tv KQED Newsroom PBS July 27, 2018 7:00pm-7:31pm PDT
. tonight on kqed newsroom, a horrifying stabbing on b.a.r.t. left a teenager dead. we'll talk to b.a.r.t.'s policet chief about s on the region ap transit system. former cia director joins us to discuss russia, tensions with iran, and other national security concerns. plus the week's top political developments including the latest deadline toreunify families separated at the border. hello and welcome to kqed newsroom. we begin with security on the bay area's rapid transit system jo cowell has been charged lb.a.r.t. with murder in last sunday's fatal stabbing of 18 mia wilson and the attempted murder of her older sister. police are still investigating the motive behind the attack ich took place at the b.a.r.t.
station in oakland. protesters took to the streets angry and worried that the stabbing of two young black men was raci motivated. b.a.r.t. is under fire about not sharing information that resulted in fatalities raising concern about security and transparency. joning me now is b.a.r.t.'s police chief. chiefs, nice to have you here. >> thank you for having me. good morning. >> there are questions about whether b.a.r.t. is safe. are you making any security changing in bbke of the sng that happened? >> yes, absolutely. what we've seen over time is that our crime has actually at the same rate as last year, so ou g crime hasn'tne up but we had these three horrible incidents so we are increasing patrolshroughout the system in the stations and on the trains. >> when you say increasing w patrolst does that mean? it's my understanding your force is currently 25 officers short of whats budgeted for. so what are you doing in that regard? >> sure. we dove 25 vacancies and we are going very aggressive incr iting. when i came here a year ago we
had over 40 vacancies, and we drop today to 25 but we still need to fill those. we've ten using ove to get our officers in the stations and on the trains to supplement the officers that are on the regular scheduled workday. >> so prior from what you and youreputies have said, you had one officer for every two to three stations. stations. 48 b.a.r.t. with these changes you're putting in place now, how many officers do you have patrolling per station and for how long? >> well, of course it will vary. time of day, day of week. we hso look at t spots in the area and the calls for service. so could be anywhere between 25 to 40 officersvat any time, but also we want to focus in the areas that are either generating more calls for service or the ones tmat are probc with quality of life issues that are making riders feel unsafe. >> which areas would those be? >> ourbusiest stations are san francisco and the oakland stations for calls for service. but we've got t make sure as a
regional police department that we have adequate coverage and attention throughout all four counties that we serve. >> do you think these changes that you're making are enough to keep ride safe? >> well, we are definitelyi conti our hiring effort. we do need to hire more police officers to continue to increase safety. i think we're on the right track. there are tips that we give to our riders to makeure that they can do something to help in the effort ofsmaking b.a.r.t. a safe as possible. >> what are some o those tips? what would you advise people? ut one of the problems we do have throughe system are the cell phone thefts. we really encourage folks to keep their laptops and their cell phones secured when they're coming up to stations. tobe awaf their surroundings, to try to avoid sleeping while on the train. and oftentimes, you know, there's an adage where opportunity makes the thief and we don't want to give th e opportunities to individuals
that are looking to take advantage of people. >> i think what has the most national attention right now are the violent crimes, particularly sunday's stabbing.on you men earlier that crime has not really risen on b.a.r.t. er the past ar, but did you look at state department of justice figures over a dede, they show that violent crimes on .a.r.t. has actually increased by nearly 70% over the past decade. this happened at a time when such crimes fell 7% across california. what do you think accounts for this risle in v crime on b.a.r.t.? >> well, truly the three pa incidents have been categorized as homicides are really an nomaly in our system. we don't see that level of violence. but what weehave over time have been the phone snatches hich are documented as violent crimes when force or fear is used to take somebody else's cell phone. but in terms ofec theset violent crimes that occurred definitet an anomaly. something we have seen in the past. that's why we're very proud we
took the promptat actions e did to bring two of the three suspects intoy. cust >> b.a.r.t. has been, since you mentioned those two other assaults, b.a.r.t. has been criticized for lack of ansparency including on those two assaults in addition to the sunday stabbing, this was on top other lapses,decoy cameras that didn't work, failing to inform the public of a takeoveb ry by a mob of juveniles. how do you respond to concerns that ba.r.t. is not open and honest with the public about these things? >> well, first of all, i doant to address the two incidents that occurred because i was not here during those previous incidents. but what i can tell you on those two incidents, we have had to wai for an autopsy to determine the cause of death on one of the incidents and th the one the person wasn't -- did not pass away until sunday. literally it was a timing issue where the very next day we put out the information on all three homicides. within a very short period of time all that went out the
public. so i believe that is transparent and you also need to give time for the investigative process to work through and to make suret t we're providing accurate information to the public. >> fair enough. ou've been on the job for only about a year now, soore right, the other things happened before your tenure. given what has happened and given the oning public concerns, are you planning any additional changes in the reporting out of crimes on b.a.r.t.? >> w well,'re constantly looking at how we can improve that. we do icve a pu log that people can sign in to. we also have crime mapping.com which is very common in the policing industry which is automatically feed from our computer-aided dispatch system to the internet and anybody with internet access can take a look at that as well. >> have you had any conversations with the family of neal wilson, the young woman who died in the stabbing on sunday? >> i've had conversations with their spokes people and i've left a message for the father and obviously they're going through a ver difficult time
and -- >> what did you say? >> just m expressing condolences not onlyutn my behalfon behalf of the men and women of the b.a.r.t. police department.ry it's a ragic incident. >> there have been some protests and marches and some members of the community who feel the attack was racially motivated. mr. cowell the suspect is white. th two womeno were stabbed or black. what would you say to those who have these concerns about t wheth attack was racially motivated? >> well, you know, i'm dinitely sensitive to that perspective. i just want to say that up to this point weaven't found a connection to say that it was racially 'stivated, but not something that we take off the table. if information does come to light that it was racially motivated, we will get that information to the district eltorney's office immedi and they can decide whether a hate crime would be appropriate to be >> just real quickly, we have about 15 seconds, what more do you need from city, county and state officials to improve safety on b.a.r.t., your number
one >> i think it's a collaborative effort. we need to work in a positive way and really support stability amongst all to make it safer. >> all right. b.a.r.t. police chief, we thank you for your time today. >> thank you very much. now to international affairs, on wednesday secretary of state mike pompeo faced tough questions fromlawmakers on capitol hill. pompeo tried to assure lawmakers that u.s. potociesrd russia had not changed. but it was unable to provide details on theate meeting that took place between president trump and russian president vladimir putin in heleinki. meanwhe white house announced it would postponea second summit with putin until after the midterm election.e lier this week tensions were heightened between the u.s. and threats n exchange of between mr. trump and iranian president rouhani. for a perspective on this and other foreign poly developments, we're joined by leon panetta.
secretary panetta, always nice to have you with us. >> nice to be with you. >> there are reports that special counsel robert mueller is now looking into tweet from president trump about attorney general jeff sessions and also former fbi director james comey. and then separately federal investigators have asked to interview alan weisselberg, thei chief fin roof for the trump organization. what is your reaction to all thesehi developments week? >> i think it's an indication that bob mueller is reaching that point in his investigation where he is looking pretty closely at the president. with regards to issues of obstruction and probably issues of collusi as well. i think the tweets, obviously looking at the tweets, i think the purpose of that is to determineot whether orou can pull together an obstruction case based on those tweets. i thgk clearly look at his finance guy relates to tracking
the mond whether any of that money leads to russia. >> and i wanted tooulso ask about this week's senate hearing where secretary of statemike pompeo said that president trump has taken tough actions agast russia. what is your assessment of that statement? >> i thought that mike pompeo's testimony really presented a disconnect. he on one hand talked about u.s. polic being against russia, being for to, for our allies. basically reflecting i think more traditional positions in terms of the united states.e but at ame time, you have a president who basically speaks against thory positions. he talks ands critici nato. he criticizes our allies. when he stood up with putin, he said he trusts the russia more than he trusts our own intelligence agencies with
regards to election interference. so there's a very great disconnect here and it creates a cot ofnfusion not only for our allies in the world, but also for ourselous. >> andtouch on a point i wanted to ask you about which is when he doubted his own intelligence community's conclusion that russia had interfered in the 2016 election. your former cia director. what was your reaction to that? >> very concerne when the president speaks in a way that undermines the credibility of the intelligen that's provided to the president. when he does that those that are putting their life on the line to gather that intelligence worry about whether or not their credibility is being questioned. and so it does impact on their morale approximat >> and does that undermining also continue when the president
is doing things like threatening to revoke the security cleaornce ofr officials who had criticized how he handled the h helsinki talks? >>y. absolut for the president revoking a security clearance not because someone as violated that security clearance and revealed classified information or enoged in kind of behavior that abuses tt particul security clearance. the reason he's doing it is betuse he doesn't like w people are saying about him or his policie and that goes against the grain of what this country is all about. this country built on free speech, the ability to say what you ink, and the fact is to have a president who takes ut retributionon those he doesn't like because of what they say. i think not only abuses his power with regards to security clearances, it goesgainst the fundamental free speech, a
principle that is so important to our democracy. >> aullso this week president trump had an exchange of words with president rouhani. of impact do you think that is having in both countries? >> we're at a difficult place now with iran. he president basically tore up the agreement on nuclear development by iran. it was the one agreement that all the parties agreed with restraining iran from moving irward with devel a nuclear weapon. that agreemnt from the united states's point of view is out the window. and so the question now becomes how are we going to deal with iran? we've engaged now in a war of words. president rouhani criticizi president trump. it could lead to some kind of confrontation. on the other hand, the hope is that it might lead to som kind of negotiation. but i think we are going to see a period of tremendous
volatility ahead of us and the relationship with iran. >> in speaking with volatility and nuclear msprog this week secretary of state pompeo also acknowledged for the first time that north korea is continuing to produce nuclearfuel. that runs counter to the administration's claims that it was making progress onhe denuclearization of north korea. how concerned are you about this revelation from secretary pompeo? >> well, i'm very concerned, because it only confirmshatwe have yet to receive from north korea a kind real commitment, verifiable, enforceable commitmento eliminate their nuclear weapons and engagen denuclearization. the summit meeting was kind of a pr event, but when the balloons and all the confetti went away, the reality is we have yet to
see north korea take any steps with rerds t eliminating their nuclear capability. and so it is -- it remains i think as opposed to what the president said, it still remains a serious nuclear threat to the united states and to theworld. >> all right. secretary panetta, thank you for your time. >> thank you. continuing with politics and their impact on california, thursday was the deadline for the federal government to comply with a courtorder to reunite families separatedmpnder the tr administration's zero tolerance immigration policy. government officials say about 1,400 children were returned out of 2,500 children who were taken from their parents but there are reports of failed reunification that's raising questions about whethere deadline had been met. meanwhile a full blown tariff war appears to be averted for now. it's unclear how california wile
it from $12 billion in emergency aid to help u.s. farmers affected by the new tariffs. here with me to discuss with political report marissas, la and political senior writer carla ma carla. from a republica perspective, ou just heard what secretary panetta had to say about the russia investigation and secretary pompeo's testimony. at is your reaction to all of that? >> i think there is a distance here. the secretary raises an interesting point. on the one han the administration conducting policy toward russia in a way that's relatively consistent with previous republican administrations, arguably tougher than the previous adm istration with respec sanctions in a few other areas. then you have the rhetoric coming from the adminiration and particularly from the president. less so the administration. i think secretary pompeo, secretary mattis have been very clear. johnbolton's been very clear regarding what they believe the u.s. posture toward russia should be. the president is the one i think who has sent mixed messages.d
so if thisnistration wants to get on the same page, it starts at the top.at ulty it's the approximate the and his rhetoric that need to be addressed. >> it is so interesting because we've seen so many breaks with protocol in so many ways with this president but in particueer thisng one-on-one with vladimir putin only having theit trans in the room, not having anybody from his cap cabine so it's hard to know if secretary pompeo knows what else was said. >> we saw pompeo alonide james mattis this week at stanford, at edover institution. he se uncomfortable. he bristled at questions about what exactly went on in that meeting. he frankly seems maybe outp of the ln terms of what happened. and i think the administration hasroblems wh the press secretary answers the question about whether ambassadors could be called up by russia to answer questions. they didn't seem to defend those kind of issues raise huge
questions as to what t exactl policy is on russia and how tough they are going to be. it seemed like the president bliths by canceling meeting in november with putin. >> that's not the only point of fusion. i want to talk intercontinental balstic missile grag-- talk abo immigration too. the reunification of families, what's the deadline for reunifying families separated at the border, met or not? >> i think you could argue both sides and i think that's what's happening in court. the question also is what can the judge do if it's not. think what've seen is the administration, you know, i think we should give themredit for making a good faith effort for getti those 900 families back together but the question now is especially what about the people that did get deported. i think that's where a lot of the debate is happening in theo courtis over what parents agree to, whether they understood what they were agreeing to, if they signed and said we w don'tt our children back. clearly this is not an issue
that got wrapped up with bow on thursday. i think the judge has not seemed ger and neither has the aclu quite frankly who sued to imse sanctions or tried to jail administration officials. there's really not a lot they so i think the question is now he's been very i thinknd thoughtful tried to take this sort of one issue at a time, so this is going to continue to play out. >> i think that this is a ve difficult issue, but i think it highlights again the challenge of immigrion policy a where we end up when there isn't a broader effort to get t.immigration ri i think you've seen this in the congress many times now. efforts to try andadvance immigration legislation failing. you've had the president on different sides of th so i think that the challenge here is going to be this issue is going to continue. migration system gets fixed, we are going to continue to see these kinds of crises develop. we saw one under th obama administration. this one comes from the trump administration. it's because congresshas not
filled the void. >> i think the issue is the optics ofh whole story, the stories of -- personal stories of parents being ripped away from their kids. >> and children not recognizing teir parent. >> you're seei videos every day and you've got about 473 kids now who are still brought back together with their parents who have been deported. there are questions about wheer that can on for months more. this is a story that is not going to go away. these headlines aren't. although i think the administration and the president himself often distracts with his tweets, but the fact is that there are a lot o groups, human rights groups watching this and this as we go toward november, i think this is an iue that plays. >> and it shouldn't go away because these are real people. these chil -- i just cannot even imagine as a parent what it must be like for the paren these young kids. i think these are situations, ay out for will p the rest of their lives. i do think the difference between the unacompanied minors and this, the trump
administration rolled ou oi policy and then decided later to figure out what it meant. when you're talking about real human lives it does have meaning. of course, this is part of the wholeon immigradebate. >> how do you think this immigration issue will play out at the polls come november?s the republicwould think would want to keep the focus on an economic message. you have new numbers out saying in the second quarter economic growth topped 4%. those are pretty good numbers. so how will that all come out and whatole will immigration play as voters go to the polls? >> i thinke' tha two-part strategy. on the one hand when you go into a midterm election,e the o thing you need is a motivated base. if you do not have a motivated a base, yo not going to do well. immigration is an issue. it plays tpu the rlican base. it's an issue republicans care deeply about. motivating the base is one piece. the other piece ishow do y appeal to independent voter for those swing districts like we
have several here inalifornia that are swing districts and i way you appeal tohem is an economic pitch. the strong economy is something president trump returned to today. d he probabes get some credi for an economy that's growing at a significant clip. it's a two part strategy both of which i think they'll eck cuxeco lkld on to the house and senate. >> we t about how quickly things move. it's early to say what we'll b talking about in october and early november. this particular slice of eb immigratione doesn't stand to motivate people in the same way the larger ones en you talk about republicans because there are a lot of republicans very horrified by what happened and i think that does run the risk of turning off some of the more independent or moderate republican voters. we had on political breakdown a man in california with a dozen or so people on the ground for
the democrats and i think what you hear from them is y' course t going to talk about that but they want to talk about health care. they want to talk about other t issuat resonate. each district >> this is an issue that can play in those races. they have talked about promising immigration reform measures, but they're being upended by consvative republicans in washington w whot verify and other issues. this is a fight that's going to go on all theay and could affect the house races. >> io want to a talk about tariffs with you. the u.s. and the european union have now agreed to hold off on any rther tariffs and work on fiminating others. californiamers already starting to see some effects from other tariffs. >> that's right. kevin mccarthy, the house majority leader is really sort of in the focus here because he's right there in the central valley where you're talking about farmers that produce
almonds, citrus, that go to the european union, china and those are our big trading partners. they're not going a to get big piece of that $12 billion aid which by the war is not pop with a lot of republicans. they're calling it gold plate it is welfare for some of these farmers. this is going to be the issue here is how m do farmers not only here in california but in other places where trump and the republicans are going to need the support come november. >> if we think about ways that the republicans could step on their own economic message, it seems to me the imposition of tariffs would probably be the do.t thing they could you talk about things that could slow the economy as we look toward te end of 2018 and 2 t9, the end iffs could be significant especially as we get toward the end of the year and any positive benefit from the tariffs has waed away. and we begin to see us come off the sugar hig from the tax
cuts, how does that affect the economy going forward. these are bigsss politically. >> for the time being, though, ae tariffs seem to be part o pattern that keeps emerging. president trump says or does something outrageous and walks back from it. the tariffs, nato, putin summit. do you see this constant cyt,e of statemretraction, then undermining the retraction as part of a larger strategy? >> this goes to his majorpr ile is a great deal maker. and yet as you said, he things out and retracts. some of the trump people are saying now on this tariffs issue, well -- >> we got what we wanted, right? >> right. so it really w depends ont perspective you're coming from. you're absolutely right, this is part of thef narrative trump and yet we've seen this sort of walk back every inme. >> i t this goes to the question that we've been debating which is trump's ba versus the larger republican party and what matters more. i think you're right.
there's some dog whistling there in the sense that you say something outrageous, butr aybe yose loves it. then you walk it back to acquiesce to republicans in congress and other voters, but the question is what does that mean at the polls and how many people did you turn off wiat nitial thing, with that initial message who were maybe more swing voters? it remains to be seen. >> i asked you guys about cldfires. big problem ifornia right now. there are multiple wildfires. yosemite h to be shu down. firefighters have died. people were evacuated in redding. now state lawmakers are weighing the tough question of who should ot the bill for fires caused by equipment belonging to pg & e. >> the governor came out with a proposal that seeks to change the california law that allows rilities to be heldsponsible for damage their equipment caused even if they weren't if they followed all the rules but they still caused a fire. it's a big sticking point. the utilitiesave been lobbying
heavily in the capital and the court of public opinion. ththey don't like proposal. folk on the other side likeme ners and insurers hate it. maybe it's a sweet-spot. they have until end of august to wrap it up. >> all right. thanyou all. >> thank you. that will do it for us. as always, you find more of our coverage at kqed.org/newsroom. thank you for joining us.
robert: the economy rnd so does the trade war. president trump claims his policies are responsible for an uptick economic growth. and his critics wonder, is it sustainable. i'm robert costa. we talk trade, taxes, and have the latest on mr. trump's former lawyer, michael cohen, tonight on "washington week." ent trump: i am thrille to announce that the united states economy grew at the amazing rate of 4.1%. we're on track to hit the highest annual average gro rate in over 13 years. robert: president trump touts a surgingconomy that grew during the second quarter at the strongest pace in nearl four years.ls he took a victory lap over his recent trade discussions with the european union. president trump: as the trade