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tv   Anonymous A Warning Roundtable  CSPAN  November 28, 2019 11:00pm-12:00am EST

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smoking at the turn of the early 19 hundreds was considered almost an american and it was a vice of the foreign-born. the anti- smoke in - - smoking movement rode the wave of the nativism to think about what type of behavior is appropriate for the native born healthy american. . . . . n
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a previous op-ed by the author gets at least this particular person into details about some anecdotes. in an anonymous book as opposed to with your name attached to it or keeping it to your self and that's an issue a lot of people are going to be looking at or keep quiet until you've left the administration. >> host: you are at the white house every day. what did you learn? >> guest:.
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over the last two and a half years. people were asked to boil down their talking points to one bullet point even as opposed to three or five. that is known at this point. it doesn't make the book less important but it's not i don't think landing with a major impact because a lot of what is in here is stuff that has become conventional wisdom. >> host: is there anything that you said that's not true?
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>> guest: i'm not in a position to say that about some of the things in here. we get a lot of access that we are certainly not in the room for everything for all of the comments that he make us. so i'm really not in the position to judge. the book is written within era of authority which is to say there's a lot of interesting details and somebody that knows what the white house complex is like. you spend more time than i havee pubut those ring true and some f the details are quite interesting. the way you go about preparing a speech for example. the description of what happens
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the description of how has been true throughout the last 40 years at least as described in some detail and i think described correctly and that is a detail if you've seen some of it from the outside it rings true. >> you have both covered white houswhitehouses in the past. are all of them chaotic? >> guest: the level of chaos described not only in the bookplate others that cover the white house and that are watching the white house closely is not something that we have seen. they are different the two of them. it's true there's there is a df chaos and so far you are making
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decisions and there are things going on at a moments notice and that creates a certain amount of chaos because of being at the epicenter of the world that is a different chaos from what this book describes from what we have seen in terms of how president trump governs. >> i wouldn't use the word chaos necessarily. i think that there is crisis because things don't get to the white house unless they take the results someplace else and certainly the difference is the speed of the crisis and regularity seems to be a different characteristic of this
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white house versus others but that is probably characteristic of the political system in general. things tend not to get blown up and we are in a hyper partisan hyper polarized deeply emotional time most of it does reflect the demand created by the white house and that is different and that atmosphere is reflected well inos this book. >> host: in the tech asked they talk about how this is a threatis to democracy. the author takes a strong position on whether or not president trump is qualified for the office thats he holds in hs trying tods give advice to peope that are i eagerly awaiting ther choices for 2020 and his or her
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strong suggestion is anyone who may have supported him before should rethink that decision this next time. that case is bolstered by the evidence that he or she lays out in this book but you will also see reaction. they dismiss what is inn this book and say the fact that they thought othey've caught up inthn anonymity makes it not credible there are many supporters of president trump who will consider that a line of criticism as well. >> some people who don't like president trump will make the same or similar arguments which iis within this morning to use the title of the book bee more
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effective if it has a name or face attached to it such as a esonymity and i thin think in tt sense it critiques from pro- trump and anti-trump would be somewhat similar. >> someone call this cowardicese that it's written anonymously. my feelings are not heard this accusation. do you think it would have been more effective? >> guest: that is a judgment call. i understand why they chose to do this anonymously because i think the argument that's made in the i book for anonymity when he goes back to the writers of the federalist papers alexander and james madison, they put their concerns about the process of anonymouslyon because that depersonalized them and said it'demand is thatit's not about. it's about the issue. i understand that as a reasonable argument. the other side is if you feel
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that strongly shouldn't you stand up? >> i don't think that is a presumptuous kindre of tone he s simply making the argument sometimes when you want people to focus on the substance of what one has to say as opposed to the personalities attached, anonymous works better. i think any of the points are spot on. the debate about the anonymity piece will obviously affect this book. certainly if the author decided to attach a name it would add greater meaning because at this point it isn't clear if they are still a senior trump administration official or former.
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it's easy to some extent to say i'm doing this or that to affect policy without actually being able to attach your name and allow fact checking and other journalists to do our own reporting and say is that true that he or she do this and can we double check some of these scenes. a zoo that is impossible because of the anonymity. >> is it being read by the white house press corps? >> guest: it just came out and there's a lot going on right now. that's probably affecting the book as well. the fact that this is coming at a time when there are y. of hearings going on with people who are not anonymous and those that are describing their
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interactions either with the president with his team about a policy issue that has risen to the level of coming to an impeachment inquiry would say it makes them look less courageous and whether it is about courage or not, the timing of the book landing in the middle of that makes a difference. >> if resignations to me which is to say a lot of the conversation about the impeachment process that has to do with the activities doing with ukraine and dumping it begins to the establishment fought putting pressure on ukraine to get what some see as political favors was an impeachable offense. that has a lot of people who are fans decrying what they called the deep state which is to say the foreign service and civil te civil service and government
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professionals were in the otablishment and that is kind of a dynamic and the author says i think it is not as a deep state of steady state and our job is to keep the government moving straight and steady while we go through this windstorm so the idea that he or she is making an argument for people who do this as being steady and not deep state that does designate given the dialogue. >> it was 1996 another anonymously authored the book came out but was called primary colors and it was about the bill clinton election of 1992 and the author turned out to be joe klein a longtime columnist. any feelings about this new anonymous book, and because it resonates with what happened to you in 96?
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>> i haven't read this book yet and a second let me say comparing to what this author has done is like comparing apples and freight trains. i wrote an entertainment satire inspired by a certain sense of victorian. it wasn't meant to be taken seriously. this is allegedly a nonfiction account about an actual person and recognizable person. as the other panelists have pointed out and i pointed out in a "washington post" op-ed a few weeks ago, i am a proud father r of a foreign servicece officer d
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there are people who were my son's colleagues who over the last few weeks have risked their career by stepping forward and telling the truth. do you think that a lot of actual details of truth were withheld in this book in order to protect the offers anonymity and whaauthor'sanonymity and whe in greater detail about what's going on in the white house if this person had just said the scent of his or her name on its? >> i think the answer to that is yes. if you know who is in the room, and the persowho the person is e he or she can say i hold this position in government or held this position in the white house
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that lends it credibility and has filled up the picture of what the author is trying to say and they talk very much about the fact that he or she has withheld details that would be okentifying and that makes it pretty clear if we had seen a name on the front cover. >> that's probabl probably limie impact of the book and thehe factual details this person knows he or she could not have reported in order to maintain their anonymity.
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>> if the identity of the author unknown and the response to the book would be up to address the substance of the book and that would be the argument for doing it this way and that is the argument of the author. it's not about me if i put my name on it it will be about me. i am not taking one side or the other. the argument for anonymity is it ifa name is attached to it on te cover, the name becomes the story, not the story so i could argue that either way and i don't know what the answer is. r the author had to pull punches and describes the anecdotes and meetings and episodes where you know you are missing the details because they would give away the identity to the person telling the story.
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>> wasn't a fun process because of the nature of the book lacks >> caller: i was shocked indeed.. i was working at "newsweek" at the time and he said books like this never so and random house which published it, they were shocked because they kept lowering the printing untold it was published and exploded like a bomb and i think the bomb explosion caused me to have some lighthearted post traumatic stress and impaired my judgment over the next six months. i probably stayed anonymous too long. it did become a matter in our family we had young kid and my
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wife was adamant that i don't come out because there was going to be a circus on the front lawn and there were kids walked public schools within a block of our house and she thought it would endanger them so it became also really, really exhausting buying you to my friends not telling the truth to my friends. so, in my case what had been a hoot in entertainment became darker because a lot of my colleagues in the pressgu misinterpreted what i was doing. they saw it as an exposé and i intended it as a satire. there were no revelations in the book and it became an important lesson for me once i was exposed. >> did you have any reaction at the time?
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>> i have plenty since then. i will send banned from the white house after that. i continued to do my reporting. i think that over time i talked to both hillary clinton and bill clinton about it. he gave me many hours of of interviews in 2000. hillary clinton and i spent a lot of time talking about the military matters. from what i heard, she kind of liked the book. she thought it was funny. >> host: is there a chance that a a journalist with this
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>> guest: i don't think so. if a journalist wrote this book than it is a lie because it is written under the guise of somebody that is genuinely on the inside. we are not on the inside. journalists get to see us being witnessed a lot of history about triggering the 25th amendment or something like that, journalists can witness to describe and testify too what we have seen, but if this is written by a journalist, then it would be very hard to take it seriously.
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>> host: the 25th amendment, did that surprise you? >> guest: it is referred to in "the new york times" op-ed. i don't think that is a very central part of the story. i don't take it all that seriously. there are people talking in apocalyptic terms all the time in this town and i don't think that is the burden of the story which is that people are about to invoke the amendment. ithat's not really the charactr of the story. it's a much more subtle story than that. that is a sensational tidbit but to be fair they want us to focus on other things than that. but i agree with jeff and i know this is true we go back a long way and i was around during
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iperiod. a lot of the conversation will be detected who done it kind of stuff and people will look at the specificid episodes and onef the things i would also add is s the book is quite well written and people will wonder is that really journalist because it is written. if you write a book anonymously there is another distinction claiming to be a trump insider. i didn't claim to be a journalist. i claimed that this was a novel and novels are fiction.
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i made up every line of dialogue and i felt very honored when she took many of the largest speeches word for word inor the book did you find your self ostracized by previousrs coffee is? >> guest: >> caller: after i had a press conference and was turned into a pariah for about 15 minutes although i must say my relationships all survived and prospered and i have a great many friends in the business still.
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but it was interesting to me the publication's reaction. i received m a series of phone calls after i came out. they have absolutely no ideological consistency. they ranged from people like newt gingrich on the right to paul wellstone on the left to people i didn't even know. the message was always the same. we understand what you are going through. it's rough to be attacked in this way but the way that we deal with it is by keeping our head dowheads down and going ahh our work and that's what you should do, too and by the way it came pretty close as a guest about how things operate. >> it makes me wonder as well would it beel like if you had written that kind of a book in the era where we have the social media that we do now. the attacks that you face in no doubt would have been amplified
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ten, 100 or 1,000 fold. >> the social media attacks that are going on right now against people like alexander van men are far more serious than the attacks that i took. people calledd me a liar and that's one way to look at it. you would have to call jane austen a liar for saying her first novel sense and sensibility was writtenen by a lady. that was the tradition i thought i was perpetuating. what is going on now in the social media and the attacks on the steep standing up they are just reprehensible and frightening, and i want to say i want to dispute jerry just a little bit about the speaking business as usual.
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i think that we are in a real crisis in our country right now and i'm pretty pessimistic because what president trump has done is conducted an all-out assault on the truth. as a journalist, i've learned ir time that neither sidee had a monopoly onon the truth. you could have legitimate differences and discuss them. what president trump does is call the reporting that many of my formerme colleagues are doing such his courageous reporting and honest reporting, he calls the fake news. you hear people all the time saying i don't know if you can believe. and when you get to that point in a democracy, you are in big trouble. and so, because of the importance of this moment, that's why i think that this
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anonymous person and everybody else, all of those republicans in the congress who are shielding their true feelings about president trump, they have a moral responsibility to come forward. >> i understand that and i wasn't tryingan to suggest thatt was business as usual or normal. we are in an abnormal phase for sure on many levels. i think the issue was as their chaos in every white house and i guess that we were talking out their little but yes to islam, at there isn't constant prices day after day and minute by minute. that is different and it's not healthy for anybody in the ecosystem that we are living. >> there was a lot of attention given to the book 100,000 copies sold prior to its publishing. a record. back in 96 did your book have that kind of attention or did it
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just come onto the scene? >> guest: i think they wound up publishing the first was like 35,0035,000 were they started of around 60 but the salespeople were not getting very much reaction from the booksellers and they kept lowering thehe prt run and also my boss had warned me this book is a lot of fun but books like this don't so and then all of a sudden it exploded in a way that i., you know, i hadn't anticipated and i don't think anybody had an had indicao prinand they hadto print a millo weeks. >> host: the president in this book is described as a moral having a questionable mental state, no focus or concentration, a bully, not fit, no self-control, red-faced, weakness for strongmen, carlos
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in his review of the book in the "washington post" says this can all be put in the category of stuff we already know. but can you be electe elected pt of the united states with these quantities? >> the answers is yes. i mean, we have now three years after his election a body of work and the work of journalists and others have written about thisis and a very, very robust d long record that explain who and what president trump is about. so the review that you've referenced is true and now we know who president trump is and a lot of people like that. a lot of people don't, but a lot of people saw it in 2016 and
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believed it was disqualifying and a lot of people saw it and believed ita was exactly what te country needed. and this author apparently was a supporter initially wanted to at least be a supporter and that is why he or she came into the whitee house and viewed all thee things now as being disqualifying. and certainly we will find many people who agree with that but there's also lots of people who don't. and i certainly see that when i am traveling with i the presidet when he does his rallies around the country. he is very proud of the good crowds that he is able to generate and you know what, those crowds are real and the people that attend the rallies edith write up and they are supporters and they are an extra minute to. the president knows that, and that gives him a lot of
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frankness whether or not that is enough strength electorally to win the election again in 2020 of course we don't know the answer to that. to the extent that this book or other warnings from democrats or republicans, from others will have an impact on that as something we will not be able to judge until election day next year. >> if i could add something here. when i return to journalis retun september 12, 2001, for very obvious reasons, i began to spend a lot of time with the u.s. military. i embedded in both iraq and afghanistan and i spent a lot of time with those great kids all of whom had a strong sense of citizenship and service and reality. they knew that politicians could send people off to die. it seems to me that the quantities, and by the way i spent last weekend with 19 of
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them who have been elected to the house, ten democrats and 19 republicans. but there was a contrast between the way they see the country and the way the rest of the country sees them. we are trying to do democracy without citizens, and that there is a significant number of people in this country i would say 30 to 35% support him no matter what who cannot tell the difference between reality and reality tv. and unless we start making a really major effort to make our citizens better citizens, we are going to be in trouble because of the power of the new media forms. this goes to the basic nature of the civil discourse or the lack thereof. a lot of people are in and go
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chamber of their own choosing and they sta stay in the eco- chamber and the voices in that ego chamber are familiar to them and get louder and louder and prevent them from hearing the voice i and the other eco- chamr and that is kind of where we are and a lot of people say if only people had known what he was like in 2016, i think they knew who he was and they know now that they know more and will that stop them or from voting to reelect him or drive them even further in the process? i don't know. but i think that the problem isn't that the people don't know what's going on to the problem ouis the shouting is so that thy cannot possibly hear anybody that has a different point of view. >> if that is one of the critiques ofes the book though s yes everybody knew who he was in 2016, this book iss a rehash frm 2015 today. and if you follow the news at all it's like i knew that, i
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knew that.uc >> that struck me as i was going through the house while a lo tha lot of the episodes or the vignettes in little bits that come into the, some of them were new but many of them are things like the description of the president's remarks after the charlottesville incident. i was in the trump tower for that as well. i was part of the press pool that day and shouted questions and listen to his response is. that is already part of our history now and so having a recount it here it didn't really add a new element to someone thatel was there. i was there but even if i were not there were tv cameras rolling and americans were able to read and see and listen to the president's reactions. the fact that somebody
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apparently deeply inside of the trump white house found it very offensive and interesting but also not new. gerry was also somebody that found it offensive and also left at that point because of that. so, those are details that are rtt uninteresting but also really kind of part already if the historical body of work to be extent that its historical but the body that we already have president trump's tenure. >> i think that is true although i would have thought that there's anything wrong with the devito revisiting the themes now that we are on the verge of an impeachment process and a reelection year as it turns out, so i don't have a problem with that. all i'm saying is the same thing jeff isam which is a lot of the great things about donald trump, like him or hate him are pretty well known by now and this isn't necessarily going to bring any new ones to the table. it's going to teach you or
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people about who they will know better after they read the book. >> i'm going to read a quote from the book and give all three of you a chanceot to respond. >> i'm going to add one thing to what was just said despite what both of us said, i do see value iand cherry sort of of thing too this as well as reminding people about what happened because the pace of the last two and a half to three years has been so quick into the news cycle right now is also so quick i sometimes forget neat happened this afternoon by the wellness week or two months ago. book or otherthis sort of look backs at the trump presidency, there is value in going over the things that have occurred again. a week ago seems like a month ago in a month ago seems like two years ago. it's amazing. >> host: joe klein talked about his interviews or talks withthd the clintons. you've worked with several presidents and covered president
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trump seems to get acces give ao the press every day to. and that's something you want, correct? >> yes. there is value for sure, having access to the principle, he's the principal, he's the top. being able to ask questions of him, policy or practice or the news of the day on a regular basis isom certainly something that we value. i mean perhaps this is a different discussion. i don't think that it's a reason to do away with the daily .riefing which this white house has done but yes, we value that absolutely. >> host: it seems to be more access than previous presidents. is that a fair assessment of? isn't eligible access of a certain sort, you know the daily helicopter moment that is a certain kind of access but i
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remember in the white house is that i covered for both bush, clinton and obama, there were other sorts of access that were far more important. he would have a group of us who specialized in foreign policy at that point and every two or three months just to ask us what we were seeing because we were going places he couldn't goei ad also to give us his thinking on stuff which was valuable but it was off the record. and it seems to me that you know, even in the white house is where i was considered a liberal columnist, even in the bush white house, i still had access to a lot of the top people including the president. in this case, trump has cut off access to a lot of people he anesn't agree with.
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and cut off access to a lot of orat kind of working foreign-policy processes and maybe domestic policies as well. >> i think that's true and you have a lot of access this sound byte access but less contemplative kind of serious policy discussion access and i think that is regrettable and i agree on that. >> here's the quote i want to read. your question to me isn't as it's there for bette therefore e valuable than access the way that it's been handled in previous white houses and i didn't take the position on that. we do value it, but i don't think that makes up for the things that are not present, quality versus quantity to simplify it a little bit? >> here is a quote from the book and it might be that you all have sources and we would like to hear your views on this. behind closed doors, senators and congressmen rattle off all the phas ways that our administn
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has undercut the mandates or flat out ignored them, and i'm not just talking about democrats. are you hearing this from yourng sources? do you still have active sources in the congress? >> guest: well, i told you about a meeting i had last week and i don't want to implicate any of those veterans, but the people i know who are active in journalism now and some of the people i know that are active in politicsti very clearly indicate that everybody who's been in public service for a long time and who isn't an extremist is embarrassed by this guy. >> do you hear this from sources outside of the white house or in the white house? >> i certainly heard along with colleagues that in the most recent sort of big story of the week which is impeachment that
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the communication between the white house and that he'll hasn't always been as robust as some republicans would like. i can't really testify from my own't reporting to the general feelings among senators and lawmakers on the hill because it isn't my beach and i don't have as much time there as many of my colleagues that have more of a beat then i have. but it's not surprising to me. i mean it doesn'tme come acrosso me as something that hard to believe. >> what i hear but i hear a lotm republicans is essentially i actually kind of agree with the president is trying to do i just wish he would intuitively that he is doing it and that is what i hear from a lot of the republicans in congress. and i think they recognize that in 2016, president trump then candidate trump put his finger on or maybe put differently
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walked through a door and foundd the result of the country that agreed with stuff that he had been saying for a long time and he and her stood a moment. and they understand he understood that moment, but i don't think that you t have to o the things that the president ie doing the way that he is doing them. that is the characterization that i hear from republicans a lot. >> what's interesting to me in er is that a loton of these people on the hill and elsewhere who do feel that way and are members of the republican party are also cloaking themselves in the anonymitanonymitybecause they wt perhaps to a reporter or to a friend or an acquaintance, whatever, but they don't come out and say it in a public way with their name attached and that is different. >> there's a footnote here, there is a cure to the problem if you are in congress t which s do the job of congress more
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assertively, stand up for the institution and i think that this was back several administrations not only of the trump administration, people in congress have given away their power and authority to the other end of pennsylvania avenue fairly steadily over the last couple of decades. one way to not complain anonymously as you just said is to do something about it, to do something about it. but that is an editorial aside. >> i'm doing some research into the roosevelt presidency. franklin roosevelto presidency and i can tell you that this argument goes back 100 years and above howard has been shifting towards the white house for a hundred years in contravention of, you know, the priorities by the constitution. remember the article one of the constitution establishes the legislature. it establishes the executive, and i think that the founding fathers really thought congress
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was going to be was where it was going to be. and the speed of the developments and so on the a lot of the power has naturally moved down pennsylvania avenue. but i think it's also true that too much has. >> from a business perspective, did your book sel books sell ouf washington much? >> caller: it's sol it sold in 3 countries on the bestseller list in australia, germany, england and a lot of places and the reason why i think it's because it was fun i mean, people laughed and they also learned stuff. >> but were they learning about bill clinton? >> i think some people might have, and i think in a certain way on an emotional level and emotional truth rather than fact
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they were learning something about coming you know, clinton, who inspired the main character, jack stanton. i think that, you know, i will tell you a quick story. she once said to me you know, i just got married again. i married my high school sweetheart and i want to thank you because she hated politics him until she read a primary colors and been found that it could be fun. i've gotten a lot more of that sort of reaction over the last 20 years than any other. >> host: i ask that question very inarticulately and i apologize for that. is this book in washington read or will this be read and holds the oklahoma or wherever? >> i think it's something that certainly has struck me over the last three years is how engaged in how informed people are all
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over the country and for that matter, over th all over the wot this presidency. people are watching, people are reading, people are tuning in, and so i think that for that reason alone, it's not just in washington but. a thousand copies isn't chopped liver. that indicates a certain amount of interest. i came here in the 1980s so that's when i first got here and this is the most walked and people have ever been in what's happening in washington there's no doubt about it and a lot of it is a fascination with donald trump, period, .-full-stop no doubt. i agree it is a subject go out again, go back home, visit relatives, have dinner someplace else, people want to talk about donald trump. so this isn't a washington phenomenon. >> host: why do you think that hais? >> guest: he is a force of
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nature and completely new character in modern american history and he is controversial and a master at creating controversy because he thrives within controversy so by definition he draws attention to himself. that may be good for the country or terrible for the country, but it's a method of operation for him that has been successful on its own terms. >> every president since john elnnedy, and arguably even dwight eisenhower has had to become a tv character to be successful. and in fact i believe that if you look at the history of presidential debates, the candidates that are more successful with tv and project with only a couple of exceptions usually when the elections. he's the first president who has been a fictional tv character, and i think that really moves
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the ball into a strange and dangerous area. what do you mean by fictional tv character? he was never thend kind of guy that he was portrayed to be on the apprentice. he didn't, i mean, that was a game show that was rigged. his role was rigged. people who know him, he and i graduated from the university of pennsylvania the same year. i knew him as a developer in the 80s when i was a reporter there and he wasn't a decisive businessman. he was a show boat, he was a marketer and that's what he's made most of his money by the way is selling his name so that other people, developers could put his name on their buildings with some exceptions like his golf courses. but the role that the american people saw him playing on the apprentice which was smart,
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decisive and so on, it was scripted. it isn't who he is. >> so, from the book a warning come up with them at the net effect of the president's war on democratic institutions is that he's turned the government of the united state united states f his companies, a badly manage enterprise defined by a sociopathic personality. >> if you feel that way about a human being that is your boss coming you should either quit or make your views public and make them known. >> host: i'm not going to ask for your opinion. you are in neutral working reporter and columnist, but another quote from the book and i want to ask if this has been your experience. staffers in the position as they are either purged or fleeing the building, thewere fleeingthe but
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potential promotions creating an incentive for the overzealous to undercut their colleagues in the corridor to advance. sounds like the workplace. >> it does sound like any esworkplace. what's interesting and that the author gets into this as well as how many people have left the trump administration. this writer portrays as having been a kind of bulwark into a large extent a lot of those people at least from our understanding of the role they played our the things they did are gone. i don't know to what extent there is jockeying right now or for power in the white house. i do know i think we've all learned and so has his staff that president trump is the one who is the ultimate decider and of course that is the job of any president. but he really, really follows everythingtinct on from foreign policy which we
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have seen until recently with his decisions to the marketing we just talked about. he is his own press secretary comey is his ownnd communicatios director, has no national security adviser. so, those are maybe but really it all comes down to one person come and that is the man sitting behind the desk. >> i think that is true and that is the big change from the first year to the second and third here of the trump white house and jeff knows better than i do with my observation has been you've had an evolution of the white house moving to the point where trump may be trump and we are now at the point that he can't be and is just that he's the press secretary communication advisor, national asecurity adviser, that's the y he ran his business and so it shouldn't surprise anybody that is the wayay he wants to run the white house. we can debate whether that is a
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good thing or badr thing for a long time but i think that is a factual observation. >> and that is one of the points in the book is leaving the title acting chief of staf chief of sg fill in the blank makes him more powerful than matheson. his supporters would argue he's getting things done so what if he's breaking the china. >> they see that as a badge of honor that it is a non- politically correct president who's coming and is getting things done. >> may be pulled off some of the layers in washington. >> following promises he made. if we have the broad discussion of wealth iof well his base aftr potentially leave him, i certainly don't think that. if i they were, it wouldn't be because of his language or some of what his opponents considered
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outrageous behavior. it would be because he may be is unable to fulfill some of the promises he made, be it about the wall or more lovingly about the economy. and so far, he has at least to some extent been able to demonstrate this is what i promised into these are the results. >> when i covered the trump campaign in 2016, i had asked his supporters why do you support him and there's always two reasons. one was he'sg going to bring bak jobs and the other as he talks like people like us. i watched the democratic debate this past week, you know, you look at senators like amy klobuchar referring to the bills by their numbers or processes by their acronyms and things like that, and i think that for a lot of people out in the country, donald trump was a refreshing
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change from that sort of language. i was shocked people would still take him seriously after he attacked, you t know, war heroes like john mccain. but appearance with the idea to many of the people i interviewed that he would be willing to say something like that made him different from the regular run-of-the-mill politicians that they've gotten used to. >> i think that is all true and i will go back to something i said earlier about republicans in congress who don't like the way that he's doing thingsgs wil say we have to break this much along the way is that really necessary and i w think what i worry about and i wrote a column about thisry this week is harmig institutions along the way that, youu know, the foreign service for example or to the committees in congress that have split into rival camps, for the
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institutions that are being damaged in this process that can create long-term problems. >> i'm going to do one more quote as we close here and have the wall respond. from the warnin warning, our representatives are not the source of washington's problems. we are the ones who pick them. if you can give them credit for anything, the democratic systems reflect the public mood. when we are willing to compromise, our representatives are, too or, too. when we are angry and building, partisan and greedy, they will display thehe same traits. voters who want to complain have an option of doing something else and they want to complain about paralysis in washington they can vote for the representatives to compromise in the middle rather than the people they dig in on the extreme. they have to take some responsibility. they can't just complain about it so i think there is a lot of
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truth in it. >> that is going forward to 2020. if it is a challenge to people that are unhappy about what's going on in the trump presidency to get out and show up and vote, and no doubt also a resonating warning to people that are happy with him that we need to continue despite people that are going to mobilizee against the ant show up in the voting booth. >> i'm just happy that my son is in east asia expert rather than a eastern european expert. but if i didn't strike a kind of optimistic note here i think that the performance of these career professionals that we have been watching for the last couple of weeks should give all americans, both conservatives and liberals, except for the extremes, should give people a
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lot of faith in the strength of our country and the strength of our state department and also my own experience in the military and intelligence community leads me to have similar faith in those institutions. we are not going to lay down the tubes yet and these people demonstrate that. >> would any of the three of you venture to guess who wrote this? >> i wouldn't, no. >> is it a poorerst purdy at the white house for the press corps? >> it certainly was when the op-ed came out. there was a lot of speculation and back and forth about it. this time i think as we said at the beginning of the program, it is so dominated by the ympeachment hearings that this book is not generating as much guessing as the initial op-ed. >> you were 500 miles away. who wrote this book lacks >> i know i didn't, which leaves
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me very happy. and to a certain extent i don't care. there's one thing we have not touched on and that's this, the rationale for the op-ed was passed there was a system of of guardrails in place. there were adults in the room i think was the phrase in the book in the op-ed. people like jim mattis, gary cohen and the others. john kelly. all those people are gone now and so i think that the rationale for this book is different from the rationale from the column and it's a shakier rationale. >> last word. >> i have no idea who wrote the book and i'm not going to spend much time guessing. >> does it matter? panic it doesn't really matter because if you want to take the message seriously rather than the messenger.
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>> jeff mason of reuters and joe klein author of primary colors, gentlemen, thank you for participating. >> thank you. >> you are watching the tv on c-span2 top nonfiction books and offers every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. here's programs to watch out for this holida over the weekend. on sunday
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>> thank you very much marco the strand was founded on fourth avenue book roads


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