tv PBS News Hour PBS November 7, 2018 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
ctaptioning sponsored by newshour produions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonigh major stories that could prove to be critical tests of american politics and justice. president trump asks jeff sessions to resign as u.s. attorney general. what this means for the future of the special counsel's investigation into the hours earlier a different tone. >> it really could be a obeautiful, bipartisan ty situation >> we believe that we have a responsibility to seek common ground. >> woodruff: but that tone has already turned. how a new balance of powerfl ts deep divides in our nation. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: it's been coming for months, and today it happened. we learned the fate of jeff egssions. william branghams our coverage. >> brangham: asked about the status of his attorney general this afternoon, the presidentnt : >> i'd rather answer that at a little bit different time. >> brangham: that different time: two hours latee in a tweet hannounced his attorney gener was out. in an undated letter also released today, jeff sclsions made ir who forced today's move, writing: "i"dear mr. prt, at your request, i am submitting my resignation."
of his te at the justice department, sessions wrote, "we have operated with integritynd have lawfully and aggressively advanced the policy agenda of this administration. sessions' departure will again onus an intense spotlig special counsel robert mueller's ongoing investigation into howia rueddled in the 2016 presidential election and whether any members of the trump gn conspired in that sefort. >> i have recuself. >> brangham: as attorney general last yr, sessions infuriated the president by recusing himself from direct oversight of any investigations relating to the 2016 campaign. this was two months before muller was even appointed. >> no improper discussions with russians. >> brangham: sessions did soin because ofring questions over whether he'd been truthful about his own meetings with russian officials during the esmpaign. the ent never seemed to
forgive sessions for his recusal, and repeatedly and publicly criticized him for it: >> he took the job and then he said, "i'm going to recuse myself." , "what kind of a man is this?" i am disappointed in the attorney general he should not have recused himself almost immiately after he took office. he should have certainly let us know if he was going to recuse himself, and we would have used a-- put a different attorney general in. i'm disappointed in the attorney general for many reasons. and you understa that. >> brangham: sessions' recusal put the number two at dee justicrtment, assistant attorney general rod rosenstein, in charge of mueller's probe, and in the 18 months he's overseen it, he's been a staunch defender of mueller's independence. but now that oversight changes hands. the president announcematthew whitaker, formerly sessions chief of staff, would immediately become acting attorney general until a replacement is nominated.
whitaker has been publicly critical of mueller's work, writing in this op-ed for cnn that the special counsel was going too far, "mueller has come up to a red line in the russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing." on capitol hill today, t reaction from democrats was swift: >> i've just heard the news. but i'd say this: protecting mueller and his investigation is pamount. it would create a constitutional crisis if is were a prelude to ending or greatly limiting the mueller investigation. >> brangham: house minority dleader nancy pelosi twee todathat whitaker can't have any oversight of the mueller investigation, writing that," given his record of threats to undermine and weaken the russia investigation, matthewhitaker should recuse himself from any involvement inueller's investigation."
the attorney general's departure is a striking fallback during the campaign, then s sessions was one of then candidate trump's earliest and strongest supporters. >> make america great again! >> brangham: sessions' support throughout the campaign was crucial in convincblg hesitant reicans about backing donald trump, and after the election, he was one of the first people named to the cabinet. but now, his firing could trigger one of the biggest ma are concerned sessions' firi m could trigger ah deeper crisis. fo for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham. ts>> woodruff: we get commow from one of president trump's longest serving advisors - kellyanne conway. she and i spoke a short time ago and i began by asking why the president asked
mr. sessions to step down. >> the president's made very clear for a ong time his disappointment in the initial recusal from all ings related to the 2016 election and
caaign, and it's been a fraught relationship for quite a while. but as the president said in his tweet just today, judy, he thanks the continual, jeff sessions, for his service and wishes him well. in hiresignation letter, the attorney general said that he il particularuding of the brave men and women in our law enfoe,ement. of couhe attorney general is the chief law enforcement officer of the nation. that means he's bibeen respo for the u.s. attorney's offices, and a lot of the good that has happened on the president and the attorney general's watch, micluding cracking down on transnational crls, certainly breaking the back of the opioid crisis, really putt tg itthe ms-13 gangs, and i think some of the statistics br out these policies have been successful. so we wish the attorney general very well. anmi think what't remarkable is that the president has called for a continuum in the attorney general's office by designating e chief of staff to be the acting attorney general and keeping in place the
deputy attorney eneral, mr. rosenstein. >> woodruff: and that's what i want to ask you about, because sor understanding the pethe president named to be acting, one who whitaker, is some will be overseeing the mueller investigation, the spe counsel's investigation. mr. whitaker is someone who has called for an end to that investigation. so does that mean the president expectwh mrsaker to shut the investigation down or limit it? >> no, that is not the reason that the president asked matt as theer to step in attorney general and with an eye for a new attorney general to be nameprsoon, as theesident said today, judy. we have been told by many people in public repor that perhaps the mueller investigation is winding down. we're not sure. you know, because pbs has reported awell, that there have been different negotiations between the presdent's outside counsel and mr. mueller and his team. but e far as th investigation goes, with it winding down, the president has said, "let's
comply," and hopefully we'll be able to get through it quickly. the president in his press conference today judy made reference to the mueller investigation. he said thereas no rus collusion. we spent millions and millions of clars in taxpayer money. we'll wait for theeport, but if this was about russia collusion from the beginning, as the president has said, there il no csion. he's called this a witch hunt and hoax, and we'll see what the redrrt says. >> wf: so just quickly, he doesn't-- you don't expect there to be a change in any way-- mr. whitaker won't in any way dealing with the russia investigation. >> no, no, ire not aw of what you asked previously, which is that in making this move, the president is trying to shut downtown investigation. i know the media have also asked for probably the best of the part of the year is he trying to fire bob mueller. is he trying to fire rosenstein who oversing mueller? ne of that has been true. as the president made clear today in his press conference, 's true. he has the right to end the investigation. he has complied, he and i think
33 witnesses have testified and complied, produced papers, over one llion pieces of papers have been produced. the president and his team ha
been very client with the investigation. he has not tried to shut it down or comprise itwhatsoever. >> woodruff: i also asked kellyanne nway about the election results. we'll have that later in the program. but starting with the news of attorney generalessions departure i'm joined by john carlin. he was the chief of staff under former f.b.i. director rert mueller and the justice department's top national security official undeformer attorney general loretta lynch. carrie johnson covers the department of justice for npr and our own capitol hill correspondent, lisa desjardins.m so lbegin with you, carrie johnson, since you do cover that departmenta what's the rction there to the departure, the forced departure of the attorney general? how ihe seen there? >> judy, this was a long time coming.
there's a grim joke on the d.o.j. beat among the reporters th we've updated jeff sessions' political obituary three or four times this year. today, it finally became necessary. that sai there's some dismay inside justice among the career lawyers and the political appointees at the way hiss departure andled today. you saw severadozen people, senior people at the justice department, as well as line attorneys, gather outside in that d.o.j. courtyard to send off jeff sessions as ft the building for the last time this evening. and there isome sense tt his ouster is unfair, in a way, because anybody whoas affiliated with the trump campaign would have had to recuse from this russia probe, and it was no secret that sessions was the president's first and best lin congress in the course of the campaign. so peoplinside d.o.j. could never understand the sour of president trump's frustration over that recusal. >> woodruff: just quickly,
following up, carrie johnson, has had this seemed to fect the work of the department of justice? >> moral has already been quite low, judy, in part because of presiden way to attack some people inside the justice department by namo as well as sme senior officials. remember, starting last year with theiring of f.b.i. director james comey, conditing continhis year with the firing of.b. deputy director. there has been a lot of controversy and turmoil surrounding the d.o.j. and f.b.i. these folks inside the justice department are trying to do their job day to day. this can be difficult with the constant assault and barrage and attacks from the president on twitter and elsewhere. >> woodruff: to john carlin now. hn, we heard kellyanne conway say she does not expect what the president is asking, matthew whitaker, who will be actingey attoeneral now-- to end or in any way limit the mueller investigation. but knowing the department as you do, how do you think this
affects the chain of command, the relationships inside thepa ment of justice, that could affect the oversight ofti that investi? >> well, look, there's no one who does his mission and ke his head down and follows the facts like bob mue er. thaten his career from when he was a man ine to wh was a line prosecutor, sowhen he was director of the f.b.i. so i think even with this news, that team is going to cotinue to follow the facts. and look what they've uncould have had so far. i mean there have been over 30 individuals charged. you've had a former campaign mager of a major campaign convicted by a jury of his peers of serious felony offenses for taking money secretly, in part, from russian interests. you've had a russian campaign t interf our elections through social media, through hacking into voter databases, and thngrough hacnd targeting one political party laid out in detl so that we an protect ourselves.
so it's beenn important investigation that's fed other investigations that now continue to take place in the national security division and at u.s attorney offices, and it's important for the integrity of our department and our country to let it play out. >> woodruff: lisa des somebody who covers the hill, talks to both parties. ngmocrats have been follo this investigation very closely. republicans are saying let's get it over with, as the president has. what are we hearing today from the congress about >> amazing how much reaction i got within just the two hours of this storyreaking, especially by an exhausted group of senators and staffers after the midterm election. ngand that's the first thou heard was from democrats, like chuck schumer, they are questioning the timing of this announcement. to be honest, judy, this is not a surprise for anyone in congres's. in fact, lo back to august. at that time i had multiple sources confirm ago and this wao ed at the time-- that lindsey graham had a phone conversation with president trump sressing to him, "do not fire jeff sessions now." that was in august. he saiitd, "wa until after the
election." so that word got out. people expected this after the election. but almost no one expected it the day after the election. what we're hearing from demoats, they are concerned about matthew whitaker. they wanmhim to recuse hiself, most of them. dianne feinstein is calling for him to make a pubrac appe and say he will not interfere. >> woodruff: john kerry back to you, given the reaction all around to this, what do we know right now about matthew whitaker? >> you know, he was a u.s. attorney in the george w. bush administration in. he has a close working relationship with senator chuckl gr, who is currently the chairman of the judiciary committee. and whitaker told me last year at the justice department christmas party that he was making i a personal mission to improve relations between se officials at justice and the white house. he appears to have succeeded in great measure. ted withoutpro being senate confirmed to be the
acting attorney general today.e the stion inside justice for some people and on capitol hilli for democrat whether he's too close to the white house asn this investigaby the special counsel edges closer to the trump campaign, and as other investigations and u.s. attorneys offices may be look intogths trump organization itself. >> woodruff: john carlin what, does this all saybout the independence of the justice department, the independence of the attorney general, from the whit house? >> and i think that's what's critical. there have been close relationshipsetween the attorneys general and the white house before, but at the end of the day, we need teo hav confidence that the integrity of our-- particularly ourriminal investigations-- who's targeted, what type of evidence is collected, how it's colleed-- is not directed for political purposes. that is truwith the mueller investigation, and i think in terms of the prior comments of mr. whitaker, they need to be examined, and then the's a
process within the justice department with consultation with the ethics off sicials toee whether or not it requires recusals. but it's also true for the conduct of public corruption and other types of investigveions. i belust today, the president indicated that hegh want the democrats in vestigated-- itin sounded like for criminal purposes-- by the justice partment. that's the type of statement by the commander in chief tha makes itll the more important that the offials at justice department are clearly not going by direction from the white house, but instead are following the facts and doing the law. and there are thousands and thousands of career officls, agents, nd prosecutors who have sworn an oath to the constitution, and sttrund have faith that they're going to-- they're going to do their allegiance to that oath. >> woodruff: well, it raises so many questions.de finally, lisardins, in terms of confirming a permanent
replacement, i noticat senator lamar alexander put out a statement saying, "i have a fot of respect for j sessions." he said, "the one thing this does make certain is the mueller investigation will continue to its end as it should because no new attorney general can be confirmed who will stop that investigation." >> that is an important statement, but you have to also remember that the trump administration has been known for keeping acting officials in those positions for longer-than-usual amounts of time. under law, matt whitaker can stay in that position for six months or more, and the trump administration has extended that, really without suffering any penalties. so he's a person to watch right now. obviously, senators want the mueller investigation to not be infringed upon, but that's what we haveo watch. >> woodruff: so many questions tonight. i want to thank all three of you, lisa desjardins, john carlin, and carrie johnson. thank you so much.
>> woodruff: the oter of sessions jolted washington, as it was still absorbing the aftermatof the mid-term elections. the results changed the political landscape, giving democrats control of the u.s. house of representatives, and republicans a wider margin in the u.s. senate. >> the republican party deified history to expand osenate majority while significantly beating expectations in te house. >> woodruff: pllsident trump a white house news conference to tout the election returns, and claim personal credit for expanding that senate majority. >> we saw the candidates that i supported achieve tremendousla succes night. as an example, of the 11 candidates that we campaigned with during the last week, nine won last night.
>> woodruff: in heated exchanges with news reporters, theen presdenied that his attacks on migrants promoted racism. he also blamed the loss of the g.o.p.'s house majority on a surge of g.o.p. retirements and incumbents who distanced themselves from him. he even argued he can get more done with a democratic house, than with a paper-thin g.o.p majority. >> if we won by one or two or three or four or five, wouldn't happen and the closer it is the worse it is. this way, they'll come to me they'll negotiate. maybe we'll make a deal, maybe we won't, that's possible. but we have a lot of things in common on infrastructure. we want to do something on healthcare, they want to do something on healthcare. >> woodruff: but, mr. trump warned that if democrats launch investigations of him, that would be the end of anyer coion. >> now we can investigate, they ok at us we look at them. it goes on for two years. then at the end of two years
nothing is done. >> woodruff: house minority leader nancy pelosi,ikely theaker-to-be, insisted democrats will hol president accountable, after gaining more than 30 seats, for their first majority since 2010. >> yesterday's election was not vly a vote to protect america's health care it wase to restore the health of our democracy. as democrats are here t strengthen the institution i which we serve and not have it be a rubber amp for president trump. >> woodruff: that could mean investigations of everything from mr. trump's tax returns to russia's role in the 2016 elecon. on the senate side, majority leader mitch mcconnell played down concerns that divided government will mean gridlock.
>> even though we have obviously big differences over things like taxes and judges, there were plenty of other things we've did together and there's no reasonp that would stomply because the house now becomes democratic. >> woodruff: but democratic senator chuck schumer suggested president trump an now have good reason to worry. >> last night was a really good night for democrats. and what happened last night doesn't bode well for president trump and republicans in 2020 and beyond. >> woodruff: democrats are also counting their gains in the ranks of governors, winning at least seven state houses last night. wall street rallied on the election news. analysts said divided government will likely mean no new taxes and regulations, and no repeal ri the affordable care act. the dow jones indu average gained 545 points to close at 26,180. the nasdaq rose 194 points, d the s&p 500 added 58. all three indexes are up more than 2%.
let's turn now to our yamiche alcindor at the white house. we reported earlier on the president's forcing out his attorney general jeff sessions. we've been trying to understand what happened. what do you know frm quar reporting before i ask you about the election, what do you know from your reporting about the decision to ask the attorney general to go? >> reporter: ll, jeff sessionss' firing was a long time coming. president trump for months w raelg against jeff sessions. he really blamed jeff sessions for a special counsel had been appointed. to look at the prsident's campaign' connections with russia, the president really looked at jeff sessions as someone who was a thorn in his side. he want to fire him for a long time. the one thing that was really surprisis to white house ai that i talked to was the timing when he announced he fired jeff ssions. he hd what long press conference are but didn't break
the news. whe house aides said they expected the president to talk about je sessions there and didn't do it so he broke the news after. >> woodruff: let's talk about the election. we just heard the president nareport commenting on some waysee might be able to workem withrats, and other ways where there could be a problem. what are you h farim learning from your reporting? >> well, the president embase bipartisanship with a big caveat. he said democrats, i'll work with you if you't investigate me. that's a big deal because democrats are already signalian that they wto look at the president's tax returns, that hey want to look at whether or not there was anort of violation, any sort of obstruction of justice when he fired jeff sessions. the president is already saying "hey, you democrats keep down this road, i'm not going to work with you." d but say on infrastructure, on health care, on trade, and on the environment, tt he could maybe see himself working with democrats. old this, of course, newly democratically cond house that's coming soon enough. >> woodruff: finly, yamiche, i wanted to ask you about
something. you asked the president a question today at the news conference. and let's li of that.st a part >> on the campaign trail you called yourself a natenalist. somele saw that as emboldening white nationalist-- >> i don't know why you would say that. that's suca racist question. >> there are some people who say the republican party is seen as supporting white nationalist because of your rhetoric. what do you make of that? >> i don't know, why do i have my highest poll numbers ever with african american? why do i have th te amoe highest poll numbers with african american? that's such a racist questioi honestlyan, i know you have it written down... >> woodruffthat's a racist question. >> woodruff: yamiche, tell us what was going on there. >> the president's tense relationship witthe media was on full display in a rare way today. the president had been talking to oeptherorters and really railing against them. he called reporters rude, hostile, unfair, reporters working with cnn, nbc, othertw
ks. by the time i posed my president the president had been pacing at the podium just mome.ents bef he was already kind of hyped up and amped up, and fstrated with the media. and the president is on the defense because he doesn't like talking about his rhetorisn he d like there is some white nationalists who are .upporting the preside the question i posed today was timely today, patrick casey, a leader of evropa, tweeted that he was at the white house tday. as want president said that the question was racist, and he was literally having whi nationalists at the white house. i posed the question to sar handers, why was patrick casey here, and who was he meeting with? i haven't gotten a response from the white house yet. that's a really, i think, something people are looking at and are very concerned that there are white nationalists in the white house as the president said just asking about them is racist.
>> woodruff: you were doing your job as a reporter, and yamiche alcindor, we thank you. >> thanks, judy. >> woodruff: that came woodruff: let's stay at the white house now, and more of my interview with counselor to the president, kellyanne cony. we ran part of
that interview earlier, where she spoke about the decision to fire jeff sessions. here now is the rest of ouron conversa >> yesterday was another onhistory-making day ford trump, the president, judy. in the last 80 years, only eight time has the president's party in power picked up any senate seats. this year with the president's leadership and hm barnstorming the country with these reallies, 53 rallies since he took office, 30 rallies in just the last two months ago, the president's-- the president and his party deified those odds and ackre g up two, possibly three new senate seats. that is histor and i think it gives a real buffer in the united states senate for more judicial nominations for more execuve nominations to go through. and so that is-- when you talk se, itthe hou
disappointing but not surprising, that the house would go to the party out of power. ceainly the economy, we want to keep the booming economy going. and there's no indication tha there's an appetite among voters in some of those swing democrat districts to have incessant investigations and endless subpoenas. the democrats, hope nancy pelosi, if she's elected speak ewilbe sincere in extending an olive brnch. the president said he'd like to work with her. >> woodruff: ioticed at today's news conference, the president made a point of critizing, even den graight some republican members of congress who ran for re-election but werdefeated. he said they didn't embrace him closely enough. and i saw this afternoon, one of them, congressn ryan cosllo, who represents part of philadelphia. he made this statement. he said to deal with harassment and filling spewed at g.o.p. members of congress in tough seats every day for two years because of the president, to te your p more times than
you would care to, to disd agree parate from the president on principle and civility, to lose because of the president, and have him... on you,angers me to my core. why did the president criticize these republicans? >> that sounds leak a prettyon unhappy pet this point. i'm not going to comment further on his particular comments. i guess he decide to be very bold after the election results. ert that, as it's said, we're happy for his svice and the many times he supported the president's agenda while in congress which was tmore frequentan not, judy. the president is make the point that he s out there helping to campaign for members of congress, but particularly people running for t senate and some of the governorships, and that he made the difference. you know, the trump toucher ma there's a trump bump out there. the president is also saying there were other candidates he offered to raise money for, to do robocalls for, appear for,
and they flatley refused and some of them lost. druff: the last thing i want to ask you about, kellyanne conway, is the president's testy exchanges with news reorters today at the white house. he-- there was some itical back-and-forth, and with my pbs "newshour" colleague, yamiche alcindor, she asked a question of the president about whether his using the term "nationalist" referring to himself as a nationalist s giving encouragement to white nationalists. he told her he thought it was racist question. what do you think the answer to the question is, though? >> well, i would just note, judy, today president took 68 questions from 35 a reporte as many reporters in the press corps have said, we are the mosc ssible administration they've covered, and that he is the most ablccespresident. he proved that today by taking these lestions. i ve what he was saying to your colleaguia meche is the implication of raishism in the
word "nationalis very unfortunate. there's a difference between nationalism and white nationalism, and i have to tell you somebody who has been here from day one, i resent tremendously always being put into this toxic stew of raism and sexim, misojanism and xenophobia. it's a lot on our shoulders because it's not fair.o and, you kw, judy you have handled your career very fferently than many peoe. i think in today's media--ia meche exaccept thed-- many people are out there trying to make a name for themselves and getting heated and disrespectfup with tsident. you saw that in an earlier exchange with a repter from another network that i won't na j. >> woodruft make two quick points. one is that i asked this question because i've seen republicans raise questions about whether it's appropriate for the president to use the t rm "nationalism" for the very
reason we've jen discussing. and, also, just to say a word on behalf of my colleague yamiche. she would not a a racist question. iment to get that on rec>>d. ell, i think that questions with racist impoulications, , maybe that is a better way of saying it than how it was said, but it's the implications are-- are weighting.pr and, again, thsident took 68 questions from 35 different reporters today. i know as a very well and deeply respected many of the press corps for many years, jud deck epidemic-- i know you must appreciate as we all do a president willing to engage in front of the cameras for 90 minutes nonstop, including with leur colue from pbs. >> woodruff: we thank you very much for talking with us.
>> it's my pleasure. >> woodruff: kellyanne conway, thank >> woodruff: l's take a closer look at the election now, specifically some of the big
winners and losers from last night. lisa desjardins is bk to help break it down. >> desjardins: for republicans, the show me state showed up. missouri's attorney general josh hawley captured the state's much coveted u.s. senate seat, toppling democrat claire mccaskill. it was a state president trump visited four times. >> thank you, mr. president for your leadership, thank you for oum going to washington and standing up for r values. i said that i would fight to secure our border and i will. >> desjardins: in defeat, mccaskill dded to new voters and volunteers spurned into action this year. >> what i feel the most pain about tonight are all of thepe le who for the first time many of them in their lives saio i'm going to d than just sit on the couch and cuss the tv. i'm going to show up. >> desjardins: republicans passed another majorheest in texas, ted cruz, who ran against president trump just tw yeo, successfully defended his seat from democratic
superstar, and fundraisinget juggernauto'rourke. >> wsaw a $100 million race with hollywood coming in against the state with the nl dia coming in against th state, but all the money in the world was no match for t good people of texas and the hard working men and women across our state. >> desjardins: for'rourke, in defeat, talk of a new movement. >> this team, of which we are all members, in some way ising s going to stay sgether and going to continue to aspire to do great ings. >> desjardins: that was also a theme for tallahassee mayor andrew gillum, another progressive, who fell just short in his bid to flip the florida governor's mansion to the democrats. >> i believe that we have to have a table in this state that is long enough, that is wide enough, that is deep enough to fit all of us. i still believe that we got to have that table. but y'all were just going to
have to do a little bit more work in order to bld that table. >> desjardins: but gillum was an ception on a night where democrats took over several republican governor mansions, defeating wisconsin governor scott walker, winning in kansas and in michigan, where prosecut the governor elect.s anbut for the left, the gr prize was control of the house,t which demos won in large part thanks to first-time femali candidatsuburban districts.li former combat helicopter pilot mikie sherrill in new jersey. >> i think we can have a great effect, i think we can have a o ansformative effect because a lot of us are usedeaking through barriers. i think as women, that's what we've been doing our entire career.em >> desjardins:ratic women stacked up a large number of firsts: sharice davids in kansas who is openly gay. she ananother winner last night will be the first native american women in congress. >> it's the core of this campaign has been about tryi
to figure out ways to make sure that as many voices and experiences as possible, that we have in this community, are being heard by our elected representatives. >> desjardins: ayanna pressley and jahanna hayes will each be the first black women in congress from their new england states. and democrats rashida tlaib and ilhan omar will be the first two muslim women to serve in congress for each party, some wins, some for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. >> woodruff: beyond the results of individual races, each election brings with it exit polls: snapshots of where americans stand on major issues. amy walter has been pouring through them to de tpher what thl us about this moment. you just can't get enough time with us, amy. >> i f hl like iave not left this chair in hours. >> woodruff: we did let her leave momentarily and come back. >> momentarily. >> woodruff: so, amy, mixed results last night. as the president said, they did well. sthey were able to pick ats in the senate, republicans, but a different story in the house.
what do you see in looking through these numbers? >> yeah, thimight remind you a little bit what we sw in 2016, a candidate did very well, won the popular vote by more thano llion votes, and yet lost the electoral college i thsort of what we saw in the election map in 2018. and what i did was iat looke two things. they ask-- there's a house national poll,ically, all the people who voted in every single house race, right. so it's basically a big national survey-- versus the individual aates. here aouple of things that stood out to me. first, on gender. we know that women overwhelmingly summiting democrats. we just saw lisa's package about all tee women candiwho were successful. look at tht: democrats -- women vote forward democrats by 19 points. and tsmocnly lost men by four points. so that was a prevetty impres showing nationally. >> woodruff: nationally. >> right.
but then look ata state lie indiana, where senator joe donnelly, democra they are what you find is women went for democrats, but only by three points instead of 19.e and epublicans won men by 17 points. in other words, republicans d bd evtter with men in these red states, and democrats did not do a well with women. and that sort of repeats itselfm in sy of the battleground senate races. so this is how you get to a situation where you have democrats having such a great big night where we talk so muc about this gender gap. and, yet, did not find that sams suin other states. >> woodruff: and you looked, also, at, educatiu looked at age. >> we looked at education, age. again, these are the sorts of numbers that democrats was to hit with white college graduates. they are winning over on th
national level, democrats winning those over by aid points, losing whites without a college degree by 24 this is a slight improvement from 20 taken 16. but now look at the indiana senate. well. democrats doing not as well with the sort of voters. a national poofl voters, democrats do really well. so you had a whole bunch of people that turned out and showrn up in cali or new york or in some of these metro areas. t if that's not wherehose battleground senate states were, it was not as, you know, it was not as determinative. >> woodruff: almost the story of two different elections. >> it was two very different elections. >> woodruff: and with age. >> age wa really a very significant difference. 25 points democrats won the younger voters under 45 years old. older voters, they also lost-- i'm sorry, republicans won y one point. but now you go to a state like indiana, democrats only win those younger voters by two
points. ag think you had a lot of younger voters showed up. but many of them living in places that were not indiana they were probably determinative in many of these houses, rar in some cases they showed up to vote in districts that weren't competitive at all. it's a reminder tous that ther are, again, multiple elections, even when there's one national election. and in 20 twen we're going to have a silar diej. democrats could find themselves hitting big numbers nationally, but in the states that determine the electoral college battleground map it could look different. >> woodruff: you also looked, amy, tsunami trump factor. we, of course, have been talking about thaext, thetent to which the president made this a referendum on himse >> he did. in the house they hoped he wouldn't make it a referendum on himself, because in so many of the suburban districts, the %,esident was basically toxic, somewhere around 4 45%
approval rating inhose places. but when you look at the map of where republicans flipped senate seats or held on to senate seats, plaeses like mizor, indiana, tennessee, texas. look at north dakena-- the preshad a 62% approval rating in north dakota. where the president was popular, republicans won. where the president was unpopular-- nevada, under 50 p47% approval rate ago the democrats won. there was one big exception, of course, and that's joe march nin west virginia, a state where the esident has 63% approval rating. manchin was able to hold on. but there is a very strong rrelation between your opinions of the president and how you voted in the senate race or the governor's race in your state. >> woodruff: so fascinating to look through theseumbers. and i know you're continuing to do that as the days go by. dr we'll keep going. >> woof: amy walter, thank you very much. >> you're welcome, judy.
>> woodruff: as we have heard, there we a number of historic victories last night. john yang talks with one of those winners. >> yang: judy, yesterday five- term colorado democratic ngressman jared polis became the first openly gay man to bete ela u.s. governor, winning about 52% of the vote. he joi governor-elect, welcome. mr. polis, congrweulations, and ome to the newshour. i want to ask you, first off, it was only about 25 years ago that colorado voters passed anha amendmentt banned state or local protections for gay men and lesbian women. how-- did you reflect on that? and how did it feel lasnight when the same state elected you its chief executive? >> well, you know, i think its important closure for many l.g.b.t. coloradoans and supporters of equality here it's a great step for our colorado brand. that had been a little bit of a
tarnish on colorado from a generation ago. and i think people know colorado ou open for business, and regardless of whoare or who you love or your race or anything about youwe would love to have you come to our great state to make our quality of life even better. >> yang: you have always run as an opey gay man. your first race was in 2008,ol right afterorado had banned same-sex marriage. did you ever wonder if that was the polically right thing to do, or politically best thing to do? >> well, look, again, you knout when youourself out there for public office, you always want to talk about what are your ideas to improve our quality of life? and for me personall i just never let who i am hold me back from offering my idewas about ho to make our state greater and fix our roads, prove our schools, save people money on health care. i'm glad the voters agreed with my ideas. ond i'm looking forward t working to get them done as governor. >> yang: well, let's talkt abme of those things you
want to do for colorado. you ran on a campaign thatve pushed ual health care in a state that rejected it at the polls two years ago. you were pushing guncn vio prevention in a state with a lot y hunters and sportsmen. and renewable enen a state where the oil and gas industry is pretty influentials. how are you going t get those things done? >> well, again, i think the future and a frward-looking vision is what won out at the end of the day. there's nothing incsistent about uniting colorado's past, which we honor, with our future. we ara state of gun owners and hunters and sportsmen, andin there's nothinonsistent with that and additional steps to reduce gun violence and have safer gun ownership. looking forward to working with our legislature to pass a red flag law, an a temporary gun hold on people having a mental crise. we have a goal of our whole state reaching 100ab% ren by
2040. we know in the meantime, of course we still burn fossil els, and that's why we're focused on the demand end of making the grid renewable and making su i wemprove automobile efficiency. >> yang: what's your first priority when you take office? >> well, i've got to commute over to find my way to the capitol. and get ready to work. we're going tow work right out of the gate with the legislative session, which actually starts a few days before i get swo in on making sure that we can move forward on saving people money on health cae and getting kindergarten opportunities to every colorado family. our state only has half-day kindergarten. we want to get to full-day dind kindergarten in our first session. i'm looking forward to working with republicans and independented and docrats so colorado will be better in the next five to 10 years. >> yang: in that answer yo talked about health care. you talked about expanding kindergarten. colorado, in certain areas,
still has an antitax sentiment. how are you going to pay fori those s? the great thing about our state is the governor and legislature can't raise taxes. t on people can. the people just rejected several tax increases. i di't support them, either. i think it's always a question of how do you make governmentic more efnt. how do you do more with what you have. in health care, the answer isp ding less, not spending more. we spend far too much on health care. we want to use a bundle payment system in medicaid, like arkansas has done, which saves 20%, 30%, we're looking to create a high-risk pool like aska and oregon have done, and get the high-risk cases off th books of insurers to have a downward pressure on rates we have ideas and they all save money. >> yang: let me ask yu about the job yiewrs leaving. what advice would you have about your house democratic colleagues deeg doolg with preside trump now that they have the majority? >> i think we need to be responsible. and at the en of the day,'s not about politics and gain gain
partisanship. it's about how to make our country better. i hope that's w people acro the country stepped up and ran for office. of course, holding the president accountable is parur constitutional system. but we should never take our eye off the ball of what we can do to improsecute quality of life for families across our entire untry. >> yang: do you think they ought to be pushing-- pressing investigations of the president. >> if there is wrongdoing, there should be investigations. but i think it should be centered around savinpeople money on health care, growing our economy and making it work for everybody and improving or schools. and the kitchen-table issues that i think people will want, the house of representatives and senate to make progress on i think the electorate wants people to work together, not just be at eacothers' throat all the time. we do that enough around election time. it's really time to wortok ther, because at the end of the day, republicans, democrats, independents, we all care about we all care about our quality of life. let's try to find common ground.
>> yang: governor-elect jared polis from colado, thank you. >> woodruff: there are still outstanding questions about last t ght's results. amna nawaz has tory. >> nawaz: let's take a deeper look now at two states with keyl races too close to call: lorida, the high-profile senate race between current camocratic senator bill nelson and outgoing repubgovernor rick scott is headed for a recount. orand in georgia, the race governor between democrat stacey warams and republican secretary of state brian kemstill neck and neck. i'm joined by adam smith, political editor for the "tampa bay times," and andra gillespie, professor of political science at emory university. welcome to you both. thank you for being here. and, andra, i want to start with you. we should timestamp this.ng we're talbout 5:00 eastern the day after the election, of course. and i want to ask y gou toive me sort of a quick update because these are evolving races owhere things are now. we should start with a bit of news, too, in georgia.
we have a spokesman for brianke 's campaign claiming victory, even though it hasn't been officially called. what's the latest on the race? >> so, as of about 2:30 this afternoon, all of the precincts had reported, and brian kemp had a lead of about 65,000 votes, so that's a margin of about 1.5%. stacey abrams hasn't con yet because she wants to make sure every absentee vote and provisional vote is counted and she claims there might be some absentee votethat are routed. >> adam smith, over to you. a spokesman for rick the scot said this vase over. senator nelson has not conceded, though. where cowe stand right now? >> well, it doesn't even really matter if conceded yet. we have a law in florida, if the race isithin half a percentage point there has to be an
hutomatic machine recount, and that seems to becase right now. rick scott leads by approaching 40,000 votes. and we still havene, appy, about 100,000 votes that haven't even been couedet, most of them in south florida. so we'll have a better handle on it by saturday. those votes will have to be counted. llot of those are mail ba that were turned in election day, or provisionall balots. and it's likely we'll still be within a he lf a percentint and there will be a machine recount. >> let's take a step back, though, often draw, i want to talk tow you about this how we get her in the first plaasce. thisgoing to be an uphill battle for stacey abrams. it's a deep-red state. there's a lot of history to be made if she won. did you expect it to be this close going in? >> i ac tually didpect it to be this close. we have seen the margins for gubernatorial candidates shrink in last few election cycles.
where you would have seen candidates win by double-digit margins.1 in 24 carter lost to diehl by about eight percentage points. because of the heightened political polarizatid democratic enthusiasm and interest in this race, and also because of stacey aams' efforts to grow the electorate, to reach out to new voters, and to deeply engage them and mobile ice them to get them to turn out to vote. it was very likely she was going to gr the democratic base, and she made ever effort to narrow that g sp. even ife does eventually loseac this she has to be credited for having gotten out asany democratic votes as she did. >> florida has a histo of high-profile races. did we think we'd end up here? >> yeah, florida, it's jut extraordinary. we're talking about a state with 13 million-plus voters and over and over and over again, we have top-of-the-ballot rac come down to the last percentage
voice. that's the last governor races, last couple presidential electis and lord knows the 2000 recount. >> you mentioned saturday we might know more, in the next few days. adam, stay with me here, and giving give me the timeline moving forward. when could we have a result in this ca race? >> this is florida, so that's always a mystery. but we should by saturday whether we will have an automatic machine recount. they put a lot of th beseallots back through the machines, and then hopefully the macnes counted reliably, and it's relatively stable to the old result. if it then gets to be a quarter of a point difference between nelson and scott, then you go t and recount. and we're talking 67 counties. they would be loking at ballots where there were either no votes ca or counted forhe senate candidates, or an overvote where at least tw votes-- where they were tossed out. >> anitdra gillespies worth
reminding people, this one contest was peppered with allegations of voter suppressofn. brian kempourse, secretary of state, was overseeing the same campaign-- rather, same contest he was running in. do we have any idea about whher or not that plad a factor? and what happens next? give me the time line moving forward. >> well, stacey abrams is going to wait to see if every vote is counted. her team is also on the ground, and so they are collecting stories about voting irregularities. there were some polls that had totay open late because there were very few voting machines, where some peoeeple may have discouraged from voting, and slso given the specter of allegations, abrs likely to not back down until she has exhausted every course and de sure that everybody had a right to vote fairly and that the final vote count is a fir vote count. i don't think that her constituents and her supporters would probably take itvery well if she conceded very quickly without making sure that she
exhausted every potential investigation and recourse. andra gillespie of emory university, adam smith of the alkmpa-bay times," good to t to both of you. >> woodruff: and before we g, three international stories to note. international stories to note: president trump and russian president vladimir putin will not hold a summit when they meet this weekend in paris. they will be theres o mark 100 yence the end of world war i. instead, president trump said the will try to hold tal at the g-20 gathering in argentina later this month. meanwhile, secretary of state mike pompeo's planned meeting with a top north korean envoy has been postponed. it was set for tomorrow, but the state depa said today it will happen later. talks on eliminating the north's nuclear arsenal have made little progress in recent months, but president trump today played down any concerns. n hopes to meet with north's korea's kim jongr a second time, early next year. and, in yemen, a saudi-led coalition has captured a major
road leang to the crucial red sea port of hodeida after weeks of stalemate.st aikes pounded shiite rebels in the city, and ground troops captured a neighborhood that is just three miles fromts the portf. the u.s. has supported the saudi coalition,ut last week, it called for a cease-fire. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. thk you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> consumer cellulat understands ot everyone needs an unlimited wireless plan. our u.s.-based customer service reps can help you choose a plan based on how much you use your phone, nothing more, n less. to learn more, go to consumercellular.tv >> kevin. >> kevin! >> kevin. >> advice for life. life well-planned. learn more at raymondjames.com.
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