tv Washington Week PBS October 15, 2021 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT
>> subpoenas, cultures -- culture war and. >> we intend to take of criminal content. >> the committee investigating the capital attacked intends to hold steve bannon in criminal content after a he refuses a subpoena. >> i don't think parents should tell parents what they should teach. >> culture wars over education, race, covid and the 2020 election dominate politics and the virginia governor race. >> our goal is not to get over this bottleneck but to address these weaknesses in our transportation supply chain. >> the president tries to tackle
the supply chain crisis after they struggle with empty store shelves and prices. the biden agenda hangs in the balance amid his sagging poll numbers up next. >> this is washingtonweek. corporate funding is provided by. >> our goal has been to put provide the ability to communicate and connect. we offer plants and we can find you one that fits you. to learn more, visit our website. >> additional funding is provided by the estate of arnold adams. who -- they are committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. sandra and carl, rose and herschel shreve's, and
contributions from your pbs station from viewers like you. winky. --. >> it evening and welcome to washingtonweek. the insurrection happened 282 days ago and while the time the violence felt like the end of an era, it seems more like the beginning of a deeper phase of the culture wars. somebody leading the charge in these fights is steve nnp he is the architect of former president trumps grievance politics. he refuses to answer questions from congress about his involvement in january 6. lawmakers will hold him in criminal contempt. on wednesday, he headlined a political rally for republicans in virginia and former president trump called and with more election lies. >> we wanted 2016, we want in 2020, the most corrupt election
in our country and probably one of the most corrupt anywhere but we will win it again. we will take it all back. >> battle lines are being drawn not only on our elections but also on issues like covid, abortion, critical race theory and the rights of transgender americans. ground zero for those bottles is the virginia governor race. many see it as a bellwether for the midterms and 2024. they are in a tight fight. >> if he is elected governor, abortions will cease. it is dangerous for women, doctors and you cannot bring businesses. i recruited very -- amazon here and it will not come to a state that this commits. >> we have seen our curriculum all of a sudden infused with a political agenda. you go to the board of education is where you find how to teach critical race theory. >> like many other in the gop is
courting trumps base. the big question now is how is fear being used to motivate voters to dig into this tonight, we got reporters joining me remotely. joining me at the tate -- table. thank you so much all of you for being here. i am excited about this conversation. there is so much to talk about. tell us what the latest is in this january 6 committee. how they are dealing with the refusal and how are they treating steve bannon? moving to hold him in criminal content. how is that a -- contempt. >> this is meant to send a strong signal. they have a lot of subpoenas out to a lot of people about
information and depositions. they want to set steve bannon as an example. how this process is going to work is they are united. they are going to vote on it next week and it will go to the house of reps. they would theoretically pass it which is what is expected and they would go to the department of justice where the -- they can pursue the criminal case. the one important thing to note with this is while these proceedings do regress, it will not compel steve come -- steve bent to coat dust corporate with the committee. this is not an attempt to get more information. this is to set an example for everyone to say they need to example. >> it's interesting you make that point. there are people engaging with the committee. among them is mike meadows, tell us what we know about that
engagement and i wonder if you can talk about how former ag, his meeting with the committee went? there was reporting he was there for hours. guest: he did meet with the committee and that is something unexpected. we didn't know until it happened. that is an interesting sign. he did go in. there was no subpoena for him. there was no publicequest for him. as far as those engaging with the committee in the trump orbit, former cheap -- chief of staff, advisor to the president and we don't know what level of engagement is but we know it is enough at this point anyway, that a criminal contempt is not been referred to by the committee. they have kept them in the -- the committee in the full and it is enough in the meantime so we'll see how long it will last. guest: i wouldn't expect them to cooperate with the committee. they are engaging which means they are not saying hell no, i
will not come. a back-and-forth like this, but when steve bannon said he is not going to cooperate and he would defy the subpoena, his lawyer and the letter to the committee made it explicit that it was not his decision, it was donald trump's decision. he has the privilege. donald trump asserted executive privile and instructed him not to testify. the same thing would apply to the others. they don't want to be out there front and center taking the bullets the way bannon is. he enjoys being the bad guy. yamiche: i want to ask about your reporting. your new book is coming out. the trail. the final act of the trump show. great title. can you talk a bit about what you learned about what the president was saying while the insurrection was happening? i wonder how that connects to this sort of grievance politics that sees them pursued?
guest: one of the essential purposes of the committee is to find out what donald trump was doing while his supporters were rampaging through the capital. what was he doing during those hours when people were pleading with him publicly and privately to come out and publicly call on his supporters to stand down and to leave the capital? what i learned in my reporting is that he was quite happy with what he was seeing. he was posting at the time, about the crowd size at the rally. when i interviewed him two months after he left office, he was still telling me tha nobody gives me credit for how big the crowd was. also significant, we know about kevin mccarthy's phone call. i learned some more details about that. he placed that call literally, while he was being evacuated from the capital when he was on his way to the secure locations off the capital.
along with the three top leaders. he told trump explicitly that the shots were fired off. he thought there were multiple shots pitch shots were fired. i had to be evacuated. you have to come out and call this off. it was in responseo that that kevin mccarthy heard trump say they just believe it more than me. yamiche: it is so incredible to think about the former president boasting about crowd side as people were running for their lives. this all connects to what is happening in virginia. the idea that there are these culture wars laying out that are central to president trump and his brand of politics. talk a bit about what is going on there and how it can be a microcosm for what is going on in the country? guest: the thing about culture wars as you don't need facts to back them up. you say something and hope that people believe in it and it angers them and it takes them to the polls.
the something we have seen a lot and republicans do more than democrats have been doing. with critical race theory, they were months and months of that. have you heard much about it recently? the thing about it that is important to note is that they are not teaching it to kids. it is not something they learned in high school. it is not something when in middle school. when that in college and grad school. we twist something and make it easy for people to understand what they are talking about is conversations about race. i think that is was happening in virginia, it is a bellwether. you have two people in the vein of the veins of their party. you have one who is biden ask and another who s -- bidenes que and the other who runs like trump. it will be chewed like a progress report. how much involvement they have and all of the principles.
the second gentleman is likely to go again. yamiche: the former president is going to virginia. there is this wild crazy seat and virginia were somebody flew a flag that was flown during the january 6 insurrection in people pledge allegiance to it during this republican rally. the republican running for virginia called it weird but frankly, it is veryeird but it is some way, not shocking you think about the way that republicans have really recast january 6. what you make of what we are seeing? guest: let us a first of all that as it relates to culture war, when you dig back to the root of them similar to what eugene was saying, they are rarely rooted in fact. they are often created by people who have nothing to do but be provocateurs.
what they do is trim people up get them in a frenzy but it has little to do with actual problems going on. look at the wars we see breaking out over kids wearing masks in school when all of that should be about public health and safety and any battles we were having rht now about kids in school should not be about masks. it should be about learning loss because kids across this country have lost between one year and a year and a half of education. it is devastating to see wings of our political parties from the american people up about issues that don't matter. you go back to this week with praising to a flag, pledging to a flag that was potentially flown on january 6, it is twisted. i have redefined what happened on that day but the problem is a lot of american people do not actually think about what happened on january 6. it out realize what a threat it was in continues to be to our democracy and unfortunately,
there people who minimize it and people who have started to just put it in the rearview mirror because people think day in and day out about their health, how to put food on the table and not prioritizing what a terrible daerous issue to place on the sixth. we still have that danger in this country. you have got some people pretending it did not happen and others forgetting what happened. those are two very problematic things. yamiche: she just talked about covid. with this week, we saw the texas governor bent vaccine mandates in his state saying that private companies cannot require customers or workers to be vaccinated against covid-19. we are still in the middle of a pandemic. talk about how the white house sees that and how democrats see that. guest: the whte house sees it as extremely problematic. to do anything to be seen as
successful as a presidency, they have to get the pandemic under control. it is at the root of people numbers you see from president biden and any question you have of whether or not we are going in the right direction, covid is at the root. jan saki said this is about politics and it is a problem. it is something that has happened over and over again is that you have republican governors and the white house battling it out over what exactly we should handle covid. texas has high numbers. they have had high numbers. they had low vaccination rates. it is not helpful for the rest of us. i had covid recently got over that. yamiche: i'm so happy you got over it. i was praying. my mama's brain. guest: trying to explain that people and for governors who are vaccinated. a lot of these people saying that it is your choice, don't worry about it, they are vaccinated themselves and that is what the white house sees as
the biggest problem. yamiche: you talk to a widow about a capital police officer committed suicide after working january 6. >> you think that his death is directly related to what happened to him on january 6? >> i do. if he did not get hit and his demeanor did not change, he would still be here. >> before i go to stephanie, i will go to you. it is a moving interview you did with his widow. how is what this family is going through connect to the consequences of these culture wars and how is this family managing? guest: there are a cple things here. they're dealing with the aftermath of january 6 because she no longer has her husband. he committed suicide in the days after. she is fighting to get line of duty beth -- death benefits many
he would get an official burial. she would get survivor benefits including health insurance and because of the stigma of suicide, she is not able to get it. she has to deal with the people still denying january 6. she is dealing with threats. meanwhile, all she's preserving the memory of her husband and still fighting for him and herself, this whole interview will air on sunday on nightly news. it is just a devastating assessment of what is happening and the divisions in this country right now. yamiche: i just want to say that the holiday season is around the corner. many people are worried about whether they will have enough money and supplies to celebrate. many items have been stuck on container ships on the coast of california. that bottleneck has caused prices to rise on everything from groceries, gas, electronics. the president announced plans to address these challenges triggered by the pandemic. >> in order to be globally
competitive, we have to improve our capacity to make things here in america while moving finished products across the country and around the world. yamiche: in august, a record of 4.3 million workers quit their jobs. many are concerned about low wages, childcare and health issues. once day, i question the president of the u.s. chamber of commerce about this issue. here's what she told me. >> i think this is a multifaceted problem that will require all kinds of solutions. we see something like 2.2 million more open jobs then people looking for work right now. it is one of the biggest problems threatening the country. every ceo, people are worried about it. it is at the heart of the supply chain challenges as well. yamiche: you were going to jump in. hopefully, your member your thought and talk about what is going on with the economy. guest: what i wanted to say before was that when greg abbott
ban these vaccine mandates, the most interesting thing was what did private visits is in the state of texas do? they ignored it and kept on trucking. they know that for their businesses to thrive, they need people to be healthy. they need to ay open. that is how they will continue to make money. this interesting to see these are public and governors. republicans who consider themselves a pro-business part me getting blown off by these ceos. show me any fortune 500 ceo that has pushed back against the vaccine mandates. the osha requirements? you cannot find them. they're thrilled that the administration did this because they know in order for their businesses to make money, they gotta be vaccinated support that over there. as far as our economy? people do not like that prices are going up on everything good we are buying out there, rices are high. we are going into the winter months, oil prices are up. anyway that you heat your house, prices will be up. that is not good news.
however, we are in an economic recovery. when you see all of those people quitting their jobs in the month of august, what does that tell you? they are confident there are other jobs out there. we are actually seeing this shift. we are saying man, everybody has open jobs, you cannot go to a restaurant without seeing a we are hiring sign. that is true but not necessarily a labor shortage. it is a labor shift. after years and years of workers having such little power. such little voice. they are getting different jobs. in the last year, we have seen the likes of amazon, walmart, targets, big box stores hiring millions of people to the distribution centers in either jobs at play 16-17 box an hour. plus benefits. -- dollars. if you are being played -- paid 2-3 dollars an hour, doing with difficult customers, not knowing your schedule, you will not go back to those jobs. your shifting to higher paid
jobs with more benefits. you're also seeing all of these strikes going on. people calling this striketober. in the moment it is scary, but it is a positive because these strikes and push back is against the fact that worker versus ceo pay has never been greater, the differential between the few and we are starting to see that narrow. that is not a negative. yamiche: it is almost like he wrote the intro to my next question. the pandemic and economic struggles of lead to a resurgent labor movement. here is the president of the afl cio, largest federation of unions in the country. >> enough is enough. that is where we are. we are at a breaking point that we have made the sacrifices. they just want a decent paid job with security, good health care coverage and the ability to have some respect and dignity at work. yamiche: i want to go to you, eugene which is that this is
about unions standing up and saying we can come together, we can have our power. what does this they about where we are but what is the president doing? we saw him assemble a group of people talking about how he will try and get people the goods that they need. what do you make of this? guest: this is a president who talked about how supportive he is of unions. he is the president that enjoys the support of unions when he ran for president. that is something important and vital to his joeness of who he is. when you talk to anybody at the white house, they try to be careful to not talk about every single union fight happening right now but they are very supportive of that just like she was saying, this idea that people want to work like this. all that has to do with covid. we were stuck at home and people
rethought work. people are noticing, i want to work like this. there's more of us then there are a view. we will tell you how it will work. one of the thanks for this country and this president that will be difficult is they keep talking about inflation. it will and early 2022. it is hard to explain to a single mom who has twoinflationt will not cut it for people. guest: this has been long time coming. we have seen stagnant real wages for a long time in this country. now, unions are in a position where they have leverage. you have a labor shortage. it makes sense. joe is mr. union. he is the mr. union president. he does not want to see strikes paralyze the economy. you will see how they walk this.
he is very sympathetic to what these workers are fighting for. yamiche: we only have a couple minutes left. talk a little bit about this bubble that might be bursting when it comes to cheap labor? when i saw nightly news last night, that is how you guys were talking about it. talk about this bubble bursting. guest: this is a tricky situation that we are in. it is not necessarily bad that we are sing workers pushback and demand higher pay. if you talk to economists, just yesterday, the ceo of j.p. morgan said the supply chain issues are overblown and they will work themselves out in the next few months. however, we don't know exactly when that will be. joe biden has to worry about midterms. people are living in the moment. jean made the moment that when you talk to that single mom who is struggling to put food on the table, or you talk to anybody out there, everyone is experiencing higher prices so
the button in this ration is in a tough place that the economy is strong. consumers are spending. one of the reasons we got there is shortages is that people save money, ordered new furniture that is sitting on barges. the american people are comfortable but they don't like that everything costs so much more. that will be tough for biden to deal with as we go towards midterms. republicans love to seize on this. yamiche: the biden administration isn't to place on a lot of things including infrastructure and trying to get things done. in the time we have left, talk a bit about where things stand. the white house keep saying there is progress being made but what is reporting saying? guest: there's not a lot of progress being made. just now, you have a very public fight between bernie sanders and joe mansion or an operant -- opposite ends of the spectrum of the democratic party of where this infrastructure bill should look like.
bernie sanders publish an op-ed in the biggest newspaper in west virginia calling out senator mansion and colleen out saying it will be good for west virginians. mansion responded to that and there is this fight. i don't know how they get together. yamiche: we will have to keep following it. that is it for tonight. thank you to the guests. thank you all for joining us. tina monday to the pbs newshour for the whitest paint. they export the groundbreaking science that shows us how it's used can eliminate the need for air-conditioning. before we go, my heart is with my friend. she is recovering from surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. i am so happy that you are recovering. i cannot wait to welcome you back as soon as you are well. it will continue our conversations on the washingtonweek extra. funded on a website, facebook and youtube. this week's topic: space race and economic inequality. good night from washington. [captioning performed by the
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announcer: major funding for "tell me more with kelly corrigan" is provided by the penner family foundation along with support from the gordon and llura gund foundation. i think the last era of america, uh--heh heh-- that we just went through has in some ways altered the course of this country's history. there was still this idea, this narrative that america's the greatest country in the world. i think that's a wrap, and now it becomes up to us-- not that i care about the narrative of the greatest country in the world, but do we actually want to live up to those myths, and right now--to use a sports analogy-- i think it's a jump ball. ♪