opera star Placido Domingo resigned today
as general director of the Los Angeles Opera, amid accusations of sexual harassment. He had already left the Metropolitan Opera
in New York. Domingo said today that he will focus on trying
to clear his name. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: two Republicans
on the battle for the party’s soul; Democratic candidates make the case for what they would
do to reduce gun violence; how China is electrifying the auto industry; And wheelchair tennis players
blaze a trail for disabled athletes. Returning now to our main story, two Republican
views of the impeachment inquiry. We turn to former U.S. Senator Jeff Flake
of Arizona. He joins us tonight from Boston. And Chris Buskirk, editor of the conservative
journal and Web site American Greatness, he is in Phoenix. Hello to both of you. We thank you for joining us on the “NewsHour” Senator Flake, let me start with you. Do you believe the — what we know about the
president’s conversation in that phone call with the president of Ukraine warrants this
impeachment inquiry? JEFF FLAKE (R), Former U.S. Senator: I do. I do. I think that that conversation, just from
the transcript, not descriptions of the transcript, but the transcript itself, is damning enough
to launch an inquiry. So, yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: Chris Buskirk, what about you? What do you believe, based on what we know
about that conversation? CHRIS BUSKIRK, AmericanGreatness.org: No,
you know, I have read that transcript, it’s got to be at least five times. And, no, it doesn’t. And what’s more is, I’m not convinced that
even Nancy Pelosi thinks that it warrants it. I mean, my understanding of this is that this
is really a part of the 2020 election campaign. It’s not a serious attempt to remove the president
from office, because nobody really believes that the Senate will convict. JUDY WOODRUFF: But, I mean, on the facts,
Chris Buskirk, quickly, the facts of what was said in that conversation, President Trump
asking the president of Ukraine to help with an investigation into Joe Biden, a foreign
leader. CHRIS BUSKIRK: Yes. No, I mean — no, that’s right, because Joe
Biden’s — what Joe Biden did while he was vice president is highly questionable. I mean, the way he — and he’s bragged about
this in public, the way he threatened Ukraine with withholding a billion dollars of aid
if they didn’t fire a prosecutor. That is something that requires something
looking into, if he was selling his office while vice president. And, of course, we need the assistance of
the Ukrainian government to get to the bottom of what happened on their soil. JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, that — that — whatever
happened, it’s been widely debunked, at least by all the reporting that I have seen. But, Senator Flake, what convinces you that
this warrants an impeachment inquiry? JEFF FLAKE: Well, just the pure text of it,
asking a foreign leader to help investigate your — one of your main political rivals,
and then not just that, but involving the State Department and your attorney general
in that effort. That is abuse of power. Now, I don’t know where this will go, this
inquiry will go. It is tough to see now the votes there in
the Senate. I myself don’t want to see impeachment come. I’d rather see the president defeated in the
next election. That would be better. But to say that this doesn’t merit an inquiry
is just ignoring the evidence there. JUDY WOODRUFF: But, Senator Flake, explain
why you don’t believe an impeachment inquiry — that the president should be impeached? You’re saying it warrants an inquiry, but
you think it’s wrong for the Congress to pursue that. Why? JEFF FLAKE: Well, the Constitution spells
out the remedy in this case, but it doesn’t require that the Congress impeach. Given how the country is split, I just hope
that we don’t come to that. It’s very divisive in any circumstances, but
where we are as a country, it will be doubly so. And I fear that the president will use it
to his advantage. If impeachment comes, but not conviction,
then it could be taken advantage of by the president. That wouldn’t be good for anyone. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Chris Buskirk, you were
writing in The New York Times this weekend that you also believe that for the Democrats
to pursue this is going to end up helping the president politically. CHRIS BUSKIRK: yes, I think that — I think
that’s exactly right. I mean, I look back at the last — the last
two presidents who faced impeachment proceedings, and you look at back when it was Richard Nixon. The vote in the House to proceed with an impeachment
inquiry, not with the ultimate impeachment — that never happened, but with the inquiry
— was 410-4. And then when you fast-forward to the ’90s,
and we had — we had President Clinton, it was something like 250-178 or something like
that, the point being it was a much more party-line vote at that time. And you look at the outcomes of those two
things, and they’re very, very different. And that’s because impeachment is obviously
very divisive. It is highly partisan. It’s highly political. And it’s an odd thing to be doing right before
an election, when you have — when you have a political process playing out. And people certainly are going to look into
Ukraine and all kinds of other things as voters get ready to go to the polls. But it seems to me that the appropriate way
to pursue this is to try and win an election based on the issues. And one of the issues may be who Trump is,
what he’s done, what he hasn’t done. But to pursue this now, when you’re going
to have a party-line vote, doesn’t seem to auger welcome one’s political prospects. And that’s why I think it ultimately benefits
the president more than it does Democrats. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Senator Flake, you have
written in the last day or so that — again, that you believe the president should be removed
by the voters and not by impeachment. And you argue, for Republicans, it’s a matter
of principle. But if that’s the case, why isn’t it a matter
of principle to support impeachment? JEFF FLAKE: Well, it may well be, depending
on what the inquiry turns up. If there is just evidence coming out of additional
abuse of power, it may be that Republicans can’t ignore it, and we will have to go — go
forward with Democrats. It being a partisan vote now may not hold
if additional evidence comes forward. And there are a lot of subpoenas out there. There’s a lot of information to be gathered,
and things could change. And it could change in the Senate, where enough
of my former colleagues may simply say, we have got to approach the president and do
as was done in the early ’70s, with Senator Goldwater and Congressman John Rhodes, and
say, there’s just no way out. It may come to that, depending on what is
turned up by the inquiry. JUDY WOODRUFF: What about that, Chris Buskirk? CHRIS BUSKIRK: Yes, it won’t come to that. There’s just absolutely no way that’s happening
in front of right in front of an election. Everybody’s going to want to fight this out,
I think, on political turf, and let voters decide. And, quite honestly, I think that is the — whatever
comes out of any inquiry, that seems to me to be the healthiest way for the republic
to decide this matter, which is, make everything public. We know it’s going to come out. But then let voters decide in November of
2020 which way they want the country to go. JUDY WOODRUFF: So — and I want you to weigh
in on this, Senator Flake. But I guess what I’m trying to get at here,
Chris Buskirk, is, if there is a place — and we don’t know, at this point, if this is it
— for a president to be removed by impeachment and conviction, you’re saying it’s — I mean,
how can you be so confident that it’s the wrong thing to do then? CHRIS BUSKIRK: Is that to me or to Senator
Flake? JUDY WOODRUFF: To you. To you. CHRIS BUSKIRK: That’s to me? Yes. No, I mean, look, if you — if the accusation
is based — is based upon the transcript of this conversation that President Trump had
with President Zelensky, that is — that is not dispositive. I know that there are people who believe it
is. And that’s fine. They can hold that political opinion. But there is a very large — there is a very
large segment of the population that looks that — looks at that and says either no problem,
or maybe I don’t like it, but it’s not an impeachable offense. And so you — I just don’t see a realistic
scenario where you get to the required votes in the Senate. And so we wind up, yes, we understand impeachment
itself is a political process that plays out in Congress. But at the same time, we have — we have a
deadline, November of 2020, when there’s going to be an election. And I think that is ultimately what is going
on here, which is Democrats are trying to harm the president’s reputation in advance
of the election. They think that they can — they think that
they can undermine voters’ confidence in him, and that will lead to an electoral victory,
rather than an actual removal from office. JUDY WOODRUFF: Senator Flake, I mean, as we
look at the — at the, what, next 15 months before we get to the presidential election,
what is Congress’ responsibility in terms of asking this president to support this impeachment
inquiry, demanding documents? I mean, how should Congress be approaching
this? JEFF FLAKE: Well, first, I don’t share the
confidence that your other guests has that nothing will turn up. And it’s not just what may or may not turn
up. It’s how the president reacts to it and reacts
to this inquiry. And the evidence so far is not too well, which
isn’t going to give my former colleagues confidence in what might be there. So I think the responsibility of Congress
is to do the inquiry and to look, and then to see whether or not they ought to move forward. Like I said, my preference would be to do
it in the next election. But if it comes to it, if there’s more information,
then they ought to do the constitutional duty. And I wouldn’t hesitate, if I were in the
Senate, to do that. JUDY WOODRUFF: Former Senator Jeff Flake of
Arizona, Chris Buskirk, thank you both very much. CHRIS BUSKIRK: Thank you. JEFF FLAKE: Thank you. JUDY WOODRUFF: After the most recent back-to-back
mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Democrats, including the party’s presidential candidates,
renewed their calls for changes to gun laws. Amna Nawaz has more on where the candidates
stand. AMNA NAWAZ: Many of the 2020 candidates spent
the day at a forum in Las Vegas, explaining how they would curb gun violence. As South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
took the stage, he made clear all the Democratic candidates have a united goal. PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), Presidential Candidate:
I’m guessing that pretty much everybody in the parade of candidates you’re about to see
is going to call for universal background checks, closing the hate loophole, the Charleston
loophole, the boyfriend loophole, disarming domestic abusers, enacting red flag laws,
extreme risk protection orders, banning the sale of assault weapons like what I carried
in Afghanistan. We know what we have to do. AMNA NAWAZ: Our John Yang was at the forum
today, and he joins me now. John, good to talk to you. We heard from Mayor Buttigieg right there. And another candidate, former Vice President
Joe Biden, released his own plan to curb gun violence in the country today. What was notable about that plan? JOHN YANG: Well, Amna, one thing notable,
that was the last of the major candidates to release his gun violence plan. And he chose this forum co-sponsored by Gabby
Giffords’ Gun Violence Foundation and the March For Our Lives group, the student group
founded after the Parkland High School shooting, and this shooting, one day after the second
anniversary of the Harvest Music Festival shooting here in Las Vegas that claimed 58
lives. Fitting his role as sort of the moderate candidate,
Joe Biden’s plan had some moderate points in it. There are three main points. He wants to expand background checks, but,
importantly, he wants to exclude sales between close family members. That’s an exclusion very important to a lot
of gun owners. He also wants to restore the assault weapon
ban, the ban on manufacturing new assault weapons. And for existing assault weapons, he has a
middle ground, not a mandatory buyback, a voluntary buyback. Owners of assault weapons would have to choose,
under his plan, whether to sell their weapon back to the government or undergo a background
check and register in order to keep their assault weapon. So, a middle ground on that — on that issue. AMNA NAWAZ: So, John, a lot of those things,
we heard Mayor Buttigieg list there at the top. When we look broadly at a lot of the candidates’
plans, as they have been put forward, you see some common elements. There’s a lot of common ground among the candidates. Where are the areas of disagreement among
those Democratic presidential candidates right now? JOHN YANG: Well, that’s certainly true. That is sort of the mainstream agreement among
the candidates. But one candidate in particular today, Senator
Cory Booker of New Jersey, tried to distinguish himself from the other candidates. Here he is talking about a national registry
for gun owners. SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), Presidential Candidate:
Here’s my message to Democrats. The public is already there. Well over 75 percent of Americans support
gun licensing. This isn’t about leadership. Leadership is bringing people along with you. The public is already there. You shouldn’t be a nominee for — from our
party that can seriously stand in front of urban places and say, I will protect you,
if you don’t believe in gun licensing. This isn’t about leadership. This is about you standing with the overwhelming
majority of Americans on gun licensing. JOHN YANG: Another candidate, Senator Elizabeth
Warren of Massachusetts, said the differences in the details of the individual plans aren’t
that important. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), Presidential Candidate:
This is not going to be a one-and-done to fix this problem. It’s not going to be a, we will get two statutes
passed and three regulations changed, problem fixed, because it won’t be fixed. JOHN YANG: And in so many of the differences
between the candidates on so many issues, it comes down to a breakdown between progressives
and moderates. But on gun buybacks, here’s what our latest
“NewsHour”/NPR/Marist poll found. It showed, among Democrats, there’s broad
support; 70 percent support a mandatory buyback for assault weapons. And look at this. It’s no difference between progressives and
moderates, statistical tie. Both about 70 percent support that. AMNA NAWAZ: And, John, you see those numbers
as the candidates are saying the support is there among a lot of their potential voters
for some of these reforms. As you mentioned, you’re standing there on
the site of the deadliest modern shooting in U.S. history. I’m curious, though. A lot of the activists who are there, who
are at the forum, for whom this might very well be a voting issue, how have they changed
the conversation? And what are you hearing from them about these
plans? JOHN YANG: Yes, producer Meredith Lee talked
to a lot of the people here, the activists who are here. And we want to play some of that tape for
you. First, we’re going to hear from Victor Pacheco,
a 24-year-old from south Central Los Angeles. VICTOR PACHECO, California: So, I really like
the plans of folks like Senator Sanders or Warren. I really appreciate they’re focusing on lower-income
communities, communities that aren’t only experiencing mass gun shootings, but are also
experiencing daily gun violence throughout the community and that are historically not
focused on when it comes to these issues. DELANEY TARR, Co-Founder, March For Our Lives:
I want us to talk about the intersection of gun violence. I think that is a very important thing, the
intersection of gun violence with mental health, with police brutality, with criminal justice. It’s a very widespread and multifaceted issue,
so to really address every single side of gun violence in a way that is not just mass
shootings, that isn’t just the kids from Parkland, but is the churches and the concerts and the
streets and the cities. JOHN YANG: That was Delaney Tarr. She’s 19 years old. She’s from Parkland, Florida, one of the co-founders
of March For Our Lives. They have some differences, but coming together
and agreeing on a lot of the broad strokes of gun control. But one thing in common we heard about, not
only among the candidates, but among the activists here, they feel, in order to get meaningful
gun control laws, they have got to defeat Donald Trump for the White House next November,
and they have got to defeat the Republicans who control the Senate. There was also a lot of talk here about the
National Rifle Association, about how corporate America controls politics, and saying that
the NRA now no longer represents gun owners, but has become a lobby for gun makers — Amna. AMNA NAWAZ: That is John Yang in Las Vegas
for us on an issue that’s sure to be front and center in the 2020 election. Thanks, John. JUDY WOODRUFF: China has historically been
known more for the pollution it produces than the gas it saves. But China is now also the world’s largest
market for electric cars. And China’s electric vehicle market is transforming
not only Chinese automakers, but forcing international companies to ramp up production as well. With the support of the Pulitzer Center, we
return to our series “China: Power & Prosperity.” Special correspondent Katrina Yu begins her
report in Hefei, China. KATRINA YU: In one of the world’s most advanced
factories, a start-up is working to ensure the future of electric cars is driven by China. NIO is described as China’s Tesla. It produces electric SUVs for environmentally
conscious millennials. Each vehicle comes with an artificially intelligent
dashboard robot, access to drive-through NIO power stations that swap out dead batteries,
and exclusive NIO clubhouses. CEO William Li says NIO is more than a car. WILLIAM LI, CEO, NIO (through translator):
NIO doesn’t only want to be an electric car brand, but a lifestyle brand. We hope to create a community which starts
from the car. It’s about living well, living consciously,
and creating a happy way of living. KATRINA YU: That happiness is mostly for China’s
upper middle class, The ES6 and ES8 are priced between $40,000
to $70,000. Li says Chinese drivers are slowly seeing
the benefits of owning an electric vehicle, but many still need to be convinced to make
the switch from gas or diesel. WILLIAM LI (through translator): These days
people still aren’t familiar with electric cars and can have some misunderstandings. We need to provide a better environment for
customers, so they can better understand the benefits. KATRINA YU: Providing this better environment
is exactly what the Chinese government is trying to do. Earlier this year, a state-owned fund injected
NIO with $1.4 billion. And the government doesn’t just support companies. It also incentivizes consumers. In Beijing, Zhu Mengxiao’s electric car is
worth about $30,000 dollars. But after government subsidies, she only paid
$18,000. Zhu took me for a spin. In China, owning a car is one thing. Having the right to drive it can be another. To reduce overcrowding on roads, the government
carefully manages license plates. Residents can only get one through a lottery,
but the odds of winning are low if you’re driving a gas guzzler. ZHU MENGXIAO, Beijing Resident (through translator):
It’s like a real lottery. There’s a chance that you won’t win anything
your whole life. When we first applied for a license plate,
we were waiting a long time and didn’t receive one for a gas-powered car. Only after the exceptions appeared for electric
cars could we buy this car. KATRINA YU: Zhu received her electric car
license plate within a few months. She was initially worried about the car’s
battery life, but says the pros outweigh the cons. ZHU MENGXIAO (through translator): With more
advanced technologies, more people are likely to choose electric cars, especially since
the price of petrol fluctuates and often jumps. Electric cars can be cheaper to use and more
eco-friendly. KATRINA YU: Putting more eco-friendly cars
on China’s roads is critical. Just outside Beijing, a coal plant belches
smoke, a reminder that China remains the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Two-thirds of China’s electricity comes from
coal. And it often leads to days like this. Reducing air pollution is central to China’s
campaign to make cars green, says industry analyst Qiu Kaijin. QIU KAIJIN, Vehicle Industry Analyst (through
translator): The government’s goal of cutting emissions is aligned with its promotion of
the electric vehicle industry. In total, there are about 400 million vehicles
in China. And, every day, they produce a huge amount
of emissions. If a number of those become electric, then
it will have a great impact. KATRINA YU: Electric cars are also key to
reducing the country’s reliance on foreign oil, says government adviser Wei Jianguo. WEI JIANGUO, Government Policy Adviser (through
translator): China is a country with few resources. Local production doesn’t meet the country’s
needs, so China needs electric cars. Since encouraging them, we reduced petrol
consumption by nine million tons. KATRINA YU: That’s a reduction of less than
1 percent. But with public transportation increasingly
going green, that figure is set to grow. Top-selling electric vehicle manufacturer
BYD has turned the southern metropolis of Shenzhen into the world’s first city to rely
only on electric buses. Shenzhen alone now operates more electric
buses than every city in the world outside of China combined. BYD is also greening the city’s taxi fleet. Almost all of the city’s 22,000 cabs are electric. But some drivers wish they weren’t forced
to make the switch. YUE ZHANWEN, Taxi Driver (through translator):
Electric taxi drivers definitely earn less because it takes several hours to recharge
the car. Sometimes, we have to wait in line. Two months ago, I waited in line one hour
or more for a charging station. Then it took me two hours to recharge. Those are hours I could have been working. KATRINA YU: But he has no choice. The central planners of China’s government
say they’re committed to ensuring the electric vehicle market becomes a world leader. This year China, imposed an emissions credit
system that requires car manufacturers to reduce emissions below a certain level, or
pay for credits from other companies. That’s an expenditure they want to avoid,
so they are being compelled to go more green. And that applies to domestic and international
carmakers. At a plant in Foshan in China’s south, German
automaker Audi is building its first fully electric car designed especially for the Chinese
market. Audi plans to launch 30 hybrid and electric
models around the world by 2025. China is Audi’s biggest market. And China’s drive for new energy vehicles,
or NEVs, is impossible to ignore, says director executive Heinz-Willi Vassen. HEINZ-WILLI VASSEN, Director of Digitalization,
Audi: This is a key element here in China, so it would be a very big risk not to be able
to offer NEV technology in the Chinese market, so, for us, not acceptable. We sell more than 30 percent of our cars,
we target to have 40 percent of our cars sold in China. So, for us, it’s a key market. KATRINA YU: Audi isn’t the only global brand
lining up to comply with China’s e-strategy. Ford and General Motors will also launch electric
models made specifically for the Chinese market by the end of this year, while Tesla’s first
factory outside the U.S. is nearing completion in Shanghai. But for Chinese brands, there have been some
speed bumps. NIO is struggling with months of sluggish
sales and reports of battery fires. The company has had to fire 10 percent of
its work force. And across the country, a weakening economy
has reduced auto sales, including a 7 percent slump in electric vehicle sales. It hasn’t helped that consumer subsidies began
being scaled back in June, driving up the cost to buy one. NIO CEO William Li downplays concerns. He says his company and the electric industry
overall are just starting to get on the road. WILLIAM LI (through translator): The car industry
is constantly changing. There are always new challenges. We have more and more customers, and their
situation is changing too. It is not easy and it takes time. KATRINA YU: But government regulations and
a massive market will help ensure momentum toward green cars and that policy-makers in
Beijing, not Washington or California, are in the driver’s seat. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Katrina Yu in
Hefei. JUDY WOODRUFF: Adaptive sports, recreational
or competitive sports played by people with disabilities, are growing in popularity, as
are the skill levels of the athletes. One of the established growing sports is wheelchair
tennis. William Brangham went to the U.S. Open in
New York to talk with some of the top players. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Twenty-eight-year-old Dana
Mathewson hits hard. She’s the number one American women’s wheelchair
tennis player, competing at the world’s top tournaments, including this, her third U.S.
Open. Mathewson started as a soccer player, but,
at age 10, she contracted a rare neurological disease. In a matter of minutes, she went from running
on the field to being paralyzed from the waist down. During this difficult time, her mom, who’s
a doctor, encouraged her to try tennis. DANA MATHEWSON, Professional Wheelchair Tennis
Player: When I heard about adaptive sports, I didn’t think that they would be anything
like what you saw today. I didn’t think they would be competitive. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Flash-forward 19 years. Mathewson has represented the U.S. in World
Cup team tennis nine times. This September, playing for Team USA, she
won a gold medal in doubles and a bronze in singles at the Pan-American Games in Peru. Is it just as fierce? DANA MATHEWSON: Definitely. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Are you guys just as rough
on each other and just as brutal? DANA MATHEWSON: Definitely. When you have a disability or you have to
come back from certain hardships, and then to also play a sport, that’s a type of really
resilient person. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That type of resilience
is shown in other adaptive pro sports, like wheelchair basketball, wheelchair racing and
skiing, all growing in popularity. JASON HARNETT, Head Coach, U.S. Paralympic
Team: We really feel like that respect has arrived. You’re seeing the very, very best skill level
I would equate to the able-bodied side. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Jason Harnett is the U.S.
Tennis Association’s head coach for the Paralympic team. He’s known Mathewson since she first picked
up a racquet. The rules for wheelchair tennis are the same
as for able-bodied tennis, with one exception: You get two bounces, if players need the additional
time to get to the ball. Here at the U.S. Open, the world’s top eight
men and top eight women were competing, as were the best four quadriplegic players those
who have at least three extremities affected by a permanent disability. They compete in a separate competition. JASON HARNETT: If you think about them using
the chair, if I have to move to my left or my right, I actually have to turn the chair
and push forward. There is no sidestep out. There is no cross-step. JOANNE WALLEN, Director, U.S. Open Wheelchair
Tournament: It’s a big stage. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Jo Wallen directs the wheelchair
tournament at the U.S. Open. And she says players have to hit the same
tough shots, but they also have to quickly steer their chair, often making figure eights,
so they can track the ball and be ready for the return shot. JOANNE WALLEN: It’s the maneuvering the chair
that messes up the able-bodied person. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Some big names in able-bodied
tennis, like Novak Djokovic and Frances Tiafoe, have tried playing from a chair, and discovered
just how hard it is. GUSTAVO FERNANDEZ, Professional Wheelchair
Tennis Player: I always dreamed to be a professional sports player. It was tennis, what I was meant to do. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Argentinean Gustavo Fernandez
is the number one ranked wheelchair tennis player in the world. In 2019, he’s won the Australian Open, the
French Open and Wimbledon. When we caught up with him at the U.S. Open,
he was going for his final of the Grand Slams. Fernandez has been in a wheelchair since he
was a year-old as a result of a spinal cord injury. GUSTAVO FERNANDEZ: I love to compete. And competition, it means everything to me. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: He said he feels a need
to not only grow as a competitor, but to grow this sport, in part to change perceptions. GUSTAVO FERNANDEZ: Sometimes, the ignorance
makes you not see what it really is. And once you learn about it, you will see
that it’s a professional sport with high-quality tennis. And I think, in that way, it will grow by
itself. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Fernandez’s matches are
intense. MAN: Nice shot by Fernandez. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: On this day, he blew a tire
on the hot court. MAN: There’s the wheelchair repair technician. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Enter Mike Zangari. He’s a pioneer who played wheelchair tennis
himself for 35 years and basketball before that. He’s ready, courtside, to repair these lightweight,
high-end titanium chairs that can run into the thousands of dollars. MIKE ZANGARI, Chief Wheelchair Technician,
U.S. Open: If you take your conventional hospital chair or the ones you see in the airport or
the ones I got my start in, I would relate them to being a Hummer. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: A Hummer? MIKE ZANGARI: Big, clunky. Now, comparing to these chairs, that’s what
you have out there. You have Lamborghinis. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Wheelchair tennis is slowly
gaining traction. There are grassroots levels up to professional
ranks, and the sport is represented at all four Grand Slam events around the world. But it’s not without its challenges: building
a fan base, getting more sponsors, even offering higher prize money. Wheelchair Grand Slam winners take home just
over $33,000, compared to the millions for the able-bodied winners. Certain players, like six-time U.S. Open singles
champion and world number two Shingo Kunieda of Japan, have a literal following. After this recent doubles win with Gustavo
Fernandez, fans flocked to him. But they’re nowhere near enough to fill the
cavernous stadium. Officials are also hoping the sport will gain
more popularity as top competitors continue their U.S. Open with a much larger pool of
players, like here in Saint Louis. These more intimate venues help build community. The players ate together, pumped up their
own tires, helped each other out, and generally celebrated each other’s achievements. Fernandez and Mathewson were part of that,
while remaining laser-focused on their own goals. In New York, I asked them, what drives them? DANA MATHEWSON: The more and more that I get
exposed to different things, the more that I realize what I can do with this disability
and the things that it’s afforded my life, the more I actually feel really grateful for
it, which is kind a weird thing to say. A lot of people… WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Grateful? DANA MATHEWSON: Yes, a lot of people wouldn’t
really look at a disability and say that it’s a great thing. I think that’s one of the more unfortunate
attitudes that people have about disability, that, if someone can’t walk, their life must
suck. This disability has allowed me to represent
my country. I get to travel the world for a living. I get to play a sport for a living. GUSTAVO FERNANDEZ: I like really much what
I do, and I respect it and I think I’m quite good at it, because I have been — I have
worked for it. So if there’s 10 people, 10,000, one billion
people watching it, for me, it will mean the same. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Tennis’ year seemingly never
stops. Players are now competing in Europe, before
heading to the season-ender in Orlando. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m William Brangham
in Flushing Meadows, New York. JUDY WOODRUFF: More than half the children
in American schools are students of color, but their teachers are overwhelmingly white. In tonight’s Brief But Spectacular, we hear
from an African-American biomedical engineer on why it is so important to see ourselves
in front of the classroom. DR. ELIZABETH WAYNE, Biomedical Engineer: I had
this really powerful experience when I was a graduate student. I was attending one of my first major conferences. There was a black woman who was a speaker. And at the end of the session, I actually
stood up, and I said: “I have attended two Ivy League institutions. I have studied physics and engineering. And this is the first time I have ever been
in a room where the speaker was a black woman.” And I let it soak in to the thousands of people
standing behind me. Until that moment, had never realized that
I had never had someone who looked like me teaching me. I have always thought that seeing is believing. I wanted to build optical instruments to be
able to see into the body. And that’s why I decided to do biomedical
engineering. And I actually did build microscopes to image
how cancer spreads through the body. I started to see the role of the immune cells
in that process, and thinking of how I can use those immune cells to target the cancer
cells in a way more effective way than just inserting drugs directly into the bloodstream. Immune cells travel through our body. They have their own specialized networks. They go to places of disease. My thought here is, if they are already going
to places of disease, why not add an extra passenger? Why not add a drug and attach it to the immune
cells, and then let them do what they normally do? I thought, this can be used, not just for
cancer, but it can be used for other diseases as well. When we first made this discovery, we were
very excited. We had over 700 articles from our first publication
on this work. I would get e-mails from people. And they would say, I have never seen a black
woman in a lab coat being pictured as having contributed to a major discovery. I would have my little cousins when they saw
me say, I want to write about you for Black History Month. When I am most personable, my students are
also able to open up and talk about themselves. And I am contributing to a generation of not
only people who might be scientists, but also people who will go out into the world and
take on many different disciplines. And I’m encouraging them to also be their
whole selves in their fields. And so I find that to be very powerful, challenging,
but also powerful. I’m Dr. Elizabeth Wayne, and this is my Brief
But Spectacular take on the power of images in science and life. JUDY WOODRUFF: And you can watch additional
Brief But Spectacular episodes on our Web site, PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief. On the “NewsHour” online, we mark the one-year
anniversary of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder with some of the questions
that remain. You can find our story on Instagram @NewsHour. And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m Judy Woodruff. Join us online and again here tomorrow. For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank you, and we’ll see
you soon.