April 7, 2022 - PBS NewsHour full episode
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April 7, 2022 - PBS NewsHour full episode
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04/07/2022 | 56m 43s | Video has closed captioning.
April 7, 2022 - PBS NewsHour full episode
Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning
AMNA NAWAZ: Good evening.
I'm Amna Nawaz.
Judy Woodruff is away.
On the "NewsHour" tonight: the costs of war.
Western nations pledge more military aid for Ukraine, as investigators gather additional evidence of war crimes, including Russia's apparent use of civilians as human shields.
And an historic first.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson becomes the first Black woman elevated to the Supreme Court after three Republican senators join Democrats to vote for her confirmation.
Then: fearing for the future.
The former Soviet state of Moldova welcomes refugees from neighboring Ukraine, but also worries about what comes next.
DOINA STRAISTEANU, Human Rights Attorney: Numerically and professionally, we are unable to face any military attack.
We do not have a strong army able to defend the country.
AMNA NAWAZ: All that and more on tonight's "PBS NewsHour."
(BREAK) AMNA NAWAZ: Well, there were more revelations today of the depth of carnage and devastation across Northern Ukraine, as Russian forces redeployed to the east.
Elsewhere, the mayor of the southwestern port city of Mariupol said there were as many as 5,000 dead in his besieged city and roughly 100,000 civilians still trapped.
Meanwhile, at NATO, foreign ministers met to discuss further military aid to Ukraine.
And the United Nations took a rare vote to kick Russia off its Human Rights Council.
But we begin again tonight with special correspondent Simon Ostrovsky and videographer Yegor Troyanovsky, reporting from a small village northwest of Kyiv, where the air is filled with fear and death.
And a warning: Some images in this report are disturbing.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: In Yahidne, Northern Ukraine, a mother's sorrow.
WOMAN (through translator): His eyes were covered.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: Today, volunteers have recovered the body of one of her sons shot during the Russian occupation of this village in the Chernihiv region.
Ludmila Shevchenko (ph) is too distraught to speak.
Her younger son was last seen being led away blindfolded with his hands tied, accused by the occupying Russian force of helping Ukrainian troops direct their fire, we're told by Shevchenko's son-in-law.
Her younger son was found here, buried in his own garden by the soldiers who killed him.
It's the sixth body recovered here in the last two days that's believed to be an execution.
WOMAN (through translator): A 12-year-old child, and her head's come off.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: As many as 20 villagers didn't survive the month the Russians were here, including a 12-year-old girl and her stepfather who died in their car as they tried to flee.
The rest of the villagers, nearly 380 people, were held against their will in the basement of the school, used as a human shield by Russian troops, who made it their headquarters.
VALENTYNA SHYLO, Music Teacher (through translator): We were human shields.
We could see that.
We could see that clearly as they were shooting back and forth.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: The villagers were packed so tightly in the basement, 11 of its more frail residents didn't survive the month-long ordeal.
They used buckets as toilets and were rarely allowed to go outside for fresh air.
VALENTYNA SHYLO (through translator): They tried to make us learn the Russian national anthem.
If you learn the Russian anthem, you can go home: Yes, we will let you go.
And if you don't, you will have to stay here.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: "Did you do it?"
VALENTYNA SHYLO (through translator): No.
No one learned it.
No one did.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: Valentyna Shylo is a music teacher here.
She jokes that she's now put in double overtime at the school as she leads me into the dark cellar, where she and the others lived for weeks.
VALENTYNA SHYLO (through translator): My little chair.
I wrote the last names of some of the people who were here down.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: What we have here is really interesting and give us an insight into what Russian army life is like.
This case is labeled "Military Political Preparedness."
In other words, these are ideological materials that the Russian soldiers used to prepare themselves and ready themselves for patriotism in serving their country.
Apparently, the troops that occupied this village came from a Buddhist region.
There is a book here from the Dalai Lama.
There's Tuvan magazine.
And there's a lot of other materials about patriotism in Russia, with the national anthem, important dates from military history and the military oath that soldiers are supposed to take.
The soldiers who came here apparently planned to stay for a long time.
A local man shows us the classrooms Russian soldiers turn into their barracks, leaving behind cigarette butts, food wrappers, and feces.
MAN (through translator): This is where they lived.
Look at the state of this place.
The officers were in there.
This was their so-called rec room.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: They slept easier on these mattresses, knowing there were hundreds of civilians in the basement below them, he tells me.
HALYNA, Yahidne Resident (through translator): The most upsetting thing was watching how they bring you water, as if they're helping you, in your own children's shoes.
One Tuvan who brought me water was wearing sneakers from my apartment over there.
It's painful to watch.
None of this was free.
We built all of this with our own hands.
Then they came, looted the place, destroyed it, and then punished us on top of that.
We were being punished.
So they wouldn't open the cellar.
They blocked the doors.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: The war in Ukraine has been brutal from the start.
The aerial bombings and shellings of civilian areas of cities by the Russian forces probably rises to the level of a war crime.
But there's something about the evidence that has emerged over the last week of deliberate killings that has really galvanized the world's attention to what's happening here, because it can't be claimed that these deaths were an accident.
Far from these killing fields, foreign ministers met at NATO headquarters in Brussels today, pledging to send more military aid to Ukraine and bolster Europe's eastern flank.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Western leaders would remain united against Russia's invasion.
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. Secretary of State: The sickening images and accounts coming out of Bucha and other parts of Ukraine have only strengthened our collective resolve and unity.
We're sustaining and building on pressure on the Kremlin and its enablers.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: Ahead of the meeting, Ukraine's top diplomat said his nation needs three things, weapons, weapons and weapons.
Later, Dmytro Kuleba added urgency.
DMYTRO KULEBA, Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Either you help us now -- and I'm speaking about days, not weeks -- or your help will come too late.
And many people will die.
Many civilians will lose their homes.
Many villages will be destroyed, exactly because this help came too late.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: After two days of talks, European leaders said today they approved a fifth round of sanctions, including a historic ban on Russian coal imports.
Expected to take effect in August, it's the bloc's first move to target Russian energy.
Western officials believe all Russian troops have now withdrawn from around Kyiv.
But the eastern regions of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk are seeing the worst of the fighting.
Officials expect a large offensive in the east in the next two weeks.
In the north, the scale of Bucha's killings becomes grimmer with each passing day, authorities still working to gather evidence of possible war crimes.
Officials said at least 410 civilians were killed in towns near the capital.
A German news organization reported today that German intelligence intercepted Russian military radio conversations discussing the crimes and orders to kill civilians.
That contradicts Russian claims the killings were staged.
But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov again didn't change his posture in an interview with Britain's Sky News.
DMITRY PESKOV, Spokesman for Vladimir Putin: It's a bold fake.
It's a bold fake, and we have been speaking about them for a couple of days.
But no one would listen to us.
MAN: We shall now begin the voting process.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: But citing reports of human rights abuses, today, the U.N. General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the organization's human rights body.
SERGIY KYSLYTSYA, Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations: Russia is not only committing human rights violations.
It is shaking the underpinnings of international peace and security.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Simon Ostrovsky in Yahidne, Ukraine.
AMNA NAWAZ: And our reporting on the war in Ukraine is supported in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.
In the day's other news: a near unanimous Congress voted to cut off normal trade relations with Russia and ban imports of Russian oil.
The action followed this week's reports of Russian atrocities in Ukraine.
In the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer condemned Russian President Putin before both bills passed by tallies of 100-0.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): No nation whose military is committing war crimes deserves free trade status with the United States.
No vile thug like Putin deserves to stand as an equal with the leaders of the free world.
He is a menace and a pariah who has ensured that his place in history will be one of everlasting shame.
AMNA NAWAZ: Later, the House of Representatives approved the bills with only a handful of no-votes.
They now go to President Biden for his signature.
The speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, tested positive today for COVID.
She is 82 and fully vaccinated and boosted.
A spokesman said she has no symptoms.
Just yesterday, Pelosi stood next to President Biden at a bill signing.
He has tested negative so far.
In Israel tonight, a shooting in a Tel Aviv nightlife district killed at least two people and wounded eight.
It was the latest in a series of attacks in recent weeks.
Police flooded into the area afterward.
They said a gunman opened fire on customers at a bar and restaurant, then ran from the scene.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Pakistan's political crisis, meanwhile, deepened today when the Supreme Court rejected Prime Minister Imran Khan's bid to stay in power.
His allies shut down Parliament last Sunday and called for new elections to head off a no-confidence vote.
This evening, opposition supporters celebrated in Islamabad after the court ordered the assembly restored.
AHSAN BHOON, President, Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan (through translator): Today, the supremacy of the Constitution has been restored.
This is not the victory of any political party.
It is the victory of the Constitution of Pakistan.
AMNA NAWAZ: Prime Minister Khan plans a nationally televised address tomorrow.
The exiled president of Yemen transferred power today to a presidential council amid new efforts to end a seven-year-civil war.
The announcement by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi was quickly endorsed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
They have led a military coalition in Yemen fighting rebels backed by Iran.
The trial in the killing of journalist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi will be moved to Saudi Arabia.
A Turkish court ordered that change today.
It had presided over the trial of 26 Saudis in absentia.
They're accused in Khashoggi's murder and Istanbul in 2018.
Khashoggi's fiancee and human rights groups condemned the move.
They said it means the killers will never be brought to justice.
HATICE CENGIZ, Fiancee of Jamal Khashoggi (through translator): We know very well how the justice system works or, rather, doesn't work in Saudi Arabia.
Of course, nobody expects a positive decision or justice to prevail.
I don't expect it either.
This is a political decision.
AMNA NAWAZ: Turkey had once vowed to document the full truth of the killing, but, more recently, it's been trying to improve relations with the Saudis.
Back in this country, the U.S. Justice Department is opening an investigation of the transfer of former President Trump's records to his home in Florida.
The Washington Post and others report it involves 15 boxes that included classified material.
The documents have since been returned to the National Archives.
A fire at a main power plant on Puerto Rico has cut off electricity to more than a million customers.
It began last night, and it left streets dark across the U.S. territory.
Schools and offices were shuttered today and 160,000 customers had no water service.
The aging electrical system has never been fully rebuilt since Hurricane Maria back in 2017.
The head of the Internal Revenue Service is appealing for more funds in the face of a record backlog.
Charles Rettig appeared at a U.S. Senate hearing today.
He said his agency needs more workers and upgraded systems to deal with a logjam of more than 20 million tax returns.
CHARLES RETTIG, IRS Commissioner: Modernized technology would significantly improve our ability to respond to a crisis, pandemic-related or otherwise.
It is simply unacceptable for us to remain largely a paper-based organization operating in a digital world environment.
AMNA NAWAZ: Senators complained that constituents are claiming they still have not received refunds from previous years.
Wall Street eked out gains today.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 87 points to close at 34583.
The Nasdaq rose eight points.
The S&P 500 added 19.
And in sports, Major League Baseball had opening day delayed one week after a long labor dispute.
The season began in Chicago, where the Cubs hosted the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field.
And in Augusta, Georgia, the Masters opened, with Tiger Woods playing for the first time since a severe car crash last year.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": former Congressman Will Hurd shares his ideas for an American reboot; Lithuania's foreign minister discusses the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine; an art exhibit chronicles opposition to the 1984 U.S. intervention in Central America; plus much more.
Well, the Senate today narrowly confirmed the first Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Let's begin now with some background on today's vote following a whirlwind confirmation process.
KAMALA HARRIS, Vice President of the United States: On this vote, the yeas are 53, the nays are 47.
And this nomination is confirmed.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) AMNA NAWAZ: A moment centuries in the making, as the Senate voted 53 to 47 to confirm judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the nation's highest court.
Judge Jackson watched it unfold alongside President Biden in the White House.
And Vice President Harris reflected on the occasion as she left the chamber.
KAMALA HARRIS: The statement about that, on our highest court in the land, we want to make sure that there's going to be full representation and the finest and brightest and the best, and that's what happened today.
I'm very proud.
AMNA NAWAZ: Three Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Susan Collins of Maine, joined all 50 Democrats in voting for Jackson.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hailed today's vote.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): This is a great moment for Judge Jackson, but it is even great -- a greater moment for America, as we rise to a more perfect union.
AMNA NAWAZ: Jackson will become not only the first Black woman on the court.
She will also be the first justice to have been a federal public defender.
Last month, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she spoke of the legal racial segregation her parents lived through and how it shaped her life today.
JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, Supreme Court Nominee: My parents taught me that, unlike the many barriers that they had had to face growing up, my path was clearer, so that if I worked hard and I believed in myself, in America, I could do anything or be anything I wanted to be.
AMNA NAWAZ: Jackson worked for eight years as a federal district court judge, until last June, when she was confirmed onto the D.C.
Circuit Court of Appeals.
Some Republicans today repeated concerns about expanding the size of the court and Jackson's judicial philosophy.
Here's Mitch McConnell.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Her judicial record is full of cases where a Judge Jackson ruled like a policymaker implementing personal biases, instead of a judge following the text wherever it led.
AMNA NAWAZ: Others reiterated attacks on a narrower part of her sentencing record.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): We can reasonably expect that Justice Jackson, will consistently vote as she has done as a judge for the last 10 years, for more lenient sentences for criminal defendants.
AMNA NAWAZ: Questions Jackson fielded time and again during confirmation hearings.
JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON: I know what it's like to have loved ones who go off to protect and to serve, and the fear of not knowing whether or not they're going to come home again because of crime in the community.
AMNA NAWAZ: The White House announced Judge Jackson will deliver remarks tomorrow from the South Lawn, along with President Biden and Vice President Harris.
For the next three months, Jackson is a justice in waiting, until Justice Stephen Breyer retires at the end of the current court term.
The longest previous gap between confirmation and taking the bench was in 1969, after a dispute between Presidents Nixon and Johnson stalled the approval of Warren Burger to succeed Chief Justice Earl Warren.
Justice Jackson will sit for her first term on the court in October.
For more on this historic Supreme Court confirmation, I'm joined by LaDoris Cordell.
In the 1980s, she became the first Black woman judge in Northern California.
She has since retired from the bench, recently published a memoir titled "Her Honor."
Judge Cordell, welcome to the "NewsHour."
Thanks for joining us.
LADORIS CORDELL, Former Superior Court of California Judge: Thanks.
AMNA NAWAZ: Well, it only took 233 years, but here we are.
What did you think when the vote happened today, where we are, what it means for the nation?
LADORIS CORDELL: Well, I watched the vote as it happened.
And when it was finalized, I immediately thought this is a good day for America and it's a wonderful day for America's legal system.
Yet another barrier has been broken.
And we are on a slow, but steady process of making our U.S. Supreme Court look like America.
We're not there yet.
But this is a huge step in that direction.
AMNA NAWAZ: Judge, you know what it's like to be the first in a space, which is something Judge Jackson has known and will continue to know.
The pressure is big for any high-profile role specifically in this kind of role for a Black woman.
Talk to me about what that was like for you, what you anticipate for Judge Jackson.
LADORIS CORDELL: Sure.
The pressure that I felt being the first African American woman judge in Northern California, really two different kinds of pressure.
One kind is what I call the bad pressure.
And that's pressure from individuals within the institution and on the outside who expect you to fail, expect you and want you, hope you -- that you fail.
They have bought into negative stereotypes about women, about people of color, and they don't want their institutions to change.
And then there's the good pressure.
It's pressure from communities of color, from women's organizations and communities, who want you to succeed and hope that you will ,expect you to succeed.
So what that means for waiting -- Judge Brown Jackson, the justice in waiting, is that she's going to feel these pressures.
But we have already seen that her history is that she has survived and dealt well with these pressures.
In fact, they have made her thrive.
So we can expect nothing different from what she has done already, and, as expressed, as she did at the confirmation hearing.
AMNA NAWAZ: Judge Cordell, among those who opposed before and still oppose her, there are some that say she's only there because she's Black, right?
There were some Republicans who were even saying that before the confirmation hearings began.
What would you say to them?
LADORIS CORDELL: Well, the same thing was said when I was appointed, I heard comments: Well, she's only there because she's a Black woman.
And I say back to them -- and I say this on behalf of Judge Brown Jackson -- I'd rather be appointed because I'm a Black woman than not be appointed because I'm a Black woman.
It is nothing to be ashamed of.
It is a job that we can do and should have been doing.
And consider the U.S. Supreme Court has been a segregated institution for more than 200 years.
You look back when Thurgood Marshall came on the bench, and then we look, 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor was the first woman on the court.
Before then, hundreds of years, it's only been white males.
It's been a segregated institution.
So it is time.
And it doesn't matter what people say about why they think she is there.
We know that she has the credentials.
She is among the best and the brightest.
And we know that she will do a great job on the court.
AMNA NAWAZ: Did it surprise you that three Republicans voted to confirm her?
LADORIS CORDELL: It didn't surprise me.
What surprised me was that they were -- they are touted as having courage to break ranks and the courage to vote for this candidate, this nominee for the court.
This doesn't take courage.
This nomination and voting for her was common sense.
And if anyone understands the legal system and how important representational diversity is, it doesn't take courage at all.
It's common sense.
So those who did not vote for her, they expressed themselves quite well with their baseless, race-baiting and insulting comments and questions to her.
And I hope we spend very little time on these individuals who are basically very hypocritical and/or do not have an understanding of how the legal system works, particularly the criminal legal system.
AMNA NAWAZ: We have less than a minute left but I have to ask.
She could likely be on the bench for decades, right?
She's very young.
Given the conservative supermajority, though, she's not likely to change the ideal ideological balance, though.
So what do you anticipate Justice Jackson's impact on the court will be?
LADORIS CORDELL: Initially, as you stated, she will not be generally probably in the majority.
She will be with the liberal wing, which now will be composed of three women, one African American, one Latina, and a Jewish woman, which I find wonderful, and the fact that there is so much diversity there.
So she will likely be writing dissents.
But I say to people who are discouraged by that, history shows that justices, as long as they're on the court, and they're on a long time, oftentimes, those dissenting opinions become majority opinions.
So, the law evolves, as we know.
And I expect her to be a consensus-builder, to at least attempt it, and make a good-faith attempt to do it.
And, eventually, we're going to see things change, as they always do in our legal system.
AMNA NAWAZ: That is retired Judge LaDoris Cordell joining us tonight.
Thank you so much for being with us.
LADORIS CORDELL: Thank you so much.
It's a good day.
AMNA NAWAZ: When Congressman Will Hurd announced in 2019 he would not seek reelection in his competitive border district, he was the House Republicans' only Black member and one of the few in his party to openly criticize then-President Donald Trump.
Now the former congressman says it's time for a total overhaul of America's political system.
Will Hurd sat down with Judy Woodruff recently to discuss his new book, "American Reboot: An Idealist's Guide to Getting Big Things Done."
JUDY WOODRUFF: Former Congressman Will Hurd, thank you very much for joining us.
And congratulations on the book.
There's so much to ask you about, but I do want to start with immigration.
On Friday, the Biden administration announced that it's rescinding what's called Title 42.
This was the edict that migrants could not apply for legal asylum.
They're rolling that back.
Was that the right move?
REP. WILL HURD (R-TX): It wasn't.
What's happening at the border right now is the worst -- the border the worse it's ever been.
And it truly is a crisis.
And this is being fueled by a number of factors.
But there's things that we can be doing.
We also can't treat everybody as if they're an asylum seeker.
Coming to the United States to seek asylum because you're looking for a better-paying job is not a reason to apply for asylum.
And so the fact that this started in the last administration and continued under this administration, this is not a best practice.
JUDY WOODRUFF: I want to ask you about Ukraine.
You're a former CIA officer.
So much heartache right now and commentary about what the U.S. and other countries should be doing or not doing.
At this point, under this administration, just this year, the United States has spent $14.5 billion to help the Ukrainians through security assistance, humanitarian assistance.
What more should, could the U.S. and American citizens be doing?
REP. WILL HURD: I think oftentimes, we look at top-line numbers, but we need to be looking at the things that we're actually giving.
I have been connected with the national security community for over two decades.
And one of the things I learned, whether it was my time in back alleys of dangerous places as an undercover officer in the CIA, or working in Congress on the Intelligence Committee, we should have a very simple policy: Your friends should love you, and your enemies should fear you.
This is a principle I talk about in the book.
When President Zelenskyy is saying, I need more help, my country needs more help, and here are some of the things you can do, I think we should listen to him.
We should be giving them the kinds of tools that they need in order to bring a true end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The longer this goes on, the bigger the impact is going to be on Eastern Europe.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Let's talk about your book.
You want a complete reboot, as the title says, of America -- the American political system.
You talk about how what we have now is not healthy.
You talk about a country in decline.
In a nutshell -- and there's a lot here for people to take a look at.
But, in a nutshell, what is wrong with the system right now?
REP. WILL HURD: I think, in a nutshell, what's wrong with the system is that we have elected officials that are appealing to the edges and the extreme edges of the party, not the middle.
That's driven by how a districts are designed.
And you have too many leaders on both sides of the political divide that are more interested in fearmongering than trying to inspire.
I saw it when I was in Congress, when I was a Black Republican representing a 71 percent Latino district.
Nobody thought I ever had a chance.
When I won,everybody said there's no way this guy is getting reelected.
And I continued to do it.
Because I showed up to places, and I realized eyes that way more unites us as a country than divides us.
And when you focus on those things, you can actually get big things done.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You have plenty of criticism in the book of former President Trump.
And you have said that you think his influence is waning in the Republican Party.
And yet -- and we know some of the candidates he's backing are not ahead in their races, but most of them are embracing some form of Trumpism.
How do you work with that?
REP. WILL HURD: Sure, but I can also give you a list of candidates that won despite not having Donald Trump's support.
And you can look at -- let's look at Alabama.
Everybody thought Mo Brooks was going to be the candidate, and that was because of Donald Trump's support.
So I'm not saying that he doesn't have support and there isn't a group, but that that influence is waning, what I would consider more the authoritarian wing of the Republican Party.
But you have enough examples to say that this is not a lock and that this is the only way to win is by embracing that authoritarianism.
Republicans are taking the House back in 2022.
It's almost a fait accompli, likely to take back the Senate.
And the way we do that really matters.
And what I'm talking about is not just how you win elections, but it's also about how you should govern, because this pendulum that keeps swing back in every election cycle, that's not -- that's not good and that's not healthy for the country.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let me ask you that two issues that have been raised in campaigns, where Republicans are running, and running well.
One of them is Critical Race Theory.
Do you think that should be an issue in these congressional and Senate races?
REP. WILL HURD: Look, it's simple.
It influenced the country, right?
Jim Crow happened.
It influenced the country.
My dad's Black.
My mom's white.
They live in the house that they live in now because it was the only place that they were allowed to buy a home.
That meant me, my brother, and my sister can only go into -- go to certain schools.
We should talk about our history, warts and all.
But the way you talk about it matters.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And one other issue is, when Republican candidates are asked, did Joe Biden win the election, is he the legitimate president of the United States, many of them are ducking that.
What should the answer be?
REP. WILL HURD: The answer is, Joe Biden won the election, period, full stop, and it was lost by Donald Trump.
It was lost by Donald Trump because he was incapable of growing the Republican Party to different groups.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Two other quick questions, Will Hurd.
One is, for the first impeachment of former President Trump, you voted not to impeach him.
You said the pressure that he was putting on the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son was not illegal, while you disagreed with it.
Do you today regret that, given... FMR.
REP. WILL HURD: No.
JUDY WOODRUFF: ... the commentary about the apparent signal that that sent, that people like Fiona Hill, who worked in the Trump White House, said emboldened Vladimir Putin to go into Ukraine?
REP. WILL HURD: Well, do I -- would I have changed my decision?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.
REP. WILL HURD: Because my standard for impeachment was very simple.
And it was a violation of the law.
And Adam Schiff was saying that this was extortion.
And the preconditions for extortion didn't exist in that phone call.
There's a whole host of reasons of why Vladimir Putin decided to go into Ukraine at the time that he went into Ukraine.
And that phone call, that issue, I think, was not the biggest decision that Vladimir Putin used to go in.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Last thing.
I know you say this is all about the issues and wanting to improve our political system.
A number of your friends, though, say you are -- have thought about, are thinking about running for president in 2024.
Is that something that's in the cards?
REP. WILL HURD: Look, it's great that you write a really good book and everybody thinks you're running for president.
And the reality is, I have been lucky to serve my country in different ways, best career, being in the CIA, working on the most important issues.
It was awesome representing people in Washington, D.C., when I was in Congress.
If an opportunity comes from me to serve my country again, I will evaluate it when that time comes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The door's open.
REP. WILL HURD: Like I said, I will evaluate it when the opportunity potentially arises.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Former Congressman Will Hurd.
The book is "American Reboot: An Idealist's Guide to Getting Big Things Done."
Thank you very much.
REP. WILL HURD: It's always a pleasure to be with you.
AMNA NAWAZ: Well, the former Soviet republic of Moldova has grown increasingly worried about its security as the war in Ukraine grinds on.
Not only is it hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees.
It's had Russian troops in its territory for years in a breakaway region.
Special correspondent Willem Marx traveled to Moldova to hear how the echoes of war in Ukraine ring in Europe's poorest nation, WILLEM MARX: Dorian Kovas (ph) and Victor Latopshuk (ph) patrol these furrows on foot, guiding an almost invisible line that today separates conflict from comfort, peace from war.
Until last month, Moldova's border with Ukraine was a rarely mentioned relic of a Soviet past, a sometimes problematic perimeter stretching hundreds of miles north from these fields.
But for the country's Politiei de Frontiera, or Border Police, it's now ground zero for a refugee and safety crisis of unprecedented proportions.
What's the biggest security challenge you think you face right now?
ROSIAN VASILOI, Chief, Moldova Border Police (through translator): There are a few.
Right now, we're already facing a migration of criminality.
WILLEM MARX: Rosian Vasiloi heads up Moldova's border police, tasked with welcoming the displaced into his country while keeping guns and violence out.
ROSIAN VASILOI (through translator): Recently, we have also recorded cases that involve military ammunition.
We believe criminal groups may use this situation to traffic weapons.
WILLEM MARX: He took us on a tour through his border region's no man's land, where his men scour riverbanks and hillsides for unlawful arrivals from Ukraine.
Away from more remote outposts, the busy crossings process up to 500 refugees each hour.
For several years, European customs officers have operated on both sides advising Moldovans and Ukrainians.
Now, only in Moldova, they try to help Ukrainians however they can also.
border assistance mission is led by Polish General Slawomir Pichor, Moldova recently requested emergency membership of the European Union, a move he welcomes.
GEN. SLAWOMIR PICHOR, Head of E.U.
Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine: I guess that it was natural to support a country which is -- wants to be a part of this family in the future, once it was natural to support as much as you can during this terrible time.
WILLEM MARX: Support will expand as the E.U.
's own border force arrives at posts like this one to help manage new arrivals, lives stuffed into back seats and suitcases, making this the E.U.
's own new de facto border and freeing Moldovan forces to patrol further afield.
But they cannot roam entirely free, for within Moldova's internationally recognized borders is a separatist region called Transnistria sealed off by the Dniester River and supported by Russia.
As we traveled close to Transnistria, while still very much on Moldovan soil, we encountered Russians Manning military checkpoints and self-identifying as peacekeepers.
We are right in the middle of Moldova farmland.
But a few 100 yards that way, Russian soldiers asked for our passports.
And this checkpoint, well, it's staffed by Moldovans, but go a little further this way, and you end up in the separatist territory of Transnistria.
And, for years, that's been home to more than 1,000 Russian troops.
After the Soviet Union collapsed, a brief, but brutal conflict left Moldova divided.
The Kremlin backed Russian speakers who declared an independent state that remains unrecognized elsewhere.
ION MANOLE, Executive Director, Promo-LEX: They support them financially, economically, socially, military including, and politically, diplomatically, on all levels.
WILLEM MARX: Ion Manole has spent years researching the separatist territory, and he's concerned Russia's presence represents a real and present danger to Moldova.
ION MANOLE: The problem is that they have control on the Transnistria territory.
And in this territory, we have so-called Transnistrian army.
So all this military structure is under the control of Russia.
WILLEM MARX: Do you think Moldovans can trust Russia today?
ION MANOLE: Probably nobody can trust Russians.
WILLEM MARX: Back in Moldova's capital, Chisinau, similar worries are widely shared.
Behind me is the Russian embassy.
And they have recently, while we're in Moldova, issued a statement on their Facebook page addressing (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) Russian compatriots, asking them to report instances of ethnic or linguistic discrimination, including acts of violence.
And that's got some people who are concerned about Russia's intentions towards this former Soviet state.
Meanwhile, at a Moscow concert President Putin attended last month, one popular Russian singer described Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova as his country.
But with help from Europe, that must never happen, the country's interior minister, Ana Revenco, told me.
ANA REVENCO, Moldovan Interior Minister: Being part of the European Union means sharing the same values and equally co-participating in building safety.
But, definitely, we truly understand that safety starts here in the Republic of Moldova.
And that's the primary concern and task of the central authorities, of the government.
WILLEM MARX: The Moldovan military and Ministry of Defense will not talk publicly about a possible Russian invasion, focusing instead on drills like these, which were conducted alongside the U.S. military.
But, at this tense time, the country's army still has its critics DOINA STRAISTEANU, Human Rights Attorney: Numerically and professionally, we are unable to face any military attack.
WILLEM MARX: Human rights lawyer Doina Straisteanu recently encountered the country's military failings in a high-profile court case and came away concerned.
Should people in Moldova have faith in their military?
DOINA STRAISTEANU: We do not have a strong army able to defend the country as it is expected.
WILLEM MARX: Back at the border, Chief Vasiloi awaits greater manpower and more modern equipment.
But, meanwhile, he must make do with what he already has.
Have you been told to prepare for military attacks?
ROSIAN VASILOI (through translator): All our forces are ready for any kind of change in the situation.
WILLEM MARX: This small country at the edge of a great struggle, willing to help, but hoping not to fight.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Willem Marx in Palanca, Moldova.
AMNA NAWAZ: Another former Soviet republic is also concerned by the war in Ukraine.
But, unlike Moldova, the small Baltic nation of Lithuania is both a member of NATO and the European Union.
Regardless of those security and economic guarantees, its fears are compounded, not just by its former occupier, Russia, but by the adversaries that border it, to the south, Russian ally Belarus, to the West, the Russian region of Kaliningrad.
In Brussels today, Nick Schifrin sat down with Lithuania's foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, to discuss a range of issues.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Mr. Foreign Minister, thank you very much.
Thanks for joining us.
Lithuania right now is the only European country that has decided to stop importing Russian gas.
Why do you think that you were able to make that announcement, where others have not?
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS, Lithuanian Foreign Minister: I think that the main reason was that Lithuania was preparing, and not just from the start of the invasion, but much earlier than that.
We made the first steps actually in 2008.
Back then, we were paying the highest price in Europe for the gas imports.
We were dependent on one gas pipeline from Russia, which was constantly under repair due to, well, what we considered political reasons.
So we started building a floating LNG terminal, which was finished in 2014.
And we were able to procure our gas from anywhere.
NICK SCHIFRIN: A senior official told me that a block of Russian oil and gas is the only way to get Russia to recalculate its war.
And, certainly, Ukraine's president agrees with that.
What's your message to those countries continuing to resist such a ban?
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS: First point is that we have paid during the last 40 days almost 40 billion euros to Russia.
And these are the salaries to the soldiers who are fighting in Ukraine.
So, it's a big, huge moral question that has to be answered one way or another.
A second point is that, when we hear the leaders of an institution saying that it will be done... (CROSSTALK) NICK SCHIFRIN: ... statement by Germany.
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS: Yes, one way or another, one day or sooner or later, it will be done, we will cancel the contract.
So the questions remain, how many cities need to be bombarded, destroyed in order for us to say, OK, this is the day?
NICK SCHIFRIN: You use the word a moral question.
Does that mean you think these countries are failing morally?
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS: Well, look, I can only answer about myself.
But I think that this question should be posed by every decision-maker who is a responsible decision-maker.
And the way he answers the question, this is the way that his electorate and other people will judge him.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Ukraine's foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, today said -- he was very specific today on his requests for weapons to NATO members, and said those weapons have to be delivered in days, not weeks.
Will Ukraine get enough weapons quickly enough?
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS: I can say that there are some positive signs in that direction.
I hope that they will bear fruit.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Could it be because of Bucha and the horrors that we have seen inside of Ukraine?
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS: It could be as well.
It could be as well.
And what I'm saying, it's -- it might be just the beginning.
And we have to be prepared for much worse.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Some of the weapons that are being transferred right now, tanks, anti-ship weapons, were once determined as -- quote - - "offensive weapons."
In fact, Emmanuel Macron said just few weeks ago that tanks were a red line.
Why is Europe willing to cross that line today?
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS: Well, I think that the war is changing.
First of all, as I mentioned, the victories in Kyiv and the withdrawal of Russians, be it the tactical relocation or the actual defeat, that they are no longer sustained -- able to sustain that long front lines, it changes the perception that Ukraine really has a chance to win.
And if they win, then it's a victory for everyone.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Lithuania, of course, has called for a permanent presence of NATO troops inside its country.
Right now, NATO troops in Lithuania are deployed on rotation.
That permanent presence would go against NATO promises in the past not to deploy a permanent presence to the eastern flank.
Why do you think NATO should break its previous promises?
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS: Basically, Russia brought the troops.
Russia broke the peace in the region.
So, I think that there are no more legal constraints for NATO to deploy on a permanent basis in the eastern flank.
(CROSSTALK) NICK SCHIFRIN: Sorry.
Does all of NATO agree with that assessment?
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS: I think that, basically, there is a consensus.
The only questions that are remaining, whether we still need any sort of agreement with a future Russia.
NICK SCHIFRIN: There's a debate, both here in Brussels and in Washington, about what it looks like in order to deter Russia in the future.
And the debate is over whether there is a kind of trip wire of troops, which is what it is now, a small number of troops, or more forward defense.
Why do you think forward defense is necessary?
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS: Two months back, Russian troops were supposedly, even though they were brought into Belarus and elsewhere, they were far away from NATO, from NATO's border.
Now there is a ton of equipment placed directly on NATO border, within the reach of NATO borders.
And it tactically changes the situation.
NICK SCHIFRIN: So, that goes beyond even the war in Ukraine and the Russian troops in Ukraine GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS: Exactly.
NICK SCHIFRIN: You're talking about 30,000 troops that were deployed in Belarus.
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS: Yes, exactly.
And we knew that there are troops and equipment in Kaliningrad.
That was before -- even before the war in Ukraine.
But now the country that owns those weapons actually showed intent to attack.
So, the time needed to react to this current deployment is that much different.
And when we're talking about the standing forward defense, many, many people, many countries would remember that the ages of a Cold War.
And we're saying, look, the times have changed, the equipment has changed, and we might need different equipment than was needed to defend Western Berlin than currently in 2022.
But the concept, the concept has to be -- I'm sorry to say that -- but the same, where Russian started building a wall, and we need to defend it, because it's a NATO border.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Finally, accountability.
How important is it that either Russian soldiers, commanders or even Russian leadership are held accountable for what appears to be Russian war crimes?
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS: To be honest, we thought, with the statements like never again, that we won't need these type of investigations.
Unfortunately, it is happening again.
Therefore, we need to blow off dust from the old textbooks and look into it and prepare again for the future.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Do you have faith, though, that accountability can be had?
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS: I am convinced it you can.
Combined effort of the -- of what is called - - what I call the global alliance.
I think that it's powerful enough to bring even individuals to justice.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Mr. Foreign Minister, thank you very much.
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS: Thank you so much.
AMNA NAWAZ: Artists Call was the name of the effort back in 1984 when the artistic community throughout North America rallied to protest U.S. intervention in Central America.
An exhibition at the Tufts University Art Galleries focuses on that nearly forgotten moment that ultimately provided a blueprint for movements to come.
Special correspondent Jared Bowen of GBH Boston has a look at the exhibit as part of our arts and culture series, Canvas.
JARED BOWEN: By the mid 1980s, Central America was awash in war.
With the U.S. government sending money and weapons to militant forces, tens of thousands of people were slaughtered.
In Guatemala, Indian villages were leveled.
Soldiers waged guerrilla warfare in Nicaragua.
Death squads patrolled El Salvador.
Artist Beatriz Cortez was a child at the time.
BEATRIZ CORTEZ, Artist: It was the most terrible experience, because there were massacres and there was a complete destruction of entire villages, et cetera.
But I was in the middle class in San Salvador and my parents were really great at protecting me.
JARED BOWEN: The violence was so horrific, protests rose up across North America.
One of the most forceful and fleeting was a movement called Artists Call Against U.S.
Intervention in Central America, a grassroots effort that quickly coalesced among artists, galleries and museums from January to March of 1984.
BEATRIZ CORTEZ: Part of the message of Artists Call was, we can't be indifferent.
We can't create culture if we participate in the destruction of others' cultures.
Cortez is one of the contemporary artists featured in the show Art for the Future at Tufts University.
It's as much excavation as it is exhibition.
Five years in the making, it's the first time the Artists Call efforts have been comprehensively reexamined.
ERINA DUGANNE, Tufts University Art Galleries: This exhibition is really focusing on the activities that happened in New York.
But, in fact, there was 27 cities that participated as part of Artists Call.
JARED BOWEN: Erina Duganne is the show's co-curator.
It launched when she discovered that 12 tucked-away boxes at the Museum of Modern Art's Library in New York held a trove of Artists Call history.
ERINA DUGANNE: It was like a kind of awakening.
It was like, oh, wow, this is like way bigger than anyone has made it out to be.
JARED BOWEN: The Artists Call efforts spread rapidly across the U.S. and Canada with some 31 exhibitions.
In New York alone, 1,100 artists pitched in to raise awareness and aid.
They marched and sold work.
They performed, recited poetry and produced films.
ERINA DUGANNE: They wanted to just kind of ignite, ignite actions.
There's a procession for peace, where everyone walked with the names of the disappeared, and then they read the name and they tied it to a balloon and let the balloon fly into the sky as this kind of recognition of those who had been disappeared.
JARED BOWEN: With the searing images of photographer Susan Meiselas as an early prompt, the Artists Call was trumpeted by teams of organizers and committees making phone calls, sending letters and distributing flyers.
ABIGAIL SATINSKY, Tufts University Art Galleries: I think there was a lot of direct pointing to violence and the expression of U.S. power.
JARED BOWEN: Abigail Satinsky is the show's co-curator and says the call and response was so thunderous, it took the organizers by surprise.
ABIGAIL SATINSKY: They were overwhelmed with the response.
And so that was why it spread to all these different cities, is, basically, they just said, OK, all you have to do is take our letterhead, add your own listings and do your own thing.
And this is not about a unified expression.
This is about artists together.
JARED BOWEN: Claes Oldenburg was among the high-profile artists who galvanize the effort, designing a widely distributed poster.
He and his wife, Coosje van Bruggen, also conceived a monument.
Though never built, it was a symbol of hope, a pencil that, while broken, still writes.
Leon Golub offered up a piece he made to protest the Vietnam War, echoing a 1980s refrain that El Salvador was Spanish for Vietnam.
And Alfredo Jaar appropriated a "Fortune' magazine ad with a halting twist.
ABIGAIL SATINSKY: We see here this sort of layered understanding of how artists are pushing against institutions to do better and pushing against media representations to do better and really building that conversation.
JARED BOWEN: The curators have continued the conversation into the present.
They have invited artists to plumb the movement to archives for their own contemporary response to Artists Call.
Beatriz Cortez designed a geodesic dome home for the archives.
BEATRIZ CORTEZ: He also speaks of the shelter and the homelessness of immigrants in the middle of the pandemic.
And so it's a shelter for this archive that preserves a moment when the war in El Salvador connected with migration and with the art world.
JARED BOWEN: For the several months the movement took hold, the Artists Call was heard.
Art was made.
Funds were dispatched to Central America.
Its impact was big, broad and brief, all by design.
ERINA DUGANNE: Part of the organizing committee really argued that it needed to be ephemeral, that it needed to just dissipate, and that people would go on to take those experiences and do other things with them.
JARED BOWEN: And they did, because, virtually at the same time, there was another looming tragedy that warranted artists' attention.
That was the emerging AIDS crisis.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Jared Bowen in Medford, Massachusetts.
AMNA NAWAZ: The Art for the Future exhibit will travel next to the University of New Mexico Art Museum in the fall, before heading to Chicago's DePaul Art Museum and Chicago's Cultural Center next spring.
And some late-breaking news.
A federal appeals court has upheld President Joe Biden's requirement that all federal employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Fifth Circuit Court of appeals in New Orleans reversed a lower court.
And that is the "NewsHour" for tonight.
I'm Amna Nawaz.
Join us online and again here tomorrow evening.
For all of us at the "PBS NewsHour," thank you for joining us.
Please stay safe.
We'll see you soon.