tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg January 10, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm EST
♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: 11 days, today is january night, generally 20th, a new president takes over. , 11 days left in the obama administration, what do you think? i think there's still a lot of work we have to get done in these 11 days. i'm glad it's just about that and not many more. thank god we did as much as we did until now because i will
tell you what -- i used to say this in the start of the second term, the beauty of being around for two terms is that mean you got reelected, but you also have the perspective of how quickly those first few years went and the second go even faster. you say 11 day, that gives me a little anxiety but we have a lot of work to do. charlie: what do you have to do? denis: move a lot of documents to the national archives. we have a team that has been working on this this whole calendar year. hundreds of millions of emails, hundreds of millions of documents, pursuant to the presidential records act. charlie: hundreds of millions of emails? all public emails go into this? denis: correct. they'll go into the national archives and become public records, searchable to the public. we are doing their business and
they get a chance to look at our email. that's one thing we've got to do. and we have business yet we want to get done. charlie: like what? series ofare making a good arguments this week about the affordable care act. some of the debate that is beginning in the senate in earnest would benefit from an insertion of the fact and experience we have had with the at. we have toig thing do is make sure we are doing everything we can to get the next president and his team everything they need to be ready because he's going to be president and that is in the constitution. there are no do overs were start overs. charlie: what will denis: you miss the most? denis:i will miss the people. the team of people is unbelievable, a committed group of people. ifay this all the time --
you can design anything about design theught to people you get to work with. we spend more time together than we do with our families. you better like the menu better respect them and you better treat them with respect and with dignity. way, they are going to see you at your best and see you at your worst. charlie: tomorrow, the president will give his farewell. it's a tradition that goes all the way back to george washington. general eisenhower, great speech, the military-industrial complex. what are the themes of this president who you know so well, almost like a brother? i have seven brothers, charlie: and four sisters. thes: my relationship with
hope one day i will be his friend. charlie: ecology of his friend. denis: i aspire to that, believe me. working the speech, but i think what you will hear tomorrow is a lot of what you have heard since we started. that is part of why he wanted to go back to chicago to give this speech. the a place, working on south side of chicago in the shadows of the abandoned steel mills, as people who have been knocked out of jobs that their 24 have been real paths in the middle class, he recognized he ad a gift for organizing, gift for getting people working together toward the same goal and i think that is what you
will hear a lot about tomorrow, the importance of sticking together and standing up for what you believe in and fighting like hell for it. he believes america is strong and america is an exceptional power, and he believes as he has said aliens of times, his personal story is possible only in this country. i happen to believe that, too. charlie: raised by one parent. denis: raised by one parent, got to know his dad only sparingly, , and hey grandparents got the shot he got because he had a good education. charlie: that is part of his political success. he was able to make his narrative in 2008 story of america. denis: it is the story of america. he did not have to make it.
charlie: he had to tell it. denis: he is an unbelievable story teller. he will talk about his narrative and the fact that narrative can still be true here, but i don't want to get ahead of the speech because he is still working it. one thing i do know is that this president, i'm never going to get ahead of him and the speechwriters on this one. charlie: so we will have to wait and see what he says. talk about the media, not criticizing, but how it has changed and how it affects democracy. talk about that team in some exit interviews. denis: he has been talking about it and we have done a good job in some places but we have also been on the wrong end. information is moving superfast and stories move superfast.
when i talked to my predecessors, they talk about at the end of the day, when they talk about the weekend and what happened the week before in the week ahead, that is not the media climate we live in. disaggregatedmore , much more specialized. people can get their media the way they wanted from the sources they want. charlie: and sometimes you don't know where the source is coming from. denis: that's right. charlie: in terms of fake news. then we have a president who tweets, a president-elect. denis: the president talked about that little bit yesterday. that has been a tool that has served the president-elect well and gets with hisntly in touch voters and with the media.
but he also talked about that. charlie: 140 characters. denis: information is moving fast. charlie: suppose you were giving a farewell address. what would you want to say. you've been by the side of barack obama since he was in the senate. you've seen to campaigns, the white house from the oval office , you have traveled with them as he met foreign leaders and in some sense, you controlled who had access to him. so what do you say in your farewell? first, it would be like an empty hall. but i would say thank you. it's an unbelievable opportunity to watch the president do what he's doing. as amazing as the
president's story is, that is what has always made america great. i'm as unlikely a chief of staff as he is unlikely a president. at 10 brothers and sisters, grew up in minnesota and here i am. i didn't even know these jobs existed. but that's because in this country, if you take a shot, you will get it. charlie: what are you going to tell your grandchildren? there are moments you say to yourself i will never forget that. denis: god willing, i will have grandkids and that will be a great thing. the i will tell them is things that make you get a shot to be chief of staff for a staffer in the white house are to be hard-working, to get smart, get as smart as you can
come argue like hell your position and if you lose the argument, you fall in behind whatever the decision is and get on with it. nobody needs to know a staffer's position. charlie: what does the chief of staff do? give us a sense of your day and .hat has been like wendy you see the president and who do you see before that? i start the morning with a workout and then i get my security briefing. into a series of meetings with the senior staff. then the president comes down and he has his security reefing with the deputy national security adviser. the vice president and his national security advisers.
time i see himt and we go in the meeting and i see him before he goes home at night. charlie: sum up the day. denis: it depends on what's happening. a lot of what we're doing is driven by what is happening, getting our arguments ready for we haveon the hill, during the morning, a lot of prep time for press engagements and in the afternoon, it's toward policy developments in our national economic council, domestic policy council and national 30 counsel, the office of science and technology, everybody, everyday is cranking out new ideas and implementing things like the affordable care act. the only thing that could not get to the president's desk is something that cannot be decided earlier. great you have done a
disservice as chief if an easy decision gets to the president. those decisions get there because they are hard. my job is to make sure those decisions are teed up to him square, not uneven. anybody who has a view on the matter has been heard on it. outpapers not going to come and the decisions not going to come out and the president checks block a and they say i never got a chance to make that argument. job is to be an honest broker? denis: partially. my job includes other things, but that is what i feel is my most critical assignment, to be an honest worker so the president can make a difficult decision and has all the information he needs and is teed
up in a way that everyone who wants a shot at it has a shot at it. whatie: that makes you some people call the second most powerful person in washington. denis: maybe it has been different in other white house is. maybe it is because of how president obama works. it's important to know what's going in and what's coming out. i don't control access to the president. you control the paper flows, who he sees. you are the ultimate decider. denis: you know who is the ultimate decider is the president. the president says will you please make sure he gets in? denis: or i hear he is not getting in, straightness out. charlie: what's the problem here? he might use spicy language.
when is he most angry? heis: he is most angry when has the impression you have withheld information. charlie: he did not think he had everything he needed denis:. yes. this is an instinctive all presidents, i would guess, reading the history books, but it is particularly true of president obama. he wants information. he does not want to begin an information someone else has managed for put together. general jones used to say if you are getting close to the end of the meeting and haven't said something, you better get ready because you're about to get called on by the president because he wants to hear dissension, he wants to hear if there are alternative views. he insisted's why
on being able to get his own wireless so he can get information off the internet, read what he wants to read and not be subject to whatever his staff pushes into him. charlie: he goes to dinner with the family? denis: charlie: that is essential for him? he made that clear to me when he talked about the job, that it is really important to him to have dinner with his family every night. is vigorous about defending that time. as some of you grew up sitting , i don't want him to miss that time. working.t, he's he goes home with a stack every
through an election. he has said, as he said to the staff, history zigs and zags. why did it zags? thing wethink the talked about at top of this interview is something we all believed to be true about the united states, which is if you are working hard at school and you are rolling up your sleeves and doing her homework and playing by the rules and you get a shot, that was true for my ,arents, true for your parents it's why my grandparents came here from island -- from ireland. i think people feel that it is that basic argan, that you play by the rules come you work hard and you get a shot, they feel like the deck is stacked against them and i think that informed a lot of the voting in the fall. capacity,ou had the
the bully pulpit, the megaphone to say to them that's not true. we are here to communicate with you, to tell you how we are trying to make things better. somehow that failed. the election is the result. here to only not communicate with the american people. we are here to change things and if you were to stack up the fact , just last now friday, the 72nd month in a row of job growth, this is the longest streak of job growth, greater than 50%, greater than the 48 months, we have changed the health care system, we've changed the way we conduct have changedrs, we the way wall street did business.
we feel like we made a lot of changes. nevertheless, the american people still don't feel that in key ways. charlie: explain to me why that is. the president's approval is as high as it has been a while and yet, you have an election result that you have and he says he could have one. .e said that denis: i think what he said is for two elections in the -- in a row, he won the majority of the country, which has not done since eisenhower. strongly -- a majority of the popular vote, not just a reality. he continues to feel strongly that his message of hope is the right message and it's not only
right but it is also timely for precisely the reason we are talking about. part of the country don't feel like they are getting that fair shot. be resolved ino eight years after the deepest recession since the great depression? probably not charlie:. but their lives should be better off and they should be recognize that if we've gone from where we've gone in 2008 when he was being elected to where we are in 2017 when he is handing over power. there's some basic disconnect. denis: there may be, or as traditionally is the case in america when people have great aspirations and great expectations, they always want more. charlie: there is also this -- he has said he spent most of his time trying to govern rather than trying to build the democratic party, rather than taking care of politics.
he had a team that helped him in 2008 and they helped him again in 2012 in the constituencies he appealed to. but he said i'm governing and didn't because the democratic party in his own words, and he's the head of the democratic already, is in bad shape. he said that. they need to rebuild. he acknowledged all the things you said and he acknowledges the part of the role he had in it and he acknowledges we have the best ideas. we are watching this play out this week. it is great when you're in the opposition, but when you are governing, you have to be for them and you have to deliver. we are seeing this play out in the house and senate now. now and whatance
the president said the other day. charlie: they being the republicans and president-elect. denis: he is not in office yet, but my comments are reflecting specifically the debate going on in the congress now. they say they will repeal and replace the affordable care act. the president said proposed something that will cover, reduce the uninsured weight -- uninsured rate to the lowest see ever been, that will historically slow cost growth in health care, give me a system that will make a pre-existing condition, for example in some cases, pregnancy would not be covered under the old system because it was considered a pre-existing condition. he said give me a system that does those things and i will be the first one to go and argue
for the repeal of the affordable care act. but a system that covers this many people at this rate of historically slow growth while substancehings like abuse, disorder treatment, opioid addiction, pre-existing conditions, they are going to find out this is -- charlie: it is a very controversial program him as you know. so is this an issue of communication, being able to explain? in terms of getting started, as you have acknowledged. denis: if not in the main. there is no question about that, that it is controversial. but you are a communicator, right? you tell me what about the
republican proposal to replace the affordable care act will scratch these itches we are talking about the cost growth, pre-existing condition coverage, parity for addiction or substance abuse disorder. those are all things that are present in the existing affordable care act. those are facts, so let's talk about the facts. but you don't want people dropping out of the exchanges left and right. insurance companies were not participating? the race series of announcements by different insurance companies. are between 23 million and 24 people -- 24 million people who have coverage as a result of the afford will care act who did not have it before. partially, that is an outcome of the expansion of medicaid and
partially, it's an expansion of the marketplace. their people dropping out left and right and there are some who are in and some who are out. this is an interest-rate that has an individual health care market. it has a lot of turn every year. that was true before the affordable care act and it's true today. the differences nearly 24 million people now have coverage that did not have it under the old system. is year ono true year for the last three years we have seen the rates of health lower than at any time since world war ii charlie: . so what is your warning to the american people, if in fact the affordable care act is done away with and there is nothing to replace it? what's going to happen?
warningsm not making to the american people. the good news is -- charlie: should you be? news is theood republicans are coming out of the game with a series of repealls now to reform, and replace the affordable care act. they say they've got one to .epeal our challenges take it and the jets is time to come up with a plan before you repeal a repeally find system -- a perfectly fine system. you are fighting hard because you believe it's part of a central legacy of president obama? denis: we are fighting hard for a because we believe working families want health care coverage. talking about the basic bargain at the heart of thoseerican dream, one of
things was if you play by the rules, you can get your shot. if you play by the rules, you can get your health care coverage. but until the affordable care act, get a pre-existing condition or even a pregnancy, it was allowable for health care companies to say we're not going to allow that. charlie: what's the biggest mistake you made when you have gettingk in terms of that affordable care act past? was that the execution of it in the beginning? denis: do you mean once we had the authority to implement it? i was an observer from down the hall in the national security council space. hard.eve hard things are every president back to franklin roosevelt had tried to get health care coverage, universal health care coverage. it's hard and it takes time but
we have a plan that in the main has developed and delivered. charlie: the president went up to congress to try to tell democrats up there don't take the bait. denis: he went to congress to say thank you for working with me on this and keep fighting for because it's working. he went to congress to say if they have a plan that covers all the things we want to cover, pre-existing conditions, having historically low cost growth, having tens of millions of people get health care coverage that didn't have it before -- thing you have had to do is deal with the idea of thatng and you have argued it was necessary to release a have all the intelligence agencies report to the president that was delivered to the president-elect. is that bothersome for you and
for the president, the reaction of the president-elect? look, we thought the report was important for the following reasons. the president ran in 2008. campaignsn mccain's were hacked at the time. he ran in 2012 and then we witnessed this election in 2016. we thought it was important we get a straight up test assessment from our professionals in the intelligence community's who are excellent. her size they why that has happened so as to give the next set of policymakers the best set of information so they can develop lands end policies to be sure it doesn't happen again. is tost way to start that
give them our best assessment based on all sorts of intelligence. that wasthe motor -- and now they are really going to scrub in on this in the first 90 days of the administration. thisresident has raise with the president-elect. i have raised it with my counterpart. issue onno single which i've spent more time than cyber security in the last -- charlie: how vulnerable are we? ifis: we are only vulnerable we make mistakes and click on the wrong email. i think we have been very discerning about collecting the best evidence. though we knew in
charlie: the president has said the toughest day for him was newtown. guns are still huge issue. what more could be done? is there anything we could have done because we believe guns are tied to -- denis: we spent a lot of time on this question, talking to republicans and democrats, should i have reached out to gun manufacturers to come in? charlie: did they? denis: no. charlie: you asked them to come in and they say no? denis: that's correct. i will leave it to them. i grew up in minnesota. i'm a fisherman. i'm not a hunter, but all my
buddies are fishing or hunting. i have a great admiration for that and so does the president, but the prevalence of firearms this country, including weapons of war doesn't make much sense. we have thought long and hard and it still astounds me we don't have simple background checks. we gave it everything we had in that vote and that debate. and we have looked at everything we can do with our executive authority and i think we have done important things, tightening the database for background checks, making sure we understand precisely what
happens in gun shows. is is there more we wish we could have done on guns, the answer is yes. and the you have said president has said you think about syria every day. it is a human tragedy. muchook at aleppo and so of that country has been destroyed. there is still a civil war, theough it looks like person person supported is on the winning side as we speak. what is going to be history's judgment about syria in your judgment? what will it say?
i think it's difficult for me to stipulate to one premise you raise which is assad comes out of this a winner. i mean by terms of territory control and retaking aleppo. denis: i think that's a very important question. there was a conference andhich iran, turkey russia, not the united states, met to talk about the future of syria. denis: nobody has done more interesting and important reporting on this then you, including a very critical in august and , whenber in 2013 president of saud -- president
assad under a credible threat of force from the united they technology the existence of a chemical weapons program on your show with you. for the first time ever. something he refused to acknowledge. charlie: and acknowledge that if there might not be a strike, he might be forced to do something about the chemical weapons. denis: right. charlie: i talked to you on the phone because you were on face the nation when i was leaving. and what happened is not only did he knowledge the existence of that program, but he gave it up under international inspection. that's the result of a credible threat of military force on the president of the united states. something he develop over the
course of many months. the first thing history will acknowledge is potentially, for governmentime, a gave up its chemical weapons arsenal and knowledge its program. as a result of american pressure. the second thing it acknowledges unimaginable human suffering 7 millioncally syrians are not in the home they want to be in, either internally displaced -- charlie: and they are disrupting and causing political change in europe. denis: yes. the third point and the one you
intenserring to is this humanitarian suffering brought -- oney one the person person alone, thought, aided, by the way i the russians. residencesspitals, is having a geopolitical impact. there act that the russians needed to intervene geopolitically i don't think is a sign of russian strength. and also record the united states, as relates to this humanitarian suffering, has for years led international investment to address that. it is still for the reasons we talked about at the beginning, something that as the president has said and i have acknowledged, john kerry has said and susan rice, something look for options
and outcomes every day. but, what we also know is that the question of whether the got more deeply involved militarily. as being the best possible outcome. charlie: the president has spoken, i remember at the time of the afghan surge, he was certain, he was searching for alternatives at that time and het like it was said that was perplexed by not having more options. true or not true? denis: i think that's true. charlie: here you have a
situation that it's either 100,000 plus troops or what? ?as there no alternative you clearly searched hard. you understood what was happening on the ground. you understood the united states was the most powerful country in the world. was it only the fact that you didn't think you could make a difference that you didn't do more? denis: first question is what was the objective? the first objective was stopping the use of the chemical weapons arsenal. charlie: and we achieved that. denis: the question often debated is whether we shouldn't have intervened so as to express very manifestly our opposition to how he was conducting business to include by use of chemical weapons.
the use of force for the use of force sake doesn't make a lot of sense strategically. the threat of the use of force to achieve one's objective, knowing that you need to backup the threat makes a lot of sense strategically, and we did. then the question becomes after what end would we have intervened militarily to express our opposition to syria's conduct in its civil war. that would make us belligerent. but the president has been clear and the nature of your question suggests you believe
it's a false choice to say either don't get involved or put 100,000 troops on the ground. charlie: i'm asking the question, was that the only two alternatives? denis: there are other otheratives -- there are alternatives. my judgment, it would have made a difference and there is none that would have allowed us with confidence to say that once you started you would not get more deeply pulled in. in the end, that was a fundamental belief of the president? denis: that is my belief. waslie: speaking of that, the pivot to china, asia and latin america, did it work? denis: yes. charlie: we are still deeply involved in the middle east. have troops on the ground in
afghanistan. we have troops on the ground in iraq. denis: and we are making substantial progress against syria.n mosul and we have not seen them be about to carry out the kinds of attacks in the united states they clearly aspire to. from which al qaeda planned those terrible attacks on 9/11 in new york, at the pentagon and in pennsylvania. they will not be able to because of our ongoing presence, have the kind of free reign to plot and plan and carry out those kinds of attacks against us. the rebalance never and finished the -- never envisioned us washing our hands of areas
where we have great interests. south asia, the middle east, europe, what it did envision is that asia was where the people are, where the opportunity is, where the growth is and where the potential conflicts are. are going to maintain and increase our presence there. strengthen our alliances as we have done with china. with the koreans and with australia and new zealand. charlie: a lot of americans and arepresident and americans concerned about these reports from north korea, by the leader uses we are working on an icbm that can deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental united states. that is very much a problem. charlie: what do you say to the incoming president-elect?
that this goes to the top of your -- denis: we have made that clear since the we started our conversation. this is a critically important issue. china needs to understand that is a core interest of hours to not be threatened by north korea our allies need to have confidence that we remain deeply against thisthem threat. and that the north koreans will continue to field the per and the per isolation. charlie: that has not stopped them from moving forward and the president told me in germany that every time they make a mistake, they learn from it. of thethat is true
liberators everywhere, which is why we have in as explicit as we have been with china about what we expect not to happen. been throughout this administration. we have encouraged the next team to take that view as well. president obama, you know him so well. understand who this man that has been leading us that we might not know. you have seen every move, every his bouts,ou've seen you have seen his successes and his failures. what do you want the country to know about barack obama? i am routinely amazed at
how hard this guy works, this president works while making it look effortless. pressure?race under i think so, or recognition that there is a right answer out there and he's bound to get it, bound to press his team and work with anybody to get the right answer. he goes up to the resident every night with a stack of binders and does not come down until he has read them. whether that is until three in the morning. the point is that this is a really hard job and the problems that land on his desk or heart problems. he takes that really seriously. be witness to that and party to that is not only
extremely interesting intellectually, but i think speaks to his dedication to making sure he lives up to the expectations of the american people. i would say one other thing, as a dad myself, i love watching the president as a dad. i get advice from president for as management's or scolding from him when i'm not doing what i need to do as a dad, and i'm struck by that. i will miss that. charlie: what is it between the two of you question mark he has had five chiefs of staff. you are who they call obama's obama.
you must know something. the words that rahm and bill and feet and jack did, it's a different between a first term in second term. the differences those guys governing every day in crisis when they came in, literally every day in crisis when they came in. last first jobs reports, week we had a jobs report were we added 150,000 jobs. unemployment at 4.7%. wage growth that .4%. in kind of growth we see now wages they would have dreamed of in those first four months. there was so much focus on restoring the economy. denis: there was so much crisis. thenited from their work
and i benefited from an unbelievably good team. he said over the weekend that he says it has been better in the last couple of years, not just the country and economy at her, but his ability to do the job. there's a cumulative experience. he still believes in the two-term limit. charlie: he is a really good president. history will find that. he's also really good at being president. guess what? that's what happens when you are in the job for six or eight years. but as he said, you need fresh blood. he made the argument to the pleasure of bill clinton that ronald reagan was a transformative president.
can anybody in this administration make the case that barack obama, beyond the fact that race, the first line of his biography, the first black president. denis: i played a lot of games in my life. i never predicted the outcome, but i've predicted the outcome and the guy i know who has won a lot more is barack obama. we need tow if predict the outcomes or anything else, but the decisions he has made around restoring the economy, the decisions he's made the decision as it relates to the use of force overseas will hold up. and sees play the game how it ends. i think we will do fine. charlie: many would argue we are
in a process that looks like a new world order. denis: they will. our job is not to describe problems but confront them and change them. i like our record, i like as the president said the other day, ont he bets on every turn the american people and no president has lost on betting on the american people. he believes deeply in democracy and deeply in the american people. i think that's going to suit him just fine. denis mcdonough, chief of staff to president obama the hour. thank you for joining us. ♪
anchor: posting the cartel. free currency traders charged with using a chat room to raise forex prices. anchor: there is a guilty plea and a $4 billion fine. anchor: china car sales accelerate to their fastest pace in three years. preparesresident obama to bid farewell. this is the second hour of daybreak asia, coming to you live