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PBS NewsHour full episode August 27, 2019

PBS NewsHour full episode August 27, 2019

JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff. On the “NewsHour” tonight: Another challenger
appears. I sit down with former Republican Congressman
Joe Walsh to find out why he’s breaking party ranks to run against President Trump. Then: reclaiming their voices. Billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is
dead, but his victims push on with their fight for justice. Plus: While the world watches in desperation
as the Amazon burns, a look at Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, the man many blame for fanning
the flames of destruction. MONICA DE BOLLE, Peterson Institute for International
Economics: He has weakened all of the environmental agencies in Brazil that were responsible for
licensing, monitoring, and sending people out to make sure that deforestation wasn’t
happening. He has basically upended all of those institutions. JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s
“PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: This has been a day of courtroom
drama, as accusers of Jeffrey Epstein pursue their quest for justice. The financier was facing federal sex trafficking
charges when he died by suicide this month in jail. Today, 16 women spent 2.5 hours in a federal
courtroom in New York City, telling of abuse at Epstein’s hands. Some spoke afterward as well. CHAUNTAE DAVIES, Epstein Accuser: It was both
empowering and infuriating to know that the person who I needed to hear those words is
not here to hear them. It’s also pretty upsetting to see how many
lives he’s devastated and to see how long this went on for, and nobody did anything
about it. JUDY WOODRUFF: We will talk with a reporter
who has been in today’s hearing later in the program. A federal judge in Kansas City has blocked
a Missouri law that bans most abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy. The new statute had been scheduled to go into
effect today. But the judge issued the temporary restraining
order while a lawsuit challenging the law plays out in court. Tropical Storm Dorian blew past Barbados today
without causing serious damage and headed toward Puerto Rico. The storm is forecast to pass over or near
the U.S. territory tomorrow afternoon at near-hurricane strength. Today, people in San Juan stocked up on supplies. Some said they endured Hurricane Maria in
2017 and they want to be ready this time. HECTOR LUIS REYES GARCIA, Puerto Rico (through
translator): Water and the necessities in case this thing comes and hits us, so it doesn’t
catch us without anything. I didn’t prepare for Maria, but, this time,
for this, I’m preparing. JUDY WOODRUFF: Officials in Puerto Rico have
already declared a state of emergency. We will get a first-hand report later in the
program. Police in Hollywood, Florida, said today they
expect more arrests in connection with a dozen deaths at a nursing home. It happened during Hurricane Irma in 2017. The storm knocked out power and air conditioning,
and the victims died of heat exposure. On Monday, the home administrator and three
nurses were charged with manslaughter. The facility was shut down after the storm. Some of the federal money set aside to deal
with hurricanes will now go to immigration enforcement instead. The Department of Homeland Security said today
that it is shifting $270 million from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and
other accounts. It said the money will come pay for housing
migrants and processing asylum cases faster. In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani today rejected
President Trump’s unofficial offer of in-person talks. President Trump said on Monday that he was
open to meeting on the nuclear standoff between the two countries. But, in Tehran, Rouhani said that could happen
only if the U.S. rescinds economic penalties on his country. HASSAN ROUHANI, Iranian President (through
translator): Lift the sanctions. All the sanctions against the Iranian nation,
which are illegal, cruel, and wrong, should be lifted. If the U.S. lifts all these sanctions and
respects the nation of Iran, well, then the situation would be different. JUDY WOODRUFF: The Trump administration reimposed
sanctions after withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal last year. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
has fired off new warnings to Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah. An Israeli airstrike killed two of the group’s
fighters in Syria on Sunday. Hezbollah also blamed Israel for strikes inside
Lebanon. The militants’ leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has
threatened retaliation. But, today in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said his
country will defend itself. BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, Israeli Prime Minister
(through translator): I heard what Nasrallah said. I suggest to Nasrallah to calm down. He knows well that Israel knows how to defend
itself and to pay back its enemies. I want to tell him, and to Lebanon, which
hosts this organization that aspires to destroy us, watch what you say, and be careful about
what you do. JUDY WOODRUFF: The Israelis have confirmed
the airstrike inside Syria. They say it disrupted Iranian plans to attack
Israel with drones. They have not claimed responsibility for any
strikes inside Lebanon. At least 40 migrants are missing and feared
dead off the coast of Libya. The United Nations’ Refugee Agency said today
they were bound for Europe when their boat capsized. At least 65 were rescued. Most were from Sudan. U.N. officials say that 859 migrants have
died trying to cross the Mediterranean this year. In economic news, China’s Foreign Ministry
insisted that it knows nothing of any new phone calls with U.S. officials to discuss
trade. Both President Trump and Treasury Secretary
Steven Mnuchin said on Monday that there had been such calls. And on Wall Street, jitters over the trade
war and interest rates sent stocks lower. The Dow Jones industrial average lost almost
121 points to close below 25778. The Nasdaq fell 26 points and the S&P 500
slipped nine. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: a conversation
with Republican Joe Walsh — why is he running against President Trump?; Jeffrey’s Epstein’s
victims and the long fight for justice; as the Amazon is engulfed by flames, the controversial
leader of Brazil is under political fire; and much more. From Trump supporter to Trump challenger,
former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh recently announced that he will take on the incumbent
president in the 2020 Republican presidential primary. He joins former Massachusetts Governor William
Weld in challenging President Trump. Walsh gained national attention in 2010, when
he was elected to the House of Representatives as a member of the Tea Party. He served one term, lost his reelection bid
and, until yesterday, hosted a conservative radio talk show. And Joe Walsh joins us now. Thank you for being on the “NewsHour.” JOE WALSH (R), Presidential Candidate: Good
to be view with you, Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF: So, why are you running for
president? JOE WALSH: It’s a difficult thing to say,
but I think we have a president, I believe we have a president who’s just unfit to be
president. I have been hoping all year that a Republican
would step up. I think it’s important for the Republican
Party. More importantly, I think it’s important for
the country. When I say something like that, Judy, it’s
a pretty serious charge. I think we have somebody in the White House
who’s unfit, somebody who lies virtually every time he opens his mouth, somebody who’s so
erratic right now, he’s almost tweeting the country into a recession. I think it’s a fairly urgent situation. JUDY WOODRUFF: You were, though, in 2016,
an enthusiastic supporter of his. What drew you to him in the first place? JOE WALSH: The people who voted for Donald
Trump were the same people who voted for me, and they’re the same people, Judy, who listened
to me on the radio. They were upset and angry about what’s going
on down at the border about people in this country illegally. And the Republican Party generally was out
of touch with that issue. Now, Trump touched that issue. He tapped that issue. That was a big issue to me and a lot of my
listeners. JUDY WOODRUFF: But what was it? Was that the main reason? It was immigration? JOE WALSH: No, I think that was the biggest
issue that got Donald Trump elected. It was one of the biggest issues that I was
concerned about, and that most of my listeners and voters were concerned about. But there was this sense, Judy, that the system
was broken. And I agree. That’s why I went to Congress in 2010. Both political parties kind of were broken. The whole political system had broke down. And people sent Trump to Washington to shake
it up and drain the swamp and all of that. The problem is, all he’s done is disrupt. And he hasn’t done anything to fix. JUDY WOODRUFF: But you stayed with him after
he was elected president. You supported him for a number of months. What was it that you didn’t see in the beginning
that was there to you later? JOE WALSH: Judy, this may sound odd, and,
if it is, I apologize. When I voted for Trump, I didn’t love him. I didn’t like him. He wasn’t Hillary. I figured — I thought he was sort of a goof. I figured he’d hire a few good people, and
maybe a few good things would happen. When — then, when he first became president,
I did the whole good Trump/bad Trump thing. When he did something that I thought was pretty
good, I would praise him. I would criticize him when he didn’t. It became apparent to me, Judy, that first
year, again, that almost everything he said, he would lie to the American people all the
time. That really bothered me, no matter who your
politics are. And then, finally, at Helsinki last year,
in July of 2013… JUDY WOODRUFF: When he met with Vladimir Putin. JOE WALSH: Judy, when he stood in front of
the world, and said, I believe that guy Putin, and not my own people, I got ahead of myself
with a tweet. To me, that was an act of disloyalty. And that’s — that was the final straw for
me. JUDY WOODRUFF: So what would change? If Joe Walsh were elected president, what
policy would be different under your presidency from the way it is under President Trump? Because you just said you agree with him on
a number of… JOE WALSH: On a number of issues. It’s interesting. So let’s go back to the issue that got him
elected, one of the issues I care most about, the border. JUDY WOODRUFF: Right. JOE WALSH: He ran on that issue. As you know, because you report on it, the
situation at our border now is a bigger mess than it was when he got elected. Why is that? Because all he talked about, Judy, was this
wall, wall, wall, wall, and Mexico’s going to pay for it. He hasn’t done anything at the border. We have a humane crisis right now at our border,
people coming to claim asylum. That has nothing to do with a wall. JUDY WOODRUFF: But you have said you would
close the border. You would be — would you be even tougher
on people coming into this country than the president has been? JOE WALSH: Certainly, anybody trying to come
into the country illegally, I would be tougher. JUDY WOODRUFF: Would you separate children
from their parents at the border, as this administration has done? JOE WALSH: No. And then so that’s the second piece. People coming into the country illegally,
there’s got to be no exception. But people coming here to claim asylum, which
is a legal thing to do, totally different group of people. And those people right now — and that’s our
biggest crisis at the border right now — those people have to be dealt with humanely, and
as quickly as we can deal with their asylum claims. JUDY WOODRUFF: But, as you know, the president
wants to crack down on asylum claims. He wants many fewer — he wants those people
to go back to the countries they came from while their asylum claims are pending. JOE WALSH: Again, anybody around the world
has the right to come here and claim asylum, OK? It’s our responsibility — this is a fundamental
difference, Judy, with me and the president. It’s our responsibility to hear those claims. Now, we do a lousy job now of doing that. We have got to devote the resources to do
— deal with those a lot quicker. JUDY WOODRUFF: Climate change, where are you
on climate change? Do you believe that humans have a role in
it and that humans should be taking urgent action now to do something? JOE WALSH: Yes to the former. On the urgent action, I don’t know. Certainly, on action, I — the first big step,
Judy, is my party, the Republican Party, has to acknowledge it’s an issue, it’s a problem. This president won’t. And, in fact, I don’t even think he understands
the issue. So it would be an issue, I think, the Republican
Party needs to get on board with and lead on. JUDY WOODRUFF: But would you — for example,
would you take steps that would make business very upset because it might cost jobs? JOE WALSH: I would be — I would be very careful. And I’m not trying to be vague, Judy. The first step is for a Republican president
to acknowledge it’s a problem, man is contributing to the problem. And then let’s bring all the important people
together, including business and businesses, and figure out things that need to be done. But before we do anything to impact the American
economy, we have got — we have got to make sure we have got the accurate data. JUDY WOODRUFF: What about gay rights, same-sex
marriage? I’m jumping around because these are important
issues to many voters. JOE WALSH: No, that’s OK. JUDY WOODRUFF: Gay rights, same-sex marriage,
this is an administration that has taken steps to, in many ways, crack down on and reduce
benefits for people who are — or just allow some discrimination against people who happen
to be gay. JOE WALSH: Yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: Where do you stand on that? JOE WALSH: Same-sex marriage is the law of
the land. That’s the way it is. So we all accept it. When it comes to gay rights — and this administration
has been very tough on transgenders and gays serving in the media — excuse me — in the
military. JUDY WOODRUFF: In the military. JOE WALSH: Absolutely, anybody who can qualify
to serve in the military, gay, straight or transgender, should be able to serve. JUDY WOODRUFF: Abortion, where do you stand? JOE WALSH: I’m pro-life. JUDY WOODRUFF: And you have said in the past
no exceptions, even when the life of the mother is at stake. JOE WALSH: I’m pro-life without exception. That decision right there is between the mother
and the doctor. I do believe that the whole Roe v. Wade issue
may have to be dealt with, but I’m pro-life without exception. JUDY WOODRUFF: Joe Walsh, you have made, as
we — as it’s been reported, a number of controversial, even incendiary statements over the years,
a radio talk show host, somebody who’s been outspoken. JOE WALSH: Yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: You have apologized for a number
of them in the last recent days and weeks. But when did you start to think some of these
statements were wrong? And I just want to ask you about… JOE WALSH: Sure. JUDY WOODRUFF: For example, you said President
Obama is a Muslim. You have said that he was born outside the
United States. JOE WALSH: No, I never — I never didn’t say
that. JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, you were — you sounded
sympathetic to the birther false statements that were out there. JOE WALSH: Absolutely. And, Judy, that’s an important distinction. I never was part of the so-called birther
movement. But you’re right. On a number of occasions, I said Barack Obama
is a Muslim. I wrote in an — an op-ed in The New York
Times about two weeks ago… JUDY WOODRUFF: Right. JOE WALSH: … saying that President Trump
is unfit, somebody should challenge him. And I apologized for the role I played in
what I believe is helping to put an unfit con man in the White House. Judy, I went to Washington in 2010 to raise
hell. I was part of that Tea Party class. And oftentimes in that fight, I let the policy
fight become a personal fight. And I got involved in this whole — the demonization
of my political opponents. I believe that that helped lead to this president. JUDY WOODRUFF: And when did you decide that
was wrong? JOE WALSH: A year or so after President Trump
got elected. I’m only hesitating because, after President
Trump got elected, and day by day, week by week, month by month went by, I looked at
him and I listened to him, and I thought, oh, my God, is that what I sounded like back
in the day? Is that what I sound like on the radio? In many ways, Judy, his election has been
my road to Damascus moment. And I decided a year, a year-and-a-half ago
that I wasn’t going to engage in the personal destruction. JUDY WOODRUFF: You have also said that you
have the right to say that blacks are lazy. JOE WALSH: Yes, not — not that I believe
blacks are lazy. JUDY WOODRUFF: But why would you even say
that? JOE WALSH: Well, a big issue that I’m so passionate
about is free speech, people being able to say what they want to say. Now, again… JUDY WOODRUFF: But my question is, why would
you even say that a group of Americans, based on their race, is… JOE WALSH: I could have said white people
are lazy. I could have said whatever. JUDY WOODRUFF: But you didn’t. That’s not what you said. JOE WALSH: No, I know. But if you — Judy, if you go through my 40,000
tweets, I did a pretty bad or horrible job of offending a lot of people. Look, I was a radio talk show host. I felt a big part of my job was to provoke
and get people thinking about a number of issues. And, again, oftentimes, I went over the line. JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you believe that any minority
in this country is lazy… JOE WALSH: No. JUDY WOODRUFF: … or should be discriminated
against? (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: I mean, you’re saying all your
views have changed… (CROSSTALK) JOE WALSH: No, no, no, no, my views haven’t
changed. And I have never believed that. Certainly, some things that I have said have
been pretty — pretty aggressive, but, no, I mean, those aren’t — those aren’t my views. That’s just the way I, unfortunately, pushed
the envelope too often. JUDY WOODRUFF: Joe Walsh, running for president,
running for the Republican nomination, thank you. JOE WALSH: Judy, thank you. JUDY WOODRUFF: When accused sex trafficker
Jeffrey Epstein took his own life in a New York City jail cell two weeks ago, some of
his victims were among the first to react with outrage that he’d robbed them of their
day to face him in court. But, as Amna Nawaz reports, today, many of
those women did have the chance to tell their stories to a judge. AMNA NAWAZ: That’s right, Judy. More than a dozen of Epstein’s accusers spoke
at a hearing in a federal courthouse in downtown Manhattan today. Several described how Epstein coerced them
as minors to have sex with him, then pressured them with money and other tactics to continue
seeing him, and, in some cases, other wealthy men. The women expressed anger and frustration
at the trauma they’d endured, but also a spirit of solidarity. Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents a number
of the accusers, applauded their resolve. GLORIA ALLRED, Attorney: Jeffrey Epstein’s
death, whether it was a suicide or murder, doesn’t end the case, doesn’t end their fight
for justice. It doesn’t end their feeling that they were
manipulated, victimized and that they were child victims of Mr. Epstein. So,today, they spoke truth to power. They spoke truth to what happened to them. AMNA NAWAZ: Renae Merle has been covering
the story for The Washington Post, and she joins us from New York now. Welcome to the “NewsHour,” Renae. Renee, let me ask you. You were monitoring those courtroom proceedings
all day today. Describe for us what it was that you saw and
heard from the women today. RENAE MERLE, The Washington Post: Well, what
I really saw was a lot of emotion. Yes, the victims were angry that Epstein had
evaded justice, in their eyes, by committing suicide. But there was also a lot of tears, as people
explained how they were affected by his abuse. And this was — seemed like a turning point
for them. Yes, he wasn’t — Epstein wasn’t in the room,
but they were there together. And they were really talking about how this
impacted them. And it was a very personal, very emotional
scene. AMNA NAWAZ: Give me a sense of the level of
detail some of the women went into. Was this for some of them the first time that
they were speaking publicly about what it was they’d suffered? RENAE MERLE: Yes, several of the women said
that they had come forward simply because the Manhattan federal prosecutors had brought
up this case and they thought, for the first time, they were going to get a chance to take
their complaints to court. And so they were telling their stories for
the first time. And some of them went into some really graphic
detail in telling the stories of how Epstein had raped them. One women talked about going to his island
when she was 16 or 17 years old, and being called to his room late at night, and what
happened after there, really just impacted her life for a really long time. So a lot of it — some of it was really just
very graphic detail of the abuse that went on. AMNA NAWAZ: Renae, in recent weeks, there
was a lot made about why so many women were reluctant to come forward for so many years. They were worried about going up against a
powerful, well-connected man. And even today, it’s been reported many of
them chose not to use their real names. They submitted statements under Jane Doe. Why do you think that is? RENAE MERLE: Well, part of it is that they
want to avoid the public spotlight. And for some of them that even used their
names, they said it was just really difficult. Some were still dealing with the idea that
they were victims. They had blamed themselves for a really long
time and didn’t understand where they fit into this narrative and that it was wrong,
what happened, that they had manipulated — been manipulated. And so in dealing with all of those things,
that some women are just at different phases of that process than others. AMNA NAWAZ: You know, you mentioned some of
them had come there frustrated that they weren’t going to be able to get justice in some way,
with Epstein now dead. With the charges now formally, at least in
this case, these charges formally dismissed, is there any sense that there will be any
form of justice for these women? RENAE MERLE: Yes, so the criminal case against
Epstein is obviously done, but this case is far from over. There are still investigations, one into Epstein’s
death, and investigations into how he was able to secure such a sweet settlement deal
in Florida 10 years ago, and investigations, civil — there’s potential for a civil forfeiture
of his assets. Epstein is said to be worth $500 million. And so what’s going to happen to those assets? There are a lot of lawsuits out there. So this case is going to be going on for some
time, even after his death. AMNA NAWAZ: Yes, I know you mentioned a lot
of the women came forward to share their own stories and to be heard in public for the
first time. Did any of them give a sense of what they
would like to see happen next? RENAE MERLE: Well, several of them turned
to the prosecutors and said, this isn’t over. They want the prosecutors to continue their
investigations, and the prosecutors said they would. So there could be charges. They would like to see charges against other
people involved, some of Epstein’s friends who they say helped recruit them for this
sex trafficking ring. So they want more charges to continue — or
this case to continue in a criminal way by looking at some of Epstein’s potential co-conspirators. AMNA NAWAZ: For many of these women, coming
forward today was the first time they get to share their story. Do you think that we will hear more from them
in the future as these other investigations unfold? RENAE MERLE: I wouldn’t be surprised. One of the things that I heard from people
was that they — while Epstein thought he was winning by taking his life, he wasn’t,
because they felt hope for the first time in a really long time, and they felt a power
in being able to stand together, and that they weren’t going to back down anymore. There was almost like a rally among these
women that they had a shared experience, and, for the first time, they were standing together
in a major way. There were just dozens of women there. About 16 spoke, but many others were there
and didn’t speak. So they have this group now that they can
rely on for comfort. AMNA NAWAZ: Renae Merle, reporting for The
Washington Post, you have been following this story. It is far from over. And thank you so much for being with us today. RENAE MERLE: Thank you. JUDY WOODRUFF: Stay with us. Coming up on the “NewsHour”: in the path of
danger — a still vulnerable Puerto Rico braces for another tropical storm; President Trump
pitches his property for the next G7 summit — just how much is he profiting from the
presidency?; and namaste in school — the impact of yoga in the lives of students. As thousands of fires rage through the Amazon,
Brazil’s president has reignited a diplomatic war of words that could threaten millions
in aid to fight the blazes. Emma Murphy of Independent Television News
reports on the political dispute unfolding and the fire in the world’s largest rainforest. EMMA MURPHY: They are the children of the
Amazon and now young victims of its fires. Far from the flames, it is the smoke which
is doing the harm, hundreds being treated for its effects. Baby Nicolas is a month-and-a-half old. His mother became so worried about his cough,
she decided to risk further smoke inhalation to get him to hospital. “At night, he can’t breathe at all,” she tells
me. “He coughs and struggles because of what’s
happening. I’m so frightened.” Her fears are shared by Regiane Martins. Her daughter Sophia is asthmatic and always
struggles when there are fires in the region, but this year her symptoms are so much worse. “I’m not just worried for Sophia,” she tells
me. “I’m a teacher. And I worry for my pupils. There has been a real increase in the number
of children who are sick. We can’t just stay inside, but outside makes
them ill.” With air so smoke-logged, you can smell and
taste the pollution, hospitals across the region are busy. DR. DANIEL PIRES, Pediatrician: They feel hurt
in the throat, difficulty of breathing, you know, coughing. And these are the most common symptoms they
feel. EMMA MURPHY: And this is simply because of
the amount of smoke in the atmosphere. DR. DANIEL PIRES: Yes, it is two things, the weather
that is dry and the smoke. EMMA MURPHY: Yet, as the fires burn, the power
play of international politics risks distracting from the crisis itself, Brazilian President
Jair Bolsonaro rejecting millions from the G7 nations amidst accusations of colonialism. Macron offers aid from rich countries to the
Amazon. He says: “Why? Do they have an eye on the Amazon? What have they wanted there for so long?” That accusation was rejected by the French
leader, who insisted world protection, rather than world control, was at the heart of the
offer. President Bolsonaro sees the Amazon as Brazil’s
possession, to be protected or exploited as he sees fit. However, these fires are a global crisis and
now, at such a scale, he may not be able to control them alone. JUDY WOODRUFF: That was Emma Murphy of Independent
Television News. Now we begin a series of reports on the threats
to the Amazon rainforest. Historic levels of deforestation and, this
month, those record-setting fires have sparked global outcry. Amna Nawaz recently traveled to Brazil to
better understand what’s driving the devastation. Tonight, she’s back with the first report,
with the support of the Pulitzer Center, which examines the role played by Brazil’s controversial
President Jair Bolsonaro. AMNA NAWAZ: He’s been dubbed the Trump of
the Tropics, both for his surprising rise to power and for a history of controversial
and offensive speech. President Jair Bolsonaro swept into office
in January, promising to jump-start a failing economy by fighting widespread corruption
and high levels of violence in Brazilian cities. MONICA DE BOLLE, Peterson Institute for International
Economics: There was a bit of a political vacuum left in the country. AMNA NAWAZ: Latin America expert Monica de
Bolle at the Peterson Institute says, for Bolsonaro, the timing of his candidacy was
crucial to his win. MONICA DE BOLLE: People were looking for somebody
who could effectively tell them a good story about how they were going to get rid of corruption,
and also about how they were going to reduce crime and violence. AMNA NAWAZ: Over his 27 years in Congress,
Bolsonaro built a reputation for holding far-right views and a thundering disdain for political
correctness, like in 2003, when he told a fellow Brazilian lawmaker she wasn’t worth
raping. The former army captain has long praised Brazil’s
former military dictatorship. He’s said he’d be incapable of loving a homosexual
son, and advocated for the use of firing squads to kill suspected criminals. But last September, Bolsonaro became a target
of violence himself, stabbed in the stomach while campaigning for president. He survived, saying God saved him to lead
Brazil, then cruised to victory weeks later by tapping into national outrage over a massive
corruption scandal known as Operation Car Wash. The years-long probe uncovered a vast and
unprecedented web of political and corporate racketeering. Several lawmakers went to jail, including
former President Lula da Silva. Public backlash against the establishment
was swift and severe. MONICA DE BOLLE: Brazil’s democracy, while
people still believe in it, they think it’s been shaken to its core because of this corruption
scandal. And, therefore, Bolsonaro was pretty much
the right person to appear at the right time for the conditions that were set in the country,
but far from being the kind of leader that Brazil actually needs to get over a lot of
the problems that it has. AMNA NAWAZ: Now, eight months into Bolsonaro’s
presidency, those problems still linger, says Eduardo Viola, a professor of international
relations at the University of Brasilia. EDUARDO VIOLA, University of Brasilia: He’s
governing a lot over tweets, OK, like Trump, more or less, OK? And so this many times create crisis. AMNA NAWAZ: The most recent crisis? The anti-corruption candidate now faces his
own corruption scandal. Leaked messages and audio allege collusion
between prosecutors and a then judge, now Bolsonaro’s handpicked justice minister, an
effort, critics say, to keep former President Lula locked up on corruption charges and out
of last year’s election. Recently, Bolsonaro, who was elected with
55 percent of the vote, has seen his support start to slip. Polls show only about a third of Brazilians
now view his presidency positively. But the president still enjoys strong support
and loyalty from his base. Thousands of Bolsonaro supporters took to
the streets earlier this summer at pro-government rallies around Brazil, this one in Sao Paulo. MAN (through translator): I voted for change,
and that’s the way he conquered the masses. WOMAN (through translator): I think if he
can do half of what he said he would do, then, yes, he could succeed, if there is no corruption. MAN (through translator): Now I see a person
more honest, patriotic to command our country. The proposals that he has put in place, everything
is beneficial for our population. AMNA NAWAZ: But one group tracking Bolsonaro’s
rise and rhetoric with concern is the environmental community. MERCEDES BUSTAMANTE, University of Brasilia:
I think there is a dangerous combination of an anti-science discourse and an anti-environmental
discourse. AMNA NAWAZ: Mercedes Bustamante is a biologist
and professor at the University of Brasilia. She says Bolsonaro’s push to open up the Amazon
rainforest for more agriculture and mining threatens both the battle against global warming
and Brazil’s image and legacy as an environmental leader. MERCEDES BUSTAMANTE: Brazil has made huge
progress in the last years trying to reduce deforestation rates in the Amazon. But now, as the economic situation in Brazil
is not that good, the main argument is that environmental protection is stopping Brazilian
economic growth. AMNA NAWAZ: Bolsonaro’s administration has
already overseen historic levels of deforestation, rolling back regulations on protected areas
in the Amazon, and slashing the budget of Brazil’s main environmental agency by 24 percent. MONICA DE BOLLE: He has weakened all of the
environmental agencies in Brazil that were responsible for licensing, monitoring, and
just sending people out to make sure that deforestation wasn’t happening. He has basically upended all of those institutions. AMNA NAWAZ: But one policy turnaround by Bolsonaro
has given environmentalists hope: his reversal on a campaign promise to pull out of the landmark
Paris climate accord, signed by almost every nation in the world. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
Believe me, this is not what we need. AMNA NAWAZ: If that pledge to pull out of
the international climate agreement sounds familiar, it’s because President Trump made
it first. DONALD TRUMP: I was elected to represent the
citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris. AMNA NAWAZ: Trump and Bolsonaro have forged
an ideological bond over the last year. DONALD TRUMP: But we have a great alliance
with Brazil, better than we have ever had before. Are the two really that similar? EDUARDO VIOLA: Yes, they are. I mean, he was a lot inspired by the Trump
electoral campaign and the election of Trump and the way Trump governs. MONICA DE BOLLE: I don’t think it’s altogether
fair to call him the Trump of the Tropics, because he’s very much a product of Brazilian
politics. But, of course, some of these similarities
in terms of tactics and his inclination to always find something else to sort of deflect
the attention away from the issue that he’s coming under stress for are indeed similar. AMNA NAWAZ: Another similarity? Bolsonaro keeps his family close. His three adult sons are all elected officials. The most visible is Eduardo, a congressman
often seen by his father’s side, and often serving as his foreign envoy. Last summer, he accompanied his father to
Washington, D.C., in June, to the G20 summit in Tokyo. How much influence does he have over his father? EDUARDO VIOLA: In terms of foreign policy,
a lot. I mean, and the influence of Eduardo Bolsonaro,
all the sons, is very strong, more than any other minister. EDUARDO BOLSONARO, Brazilian Congressman:
Trump and Bolsonaro, they are very, very close. AMNA NAWAZ: While in the capital city of Brasilia,
I asked Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro what similarities his father shares with President
Trump. EDUARDO BOLSONARO: They do not care about
the politically correct. So, they think, they talk. The same way that they speak with their friends,
they are going to speak with the press. AMNA NAWAZ: Congressman Bolsonaro, now under
consideration to be Brazil’s ambassador to the United States, staunchly defends his father’s
past remarks, including him insulting a political rival’s looks by saying she wasn’t worthy
of being raped. You don’t deny your father said this about
a woman, about a political rival? EDUARDO BOLSONARO: No, because she attacked
first him. AMNA NAWAZ: What about the comments about
having a homosexual son, he’d never be able to love a homosexual son. EDUARDO BOLSONARO: I am sure, if I would be
a homosexual, my father will love me, for sure. AMNA NAWAZ: There were a surge in attacks
during the election against LGBTQ members here in Brazil. Two trans women were murdered during that
time, and there was a direct link to their killers being supporters of your father. Do you worry about that? EDUARDO BOLSONARO: No, I think my father got
stabbed. He’s the victim. People sometimes try to do this kind of relation. AMNA NAWAZ: This is separate from the attack
on your father, though. This was related to things that he had said. EDUARDO BOLSONARO: Do you think the LGBT sent
someone to stab my father? AMNA NAWAZ: Do you? EDUARDO BOLSONARO: I don’t know. You’re saying that the words of my father
has incredible power that influence people to kill each other. So, if Jair Bolsonaro starts to say that we
have to love one, each other, do you think the murders would stop in Brazil? AMNA NAWAZ: Do you believe your father’s words
carry influence? EDUARDO BOLSONARO: I don’t think that he has
so much influence as people are trying to do this kind of relation between murders of
LGBT people. AMNA NAWAZ: Poll numbers have been sagging
recently. Are you worried that he’s losing support? EDUARDO BOLSONARO: No, no, no, I don’t see
it this way. I think that to fix Brazil, after 13 years
of socialism, we are not going to fix it in a couple of months. It’s a long way that we have to run, and I
think, four years, it will be the first step. AMNA NAWAZ: President Bolsonaro has moved
quickly to redefine Brazil’s place in the world. But his moves in the Amazon are already sparking
international backlash, according to Monica de Bolle. And she says the economy will determine the
fate of the Bolsonaro presidency. MONICA DE BOLLE: Brazil is in a very, very
delicate place right now, because you have this economy that’s not taking off. And the levels of unemployed people, very
high unemployment rates, and rising inequality, that’s obviously going to lead people to at
some point think, well, we voted this guy in because we thought he was going to turn
the situation around, and it’s actually not happening. AMNA NAWAZ: Bolsonaro’s challenge? Work within the very institutions he derides,
as he tries to deliver on the campaign promises that propelled him into power. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Amna Nawaz in
Brasilia, Brazil. JUDY WOODRUFF: Puerto Rico is under hurricane
watch late today, as Tropical Storm Dorian bears down on the island. Residents and government agencies are again
bracing themselves for the blow, just under two years since Hurricane Maria ravaged the
island, leaving much of its power grid, water systems, and other infrastructure in tatters. For a look at how the island’s government
is preparing and its citizens are stocking up and hunkering down, we turn to Danica Coto
of the Associated Press. JUDY WOODRUFF: Danica, hello again to you. Thank you for joining us. So, what is the very latest that the Hurricane
Center is saying about this storm? DANICA COTO, Associated Press: They adjusted
the forecast a little bit. So, now the storm will be also affecting the
central part of Puerto Rico, as well as the southwest region, and heavy rain is also expected
along the north coast. JUDY WOODRUFF: Are they saying how strong
a storm they expect it to be? DANICA COTO: It remains near hurricane string. So, at least, since the last couple of days,
that has been downgraded a bit. At the beginning, they were forecasting it
as a small — a Category 1 hurricane. Now it’s supposed to be near hurricane strength. JUDY WOODRUFF: And what are people on the
island doing to prepare? DANICA COTO: A lot. There’s some people that are still doing last-minute
preparations. There’s some shelves that have been stripped
of water. But there’s still a lot of supplies island-wide. They’re buying food. They’re buying diesel, not only for generators,
but for their cars. They’re also securing pieces of things that
now are serving as roofs. And those who have blue tarps as roofs are
seeking shelter. JUDY WOODRUFF: And what about the government? You have, what, a new governor. She’s only been in office about three weeks. How is the — is the Puerto Rican government
preparing? DANICA COTO: Correct? Well, Wanda Vazquez, the new governor, had
her first press conference on Dorian last night. And she read from about a document of nine
pages outlining exactly everything that government agencies are doing and how they’re better
equipped this time around compared to Hurricane Maria. Among the equipment that she listed, she noted
that the power company has about $122 million worth of inventory, compared to the roughly
$22 million that was available during Hurricane Maria. She also spoke of a lot of generators, 100-watt
radios, in addition to other equipment that the government has bought since the Category
4 storm struck. JUDY WOODRUFF: So what she’s saying is that
they are better prepared than they were for Maria, which was, what, September of 2017? DANICA COTO: Correct. She said that new equipment has been bought,
the communications has improved, that they have learned their lesson from Hurricane Maria
and that, this time I’m around, they will be better prepared. JUDY WOODRUFF: But we also know, Danica, there
was a lot of damage done on the island to the infrastructure. How much is that affecting the ability of
Puerto Rico to prepare for another hurricane? DANICA COTO: Correct. Well, there’s still about 30,000 homes that
have blue tarps as roofs, and that’s nearly two years after Maria. And officials noted that about 9,000 to 13,000
of those are located in the region where the storm is expected to impact. In addition to the blue roofs, there’s also
power outages. In some areas, it’s nearly daily. In others, it’s about weekly. But, overall, the power grid remains unstable. And many people worry that, even though it’s
not a hurricane coming our way, the tropical-storm-force winds and the heavy rains will lead to power
outages. JUDY WOODRUFF: And what happens to those people
who do live in the houses with the very flimsy roofs, as you say, the blue tarps? Where do they go? DANICA COTO: That’s a good question. Some of them are seeking shelter. Others are deciding to stay with neighbors
or with friends. But a lot of them are worried about the aftermath. Their roofs are still leaking, even with a
minor rainstorm. And so the — Dorian is expected to dump between
three to six inches of rain, up to eight inches in isolated areas. And they just worry about the future of the
homes that they have tried to rebuild after Maria. JUDY WOODRUFF: And what about overall? What are the people you talk to saying about,
here we go, here’s another storm? How concerned are they? DANICA COTO: They’re very concerned. One person I interviewed this morning said:
We’re all prepared. We bought our food, we bought our water, we
bought fuel for the generators, for those who can afford them, he says, but, in the
end, it’s mostly in the hands of the government. And many of them feel that the government
failed them back in 2017. And they’re worried about another failure
this time around, despite Governor Wanda Vazquez assuring people that they are well-prepared,
that they have better equipment, better communication, and that the storm will not be obviously as
strong as Maria, but that they’re all on alert and that the people will be well-protected. JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we are certainly going
to continue to follow this, to report on it in the hours and the days to come. And in the meantime, we certainly wish all
the people of Puerto Rico the very best. Danica Coto with the Associated Press, thank
you. DANICA COTO: Thank you very much. JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump suggested this
week that he is considering hosting next year’s G7 meeting with world leaders at his Miami
golf resort. Lisa Desjardins has more on why those comments
are raising some eyebrows. LISA DESJARDINS: It sounded a little like
a sales pitch, but from a presidential podium. The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold has
been reporting on Mr. Trump’s business interests since before the 2016 election, and joins
us now. Let’s start, first of all, David, with what
exactly the president told reporters about why he thinks his resort in Doral, Florida,
is a good idea for the G7. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
We have many hundred of acres, so that, in terms of parking, in terms of all of the things
that you need — the ballrooms are among the biggest in Florida, and the best. It’s brand-new. And they want — my people wanted it. From my standpoint, I’m not going to make
any money. In my opinion, I’m not going to make any money. I don’t want to make money. I don’t care about making money. LISA DESJARDINS: Now, President Trump is unique
in many ways. One of them, he is the only president we have
ever had that owns resorts around the country. My question to you, David, what issues would
this raise, the idea of a G7 resort the president owns? DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, The Washington Post: Well,
you could sort of put them into categories. The one would be — the first would be the
ethical concerns. The Constitution prohibits presidents from
taking emoluments or payments from foreign governments. This would be Trump on a massive scale compelling
foreign governments to pay money to him. The foreign leaders who come to these G7 summits
are accompanied by dozens and dozens of people. They all pay for their hotel rooms. The revenue would go to him. So that’s on the first scale. This is the use of president — presidential
power to basically create revenue for the president himself. The other set of concerns is logistical. Most G7 summits, they’re so heavily secured,
they’re held on islands or in sort of small resort towns that you can wall off. Doral, you can’t do that. It’s among a bunch of industrial parks on
the western side of Miami. So there’s a logistical question of trying
to secure something that is so sort of big and sprawling and integrated into a big city. LISA DESJARDINS: Let’s revisit the Emoluments
Clause for a minute to remind people. This is what it says in the U.S. Constitution. It reads; “No person holding any office of
profit” — generally thought to meet an executive of the U.S. government — “shall, without
the consent of Congress, accept any present emolument, office or title of any kind whatever
from any foreign state.” This is one of two emoluments clauses, but
this is the one that’s relevant here. Do we know if it is illegal for foreign governments
to conduct business with operations the president owns? Where is the fight over this in court right
now? DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: You’re right that we don’t
know for sure. This is such a dusty and sort of untouched
area of federal law. No president had ever gotten close to sort
of stepping over the line here before Trump, who just jumped over the line. And so the federal courts have been trying
to catch up and figure out, what did this — what did the founding fathers mean? What does an emolument mean? Is this illegal? So three lawsuits were fired — were filed
accusing Trump of violating the Emoluments Clause. Two have now been dismissed, on the grounds
that the people who brought them didn’t have the standing to sue Trump in the first place. The one remaining one was filed by a bunch
of congressional Democrats. That is still going, but it’s on hold now
while Trump appeals it to a higher court to try to dismiss it. So that basic question, does an emolument
in the Constitution, does that mean just a plain old bribe of money given to Trump for
him doing something, doing a favor? Or could it mean a payment for a ballroom
or hotel room, where the foreign government pays Trump, but gets something in return? The courts haven’t ruled on that yet. LISA DESJARDINS: I want to also ask you about
Trump’s business in general. He said he doesn’t care about money. Do we know if his businesses have lost money
since he’s been president, and by about how much? DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: We don’t know the big picture. So the Trump Org has hundreds of hundreds
of individual companies. And in some cases, we know those individual
companies are doing poorly. Doral, that golf course in Florida, is a prime
example. It’s had a real rough run since Trump got
into politics. Profitability has dropped 70 percent. But as far as the whole picture, are they
making money or losing money overall, they have never said, and I don’t know. LISA DESJARDINS: So let’s talk a little bit
more specifically about the Doral resort. It is a sprawling resort, four golf courses,
some 700 rooms. Certainly, logistically, it could provide
the space for those world leaders. And looking at this question another way,
could there not be an advantage for a president to be able to host world leaders on his own
turf? Why shouldn’t he be able to do that? DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: Well, there — I have just
talked to people today who have sort of specialized in putting on summits, people that organized
summits for the U.S. in the past. And they said there actually are some advantages
to Doral, one of them being that it’s sort of divided up into eight or 10 villas, sort
of wings of hotel rooms. And you could use those to house the individual
countries, so their security staffs wouldn’t run into one another. You’re right that it’s self-contained. Once you got all the dignitaries on the property,
you could probably keep them there and not have to motorcade them around. There are some disadvantages, though. It’s very close to the Miami Airport, which
might put some restrictions on flights. And, as I said, it’s not an island. It’s surrounded by all these neighborhoods
where somebody could pull up and launch an attack, somebody could launch a drone or a
mortar. So if you want to secure that whole area for,
let’s remember, seven and maybe more of the most powerful people in the world, you have
to watch that outside area. And it’s going to be a lot harder at Doral
than it would be at some other place. LISA DESJARDINS: Briefly, David, you have
a new story today that touches on all this. Attorney General Barr apparently has put in
a reservation for a $30,000 party that he’s going to pay for himself at Trump’s hotel
here in Washington in December. Can you talk about that? And why does that raise concerns? DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: Well, you’re right. We got some leaked documents from the Trump
Hotel that show William Barr, the new attorney general, has reserved the presidential ballroom
at the Trump Hotel in December and is going to pay at least $30,000 for this 200-person,
he calls it a family holiday party. That’s not illegal, as far as I know. But this is a question of the president — we
have talked a lot about how the president has combined the personal and the political,
the presidency and his business. And this is a case where someone that he’s
rewarded in an official capacity as president, Barr — he’s elevated him to this high office
— is now giving Trump personal rewards. So, Trump is reaping some personal benefit
from this guy that he just appointed. Barr says he didn’t do it to curry favor,
that he tried to get a room at the Marriott first. But the result is somebody that Trump used
U.S. power to help is now using his money to help Trump. LISA DESJARDINS: All right, David Fahrenthold,
thank you so much for joining us. DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: Thank you. JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s that time of year. School is starting across the country. It can be a stressful time for kids and parents. One nonprofit program, Y.O.G.A. for Youth,
is trying to help students combat anxiety and practice relaxation in schools and in
community centers. This story was produced by teachers and students
who participated in “PBS NewsHour” Student Reporting Labs’ annual summer academy, and
it’s part of our regular series on education, Making the Grade. MARLEY MCKIND, Former Student: I was getting,
you know, rejection letters from scholarships and programs I wanted to do, and I was applying
to colleges, so it was extremely overwhelming and stressful. BRIANNAN DELUCA, Former Student: As a teenager,
I really wanted to please everyone. I just wanted everyone to be happy. When you do that, you are not happy yourself. MAN: We’re going to do this with our eyes
closed. DAMIEN HENSON: After seeing his students struggle,
Northwood High School art teacher Dharma Atma Singh started using yoga to help them cope
with anxiety. DHARMA ATMA SINGH, Yoga Instructor: I was
having a tough day with kids, and I pulled out my yoga mat, and I sat down and started
doing some meditation, but I had forgotten to lock my doors. And two of my roughest kids came rolling through
the door. And I said, sit down. I will show you. And so the number of kids started expanding. DAMIEN HENSON: For Dharma’s former students,
Briannan and Marley, yoga gave them a new lease on life during the most difficult time
of their high school careers. DHARMA ATMA SINGH: A lot of our kids — in
fact, I would say most of our kids are in crisis in one form or another. We have a lot of anxiety, stress, trauma that
happens in life. And kids who are teenagers, it’s a difficult
time of transition for them, anyway. DAMIEN HENSON: Now Dharma hopes to share his
yoga practice with teachers throughout Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. He uses a curriculum developed by Y.O.G.A.
for Youth, a nonprofit organization working to bring yoga and mindfulness to students
across the country. Emily Cord, an elementary school teacher,
is attending Dharma’s workshop. EMILY CORD, Teacher: It helps me be more mindful
about what’s going on in students’ lives and really think about how I can support them
better through different stretches or exercises to deal with these challenges in their lives. MARLEY MCKIND: I go to school in the Appalachian
area, where public schools are pretty low funded, and there’s a lot of problems. After college, I’m hoping to take a year to
save and get my yoga teacher training. DAMIEN HENSON: Dharma says his ultimate goal
is to spread his message of peace and love to everyone who needs it. DHARMA ATMA SINGH: Y.O.G.A. for Youth provides
them with tools in their tool belt to be able to self regulate and to manage themselves
to make good decisions, to, you know, deal with their stress, their anxiety, their pressures
that they have to deal with on a daily basis. MARLEY MCKIND: Meditation has helped me to
find empathy for a wider range of people. DAMIEN HENSON: For “PBS NewsHour” Student
Reporting Labs, I’m Damien Henson in Silver Spring, Maryland. JUDY WOODRUFF: And that was from Northwood
High School in Silver Spring. Thank you. Tonight on the “NewsHour” online: At the end
of summer, it can sometimes feel like there’s nothing to watch on television, but there
are plenty of women’s sports in full swing. We have some recommendations online now at All that and more is on our Web site, And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m Judy Woodruff. Join us online and again here tomorrow evening. For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank
you, and we’ll see you soon.

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