tv After Words with Roger Stone CSPAN February 26, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm EST
>> i was going to come to that. >> you have been talking long enough. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> in 1989, c-span was created as a public service by your cable companies and is brought to you today by your cable service providers. next up on booktv, roger stone talks about the presidential election and president trump in his new book the making of the president 2016. he is examined by the chief congressional white house cor
terms of the traditional tools of campaigning, polling. analytics, paid advertising and so on. he is skewed all those things. i didn't think he could when doing that. he was right, i was wrong. he's a phenomenon unto himself or i'm not sure work for any other candidate but it did work for him. >> host: you describe them as using that unconventional approach to this unprecedented victory. it was different than the approach were talking about. can you talk about in your book and how you described how he is able to overcome not having a traditional approach yet still winning in the states the republicans haven't been able to win and what he didn't spend the same amount of money as the democrats or even republican machine? in your estimation of how was it he was able to get around the need for all those traditional approaches? >> guest: this election was different than any other presidential election. this would be my 10th presidential campaign.
this was the election which the tipping point was finally reached in terms of the mainstream media are losing their monopoly on the dissemination of political information. obviously in the 60s when there was only three networks, their destruction of barry goldwater was pretty easy. all three networks chimed in and good old barry was done. a warmonger, a maniac, a lunatic. later when he gets back to the city becomes quite revered. in this election the tipping point had been reached largely i think because of technological reasons, many people now getting their news on their handheld device, no longer getting it from a television set and, therefore, the mainstream media, the three networks, the two cable networks, really lost. the rating start to drop and voters are getting their information from alternative sources. some conservative, some alternative sources.
so yes, in the words, breitbart, daily caller, townhall, all important and trump i think realize this when nobody else does. the other key factor is for the first time ever i think voters begin to realize that big media is in bed with big government and the big establishment, that the three networks and the two cable outlets are reinforcing the narrative of the mainstream media and voters for the first time are skeptical to use to be if you saw something on tv that must be true. now i think the opposite is true. you see something on cnn and you wonder if that's really true. i think those two changes can one of them technologically driven made the big difference. >> host: look at the situation now where he's having poll numbers are showing him with lower approval rating. the saturation by the media that i think is pretty overwhelmingly negative about president trump so far.
do you think that the media is having a pretty big impact on this presidency right now despite his ability to reach out to people for these other avenues? >> guest: of course a lot of polls that showed with a low approval rating of the same polls that showed hillary clinton winning easily. their sample is questionable. one of the problems in this campaign has been the polls across the board were largely wrong. some of them through and out of the state, others because they were padded. in other words, they were based on an assumption that the turnout, this past presidential election, was going to be identical to four years ago, the same number of blacks and whites and christians and women and men and younger and older and so on. that was a false premise. there was an assumption that hillary would pull out the same number of african-americans and get the same percentage of them that barack obama god, not possible. so does explain why the polls
were so off. there was an anecdotal information to the contrary. look at the crowds trump was drawing. look at the crowds hillary was having trouble drawing. look at the overwhelming presence of trump supporters in social media. the media tend to discount all that, counting on the pollsters. so perhaps the presence approval rating is higher today than some of polls are showing. on the other hand, the negative barrage does continue. it's incumbent for the president to out communicate his critics. he still has the bully pulpit and he could still do that. >> host: can you talk about your early introduction to president trump? you talk about how you saw him as potentially becoming the president someday. a very long time ago. can you talk about what happened and where you got that feeling? >> guest: the first person to imagine a trump presidents was not me but was former president
richard nixon. i was working for nixon doing political chores in his postpresidential years, and he met donald trump in george steinbrenner is box at yankees stadium. they hit it off and he called me the next day and he said well, i met your man. i got to julie, he's got it, he could really go all the way. and then days later he dropped a note which i reproduce in the book to donald trump that said, this is a typical of nixon's location. mrs. nixon saw you on the mike douglas show about you if the perp and she says if you ever run for public office, you will win because you are a winner. this is nixon -- mrs. nixon is but these things. of course he was talking about himself in his own judgment. not long after that, president nixon and donald trump spend a
weekend together. they went for a charitable event in easton texas -- eastern texas. they barricade themselves and a hotel suite and spent hours talking geopolitics. nixon said trump just fired question at them one after another, wanting to know about brezhnev, about the russians, the chinese. really around the world tour. so the men hit it off and it was nixon who first saw the potential for a trump presidency. i wanted him to run as early as 1988. i was the chairman of his presidential exploratory committee in 2000. i was a consultant to his exploratory effort in 2012, but in retrospect, 2016 was the right year. >> host: why is that? >> guest: i think it was the perfect storm. i think it was not only the tipping point had been reached for alternative media as we discussed, and that's an important factor, but also at it years barack obama the american people were really ready for
something different. in the 40 years i've been involved in politics i've never seen the voters this angry or the sour or this disillusioned moot. they are totally fed up with politicians, political institutions, big media, big government. they are ready for something radical, ready for an outsider. donald trump fit the bill perfectly. >> host: did he discuss his plans to run this time around before he made the decision or how he was trying to weigh whether to do it or not? >> guest: actually within days of mitt romney losing, toward the end of 2012, donald trump had his attorneys go to the u.s. patent and trademark office and trademark the slogan make america great again. he told me on new year's day of 2013 that he was definitely runninrunin 2016 and that he han these steps at the trademark office. i was certain that he would run throughout the entire year and,
therefore, the media columnists like mckay hopkins for example, another's is constant hectoring that trump will never run, he's just burnishing the brand, this is publicity. he's a publicity hound. this as a head fake. i knew through the entire year that he would really run. >> host: what was different this year? >> guest: i think his business was in the right plays biggie was in the position to turn over his business was older children. i don't think there were any more mountains to climb in the real estate industry. he had really kind of done it all with the hotel now in washington, d.c. being a new crown jewel in the trump enterprises. he realized that the country was also in the right place. i would go back to something he told oprah winfrey 20 years ago when she said donald, do you think you would ever run for public office? would you ever run for president?
and he said no, i don't think so, unless things get so bad that i have no choice. >> host: i remember that interview. >> guest: he's not run it because he wants the title. he's not running because of the great house and the great plane to get. he's already got a great place in manhattan and a great place in palm beach. is already got an airplane that's on par with air force one. he's not doing this to be somebody. he already was somebody when he ran for president. he's doing it because the country is in trouble and he thinks he can say that. >> host: what do you make of the response to his presidency by the people who do not support him, the protests have trickled down even to the local levels are state representatives are not democrat. what do you make of the response, but they protested to place right after the inauguration? what does that mean for his success as a president? is that the way they can permanently hobbled him by just
trying to obstruct every turn, should they have a greater voice because the popular vote, what hillary clinton what do you make of it? >> guest: some of the demonstrations are paid for and orchestrated. others i think our sincere people who have concerns because they may be buying that caricature of him that has been painted by some in the mainstream media. the real answer for him is pretty simple, and that is damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. fulfill your agenda. if he restores our nation's economic prosperity, police move in that direction, you've seen an uptick in jobs come you are seeing the uptick in the market. you've seen the uptick in small business confidence, but if he restores the economy i think a lot of this will fall away. a macro economy would give them the remnants he would need to address all of our other problems, focusing ticker on infrastructure.
trump is first and foremost a builder, which is why don't try to convince him to the wall can't be built because it can't. don't try to convince them that our inner cities can't be rebuilt. they can. if he will fulfill those promises i think a lot of this opposition will fall away. >> host: at the top wish list because you need the cooperation of congress have a lot of republicans who don't want to run up a big tap on all these projects, which are going to be very expensive. it also cut health care reform, tax reform, two major agenda items that you normally don't see happen even in a single congress, never my two big items like that. so he's promised a lot to the country. do you think that he can deliver and is and he has a frame having promised so much and perhaps not being able to check up every item? >> guest: this is precisely why he's using executive orders to achieve as much as he can before turning to a legislative solution. his ability to circumvent the congress and go directly to the
people i think is unprecedented since ronald reagan did exactly that with a democratic congress but passing his initial tax reform. i do think the president should focus on tax reform, particularly his corporate tax cut, his across-the-board tax cut. his program for inversion. i would do that first rather than dealing with immigration first. because i think that is the key to the solution of all the other problems. he's going to have a tough road because as you point out some republicans in congress are -- his ability to make them feel the heat if he can't make them see the light, go right to the people, i think is still his whole card. >> host: let's talk about the book and how you came up with the idea for it, the timing of the biggest hous sounds again to write it pretty quickly. when did you first decide that there's going to be a book about his election? >> guest: i decided to write
the book by the time i left the campaign because whether or not he wants to whether he lost, there was a book in the spirit frankly i was pretty confident that he would win through most of the campaign, even in the darkest days. because i noticed his resilience in the polls. in other words, let's take, for example, his attack on senator mccain. when many in the mainstream media thought that was that, he was going to be blown out of the race, he went down two or three points and then he bounced right back up. same thing happened when he attacked the judge who was a mexican-american heritage. he took a small hit in the pols but he bounced right back. i think that's because voters had bigger issues in mind and they were going to excuse him these detours, if you will, because of his overall agenda. so i think that resilience always indicated to me that he could win a close race. i didn't think it to expand the
map and that opportunity came late by the king. the ability go into michigan and wisconsin and doubled out and western pennsylvania was where he won this race. i'll go a step further. he got approximately 3% more of the african-american vote then that romney. doesn't sound like much. sounds de minimis that is the difference between winning and losing michigan. >> host: she got less, hillary clinton. >> guest: the overall turnout was not as great and he got 3% more. that's the difference between victory and defeat in michigan, between victory and defeat in wisconsin and that's the difference between victory and defeat in pennsylvania. just that small incremental bump up in the african-american vote. so you are in a situation where the race was so close, you can't point to any one thing that made the difference because it was so close. it was a confluence of things that made the difference,
including his superhuman physical effort. stealing a page of harry truman, he barnstormed into eight states late while hillary clinton is back in chappaqua in her pajamas look at swatches for fabric for new curtains in the oval office. >> host: they were very confident that they had a victory in front of them and a lot of people in the media, people in congress, people, political observers, pollsters who felt the same way. you were among the few who felt confident that he would win. talk about when you really felt that the tide had turned for him right before the election. >> guest: prior to the fbi director announcing that he would reopen the inquiry into her e-mails, which i think was the thursday before the election, he was already gained at a party fast clip. that event nearly accelerated his climb. in the beginning she was sitting
still in the polls i was tracking, but after that she began to drop slightly. that's where you could see the trajectory. so at the close of any race when you are examining the polls, it's not where you are that's important as much as that direction. so, for example, if wednesday in pennsylvania you are down five and friday you are down three and sunday you are down one, you can see the direction and the trajectory. all the polling that i examined the final week in which came not only from the campaign, some but the campaign did not spend extensively on polling whereas hillary clinton polled every time she burped. test that book before she did. but the appalling from the state republican operations looking for statewide candidates who were pulling up the presidential question, look at enormous amount of data became clear to me on the sunday before the election, almost perfect, his trajectory was almost perfect
and he was on a track to win. i became caught it at that. >> host: toward inspecting the victories in wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania. those three are really considered outliers for him to be able to pull off. were you surprised is able to get those three states? >> guest: no, because you could see in the polling that they were within reach. you could see that he was gaining. but also he visited all three. he went back and visit all three in the close where i think hillary and her folks must've thought this was in the bag. >> host: people thought he should of been in ohio, that he should have been trying to expand the met. he showed been focusing on the must win states. what happened at a level for them to decide to go ahead and expand rather than focus on the areas where he really needed to win? like florida and ohio. >> guest: i think a decision was made that they were both safe and that turned out to be right. ohio particularly is interesting because mitt romney and john mccain, for that matter george
w. bush spent tens of millions of dollars and put forward a a very strong effort and none of them could ever pop ohio but that's largely because in the western part of the state donald trump was able to pick up white moderate working-class union democrats at a rate that neither of those gentlemen come any of those gentlemen had been able to achieve. so trump pulled out to about a five point lead in ohio and it never dropped. ohio was safely much earlier. in the end it wasn't about a grand state. -- wasn't a battleground state. in florida the decision was made donald trump would carry both and, therefore, he could afford to spend his time in michigan and wisconsin and pennsylvania which was necessary. he could have carried ohio and florida and still lost without those and, of course, virginia i think was always winnable. i think the republican national committee polled crucial resources out of there at the
end which was detrimental. he could've won virginia, which which, of course, he lost very narrowly. >> host: you break the book that into various sections of the campaign. first the primary and then the general election. you talk about it requiring sort of two steps of staff for each depending on what the goa golden wanted to achieve. that's different to add that transition from primary to general election. you saw one top campaign staffer leave and another one coming. can you talk about how that worked and it was a bit unusual and at work in his favor. >> guest: donald trump decided on it all communications-based strategy early on in which the rally was the centerpiece. so he made a decision rather than spending money on paid media come he would do every interview he could possibly chant into his schedule. he would go into the states, do these massive rallies, confident
that the two cable networks would cover them wall-to-wall. >> host: and it did yesterday a multi-million dollars campaign commercial when you think about it. he did this rescuing organization and structure and, of course, while his primary opponents were spending a fortune on analytics, phone books and polling organizations, trump was going solely communications. and it worked. he so completed dominated the free media before each primary that it was like having paid advertising. that worked fine for that portion of the campaign. when he wisconsin and then substantial, subsequently lost delegate contest in north dakota, colorado and louisiana, and you are heading into a convention now any convention bears a premium on organization and structure. so, for example, no one in the trump campaign had thought about
who from each state was going to sit on the rules and the good credentials test the credentials committee which are crucial if the nomination was going to be stolen from trump. that's what it would happen. that's why i thought it was wise to bring in my former partner paul manafort who's an expert in convention politics. pull together a structure, ultimately route the rules people and the rules committee. we were prepared to route them at the credentials committee. >> host: extended or ted cruz who ran against trump in the primaries. >> guest: last man standing. so the campaign needed to change at that juncture and then it did. then in a general election the campaign needed to change again. the president wisely brought in state bannon, kellyanne conway and i think that they were able to retool in time for a general election campaign. but that said, i can tell you
donald trump didn't prepare for any of the debates, not in the traditional way with a stand-in actually like hillary clinton. >> host: what did he do? >> guest: he didn't do anything. he just read and make notes and calculated and he went in and i would argue he want every debate. >> host: there's lots of criticism about his performance, that he did not seem prepared or knowledgeable on some of the issues. >> guest: he is a polarizing. there's always going to be criticism. their proof is in the pudding, he won the election. one debate you could argue was a standoff. the others -- >> host: which debate? >> guest: i think it was probably the first one. the second one, frankly he clinched the debate when she said we can't trust a man like donald trump to run the justice department and he said because you would be in jail. that was the beginning of the end. >> host: nowadays the criticism of trump again is that he's an outsider and he doesn't
understand issues because he's never been income before. people say now you have an outsider, doing all these things that may be not good for the country because he doesn't understand. what do you make about criticism, and do you think trump really can learn on his feet in the white house? >> guest: that's very typical of the washington establishment. mr. president, you have no experience in these things, let us help. what they really mean is that as the rail your program. the republicans and democrats, the elite leadership of both parties, they like the status quo. then like the the way things are right now. they fight on television and then i'll go out to dinner afterwards and slap each other on the back. it's all about getting reelected and raising the money to get reelected. my real problem with the bush, clinton, bush, obama continue on is not only have they driven the country into the gutter com, not only have they given us in this
war and massive debt and spending, erosion of our civil liberties, and immigration system that meets our neighborhoods unsafe, trade agreements that suck the jobs out of the country and an incoherent foreign policy, but they and their cronies have gotten extremely rich while doing it. while they've made the people more poor and less safe, they themselves have made hundreds of millions of dollars. it's an elitist phenomena a that are think the voters are fed up with. >> host: trump is receiving criticism about whether there could be comics of interest for him because he is supposed to be hands off with his real estate empire but there's questions about that. how do you think that will play out? do you think the public may start to scrutinize him in a a different way and think weight, is there a conflict of interest, or you don't see any problems there dresser i think one of his greatest strengths was his and depends. people felt it so much money that you couldn't buy him.
there was no use trying, and he couldn't be bought and he couldn't be bullied. i think that's still the case. i'm satisfied with the way he is structured as business. i think people are going to be hard put to find any actual conflict. he understands apuleius office you have many opportunities if he wants to make more money, but he's a billionaire. how much more money does he need? the important thing is with that comes the independence to do some very difficult controversial things. people who talk about his reelection i think, i do see that as a foregone conclusion. he may choose not to run. depends on how much sh he achies in four years and how much is left to be achieved. >> host: what do you think would influence his decision? >> guest: to not run? a bountiful economy, the return of prosperity. >> host: but that his success in winning when he want to keep doing that? >> guest: it may take eight years. it may take four years, but he's a man of action. he's not going to sit back and
let somebody else set this agenda pick is going to set the agenda. when it comes to decide about reelection, based on how much he's got that and how much more is left to do. he's given up an incredible lifestyle to do this. here's a guy who loves his family, let's his grandchildren he is really a homebody even ways in new york or florida. he's not out on the party circuit. he loves to play golf. he loves his daily routine. there's huge sacrifice in this for him just in terms of lifestyle. he's doing it, again not because he needs to be somebody, not because it sounds to speak of him because he has an agenda to save the country. >> host: one of the hardest part for transition is to take a campaign and then transition into a presidential team. he brought along with him steve bannon who you talk about in the book is somewhat who has needed to come in for the home stretch of a general election and to keep trump focused and centered.
yet now bannon srf criticized and ridiculed on "saturday night live." they depict him as the grim grim reaper, that he some outlier force in the white house that shouldn't be there. what do you make about criticism, and how does that square with what you know about steve bannon? >> guest: the idea that bannon is trump's brain or trump's stendhal is exactly backwards. >> host: you've known him for a long time. >> guest: steve bannon and donald trump have the same worldview that their copacetic on issues is not surprising. that's how they become friends. it's how they were attracted to each other. so trump is not doing steve bannon tool. he is doing donald trump will. he's doing the presidents will. they haven't anything that the president hasn't argument in the campaign. reince priebus on the other hand, represents the establishment republicans. i am disgusted by the lease coming out of the white house. i understand leaking.
i doubt after about it in my day, strategically leaking for a purpose. but but when you are leaking to the detriment of your boss, when you are leaking from for example, the "washington post" had a leak in which a white house staffer says the present is like a clueless child. and the "new york times" had a leak that talked about the precious wearing a bathrobe in the family quarters after hours, which i would also because it's pretty drafty that's not helping the boss. that's trying to -- leaking and suck up to reporters. >> host: who do you think is leaking? >> guest: those who are not trump loyalist. i can tell you this there not come from steve bannon or kellyanne conway because they are trump loyalist. i fear these links come from the establishment republicans who seem to dominate most of the washington, most of the white house staff under reince priebus. they are detrimental. they are unprofessional and they're hurting the president. it's not good.
>> host: what you think will happen? he will have to work with establishment people in the white house with him. they could just undercut his entire presidency with leaks and lack of cooperation. what do you think needs to happen? >> guest: the best possible reason to hire people whose loyalty is to donald trump, people who supported donald trump for the nomination prior to the convention, not after. there are many, many qualified people who are active in this campaign who have applied and heard nothing, being this enormous rush to hire republican national committee alum. i think it's a mistake. it is interesting to me that when jim baker, who was george bush as campaign manager, was hired to be president reagan's chief of staff, the first thing he did was reach out to high-profile reaganites and higher than for the white house staff and, therefore, he didn't
brooked the kind of criticism yet now of reince priebus. >> host: you'v you worked for or presidents including richard nixon. could you talk about that you and if there's any come you said they spoke at one point while he was living or can you talk to any comparisons between the two and how they operate? it's pretty early days but are there any some others are differences you can talk about traffic that are enormous similarities between both president trump's and president nixon, and president trump and present reagan, they are different. in the case of nixon, both men are brilliant. both men are stubborn when they focus on a goal you can't get them off of it. both of them are pragmatic. trump is not an ideologue. he's a conservative populist or a populist with conservative instincts. but above all he's interested in what works. he's interested in solutions,, kind of like franklin roosevelt. he may try something. if it doesn't work he wouldn't stop and something else until he solves the problem.
so i think they are both pragmatists and they are both realists. on the other hand, trump is very much like reagan in terms of his size. i do mean just his physical size, although they have that in common, both tall and broad shouldered, but there's a command presence there. it's more than charisma, more than magnetism, but both men still and real. they have a certain stature that is particularly strong on television. so in that sense i think trump is a master communicator as reagan was. trump is more interested in the details then president reagan was. in that sense is more like nixon. i like to think he embodies the best qualities of both. >> host: very interesting. if you were to make a call on his performance right now, what would you recommend to him in
terms of if you are on staff about what you would, changes you would make her what you would like to see them dutifully? >> guest: stick to the agenda which is already doing. not different. hire more trump lights. invest your confidence in people who share your vision. don't hire people who have a great resume but have never stood up for trumpism and work for you in the general election. i think that's a generally good advice. and ignore the carpet at the washington press corps. they are never going to get with the program. they are still in shock about losing the election. and don't forget the alternative media. in other words, if you want to reach millions of people unfiltered, interview with breitbart, with the daily caller, interview with info wars. they are reaching millions of people and you're not going to get the twist that you get from, say, cnn.
>> host: should he try to reach out to the people who voted for hillary clinton? she did win the popular vote is a some way he -- >> host >> guest: the best way is to prove the critics wrong. something trump said throughout this campaign where he would say in a year you'll see, you'll be really happy, i'm going to do a good job. i think that's true. i think that he get a reassessment after a year. so ignore the carping, ignore the petty criticism and stick to your agenda. and remember, if you revive the economy, if you renegotiate the trade deals, if you start to rebuild our inner cities, take one city. as an example, take detroit or philadelphia and show what can be done. i think he could be one of our greatest presidents. >> host: does he have the skills to take his business acumen and then translate into working in government such as different skill set use what are you supposed? you think has the ability to do
that as a businessman is a life, imaginations of -- imaginations of washington much different and lots of roadblocks and frustrations. you could say you need to be, like lbj. do you see him being able to do that? >> guest: yes, because he is a dealmaker. he's a negotiator. you never know how much of what he says is for the purposes of negotiation. so, for example, he's talked about terrorists on our trading partners. not sure he's do tariffs but also not sure he's not. it's the stick. either we make a better deal or i'll be forced to do tariffs. >> host: he's doing that so far with various things. >> guest: but he knows the cut in the corporate tax rate would cripple china and mexico faster than any tariff. the way he has worked the phone,
carrier, for example, and other big companies to induce them to stay here, he really has been jawboning these executives to get them to stay and expanding i think you'll see more of that. you could argue it's only 1000 jobs year and 100 a thousand jon there. it's symbolic that is making the effort i think is what's important. >> host: one of the more interesting parts of the book as we talk about it as an underestimate candidate. i guess you could say that's an understatement of the year. how did he stay confident? i was always amazed about how confident he remained even though you're right, the washington media establishment, his own party, everybody was dead set against them being the nominee and debts against him being the president. he just seems like an almost impossibly confident person. did you notice that about him, and how do you think that played into his victory? >> guest: he's an optimist.
he is supremely confident. i think that's one of the things that appeal to voters. he is a can-do guy. he doesn't think anything is impossible. he never thought that this election was impossible. even he and and i think finally got beat down by the constant mainstream media saying you can't win, you can't win. his wife, baby, we may not win tonight. that's about as bad as it got. i think it was momentary. nobody could be immune to the fact that the mainstream media try to write him out of the race. at least three times. at the end of august they were saying his victory was impossible or we had not even have a campaign gets. i don't think he ever lost the faith. i always thought that he thought he would win. his confidence is integral to the makeup of his personnel. that's what makes them donald trump. >> host: where did it come from?
>> guest: i think two things. first of all he has succeeded beyond his own wildest dreams in terms of building an economic success, a business success. but also the experience of coming to the brink of disaster and fighting your way back, that makes you stronger. trump is a very, very tough guy. >> host: what phase were you talking about? >> guest: his bankruptcy. take it back. he is near bankruptcy. he never filed for personal bankruptcy. he use bankruptcy as a legitimate tool for his companies and, of course, they emerged from bankruptcy. so we got overextended. there was a crash. he survived it. not only did he survive it, he came back stronger than ever. >> host: 1987? >> guest: roughly. roughly. this is very much like saint richard nixon and watergate. his career is in tatters but he calls his way back to respectability and inns up like an adviser to president clinton on matters of foreign policy
that are vexing the country, russia, china and so on. that near-death experience makes you tougher. anybody who doesn't understand how tough donald trump is really doesn't get it. in his personal demeanor, he's very likable. he's a regular guy. he's not snobby or stilted or stiff or formal in any way. so he's a billionaire who's not an elitist, who is not a snob. i think that experience of coming close to financial disaster and surviving it has just made them stronger and more confident. >> host: talk about your book, the relationship goes back decades. can you talk about your first meeting with them and watch impression was when you first met president trump? >> guest: sure. i went to new york in 1979. i was assigned to run new york, new jersey and connecticut for former governor ronald reagan's campaign. i was introduced to donald trump by his attorney, the notorious
roy. i went and saw colin and i told him i needed a headquarters, finance committee, volunteers, telephones and so on. and he said what you need is donald trump. now, i'll make an appointment for you with a donald trump but he's very busy. he's not going to give you much of his time so make your pitch and get out. so i went to see donald. he was very gracious. i said mr. trump, it's a great honor to meet you. he said please call me donald. after the inauguration when i i said congratulations, mr. president. he said, please call me donald. he's an unassuming guy. he is eminently likable. he is a great sense of humor, very funny. buwhat impressed me that day was his intensity. ihe listened to everything i had to say and ask for a five very tough questions. and his questions, remember, i'm making a page that ronald reagan can get elected a president
1979. all of his questions related to the electoral map. first question he asked me was how do you get to 270? it's interesting, i'm assuming dramatic and carry california which, of course, he did. but how do you get to 270? in every conversation i had with the about the 1980 presidential campaign, and he's a junkie. he loves politics the way he loves sports or two would always ask the same question at the end. so give me your new take on the map, where is your 270? he's always understood that construct and i think is a key part of the strategy for this campaign. he always had an eye on how to get to 270 electoral votes. >> host: is politics less concrete? he's considered some faces in aa fight to be a democratic supporter what are his politics? people still wonder where he is firmly planted politically, if anywhere? >> guest: prior to his political activism when he was a
businessman and strictly and businessman, he gave to both parties and he gave to candidates from both parties. >> host: not uncommon. >> guest: something for people of his wealth and with a company as large and with as many interests. new york city is a democratic bastion when asked to have great relationships with the unions and order to build anything in new york city. >> host: he actually got a lot of union support. >> guest: always had a great relationship. he did leave the republican party largely because he objected to the iraq war and he was deeply disappointed in george w. bush. i was there in those days. he most definitely opposed the iraq war because i was supposed to it and we talked about it. i wrote that at the time. he came back to the republican party after george w. bush was gone. he did briefly switched to the reforreform party or actually te independent party of new york which is affiliated therefore in
part because ross perot and then governor jesse ventura urged him to look seriously at the reform party nomination. it's important to note the reform party was entitled to $58 million worth of matching font at the time it something they're no longer entitled to. because of a strong showings of ross perot in 92 in 96. six. so you had the prospect of running for president on opm, other peoples money. that appealed to trump the businessman as you might expect but he correctly concluded after really intense exploration that the country is not going to elect an independent president anytime soon. that just ballot access is controlled by the republicans and the democrats working together and, therefore, one really has to be a republican or a democrat to win the election as president. he switched back to the party as his parents and the party that he spent most of his adult life in, the republican party.
>> host: tell a bit about the tensions within the campaign. this was a dramatic moment early in the campaign between paul manafort who was phase two and corey lewandowski. he was the face one person was there order shouldn't that they campaign rallies that were launched trump into the stratosphere as a candidate. how did paul metaphor, how was he able to transform as what you describe sort of an unruly campaign into something that had a lot more discipline? how did he carry that out so quickly? do you think it was successful in your estimation? he did when but there were some stumbles along the way in the second part of the campaign. >> guest: corey lewandowski is an advanced man, and for that period of the campaign that's what was called for. paul manafort was able to call on the deep -- going back to
many presidential campaigns to lend a hand, people with more experiences at the state level. he was able to pull the very best out of the existing trump organization to work together with position going into the convention. it's a substantial task, but the successful nomination of trump quashing the ted cruz forces in the rules committee and their attempt to try to hijack the nomination demonstrated that he was successful. also i think the convention has to be viewed as what it really is, a television show. it's about entertainment. paul manafort helped donald trump stage a very successful convention. the highlight of the troubled children, the speech to rally the faithful by rudy giuliani, general plans speech, a lot of high point in this convention. we have a large audience for our convention than the democrats,
unheard of. and they pull it out, they pull it together very quickly without much structure. somatoform i think gets and desserts and gets a lot of credit in the book. >> host: that surround the time he departed the campaign. can you talk about that and what led to your leaving? >> guest: i left in august because my book was coming out and i didn't want to be accused of being secret of that because he was. because i had a fundamental on campaign strategy at the time, but i mean, really i think i will address a big he needed to run a more traditional campaign and i did think that some of the twitter fights that he got in distracted from his overall message of immigration and tax reform and trade and so on. again, he was right and i was wrong about a lot of it.
but i also appointed myself as the number one surrogate for donald trump and i probably did five, 600 interviews or surrogate speeches between the time i left and election day because i felt i knew the man for almost 40 years and i could tell people firsthand why she would be a great president, while i was for it. about his independence and his resilience, about his toughness. so i never stop being on donald trump supporter but at 64 years old i wasn't going to be the campaign structure in which i had to approve what i was going to write or say. >> host: . i felt i could be of great help from the outside and i think i was. >> host: during the convention there was a dramatic moment when senator cruz did not endorse trump on the stage that he just told the voters, the delegates to vote their instinct for the conscious instead of voting for trump. what was his response to that? was at a surprise to you traffic i think it was a surprise to everyone in the campaign,
because paul manafort had made it clear to senator cruz and to jeff rochon his manager, that he did not use the word endorse but he had to say that he was supporting donald trump and the ticket. this was i think one of the great misreadings of politics. it senator cruz thought that trump was going to lose, and he clearly did, the smart thing to do would have been to do what richard nixon did in 1964 when he was certain that goldwater would lose. give him a full throated endorsement and campaign for him every place. that way if trump lost people would say little ted cruz come he was really there for the party. he broke his back for the ticket. he gets consideration next time. instead ted cruz just had to be nelson rockefeller paul. take his ball and go home. hard-core conservatives and trump supporters will never let him be the nominee of the party because he turned his back on the party went to prospects
didn't look good. later on when he figures out that trump is likely to win the endorses trump. too little, too late, senator. so i think he made an enormous mistake. i guess he thought that the quality of his rhetoric would be so great that it would be like the 1976 moment when ronald reagan addressed the convention after ford's nomination it was true, many people in the conventional said my god, we have nominated the wrong man. he's not ronald reagan. in fact he is more like richard nixon than ronald reagan. >> host: what was his response? was he surprised by that, hurt, angry? >> guest: i think he was unhappy but he was later on i think quite generous towards the center and i think he accepted his later endorsement with good grace. >> host: that you had gone back and forth and traded insults. there was donald trump's
declaration that ted cruz father had been in conversations with the kennedy assassin pick you write a little bit about that in yourbook. what do you make of that quick some people say why are we talking about this? it's not relevant. but you make a part of your book. book. can you talk about that? >> guest: i believe that senator cruz his father did, in fact, no lee harvey oswald, baker who was indisputably an associate of oswald writes this in her book. she set it multiple interviews. th.the photograph you've seen cs from the warren commission, not from the "national enquirer." i think donald trump to it after to get under ted cruz a skin. >> host: was that fair? did he question his patriotism? >> guest: not questioning his patriotism. questioning his temperament. >> host: interesting. >> guest: why do people take an instantaneous dislike to ted cruz? they are merely saving time.
>> host: if you like donald trump's tactics of trying to get an emotional rise out of people on twitter, should he do that now and the white house or should it back off? >> guest: only for strategic purpose. in this case he got ted cruz so angry he was drooling. you can see them getting into a fight with a 10-year-old boy at at a rally. the kid keeps yelling line ted, lying dead. >> host: you could argue it backfired because ted cruz cited that as well as i think there was some disparaging things said about his wife heidi as reasons why he was not able to endorse trump. you could argue perhaps the ted cruz endorse might help trump at the convention. >> guest: donald trump one, therefore i think senator cruz is a loser and his entire calculation. look, he's a bush republican masquerading as something else. and i call you not read in the book. >> host: do think he will try
to run again traffic i would hope some of which halogen in the republican primary in texas. maybe the attorney general and if not pressed alex jones will run, who knows? somebody needs to challenge him. but if he survives that and he has plans run for president i think many republicans are going to remember the fact that he would not endorse the ticket at the convention host a talk about some eagles relevant passage in the book you find were really important to you that your people to take notice of? >> guest: sure. harry hurt in his biography of donald trump and the late wayne barrett who just passed away recently, have both written that a store that circulated that indicated donald trump was scheduled to fly to atlantic city from new york and helicopter that would tragically trash until everybody aboard,
that that was make up your donald trump never intended to be on the helicopter, that there was no plans, but that he promulgated the story to generate favorable publicity. i can tell you firsthand that they are wrong. buzzfeed, wayne barrett, because i was working for donald trump as a lobbyist working on currency transaction issues. i was in washington. he was in new york. i called in and said i needed to see him as soon as possible to go some compromise language that needed and approval immediately. he said i can see today, i've got to go to atlantic city. i said i could jump a shuttle and beat it in an hour and a half. it's really important. he said all right, i'll send the helicopter had and have them come back and pick me up. i was sitting in his office when norma, his longtime assistant, came in and told him that the superintendent of state police
in new jersey was on the phone. he put the veteran cop on despicable and he said mr. trump, i have terrible news. the helicopter or company chartered has crashed and there are no survivors. donald said, are you absolutely sure? and he said yes, 100%. and, of course, women were crying. it was a horrific time. to his credit donald called every one of the windows right then and there. in some cases breaking the news to them, which i could never have done. so donald trump was telling the truth. now, i am not claiming that i saved his life. i really believe that this was an act of divine intervention, that this is bigger than any one person and at the point i decided that god had spared donald trump for some future purpose. we now know what that purpose is. >> host: very dramatic.
>> guest: but trump with some new truth about the entire incident and he was smeared by his critics. >> host: what a story. roger stone, thanks for being here, "the making of the president 2016" now available. >> guest: delighted to be here. thanks. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was cratered was greeted as a public service by america's cable-television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> this is henrietta leavitt who was looking at them were going to get to this magnificent images, who was looking at images taken from south america. because the whole sky had to be covered. there was a second observatory built in peru to photograph the start of the southern hemisphere
here and she was looking at images of the clouds and she discovered a couple thousand variable stars, and made a fundamental discovery about the pattern of variation, that the stars that took the longest time to go through their cycles tended to be the brightest stars. and she figured all of the store she was looking at were roughly the same distance away. so the ones that looked brighter really were brighter. and that observation led to the first usable yardstick for measuring what we would call now galactic distances, and intergalactic distances in space. and her work enabled the size of milky way to be determined. i may be getting at other slides here, but also the milky way was not the only galaxy in the universe.
that the universe in fact consisted of multiple galaxies? >> we would be fair to say that at that time they were not sure if the universe was maybe just a few hundred thousand light-years across, and maybe that was it. >> the shape, like this led to us looking at what geometry of globular clusters and then to place ourselves within that geometry. ..