PBS NewsHour for April 15, 2016 - Part 1



Brooks, Judy Woodruff>

welcome the pope, but some question whether his trip will do any good.

Mark Shields and David Brooks analyze last night`s fiery Democratic debate.

The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus,

discusses the strains in the GOP. Violinist Rachel Barton Pine takes

classical music to unexpected places and people. Microsoft`s president

explains why his company is suing the U.S. government>

John Kasich; Greece; Immigration; Pope Francis; Republican National

Committee; Reince Priebus; Music Industry; Art>

JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I`m Judy Woodruff.

On the "NewsHour" tonight: A Greek island that has welcomed thousands of migrants prepares to welcome the pope. But some question whether his trip will do any good.

PANAYOTIS TSAGARIS, Theologian (through translator): We consider that the pope`s visit is little more than a public relations exercise, which will not provide any real solution to the refugee problem facing not only my island and country, but also extending to Europe.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And it`s Friday. Mark Shields and David Brooks are here to analyze last night`s fiery Democratic debate, as is the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, to discuss the strains in the GOP.

Then: Violinist Rachel Barton Pine takes classical music to unexpected places and people.

RACHEL BARTON PINE, Violinist: If we only played for the converted, we would be not honoring our gifts to the fullest extent.

JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight`s "PBS NewsHour."


JUDY WOODRUFF: It is the final weekend before the all-important New York primary, and the presidential candidates, Democrats and Republicans alike, were on the go today.

Most traveled to towns and cities across the Empire State. One traveled half-a-world away.

John Yang has the story.

MEN AND WOMEN: Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

JOHN YANG: They cheered Bernie Sanders in Rome, but it was Italy, not New York. His visit to the Vatican came just hours after the most combative Democratic debate yet. It was held in Brooklyn.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Presidential Candidate: I am sure a lot of people are very surprised to learn that you supported raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour.


HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), Presidential Candidate: You know, wait a minute, wait a minute. Wait. Come on.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: That`s just not accurate.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: I have stood on the debate stage with Senator Sanders eight prior times.


HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: I have said the exact same thing If we can raise it to $15 in New York or Los Angeles or Seattle, let`s do it.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN: If you`re both screaming at each other, the viewers won`t be able to hear either of you.

JOHN YANG: The animosity between Sanders and Hillary Clinton was clear, as they clashed on the minimum wage and her relationship with Wall Street.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: I stood up against the behaviors of the banks when I was a senator. I called them out on their mortgage behavior.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Secretary Clinton called them out. Oh, my goodness, they must have been really crushed by this.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: And was that before or after you received huge sums of money by giving speaking engagements?

JOHN YANG: Clinton called that a phony attack and slammed Sanders for voting to shield gun makers from some lawsuits.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: We hear a lot from Senator Sanders about the greed and recklessness of Wall Street. And I agree. We have got to hold Wall Street accountable.


HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: Well, what about the greed and recklessness of gun manufacturers and dealers in America?


JOHN YANG: Today, though, the two candidates were 4,000 miles apart, Clinton visiting a senior center in Harlem.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: It looks like we`re in Las Vegas.


JOHN YANG: And Sanders at a Vatican conference, assailing what he called an economy operated for the top 1 percent.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Pope Francis has called on the world to say -- and I quote -- and how profound, how important this is -- "no to a financial system that rules rather than serves."

JOHN YANG: Senator Sanders said his campaign detour was well worth it. The high-profile Vatican visit came just four days before the crucial New York primary, a high-stakes race for both parties.

Today, all three Republican hopefuls fanned out across the Empire State.

DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Candidate: Good to be with you. Good to be with you.

JOHN YANG: In Plattsburgh, front-runner Donald Trump kept hammering away, hoping to hold what polls show is a double-digit lead.

DONALD TRUMP: I`m not one of these politicians that say, it doesn`t matter if you vote for me or my opponent. It`s so important for the American spirit for you to vote.

Well, let me just give you a little hint. If you want to vote for somebody else, don`t vote, OK?

JOHN YANG: In Binghamton, Ted Cruz knocked Trump for complaining about the delegate selection process.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), Presidential Candidate: It is not surprising when a candidate loses 11 elections in a row, he`s unhappy about it. And so he complains. And that`s fine. Look, we`re focused on winning elections with the people.

JOHN YANG: John Kasich also campaigned in New York today, with events in Watertown and Utica.

For the "PBS NewsHour," I`m John Yang.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Bernie Sanders also said at last night`s debate that he`s releasing his 2014 tax returns. Hillary Clinton says she`s released 30 years of returns, but she declined to issue transcripts of her paid speeches to banks unless other candidates do likewise.

In the day`s other news, President and Mrs. Obama released their federal tax return for this past year. They paid $81,000 in taxes on income of $436,000. The couple donated 15 percent of what they made to charity.

Lawmakers in Brazil began debate today on whether to impeach President Dilma Rousseff. She`s accused of corruption in a political drama that`s all but paralyzed the country. Impeachment proponents argued today that Rousseff`s political maneuvering has led to Brazil`s high inflation and currency devaluations.

MIGUEL REALE JR., Author of Impeachment Legislation (through translator): Which is the most serious crime, a crime where a president puts in her pocket a sum of money, on that president which, due to the hunger for power, in search of maintaining power, sees no limits in destroying the Brazilian economy?

JUDY WOODRUFF: The impeachment charges allege that Rousseff doctored her government`s financial accounting to win public support. But defenders, including former President Lula da Silva, insisted today she has done nothing wrong.

LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA, Former Brazilian President (through translator): I am convinced that the impeachment will not be approved. To topple a government that was democratically elected without any proof of any fiscal crime is not going to fix anything. All it will do is make the crisis even worse. Nobody will be able to govern a country with 200 million people without being legitimized by the popular vote.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The house vote there is slated for Sunday. If it passes, the Brazilian senate would decide whether to hold a trial of Rousseff.

North Korea tried today to launch a mid-range missile, one with a capacity to reach U.S. bases in Japan and Guam, but it blew up. The Pentagon called it a catastrophic failure. The missile test came as the North celebrated the birthday of the late Kim Il-Sung, founder of the communist state. His grandson, Kim Jong-un, is the current leader of North Korea.

A powerful new earthquake has hit Southern Japan, on the heels of one that killed nine people Thursday night. There were no immediate reports of casualties this time. NHK television showed the moment the shaking began, early Saturday morning, and triggered a tsunami advisory. The alert was later lifted, but the quake did leave collapsed buildings and cracked roads.

One hundred and fifty countries geared up today for a final push to eliminate polio around the world. The effort begins Sunday, and the World Health Organization says it is possible to stop all transmission of the crippling disease within a year. To do that, the campaign will target the last few areas of risk.

MICHEL ZAFFRAN, World Health Organization: The virus travels without any barrier, so if we do not eradicate the virus, if we don`t get rid of it, we will quite rapidly go back to the situation we had before we started the eradication program. And we could have hundreds of thousands of cases of the polio disease around the world.

JUDY WOODRUFF: There have been only 12 cases of polio reported worldwide this year, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Islamist militants there have attacked immunization teams, accusing them of being Western spies.

Back in this country, the governor of Mississippi signed a law permitting guns in churches. A holstered gun sat on top of a Bible as Governor Phil Bryant held the signing ceremony. Designated church members may be trained to provide armed security for their congregations.

President Obama announced today that he will support giving cable TV customers more choices on cable boxes. As it is, most people lease the boxes from a cable company. The Federal Communications Commission wants to let them buy elsewhere and possibly get a better price. The president also today ordered up a report on increasing competition in the industry.

On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost about 29 points to close at 17897. The Nasdaq fell seven, and the S&P 500 slid two. For the week, all three indexes added nearly 2 percent.

And it is must-see TV in Norway for those seeking relief from fast- paced daily life. On May 20, public broadcaster NRK will televise the world`s strongest tidal current for 12 hours live and uninterrupted. It is a strait just north of the Arctic Circle where seawater flows at 25 miles an hour. Previous shows included footage of a train ride, a canal cruise and a knitting tutorial, and all were viewer hits.

Maybe we should try those in the United States.

Still to come on the "NewsHour": Microsoft`s president explains why his company is suing the U.S. government; GOP Chair Reince Priebus on the rules for selecting a presidential nominee; Mark Shields and David Brooks take on the week`s news; a preview of the pope`s visit to a refuge camp in Greece -- can he make a difference?; and how violinist Rachel Barton Pine became an evangelist for classical music.

Now: a high-profile showdown between a tech giant and the U.S. government over accessing private data.

This time, it`s Microsoft. Yesterday, the company filed a suit against the Department of Justice in federal court. Microsoft argues it`s unconstitutional for the government to ask for customers` personal data or e-mails in most cases without the individuals` knowledge. The company says it`s received more than 5,600 requests for such data from the government in the last year-and-a-half, often from the cloud or remote servers. And nearly half of those requests come with a ban from the government on alerting customers.

Brad Smith is the president of Microsoft. He joins me from company headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

And welcome to the program, Brad Smith.

I do want to point out we invited the Department of Justice to join the interview, but they declined.

So, let me begin by asking you, what is it that the federal government is doing that Microsoft doesn`t like?

BRAD SMITH, President, Microsoft: Well, what gives us concern is the fact we have received almost 2,600 -- almost 2,600 of these so-called gag or secrecy orders over the last 18 months.

Over two-thirds of them have no end date at all. So it means that we are permanently prohibited from telling customers that the government has accessed, read and obtained copies of their e-mails. We feel that infringes on the constitutional rights of consumers and businesses to be secure from unreasonable government searches.

It infringes on our First Amendment right to speak, to share information with our customers.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we know the Justice Department has not responded to the lawsuit. They have not said anything publicly, but we know that in the past they have said these are investigations that involve criminals, people who are breaking the law, that involve -- that are perhaps involved in potential terrorist acts.

Why not work with the government when they`re trying to go after the bad guys?

BRAD SMITH: Well, this is an issue that we have discussed with various officials in government for some time.

And we readily recognize that there are many cases where there should be some kind of secrecy, that there is a real danger if information is disclosed. But we feel that these kinds of secrecy orders have been -- become too routine. They`re being issued in cases that involve businesses, as well as consumers.

And it especially concerns us that there is no end date. Let`s face it. Forever is a long time. Even military secrets are declassified eventually. Why should we have a country where people will never learn that the government has accessed their e-mails?

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, I was reading today that some investigators who have worked on, I guess, in this area have said that if you notify people who are being investigated, you run the risk that they are going to change their communication pattern, they`re going to tamper with evidence. They may even try to leave the country. What about that?

BRAD SMITH: Well, that really goes to the point that, yes, there are times when a nondisclosure order is a sensible thing to do.

But the law in this case does, in our view, not require the government to make the kind of compelling showing that it should, and, hence, the government is getting these kinds of orders in too many cases. And even in cases where this kind of secrecy is needed, eventually, the need for secrecy goes away.

And yet, even then, people will never learn that the government accessed their e-mail. And that, as much as anything, really runs, we think, right into the constitutional protections we all should enjoy.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Brad Smith, what do you say to those who look at this and say, well, this is just an effort to do what`s good for business, rather than what`s good for the American people, for the American government?

BRAD SMITH: Well, I think this is fundamentally about what is good for people and their rights. It is good for technology. It is good for businesses who are customers as well, whose e-mails are being read.

But, most importantly, I think it`s about one thing. It`s about ensuring the kinds of values that we have had in this country under the Constitution for 230 years remain intact even as technology changes, and information that we have long stored on paper is now stored in the cloud instead.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Did you think about another course of action other than filing suit? Did you try to sit down with the government and talk to them about what they`re doing?

BRAD SMITH: We have had multiple conversations about these and similar issues. And this lawsuit doesn`t for an instant mean that those kinds of conversations should come to an end.

I definitely believe that, ultimately, across the technology sphere, it`s going to take a lot of good discussion to find new solutions. But we have found in recent cases that things were going the wrong way, not the right way, and there does come a point when you just have to put a stake in the ground and say that these constitutional rights matter, and we need the courts to intervene.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Is there a middle ground, though? Is there some -- something, some level of information the government could share with you that would make you comfortable turning this individual`s e-mails over to them without notifying the individual?

BRAD SMITH: I think we always have to ask ourselves at the end of the day, is there some kind of middle ground that might emerge? And I think the answer is probably yes.

If we look at other statutes in other areas of federal law, there is typically a right for the government in the right circumstances to keep something secret for 30 days or 90 days, and, if the need continues, the government can go back, and it has to make its case before a magistrate yet again.

I think that if we could move this area of the law to be more like that kind of area, we`d find a middle ground emerge.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And just finally, there are some who are looking at this and saying, is this some kind of a turning point in this, I guess, larger tech industry -- battle with the tech industry -- battle with the government on the part of the tech industry over privacy, over the citizens` privacy?

BRAD SMITH: Well, I think we`re living in a time where it feels like there is a turning point every other month.

When I step back from it all, I think what we`re seeing is this evolution of technology, people storing things digitally, storing them in data centers. And across the board, whether you`re in government or you`re in the tech sector, we`re all trying to find a path, so that the traditional values we have had in this country, the traditional rights we have enjoyed, will remain, so that information that`s stored in the cloud gets the same kind of protection as information stored on paper.

That, I think, is what we need to continue to seek.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, we thank you for talking with us.

BRAD SMITH: Thank you.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Today, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump continued to attack his own party`s process for choosing a presidential nominee, a system he says is rigged.

For more on that, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, joins me now.

And, Reince Priebus, we welcome you to the program.

What do you say? Donald Trump has been saying this for days. I heard him say it again in Syracuse, New York, just a few hours ago. What do you say? I mean, this is a very serious charge he`s making, that the process is crooked.

REINCE PRIEBUS, Republican National Committee Chairman: Well, I don`t know how serious the charge is.

And I`m not sure how much is rhetoric, and -- but the truth is, is that the process is the same process it`s been for decades. But the reality is, no one actually cared about how delegates were allocated. Each state has the opportunity to choose the method by which they allocate delegates to the national convention.

Some states have primaries. Some states have caucuses, and some states have actual conventions where delegates are voted on. These are things that have been set in place since October of 2015. All the candidates have been briefed. They have all been aware of the rules. They`re out there for the whole world to see.

There is nothing mysterious about it. And, by the way, no one complained either before Colorado, before the result. It was only after the results did we get a single complaint about the process.


Well, let me read -- you`re familiar with this, but let me read you what Donald Trump said about Colorado. He said: "When I joined the campaign in June," he said, "they had a system. He said, "After they saw I was going to win in Colorado, they changed the system." And he said the people in Colorado didn`t know that their votes were going to be taken away from them.

REINCE PRIEBUS: Well, and that statement has been debunked by many people.

Colorado had a convention the last time. Colorado used to have what we call beauty contests. In other words, there weren`t elections. It was a straw poll that didn`t award any delegates to anyone, and so it had no value, no use of a straw poll, so they dumped the straw poll.

And they went to the straight-up convention. So -- and, By the way, 60,000 people competed in Colorado in the precinct level contest. Then those people moved to a county contest. Then those people moved to a congressional district contest. And then they moved to a state convention contest, where all the candidates participated.

They had surrogates speaking. No one along the way said, hey, I don`t really like the way this is going. I don`t really like this kind of system.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But it is...

REINCE PRIEBUS: And now, all of a sudden...

JUDY WOODRUFF: I was just going to say, but it is the case, if you look at state after state after state, the process is different in virtually every one of the 50 states. It`s not a simple thing.

You have to be some kind of an expert to understand all this. Is it really democratic anymore? And I mean with a small D.

REINCE PRIEBUS: Of course it is.

It`s the same method that we have been using, and the Democrats use the same delegate method. We`re not a public entity. We`re an organization that is made up of members across this country and state parties. State parties have a right to determine how each of their delegates get to go to the national convention.

You know, 150 years ago, delegates ran in the states, and they just went to the convention and they voted, and they set rules and they vote for officers. It`s a real convention. It`s not a four-day party. It`s just that no one ever watches what happens during the day at these conventions, when rules are voted on and there is actual business that goes on.

It`s no different than when the Boy Scouts have a convention...

JUDY WOODRUFF: But when...

REINCE PRIEBUS: ... or when the Kiwanis have an election. They get together, and they vote on officers and they have an election.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But when -- I think what Mr. Trump is -- and others have made this point -- that when the person who gets the most votes in a primary or a caucus doesn`t end with the most delegates, or at least not a proportional percentage of those delegates, something smells.

REINCE PRIEBUS: Yes, but they do end up with the most delegates. They do.

In the case of Florida, Donald Trump won about -- in the mid-50s percentage of the vote. He won 100 percent of the delegates. I didn`t hear a lot of complaining about that. The reality is, is that the bound delegates that are awarded to the candidates are absolutely bound to those candidates. They don`t lose that support.

They are bound to the candidate, no matter what. Even if they don`t like the candidate, they have to vote for that candidate. What the problem comes in that you`re hearing complaining about is the unbound delegates, who`s getting the unbound delegates. And that is a separate issue.

That is an issue of each campaign going into each of these states and competing for those unbound delegates. But they`re not losing anything, unbound delegates to the national convention, not one thing.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, I think not everybody understands the difference between bound and unbound.

But I do want to move on and ask you this. Donald Trump`s central argument seems to be that the American -- I mean, is -- that the American system is -- political system, is rigged. He talks about, it`s the consultants, it`s the pollsters, it`s the party, what he calls the party bosses who are running things.

He says the politicians have grown rich and powerful; ordinary people are left behind.

Do you agree with his really central thesis here?

REINCE PRIEBUS: Well, sure, I think a lot of people agree with -- I think all -- I think the actual -- all the candidates. I mean, I think those are themes that I think everyone can relate to. So I don`t quarrel with that.

But in regard to whether or not a national party has a right to set the rules as to how a nominee is chosen from a party is unquestionable. I mean, these candidates, what are they doing? They are competing to see which one of these people are going to be chosen by the voters and the delegates of our party.

One of them is going to be chosen. I`m not competing for one of them. They`re competing to join the Republican Party. They can compete to join whatever party they want to join, but if they want to join the Republican Party, then they have to play by the rules of the Republican Party, and I can`t imagine any controversy about that whatsoever.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, just quickly, then, are you ruling out somebody being chosen, nominated at the convention who didn`t run in the primaries?

REINCE PRIEBUS: They would be chosen -- if any -- if a majority of the delegates at the convention choose a person to be the nominee of our party, they will be the nominee of our party.

Now, I find that to be highly, highly unlikely. I have said that many times. Certainly, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have great advantages. But, ultimately, they have to or John Kasich or whoever has to be able to get the majority of delegates on the floor of the convention to be the nominee of our party.

And we will support that nominee at the Republican National Committee.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, thank you very much.


JUDY WOODRUFF: And now we turn to the analysis of Shields and Brooks. That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

So, Mark, what did you make of Mr. Priebus` comment about Donald Trump`s complaint?

MARK SHIELDS: Reince Priebus is right. The parties, state parties, choose the rules, establish them. Those rules have been set since last August. They`re not particularly appealing rules in Colorado. Fewer than 1 percent of the 900,000 registered Republicans of the state even were able to participate in the choice.

But those rules have been available. I mean, the irony of this whole thing to me, Judy, is that Donald Trump has run as the guy who`s going to be the tough, no-nonsense negotiator. His election sends nervous knees in Beijing and Tokyo. And here he is getting rolled by the Colorado State Republican Party, which, in the last 42 years, has managed to win the governorship with one candidate in 42 years, and twice lost the state to Barack Obama.

If you can`t and negotiate and outnegotiate and outwit, and if you`re going to get flummoxed by dealing with the state Republican Party of Colorado, I don`t know how you`re going to negotiate these tough trade deals with China and Japan.

JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you see it, David? Donald Trump just keeps hammering away at this argument that the process is -- it`s rigged, it`s crooked.

DAVID BROOKS: Yes. Well, as others pointed out, as a businessman, he was perfectly willing to use the amoral bankruptcy laws to his own advantage. And now he`s just getting outfoxed I`m the amoral delegate laws. I think that they`re...

JUDY WOODRUFF: Did you say amoral delegate laws?

DAVID BROOKS: Well, they`re just -- the laws are the way they are.

But I think, A, they`re in touch with the American tradition. We do not live in a straight-up Athenian democracy. We live in a republic. We have an Electoral College. We have a United States Senate where the two senators from Wyoming have the same power as the two senators from California.