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tv   After Words with Roger Stone  CSPAN  February 19, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm EST

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>> next up, this is our "after words" program, run strategist, roger stone, talks about the 2016 presidential election and president donald trump in his knew book "the making of the president." he is interviewed by the susan ferrechi of the washington examine res correspondent. >> welcome, roger stone. this is your fifth book. but thereal really special one for you because you know the subject so way and have known him for decades. do you think president trump is doing. >> guest: doing fine due the fact the has had no honeymoon,
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which is traditional for new presidents, two or three weeks of in the parties and his election was such a shock to the system he is sticking to this agenda and making progress on issues and all these other contratemps about his twitter feed i think it's a side show that the voters are not too interested with. >> host: the 2010er feed has become a big part of the presidency. the media is the subject of talk shows. it's almost as big a part of his presidencies as when takes to the podium. how do you consider that in term history success as a president going forward? will this 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 voters without the filter of the main stream media or the alternative media. so it'sen extremely valuable tool. if he likes to say it's like
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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 gnashs their teeth about because i allows him to communicate direct. they like to interpret. that said, i do think that we is going be donald trump. he is not going to change. the whole idea he is going to becomemer presidential or diplomatic are that's not how he got elected. people like him because he is blunt and genuine, because he is uncoached and unscripted. what 2000 see is what you get. that's what we have elect it. >> host: but i'll go back to your book where you talk about your departure from the campaign in part because you differed with strategy. liked like you wanted a. built more discipline. maybe a little less of trump
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being trump and more campaign discipline. how does that -- how do you square that with your view now? does he need moan discipline now in a way you felt was needed during the campaign. >> guest: doesn't matter what think. the truth is i left the campaign but never stopped being a trump supporter or cheerleader for a couple reasons. one, my book, the clinton's war was about to publish and i didn't want nobody say that was a trump project because it wasn't. secondarily -- i wanted him to run a more traditional campaign in terms of the traditional tools of campaigning. polling, analytics, paid advertising and so on him eskewed all of those things. didn't think you could wing doing that. he was right if i was wrong. he is a phenomena unto himself.
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>> host: you describe him as using that unconvictional approach to have this unprecedented victory, and as you said it was different than the approach you were talking about. you talk about your book how he was able to over come not having an a addition $ya approach and still winning in states republicans have not been able to win and didn't spend the same amount of money as the democrat offered the republic republican machine. >> guest: this is different than any other presidential election i have been involved in. this is my tenth. this is the election in which the tipping point was finally reached in terms of the main stream media losing their monopoly on the dissemination of political information. obviously in the '60s who there is would only three networks, their destruction of barry gold wertwater was easy.
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the networks chimed in and barry was gone. a warmonger, maniac, lunatic. when he get back to the senate he is revered. in this election, the tipping point had been reached largely, i think, because of technological ropes, mean -- reasons, miami people getting their news on a hand-held device instead of the the television set. the cable networks lost their oomph. the ratings start to don and people getting their sources from alternative sources. so,ey, info, breitbart, daily caller, up town hall. and to the are important and trump realizes that when nobody else does. the other key factor for the first time ever voters begin to
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realize that big media is in government with big government and the big establish: the three networks and the two cabe outlets -- voters are skeptical. if you saw something on tv it must be true. now the opposite is true. you see something on cnn and you wonder if that's really true? i think those two changes, one of them technology include driven made the big difference for donald trump. >> host: look the situation now where he is having poll numbers showing him with lower approval rating, again you have the saturation by the media, pretty overwhelmingly negative about trump so far do you think still the media is having a big impact on his presidency. >> guest: poll shield with him with a low approval rating their same polls that showed hillary clinton winning easily.
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so they're sample is questionable. one of the problems in this campaign has been the polls across the board were largely wrong. some of them i think through an honest mistake, others because they were padded. they're based on an assumption that the turnout this paster presidential election would be identical to four year ago, same number of blacks and whites and christians and jews and women and men and younger and older and so on. that was a false premise. there was an assumption that 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. so, this explains why the polls were so off. there was an neck -- anecdotal information contrary. look the crowding drawn. this support by donald trump on
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social media. so perhaps the president's approval rating is higher today than some of the polls are showing. on the other hand, the negative barrage does continue, and it's incumbent on the president, frankly to out communicate this critics. he still has the bully pulpit and he can still do that. >> host: can you talk about your earl introduction to donald trump. through saw him as potentially becoming president some day. a very long time ago. can you talk about what happened there and where you got that feeling. >> guest: sure. this first person to imagine a trump presidency was not me but was former president richard nixon. i was working for nixon doing political chores in his post presidential years and he met donald trump in george steinbrenner's box of yankee stadium and they hit off. he called me the next day and he
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said, well, i met your man. i got to tell you, he's got it. he could really good all the way. >> host: he said that? >> guest: and then days later he dropped a note, which i reproduce in the book to donald trump that said, this is so typical of nixon's -- saw you on the might douglas show and thought you were century person and -- su superb and if you ever unrun for office you will win because you're a winner. nixon 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 barricaded this. s in a hotel suite and spent hours together talking geopolitics and nixon said, trump just fired questions at him. one after another.
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wanted to know about breach never -- brezhnev the russian asks chinese. and nixon first saw the potential for trump presidency. i wanted him to run as early as 1988. i was the chairman of his presidential exploratoriy in 2000 and exploratory effort in 2012 nut in retrospect 2016 is the right year. >> host: why. >> guest: the perfect storm. the tipping point has been reaped for alternative media, as we discussed and that's the important factor. but also after eight year of barack obama, the american people were really ready for something different. in the 40 years i've been involved in politics i've never seen the voters in this angry or sure or disillusioned mood. they're just totally fed up with politicians, political institutions, big media, big government.
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they're ready for something radical. ready for on out her and donald trump fit the bill perfectly. >> host: did the discuss with you l when he was deciding to whether to do it. >> guest: within day out mitt romney losing but before the end of 2012 donald trump had his attorney go to the u.s. patent and trademark office and trade mark the slogan "make america great again." told me on ears ears do new year's day of 2013 he was running in 2016 and had taken these steps at the trademark office. was certainlet they would run throughout the entire year, and therefore the media columnists and others, this constant hectoring that trump will not run. he is injure burnishes the brand, this is publicity. a publicity hound. this ahead fake. i knew through the entire year
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that he would really run. >> host: what was different this year and he had thought about it before and not carried through. >> guest: i think his business was in the right place inch position to turn over his business to his older children. i don't think there were anymore mountains to climb in the real estate industry. he had didn't all with the hotel now in washington, dc being a new crown jewel in the trump enterprises. he realized that the country was also in the right place. would go back to something he told oprah winfrey 20 years ago when she said, donald, do you think you'd ever run for public office? president? and she said, no, don't think so. unless things get so bad that i have no choice. >> host: i remember that. >> guest: heelings not run because he wants the title, not run because of the great house and the to great plane. he hardless a great place in manhattan and palm beach,
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already got an airplane that is on a par with the air force one. he is not doing this to be somebody. her already was somebody when he ran for. his 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 trickled down even to the local level for state representatives, who are not democrat. what do you make of the response the big protests that took place right after the inauguration and what does that mean for his success as a president? there is 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 demonstration, of course, are prop -- paid for and orchestrated. others are sincere people who
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have concerns because they may be buying the caricature of him that has been painted by some the mainstream meet ya. the real answer for him is pretty simple and that is dim damn the torpedoes torpedoes tol speed happen. if you see an uptick in jobs and already seen the uptick in the market and the uptick in small business confidence. but if he restores the economy, i think lot of this will fall away. a vibrant economy would give him the revenues he needs to address all of our other problem. folks in particular on infrastructure. trump is first and for most a build cher is i would don't try convince him the wall can't be built because it can. don't to to convinces him that our inner cities knock be belt. they can if he will fulfill those prime minister missileses
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the -- promises the -- >> host: you need -- you have runs who are debt sit hawks and don't want to run up a big tab which will be very expensive and have health care reform, tax reform, two major agenda times you normally don't see happen even in a single congress, never mind two items like that. so he brock mitt aid lot to the country could you think he can deliver and there is any hazard for him having promised so much and then perhaps not being able to check off every item. >> guest: this is why he is using executive ors to achieve as much as he can before turning to a legislative solution. his ability to circumvent the congress and go directly to the people it up prepares denned since ronald reagan did that with a democratic congress but passing his initial tax reform. think the president should focus on tax reform, particularly this corporate tax cut, his across
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the board tax cut, the program for inversion. i would do that first rather talk than dealing with immigration first but a that's 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 see the light by going right to the people, i think is still his hole card. >> host: talk about the book and how you came up with the idea for it. you had to write it quickly. what din you fir decide there would by 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 lost, there was a book in there. franklies was pretty confident he would win through most of the campaign, even in the darkest days, because i noticed his
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resilience in the polls. take his attack on senator mccain, many thought that was it. he went down two or three opinions, and the bounced right back up. same thing happened when he attacked the judge who was of mexican-american heritage. the took a dip and then bowed pack. voters had bigger issues in mind and would excuse him these detours if you will, 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 came. the ability to go into michigan and wisconsin and double down in western pennsylvania was where he won this race. i'd go a step further. he got approximately three percent more over african-american vote than mitt
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romney. doesn't sound like much but it's the differs between winning and losing michigan. >> host: she got less. >> guest: she got less. the overall turnout was not as great and he got 3% more. that this difference between victory and defeat in michigan. the difference between victory and denet wisconsin in 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 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 stormed into eight states late while hillary clinton is back in chap waugh in her paam -- paam mas use they
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were very confident and people in the media, people in congress, people -- political observers who felt the same way. you are among a few who felt confident that 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 he would reopen the inquiry into hillary's e-mails the thursday before the election, he was already gaping at a pretty fast clip. that event merely accelerated his climb. in beginning she was sitting still in polls but after that she began to drop slightly. that's where you could see the trajectory. so the close of any race, when you're conditioning the polls -- examining the polls it's not where you are that's important as much as the direction.
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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 and the trajectory. all the polling examined the find weekend, which came not only from the campaign, some, but the campaign did not spend extensively on polling and hillary clinton polled every the burn, going to test that burp before we did. but looking at poll from the state republican operations, from statewide iowas who were polling, an enormous malt of data, became clear to me on sunday behalf the election -- >> host: two days before. >> guest: almost perfect. his trajectory was look perfect and he was on a track to win. i became confident at that point. >> host: nobody was expecting, though, the victories in wisconsin and michigan and pennsylvania. those three were really considered outliers for him to be able to pull off. were you surprised that he was able to get those three states. >> guest: no. because you could see in the
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polling that they were within range. you can see he was gaining and he visit all three. went back and visit all three in close where i think hillary and her folks thought this was in the bag. >> host: 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. what happened for them to expand rather than just focus on the areas where he needed to win and eel eventually won like florida and ohio. >> guest: adecision was made they were both safe. ohio is interesting because mitt romney and john 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 because in the western part of it state donald trump was able to pick up white moderate working class union democrats at a rate that neither
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of those gentleman, any of this 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. really didn't -- in the enwasn't a battleground state. florida was tighter but i think a good decision was made that donald trump would carry both and therefore could he could afford to spend his time in michigan and wisconsin in pennsylvania which was absolutely necessary. he keefe ha carried ohio and florida and still lost without those and of course virginia i think was always winnable. i think the republican national committee pulled crucial resources the end which was detrimental. he could have won virginia which he lost very narrowly. >> host: you break the book down into sections of the campaign, first the primary, and then the general election, and you talk about requiring sort of two sets of staff for each, depending on
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what the goal they wanted to achieve. that's different to have that transition from prime near general election. you saw one top campaign staffer leave and another one coming. can you talk about how that worked and it was little unusual and worked in his favor. >> guest: donald trump decided on an all-communications based strategy early on in which the rally was the centerpiece. so, made other decision rather than spending money on paid media we other would do before very view he could possibly jam into his schedule and good into the states, do these massive rallies, confident that the two cable networks would cover them wall to wall. >> host: they did. >> guest: multimillion dormroom campaign commercial. he did that this this -- his opt
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inside were spending fors on an lit tricks and polling and trump was going solely communications. it worked. he so completely dominated need media before each primary itself was like having paid advertisings. and that worked fine for that portion of the campaign. when he hit wisconsin, and then subsequently lost delegate contests in north dakota, colorado, and louisiana, still -- >> host: different format. >> guest: right. you were heading into a convening, now in a convention there's a premium on organization and structure. so, for example, no one in the trump campaign had thought about who from each state was going city on the rules and the credentials committee which are crucial if the knock nation was going to be stolen from trump. that's it would happen. that's why i thought he was wise to bring in my former partner, paul manafort, who is an expert
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in convention politics. pull together a structure ultimately rout the cruz people in the rules committee. we were prepared to rout them in the -- >> senator ted cruz who ran against trump in the primary. >> guest: last man standing. so, the campaign needed to change at that yuck tour and then did. then in a general election the campaign needed to change again. the president wisely brought in steve bannon, kelly yearn conway and -- kellyian conway and they able to retool for the general election campaign but i can tell you, trump didn't prepare for any of these debates. not traditionally astand-in act can like -- >> host: what dead he do. >> guest: the didn't too anything him just read and made notes and calculated and he went in -- i would argue he won every debate.
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>> host: there is a lot of criticism about his performance, he did not seem prepared or knowledgeable. >> guest: he is a pollar rising figure. always going to be criticism. the proof is in the fooding him won the election. one debate was a standoff -- >> host: which one was that. >> guest: i think it was possibly 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, and he said, because you would be in jail. that was it. that was the beginning of the end. >> host: uh-huh. well, now days the criticism of triple us that he is an outsider and doesn't understand the issues because he hatt has never been in government before. people say now how eave an outsider, doing all the thing nod got for the country because he doesn't understand. what do you make of the criticism and do you think trump really can learn on his feet in the white house? >> guest: well, that's very typical of the washington establishment.
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mr. president, now that you're here you have no experience, left us help you. what they really mean is let us derail your program. the republican and the democrats other, elite leadership like the status status quo. if thing that on television and all good out to dish afterward and slap each other on the back. it's all about getting reelected and raising my to get reelected. my real problem with the bush bush, clinton, bush, obama continuum is not only had they driven the country into the gutter, not only had they've given us endless war and massive dent and spend can other, rowling civil libels, an immigration still that leave our neighborhoods unsafe. trade agreement that suck the job out of the country incoherent foreign policy but they have gotten extremely rich so while they made the people
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poorer and less safe, they themselves have made hundreds of millions of dollars. it's an eleadist phenomenon unanimous that foe vetters are fed up if. >> host: triple u trumps receiving criticism where there could be conflict of interests for him because he is supposed to hand off with his real estate empire. how will that play out. the public may start to scrutinize him in a different way? is he -- there a conflict of interest here or do you don't see any problem there. >> guest: actually i think one of this greatest strengths is in election was his independence. the fact that people felt he had so much money you couldn't buy him. he 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 been. people will bill hard put to find any actual conflict. he -- i'm sure he understand after he leaves office he will have many opportunities to make
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more money. ... how much more he has yet to do. he's given up an incredible lifestyle to do this. he loves his family, loves his
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grandchildren. he is a homebody knockout on the party circuit. he loves to play golf and loves his daily routine. he has an agenda to save the country. host who would've the hardest parts is to transition to a presidential team. he brought about him steve bannon and to keep trump focused and centered but now he's criticized and ridiculed on saturday night live they depict him as the grim reaper.
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how does that square away with what you know about him? >> guest: you have known him a long time. >> host: they are copacetic on issues isn't surprising that how they became friends and how they were attracted to each other. so trump is into giving bannon's well. they are not doing things not talked about in the campaign but on the other hand, they represented the establishment republicans. i discussed by the week's coming out via the white house i have a fair amount of it in my day strategically for a purpose but when you are leaking to the detriment of your boss which a white house staffer says the president is like a clueless
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child into a doctor but him wearing a bathrobe in the family quarters after hours i would hope so. that is summing up to reporters. they come from the establishment republicans dominate a most of the white house staff. you have to work with establishment people in the white house and then with a lack of cooperation.
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people whose loyalty is to donald trump for the nomination prior to the convention. there are many qualified people in this campaign who have applied in this rush to hire the national committee of him. i think it's a mistake but it's interesting that when jim bakker was george bush campaign manag manager. he didn't work the kind of criticism you have now. >> host: can you talk about the two can you talk about any comparisons between the two and how they operated in the
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presidency and are there any similarities and differences you can talk about? >> guest: both men are brilliant and stubborn when they focus on the goal but both of them are pragmatic. trump is not an ideologue he is a populist conservative instincts but above all he's interested i in both words and n solutions. he may try something and if it doesn't work he will try something else until he solves the problems. they are pragmatists and realists. on the other hand, on his size,
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they have the comi comic book tl and broad shoulder but there is a command in the presence it is more than charisma, more than magnetism but they have a certain stature. so he is a master communicator that he's more interested details then-president reagan so i like to think he embodies the best qualities of both. >> host: if you were to make a call on his performance right now, what would you recommend to him in terms of the few on staff and the changes he would make or what you would like t he would o differently? >> guest: stick to the agenda which is what he's already doing. hire more. invest your confidence in people
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that share your vision, don't hire people that have a great resume but have never stood up for trump and were not for you in the general. that's sound advice. and the press corps, they are never going to get with the program. don't forget the alternative media if you want to reach people, interview with the daily caller they are reaching millions of people and you're not going to get the choice that google is from cnn. >> host: should he try to reach out to the people because she did reach the popular vote and is there some way he tried to reach out? >> guest: something he said throughout the campaign is in a year you will see, i'm going to
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do a good job. that is true, he will get a reassessment after a year. so, ignore the petty criticism and stick to your agenda. if you start to rebuild the inner cities take one as an example, detroit or philadelph philadelphia. >> host: does he have things such as different skill sets you would argue i suppose command does he have the ability to do that as a business in his whole life and you can say you need to be a talent to be able to work with the congress and everybody is so angry at each other yet he
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has none of that experience. experience. do you see unable to do that? >> guest: he is a negotiator and you know how much somebody says for the purpose of negotiation. they talk about terrorists on their trading partners and we are not sure that they will do the tariffs, but also not sure that he's not. so, either we make a better deal or we are forced to tariffs. >> host: he's doing that so far. but he knows the cut in the corporate tax rate would triple china and mexico more than any paragraph which is why the need to at the forefront of the program. the way that he has worked for companies here is worthy of lyndon johnson. he has been owning these executives to get them to stay and you will see more of that. you could argue it's only a
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thousand jobs here and there. it's symbolic that he's making the effort, that's what's important. >> host: you talk about him as an underestimated candidate. i guess you could see i say it e understatement of the year. how did he stay confident i was always amazed by how confident he remained even though the media establishment and his own party, everybody seemed dead set against him being the nominee into being the president. he seems like an almost impossibly competent person. did you notice that about him and how did you think that played into his victory? >> host: he's an optimist and he is supremely confident. that is one of the things that appealed to the voters he is a can-do guy and doesn't think anything is impossible. even he at the end finally got
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beaten down by the constant mainstream media. that is about as bad as it got. i think that it was momentary. nobody could be immune to the fact that mainstream media tried these three times. at the end of august at the victory was impossible. we didn't even have the campaign yet so i don't think he lost faith. he thought he would win. his confidence is integral to the makeup and personality and that is what makes him donald trump. >> host: where did it come from, that is unusual to be that confident. >> guest: he has succeeded beyond his own in terms of an economic business success also the experience of coming to the brink of disaster and fighting your way back, that makes you
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stronger. trump is a very tough guy. he never filed personal bankruptcy. he used it as a legitimate tool for the companies and of course they emerged from bankruptcy. there was a crash and not only did he survive it but he came back stronger than ever. this is very much like richard nixon and watergate. he claws his way back to respectability and ends up as an adviser on the matte the matterf foreign policy that are vexing the country. russia, china and so on. so, that experience makes you tougher. anybody that doesn't understand how tough donald trump is doesn't really get it. in his personal demeanor, he is
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very likable, he isn't snobby or stiff or formal in any way. so, he is a billionaire who is not an elitist. but i think that experience of coming close to financial disaster and surviving it has made him stronger and more confident. >> host: talk about your book that goes back decades can you talk about the first meeting with him and what's your impression was when you first met president trump? >> guest: i was assigned to new york, new jersey and connecticut for the former governor ronald reagan campaigned introduced by his attorney, the notorious.
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it's a great honor to meet you, please call me donald. after the inauguration. he is eminently likable and a great sense of humor, he's very funny. then he had four or five very tough questions. all these questions are related to the electoral map. the first question, how did you get to 270. i'm assuming they can carry california, which of course he did but how did he get to 270?
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virtually every conversation that i had in the presidential campaign and he is a junkie and loves politics the way that he loves sports and he would always ask the same question at the end. give me your take on the mac, where is your 270. so they always understood that, and i think that was a key part of the strategy. >> host: politics had been left concrete. he was considered to be a democratic supporter. what are his politics i think people still wonder where he is firmly planted politically if anywhere. >> guest: when he was a businessman seeking to both parties and the candidates from both parties simply for people this wealth and the company as large with many interests. it is a democratic bastion one
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has to have the unions to build anything in new york city. he was deeply disappointed in george w. bush. he did briefly switched to the foreign party or the independence party of new york. it's important to know that the reform party was entitled to $58 million worth of matching funds at the time.
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he concluded after an intense exploration of the country isn't going to elect an independent president anytime soon. it is controlled by the republicans and democrats working together. >> host: this is a dramatic moment in the campaign between tom who was the face to the campaign between income and cory.
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who was the phase one person i was there orchestratinthat was a campaign rallies that really launched him into the stratosphere as a candidate. he did win but there were stumbles along the way in the second part of the campaign. >> guest: paul manafort was able to call the political associates going back through many presidential campaigns to lend a hand, people with more experience at the state level. they ripped together an organization going into the convention to sit out the challenges and it is a
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substantial task but the successful nomination of trump's quashinsquashing the forces as e rules committee to try to hijack the nomination demonstrated he was successful and also the convention has to be due to that's what it really is in the television show is about entertainment and paul manafort helped donald trump stage a very successful convention. the highlighting of the children, the terrific speech by rudy giuliani, there were a lot of high points in this convention. we have a large audience in the convention or the democrats that were unheard of.
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they didn't want to trump to be accused of deceit print generator of that because he wasn't. i have a fundamental disagreement on the campaign strategy at the time. i think that he needed to run a more traditional campaign. and i do think that some of the findings that he got distracted and his overall message of immigration and tax reform and trade and so on. again, he was right and i was wrong about a lot of it. but i also pointed myself as the number one surrogate for donald trump. there were five or 600 interviews and speeches between the time i left because i felt i was a man for almost 40 years i could tell people firsthand why
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you would be a great president, why i was about his resiliency and his toughness so i never stopped being a donald trump supporter but 64-years-old was going to be the campaign structure which i had to prove i was going to write or say. there was a moment when senator cruise didn't endorse trump on the stage and told the voters to vote their instinct or their conscience and instead voted for trump. what was the response to that and was that a surprise to you? >> guest: it was a surprise to everyone because paul had made it clear to senator kruse and to the manager that he didn't have to use the word endorsed that he had to say that he was supporting donald trump on the ticket. this was one of the great misreadings of.
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if senator kruse thought he was going to lose and he did, the smart thing to do would be to do what richard nixon did in 1964 when he was certain goldwater would lose, give an endorsement and campaign every place that way if he lost, people would say good old ted cruz, he broke his back for the ticket and he gets consideration next time. instead, he decides to be nelson rockefeller, take the ball and go home, hard-core conservatives and that they would never let him be the nominee of the party because he turned his back on the party when the prospects didn't look good. good. later on when he figures out trump is likely to win he endorses him. i think that he made an enormous mistake and he thought that the quality of his rhetoric would be
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so great like the 1976 moment when ronald reagan addressed the convention after the nomination and it was true many people in that convention hall said he had nominated the wrong man. he's not ronald reagan. he's more like richard nixon. >> host: what was his response, was he surprised by that, hurt, angry? >> guest: i think that he was unhappy. but he was later on quite generous towards the senator and he accepted his later endorsement. >> host: you've gone back and forth. there was a declaration that ted cruz's father had been in conversations with the kennedy assassins. you write a little about that in your book. some people say why are we talking about this, it's not relevant.
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but can you talk about that a little bit? >> guest: i believe senator kruse's father who was an associate the photograph comes from the commission, not the national enquirer. i think donald trump threw it out there to -- >> guest: she was questioning his patriotism and temperament. the question is obvious. why do people take an instantaneous dislike to ted cruz b. six to -- >> guest: in this case he got him so angry he was trembling.
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you can see him getting into a fight with a 10-year-old boy at a rally. he keeps yelling. >> host: but you could argue that he cited that as well as some disparaging things said about his wife as reasons he wasn't able to endorse trump and do you think it would have helped him at the convention? >> guest: donald trump one, therefore i think senator ted cruz is the loser in the entire calculation. he is a bush republican masquerading as something else, and i call him out very extensively in the book. >> host: do you think that he will survive trying to run again? >> guest: i would hope somebody would challenge him in the primary in texas. maybe the attorney general, if not perhaps alex jones will run, who knows. but somebody needs to challenge him. if he survives that and he has
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plans to run for president i think many will remember the fact that he would not endorse the ticket to convention. >> host: can you talk about some of your favorite passages in the book that you find our really important to you that you want people to take notice of? >> guest: sure. in the biography of donald trump and who just passed away recently, a story that circulated indicated donald trump was scheduled to fly from atlantic city and a helicopter that would tragically crash in the pinelands and kill everybody on board but that was made up that he never intended to be on that helicopter, there was no plans but he promulgated the story to generate publicity. i can tell you first hand that they are wrong.
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but because i was working for donald trump as a lobbyist working on the currency transaction issues i was in washington, he was in new york, i called him and said i needed to see him. he said i can see today, i've got to go to atlantic city. i can be here in an hour and a half. it's important. he said okay i will send a helicopter had to pick me up. i was sitting in his office when his longtime assistant came in and told him that superintendent of the state police in new jersey was on the phone. he put the veteran cop on the speaker phone and said i have terrible news. the helicopter your company chartered has crashed and there are no survivors and he said our you absolutely sure.
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they said yes, 100%. and of course when men were crying. it was a horrific time. to his time he called every one of the widows in some cases breaking the news in which case i could never have done. so donald trump was telling the truth. now i am not claiming that i saved his life. i really believe that this was an act of divine intervention and that this is bigger than any one person at this point i decided that god had spared him for a future purpose and we now know what that purpose is. >> host: very dramatic. >> guest: but he was telling the truth about the incident and was smeared by his critics. >> host: what a story. thanks for being here. the making of the president 2016, now available. >> guest: delighted to be
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here. you said the most interesting thing that it was the dumbest race possibly in american history. it was totally nuts. how did that compared to 2016? >> guest:2016?guest 2016?guest >> that one was dumber which is a heartwarming thing when you think about it. william henry harrison's race. i was talking to a really famous historian, who i can't vote because he belongs to another news organization and can't be quoted by me. but he was talking about how horrible this race is, i can't believe it, this is so terrible. and i said what about -- what
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about william henry harrison and he screamed at me is even worse than william henry harrison. this is a discussion nobody else in america is having at this moment. [laughter] it was just at the beginning of the popular vote so they were trying to think about ways to settle things and accidentally they stumbled upon the idea of peddling william henry harrison as this humble soldier living in a log cabin drinking hard cider and remembering how hard he fought with the boys. ..
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