tv Donald Trump and the Presidency CSPAN September 28, 2017 8:00pm-9:05pm EDT
the budget and healthcare. with american action for president -- then center for puerto rican studies edwin melendez talks about the current federal aid needed for puerto rico. and paul ryan on travel rules for public officials. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal live at seven eastern friday morning. join the discussion. >> coming up tonight on c-span2, look at the first year of the trump presidency. then senate debate on the renomination of sec chair of -- and an election security task force on russian interference into the 2016 elections. later, a conversation with former virginia governor, douglas wilder on race relations. and a debate over removing confederate statues. >> next, a look at president
trump's first year in the white house be with author and historian, bill w. brands. also with mara liasson and doug g. brinkley. this hour-long event was part of the annual texas tribune
festival at the university of texas in austin. [applause] >> as we were saying, bryan curtis on behalf of the texas tribune i am happy to welcome me to the texas tribune festival and to trump in the presidency. a very rich panel. there is a hole in this, there is a whole bunch of panel today trump national security, trump in congress, trump and resistance. i hope this will be the first of a huge dent the possible. there is lunch at the main mall and it will conclude with a reception at the at&t center. some more housekeeping.
the panel is with pearson and the sponsors play no role in the content, panelists or my line of questioning. the event will be 60 minutes for the last 15 to 20 i will leave it
open for your questions from the audience for this godless panel. after that, pearson will host all of us for a brief meet and greet next door in the community have of the texas union building where we will all drain the swamp together. please join us for that. also, if you're going to treatment during this the # is tribfest17 please violence your phone. in my panelist, we have doug g. brinkley a professor at right, the presidential historian and the author of several books about the presidency. most rightly rightful heritage, franklin d roosevelt and the land of america. next to him we have mara liasson political correspondent for npr.
she has covered every election since 1992. >> 1776! >> you can see her on shows like all things considered and she is also a contributor to fox news. to her left, bill w. brands and historian and writer that is senior chair here and also the author of several books about the presidency. most recently, the general versus the president macarthur and truman at the brink of nuclear war. some of you have seen this written materials that we were -- we were supposed to be joined by dan rather today but he was unable to come.the four of us will carry on in his absence today. okay, let's start with an innocent time in history. doug, december. [laughter] >> president-elect trump, heidi was one of his guests for a lunch at mar-a-lago. when he talked about the presidency and the office he
was about to inhabit. what did he talk about at the lunch?>> he was president elect and nine historian for cnn he was just starting to have his war with cnn so he did not have nice things to say about my network. then i got to talk to him about the presidency. and i asked him about presidency has met in his life. his personal relationship with them. he told me about how jimmy carter, how he had given money to anybody to defeat jimmy carter in 1980. that he thought carter was a terrible president and to his surprise after the election, carter came to see him. made an appointment and wanted money from trump for the new carter center. and he said, i really admired jimmy carter now that he came in to come eyeball to eyeball even though did not like him
and asked for money. nixon, -- [inaudible] and then he said with richard nixon, he became very friendly with him because he was on the phil donahue show and pat nixon saw trump and she said honey, that is going to be a president of the united states on the donahue show. and then, he got a letter from nixon which he willingly shows people the president. from richard nixon saying that my wife said she never saw somebody as smart and great as the one tv, let's go out for a meal. and they started to dine regularly together. trump and nixon. remember, nixon was in, his reputation was in tatters. he was living in northern new jersey trying to get back in the game and donald trump in
the 1980s was on covers of magazines and the big new york -- it makes more sense why nixon may have tried to reach out like that to him. story like that, they talk about reagan and what he liked about him. it was not anything deeply illuminating however, we talked about inaugural speeches and he had not prepared it and knew nothing about them. he just kept saying i want to be short, i want to be sure. i told him about william henry harrison going long and dying after only one month. [laughter] we talked about kennedy and the like. it was a pretty innocuous meeting. i take away was that he had almost zero understanding of american history. he was somebody of a child of television. he operates with gut instinct of what he sees. he is very visual. we now all know how much he watches cable and all of that. i think that is his intellectual source, cable news. he may have a short attention span so the idea that he reads a book about you know maybe
bill w. brands book, not going to happen. requested he seemed surprised that he had won? >> yeah, he seemed surprised that he won and this is a kept spitting this idea that there was voter fraud. that hillary did not really win by 3 million because 3 million illegal people voted. i was a little started that he was clinging to that false narrative. he won so you might as well be magnanimous. i have to say it was a weird moment at a time in history when i do not know whether he knew he was going to be repeal and replace obamacare or do infrastructure. i think the betting money was going to be repeal and replace obamacare. i think when general flynn got busted and really started recognizing that he was going to be under investigation, that
his instinct was to double down with his base. and i think that pipe dream that maybe he was like one third way is it really a democrat or republican and he might try to do bipartisan things. that rated quickly and he just had that trump base which was -- he doubled down others you last night when he was talking of the nfl and colin kaepernick at a rally that was to endorse and support a senate candidate. we are eight months into the trump administration. does that seem like 800 months? but, do you have a sense at this point of how trump regards institution of the presidency? which of the topic of this? >> that is a really good question. i think that he views the institution of the presidency has definitely not a coequal branch of government.
i think he sees this as a super evil branch of government. i think he has been frustrated that he did not get the kind of respect, he is not generated in the way that he liked to. the fact that he left the military parade so much in france and talked about wanting to have one here and the kind of leaders you know, authoritarian, antidemocratic leaders that he respects and bonds with around the world tells you a little bit about how he views his role. and i guess as a journalist, when i started, when texas tribune festival came into -- when trump came his office as it is a different in degree or kind of previous presidents? in other words is he just a conservative republican or is it something holy, new and different? and i started out thinking that he was ruder and cruder and i am coming around many ways to think that he was different. his view of other democratic
institutions by the independent judiciary, the press, the things that he feels the norms that he feels totally comfortable breaking. i do see him as a stress test for democratic institution. it is something i think is the big story of his presidency. will we survive, the taxes under this pressure. not just from donald trump obviously. and so those are the things i'm watching for but i think he sees the presidency in a different way than any other modern president and i would love to hear what they think about this but he describes his inauguration as i took an oath to the american people. not to the constitution. i do not think he thinks about the constitution. i do not think he feels is any restraints on them.as a matter fact the things he has talked about with such glee is
how when i'm president i cannot do anything illegal. i mean it was kind of -- if i do it has to be legal but i forgot how he put it. the president cannot have conflicts. so, i think he sees it as so many things in his life as a big fat get out of jail free card. i mean that literally. >> as a presidential historian and zone who has studied how different than regarding the institution how would you say about this? >> i was say i look at it as it has been. the reason is that he is the only person, the active president who is the top on the resume was businessman. and the only real successful business person to become president was herbert hoover. who is not a really good advertisement for being a great president. but i think he is described as
impatient with institution. it goes very much in line with the impatience at a ceo would have. the difference between business and talk politics is that -- he cannot fire the senate majority leader or the supreme court. he has to live with them. and trump is running up against this. as someone who is brand-new to politics, he has not apparently accepted this and i'm not sure that at the age of 71, he is inclined to change his ways. i think he still hope they can change the institutions rather than having institutions change him. >> we have all been processing the flurry of news in the first eight most of the administration. i can think of nothing else but going in with a twitter -- and saint my wife did you just see what donald trump just said? what has gone as you expected about the first eight months and what has been different?
>> getting neil gorsuch into supreme court is as expected. he was going to pick a conservative and that is going to have a lasting impact. thus far i see it as the biggest success in 2017. i thought that the twitter use might get toned down. i had a fantasy that ivanka trump would be like the twitter tzar. and that she let 90 percent or 95 percent of them go up but once in a while say not that one, not that one. that obviously has not happened. the -- the determination to keep inflaming and dividing the country, all presidents come in and try to unite. john f. kennedy the first 100 days as we know was bit of a failure. the bay of pigs happened in the first 100 days.
the cosmonauts going into space with russia. but by omitting that kennedy said i screwed up the bay of pigs. do not blame anyone i did it. he had the 77 percent approval rating after his first 100 days by after the first year in office, john f. kennedy had an 80 percent approval rating. that is not going to happen with donald trump. he is just as you mentioned last night in alabama, wherever he goes, he is polarizing. he feels he is winning in a divide and conquer way. i worked on books on reagan before and reagan used to say, you have to have 50 percent of the box office to get something done. meaning that your post have to be if you want, in order to push policy through. donald trump is counseling operating with 35 to 40 percent and hence, nothing is getting done. but he still the headline news every day because of twitter
and by claims that this cultural war like we so with roseville, you've seen with football, last night and i find it a bit reprehensible because it is pinning american against american in order to kind of be in charge and some of the you know it all began with this movement on obama. and with making mexican americans, latino and latinos for like lesser people. by not having a meeting with someone like john lewis to talk about civil rights. so we are in a really serious unprecedented as we say on cnn all the time, moment where we have got a president that has gone rogue on us. broke on the institutions. he just knows that he has got inoculation as long as he can keep about 40 percent of the
population backing anything that he does. in my opinion a report can come up tomorrow and try to be something so egregious that he does, the 35 or 40 percent will shrug and stay with him because they have signed onto the cold of donald trump. the persona of donald trump. the people that i have talked to in summer probably in the audience, most are frustrated and they are conservatives. they feel like my god, we have been working the conservative movement for decades and this is the result? right now i think this all gets back to the 1960s and early 70s where reagan used to say, -- i think of donald trump had his way he would like to roll back the great society and the new deal if he could. >> how about you mara liasson?
what has surprised you the most? >> i guess what surprised me is that donald trump is exactly as he was during the campaign. in other words, there were some kind of weird magical thinking that this was all an act, that he used to be a democrat, that he would revert to this kind of theory. the alternative universe of you know the theory of donald trump is that because he was so unique that he could bust the partisan boundaries and to a big infrastructure deal with the democrats and he wasn't the conservative republican but that you know, totally went by the wayside. he did subcontract out his legislative agenda to the republican leadership in congress. much to his dismay over time because they have not delivered. they came in and said do not worry mr. president we will repeal and replace obamacare. and have tax reform by august.
and that is why i am so angry. a couple of thoughts. number one, you might have a 35 percent approval rating but as we all know during the campaign, national approval rating does not mean that much. national poll numbers don't mean that much. what we want to know is what is the prorating in the 10 battleground states. when you talk to people in the white house they believe his approval rating is not 35 percent. that he is still about where he was when he got elected. thank -- they think he could be legislatively an unsuccessful president and did nothing there except for neil gorsuch and a bunch of the regulations. which in and of itself could be fine. he could win reelection. he could be politically successful because all you have to do to win elections is win one vote. win by one vote in the battleground states. he can get a smaller percentage of the popular vote and still pull out a victory. i think that is what he pays
meticulous attention on that group. what happened yesterday was really interesting. not just incredible 90 minutes -- which we probably should go back and i'll watch that just for all of the various detours that he took. but he was campaigning for a candidate, luther strange. that his base does not like. and with the trip to alabama was, a test for whether the trip base, whether the loyalty is to trump. he says that is denna fifth avenue and choose someone and i would not lose voters. it can be described as a certain type of personality but some people might say is not as big or strong as people think it is. they will come to the rally with trump laughed and applauded and then they will go out and vote for roy moore. the guy that he was campaigning
against. >> the, here is a quote - from the rally. it is such a fascinating thing happened to be.com, being about any number of things with the president. but this is him talking about, we saw him tweeting at the emmy awards. this is him talking about an nfl owner with the player kneeling during the national anthem. he is now saying quote - get that -- off of the field now peered out, he is fired, he is fired! what do you think is the purpose in his mind of going there with that particular topic in that kind of language and that venue? >> from the beginning of the donald trump phenomenon i wonder if his actions are calculated. and to what extent they are simply impulsive. the more that i watch and the more i think it is simply impulsive! i not sure he had a purpose. i'm not even sure he knew he was going to say that when he
stepped up to the microphone. that he just started in and wandered off. i think this is one of the reasons that people around him are so far unable to rein him in because they do not know what he is going to do and when. >> one of the remarkable things to me about the president is that he is exactly like he was during the campaign. for everybody else, there is a candidate discount that you take into account. when they change from candidate to be president. because they realize, these are two different roles. with president trump, there doesn't seem to be any differentiation. the first signal is when you win and then when you get the inaugural address. and everybody else before trump has followed the thomas jefferson model. after very divisive 1800 reelection where he referred to the major parties is that we are all republicans, we are all -- but trump made no gesture in that direction.
if he has to choose between getting something done, let's say tax reform or he has to cut deals with democrats. if he has to choose between that and hanging onto his base, but he would rather do, would you rather get reelected with potentially no legislative accomplishments or get the legislative accomplishments and perhaps jeopardize his tradition with his base? >> get reelected. no doubt in my mind. >> so what does he want of the presidency? nearly everybody else, first of all this is the biggest thing they have ever done. because they have all been in public service before. and they have at least some idea what they want to accomplish. or how they want to be seen. when they are out of office. with president trump, i cannot figure that out. and for all we know, his major goal is to make his net worth greater at the end of his time in office than it is now.
>> he wants to get good headlines, he wants to get good poll numbers. but in terms -- and she wants to be -- he wants to be the greatest president. but that is not something he want to do an office ticket is gone tell people that they would believe it! [laughter] one thing maybe that we have been surprised that a little bit. okay, the real concern of many people during the campaign was that he meant what he said when he said nato was obsolete. and maybe we should pull back from our role in nato. he did not like multilateral alliances. the whole isolation pro vladimir putin. he was stopped by the democratic institutions from having the kind of relationship with russia that i think he wanted. and even though he was dragged,
kicking and screaming, he did finally affirm article 5 of nato, an attack on one is an attack on all. so what is jokingly called in washington, the committee to save america which is rex tillerson, james mattis, hr mcmaster and kelly, they have constrained him. so in other words, at least in foreign policy his bark is a lot worse than his bite. one day he was up and says we're going to destroy north korea. the next day, just more sanctions. >> one day being thursday.>> i mean literally the next day. sanctions. he is going to pull out the most iran deal was the most embarrassing thing ever. the next day, we're going to try and negotiate some addendum's to it. so i think that has been, that has been reassuring certainly to a lot of republicans who are on the ledge around donald trump. but as long as he he's got the national security team, the committee to save america and intact.and as a matter fact
secretary james mattis travels around the world as as a joke, i am here as the secretary of reassurance. >> i do not want it to make it like donald trump is just a lone ranger. he is not. he is representing america. he is taking the low hanging fruit. 19 percent of the -- it is always been a swing vote crowd. back with lyndon johnson and the civil rights act, and alabama where we are talking about, he won the south. when he ran for presidency. picked up states on a racist, overtly racist platform george wallace ran on. a very kind of nuke them back to the stone age.
richard nixon and his violent majority. and some people that just vote, they just cannot stand democrats. so he has traded a coalition that it was all of these strands, he was able to keep this and he is trying to keep that together for what they suggested on reelection. he lays to win. it is about winning and he never left the campaign, like stop campaigning? i will keep running. he also gets the narcissistic feed from the crowd and he needs that because if you read about people with malignant self-love and a narcissistic disorder they cannot handle a lot of negativity. so he watches cable he will get a lot of negativity. but he gets his high by going to alabama and saying just the thing that will bring the house down. and basically about racial
politics and alabama, attacking the nfl player. that is donald trump. i think he is made of this, -- a businessman but does not like a lot of federal regulation. they have stopped him from some projects and that is the typical right of builders and developers that they could have put the building of two years sooner but with all of the red tape. after charlottesville, when he equivocated the neo-nazis and the counter protesters. -- can you be president of the united states and be a moral, if that is the right word, like charlottesville, do you have to provide moral leadership?
>> he is the president and he is not provided moral leadership so i guess the answer to that is yes. but it was an amazing moment because the easiest thing for the presidents, it is almost like control delete. it is like in the memory bank. you stand up and say some words of inclusion and healing. even if you don't see them very eloquently, every other president has said that. it is a standard thing for presidents to stay after and it incident of racial tension and he chose not to do that. and it turned out that it was about him. because what happened was they had written a statement like that for him which he did read but that he was just mad and it did not like the way it was received or people accused him of waiting too long. so then he just let it rip. when he was in trump tower. he said the incredible images of john kelly looking like he wanted to sink through the marble floor.
but that is how he, he does not see the president as dividing moral leadership. he does see him as a cheerleader for america. and he said that during the campaign. you can see when he goes down to the hurricane areas, for which he got remarks and that is good marks. that is why his phone number has picked up a little bit. he goes down and talks about how great everything and how great the relief effort is and how great it is will he lost 33 people. so he doesn't see this as a cheerleader and a salesman. he is always talking about how much, how many fighter planes, foreign leaders decided to buy. so he does see his role in that way. it is a booster. but the question i have for these two guys is, do you think after donald trump leaves office in four or seven years, there will be a move to constrain the presidency. in other words one of the effects that it will be a diminishment of the powers of
the executive to make it a law that you have to release tax returns. you actually enshrined in law that you cannot have conflict of interest. that is what happened after watergate. not everything is written into law. i was like there's a guy named norm and he is being obliterated every day by donald trump. but there are all of these things that presidents just did. now donald trump does not want to do any of them. so i'm wondering if the upshot and this is -- >> very possible. [inaudible] >> you do a constitutional amendment. there will be a kind of post- trump reflection. we will have to see how that plays out. we don't know if it is a one term, two-term or three year period.
>> i think it is a work in progress. he has been a great disruptor of american history. in our business we cannot talk about anything else because everything is donald trump, 24/7. you have almost this, you have to unplug and take a walk. because he can drive you insane because he is flipping this and that and he is keeping everyone offkilter. and i think, we were talking early. it is very likely that he could win reelection. and i think democrats are going to find an unknown. trump is a big brand. don't put someone like joe biden or someone with a big brand to take him on, it is a hard thing to build somebody up from the grassroots to go up and knock him out. so democrats had to be careful on their own.
they have will probably have about 15 candidates seeking the presidency. he might even have bernie sanders and elizabeth warren running. you know cory booker, the list goes on and on. and not one right now. you know you have the obama character that will come out and not donald trump off. i think we need to be careful because he is a stronger political force than that. >> there is one alternative to the idea that donald trump is so overwhelming and outrageous and constantly tweeting and we have to react to everything and we are 24 hours a day, trump. that is true but there is also a completely opposite reaction of this happening around the world. which is that they do not listen to him. because whatever he says does
not matter because he does not follow through, he does not do it. foreign leaders hear him say this and they say, he is not going to pull out of nato, he is not going to pull out of the iran nuclear deal. in congress i think that is happening a little bit. when he signed, congress did something kind of amazing. they passed the russia sanctions bill something my 494 to zero or 98 to two. he did not want to but was forced to sign it. he issued a signing statement. he did not want more sanctions or mercy want to the opposite. so he signed something thing in all the ways that he disagreed with this. and some is that what you think about the presidents signing statement? and he said whatever. chairman of the senate foreign relations committee to say that. i am the way that mitch mcconnell reacted to his making a tentative deal on ... with nancy pelosi and chuck schumer. they said you know as much as we are obsessed with him, people are starting to tune him out also.
that is the point i'm making. >> that is a great point. there is a book about nixon and the media always picks on his first language, inflammatory language. but the thing that stuck out to me was people that were disregarding him. he was starting to unravel nixon, this was nixon of 73. and in 1973. [inaudible] >> they would all just say yes, sir. right away. and in a way know if you are having worries about trump having his finger on the nuclear button with north korea, chief of staff of george w. bush told me at the time of 9/11, he went down there in florida and andy had to come on stage and remember bush was reading my pet goat to schoolkids.then andy had to whisper in his ear and he kept kind of doing the thing and
then as soon as they got backstage, a cluster of government officials were there and the president said we are going right now back to dc. we have to get there now. and they said you're not allowed to go, we are not letting you go to washington. and he threw a tantrum.he said i'm the president, we are going now! let's go! and they said we are not allowing you. and he said who? and they said the government is not allowing you. you are not going to washington. you will go to louisiana. [laughter] >> the idea that trump you know people always follow orders. that he will tell kelly in an irrational moment, i want the red alert plan on the north will not happen that way. they will not let him do something largely irrational like that. >> i think it is important to keep in mind what the president
has accomplished. and speaking as a historian there are two things that historians will write about. 20 years now regarding the trump presidency. and i can guarantee dispute we do have to suspend judgment because the presidency is not complete. two historic things have happened already. one is he filled the night seat in the supreme court with a 49-year-old conservative. there might be rendering conservative opinions 40 years after that is a big deal. and i will take a little issue with what mara liasson said and also confirming, the president has single-handedly undermined american leadership in the world. and this is something that goes back to frank and roosevelt. from world war ii until the obama presidency. every president in the united states realized that it is important for the united states to take world leadership. and the president of the united states was the most important
single figure in world affairs. that is not the case now. because president trump has basically advocated that role. even if he grudgingly affirmed article favor of nato. the fact that he has to do it grudgingly, is the leader of nato now. if there is a leader. and on you know, the world environments, the president of china is -- more progressive than the president of the united states. when president trump says one day he is going to pull out of the iran deal and the next day he is not. for the last 75 years, the word of the president of the united states was something pretty much everybody else around the world would take to the bank. the word of this president basically means nothing. you lose that, you lose the confidence of the word. it is difficult to get that back to request the damage he is doing to america in the world, the disruption, depending on your point of
view. it is not permanent or reparable? i think it matters whether it is four or eight years. but america is the world's greatest democratic superpower. none of that goes away. we saw his democratic institutions that he has not succeeded in totally undermining yet. so in a post trump world, and i do believe the next president is, the message will be i am not donald trump. whoever it is, whether it is mike pence or anybody, how much of that can be repaired? because america is more than just one president. >> i think it can be repaired. i'm confident in the united states that that can be repaired. our country is built you know all of our allies will come back to us. they just recognize we're having something weird going on right now.and that will have to figure it out. they have their own problems. some of these countries have their own similar problems. look at great britain with the
brexit issue. it is a matter of time but i think we can make a shift in four years. i do think that if he makes it eight years, it may do some permanent damage. but right now i think we have earned enough credibility in the world to be given the one off that things got out of control. especially with hillary clinton and all of the perfect storm of confusion. this happens from time to time in world history. i think america will get a pass in a couple of years. with very optimistic but american leaders always that we separate the russian people from the russian leaders. the iranian people, now the world is being asked to do that with us. that america equals donald trump. >> in the summer my wife was with me. we were circulating in canada and nobody was angry at the united states for trump, they were more laughing at us.
like now you guys, i'm glad they're not laughing at us! now i think some of this, at least with our key allies is good-natured right now. they're just hoping that we fix our own house pretty soon. request we think that donald trump has fundamentally changed the institution of the presidency in eight months? >> i think he has cheapened it. >> cheapened it. >> has made the white house seem to be tacky. the lack of transparency on taxes, the constant being at mar-a-lago and eating up taxpayers money. he has diminished the shrinking role of what the presidency means and that is not a partisan statement.because i think ronald reagan did a wonderful job as a republican. and keeping a kind of
institution law, the tradition of america. we have a country of tradition and you know they do not fit his purposes for the is not taken basic lessons in stability. and civics and how good government works. so he is trying to monkeywrench things, operating on paranoia as fuel. calling the press the enemy of the people. you know, writing every day weird, crazy emails about everything under the sun. >> tweets. i do not think he emails. >> yes tweets! making the presidency as an institution, he is giving it a black eye. >> i think because he is so personalized the presidency, when he leaves, that person goes away but i think the institution remains good i agree with mara liasson that
the next president will be the anti-trump. that president will have every incentive to restore dignity to the office and do everything. >> and release his tax returns! that would be like a fundamental threshold thing next time. >> before we take audience questions, i want to ask you one more thing. the new york times, this spring, did a short list feature called say something nice about donald trump. [laughter] >> i think was immediately a dan -- was immediately abandoned. something that has gone less badly perhaps then you feared. [laughter] i will start with you bill. [laughter] >> take your time. >> i have too many to choose from. no, donald trump demonstrated that you can become president of the united states without being beholden to either party. and that has its upside and it
has a downside. the downside is that the party has no incentive to make sure that you are a success. we are seeing not donald trump's relationship with congress. it looked as though for a time that parties had sort of a headlock on who could be nominated and who could win. donald trump you can basically parachute in from outside. and if you are sufficiently charismatic, and his kids i would say his charisma was mostly negative. but one could imagine a positive charisma. if you are sufficiently charismatic and how to manipulate the media, then you can get elected. i think that is a positive thing. >> i would say that if you're a conservative republican or just the republican use of the neil gorsuch and all of the obama era things that have been obliterated is a good thing. but i would say you know, actually have something in my mind. his choice of his national security team is a positive.i
do not think that he chose them to be the tractor to save america. that is a joke from him.he picked them. they were generals, he liked them. but that was definitely a positive thing. just imagine, imagine a world where we had a kind of general plan and every one of those positions, instead of james mattis, rex tillerson, mcmasters and kelly. >> that is a point that i also will add. i think the last few weeks on the dreamers and onb and allowing these people that grew up in the united states that are our brothers and sisters to stay here and not be disruptive, the willingness to work with chuck schumer and nancy pelosi and tried to get some safety net, a guarantee that they are americans, it is a bright sign that maybe he is not so rigid in the thinking and operating just from a hard right perspective.
>> with theáthat -- [inaudible] >> apparently he is going to go in a conservative direction on that. >> at this moment in time is a good moment. >> we have time for a question. >> one thing, harvey relief. when he came back into houston and showed a human side to him, i thought also florida. now these were botched by tweets later but i think that he gave aiken some disasters. and fema has done a very solid job. and trump is a beneficiary of katrina because after michael brown with fema was a disaster, females race constructed itself but i think we have gotten a degree of activity out of fema that is a lot better than during katrina. and now poor puerto rico and what is happening there and all
of the funding they will need. hope the trump administration continues to reach out to florida, puerto rico and texas. >> that was pretty good. for things that are nice. i think you all three did very well. we have questions from the audience? please come down and use the microphones. they are right at the end of the aisle. why don't you start? >> can you hear me? i have a question for mr. doug g. brinkley. he said the rating want to dismantle the great society which i totally guess. but trump was to dismantle the new deal? does not give him kind of an ideology that i do not see -- like you are giving him an intent to dismantle the new deal but yet, he plays all of the time that you cannot touch entitlements, medicaid is mean -- i was very confused by that statement.
>> we will see the last part of that, dismantling the new deal. >> why do you think -- >> is not going to dismantle social security. it is kind of a joke but ronald reagan's diaries, he writes that people say i don't like fdr. that i do not like the federal government.i voted four times for fdr all want to do is roll back to the great society era and suggesting with donald trump now that you are seeing he would like to do away with the civil rights act of the 60s. he would like to go back to a more states rights oriented future. he wants to stop this sort of role of progressiveness which culminated with obamacare and the affordable care act which was one of the great trophies of the progressive movement and tried to roll back -- >> i think that you're making a really good points. she is saying that it says he
has an ideology when we have been saying that he doesn't. you're making a really good point. jeff sessions wants to rollback a new deal. in other words, it is not donald trump here donald trump does want to obliterate obama. he does want anything just nothing obama did. conservative, the far right conservative wing of the party that he has empowered and brightens the administration, they would like to rollback the new deal and you know -- [inaudible] >> so it is not so much him. he is not thought this through. he has aligned himself with that wing of the party that has brought this through and thought this out very carefully and little by little in the department of justice, neil gorsuch on the supreme court, those things might be chipped away at but i agree with you. he did not have an ideology. as a matter of fact, he likes big government in many ways. he wants big infrastructure programs. he loves social security and medicare.
and in that way, he is at odds with his party. the obamacare bill that he has been for, every single one of them. it is completely opposite of what he campaigned on. >> and in florida he like the government of florida to help with the hurricane because it helps him get reelected in four years. >> democrats do not route for impeachment. [laughter] >> okay, lighthearted question. this is for all of you. speaking of presidential traditions and norms in the white house, things giving is coming up and the turkey. you think that he is going to -- fire it or chopped it off or is he going to forget he has to do that? >> so the question is will he treat the turkey like a apprentice contestant? >> he is going to treat her like joe arpaio. >> i think that is your answer.
>> i think everyone gets a present from donald trump. >> so we do not get how the investigations will check on the end but even under the best of circumstances when the white house is under special counsel investigation, there is an inherent conflict of interest between the personal counsel to the president as a person and as opposed to the council of the white house. and on the one side, we have mueller's team. i learned a lot about these lawyers when i went to law school. and the dream team essentially, then on the other side, we have the poncho of attorney talk about private privilege matters. in earshot of the new york times. so there is going to be a lot of conflict here between the two. and then i get the sense from donald trump that he does not mind taking his own personal interest over and against the lasting impact that it might have on the executive branch.
what do you think in terms of, what are the risks here?and how do you think that will play out depending on what happens with the investigation? >> but i just think that the beginning of his presidency, he has had the kind of the heat of the law on him. he has never really been able to relax because of the probe. it is a big part of the narrative in the 2017. just like when it seems that is backing down there's another week. and the history of 2017, the amount of leaking going out of government is just astounding! and donald trump has been having to fire people, figured out, but they just keep coming out. which means that he has a lot of enemies from within. as much as he is picking on the press all the time politically, he has great internal problems. i do not know if he has the ability to know who to trust right now. because he does not have an
alter ego like kennedy had were woodrow wilson, maybe general kelly can become that person. maybe he is. he is president that seems everything he has learned about losses. i think one of the best comments made recently is that he is happy in the white house because the second he leaves, he has so many lawsuits coming on him from so many things that it is beyond repair. i do not know how he lives his life like that.for every minute your people that are about to see you or are suing you. he seems to have lived his whole life and that kind of world. it has not been busted. he has not gone to jail you know trump university -- gets penalized, he pays fees and keeps on going. there may be a bridge too far going on here. we'll find out when the report is released. >> love, -- any kind of thing
like this, if people spend money they don't have a lawyer. people worry if one of their colleagues is wearing a wire. it was already paranoid in that place for that kind of investigation makes it even more. in terms of the conflict between -- with those that are supposed to represent donald trump as an individual, there is a conflict. they do not have attorney-client privilege. but the personal liars do. that is why bob mueller was to talk and get all the documents that he might have about how or what donald trump was thinking when he fired james comey. but i do think donald trump himself thinks about the conflict between his personal legal exposure and the damage to the institution of the presidency at all. >> i don't think he trusts his own lawyers. i don't even think he told his
own lawyers the truth. we can see it with bill clinton with when he started lying to his own attorney to let the truth be known he was worried somehow would leak because lakes are happening every hour around him. so it is a grim situation. >> i think the key is the republican leadership in congress, if they are annoyed at the president by then, that they find something in the report that they can use against the president, then there is a possibility of impeachment. but trump himself was simply wave away whatever the conclusions are. these are my enemies, what do you expect? >> a republican congress will not impeach a republican president. [inaudible] >> pardon? >> let's take a couple more. >> you answered, you furthered the answer to what would be the stomach turn her? if you paralleled the arrogance of the german aristocracy and
their thought that they could control hitler with the conservative republicans and the thought that they could have controlled trump, my question is what would be the stomach turn her that would create the impeachment -- >> was ever the president -- [inaudible] >> they believe that he was the cause for the run of the 2018 they believe that he is a huge drag on them. i think and also we do not know when the report is coming out, is a coming out before after november 2018. the groom republicans in congress see him as a liability, the problem right now is that the base of the republican party is with donald trump. they are not with republican leadership. i did a piece this week where a republican operative in north carolina said there are three parties in america. the trump party, the republican congressional party and the democrats. and you saw that playing out in alabama.
the republican voters who are for roy morsi mitch mcconnell and paul ryan as the enemy. in other words, even excuse donald trump for making a deal with nancy pelosi and chuck schumer who used to be the arch villas because they feel that mcconnell and ryan drove him to it. in other words everything is of tribal american politics for not just between democrats and republicans. but even in southern republican family it is so tribal that if you are against mcconnell and ryan as lori moore is, then he must be a great guy. we have really gone down -- >> anything that can shake the support of the trump base? is there anything you can do -- >> daca! i think immigration so fundamental for the trump base. he was the original big bertha. immigration, he called mexicans a rapist. that is an issue for his base. that many conservatives i spoke
to said that if he does get something that they see as amnesty to the dreamers, even though they are okay with letting these young people stay if they do not get the wall in exchange, you do not get some really big thing in exchange, there will be, not that the base will totally leave him but there will be just, they will be unenthusiastic enough that they will stay home in 2018. >> when trump met with chuck schumer and nancy pelosi, the next morning -- tweeted now i want him impeached. and she was sending about a message that the hard right is not going to allow this but on the impeachment of trump, look, it was republican that took nixon down. it was senators. it was when goldwater told one of them now, you lied to me. and it is conceivable that you can get a gang of 10 us senators if the report is really egregious and it looks like donald trump somehow colluded with russia that you
one of the things he suggested was critical to the success. is the press not now inoculated to be manipulated for that purpose? >> donald trump was the master of the media in the campaign. so, the question is could somebody else do the same thing. or has the media, that is a good question. there is no doubt during the campaign he was such an object of fascination that media aided and abetting hi hemant controlld the headlines for having 45 minutes of an empty podium waiting for it to arrive.
they have a group of holders that are beholden only to him not necessarily republicans in congress but only to him, and one of the reasons that the republicans brought up another repeal effort is that when they went home over break, all they heard is why aren't you doing more to help donald trump were to fulfill your promise, and that made the voters however tall as may be getting it is still wrong. >> we will take this group. thank you all so much for joining us today. [applause]
facing the government and private sector live at 9 a.m. on c-span three. or the free c-span radio app. practically from his first day in office he begged franklin roosevelt to help stave off hitler but the president was aware of the isolationist mood of the country and even though he wanted to help save britain, he was very cautious. he didn't want to get involved in the war if he could help it. besides most people in washington including him were convinced that britain would be easily defeated. how could it possibly survive when no other european country has a remarks by senator wyden
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