tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg October 25, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT
♪ announcer: from our studios in new york, this is charlie rose." charlie: several republicans have begun to speak out about president trump. today, jeff flake, a long critic of the president, announced he will not run for reelection in 2018. in his appearance this morning, senator bob corker says the president was dividing the nation. senator corker: i guess i was -- like all americans, i had hoped he would rise to the occasion and bring out the best in our nation, charlie. hopefully, what presidents try to do is bring the country together, to unify around common
goals and not to debase our country. charlie: in a tweet, present trump calledident senator corker a lightweight. >> we live in a land of ideals. custodians of those ideals at home and their champion abroad. we have done great good in the world. that leadership has had its cost, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did. we have a moral obligation and -- to continue in our just cause and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don't. charlie: and former president george w. bush, without mentioning the president, said this. >> we have seen nationalism resort to nativism. we see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade.
conflict and instability follow in the wake of protectionism. charlie: all of this comes as president trump met with republicans to discuss his tax reform agenda. joining me now from washington, robert costa from "the washington post." explain to me as you have seen these people, especially jeff flake, announcing on the senate floor he will not run again, knowing he would not have the support of the president. mr. costa: what a moment, two -- to watch two republican senators, but as you said it, especially senator flake, who gave this emotional address on the senate floor. both corker and flake decided not to run for reelection this year. it sounded an alarm for the political establishment, for their own party and for the country. the latter aspect is important to note because this is just not about the republican civil war which you now have veteran
republican senators who hold influence in the chamber, speaking out about the future of the country, calling president own party's president, dangerous, a threat to national norms and institutions. his conduct unbecoming. the list goes on and on. charlie: and questioning history -- his truthfulness. mr. costa: and questioning his truthfulness, charlie. it was a question of character. charlie: what is going to be the outcome of all this? you have steve bannon saying he will challenge people in their primaries, the president has important legislation that these senators are now free to vote their conscience. mr. costa: it has big consequences. there will be many consequences on capitol hill. whatthrows a wrench into will happen with tax reform. the party is trying to get tax cuts through. they don't even have a bill yet, but they are trying to get some
kind of consensus. the president try to make a pitch and just an hour later, flake makes this bombshell of a speech. there are republican primaries for the senate. this will have an effect in nevada where the incumbent dean heller is facing a conservative challenger. tennessee, in alabama, judge roy moore is already running in mitch mcconnell is likely to face an intense challenge from a band and backed candidate. charlie: at the same time, that is another case where the president said he will support senator wicker. mr. costa: he says he will support senator barrasso of wyoming senator fisher and nebraska as well. does the president have the political capital to pull them over the finish line? he was not able to do that with senator luther strange in alabama. charlie: do we know more about
flake and what he hopes to achieve by this? from a simply a senator political family saying i have had enough? mr. costa: it was, it was also a culmination of a year of criticism from senator flake. he wrote a book called "the conscious conservative" that was about going against president trump's ideology. you see a totem of conservatism, beginning his career in a conservative think tank, was in congress close to vice president for -- pence when he was in the house. this is a mainstream conservative who does not like the direction the gop is going. charlie: so we have civil war in the republican party? mr. costa: we do. we've had civil war in the republican party for nearly a decade. ever since the obama presidency began in january 2009 and the rise of the tea party, we have seen the unraveling of the consensus that was established by president reagan. hawkish foreign policy, tax cuts, that was the core of what held the republican party
together. over the last 10 years in the global economy, and really as a reporter, we see it all breaking apart. as it breaks apart, president trump has a grip on the base. people like senator flake and senator mccain, former president george w. bush all are speaking out, appalled at this term. charlie: appalled at where they think the country is going? mr. costa: they are. they are appalled at what they see as this rising populism, ravens-basedism, politics, a republican party they all went up through as an institution, had believed in, they now see in disarray and they don't really know how to control it or bring it back. that is why when senator flake spoke today about the fever in the country, he was speaking about that senate. is speakingalso about what he thinks the president is responsible for. it seems to me that if george w.
bush speaks the way he did without naming the president -- but everyone knew what he was talking about -- john mccain says what he said. they are really talking about holding the president responsible for the tenor of our times. mr. costa: that's right. and flake's speech was far more personal when it came to president trump. he talked about how he cannot defend the president's conduct or behavior. he used the term it is not normal repeatedly. how he had to think about answering to his children in the future. it was a question of character in the speech today. what we saw from mccain and former president bush a few days ago was really a question of ideology. they don't like the drift of the party. flake is making it more personal. charlie: some people are saying in certain columns that people will look back at this and ask you, where were you when you when he saw this happening to the country, if in fact things are as negative as they see them. where were you and did you take a stand?
there is this notion of history is judging you. mr. costa: there is. i'm always as a reporter skeptical of that, in a sense. the establishment sources i talked to in both parties use that kind of phrase, where were you when trump was president, what they see as an apocalyptic moment in this country where norms are being erased and institutions are crumbling, but you have to add that that, many people in this country don't see the country in those terms and they don't see the trump moment as an apocalypse, as -- but as the break down of an establishment they have come to loath. charlie: and what percentage of the country has that point of view you just articulated represents? mr. costa: we have seen the polls. probably about 25% to 40%. -- 40% of the republican base, the hard-core group. we saw the suburbs in the
midwest, the rust belt in 2016, a lot of movement towards that even if they were not attending trump rallies. we saw places because of the loss of manufacturing, anger, maybe racially charged politics. they were able to go around that kind of politics because of many factors. charlie: i think the remaining question is will this lead to other people feeling like they have to speak out in terms of how they feel about were the country is today? mr. costa: i think he will continue to see retired republican lawmakers speak out -- the safety of retirement that allows them to be more candid. maybe senator wicker and senator heller, republicans up in 2018 will rethink their campaigns, maybe they won't. i think house speaker ryan and mcconnell, they are the
weathervane i'm watching. not to much flake and corker. for now, there are with him in -- they are with him in lockstep in many respects trying to move forward on the agenda and there is no real unraveling there. charlie: bob costa from "the washington post," thank you so much. mr. costa: thank you. ♪
charlie: jenna conant is here. her latest book "man of the hour" is a biography of her grandfather, james b conan. as a scientist, he helped oversee gas projects in world war i. he helped oversee a manhattan project which produce the first atomic bomb. he also served at harvard university for 20 years. he was the first ambassador to west germany. i'm pleased to have jenna at this table. this is amazing. this is a book you were born to write. this is a book you had to write. this is a book you intended to write. mine said aend of labor of love, but maybe more labor. charlie: in fact, you said he -- you knew you had to ride it for -- write it. i knew i had to write it.
tokyo park was about another manhattan project. i did oppenheimer. very close friend of my grandfather and his wartime colleagues, they oversaw the wartime production of the bomb. and i finallyt tackle it. he had a very big life. charlie: in fact, you said he had several lives. jenna: he did. he thought he would be an academic scientist, he was a very famous chemist and was on track to win it nobel prize when he got tapped to be president of harvard. charlie: this is in the 1930's? jenna: 1933. -- hitler camee to power and roosevelt became president. it was a time science was changing the world. technologies of war were completely changing the way we thought. charlie: let's slow this down.
how did he end up being the president of harvard? jenna: harvard was at a moment when its eminence was fading a little bit. it had new competitors. it was trying to figure out who should run the university. it was the height of the depression, so it was a challenging time to become the president of hartford -- harvard. someone came to my grandfather and said, would you recommend and what do you think are the challenges facing harvard? he gave such a brilliant talk to this guy that the fellow went back and said, i think this obscure chemist named conant is the man for the job. there was a huge horserace right up until the 11th hour. they thought it would be someone else and in the end, they gave it to this chemist. he was 40 and was not well known at the time. charlie: was a controversial because he also identified with poison gas? jenna: actually, the poison gas,
he headed up this secret laboratory for poison gas, but he emerged as a hero of the war. it had been seen as a weapon to help end the war, and the chemists all emerged from world war i as these sort of these famous figures. it was changing the world. huge industries were being spawned by chemists, so they were seen as changing the next century. they were visionary scientists now. having a visionary scientist of harbor -- as the head of harvard seemed the way to go. charlie: interesting because harvard is looking for a president now. one of the questions is what kind of person do we want? a lawyer, a scientist, someone from -- my grandfather was doubly
controversial because like now, it was economic hard times and there were accusations of elitism as there are at harvard now and lack of diversity. my grandfather was from the other side of the tracks. he was from a working-class neighborhood. he was from. chester -- he was from dorchester like the kennedys. he did not want to oversee a school of rich mens sons. he immediately changed the policy and started a scholarship program has said we will widen the admissions and admit people of every background and geographical area and religion. this was unheard of at the time. of course, because harvard did it, all of the other universities in the country followed suit, which is really why he has become known as the father of the american meritocracy. charlie: he also developed sats. jenna: yes, as part of this, he
was investing in educational testing and it led to the development of the sat because he wanted to pursue the notion of fairness and merit and you advance on talent, not your birthright. charlie: how do you remember him? jenna: well, i remember him as a brilliant man. he was a very sweet man. he had been through three wars, two hot and one cold. he built terrifying weapons and i think he have been humbled by -- had been humbled by history a little bit. he realized the nuclear force that he helped usher and had not e had not madenc the world a safer place, it made it a more vulnerable place. charlie: he also realized in creating this awful weapon he had to think about the future. jenna: he tried desperately, even before the weapon was used, to control it. he had written a letter to give
-- secretary of war stimson to give to truman to argued they had to control weapons, there should be a national agreement. they failed to achieve an international agreement. then he lobbied ferociously against the hydrant -- hydrogen bomb and he and oppenheimer lost that fight. it was a very bitter fight. keller won that fight and oppenheimer's reputation was destroyed in the process. the famous great board hearing, he was accused of disloyalty and stripped of his security clearance. charlie: this was a man who literally had led the scientific aspects of the manhattan project. jenna: and in my grandfather's view, was responsible for the fact we completed in a possible -- an impossible weapon in 27 months and he was driven out of washington like a thief in the night. my grandfather thought it was one of the great tragedies of american political life. charlie: he went back to princeton? jenna: he did. he got a job at the institute of advanced studies at princeton, but he was no longer allowed to sit on any of the government
committees supervising the weapon that he himself had built and knew more about than anybody, so it was a waste of talent. for my grandfather, who helped create this weapon, and saw it proliferate, he absolutely visualized the situation we are in today. -- he wrote ad famous speech in which he said if we get ourselves into a situation where we are in a nuclear standoff and two countries have stacks of weapons, it will be like two gunmen with itchy trigger fingers and we could be the loser. he foresaw this very situation with north korea then and tried desperately to avert disaster by cautioning restraint and intense diplomacy and not resorting to preemptive strikes.
charlie: why was he never called back to government? jenna: well, he was so upset after the oppenheimer hearing, he was so disgusted he called washington a lunatic asylum. -- washington charlie: he called washington a lunatic asylum? jenna: he did. there are many moments in this book that parallel what we are going to today. at the time in the 1950's, people's reputations were being destroyed by one story, just bitter, personal fights in washington, so i think he was so dismayed that he asked eisenhower for an appointment and eisenhower made him high commissioner of germany, which was a very important job. because germany was the front lines of the cold war. if we didn't solve the chairman situation, it was felt we could
get into a third world war and a nuclear war with russia. charlie: that was a fact, we were a member of the berlin airlift, a whole number of things. so he felt he could be of service there. he went to germany. he rearmed germany and ushered them into the nato treaty and tried to make them a block against soviet aggression as he saw it in the 1950's. charlie: what was his core competence? brilliant?ly he was was it creativity, was it managerial abilities? jenna: i think it was an ability to bring cold, calm reason to enormous national crises. really, that is what he was known for. he was able to cope with situations of great urgency and
danger and bring a lot of reason a lot of history, and an enormous ability to cut through a lot of the politics, the military ambitions, the diplomatic complexities and come up with a solution. he was a problem solver. charlie: how old was he when he died? jenna: he was 84. charlie: did he regret -- did he write his own memoir? jenna: he did. called "my several lives." it was a good book, a dry book. charlie: they often are. jenna: especially in those days, button-down yankees. charlie: that is why george bush 41 deserves some credit. he got jon meacham to write his own book. most of them, with some exceptions -- ulysses s grant, charles de gaulle, -- jenna: they were stoic. charlie: well, they were not writers in some cases.
almost it was like the thing to do, after you left office, you had to write a memoir. they had to write it, but they were not writers. i think we may see something different from obama because he is a writer. jenna: he was to stoic a yankee to admit any doubts. he never publicly second-guessed truman's decision to drop the bomb. privately, i think he agonized about the second bomb. the nagasaki bomb. i think his guilt was not about -- charlie: was it necessary, because they had not come to the table after the first one. jenna: what most people don't understand is the order was never given to drop the second bomb. ,roves issued one directive general leslie gross, who was the head of the manhattan project, he was the head of the manhattan project.
the warpped the bomb, wasn't over, the implosion bomb became available and they dropped back. as my grandfather always stated, -- dropped that. as my grandfather always stated, truman could have issued an order to stop the second bomb, but a second order was never given. charlie: it was just a progression -- jenna: and a third bomb was in the works. charlie: by then, they had surrendered. how long was it between the second bomb and the surrender? was it soon after? after nagasaki, they said -- jenna: yes. his guilt was not about the bombing of japan. in a war of 50 million to 70 million dead, as horrible as those losses were -- charlie: i don't know what the number was, but a huge amount of americans would've had to die if they had invaded japan. jenna: they really paled in the numbers dead and my grandfather was firm in his belief that the
quickrought the war to a end and saved lives on both sides of the conflict. i don't think that can be debated. his guilt was he helped ushered in nuclear weapons and failed to control them. charlie: how did he think they might have been controlled? wena: believe it or not -- can't put ourselves in their positions, but having witnessed the first nuclear explosion in alamogordo in 1945, they thought this weapon was so horrifying that it would end war itself. no one would want to use them. it sounds very naive, but oppenheimer, the others, they really all came to believe this. charlie: do we know how close -- was to getting a bomb? jenna: he wasn't close at all. the great debate is whether
heisenberg deliberately dragged his feet and put up obstacles because he didn't want hitler to get the bomb or whether they made a miscalculation. it is one of the most debated and closely examined areas of the war. charlie: the mind of heisenberg. jenna: yes. the mind of heisenberg. the entire american nuclear effort was beating heisenberg to the bottom. -- bomb. he was such a brilliant scientist, their fear that he would get there first absolute. charlie: didn't he write a letter to roosevelt? jenna: he did. fission was discovered by 1938, by 1939, it was spread all over. americans replicated the experiment, and a refugee scientist living in new york was convinced a bomb was now possible. he was not famous. he was a refugee with a thick
hungarian accent. no one was going to listen to him. that he got his best friend, einstein, to write roosevelt a letter saying these powerful new bombs could now be built and america had to build one. charlie: be there first. jenna: and that is what kicked off the manhattan project. charlie: one of the most important letters ever written. jenna: and really, einstein didn't write it. there were several drafts that they went through. einstein signed it. charlie: being there first, because had hitler got there first the consequences are too horrific to imagine. jenna: exactly. charlie: you are an expert in this, aren't you? jenna: well, i have lived with it my whole life. i had a father that was a rebellious son of a famous man so i was raised partly in japan. it was a strange thing to grow up in japan knowing your
grandfather had built the weapon that have been dropped on japan. charlie: did you think about science as a career? jenna: i didn't. i always wanted to be a writer. charlie: did you think of yourself as a writer more than a journalist? jenna: i do now. charlie: almost as a historian. jenna: that is what people say. i think of myself as a writer. i'm a storyteller. charlie: yeah. what fascinates all of us, later there's a battle with -- about the hydrogen a bomb. those were who opposed, how did win that-- heller battle? jenna: he won that battle because it was the height of the communist scare. a lot of forces were convinced that we needed bigger bombs and more bombs to make us secure. the phrase of the day was overwhelming superiority. not unlike our president trump under the mistaken impression that more bombs would make us safe. we now know there is no missile
intercept system that can catch every missile, and no matter how big your defenses one missile getting through would be a human catastrophe the . whether it is seoul, guam, japan. charlie: winston churchill said means another war would carry the destruction of human life. >> my grandfather believe our only hope for civilization was de-escalating tensions, not escalating. living in the shadow of the bomb, we had no choice but to go forward and try and control it. that is the situation we were in. he liked to quote jefferson,
that the survival of democracy depended on eternal vigilance. we had to be strong, but we had to negotiate. we could not withdraw. charlie: what year did he die? jenna: 1978. charlie: did he know the kennedys? jenna: he knew them well. he was not fond of joe. he was an isolationist. he wanted to make a deal with the germans and get on with it. he was on the opposite side and thought those people that wanted to make peace with the germans in just go to business with the winning side were a disaster, so he and kennedy were on the opposite side, but the sons were all at harvard under him and in his years at harvard.
charlie: did he have a relationship with the president? jenna: he did. he worked for jack kennedy. like so many americans, he had so much hope for kennedy and kennedy made him in charge of a number of education initiatives. shared my grandfather's belief that we had to do everything we could to invigorate public schools to make sure we preserved the opportunity that made america great. charlie: his commitment to his belief in education, not simply those who had easy access, that the future of the country depended on making sure there was diversity at universities and the rest of our people had
opportunity to get education. jenna: the war shaped his education philosophy. he believed the best weapon against the enemy was to show democracy was better than dictatorship. the way to do that was to have great public schools to show that the american way of life -- the home and aspirations further the hopes and aspirations of its sitte citizens. he felt the diversity of our beliefs and the tolerance of diversity is what made us great against repressive regimes. all the weapons in the world would not matter if we lost our core values. charlie: thank you for coming. great to see you. jenna: thank you. ♪
i'm pleased to have marvin kalb back at this table. marvin: it is great to be back. charlie: i'm sure your grandchildren are proud of you. marvin: a lot of people have said stop writing about vietnam, russia, write about yourself. i said that is not the job of the journalist to write about yourself. my grandchildren began to get to me and yield to them on everything and my wife joined in. the idea was you don't have to write about your personal life. you can do it kind of professionally which is what i
tried to do. charlie: it does not necessarily have to be you and your own personal life. it can be about you saw along the journey. things -- why did you pick 1956 and why peter the great? marvin: 1956 is one of the most important years in russian history and the 20th century. you have stalin's death, the end of communism in 1991, but in 1956 -- khrushchev did something that was literally on y unheard of. it was the 20th party congress.
it was a normal congress. khrushchev gate a seven out speech on how marvelous we are. he said you and i have to have another talk. they met after midnight and khrushchev went on for four hours and for the first time attacked joseph stalin, the man about who you could only say great and wonderful things because if you went the other way he would not survive. he ran a tough dictatorship and when he died in 1953, everybody of any kind of power position was struggling with what do we do now. how do we run this country? do we do it as stalin did it. the answer was no because nobody was stalin so then khrushchev comes three years later and shatters the idea you could not criticize the leader of russia.
you cannot do that. he did it to his successor. he did it in an honest, stunning way that left some people so shattered when they listen to it, but they were popping nitroglycerin tablets. some people died of heart attacks right on the spot. some committed suicide. he attacked stalin. you cannot do that and he said over and over again that was a murderer. he was a killer. he destroyed our country in the 1930's and almost by mismanagement of world war ii almost lost the soviet union to nazi germany. it doesn't have to be khrushchev or anybody in a position of authority.
that was the worst crime of all. charlie: how did the contents of the speech get out? marvin: that was the tricky thing. he said at the time he spoke this must be between the two of us, but his son sergei khrushchev told me one thing his father would say one thing, both ut operated under the table to make sure something else happened. he made sure that every communist leader around the world was aware of what he had said in poland, the communist leader filled in the head of the commonest party. a reporter was then told what he said. he then gave that to western reporters. the israelis were the ones who picked up the speech and gave it to the cia.
the cia then released the speech in early june of 1956, by which time word had spread throughout the soviet union and at that time, a great historical moment was that the russian people began to feel a touch of freedom -- a whiff of freedom that they had never experienced and it was intoxicating. they liked it and they wanted more. sheriff had let loose -- khrushchev had let loose. the russian people did what intelligent people would do and then khrushchev was faced with something horrendous.
the hungarians took khrushchev literally. they said it is a good thing to attack our communists. we are going to do that and we're going to do something else. we're going to cut loose from the soviet union. we are going to be independent. we want to be like yugoslavia. the minute they do, khrushchev was bombarded with pressure led by molotov. he was saying if you don't crush this immediately, you are out and khrushchev -- charlie: because we will throw you out? marvin: khrushchev had that decision to make. do you crush the hungarian revolution and retain power or do you really just let them have it? charlie: the book is called the year i was peter the great.
you are in moscow. you had been to harvard. you were getting a phd in russian history. he spoke fluent russian and you had an opportunity to work at the u.s. embassy in moscow and you grabbed it. because of that, you participated in some diplomatic functions and khrushchev comes to one of those and meets you. you are taking care of a great general. one of the heroes of world war ii? marvin: yes. charlie: now you talk about a drinking thing with him and making sure the person serving you is giving you water and he is drinking vodka.
he's impressed you can hold your own. even though you are drinking water. khrushchev is there and he takes you over to meet him. what happens? marvin: i had met him when he came over to celebrate our july 4 party. there were four of us at the embassy which was woefully understaffed. ambassador bolin said marvin, you will be in charge. i said that was ridiculous. i don't deal with marshalls. he said now you do. i read up on him and found out he really likes vodka so i worked with the ambassadors butler to work out a deal that on one end of the tray was
locked up in the other end was water and whenever he was serving it he was to make sure he got the vodka and i got the water. after about half hour or so, he was a bit tipsy. khrushchev said he was about to go so i walked over and marshall says, i have finally found an american who can drink like a russian. of course, i did not drink. bolin looked at me strangely and khrushchev says, it is wonderful you can drink like a russian. he says how tall are you? we had just been talking about great russian battles and i
spoke of a battle that peter the great had won in 1709. i said i am six centimeters shorter than peter the great. from then on, he said here comes peter the great and that opened up many doors. i was very grateful. i visited every place i can go. i went out to central asia throughout the caucuses, into ukraine, up into the baltic because i was so unimportant at the embassy that if i went to the ambassador and said you think if it is all right if i go to the kotter? he would say sure.
stalin died three years before the country was just opening up and they would allow diplomats to the open tuesday had never been allowed before so when i would show up at these places, i was alone, but i spoke russian. i knew about the country. i was aware that russian people are quite wonderful people, but you have to get over a little bit of caution on their part when they're dealing with foreigners, but once you get over that, they are very warm, very hospitable and i was treated very well at that time. charlie: you also met edward r murrow. we think of you as one of our great correspondents. we claim you. marvin: thank you.
charlie: what was the meeting about -- marvin: i went back to harvard and was writing my dissertation and one day i got a call passed on to me by the library and that said edward is calling you. i said it must be a mistake and she came back later and said it is the same guy. i went and picked up the phone and the minute i heard his voice, i realized what a total nut and fool i had been and i apologized immediately. he said no, i read the article you did for the times. he said i really liked it. charlie: on russia? marvin: on russia's youth. he set a liked it and i would appreciate if you come down tomorrow morning. would you be here?
i said yes. i got a fresh shirt and went down. it's was supposed to be half hour meeting and we finished our discussion three hours later and ed was the sort of person like you. very curious about the world. wanted to know people. he asked me questions about young russians. what were they like? do they want to go to school? did you want to work in the field? what is their relationship with god? he asked that. what is their relationship with parents? he wanted to know everything. after we dealt with that, about 10:30 in the morning, he took out a bottle of johnny walker black label scotch, put it down and put two large glasses and began to pour. charlie: 10:30 the morning.
marvin: i was shocked and he said you don't drink? i said is there no job? he said no, it will just make it more tough. he said put your arm around me and i melted. charlie: what is the state of journalism today? marvin: we are in trouble. charlie: how so? marvin: for two reasons, one is financial. with the rise of the internet, we have lost the things that sustain newspapers. there's an enormous amount of medical type ads so that keeps that aspect of news going, but newspapers have been reduced.
you pick up the newspaper today i was visiting my daughter in columbia, south carolina. a very nice newspaper called the state, but it is a tiny paper and that is all over the country now. it is extremely important because we are at a point where you have to ask yourself, everything is going on in the world. we have a relatively new president who has injected uncertainty into local and national environment. as a result, you have to have to depend on the press, but yet the press is being attacked by the president as fake news, so you undercut the legitimacy of the news and to do that, you raise the question where you get your information from?
what can you do that is honest, honorable, that is not fake news? and each individual in this country is now faced with that knee. to address the question of information, where do i get it #is it reliable? and, that takes work. are the american people up for that responsibility? at the moment, i'm not sure. i want to say yes, but i'm really not sure. charlie: we also have seen recently the press to come by this president being called the enemy. marvin: that was something that in my judgment crossed the line. i did something earlier this year which i never done in my life. i have been involved in journalism for more than 60
years and in that time i never thought it was my job, as with this book, i'm telling the story that i never thought that i had to editorialize. that is not my responsibility to . let that be the editorial writer. but, when the president of united states said, that the press were enemies of the american people. to me, that crossed a line. that phrase -- i don't know if the president knew the origin of that phrase, but that comes right out of dictators of the 20th century. line ofs a favorite joseph stalin, adolf hitler. it was not a favorite line of thomas jefferson type people. it was of the bad guys.
the adopted that. the press is the enemy of the american people. for the american people to be fed information that undercuts ,he legitimacy of the press that it is all fake, why do that? two reasons -- one, psychological. the president wants to the above all and i call creeping authoritarianism. i could be dead wrong but that is my judgment about where he would like us to go. thing, which to me is is if we live in an era of uncertainty, how do we know what is going on unless we have a press that we can trust? but, if we can't trust that press, then where you get your information?
and the president would like us to believe that everything he says -- everything people supporting him say is true and everything else is fake. then, we are depending upon his version of fake news and that leaves us extremely vulnerable. it was not an accident that the first amendment to the u.s. constitution speaks of freedom of religion, right to assemble, freedom of the press and of speech. that is because without that freedom, everything else is jeopardized. we have got to have that. charlie: the book is called the year i was peter the great. ♪ retail.
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you are watching >> bloomberg technology. let's start with a check on your first word news. president trump says under jeff flake likely to the right thing by not seeking reelection in arizona where the president says he didn't have a chance. president trump: he was against me from before he ever knew me, he wrote a book about me before i ever met him, before i ever heard his name. his poll numbers and arizona are so low that he could not win. i don't blame him for leaving, i think he did the right thing for himself. alisa: trump is describing him as sad and a disgrace. reports that hillary clinton and the dnc pa