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tv   The Axe Files With David Axelrod  CNN  January 13, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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so good to be with you. i'd like to spend a whole hour talking about college b football
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and basketball. two passions that i know we share but i have to tell you, i actually came here for a little therapy. i read your book, democracy. which is a great book. but it really feels like democracy is being challenged right now. not just overseas, but here as well. the forces of nationalism and native are on the march. what is going on? >> there's no doubt we're going through a pretty difficult period. i say in the book the four horse men of the apocalypse are back. populism and nativeism and protectionism and isolationism. i think we have to ask ourselves why has that happen ped. those that believe the global order has benefitted us greatly have to recognize that there are those for whom it was not an official. and if you are an unemployed coal miner or someone whose
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skills have not kept pace. not the mention a third grader who can't read, then this global system is dwoigoing to be frightening to you and pop lists are going to play on that. >> it wasn't lost on me that you wrote an epilogue then another chapter that followed called 201. the standard bearers need to find the humility to know and accept democracy e's paradox. it's genius in its openness to change, but its stability comes through institutions that em boy constraint and reject absolute power. that was unmistakably an admonition to donald trump as he took office. how do you think he's doing? do you see the humility and respect for democratic instituti institution? >> it's an admonition to anyone who takes power in a democratic system. and particularly, we have across the world, not just in the united states, people who are coming to power who say i want to reject everything that has come before.
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well, that doesn't work in a democracy because the institutionsre endurin and here in the united stat we're very fortunate the founding faers were really rather suspicious of too much executive power. they gave us checks and balances. they gave us federalism with the states with great power, so every president operating within constraints. i think this president is operating within constraint. >> although not happily. >> i'm not sure. >> you speak about it here very eloquently. are a free press. the rule of law. an independent judiciary and so on. he's waged war at least a war of words, on all of those institutions. >> well, whatever the president thinks about those institutions, those institutions are holding and they're going to hold and i will tell you, david, you've worked for a president of the united states. >> i have, indeed. >> every president is a it ll surprised and a little put off by the fact there are all of these constraints.
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you've heard the president for whom you worked. say what do you mean, i can't -- >> yes. >> because we tell the people you're the most powerful man in the world. and to a certain extent, yes, but not really. because there are all of these constraints. so when you have a president who's never operated in politics at all, who hasn't been a governor or a senator, i think you're perhaps going to have more of that. >> the difference of course between the presidents we worked for and this president is that the presidents we worked for expressed their frustration ivate to us not in tweets and >> the president for whom we worked came out of the system. george w. bush had been governor of texas. barack obama has been senator from illinois. they came from the system. and i think fully understood the system. but i tell my friends abroad when asked about the administration -- >> which is all the time. >> all the time. i say let's look at where policy is going. and let's see where those
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policies are emerging. i will tell you, i'm not in agreement with everything that the administration has done. i'm much more, much stronger proponent of immigration, for instance. as something that's very beneficial to the united states. i think we've been well served by having people come to refresh this generation after generation. >> i sit here as the son of a refugee. >> so there, i would not find myself very much in agreement. but if i look at then foreign policy, i have to say that it's not that different than the foreign policies that we've pursue nd the past. the rhetoric looks different. i don't like the term america first at all. but there are thing that is the president of the united states suddenly realizes. for instance, i have to criticize venezuela. and i have to do it on the basis of an argument about democracy. i have to criticize the mulahs in iran who are putting down
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protests of people who just want a better life. i have to do something about syria. the syrian regime. carpet bombing or using chemical weapons against rejeel. >> what about turkey, other places in the world where he's been very supportive of repressive authoritarian leaders? >> i think the president has had an easier time understanding that democracy is really in our interest in the long run. when we're talking about enemies or adversaries. absolutely. i would hope that that begins to translate into understand iing that democracy is in and of itself a stabilizing force, that yes, it is true that you deal with friends and allies differently. i think you'll start to see that the understanding that our values and our interests are actually linked will become more and more evident. >> we've withdrawn from a number of global agreements.
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the paris climate accord. the trans pacific partnership, which seems like a great boom to china which is moving into that vacuum. the president has refused to certify the iran agreement. all these things have accesepar us from our allies. you write in your book, if you lose britain, you're alone we've lo britain in many instances here. we've been rebuked by our friends and allies h times and it feels like those global alliances aren't what they are. >> i've been in circumstances where our allies rebuked us for what we did as well. as has were you. we pulled out in the bush administration of the kyoto accord. you would have thought the world was ending. we are going to continue to lower or admissions. we're going to continue particularly state by state. >> would you have pulled out?
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>> i personally wouldn't. >> what about the tpp? >> because i think it was not trouble of pulling out. but i don't the paris accord will walk away from its commitments. >> which seems -- >> let's be fair. the former secretary of state who helped to negotiate the tpp didn't defend it in the election. that tells you something about the politics of trade today. when people say china is now going to take up the mantle of global leadership on fill in the blank. when we talk about climate change, china is going to lead, not only you can breathe in beijing. so i think we sometimes overstate some of this. now, yes, i would have stayed in the parse agreement. i would have stayed in the tpp. but i don't see these as disasters for american foreign policy. >> let me ask you about something else in which you are one of the renowned experts. that's russia.
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you know vladimir putin better than almost anyone. >> pretty well, yeah. >> in america. talk about him and what he is up to right now. >> well, vladimir putin is emerging or maybe he already has, as someone who out of his bitterness about how the cold war ended, out of his sense that the west set out to humiliate russia, has created a narrative now. in which russia is only going to be great by the old fashioned way of atok rysy at home and aggressiveness abroad. but i think starting with the obama administration and continuing in this administration, we've sent pretty strong signals to the russians that this behavior is unacceptable. >> you aseptember they tried to interfere in our elections. >> i think putin just likes to
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make trouble for us and he wanted to sew chaos and he wanted to show our democracy wasn't soerer risk. he wanted to show if he thought his election in 2012 was fraudulent, he was going show the nation of american elections. i think it was about sewing chaos and the sophistication of the effort suggests to me it went well beyond the kremlin. this is probably run by the intelligence agencies. seem to have been well targeted to certain groups of americans. this is an old soviet trick. >> but with 21st century tools. how threatening is that? >> well, ipg they may have been sorely disappointed. i think they sewed less chaos than they probably thought. my senses don't really understand the united states very well. and so yes. it could have been more damaging than i think it was. but i'll say this, david. next time around if they're able
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to do it, shame on us. not shame on them. >> the, the an rat chucks who came and went to trump tower, does that consist of the an rand day of the russians that you're familiar with? >> sergei was also seeking advantage. i suspect they thought well, you know, this is, these are people with not that much experience. we can play on them. >> i'm going to say something that i have never said before, may never say again. but wasn't steve bannon right when he said somebody should call the fbi? >> well, when ever you have an uncomfortable contact with the russians, you probably ought to call the fbi. but i know that because i've been around. not sure everybody knows that's exactly what you ought to do. see what happens here. i have a lot of confidence in bob mueller.
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>> he was fbi director while you were the national security add virz. what is your, tell me about him. >> well and he came under the most difficult circumstances. taking over the agency just few months before 9/11. so under very difficult circumstances. he is a terrific person. straight shooter. i think he will push to a conclusion. i don't have any idea of what it will be. i hope frankly it's over pretty soon because we need to get on with our business and by the way, i want to go back to one thing about putin. david, i think he love it is the fact we're spinning around about this. that our heads are blowing off. i would have preferred to say we know you did it and at a time of her choo our choosing, we will punish it. >> doesn't it send a mixed signal if the president calls it a hoax? >> well, the president shouldn't call it a hoax, just say that. but the fact is we will get to
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the bottom of what happened. i hope that there are people sending as much time trying to figure out exactly how the russians did what they did. >> i agree. because that's the issue. so we can stop them the next time. zpl all of these attacks on mueller and his integrity, do they bother you? >> well, because i know him personally and because i have high regard for him. but you know, when you step out there in the public eye people are going to criticize. people are going to say, they're going to call into question what you're doing. it's the nature of the game. >> just going back to your book. what worries me is the assault. it's really an assault on the institution of the justice department, the fbi. the rule of law. the it's not just bob mueller. it suggests the whole system is rigged. >> there are people who are argue iing now that there were e within the fbi that had a view.
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if they believe that, they have a right to say it and i will defend their right to say it. i may not agree. but i will defend their right to say it. >> but don't mess with mueller. let him do his work. >> i think he will do his work. >> will the state fire him or try -- >> i'm not going to try to give advice and nobody should try to impede the investigation. but i think you're seeing the system work. but i want to say, david, if people have views, if people in congress are concerned about what fusion gps was doing, then they ought to be asking that question. and the idea that because people are asking questions about the other side,hat there's somehow taattack on the institutions, that seems to be wrong. >> coming up next. >> i do think in his own way, what the president is trying to do is to say to the north koreans, you have no idea how this is. it's a small finger...a worm!
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let's talk about north korea. another headache that you shared for -- >> absolutely. >> for quite a long time. the president has said he's been harsh about all the previous mradministrations and to some degree, doesn't he have a point? many efforts have been made. none have stopped the formard momentum. >> absolutely has a point. but i would just say as i used
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to say, peoe have asked me what was it like to be in there. well, you get up inhe moing. read "the washington post." it says the united states of america should do something about the north korean nuclear program. you say why didn't i think of that. right. yes. he has a point that nobody was able to stop it. but i think the administration is finding out just how hard it is to stop it. >> what did you think when you woke up a week ago or a little more than a week ago now and saw the president's tweet about his nuclear button being larger than -- kim's. was that a wise thing to do? >> i've been no fan of the tweets. but i also think it didn't deserve column inches of analysis. >> nuclear war though is a pretty serious -- >> nuclear war is a very serious deal. but i think people would be
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mistaken to think that because the president has an ill advised tweet we're about to have nuclear war. >> do you have any concerns about provocations? >> i think kim jong-un is turning out much more so than i thought to be pretty clever. the approach to the south kor n koreans was clever. the decision to go to the olympics is clever. i think he is more isolated than his father was. perhaps certainly more reckless. i wonder sometimes if he really believes it when he says i can destroy the united states. because anybody who tells himself something he doesn't want to hear seems to get killed. which is a real disinsenttive to tell him the truth. we tried the six-party framework with china in the chair. japan, russia, south korea and north korea. and i think it's one reason you want to make this multilateral
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diplomacy. what the north koreans love to do is drive wedges between the various parties and perhaps. >> they're trying to do now. so you have to be very careful you don't get into bilateral negotiations with the chinese or north koreans without fully integrate d with with south koreans, who have the most at stake. >> you've used the wordy diplomacy. you're very close to rex tillerson. you're one of the ones who referred him to the president. he was over in china in the fall and working very hard to try and get some sort of negotiations going. told till eson he's wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocket man. put yourself many his shoes. you're there with the chinese. and the president of the united states publicly rebuked you f doing what you were sent there
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to do. >> i can't imagine that happening. all right. again, i can't imagine it happening with the president that i served. i'm quite sure it wouldn't have happened. i think what rex tillerson is doing is just working the diplomacy. keeping his head down, working every day and i think he's making progress with north koreans. now it may be that what when the president says you're wasting your time negotiating, he's probably right about that. i don't think negotiating with the north koreans right now is going to get us very far. >> could there be a good cop, bad cop? do you think there's an intent here. the whole crazy man theory the president's trying to send this message to, that he could actually press that big button on his desk and they ought the know and make it facilitate tillerson. trying to be generous. >> i do think in his own way what the president's trying to do is to say to the north koreans you have no idea how
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seriously i take this. and by the way, that is not a bad thing. and i think it has gotten the attention of the chinese as well. >> is there a viable military strategy that would not guilty lead to catastrophic loss of human life? >> there's also a military strategy. >> last clause. >> i really am not inside. it's been ten years since i had any access thow weight think about what the north koreans are capable of doing with their artillery. i suspect ta you're looking at a really catastrophic circumstance if you actually have war on the peninsula. but the military is right to look at the options. because the idea of a north korean regime with a nuclear weapon capable of reach iing th united states of america is one that i don't think any president of the united states can can tolerate. >> just talk about tillerson for a second. there's been a lot of concern about what's going on at the
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state department. big outflow of career diplomats, foreign service officers. many of them are people you worked with when you were there. what is your assessment of what's going on over there? >> first of all, there are an awful lot of very good officers who remain. i'm more concerned that we seem not to be bringing people in to the service. you're going to get an agent pretsy soon if you're not careful. if you don't bring people in and people leave, you're going to just have a middle with no ends on the other, on either side. >> you make a compelling case in this book for foreign aid for diplomacy. the administration wants to cut these things by a third and as you point out in your book, it's not a large budget to start with rell tiff to the rest of the budget. is that wise? >> it's not going the happen because the same separation of powers we've bee talking about. the congress has a say. they'll always remind you they authorize and appropriate. the administration proposes.
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i would be the first to say that a zero based look at the state department budget is is not a bad thing. i will tell you, david, ta that i found in some of those nooks and crannies, programs that had long outlived their usefulness and you think how are those still being sustained? >> would you proposed a 30% cut? >> no. not a 30% cut, but i will tell you as having been the standard budget officer, there's tho budget that can't take a 10% cut and use it well. my point in the book and this i would argue very strongly. is that foreign assistance, particularly to try to help create stable, more democratic, more capable states, is cheap money. is a cheap proposition compared to what you have to do when states fall apart. >> just last thing on tillerson. i had one of these conversations with jim bakker.
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one of your predecessors. another friend and supporter of secretary tillerson. he said he thought tillerson hadn't been given the full authority he should be given to be b the spokesperson for american foreign policy. >> i don't think you have a real consistent message coming out of the administration on some of these important issues. and there is white houses tend to be very strong in the mirs mrgs, but i think it always always works better when the secretary of state is the key spokesperson for the american government. and for the united states of america. >> and he's not. >> i find rex to be doing a quite remarkable job under circumstances that are unusual. circumstances i think secretaries of state have not faced before including a president. >> in what way? >> a president who's never been anywhere near the government before. never even sniff ed the
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government. so i think it's different. >> next on the axe files. >> it was hard, david, to sit through some of the things that were said about the bush administration. people who said well, you know, they led from fear. well, if you were a president of the united states on 9/11, you'd better believe you led from fear. it's ok that everyone ignores me while i drive. it's fine. because i get a safe driving bonus check every six months i'm accident free. and i don't share it with mom! right, mom? righttt. safe driving bonus checks. only from allstate. switching to allstate is worth it. whentrust the brand doctors trust for themselves. nexium 24hr is the number one choice of doctors and pharmacists for their own frequent heartburn. and all day all night protection. when it comes to frequent heartburn, trust nexium 24hr.
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and with just a single word, find all the answers you're looking for - because getting what you need should be simple, fast, and easy. download the xfinity my account app or go online today. i'm sure you were a bit like me when you read this. we were both blessed to work with presidents we were chose to. you had a close relationship with george w. bush. first of all, could you imagine that kind of book coming out of your mradministration? >> no. i don't think that it is seemly for people who serve in an administration. who serve in a white house.
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to talk about first of all, white house operations in that way and about the president of the united states that way. i don't admire it. >> yeah. and yet they let the guy sit on the couch in west wing for nine months or whatever. >> it's, it's really extraordinary to me. >> talk to me about that relationship you had with president bush and what made it so, i mean, by all account, you were by the end practically a member of the family. what was that bond between you and what don't we know about him that we should. >> well, it it's a bond that goes back a long way because when i worked for george h.w. bush, i got to know the family. it was he who asked me to come and spend some time with his son. >> you were a big russia specialist. >> during the fall of the berlin
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wall, end of cold war and we stay nd touch after he left office and in august of 1998, he said you know, my son's sort of thinking of running for president. i'd like you to come out to ken bunk port and spend a few days with him. i'd met him before. we spent a good deal of time with he and his father, fishing. i sat on the boat, but didn't fish. talking about china and mexico and russia and so forth. so it started early. we went through the campaign together and the ups and downs of the campaign together. but i think what really connected us was we have had the same view of america. really to be a good president and a good secretary of state on foreign policy, you have to have understanding of america. and what it is and what it stands for and why it's different and unique and why it's extraordinary. and why it's had something to say. for the last 70 years throughout
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the course of human history in the world. we also shared a sense of humor. that helps. we foubd the same things absurd. we were both deeply religious and i think that helped, too. >> one of the things that i said in another forum the other day after the president, i remember the humor with which george w. bush spoke about disparagement of him, joking his staff doesn't think he's smart. they put an intelligence briefing on his schedule every morning, which is enormously disarming, but it takes confidence to do that. >> it takes confidence, but i'll tell you something. people misread it. you're asking me what people did not know? it's how curious this man is is, was. they don't know he probably read five books for every one that i read in office. >> reading is good. >> i was moved by the book he
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put out. he paints now. of wounded warriors. that the scars are not only theirs, but his as commander in chief. he made the decisions. he sent them to battle. every president should feel that way. the president i worked for did and i'm sure you do. and knowing what you know now, would you have said yes, let's go into iraq. you speak about the aftermath in this book. >> right. well, with the caveat of course what you do today can only be affected by what you know today not what you can't affect what you do yesterday. yeah, i don't know because the weapons of mass destruction, we just didn't know. we thought they were there. i would have to go back and try to think through. it wasn't just a weapons of mass
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druk. it was the weapons of mass destruction in the hands of saddam hussein who had been such a cancer in the region. i think iraq and the region are better off without him. but when i think back on all of the lives lost, american, iraqi and other, of course, it's hard to say. >> and the trillions of dollars spent and the environment that's been created that you spoke to. the sort of inward turning. >> right. the inrd turping is a real problem. but when you look at the mide ea today and you look around the region and you say would you rather be iraqi than syrian? yes. because the iraqis actually have a government that as weak as it is, with as many sectarian problems as it has, a accountable. people do go into the streets and protest. they have a free press. they do have elections. and so i think they have an election to deal with problems ahead and that i hope will be
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the legacy for all of the people who have lost their lives. >> first of all, let me say i was very grateful and i know president obama was during the eight years he was president, that president bush kept his council and allowed the president room to do what he felt was right. and he was great to us as you were in the transition. so i was interested in october when he made a speech -- >> we've seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty, buelly ibulliesing in our publi life sets a tone. provides permission for cruelty and bigotry and compromises the moral education of children. >> that was unmistakably a message to the president. and about the climate that has been created. i'm sure you've chatted with him. what provoked him to speak out and as it was so rare for him to do? >> well, i ewiell u he say
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this was about the environment in washington. not at the president. but the environment in washington. and obvious the president has a role to play in setting tone in that environment. but i feel and i believe i won't speak for him, but i think he feels this way, our civic discourse has been going the wrong way for a while now. we can't see each other as political opponents without seeing each other as political enemies. we can't see each other as having different viewpoints. we see each other as being morally bankrupt if we have different viewpoints. and it's not just in washington. i saw president bush speaking to this degradation of a civic culture. by the way, ooip big fan of
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social media and so forth, but it adds to the ability to, to agitate and i think we've got that problem. >> i have to say this and i say it respectfully. you're famsly cautious which is why you're such a fine diplomat and you're being diplomatic here, but isn't it undeniable that the way the president uses social media and his instinct to demonize people who oppose him contributes greatly to that? the president of the united states is the trustee of our democracy. and there's a responsibility there. >> yes and i would advise him not to do that, b hisot the only problem here. this nature of our discourse has been going downhill for a good long time. and we as americans need to figure out what our own parts in it happens to be.
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what role am i playing. you spoke about how president bush treated president obama and i said to valerie jarrett at one point, we owe you our silence. it was hard, david, to sit through some of the things that were said about the bush administration. >> yes. >> it was hard to sit through people who said well, you know, they led if fear. well, if you were president of the united states on 9/11, you better believe you led from fear. and so the, it has to go to all of us. to look inside and say. >> it does. but it starts a t tat the top a worked for presidents who understood that. >> again, i would advise the president not to use twitter in this way. i would say to the president, mr. president, not every slight has to be answered, right? but i do know that this is more
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the rule than the exception. in washington these days. not just in the white house. >> ahead on the axe files. >> i would say, be sure you really want to be a politician. ♪ it's time for sleep number's 'lowest prices of the season' on the only bed that adjusts on both sides to your ideal comfort your sleep number setting. and snoring? does your bed do that? it's the lowest prices of the season on the queen c4 mattress with adjustable comfort on both sides. now only $1199, save $400. plus, 36 month financing available. ends monday. visit for a store near you. 40 million americans are waking up to a gillette shave. and at our factory in boston, 1,200 workers are starting their day building on over a hundred years of heritage, craftsmanship and innovation. today we're bringing you
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i use herpecin, it penetrates deep to treat. it soothes, moisturizes, and creates an spf 30 barrier, to protect against flare-ups caused by the sun. herpecin l. your own really incredible story that began in birmingham, alabama at which was really the epicenter of the civil rights struggle and some of the horrors that went on there. you lost a friend in that horrific church bombing in 1963.
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>> yes. >> denise mcnair. >> yes. >> how did that affect you as a child? >> i had grown up in this very lovi loving cocoon, really. tit titusville. everybody was a schoolteacher. i think there was one lawyer, one doctor. education, family, faith sh that was the mantra in that community and my parents always said there are no rick vic times because the minute you think of yourself as a victim, you given control of your life to somebody else. you might not be able the to control your circumstances, but you can control your response. and in the 1963, we couldn't. we couldn't control our circumstances and we couldn't control our response to them. so the bombings in birmingham and the -- >> how does an 8-year-old, how do you process this? >> i remember the night of the church bombing asking if i could sleep in my parent's bed because
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they were my refuge. we got through it. we got through it with family. with faith. but it was frightening. i remember when we had the annapolis peace conference for israel and palestine. saying at the end of that conference and i had been given some points to be made, you know how it is. i thought no, that's not going to work. i said you know i know what it's like for an israeli mother to go to bed at night and not know if her child is going to be the victim of terrorism because my parents faced that. i also know what it's like for a palestinian to be in a circumstance where a parent has to explain why you can't go on that road because you're palestinian and not somehow let it reflect that you're less a person. and i think the birmingham in its own way gave me insight into what it's like to live with terrorism, what it's like to
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live with prejudice. and i think it made me a better person. >> mow with more than half a century later, a lot of discussion about what the state of race relations is. you were a child prodigy. conce concert pianist. you zipped through college. high school. you graduated at 19. came here, younest provost. the story sin credible as i said. people look at you and they look at people like barack obama and they say, well, you know, this was unimaginable. 50 years ago and yet, there is this sense that somehow, things are worse. you see that in polling. race relations are -- >> i just don't buy it. i don't buy that race relations are worse. i do say and this is perhaps a good thing about us. in america. we don't want to accept a circumstance in which they are not dramatically better race
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relations, in which we don't start moving toward a collkolco guard society. that's good for us. but we have to recognize that we have come a very, very long way. we have to recognize that in every day interactions, blacks and whites do just fine. but we do have some circumstances that are making it very difficult for us to continue to improve. for instance, there's no worse mix than poverty and race. to be stuck in a inner city with no way out of the worst neighborhoods is going to get you into a bad situation and the color of your skin is going to contribute. because when the police go into that neighborhood, they're already going to have certain asunlgss about what's going on there, so if you're in that neighborhood, you're at risk. >> you mentioned the police
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issue. you're here in bay area. you were a witness to the colin kaepernick and we mentioned earlier, you're an avid football fan. what did you make of that and his -- >> i understand and look, i appreciate that these young men want to send a message. about the fact that we've still got a lot of work to do in race relations. in community policing. and the like. i fully understand that. but when you want to lead on an issue, you >> you find a way to do it that doesn't lead people off. i would have advised the president not to become a sports commentator. to have it get to the point that it became about whether or not you support the flag was a
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problem, and i said to a group of young football players with whom i met, i said, look, the fact is people come to watch you play football. they didn't come to watch you protest. they come with their families and they spent their entire week's salary on one of those expensive nfl tickets and they want to enjoy the game. but the impetus to want to say something about these events i think was a good one. i just think that the message got lost in the means that they chose. >> what did the vote in alabama mean to you? you intervened in that senate race at the end? you clearly were urging people not to vote for roy moore. the message was very clear. and alabama delivered a very clear message as well. what did that mean to you? >> first of all, i wanted people
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to vote. i think alabama did the right thing. i could not imagine alabama sending roy moore to the senate. i was glad for alabama and alabama has come a long way. we'll see what it means. alabama is still a deeply conservative state. >> coming up next -- >> you have worked in the most exclusive male corridors of power. have you been exposed to harassment over the years? here's the story of green mountain coffee roasters sumatra reserve. let's go to sumatra. the coffee here is amazing. because the volcanic soil is amazing. so we give farmers like win more plants. to grow more delicious coffee. which helps provide for win's family. all, for a smoother tasting cup of coffee. green mountain coffee roasters. we believen food that's anaturally beautiful,, fresh and nutritious. so there are no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives in any of the food we sell. we believe in real food. whole foods market.
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you have worked in the most exclusive male corridors. have you been exposed to harassment over the years? >> i've certainly had people say inappropriate things. i've certainly had people suggest that maybe we should just go out and in situations where it was somebody more senior. and i've never faced a quid pro quo, an explicit quid pro quo. i've never had anyone do anything that i would consider assault. but i don't know a woman alive who hasn't had somebody say or do something that was inappropriate at best and aggressive at worst. i think that the movement to
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expose these circumstances is a good thing. let's clear the air about it. i do think we do have to be a little bit careful. let's not turn women into snowflakes, let not infantalize women and what i really don't want to happen is i don't want it to get to a place where men start to think, well, maybe it's just better not to have women around. i've heard a little bit of that and it worries me. >> did you see oprah's speech at the -- >> i did, i read it. i read it. >> over the years, your name always comes up, why doesn't condoleezza rice run for president. >> i never will. >> and why is that? >> because you have to know your own dna. i've been around the process enough to know i love policy and
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not politics. and there are better ways for me to do public service. >> what's your advice to oprah who is the subject of a massive draft movement? >> i would say know what you want. everybody gets to make a blank page of what they think you would look like as the president and they only focus on those characteristics that they want to see in her. now you're running for office and all of a sudden you're not that person who's just a blank sheet of paper. i would just say if you're contemplating running for office, just recognize that we put people through a brutal process and they don't come out quite the same. >> i agree. that's the advice that i would give. secretary rice, it's so good to
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be with you. appreciate your time. >> to hear more of my conversation with condoleezza rice, go to >> this is cnn breaking news. >> i'm ana cabrera. here is our breaking news. someone pushed the wrong button. for 38 terrifying minutes, hawaiian minutes thought they were about to be hit by a ballistic missiles because of alerts on phones and tvs. the most frightening word, "this is not a drill."


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