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tv   After Words Andrea Bernstein American Oligarchs  CSPAN  February 3, 2020 12:01am-1:02am EST

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>> very happy to be joined here by andrea bernstein the cohost of the trump inca podcast common important podcasts. we offer the new book american ogle her i love this book. one of the things that struck me about reading this book is you are the perfect person for this because you have immersed yourself in new york and new jersey politics and real estate and business for a career. and now we have not only the
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trump and the kushner's and so many other new jersey new yorkers who are running for president, there's cory booker, there's rudy giuliani in the middle of everything. why do you think right now there's so many new yorkers and new jersey folks who are at the upper levels of power in american politics? >> you know it's such an innocent question because for so many years, when i was covering new york politics there is a sense that new york was sort of out in the cold. not of course like people like hillary clinton he rallies he ran for president from new york. but because there's a sense that somehow because i new york was in iowa or new hampshire really wasn't an important state except for fundraising purposes. and one of the things that happened when trump was elected president, he was so of this world that he had been covering, a world of new york real estate and wheeling and dealing, and political
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donations, that i felt almost a sense of obligation. i have to cover trump and his business in the white house because i understand this world. i have been spending 25 years, i understand the patterns. and lo and behold, the stories are very similar to the ones i might have been covering 20 years in new york. it's just that the stages so much larger and the consequences are so much more serious now. >> host: absolutely, i found incredibly detailed and encourage people who are trump supporters are people who are not trump supporters to read it and read it carefully. it is very well done. you know one of the first parts the early parts of the book is this very detailed explanation of jared kushner's ancestors who are some of whom are slotted by the nasis and poland. he is jewish and has jewish ancestors in europe. in some of them escape and it's very harrowing and kind
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of a horrifying experience that his ancestors go through. and then some of them escaped not see germany and poland, and make it to america. i do contrast that the number of places with the sort of administration's immigration policy today. is there something -- how do you think jared kushner's wears those two things? >> guest: well i think jared kushner's origin story is a fascinating story and he does talk about being the grandson of holocaust survivors. he talks about is a story of american success. that is grandparents fled the nancy's, survived, made it to america, came from nothing and built a business. and all of that is true, but what is not so apparent is the choices that his grandparents made to get to this country. now, i wanted to be clear, it's an incredible story of bravery and tenacity and escape. his grandmother was part of a
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small group of survivors of several knots the massacres who dug a tunnel out from the knots to get out, out from under the barbed wire and the searchlights, and escapes. they made it to the forest where they live through a brutal polish winter, and after the war they went back to their town. now, they were jews, their town was then part of the soviet union, it was poland before the war and then it was soviet union, and that it was occupied the knocked seas and then is occupied by the soviet union again. announced part of belarus. but they wanted to get out. they boarded a train to budapest saying they were greek because they thought it would be easier to get out. and then once they got to budapest, they walked and took the train, and snuck across borders until they got to a refugee camp at italy. and then they got stuck there for three and half years because even after the holocaust, u.s. immigration laws were very anti-semitic
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and there is a quota for juice. so one point, and this is by the account of the kushner family themselves, they describe it in a book that they wrote about their family history. jared kushner's grandfather took on his wife's maiden name, he had been born and he renamed himself joseph kushner and presented himself as the son of his father-in-law because he understood it would be easier for immigration purposes. and they did get the visas, and they made it to new york. they did what they had to do so that they could build a family and build the business and achieve great success. and ultimately, down the line see their grandson and one of the most powerful positions on earth. at the end of the story is i think everyone knows, the grandson shared christian or works in the white house that is very, very restrictive. when it comes immigration policies and is is in fact
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drastically reducing not only immigration but the number of refugees that are admitted into the u.s. >> host: truly an amazing story of perseverance and courage by his ancestors. an amazing storytelling on your part. you know, now that he is you know people i think you have met jared or have read about him know that faith is a really important part of who he is. obviously i have bunco converted to become an orthodox jew to marry him. and you can see how close he is with his family. how much they care and think about their ancestry. how do you think that faith is in his work in the white house today? >> guest: i think it's a very complicated thread. and the reason i think it's complicated is because there's a couple of narrative lines that run through the book. on one has to do with rules and rule breaking. and obviously the kushner family broke rules to get here.
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they broke rules to achieve success in their business, and jared kushner is continued to break norms in his white house position. obviously he is also a very religious person. and i think exploring that tension makes the book interesting reading because people -- i tried hard not to present any of these people in a mono dimensional way. but to present all the aspects of the characters including the religious faith, and their response to it. >> host: one question on this that continues to sorta veto me a little bit, is obviously is now part of it administration that has a very strict immigration policy which many, many american support and others opposed. and i think you mentioned in the book there's a low of only 18000 refugees being allowed into america recently. at the same time he's so proud of his ancestors who were immigrants and refugees. do you think that jared
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kushner always supports fully believes in the administrations of them unchecked immigration policy? or do you think he sorta puts up with that so he can work on other things in advance other issues that are more important him? >> guest: every time jared kushner's about this he unequivocally supports his father-in-law. now jared kushner comes from a family where loyalty and family ties are prized above everything, and he married into such a family. but i have never heard him criticize his father-in-law in the least. and whenever he is asked about his father-in-law's policies, he supports them one 100%. one thing that was interesting to me coming from new york, is there worse -- so the kushner family was a big family of democratic donors at one point. and a lot of democrats in new york assumed or felts, or thought that jared kushner and evocative from where one of them. that's how they saw. that they believed in their
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causes, they believed the candidates. there were quite a few of them who told me that when jared kushner in about cattrall point to the white house, they felt they would have a back channel. that they would be able to prevail upon them to shape the president's policies. and there's a lot of levels of betrayal in my book. and there is family betrayal and there's brother against brother, brother against sister, but there is also the story of the betrayal of new york. and the people that thought they were part of jared kushner's world and evocative trumps world, but were surprised when they got to the white house and their entreaties were rebuffed. this is something i heard over and over again. >> right actually thought are the same time. it's very interesting to hear about garrett and ivanka because relationship with rupert murdoch and how his family and have a vacation together. what you make of that relationship what you think that jared and evocative learn
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from mr. murdoch? >> guest: it's an interesting thing because jared kushner, when he was about 25 or 26 years old, bought a weekly newspaper called the new york observer. and people who works there, at the time sort of understood his politics to be kind of left centrist. and many of them told me that over the years they would be surprised that jared kushner would come in on monday morning and he would say well, ivanka can i were with rupert or roberta wendy murdoch when they were married, and spoke about their weekend trips. first it was sort of a social thing, and then jared kushner began espousing more conservative ideas, and his newspaper, on his editorial page in the new york observer did too. and people thought more and more as in the model of proper
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murdoch publications where's understood that the publication served a particular agenda. >> host: absolutely. you know one of the things i think this book does best is it really details every chapter of president trump's real estate career. and he do it and really incredible detail. i encourage people who have either gotten to know the president by watching the apprentice are reading about him, but this is a really detailed account of how he made his money. you can see many steps along the way in which mr. trump committed or nearly committed some kind of fraud or left business partners out to dry. and in many cases made money anyway. and a certain portion of his moneymaking is relying on government programs, which might surprise some people given his, you know political position. would you maybe just share a couple of examples of times where the president used different programs advances
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business? >> guest: sure so the studio where i'm sitting right now is across the street from the grand hyatt hotel which used to be known as the commodore hotel. this was the deal that made donald trump a real estate mogul. his father. trump, had been a successful real estate developer but is mostly in brooklyn and queens and the outer boroughs of new york. thought of was much more interested in manhattan. trump thought manhattan was too risky, but donald trump wanted to come in. he had his eyes on this particular piece of property next to grand central terminal. but he wanted a tax break. he wanted a tax giveaway from the government. and he managed to ply his political connections, which were sort of bequeaths from his father. his father had been a member of the club called the madison political club in brooklyn for decades. and he, later donald gave a lot of money and they went to the fundraising dinners, and they hired the lawyers for the club, and they were very tight. out of that club came made her
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being. so when donald trump wanted to buy, purchase the commodore hotel he had a meeting with the property owner and he said we need to get a meeting with the mayor. he got a meeting with the mayor the next day. and the mayor said anything they want, with his arms around. and donald trump, anything they want they get. and once donald trump was able to get was the first tax break for commercial real estate for a hotel and the history of near city. it had never been done before. said there had been maybe breaks with affordable housing but this was a commercial project. it was the biggest tax break in the history of new york. and when he got it, he sort of fooled both sides. so we told the bank that he had state approval when he did not. and he told the state that he had bank approval, when he did not.
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and in fact, he filed a document with the states without the signature of the bank. but no one apparently noticed that it was unsigned by the bank when they approve the deal. and then, he boasted about all of this in "the art of the deal". so that was how donald trump became an manhattan real estate developer, was through this project that was beset with political connections, and fraud, and self-dealing, and double dealing, and that was really the beginning. and after that he went on to other projects. he went on to trump tower that was put together in a similar way and his many, many other manhattan real estate projects that all had a similar outline of him working his political connections and being unabashed about not telling the truth when it served his business interest, which is a pattern that all of us who cover this now still see today. >> host: yeah, i think many people are familiar with trump being viewed as a bad boy of real estate. and his character on the
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apprentice, he's cutting through red tape and firing people, and willing to take big risks. people who have read his books, obviously, have learned about the lessons that he learned in atlantic city and in the casino businesses et cetera. he also obviously runs a foul a lot of times and they are documented examples where he has said the bin finder had to pay settlements to people. trump university is an example of that. even though this is a real estate all of his history of what you know now is there an example where he kind of nearly got caught when he didn't get away with something that maybe would have been changed his career in a meaningful way? speak to oso many times. i mean one involve the very hotel which i was discussing across the aspect of the deal. he came under scrutiny from the prosecutors in the eastern district of new york and the grand jury was impaneled and
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trump was under investigation for possibly hiring a lawyer, buying up a lawyer essentially work for the other side. and when he was under investigation his lawyer said why don't you meet with the fbi agent your father's house. he met with fbi agent at us father's wife with his wife of vada and his toddler son don junior. there were no charges. for years the fbi started to look at something that donald trump does, and he charms the agents, he takes them in his helicopter, takes them to the 21 club, and they come away impressed and dazzled. and do not ultimately investigate him. so this happens in deal after deal after deal where he escapes scrutiny. it's the most interesting, recent example was a story we
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wrote that involved his adult children. vodka and donald trump junior big in real trouble and criminal trouble and love to hear more about it and again it's a lot of lawsuits and disagreements of partners et cetera my think that's an example is very recent it is close to criminal charges. as of the trump family have lied and vastly overstated how many units were sold. so what's important is anyone who buys real states understands that if you buy real estate, in an apartment
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building or on the street, the real estate is more valuable if people live in all the houses nest dort and less those houses or apartments are empty. the trumps were sued for saying they were 60% fault when they were in fact not even 15% full. and the manhattan district attorney gets a look at it and starts to investigate. and he investigates, and he investigates, and it moves through the office. and there is an e-mail trail in which trumps adult children are seen discussing this misrepresentation, and they are clear knowledge of it. some people who had seen the e-mails, told me that there is no doubt that they had knowledge, which is sort of what it takes to build a criminal case. but the trumps first hired a very powerful, well-connected and high-powered team of white collared lawyers to try to make it go away.
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and they didn't make it go away. the das team kept proceeding with the case. so then trump's personal attorney, mark has a witch who i'm sure is familiar to a number of viewers, who had been a major donor, one of the largest donors to the manhattan district attorney, met with the district attorney and three months later over the objection of the prosecutors in his office, the district attorney close the case don junior, don senior, of uncle trump were never prosecuted for felony fraud in manhattan. but this was fairly close to and donald trump was getting ready to run for president. and people we spoke to, people close the trumps, thought this would have been a very, very bad situation. and it's one of the cases where the trump family has come closest to criminal charges on main that was an investigation that was in full flower.
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>> host: yeah and again there's a lot of lawsuits and disagreements with partners et cetera by think it was recent and very close to criminal charges. >> guest: right i mean i think it explains a lot of overseeing now with the impeachment situation and the other congressional investigations and with the current investigation by the manhattan d.a. into trumps practices where the president is a private businessman who is extremely adept at fending off criminal investigations. so he might harm fbi agents, he might threaten people, he might hire well-connected lawyers, he might, as he did for many years support the favored charity of the manhattan district attorney. there were all kinds of ways that he could get himself into good grace with law enforcement in new york and new jersey. he befriended a u.s. attorney in new jersey named chris christie when he had a lot of gambling interest going.
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so he made sure that he understood who his friends were and they understood who he was. and he was able to make it work for him. he was never charged in any criminal case. it is interesting to have that background sort of in the rearview mirror as we go into the impeachment situation where he is being called into account and there is a public bracketing. and in some ways even though he's president, he is not able to make things go away as he once did. i think we can see now where the impeachment trial is going. but one of the things, the interesting dynamic is having it written about a reported is all these decades of ways donald trump avoided law enforcement to actually be confronted with it first of the mueller report and now the house impeachment inquiry, i think it's revealing insight into how he must feel when investigators are literally at his doorstep. >> host: wright, a price feels like he's been through some
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thing like this similar before. which is amazing kind of thing to say but he's escaped so many situations where he seemed like he was up against it and got out of it. spieth to over and over again. >> host: yeah this book is filled with close calls again and again and again in this book and you know it doesn't look like you said impeachment will knock him out of the white house either. >> guest: and fact if past is prologue it will embolden him. >> host: sure. >> guest: escapes the jaws of the law and he becomes bolder next time. we saw that with the muller report. muller testified and after his testimony was sort of widely sought to be a dud, the very next day the president trump call the president of ukraine and asked him to do us a favor though. and that's a pattern that you see with donald trump and authors career and is the one thing i trace in this book. >> host: one of the last sort of ten or 15 years of
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president trump's career and you detail this wellin your buggy comes out of the atlantic city and that's all behind him but is still not being liked by any banks. and then he sort of manages to go through a number of different relationships to get some very large loans from the doocy bank. in this part of his career there's snippets were donald trump junior they talk about doing business with the russians and there's russian purposes of real estate and it all adds up to we are through the mueller report & liberals are still hoping that there is some unknown russian money or pollutant is behind trumps real estate empire in some way why do you think the odds are that there is still some business connection between putin, russia, and the trumps? >> i just think we don't know. we don't have the president's tax returns. as you know, congress tried to
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get information about the bank and they filed a subpoena and they said we are investigating money laundering and we need to understand what happened in these practices. and trump sued the bank to prevent the bank from releasing any information even though the bank was willing to turn over those documents. that case is now going to the supreme court and will be heard in march before the supreme court. so we will learn perhaps if donald trump or the bank will have to turn over any of that information. so the answer is, but we just don't have the documents and we don't have the data. as you well know it's one of the fundamental frustrations about covering the trump is he has vast international interest, and net works, and we don't know who his investors are. we don't know to whom he owns money and we don't know who his partners are. because the u.s. system, the system of disclosure is not
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really set up to demand that information. there sort of a first level of disclosure, but it doesn't really tell you who the people are. >> host: sure. >> guest: so i feel like it's unsure. but one of the things i really spent a lot of time thinking about in my book, as i covered corruption and money in politics for decades in new york. and one of the things that i did not realize, was the flow of international former soviet union money into new york real estate. so much money began coming in, really in the early part of the century. it began flowing into real estate around the city and really, really propping it up. and this is coming at the period where the trumps cannot get in eight u.s. banks to support them, which is
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astounding when you think about it because the president of the united states is having trouble doing with american banks because they were so burnt by him. so when he got his bank that's where he was looking to his look into foreign licensing deals, he was looking to south korea college of the former soviet union, to anybody who could put money into his properties that wasn't going to the scrutiny of u.s. banking system. and this happens at the same time that capital is flowing into new york, more generally. and it does appear that the trump family was able to harness that, and through a lot of really good investigative reporting, some of your own and some other journals, we have a clearer picture of that. but i still feel we are only seeing really a tiny sort of crack of light in the door. and not really the full light of day of what we would need
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to see to understand what these relationships are. >> host: sure that make sense to me. a ivanka trump of course along with jarrett is now a white house advisor, presidential advisor. you go through her career in great detail also. what do you think her role was at the presidents company when when they were in the private sector? >> guest: so i think there's a couple of roles a ivanka had and i think on a sort of general level she was really in charge of the hospitality business the hotels. which by the way, the hotel business prior to trumps presidency generally got higher rankings than some of the other pieces of business that trump did. and a lot of new yorkers have said to me that when she was starting out, so she didn't go to the trump organization right from college but almost. and they have said to me that when she was starting out that
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trump would put her on the phone. they wouldn't really understand why this was happening but it happened to journals, bankers, public officials they were talking to donald trump and he would say here's a ivanka. that was something his father did for him to put him forward right into the limelight and very, very early age. so she becomes somebody who sort of reflects back positively on him because she's smart and she understands business. she doesn't seem to have the sort of outer borough kind of with that donald trump has. so in a way, she becomes the person to make everything acceptable in the family business. along the way, is a document my book, there are a number of losses about this, she seems, to herself have dipped into the trump family practices, in particular practices of ms. representation pretty wholeheartedly.
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>> host: i would agree with that in think the soho example is a good one in the dominican republic story that you detail. >> guest: panama? >> host: oya panama that's right. >> guest: there is a lawsuit in baja california where she had basically sends a letter around that turned up in court papers to buyers. this is a property that a development has started right before the great recession. but one of the things of the buyers were particularly upset about, is a ivanka trump kept saying to buyers this property is not subject to market :
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in the white house and out of the white house. >> host: what do you think he will do when he leaves the white house he spent a lifetime in real estate and four to eight
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years in politics. he no longer has residency here in new york. i think it's hard to predict the future. they wanted me to kno to know as is thei their work, donald trums sent on a bus so he thought it was the new york pacific real estate society. they also thought it was so far off the scale. the donald trump is in a category by itself and that is what people wanted me to understand in the real estate
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industry in new york, that he is an outlier in his business practices out as was his father. >> host: what about living in washington now for three or four years and working in the white house and politics that they both have family company back in new york and new jersey, what do you think their aspirations are in the future? >> guest: all we have is what they say. ivanka trump said her focus is in washington and there is a broad national portfolio and white house person.
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going on and on and on so many officials have come and gone and not even 40-years-old, jared kushner is one of the most powerful people on earth, so it is hard to know what they would want to do next. only that the focus is on washington and washington business. ivanka trump speaks about women and families and in a way that someone wanting to have a future political career but to speak. i tried hard to interview ivanka trump and they didn't interview me so i could ask them a question myself also if i ever had the opportunity, i would be interested to know. >> host: i was interested if
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you knew them before they got into politics. >> guest: some before they got into politics glancingly said they were part of the world that i covered and. in the course of covering and i covered the new york government. during the 201 2016 campaign is impossible to isolate the day before the first caucus of 2016
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and he introduces his daughter was us in a surprise and he introduces his son-in-law and i was really surprised to see jared kushner. he wasn't someone to get on stage with a presidential candidate and that is the point at which i began to be interested in the role they were playing in a campaign. i'd been covering the court cases that have been addressing this issue it might run to the
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wall and the district attorney has been the limitation and crimes were committed 2011. the classic rumsfeld as president trump gets reelected almost certainly it would run out on many of these things however if the case is going to the supreme court it is possible they will decidpossibletable bee president president cannot be investigated they couldn't even
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investigate a sitting president so long as the perso that person office and that is fundamentally change our understanding of the role of checks and balances in the government system. that is one of the reasons i call my book american oligarchs because the conclusion, and i'm a very fact-based reporter, and i won't to understand stuff based on the can text. it is less to account if the court cases are sort of a sick attempt stepping stone on that if the supreme court rules they cannot be investigated for anything we do have a situation
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where a president is given permission to act in an oligarchic by. one judge even said they cannot be kingswood is on the mind of the judiciary but the unsettled right now and we will find out when the supreme court term and in june what is going to become of the cases and it will affect the future of democracy whether it remained to recognizable in what we see now or whether we have a situation where there is no accountability. one of the things that is interesting to me in the impeachment hearing is that the u.s. diplomats were talking about how one of the goals of the u.s. foreign-policy was to set up a system of government in ukraine where the government officials could be held to account and when people cannot be held to account leads to
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corruption and its bipartisan policy, so why our bipartisan group of policy professionals is arguing ukraine has more accountability in the government and the president is arguing they have to have one is. >> host: obviously we have rulings on the presidential power whether a president can be investigated on the grounds that apply titwould apply to presidee future on either party would be -- >> host: >> guest: exactly. one of the things i ask myself is president trump at this point has appointed to supreme court justices and be interested for example have often his record is a great believer in presidential power whether you can call the
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president and to account. it's going to be lost in the impeachment trial and a very significant moving forward. >> host: your book does an excellent job explaining a lot of the chronology of the life and policy changes and court cases that have made wealthy americans much wealthier today and obviously much more powerful today and you've made some comparisons between now and the gilded age that have had incredible power over politics. do you think we are in a sort of new gilded age and is that true
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where we have a business type to become president etc.? it was a pushback president teddy roosevelt came in and there was president franklin roosevelt and the advocate of taxation and rules to make the senate elections more democratic
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to spread democracy and reduce the wealth inequality. for the money to get into the elections. after the citizens united case this was a case in which it was decided that there could be basically in an limited flow of corporate money and president obama said this is going to open the floodgates to the foreign influence and that really cut me
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short because i hadn't realized that was a discussion than that when you make it so easy for dark money to come into the campaigns, campaign contributions usethe campaigncow each of these successive court decisions a bit harder and harder for people like you and me to track what is going on. you could spend a whole year on what the playability is to some political action group to try to figure out who is giving to elections and robert mueller for example found that ukrainians had illegally purchased tickets to the inaugural so there is an indictment for funneling the foreign money so this is happening as a result of the court decisions that was easier and easier and it's also happening in donald trump is in the white house had spent his
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entire career trying to get around campaign finance laws with the understanding that from his perspective, his money buys him power ended the 2,015th campaign he said when i called them two or three years later they are there for me. >> obviously president trump ran a campaign on being a businessman an and as much as anyone you have detailed all of that sort of false falsities keenest native settlements to make over the career that you said he would bring about tremendous economic growth and the economy has been really strong the entire time he's been president in terms of unemployment and the stock market. how much credit do you think that he should get the state of the economy right now? >> guest: and it's going well
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it is always renowned positively but the important indicator in terms of the historical terms is to look at the wealth inequality so you have some people doing very well but if you have a situation where you have bad inequality is a strain on the economic syste system and it ist sustainable so i think it is a hard question to answer. you've looked at the business practices and i have singing the practices into the white house i don't think it means what people thought it meant when they elected him they thought you bring a businessman at the white house, you bring efficient management. instead what we have seen our conflicts of interest, why is, financial shenanigans, the situation where you know so many people feel they have to go for
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a party further show up because they understand he will look favorably if they give money to him so that is the business the president brought to the white house not to the efficient management editing with its waste, fraud and abuse which is that is that mitt romney kind of effect would trump has brought is something else entirely. >> host: you outlined very low the rule breaking they were both born into wealthy families and have broken rules in certain cases. how much of their power, success and wealth should we attribute
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to their own talent and efforts and how much should we attribute to the fact it is easy to be wealthy in this country if you start wealthy? >> guest: one of the things i want to talk about is the intergenerational train for the wealth and how the families have benefited from the schemes to avoid paying taxes and what that means is the next generation becomes richer and there's an economic study that was done what happens to the very rich and begin 1981 which is the year they were born so the line on a the chart shoots upwards and that is what is happening with the rich and the very wealthy
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people are just getting wealthier and wealthier very, very fast and it's impossible to answer the question because the amount of money transferred from generation tonegeneration to ths increasingly unfettered ability to flow at the end of the story and we know there was a recent analysis by the global labor hundreds of billions of dollars lost from the tax bill but it's going to cross a trillion dollars, so we see the situation
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where they are able to hold onto more of their wealth and the government is getting much less in revenue as a result of these broad historical trends and then capped. >> host: one of my favorite themes in the book he was his fixer and threaten people if he needed to and pay people off to make sure that story didn't have to become public and you are in court with a family member and
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she's crying there in front of you and it made me think that you have sympathy for michael cohen even though they were federal crimes and campaign fraud. >> guest: so, i think that we were speaking earlier and it's easy especially in the spurts of time to see people as paper cutout dolls as real human characters. we did some hard hitting reporting before he was indicted. we were out in the field when his office and home were raided
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by the fbi and i covered the trajectory and what became interesting to me in the court cases and the testimony that he gave if he talked about the situation very familiar to me where he went to work for donald trump and it felt so exciting like anything could happen and then he asked to cross the line and then once you cross the line, donald trump would ask him to cross another line even further off the edge and michael cohen would do that and they did so many times you can go back and that is the situation that the number of people that i have reported on the books over the years base become a coast but td the lines for him and they were
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stuck. they said i did this crime, but i did this crime to help the political campaign of somebody else. what he said, and i'm paraphrasing now is why is it that person is also being called to account and he gets up in court inserts to say to the judge i'm sorry. she looks at it and wipes her
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eyes and michael cohen can hear her crying -- >> host: it is a very sad scene i think it is something we've seen over and over again with people that have been close to donald trump and would do anything or donald trump but when they veer from the path, donald trump one reason or another projects done we spend a lot of time reporting on the conflicts of interest and concern about the conflict of interest between the company and of the administration which he and his family said they would keep separate when he was elected but now they travel all
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the time to the various problems with this hotel etc.. but, you know, the president's salarsalary still remains uncleo me whether the president is making more money because he is president or making less money while he's president. what do you think of that? >> guest: i agree. i'd like to know if the president is profiting from the presidency. what i think is clear to all of us is the president has brought in a certain way of being. if you use the government for the resources as their businesses and in some ways it
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unraveled the roots of the ukraine scandal if the desire intersecting it is clear trump has brought that approach to the white house and has permeated to the government so i think it is a question about him shaping the entire style of government in a way that helps expand the power, and that is certainly happening even in the personal bottom line it is this power he has been able to enhance and i think that is what we need to keep our eye
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on. >> host: do you think that if the family all returned to new york that they will be welcomed back in some way blacks their friends are very wealthy and well-to-do. people like themselves, could they come back to new york in nd to view the private sector and go back to the life before and or would they have to live in florida or somewhere else like that? >> guest: they did change the residency to florida's other is that. this is what is clear. donald trump gets a lot of criticism in new york and the new york society for his policies and his fielded style the presidency. that is very loud. he is also among the entire
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state he isn't a popular president although you know he is popular in parts of the country. i covered political campaigns. i covered six political campaigns and when you cover the political campaigns, all everybody wants you to see if he was going to win and what is going to happen. every story is a wa is the weeku could answer the question by hedging your bets. and after the electionof 2016, i got out of the prediction business because they realized they didn't understand the forces at play in right field at his word to predict political futures, so i'm going to take a pass on answering that question.
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>> host: you said earlier today that you felt like you have an obligation to write the book. obviously we are living in an incredibly polarized america politically and we have a president who is relentlessly telling people not to believe what the press writes about him and says on the radio etc.. you touched on this a little bit at the end of the book but you say why you thought it was worth it to write this because it seems to excel in the americans decided what they think about donald trump already and whether they like him or do not like him and in some ways it feels like more information isn't effecting anything right now is there a chance that your book and
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reporting about the president could have some differences in the election or going forward? >> guest: mine but i hope my book inspired not just now but nexwithnext. tebut next. ten years from now because i don't need to toy story of the multi-generation story about the families they need to understand how it works and where we came from. there's a lot of material out there that looks at what is happening for example specifically in the white house right now. people can read and think about and discuss the debate for years been methe matter what the polil parties are. it's meant to be an aggregation of the facts that people can put into the political machines. it's been to tell a stor totalls in our time.
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and i have enough faith in the country i believe there are people that want a and want to understand what is going on and saying we are going to tel wereu what is happening and face the truth we still believe in it and we believe in journalism and an end we are going to continue and upholding the standard we are doing something important that democracy. the press is the only one of the constitution i feel a particular obligation to do the right thing


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