tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg February 28, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm EST
♪ from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." >> good evening. i'm ian bremmer sitting in for charlie rose. we begin this evening with the economy. the president will seek to boost defense spending up to $54 billion in his proposed plan for 2018. the 10% increase is set to be counterbalanced by spending cuts in other agencies including the epa and state department. the proposal, expected to be released in march, does not plan to change social security and medicare. all this and more concerning the u.s. economy will be the focus primetiment trump's
address to congress on tuesday. joining me from massachusetts is larry summers, a professor at harvard and its former president. he also served as treasury secretary under president clinton, and director of president obama's national economic council.i am pleased to have him on this program. >> good to be with you. ian: you heard the headlines as i have. we have a big increase in defense spending. everything else that can be pulled back is going to be pulled back. budget numbers, at least for 3%-4%.for 2017, not how does this strike all of you from harvard? larry: i won't speak for harvard. thenumbers on the budget, economic forecast is optimistic, but not as ludicrous as some feared. raising the defense budget is probably a prudent investment in
a dangerous world. seeking to combine that with massive tax cuts i think means untenable cuts in other parts of the budget. we've got more people in the united states who are in military bands than we do in the entire foreign service. in a world where our ability to get along with other countries and run effective consular --ices is effective essential to controlling immigration, these kinds of slashing of the budget for diplomacy is very dangerous. we haven't seen, and it's no accident, what the plans are for domestic budgeting. people in his world have talked about a two thirds cut in the number of employees at the epa.
anything like that, approaching that, would mean the degradation of environmental debt -- regulation to the point where tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people, would die each year of pollution. we haven't seen the budget plans for other agencies, but what kind of civilization are we going to be if, as rumors have it, the federal government zeros out funding for the arts? funding for our culture? i think this is a budget that is going to be unrealistic to execute, and dangerous in terms of the civility and generosity , if it were to pass through the congress. i think it is very unlikely. there's a long history of
presidents proposing vague huge cuts in the discretionary budget, and then not being able to achieve them. my guess is that at the end of the day he won't get all the tax cuts he wants, certainly shouldn't get all the tax cuts that he wants, and that he won't get discretionary spending cuts that he wants either. i, unlike many people who i agree with on many issues, think that some increase in the defense budget probably is a prudent thing. ian: the market response so far has been that these guys are geniuses, right? records in the united states, everybody likes the regulatory pullback. everyone thinks this is stimulative in terms of infrastructure. do you think the markets are wildly ahead of themselves? i saw warren buffett saying that
he is still very bullish on the u.s. market right now. larry: i think people have a tendency to make a mistake and look at markets and think of them as only being driven by what's happening in washington. there are a lot of things happening in the economy that influence markets, so it wouldn't attribute it all to any kind of reaction entirely to president trump. my sense is that markets may have a bit of a sugar high going. i don't expect tax cuts of the magnitude that most businessmen seem to be looking for two in fact materialize. i think there are much greater thes to the health of economy from the protectionist policies that the administration thinks than many others
perceive. i think there's more uncertainty being created by the president's proclivity to andcymaking by tweet dealing in terms of one-off ad hoc arrangements with particular companies. i'm not sure how much is going to materialize in the regulatory area. i have a sense that there may be a bit of a sugar high going, but that doesn't translate for me into some kind of near-term economic forecast. i certainly wouldn't be one of those who is confidently forecasting a crash, but i think many people are seeing increases in fundamental value that don't seem likely to me to materialize as i watched the political process, thinking about how
congress is likely to act. i think there are real risks to where we are getting vis-a-vis the rest of the world. inorld where 40% of profits companies in the s&p 500 come from abroad. i think those issues loom pretty large, and should loom pretty large in thinking about the stock market value of companies here. big talk about a couple of announcements made by steve bannon on strategy. we heard him talking about dismantling the administrative state and talk about economic nationalism certainly a big dip -- nationalism, certainly a big departure. do you see regulatory pieces in the united states that we
greater than they need to be? do you think that dodd-frank needs to be taken apart?where would you constructively head if that was your agenda right now? larry: are there excesses in the regulation of community banks? yes. is there more bureaucratization than would be ideal in the ofularization -- regulation all financial institutions caused by dodd-frank? quite possibly there are. the other hand, the president's chief economic advisor gary cohn asserted that dodd-frank costs hundreds of williams of dollars. i asked repeatedly for some backup, some documentation, some support for that claim coming for the president's chief economic advisor at a time when the total profits of all the
banks are less than $200 billion. no response. hn the same interview, co talked about how we allow people to eat unsafe foods as some kind of analogy, suggesting we should dismantle the consumer financial protection bureau. i see the things that are done in credit arrangements to take unsuspecting people. it would take too long to explain them in detail to your viewers, but they are unconscionable. there is much more that needs to be done to assure the proper ,rovision of consumer credit and that unsuspecting people are not stolen from. --hink the idea that we have
should somehow be stripping away consumer financial regulation is wrong.nd is badly atook at what has happened the water supply in flint, michigan and other places, and i say to myself, do we need to be scaling back on the efforts we make in this country around safe water? do we want to go back to the days of the los angeles smog by scaling way back what the epa does, or by trying to produce some kind of renaissance of the coal industry? dangerous stuff. pharmaceuticals are more powerful than they've ever been. that's a fantastic thing.
are there adjustments that need to be made? i have seen some situations where the fda would do the country a service by accelerating the approval of drugs, particularly in situations where people are desperately ill. but should we in some systematic way set the stage for more thalidomide by scaling back pharmaceutical regulations? no, we absolutely shouldn't do that. what i find so disturbing in the approach that the president is taking and that many of those taking,he president are it is not that they had views that are different from mine. i have views on most but not all issues go with democratic administrations. others will differ.
,ut that they seem to believe they seem to take the concept of alternative facts seriously. hand, you have what certainly seems to be a set of policies that would more greatly empower the big corporations and big banks. on the other hand, you have a president that seems to be focused very strongly on calling those players out, saying they are globalists, that they are not focusing on the american worker. larry: one part of this is that we -- this is a long tradition we have seen in latin america. peron in argentina is a classic. ample you reject all the experts -- a classic example. you reject all the experts. once you are in power, you cut a set of deals to protect monied interests, who then support you
-- waves, andse perpetuate your power. that is a long tradition. it often produces good results in the first few months, because businesses get excited. although have to do is look at the economic history of latin america to know that in the long run it is a passport to nowhere. there's a lot of that going on. then there's a separate issue, which is these intermittent threats to companies like what the president did to the air conditioner company. or what the president did about the price of air force one. symbolic. is comparedlly small ball to the size of the economy. take one example. he probably did delay or maybe even forestall the movement of
carrier.to mexico at on the other hand, the shrill of destabilizing character his rhetoric has destabilized the mexican peso by 15% or more. that means every business thinking about locating in mexico or the united states sees a 15% greater cost advantage to mexico relative to the day he was elected. that has to be a far larger threat to ohio or indiana, or pennsylvania than whatever could be accomplished with those 600 jobs. sure, he will get some mileage out of these particular stories for a little while, but ultimately what's going to matter is conditions on the ground.
ultimately what the president is going to discover is that we live in a world of global supply chains in which it is not that we import a product from abroad and just eat it or consume it here, it is that we import and then we process, and then we add to it, and then there is further stages of processing a broad, and then it is brought back here and traded. we cut off imports, we will cut ourselves out of that whole process. there will still be global supply chains and we just won't be part of them. that's the threat from the approach that the president is taking. ian: there is a real bully pulpit here. it's not just a question of him calling a ceo or tweeting against them. if he really, truly wants to become a job creation president, doesn't the person who controls
how the american government is going to engage with whoorations, the person says that the defense department is one of your biggest registers -- purchasers, so we will treat you different? i recognize the numbers have been small. larry: i don't think so. he could influence his policies. he could propose a real program is on astructure that large scale, not a set of tax credits for pipelines that are already going to be built but a real program of infrastructure investment. that would create a lot of jobs. he could pursue a series set of regional policies directed at focusing federal efforts on areas with the highest employment. that would make a real difference. he could propose a set of
atective subsidies directed the categories of workers who are having the most difficulty. that would make a difference. with bunch of meetings ceos where he bloviates about job creation? no, that will not overtime have any appreciable affect on the level of job creation. that will serve to divert attention from the many issues from risingfaces, mortality and decreasing health, two crucial problems in genuinely to a decaying infrastructure that are going unaddressed.
he may divert some attention from some national failing of his administration, but i don't think there's any evidence to suggest that hectoring about job creation has effects at the youl of the maze of jobs change if you need to move the needle. ian: when you look at what the obama administration could have done to make things better, if you could say one or two things that could have a meaningful shot of actually persisting, what would they have been? larry: country badly underinvested in infrastructure during the years 2000 and nine -- 2009 to the years 2016, but that wasn't because of the obama administration.that was because congress was unwilling to support substantial increases in infrastructure investment. the country ran a tax system that created a big incentive for
capital to stay abroad, but that was because congress wasn't willing to agree on a corporate tax reform that wasn't a major giveaway. could the obama administration have done more to promote business confidence? yes. did i urge repeatedly that confidence is the cheapest form of stimulus? yes, i did. but i think when you go back and look at the obama administration, the big story, the thing that history will remember, is that everything, on the day the president took right, looked like it did after 1929 when the stock market crashed. while performance certainly could have been much better, it was nothing like the great depression. i think that will be remembered as a positive achievement. i think the concern right now is
that a lot of things, starting with the stock market, are very much looking the way they did in march of the herbert hoover administration. that was the administration that didn't work out so well for the economy. ian: plenty of confidence right now in and around the administration. i'm sure we will be talking about it. expert joining me today -- thanks for joining me today. larry: ♪ good to be with you. ♪
♪ we continue our discussion with a look at the well-being of the american people. joining me now from washington dc is tyler, a professor of economics at george mason university and columnist for bloomberg view. crisis book identifies a in social and economic mobility here in the united dates -- united states. i'm pleased to have him on this program. book,tulations on the just out today. i wish you well with it. a lot of challenging topics in this book. the biggest one hits you right in the face. the biggest problem we have in the united states right now is that our people are too complacent. i'm going to let you define that right now for the viewers. tyler: people are seeking to much safety and security.
at the individual level, this is fine. we enjoyed safety and security. but at the aggregate level when everyone does this, we end up with a nation that is not sufficiently dynamic. we have people moving across state lines at much lower rates than before. we are free to let our kids go out and play, but over medicating ourselves. rates of productivity growth are much lower than they used to be. ian: i get complacency when you talk about a middle-class perhaps. i can even understand complacency when you talk about the wealthy. when you talk about those that -- populism int the u.s., just like in europe, bernie sanders and donald trump people -- is this really complacency? tyler: there is a new ambition basically to get on disability. you look at data on unemployed young male, it's amazing how many live at home, and how much
time they spent playing video games, and how many don't have a drivers license. the sense of urgency in the lower middle class is not the way it was 50 or 60 years ago. you hear stats about people not staying in the same jobs as much as he used to -- they used to, millennial or not as committed, is that not really true? tyler: that is a wife's tale. if you look at actual census bureau data, people are staying in their jobs longer than ever. rates of moving across state lines is down 50% from its peak. there are different sociological areas. when you look at information tech, that is the most dynamic sector. but what do people do? have amazon ship packages and have netflix at home. it is very comfortable, but not dynamic for the macro point of view. ian: do you think that is starting to change? how do you get out of that?
the demonstration you've seen in the united states over the last few weeks, do you think you will see more activism, or is this something that is just a morass that long-term there is no fixed for? tyler: long-term, i'm optimistic. the return of protests and demonstrations, the rather unorthodox political culture in washington right now, these are a warning sign that the path we were on, the complacent path, it is not possible anymore. in the broad sense of the term, you just can't pay all the bills. ian: we just had larry summers talking about the challenges of making the kind of investments that would be required to lead to real growth for the american worker. if you had policy solutions. that would improve the social contract in the u.s., what would they look like? tyler: i agree with a lot of ,olicy proposing -- proposals
but why is there so little interest listening to economists? people are in denial. they want to have america go back to an earlier time. make america great again. they are not willing to suffer losses. it is ultimately a psychological and sociological problem. ian: is there a social and cultural issue that is quite distinct from the economics here? tyler: i think the cultural issue is much more important.there are very serious wage erosions in america. i don't want to minimize those problems. america is still a pretty wealthy country. i think what people are really feeling is a perceived loss of control. people hate that feeling of loss of control, whether it be trade, whether it be immigrants, whether it be standing in the local community, the erosion of the community itself, observing an opioid epidemic.
it is a psychological.issue people wanting to reassert control somehow. ian: i would imply that solutions from a trump administration might look very different, that it has much more to do with reasserting the control. control over borders, control over identity, control over families. do you think that is something that trump could actually do? tyler: i sometimes call trump the placebo president. i think his domestic agenda, he's not sure what it is. he doesn't have enough detail to pay attention. his strategy is to reform discourse and raise the status of neglected groups and tell them, someone cares about you, and do that for four years. in some funny way, that might forally work as a placebo the troubles, and we will get
out of the troubles in some other way. that is what i think trump's doing, he's mostly about the talk. ian: who is getting this right? we are seeing these challenges across the western world right now. where do you think and why do you think countries are having a very different experience of their democracy? doing the two countries it best as far as i can see are canada and australia. some of that is the residual from having this -- boosts in resource wealth from china, but they actually seem to have healthier institutions, more local governance, a clearer sense of their identity. they have made decisions in the past about accepting migrants. those are the two places i don't see this infection catching on. ian: do you think there are any lessons that can be learned from those countries for the united states? tyler: i don't think it is easy. canada works in part because it
has the united states to rely on. canada as a hub of innovation is not very strong right now. in some ways, it may even be getting worse. can use and borrow american innovation, they can proceed along another course and use migration to take in high-quality ian: we here in the united states that it is these big cities where you have the extraordinary, creative classes, where you're going to see innovation, where people are mixing. from your book, you are implying that is one more indication of a problem. it is all like for like. exactly. say you went back to america in the 1920's and you ask where the musical of -- wave of innovation is gone to come from, , and no oneissippi would think that at the time. in some funny ways, washington,
d.c. is becoming one of those. it is such a formal establishment town, but you know, the fringes. you have fair amount of creativity. we are going to find creativity coming exactly from where you don't expect it. thatyou're just saying because you live in the fringes of creativity from washington, d.c. [laughter] in: does a federal system the united states, there is more decentralization of power state-by-state, states rights, does that help or hinder this process in your view? tyler: i think federalism is broken at this moment. we need checks on our executive branch. people are so poorly informed about what state and local governments are doing and polarized and partisan or you just vote for the democrat or republican matter how good a job they are doing and that is another thing that needs fixing. ian: what other parts of american society right now that
you would say actually, despite all the trends you have identified, these are places for hope, places where you actually think society is starting to get it more right, not less? tyler: two or three big reasons for optimism, more important than all the reasons for pessimism, the first is just human talent. more human talent in this country than ever before, and not everyone, but a lot of those people have a chance to do something through the second reason is essentially information-technology. i think, up until now, we actually overrated the internet. a lot of it is just fun leisure. the future looking forward, i think we are underrating it ends slowly but surely, -- underrating it, and slowly but surely it will make an enormous amount of wealth created. that will be the american future. that will transform everything before us, given enough time. ian: that was to bring. there is a third. tyler: tolerance, the inherited
level tolerance given our history, in spite of some comments of leaders on the national scene, i have never actually seen this country have more tolerance for most people, most businesses, most institutions. ian: you would say that is true despite what is occurring in the united states right now? tyler: yes, and i think we will keep that. for all the laboratory rhetoric you here now, it is probably part of a process were a lot of groups and up being much more accepted, for instance muslims. theink that will go down in history books as the events that led transgender individuals to really be accepted into america. ian: you look at the level of civic discontent right now, but also link that tapesty. where would you say we are more likely to see civic discontent actually challenge the model in
your book? if in five or 10 years time we say, actually, no, this was exactly when people started becoming less complacent, they were becoming less complacent for what reason? work: complacency doesn't forever. it feels good, safe and secure, but you run out of the ability we sources of your own creativity. something stops working, and that could be a debt crisis, but in the united states, it is a leadership crisis. we have today an unorthodox leader. no matter what you may think of to be acannot pretend leader for all of america, and that is where we are seeing the refrain come. the tipping point for a sociological crisis, it is actually starting now. when i first started writing the above, i thought that would come seven years from now, but it seems it has actually come in 2017.
investigate reported communications between russians and the trump campaign. meanwhile, president trump rejected reports of his ties to russia in a tweet yesterday. he called it "fake news put out by the democrats and played up by the media." joining me from washington, d.c. is evan osnos of the new yorker. a new cover article titled "active measures." in new york, julie of the atlantic covers politics and world affairs and focuses on russia. i am pleased to have both of them. welcome. evan, your cover, great piece. i think a lot of people are glad you wrote it. probably not the trump administration. what surprises you most when you look at the amount of confrontation that you see between the united states and russia? in this piece, you really unpack what the russians have been up to, particularly in asymmetrical
u.s..e against the what comes into this piece you would not have expected when it came out? evan: this piece was a collaboration in moscow, an attempt to say what is going on in the relationship. for a lot of americans, this was off the radar screen for the last few years. people were not paying that much attention. in moscow, there was a lot of where washington was going, and the nature of how these two countries were going to deal with each other. what we have learned, and i think we will learn a lot more, is really since vladimir putin returned to the presidency in 2012, he has been what has been described to us by u.s. officials and others, is on a fairly active footing towards a more hostile, more confrontational relationship with the united states. he believes the united states has sought to undermine his own domestic politics, political stability, and therefore, he undertook measures we are now
told that would seek to undermine the legitimacy of our election here, indeed, to promote one candidate, donald trump over his opponent hillary clinton. ian: were you surprised that the u.s. response given that under president obama was as late and as weak as it turned out to be? evan: yeah, it is basically recognized now both from people in the obama white house and then also others in hillary clinton's campaign and elsewhere in the intelligence community that the response was muted and probably more muted than it should have been. the white house new as of the summer of 2016 that there was a serious and sustained effort to undermine the legitimacy of this election. and the white house chose not to , as one advisor put it, declare this a five alarm fire. the president came out in october and said this is a russian effort and we are going
to do something about it, but it was not treated in the way some people might have wanted, which was to go out in front of the nation and say our institutions are under attack. the argument you will hear from the white house is that we believed the important thing was to get through this election without further escalation on the russian side, without them actually trying to tamper with the votes in the ballot boxes, and we could bring them to heel, in effect, but now that the law enforcement community are putting their arms around the full-scale of this operation, there is a feeling that the responses to little too late. too little, too late. ian: what you hear from moscow is that the american government does this kind of thing all the time. orthis a five alarm fire are we making too much of our mutual antagonism? julie: i think this is a five
alarm fire. there is a lot of hypocrisy. in 2013,ened in kiev 2014, as a u.s. effort to make more regime change in the region. , that thea u.s. effortputin reas pro-democracy protest of the 2011-2012 were another american-orchestrated effort to oust putin from power. you know, the fact that we were not paying attention to moscow here was part of the problem. whenember i was in moscow mitt romney, who was running for president in 2012, said russia was america's number one geopolitical foe. he was laughed off the stage here, and i remember laughing it
off in moscow, and i remember liberal russians being offended by that, because they have always shows that covered -- all with whole hours dedicated to unpacking what we say about them. they want to know what we think about them. to be told that we do not think about the much at all was really insulting, you know? especially, people still remember the soviet union when it was, you know, they were going blow for blow with the the fact the fact that they were ignored, and kind of disrespected and treated -- they were constantly hearing russians,om the and putin would go on forever with you guys are disrespectful, you do not treat us with the respect we feel we deserve.
there is a lot of stuff there. ian: one thing that came across from this piece is that putin and the kremlin seems to be monomaniacal on their focus on the united states. how much do you think this is unique to this administration? of we talking about a tale two individuals and you bring someone in from the u.s. perspective and it is not as bad. if it had not been putin, it might have played out differently? think this intelligence operation can only be understood in the context of vladimir putin's origins. where he came from. this is a man who after all, when the berlin wall was coming down, he was in the basement of an intelligent office in berlin, shredding documents. he was a person who was an agent ultimately of an idea, which was the notion of soviet empire, and what the russian people could and should accomplish in the world, and then he watched over the course of the next two
decades as russia gradually lost its position in the world as a leading superpower and was reduced ultimately as julia said, to a point where barack obama could describe it as a regional power. in effect, he was beset by his view of the growth of nato, the power of the united eights, and -- united states, and so what he bought was an outgrowth of a long-standing tradition in soviet intelligence, the idea of active measures. that is where the title of this piece comes from, which is that espionage is typically about trying to understand and anticipate than things form powers do not want you know. there is something else. a kind of covert action, trying to influence events. that is what i did measures were. we saw an active attempt to try to shift the course of american events. the russian side really did not thoroughly anticipate it working so well. if you talk to the american intelligence officials were
focused on these issues, they will tell you this seems to have unquote, beyond the level the russian side really ever imagined. [laughter] ian: do you think success here is that we are all paying attention to russia, or is success something deeper? did it show a level of american vulnerability people had not been aware of? .ulie: i think, you know, look this is the difference between the russians and the americans. americans are perfectionists. they think there is a fix-it solution to every problem. the russians do not think that way. they do not need a perfect solution to something. they do not need to select a specific candidate. no matter who won, the fact that vladimir putin was a major topic of discussion and pretty much every republican debate and subject of the presidential debates in the general election, he won. if hillary clinton won as they expected her to, she would have
been delegitimized, badly hobbled by these leaks and stories she was dying of parkinson's and pneumonia and whatever else she had her they would have won. the fact that they got trump, unexpectedly, they won. if trump goes down in flames in the next four years and is impeached and removed from office or is badly delegitimized in the office, they still win because it undermines the whole liberalse of american democracy, and this goes back again to what evan was saying when vladimir putin was in dresden. 1991, at the end of the cold war, right, the cold war was a battle of ideologies, soviet communism versus transatlantic liberal democracy. with the end of the cold war, the consensus was transatlantic western-style liberal democracy, representative democracy, is the
better, more moral, more efficient way to govern people. vladimir putin never agreed with that. been very consistent saying that there is no one-size-fits-all way to roll countries, and this does not fit us and we do not want to be ruled this way. you think you are so much more moral or ethical than us, and that is not true. part of the goal has also been to keep his own people from striving to achieve the western model of democracy, to keep people, and to keep countries that were in the former striving to bem part of the west, from striving to build their governments and societies like western governments and societies, and by delegitimizing the west and saying, look how chaotic they are, just as chaotic and corrupt as we are. why would you want to be like them? ian: on the one hand, you could say he has been successful in saying not a great western model out there and much more
relativism. on the other hand, when you look at russia itself and you look at their lack of economic growth and opportunity and the feeling that in russia that greatness is something that is well beyond -- i mean make a russia iseat again, the most in dire need of such a slogan. how do they balance that? julie: i don't think russians see it that way. for me, and eye-opening text was secondhand time, which won the nobel prize last year for literature. ian: living there lives. over two decades talking to russians about the effect of the soviet collapse on their lives and what you see is just as massive spiritual vacuum and how important it is, and you see people who participated in were more atrocities, who nonetheless missed the soviet union because otherwise, what was the point of it all?
russians are a lot like americans. they are more like americans than americans want to admit. they need a motivating idea and ideology to feel like their lives makes sense, and for most of russian history, whether it czars,en under the it has been empire. when vladimir putin came back, the word empire made a big resurgence in the media and just in, you know, conversations i had with russians that with russians that would say, well at least we live in an empire. i would say, do you get more milk, more bread? they spiritually needed and are willing to take an economic hit for it. when you have deputy prime minister's in charge of the space program saying russians will tighten their belts for a great cause, and you know, we are next going to colonize the moon, he has a point. russians are willing to take --
no one knows where the bottom is for russians, especially when the decline is slow and not precipitous -- they are willing to take a hit economically for a larger idea. ian: where do you think this goes? evan: the first step in figuring consequencesthe are in terms of the u.s.-russia relationship, the first step really is to understand exactly what happened here, and that is why the center of the action right now is in the intelligence and law-enforcement community, and also on the hill. the senate is beginning to realize that there are serious questions here. we are at the beginning of this inquiry, so what is going to happen, i think you are beginning to see with their allies of comments about the need for a special prosecutor, is that members of the legislative branch, in order for us to make smart choices about our own future with russia, we had to understand what happened in this election, not just who johnd the dnc and
podesta's email, who is generating propaganda in an influence campaign, but also what was in fact the level of contact between russian representatives and elements of our political system? and in order for us to do that, there has to be a robust inquiry. i think you'll find that the republican party has foritionally stood national defense and they will want to know exactly what russia did to us so we can prevent something like this happening both to our political system and the systems of our allies. you have elections coming up in a number of states who have already discovered there is russian interference. we will discover more once we get to a transparent and robust inquiry into the full-scale a russian interference in the united states. ian: julia, do you think the russians understand that they might have overplayed their hand here in the sense that now it is going to be much harder for them to get anything going with the trump administration because of this extraordinary focus?
julia: you know, i think part of the point, as evan and his colleagues point out in the article, is to be overt about it. it is to let us know that they can do this. agentsnalogous to fsb coming into the homes of western diplomats, rearranging the furniture, leaving the windows open in the middle of the winter . they want you to know they were there. they want to be brazen about it. that is part of the point, to show us they can. ian: they want sanctions off from europe, too, and this makes it harder to bring that about, right? julia: there are other goals they have. part of it is just -- sanctions have not been as much as a hit on the russian economy that we like to think. withas a major hit, and that, they have been able to pull off other maneuvers if maneuvers through their interventions. i think they are going to be ok
even if sanctions do not get lifted through the trump does not have to formally lift sanctions. they can ease up on enforcing them. there's all kinds of ways to get around it, and russia can get other things done. i thought a key point of what evan said, you know, part of the reason it has been moving so fast and it has been so hard for the west to respond, on one in the newave what yorker piece, a defector from the kgb in the west saying, you know, this is -- western societies are fundamentally vulnerable to this. they are like the 9/11 hijackers. they found a loophole, used the openness of western society as a weapon. ian: i love that analogy, by the way. oura: the reason it is --
response is so ad hoc is that the our response is so ad hoc is that the russian approach is very ad hoc. it started off as one thing and then began -- developed into something else. they had been to the dnc servers and while they were in there, they found out it was committed getting with the dccc servers. they were evolving quite rapidly themselves, so it is like hack-a-mole. an: everyone says putin is extraordinary chess player but the tradecraft is extraordinary, the checkers play is great, but is there a long-term actual strategy in your view? do they knew the -- know what they are going to do with the car when they catch it? evan: they can be. this was an improvisation. i think julia's description is
exactly right. this was an attempt to exploit an opportunity in american political culture. in some ways, they did not have the vote, they hacked the voter. they figured out a way they could get into our politics and monkey around, which is the hard and active measures, to create a degree of chaos, a degree of turmoil. it does not require you have a coherent, plausible, obtainable objectives. this point, the idea that russia is going to successfully undermine the democracy of the united states is a longshot, but what they have done is forced us happenedtock of what the same way we took stock of what happened after 9/11, and really require us to say, let us enlist this democratic system we have got, the legislative branch, the court, and to some degree, the ticket or branch, and figure out exactly what happened, why are we vulnerable, and what are we going to do to prevent it from happening again? ian: thank you very much. evan: thanks, ian.
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