tv The Presidency Michael Giorgione Inside Camp David CSPAN October 13, 2021 11:13am-11:57am EDT
happy with the way that the tapes and the book were received. and, you know, she always would tell you what she really thought. and she said, well, i was, to tell you the truth, i could have lived the rest of my days happily without hearing you play the hagar slacks tape on tv. but, she said, you should know, that tape is my grandchildren's favorite. and i've never quite figured out why that was. but about a month later i got a letter from old mr. hagar, who was still alive, offering me a free pair of custom made hagar slacks. that's an experience i never had before in this business. >> watch the full program at c-span.org/history. c-span's american history tv continues now. you can find the full schedule for the weekend on your program guide or at c-span.org/history. our weekly series "the presidency" highlights the
politics, policies, and legacies of u.s. presidents and first ladies. coming up next, retired rear admiral michael giorgione gives a behind the scenes account of life at camp david. he served as commander there during the presidencies of bill clinton and george w. bush and is the author of "inside camp david: the private world of the presidential retreat." welcome to another episode of "white house history live." i'm a senior vice president at the white house historical association and the director of the david rubenstein center for white house history. the white house historical association is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a mission to educate americans about the rich and diverse history of the white house and the people who lived and worked there. our guest this evening is michael giorgione. mike is a retired rear admiral from the navy's civil engineer corps.
he served in a variety of assignments around the world in his 29-year military career including as commander of camp david. after military retirement in 2010, mike has worked in private industry and now is the chief executive officer of a building information systems technology company headquartered in his hometown of pittsburgh, pennsylvania. in october of 2017, he published his first book, "inside camp david: the private world of the presidential retreat." mike travels often speaking about the book and has covered by "the wall street journal," the "today" show, smithsonian, npr, c-span, and many other print, radio, and television outlets. after our conversation mike will be taking questions from our live audience. please put your questions for mike in the chat and we will get to as many as possible at the end of our program. welcome to "white house history
live," mike. >> thank you, colleen, wonderful to be here. as most veterans would say, it was a great honor and privilege to serve our navy and nation and i appreciate the time to share a few stories and insights. >> why don't we start from the beginning, your story with camp david. tell us about how you were selected as commander of camp david and what that process was like. >> well, we know it as camp david, it is actually a navy command called national support facility thurmont for the town nearby. it was started in 1942 by president roosevelt. because 60% of the crew are navy sea bees, a naval officer is always the commanding officer. in 1998 i was put on a short list of officers to be considered, went to the white house, interviewed with simmons, then the executive director of the white house military office,
president clinton, visited the camp, was interviewed by the staff, a week later got the call. >> amazing. tell us a little bit about your own personal history with camp david. >> i knew what it was. i had visited once as a violate officer with the sea bees when i was stationed there in the 1990s. i left thinking, man, that's kind of a difficult place to work, it would be weird to work there some day. i put it away and went on for the next few tours. and lo and behold, as i said, in 1998 i was short listed, interviewed, and put in near the end of president clinton's second term. >> how long were you there? >> just over two years. the last year and a half of president clinton, first eight months of president george w. bush. again, very fortunate on timing to work with two presidents and support the families, the administrations, a number of the world events that occurred
there, just gained insights of two different ways of leading the nation. >> let's talk a little bit about the history of camp david. the history begins really with franklin roosevelt. tell us, why did fdr select that site and what did he like to do when he visited, not called camp david at that point in time, but i'll let you tell about that. >> very good, very good. roosevelt loved going out on the "uss potomac," the title on the right was "the floating museum." he loved to get away from the white house and secure his hobbies, his interests, or talk to world leaders and staff. it was '41, '42, there was concern about u-boat sightings, the staff said, sir, you can't go out on the yacht anymore.
this was before marine helicopters existed to fly him away. they had to find someplace driveable, nearby. interestingly, because of the new deal, bringing us out of the depression, and part of the work projects, later progress, administration, and part of the civilian conservation corps which put money back into the country and rebuilt roads and parks, there was the catoctin recreation demonstration area also known as camp number 3. roosevelt was given sites nearby to visit. he went to all three. when he came to camp number 3, he looked at it and said, this is it, and here is the first name, this is my shangri-la. the roosevelts named it shangri-la, a takeoff on the novel "lost horizon," implying a utopian, mysterious place in the mountains. he had that whimsical nature, apparently, about naming things. so that was his name until, as we know, president eisenhower
named it after his grandson, camp david. that's how we know it today. >> can you describe camp david, for a lot of our viewers and listeners who i'm sure have never visited camp david in person and probably will not visit camp david, can you paint a picture for them of what the camp is like? >> sure, i will try. so imagine a hilltop park, it is a national park, catoctin park, maintained by the national park service, great partners of ours. 1,800 feet elevation. in the spring and summer months, very leafy, lush canopy, perfectly manicured yards. a narrow asphalt road that me anders to the camp. and these cabins that you see here, these are the aspens. all the cabins have this rough-cut, oak plank siding with a certain shade of green paint. all the roofs are cedar shake shingle, very rustic, leafy, and
fresh. at night i find it particularly surreal and ominous at night because it's deathly quiet. no lights except pathway lights. no noise except for a squirrel in a tree. and no lights, no noises from below, just eerily quiet and peaceful. that adds to the mystique. this is the cabin my family and i lived in and all the commanding officers do, we're the only family to live physically inside the camp. this is called cedar, around the corner from the president's lodge. >> and how many cabins are in camp david? how big is the site? >> there are about 12 guest cabins, all named after trees. president eisenhower started that habit, again, roosevelt called the presidential lodge the bear's den. eisenhower renamed all cabins after trees. he picked aspen because that's the tree of mamie eisenhower's
home state of colorado. 12 for entertainments and 20 total, that includes the fire department's ash, the clinic, eucalyptus, the admin office, popular, support facilities, the barracks for our single sailors and marines, et cetera. >> let's talk a little bit about the staff at camp david. you were the commander. what is the size of the military staff at camp david, and what types of jobs do they perform? >> sure. about over 200 sailors and marines, five civil officers. one chaplain, one supply core and two marine officers overseeing the marine security company which comes out of washington, dc. all told, you put all the sailors and marines together, it's just over 200 in staff. we have a without communications agency detachment in charge of communications. that's a joint command coming out of the main command in
downtown dc. >> so can you tell us a little bit about how camp david has changed over the years? it was very rustic when fdr first came to camp david. there's been some notable additions to the complex. you've mentioned there's a chaplain, so there's a chapel at camp david. talk a little bit about the buildings, the activities, and how that complex has changed over time. >> go back to fdr again. apparently why the navy has it is because he took the sailors off the "uss potomac" who now did not have a job and took them with him to camp david. he also brought the liaison for security. fdr only went there during the non-winter months. truman, not a fan of camp david, preferred to go to key west. put a perimeter around the place, had the trees pushed back from the cabins, and then during eisenhower's time it was winterized and heating was installed in the cabins.
it was very rustic and they maintained that. over the years, for use of the family, the administration, guests, cabins have been added. president nixon in his time put a lot of expansion into the camp, expanding aspen, the president's lodge, putting in the hourglass shape cover, adding laurel, which is the main entertainment cabin you sometimes see on news reports for world leaders visiting. it's been modernized at times. it's a challenge, if the president visits a lot, when to modernize. that's been going on for four or five years now, a smart and sequential way to maintain it. it's not a marble and brass, four-star resort. it's not meant to be. it's a rustic, comfortable place to get away, to think, to walk in privacy and silence and recreate on your own or meet with other world leaders as some
of these photos depict. the most unique thing, in the bottom right of this photo, the evergreen chapel, which was donated through private money, gifted to the president of the united states in camp david and commissioned in 1991 during president george h.w. bush. >> you talked about fdr within driving distance, but presidents don't historically drive to camp david anymore; is that correct? >> not ideally. we prefer to bring him in through the marine helicopter squadron. eisenhower was the first to come in by that. weather permitting, they will fly in on hmx1 or the white top, as we call marine one. in inclement weather, they'll come by motorcade from wherever their last departure point is. >> camp david is a presidential retreat yet we know presidents often find themselves working at camp david.
tell us a little bit about how it functions as a white house in the maryland mountains. >> i think most people recognize, no matter who is the president, you're always on. there can be a lot of critiques about what you do when you're off-duty or how you do your job, but the fact is you're always on duty as the president. and you need time off. we all need time off. and in addition to a second home that some presidents have, some do not, camp david provides that peaceful getaway for family, friends, and if needed, for staff and for world leaders. so i find it has been a great balance, that presidents go there to get away, like the reagans famously went, most of the time as a couple, to get away, to recreate, i'm sure to think about things and bring guests with them. every president's use is a little different. for me as an outsider, i think the best balance is to use it as a respite for family and friends
and also a great place to bring world leaders to talk privately. there's no press, unless you invite the press in. there are no lights, no protesters, no traffic, no planes flying overhead. serenely, as i said, quiet and peaceful, that's what you want. >> how do people get around camp david? is there cars, or is there golf carts or bikes? >> yes, it's principally golf cart. everybody is assigned a golf cart. we have golf cart one. he have to have our nomenclature as well. bicycles are available, and then pedestrian. we do have cross-country trails through the woods in the winter months, if you want to do that. snowmobiling, you saw the picture of president ford and his family during his presidency. principally golf carts to get around and walk. >> just a reminder to everyone, we are going to be taking questions at the end of our conversation. so if you do have questions for mike about camp david, its history, what it's like, please
put them in the chat and we'll get to as many as possible. let's talk a little bit about the history of camp david and the historic events that have taken place for camp david. you talk about some of these episodes for them and why presidents might choose camp david for the setting of these historic occurrences. >> i'll mention four events and then i'll focus on a fifth one. so we see photos of fdr inviting winston churchill to the mountains and going off fishing in the nearby stream and smoking cigars and probably having a burger or two. but the poignant memos at the bottom left are talking about the war. that's roosevelt at the top left inside aspen, the stone hearth fireplace is still there. there's wagon wheel chandelier you can't see above the roosevelt table, that's still there. president truman only went ten times in his tenure, preferring
to go to key west. president carter made it famous for most people in 1978 when the camp david peace accords, with anwar al-sadat of egypt and menachim begin of israel. 2012, president obama hosted the g-8 conference at camp david. the single time that most world leaders have been at camp david at any one time. but the incident i want to go back to is 1961, april 1961. president kennedy, inaugurated in january, succeeding president eisenhower. bay of pigs is being planned behind the scenes with the cia and u.s. government and others, passed off to the administration. and you see this photo at the top right that became a pulitzer prize winning photo called
"serious steps." what's interesting about this i think from a human and political point is that president kennedy inherited the operation. it was launched. it did not go well, hence the name "bay of pigs fiasco." and he reaches across the political and personal aisle and invites president eisenhower to come to camp david, a place he knew much better, and help him understand how to get through this, how do i fix this mess, what do i do. it's a very poignant and significant moment, i think, because you have the new upstart democrat inviting the old guard, five-star retired general, former republican president there to talk about what to do. i think it's a very humble, maybe a possibly desperate measure, but a very humble way to recognize leadership and recognize what a president typically passes on between administrations and talk about what to do best for the country. >> you mentioned this already, mike, some presidents, and you talk about this in your book, some presidents and first families visit camp david more
frequently than others. talk a little bit about the differences in how presidents and first families use camp david, and explain why you think that is. >> one, i think it depends on children. what are the ages of the president's children? i think that dictates, are they going to leave their leagues, their intramural leagues, back in dc, do they have friends there, or are the children grown and out of the house? two, some presidents have second homes and prefer to go there. some can do both. three, some like the quiet nature. president clinton rarely went to camp david in his first term but used it more over his second term, over two terms he saw the value. some go somewhere else and
prefer to go elsewhere. >> can you share one or two of your favorite memories from your time at camp david? >> there were certainly the historic moments most people would recognize because of news, working with the state department and madeleine albright to welcome president clinton, meeting yasser arafat and having a photo shaking his hands, and watching from the sidelines as president clinton spends two weeks trying to forge a middle east peace agreement. watching president bush early in his presidency welcome the blairs at camp david on a weekend, just two couples getting to know each other, just like you would do with two neighbors when one moves into the neighborhood. it's an important thing to watch from the sidelines. even though we get to serve there and see things, you have to remember, you're in the world for this brief time and you get to know some personal things about the families, but you're not of their world, and you have to understand and maintain that humility. so i'll tell two stories that
are more personal in nature, because i think it helps to relate to families and parents. the first one is the final clinton weekend, four days nonstop, hundreds of guests coming through, dinners, a couple of musicians performing in the chapel. just a wonderful event. we got an opportunity to say goodbye to the clinton family. as i'm walking into the helicopter at 10:00 sunday night, with snow on the ground, saluting them, thanking them for leading our country, walking down to marine one for my last time to see them, chelsea clinton, a 20-year-old student at stanford, turns to me and hands me two stuffed animals. and she says, commander, i've had these in my bedroom for eight years at aspen, please give them to your daughters, thank your wife for everything they've done. just a touching, human approach, and of course great keepsakes now for the two girls. that's the first one.
and here is the scene, the final time i see the clintons in 2001. the second one is a humorous story, it's in the book, it's about the goldfish. it's that juxtaposition you're in as the commander of the camp, and the fact that you're responsible for security yet you're the family that lives inside the gate and you have to go through the gate every time you have to run errands and do official things. it was the middle east peace summit, michelle had taken the girls down to the thurmont city fair, common thing to do if you're at camp david in the summer. she's coming back through the gate with the girls in the back seat, they each have little goldfish in a plastic bag they're each holding. we had a strict policy at that time, no animals at camp david, no pets. the in a reason corps guard, who knows us, everyone is doing their job, he says, ma'am, you can't bring pets into the camp. and she looks at them with a bit of an incredulous look.
and the girls are hearing this, and the tear starts to come down their eye. she's looking them and he's looking at her and she's looking back at him. he's doing his job, mom's doing her job. michelle leans into the window and says, they're for dinner, and kind of winks. he says, yes, ma'am, and lets them proceed. there are these funny moments, we're still people there, we all live in rules and regulations and we see the human side. that's our favorite story because moms and dads and kids, that's what it feels like. thank you. >> the final chapter in your book is called "the true meaning of camp david." can you tell us, what is the true meaning, and is it different for every president and first family who spends time there? >> definitely different, as i describe how different families used it. the bushes had kennebunkport,
president bush had crawford, but he loved camp david and spent every christmas there. for some, it's a special place to go for holidays. during my time, the clintons loved it for thanksgiving, eight thanksgivings the clintons went to camp david. first lady nancy reagan loved going there. he did all his radio addresses on saturdays from the cabin. they all used it differently. the meaning comes from, i think, the engagement with world leaders. and it has a theme of a camp david kind of place. the spirit of camp david, coined by one of the soviet premiers during that time. it was about a place where you could come together, with trust, in nature, no press unless you want it there, and just the ability to sit down as people, break bread, share a story, get to know each other. to me, that's the true meaning camp david.
a place for our presidents to get away and relax as best they can, a place to entertain family, and probably one of the most unique places in the world, all within reasonable distance of the white house. >> mike, we have some really great questions from our live audience. nancy from facebook asks, i know that president reagan and nancy reagan rode horses while they were at camp david. is there a stable there, and what other activities are available besides swimming? >> the only time we've had a stable there, a coral, was during the kennedy years when macaroni, people know the pony, macaroni was kept there. i had one incident when president clinton and chelsea wanted to go horseback riding and they brought the horses up from washington, dc and they used the back gate to go through the nearby woods. so horseback riding is possible
but there is no coral today. there is skeet shooting, trapshooting, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing. presidents want to go golfing, they go to the nearby golf course. they want to fish, there are nearby fishing holes on private farmlands that we have arrangements with. there's a bowling alley. there's a movie theater, a game room. there's a library. there's a bar, grounds, recreation shop, et cetera. >> david asks, have hikers ever from the catoctin mountains ever accidentally approached the perimeter of camp david? >> it happens. and there are some warning signs subtly put around the camp, quite a distance from it. you could drive by the road to camp. most people know not to go down it. we have protocols if you happen to approach the fence, there are things we deal with, to check you out and help you get back to your path. again, it's a no-fly zone,
typically no aircraft fly over the camp. it happens, people stumble on it. >> didn't fdr make a wrong turn once to try to get to shangri-la and he came across a neighbor who wasn't too happy to see him? >> yes, in the days when they weren't always surrounded by agents, he knocked on the door and a lady yelled at him, who are you. >> dennis asks, what is the longest a president has stayed there? wasn't carter there for a week or more during the middle east peace talks? >> yes, there was a time carter was over a week, during the -- well, almost two weeks for the peace talks. as clinton was there, although clinton went to the g-8 summit in japan in the midterm. president carter also went look
at during 1979. and he came back and gave that "malaise," what it's been called, he talked about the condition of the country, what was going on, we had the hostages taken in tehran, iran. all this was going to, and he secluded himself for almost two weeks, working there during that difficult time in his presidency. but typically, presidents go for a weekend. up friday, back sunday night. >> jeff asks a good question, how did eisenhower get naming rights to name camp david camp david? was there an executive order, was it legislation? or did he just have someone go out with lumber and paint and redo the signs? >> i like the second explanation best. but i don't know. i imagine there must have been something signed to change the name from the shangri-la moniker to camp david. we'll have to check the archives together, colleen. >> right. karen asks, when a president
chooses not to visit camp david very often, how does that change staffing and operations? >> staffing operations don't change. you're always ready, your mission is to be always ready to receive. some presidents let camp david be used by guests. president carter visited with his whole family during president clinton's term. some presidents have allowed staff to use it. but if no one's there, you're just maintaining the place and taking care of it. that can be a morale issue. if no one visits, i had a gap of five months before a visit by president clinton. that's a lot of time, you get rusty, you have to practice at times. some weekends with presidents, you're always on and it becomes an uptempo or operations tempo as we say. >> that's the get gadi has. what happens at camp david when the president is away, what do you do as the staff? >> we have more time to do
training, physical fitness programs, contests if time allows it. more time to send our sailors and marines to schools if necessary. again, you need to always be ready so you have a complete staff. but you're really sitting, waiting, taking care of the place, planting flowers, growing the grass, firefighter training. it's constant. certainly because you're always ready, you're ready to execute when the president does visit and that's what we live for, is those visits. >> jeff asks, has hollywood or the news media for a documentary, for example, ever filmed onsite at camp david? >> harry reasoner with abc news interviewed president ford inside the camp. i believe that's the only time there really was an interview done in that regard in what is camp david. certainly during world events like the middle east peace summit in 2000, the press was
there in a secluded area to film the principals coming in, then they were escorted out on the bus. there have been hollywood guests of various guests over the years, musical guests and sports guests. but no real filming documentaries done on camp david other than from a distance, and from the archives, and any presidential films from the libraries. >> peter asks, what is the reason for the no pets rule at camp david? >> it was self-grown. today, the people who live there, the co is allowed to have a pet. it depends on what's happening in history. reading the book about the incident with nixon's french poodle and the camp commander's dog, it was a humorous time and why it dictated some changes. today we're a little more reasonable, i would say, about the pet rule. >> kathy asks, you mentioned the library. what kind of books are in the library and does it depend upon the administration?
do the books change depending on the president or first family? >> we keep some archives in an open public library near the game room. so the history, that's where the white house christmas cards, holiday cards are kept and all the presidents send out, we put those in the movie theater and the library. in the cabin holly, which is where carter chose to meet with sad at and begin because of the smaller nature, i like that room because that library has most of the presidential papers, so this library has the presidential papers that are published and some historical novels about the military services and the presidents. that's what i mean when i refer to two libraries, one for public use on the use of camp david, and the second, the presidential papers. >> missy asks, do you have any stories about the johnson years in camp david, lbj? >> chuck howell, age 95, lives
in coronado, california today. chuck and his family were there from the kennedy to johnson years. in the book it talks about johnson being particularly persnickety about absolutely scalding hot water in the shower and how chuck and the crew worked endlessly to try to make it as hot as possible, and how to deal with the air conditioning, all those little things that all of us fight in our own homes. chuck howell talks about that transition from kennedy, reacting to the assassination, bringing president johnson and his family into camp. >> grant asks, has president biden visited camp david, do you know? >> he's been there eight times so far, which is pretty good. he leaves most weekends, if you've read in the paper recently, going to delaware, rehoboth beach. he's been to camp david eight times since january as
president. he was there a number of times as vice president. >> tiffany asks, is camp david ever damaged by bad weather? >> there's wind that will sometimes knock down trees in the catoctin national park. but fortunately nothing serious has hit the camp. >> marion asks a good question, has there ever been a wedding at camp david? >> one wedding, president george h.w. bush's daughter was married there in the chapel, evergreen chapel, one wedding. >> and saul from facebook asks, what was the biggest surprise you ever had while working at camp david? >> the day the sprinklers went off when president clinton was chipping golf balls behind aspen. the sprinklers go off, i didn't witness it, but secret service are watching nearby. he moved, the sprinklers went
off again, and he threw his clubs into the golf cart, he drew over to the drive range, the bags weren't secure and the clubs fell all over the asphalt. it's humorous, but you can deal with the frustration of someone dealing with that. i tried to make light of it on the night he left camp david, it was a poor attempt at humor. you learn the balance of when to be serious and not too serious and when not to be too humorous. i learned not to try to be too humorous. that was the funniest time. fortunately i had no serious incidents during my time. there were tough things going on in the world. i left the month before 9/11 occurred. and there was a whole -- we spent a lot of time describing what that commander went through at the time. but light moments during my time, fortunately. >> charlene asks, how much heads-up do you get to know when a president is coming? >> depends on the president. on change of command day, 10:00 a.m., typically a ceremony, 10:00 a.m., and my predecessor
knew president clinton wasn't even scheduled to come at all, 10:00 a.m. ceremony, that morning about the ceremony, we get word, the president is coming that night. so a fascinating pucker factor to realize you're about to inherit a camp, you know nothing, really, about what goes on, you've had briefings, but you're the new co, you're driving the car, it's brand-new. i found that to be a very fortunate event for me, because it taught me just to sit back, let people do their jobs. all i have to do is get dressed up, walk down there, introduce myself, shake hands, salute, and that's all i did that first day. but i learned a lot about my crew. and it helped to set the humility about, let people do their job, train them, have their back, support them, let them do their job. so that was no notice. the bush administration, very scripted, we always knew well ahead of time. again, it depends on the person.
>> jane asks a good question. can the vice president and his or her family go there as well? >> if the president allows him, them to. it's happened in history. not a lot, but occasionally. as i said earlier, sometimes the president won't let staff or others go away for leadership retreats. president obama did that a lot for his staff members, a leadership retreat. so the commander at the time and the chaplain would welcome people and they would do what they were there to do and go back on a sunday. so it's varied. >> carolyn asks, if you know this, do you know how the pandemic has affected camp david? are there new procedures in place? >> very observant of the mask rules early on. very observant of vaccinations. again, this is telling of the trump administration, beginning of the biden administration, everyone is very observant of following the rules, either by the white house, the white
house, what the president wants, or by the navy's health protection division. very appropriate response. i don't think it's held back -- maybe it's held back from a lot of outside guests coming. and certainly no world leaders have been >> but that will open, i hope. >> can the average american ever go to camp david? >> you're spot on. it's not open. there's a face white house website that advertises weekend tours. don't believe that. er for it's not true. either know someone who works there, if allowed, or know the president and be invited as his or her guest. >> jane asks what's the food
like at camp david? >> for ourselves, we run a gallie operation for sailers and marines. that's available to guests, if they want it. there's the lounge and bar has bar food available. but for visits, we work with the first lady to work the menu. we have well-trained culinary specialists who sometimes work with the president's chef or white house mess, navy mess, to prepare the meals. for world leaders, we sometimes work with the state department. especially for kosher meals. during the yaser air fat. and day to day we have a crew that serves there.
>> what is something everybody should know about camp david? >> shang rulaw. it's a navy command, just like marine one and marine force is an air force command, etc. >> what's the highest rank? >> u.s. navy commander. sometimes they might be selected as captain as he or she is departing the camp. but it's a job for he or she as commander. and the co. and for the white house communication agency detail that's there, maybe lieutenant colonel typically in the u.s. army. >> and our last question this evening, several viewers have asked this. why did you decide to write the book on camp david?
and what was one or two things that were fascinating that you learned while researching to write the book? >> thank you. and wonderful final question. on the day of change of command, there's a photo of my wife and two daughters at the age of seven and four. she hands me this journal. the first page of the journal is a scroll note of two girls saying dear daddy, please write stories about the president's journal. some day our kids will read it. it was humorous. so, after every visit or weekend event, i would sit down and write what happened. i did that after the clinton administration, the end of the inauguration and through the first eight months. i put that away in my roll top desk. never thought i could write a book. there was a reunion weekend during one of the previous commanders.
and a lot of the former commanding offerings and spouses were there. they're all meeting each other. some for the first time and some for years. many were talking about trying to capture history. i learned later that many had written their own stories. so, when i first realized i could write the book, as long as i had a security review done, so it was possible, i knew i wasn't going to write anything that was unattractive to any president. and i knew i could weave in 15 stories of other commanding officers and get history from kennedy forward. i thought now we can bring the whole devinty of the history of the camp and you'll see their stories and names in the book. you'll see their photos. and use it that way. to really become a historical narrative with personal insights. so, i think it was well received that way.
some wanted stories. that wasn't the purpose. it was to share respect and tell the stories. a little bit about the inside workings and how the military supports the presidency around the world 24/7. >> thank you so much, mike, for joining us on white house history lively. this has been a really comprehensive conversation about camp david. and thank you to all of our viewers for watching.
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