tv PBS News Hour PBS December 8, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> sreenivasan: and i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight, president-elect trump makes more moves to set the stage for his administration. what his controversial pick to head the e.p.a. signals for the future of the environment. >> sreenivasan: also ahead this thursday, the populists of wall street: a look at trump's economic team and the future president's promises. >> woodruff: plus, the female frontline-- the first part in our series spotlighting the first generation of women training for the toughest combat positions. >> i want to advance my career and be in a place that feels like family, you know that they have your back.
>> sreenivasan: and we remember john glenn, the first u.s. astronaut to orbit earth, who became a national hero and senator. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your financial future. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic
performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> supported by the rockefeller foundation. promoting the well-being of humanity around the world by building resilience and inlusive economies. more at rockefellerfoundation.org >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
>> woodruff: the nation marks the passing tonight of a major figure of the 20th century. john glenn was the first american to orbit the planet, and the oldest person ever to go into space. he passed away today at a hospital in columbus, ohio, at the age of 95. president obama joined in an outpouring of tributes, saying that john glenn showed "there's no limit to the heights we can reach together." we'll have a full report on his life later in the program. now, to the presidential transition. word of john glenn's passing in columbus, ohio, came shortly before donald trump arrived in the city on an already-planned trip. it followed more moves to fill out his cabinet. lisa desjardins begins our coverage. >> reporter: the president-elect trump left new york and the transition behind this afternoon, and stepped onto his plane to visit columbus, ohio,
to meet with and first responders to last week's "ohio state" stabbings. >> we just saw the victims and the families. really these were brave people, amazing people. the police and first responders were incredible. >> reporter: this evening, it's iowa, where he'll continue on that "thank you" tour after in stops north carolina and ohio in the past week. all that, and more news on his cabinet. mr. trump formally announced scott pruitt, oklahoma's attorney general and opponent of climate change regulations, is his choice to head the environmental protection agency. and late today that andy puzder, will be the labor secretary nominee. he was an early supporter of and fundraiser for candidate trump, he's also been we know he's critical of the affordable care act, and that he opposes raising the federal minimum wage, saying it would mean fewer jobs. >> what are we doing if we're locking young americans, 16 to 24 year olds out of the labor force?
that's a very, very serious problem at the moment and increasing the minimum wage is just exacerbating it. >> reporter: this means mr. trump now has named choices for from chief of staff, to treasury secretary, to u.n. ambassador. that group shows a few initial trends: nearly half have been business executives, including four who are billionaires. a third, are current elected officials. and so far, the proposed cabinet is twice as many men as women. also today another chapter in that deal that mr. trump struck with the "carrier corporation" to keep jobs in indiana. local union leader chuck jones, in indianapolis, questioned how many jobs the president elect's claim that he saved 1,100 jobs. he said it's more like 800 really saved. >> so i've been in a lot of negotiations as a union representative, so i would have to assume that he either knew the precise numbers, or most certainly should've. >> reporter: but on twitter mr. trump sharply questioned jones' ability to fight for workers.
elsewhere, the president elect did win a significant fight today, over green party candidate's jill stein's recount push. last night, a judge halted the effort in michigan saying stein received too few votes to force a recount. as for and a hillary clinton sighting: the former democratic >> this is not exactly the speech at the capitol i hoped to be giving after the election. >> reporter: the former democratic nominee appeared at the u.s. capitol for at her first public event post-election the unveiling of a portrait of outgoing senate minority leader harry reid. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. >> sreenivasan: in the day's other news, the 114th congress scrambled to finished its business. the house okayed a bill to fund the government through next april, ahead of a deadline tomorrow night. it includes disaster relief for louisiana and other states, and aid for flint, michigan's contaminated water system. there's also a waiver for retired general james mattis to serve as defense secretary, even though he's been out of the military less than seven years. before the vote, lawmakers on both sides complained about the
process, and the result. >> i truly hope that in the near future we can stop lurching from cr to cr and return to regular order for the sake of our national security, our economy and the well being of all americans. however at this point, this is our best and only path forward. >> we cannot go down a path of missed opportunities and just roll over and not speak out and say this isn't the best that we can do for the american people. and we owe them much better than this bill. >> sreenivasan: the bill's passage in the senate is still threatened by a fight over health-care benefits for retired coal miners. but the senate overwhelmingly gave final approval to a defense policy bill today. it again bars closing the prison at guantanamo bay, cuba, and grants a pay raise for the military. >> woodruff: senate minority leader harry reid delivered his final speech to the chamber today.
the nevada democrat recalled growing up in a tiny town outside las vegas, and ultimately joining the senate, 30 years ago. he also looked forward, speaking about the future of the body. >> i would hope that everyone would do everything they can to protect the senate as an institution. as part of our constitution, it should be given the dignity it deserves. i love the senate. i don't need to dwell on that. i love the senate. i care about it so very, very much. >> woodruff: new york senator chuck schumer will take over as minority leader, when the new congress opens next month. >> sreenivasan: in syria, heavy fighting raged in eastern aleppo today as regime forces pushed ever deeper into rebel-held districts. gunfire and the pounding of air strikes echoed across the besieged city. government troops have now retaken more than three quarters of the rebel areas. president bashar al-assad rejected further truce offers today, but russia said u.s. and
russian officials will meet saturday to discuss the situation. >> woodruff: the city of paris spent a third day under emergency restrictions, in the face of its worst winter pollution in a decade. a haze hung over the french capital, and half of all cars were barred from traveling in the city, while public transportation was free. but many drivers ignored the curbs. >> ( translated ): i don't know if it is unique to parisians or it's all the french, but people are a bit selfish. they like to take their own car when the trend would be take small buses, as you would in other european capitals. >> woodruff: the haze contains dangerous levels of very fine dust that can cause heart disease, lung cancer and various breathing ailments. >> sreenivasan: back in this country, life expectancy has declined for the first time in decades. the centers for disease control and prevention reports someone born last year is projected to live 78 years, nine and a half months. that's a month less than for someone born a year earlier, and it's first drop since 1993, when
the aids epidemic was raging. researchers cite a rise in deaths from heart disease and other leading ailments. japan leads the world in life expectancy, at nearly 84 years. >> woodruff: the u.s. surgeon general warned today of growing e-cigarette use by the nation's teenagers. vivek murthy said vaping could create a new generation of kids addicted to nicotine. e-cigarettes were initially pushed as a safer alternative for adult smokers. it's already illegal to sell them to minors, but there is no scientific consensus yet on the risks or advantages. >> sreenivasan: and on wall street, stocks pushed to new highs, again, as a post-election surge continued. the dow jones industrial average gained 65 points to close at 19,614. the nasdaq rose 23 points, and the s&p 500 added four. still to come on the newshour: a major shift at the evironmental protection agency, soon to be run by a climate skeptic. inside a military camp where women are training for combat roles, and much more.
>> woodruff: now, more on today's nomination of oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt to head the e.p.a. we start with a little background on the man. a leading critic of the e.p.a., now in line to take its helm. as oklahoma state attorney general since 2011, scott pruitt has called for rolling back the agency's efforts on climate change, and other rule-making. in a statement today, he said: "the american people are tired of seeing billions of dollars drained from our economy due to unnecessary e.p.a. regulations." not surprisingly, his selection drew harsh words from a number of democrats. >> some of these folks only qualifications for the job that they have been appointed for is that they have attempted to dismantle and undermine and
destroy the very agencies that they are now hoping to run. >> woodruff: but pruitt is in sync with president-elect trump on a range of issues: including his skepticism about man-made global warming. writing in the "national review" this year, he said: "that debate is far from settled. scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming." in fact, the vast majority of scientists agree that human activity contributes to global warming. all this underscores questions about whether a trump administration will refuse to abide by the paris accords on greenhouse gas emissions. pruitt has also vigorously fought the e.p.a.'s "clean power plan," which set unprecedented caps on carbon pollution by power plants. and, he's repeatedly sued the agency, on the clean power plan, as well as limits on methane emissions and other regulations. transition spokesman sean spicer
defended pruitt's approach on the newshour last night. >> it is a very big difference to care about whether or not we're toting to the agenda of the far extreme left that is a job-killing, regulation-type agenda that wants to put businesses out of business, or people who actually care about the environment and whose goal is clean air, clean water, making sure that we preserve our natural resources. >> woodruff: one issue in the confirmation hearings may be oil and gas industry contributions to pruitt's campaigns. a "new york times" investigation in 2014 found that pruitt's office sent letters to the e.p.a. and president obama that were largely written by energy industry lobbyists. pruitt, in turn, defended his right to ally with what he called "private sector players that shared his views." we get two reactions to the nomination now with scott segal. he advises clients on energy, the environment and natural resources at bracewell,
a law and government relations firm serving the oil and gas industry. and rhea suh, is president of the natural resources defense council, an environmental advocacy group. and we welcome both of you to the news hour. scott segal, is mr. pruitt a good choice? >> well, you know, he's done a wonderful job as attorney general of oklahoma. it's a complicated job that he's had to perform. it's a resource-rich state. it has a lot of its own environmental statutes as well as a good track record on enforcement of federal statutes. he has had to balance not just his desire to limit federal authority under a policy of federalism, but he also balances that with a much larger shop that defends consumer protection in the state of oklahoma and even argues against the major power companies making sure that rate structures are appropriate. so he has a very balanced record
as far as both consumer protection and working on regulations. i've seen him in action. he's a smart guy. he's articulate. and i think he'll do a very good job at e.p.a. >> meaghan:>> woodruff: rhea suu told us you were alarmed when you heard he was chosen. >> it's pretty shocking to have someone nominated to lead the environmental protection agency, literally the name, the environmental protection agency, pretty much defines what this government entity is responsible for. it's responsible for the oversight and the enforcement of our collective environment and protections of our collective environment for all of us. to have somebody chosen that not only doesn't believe in the ability of the agency to enforce those things, as is evidenced by the multiple lawsuits that he has issued against the e.p.a., but doesn't believe basically in the sanctity of that government agency and protecting its public trust responsibilities for all americans is quite disturbing. >> woodruff:, well, scott
segal, does mr. pruitt believe in the mission of the environmental protection agency, to protect the environment? >> he absolutely does. in fact, he's the senior law enforcement officer for the state of oklahoma's environmental protection statutes, so he absolutely does believe it. what he does believe in addition to that is a firm commitment to the rule of law. and frankly, some of the very regulations that have been referenced so far, whether it's the clean power plants or power plants or whether it's the definition of waters of the waters of the united states have been such a departure from past precedent and what the statutes actually say at e.p.a. that in both cases those rules have been stayed and attorney general pruitt has been part of those stays. that tells me that he will keep a watchful eye on whether e.p.a. does activities that are consistent with their statutes. and if that is the case, then we all win in the long run, because we want to have an executive
agency that actually abide by the law. their regulations will stay many place longer and they will be more predictable and they will end up protecting the american people. >> meaghan: all right, rhea suh, if that's the kind of thing he's going to do, what worries you? >> well, thrufl are a whole host of things that worry us. number one, again, this agency is responsible for protecting public health, so these are decisions that are made every day, both in terms of policy as well as in terms of enforcement that affect the daily lives of people. so whether it's industries that are not held to account or whether it's climate change, i think biggest of all policy opportunities that this administration will have, instead of taking the mantle and really seeing the authority and the responsibility associated with these jobs, we see this individual walking in and turning it 180 degrees in the opposite direction. >> woodruff: we just heard mr. segal refer to power plants and water. if there is a scaling back of
regulations in these areas, why isn't it still possible to at least carry out some or a large part of what you see as the mission of the e.p.a.? can there be a middle ground is what i'm asking? >> well, thank goodness that the middle ground i believe is the law and the statutes of the land. there's a variety of different laws that are in place designed to protect clean air, clean water. the thing that is quite worrisome about this nominee in particular is that he has gone after those underlying statutes and questioned the very legitimacy of us as a community as a nation to have the right to things like clear air and clean water some make no mistake about it, in terms of radicalism, this is something that we have never quite seen before in the environmental protection agency. >> woodruff: scott segal, suh and others in the environmental community are worried that mr. truth will undo the bulk of
what... in other words the heart and soul of these regulations and the difference they make. >> right. i just don't think there's any evidence of that. i think they're going to proceed basically on sort of two levels. the first is those regulations, which have gone further than the underlying statutes would allow, yet those regulations are probably going to be peared back to the extent that attorney general pruitt can do so consistent with law and public policy concerns. so that's going to happen. broader thanthat, though, e.p.a. must go through a regulatory reform. it simply must. it has for a long time overstated the benefits of its rules with the nulling act yes, sir end of the mange environmental organizations in this country, and it has done so in a way that has misspent resources that could better protect the american public if they were spent more wisely. and i believe a degree of regulatory reform is necessary for that agency. that is exactly what was said on
the campaign trail, regulatory reform is a political element. you won't get it using the same old players. >> woodruff: what about that? >> i think this language of regulatory reform, of overstepping the boundaries, like when it comes down to it, these are the basic values that uphold our standard of living, our quality of living, the right to drink clean water and to breathe clean air. it's not regulatory muckety muck. these are basic values believe is their right. and we believe the environmental protection agency has the authority and the responsibility to uphold that right for all americans. so the fact, again, that we're seeing a nominee come into this position that not only does not believe in that authority, let alone will take the responsibility of upholding that authority, i think many, many people are more than disturbed, and it's actually quite a frightening prospect. >> woodruff: so much of this will be debated and discussed
during his confirmation hearings. we look forward to that. rhea suh, scott segal, we thank you both. >> sreenivasan: for decades, women have played important roles in the u.s. military, but until recently, they were blocked from frontline combat positions. but under orders from the secretary of defense, women can now try out for all combat jobs in all services. over the past several months, we've followed three female pioneers striving for these positions within the u.s. marine corps, considered the toughest of the services. producer dan sagalyn and correspondent william brangham have the first of our two reports. >> you should be standing at attention. that means your heels should be touching!! feet at a 45 degree angle!! and you! >> brangham: 18-year-old rebekah wolff's life is about to turn upside-down.
>> the united states marine corps! >> brangham: she and a group of fellow recruits have just arrived at parris island, south carolina. >> aye sir!! >> brangham: it's day one of marine corps boot camp. >> your mouth is shut!! >> aye sir! >> i said do you understand me?! >> aye sir! >> brangham: they now start thirteen weeks of grueling, disorienting... >> get off the wall!! >> brangham: ...physically stressful training. >> now do it again! >> where's wolff? >> yes, m'aam! >> brangham: rebekah wolff is one of the young female recruits who wants to join the fight to go into one of the jobs that for generations had been blocked to women... until now.¡ low altitude air defense' is what she wants to do: basically shooting shoulder-fired" stinger" missiles at enemy aircraft. that's what you want to be doing, shooting stinger missiles? >> yeah! >> brangham: why that? >> because it'd be cool. (laughs) and not a lot of females have had that opportunity until now, really, so that's exciting. >> ten, nine, eight...
>> brangham: of course, that's a long way off. for now, she's not only got to prove herself at boot camp, but she'll have to pass tougher physical standards than females have ever had to meet before. on the first night, after filling out some paperwork, recruits are required to make one phone call home. >> this is recruit rivera! >> brangham: they're instructed to shout five scripted lines into the phone, nothing more. >> thank you for your support! goodbye for now! >> louder! louder! >> brangham: drill instructors intentionally create this sense of chaos... >> get away from me! >> brangham: ...a miniature fog of war. >> ahh! >> brangham: they want to see how the recruits respond, and to shake their civilian mindset. >> go away! come back! go away! >> we need to break them down mentally, we need to breakdown these individualities that they come with of ¡self' and 'me' a¡' i'. we need to break them down. to basically nothing, so we can build them back up, not as one but as one team, one element to join our marine corps. it's not my marine corps, not his marine corps, it's our marine corps. >> brangham: we first caught up with rebekah wolff earlier this
summer back home in rural maryland. at the time, she was living with her parents. her mom and dad didn't like it that she was joining the marine corps, but were not surprised: from an early age, rebekah wanted to break the ¡traditional girl' mold: >> when she was young she always said she was going to drive motorcycles, drink beer, smoke cigarettes, and get tattoos. (laughs) i can remember her telling me that, oh my goodness. >> brangham: how do you feel about the idea that your daughter might end up in a combat unit, maybe on the front- lines somewhere? >> i don't think any parent wants their kid, boy or girl, to go to combat. i surely don't. i feel that they shouldn't be there, on the front lines. >> i don't know that she fully understands what she's getting into sometimes. i mean, we explained. she's like ¡well i'll be able to shoot helicopters.' well, they do shoot back. i don't know that she comprehends that. (laughs) >> brangham: turns out, the marine corps didn't want women in certain combat jobs, either. in 2013, the secretary of
defense ordered that all combat positions be opened to women. but after a period of deliberations, the marines corps asked for an exemption. they argued that putting women into the infantry and in other combat jobs would make the marine corps a less effective fighting force. >> this contract that we have with each other... >> brangham: general robert neller is the commandant of the marine corps, the highest uniformed officer. he says the corps' resistance came from a test the marines ran back in 2014. it took all male units and units that mixed men and women, and then compared their performance in a series of combat drills >> and we ran them through a very physically demanding test. i mean, it was hard. and there was data in there that showed, in the aggregate, that in certain things, mostly in load-bearing and the most physically demanding tasks, that the teams that have females integrated in them did not perform at the same levels as the all male teams. >> brangham: the results showed that the male-only teams moved faster, especially with heavy loads, they fired at the enemy more often, they hit their
targets more often, and evacuated casualties faster. integrated units, with men and women, also suffered more injuries. commandant neller acknowledges integrated teams did have some advantages. >> we found that integrated teams did better in problem solving. and that's why, as part of a team, if we have differences, any of us have differences, it can mitigated because the team figures out, okay, you're good at this, you do this. you're better at this, you focus on this. >> brangham: the test was criticized by many, including the commandant's boss, the secretary of the navy, because it compared highly experienced, combat-hardened men with far less experienced women. >> hit him in the face! >> brangham: but still, there are many who say you don't need a study to prove that men and women, physically, are different. >> you're dead, go away. >> you know, the marine corps, we're not idealists. we're realists. and we know there are differences between men and women. when i came in the marine corps, i was 5 foot 3, i was 110 lbs.
and to be able to do the same thing as my counterpart, who was 6 foot 1, you know 180 pounds, lean mean fighting machine type thing, was just unrealistic, no matter how good of shape i was in at the time. >> brangham: retired colonel mary reinwald spent 27 years in the marine corps. she now edits "leatherneck" magazine, which is geared to the marine community. she thinks women just don't belong in certain combat positions because they're too physically demanding. >> i have no problem saying i may be not a physically strong as my male counterpart. but i'll also say that i'll bring other things to the table that he doesn't. we can wish all we want. that doesn't mean that everybody's going to be the same. >> brangham: the marines attempt to keep women from certain combat jobs was rejected by the defense secretary last december, and so now, women can apply for all combat positions in the marine corps. women like 18-year-old lacey elkins. she's from hays, kansas and she's just three weeks from finishing boot camp. she's applied to operate tanks
or amphibious assault vehicles. >> college sounded boring. i had a lot of track scholarships and i just didn't want to do it. marine corps offered me a bigger challenge. my brother is a marine; he's in africa right now. it just offered me a bigger challenge that i was willing to accept and push me outside my comfort zone. that's what i was looking for. >> brangham: i don't know a lot of 18-year-olds who say, "i want to get pushed out of my comfort zone." you were really looking for a challenge like this? >> yes, sir. having the opportunity to be a part of that generation for women was something that i wanted to do. (gunfire) >> my dad, i think i nearly gave him a heart attack, because he started screaming on the phone. >> brangham: screaming in a good way or a bad way? >> no, he was like ahhhhh!!! nooooo!!!! don't even think about it!! >> brangham: 21-year-old victoria golabmeyer comes from sheridan, wyoming, and she too wants to serve in combat as a combat engineer. we caught up with her as she was on ¡the crucible'-- the grueling two-day, 45-mile course that's the last major training event for every marine recruit.
>> i want to be here. i want to be fighting for my country. i want to learn how to be honorable. i want to learn to fight. i want to advance my career and be in a place that feels like family, you know that they have your back. >> brangham: part of what sets the marines apart is how it trains recruits. at the rappel tower, at the shooting range, in mock combat, even in the classrooms, the sexes are divided. women train with women, men with men. the marines are the only service that does it this way. >> one, it's just a tradition; it's what the marine corp has always done. but i think it also takes away distraction. most these kids are high school age. you know, they're 18, 19 years old. i mean when you kind of get down to boys and girls, it's a distraction. >> brangham: but others, like retired lt. col. kate germano say this separation of the sexes is a bad idea that hurts females. >> history has shown that regardless of where or when, separate is never equal. and that is absolutely evident on parris island.
>> brangham: germano commanded the female battalion at parris island but she was fired in 2015, accused of creating a" hostile command climate." germano says she was just pushing to improve the performance of women recruits. germano says that when she arrived at parris island, women were performing worse than men on a range of activities-- everything from scores on the shooting range to academics-- a disparity she attributes to segregated training. >> i didn't think it was a matter of the ability of the women and physiology as much as it was a reflection of being separate and different. >> brangham: why does that matter? why does it matter if you get trained how to shoot, how to navigate, how to do any of those military jobs, and you and i do it separately-- you as a woman, me as a man. what does it make a difference? >> because what ends up happening is there becomes this perception that women are trained differently from the men and that it's easier for them. because the male recruits and the male drill instructors never
really see those females putting out their maximum effort and pushing themselves. women are absolutely capable of performing in extraordinary ways if high expectations become the norm. >> brangham: commandant neller says full integration takes place after boot camp. and while he says the marines are looking into some further integration now, he feels separate training has advantages. >> we believe the way we do recruit training sets women and men up for success. that, they're able to, particularly at the beginning, move at their own rate, at their own speed, build confidence. and then as they go further down they end up training together. >> brangham: tomorrow night, we'll see how the three recruits we met made it through boot camp. will they pass the tough physical standards required to make it to the frontlines? for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham in parris island, south carolina. >> woodruff: there is more online about exactly what that first night of boot camp is really like, all the chaos and
disorientation. you can see it at pbs.org/newshour. >> woodruff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: a journalist's take on getting your news from facebook. plus, remembering pioneering astronaut, john glenn. next, economics correspondent paul solman looks at how donald trump's long business career, especially his relationship with wall street, may be shaping the way he to fills top slots in his administration. its part of our weekly series, "making sense." >> i know wall street. >> reporter: the trump campaign refrain, from the get-go: beware of wall street. >> i'm not going to let wall st. get away with murder. wall st. has caused tremendous problems for us. >> reporter: and yet, within weeks of winning, the president- elect has let bygones be bygones, raiding the street for
top economic posts in his administration-to-be... like wilbur ross for commerce secretary, a vulture investor to some, a company savior to others, and former goldman sachs executive steve mnuchin for treasury secretary. we sought out longtime wall street investment banker turned investigative journalist, william d. cohan, to put the picks in context. >> steve mnuchin and wilbur ross are deal guys. they are wall street deal guys. >> reporter: what is a 'deal guy'? that means that you are very transactional. in steve mnuchin's case, it, he made his fortune by buying a bank that the f.d.i.c. had foreclosed upon during the financial crisis of 2008, renamed it onewest and sold it eventually to c.i.t., another big financial company run by another ex-goldman banker, named john thain. and, they all made billions as a result! wilbur ross did the same thing,
buying a business that was in the ashes of the financial crisis and like a phoenix, resurrecting it from the ashes. >> reporter: but isn't a major reason that donald trump got elected, the idea that he was the ultimate change agent, that he would disrupt things as they are? so, who better than deal makers to do that? >> absolutely the selection of steve mnuchin and wilbur russ fit into this vision of people who cut through bureaucracy. i mean, you know, one of trump's great accomplishments is, you know, fixing wollman rink in central park-- >> reporter: the skating-- the skating rink! >> the skating rink! >> i got together with everybody, the city, the council, everything had to be done fast. and you can do that with this country, you can do it with this country >> is america wollman rink? i don't think so. >> reporter: no, america isn't wollman rink. but, i think almost everybody watching, and certainly the people who voted for him have
had frustrating experiences with bureaucrats and bureaucracy. private as well as public, pushing them around. >> it's really hard to know what a steve mnuchin or a wilbur ross will do. i mean, their firms, they're small! 10, 20, 30 people. now they're commanding battleships. the treasury has 80,000 people! commerce has 50,000 people. you know, you have to start miles away to turn a battleship around. there's nothing in their background, nothing, that would indicate that they would have any skill at running these bureaucracies. nothing. >> reporter: is there anything in their background or in their personalities that would suggest they can further donald trump's populist ambition? that is, serving the people who
elected him? >> i'm, i'm laughing because steve mnuchin and wilbur ross are about as far from populism as you can possibly imagine. they are the .001% of the one percent. one of the biggest ironies of the fact that he's surrounded himself with all these goldman sachs people is that goldman sachs-- he was on the goldman sachs do not fly list!" this is the kind of client we do not want at goldman sachs." >> reporter: how do you know that? >> because i wrote a book about goldman sachs and i know that, from talking to people at goldman sachs, that he is the poster child for the kind of client they don't want to do business with. mainly because he would borrow all this money from wall street to build his casinos, and then didn't pay it back! >> reporter: one big bank that did lend to trump in recent years was deutsche bank, in 2005, to build the trump international hotel and tower in chicago. steve mnuchin's hedge fund also
lent money to the project. in 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, a big payment came due. >> we're talking $330 million dollars payment that was due, he just decided he didn't want to pay it. he sued deutsche bank as well as all the other lenders, including steve mnuchin's dune capital, claiming that he didn't have to pay the money back because an act of god had occurred, this financial crisis, caused by the very people who lent him the money for this project, and therefore he didn't have to pay it back. so, the one firm on wall street that would do business with him he turns around and sues. >> reporter: cohan worked on wall street for 17 years, and has been writing about it ever since, in best sellers like "the last tycoons," "house of cards," and that book on goldman sachs, "money and power." he's interviewed donald trump for magazine articles. what was he like to interview?
>> very charming, very funny, he once, you know, told me i had a great head of hair, like him, by the way one thing that i talked to him about was how everybody on wall street had told me that he cheats at golf. >> reporter: so you mean, you asked him, do you cheat-- >> of course! >> reporter: at golf? >> of course asked him do you cheat at golf! and he said, [imitating trump] 'no, william, i don't cheat at golf. i'm a scratch golfer, and of course i have all these country clubs that i own, why would i cheat at golf?' >> reporter: and you didn't believe him? >> no! i didn't believe him. because subsequent to that a friend of mine was playing with him in a foursome that day and saw him cheat at golf! he shanked the ball off to the right, and then he sort of, paraded up the middle of the fairway with his caddy 20 feet behind him, and then say, 'oh mr. trump! mr. trump! your ball! i found it. it's right here in the middle of the fairway.' when you're surrounded by yes men, when you're surrounded by
people telling you how great you are all the time, then you lose perspective! my point is, it's very different running your own private company, where you're the boss, you're the king, there's not even a board of directors! it is donald trump all the time. and he's used to telling them what to do, and if they don't do it, he gets very angry and he makes sure that it gets done. >> reporter: but from the point of view of his constituency, that's not a bad thing, is it? >> i think that's a very different skill set than the one that's required to get your policies through congress at a very divisive moment in american history. >> reporter: but 'make america great' is about hey, this country's in trouble by doing things the old fashioned way, i'm going to bring in people, deal makers, who know how to change things dramatically, >> and that is the premise that allowed him to stitch together an electoral college victory. >> reporter: so, then why isn't it a good thing that he's got wilbur ross, steve mnuchin and
whoever else he gets from wall street in his administration? >> they may turn out to be just what we're looking for. and if these cabinet appointees that he's named, who have this kind of experience about getting things done, and who know how the capital markets work, if they can all together do that, then i'll be the first one marching at the front of the line to get donald trump you know, re-elected and say he turned out to be a lot better than anybody thought. >> reporter: but as somebody who's known him and reported on him, you're skeptical? >> i'm skeptical. i'm hoping he doesn't turn out to be the guy who cheats at golf. >> reporter: william d. cohan, thanks very much. >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: now to another in our brief but spectacular series, where we ask interesting
people to share their passions. tonight, we hear from news media critic and new york university journalism professor, jay rosen. he runs the website, "pressthink.org" and to us, his views on the state of journalism in the age of facebook. >> 25 years ago we would have been in the studio somewhere with 13 people around. we're recording this with a single camera man and his mom who's holding the microphone. we've got our journalist in another city asking questions remotely. it's becoming easier to make media just at the same time that the network of news is expanding to include everyone with a cellphone all over the world. what i think we really need is a press that can sometimes say to us, "hey you may not think this is interesting but it's really important." journalists have to give us that
kind of message sometimes. some people say the problem is that people are always listening to voices that they already agree with on social media. one of the things journalists are really struggling with about facebook is that it has in a way replaced their relationship with users of the news. instead of going to their favorite news site just find new stories in their facebook news feeds, that has given facebook a huge role in the news system. we can't really ask facebook the kind of questions we would ask an editor in chief because it doesn't have one. when you sign up for a facebook account you have to agree to this long list that most people don't read, that's thin legitimacy, thick legitimacy is when you really understand the deal, i think at some point they may realize that thick legitimacy is what they need to keep operating because people trust facebook.
they advertise their life on this platform and so trust is actually a huge part of the facebook business but they don't think in my opinion how enough about how to maintain that trust. i think its really important for people to understand that we're not going to have serious journalism unless you choose it, choosing serious journalism is related to an even more serious choice we have which is choosing to continue to be a democracy. democracy is not a spectator sport its a participant thing. my name is jay rosen, and this is my brief but spectacular take on journalism. >> woodruff: you can watch additional brief but spectacular episodes on our website, pbs.org/newshour/brief. >> sreenivasan: finally tonight, remembering john glenn, the mercury astronaut and former u.s. senator who died today at
95. we start with this look back. >> godspeed,john. >> sreenivasan: february 20, 1962. >> 10, nine, eight... >> sreenivasan: an atlas rocket fired john glenn into space and his name was indelibly inscribed in history. >> the capsule is turning around. oh, that view is tremendous. >> the honorable john glenn. >> sreenivasan: it was still fresh in his mind half a century later. >> if many, many thousands of years, people had looked up and wondered, they'd been curious about what was up there. we must consider ourselves among the most fortunate of all generations, for we have lived at a time when the dream became a reality. >> sreenivasan: john glenn's
time began in ohio where he was born and raised. he grew up to be a highly decorated marine fighter pilot in world war ii and korea and as a military test pilot, he set a transcontinental speed record in 1957. then space beckoned. that same year the soviet union stunned the world with sputnik, the first manmade satellite. more soviet successes followed. while initial u.s. unmanned launches met with repeated failure. the soviets also leaped ahead in man flight with cosmonaut yuri gegarian making first orbital flight ever in april 1961. glenn was still training at that point. one of the first astronaut on mercury 7, he spoke of them at cape canaveral in 2012. >> that was a real theme was put together back in those days. while we were competitors, boy
were we competitors to get the different flights, never was anything any more tight than the brotherhood we had that supported each one of those flights. >> sreenivasan: glenn's moment came in early 1962 when he crammed his silver-suited frame into the tiny friendship 7 capsule. >> e used to joke about the spacecraft. we said, you didn't get into it, you actually put it on. it was more like putting on clothes, it was that small. because the whole thing, if you spread your arms out like, that you were touching both sides of the spacecraft. >> sreenivasan: people around the world watched but few knew the danger unfolding above. the capsule's automated steering system jammed and ground controllers worried the heat shield was tearing away on re-entry. glenn's life depended on that sield, but he told judy woodruff in 2012 his job was to stay focused. >> you just keep right on working right on through it. if something is going the happen, the worst thing you can do is panic in there. so i just kept working as we had trained and everything worked
out okay. >>aokay, does the capsule look like it's okay, over? >> sreenivasan: much more than okay. john glenn returned to earth an american hero, feted with parades and elaborate receptions. president john f. kennedy presented him with nasa service medal and three days later he addressed congress. >> i able only too aware of this tremendous honor at this joint meeting of congress today. this has been a great experience for all of us in the program and for all americans i guess, too. and i'm certainly glad to see that pride in our country and its accomplishments are not a thing of the past. >> sreenivasan: the space program proved on, and so did glenn. he resigned from nasa in 1964 and eventually entered politics. in 1974, he was elected to the u.s. senate from ohio as a democrat and became chief author of the nuclear non-proliferation act. in 1984, he made a run for the white house, but he withdru after poor showings in the early
democratic primary. ultimately he served four terms in the senate. >> three, two, one... >> sreenivasan: and in 1998, in his final months in office, he returned to space on board the shuttle "discovery." that earned him another first, at 77, the oldest person thefully into space. after his senate years, glenn and his wife annie worked to promote civics education, establishing the john glenn college of public affairs at ohio state university in columbus. but his abiding interest in space was never far away. the aging astronaut sharply criticized president george w. bush's decision to phase out the space shuttle program. >> two, one, zero and liftoff. the final liftoff of atlanta. >> sreenivasan: the final flight took place in 2011, and glenn voiced his views in his "newshour" interview the next year. >> we do not have an american spacecraft. to get our people up there to the international space station, to do the research it was built
to do, we spend over $100 billion on that. we should have had a continuity program that would let us build and research. what the research would do is a benefit to everybody right here on earth. >> we will present a governor weld medal on behalf of the united states congress to the honorable john glenn. >> sreenivasan: late in life he's still being honored, receiving the congressional gold medal in 2011 along with fellow astronauts buzz aldrin, neil armstrong and michael collins, and in 2012 he was awarded the presidential medal of freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. john glenn lived out his final years in ohio after suffering a small stroke. for more on the career and life of john glenn, i am joined by science correspondent miles o'brien, who came to know glenn through his years of reporting on aviation. miles, the beginning of an end of an era. >> it is, hari. you can't help but look at a guy
like that and think, one of the last great american heroes. he acceded to levels few of us can ever aspire to and all the while he was one of the nicest people you'd want to meet, despite his relentless and competitive nature. that's a hard mix. he managed to do it right to the end. he never really quit. he never retired. he always had a mission. >> sreenivasan: you got to know him personally. you flew with him in you small plane. >> i cooked up a scream for a story. i had met him during the 1998 flight on the shuttle when i had the opportunity to cover him and had no less than waller cronkite on my co-anchor on cnn. i consider myself very lucky to have that experience, but some years later we were doing a story on technology and aviation. i got the idea in my head that it would be fun to see what senator glenn thought about the technology. it happened to be in the aircraft i owned at the time. i flew it to columbus, and i had john glenn get in my air plane and fly with me, and i've got to tell you, hari, i have never had
a more nervous landing in my life, but as the term in aviation, is i greased it. he could not have been more complimentary. the micest passenger you could ever hope for and the most intimidating at the same time. >> sreenivasan: he's almost a time capsule in a way between the relations between america and the world, what he meant to the space program, the aviation, especially in the context of the cold war. >> absolutely, hari. when you think of nasa and what the space program was all about, it was a cold war projection of soft power of the united states. and he was the perfect poster boy for that. he was everything that we considered the ideal in this country, small town ethics, you know, handsome guy, the whole... really central casting kind of thing. he was the guy somewhat at least with some drama depicted in the right stuff in the mid-'80s, for lack of a better term, the gooddy two shoes of the mercury
7. while the rest of them might have been out carousing late in the night, he was with his long-time wife who he met first in preschool, annie, and lived a much more quiet experience in life. >> sreenivasan: and he was in the rafter, as well. >> he did. a marine corps fighter pilot with numerous kills to his record. set a transcontinental supersonic record as marine test pilot. goes on to be the mercury 7. then has this brief chapter as the president of royal crown cola. then gets into politics for 24 years. and then goes on to build this amazing public policy school at ohio state university. each chapter he just rose to the absolute top level and made it always look effortless, at least as far as i could see. >> sreenivasan: even as we saw in the clips, he was still advocating for a more active role in the space program.
>> when george bush announced the retirement of the space shuttle, he was calling me a lot, and he was advocating in very forceful and clear way for the united states still having the ability to carry its own astronauts to space. he wasn't going to let that go. he was very upset. he was well into his 80s at this point, but he was still in the game. >> i don't know if we have footage, a shot of you and him in the plane. let's see if we can show that to our audience. >> while you're playing it, i have to tell you one story i just heard. annie glen, his beloved wife of more than 70 years who is 9 and a bit frail, today we're told upon hearing the news, what did annie glenn do, she went to the supermarket to buy food because she is anticipating a lot of guests. so that tells you a little something about her and them. they were an inseparable and wonderful pair, an he, you know, talk about a life well lived.
what more can you say? where did he go wrong? i can't think of it. >> sreenivasan: miles o'brien, thanks so much for join us tonight. >> you're welcome. >> woodruff: and having known john glenn, i can second everything miles said about him. and a correction, we reported that a stopgap spending bill includes a waiver for retired general james mattis to serve as defense secretary. it's in fact to speed up action. it would still need congressional approval. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, for more than two years, an egyptian-american humanitarian worker has been held on charges in egypt. we explore efforts by her family and others to free her. also, a columnist considers how widespread digitization has
created vulnerabilities for our nation, and the need to better protect ourselves from cyber risks. all that and more is on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: tune in later tonight, on charlie rose: a conversation with brian moynihan, c.e.o. of bank of america. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your financial future. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.
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