Skip to main content

tv   Washington Ideas Forum - Part 2  CSPAN  October 6, 2017 3:05pm-4:17pm EDT

3:05 pm
and then each corner has -- one corner has white flag, one a red flag, one black and one yellow. and those are the native american colors that symbolize the four directions of the compass. >> and hear about lewis and clark's encounter with members of the lakota sioux, and why that meeting was so important to the area. watch c-span city's tour of pierre, south dakota, saturday at noon eastern on c-span 2's book tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3. the c-span cities tour, working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. now, more from the washington ideas forum, as treasury secretary steve mnuchin talks about the administration's tax reform proposal. then, white house correspondents share their thoughts on the 2016 presidential campaign and the first few months of the trump presidency.
3:06 pm
we're going to get to tax reform, because that's a very big issue. set in motion by the president yesterday. but i want to talk about a couple of issues that are also related to the treasury department, because they're an important part of what you do and the country is trying to achieve. specifically with north korea. david petraeus was just on the stage a few moments ago saying he and others are discouraged by the recent trade numbers indicating that china is still trading with north korea. new sanctions were applied last week. what is your level of confidence those sanctions will change materially? the chinese behavior? and can you clarify, because there's been different reporting about this, what exactly chinese banks are and are not doing going forward with north korea? >> sure. so first of all, thank you for bringing that up. because i think it's a very important topic. i did have the opportunity to go with the president to the u.n. general assembly last week. it really was an incredible experience. sitting in the general assembly and listening to his speech. he also signed last week in new
3:07 pm
york an executive order, which gives the treasury department the most extensive powers on sanctions that we have ever had. and specifically, it allows us at treasury to sanction any financial institution or other entity that does any trade or facilitates any trade on a go-forward basis with north korea. so these are very important powers. we'll be careful in using them. but we think they are going to have a very big impact. and, again, i emphasize, that's on a going-forward basis. >> have they been exercised yet? >> they haven't. okay? we did have sanctions this week that was additional sanctions that we were allowed to do under the executive order. but as it relates to financial institutions, as i've told my counterparts, it will be on a go-forward basis. obviously, we're concerned about historical activity.
3:08 pm
we're monitoring the go-forward activity. and we're having ongoing discussions. so we think this will have a big impact. >> the central bank of china is or is not going forward going to do financial business with north korea? >> again, i've had very direct conversations with the governor. i don't want to comment on all the specifics, but they understand -- >> the president has said they won't. >> again, the -- they came out, and they made a representation as to what they do and what they won't do. and we hope and expect that they'll follow through on that. >> are you discouraged as general petraeus said he was by the trade numbers? >> i'm not discouraged by anything. i think this president has taken a very different position. i think for too long this has been an issue that's just continued. you know, we've watched it. i think the president made very clear that the activities with north korea are unacceptable. threats of hydrogen bombs being
3:09 pm
tested over the pacific are completely unacceptable and our objective is to denuclearize the peninsula. >> i want to ask you, before we get to tax reform, about something you said in the springtime about your role in relationship to the u.s. economy. and you were asked a question about artificial intelligence and automation. >> yes. >> you said, it's not even on my radar screen. the reason i bring this up is the company you used work for, goldman sachs, put out a research paper describing artificial intelligence and automation as the apex technology of the 21st century american economy, meaning it is something that is here and now. did you or have you reevaluated that sense of the importance of either automation or artificial intelligence in terms of where the u.s. economy is going and how policy ought to be shaped to deal with it? >> well, i hate to accuse the fake news of doing things, but this is one of the times where my quote was misrepresented. so they didn't say the entire
3:10 pm
context. what i said was, technology is having a very big impact in the work force. i specifically think that robotics -- and i commented at the time that robotics are an important part of the work force. and quite frankly, i think that's a positive thing. it's taking over jobs that are not necessarily jobs that humans need to do. what i was referring to is artificial intelligence, and i specifically referenced r2-d2 for the "star wars" fans out there. i said, it's going to be a long time before pure artificial intelligence, okay, takes over. that was not -- and that wasn't on my radar screen. that wasn't referencing whether it's robotics, whether it's tunnels with automated cars. technology is here, and having a very big impact. >> and how does what the president introduced yesterday and what congressional republicans have embraced largely, though not completely,
3:11 pm
relevant to technology and preparing the american economy for the 21st century challenges? >> well, i think what yesterday was about, and tax reform -- what's important is that we make american business competitive. that right now, independent of technology -- which, by the way, we've been a leader in technology for long periods of time and advances. but independent of that, we have one of the highest business tax rates in the world. we tax on worldwide income, which virtually no one else does. if we have this concept of deferral, if you leave the money offshore, you don't pay. it's not a surprise. there's trills trillions of dollars offshore. so what the president talked about yesterday is, he's focused on economic growth. to get economic growth, we need to have business tax reform for corporates and pass-throughs. middle income tax cut and simplification. >> it has been said that the optimistic appraisals of the impact of your tax reform plan could bring domestic growth,
3:12 pm
gdp, to 6%. are you that optimistic? >> that is optimistic. okay? >> is that built into your own framework for it paying for itself? >> again, what we have scored it to, and we will score it to, is 2.9% gdp over ten years, which is scaling up to 3%. we think that's very, very doable. we think we can do higher than that. but if we get to the 3%, as i mentioned, 2.9% over ten years, that's $2 trillion of additional revenues. that's $10 trillion of economic activity. and not only will this tax plan pay for itself, but it will pay down debt. >> and that pay for itself comes from that projected economic growth. >> that's correct. >> because you're about $2 trillion short, even when you look at your pay-fors in the details released so far. at least according to the committee for responsible -- >> yeah, i don't think those numbers are right. i think it's actually, you know, what we're trying to achieve is $1.5 trillion static, okay?
3:13 pm
but that i would describe as baseline. there's about $500 billion between baseline and policy. to the extent we have a policy and we're rolling it over every year, i think it's the right thing to look at towards policy. so that's $1 trillion versus policy. and, again, if we get those $2 trillion, that means we go 1 trillion positive in paying down the debt. >> so as you approach this audience and the country generally on this issue, your position is, don't worry about the deficit. there will be no deficit implications if this tax reform plan is signed into law. >> i would say it slightly differently. you should worry about the deficit. we have gone from $10 trillion to $20 trillion of debt. that's concerning. we need to create economic growth. and we think our projections are very reasonable. so i think 2.9% is a very reasonable number to project this to. >> you know, mr. secretary, the statutory corporate tax rate is 35%. but there are many studies,
3:14 pm
congressional research service, treasury, cbo, that say the effective average corporate tax rate is about 24%. so cutting it to 20%, how much difference would that really make, and is it worth giving up that revenue for 4% differential? or delta? >> well, i think that, you know, that's your argument of exactly why we need tax reform and why we need tax cuts. because people spend so much time trying to figure out how to get around whether it's special interest or other tax things, to get around paying a very, very high tax rate. and they don't pay it anyway. so this is about broadening the tax pace and making it fairer. [ applause ] thank you. >> when you talk about rates, 12%, 25%, 35%. if i understand it correctly, we still don't have income brackets assigned to those rates. why not? >> again, we've done a lot of work on this. you know, i think the point we're trying to make is we spent
3:15 pm
a lot of time on this. we can't have six people design the entire tax code. we have -- i think we've done a great job. the house and senate. we're far apart when we started this. we have everybody on the same page. we have talked about brackets. but as opposed to releasing them, we're going to work with the committees. the committees have the right to have input. they're the ones who actually write the bills. and we're working on that. but let me just comment on the 12% rate. because when you raise the standard deduction, effectively the 10% rate disappears, and people who were paying 10% are going to pay 0. so, again, this is about creating middle income tax relief and simplification. >> gary cohn was on cnbc this morning. he's the top economic adviser within the white house. he said the president is open to a fourth tax rate. maybe 39%, maybe just under the current 39.5. is that true? >> so we did put in the release
3:16 pm
that we have designed the rates. we said that the committees will contemplate a fourth rate to the extent we do that, that would be if we need additional money for middle class reforms. and, again, there's people who have different views on whether we should do that or whether we shouldn't do that. but the president is committed. this is not about a tax cut for the rich and i can tell you, in the high tax dates, i've had the pleasure of living in new york and california. i mean, i can tell you, my taxes are going up, in any event, not down. and getting rid of deductions is worth over five percentage points on the high tax states. >> can you say to this audience and the country that when this proposal reaches the president's desk, one of the president's absolutely must-haves is a distributional analysis that shows the wealthy, be even though, if you win this argument, the estate tax will be eliminated, alternative minimum tax will be eliminated. the distributional tables will
3:17 pm
reveal that the top 1% will not get a tax cut. >> again, it's been the president's objective from the beginning and i think you know this have been dubbed the mnuchin rule. this is not about tax cuts for the wealthy. now, i would just comment, we're talking about income taxes. obviously, if we change the estate tax, that has a different distributional. but it's the president's objective that income taxes will not be a cut on the wealthy. and, again, different states have different impacts on this. but that's our objective. >> let's talk about the different states for a second. you mentioned california and new york. they are one of several higher-tax states. one of the acronyms that gets kicked around in the tax debate is s.a.l.t. state and local taxes. this proposes to eliminate the federal tax deduction for what any income earner pays in local and state taxes. there are 52 congressional republicans representing districts, that according to irs data, those congressional
3:18 pm
districts paid higher than the average state and local tax, about $3800 a year. peter king is one of them. and he said he can't vote for any tax reform proposal that eliminates state and local taxes. if you lose those 52 or even a large percentage of those 52 house republicans, how do you pass this? >> well, first of all, don't you love that politicians -- we have our own language with acronyms. >> yes. >> s.a.l.t. i mean, i think the average american, if you start talking about s.a.l.t., okay, we're thinking we're talking about dinnertime, okay? but, yes, that's now referred to as state and local taxes. look, i think, and i said, this doesn't help me. this hurts me. okay? i think longer-term, getting the federal government out of subsidizing states is the right thing to do. it's just not fair. the federal government should not be in the business of subsidizing states. this is something that started in the house plan, and that we
3:19 pm
have agreed with. obviously, you know, for people in california and in new york and new jersey and connecticut and other places, we understand the impact. that's why, as we look at the rates, again, even at the 35, it's still -- they're not getting a tax break. thank y but this is something we'll work with congress on. >> is it negotiable? >> again, what i would say is, this is a pass/fail exercise, and we want to get tax reform done. so, you know, i would say the president's number one issue that's not negotiable is 20% corporate taxes. and, again, we have a plan. this is a plan that's had a lot of support from congress. and we look forward to working with the committees. >> to get tax reform, you need a reconciliation mechanism, which means you have to pass a budget resolution in the house and senate. some of the freedom caucus members would like $200 billion in entitlement cuts as part of that budget resolution.
3:20 pm
can you live with that? >> again, i think that, as you said, we do need a budget. i believe that if we get a tax plan that people want to support in congress, we will get a budget that goes along with that. >> one will lead to the other. >> one will lead to the other. and they will go through together, but obviously they're connected. >> and can i get you to be a little bit more specific on your orientation no this idea -- because you need the freedom caucus votes on the budget resolution, about fixed titlement cuts. >> i have a lot of respect for them. i've had a lot of conversations with the senate, budget. this is a congressional issue. and we'll work with them as budgets are developed in both the house and the senate. >> as a conceptional idea, are you in favor of getting rid of the debt ceiling as a matter of law, and as a matter of practice on capitol hill? >> so, i think -- >> talked to the president about this two weeks ago, and he was
3:21 pm
very open to the idea, in his own words. >> exactly. so i think as you know, there are certain things i came to a lot of experience with in this job. there are certain things i didn't. the debt ceiling i had heard a lot about the debt ceiling, but until you actually go through a debt ceiling, it's a little bit different. so i was operating the government like a piggy bank. i would be sitting there every day with my team, looking at our cash numbers and managing the cash and watching what came in and came out. and we were operating the government with way too little cash. so the first thing is, i was very happy the debt ceiling got raised. the first thing i did that day was raise an extra $20 billion for same-day settlement increase our cash. that's how concerned i was. you know, my view is that congress has every right -- they appropriate the money, they get to decide how we spend the money. but when we agree to spend the money, we need to agree to be able to pay for it. so whether we get rid of it or
3:22 pm
whether we approve a debt ceiling simultaneously, with spending, i think in one form or another, we need to figure out over time how to fix this system. because at the end of the day, the republicans and the democrats agree, we're not going to not pay our government debt and our other government -- >> it's inconceivable. >> it's absolutely inconceivable. >> now, share with us the internal conversations, because this is a live issue. and there are those in the administration i've talked to, nick mulvaney and budget director, wonders, might the white house or future president give up leverage that comes with a debt ceiling vote. others have said that's leverage that you can find lots of other different ways and it really creates unnecessary ripples of anxiety. not just in the domestic economy, but in the international appraisal of the united states. where do you come down on that? >> again, this is something that we want to figure out on a longer-term basis. obviously, my number-one issue was making sure the debt ceiling got raised. i'm happy it not only got raised to december 8th, but my special
3:23 pm
powers got refilled. the treasury super powers. we takes us into next year. so -- >> how far into next year? >> again, what i would say for now is, i'm comfortable we can fund the government through january. i don't have enough visibility beyond that. but i am comfortable that, you know, we're not going to be in a situation on december 8th where we default on the government if we don't agree to this. i'm hopeful that as part of the december 8th negotiations, and, again, it's critical -- you know, the president could have done a longer deal, but wanted to make sure we had military funding. and that is an important part of the december 8th negotiations. i'm hopeful that the debt ceiling will be extended. >> back to your appraisal of future projections on gdp growth. 2.9%. if we're pretty much there now, what's so exciting and dynamic about tax reform if we're going to end up at 2.9 or 3.2?
3:24 pm
isn't the idea to get much higher than that? >> i've never said we're going to end up at 2.9 or 3%. what i've said is, i'm very comfortable -- >> with that projection. >> we can get to higher than 3% sustained gdp growth. so i think we're using very, very conservative numbers in the pay-fors. and as you said, i think there's a lot of expectations already in the economy since the president has been elected -- >> some of this has been baked into the cake. >> it's baked in. we're going to get tax reform. we have regulatory relief. we're going to get more. and the economy -- we've had numbers that look very, very good. quicker than we even expected. that people are reacting to the anticipation of all this economic changes. >> let me throw the two rs at you. retroactive to the first of this year. yes or no? >> again -- >> on tax reform. >> i think we would like to. but, again, we'll see where we get on that. >> subject to debate and finding the votes. >> correct. >> revenue-neutral.
3:25 pm
>> again, i want to be very clear on revenue-neutral. on a static basis, it won't be revenue neutral. on a dynamic basis, under our projections, not only will it be revenue neutral, it will be revenue positive. >> and for our audience, help them understand if you could, briefly, the difference between static and dynamic. >> sure. static means there's no change in activity. >> people don't change their behavior because they have a different tax code. >> people don't change their behavior. so, again, let's take the corporate rate or pass-through rate. >> or expensing. >> we'll come back to expensing in a second. there's no question, companies spend too much time trying to figure out how to keep money offshore, okay? we think this is going to have a major impact of bringing back trillions of dollars. that money will be invested here, combined with what you said, expensing. we'll create enormous capital investment. and it's going to create enormous jobs and enormous revenues. so by lowering the tax rate, we can actually get a lot more in
3:26 pm
revenues. that people spend a lot more time on figuring out how they get around taxes when they're 35% than when 20%. >> and the dynamic part of it is, assuming changes in behavior, more economic growth, therefore a larger -- >> correct. bigger pie. >> exactly. let me ask you a couple of other issues that have cropped up recently. there have been issues raised about your use of mill air. secretary price's, secretary zinke. the president said yesterday he was unhappy with the situation. has either he or the chief of staff, john kelly, issued a directi directive, to be more specifically, with cabinet secretaries what is or is not per missible and what he wants cabinet secretaries to do when it comes to travel by air? >> again, i can only comment on the situation as it relates to me. i can't comment on other secretaries, because i'm not involved in that. but i can tell you that, no, there has been no different directives as it relates to me. i look forward to -- we're going to have an ig audit.
3:27 pm
>> inspector general. >> inspector general. and i'm very comfortable that we followed all of the proper procedures. i've never had the government pay for any of my personal travel. and the limited number of times we have used mill air, it's been for either national security issues, when i had to have secure communications. i think, as you know, i am on the national security council. and that sanctions and what i'm doing are a very important part of the job. or where there's been times we couldn't get to places when we needed to be there. you know, again, it's expensive. and i understand why taxpayers are concerned about these issues. and again, i'm very comfortable, and i look forward to the ig report reviewing our travel. >> as a general matter, what do you think is the future of paper currency, just in general. how much do you think that will be a part of the way americans transact their business? my own personal transactions -- i don't know about you, are done
3:28 pm
electronically. i carry very little cash with me. just curious about that. and what's the status -- alexander hamilton, harriet tubman, andrew jackson [ laughter ] >> sure. alexander hamilton was the first treasury secretary. let me comment first on currency. i do think the long-term trends are going to be to less physical cash. and i think even -- you know -- i mean, we're very happy with the irs, the number of electronic returns we have now. i think as it relates to government payments, the number of payments that we make to social security holders and others through ach electronically, as opposed to physical checks. so i think the trend towards how we can move away from paper checks and hard currency, i think there is a lot of efficiencies in the economy. i think i am surprised, as others are, in how there still
3:29 pm
is big demand for physical cash. so when you look at the numbers, and even though we have many, many, many more electronic transactions, the cash in circulation -- the physical cash in circulation, hasn't declined at the rates that we may have expected. and i can comment, you know, on integrally involved in all of the hurricane issues as it relates to our part. yesterday -- well, for the last two days, we have been very involved in figuring out how we could get major amounts of cash to puerto rico. i can tell you, we have made two giant cash shipments. and in times like this, we want to make sure that -- >> cash is king. >> people have cash and the economy continues to function. so cash for the foreseeable future is -- physical cash is not going away. >> and before we let you go, harriet tubman and andrew jackson on the $20 billion. >> sure. what i've said before on this is the number one reason --
3:30 pm
>> it's counterfeiting. >> making currency changes is because of counterfeiting. and we look at changes -- there's three or four different parts. some of which are public and some of which aren't in the currencies. that's what i'm focused on at the moment. any change won't be -- i think it's 2028. so these changes are very far out in the future. i'm focused on the moment on how to protect the currency, and the technology changes to it. >> mr. secretary, thank you very much. give it up for treasury secretary, steve mnuchin. [ applause ] ladies and gentlemen, please welcome katy tur, nbc news correspondent, and the author of "unbelievable: my front row seat to the craziest campaign in american history." ♪ glenn thrush. white house correspondent for the "new york times." and robert costa, "washington post" national political reporter and the moderator of
3:31 pm
pbs' "washington week." here to lead the conversation, please welcome margaret carlson. >> well, here we are, all enemies of the people. or as andrea mitchell was getting an award last night in new york for her wonderful work. and she said, we are the eyes and ears of the people. the audience can decide. katie, you were plucked out of the press pen, given a nickname as if you were a candidate, little katie. trump treated you like one. you have the number two "new york times" best-seller. which takes us from -- [ applause ] -- the campaign. yeah. >> i like the smattering of applause. >> yeah. "unbelievable." and it's an unbelievable good read. i want to tell you. spoiler alert. trump wins. [ laughter ] so little katy, just take us
3:32 pm
briefly from being in that press pen and the war of disgust that trump rains on you and in the hallway outside of "morning joe." >> it's interesting to share that nickname now with not marco rubio, but kim jong-un, who is also little rocket man. so back in june of 2015, and robert, you can attest to this. not many folks were taking donald trump as a candidate seriously. he was creating a lot of controversy, and nbc news -- or nbc dropped his universe from the network. macy's was dropping him. univision was dropping him, as well. and nbc news said we need to have a reporter covering trump's campaign. and i was literally just standing around the news room, so they assigned me to this beat. and -- >> and it was going to take six months. >> it was going to take six
3:33 pm
weeks. >> six weeks! >> because he would never release his financial information. and if he did, he wouldn't make it through the first debate. he would surely get laughed off stage. everybody was very wrong about donald trump's prospects. and we got very lucky, because we started taking it seriously much earlier than anybody else did. and i would be following donald trump from campaign rally to campaign rally for months on he said end, where i was the most familiar face to him in a crowd. it would be me and local news reporters or some papers. and he didn't know anybody, so he would walk up to me over and over and over again, and we would end up having longer conversations. but the first time i was ever shared the same air as donald trump was the first rally i ever went to. and that was june 30th of 2015. and he was just honing his greatest campaign hits. mexico is sending rapists, we're going to build a wall, i get the biggest standing ovations of
3:34 pm
anybody. and the media is terrible. a >> and lock her up. >> not yet. this was earlier than that. and then he calls me out from the crowd. katy, you haven't even looked aup at me once. and i remember thinking, how does he know my name, how does he know i was here. and i yelled back at him, you know, i'm tweeting what you're saying. he liked that. and he moved on. [ laughter ] but i became essentially the stand-in for the media. he always knew that if he looked out in that crowd and he saw the press pen back there, and when these lights are on you, you can't see anybody that's standing by these cameras. but he knew that i would be there, because i was at every rally. i had been there from the beginning, so when he wanted to rail against the press, and he wanted to make it personal, he knew that he could call me out, and that i would become the face of it. he also didn't tend to like my reporting all that much, because i was oftentimes fact-checking
3:35 pm
him or saying things that he didn't think were fair. and then there was that -- i mean, i guess the moment that everyone talks about is the moment going into the "morning joe," set. this was also early on, i think september 2015. and donald trump doesn't really know the rules or boundaries of politics. he doesn't know what is appropriate and what is inappropriate. i think that's become pretty clear in what he tweets and what he says. and in this instance, i was -- i just got off the set from "morning joe," i talked about his change of tone in the debate before. he seemed to like it, because he walked in and immediately put his hands on my shoulders and kissed me on the cheek. not an inappropriate thing to do among colleagues or among friends or in a social situation or family gathering. but when it's somebody who is running to sit in the oval office, somebody that's running for president, doing it to a reporter covering his campaign, it can cross a line, and it can make me at the very least seem like i -- my reporting is not
3:36 pm
going to be fair. and i remember thinking to myself, holy s-h-i-t -- >> what? [ laughter ] >> nobody is going to take me seriously. my bosses won't take me seriously. and hoping that the cameras didn't catch it. and as i was asking if the cameras did indeed catch it or if they did not -- they didn't, but i heard donald trump on stage -- on-air with mika and joe say, "what happened to katy tur? she was so great, i had to kiss her." it's an example of how he did not take his candidacy -- i don't want to say seriously, because that's not the right way. but he didn't understand the boundaries of political life, and the boundaries between a candidate and a reporter, and what the role of a free press is. i would venture to say, he still has a hard time understanding
3:37 pm
that today. >> right. [ applause ] he doesn't -- he certainly -- with fake news and the enemies, he doesn't. glenn, i think it's probably safe to say that donald trump has not kissed you. >> joe biden has. [ laughter ] but that's another story for another day. >> yeah. yeah or perhaps another presidential run. trump knows you, though, quite well. maybe from the "saturday night live" parody of you in the hat, because he watches tv, as we know. and he phones you. and he would -- it's a little bit of what happens with katy. he rails against you, but then he embraces you, he phones you, he -- >> my context with trump goes back a little further, and, you know, i think it is note worthy that a lot of people who cover him in the briefing room right now have started off in tabloids
3:38 pm
in new york city. i worked for news day and new york daily news and bloomberg in new york. and i was thinking about this. i may be wrong. but i think prior to covering him as a presidential candidate, my last two interactions with donald trump is not returning his phone calls when he was pushing for an exit ramp on the west side highway for his development program. the thing that killed his west side project. he was just -- in the -- this used to be described -- former mayor ed koch used to be described as unavoidable for comment. [ laughter ] donald trump has taken that schtick national. [ laughter ] i would say cosmic. he's a compulsive communicator. and everything is transactional. he is -- he holds grudges. he ascribes moral characteristics to the way that -- to positive and negative press. if you write something positive about him, it is immediately transformed into a moral virtue.
3:39 pm
if you write something negative about him, it is transformed into a negative moral virtue. but behind the scenes, he's wheeling and dealing. it's like you're negotiating over buying a used car with the guy. he wants to sell you on an idea. and more than anything else, i think people misunderstand him in a fundamental way. he is at heart not a real estate guy, not a politician, not a businessman. he is a salesman. he is what willie lohman would have been had willie lohman been successful. [ laughter ] right? he has that same characteristic of not only wanting to sell you the product, but every great salesman and donald trump is a phenomenal salesman, maybe one of the greatest in the history of this country. dale carnegie, eat your heart out. he sells himself. >> i would say trump has the shoe shine, but not the smile. i'm struck but how little trump actually smiles. you may have seen more of it,
3:40 pm
katy, and glenn, bob, be than i have. but there is never really a joyous moment for him. bob, thank you for seamlessly filling the shoes of glen eiffel at washington week in review. [ applause ] great job. so bring us up to date. this morning you have the piece in the "washington post," which takes us on air force one. trump's returning from huntsville, alabama. now we know that his candidate lost. it seems like trump's hostile takeover of the republican party doesn't mean that he can drag a republican incumbent across the finish line. nor does he have full control of his base, now that general steve bannon is out there. and his candidate won. so he's isolated, he's angry. dare i say he's low-energy on this flight. >> it's an interesting moment for the trump presidency.
3:41 pm
we're about 250 days into trump's term. and he is struggling to navigate washington, but especially to navigate the party he has dominated for about two years now, the republican party. he is searching for wins. and what's so intriguing to cover him is that he's not driven by ideology. he's not driven by the same values that have often shaped the republican parties since ronald reagan's presidency. he's searching for victory and those victories have been elusive. so far he's been able to confirm a supreme court justice but that major win is out of his grasp. and you see him trying with the alabama race, where he endorsed senator luther strange, to get the establishment of the republican party, the leadership of the republican party, to work with him, to try to make some progress on the stalled objectives of health care and taxes. but the president whose power comes from the base has a base that identifies with him advicerly on his grievances with the culture, with the establishment.
3:42 pm
but they don't necessarily take orders from him. i remains their leader in spirit. we saw that in alabama. they don't seem to be breaking away from the president. but they're breaking away from him and following him on point by point. they went with judge moore instead of with senator strange. and this has real consequences for president trump. because it tells us that he may still have the base with him in 2018, if he chooses to run again in 2020. but the base is not going to be helpful, at least in every turn, in trying to get legislation through congress. if he wants these wins, talking about the accomplishments he has, but if you tally them up, it's the executive orders, the executive authority, he's bragging about. and even those actions have been challenged in the courts like we have seen with the travel ban. and so as we just evaluate this moment, we're seeing the president continue to express confidence on fox news and on twitter that he's getting so much done. but alabama was a wake-up call that he still hasn't figured out
3:43 pm
the formula he needs to be able to get the accomplishments he wants. >> so, katy, just yesterday trump was tweeting about all these accomplishments. the most of any president. it includes renaming a v.a. center. he counts that. women's entrepreneur week. and it goes on and on. in that vein. and turning back rules -- obama-era rules. "the art of the deal," the salesman that glenn speaks of, his -- the coin of the realm for him is he can make a deal. but he hasn't made any. do you see him as that's his -- that's his calling card? is he a deal-maker? >> that is his calling card. he has been selling himself as a deal-maker now for decades. he is -- and glenn, you're exactly right. he is a self-promoter more than he is anything else. jimmy degrees lynn would say he creates a razzle dazzle and he convinces people that he is too big, too good, too much of a
3:44 pm
genius to fail. and people buy into that. and he perpetuated that, and he extended it, really, with his run on "the apprentice." and don't discount that. people on the campaign trail, supporters, would point to that and say, you know, donald trump will know who to hire. how do you know that? i've seen him on "the apprentice." [ laughter ] his base -- you laugh, because it's serious. his base -- i think, bob, you're right, too. he doesn't necessarily have control of his base. but at the same time, i think his base feels like they know what he really wants, even when he is not at liberty to say it or to do it. his base knew that judge roy moore was more in line with what donald trump would have wanted. it was mitch mcconnell and the establishment republicans that were forcing him to endorse the incumbent, luther strange. he had that ability to convince folks that they could believe whatever they wanted to believe
3:45 pm
about donald trump. he would take all sides of an issue. and it's because he didn't stand for one thing in particular. and that's part of his appeal to people. this is a guy who can make whatever deal he's going to make. he's going to work with the democrats. he's going to work with the republicans. he'll find a way to convince independents. he's just going to get things done. he doesn't have a track record of doing it. i don't know when he's going to be able to pull something over the line, when he's going to sign some legislation. big but here, though. i don't know if his base is going to hold him accountable for it. what they are going to do -- this is what we would see or what we would hear when he would talk to folks out there. it's everybody else's fault, but donald trump's. it's congress's fault. the swamp won't let him reform things. the media is not on his side. he could do it, but you guys
3:46 pm
want to stop it. because he wants to help us and you just want to help your special interests. there's a great anecdote, and it just exemplifies all of this from the campaign trail. i talked to a man, and i said, why do you like donald trump? and he said, because i'm going to build a wall. i said, what if he doesn't build a wall? it's okay, i trust his judgment. >> yeah. you know, on the shuttle bus back to the parking lot several times, be since i'm not katy at your katy tur, i wouldn't be recognized, so people would be talking about what happened. and they had a completely forgiving tone about anything that trump did. and often said something like, well, he'll do what i would do. and i'm not always going to get it right. so completely forgiven. all of your nbc -- the failing "new york times," or the not failing -- "the post," all the fake news, is covering the mueller investigation. which must make it harder for
3:47 pm
you to cover a fairly paranoid white house at this point. >> they're not organized enough to be operationally paranoid. [ laughter ] [ applause ] yeah. >> and they're actually -- most of the time, they're more pissed off with each other than they are with mueller. i mean, the top guys -- >> or with you. >> or with us. you know, it's remarkable. i mean, i think it is way overstated, the hostility towards the press. i mean, it was really palpable early on when spicer was going through his first set of gyrations, right? before we now have him cleaning himself up on the emmys. but we -- it really was walking into that building a very hostile environment. i would say for the first three to five months. but it has -- it has hunkered down into the usual trench warfare at this point in time. and the relationship between the front line press people and the white house and most media folks is on its surface amicable.
3:48 pm
the issue here, again, is the main problem with this white house is it's a truth issue. they just say things routinely that are false. or contorted. and so the nutritional value of your interactions with anyone in the white house, pre-mueller, post-mueller, present-mueller, tend to be of the junk food variety. [ laughter ] >> just quickly, you're off twitter. now, this is something that everyone in the white house wants trump to get off. you've done it. >> yeah. >> did john kelly get you to do it? how did you do it? >> i take methadone, which is -- [ laughter ] actually, facebook is kind of methadone for twitter. my decision -- and i will say straight out, i think my bosses are probably pretty pleased with my decision to do this. i just found, my colleague maggi haberman and i, are going to be
3:49 pm
working on a book about the presidency. i took twitter off my phone probably about a month ago. and it was liberating. and i was sitting, going on -- trying to organize my day. this is about a week and a half ago. and at around 7:00 in the morning, making my schedule, deciding who i was going to talk to, laying things out. and i looked up and it was 9:00. and what had happened is, i had kind of gone off on to one of these twitter -- i had gotten emotional, somebody had said something nasty. and it had totally hijacked my day. and i realized at that point, the balance had gotten out of whack. and i decided to get rid of it. and i have to say, there are some down sides to it. particularly tweeting out the good work of my colleagues and stuff. it's nice to have a platform where you have 350,000 people to broadcast this stuff to. but in general, it's been -- i feel like i have control over my day. >> so your thumbs are twitching from time to time. yeah. so, bob, are you still waiting
3:50 pm
for trump to pivot? [ laughter ] or are any of us still waiting for that? is it possible, or have we realized white house, this is trump that we have? >> on the pivot question, i think most people are in the same space reporters are which is -- he does pivot from time to time, turn to a different issue or front but he's so unreliable that he's not ever going to pivot and continue in a certain direction. we see it with the bipartisan deal. he cut on the debt ceiling and on the budget there was a week of stories about the president moving in a more bipartisan direction but then a few weeks later it's the nfl, it's these racially charged controversies about patriotism and so many other controversial issues and democrats are alarmed and any
3:51 pm
kind of in roads he made with democrats seem to be washed away by the president's pivot from another pivot to another place and it's a complicated time for president trump because he doesn't really seem to know where he wants to go. he loves the adulation that comes with bipartisanship, the news coverage of bipartisanship but he doesn't have i core conviction that's going to keep him moving in that direction that's why i have doubts every time i hear president trump's moving toward a new place. >> adulation, yes, but he doesn't -- he pokes his stick at a tender spot, race relations, the nfl. it's not going to cut clean for him. even the owners weren't with him. does he know -- is any attention good attention? is there any strategy behind his -- his proponents say this is strategic, he wants these
3:52 pm
distractions, it doesn't bother him when the nfl takes up four days and we're not paying attention to health care or other things and the tax bill. maybe it's still detracts from that because even today there's still lots going on about the nfl. >> i just think back to the day after acce"access hollywood" ta came out last year by phone and he said his advisers were telling him to quit the race and apologize profusely. none of that. i trust my instincts and i'm going to follow my own advice. always. i've been through different things in life personally. i've been through bankruptcies with his companies. he believes he alone can decide what's best for him and his advisers only can go so far in counseling him and that's why he just continues to make these decisions to have incendiary positions because he believes that's best, that's the way pe
3:53 pm
connects with his base. >> we have seconds left. does trump get impeached? does he get re-elected? what -- where do we go? >> all of the above. i don't know. i don't know. he could get impeached. he could quit. he could not run again. he could run again and get elected and none of it would surprise me. >> i don't think you can predict. donald trump is full of options. >> glenn? >> two things, ditto. >> retweeted. >> verbally retweeted. and the thing i would say, if mike pence somehow becomes president i'm not saying he will, i don't think pence has a particularly easy time. he was involved a lot with michael flynn. i think pence becomes an object of significant scrutiny. so the notion of things will
3:54 pm
completely quiet down -- >> bob, bring us home. robert mueller and we can speculate all we want but we really do not know. we just know it's very serious. if you look at the "the new york times," nbc and the post. this is very serious possible obstruction of justice, possible financial crimes and until we know more we won't know the answer to your question. >> watch washington week, buy this book, read glenn, don't tweet him. thank you. [ applause ] please welcome [ inaudible ] and atlantic senior ed tor ross senior anderson. >> all right.
3:55 pm
now for something completely different. unlike most advances in bio technology, crisper has achieved a real level of cultural penetration where i think and the audience can correct me if i'm wrong, people have a good idea that this is a revolutionary gene ed itsing technology. how does it work? >> sure. it's a pleasure to be here. crisper say gene editing system. so the geneum encodes the blueprint for life. it has 3 billion letters. it's very long document. now if the geno was about microsoft word trying to edit it would be simple.
3:56 pm
open up the search and replace function, type the word you're trying to find and word will automatically replace the cursor in exactly where you want to edit, then you can backspace or delete and type it the right word to put into the document. but the geneum is not in microsoft word so the way the crisper works is that you can give it a short strand of rna and this rna has been preprogrammed to recognize the specific dna sequence in our jeanum it's like the surf stream you're typing and it takes this rna and goes into our dna and searches along the dna until it finds a place where the rna and dna match each other. when that happens, it's scissors for cutting dna and literally make a cut in where the rna matches the dna. when that happens this dna cut
3:57 pm
is the equivalent of a cursor in microsoft word and the cell will react to this double strand cut and start to edit the dna sequence. you can give it a new piece of dna that carries the new piece of information that you want to incorporate and the cell will buy itself incorporate that in and you can -- using that edit the geneum. >> wow, yeah. [ applause ] >> i find that mind blowing every time i hear about it, and i know that you are not a historian of science but i wonder if you can give us some sense -- if we look at the history of bio technology, what are the big break throughs overtime and how does crisper compare to them? >> sure it's a long history and so, in fact, we have been manipulating genetic information for thousands of years.
3:58 pm
it began with agriculture where we began to cross and breed and try to generate new crops with improved traits, more yield or drought resistance, you name it. but that's really sort of antig quity type of engineering. what we do now began with the revolutionary of microbiology. probably the discovery of restriction enzymes which are protein that are also from bacterial cells that allow scientists to splice dna together and that underscored the molecular in biology. it launched major companies that have ushered in this new way of molecular therapeutics and since then, the next really major thing has to do with the sequencing of the human geneum with the ability to sequence we can now read every single letter in our geneum. the different dna letters. so after that -- after we are
3:59 pm
able to read the geneum we now want to modify the geneum. as you sequence the geneum we're now learning genetic differences that may underscore disease or may underscore improvements in health reducing risk for disease. so how do i do that? that's where the gene editing comes in. crisper is not the first technologies that allows us to edit but it makes it cheaper and faster. you can think of the older technology as -- you watch -- we watch tv and the tv has to be tuned in to a specific tv station to receive the signal. now the older technology you have to build a new tv for each tv station that you want to receive. but crisper is the tv that you can tune two different stations. you don't have to build a brand-new tv just to be able to watch your favorite program. >> one of the things that strikes me about this technology
4:00 pm
is that we've actually been you as the investor of crisper. you did not invent crisper and we're merely borrowing this technology from bacteria and sort of using it for our own ends. i wonder and i know this is work you're engaged in, when you look at the intricate machinery of bacteria are there other tricks like this that we might be able to steal? >> nature is probably the greatest inventor of all time so we certainly didn't invent crisper. nature invented this so nature can adopt and evolve so it can counteract against viruss or dna that enter these back tear kral cells. we took this natural system and made it so we can use it of human cells or plant cells overall. and so crisper is only one of
4:01 pm
many different systems and usually when we talk about crisper people are referring to crisper cass 9. there are many different crisper symptoms. a couple years ago we collaborated with the scientists and we found something called crisper catch 13. and using this one we weren't -- not only able to use cast nine we can also use crisper cast 13 to diagnose and diabetic virus infections or even cancer dna with much higher level sensitivity and with very fast speeds and also -- very inexpensive. and so you said something interesting there. you said that nature is the best inventor of all time and crisper really represents a radical expansion of nature's own creativity because you bring the human mind to bear on it and i wonder what are the first -- whenever i had occasion to talk to the layperson about crisper
4:02 pm
the first thing they want to know about is medicine. what does this new creativity enabling in the field of medicine. >> crisper, it's a very exciting and [ inaudible ] in many different areas. in medicine one of the most exciting potential is the ability to use it to treat genetic disease. as we sequence the human geneum we're now identifying specific mutations that may under score diseases. disease like sickle cell disease or cystic fibrosis or epilepsy. we may think that if we we can go into the disease affecting cells and be able to modify the dna in those cells so we can remove the specific causative
4:03 pm
mutation then we can recover or rescue the disease symptoms in these patients. that's what this system has promised to do. it's exciting because it's a way to get at the root cause of the disease, not just masking the symptom but completely getting rid of underlying cause and that has potential to lead to cures for many different genetic diseases [ applause ] >> what about diagnostics? i've been reading that crisper could make it so that you -- if you were -- if there were an ebola outbreak some where in africa that you could make very cheap strips that could take saliva that could identify ebola in someone's system immediately on the spot. are we going to see diagnostics like that everywhere? >> i think so and hope so. in fact, i think crisper based
4:04 pm
diagnostics based on crisper catch 13 may actually be one of the earlier things that you would see coming out as application in the real word. it's a protein that you can easily program like cast nine to detect different kinds of viruss. ecoly infection or tuberculosis infection. you just design rna that would recognize the genes of those viruss. the nice thing about crisper cast 13s cheap to produce and also very rapid and also very stable. so you can spot this on to a piece of filter paper and create something similar to a pregnancy test that you can use out there in the field where an outbreak is happening. or the patient can diagnose at home. all on the way the disease is being spread and containment is a huge issue. so i think that's really exciting possibility in the
4:05 pm
future. >> yeah. i know that this is also making science much easier. we recently ran a story about one of our staff writers where a scientist had actually used crisper cast nine to go in and manipulate the genes that paint butterfly wings and was able -- they were able to play with the patterns and the colors and they would show up in the next generation of butterflies almost immediately. i was really struck by this quote at the end of the article where he said, we had dreamed about this as a science fiction possibility that someone two generations down would be able to do and now this is like an undergraduate project. are you getting thank you notes from scientists. where else are you seeing research being made much more easier by these techniques? >> so it's funny. in fact, i think one of the major -- the biggest impact that crisper is having in the world
4:06 pm
right now is accelerating science, accelerating research. the gene nome is large, 3 billion letters. noncoding sequence or dark matter of the genome. some of the most interesting aspects may actually lie in those dark matter. crisper is making it possible for scientists to study those information that we don't know with unprecedented pace. it used to a graduate student or scientist many months or couple of years to be able to make a single genetic change but with crisper they can do it within a matter of weeks. this kind of acceleration that we'll be able to much more rapidly understand biology, answer unknown questions and that together, that new information, knowledge will help us build new medicine and do
4:07 pm
many other useful things for the world. >> yes. recently scientists used crisper to edit a human embryo in the united states for the first time. this has been tried in china with several times but as i understand it was widespread errors and i'm always at great plains to explain to people that this does not mean the era of designer babies is upon us. but is that a future possibil y possibility? can you foresee a world in which people are able to select just prebirth for traits like intelligence, for instance? >> so designer baby makes great headlines but it's actually something that's pretty far away from from what we can do now for a couple of reasons. one, we don't really know the genome all that way. for the vast number of things that you would want to do, we
4:08 pm
actually don't know how to do it. we don't know how to make a baby with a pair of blue eyes. we don't know how to increase iq by 20 points. it'll take decades or longer to understand that. the second thing that's more important, even if we knew something about the genome, it's so complicated that there are complicated interactions between these different traits. i'll give you one simple example. nowadays there are a small percentage of individuals -- small percentage of individuals who carry a mutation in the gene called ccr 5 and those individuals are immuned to hiv infection. you would think this is a great thing to introduce to the population. it turns out that just because it reduces the infectability of hiv virus in humans it increases the susceptible for west niles virus. so we don't have a west niles virus epidemic right now.
4:09 pm
you can imagine if we introduced this into the population we'll end up with a serious problem if and when west nile virus resurfaces. so that's all too say the genome is so complicated we don't want to be playing god. it has to be very thoughtful and careful. [ applause ] >> that means we can put off any sort of ethical fears we might have about designer babies for some time. nonetheless, are there applications of this technology that do give you pause ethically? what do you worry about? >> crisper say fourful technology and one of the applications that scientists are exploring is designing something called gene drive. it's a way of using crisper that you can very rapidly spread a genetic trait in the population. people have thought about using this gene drive system to eradicate mosquito. you introduce a trait that makes
4:10 pm
them sterile so they'll spread that trait and eventually they can't breed any more and the whole species will go extinct. that's something we need to be very thoughtful and careful about but br we deploy something like that. certainly before we deploy it, developing ways that you can contain the spread of this gene drive system and so forth. that's going to be very important. we have to be very careful and thoughtful to do that. >> with that being said, species are going extinct all the time too so this is not something crisper is going to be causing in the orlando but more of something we need to be thoughtful as we move the technology forward. >> you'll note that here in washington, being thoughtful about eradicating mosquitoes was not an applause line. i want to ask you about a subject that is close to my heart recently for our magazine i wrote about the quest to bring back the woolly mammoth using
4:11 pm
crisper. and i know that george church whose spearheading this project say friend and colleague of yours so i hope you tell us whether there's a baby mammoth in a tank some where in boston. you can deliver that news here. >> i'm sorry. i have to disappoint you. i got started into molecular biology after watching jurassic pa"jurassic par park". with that being said. there's so much of biology -- biology's at a very rudimentary stage. we've made progress, great progress but there's still so much more we don't understand and for something like resurrecting extinct animal is not just going to be crisper. many other technologies that have to develop a lot of biejcal knowledge has to be understood and gained before we can make
4:12 pm
that a possibility. we have to be more patient about that. >> boo. no. thank you for being with us today. that was fascinating. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] >> announcer: this week the supreme court heard an appeal over legislative district in wisconsin after a lower court concluded the state's republican drawn map constitutes partisan gerrymandering. we will play this oral argument in its entirety tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on cspan. representative linda sanchez vice chair of the house democratic caucus is our news maker guests this week. she's the fifth highest democrat in the house. with this interview with reporters from the "the washington post" and "the los angeles times" she talks about her party's leadership.
4:13 pm
>> i personally think that our leadership does a tremendous job but i do think we have this real breadth and depth of talent within our caucus and i do think it's time to pass the torch to new generation of leaders. i want to be a part of that transition. i want to see that happen. i think that we have too many really great members here that don't always get the opportunities that they should and i would like to see that change. >> would nancy pelosi win a caucus leadership fight right now if she were challenged? >> i don't know. i don't know. there are a lot of members in our caucus and again everybody has their opinion. i just don't know what the answer to that is. >> but by saying it's time for a generational change, what you're suggesting is win or lose after next year it's time for her to go? >> i don't want to single her out. i think that -- >> all three of them, perhaps. >> i think that it's time to
4:14 pm
pass the torch to a new generation. they are all of the same generation and their contributions to the congress and to the caucus are substantial, but i think there comes a time when you need to pass that torch and i think it's time. >> announcer: the entire news maker's interview with linda sanchez airs sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on cspan. >> announcer: this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures in history. smoem state university professor laura watt discusses the evolution of the national park system. >> this was not just a case of setting aside an already natural landscape and leaving it alone which is what we think of when we think of park protection. what he was doing was making nature out of what at the time was mostly old sheeps meadows. there actually is a big grassy
4:15 pm
area in central park called the sheep's meadow and that's why because there were sheep on it. >> announcer: sunday at 6:00 p.m., architect and historic joby hill on saving slave houses. >> important to do this because one documentation is a type of preservation. slave houses are buildings that are disappearing from the landscape and so by documenting them that's one way of preserving them. documenting them and through my database is also a way to share information and get it out there and learn from them. >> announcer: then at 7:00 p.m. on oral histories, we continue our series on photojournalists with an interview of lusion perkins. >> who ended up on the front page of the post and the photos her yelling at these freshman police who are lined up against the wall with their chin's tucked in like this and that
4:16 pm
photograph ran everywhere in the world and i'm convinced that that story help make -- >> announcer: american history tv all weekend every weekend only on c-span3. >> announcer: general joseph dunford testified this week before the senate arms services committee on his nomination to serve as a second term. he assessed ongoing threats to the u.s., global security and force readiness and funding. good morning. [ inaudible ] -- 3, 196 pending military nominations. all these nominations have been before the committee the required length of time. is there a motion to favorably


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on