Skip to main content

tv   Open Phones with Bob Woodward  CSPAN  October 1, 2016 1:00pm-1:46pm EDT

1:00 pm
and decided to disclose the existence of the secret taping system which provided evidence that led to nixon's downfall and resignation. >> butterfield's wife thinks he did, wanted to tell butterfield, denies that and acknowledges that he was quite upset about the lies and extent to which he was drawn into this web of corruption in the nixon white house, people come out differently, what i'm able to chart with the documents and extensive interviews with butterfield and story never told in detail, various stations of the cross in making that
1:01 pm
decision. >> bob woodward is our guest, you know him from the watergate era and all the president's men and 17 other books, the most recent came out in 2015. we will put phone numbers on screen because this is your chance to talk with bob woodward, 202 is the area code, 748-8200. you can dial-in, in the mountain and pacific time zones 202-748-8001. there is a third way of getting a hold, this is simply for text messages and if you do send a text message please include your first name and city and identify that way but the text message number is 202-838-6251. we will get your calls and text messages very quickly as we go through. bob woodward, 46 years since watergate happened, what did you
1:02 pm
find? >> we ought to talk, i went to his home in la jolla, california, personal story, never really paid out, visited butterfield, and a few, 20 boxes, thousands of documents, which i had never seen before which had not been known to the world, an additional layer of nixon's isolation corruption, criminality, very close up portrait as if the camera is right in butterfield's face
1:03 pm
peering into his soul, and what happened to him. >> what about nixon related material? >> he needed to get out in 1973 before everything was unraveling on watergate, he pulled his car, his wife, they loaded the 20 boxes from the executive office building next to the white house, kind of the lesson is you don't know what you can get away with unless you try. >> host: what did you find in those 20 boxes? >> guest: butterfield told me stories i wasn't sure where precisely accurate and there would be a document describing
1:04 pm
them. ones that surprised me, shocked me in fact, from 1972, kissinger had sent to nixon, a routine update, the vietnam war, nixon wrote in his handwriting, he bombing in southeast asia, going on for ten years, achieved village, it has been a failure. he was touting the bombing was very successful, made this declaration and the bombing studies since have shown he was right, achieving nothing except energizing the north vietnamese was what did nixon do? this is the year of the
1:05 pm
election, 1972, the bombing was popular, showed he was tough. instead of stopping the bombing, killing people, he intensified the bombing, 1972, ordered the dropping of 1.1 million tons of bombs. >> host: how did alexander butterfield get to the white house? >> guest: it was an accident which he knew nixon's top aid, chief of staff from ucla, butterfield was an air force colonel, he asked the interview, he realized someone out of central casting, the perfect to bring in as his deputy, did that with nixon's approval, nixon
1:06 pm
didn't need butterfield until the first weeks of the presidency. on their meeting the scene is described, showed how nixon could not talk. all he did was mumble. >> 202-488-7200. or 8201 for those in the mountain and pacific time zones and our text number for text messages 202-838-6251. is mister butterfield still alive? >> guest: he is, 90 years old, lives in california, have done a couple nonprofit boards, he was just sitting there and this again is one of the journalistic lessons in all of this, you got to show up and ask people and who would have ever thought there would be another dimension
1:07 pm
to the nixon presidency, there it was just sitting. >> host: a lot of the documents, attitudes in the nixon white house were unique compared to other white houses? >> guest: i do. historical records show that. there was a kind of anger, a sense that nixon, the presidency is his, he has been elected, in many ways used the presidency as an instrument of personal revenge, the fbi, the cia on enemies perceived enemies, other presidents have been vengeful, no question about it but it was a way of life and a policy in
1:08 pm
the nixon white house. >> host: president nixon died in 1994. ever have a private conversation with him? >> guest: we tried a number of times, understandably, in 94, it was 20 years after he resigned which was in 1974, nixon spent that 20 years giving interviews, writing books and memoirs, to a large extent he spent that time declaring the war against history to say what i really meant, watergate was just a blip, not as serious as people made it out to be and nixon resigned not because of the democrats or the media but the
1:09 pm
republican party which saw this evidence in the final stage, all of the testimony. simplified by barry goldwater, conservative from arizona, who took the position too many crimes, too many lives. >> host: at what point in 72-73 did you know your life was going to revolve around this? >> it was incremental. in october 1972 before nixon was reelected, we had written these stories, people didn't believe it. it is inconceivable and carl, to his credit, realized it was likely nixon was going to be impeached because there was so much here, so much corruption, so much sabotage and espionage directed at the democratic
1:10 pm
presidential candidate. >> host: let's begin with a call from ray in ottawa, illinois. you are on with author bob woodward. >> i am a big fan of your writing, what you did in washington. i want to make this as concise as i possibly can. would you ever consider writing a presidential history of president obama and what is your opinion in your coverage of washington as republicans absolutely hate the man so deeply that they will never work with him and try to sabotage his presidency? >> guest: i have written two books on obama. obama's war about the afghan war policy, and the second one writes the politics about the
1:11 pm
budget negotiations, with the republicans. obama gets a mixed record, achieved a good number of things, a lot of people, a lot of democrats agree with this, did not develop a personal relationship with people in congress, could have done a lot more on money issues. on the foreign policy issues, he did some things but i remember talking to the prime minister of one of the country's closest allies who said he really liked obama, thought obama was smart, no one was afraid of him. there was a record there, when i interviewed president obama he made it very clear he does not like war, sometimes it is necessary but the core of obama
1:12 pm
is war is a manifestation of human folly, he is right but in the world of vladimir putin, you have to been tough and he was not tough enough. >> host: if you go to you can see a list of his books was kathy texts to you can you compare the illegal act of mexican -- nixon with hillary clinton's secrecy and foundation? >> the record on the tapes and the record in nixon investigations, the level of corruption, criminality, lots of questions about hillary clinton's emails and secrecy and other activity has the fbi director said recently, they are not recommending prosecution of
1:13 pm
her, no evidence of criminality. a lot of people agree with that, a lot of people disagree with it, secretary clinton said she turned over all the work related emails, 14,900 emails are work-related which were going to the state department, south of the election, how would you like 14,000 of your emails, there is going to be a portrait of her, one of the things we don't know and makes the campaign even more tense particularly for her and her supporters. >> host: what is your take on the hacking of emails in
1:14 pm
washington? >> there is no privacy. i was at a ceo conference, or big tech companies, with data protection, the biggest issue for the next 20 years, when you go on your iphone, smart phone, computer, you have any expectation of privacy? no. no reasonable person would. there is no -- all kinds of material, the chinese and russians, we may have september, october, we may have a surprise every month if the ceo is to be believed for the next 20 years.
1:15 pm
>> host: liz in arlington, virginia. >> i am a huge fan of yours was how difficult was it for you personally to keep the identity of deep throat a secret for so many years? >> we gave our word and when you give your word you want to keep it and carol bernstein and ben bradley, the editor, did, the number 2 in the fbi, 11 years ago, was 90 at the time, decided to reveal he was that force. he and i were able to tell that story. a movie i think we will see either this year or early next year. we will see more detail.
1:16 pm
>> host: do you think his reason for being so-called deep throat was personal, patriotic? >> one of the things as a reporter, as a human being, you realize there are always multiple reasons and motives for any action. in the case of mark feld, part of it was he wanted the truth out, part of it was he was angry, because he had been passed over as fbi director. part of it was he knew or believed i would protect that relationship and information he gave us. and secret man, a number of people have written about it or written books about it, when you
1:17 pm
look at it, i knew mark feld and the relationship and it was never a relationship where he said i will come clean and tell you everything, he controlled the disclosure and the clues and there was never that kind of sit down of let's have a walk in the park for six hours and tell the whole story. he was not that sort of person. very uptight, very concerned he was going to be identified, very perplexed about the criminality in the nixon white house so he found a way. he wasn't a volunteer. he didn't call me. somebody i met in the navy, kept going to him so he would provide limited clues.
1:18 pm
>> host: next call from florida, you are on booktv. >> i got your book, began reading it and asks why there are no photographs in the book. >> guest: in the back of the book, photographs of 70 documents we haven't seen publicly before. some of them are secret and i thought the documentation was much more important than photos of nixon, nixon and butterfield, there is one on the cover, but as we go through this era where everyone questions every institution, politicians, candidates, certainly distressed journalists, i thought this was an opportunity to prevent it is
1:19 pm
present the raw information that is talked about and discussed in the book. >> host: "the last of the president's men" is the most recent of bob woodward's books, what is next? >> guest: don't know yet working on some things for the campaign coverage, finding out exactly what hillary clinton and trump, what they are up to is important. there will be a fabulous book for somebody about the first year of the next president. >> host: is this election unique in your view or are all elections unique? what is different about this when? >> guest: so many things are different. five or six -- bob coston and i interviewed trump and we published the transcript, he said all kinds of things,
1:20 pm
shocked many readers. for instance he said i bring out the rage in people. he said that with pride. normally a presidential candidate would say i am going to unify, bring people together, not make them angry. he is quite proud many times, rage, he is happy he brings outrage. we ask him why other republicans either succeeded or failed, why did nixon fail? trump's answer was his personality. we had to say the criminality, the crime, trump said those too. why did lincoln succeed? trump's answer was he did the things that needed to be done.
1:21 pm
in high school you wrote that on an exam paper, you wouldn't pass. there is a lot of history. he does not understand. it is also clear he understands something going on in the country about anger and distress people feel, people who are privileged, democrats and republicans, it is a campaign not just reveal the candidates but the country. >> host: warren, michigan. >> thank you for all the great books you have written. you have been a public service over the years. speaking of mister trump, does
1:22 pm
the idea of a trump presidency scare you as much as it does me? i think of the man for lack of a better term as an in basile, that is too harsh of a word but he clearly suffers from lack of liberal arts background. >> a lot of people agree with you. obviously there are people who disagree with you. the tradition and habit of neutral inquiry. the thing i can do is tell people as much as possible, the key things we don't know like
1:23 pm
what is in our emails or donald trump's tax return this. and insights before the campaign. i don't know. the presidency has withstood all kinds of people, we have a democracy. of trump wins we have to deal with it. >> host: this is a text message from new york, woodward and bernstein did investigative work nominate -- no longer done by traditional press, it is now done by fringe groups like wikileaks. what has changed? >> that is just not true. my own newspaper, the washington post will hold books on trump. some magnificent investigation of trump's charities, how he
1:24 pm
used the charity allegedly to pay off all kinds of things that were personal, that is not what a foundation is for. there is some great work done. we have to know more. >> host: what was the relationship between president nixon and his wife? >> guest: and "the last of the president's men," butterfield was assigned account, he describes in detail how she was the be used wife, nixon wouldn't talk to her, wouldn't consult her, some scenes, the saddest i have ever written about nixon and butterfield flying in the helicopter, nixon says to her husband we need to go to new
1:25 pm
york over christmas, let's have a good time with the girls and nixon totally ignores her, sticks with his yellow legal pad and she keeps at it and butterfield said he almost wanted to reach over and grab him and say hey, us obe, answer her. >> next call for bob woodward is carrie. >> caller: you have no idea how glad i am to talk to bob woodward. my question for you is simple. when you and carl were working on the watergate thing, did you realize you are probably unraveling one of the greatest histories in american history? >> there were stages and it was over a two year period and we felt we had good information and
1:26 pm
good sources but remember people didn't believe it. nixon beat george mcgovern after we had written most of these stories, nixon beat mcgovern, it was a landslide. i think i sense the president was a criminal and would order and carry out all of these illegal and abusive actions that seem impossible. story after story, we wrote hundreds of stories in the end. the watergate committee, the house impeachment inquiry, watergate prosecutor who really dug into this and eventually developed the documentation, testimony and secret tape
1:27 pm
recordings. >> host: bob woodward, who is still alive from the nixon white house, the house judiciary committee etc.? >> guest: good question. alexander butterfield is one of the few. >> host: john dean. >> guest: john dean, nixon's council who testified so dramatically in 73 for days about his feelings about nixon and ties and coverups. the main aids are gone. henry kissinger is still alive. he is a figure in this book. i think there is still work to be done on the vietnam war. why nixon continued that war when he had the opportunity when he became president in 69 to change the policy, he withdrew
1:28 pm
but increased the bombing so what is the bottom line? what is the lesson? history is never over, there is always work to be done. >> host: this is a text message, if you send a text message include your first name and city. who is the most honest politician you have researched? >> guest: i found in the end gerald ford, he pardoned nixon. i examined it in detail and interviewed ford many times and actually what ford did rather than being a deal or act of corruption was a very courageous act to pardon nixon, watergate, if nixon had not been pardoned, he would be investigated, certainly, indicted, tried, maybe go to jail, two or three more years of watergate, ford
1:29 pm
said to me in a very plaintive way, i needed my own presidency. >> host: when was the last time you sat down with gerald ford before he died? >> guest: several months before, i think. one of the things he told me which we published in the washington post after he died, ford said if he had been president, he would not have invaded iraq as president george bush did. >> host: john calling from naples, florida, you are on with arthur bob woodward. >> caller: a huge fan for many years. i wanted to ask you about the donald trump dialogue. what is your take on what was published for the first time yesterday afternoon and this morning in the washington post, the new york times, the
1:30 pm
involvement of this carter stage with donald trump, vladimir putin and a lot going on's decision to dismiss and who are you voting for? your opinion of carter, trump, this alignment with russia and trump working in the interest of russia. .. trump may be chooses to dismiss. and who are you voting for if we could ask? but your opinion of carter page, trump, this alignment with russia, and really trump working in the interest of potentially russia rather than the united states and the selection? >> guest: i don't know the specifics but i inc. there are a lot of unanswered questions about trump's dealings in russia and with blood mere putin. that is one of the reasons to get his tax return in terms of who i am voting for, i don't vote. i think it's important that
1:31 pm
it adds to the suspicion about the neutrality of the press which i think is a giant issue in this cam a pain and in the country -- campaign and in the country right now. it adds to the suspicion about the neutrality of the press which i think is a giant issue in this campaign and the country right now. >> lynn downey did that at the post correct. >> that's correct, he used to vote and take my young daughter into the polling booth with me and let her decide and told her she was empowered to vote for me they let you do that and the district of columbia. but now she is often college and so i am alone and literally i am not going to vote.
1:32 pm
>> host: okay, back to mark, did you write it down anywhere, did you did you put it in a safety deposit box, did you tell your wife your pants, anyone?'s view. >> guest: yes i told my wife, told my wife, years ago ben bradley new, before they disclose the identity in 2005 new he was getting old and senile so i wrote the book that became the secret man and did the first draft of it. and had been bradley go through it, i had my editor go through it. so it is important, vitally important that that not be an unanswered question about watergate. >> host: text message area code 56 one, mr. woodward, woodward, what you think about the clinton foundation? >> guest: i think the clinton
1:33 pm
foundation is one of these money stories, my newspaper, the washington post has done some wonderful in depth the work about the foundation. i think there are unanswered questions. i think when secretary clinton says, there was no conflict, i mean it was a walking, breathing, living conflicts. at the same time, in her favor in bill clinton's favor the clinton foundation has done a lot a very good and important work that other people wouldn't do. but again, it it is like e-mails, and trumps tax returns, we don't know the whole story there. i hope there is in fact more information about the foundation, about the speeches, about all of the money making by both candidates before the vote. >> host: let's get stephen in
1:34 pm
before we close. >> caller: can you offer any insight into the relationship between dickinson and former president george hw bush senior? >> guest: that is an interesting question. of course bush senior had the republican national committee and was chairman during watergate. that was hard duty. bush had to go and defend nixon. at the end he was one of the people that urge nixon resigned. it was not a very close relationship. i think it is one of the examples, nixon built this web and he entrapped people. bush wasn't one of those people who was given the responsibility
1:35 pm
and soldiered on through it. at the same time i know when i did books on the first gulf war, when bush senior was president, bush senior would never talk to me. he would never be interviewed. i think the lingering memory of watergate was too large >> booktv is in the steel city of pueblo, colorado, learning more about city's literary scene. up next, we talk with betty alt about her book, "mountain mafia." >> you know, you think of the mafia as always being in new york or l.a., and certainly pueblo was can connected with these. in fact, pueblo was known as little chicago.
1:36 pm
so the mafia was big here, the black hand as it was originally called. it started with italian immigrants coming over into colorado to work in the coal mines in the southern part of the state or to work in the steel mill here in pueblo. and they were actually recruited. the steel mill didn't have enough men, and so ads were sent out all over the united states, and that drew the people here. and the black hand, which was basically extortion, came with hem. most of them had, as we say, a lot of them farmed. many of them owned various saloons as they were called then, nightclubs around town, out on the mesa. so some of them were businessmen. for example, one of the bars was between santa fe and main street on 7th street was owned by charlie blanda. at that time it was called the holiday inn.
1:37 pm
not like the hotel chain. but this was a bar that most of us as kids knew that it was there, could see the people going in and out. they were legitimate businessmen some of them had machines that dispensed candy, etc. see, this was a time, this was a different period of time. i can remember going to the grocery store as a young child where they would have what was called punchboards where you could pay a penny, and you could stick a little knife thing through one of the holes, and you might win something. but usually you didn't win anything. but this was basically a form of gambling. no one ever said you're a kid, you can't do this. i can remember all of us did this. but it was a small town. i grew up here. and, you know, it was 50,000 people. everybody knew everybody. as we used to say, you couldn't sneeze without somebody saying bless you.
1:38 pm
so it was an interesting town and, obviously, you had different groups of people and different levels of income. you had the wealthier, and you had the other people who were poor. like any town. but it was a nice place to be, i think. so the mafia didn't just prey on ordinary citizens walking along the street. there were two factions here that really came during prohibition, were the dannas, four brothers, and the carlinos, two brothers. and they were fighting for control of the sale of liquor in the southern part of the state. and one of the very famous instances was the shootout over the baxter bridge out east of pueblo on the bridge that crossed the arkansas. the dannas were coming down the hill onto the bridge, so they had the advantage to shoot from. the carlinos were coming across from the lower part. two of the carlino people were
1:39 pm
killed. and, again, i need to qualify that a little. when you talk about a mafia family, it wasn't just the two families, it was all of their immediate relatives, in-laws and friends that were together in this. anyway, the shooting went on for at least four hours, over 500 shots were fired. one side ran out of bullets and had to send back to pueblo for more ammunition. the result was two of the danna men were arrested. and what was so interesting when they went to trial, it was just before christmas. and in the book, we have the lawyer's plea, how could you arrest these two farmers who are only making their living on the land and leave their families at christmas without their fathers? the trial actually lasted five days. the jury debated 28 hours, and it was a hung jury. so eventually the da, this nas
1:40 pm
were -- dannas were to be tried again, but nothing ever happened. it just disappeared. obviously, when the two carlinos take over pueblo with bootlegging, they have all this liquor, but there wasn't much population in southern colorado. a lot of booze, no people to buy it. so they decide to go to denver to challenge joe roma, known as little caesar. he was about five foot tall. he's doing the bootlegging in denver. shortly after they get up there, sam carlino has his house blown up, and then he's killed by one of his own men. this scares pete, so he goes east to cleveland, to new york to stay there with the people he knows there. but eventually he comes back to pueblo or to the mesa, and the denver police find out about it, and they arrest him and take him
1:41 pm
up to denver and put him in jail. $5,000 bail. now, this is a mafia head from pueblo. he has $47 in his pocket when he's arrested. here he is in jail. who's going to bail him out? joe roma. joe roma comes, pays the bail. there's a picture in our book of the two of them shoulder to shoulder, arm around each other, and joe says, oh, you know, he is a good friend of mine. i have no trouble with pete at all. about three weeks later, pete is found shot west of pueblo on the way to westcliff. but it was a business. what was it al capone said about bootlegging? it was not just business, it was big business. and this was true. but again, they were not in your home, in your face. these people who were involved in bootlegging provided a
1:42 pm
service. you cannot have a bootlegger if you don't have someone to buy the liquor. you know, sandra and i have been asked many times to compare the prohibition here with the people who are upset about marijuana. or drugs in general. well, the people who sell that obviously are selling in the same way you and i go to the grocery store. so they provide a service. so to some degree, the mafia provided a service. they sold the booze that legitimate people bought. i have a close friend whose father owned a barbershop down on union avenue which at that time is now the place to go. it's the riverwalk. but at that time you didn't -- when i was young, you didn't go down on union avenue. at any rate, whiskers inserto who was always the underboss sort of for all these others, very interesting man, used to go
1:43 pm
in there to get his haircut. and this friend of mine, who was a kid at the time, said whiskers always gave he and his twin brother a penny. and a penny, you could buy a little boog of candy for a penny -- bag of candy for a penny. and what he remembers was he was just a good customer that came in regularly, and he always gave the kids the penny. they were just family men. they were just, they had a different job. and most people who read the mafia book, even the kids who came, you know, we thought the people we named would be very upset. they were intrigued by this, by what their family had been. they were never told this. i received a call one night from a gentleman in california, and his name was sam carlino. and i thought that can't be sam carlino, sam's dead, you know? [laughter] and he was the grandson, and someone had sent him the book,
1:44 pm
and he said i had always been told my grandfather died of pneumonia. i did not know he had been shot west of pueblo til i read your book. so, see, for most of the people it was kept under cover in the family. and your neighbor, they were good neighbors with other people around them. i think that's what we try to show here or say. they just had a different business. it was a business of crime. it was a very profitable business if you lived. >> for more information on booktv's recent visit to pueblo and the many other destinations on our cities tour, go to >> you're watching booktv on c-span2, television for serious readers. here's a look at what's on prime time tonight. we kick off the evening at 7:30 p.m. eastern with a couple of this year's national book award
1:45 pm
finalists. first, heather ann thompson discusses the attica prison uprising of 1971. that's followed by cathy o'neal on how data algorithms impact society. and on this week's "after words" at 10 p.m. eastern, john dickerson, host of cbs' "face the nation," recalls memorable presidential campaign moments. we wrap up in prime time at 11 with some programs on the current presidential candidates. first up, dick morris discusses his book, "armageddon: how trump can beat hillary," followed at midnight with david cay johnston's critical talk about the making of donald trump. that all happens tonight on c-span2's booktv. >> tonight you will hear margot lee shetterly, author of "hidden figures" -- [applause]


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on