tv After Words Joy- Ann Reid The Man Who Sold America CSPAN July 21, 2019 12:00pm-1:01pm EDT
government and it's timely when you consider the abuses coming out of the fbi today. >> what books are on your feature the reading list? >> we are looking to read something about history. i will try to find something between the era of the revolutionary and civil war. >> we want to hear what you are reading. send us your list on facebook, twitter or instagram, @ booktv. >> now on booktv's "after words", msnbc's joy-ann reid is interviewed by sophia nelson. >> joy, welcome to the program. let me first say congrats on this book. it is powerful and inner work, disturbing at the same time.
i want to get into that. you've uncovered pretty profound stuff here relative to the 45th president of the united states. the first question i have this book called, "the man who sold america: trump and the unraveling of the american story". tell me why did you write the book and why now? >> first of all sophia, i want to say thank you.it's a pleasure to talk to you. i have to tell you, the reason i wrote the book principally is just because covering this president, covering donald trump is like a firehose of news constantly coming at you. of bad things. they each erase the thing before. in one day, you can have 10 headlines where the first one for any other president would have been catastrophic and maybe presidency and the bit and then that gets erased from the memory hole literally,
sometimes within the same day. the main reason i wrote the book was just to preserve the history. as much as i could get in before it's gone to be honest. before we forget what's happening. i think this presidency is so unique and destabilizing for our democracy, that i just wanted to remember.the second reason is kind of a plea or a warning, don't know which is the better word. i feel sometimes like americans feel that what we are is eternal. that we can't lose it. that this position we've gained as the leader of the free world as the preeminent democracy and shining city on a hope you people think that's permanent. we are a young country and it can slide and slide fast. i wanted to sound the alarm that the things we use to send moderators to other countries to prevent happening could happen and it in a lot of ways are happening to us, i think that's a great point. lead me to the second question. you did a great job. you've got to read this book because this book is great reporting but it's also
insights and it's got historical context. one of the things that really made me pause was really talked about this trumpet presidency didn't just happen in 2015 in the primaries. or in 2016. there was a lead up to this happening. i want you to talk a little about that how does a guy who was on the tabloids. the real state playboy. how does that guy go from that to leader of the free world? specifically joy, i want you to get into, you talked about this post obama white theater. rage. birth resume. confederacy and the altar right and how we got to this presidency. >> the reality is that the truck benefit from a lot of things. one of them is celebrity. he was able to present himself to the media and new york media over decades. he presented himself to the new
york media as far back as the 1980s as this billionaire barrio with the women could not keep their hands off of. he could date princess diana if you wanted to be all these myths he made up, not for torture. he was a really merry guy when heritage the equivalent of $113 million from his father. but he presented himself as this horatio alger figure. he did it in part because he wanted the respect of the manhattan elite. that real estate world. but the trumps were looked down on point they were creams rich. they were not considered part of the manhattan elite but donald trump wanted to be. you wanted to break out of his father's queens empire and be respected by the new york times, "time magazine", and - - mentor. the fashion easily. so he created a tabloid version of same and it did get him into the - -. he was in like in - -
songs like trumpet equals rich. even when he was pretending to be his own publicist pitching stories about his sexual exploits. he was able to get on howard stern and be a weekly guest. giggling about sometimes, weirdly, his daughter. he embedded himself in the national conversation. phil donahue or larry king would want his thoughts on world events. yet no expertise but he was constantly being asked what he thought twice before he threatened to run for president but he never pulled the trigger. he understood the new york media because that's where he came from. you understood how to use celebrity.
his empire was fumbling but he managed to sell an image of success and wealth and privilege that kind of bamboozled the country. >> bring that to the national speech. how do we get from there, the new york guide to the national state. let's go to the 2015 primary and really what i think you got into well in the book is this notion of for lack of a better word, revenge. like he was looked down on. you talk about the white house correspondent where president obama cannot remember when he clowned trumpet little bit. apparently he was very angry about that. i want to get into the seeds of anger and fear he played into.
>> people asked how can a guy who lives in all gold tower relate to the average white working-class guys but it's resentment. the thing they have in common is they resent the same people. even as donald trump is making all this money and losing all this money getting failed out by his dad and the russians. he's really resentful that the culture doesn't respect him. that the easiest don't respect him. he shared that with a lot of the republican base. people thought the republican base wanted what they want which is tax cuts for the wealthy. the regulation. small government. donald trump understood that they want revenge. for a country they feel is culturally sliding away from them. that cultural cool is now in the hands of black people. you look at tv, it's the elites. it's opera. it's barack obama. hip-hop. these nonwhite, non-christian cultures and crunching on white america's one-time dominance and control over the american culture white americans still have most of the wealth but black and brown and gay and all sorts of other people were taking over what the country meant. what it meant to be american. and donald trump 100 percent
got that because he shares it. in the 80s used to complain about the pan. japan is killing us. no one respects us in the world. china. he always had that same mentality. when he wrote down the escalator in trump tower and so the mexicans are rapist and they're coming over and sort of invading our country. the base got that and that's how they feel. they locate their pain, their sense of loss. they're not doing as well as their parents and they blame that on nine white migrants and so does he. what donald trump did was took advantage of decades if not a century of white resentment. growing white resentment against the culture and governmental assistance for people who are not white and not christian.and he turned it into a run for president. and i'll miss it, a lot of people believe - - wanted what he wanted and that's why he was able to win. >> do you think this was in a sense a backlash to the obama
presidency or are we oversimplifying when we say that? >> barack obama represented in human form, all the things that the white working-class, if you put them in the category. were resentful of. not all of them obviously. they resent the fact that here's this ivy league educated black man with this exotic name which in their minds was a muslim. comes from immigrant roots. and then he takes the presidency over the objections of white americans. he won by 10 million votes with young voters, black and brown voters. surging them into the presidency. at the same time the senses is announcing an broadcasting that america will be a nonwhite majority country by 2047. rolling back the date for when they first announce it in 1998. so white america is watching
the tide of demographic change. into the white house in human form. this black family with their black children with his last name, obama. middle name, hussein. they feel this country sliding away and obama represented that in human form. at the same time, the coal industry. the american they remember and grandparents remember is sliding away. when barack obama gets reelected even though his ratings with every single group of white americans, everywhere, tanked. and he still wins by 5 million votes.the resentment against obama whether it's daca and profound changes of marriage in the supreme court. liberalization on healthcare. there was a huge resentment in a large part of white america and it drove this backlash.
i liken donald trump to this retention and the barack obama. of the civil war. whenever we've had forward progress that has benefited people of color, there's always been a backlash. the civil rights era bread the nixon era and the reagan era. and the backlash to the obama era is trump. >> which brings me to my next question. in your first chapter, it was one of those moments where i just kind of stopped. here's what you write. many americans awoke on the morning after the 2016 presidential election to an unthinkable outcome. one that many deemed a mark of cultural decline. politics often bring unpleasant surprises but donald trump, president of the united states, was one that you, not the pundits, the professional this fiscal oddsmakers. the press or the candidate came
close to anticipating. you can't and it's got into that but what did everybody else miss that he tapped into? everybody got it wrong. what did we miss? >> yeah. i think of it is this notion of american exceptionalism. this backlash against migration by nonwhite and non-christian people. that backlash was happening well before trump. brexit was a reaction largely against immigration against britain. we don't want that but we want to be british in the sense of having back sort of a white british country. i think americans didn't think that could happen here. i think americans are the obama era is a mark of forward progress that couldn't be reversed. as a tide that was rolling forward.
people saw the absurdity of donald trump. it just sounded absurd. this is a reality tv star. americans would want that. after after we produce obama. people couldn't fathom that that many americans would choose that over progress. but michael moore, i was on real-time and i recount this story. i'm sitting between him and tony schwartz. michael moore sitting to my left predicted he would win. i didn't believe it because i believe the data.
it said democrats should be able to build on what barack obama did in 2012 and win. michael moore said something interesting and then he elaborated. he said, a lot of white americans look at that eight years of obama and they say okay great. next we will have a woman president. we are told we have to have hillary and then the gay president and in the latino president. where does it stop? in their minds, and the forward march of progress is a backward march for them in the sense that the country is being lost and sliding away is deep-seated and real. when you combine that with the feelings of the ethnic whites in the north that the democratic party used to focus on them. at the party is focusing on others been focusing on immigrants and even people without documents. black people's concerns. not us. donald trump being the guy that says, i will focus on you and turn this country back in your favor will fight the right people. there's almost a roman coliseum aspect to trump where he's hurting the people they want to see her. they're lashing out internally in resentment at the way their lives are and donald trump says, i will locate your pain in these people and i will put them in the coliseum. the lions will eat the right people and that's how he was able to win. >> what you're really saying is, we all have our politics. some are more conservative and
some more liberal and some centrist. i think you make a good case for everything you're saying. i think we're talking about is there are two different americas. depending on who you talk to, there are two different americas. expand on that a little bit when you think about that. are we to different americas? >> 100 percent. this country has always been two countries. at first, it was the two countries based on where the money came from. the south was the america where the equestrian economy exploded this country into economic power based on free labor. by african slaves and native americans who were first enslaved. so that slave-based economy, there was slavery in the north too. but the north figured out a way to make money off the commerce of the south. the north became the center of commerce. that america was about moving money. the southern america was about essentially controlling humans. controlling people and using their labor. those two countries have never really used 100 percent into
one. in times of war or the great depression, everyone can get together and it was a governmental sort of story that americans could believe in. that worked and held this country together. in times of real stress.keep in mind, the two americas went to literal war and 600,000 people died because one america new it couldn't survive without that free labor was willing to kill its sons to keep slavery forever. that's what every single southern constitution of the state centered slavery forever. the north was willing to go to war and send it sons to die to keep the country as one. the civil rights movement had to happen because the supposedly defeated country never really declared defeat. so whether or not those people moved into the republican or
democratic party, they've moved back and forth. that america at its core wants to be a white christian country.has never really conceded defeat and never admitted the multicultural country, the multicultural america even has a right to exist or rule. we are fighting over which of these two countries has a right to rule. if you ask mitch mcconnell, he's very clear. only his america has a right to rule. the other americas president doesn't even have the right to name a supreme court justice. they have no right to vote or ask for the vote. they will be gerrymandered out of power. prevented from going to the polls.they will be held down so that his america control. the irony of it is white americans are being sort of attracted into the mitch mcconnell america. but for the most part, you're not getting anything out of it. the average white american isn't winning. it's the really rich and the really rich control to america and will never let it go. >> you jumped ahead of me where
i wanted to go but we will go there, let's talk about the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell and president trump and their judicial appointments. president trump's name to supreme court justices. if he gets a certain term, i don't know that ruth bader ginsburg will stay on the court another four years. if she's not going to want to retire so he may get a third or fourth supreme court pick. talk to me about trumps lasting impact the of these judicial appointments. >> mitch mcconnell has made it very clear that he has one purpose. one principal purpose which is to control the courts forever. if you think about it, mitch o'connell and donaldtrump's america , in their minds, lost control not so much because of legislative attacks on them. yet the civil rights movement. all of those bills that pass. the immigration bill. in their minds, it was the
court that enforced the hegemony of this other america. starting not just with ruby wade, suddenly - - row v wade. they were telling cities they had to integrate their neighborhoods. and was telling southern parents who pulled their children out of school after brown the board that they could have attacks the ãfor those goals. those were the rulings that kicked off if you agree of the religious right. it wasn't row the way. there was a delayed reaction to throw the way. but there was a furious reaction to the supreme court rulings that that segregated schools could not receive federal funds. paul weyrich and other - - of the religious right realized that was not a good luck. not good cosmetic appearance for the religious rights of a focused and refocused their base on abortion. that have become the locust of
conservative activism ever since. but people like mitch mcconnell. they want to things. control of the courts forever. no matter what the demographics are or how much the culture changes, if they control the courts, they control the country. they can stop the tide of change, and essentially assert minority rule. what they want is for the very rich and very big corporations to go untaxed. the idea of trying to encase the rich and protection from the poor, to make sure they don't have to pay taxes or care for the sick and elderly and immigrants. if they could get that in control of the courts, that's what mitch mcconnell wants his perfect avatar is trump. trump takes that agenda that's for the elite and he wraps it in populism. he convinces white americans, who aren't even benefiting, that the way they benefit is that trump hurts the right people but they can locate
their pain in those migrants and they don't have to think about the rich or corporations i interviewed bruce bartlett to the book and he said plainly, that group of people does not like and fears democracy because they know democracy might bring the white poor and the black poor together and that would be very bad for the rich. >> it's interesting again, we are talking about your new book, "the man who sold america: trump and the unraveling of the american story". and again, you had really powerful stuff but this really struck me where i had to read it several times. you open with this with these words. you say, to truly understand donald trump, you need to have lived in new york city in the 1980s and 1990s. when his business and marital excavates were a tabloid stable. or maybe you just need to have grown up on batman. gotham city, which the brooding billionaire bruce wayne polices
as his vigilante alter ego is an exaggerated dystopian sendup of all new york. you've compared the president of united states of america to batman, to gotham city. help me with that and break that down. i thought it was a powerful paradox and analogy if you wil , where you're making an equation there. break that down. >> in my analogy, donald trump is actually the joker. [laughter] because he reminds me of him like the penguin. donald trump is sort of a figure that's ripped out of her, the universe with that hair. it's not clear where it starts or ends. just as overly long suits. huge suits. a supposedly the leader that doesn't seem to have a tailor. in a lot of ways it is manner but his odd way of speaking. his over-the-top exaggerated rallies where he tries to
hypnotize the press and his basement i grew up on dc comics. i know marble is hot right now but i was more of a dc girl. batman, superman. aqua man. who's now cool either way. donald trump is the joker in the sense that let's say barack obama is batman. they are both billionaires, brooding and angry. but that man polices gotham and scalpels around gotham because he's angry about injustice. so he uses his billions and brooding to protect people from villains. whereas the joker, who is also a billionaire in the dc universe is. he uses his wealth and his time on his hands to just attack batman. everything about batman makes him mad. it destroys his psyche. so his goal is to just destroy batman. and in a lot of ways, rock
obama is his batman. he's obsessed with him. he wants to top everything he did. obama gets a nobel prize, he wants a nobel prize. obama is beloved, he wants to be bulimic. >> - - beloved. >> you talk about the joker and it says, introduce alittle anarchy , upset the established order and everything becomes chaos. i'm an agent of chaos. you talked about this at the outset of this conversation how everything about this presidency - - like pigpen. he is a bunch of dirt swirling around him. talk about the chaos that is donald trump and how that impacted how we cover politics now and how we react to it. just constant chaos. enlighten us about that because you talk about it in the book. >> another way to put it is little finger and came up and said, chaos is a ladder.
donald trump will literally be accused of rape on monday and it's forgotten by wednesday. because he's throwing so much chaos into the system that it's hard to keep putting your finger in the dike. he understands how to use chaos to get what he wants. the one who keeps refocusing attention on himself, it's hard to focus on stephen miller being the architect of changing the kids and ripping them away from their parents. who's profiting? john kelly. all of that is so complex. while what he's doing is simple. he's tweeting a crazy thing. he's going to the dnc and doing a tv show with kim jong-un. he's going to sit with mbs and calling him his best friend. he's doing these things that found mad but the press has to figure out how to cover him.
he's president of the united states. give him all of the honorifics and deference the american press, unique in many of the western world give to presidents. at the same time, this madness. i think he understands that we don't understand how to cover that. and that the media does not want to be in an adversarial relationship with him. so the media will give him so much deference and give and he knows he will get it. so he complains and he whines and pushes that deference window further out. he demands more deference. more of an opportunity. then he fills that space with chaos. it made it to the heart to cover. extremely hard for democrats to stop and it made him to be blunt, extremely well positioned to get reelected and
because chaos is a ladder. >> i'm in agreement with you on that. i think when it become so overwhelming, people check out. people are busy living life. you've got to take care of kids, work.people now see it almost as entertainment.which brings me to - - i really want to get back to this. the title of your book is profound, the man who sold america. you're saying the president both be before he became president and during his presidency. there's a lawsuit about the emoluments clause which is the clause in the constitution that elected officials particularly in the executive are not to benefit from their high office. most presidents put their assets in blind trusts. they sell off assets. not this president. i want you to spend time talking about a couple things. one, talked was about this notion about who donald trump is financially and how he sold america. secondly and i think very present at the moment, his son-in-law jared kushner and his daughter ivanka.for both employees of the white house. of the administration but are still actively engaged in the
business dealings of the trump organization. talk about that and how it's - - i'm actually shocked that they're doing this in broad daylight and no one seems to care so talk about that a little bit. >> one of the principal fears of the founders of the country was the president of the united states falling under the sway of a foreign power. [indiscernible] they wanted not to have a king. the whole reason these very wealthy planters broke away from great britain is to rid themselves of a cane. the word america would not only develop a king of themselves but it would fall under the sway of a foreign power or other empire. donald trump, number one, doesn't know that history. it's clear he's not a student
of global history. let alone american history. asked the other day by a new york times reporter if he believed in liberal democracy. he said, no point he thinks liberal democracy means liberal politics. he doesn't understand the basic - - he doesn't understand it is not a profound or learned man. he got into an ivy league school but his father paid his way in. he's not a very bright man. but he understands one thing. marketing. marketing for one purpose. trump. to enrich himself. i interviewed two people in this book we know donald trump very well who made it very clear. he didn't think he would win. he ran twice before as marketing stunts. in one case to enhance contract negotiations with nbc. when he finally ran in earnest, it was a large part put himself on the biggest global marketing stage ever. so that he could impress the
kremlin to get his long desired moscow trump tower, so that he could sell more apartments around the world. so that he could get a. donald trump was never as rich as he claimed to be. so donald trump understood the way to make money, big money, was to get on that stage. when he won, it was a price to him and everyone else but then he realized. you know what? i can make money doing this. ... in his sense he is now i'm president; out in i looks like he has an opportunity to make money. his kids -- his son-in-law,
jared kushner, and his daughter made over $100 million just off his hotels. while serving, for free, with no salary, at his advisers. hi son and his entire broad packed up other than his little son bare end and went off to england to enjoy the fruits of america's labor in great britain, wining and dining. thes with the monarchy in britain and see themselves as petty monarchs in the united states. his cabinet is full of grifter. people who are using their positions to get rich ever, to make money. his entire presidency is a grift. and this is no different than his history. this is a man who while broke started the apprentice, teaching people how to get rich. when the producer -- go on. >> host: this is important i think that we're talking about something as fundamental core to the tugs the emoluments clause and there have been lawsuits about this, the court allowed it
to go forward. i'm curious where you think it will end up will there be this open able to keep making is in money, book-end things at the trump hotel and congress is just not going stop it? what do you think? and then we have a culp more questions -- cupel more question. >> guest: the fact the general accounting office allowed the president of the united states to lease the big hotel he leases from the government, that runs, in d.c., and that foreign governments are swiping their credit cards in that hotel, paying him, every time they show up. they're packing the hotel. they boosted the room rental rate at the hotel. packing into mar-a-lago where our secret service to the ha the president of the out a fee to rent space to protect him. they have to rent space in trump tower from donald trump to protect him and his family. donald trump is making more money off of the emoluments the is sucking in as president than his salary that's 413 some odd
thousand dollars a user whiches eh dough noticing with no evidence he is donating like his charities. donald trump is grubbing off the presidency is in the open, he's not hiding it there isn't any mechanism i've been able to see that's stopping im. lauren tribe one thereof greatest constitutional lawyers in the book, among other really smart lawyer and they've all essentially admitted the constitution never accounted for someone as brazen as donald trump. he busted through the emoluments clause and no one is stopping hill. congress hasn't figured out how. the courts are slow and he is able to get away with it. with a tweet this morning from former official in the obama white house said donald trump is getting away with it all and sadly, frighteningly, he is. >> host: let's get to that. i think that raises another thing you talk about, the resistance. now in the 2017 blue wave, certainly in states like mine and virginia, you saw massive amounts of democrats elected, so
there does steam be a pushback, a -- you have pipe like presley and aoc and a new crop of women, more women than ever. so one sense he's getting away with it but the other sense he's purr spurring on a new generation of leadership and resistance. >> guest: the two americas in the cold civil war is describe in the book. a low grade civil war and a hot civil war because of the white nationalist violence but there is a resistance, the actual majority, lib rat whites, brown anymore, black people, gay and lesbian, they're functioning majority but they're not function because the majority produces lower voter turnout and the trump america is almost
inclusively white. they vote in high numbers, and so do black women. you're starting to see women react and so this -- the last two mid-term elections, 2017 and 2018 elections produced record turnout among women and people of color and young volters inch to 18 cycle, more millenials volted than baby-boomers to the fir tight since 21-year-olds were able to vote. the reality is the actual majority has woken up and are frighten if and alarm enough by trumpism they are coming to the table. but whenever that happens there's also a reaction. again, always a backlash. so i would expect that in 2020, you're going to see the most profound, far reaching and aggressive voter suppression effort we have en, so least since in the 1950s and '60 center field it's going to be dirty, dog fight, and involving foreign influence. every foreign nation that wants donald trump to stay in has an open door to come in and meddle in our election and attack
russians, saudis, israelis, anyone wants to come in and trump and william barr have invited them. in i expect a very ugly eplex in 2020. >> host: i want to -- election in 2020. >> host: what you said is it's disturbing. i opened with the booking powerful but disturbing and i want you to talk but the voter suppression and how it faked florida georgia. nowad two young african-american candidated in deep, deep red south, narrowly lose the elections. queue talk how voting eights is going to be impacted in the aim of trump veals ave those type of candidacies. >> absolutely. and andrew gilliam was a case of the bradley effect, the polls showed him easily winning and the didn't win but a much more complicated race that had to do with absentee ballots and profound amount of voter
suppression in florida. florida is where people who hate taxes good to retire. you hate taxes taxes and live in pennsylvania or virginia or new york? you renear florida. so it's filling up with antitax conservatives every year. the fun grandmas move to las vegas. so the fun grannies in las vegas at the slots and the angry grabbies are in florida. so florida it getting redder and redder over time. that there's a little more complicated case but has to do with voter suppression, particularly last cycle voters overwhelming by by two-thirds to one third voted in -- to allow former felons to vote. 1.7 million people got back their right to vote and the republican legislature passed a poll tax. so you seek the south is still the south. the case of georgia it was an outright theft. there's no other way to describe what happened with stacy abrahams other than theft.
the winner engineered his own victory by not allowing 38,000 people in the final stages of the cycle to vote and wiped them off the books and let them good to court to get back on. it's outpailsed north carolina which is saying a loud and outpaced texas, is saying a lot. what we have now is the redemption country is still fighting the country that wants reconstruction and they're fighting hard and they're not admitting defeat. so be vinal leapt with your vote. if encouraged people not just to register to vote but check your vote and make sure you're still on the rolls because they're not admitting defeat. they're fighting your right to vote tooth and nail and they're not going to stop. >> host: we have 150-20 minutes left -- 15 torn minutes left and i want to save the best for last. the book "the man who sold america: trump and up ralphing of the american story" is
propounds and powerful and disturbing and by disturbed we talked about a lot of behavior we have never seen before from a president, and that brings me to the mule are report, the special counsel. i'll be remills if we didn't discuss this and you talk about in your book, michael cohen is in jail now, paul manafort in jail now, a lot of people, michael flynn, people in the trump circle who are now in prison, yet he is still president of the out of america. and i want you to get your thoughts on the impact the mueller report and what you think about it, and then the response to it from congress and whether or not you think it's going to lead to impeachment hearings and of course we know mueller will testify before congress, and that ought to be an interesting thing for us all to debate also it takes place, but i'm just curious about your thoughts ton the mueller property and whether or not it will result in impeachment hearings. >> guest: i start the book with
the super hero analogy and i think for democrats, democrats are waiting with baited breath for robert mueller to put on his superman cape and save america from donald trump. i think so many people all their stock in one man, i this former fbi director, i thinks approximately, this man would come in and save us from donald trump. that was never mueller's mission. he is a company man. he is a man by the book. an eagle scout, literal marine war hero from vietnam. but he is not trying to be the hero that saves the republic. he had a very narrow mission. what did the russian does to attack our election in 2016. produced a string of indictments about that. and what did the president do to try to obstruct the investigation into thing one. he did a thorough going investigation into that and found ten instances where the president did attempt to obstruct the investigation interest the russian attack but he, because he is a man by the
book, said he couldn't act on what he found, a., but a donald trump wouldn't talk to him and he didn't try to subpoena the president, make him talk to him. and because there's a memo at the department of justice that says, a sitting president can't be indicted. that's it. that's rabbiter mueller a to z. he found what to any prosecutor, a thousand prosecutors and counting now said are crimes of obstruction of justice ten times but he can't do anything. he found a definite attack on our election, and he campaigned, the trump campaign, that was more than open to getting that help and sought and enjoyed and took advantage of that help. but he can't do anything about it because as special prosecutor that's not his job. so i think what democracies need to grapple with is what he found would normally then lead to congress picking up the ball and doing what the constitution is a is only their job, unique to house of representatives. that the president if no not he
indicted he can only be impeached which is the indictment of the house. that it their version of the indictment. they've won't do it, what nancy pelosi is saying, is that they would rather wait for the state courts to indict donald trump when he is out of office and wait and hope some future federal prosecutor will indict donald trump when he is a civilian. okay it but that depend on the idea he will be defeeted in an leaks that will not be free and fair. the presumption that the american people will remove donald trump how to an election, they assume i guess will not be riddled with foreign interference and voter suppression and will be free, open and fair, and then he'll come and put who is going to indict him? leticia james in new york. that's misreadingreading of the discussional responsibility of congress and it's shocking other. surprised that pea elected he on the sheer scream of the majority, ring in this president, yes, health care was a big factot but what about it? ring in this president so he
won't take mr. health care. this the message of the 2018 president. reign in this president so he won't ainge main right as a. who reign in the president show'll stop the horrors at the border and the democrats say we'll go to his court for his taxes eventually, we'll get to that. we'll do hearings but let them testify in private. we'll proceed like he's sort of jeb bush but walk 'er, they're proceeding like he is a normal president and he's not normal. i question what the strategy sunrise i don't know what it is but it is weird. >> host: i think that to your point, when you look at the constitution there are clear functions for the executive, the judiciary, and the legislative. and you're right, congress has the unique duty to impeach the house and then the senate hoss to do the trial. what concerns me as a citizen and should concern all citizens is this issue of we don't want to do our job because we might lose our job. that's what i hear.
es is with what you hear? >> guest: that is what i hear. the democracies are afraid that those 40 or so freshman democratics who won in trump district, the moderate democratics in purple states are saying, we can't touch trump because his voters, some of them vote for us and we need to protect him to protect these seats, and in their mind, it's to protect the majority so the house is in the democracies hands and there's some check on the president and i get it. i a want to make sure they don't lose the house but the presumption they'll keep the house if they've protect him and just gentle enough with him and do fields with him and transportation bills and let him sign bills, just encourage him to be a normal president that will make trump voters turn to the democrats in 2020? it's interesting the two parties are so different. republican fear their base. they went take one step away from their bail. and the media never demanded that republicans do it. never say, when will republicans
attempt to appeal to the other snide why don't republicans reach across the aisle? never asked. and so republicans fund anywhere never going to bed and to reach across at the aisle and just defend their base. democrats summoned all their time can thinking but the republican base. i -- the democrats got broken up with white hike working classed so and if they eave cute new friend they want their old thing back. they want that old thing back. whatnot their ex back to bad through they tying nor current flame and the current flame of the democratic party is black and brun people and gay and lesbian and trans people and club rat while folks. that's their new thing about they want that old thing back. >> host: before i wrap up, i would be remiss again -- let's talk but the 2020 election. your thoughts -- you're leafing into this which is if you were to go back to the beginning of 2019 as we're going to head into
2020, and you looked at the polls, joe biden wasesome the man of the hour because he is is that moderate white democrat they believe can win pennsylvania and michigan, et cetera. talk about that to me? i think you said something profound about this wanting the x back instead of dating who you have now, kamala harris and elizabeth warren and buttigieg, and who is top dog in the primary. >> the big risk whip you neglect your knew flame is your new flame will leave you and democrats presume that their base has to involvement they have no choice. it's a different orientation. republicans would never say our base has nowhere to. they're constantly catering to the base. the democrats leave this base on the side because that's just assume they have nowhere to go. are black people going to the party where the president said in charlottesville the neonazis
included fine miami? people can go home. they can go and not vote and hillary clinton found out the soft turnout in three states and it wasn't that all of these voters turn to trump. maybe 9% of voter's obama to trump voter. the bulk of her problem was people who stayed home because of russian disinformation which was pitting young black voters and seaing not for you, don't vote, don't vote. vote jill stein, write in bernie standers, pinning and pinning and pinning progressive voters and black voters and saying don't vote for her voter suppression. 0 a lot that decreed her vote, not a huge runover to trump. so democrats are fighting the last battle. they look at losing michigan, pennsylvania, and wisconsin. who will fix that? a white working class guy. we need snows stall ya to beat an -- nostalgia because they're fighting
fighting the last war. they don't under the president of the united states, who became president and won easily and won those states and was able to win re-election was the black guy who insighted liberal and people of color. liberal voters and people of color. barack obama did get crazyover republican vote because over the backlash against the bush era. that only in a good year nix ten americans vote. who four in term don't 0 who authorize is passion folks passion don't have any moneyman. they the majority of the nonvoter and that wheat so for a democrat. transports to get. that. do what president obama did. if look at this field, he most like system would say right now, it's the women. it's kamala harris and elizabeth warren, they're moving because women, and particularly women of color, or the constituenty that is hungry and would not he into
ised testify final two wore women, warren harris or harris warren. >> host: do you think there's a chance that there's a two-female ticket, harry-warren, warren, harris spy think there is a chance and i would argue there's a case for it. the case i would make is that a re-elect, which is what this, re-elect, is a change election, you have to change what people already have. and most voters will stick with what they had. ease already raised $150 million, going to have tons of money, the power of incumbent say and you need to present chapping. what the mores powerful change? women. you take one usual double. i then say to became, okay, white women, you only came at 48% for hillary clinton. ick get you to 49? here's two women. one is white, one with not white. one is black and also asian, little bit of everything. one a little more to the left, one to center.
one is a prosecutor. this woman has been the discourage of wall street. you thinkway is too liberal, harris is more to he center and the prosecutorial background helpser in a general election, somebody who can take down donald trump in a debate easily, obviously cam ala harris would dismantle donald trump and warren can speak to white working class. i can offer you something better, something more profound that the porn of watching the pain of migrants and giving you that sort of revenge porn against migrants is what donald trump is give brought heel can go your farm, destroyed tower soybean business, destroyed thundershower economic prospect width trade wars. done nothing to rein in chine china. elizabeth warren can help you and can make the argue. in two different ways and ignite the obama coalition.
that that coalition would -- particularly white women who went 352% for donald trump. i if she can shave that by one percent that ticket would win. i think there's indication for it if there was a kamala harris, liz warren or elizabeth warren-kamala harris for it. there's a data case for expect a marketing case for it and you're going up against the best marketer in politics. better have some marketing to come back at him with. >> host: as we have our last few minutes here, we have seven minutes left and i wanted to save this question because it's the obvious question you. read the epilogue, again, outstanding book, the man who sold america: trump and the unraveling of the american story. and met me say to our people who are watching, whatever your politics, liberal, conservative, republican, democrat, pick up this book and rate. keep an own mind because you have known me a long time, you
know i'm center right, and you're more center left. we have been friends for years but i read this book and i had to shake my head at a lot of stuff. i had to think but it. so the obvious least question is as we talk but jest recently the president of the united states stepped into the dmz and walked over into north korea for the first time. he has cuddled the saudi government who is alleged to have put jamal khashoggi to death in a grisly, wicked, evil way. what happened to america if donald trump is re-elected in 2020? let talk about that. what happens to america if donald trump gets four more years? >> guest: yeah. this is something at which i find myself in great alignment with the never trumpers. we were on the opposite sides over the iraq war but i'm 100% agreement with people like max boot and jennifer reuben on this point. after world war ii, from world
war ii on, america organized the western world. save what you want about our internal politics. never got that right. but the story that america told about itself, particularly after the great depression and world war ii, where we were the last democracy standing, europe was in ruins after the war. naziism destroyed germany. japan being in the axis had destroyed japan. we nuked two cities in japan in order to end that war. the u.s. then stood itself up also the leader of the free world, and our story, what we told about ourselves that we're a multiracial democracy and all men arecrafted equal. weren't always perfect in carrying out but we said it and every president said it. there have been racist presidents before. we talk about this before. woodrow wilsons who were screaming birth of a nation in the white house. racist as you could get but he still sang the song of what federal is fdr said we represent friel dom from free, free only from want, freedom of religion,
eisenhower, could have been a democrat or republican. that nonpartisan he said let's do a project together. there there was a lot of -- it was a national project. reagan said. i even nixon saying -- sang this son of america which was so useful in organizing the west and having the west stand up, stand up to communism to the then soviet union even when we didn't against apartheid, ultimately the american people methods stand 'four mandela. that story of america is powerful and whether or not it's perfect, every time powerful. donald trump is the first president to never sing that song. barack obama was accused of not quote, quote, loving america but when he went broad he told of an imperfect cup fry who came together, out of many, william help sang that song of america. reagan did. i. even george w. bush who i profoundly agreed with. when we went to iraq he said i'm
here for freedom. did we believe that was 100% true in. no but he saved it and this is the first president who won't say it. he said he doesn't believe in liberal democraticky. he would have an auto crack and get rich. rather been freened with kim jong-un or the prime minister or britain or the leader of france or germany. rather be friend width the saudi dictator, rather prop up the corruption in benjamin netanyahu where his wife was just indicted for corruption but wants to be friend with people who have an autocratic -- he -- the leader of poland, trump admires him he. the people he associates with are not the best the world has to offer. they're at the people who want for themselves. vladimir putin is the worst example, profoundly hates that america has led the world. hates us. and donald trump loves him and admires him. it's shocking to me to watch the
president of the united states convene with people like kim jong-un and vladimir putin and class himself as their friends and not friends of the west. so who leads the west when we don't lead? there isn't anyone. there isn't anyone, any country that has the power that we have, the power of our military or the power of our story. so if donald trump stays in power that story is probably done. it will be very hard to get back, hard to get into the supply chain of freedom. the supply chain hover the story of goodness and democracy so i worry that we're just going to keep sliding toward kleptocracy and americans will learn to live with it and then i don't know what happens. >> also we are now about two minutes out from wrapping this program and it's been very informative, again, the man who sold america, get this booker, raved this book. challenge yourself. what is it -- you'll know how to wrap tight now with two minutes out. >> guest: yes.
>> host: what do how what's the most important thing you want people to read the back to walk away knowing? >> guest: i want people to understand that what we are is fragile. what america built is not eternal. it can be taken apart by one person who is determined to take all that was built before him and just use it for himself and use it to enrich his family. would have an american do i want everybody to take wait that everything is from jill but we can protect it and we can protect our democracy bus unfortunately we don't have a government that's doing that now and whether you are conservative or a liberal or republican or democrat you may want to protect what the country built pause there isn't anything else like in the world and we decide we want to be an agent know nationalist public, god help us and god help the world because the countries that are vying for global leadership ain't us and
don't care about democracy and just worry about capital. no one will bin but the super rich so i hope people take from this book they should defend it, defendant halved he've got and try to be back to being america as we envisioned ourselves to be. >> host: joy, thank you so much. everybody, check her out on am joy on msnbc on the weekends. thank you for what you do. i love the book and good luck with it. tough. >> guest: thank you. thank you, sofia. >> the house will be in order
>> ever year book tv covers book fairs and festivals around the country omahaaries look of some events coming up. on august 17th, tune in nor the live coverage of the mississippi book festival, held in the state's capital city, jackson. >> the labor day weekend, the ajc decater book festival outside of atlanta and will be live from the imagine book festival hosted by the library of congress in washington, dc. then in september, look are to us at the brooklyn book festival in new york city. for more information about upcoming book fairs and festivals, and to watch our
previous festival coverage, click the book fairs tab on the web site, booktv.org. in three c-span presidential surveys woodrow wilson tropes from 6th to 1st place and bill clinton rise from 21st to the 15th spot. where does your favorite president rank? orlando that and more about the lives of leadership skills of the 404 chief executives in c-span2's the president. great vacation reading, available whenever book are sold or at c-span.org/the presidents. [applause]