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tv   Washington Journal Chris Whipple  CSPAN  December 31, 2017 9:58pm-11:01pm EST

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vice prime minister's questions returns live, january 10 at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span two. and you can also go to and find video of past prime minister's questions and the british public appearance programs. have a discussion on the impact of white house chief of staff host: good morning, mr. whipple. start off with the term gatekeepers. put it into context as we talk about white house chiefs of staff, both present and former.
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guest: then powered white house chief of staff as we know them today is first famously the gatekeeper, which means giving the president time and space to think. things.y other he is the honest broker of information, making sure every information is keyed up with information on every side. he is the heat shield, as donald called, keeping the incoming artillery for the president, getting all of the blame and usually none of the credit area at the end of the day, the white house chief of staff is the person who their president counts on to execute his agenda. and most importantly, to tell him what he does not want to hear. that is the shorthand definition. you begin the book was a pretty extraordinary gathering at she said staff from the past. they were meeting with rahm emanuel, who is incoming, to president obama. tell us more about that meeting
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and why you decided to leave the book with that story. it is an extraordinary scene. it took place in december 2008, about to emanuel was start as barack obama's first white house chief of staff. it was a moment of crisis. we were on the verge of a great depression, potentially two wars, a bloody stalemate, a real crisis. remarkably, imagine this happening today. remarkably, 13 former white house chiefs of staff on every side of the aisle, from did cheney, to leon panetta, came to the white house and sat around a table and gave rahm emanuel their best advice on how to be white house chief of staff. they went around the table and finally got to cheney, who was at the time the sitting vice president for george w. bush. cheney looked up over his glasses at emmanuel and said,
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"at all costs, control your vice ," which, of course, brought down the house given cheney's or petition. of staff to find every presidency. chris whipple is joining us from new york city this morning. more about the importance, mr. whipple, about the chief of staff. you write on page 11 a couple of short passages i want to share. when government works it's because the chief understands power. host: tell us more. caller: it is hard to over -- guest: it is hard to overstate the role. he is hired and fired by the president alone.
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it, the whiteut house chief of the second-most powerful job in government. dick cheney ought to know. he said the chief has more power than the vice president. it's true except when cheney was vice president. the white house chief has to translate the president's agenda into reality. that was lacking in donald trump's first year. white houseun the like trump tower with people coming and going. that was the fundamental problem, or one of several, but a major problem for donald trump in his first year. host: you write that when government fails it can be triggered to shortcomings of the chief.
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the stakes could not be higher. you interviewed 17 living white house chiefs of staff. is there a common denominator among those men? guest: but me give you an example of the stakes. to answer your question, consider when james baker after four years was burned out as reagan's chief of staff and was desperate to get out of the job. treasury secretary said why we swap jobs. inwas the most disastrous history of american politics. it's no coincidence that after don reagan became white house chief, the iran-contra scandal bubbled up from the basement. stakeker would have put a in that immediately. i don't think it would've ever happened. some of the qualities that are important our judgment, being
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grounded, being comfortable in your own skin. data --r and leon and paneta were guys who could walk into the white house and tell the president what he did not want to hear. host: you have pictures in the book of bob halderman in his office. how did mr. haldeman create a model? what was in place before that? with: i could have begun eisenhower in the book. one of the things that shocks me is nobody beat me to this book. it's extraordinary when you think about it that no one had looked at this history in quite this way before. you could go back to sherman adams, the civilian version of
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dwight eisenhower's army chief of staff. he was known as the abominable snowman. man. haldeman took it to another level. they were obsessed with trying to get this right. again in nixon's words, the lord high executioner. he was the guy who was the gatekeeper, he brokered information and was in charge of communications. he was the guy who executed the president's agenda. the fascinating paradoxical thing about it is haldeman who wrote the template for the water and white house chief failed in the end spectacularly to speak truth to power during watergate, which was richard nixon's downfall. host: we will take calls now for chris whipple.
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we will put the numbers on the bottom of the screen. you said this type of book is not been done before. why did you decide to do it? was a phone call out of the blue from a stranger. he is a documentary filmmaker .ho had done 9/11 they want to know if i would partner with them on a documentary. we did that for the discovery channel. that it barelyme scratch the surface of this unbelievable tour -- untold story of the chiefs who make the difference between success and disaster for every presidency. host: our first color is from auburn, washington. good morning. i would say a profound instrument of this, gatekeeper
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is the appropriate word, is integrity. i think we are seen it especially in general kelly, the notion of not only trying to be a gatekeeper but also a zookeeper, using his military method ofd organized variousg it to assemble factions in the white house. often be diverse in their affiliations. toy can get the president focus, to try to prevent them from doing foolish things on twitter. it's not easy to stand up to the president of the united states. to do that in a way and use camaraderie is special and i think somebody who has a military experience, that kind
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of advisor is even made more effective than somebody who has pure political experience. thank you for writing the book. host: they read zookeeper. tell us more. guest: in the case of john kelly, someone close to donald trump told me this was almost like fred trump reaching from beyond the grave, that john kelly is the son trump wished he had. gravitas, heity, has donald trump's respect. he has made the trains run on time in the west wing. that is the easy part of any successful white house chief of staff. the easy part is organizing the west wing. the hard part is walk into the oval office, closing the door, and telling the president hard truth.
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i think his record there is really mixed. this is general kelly back in october. >> i would just offer to you that as i read all the time consistently, i'm not quitting today. i don't believe and i just talked to the president i'm being fired today. i am not so frustrated in this job that i am thinking of leaving. this is the hardest job i've ever had. this is the most important job i've ever had. it is not the best job i ever was when i wasob an enlisted marine sergeant. that was the best job i ever had. what is working and not working? kelly told peter baker in
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the new york times he was not put on the earth to manage the president. that is true, but it's misleading. ofbetrays a misunderstanding what the most important part of the job is. it's not to control the president, it's to tell the president when you think he is doing things that will harm the agenda. he is there to help the president governor. you mentioned the crazy tweets to continue unabated on kelly's watch. performance with the goldstar widow, when he started in the pressroom with this eloquent description of how soldiers are prepared for burial and then segued into that unhinged tirade the false against representative wilson,
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that showed that he might be out of his depth politically. we can talk more about that. callsbefore we go back to , he remains unconventional did we go to dan in corpus christi, an independent caller. caller: happy new year to both of you. how is this relevant to a current middle school are, someone in the ninth or 10th school, they are so uninformed. how could you ever make this relevant, that it is so important? that's a great question. i think that so much of being a white house chief of staff is really common sense, much of it
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is being grounded in having good judgment. was one of the unsung but really effective chiefs of staff under jimmy whenr during his last year carter finally realized he had to have an effective white house it's, jack watson said almost everything you need to know in kindergarten. it's not complicated. it requires an ability to work with people. haldeman's sonbe as he was described by richard nixon. you have to be able to inspire a team and you have to be able to reach across the aisle. that's the simplest way i can put it. on the coverhipple
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of the book. this is during the final year of the presidency. the book is called "the gatekeepers." he is in new york city. we have an independent caller from little rock, arkansas. good morning. caller: this is a great topic. whipple, chris whipple, is that right? bookyou ever heard of this i just found it in my little private library here? guest: i know it very well. caller: it is similar to yours. in 1979.ut guest: that's right.
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it's a very good early study of some of the closest advisers. so muchout well before of our recent history. it came out before ronald reagan picked james baker as his chief of staff. bar i thinkt the for chiefs of staff who followed. it's a very good early book on the subject. caller: he loved all of the early presidents -- lumped all of the early presidents together. starting in 1857, that was the modern day making of the presidential candidate -- cabinet. he said when george washington a fewesident, he had
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positions. they kept adding to it later. guest: the government has gotten much more complicated and unwieldy. it's fascinating to me as you point out, the early presidents didn't have a chief of staff. they didn't have somebody that was equal in the white house. that is a modern phenomenon. haldermanck to and nixon. what i discovered doing the book was every president since the end has learned sometimes the hard way you cannot govern effectively without an empowered white house chief of staff that is first among equals to execute your agenda. host: you touched on james baker, james baker and ronald
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reagan. what made jim baker so effective? guy, he had the secret sauce. he was as smooth as silk. he was 50 years old when he took the job. he had nothing to prove to anybody. he was confident, he knew capitol hill. he had white house experience. he could walk into the white office,o into the oval and tell ronald reagan what he didn't want to hear. he did it often. ronald reagan was hell-bent right out of the blocks to tackle social security reform. that's what he wanted to do is is the item. baker went in and sat down with them and explained, mr.
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president, it's the third rail of american politics. if you touch it you will be electrocuted. with baker'sd advice and wound up doing tax cuts and the economy and the rest is history. aat is the kind of thing savvy white house chief of staff with political skill can do. it's not clear that john kelly has that kind of skill. a caller on the line from maryland. hello. caller: how you doing today? to touch on what the caller from earlier, the new generation is woefully ignorant of history of the white house. you said you were surprised no one beat you to this. we are dealing with the
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president and the system in place that is more modernized. presidents were willing to listen a bit more and work with each other. advicetion is this, what presidentest for our and his cabinet, his chief of , to not onlyorward bring in the old ways, but to take those tradition and do something more than what they are doing with it now, instead of falling all over the place? question,answer your i would say based on the history that i researched on the presidents and white house
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chiefs, this is not the first time a president has arrived in hubris, office flip thinking he's the smartest guy in the room and convinced he could govern the way he campaigned, it's a fundamental mistake. in hollywood, they say nobody knows anything. in washington, nobody learns anything. trump is taken this to another level. let's assume for the moment he has learned the first big lesson , that he had to empower a white house chief. he has done that to some extent with john kelly. the second major lesson is you -- there is a huge difference between campaigning and governing. about demonizing and governing is about coalition. it's about building something larger than your base. there is no evidence donald
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trump has learned that lesson. john kelly needs to help them get here. host: this is the opinion of steve on twitter. he said john kelly stopped the leaking. that's the major reason he's there. true: i don't think that's at all. i think the leaks continue unabated. you don't stop leaks by intimidating or threatening or being a tough general as it were. the way you stop leaks is by running a white house staff where there is respect, discipline, and when you tell the truth. that's how youk prevent leaks. you're never going to prevent them completely. there will always be leaks. that was certainly true even with successful two-term presidency's.
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i don't think kelly has stopped the leaks. host: we move on to barbara in red bank, new jersey. caller: good morning. to thistening conversation and the first thing shouldcurs to me is they not be seen or heard. a lot of the problems we have had with chiefs of staff have of theirrect result being too close to the forefront of politics. i've been around for quite a while. i did not know chiefs of staff when i voted for eisenhower. i knew of james baker by reputation. rahm emanuel was a little bit too cozy with the press i thought. have anythingt to
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but the entrance and exit to the oval office. believe that rather than making any changes that are positive for trump, trump has turned john kelly. i want to thank mr. whipple, this is a great book and i am buying it tuesday morning. host: mr. whipple? guest: that's a very good point. it used to be the case back in , there was a's study by the executive branch in which it was recommended advisors have a passion for anonymity. that's not really possible anymore. the white house chief does occasionally have to go on the sunday talk shows and advance the president's agenda.
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i would agree that some chiefs have gotten into trouble by being too visible and seen too often. frankly, that grandstanding performance in the press briefing about the goldstar widow was an example. he hasn't done that lately. at the end of the day, he needs to be able to tell donald trump hard truths. he doesn't have to be invisible. he has to be a truth teller. host: in chapter eight, you write about the decider. andrew carr had a very challenging experience as chief of staff. how come? guest: i think it's a fascinating case when you think sont george bush 41 and his
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george bush 43. it's fascinating to me because i think george w. bush did not a powerful white house chief of staff like jim baker. he had seen how successful baker was under reagan. i think w wanted to run the white house himself to some extent. i think andy card did the best he could. i think he was not empowered in quite the same way that jim baker was under reagan or leon cannata was under bill clinton. there were some very powerful characters in that white house, dick cheney and don rumsfeld and others. i think it was a tough challenge for him. i think you did very well under the circumstances. host: let's hear from mike in modesto, california.
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mike is a democrat. caller: i have a list here for general comments. must be our savior or john the baptist. this crappy pulled with that black congresswoman, straight up lies about what she was trying , thatabout our servicemen was bs and that guy is a pos. rate andke your hourly weekthe zero, that's a 50 year. $80,000,dy makes that's $40 an hour. that's a little favor to you.
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the big thing is this: opting of the trump voters ago to these rallies. those money people do not give anything about gay marriage, jesus, any of that. they just use you to get the votes and they are going to do whatever they want. host: mike, thanks for calling. is there anything there you want to respond to? guest: there is a lot there obviously. i will address what he said about kelly. think it's a challenge for anyone to work that closely with donald trump. i think quite frankly no matter who you are, even if you're a four-star general, everyone in the orbit of this death start on his donald trump is sucked in
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and to some extent tainted. i can't help but think that misfire by kelly when he went into the briefing room was a case of trying to please the boss. he really stepped out of line. that's what i would say to that. host: this is one of the headlines about trump family members. this is from back in late november. john kelly wanted jared kushner and i ivanka trump to leave the white house by the end of the year. we know about news reports with the first family. speak to us about chiefs of staff and family members and access. how is that gone over recent history western mark -- history? guest: it's an extraordinary
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challenge when family is involved. it's a delicate tightrope act. challenge, nancy reagan was famously known as the personnel director in the reagan white house. the deputy chief of staff who was the maestro of image making for ronald reagan was like a son to reagan. baker was smart enough to know that. he really recruited. when baker, who was considered a pragmatist by his enemies, the guy who would not let reagan be reagan, when he came under attack, he was able to fight back. he had nancy in his corner. i think he was able to be effective as a result. you have to be very savvy to have against
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those currents where family are involved. host: jason is calling from maryland, what county when? caller: i'm right outside coping to. host: got it. caller: i think you have to be careful and i think both you as host and your guest are careful about what he has written. he has written a book about the recent history of the chief of staff. it should not be used for what they should be or do. they are not mentioned in the constitution. the chief of staff should be the chief of the staff in the white house. not the chief of the cabinet.
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the fact that the presidency has to use a chief of staff as a confidant rather than the vice president or any of his trusted cabinet, it shows a weakness in the presidency and a weakness in the reliance on the vice presidency. guest: guest: history is littered with of people likes ronald reagan and jimmy carter. jimmy carter was arguably the most intelligent president of the 20th century. he thought he could run the reaganouse himself
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intuited something that carter never understood and that donald trump did not understand during his first term. that is that an outsider president needs a consummate insider to get things done on capitol hill. and that is the reality of modern history of the presidency since nixon host: robert fingering green bay, texas. >> as far as the gatekeepers, i feel jim kelly. it is hard to imagine of fellow with a wonderful career getting involved with in organizations 's. im anrump the biggest thing we need to be careful of is the inequality of the united states.
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and trump exacerbates that with his rhetoric and the leaps that he surrounds himself with. he is a fellow that has got to go out and try to play that up and it will be the downfall of america we need to be careful. host: thank you, robert. guest: to that point, i think it is a real dilemma for anyone serves this president. it is hard not to be damaged, excessesy some of the of this president. believe hecase, i believes in duty and country. he is a marine who wants to take the help. he is someone who sees it as a
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challenge. whether you want to admit it or not, he is, as white house chief, this thin line between this president and disaster for us all. when richard nixon was wandering the halls, talking to the oil portraits and drinking heavily at the height of watergate, al haig and james's lessons are, the defense secretary made sure the nuclear codes were safe. those are the kinds of things that john kelly, whether you like them or not, has to think about. i think he would be well advised to pick up the phone and talk to leon penn on a and jim nick and previousbaker chiefs of staff because he has a very difficult challenge. writer,ris is a
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documentary writer. he is a past producer of cbs news and is prime time on abc. he is the author of the gatekeepers: how the chief of staff define every presidency. in chapter nine, between bad and worse you speak about president obama's for chiefs of staff. but you begin with rahm emanuel. he was in for a relatively short . of time but had a lot to a comput. tell us about his experience. it was such an odd couple. emanuel,obama and rahm who we know is a character. i think manual was a pretty good choice for president obama. of aber, this was a moment
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real crisis. we were on the verge of a great depression. credit was frozen around the world. it was a real moment where things had to be done. and obama had to pass a stimulus. rahm emanuel was a guy who knew the hill intimately. nobody knew capitol hill better than you did and he was in line to become the first jewish acre of the house. he only reluctantly took the job as white house chief. they got a lot done. including, as ugly as it might have been in the process, including obamacare. i think romney had a pretty successful run. rahm emanuel is the kind of guy who did not shy away from telling barack obama what he thought. they had a real battle over health care. rahm emanuel wanted to go with
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something less ambitious. obama won the argument. emmanuel saluted and got it done. host: what is the average length of service of a white house chief of staff? it is so grueling, so and 20ding and thankless 47 that the average tenure is less than two years. host: and where do white house chief of staff typically go after serving a position? or is it something they are doing at the end of their careers? famously, and rahm emanuel's case, he left to run for mayor of chicago and succeeded in winning the election. not that many white house chiefs have gone on to elective careers. dick cheney did.
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variety of into a jobs. there is no single pattern. , is is fascinating, to me this is a cast of characters that erin sorkin could not have dreamed up. from dom runs filled to cheney to rahm emanuel, they are a fascinating group of characters. host: let's move on to jersey city. jonathan is on the line for the democrats. good morning and happy new year. i appreciate your service. i want to touch again -- you touched on the carter administration's chief of staff. what role or responsibility do they have in the ineffectiveness of that presidency? host: thank you. the carter story is really fascinating because,
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again, carter was a brilliant -- is a brilliant man. he was trained as a nuclear engineer. he could absorb or enormous amount of information and distillate and the past -- into policy. he was brilliant and all of that. his mistake was thinking that he did not need a single empowered white house chief to help him. one reason for that was that this was right after watergate. haldemane example of who, at that time, seemed to personify watergate and the imperial presidency. and this rep. carter: the wrong way. but it turned out to be a mistake. in, with-half years his agenda paralyzed, carter realized he had to empower
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somebody and he chose his person who had been the de facto chief all along but did not want the job. he was famously disorganized, a terrific political strategist but not cut out for the job. it was not until his final year that carter picked jack watson to replace injured in. and watson, a former marine, like kelly -- much younger but very organized, smart and effective as white house chief here but it was too late. host: the words of jack watson in the book, the epilogue. it is crucially important, says jack watson who is carter's final chief. it affects everything. the president's relationship with congress and cap and it. way presidential decisions are explained and implement it.
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do i believe the modern presidency requires that kind of chief of? i emphatically do. moving on to gary in fletcher, north carolina. caller: i just want to remind people. whipple? he is a very bright person. there are a light of bright people out there who have access to media. are not the, we brightest people. we do not go to school to learn how to filter out things. what we do is we watch news programs for a while and take the opinions of someone out and use them as our own. we don't do our own thinking anymore. whoever is the most exuberant and it tells us what we want to hear, is who we follow.
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we go with people who agree with us. we do not ever humble ourselves to look at the other side of things. our leaders are what is on the news. whoever the broadcasters are end up becoming our political leaders because he listened to what they say. it is really hard for us to distill. handle -- but putting things in the hands of the people we have now is almost like we should take a competency test before we let people vote and we would not get into the mess that we do. the things that mr. whipple is describing are so interesting idea ofvoters have no this kind of thinking for themselves it's good to have a program like yours that shows us these things.
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i think we are in the situation now we are because we are not experts at the. host: thank you for calling. guest: i think it is not that complicated or intricate, really. if you think about it, what it really boils down to is our president effective or not? if you look at recent history from as we do in the gatekeepers, certain obvious pattern come through. the first year of trump's friend and see is a perfect example of the waycannot govern that you run a manhattan real estate firm. you cannot govern with people coming and going and nobody empowered to get things done. nobody empowered to tell you what you do not want to hear. that role is all the more
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important when you have a president no idea how to govern. so we are seeing the results of votersd we will see what -- see how voters react. host: here is more from john kelly. on how he sees his role. >> i read in the paper. that i have been a failure at controlling the president or a failure at controlling his tweeting. i was not brought to this job to control anything but the flow of information to our president, so that he can make the best decisions. i have found that mr. trump, from the day i met him is a decisive guide, a thoughtful man -- decisive guide --guy. he takes information from any avenue he can.
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i restrict no one from seeing him. him, we go go to see and help them collectively understand what he needs to understand to make the vital decisions. i was not sent -- were brought in to control him. you should not measure my effectiveness as a chief of staff by what you think i should be doing. but the fact is that i can guarantee that he is now presented with options -- well thought out options. they are discussed in detail with his team. then he comes up with the right decision. host: and richard cullen wrote this opinion piece. exhausted"y must be is the title. what you think the presidency looks like from the eyes of general kelly? guest: in response to what you
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just played from general kelly. kelly, thespect to job is much more than controlling the flow of information, presenting options and information. that is the staff secretary's job. the white house chief's job goals well beyond that. that is just the beginning. i would suggest general kelly pick up the phone to jim baker. they will tell him that's the easy part of the job. walking into is the oval office, closing the door and telling donald trump what he does not want to hear. even if you think that is mission impossible, it is part of the job. that is what successful white house chief -- white house chiefs who want to term presidencies, that is what they learn to do. host: david is calling from longview, texas iran with chris
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whipple who is in new york city. with bill clinton's reputation, was it not a failure of his chief of staff to let him be along with a female in the oval office? especially an intern? guest: possibly. but i think it is impossible. even though the white house chief is the gatekeeper, you can't completely control the president and you cannot control every person he sees. we are seeing even now with donald trump, he picks up the phone and he called the an end -- steve bannon. he calls reince priebus, all kinds of people. and kelly is none the wiser. he does not control those conversations. in fairness to bill clinton's
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chiefs, i do not think it was possible to police bill clinton in that way. was veryw it difficult. .hat scandal someone had to get him through that time and i know it was painful for bowls and the entire white house staff. i think they felt betrayed. host: just under 10 minutes left. mike is coming from beaufort, missouri. republican line. caller: good morning. mr. whipple, i am surprised the staff is not wearing heavy sunshades so they are not blinded by your brilliance. -- you are to you typical of the lemmings that i
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see on c-span. all you do is criticize, criticize, criticized. if you had come up with something helpful, my suggestion would be why don't you apply to be a chief of staff for donald trump? with your political savvy, i'm sure you would help with him. run for political office. i think your political brilliance is stunning. guest: let me respond. let me go way out on a limb in just that you probably have not read the book. if you had, you would realize that i do not have all of the answers and i don't pretend to. i tried to be evenhanded between democrats and republicans. i have cited a democrat and a people in as the two think were the outstanding white house chiefs. i have no ax to grind.
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governance.bout it is about what works in the white house. with all due respect, i simply suggest you pick up the book and read it. host: and i is calling from powder springs, georgia. --anna isl is calling calling. ander: my call got dropped i think i was banned from calling for a while and i don't know why. to get back to why am calling. -- why i am calling. -- hea of general kelly has two basic problems doing the job that he is doing. respectne is his great for the chain of command. hampered because
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of his idea that donald trump is the commander-in-chief. of course, that is his role. -- i don't kelly know. i think he comes from a different point of view. and i think he has another problem. he is old school. my husband was a marine. i understand that. but he was a marine before the services became more diversified and accommodating to women and other times of personalities. i think kelly remains somewhere in that past experience with the diversity. i think it is reflected in some of the things that he says. i'm curious to know what you think about that. guest: i think that's a very interesting comment. and it is quite possible. i really don't want to psychoanalyze john kelly.
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that is not my job. possibility that generals want to salute the commander-in-chief. that is a real possibility. on the one hand, general kelly clearly has donald trump's respect. authority and the to doas and confidence all of what i have been saying he should do. going in and telling the president hard truths. he seems reluctant to do that. course,s possible, of that he does it much more often than we realize and that trump simply goes and does what he wants to do. i am reluctant to psychoanalyze them by think that's an interesting comment. host: there is a photo in the book of the young dick cheney. just 34 years old at camp david
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maryland. became chief of staff, conferring with president ford. remind us of this part --. in our history. -- part in our history. guest: jerry ford had a model that he wanted to put into practice. very much like the 26th floor of trump tower. he called it the spokes of the wheel with all of the senior advisers reporting to the senior adviser. it was a disaster. ford felt like he was learning by firehose. he was overwhelmed and had no time to think. he could not make decisions. he wound up begging his friend, don rumsfeld, the ambassador of nato at the time to come with the white house into shape.
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rumsfeld did that. he brought along his protege, 834-year-old guy who probably could not have passed an fbi background check. he had a couple of dwis. he flunked out of college in the -- out of college twice. cheney, who became chief of was, succeeding rumsfeld, believe it or not, the most popular guy in washington. self-effacing, he had a dry self -- a dry sense of humor. he could really bring people together. he could find bipartisan .olutions ever since, the white house chiefs have been looking at each other and saying what happened to that got? -- guy? it is an interesting story.
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host: the next call. belton, missouri. robert. independent color. -- caller. caller: i'm interested in who the gatekeeper was during the reagan presidency when he signed off on selling armaments to the iranians. guest: that is a great question. it goes to the heart of just how consequential the job can be. it is a perfect example. exhausted after four years of being ronald reagan's white house chief he was burned out and wound up swapping jobs with treasury secretary. this was one case where the usuallyagan's infallible instincts for personnel choices failed her. don reagan was a former code chairman of merrill lynch.
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he was arrogant, imperial. he was oblivious. arrival in have his a room announced. ladies and gentlemen, the white house chief of staff. he became a laughingstock shortly after taking over. shortly after he became white house chief, the arena contra iran contra scandal brewed up. it was the kind of thing that jim baker would never have permitted, in my opinion. i do not think it is a coincidence that the iran contra scandal happened on this watch. they had to pick up the pieces after don reagan was fired and they were instrumental in
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helping reagan recover. host: barbara, texas. caller: thank you so much. i have been -- it has been interesting to hear your comments. i only heard one other republicans week. i will ask the moderator what is determining that. this has been up -- a session that i have been listening to. you have degraded our president for his judgment in every way that i could hear and kelly. the people that you place the highest are the lowest president yet. that would be carter first. only to be superseded by obama. and you have the greatest place for watson and rahm emanuel. npr.: jumping we did talk about jim baker. constantlyve said
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and consistently that the gold standard as white house chief of staff was james a baker the third. in.uberstein, who came i was talking about him as reagan's final white house chief of staff. he was also instrumental in helping reagan recover from the iran contra scandal. some of the best white house chiefs, john rumsfeld, dick cheney, republicans. if you read the book, i hope you will read it with an open mind. i certainly tried to research and write it with one. host: what about that feedback? caller: i appreciate that you highlighted the past that reagan had. but i think you are seeing the reason we have trump and i can hear you talk about his accomplishments as far as tax
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reform and trying to keep our borders so that we are safe. that is why you are seeing trump because of so many of your comments that are bashing him. host: our last call from hemsley, arkansas. democratic caller. caller: hello. how far back does your book go? does it go back to woodrow wilson and earlier? guest: it really begins with the nixon air or with bob haldeman as his unpowered white house chief. is that i for that could have gone back earlier, to eisenhower who had sherman adams. the reason for it is, as i have said is there is nothing in the constitution about a white house
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chief of staff. the physician did not exist until modern times. it originated with eisenhower but went to another level with nixon and haldeman. it is a rich history until the president. them --you ask all of the 17 living white house chief -- 18 if uconn reince priebus. i think they will all tell you that bob haldeman wrote the template for the modern empowered white house chief. host: chris whipple. journalist, speaker, past producer of 60 minutes is author of this book entitled the gatekeepers: how the white house chiefs of staff to find every presidency. thank you for your time this sunday morning. guest: thank you for having me. i am honored to be in the company of the authors that you
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-- have on this eerie had. parliamentish youth ♪ announcer: this week, former chair of the democratic national committee donna brazile discusses her book "hacks." brian: donna brazile, author of the book "hacks." who was lionel? donna: lionel was my dad, born in new orleans, served his country proud in korea.


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