tv Texas Tribune Festival - Trump the Presidency CSPAN2 October 6, 2017 8:00am-9:01am EDT
up on the front page of the post and she's heard yelling at these freshmen lined up against the wall with their chins is stuck there like this and that photograph was everywhere in the world and i'm convinced that story helped the post. >> american history tv all weekend every weekend only on c-span3. >> historians and journalists assess the trump presidency so far as part is this year's texas tribute festival. the panel is made up of historians. ...
a very rich panel i believe. there is a whole in this, what we call, a whole bunch of panels today, trump a national security, trump in congress, trump and resistance. we will hope to make this a first of these you today here at the festival. there's lunch on the main mall and the day will conclude with reception at the at&t center. a few more housekeeping things. this is supported by pearson and the sponsors and donors and underwriters play no role in determine the content of panelists or my line of questioning. this event will be 60 minutes. the last 20 i leave it open for your question from the audience from this diverse panel and after that pearson will be hosting all of us for a brief meet and greet next door in the community hub of the texas union building where we will all drain the swamp together. please join us for that.
also if you're going to tweak your hashtag is trip 17 17 whie you look at your phone please silence it. with that said let me introduce our panelists here first moluccas douglas brinkley, a professor at rice, seen a presidential historian and the author of several books about the presidency most recently rightful heritage, franklin d roosevelt and the land of america. mara liasson, just covered under present election since 1992. >> 1776. [laughing] >> you can hear her on shows like all things considered and morning edition she's also a contributor to fox news. to her left h. w. brands historian and writer who holds the senior chair in history at u.t. and also the office of the books about the presidency. most recently the general versus the president, macarthur and treatment at the brink of
nuclear war. some of you seem the written materials, supposed be joined by dan rather but he was unable to come. the four of us will carry on in his absence today. okay. let's start with an innocent time in history, doug. december. [laughing] president-elect trump as the news then known had you as a guest for lunch at mar-a-lago where he talked about the presidency, the office is about to inhabit. what did donald trump talk about that lunch? >> he was president elect and time that are stored for presidential historian for cnn, and he was just starting to have his what was seen it. so when i first met him he did not have nice thing to say about my network. and then i got to talk to them about the presidency, and asked
him about presidents that is met in his life, his personal relationship with them. he told me about how jimmy carter, how he had given money to anybody to defeat jimmy carter in 1980, that he thought carter was a terrible president and to his surprise after the election, carter came to see him, made an appointment and wanted money from trump for his new carter center. he said i really admire jimmy carter now that he had the chutzpah to come in and go look, eyeball to eyeball him, i didn't like him and asked for money. nixon speedy did he say if he gave him my? >> he would not give him any money. and then he said with richard nixon, that he became very friendly with nixon because he was on the phil donahue show, and pat nixon sought trump and she said honey, that's going to be a president of the united states is on the donahue show.
and then he got a letter from nixon which he willingly shows people, president trump, from richard nixon saying my wife said she never saw somebody as smart and great as your tv. let's go out for a meal. they started dining regularly together, trump and nixon. remember, nixon was then, his reputation was in tatters. he was living in northern new jersey trying to get back in the game and donald trump in the 1980s was on covers of magazines and the big new york builder. you could make more sense when nixon tried to do a reach out like that to him. stories like that, he talked about reagan and what he liked about reagan. it wasn't anything deeply illuminating. we talked about an aye speeches and he had not prepared jet yey nothing about them and he just kept saying i want to be short, i want to be short, , editorial about william henry harrison going long and dine after only
one month. we talked about kennedy and the like but it was pretty innocuous meeting. might take away is that he had almost zero understanding of american history, that you somebody of childhood television operates with gut instinct of what he sees turkeys very visual. we now all know how much he watches cable and all that. i think that is his intellectual source is cable news. he may have short attention span for the idea that he would read a book that h. w. brands book, for example, not going to happen. [laughing] >> did he seem surprised he had one? >> yes. he seemed surprised he had one in the sense he kept spinning this idea that there was voter fraud, that hitler didn't really win by 3 million because 3 million illegal people voted. i was a little startled that he was clinging to that false
narrative. he once he might as well be magnanimous. i will say this was this weird moment, i time in history, i don't know whether he knew whether he is going to repeal and replace obamacare or do infrastructure. i think the betting money is going to do repeal and replace obamacare. i think when general flynn got busted, and this is going, and really he started recognizing he's going to be under investigation, trump, that his instinct was to double down with his base. i think that pipe dream that maybe it's like a third way, wasn't a democrat or republican and you might try to do bipartisan things, that evaporated quickly and he just did red meat for the so-called trump base, which is 35-40% of the voting public. >> doubling down all the way through last night in alabama and he was talking about the nfl and colin kaepernick at a rally
to endorse and support a senate candidate. mara, where eight months into the trump administration. doesn't seem like 800 months? do you have since at this point about trump regards the institution of the presidency which is the topic of this of ? >> that's a really good question. i think that he views of the presidency as definitely not a coequal branch of government. i think he sees it as a super branch of government. i think he's been frustrated that he didn't get the kind of respect. is not been arrayed in the way he would like to correct pick t he love that military parade so much in france about not having one in here, the kind of leader, authoritarian, at the democratic leaders that he respects and bonds with around the world tell
you a little bit about how he views his role. as a journalist when i started, when trump came into office i kept a couple questions in my mind. one was is donald trump different in degree or kind from previous president? in other words, is just a router cruder conservative republican or see something holy different? i stripped think he was rude and crude and a comrade to think in many ways these different in kind. his view of other democratic institutions like independent judiciary, the press, the things he feels, the in other words, he feels totally comfortable breaking. i don't think he sees him as norms. i think is different in kind. i do think donald trump is a stress test for institutions and that's the big story of his presidency. will the independent judiciary survived intact? the press is under tremendous pressure not just from trump
obviously, and so those of the things i'm watching for. i think he sees the presidency in a different way than any other modern president. i would love to with the presidential historians think about this, but he described his inauguration as i took an oath to the american people, not to the constitution. i don't think he thinks about the constitution. i don't think he feels his any restraint on it. the things has talked about such glee is how when a president i can do anything illegal. it was kind of nixon phrase, if i do it has to be legal. i forget how we put up with something like the president can't have a conflict. i think he sees it as like as so methinks in his life have been, as a big fat get out of jail free card. i don't mean that literally. >> bill, as a presidential historian, someone who was seen, studied at different men to the
state in history regardless institution, how would you say trump regarded? >> i would say he looks on as a businessman. there's reason donald trump is only person to be elected president who's toppling a resume was businessman. the only other successful businessperson to become president was herbert hoover, who is not a really good advertisement for being a great president. this impatience ways a constraint institution goes very much in line with impatience that the ceo would have picked the fundamental difference between business and politics is that in business you can find the people who are causing the trouble but the president can. he can't fire the senate majority leader. he can't fire the supreme court. he has to live with them. trump is running up against this, and if someone who is brand-new to politics, he hasn't apparently accepted this. i'm not sure at the age of 71
he's inclined to change his ways. i think he hopes he can change the institutions rather than at the institutions change him. >> we've all been processing a flurry of news over the first eight months of this administration. i can think of nothing else than going in with the twitter open and tell my wife did you just see what dollar copter said? since you guys are paid to imagine the unimaginable, what has gone as you expected about these first eight months and what is different? >> getting neil gorsuch into the supreme court is as expected. he was going to pick a conservative and that's going to have a lasting impact. thus far i see it as his biggest success in 2017. i thought that the twitter use might get toned down. i had a fantasy that i woke up would be like the twitter czar and anytime is about to push send he would make a deal with
her that she would have to read it first -- ivanka. she let 90% 90% of them go outr 95% once in a while would say not that one, not that one. that hasn't happened. the determination to keep inflaming and dividing the country, all presidents come in and try to unite. john f. kennedy's first 100 days ostensibly, certainly knows, a fairly. bay of pigs happen in first 100 years. the cosmonauts going into space with russia. but by, kennedy witness if i screw up the bay of pigs in cuba. don't blame eisenhower. i did it. he had 77% approval rating after first 100 days. after his first year in office john f. kennedy had an 80% approval rating. that's not going to happen with donald trump.
he's just as you mentioned last night in alabama, wherever he goes he's polarizing. he feels he's winning in a divide and conquer way. i worked on books on writing before and reagan used to say after 50% of box office to get something done. many, your poll has to be 50, 51 in in order to push policy through. trump is cost of operating with 35-40% and nothing is getting done but he steals the headline news every day because of twitter and by playing this cultural wargame like we saw with charlottesville, what using with football last night, and i find it a bit reprehensible because it's pitting american against american in order to kind of be in charge. it all began with this birther movement on obama, the building of the wall and making
mexican-americans, latino and latinas you like lots of people, by not having a meeting with somebody like john lewis to talk about civil rights. so we are in a really serious unprecedented, as we say in on cnn all the time moment, when we have a president that is going rogue on us. rogue on our institutions. he's trying anything get to circumvent the law. he just knows that is got inoculation as long as he can keep about 40% of the population biking anything he does. the bob mueller report could come out tomorrow. short of being something so egregious that trump does, that 35-40% will stay with you because they signed onto the cold of donald trump, the persona of donald trump. the people that a talk to and some in the audience that a most frustrated with trump are conservatives. they are feeling like my god, we've been working the
conservative movement for decades, and this is the result? this is what's been produced? the political currents right now are vicious and confused, , buti think it all gets back to the 1960s and early '70s. reagan uses a undrinkable back the great society. i think trump if he had his way would like to roll back the great society and the new deal. >> how about you, mara? what a a surprise you about all the surprises? >> i guess what surprised me is that donald trump is exactly as it was during the campaign. in other words, there was some kind of weird magical thinking that this was all an act, that he used to be a democrat, that he would revert to this kind isf to become the alternative universe of the three of donald trump is what doug suggested is that because he was so unique that he could busbars and bowed
and which are bigger for such a deal with the democrats and he wasn't a conservative republican. but that totally went by the wayside and it'd choose a strict a strategy and it'd subcontract out his legislative agenda to the republican leadership in congress. much to his dismay of overtime because they have delivered. they came and said don't worry, we will repeal and replace obamacare. and tax reform by august. that's what he so angry. but a couple thoughts. number one, he might have 35% approval rating but has it all learned during the campaign, national approval rating doesn't mean much. national poll numbers don't mean that much. what we want to know is what is is reverberating in the ten battleground states? when you talk to people in the white house they believe his approval rating is not 35%, that he is still about what he was when he got elected. they think he is in the and,
quite frankly, he could be a legislatively completely unsuccessful president and did nothing to accept for neil gorsuch and a bunch of the regulations, which in and of itself could be fine. but he could win reelection. he could be politically successful because i'll get to do to win elections in america is when one vote, in the battleground states. he could get a small% of the popular vote and still pull out an electoral college victory and i think that's why he has paid such meticulous attention to the base. in terms of conservatives looking with dismay, what happened yesterday in alabama was interesting. not just the incredible 90 minute screed which is we probably should go back and watch patches for all of his various detours that he took. he was campaigning for a candidate, luther strange, that his base doesn't like. and what that trip to alabama was a test for whether the trump
bases loyalty to trump, and he once famously said i could stand on fifth avenue and shoot someone and i would lose any voters, and his base has been described as a cult a personality. there are many republican to say the united states of personnel is as big as people think it is and is not as strong as people think it is. they're going to come to the rally with trump, lap and applaud and do go out and do vote for roy moore, the guy who's ostensibly campaigning against. >> here's a quote from that rally. such a fascinating thing, that happened about colin kaepernick. it could be by any number of things with the president. this is him talking about, we some tweeting about the emmy awards this weekend this is him tweeting, talking about an nfl owner with a boy whose kneeling during national anthem. anthem. he is now doing the voice quote get that son of a bitch off the field right now out. he's fired.
he's fired. what, bill, what do you think is the purpose and donald trump's mind of going there with that particular topic and in that kf language in that venue? >> from the very beginning of the phenomenon i wondered what even the actions he takes are calculated and to what extent they are simply impulsive. the more i watch him the more i think it's simply impulsive. i'm not sure he had a purpose to a measuring who's going to say that when he stepped up to the mic, that he just started in and he wandered off. this is one of the reasons that people around him are at least so far unable to rating and because they don't know what is going to do and when is going to do it. one of the remarkable things to me about president trump is that he is exactly like he was during the campaign. for everybody else there's kind of a candidate discount you take into account when they change
from candidate to be president because they realize these are two different roles. but with president trump there doesn't seem to be any differentiation. the first signal is when you win, and then when you get your inaugural address. anybody else before trump has followed the thomas jefferson model after every device 1800 election where referring to the two major parties he said we are all republicans. we are all federalists but trump made no gesture at all in that direction. one of the questions i would pose to mara is, if donald trump has to choose between getting something done, let's say tax reforms we has to cut deals with the democrats, he has to choose between that and hanging on to his base, would you rather get reelected with essentially no legislative accomplishments, or get legislative accomplishments apparatus jeopardize his position with his base? >> get reelected. no doubt. no doubt in my mind at all.
>> one of the questions that occurs to me is what does he want out of the presidency? nearly everybody else, everybody else who gets elected president realizes first of all this is the biggest thing they've ever done because they've all been in public service before, and they at least have some idea what they want to accomplish or how they want to be seen when they're out of office. with president trump i cannot figure that out. for all i know is major goal is to make his net worth greater at the end of this time his office that it is now. [applause] >> he wants to get good headlines. he wants to get good poll numbers, but in terms, and he wants to be the greatest president america's everything but i don't think he believes that is dependent on something he accomplishes in office. he could just go out and tell people that. [laughing] and they would believe him. can i say one thing that has, one thing maybe that we have
been surprised that a little bit. the real concern of many people during the campaign was that he meant what he said when he said nato was obsolete and maybe we should pull back from a roll in native. he didn't like multilateral alliances. the whole kind of isolationist, pro-putin. that was a surprise. he was stopped by other democratic institutions from having the kind of relationship with russia that i think he wanted. and even though he was dragged kicking and screaming, he did find a firm article v of nato, an attack on what is an attack on all. what is jokingly called a washington the committee to save america, which is tillerson, mattis, mcmaster and kelly, they have constrained in. in other words, at least in foreign policy his part is a lot worse than his bite. wendy goes up and says we will destroy north korea. the next day just more sanctions. >> one day being thursday that
literally the next day, the next day it was sanctions. he's going to fallout of the iran deal, the most embarrassing thing ever pick the next day, we're going to try to negotiate some attendance to it. i think that has been reassuring certainly to a lot of republicans who are on the ledge around donald trump, but as long as you got that national security team, the committee to save america intact, as is matter-of-fact secretary mattis as he travels around the world says as a joke, i'm here on the secretary of reassurance. [laughing] >> but i don't want to make a like donald trump is just a lone ranger. he is us. he's representing america. he's taking the low hanging fruit to win. in 1992, 19% of the public voted for ross perot.
19% on anti-nafta. that's always been a bit of a swing vote crowd picky grad. george wallace after lyndon johnson to the civil rights act in 64 and 65 got powerful in alabama where we are talking about here he won the south we ran for president in 68, picked up states on a racist, overtly racist platform, george wallace ran on. he yet strong sermon at the dixiecrat. barry goldwater on a kind of nuke them back to the stone age richard nixon in the silent majority and some people that just vote are. they just can't stand democrats and liberals. he is traded a coalition but with all the strands is able to, his whole presidencies trying to keep that together for what they suggested reelection. he placed to win. to him it's about winning.
he never left the campaign. why stop campaigning? keep running. he also gets a narcissistic feed from the crowds, and he needs that because if you read about people with malignant narcissistic disorder, they can't handle too much negativity. he's going to watch cable is going to get a boatload of negativity. but he gets his high by going to alabama and saying just the thing that will bring the house down, and basically brought racial politics in alabama on attacking the nfl player. that's donald trump, so i think he is xenophobic and race, dog whistle and is a businessman that doesn't like a lot of federal regulations because they stopped him from building some projects and he has the typical gripe of builders about, and
developers that they could've put the building up to your cinema for once all that government red tape. >> after charlottesville, you in a new pr instead he doesn't see his job as president of providing moral leadership to the country this is different from every other modern president when faced with a racial episode like this. can you be president of the united states and be a moral, if at the right word, on a topic like charlottesville? >> he is the president of the united states and is not providing more leaderships i guess the answer to the question is yes. that was an amazing moment because the easiest thing for president is, it's almost like control f delete, default on your keyboard. what you say after moment of racial tension. it's like in the memory bank, you stand up when you say some words of inclusion in healing or even if you don't say them eloquently, every other
president has said that. there's a standard thing for president tuesday after an incident of racial tension and he chose not to do that. it or not it was about him because what happened was they had written a statement like that for him which he did read off the teleprompter but then he just was mad and he didn't even like the way it was received or people accuse them of waiting too long and sevigny just let 'er rip when using trump tower. his other thinkable images of john kelly looking like he wanted to sink through the marble floor. that is how he, he does not see the president is providing moral leadership. he doesn't see the president as a cheerleader for america. and he has said that during the campaign and you can see when he goes down to the hurricane area, for which he got good remarks, and, good marks, and that is why his poll numbers have picked up a bit. he goes down talks about how great evident is a great the relief effort is in a great it
is will he lost 33 people. so does see it as a cheerleader and a salesman. is always talking about how many fighter planes some for leader has decided to buy. he does see his role in that way as a booster. but question i have for these two guys is, do you think after donald trump leaves office in four or seven years there will be a move to constrain the presidency? in other words, what are the effects donald trump will be a day management of the powers of the executive to make it a law that you have to release your tax returns, to actually enshrined in law that you can't of topics of interest, things like that? [applause] that's what happened after watergate. that every thing is written into law. all these norms we hear about, i almost feel like there's some guy named norm and is being obliterated every day by donald trump. there are all these things president just did, not donald trump doesn't want to do any of
them pixel and wonder if the upshot of this is that -- >> after franklin roosevelt one, and nixon, a constitutional amendment only two terms. will there be a post trump reflection, and without to see how that plays out but we don't know at this point whether he's a one term or or two termer or three years. >> or a four termer. [laughing] >> i think it's a work in progress. he has been a great disrupter of american history. he's taking things and turning it topsy-turvy. we can't talk anything else because everything is donald trump 24/7. you have to almost unplug and take a walk, because he can drive you insane because he's flipping this and that, and it's
keeping everybody offkilter. that only plays i think into his hands. we were talking earlier, they are very likely he can win reelection. the idea that democrats are going to find a relative unknown is going to take on that guy and break them down. trump is a big brand and if you don't get someone like joe biden somebody with a big brand to take them on, it's a hard season to build some it up from the grassroots to go up and knock you out. the democrats have to be careful on their own process. they will probably have about 16 candidates seeking the presidency. he might have bernie sanders and elizabeth warren running, and then mitch landrieu, cory booker, tim ryan. i mean, the list goes on and on. and not one right now, maybe you will create the obama character that will come out of the work and not donald trump off.
i think he's a stronger political force the net. >> can i offer what alternative to the idea that donald trump is so overwhelming, so outrageous and discussed between he and with drag everything and 24 hours a day trump. that's true but also completely opposite reaction that's happening around the world, which is they don't listen to them because whatever he says doesn't matter because it doesn't follow through. he doesn't do it. foreign leaders during say this and they go he's not going to pull out of nato. he's not going to pull out of the iran nuclear deal. in contrast i think that's happening a little bit. when he signed, congress did something amazing. they passed that russia sanctions bill something like 494 to zero or 98 to two. he didn't want it turkey was forced to cite but he issued a signing statement. he didn't want more sanctions on russia. he wanted the opposite.
he issued a signing statement about all the way he disagreed. some of said what you think? he said whatever. for the chevy s information sweetie to say whatever about the president, and the way that mitch mcconnell reacted to his making, a tentative deal on daca with chuck schumer prick he said with a four to sink the president own pledges of proposals. as much as we obsessed with him were starting to tune him out also. that's the point i'm making. >> that's a great point. i edited a book called the nixon tapes. we had goes all the nixon tapes in the media always picks up on his curse language or his inflammatory language but the thing that stuck out to be in the nixon tapes was a people would just disregard it. kissinger, he was returned to unravel, nixon. this is nixon of 73 and on the nixon tapes in 1973, kissinger was yes, sir.
they would all just go yes, sir, right away. they would all, nobody would follow orders. [laughing] and in a way, if you're having worries about trump having to sing on the nuclear button so to speak, with the north korean crisis, andy card, the chief of staff of george george w. busht the time of 9/11, he went down, they were in florida and handy had to come on stage member bush was reading my pet goat to schoolkids and andy card had to whisper in his ear and he kept kind of doing his thing and then says they got backstage, the cost of government officials were there and bush said we are going right now back to d.c. we've got to get there now. they said you're not allowed to go. we're not allow you to go to washington. bush to attempt to get on the president. we are not allowing you. the government is not allowing you. you can't go into washington. you're going to go to louisiana and then --
>> a deep state. >> there are mechanisms, the idea that trump is going, you just saying all the people follow orders, thought he would tell kelly in an irrational telemark way, i want the plant of the red alert plan on north, england happen that way. there will be brave, larger irrational like that. >> i want to talk about both doug and mara said and i would take issue. i think it's a board keep in mind what president trump has accomplished. speaking as a story there are two historians will write about. 20 years in a regarding the trump presidency. the presence is not complete but are two things that happened already that our historic. one is filled the night seat on the supreme court with a 4000 conservative. that's a big deal.
i'll take a bit of an issue with what mara said about, but also confirming what she just said, the president has single-handedly undermined american leadership in the world. this is something that goes back to franklin roosevelt. from world war ii until the obama presidency, every president of the united states relies it is important for the united states to take world leadership. and the president of the united states was the most important single figure in world affairs. that's not the case now. because president trump is basically advocated that role. even if he grudgingly affirms article v of nato, the practice to do it grudgingly, angela merkel is the leader of nato now. if there is a leader. the world environment, the president of china is more progressive than the the presit of the united states. when president trump says one
days going to pull out of theire original, the next he is not. for the last 75 years the world, the word of the president of the united states was something pretty much everybody else around the world would take to the bank. the word of this president basically means nothing. you lose fat, you lose the confidence of the world and it's hard to get that back. >> that's a question i have. i think a lot about this. the damage he doing to america's standing in the world, or the destruction, is that permanent or -- it matters whether it is four or eight years, but america is the world's greatest democratic superpower. none of that goes with it we saw these democratic institutions that he is not succeed in totally undermining yet. in a post trump world, and to do believe the next president, , hs own message will be i'm not donald trump, who ever it is, whether it's mike pence or anybody, how much of that can be
repaired? america's more than just one president. >> i think it can be repaired and i'm confident in the united states that that could be repaired, that we, our country is built, all of our allies will come back to us. they just recognize we are having a weird aberration going on right now and that we have l figured out. they have on problems. some of these countries have own similar problems. look at great britain with brexit. seen as a confusing time but bi think we can right the ship in four years. i do think if trump makes it for eight years and may do some permanent damage, but right now we learned enough credibility in the world to be given a one off with him that our politics got out of control. particularly with the russian scandal and the internet and hillary clinton won by 3 million votes more and all of this kind of, and was the perfect storm of
confusion, and this happened some time to time in world history and a think america will get a pass in a couple of years. >> that's for optimistic but you know how america's leadership are always say we separate the russian people from the russian leaders or the arenas. now the world is being asked to do that with us. that american equals/donald trump. >> this summer we were up in vancouver circulating a of an candidate and nobody was angry at the united states. they were more laughing at us, that you guys now, glad they're not laughing at our politicians. america is the butt of the world humor. some of it at least with our key allies was good-natured right now and they're just hoping we fix our own house pretty soon. >> do we think donald trump has found a merely changed this edition of the presidency in eight months already? >> i think he has cheapened it.
i think it used to be, he made the white house seem ticky tack he. it seems like things are up for sale. the lack of transparency on his taxes, the constantly being at mar-a-lago and new jersey eating up taxes when. i think, like he's diminished the shrinking role of what the presidency means. that's not a partisan statement because i think ronald reagan did a wonderful job as a republican him and george herbert walker bush, keeping a kind of institutional lore, the tradition of america. we are a country of traditions and he is thumbing his nose at the mall -- them all. and a good government works. so he's trying to monkeywrench things, operating on paranoia as a fuel, calling the press the enemy of the people.
writing every day weird, crazy e-mails about everything under the sun. >> tweets. i don't think he e-mails. >> i mean tweets. he's making the presidency as an institution, giving it a black eye. >> because he has so personalize the presidency, when he leaves, the personal aspect goes way. i think the institution remains and i think i agree with mara that the next president is going to be the anti-trump. and so that president will have every incentive to restore dignity to the office, to do everything -- >> and release his tax returns. that's going to be like a fundamental threshold thing. >> before we take audience questions, i want to ask you guys one more thing. the "new york times" this spring did a very short list feature called say something nice about donald trump which i believe -- [laughing] -- immediate abandoned due to lack of material.
[laughing] >> let me ask you, the three of you, and i give you and out. here's the fire escape, something that is, less badly brass than you here. i will start with you, bill. [laughing] >> take your time. >> i have too many to choose from. no. with donald trump what donald trump demonstrated is that you can become president of the united states without being beholden to either party. that has its upsides and it has a downside. the downside is the party has no incentive to make sure you are a success requesting that with trump's relationship with congress. it looked as though for a time as though the parties had sort of a headlock on who could be nominated and who could win. trump demonstrated you can basically parachute in from outside, and if you're sufficiently charismatic, and his gaze i would say his charisma is mostly negative, but one could imagine a positive
charisma. if you're sufficiently charismatic and you not to manipulate the media then you can get elected. i think that's a positive thing. >> i would say that if you are a conservative republican or just republican you would say neil gorsuch and all those obama era regulations that have been obliterate is a good thing but that's a partisan criteria. i would say, i actually had something in my mind, his choice of a national security team is a positive. i don't think that he chose them to be the committee to save america, from him, but he picked them and they were from central casting, they were generals. he liked them but that was deathly a a positive thing. just imagine, imagine a world where we had a kind of general flynn in every one of those positions instead of mattis, tillerson, kelly and mcmaster.
>> that was my point but i'll also add, the last few weeks on the dreamers and on daca and longest people that grow in the united states that are our brothers and sisters who came and not be disrupted, he punted that the congress with a willingness to work with chuck schumer and nancy pelosi and try to give some, safetynet, i guarantee that they are americans, is a bright sign that may be he's not so rigid in his thinking and operating just from a hard right perspective. >> the asterisk, that speedy this week you will come out, or he will go conservative direction on that, but we don't know yet. >> at this point in time that would be one thing, it's a good moment. >> we have time for -- >> i do think it's hard to believe, not the first trip to corpus christi but we got beat up that it wasn't good enough,n he came back into houston and hugged people and showed a kind of human side to him.
and also in florida, these were botched by tweets later but i think he did -- at fema is done a solid job, because after michael brown of fema was a disaster, fema reconstructed in sales but i think we've gotten a degree of activity at a fema that is lot better than during katrina, and now pour puerto rico and what's happening there and in that of funding they will need and we have to hope the truck administration continues to reach out to florida, rico in texas. >> that's pretty good, for saying something nice. you all three did very well. any questions and ideas? please come down and use the microphones, which are at the end of the aisle. why don't you start? >> can you hear me?
i have a question for doug brinkley. you said reagan wanted to dismantle the great society, which i totally, yes. but trump wants to dismantle the new deal? doesn't that give them kind of an etiology that i don't see as warranted? so you're giving him an intent to dismantle the new deal, but yet he plays all the time that you can't touch entitlements, medicaid is mean. i was very confused by that statement. >> just say the last part of it. dismantling the new deal -- >> why do you think -- >> he's not going to dismantle social security. it was kind of a joke, but i edited ronald reagan's diaries and reagan writes people's i don't like fdr, that it don't like the federal government. i voted for times for fdr. what i want to do is roll back the great society era.
i've suggested with donald trump now you are seeing he would like to do away with the civil rights acts of the '60s. he would like to go back to a more states' rights oriented future turkey wants to stop this sort of role of progressivism, which culminated with obamacare and the affordable care act which is one of the great trophies of the progressive movement, and try to roll back the clock. that's all i'm suggesting. >> i think you're making a really good point. she thinks that says he has an ideology. we've been saying he doesn't. you're making a really good point. jeff sessions wants to roll back the new deal. in other words, it's not donald trump or donald trump does want to obliterate obama. just anything obama did. the conservative, the far right conservative wing of the party that he's empowered that brought into his administration, , the electoral back the new deal and
-- so it's not so much in. he hasn't thought this through. he has allied himself with that wing of the party who has thought this through, thought this out very carefully, and little by little at the department of justice, neil gorsuch on the supreme court, those thinks might be chipped away but i great, he doesn't have an ideology. as matter of fact he likes the government in many ways. he wants big infrastructure progress. he is also sister and medicare. and in that way he's at odds with his party, the obamacare bills he has been for, every single one of them are completely the opposite of what he campaigned on. >> in florida he would love the government for help with the hurricane because it helped him get reelected there. >> democrats do not route for impeachment. >> lighthearted question, for all of you. speaking of president presidens and norms of the white house, think skin is coming up and the
turkey. you think he's going to fire it or chop the heads off, or is the staff going to forget yesterday that? >> the question is, will donald trump treat the thanksgiving turkey like an apprentice contestant, or like an opponent? >> he will treat it like joe arpaio. >> i think that your answer. >> everybody gets a pardon from donald trump. >> we don't yet know how the bob mueller investigation was shakeout but even in the best of circumstances when the white house is a special counsel investigation there's a conflict of interest between the personal counsel to the president as asa person, as a private citizen as opposed to the council of the white house. and on the one side we have the mueller team which i learned about a lot of these words i
went to law school and there's the dream team essentially. and then on the other side we have the issue of attorneys talking about private privilege matters. in earshot of the "new york times." there's going to be a lot of conflict you between the two, and i get the sense from trump that he doesn't mind taking his own personal interests over and against the lasting impacts that might have on the executive branch. what do you think in terms of what are the risks, and how do you think that will play out dependent on what happens with the mueller investigation? >> i just think the beginning of his presidency he's had kind of the heat of law on it. he's never really been able to relax because of the russia probe, and it's a big part of the narrative of 2017. just when it seems like it's die down there's another leak.
i was going to write the history of 2017, the amount of leaking going on out of government is astounding. trump has been having to fire people, figure it out, stop leaks but you just keep coming out which means yes a lot of enemies from within, as much as he is picking on the press all the time because it's useful politically, he has great internal problems. i don't know if he has the ability to know who to trust right now. he doesn't have an alter ego might unity or ted sorenson or woodrow wilson, may be general kelly and become that person. maybe he is. he's the president deceased. every day he's worried about lawsuit. i think one the best comments made recently is that he's happy in the white house because the second delays, vso may lawsuits coming on him from so many things. it's beyond repair. i don't know how he makes his
life like that were every minute you get people that are about to see you are seeing you. he seems to have lived his whole life in that kind of world, and not been busted. he's not gone to jail. on trump university, didn't get, he gets penalized. he pays fees and keeps on going. but there may be a bridge too far going on here. will find out when the mueller report gets released. >> any kind of invitation like this is a grinding process. your people in the white house having to spend tremendous amounts of money that they don't have on lawyers. your people in the white house worried if one of their colleagues is wearing a wire. it already was a paranoid fact-finding place come back and investigation just makes it even more. but in terms of the conflict between the institution of the presidency versus ty cobb who are supposed to represent on trump as an individual, there is a conflict. if you're a law student, don
doesn't have attorney-client privilege. that's significant. the other lawyers, the personal lawyers do and that's why bob mueller wants to doctor don and get all of the documents that he might have about how, what donald trump was thinking when he fired jim comey. but i don't think donald trump himself thinks about the conflict between his personal legal exposure and the damage to his edition of the presidency at all. >> i don't think he trusts his own lawyers, donald trump i don't think even tells lawyers the truth. we could see that with bill clinton during the lewinsky thing, start line to his own attorneys because to let the truth be known he was would somehow will leak because leaks are happening every hour of bounty. so it's a grim situation. >> i think the key audience for the ike report as a republican leadership in congress. if they are sufficiently annoyed at president trump by then that the find something in the report
they can use against the president, then there is a possibility of impeachment. but trump himself was simply wave away whatever the conclusions are. these are my enemies. what do you expect? >> a republican congress will not impeached a republican president. i don't -- pardon? [inaudible] >> let's squeeze in a couple more. >> you answered, you furthered the answer about what would be the stomach turner? a few parallels of the german aristocracy and the thought they could control hitler with the conservative republicans and thought they could of control trump, my question was, what would be the stomach turner that would create the -- >> you mean what would separate the -- >> yes. >> in 2018 and the blade he was the cause, or in the run up to 20 king they believe he's a huge drag on them. and also we don't know when the
mueller report is coming up. is it coming out before after november 2018. i think when republicans seem as a liability, the problem right now is that the base of the republican party is with donald trump. they are not with the republican leadership. i did a piece this week where republican operative and north killen said there are three parties in america, the trump party, the republican congressional party and the democrats. you saw that in alabama. the republican voters who are for roy moore, c mitch mcconnell and paul went as the enemies. in other words, they even excuse donald trump for making do with nancy pelosi and chuck schumer who used the arts films because they feel mcconnell and ryan drove into. in other words, everything is so tribal in american politics not just between democrats and republicans, but even inside the republican family is so tribal that if you are against mcconnell and bryan asked roy moore is, then he must be a great guy.
we have really gone down the rabbit hole. >> is anything that can shake the support of the trump base? is anything he can do -- >> i think immigration is a fundamental for the trump base,, look, he was the original big birther when you started with bertha rizzo and that they came into politics. immigration, he wrote down the as clear and called mexicans braces when he announced. that's such a threshold issue first baseman conserves a talk to say if he does get something acs amnesty to the dreamers, even though they're okay with letting these young people stay but if you don't get the wall in exchange, that they don't do some really big thing in exchange, there will be not the basal totally leave them but they will be just unenthusiastic enough, enough will stay home in 2018. >> the day that trump met with schumer and pelosi, the next morning ann coulter use show up
regularly on the campaign trail with donald trump tweeted out, now i want him impeached meaney, she is sending a lot of message that the hard right is not going to let what you're suggesting daca. but on the impeachment of trump, look, it was republicans that took nixon dug ducker it was thinking of senators, when barry goldwater told one of his own no, you lied to me. it's conceivable you could get a gang of ten u.s. senators if the mueller report is really egregious and it looks like donald trump somehow colluded with russia that you could get a movement for impeachment with some republicans leading the charge, but in the end i don't know if there will be more than just a sense of the comes out of it in the interview will try to do something punitive but i don't know. which is to consult in that report. >> one more really quick question. >> i don't know how quick it is. you mentioned when the things trump has accomplished is he has proven and independent can parachute in.
if the independent can control the media, then went is the media not inoculated to some extent now? i think that's relevant to 2020 as well as 24. visit inoculated to some extent against trump and his reelection campaign, and will still be the same if it goes forward? >> i was really, hard to the question. was he inoculated? >> one of the things president trump has done is proven and independent can parachute in and break either party on the presidency. so is the press, press control was on the things doctor brands suggested was critical to that success. is the press not now inoculated to being manipulated for that purpose? >> so, i mean, donald trump was master of immediate in the 2016
campaign and that was central to his success. so i guess the question is get someone else do the same thing? >> could he do it again? >> could he do it again or has the media wised up? >> i see what you're saying. that's a really good question. there's no doubt that during the campaign he was such an object of fascination that the media was aided and abetted in. he controlled the headlines of what seen in the same was criticized for having 45 minutes of an empty podium when different arrived talked back in the wall hillary clinton is holy to rally and they don't cut to it. things will be different next time. i think it are a change. you saw during the campaign, based on fact checking them in real-time. in other words, said waiting for him to say something then yes in separate fact checking piece. they said donald trump says blah, blah, blah, not to or something like that. i think things have changed. the other thing you see is this
whole soul-searching among the big chart social media companies, google, facebook, the roles that they played and now they can be different, how they can have more gatekeepers and sort of fake news, russian backed new some other things. it's always kind of a game of catch-up. i think that donald trump's control of the media and his ability to manipulate and place like a fiddle, that probably will not be exactly the same next time. ..