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tv   Devils Bargain  CSPAN  August 26, 2017 11:59am-12:50pm EDT

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the author, thanks for joining us. >> great to see you. >> here is a look at some books being published this week. citizen newt, the making of a reagan conservative, 50 inventions, tim hartford reflects on how technology influenced the market, former national security and intelligence official timothy edgar argues for reforms in government surveillance in beyond snowden. also being published this week, the expanding blaze by jonathan israel, exploring how the american revolution inspired revolutions in europe. ..
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[inaudible conversations] >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to barnes & noble upper west side. joshua green is senior national correspondent for bloomberg this week, focusing on political coverage for the magazine and bloomberg news. previously he was senior editor of different and has written to the new yorker, esquire, rolling stone and other publications. he brings us tonight a new book, "devil's bargain: steve bannon, donald trump, and the storming of the presidency".
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which the new york times called deeply reported and compulsively readable. as of this coming week it is a number one new york times bestseller. with further a do please join me in welcoming joshua green. [applause] >> thank you, i am always amazed, with all the donald trump and steve bannon we are subjected to in our daily lives the people want to come out and get more of it in person but i am gratified. i have been advised people at nonfiction book readings don't want to hear the author read his nonfiction book so i'll read a couple short scenes and move ahead to the question and answer period because people have lots
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of questions about steve bannon and donald trump. i will read two short scenes from the book. they have been carefully chosen because i figured a month ago in my precocious 10-year-old daughter wanted to do it, this wasn't a book that kids could read or that would be easy to read at a public reading because trump and steve bannon are the most profane men i have ever met in my life. even the my daughter is not allowed to read the book she did figure out the very first word of the first chapter of the book is the worst word you can say, the f word. i will skip ahead and read two scenes. one is from the night steve bannon was hired to run the trump campaign. the other is a scene from right at the end of the book after james comey's letter came out in the closing days of the campaign
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when clinton and her staff wake up to the realization she might be in real trouble. let me set the scene a little bit here. in mid august 2013 everybody in my profession and everyone in politics, to head to a blowout, had just come off of a dark republican convention doing okay in the polls for a few days and he decided to start fighting with megan kelly, fighting with fox news, attacked the con family, the parents of the slain us soldier, and every day trump seemed angry and distracted by some new and different self generated standoff, seem to be losing 8 to 10 points in most national polls and the big talk on the campaign trail and in washington was when the republican national committee
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would pull the plug on trump, take away all the money they were backing him with and redirect it to try to save what were thought to be floundering house and senate members weighed down by terrible anger at the top of the republican ticket. in the second week of august, one of steve bannon's mean patrons, a woman named rebecca mercer, was the daughter of a conservative billionaire named robert mercer, a second hedge fund magnet funding a lot of conservative causes and funded donald trump's campaign to the tune of millions of dollars, mercer was so frustrated with the way trump was performing, she got on a helicopter and flew out to east hampton to trump's fundraiser and sits trump down and tells him you are headed toward the defeat unless you make a change right now and i know who you should hire, you should hire steve bannon to be
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your campaign manager, you should bring kellyanne conway as your pollster and david bossi who is a republican operative. all three had worked for mercer for a long time, she knew them well. trump agrees but in classic trump fashion doesn't tell anybody else so pick up the story on the night of august 13th when mercer has brokered this new campaign team and trump calls bannon on the phone. let me pick up the scene here. that night, august 13th, trump and bannon spoke by phone and agreed to a deal, bannon would take over the campaign, forgoing the salary as paul mandalayfort had and bossi would later join as kellyanne conway's deputy, trump told bannon to meet him at his golf club in new jersey.
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he next day, sunday, trump's top advisers gathered at trump national golf club in bedminster unaware of the leadership change that had been instituted the night before for the boss's foul mood where chris christie, rudy giuliani, roger rails who is advising trump, paul manafort, jared and ivanka were yachting. trump who had been stewing about chaos in the campaign exploded at manafort, how can anybody allowing article that says your campaign is rfed up? i will self censor here, that is not precisely what trump said. it was more graphic. trump demanded to know furious at his portrayal and reports his aides were going on television in an effort to reach him. you think you got to go on tv to talk to me, he shouted?
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you treat me like a baby. am i a baby to your? i said her like a little baby and watch tv and you talk to me? am i a baby? the room fell silent. manafort took it in stride. was not the first time trump had lost his temper. while he had been demoted he had not been fired. manafort to his condominium, there is a printout of an article set to run the next morning in the new york times, explained how ukrainian government and anticorruption team made a secret handwritten leisure. and $12.7 million and previously undisclosed cash payments. and aligns with former president victor yannick overage, manafort's clients.
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and the attorney advising against it. manafort is having doubts, and the trump campaign, kept it from his wife. and trump had had enough and demanded manafort, the french revolution said roger stone, longtime trump advisor, they set off at the beginning, god their own heads cut off at the end. that is how bannon took over the campaign. i think most people at a reading like this would be familiar with the kind of things bannon did and said and encouraged trump to do, i won't rehash crooked hillary and the dark conspiracies bannon wrote about one thing to do is give the perspective of how the campaign
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unfolded inside the campaign itself and polling and give contemporaneous view of what trump folks were seeing. this is after james comey has unexpectedly opening the investigation into hillary clinton's email server. and this is a couple days later and trump had a team of data scientists in san antonio, florida. they were to track the effect and had very sophisticated instruments that are political richter sales state by state. here we are five days out, and
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they ultimately decide the race. distinct character types consider representative of the election, the dispossessed factory worker reregistering for trump, the elderly woman longing to see a female president, the competition between the campaigns for voters of less vivid you, trump's data analysis gave them a nickname, double haters. they traditionally, and the 15 million voters across 17 battleground states, that were persuadable. many indicated support for the third-party candidate gary johnson, and a televised flubs including the admission he didn't know what aleppo was, i know all of you know that aleppo is a city in the middle of the syrian civil war.
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after his aleppo flub, they largely abandoned johnson. what made it so vexing to trump's analysts was there intentions were difficult to discern. many refuse to answer pollsters questions or declared themselves undecided, the clinton campaign thought of these persuadable voters as being pocketbook republicans, people whose votes were driven by kitchen table economic concerns but were deeply changed by trump's sexist and racist outburst, these were the voters clinton hoped to shear off of trump by her speech condemning the all right and steve bannon in august, quote, what we found out is they were very fickle, they toggle between telling pollsters they were leaning clinton depending on where the news cycle was that week. this was the largest piece of
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follow we ascribe, ending the campaign on a note where people were reminded of our very first controversy, we saw fickle republican leading voters that we did not successfully attract drop a general election revert to trump at the end. this was the decisive block of swing voters. comey's letter convinced haters to choose an affiliation or in the case of many who had been leaning toward hillary clinton choose to stay home. one of trump's data scientists told me, quote, what we saw is a gave them a reason to vote against her instead of voting for him. all those double haters and last-minute undecideds breaking heavily toward trump's polling
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and research when deep down they were going to vote for him anyway. they had a reason and there was nothing clinton could do. and open up to questions, if you want to stand up. >> we start over here. >> i am happy to take political speeches. >> my question is about bannon himself. does he have political chops? in his past up until this point is he the kind of guy who could go into a room with real politicians and do what trump can and make deals based upon the entire governmental seen being in government? >> what bannon has is a kind of personal charisma that you don't
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get from the public portrayal he cultivates as a kind of darth vader machiavelli and figure. he comes out of the world of 1980s investment banking at goldman sachs, almost a caricature of 80s wall street banker, very smart, very funny, very alpha male and so i was surprised he was named to run trump's campaign, it made a lot of sense to two of them would connect. if you are a wealthy grad, steve bannon is not your cup of tea, but if you are a steak eating new york city real estate developer and want to be alpha male like donald trump that is the kind of guy you would connect with. that is the power bannon has. it is not political, it is more personal. >> i was fascinated by the research institute bannon and the mercers put together to
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research hillary, as a possible model for research institute to investigate trump and the trump family. how much money was put into that, how do they organize that? how do they set this up? >> i say in the book, trump will hate this, without steve bannon, donald trump would not be president. i make a contingent between 2 reasons. one, bannon is the avatar, populist nationalisms a trump ran on that resonated so deeply with millions of voters who in previous elections has been interested or turned down. that is way number one. the other way bannon helped trump win the election wasn't initially intended to help donald trump specifically, rather it was meant to tear down hillary clinton.
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what drew me to bannon originally was he had what struck me as a very astute analysis why conservatives failed to stop bill clinton in the 1990s. bannon argues that conservatives had become so convinced of their own righteousness, so whipped up in a theory against bill clinton's that they became trapped in a kind of bubble. they were all talking to each other and didn't realize weren't bringing along people in the mainstream, democrats, other politicians, and were surprised they lost seats in the midterm election, newt gingrich was ousted as speaker. steve bannon thought that happened because -- bannon's solution to this problem is to find a way to hack the mainstream media and get this
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message out of the conservative sphere, into broader public awareness and the way he did that was by trying to find a set of facts that would impugn clinton rather than the crazy conspiracy theories that circulated in the 1990s. he established or helped to establish nonprofit research institute in tallahassee, florida called the government accountability institute, i went and visited a couple years ago, they had teams of lawyers and forensic investigators and pr people and what they did for two years, they went out and amassed all the information they could about clinton's entanglements or donations she had gotten through the clinton foundation from foreign donors of dubious character and intent and took
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this information and put it into a surprise best-selling book called clinton cash by peter schweitzer, conservative scholar and investigator of the gia. the book was time to come out on the eve of hillary clinton's announcement for president but because it contains fact that were documentable by investigative reporters in mainstream media outlets these stories penetrated in a way stories in the 1990s had not. what bannon did that was so interesting to me was he took this information and went to investigate at the new york times and said listen, here is what we found. i will hand you the book and information, you go your self and decide if this is worth reporting on and a week before the book came out the new york times ran a front-page above the fold story about a uranium magnet who donated millions of
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dollars to the clinton foundation, bill clinton traveled to keswick stand to introduce him to the autocratic president and it seemed to suggest some dark, nefarious -- it was published on the front page of the new york times, meant that all the other publications talked about on cable news and by doing this he was able to spread these negative stories about clinton in a way that would resonate with mainstream voters and democrats who might become disillusioned and either not show up or support someone like bernie sanders. >> what do you think rudy giuliani meant when four days before the comey letter he said we have a couple things up our sleeve that may change the outcome and why was hillary's reno speech buried after one day?
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>> you mean the all right speech? >> i don't know what rudy giuliani was referring to because the tough thing with trump's advisers in the campaign, you would have these seasoned operatives that would make very clear to reporters we are going to give a big speech on foreign policy, here is what we are going to say and how to stick about it, with the trump guys they would fire off at random and knew what they were talking about and issuing empty threats. i don't think anybody knew what rudy giuliani was talking about. he is a little unstable to begin with. the other part of the question, clinton's advisers when steve bannon took over the campaign in august thought that this represented an opportunity for them to steal away what the
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trump campaign called the double haters, people who were probably republican but made deeply uncomfortable not only by the racism and sexism but the beating of protesters, the anti-semitic imagery that was flying around the internet associated with trump, so they decided to give a big speech about it. is that a rooster? steve bannon trying to sew chaos and ruin my book reading. they decided to give a speech about it attacking bannon and breitbart news where he was chairman frontally of the clinton campaign had a big debate, do we put this term in the title of the speech because most people never heard of the all right. in the end they decided yes, let's do this because reporters are going to freak out and readers will want to know what is this all right and it will generate a series of stories that will reflect negatively on the trump campaign.
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so clinton gave a speech to crying steve bannon and the forces of hatred and division and racism and anti-semitism. and two days of coverage as she hoped, but with trump and the campaign he can always do some things that would step on a negative story and so all he had to do was send a tweet or take megyn kelly and the media was on something else. the other problem with that speech, i got the internal polling from the come -- the trump campaign. it got a lot of political attention but didn't seem to hurt trump with voters. bannon tells me at one point, pretty sure this is a direct quote, we polled all that stuff. it doesn't matter, the people who are offended by charges of racism are already on her team. she's not bringing over any new voters and i suspect that was right. >> in the book which i'm halfway through you mentioned this
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internet army bannon became aware of in the videogame industry. what i would like -- got a lot of press. i wonder if you have a sense of how important they really were in terms of that and if you have a sense of how important trump thinks they were? >> the old right didn't exist in most people's awareness, certainly not mine a year and a half ago or two years ago. basically there is no definition of what it is, clinton's speech crystallized it as being these armies of online trolls who would attack anyone including politicians and journalists who didn't support donald trump and would say all sorts of racist things, send anti-semitic
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imagery, the sort of thing is like catnip to cable news so it got a lot of coverage. i tell a story in the book of how bannon helped draw those forces into our political system. it is a weird story. bannon with a goldman sachs banker who became a filmmaker, 2006-2007 he wound up as a ceo of a videogame company in hong kong that didn't actually make video games, it was trying to monetize something known as gold farming. i don't know how many of you are gamers, i am not so this is new to me. what gold farming is, they are called massive multiplayer online games which ever one heard of world of warcraft? these are games that million people can link up to and millennial kids will sit for days, weeks at a time absorbing these things and what gold farming is, you can win gold and armor and special weapons that will help you advance through
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the story, gold farming is the process of winning that stuff and selling it to gamers in the real world. bannon and his company would hire teams of low-wage chinese workers to play these games in 24 hour shifts, when this armor and sell it in the real world. it was a viable business. goldman sachs invested in this business and it worked great for a year until something happens. all of these gamers who weren't cheating, buying their magic pixie armor, became very upset by the fact that other people could do this, these gamers tended to congregate on message boards, been an f company-owned, and organized themselves and left after the videogame company, you need to stop this or we will destroy your business or quit, videogame companies listens, they banned old farming, bannon's business went bankrupt but the lesson he took away from that are there the legions of ruthless, angry white men who when motivated to do so
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can be a powerful force online. when he took over breitbart news he conspired to bring them into the political world by hiring as breitbart's tech editor a guy named milo you novelists who has become notorious -- don't know how to describe him, conservative provocateur is the euphemism. a guy who goes around offending everyone under the sun intentionally to get attention and it succeeded. milo brought a lot of people to breitbart, turned on to donald trump and masses of online people became prominent in the election. to answer your question, the skepticism i always had about the alt right and media infatuation with, i cannot identify a race or county or state where the alt right vote was decisive or meaningful in any way. it is hard to say how powerful a force they are. they were certainly powerful in the sense that they shaped the
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media narrative around the campaign, amplified the image of negativity and boundary crossing and transgressive in this you had never seen in a candidate before donald trump. trump himself was very aware of this, i know steve bannon was. at various points in the campaign trump claimed accidentally retweet, anti-semitic images, images of pepe the frog who was the racist mascots of the alt right. it gets very weird if you are not familiar with this stuff. that is my best stab at answering that question. >> bannon made trump. can bannon save trump? >> i'm not sure i agree bannon made trump, i think trump made trump. trump was trump before bannon ever came along. what bannon did was to kind of
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amplify and heighten trump in a political context, gave ballast to trump's populist impulses. i don't think they were rooted in any authentic interest in policy, were nonetheless evident as long ago as 1988 when he used to go on larry king live pretending to run for president to talk about how we are being swindled and ripped off by foreign competitors, many of the same things he has said. what bannon did was to bring structure to those beliefs and to bring a media movement and as we talked about with ga i this interlocking group of conservative organizations that could get behind trump's candidacy and that proved very effective in the primary and the general election. whether he can save trump i don't know. my inclination is to say no. trump is so self-destructive, so unwilling to listen to any advisor he doesn't want to
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listen to, there was -- there was a belief in the media or a way of portraying bannon early in the administration that he was this puppetmaster, great manipulator, saturday night live had the wonderful president bannon switch where the grim reaper comes out and makes them sit in the little boy's desk. i don't think that was ever quite true. it and raged trump who cast bannon out of his inner circle. he seems to have crawled back somewhat. but trump isn't really capable of focusing on anything for very long. i am sure bannon is frustrated that he's got the president he wants, chief white house strategist, republicans have unified control of congress and yet they seem unable to get anything done at all. one guy who is getting something done for trump is attorney general jeff sessions who is cracking down and deporting immigrants just as trump claims he wants and i know bannon does
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once, looks like he is about to be fired or driven out by his own president. i don't think bannon can save him. >> i am wondering what is it about the republican party that allows it to be as receptive to the sort of alt right, which is white supremacy in the republican party? are there forces in the republican party that are prepared to or eventually will be able to fight back and -- >> a great question. i think let me answer that question two ways. first of all, until trump came along and until breitbart became prominent in political conversation in 2013-14, probably when congress pushed to reform immigration laws, there was almost universal sentiment among republican leaders is that
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the republican party needed to modernize, needed to broaden its appeal not only to hispanics but african-american and young people and gay people because all of those groups were growing as a share of the electorate and you didn't have to be a genius to look at a couple years and realize they are all democrats. their part of the pie is growing. our part of the pie, elderly, white, rural, working-class folks, are not, are actually shrinking. there was a big push to modernize, the sad combination of that was rights priebus's what was called autopsy. he was the chairman of the republican national committee when mitt romney lost unexpectedly, commissioned this far ranging study of how the gop could broaden its appeal. its main conclusion was that they needed to pass comprehensive immigration reform
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which they didn't. jeff sessions and steve bannon helped stop that and it was trump who recognized the power of illegal immigration to motivate these republican voters and exploited that to win the nomination to the presidency. there are principled conservatives in the party who are aghast at this and many of them have bravely come out and said so. they are called never trumpers. i think the hurtful realization a lot of them have had is thought before trump came along that they had real sway and influence among republican voters. places like "national review" which ran an entire issue devoted to why, explaining why donald trump was unacceptable, they were universally ignored by republican party voters and i think the reason republicans have been so willing to go along with this is they are frightened of their own coalition.
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most of them will tell you or will tell me off the record that they don't agree with what trump is doing, they think it is ugly and terrible and bad for the country but they are frightened because these are the people that those in republican primaries, so trump and bannon have awakened them to the power of this resentment and stoking anxiety over race or religion can easily be exploited and wielded as a weapon in the republican primary and what you wind up with is what we see in washington, these kind of craven republican elected officials who just don't seem willing to stand up to trump. >> even though your book, your work concentrates on the influence of steve bannon and the mercers, with your research and your own personal opinion
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did you find any research that specifies any involvement with the russians and do you feel the russians have any sway in election results? all these polls that were predicting this clinton comfortable victory at the last minute, large upset, you feel steve bannon and all these things outlined in the book? >> bannon wasn't involved with the russians so far as i know. it never came up when i was embedded or reporting, when he was at breitbart i was interested in the email story and he and other conservatives were really hoping they would come out. ga i research institute had very sophisticated tools to comb through the deep web it is
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called, the part of the internet google can't reach, sometimes repositories of information you can't get otherwise. he wanted them but i'm not aware of any contact with russians. the reason he has not been implicated in the russia scandal is it seems like steve bannon has been in our lives forever but in fact the only joined the campaign in august which was two months after the controversial meeting between the russians and don junior and jared kushner. he physically wasn't present for those meetings. i am not aware of any russian connections but i accept the conclusion of intelligence officials that russia meddled in the election and might have had a decisive effect on the outcome. >> what do you feel is the
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connection with steve bannon and the fake news, not the fake news of trump's version? >> the real kind of fake news. is real fake news a thing? so before trump bastardized the term, fake news used to refer to stories that were literally fabricated. there, buzz feed has that wonderful reporting to show there were teams like teenagers in macedonia who would produce fictitious fabricated stories, send them rocketing around facebook, people would read them, think they were real, they often looked very real, almost a form of psychological warfare. bannon never did that. breitbart news gets attacked by the left as being a propagator of fake news. they are doing something different, very partisan news but they try to root their news in fact and actual stories. what they tend to do is put a very hyperbolic headline on what
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might otherwise considered a normal news story but with breitbart you can never call it normal. what they try and do is spin real news stories in directions they want, put a framework on them that is the way they would prefer the stories were understood. sometimes smart, sometimes absurd. in the campaign they were often obsequious and superfavorable to trump but as far as i know they didn't intentionally publish they -- news they knew was fake. other questions? >> questions about the media. i think trump is able to bounce the media like a ball. like today, getting the media off-track by saying band
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transgender in armed services. what can the media do to talk about real things and not what trump tweets every day? >> fantastic question. it has been the central challenge of my profession for a euro two, it is going forward. i see a couple things. first of all i don't think -- one of the reasons trump is able to do this and get away with it during the campaign, at some fundamental level no one believed trump was going to win. you could kind of take a deep breath and say to yourself this is absurd but it is not going to have any real impact, trump is going to lose. the republican party will be anguished and fight the civil war and president clinton go about her merry way. it was only because of a perfect storm of circumstances that trump was able to win. he wasn't taken that seriously,
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an enormous amount of investigative efforts in the mainstream media was directed at hillary clinton, wasn't nearly as much directed at trump but i think the real reason is trump and steve bennett a lesser extent, really is a master of understanding news and especially cable news and how to manipulate it. as you point out what trump did today is a perfect example of that. i talk about, one of the interesting and disturbing scenes in the book i talk about that also fits into this is what happened inside the trump campaign after the access hollywood tape, the billy bush one where trump said horrible things come all the mainstream republicans, looks like that was the end of the race and i described a scene in the book of how bannon fought back. he decided that the problem was the only story on cable news for 72 hours was the access hollywood tape so you need to change the imagery. how do you do that?
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bannon's answer was bring out clinton accusers, accuse bill clinton and hillary clinton of having committed and enabled sexual violence and it will be such a circus, such a display the cable news cameras or race to cover it and what is on tv? is that access hollywood? may be a little bit but that is not the only story, muddy the waters, create controversy and have a guy like trump who went in during the second debate and attacked clinton to her face for this very thing and we as the media are in a difficult position was on one level we know what they are doing, trying to muddy the waters and cause misdirection. on the other hand the republican candidate is saying this in a presidential debate, we have got to cover it. it creates real problems. today's news, trump's and sweet that he is banning transgender soldiers serving in the military is classic example of bannon's psychological warfare. everything on tv has been trump
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attacking jeff sessions, he hates it, trump himself is unable to control himself or stop himself, someone got in his ear and said these lefties and their loose social mores can't be permitted to infringe on the power and might of the american military, why don't you send a tweet saying you won't stand for this and that is what trump did and sure enough the media comes in and covers it although my impression is they did it a little less willingly and a little less overwhelmingly than you might have seen a year ago during the campaign. i am hoping we are learning our lesson. in the meantime the media has gotten much tougher in its coverage of trump, coverage of the justice department and
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trump's problems with russia and lack of tax disclosures and bob mueller at special counsel investigation, every single day that story is being advanced on the front page of the paper and you know it is on cable news because it is driving trump crazy. >> we do need to move to the signing. we have a lot to cover but we have to move to the signing. if there are any final comments from mister green. >> i really appreciate it. [applause] >> thank you so much. a copy of the book over here, he is signing right here. thank you so much. [inaudible conversations] >> you are watching booktv on
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c-span2, television for serious readers. here is our primetime lineup. >> booktv recently visited capitol hill to ask members of congress what they are reading
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this summer. >> this commentary on romans, the book of romans. the reason i am reading it is it was given to me as part of a bible study here in the capital and our teacher, scott red, president of the reformed theological seminary in washington dc, gave us this wonderful commentary. i have read biblical commentaries before and they give me a headache. this one is what i would consider intellectually solid but also fairly pastoral. it is known as the bible speaks today series so tries to make it relevant to today and theologically and historically sound. what i have to do when i read something this wordy is i use my yellow highlighter to make sure i -- it keeps my attention and i
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go back and reference it as well. that is what i am reading this summer. it will take me all summer because it is fairly dense. >> what are some topics that caught your attention? >> good question. romans is a very practical theological book. deep theology on the one hand of the apostle paul, but he writes to a church about correction and whatnot in some places. the thing that is most relevant to me and enlightened by this commentary, is the juxtaposition of grace and faith and works and salvation and the solid teacher on salvation by grace and faith alone is quite instructive on
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not what is required but expected of people of faith to receive this gift of grace. that is a great theme trying to find that balance of grace and works. >> how do we find that balance? >> you know how you find it? go back to the book of romans and keep reading it over and over. i need to be more gracious toward my opponents. i am working too hard to achieve a free gift. if i accept this free gift what is my responsibility in response if not to pass it on? i think it is pretty good instruction for all of us. you don't have to be a christian to understand the value of the teachings of grace. >> how do you find books that catch your attention?
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>> one thing about being in congress, there are strict ethics rules and laws, very few gifts you can accept but one gift you can accept is a book and the reason is it is always educational. we get a lot of books given to us, books in the mail. many books on myself are books that were gifts either from an author, one of my favorite contemporary authors sent his book that you will find here that he published last year on the founding fathers and the triangle of freedom and it piqued my interest and i read his book last year, his biography of dimitri bonne hoffer which might be the best book i ever read from my perspective. deep history, deep theology and more contemporary book on
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freedom last year and so that piqued my interest because it was from him. i get lots of books from members, my colleagues who write books so i take a good look at those. i feel some obligation to that. i am not a fiction guy. i have read a few novels. probably pillars of the earth was one. for the most part i look either for something instructional, educational, historical, theological, anything that ties all of that together is all the more interesting. >> into your book as well. >> good point. every year i give my staff a book. this last christmas i gave them a book, red platoon, written by a friend of mine, he received a medal of honor in our first year, 2015, my first time going to an event at the pentagon and
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so a true story about his experiences that earned him a medal of honor so i gave that to him and paul ryan's book, he wrote this biography/political book about growing up in janesville, becoming vice presidential nominee. this was before being speaker of the house. that helps get a sense of what makes us republican, how this place works, the frustrations of extremism. when i read something i really like, this will be good for the staff but it is particularly important. >> booktv wants to know what you are reading, send us your summer reading list via twitter@tv


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