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tv   After Words with Roger Stone  CSPAN  February 18, 2017 10:00pm-10:59pm EST

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and next up on booktv, this-or-"after words" wore program. republican strategist roger stone talks be the 2016 presidential election and presidential trump in his new book "the make offering the president 2016." mr. stoner interviewed by the washington examiner's chief
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congressional correspondent. >> welcome, roger stone. author of the brand new book "the making of the president 2016." your fifth book but a really special one because you know the subject so well. so i'll start we fit we, how do you think president trump is doing doing find in view of the fact he has had no honeymoon which has been pretty traditionol for the presidents. two or three weeks of glee will from the other party and his election was such a shock to the political system, his ick stucking to hissing a which is key. we is magazining progress on issues, and all these other contratemps about his twit feed is a side show the voters north interest. >> host: the twitter feed, the media focuses on it.
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it's almost a big a part of his presidency when he takes to the poetum. how do you consider that in grand scheme of things in terms of his success as a president going forward? you think with help him, hurt him? if you were on his staff would you advise him to cool it on the twitter or do you think maybe it's a good thing. >> guest: it's his ability to communicate directly to the voter without the filter of the mainstream media or the alternative media. so it's an extremely valuable tool. if he likes to say it's like owning a newspaper without the debt. you can reach 16 million people in a flash so i would urge him to keep tweeting because i think it is a valuable tool. the main stream media gnash their teeth because they like to interpret. i do think he is going to be donald trump and note going to
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change the whole idea he will become more presidential, going to become more diplomatic, i don't think that's how he got elected. people like him because he is blunt, he is genuine, because he is uncoached and unscripted. what you see is what you get. that's what we have elect. >> host: back to referring to your book you talk about your departure from the campaign, in part because you delivered with strategy. looked like you wanted a little bit more discipline, little less of trump being trump and more campaign discipline. how does that -- how do you take that and square it with your view now? do you think he does need more discipline now in way you felt was needed during the campaign? >> guest: doesn't really matter what i think. the truth is, i left the campaign but never stopped being a trump supporter or cheerleader. i had a book about to pressure
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and i didn't want anything to think it was trump directed project because it wasn't. second darely, i -- i was wrong about this dish wanted him to run a more traditional came in -- campaign in tomorrows of traditional tools, polling, analytics and paid advertisements and all. i didn't think he could win doing that. he was right, i was wrong. his aphenomenon unto himself. it worked for donald trump. >> host: in your book you describe him as using that unconventional approach to have this unprecedented victory, and as you said it was different than the approach you were talking about. can you talk how you describe hoe he was able to overcome not having a traditional approach and still win thing states republicans have not been able to win and he didn't spend the same amount of money as the democrat order the republican machine when he was running in the primary? how was it that he was able to
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get around the need for all those traditional approaches? >> guest: this election was different than any other presidential election i've been involved in. this would be my tenth presidential campaign. this was the election in which the tipping point was finally reached in terms of the mainstream media losing their monopoly on the dissemination of political information. obviously in the '60s when there was only three networks, their destruction of barry goldwater was easy. a warmonger, lunatic. when he gets back to the senate he becomes quite revered. in his election the tipping point had been reached largely, i think, because of technological reasonses, meaning people getting news on hand health device no longer from a television set, and therefore, the mainstream media, the three met networks two cable networks,
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lost their -- more and more voters getting informing from al turntive sources and conservative, some just alternative sources, daily caller, taken haul, breitbart, all important and trump realizes this when nobody else does. the other key factor is, for the first time ever voters realize that big media is in bed with big government and the big establishment, that the three networks and the two cable outlets are reinforcing the narrative of the mainstream media and voters for the first time are skeptical. used to be if you see something on top it must be true. now the opposite is true. you see something on cnn and you wonder if that's really true. this two changes, one technological driven made the difference. >> host: you look the situation
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now where he is having poll numbers showing him with lower approval rate you have the saturation bit -- by the media that is negative about president trump so far. do you think that still the media is having a pretty big impact on the presidency right now, despite his ability to reach out to people for these other avenues? >> guest: well, of course the polls that show him with i the loaf beautiful rating showed hillary clinton winning easily. so the sample is questionable. one problem in this campaign is the polls across the board were largely wrong. some of them i think through an honest mistake, others because they were paidded. in other words they're based on an assumption that the turnout would be identical to four year other, same number of blacks and whites and christians and jews and women and men and younger and older and son. that was false premise. there was an assumption that
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hillary clinton would both pull out the same number of african-americans and get the same percentage of them that barack obama got. not possible. explains why the polls were so off. there was an neck dotes tall afghanistan to the contrary. the crowds trump was drawing and the crowd hillary clinton was haveing trouble. so, perhaps the president's approval rating is higher today than some of the poles are showing. on the other hand, the negative barrage does continue and it's incumbent on the president, frankly to outcommunicate this critics. he still has the bully pulpit and he can still do that. >> host: can you talk about your early introduction to president trump and you talk about in the book how you saw him as potentially becoming president some day.
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a very long time ago. can you talk about what that -- what happened there and where you got that feeling? >> guest: sure. the first person to imagine a trump presidency was not me but former president richard nixon. i was working for nixon doing political chores in his post presidential years and he met trump in george steinbrenner's box in yankee stadium and they head it off. he called the next day and i said i met your man. he has got it. he could really good all the way. >> host: he said that? >> guest: and then day lays later he dropped a note to donald trump that said, this is so typical of nixon's -- this is nixon, he said saw you on the mike douglas show and thought you we century person and if you ever run for public office you
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will win because 'er a winner. nixon knows about these things. of course we was talking about himself and his own judgment. not long after that president nixon and donald trump spent a weekend together. they went for a charitable event in houston, texas. they essentially barricaded this. s in a hotel suite and spent hours together talking geopolitics and nixon said, trump just fired questions at him. wanting to know about the russians and the chinese, and around the world tour. so, the men hit it off and it was nixon who first saw the potential for trump presidency. i wanted him to run as early as 1988. i was the chairman of his presidential exploratory committee in 2000 and part of the exploratory in 2012 but 2016 was the right year. it was the perfect storm.
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it was not only the tipping point had been reached for alternative media, as we discussed, and that's the important factor. put also after eight years of barack obama, the american people were really ready for something different. in the 40 years i've been involved in politics i'm never seen the voters in angry or this sour or this disillusioned mood. they just totally fed up with politicians, political institutions, big media, big government. they were ready for something radical, for an outsider and donald trump fit the bill perfectly jude dehe discuss with you his plans to run this time rind before he made the decision or how he was trying to weigh whether to do it or not? >> guest: actually, within days of mitt romney losing but before he end of 2012, donald trump had miss attorneys good to the u.s. patent and trademark office and trademark the slogan, make america great again.
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told me on new year's day of 2013 he was running in 2016 and he had taken the steps the trademark office. i was certain that he would run throughout the entire year, and therefore, the media columnists like -- this constant hectoring that trump will never really one, just bur -- burnishing the brand,es a publicity hound, this is a head fake. knew he would run. >> host: what was different this year? >> guest: his business was in the right place, position to turn over his business to his older children. i don't there there were anymore mountains to climb in the real estate industry. had done it all with the hotel now in washington, dc being new crown jewel in the trump enterprises. he realized that the country was also in the right place.
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would go back to michigan he -- something he told oprah winfrey. he asked him if he would ever run for president and he said, no, i don't think so. unless things get so bad i have to choice iremember that interview. >> guest: that's where we are today heel. not running because he want thursday title or because of the great house and they great plane. he already has great place in manhattan and a great place in palm beach, an airplane on a par with the air force one. he's nothing doing this to be somebody. he already was somebody when he ran for president. he is doing it because the country is in trouble and he thinks he can save it. >> host: what do you make of the response to his presidency by the people who do not support him, the protests, have trickinged down even to the local level for state representatives, who are not democrats.
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what do you make of the response to big protests that took place right after the inauguration and what does that mean for his success as a president? a way they can just permanently hobble him by just trying to obstruct at every turn or should they have a greater voice because the popular vote went to hillary clinton? >> guest: well, some of the demonstrations are paid for and 0, straight. others are -- orchestrated and others are send sear people who have concerns because they mail be buying the the caricature of him. the answer is simply. damn the torpedoes, full estate ahead. if he restore's-under nation lazy economic prosperity, at least in that direction you see an upnick jobs, already seen the uptick in the market, already seen the uptick in small business confidence. but if he restores the economy,
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i think a lot of this will fall away. a vibrant economy would with him the rev o revenue he news to deal with the problems can the infrastructure. trump is a build cher is why -- don't try to convince him the wall can't be built because it can. don't try to convince him our inner cities cannot be rebuilt. they can. if he will fulfill those prompt millses the opposition will fall away. >> host: a tough wish list because you need the cooperation of congress and you have a lot of republicans who are deficit hawks and don't want to run up a big tab which will be expensive and they have health care reform, tax reform two major agenda items you don't see happen even in a single congress, never mind two big items like that him premier milled a lot to the country. do you think he can deliver and there is any hazard for him having promised so much and then
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not being able too check off every item. >> guest: this is why he is using executive orders to achieve as much as he can before turning to a legislative solution. his ability to go directly to people is unprecedent since ronald reagan did exactly that with the democratic congress, by passing his initial tax reform. the president should focus on tax reform particularly his corporate tax cut, his across the board tax cut, the program for inversion. would do that first rather than dealing with immigration first, because i think that is the key to the solution of all the other problems. he's going to have a tough road because as you point out, some republicans in congress are intransgent but his ability to make them feel the heat, if he can't make them seal the lying by going right to the people is his hole card.
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>> host: talk about the book and how you came up with the idea for it, the timing you. had to write it quickly. when did you first decide that there was going to be a book about his election? >> guest: i decided to write a book at the time i left the campaign because whether or not he won or whether he lost there was a book in this. frankly i was pretty confident he would win through most of the campaign, even in the darkest days, because i noticed his resilience in the polls. in other words, let's take, for example, his attack on senator mccain. when many in the mainstream media thought what was it, he went down two oar three points and bounced right back up. same thing when he attacked the judge who was of mexican-american heritage. he took a small hit and bounced back because voters had big irissues in mind. they were going to excuse him these detours, if you will,
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because it was overall agenda. so, i think that resilience always indicated to me that he could win a close race. i didn't think he had to expand the map and that opportunity came late, but he came, the ability to go into michigan and wisconsin and double down in western pennsylvania was where he won this race. i'll go a step further. he got approximately three percent more of the african-american vote than mitt romney. doesn't sound like much. sounds dim minnis but it's disbetween winning and losing michigan. >> host: she got less, hillary clinton. >> guest: she got less. overall turnout was not as great and he got three percent more than. that's the difference between victory and defeat in michigan, in wisconsin, and the difference between victory and defeat in pennsylvania. just that small incremental bumpup in the african-american vote. so, you're in a situation where
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the race was so close, you can't point to any one thing that made the difference because it was so close, it was a confluence of things that made the difference, including his super human physical effort in the close. stealing a page from harry truman, he barn storms into eight states late, while hillary clinton is back in chappaqua in her pajamas looking the swatches for fabric for new curtains in the ooffice. >> host: they were confident they had a victory and a lot of people in the media, anymore congress, people -- political observers who felt the same way. you are among a few who felt confident he would win. talk about when you really felt that the tide turned for him right before the election. >> guest: well, prior to the fbi director announcing that he would reopen the inquiry into hillary's e-mails which was the thursday before the election, he
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was already gaining in a pretty fast clip. that event merely accelerated his climb. in the beginning she was sitting still in the polls i was tracking but after that she began to drop slightly. that's where you could see the trajectory. so, the close of any rose, when you're examining the polls, it's not where you are that is important as much as the direction. so, for example, if wednesday in pennsylvania you're down five, and friday you're down three, and sunday you're down one, you can see the direction in and the trajectory. all the polling i examined the final weekend which was not only from the campaign, some, but the campaign did not spend extensively on polling. and hillary clinton polled every time she burn -- burp.
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he had an enormous amount of data and became clear to me on the sunday before the election dish. >> host: toys before. >> guest: almost perfect, his trajectory and he was on a track to win. i became confident at that point. >> host: nobody was expecting the victories in wisconsin, michigan, and pennsylvania. those three were really comfort outliers for him to be able to pull off. were you surprised, though, he was able to get the three states? >> he vesseled all three. he went back and visit all three in the close where i think hillary and her folks thought this was in the bag. >> people thought he should have been in ohio, he shouldn't have been trying to expand the map should have been focusing on the must-win states. >> guest: i think a decision was
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made they were safe. ohio is interesting because mitt romney and mccain, and george w. bush spent tens of millions of dollars and put forward a very strong effort and none of them could ever pop ohio but that's largely because in the westernpart of the state, donald trump was able to pick up white moderate working class union democrats at a rate that neither of those gentleman, any of those gentleman, had been able to achieve. so, trump pulled out to a about a five-point lead in ohio and never dropped. ohio was safe for him much earlier. wasn't a battleground state. florida was tighter but i think a good decision was made that donald trump would carry both and, therefore, he could afford to spend his time in michigan and wisconsin and pennsylvania, which was absolutely necessary.
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he could have carried ohio and florida and still lost without those and of course virginia, i think was always winnable. think the republican national committee pulled crucial resources out the end which was debt employmental. he could have won virginia which he lost very narrowly. >> host: you break the book down into various sections of the campaign. first the primary and then the general election and you talk about it requiring two sets of staff for each, depending on what the goal was. that's different had that sore of transition from primary to general election. you saw one top campaign staffer leave and another one coming. can you talk about how that worked and it was unusual and worked in his favor. >> guest: donald trump decided on a al communications based -- all communications based strategy early on in which the rally was the centerpiece. so, he made a decision, rather than spending money on paid
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media, he would do every interview he could possibly jam into this schedule and good into the states, do the massive rallies, comfortable that the two cabled networks would cover them wall to wall. >> host: they snide a multi million dollar campaign commercial. he did this eskewing organization and structure and whale height opponent comments were spending a for on analytic and phone banks and organization, trump was going solely communication and it worked. he so completely dominate they would free media before each primary that it was like having paid advertisings. and that worked fine for that portion of the campaign. when he hit wisconsin, and then substantial subsequently lost delegate contests in north dakota, colorado, and louisiana do.
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>> different formats. >> guest: and you were heading into a convention now in a convention there's a premium on organization and structure. for example no one in the trump campaign had thought about who from each state ways good to sit on the rules and credentials committee which are crucial if the nomination would be stolen from trump. that's where it would happen. that's why i thought he was wise to bring in my former partner, paul manafort who is an expert in convention politics. pull together a structure ultimately rout the cruz people in the rules committee. we were prepared to rout them in credentials -- >> senator ted cruz who ran against trump the prim mary. >> guest: last command standing. the cam main -- campaign needed to the change at that juncture and did. then in a general election they campaign needed to change again. the president wisely brought in
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steve ban non, kellyanne conway, and i think that they were able to retool in time for a general election campaign. but that said, i can tell you donald trump didn't prepare for any of these debated. not in the traditional way with a stand insure acting like hillary clinton -- >> host: what he do. >> guest: he didn't do anything if the just read and made notes and calculated and he went in and i argue he won every debate. >> host: there's lot's of criticism about his performance, didn't seem prepare or knowledgeable. >> he is a pollarrizing figure. always goals to be criticism. this proof is in the pudding. he won the election. thought one debate you could argue was standoff. the -- >> host: touchdown? i think it was probably the first one. the second one, frankly, he clinched the debate when she said, we can't trust a man like donald trump to run the justice department.
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and he said because you'd be in jail. that was it. the beginning of the end. >> host: well, nowdays the criticism of trumps that he is an outsider and he doesn't understand the issues because he has never been in government before. you say he is doing things because the doesn't understand. what do you make of that criticism and do you think trump really can learn on his feet in the white house. >> that's very typical of the washington establishment. mr. president, now that you're here you have no experience in these things. let us help you. what they really mean is, let us derail your program. the republicans in the democrats, the elite leadership of both parties, like the status quo. they like the way things are right now. they fight on television and they all go out to dinner afterwards and slap each other on the back. all about getting reelected and raise i my to get reelected
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system real problem with the bush, clinton, bush, obama continuum is not only have he driven in the done intoed the guffer and begin us end has war, massive dis. immigration system that leaves neighborhoods unsafe. trade agreement that sucks the gobioids out of the country and incoherent foreign policy but they and their cronies have gotten extremely rich. and why they made the people poorer and less save they have made hundreds of millions of dollars. ant elitist phenomenon the voters are fed up if. >> host: trump is receiving criticism if there is conflict of interests because he is supposed to be hand off we his real estate empire but there are questions. will the public start to
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scrutinize him or no problem. >> guest: i think one of his greatest strengths in this election was his independence. the fact that people felt he had so much money you couldn't buy him. there was no use trying. her couldn't be bought and couldn't be bullied. i think that's still the case. i'm satisfied with the way he is structured his business. think people are going to be hard put to find any actual conflict. he, i'm sure, understands after he leaves office he will have many opportunities to make moyer money but he is a becameaire. how much more money does he need? the important thing is with that comes the independence to do some very difficult, controversial things. people who talk about his re-election i think -- i don't see that as forgone conclusion. he may choose not to run. depends on how much he achieves in four years and how much is left to be achieved. >> host: what do you think would influence his decision. >> guest: to not run? >> host: uh-huh.
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>> guest: a bountiful. >> that's a success in winning no make take eight years or four. he is a man of action. not going to sit back and let somebody else set the agenda. he's going set the agenda. i think he will decide about re-election base owned how much he has gotten done and how much more he has yet to do. he has i. up an criminallable lifestyle to do this. he love his family, love his grandchildren, he is really home body when he is in florida him loves to play golf. he love his daily routine. there's huge sacrifice in this for him just in terms of lifestyle. he is doing it, again north because he needs to be somebody. not because it salves his ego but he hayes an agenda to save the country. >> host: one of the hardest parts for transition is take your campaign and then transition into a presidential team.
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he brought with him steve bannon, who was needed to come in for the home stretch of the general election and to keep trump focused and centered. yet now bannon is criticized and ridiculed by -- on "saturday night live," the grim reaper, i some outlier force there in the white house. a shouldn't be there. what do you make of the criticism and how does that square with what you know about steve bannon? >> guest: i think the idea that bannon is trump's brain or trump's -- is backwards. >> host: really. you have known him a long time. >> guest: steve bannon and trump have the same world view. they're copacetic on issue is is not surprisings. that's houston they were attracted to each other. so, trump is not doing bannon's will. banon is doing trump's well. the president's will. they haven't done anything that the president didn't talk about in the campaign.
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reince priebus represents establishment republicans. i am disgusted by the leaks coming out of the who is. mean, i understand leaking. i've done a fair amount of it in my dame. strategic leaking for a purpose bet when you are leaking to the detriment of your boss, when you're leaking -- the "washington post" had a leak in which a white house staffer says the president is like a clueless child and "the new york times" had a leak that talked about the president wearing a bathrobe in the family quarters after hours which i would hope so because it's pretty drafty. that is not helping the boss. that is trying to aggrandize yourself by leaking with -- and suck up to reporter -- >> host: who due clinton leaking. >> guest: out hover those who are not trump loyalists. they're not coming from steve bannon kellyanne canway because their trump loyalist. if fear they come from the establishment republicans who
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seem to dominate most of the washington -- white house staff under reince priebus and they're detrimental, unprofessional. >> host: he's going to have to work with establishment people in the white house with him. that they could undercut his entire presidentsive with leaks and lack of cooperation. what knees to help. >> guest: the best possible reason to hire trump people for key positions, people whose loyalty is to donald trump, people who supported donald trump for the nomination prior to the convention. not after. there are many, many qualified people who are active in this campaign who have applied and herd nothing being this enormous rush to hire republican national committee alum. it's a mistake. it is interesting to me that when jim baker, who was president bush's campaign manager, was hired to be president reagan's chief of
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staff, the first thing he different was reach out to high profile reaganites and hire them for the white house staff, and therefore he didn't brook the kind of criticism that you have now of mr. priebus. >> host: you have forked for other presidents including richmond nixon, we talk about the two -- you said shay spoke -- cow you said they spoke. can you talk about the -- any similarities of differences? >> guest: i think there's enormous similarities between both president trump and president nixon and president trump and president reagan. in case of nixon, both men are brilliant. both men are stubborn when they focus on a goal, you can't get them off of it. both of them are pragmatic. trump is not an idealogy, a
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populist live i conservative instincts and interested in solutions. like roosevelt. if he tries something and it doesn't work he will try something epps until he solves the problem therapy. bowl pragmatists and realizes. orbit, trump is very much like reagan in terms of his size. i don't mean just his physical size. although they have that in common. both tall and broad shouldered. but there's a command presence there. it is more than charisma, more magna tim. -- magnetism. they fill the room and a stature that is strong on television. think trump is a master communicator as reagan was. trump is more interested in details than president reagan was and in that sense more like nixon. so i like to think that he
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embodies the best qualities of both. >> host: very interesting. so, if you were to make a call on his performance right now, what would you recommend to him in terms of if you were on staff what would you change or like to see him do differently. >> guest: well, stick to the agenda which he is doing, not different. hire more trumpites. i think that is -- invest your confidence in people who share your vision, don't hire people who have a great resume but have never stood up for trumpism and worked for you in general election. i think that's generally good advice. and ignore the carping of the washington press corps. they are still in shock about losing the election. don't forget the alternative media. in other words, if you want to reach millions of people unfiltered, interview with
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breitbart, with the daily caller, with info wars. they're reaching millions of people and you're not going to get the twist that you'll get from, say, cnn. >> host: should he try to reach out the people who voted for hillary clinton because she won the popular vote. >> guest: the best way to reach out to them is revitalize our economy and prove your critics wrong. something that trump said throughout the campaign, he would say in a year you'll see. you're will be really happy. i'll do a good job. he'll gate reassessment after a year. so ignore the carping and the petty criticism and stick to your agenda. if you revive the economy, renegotiate the trade deals, if you start to rebuild our inner cities -- one city, as an example. take detroit or philadelphia and show what can be done. think he could be one of the greatest presidents. >> host: does he have the skills
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to take his business acumen and then translate into it working in government? such a different skill set. you would argue. do you think he has the able to do that? a business man his whole life machinations of was is different, work wig congress, road blasts and frustrations and you need to be talent like lbj to work with the congress, everybody so ang grip at each other, right? angry at each other and yet he has no experience. >> guest: he is a dealmaker. he is a negotiator, and you never know how much of what he says is for the purposes of negotiation. so, for example, he has talk about terrorists oregon our trading partners -- tariffs on our traiting partners. he he's not going to tariffs and i'm not sure he is not. it's the stick. now, the carrot, now, either we make a better deal or i'll be forced to do tariffs. >> he's doing that so far with various -- >> guest: he knows that the cut
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in the corporate tax rate would cripple china and mexico faster than any tariffs which i i would he needed to put itty front of the program. the way her worked on the phone on carrier and other big companies to induce them to stay here, it's worthy of lyndon johnson. he had been jaw-boning the executives to get them to stay and expand and you'll see more offer that. now you can argue oh, it's only a thousand jobs here and a thousand jobs there. it's symbol lick that he is making -- symbolic he is making thers is what is important. >> host: one of hoe nor interesting parts of the book you talk about him as an underestimated candidate. the underestimate of the year. how did he stay confident that dish was always amazed by how confident he remained even though, you're right, the washington media establishment, his own party, everybody seemed dead set against him being the nominee and then decide set
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against him being the president. seems like an almost impossibly confident person. disoutside notice that about hem and how do you think that played into his victory? >> guest: he is an optimist. and he is supremely confident. i think that's one thing that appeal to voters. he as i can-do go. doesn't think that anybody is impock. feather thought the election was impossible. even he, the en, i think, finally got beat down by the constant main stream media saying you can't win, you can't win, you can't win. he told his wife, as he said possibly, baby, we play not win tonight. that's as bad as it got. it wasn't momentary. nobody could be immune to the fact that the mainstream media tried to write him out of the race at least three tames. the end of august they were saying his victory was impossible. had no campaign yet. don't think he ever lost the faith.
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thought he thought he would win. his confidence is integral to his personality. that make him donald trump. >> host: where does it come from? >> guest: i think two things. he has succeeded beyond his own wildest dreams in terms of building a economic success, a business success, but also, the experience of coming to the brink of disaster and fighting your way back, that makes you stronger. trump is a very, very tough guy. >> host: phase -- >> guest: his bankruptcy -- take its back -- his near bankruptcy. ever in filed for personal bankruptcy. he used bankruptcy was a legitimate tool for his companies and they emerged from bankruptcy. so, he got over e overextended. there was a crash. he survived it. not only did he survive it. he came back stronger than ever. >> host: not 87. >> guest: yes. roughly.
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very much like, say, richard nixon and watergate. his career is in tatters but he claws his way back to respectability, and is an advisedder to president clinton on matters of foreign policy on russia, china, and so on. so that near death experience makes you tougher. anybody who doesn't understand how tough trump is really doesn't get it. in his personal demeanor, he is very likeable. he is a regular guy. he is not snobby or stilted or stiff or formal in any way. so he is a billionaire who is not an elitist, not a snob. but i think that experience of coming close to financial disaster and surviving it has just made him stronger and more confident. >> host: talk about your book, your relationship goes back decades. talk about your first meeting with him and what your impression was when your first met president trump. >> guest: sure. i went to new york in 1979.
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i was a assigned to run the new york, new jersey, and connecticut for former governor reagan's campaign. was introduced to young trump by his attorney, roy cohen. i went and saw cohen and said i needed headquarters, finance committee, volunteers, telephones and so on. and he said, what you need is donald trump. now, i'll make an appointment for you but he is very busy, he is not going to give you much of his time so make your pitch and get out. so i went to see donald and he was very gracious. said, mr. trump, it's a great honor to meet you. he said, please call me donald. after the inauguration when i said congratulations, mr. president, he said please call me donald. an unassuming guy, like agreeable, great sense of humor, but what impression mets was his intensity.
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he listened to everything i had to say and asked four or five wees. i'm making the pitch that ronald reagan, get elected president. 1979. all of his questions related to the electoral map. first question he asked me was how do you get to 270? it's interesting. i'm assuming your man can carry california, which he did. hough do you get to 270? interestingly ask virtuety every conversation i had with him about the 1980 presidential campaign, and he is a junky. loves politics the way the loves sports elm he would always ask the same question the end. so give me your new take on the map. your 270. he always understood that construction and it was a key part of the strategy for this campaign. always had an eye on how to get to 2 '0 electoral vote jazz his politics have been less concrete. heat considered at some phases to be a democratic supporter.
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what are his politics in. block... >> >> and he most definitely opposed the iraq war and we talked about that at the
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time. he came back to the republican party after george to be bush was gone and briefly did switch to the reform party or the independence party that is affiliated and then governor jesse ventura took the reform party nomination that was entitled to $58 million of funds that the time but they are no longer in title to because of ross perot 1992 and '96 so the prospect of running for president on other people's money he is the businessman but he correctly concluded after an intense explanation they will not elect an independent president any time soon.
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so you really have to be republican or democrat to win the election so he went back to the party of his parents where he spent most of his adult life as the republican party. >> host: but the tensions within the campaign they were dramatic moments early in the campaign who was part of phase two and the phase one person from the big campaign rallies and how was he able to transform into something that had a lot more discipline and how deep you carry that out so quickly and successful in your estimation he did win but there was in the second
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part of the campaign. >> that period the campaign that is always called for but on did deep political associates the wing back to london and that were more experienced and could poll the very best out of the existing trump organization. it is a substantial task today's successful nomination of the of rules committee as they tried to hijack the nomination. but it is the television show. and then helped to stage a very successful convention
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highlighting of the trump children the general plan speech? and then they pull that together very quickly without much structure so they get and deserve a lot of credit. >> can you talk about that quick. >> dialect and august because my book on the clinton was coming allied did want trump to be accused of as a part of that because he wasn't although we did use campaign strategy at the time. >> but think he needed to run a more traditional campaign under -- instead the twitter of rights was
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distracted from his overall message but again he was right and i was wrong about a lot of this. but i was also the number one surge gifford donald trump. with 600 interviews source speeches primetime that left i knew the man almost 40 years and i could tell people first and why he would be a good president and his resilience. i never stopped being a donald trump supporter but 64 years old was not willing to be in the campaign structure i thought i could be better help from the outside. >> and those who did not have to build the instinct
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or the was that a surprise to you? it was made clear to senator krueger said his manager he did not use the word indoors but he did have to say he was supporting the donald trump on the ticket but if senator cruise thought trump would lose and he did, the smart thing to do would be what richard nixon did to give a full throated endorsement that way if he lost they could save ted cruz was there for the party. but instead he decided to be
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rockefeller and go home. hard-core conservatives and trump supporters will never let him be the nominee because he turned his back when the prospects did not look good percolator when it was likely to win he endorses him. but too little too late senator. he thought that the quality of his rhetoric with that 96 moment and many people in that convention hall said you nominated the wrong man. he is not ronald reagan. >> what was his response? >> he was unhappy but later
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he was quite generous toward the senator and they were trading insults with the declaration and with those conversations with the so why are we talking about this the make it part of your book. >> i believe that his father did meet lee harvey oswald and with the associate with multiple interviews and comes with the warren commission in making key throughout their months. >> does that question and
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his patriotism? remember that questions his temperament. widely taken instantaneous dislike to ted cruz? >> host: you feel that trump's tactics try to get an emotional ride is -- rise quick. >> of course, in this case he got them so angry you can see got into a fight with the little boy at a rally. >> you could argue back that there was some disparaging things said about his wife heidi why he could not endorse trump and maybe that would have helped him quick. >>. >> guest: therefore
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senator cruz is the loser in the entire calculation. in the call him out berry extensively in the book. >> i hope somebody challenges in the primary like the attorney general but somebody needs to challenge him but if he survives that compliance to run for president that they would not endorse the ticket >> what passages deal think are important to you quick. >> in the biography of donald trump have both written in big helicopter
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the red tragically crash and to generate. i consider wrong. but i was working for donald trump as a lobbyist i called him and said they need to see him as soon as possible. it is really important and
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with his longtime assistant to superintendent of police but the veteran cop by the speaker phone the company chartered dutch crash -- and the crashing and he said are you sure? but it was a horrific time. he called all of the zero widows breaking the news to them. so donald trump was telling the truth was not claiming i saved his life i do believe it is divine intervention
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and a bigger than any one person and at that point that there was a future purpose in to tell the truth about the entire incident. >> thanks for being here. >> delighted to be here.


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