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tv   Anonymous A Warning Roundtable  CSPAN  November 29, 2019 9:30am-10:38am EST

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the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., november 29, 2019. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable shelley moore capito, a senator from the state of west virginia, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: chuck grassley, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands adjourned until 3:00 p.m. on monday, december 2, 2019. december 2, 2019. everything days during the thanksgiving break, the senate will return on monday at 3:00 o'clock eastern on nominations. taking back to the tv on
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c-span2. >> now on book to be jeff mason and joel klein discuss a warning which is reported for a behind-the-scenes look from a trump administration from an anonymous source. you been around this town for a long time did you learn anything from anonymous? >> i don't think anything is startlingly new in the basics, it's a critique of term presidency that we heard a lot in red in the same author in the new york times and ominously, i think you learn the depth of the concern of this particular person and interesting details about antidotes. i thought one thing that was interesting was to learn the rationale for addressing this in this fashion and in an ominous
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book as opposed to with your name attached to it or keep it to yourself. i think that's an issue that a lot of people will look at the book and trying to figure out why do it this way and why attaching name to it or keep quiet until you left the ministration. >> your down at the white house every day, what did you learn. >> a did distill some things we already knew and jerry refer to that, there were not any major disclosures in here that i made because we've seen so much of the reporting over the last two and half years, president trump style, for example the writer goes into the fact that in briefings people were asked to boil down their talking points to one bullet point as opposed to briefing papers and even as opposed to three or five bullet points, that is known at this
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point. that does not make the book less important, it is not necessarily landing with a major major impact because a lot of what is in here is stuff that has become wisdom about president donald trump. >> was anything in here that you said no that is not true, i'm there every day and i do not see this. >> i'm not in a position to say that about some of the things that were in here. though we get a lot of excessive white house correspondence right now into president donald trump, i'm certainly not in the room for everything and for all the comments. so i'm not really in a position to judge. >> i will say the book is written with an air of authority in a tone of authority to say there's lot of interesting details and somebody who knows what the white house cockpit is like in the white house meetings work and a lot of interesting
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details and if you spent more time there than i have than a lot of those things ring true and gay but the air of authenticity and some are really interesting. >> the way you go about preparing a speech in the white house for example, at one point the author goes through a description of what happens when there's a presidential speech. i think this is true across the ministration, the description does not work that way in the trump of ministration because the president goes off script. but how is speeches put together for a president which in my experience has been true throughout the last 40 years is described in some detail. i think it's described correctly. that is a detail if you seen some of it rings true. >> you both covered white houses in the past, are all white houses chaotic? >> i think the level of chaos described only in this book but
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by others to cover the white house who are watching the white house closely is not something that we seen in many white houses before. i only have two, my resume, president obama's white house and president trump's and their vastly different, the two of them. >> it is true that any white house has a degree of chaos as far as making decisions at lightning paces and things going on from foreign policy to domestic policy to oil spills to homwho knows what at a moments notice and that creates a certain amount of chaos because of being at the epicenter of the world. but that is a different chaos from what this book describes in terms of what we seen and how president trump govern and how he deals with the people around him. >> i would not use the word chaos, i think every white house
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has crisis, things don't get to the white house unless their problem or cannot get resolved someplace else or will not happen. certainly there is a regular air of crisis around any white house. i think the difference is the speed of the crises has picked up, the intensity in irregularity has a completely different characteristic of this white house compared to others. i will say that's probably characteristic of the public system in general. things tend not to get resolved and things blow up and were hyper- partisan hyper a polariz, deeply emotional time in the national debate and a lot is reflected and created by the trump white house. in that sense i think it's different in the atmosphere is reflected well in this book ton the extent that is what you see the white house in action. >> anonymous calls his or her book a warning and in the text
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talks about this as a threat to democracy. >> the author takes a strong position on whether or not president trump is qualified for the office that he holds. and is trying to give advice with the title of a warning to people who are evaluating their choices for 2020. and his or her strong suggestion is that anyone who may have supported president trump before should rethink that decision the next time and that case is by the evidence that he or she lays out in this book. but i think you will also see reaction and i e-mailed with white house officials about this before coming on the show and they dismiss what is inth this book and say that the fact that the author has an annuity makes
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it not credible and i think there's many supporters ofre president trump who will consider that a legitimate line of criticism as well. >> some people who don't like president trump make the same or similar argument which is when it this morning be more effective if you had a name and a face attached as opposed to an eight amenity, that is from pro terminator trump will be similar. >> from the book some will call this cowardice that it's written in ominously, my feelings are not hurt by this accusation, you think it would've been more effective? >> i think that's a judgment call, i can understand why the author chose to do this you know ominously because i think the argument that is made in the book is the argument for a more
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powerful interest when he goes back to a the writer of the federalist papers. alexander hamilton and james mattis, they put their concerns about the constitutional process out and ominously because that depersonalize them and is said is not about them it's about the issue. that's argument the author makes. the other side is if you feel that strongly should you stand up. >> did you take it as the author comparing himself? >> no i did not take it that way. presumptuous tone, i don't think that's it, hugh sibley make an argument that sometimes say as opposed when you want to focus on the substance and the personalities attached and ominous works better. >> i think any points ours fo st on. i think the debate about the animpiece will affect this bookd
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the impact that it has and certainly if the author had decided to attach a name to, it would add greater meeting to what we are reading. at this point it's not clear if this person is still a senior trump of ministration official or former trump administration official. it is easy to some extent to say i am doing this or that to protect or affect policy without being able to attach b your name and allow fact checking and other journalist to do our own reporting and say is that true, did he or she actually say or do this, can we double check the scenes in these quotes. so that that one would apply to a book like this ispp not poss
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possible. >> is a being read by the white house press corps? >> it just came out and there is a lot going on in washington right now. i think that is probably affecting this book as well. the fact that this is coming ous of time or their live impeachment hearings going on in people who are not an ominous and people who are describing their interactions either with the president or his team about a policy issue that has risen to the level of coming to an impeachment inquiry, and makes -- critics would say it makes us author look less courageous. and whether about courage or not, the timing of this book landing in the middle of that makes a difference. >> i will say a resignation, a lot of the conversation now about the impeachment process
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which has to do with president trump's activities in dealing with ukraine and bumping up against the establishment who thought putting pressure on ukraine to get what something is political favors was an impeachable offense. that conversation has a lot of people who are trump fans calling what they call the deep state which is career of foreign service and a civil service and government professionals who are embedded in the establishment and have it out for the president. that's the dynamic of the current debate. what the author says, i thinkatf us as steady-state or's. our job is to keep the government moving straight and steady while we go to the windstorm of the trump of ministration. the idea that he or she is making an argument for people who do this as being steady-state or's, not deep stators that does resignation given the dialogue we had the last two weeks in washington.
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>> in 1996 another in ominous book author came up and it was about 1982 and the author turned out to be joel klein, longtime colonist, mr. klein, any feelings about this new and ominous book and doesn't designate with what happened you 1996? aller: i've not read this book and second of all let me say that comparing what i did iut have compared apples and freight trains. i wrote an entertainment, i was inspired by the cowardice to whimsy and victorious, it was not meant to be taken thursday. this is allegedly a nonfiction account about an actual person.
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and a recognizable person. president trump. and as the other panels appointed out, which i pointed out in a washington post op-ed a few weeks ago, there are people, i'm the proud father of the u.s. foreign service officer. there are people who are my son's colleagues who over the last few weeks have risked their careers by stepping forward and telling the truth. it seems to me and no one opposes of the question, do you think a lot of details of truth were withheld in this book in order to protect the authors and amenity, would be no more and greater detail of what's going wrong in the white house if this
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person had just ponied up and put his or her name on? >> i think the answer is yes if you know who is in the room and who the person is writing because he or she can say i hold this position government or held this position and they were richard kushner and the chief of staff, then that lends credibility and fills out the picture of what the authors tried to say in the book. in the author talks very much about the fact that he or she has withheld details that would be identifying and it makes it
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pretty clear the details are not in the book that otherwise would have been if we saw an actual name on the front cover. >> i agree. >> can you repeat that. >> that probably limits the impact of the book. it limits the details that this person knows that he or she could not have reported in order to maintain their anonymity. >> the flip side of the argument is if the identity of the author were known then the response in the book and the people who support president trump would be to attack the author, again that makes it'll be about me and the problems of ac industry. i'm not taking one side or the other on the debate, the argument, if the name is attached to this on the cover, the name becomes a story, not
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the story. i could argue that either way and i don't know what the right answers. the author clearly has the full punches and he describes the antidotes and meetings in episodes where you know you're missing some of the details because the details would give away the identity of the personn told the story. >> you and i probably remember 1996 and i remember colonist coming out, six months where you are stillll an anonymous, was ia fun process because of the nature of your book. >> no, it started out as fun and i was certainly shocked indeed, my editor, i was working at newsweek at the time and he was shocked he said book like this never sell. in random house which published it was shocked to because they kept lowering the printing up until the moment it was published and exploded like a
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bomb. i think that bomb explosion caused me to have some very lighthearted satiric posttraumatic stress and impaired my judgment over the next six months. i probably stayed and anonymous too long, it did become a matter within our family, we had young kids and my wife was adamant that i not come out because there was going to be a circus on our front lawn and her kids walk to public schools within a block of our house and she thought it would endanger them. and also it was really, reallyal exhausting lying to my friends. and not telling the truth to my friends. so in my case what had been a hoot, and entertainment became farmer darker because i think a lot of my colleagues in the press interpreted what i was doing. they sell as an exposé and i
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intended it as a satire. there was no revelations in the book. and so it became an even more painful experience the reallyon important lesson for me once i was exposed. >> did you haveed a reaction frm the clinton white house at the time? >> no but i have plenty of sense first of all and i was not banned from the white house after that, i continued to go in and do my reporting and i think that over time i talked to both hillary clinton and bill clinton about it, we joked about it and bill clinton the president gave me many hours of interviews in 2004 a piece i was doing at the new yorker for what he accomplished in the white house
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and hillary clinton and i spent a lot of time talking about military matters after she was a senator and i returned to journalism after 9/11. and from what i heard she kindat like the books. >> she thought it was funny. >> jeff mason, is there a chance that a journalist wrote this book? >> i don't think so. if a journalist wrote this book then it's a lie. because the book is written under a guy who is generally on the inside. we are not on the inside. journalists get to see and go through a lot of history certainly covering the white house, this white house is no exception to that. but that is not the same as saying you're in on decision-making or you're in a position to have a discussion
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with the cabinet members of perhaps triggering the 20 for the moment or something like that. journalists cannot do that, they can write about that and witness and describe to testifying what we see but if this is written by journalist then it would be very, very hard to take it seriously. >> the 25th amendment the triggering of the 25th amendment part of this book, does that surprise you? >> is referred to in the new york times op-ed, people can make of that what they want. i only got the central part of the story. i don't actually take it that seriously. there's people talking apocalyptic terms in this town and i don't think that's a burden of the story which of people on the inside or about the 20 for the moment during the president. that is not the character of the
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story, the story is much more settled story than that. i do think that is a sensational tidbit but i think the author to be fairly to the author, i think they want people to focus on other things and that. but i agree with jeff, i know joe and i go back a long way and i was there during the whole . . . a lot of the conversation in this town would be the detective who done it. who is this, that's gonna be what happens because people will look at specific episodes and i would also add the book is quite well written and people will wonder, all journalists are good writers but some are. but i think a lot of the conversation is not going to be about the substance of the book it'll be to do think it is. but they know that's inevitable. >> i askedke for it and really,t
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was obvious if you write a book and ominously, by the way there's another distinction, this an anonymous writer is claiming to be a trump insider, i claim to be anything, i do not claim to be a journalist, i claimed this was a novel and novels are fiction and it was fiction i made up every line of dialogue in it. and i felt very honored when elaine wrote the screenplay forr a movie and took many of the larger speeches word for word from the book. so i found out i was pretty good at writing dialogue which is something i do not know before that. >> did you find yourself ostracized by colleagues? >> oh yeah. but i thought they were being utterly ridiculous. there were several things i found after i had a press conference and was turned into a
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pariah for 15 minutes. although, i must say my relationships with people like jerry who i've known for a long time and i assume they survived and prospered and i've many friends in i the business still. but, it was interesting the politicians reaction to what happened to me i received a series of phone calls from politicians after i came out. they had no etiological consistency, they ranged from people on the right to people on the left. two people i did not even know. and the message was always the same. we understand what you're going through now, it is really rough to be attacked in this way but the way we deal with it is keep her head down and going ahead with our work and that's what
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you should do too. by the way, you can close as a guest for how things operate. >> it makes me wonder what it would be like if you had written a book in an era where we have social media that we doe now. the attacks that you faced were amplified ten, 100 or thousand times full. >> i might be attacked, the social media attacks that are going on now against people like alexander vindman are far more serious than the attacks that i took. people called me a liar. and that's one way to look at it. you'd have to call jane austen a liar for saying that her first novel sense and sensibility was written by a lady. that was a tradition that was perpetuating.
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the stuff going on now in social media in the attacks on these people who arewh standing up, te reprehensible and frightening. i want to say in dispute. just a little bit about this being business as usual. i think we are in a real crisis in our country right now, i'm prettyy pessimistic because what president trump has done has conducted an all-out assault on the truth. as a journalist i learned over time that neither side had a monopoly on the truth but you could have legitimate differences and discuss them. what president trump does is call the reporting that many of my former colleagues are doing
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which is courageous reporting and honest reporting he calls it fake news. you hear people all the time saying i don't know what you can believe it when you get to that point in a democracy, you're in big trouble. so because of the importance of this moment, that's why this an anonymous person and everybody else, all those republicans in the congress who are shielding their true feelings, they have a moral responsibility to come forward. >> i understand and i was not trying to suggest this is business as usual or normal were not in the normal phase, were an abnormal o on many levels. i think the issue was, is there chaos in every whiteas house. theree are some but they're not constant crisis day after day literally minute by minute. that is different and it is not
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healthy for anybody in this environmentt and ecosystem. >> there was a lot of prepublication attention to this book, 100,000 copies sold prior to the publishing at a, record. back in 96 did your book have the kind of attention or do they just come ontoo the scene. >> i think they wonder publishing t like 35000 and they started off around 60. but the salespeople were0, not getting much reaction from the booksellers and they kept lowering the print run. in my boss had warned me inside this book is a lot of fun but books like this do not sell. all of a sudden it exploded in a way i had not anticipated or anybody had and they had to
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print 1 million copies in two weeks. >> jeff mason. the president in this book is described as and more having a questionable and mental state, focus, a bully, not fit, no self-control, red-faced, weakness, carlos and his review of the washington post says this can all be put in a category of stuff we already know but can you be elected president of thet united states with these qualities? >> the answer is yes. and we have no three years after his election a body of work, his work in the work of generalist and others who have writtenk about this in a very very robust
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and long record of his tweet that explain who and what president trump is about so i think the review that you reference is true, we know who president trump is. and a lot of people like that. a lot of people don't but a lot of people thought into thousand 16 and believe it was disqualifying and a lot of people in 2016 and believed that the country needs. . . . this author apparently was a supporter, initially, or wanted to be a supporter and that is why he or she came into the white house. and the view of these things now is being disqualifying. and certainly we will find many people who agree with that. but there are also a lot of people who don't. i certainly view that when i'm traveling with the president when he does his rallies around the country, you know, he is
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very proud of the big crowds but he is able to generate. and you know what, that is real, those crowds are and the people that attended those crowds are real and the people who attend those rallies eat it right up, and they are supporters and they are a mixture of america. the president knows that and that gives him a lot of strength. whether or not that's enough strength electorally to win reelection again in 2020, of course we don't know the answer to that. to the extent this book or other warnings from democrats come from republicans, from others will have an impact on that is just something we won't be able to judge until election day next year. >> caller: can i add something? [inaudible conversations] go ahead. >> caller: when i return to journalism on september 12, 2001, for very obvious reasons, i begin to spend time with the u.s. military. i embedded in both iraq and
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afghanistan and i spent a lot of time with those great kids, all wof whom had a strong sense of citizenship and of service and of reality. the new the politicians could send people off to die. it seems to me that the qualities -- by the way i spent last weekend with 19 of iraq and afghanistan veterans who have been elected to the house, ten democrats, nine republicans. but the was a contrast between the way they see the country and the wayth the rest, many of the rest of the country do. we are trying to do democracy without citizens. there is a significant number of the people, people in this country. i would say 30-35% that support trump no matter what who cannot tell the differenceel between reality and reality tv. unless we start making a really
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major effort to make our citizens better citizens, we're going to be c in because of the power of these new media forms. >> guest: i think there's a lot to that and i think this transcends donald trump. this goes to the basic civil discourse or lack there of we have now whichof is that everyby isbo -- people are in an echo chamber and a stay in that echo chamber. the voices v in that echo chambr are familiar to them and the louder and louder and prevent them from hearing theca voices n the other echo chamber and that's where we are. i think jeff hit on something important, which is a lot of people say well, if only people had known what donald trump was like in 2016 -- i think they knew who donald't trump was and they know now. they know more and will that stop them from voting to elect him, or drive them even further in the process?
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i don't know here but i think the problem isn't the people on the was going on. the problem is the shouting is loud they can't possibly anybody was a different between. >> host: that's one of the critiques of this book though is yes, everybody knew who donald trump was in 2016 and this book is a rehash from 20152 today and if you followed the news at all it's like knew that, knew that. >> guest: that struck me as i was going to it as well, a lot of the episodes or the vignettes and little bits that come into the book, some of them were new but many of them were things like his description of the president's remarks after the charlottesville incident. i was in trump tower for that myself. i was part of theer press pool that day, and listen to his responses and that is already
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part of our history now. so having that recounted here, it didn't really add a new element to -- >> host: you were there. >> guest: i was but even if i wasn't tv towers rolling and americans were able to see and read and listen to the president's reactions. the fact that somebody deeply apparentlyeb deeply inside theru trump white house found it very offensive is interesting but also not new. gary cohn was also somebody who found it offensive and almost left at that point because of that. so those are details that are not an interesting but also really kind of part already of the historical body of work to accept that it's historical but the body of work that we only have about president trump's tenure. >> guest: i i think that's true although i would also add i'm not saying there's anything wrong withh revisiting all these
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things, particularly now we're on the verge at an impeachment process and a reelection year as it turns out. i don't have any problem with that. all i'm saying is the same thing jeff is, which is a lot of the great themes about donald trump, like him or hate him, are pretty well known by now and this is an essential to going to bring any new ones to the table. it's going to teach you or some people knew that they will know better after they read the book. ? >> i want to add to what we both said. despite what both of us said, i do see value in the sort of end of this as well in reminding people about what has happened. because the pace of the last two and a half to three years has been so quick. and the news cycle right now is also so quick. i sometimes forget what happened this afternoon, let alone last week or two months ago. so, whether it's this book or other sort of attacks at the
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trump presidency, there is some value in going over the things that have occurred again. >> guest: a week ago seems like a month ago in a month ago seems like a year ago. >> host: he talked about his interviews or talks with the clintons. you've worked with several presidents and covered. president trump seems to give access to the press every day. that's something you want, correct? >> guest: we do, yes. there is value for sure to a shy journalist and having access to the principle. he is the principle. he's the top. being able to ask questions to him policy or practice revenues owith thenews of the day on a rr basis is certainly something to value, and this is perhaps a different discussion. i don't think that it's a reason to do away with the daily briefing, which this white house
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has done. but yes, we value that access absolutely. >> host: it's more access it seems to be than previous presidents. >> guest: is it a valuable access, i don't know. >> guest: of a certain sort. the daily helicopter moment, that is a certain kind of access. i remember in the white house that i covered, which for both bush, clinton and obama, there were other sort of access. there were far more important. you know, during the obama he would have a group of us that 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 go and also to give us his thinking on stuff which was extremely valuable but also off the record.
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even in the white house where i was considered a liberal columnist even in the bush white house, i still have access to a lot of the top people including the president, in this case, trump has cut off all access to a lot of people he doesn't agree with. and cut off access to a lot of the kind of working the foreign policy process and may be domestic policy as well. >> guest: i think that's true, and i think when you have disabled access now that's soundbite access, but less contemplative kind of serious policy discussion kind of access. that's regrettable and i agree with joe. >> host: here is the quote i want to read. >> guest: your question to me me was and therefore is it better or more invaluable than access s to the access has been handled in previous white houses, and i didn't take a position on that. we do value it. but i don't think that that makes up for the things that are
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not present, which -- >> host: quality versus quantity, to simplify it a little bit. here is a quote from the book, you all have sources and i would like to hear your views on this. behind closed doors, senators and congressmen rattle off all the ways our administration has undercut their mandates are flat out ignored them, and i am not just talking about democrats. are you hearing this from your sources? mr. klein, do you still have active sources in the congress? >> guest: 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 in it are active in politics, very clearly indicate that everybody is --
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everybody that has been in public service for a long time and who isn't an extremist is embarrassed by this guy. >> host: do you hear this from sources outside the white house or inside the white house? >> guest: i've certainly heard along with colleagues the most recent sort of big story of the week which is impeachment that the communications between the white house and the hills hasn't always been as robust as some republicans would like. i can't really testify from my own reporting to the general feelings among senators and lawmakers on the hill because it isn't my beat and i haven't spent as much time there as many of my colleagues who have more event across town beat then i have, but it's not surprising to me. i mean it doesn't come across to me as something that's hard to
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believe. >> guest: what i hear a lot from republicans is essentially a kind of agree with the president is trying to do, i just wish he wouldn't give it de way that he's doing it. that's what i hear from a lot of the republicans in congress. and because i think they recognize that in 2016 president trump, then candidate trump walked through a door and found there was a lot of the country that agreed with stuff he had been saying for a long time, and that he understood that moment. they understand that he understood that moment and accept that, but they don't think that you have to do the things the president is doing the way that he is doing them. that's my characterization of i hear from republicans a lot. >> guest: is interesting to me in that and my observation is that a lot of the people on the hill and elsewhere who feel that way and are members of the republican party are also putting themselves in anonymity. because they will say that perhaps to a reporter or a
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friend or acquaintance, whatever, but they don't come out and say it in a public way with their name attached, and that is different. >> guest: there is another footnote, and i've written about this some. there is a q. or to the problem if you are in congress which is do the job of congress more assertively stand up for the institution, and i think this goes back several administrations. this isn't only true if the trump administration. people in congress have kind of giving away their power and authority to the other end of pennsylvania avenue. steadily the past couple of decades and one way to not complain anonymously is just say desperate to do something about it is to do something about it, but that is an editorial aside. >> guest: i'm doing some research into the roosevelt presidency, and i can tell you this argument goes back 100
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years and the power has been shifting towards the white house for 100 years in contravention of the priorities by the constitution. remember article one i of the constitution establishes the legislature. article two establishes the executive, and i think that the founding fathers really thought that congress was where it was going to be at. and i think that because of technology, because of the speed of development and so on, a lot of the power has naturally moved down pennsylvania avenue. but i think it's also true that too much has. >> host: mr. klein, from a business perspective, do your books so outside of washington march? >> guest: i don't know that there are a million people inside of washington. it sold in 33 countries and was on the bestseller list in australia, germany, england and
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a lot of places. the reason why i think it's because it was fun. people laughed and learned stuff. >> host: did they think they were learning about bill clinton? >> guest: i think some people might have and in a certain way on an emotional level and emotional truth rather than facts, they were learning something about clinton who inspired the main character, jack stanton. i think that -- i will tell you a quick story. it was once said to me i just got married again, and i wanted to thank you because she hated politics until she read primary colors and then she found out it could be fun. i've gotten a lot more of that sort of reaction over the last 20 years than any other.
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>> host: i ask about question very inarticulately i apologize for that, but as this book a washington read or will this be arriving .-full-stop oklahoma or wherever? >> guest: i think something that struck me over the last three years is how engaged and how informed people are all over the country and for that matter all over the world about this presidency. people are watching, people are reading, people are tuning in. i think for that reason alone it's not just a washington book. >> guest: i agree. it indicates a certain amount of interest. >> guest: i came to washington in 1987 as my first. it's the most marketing people have ever been in what's happening in washington. there's no doubt about that. part is the fascinatio of the fh
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donald trump, .-full-stop. i agree with jeff, this is a subject. go back home, i'm from kansas originally, visit relatives and have dinner someplace else and all people want to do is talk about donald trump. so it isn't just a washington phenomenon. >> host: why do you think that is? >> guest: she is a force of nature and completely new character in modern american history. he's 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 triple for the country, but it is a method of operation for him that has been successful on its own terms. >> host: mr. klein. >> guest: every president since john kennedy and even arguably delight eisenhower has had to become a tv character to be successful.
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i believe if you look at the history of presidential debates, the candidates that are more successful on tv project warmer with only a couple exceptions, usually when the elections. donald trump is the first president who has been a fictional tv character and i think that moves the ball into a very strange and dangerous area. >> host: what you mean by fictional tv character? >> guest: he was never the kind of guy he was portrayed to be on the apprentice. i mean, that was a game show that was worded. his role on it was rigged. people that know him come and we graduated from the university of pennsylvania the same year. i knew him as a developer when i was a reporter. he wasn't a decisive businessm
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businessman. he was a show boat, he was a marketer. and that is how he's made most of his money by the way is selling his name so that other people, developers could put their names on his buildings with exceptions like this golf course is. but the role that the american people saw them playing on the apprentice, which was smart, decisive and so on it is not who he is. >> host: from the book the net effect of the democratic institutions is that he's turned the government oto the governmed states into one of his companies, a badly managed enterprise defined by a sociopathic personality. >> guest: i think that if you feel that way about a human being that is your boss, you probably should either quit or make your views publicly known.
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>> host: i'm not going to ask about your opinion because you are a natural working reporter and you arantiwar columnists, sl get a little bit more. another quote and then i want to ask if this has been your experience. staffers are looking for a position as more people are either purged or fleeing the building. vacancies mean potential promotions, creating an incentive for overzealous claimers to undercut their colleagues in order to advance. >> guest: it sounds like any workplace in a way, doesn't it. what's interesting and the author gets into this hospital is how many people have left the trump administration who this writer portrays as having been kind of a bulwark. to a large extent, a lot of those people from our understanding of the roles that have been played with things that they did oregon. i don't know to what extent for
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power within the white house. i do know and i think we have all learned president trump is the one who is the ultimate decider, and of course this is ththat isthe job of any preside. he really follows his own instincts on anything from foreign policy which we have seen recently in the decision to the marketing show was just talking about. he is his own secretary and communications director. he is his own national security advisor. so though there may be jockeying, it really comes down to one person, and that is the man sitting behind the desk. >> host: i think that's true, and that is the big change from the first year to the second and third year of the trump white house and jeff knows better than i do, but my observation has been that if you had an
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evolution of the white house moving to the point where trump could be trump and we are not nt the point where trump can be, and he has based this he's the national security adviser, that is the way that he ran his business and so it shouldn't surprise anybody that that is the way he wants to run the white house. can debate whether that is a good thing or bad thing but i think that is a factual observation. >> host: leaving the title acting chief of staff, acting fill in the blank makes him more powerful in the sense. his supporters would argue thats getting things done. >> guest: she sees that as a badge of honor that it's a non- politically correct president that has come in and is getting things done and following on
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promises he made. if we have the broader discussion about while the base of her potential believe and i don't think that and if they were to dwindle it wouldn't be because of this language or some of what his opponents consider outrageous behavior. it would be because he made he is unable to fulfill the promises that he made comedy about the law or about the economy and so far he's been able to demonstrate this is what i promised and this is the result. >> guest: when i covered the campaign in 2016, i've ask supporters why do you support him and there were always two reasons, one was he's going to bring back jobs. the other one was he talks like
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people, like us. when i watched the democratic debate this past week, you know, you look at senators like amy klobuchar referring to bills by their members or processes by their acronyms and things like that, and i think that for a lot of people, donald trump was a refreshing change from that sort of language. i was shocked people would still take them seriously after he attacked war heroes like john mccain, but apparently the idea to many of the people i interviewed that he would be willing to say something like that made him different than the regular run-of-the-mill politicians that they had gotten used to. >> guest: that is true and i will go back to something i said about republicans in congress who likes what he's doing but not the way that he's doing it
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say we have to break this much along the way. what i worry about and i wrote a column about this this week is harming institutions along the way or the committees in congress. there are institutions being damaged in the process that may create long-term problems. >> host: i'm going to do one more quote and have you all respond. from a warning, representatives are not the source of washington's problem. we are the ones who pick them. if you can give the founders credit for anything, the democratic systems reflect the public mood. when we are going to compromise on our representatives are. when we are angry and unyielding, partisan and greedy,
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they will display the same traits. >> guest: they want to complain about policies in washington they can vote for representatives to compromise in the middle rather than people to dig in on either extreme. i think that there is a lot of truth in that. >> guest: that is a challenge to people that are unhappy about what's going on in the presidency and no doubt a warning to people that are happy with him to continue despite the people that are going to mobilize against it. >> host: joe klein clucks >> guest: i'm just happy that my son is in east asia expert.
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if i can strike a kind of optimistic, mildly optimistic note i think the performance of these career professionals that we have been watching for the last couple of week's should give all americans, both conservatives and liberals except for the extremes, should give people a lot of faith in the strength of our country and the strength of our state department and also my own experience with the military and intelligence community leads me to have a similar faith in those institutions. we are not going t to lay down e tubes yet, and these people demonstrate that. >> host: with any of the three of you venture to guess who wrote this clucks >> guest: i wouldn't.
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when the op-ed came out there was a lot of speculation and back and forth about it. this time it is dominated by the impeachment hearings that the book is not generating as much guessing is the initial op-ed. >> host: your 500 miles away. who wrote the book? >> guest: while i know i didn't. there's two things we haven't touched on and that is the original rationale for the op-ed there was a system of guardrails in place. people like jim mattis, gary cohn and the others, john kelly. all those people are gone now so
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i think the rationale for the book is differenthatis differene for the column. .. >> jeff mason and the other primary colors, thank you gentlemen for participating. [inaudible conversations] >> an event hosted by the cobb county republican part in georgia, jackie gingrich offered her thoughts on america's political divide pictures a portion of the program. >> now it's no longer about, so what it's about what call the one and what team one. i call this fortification of
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politics. it's no longer just about politics. it's not like a sport. and actually interestingly enough the data backs this up. you all engage some not talking about you were engaged act republicans, you know what's happening, but for a lot of people they are not engaged in issues. what they are engaged in is identity, who they belong to. who are they a part of. they have been research where they switched positions between parties and said you agree with this? they will say yes if they think it is their parties stance even though it's not. what this tells us is it really isn't about ideology. it's about who people think they are and how they identify themselves within that group. it also tells us we have a lot of work to do communicating who we are to the vast majority of the middle. we have to think about that because if they don't think they belong to us we have to think about we know they belong with
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us so what are we communicating wrong? we have to fix that. i'm going to challenge and then open up to questions. our broken america i started off a little over yuriko incredibly worried about the future of our country because of polarization. and yes politics is, it's not civil war. it's civil war through words and politics is important and we need to make sure we support and understand and backup are foundational values values and we talk about what is not right but we also had to talk about what we can do together. i think in the long term we have to be optimistic. not only for our party but for our nation. i'd like to think of a framework on i'm going to give, how i try to think about things. i challenge you to think about gratitude over grievance because the left has a lot of work on grievance. let him grieve about who belongs to a group and who's a good victim and how terrible things are. let them have grievance. let me tell you why we should be grateful. we live in the best nation on
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earth. hands down. i wouldn't live anywhere else. do you agree? i mean, america. not only, people want to, legally because we're such a great country and they live in such horrible places. there a reason we want to come you. let's be grateful for that. we have a great structure, with a structure we believe in god and god gave us right and we loaned them to government. that's amazing. be grateful. i had nothing to do with that. i was just born here. be grateful with the place where we have free speech. be grateful we have great speech and, quite frankly, because we have free speech we need to use it and not to yell at the other side but to articulate more clearly why we are the better party.
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i think we win best when we win with clear communication, with explaining to people why we are the better choice but understanding what we can bring to them. so i'd love to think of this grievance, no more grievances, just gratitude. we should be grateful quite frankly we have an opposite party that makes us more clearly communicate. because we need to do the work. if you think about sports, i'm an avid tennis player, not very good but i love it and about to have some competition because it makes me work and it makes me think. that's where we are. we have to work and we have to think that we have to communicate better secondly, i want you to think about our national narrative. again, optimistic versus negative. the left has a full on terrible narrative about how terrible country is and how terrible we all of them. i am not saying we are perfect nation. we are not a perfect nation.
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i do believe we are the best nation. i also believe if we constantly terror ourselves down, we will never be able to move forward. try it at all. how to go home and tell your spouse how horrible they are. does that work? no. try to tell your child how horrible they are. they will believe it and it's terrible. i think we have an entire generation of people who we have told they can't be successful and, unfortunately, they have began to believe it and to think it is a travesty and i think we have to change it. we must confront the national narrative we must communicate that you can be successful and attorney. we must continue to communicate how great we are as nation and our great we can be together. anything else that is unacceptable and we must be positive about our country, not saying we're perfect but positive and move forward. the last thing i think is the biggest challenge.
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i have spent the last 20 years so i was in corporate america for a long time working in finance. i meant a division in bellsouth. after our second child quite frankly i was traveling so much i didn't want to do that. i wanted to be home with the kids. i spent time working part-time. i consulted. i'm on several boards and i've been very heavily involved in the community. and what i found is that when you work with people, when you find a problem you care about, i don't care what the problem is, for me its homelessness, its the environment, its financial literacy, it's early education. whatever you care about, it could be the symphony, the art museum, a garden club, healthcare. whatever you care about and you spend time with ever who cares about that same thing, and you work together and to make progress, you don't know if there a democrat or republican, they would be democrats on 15 and you will change their mind about what a republican is.
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it has they will see you working next event could you see them, they will see you caring about people. you see them caring about them and you will lead their life changed if we can't sit back and pretend like this 55% of the sedona friends in the other party okay. that's not okay. we have to be a community can even with people we don't like. because quite frankly if we didn't set upon by ourselves at home which really isn't a very good choice. so i think a little intellectual humility to know when they have a lot of the things right but not everything right, to know we need to be part of this big system that doesn't always work well but works better than anywhere else in the world, and to understand that every time we're out in public, that we reflect not only ourselves and our country but also our republican values and our brand. reach out to people. if they yell at you, let me tell you i've been yelled at so many times i can't even come i been
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yelled that when i been trying to check out in a store and they start yelling at me because of my father. and i finally won quite frankly i get very upset and i finally just decided to smile. if it makes them feel better to yell at me, maybe that's my job for the day. i don't know. but what i do know, if i yell right back at them, they will tell somebody his daughter is just nasty. what does that do? that doesn't do anything. so my challenge to you is, get involved, be pleasant, especially when yelled at. and remember that together i know our country has a great future. >> to watch the rest of this visit our website at search for jackie gingrich cushman or the title of her book "our broken america" using the search box at the top of the


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