tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg May 31, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: we begin this evening with a look events surrounding the trump administration. german chancellor angela merkel expressing doubts about the reliability of the united states as an ally. it came after president trump's refusal to recommit to the paris climate deal. trump criticized germany via twitter for its trade surplus. and its military spending levels. he also blamed fake news for critical news about his administration. the washington post reported, donald trump son-in-law jared
kushner was being investigated by the fbi for a series of meetings he held with russian officials as part of their probe into alleged interference into the presidential election. the new york times reported he might've been part of an effort to set up communication with the kremlin without the knowledge of u.s. approved talents -- channels. mark mazzetti joins us from washington. lionel barber of the financial times joins me. mark, what do we know? what is it we want to know about jared kushner and these conversations he had with the russian ambassador and the russian banker, and how would we like to define them? mark: there could be a lot of things we want to know. what would be the purpose of the conversations? what was discussed? what each person wanted from each other, what the russians were interested in, what kushner was interested in, why was this being done outside of the normal diplomatic channels?
i mean, normally when a president gets elected or a candidate gets elected, there is a system in place during the transition with the state department giving briefings to the president-elect. the apparatus of the state department is available to the president-elect to set up phone calls with foreign leaders. that is the way things normally work during the transition. in this case, it wasn't just with russia, the trump administration was unique in going around that apparatus. whether it would be to place a phone call with the leader of taiwan and other foreign leaders, they would call in the early days after the election, leaders were calling into the switchboard at trump tower to try to reach president-elect trump. so why was this done outside normal channels? but really the heart of this is, what was jared kushner seeking from both sergey kislyak?
that russian ambassador. and the head of the eb bank, and what did they want from kushner? david: -- rkovlie: but why was mr. go there? mark: we reported the meeting and we knew it came after a meeting with the ambassador. when we approached the white house at the time we asked why , was one related to the other? that he hadd recommended that jared kushner speak with him, but they didn't say why. when i believe that at least in part the meeting with gorkov was designed so kushner could have a direct channel to moscow, to possibly seek someone who more directly has the ear to vladimir putin.
so this was a further effort to set up some kind of communications. now, that is at least part of it. there is more we would want to know about the meeting. why has this meeting with a russian banker, whose bank is under u.s. economic sanctions, and what would be the reason for not disclosing that on your security clearance form, which jared kushner didn't do? charlie: did jared kushner acknowledge that michael flynn was in the meetings? mark: none of these people had said anything publicly about this. there are a lot of different stories coming out based on people who are either in the room or had knowledge of those people in the room. we reported that during the first meeting, the meeting with kislyak, we believe michael flynn was there. we don't believe he was in the meeting with gorkov. charlie: have they acknowledged that he was in the first meeting?
from the beginning, did they acknowledge michael flynn was in that meeting with the russian ambassador? mark: i don't know whether anyone has acknowledged it publicly. i don't know if the white house has said that publicly. that is our understanding, our reporting. i have seen it elsewhere as well, that flynn was in the meeting with kislyak. charlie: what do you make of this lionel? lionel: i would point to conversations i have had with the russians and other people watching this from afar late last year. it is very important to look at the context. number one, and this, by the way, is independent of any possible collusion with the russians regarding the campaign. what i am talking about here is the international context. and particularly economic sanctions imposed on russia as a result of the invasion of crime a, the annexation of crimea, and the military invasion through surrogates of ukraine. the sanctions have been renewed under the obama administration
had become -- but have become increasingly difficult. a lot of people in europe, italy, germany, were against this. the trump administration looking clearly for a reset of relations with putin, with russia. so i believe, based on the conversations i have had, that these conversations, i have not verified this by talking to general flynn or the ambassador, but what the russians were looking for a phased reduction in sanctions, so for example, the first thing that everybody was looking for was an easing of financial sanctions on banks. i would be looking at that if i was trying to explain why mr. gorkov was involved in the back channel conversation with jared kushner. also, obviously he is close to mr. putin, so it could've been
that channel as well. charlie: clearly, michael flynn had conversations with the russian ambassador about sanctions, according to other reporting so far, correct? mark: that is correct. you have to look at in the broad geopolitical context and what was happening during this month. we now know that, we certainly know that michael flynn had long-standing relations with russian officials from his time at the defense intelligence agency. he went to moscow in december 2015, and we know that the trump administration was certainly possibly amenable to easing sanctions. we also know that at the end of december, flynn talked to kislyak and while he initially said that they didn't talk about anything, we now know that he, that they discussed sanctions and specifically the sanctions, the new sanctions that president obama imposed in late december about the russian campaign to
disrupt the election. so this was in the conversation. it was in the mix. it would be certainly surprising that if in those conversations with kushner, kislyak, and gorkov, that they didn't come up. certainly if i was mr. gorkov, i would've brought it up. it is high on the agenda of the russians, and so we have to know more about else -- about what else was discussed. charlie: you have written the fact that there were conversations in the early part of the trump administration about easing the sanctions against russia. mark: right. we wrote that today, that in the early days, there was a draft executive order about lifting sanctions that didn't go anywhere. but it was certainly something that some on the transition , and early on in the administration, thought that it could be something done as a way
to possibly improve relations between the united states and russia. it would be high on the agenda of the russians, and if the trump administration wanted to seek other things from the russians, maybe they saw that as a bargaining chip. charlie: is there any evidence so far that the trump administration, through jared kushner or michael flynn or anyone else, was trying to get the russians to help donald trump win the presidency? mark: there is no evidence i have seen. there is no evidence yet that i have seen reported of what we have sort of commonly called collusion, right? that we know that there were contacts last year, there was question about what those contacts were about. what everyone is certainly looking at and now there are several investigations going on, not only at the fbi but also on capitol hill, to the fundamental question, was there an effort to help the russians in the campaign to disrupt the election? and that is the heart of the matter.
as of yet, we have not seen anything. lionel: i think it is important to say that these sanctions are really hurting members of the russian elite and their children. they like to travel. they like to open bank accounts, move money around. lifting the sanctions, particularly financial sanctions, would have been immensely favorable, looked at favorably by the russian elite. the question is -- charlie: and he would've been one of the people helped by that. lionel: absolutely. but the question i would ask is what was mr. trump looking for , in return? he surely wasn't offering some kind of blank check. charlie: that is the question i just asked was he looking for , help during the election? lionel: i think the question is -- charlie: i don't mean disrupting the clinton people and all that. lionel: a lot of people think the way the relations deteriorated between russia and
united states during the obama administration triggered largely by the invasion of eastern ukraine and the annexation of crimea, things could only get better. and there was syria also on the table. but that is not what i think this was about. charlie: what do you think this was about? lionel: i think that mr. trump has a different, not, again, we didn't have a long discussion about what he thought about vladimir putin, but he along with strategists feel there is a way of resetting relations with russia. russia is a very important geopolitical player. why not start again? what were they getting in return? what guarantees on future behavior, conduct? and that is incredibly unclear. charlie: mark has there been any , allegations that he has done something illegal, rather than simply being questionable, and secondly, against the precedent of previous administrations?
mark: no. there is not yet anything to suggest that there was anything illegal about these conversations, about having the meetings. in and of itself, setting up a secret channel, while it is unusual during a transition, is in and of itself not illegal. what would get you there would be, of course, the content of any conversations or anything leading up to that. so the answer up to this point is no. charlie: the explanation as to thishey might want to do through the russians at the russian embassy, where they thought it would be safe from surveillance by the united states was -- ? mark: i am not confirming that report. that was in a post report the other night. charlie: the washington post. mark: yes.
we have not confirmed that he even made that ask, that it be done in the russian facilities. we certainly would think that if this was some kind of effort at a back channel they would find , perhaps some way to do it, to have a conversation that they didn't think was perhaps being monitored. but as to the detail, i am not sure. charlie: it is interesting. i am not sure you feel about that, but we have here in america with the washington post and the new york times, a healthy competition in washington to pursue the story without any sense of winning and losing. different people have different stories and it is fascinating. and i assume the readers of the -- readers are the beneficiaries of that. lionel: i am certainly reading. i am reading both papers. it is extraordinarily, isn't it? how the trump administration, the president himself, has a complete disdain for the establishment and the experts. no state department involved whatsoever.
it is very striking. charlie: let me turn to something that you are an expert in spending a lot of time in , washington. the president goes to saudi arabia, then he goes to rome, then he goes to brussels, then he goes, i'm not sure come i -- i am not sure, i think that was the order, he goes to sicily, right? he goes to nato and g7. people look at saudi arabia and say that is more of a success than what happened afterwards. it ended up as a headline that angela merkel says the united states, based on the last few days, cannot be considered, what is the word she used? a reliable ally, as we have thought about in the past. lionel: if you read the german and watch the tape, it is more nuanced. there comes a moment -- to a degree this kind of language, , but obviously, the thrust of the message was clear.
and it came after a pretty bruising encounter, both on a bilateral meeting between the european leaders and the president, and the speech that the president gave at the new nato headquarters, where he lectured the europeans for not spending enough. he also gave the germans a very hard time about their trade surplus. and -- charlie: did he say, bad germans? lionel: the word can mean evil or bad. i think we will go for bad. he didn't say that to chancellor merkel, he said that to the head of the commission. look this is undiplomatic , language. the most important thing is this. actually, and i will maybe some -- sound a little bit odd here, charlie, so bear with me. what president trump was saying was not so different from what a succession of senior officials have said, both publicly and
privately, about european deadbeats not coming up to the mark when it comes to spending what they have committed to do, which is 2% of gdp, for the nato budget, including the british. and we only got there. bob gates, five years ago when he was defense secretary, gave a big lecture and said, this alliance is over. charlie: obama kept making the point time after time. lionel: right. the difference is, the tone and the way it is delivered is verging on boorish. charlie: but this also had to do with the paris conference, as well. lionel: yes. that is coming. we don't know what president trump will do, but if he walks out and decides that america should walk out of the paris climate change accord, that would be a really serious blow, and i think it will be bringing the europeans closer to china. because china is signed up. i think it would be -- america
would be close, in this particular area, to being a pariah. way outside of international thinking. and i think it is striking, when you have companies like exxon, in the past they were very skeptical about climate change. that they are saying actually, they think america should remain part of the accord. so i think this is all the backdrop to chancellor merkel's comments, which are, we are worried about america first, and europeans may need to do things more on their own. charlie: and he said he wouldn't commit himself to article five. lionel: yes. not publicly. but i think the fact that he , referred to 2001 when it was invoked, i think that is maybe, he wasn't being so strict. charlie: you seem to be saying this relationship between the united states and europe is moving into a very, very fragile place. lionel: indeed. what is striking, watch this.
the center is holding in europe. everybody thought with brexit at -- and president trump's victory, this would lead to further fragmentation in europe. actually come up post dutch postions -- actually, dutch elections and after macron's win in the french election and merkel's comments on sunday, i think you are seeing, in a paradoxical way, president trump is actually increasing unity in europe. you may well see, if mrs. merkel wins in september, further moves toward integration. charlie: your headline, who united europe? donald trump. thanks so much. mark, thank you. we will be right back. stay with us. ♪
♪ tiger: -- charlie: tiger woods was found asleep at the wheel near his home in jupiter, florida. the 14 time grand slam champion was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. in the officer's account, woods' black mercedes was stopped with the brake light and blinker flashing. woods said he had a reaction to prescribed medications and alcohol was not involved. woods' breathalyzer test for alcohol was negative. marja thetance continuation of a stunning fall for one of the world's greatest
athletes. at an interview at this table last fall, woods spoke about the effort he made to get his life back on track. tiger: i had to be honest with myself, and that is part of going through what i went through. is i messed up. i messed up. i shunned away a lot of things. , i didn't communicate with, for instance, elin very well. and i learned from it. on the flipside, fast-forward, i'm a better communicator now. i talk to people more. and on a deeper level. i learned a lot. charlie: joining me from raleigh, north carolina, the editor-in-chief of "golf world" and a senior writer at "golf digest," and one of the people who has interviewed tiger woods and knows him well. thank you for joining me. tell me when you saw this , picture and heard the news, what was your first reaction? reaction atrst seeing the picture was shock, because it was such a vivid, incredible sort of stereo typical mug shot of disaster, i guess.
frankly, in terms of the actual episode, i wasn't shocked. not that i expected something, but i felt for a while, and i think a lot of people have, intuitively, that tiger has been struggling and having a difficult life, especially since 2009. and he hadn't quite dealt with it, although as he talked about in his narrative, in his interview with you, there was some progress made, but you didn't get the sense that he was truly liberated from it and maybe something was still pent up and these kinds of things manifest. charlie: we all pay homage to his remarkable talent and how distinctive he was. and to see him unable to do it for all the reasons we speculate about, you don't want that to be, as i said when i interviewed him, everybody is vested in tiger coming back to be tiger. because it was such a thing to
see. jaime: absolutely. there was excellence there. it is remarkable, how much people, even though there is so much negative comment about tiger's life and mistakes, how much in the present, when people are at a golf tournament, they really root for him. there is something about, not just his excellence but there is that lost humanity they want to see come out. i think that they are rooting for him as a person to grow and get past this thing. and all the time realizing how , difficult it must be because of the position he is in. he is under scrutiny, at the top of the world. everybody is watching. everything he does is critiqued. he always tried to hold the image of being perfect. and of course, he was anything but. that shock is, and again i am speculating, but i think it is one that is still reverberating with him, and i think people just sense that and realize the battle ahead is a tough one, and he needs our help, in a way.
and it really is a nice collective feeling you get when you watch tiger play in terms of the galleries. i'm not sure if tiger appreciates how much support he has out there. i think he is still wondering, who is thinking what? will i ever get over this? will people ever forgive me? but i think he is forgiven, it is a matter of him for giving himself. charlie: should anybody say, he has bottomed out? jaime: certainly it is being said all over. i don't know. frankly, what has transpired as far as the police investigation on this and the police report, it was not alcohol and i think that would've been more stigmatizing, had it been. you know, certainly he was out there in a dangerous situation. his car was damaged. he could have hurt somebody obviously, but i think the public in general is more forgiving with prescription drugs possibly being in the wrong dosage, a mistake made somehow.
i think he has a little bit of leeway there compared to if it had just been a strictly drunk driving thing with alcohol. so that is a good thing in terms of him not being reviled, but i hope he doesn't feel he can put it aside and never deal with this as far as publicly talk about it, or, and i think his statement tends to say, i've got to do better. he is aware there is culpability here. test -- again he has to deal , with going forward, getting his mind right so he can play golf again. charlie: you certainly need a mission to overcome a handicap, to overcome an injury, to overcome competition. you really need to feel a sense of overwhelming obsession, and almost being a maniac about winning. jaime: you know, yes he was a , maniac about winning. he could be a maniac again in a very productive way -- charlie: exactly.
jaime: in terms of his legacy, and any kind of comeback now would be so memorable. we revere then hogan's memory because of the comeback. tiger could have it come back more spectacular, more memorable, more noble, almost. because he is really overcoming himself more than just injuries. charlie: when i hear you say that, you are suggesting that tiger woods could have a comeback in which he comes to grips and changes himself in terms of whatever his vulnerabilities are. i happen to believe his vulnerabilities are directly tied to his physical health. and his physical health is inexorably tied to his ability to get back to the kind of golf player he wants to be. others, you may be one of them, believe strongly that it is in his head and all of this comes from whatever embarrassment and frustration is in his head. jaime: i think it is a
combination. good news on the physical front, the back fusion was quite invasive and probably a last resort as far as fixing his back. he is not in pain. and of course he is saying that, and we take him at his word, but at the same time, others who have had similar surgeries save -- say that the pain disappears. maybe some mobility is lost, but if pain was the big issue with his golf swing and that is gone, i think physically, he is in a position to play good golf again. it falls back on the mental challenge as to what happens in the future. charlie: what is it that he did here that is so bad, if in fact, as he said, he took medications that had an impact that he didn't foresee? jaime: i think just embarrassment. honestly no damage was really , done. nobody got hurt, fortunately. charlie: no one else was involved. jaime: that we know of.
i mean it may be, worst-case scenario, it might show evidence of a drug dependency. that would certainly be a setback for him in terms of his public image and perhaps, but then again, it could end up being a good thing that it is out in the open. but again i don't mean to , suggest i know anything about that, but that was quite a foggy state of mind he was in, obviously, if you read the police report. it makes you wonder. charlie: the police report, tell us what it said before we leave. jaime: tiger was asleep and he was off the side of the road. the blinker was on and the policeman woke him up basically and asked him some questions, and his answers were disoriented. he failed a field sobriety test. he was just kind of out of it. so the possibility with that what have been horrendous had he
kept driving. but it does show, if you made a mistake with the medications, he made a big mistake. that was quite an extreme condition he was in as far as being almost unconscious. charlie: if there is an addiction, it would be to prescription drugs, probably? jaime: perhaps. it is difficult to even suggest, but certainly, there was intoxication there and it wasn't from our hall. the cause of it is still to be, kind of, i think, sort of determined in the future here. >> the interesting thing, he talked to me about it in the conversation at the table, he , he said, look. i realize i can't do things physically that i used to do. what i have to do and i haven't been able to do beyond the physical impairment he had, and hopefully that has been corrected, i am not, i don't
have the strength or athleticism i once did. therefore, what i have to do is figure out other ways to win. more more precise, be repetitive. gan had lost some's being, but power is not everything in golf. helps.ainly knowing where the ball is going is what it is all about. tiger has always been great at it. >> that is one of the reason the word -- people use sadness, because you can go from sadness to somewhere much better. it is not over. thank you very much. it is a sad story, because somehow, we all admire someone who can do something better than anyone we have ever seen do it. tiger, at one point, could do that, and he is still young. thank you, as always. >> back in a moment.
stay with us. laura is here. her 2014 film on edward snowden won the academy award for best documentary keep your -- feature. she profiles julian assange. followinged footage him as he confronts allegations of sexual assault and overseas controversial document dumps. the new york times describes the film as unfinished in a way that is at once fascinating, frustrating, and understandable. here is a look at the trailer for "risk." >> hello, can i speak to hillary clinton? i am calling from the office of julian assange. it is an emergency. not the film i thought i was making. i thought i could ignore the controversy. i was wrong.
it became the story. >> [indiscernible] a documentary filmmaker. border haveat the become more aggressive. when i got home, my apartment door was open. did i forget to close it, or are they sending me a message? can't believe it. >> it is a most certain that it will be hillary versus trump. >> the fbi is investigating the russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. >> i want to make it clear, we don't have a problem, you have a problem. charlie: i am pleased to have laura back at the table. welcome. after all the success of the
snowden film, did you immediately want to turn to assange as a subject? laura: it was a complicated process, because i began filming with julian in 2011, so i was filming with wikileaks in 2011 and 2012, than i was contacted by edward snowden in 2013. i thought it would be one film. there are some similar, overlapping themes. once i got in the editing room, i thought, there is no way that a story could have both. i didn't know what i would do, then i went back to the footage, because i think julian, i know he is a divisive, polarizing person, but there is no doubt that he is somebody who is kind of changing the landscape of journalism. charlie: in what way? laura: wikileaks was founded in 2006. i think he understood, before a lot of people, how the internet would change global politics, and how it would change
journalism. both for better and for worse. when i started filming, it was after the first manning releases came out, which were the war logs and collateral murder video. for me, as somebody who had been documenting post 9/11 america, i thought it was important information we needed to know. u.s. foreign-policy and wars. then, you have today, where you are seeing almost the bad manifestations of how the internet can be used to change global politics. i think julian is fascinating. he also understood that, for journalists, the job we do to protect sources, it is not enough to say "i am not going to with the because powers of surveillance we now have, you need anonymous tools. you need to be able to provide a way to give security to sources. he did all these things, and he created what is called an
anonymous drop box. a source can drop information without saying who they are. that is what they had been doing. now, almost every newsroom in the country has a similar dropbox. charlie: finish this sentence. at his best, he is -- at his worst, he is -- laura: at his best, he is brilliant. he is willing to take risks for what he believes in. at his worst, he is, he can be vindictive, he can be vain, and he can be a bit of a trickster. in terms of his publishing, my questions are, his decisions not to redact certain types of information, for instance if we look at the dnc emails.
he was in a position where he received newsworthy information and he is claiming he doesn't know who the source is. charlie: everybody believes it came from the russians. laura: what comey says in the hearing, where he told the public he was investigating possible connections between trump and the russians, what he says is that the russian government used an intermediary, what they called a cut out, to do the leak. for instance, you could receive a manila envelope tomorrow with trump's tax returns. it is newsworthy. you verify it. that is what they did. there is often a double standard. charlie: does he verify? laura: of course he does. he has never released anything that was proven to be false. he has, which i had criticized him for, is not redacting personal information that is not
newsworthy, in the case of the dnc. he published everything and not everything was newsworthy. there is no doubt that it was newsworthy. the new york times made the same argument, that if a journalist has information that will inform the public and they can verify it is true, you should publish it, which also doesn't negate the fact that we need to look really closely at what happened in this election. as the government says, a state actor being the one that did the hack, deciding who to release to, i am disturbed by that. charlie: this is julian assange discussing the rape allegations against him with his lawyers. laura: i want to clarify the setup. he is not talking about the allegations, he is talking about the political context. >> it is about you getting your mind into not using language that sounds hostile to women, or
to suggest that in general, women are absolutely [indiscernible] your position is, i am not one of them. you have to frame the language that helps you to explain that. if you are somebody who thinks that this is all a mad thinkracy, i don't [indiscernible] >> not to say it publicly. >> [indiscernible] >> privately, it is a social democratic party influence on the government. it is a thoroughly tawdry, radical feminist political positioning thing. it is some stereotype. >> you stumbled into this mess.
>> yes. she started the lesbian club. if what you are setting up [indiscernible] >> she is in that circle of -- >> the fact that somebody is a feminist, even a radical feminist, doesn't mean [indiscernible] >> the policewoman [indiscernible] is a tag team. >> don't use that language, they were running up a tag team. >> not in public. charlie: what do you make of that? laura: you asked me earlier his good and bad sides. he has absolutely maintained his innocence of these charges. there have been no charges filed. yet, i find some of the descriptions of the allegations and describing feminist
political positioning, to me, that is disturbing. that he thinks this kind of, it is a conspiracy. i think that is disturbing, but those are more attitudes, and that is one of the things the film touches on, are the questions around sexism and what you hear there, which is disturbing language to describe the women in the case. at the same time, it is important to note that he maintains his innocence. charlie: do you see him as a hero? laura: i wouldn't describe him as a hero. but i do believe he has contributed, that the journalism wikileaks has done has been very important. they revealed important things about some of for instance, the wars in iraq and afghanistan. i made a film about the war in iraq and when they came forward with the collateral murder video, this is something the public needs to see.
that is valuable journalism. at the same time, i disagree with their choice is not to choices not tor redact, and some of the choices they make, which quite frankly, when i was contacted by edward snowden and julian asked if i would publish with wikileaks, i said no. we disagree on some of these choices. charlie: over the time he made -- you made the film, did you change your opinion of julian assange? laura: yes, i changed my opinion. i began filming in 2011 and i had a feeling of optimism and hope that maybe we would have more aggressive journalism, which i think we need. i thought that the arab spring was something that was democratizing, that was spreading. fast-forward to today. we are seeing a really sort of
, i think a tragic moment, both in terms of our political reality and what is happening -- charlie: did you change your opinion of him? laura: yes. over the course of the filming. charlie: from what to what? laura: we had a number of conflicts. i am not speaking to him. charlie: why are you not speaking? laura: he wanted me to not include things like the scene you showed. i wouldn't remove it, and he feels that, he feels my film threatens him, which i disagree with. we are not on the best of terms right now. but i say that, and i also want to say i defend their work. i defend their work and their right to publish, and i am concerned about the targeting we are seeing right now in the government, because i have been on a watchlist myself.
i have been on the receiving end of those kinds of government targeting. it really, it is a threat to the first amendment, to all journalism. charlie: the film is called "risk." it will air on showtime later this summer. thank you for coming. back in a moment. stay with us. ♪ these days families want to be connected 24/7.
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♪ charlie: john wood is here, the founder of "room to read," which is a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy in developing countries. he started the nonprofit in 2000 after leaving a lucrative job at microsoft. room to read reaches 11 million students and opened one of its -- its 20,000 library this year. welcome. john: thank you. charlie: tell me what this accomplishes. does it give people who would not have an opportunity to learn to read, the opportunity? growing up in a developing country, that is the key to the rest of your life. john: it is. so many kids are born under the system of the lottery of life. you are born in a low income country to uneducated parents. you don't have a chance to get educated. world change starts by educating children. if you want to change things over 20 or 30 years, there is no better place to start than with five-year-olds and six-year-olds, get them
in school and get them literate. put them on the same baseline we benefit from. charlie: what does room to read do and how does it do it? john: we intervene at two different points in low income countries were educational outcomes are at risk. number one, we try to get kids literate at a young age, in grades 1-3. over 100 million kids today are not enrolled in school. over 700 million people are illiterate in the world, two thirds of girls and women. -- and two thirds are girls and women. we intervene early with literacy. for girls' education, we try to work with communities were girls are at risk of dropping out of school and not making the transition from primary to secondary school. we try to make sure girls can get through secondary school with the life skills they will need to negotiate key life decisions. charlie: what are you doing with syrian refugees? john: we are working in jordan to help syrian refugee families and refugee families from other parts of the world, like iraq, where right now, because jordan
has welcomed in so many refugees, the education system is strange. -- is strange. many communities are teaching two shifts, a jordanian shift in the morning, and refugee shift in the afternoon. and a lot of the refugee camps, there are temporary schools but no learning outcomes. we are bringing local language publishing programs into jordan, working with jordanian authors and artists, syrian authors and artists, to produce arabic language readers so kids will have something positive in their life. our goal is to produce over half a million children's books to help kids in jordan. charlie: there was a program called let girls learn initiative. what did that do? john: that is in line with what room to read is doing, finding ways that girls in low income countries like cambodia and nepal can be the first in their family to finish secondary school. many times, girls are forced out of school by economic circumstances. many times, they are convinced to go get married early.
they will have children early. we are partners with let girls learn, and we work to make sure these girls are the first in their family to finish secondary school and go on to bigger things. 89% of the girls who finished our program have gone on to university, tertiary, full-time employment. it sets the girls on the path where they will be changemakers. a couple generations ago, many our program have gone on to women in the developed world for -- were the first in their family to finish secondary school. charlie: it is a stimulus to growth. john: exactly. if a woman gets educated, her wages increased by 15%-20%. if she gets five extra years of education, her eventual wages will double. educated women have fewer children, healthier families. most importantly, when women in low income countries earn a marginal dollar, they spend it on their family, on food, shelter, clothing, education for their children. when men earn a marginal dollar, no offense to men, we are not as enlightened as to how we spend
it. if women are educated, that is a springboard to societal change. charlie: there is a comparison in terms of room to read. it has eight times what andrew carnegie built. you believe it is the biggest education movement around? john: we do, humbly. there is a long way to go, but when our founding team came together, we looked at carnegie. 2500 libraries across the u.s. and great britain, considered one of the most long-term successful philanthropic investments in human history. we said why can't somebody do that for the developing world? thankfully for us, 20,000 libraries in 20,000 communities benefit from our literacy program. we are at eight times carnegie. we have a long way to go, but 770 million people in the world are illiterate.
foreign investment of 35,000 dollars over four years, we can bring a library and literacy program and impact hundreds of kids. i was a microsoft executive in 1998, running marketing in the asia-pacific. i went to nepal, and a headmaster showed me his school. it was like many schools in low income countries, both hopeful but pathetic and sad because they didn't have books or enough desks or spots for students. i asked a headmaster, i said, you have 400 students but no books. he said, we are too poor to afford education. until we have education, we will always remain poor. my thought was, this can't be a hard problem to solve. i have to do something. thankfully, the headmaster liked me, and was an optimist. he said, perhaps you will come back with books. so i left the village with a homework assignment. charlie: that was a stimulus with what you were doing. john: i went back a year later. my father was my right hand man.
we sat there and talked about it. the kids had never seen brightly colored children's books. it was a mosh pit of literacy. these kids were stage diving onto the books, they were so excited. my father said, you should be very proud. you have helped a lot of kids. i said, one library is not enough. 100 won't be enough. that is where i had the of point saying, if i stay at microsoft, this will be a hobby. the only way to scale is to go full-time. so i jumped out of the microsoft airplane and prayed my parachute would deploy. charlie: literacy is how big of a problem? john: literacy is a huge issue in low income countries. 98% of illiterate people live in low income countries. they are too poor to afford it, but unless you can afford it, you will remain poor. i think of it as the foundation. if you have to build a tall building, you need a deep foundation. kids in the developing world don't get educated, don't get literate from a young age.
that is why we are proud to have worked in 20,000 communities. we have 11.5 million children accessing our libraries and programs. for me, that is the absolute baseline were education starts. they get literate and they become readers and get into the habit of reading. my hope is that millions of kids in low income countries will become readers from a young age. that is important because that is really a hand up, not a handout. charlie: if you can read, because of the internet, your access to things to read in this age is so much greater than it was when i was growing up. i depended on books coming from a bookmobile, from a library in the town next-door. now, you just go to the computer and you can access all kinds of things that are learning tools. john: i grew up in a small town in pennsylvania. we had a community library that was built in 1893. our library launched me on the way to being who i am.
librarian who befriended me became a heroine to me. john: we were only allowed to check out five books per week. i convinced her that it was a low limit. i got to check out extra books. coming from a tech background, what i try to convince my friends is, if children are illiterate, giving them technology is putting the cart before the horse. silicon valley shouldn't forget that with nearly 800 million people illiterate, we need solutions. let's not just throw technology at the developing world. let's make sure kids, give them that baseline level of literacy so they can take full advantage of technology. without literacy, they won't be able to that. charlie: in 2020, that will be your 20th anniversary. you hoped to have reached how many people? john: we hope to reach millions
of students. i would bet we will go higher. we have a program that is really, we get requests from governments around the role to -- around the world to say, when can you come in? from rwanda to indonesia, we are getting requests. this is our rapid deployment model. we go into countries and train local governments and ngos to take our models of local language publishing and research monitoring and evaluation, which we are fortunate that the gates foundation has underwritten. through the accelerator, we can potentially reach millions more additional children on top of what we are reaching for direct programs. charlie: people want to know more about what you do. they can go to your website? john: yes. roomtoread.org. charlie: thanks for joining us. we will see you next time. ♪
♪ alisa: i'm alisa parenti, and you are watching "bloomberg technology." let's start with a check of your "first word news." president trump welcomed vietnam's prime minister to the white house today. trump says the two plan to discuss trade. billions of dollars in business deals are expected to be signed at the meeting. the prime minister is the first leader from southeast asia to visit the white house. meanwhile, white house press secretary sean spicer says president trump has spoken with afghan president ashraf ghani about the massive truck bomb that killed nearly 100 people in kabul. authorities say a suicide bomber drove into the climatic quarter during the morning rush