tv After Words Keith Koffler Bannon CSPAN December 16, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
>> c-span where history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and brought today by your satellite or cable provider. >> up next on book tv after words, washington examiner keith koffler reports on the life and career of steve bannon interviewed by representative lieu -- louie gohmert of texas.
>> hi, this is louie gohmert. i'm thrilled to be here today with keith koffler. author of bannon always the rebel. this is really a book, i thoroughly enjoyed it this weekend and totally commend it. but i was looking up about you and since most conservative writers, people that are conservatives in general life and having a wikipedia page that makes them look somewhat crazy, i was pleased, i guess, to see you don't have a wikipedia page, most conservatives like me, you can go through, read the wikipedia page and if you really know them well, you say this is a bunch of garbage, this makes
them look crazy. i'm thrilled to have you on. i was going to ask you about some of the things that made you look crazy on wikipedia that were not accurate. not there. that's fantastic. but we do want to have you above the radar as you talk bannon and your work on white house dossier exposing things that have been going on in the last several years in the white house and on through today and continues to be a passion of yours, isn't it? >> it is very much. white house dossier is something that i started in 2010. i had been sort of a mainstream reporter for many years, in fact, i was so good at hiding my political sympathies which are fairly conservative that nobody except a couple of close friends in the media knew that i was a conservative. >> maybe that's why you don't have a wikipedia page. >> yeah. i'm thankful for that. also because i didn't have to
put my age on there. in addition to whatever else they might put there. but, in fact, i was so successful at hiding my sympathies that i was once offered a job in francés office and yelled at for asking questions that never would have asked as democrat, as mainstream reporter when little did he realize that i probably agreed with everything he was saying but i felt it was my duty to hide political sympathies that is something that we know it's less so in the mainstream media. accountability on president obama and also have humor and some analysis and news i'm credited at the white house still as a reporter with white house dossier and so all through most of his presidency, i held him to standards and pointed out things that he was doing wrong,
both things that objectively and conservative standpoint as well and today with president trump, sometimes it's saying, hey, wait a second, what are you doing here but also saying, hey, the media maybe treating him unfairly in certain respects and so -- so that's the purpose of it today and still continues, still something i'm passionate about. >> sometimes people do take offense if it seems to be a hostile question when it actually one to have most liberal trial lawyers, plaintiff's lawyers, democrat in the country i learned so much 30 years ago, he was saying if you're selecting a jury and you get an answer you don't like, somebody says something, you ought to jump across and shake his hand. that guy is now giving you a chance to explain something
that's troubling people that might otherwise like but unfortunately you've seen it, keith, too many times today, people ask questions and they are got-you questions. they are not going to give you a chance to explain. they want to come after you and be aggressive. i felt like you certainly gave steven k. bannon a very fair treatment in the book. so i would to get to the book, but you start off with a prologue as the rebel. but you go through and you take him through growing up, quotes from the family, who all in the family did you talk to? >> oh, well, i talked to all of his siblings, he has two sisters and two brothers and older brother and younger sister and they -- it is a very close-knit family. he goes home to richmond, with
his crushing schedule at the white house and still now and they adore him. interestingly among siblings no resentment among him for his success and only pride. the most startling person that i talked to was his dad, i think he was 95 when i talked to him and now he's 96. i just saw bannon at an event somewhere. >> sounds like his dad is on top of things. >> he is sharp as a whip. little ironic sense of humor and -- and is able to remember little vignettes about how he was drafted as a professional baseball player but didn't pay like it pays now. >> as i recall, $50. >> something like that. >> they upped it to 75. trying to get him to come on because he didn't report for 50 but for 75 they were hoping he
would and he didn't and so they could him. >> he was a hold-out. [laughter] >> back then, you know, a country had just come out of depression and much more stable job with, you know, going to get married and so forth to work with a phone company and that's where he ended up but unfortunately, baseball career ended in infancy with his dad but very short funny guy. >> well, you get into chapter two about -- well well, chapter 1, born fighter, chapter 2 exposed the guy that's getting into politics. student politics. >> yeah. >> tell us how he got throne -- thrown into politics. >> right, student politics. he was at virginia tech, that's where he went to college and he
was sort of involved in this and is -- and that and eventually he decided to run for student body president but he wasn't the next in line. even then at virginia tech there was an establishment. >> always is. >> to oppose. >> every school has it. >> every organization, i think, a lot of times there's a group and expected succession and so forth and so he then was the rebel, the book is called always the rebel but that his rebelliousness is more something. he's always fighting for a cause. he's rebel by nature but not thoughtless rebel without a cause-type of thing. here they were trying to get students more involved and decisions that the deans were making, a lot of changes in virginia tech then. he decided he was going challenge the orthodox and represent the average man, again, average student at
virginia tech, right, and one of the things he did was he showed a little bit of his political early on as he put a woman on his ticket as vice president to run with him on the ticket. and that done both because they had worked together and respected each other enormously. she today i spoke with her for the book speaks glowingly about him and said that back then he was fighting for the same things he's fighting for in a way, average student, fight the establishment and worked extraordinarily well together and brought her on to the ticket and virginia tech only recently had admitted women, more and more women in the electorate, aka the campus and that helped him towards the victory and he defeated the establishment and became student body president for his senior year. >> sounds like he very much
involved the vice president and she was quite influential in the things that they did, positions they took. >> susan oliver, she said -- and sort of contradicted things that she said today, as woman she felt that he empowered her entirely and a quote about how he let her do her thing and wasn't overbearing and had complete confidence in what she could do. remember, this is early 1970's, not a time where women are necessarily participating in student government or any kind of government. >> i thought it was interesting with both stephen bannon and president trump, they both had unsuccessful marriage, seems to be in a successful marriage now and there he was, amidst all the christmas decorations and a little kid that said you looked like an angel.
[laughter] >> but a lot of people take that both with regard to bannon and with regard to the president. well, they must not be good in working with women because they've had failed marriages and it is a bit of a dichotomy there because both steven and the president worked successfully with women. you've done research and talked to the women he's worked with and from what you say in the book, he worked with them very well. did you find any women that he worked closely with that had problems with him, negative opinion? >> i would say no, i didn't hear anybody express that opinion. i did talk to a lot of people who knew him from college and even today at breitbart, many, you know, women working on the staff. when he was in the white house, i think his key aide was julian,
brilliant young conservative woman who worked at breitbart and focused on immigration and other issues and he brought her into the white house. i think she's still there and she was -- i don't want to say the brains behind bannon because he's so smart that that's almost impossible from what i found, but she has helped him a lot and key assistant of his and why he's still close to his first wife, susie, in fact, one of the times that i spoke with him for the book, it was just the two of us, but his -- his first wife susie had been there with his daughter and they had been hanging out in washington and so forth, so he's still close to her and i just didn't pick up on, you know, he can be a rough guy, he can -- and he will admit this. >> very blunt. >> temper, i don't think he discriminates whether it's female or male. probably the southern gentlemen
in him will refrain from firing away at a woman. >> i'm not sure about that part. >> maybe not. >> somebody that's driven and you paint him as being a driven individual, always the rebel, but they seemed to be much more forgiven -- forgiving, but they will immediately tell you when they disagree and they think you're on the wrong track, they won't think anything out of it at all, i've had steven be blunt with me when we disagree but, you know, ten minutes later, that's not supposed to be carried on because we are moving on. we are beyond that. >> what people told me is that it's not personal so much. it's about the job, so he will get very blunt and he does have a temper, but it's because he wants to get whatever job needs
to get accomplished and he has very high standards, maybe too high for a lot of people, he works endlessly. there was one time when i was trying to get in touch with him, try him at 1:00 in the morning, i text him then because then east easier to get. he doesn't sleep much, he works hard and he kind of expects that of other people and in the book, you know, in his businesses, people would say, well, i don't quite have -- or my kid is sick, that's your problem, you know, personal problem. we have to get this done. so, you know, he can be tough, maybe unreasonable tough sometimes but definitely he's driven like you say. >> well, since many of my communications with andrew breitbart were 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning i had a compadre and i wonder if that was something that brought them close together, they both worked
endlessly and were up much in the night. do i that all -- i do that myself. in fact, knowing andrew, i mean, he introduced me to bannon, but steven had never said a whole lot when i was around and andrew was around. but it's really -- he has plenty of opinions, but it surprised me. i was in -- i had an army scholarship at texas a&m. bannon finished, got his degree at virginia tech, he has no military commitment, he's free and clear, he's got some great potential offers coming because he did so well in student government and doing well, smart guy and he goes and joins the navy. what was the purpose of that? >> yeah, that's a good question and i asked people.
his -- his friends at virginia tech were very surprised by that. they'd figured he would go onto something and his family said that he had an offer from philip morris, who was a big employer in richmond and, of course -- right. they do a lot of things, but it was different then also. that was the employer there and i had a major offer there, but he -- i think what happened was they had been raised with a sense of duty. his parents were very traditional americans, they are actually fairly liberal. they were sort of kennedy democrats, old-style democrats. >> that's part the catholic background. >> it is. >> the first catholic to really have a great shot at being president and so a lot of catholic families whether republican or democrat, he's one of us. this is awesome. did you get that feeling from the family? >> well, that was part of it the sense of service and it occurs to me just now as we are
talking, kennedy had been in the navy. kennedy was a big hero of bannon maybe some of that. but also his -- his father had wanted to be in the military and was not able to, there was some small technical issue and we wanted to serve in world war ii and wasn't able to do this. there was always the sense of fulfilling the mission and service back the country and i don't want to sound corny about it but i think that was large part of motivation, what his father kind of wanted for the family, plus it's a sense of adventure, you're going to go out on a destroyer and -- which he did and sailed around the world and he was a big fighter when he was young, got in a lot of fistfights and maybe sort of adventure and duty. it did surprise a lot of people but fit with the way he was raised and own character to join the navy.
>> they cared nothing about anything but money. >> right. >> and it is true in 2008. we saw the worst of goldman sachs come out. we saw unrestrained greed come to the forefront, but this seems to be such mutually exclusive parts of a person, here is this guy that would work for goldman sachs as a reputation of 2008, i know too many people that that's not them, but on the other hand, he walks away from all of that first and goes and joins the navy. >> right. >> not just for one or two years, how long was he? >> six years. >> yeah. apparently enjoyed the time and was very reliable and there was some group that he was part of that was supposed to help when
emergencies, come up with solutions, apparently. >> when he was in washington, senior people kind of -- he had this very -- bannon's attitude is do it now, so he -- one of his friends says bias towards action. he can get out of line a little bit but they like that he got things done and that was whether on the ship or in washington. when he was in washington, there was some little pass that was formed by senior people, people that would figure out a way through bureaucracy to get things done. >> yeah. >> bannon was sort of involved in that. >> perhaps that helped draw bannon and president trump together back when it was candidate trump. >> very much so. similar personality. do it now, don't wait, say it, sometimes maybe trump moves a little too quickly. [laughter] >> even he is allies might admit
but similar personality like that. >> well, one of the -- chapter 6 is generation zero, can you explain generation zero? what caused you to name that chapter generation zero? >> generation zero was the name of a movie that bannon did which talked about the 2008 crash and -- and basically the idea was that the future was being robbed, that americans given all the wealth that was lost, average middle-class people and the debt and so forth and the debt that was being accumulated that the generation that exists now which is really sort of the millennials and younger people, when you look at the size of
deficit, we are going to have nothing left. >> where was he working in 2008 when the crash happened? >> in 2008 when the crash happened he was still out in california doing his own business, but -- >> he had left goldman sachs. >> he left goldman sachs a long time ago, actually, he went out to california and he got -- first it was out there to drum up business for goldman sachs but then he formed his own firm, but increasingly he got into documentaries and into making his own conservative film-making, he initially made one about reagan in 2004 and then in 2008 started making other documentaries related to the tea party and conservative movement and so what he wanted the chronical was how the elite, essentially, got off pretty much
scot-free in the crash. so the beginning of his political opposition to the establishment -- >> that was the head of goldman sachs. >> right. >> former head. >> former head. >> he let's lehman brothers go because he couldn't stand them. i wasn't fair, balance, so to speak. >> yeah. >> but he was out there and he got into the movie-making business, so where did he get the title generation zero? row -- you talk about the generation. >> you have -- we've been talking about generation x and generation y and which is the generation that may have nothing left if the economy, you know, the debt continues to build and the economy continue to meander along as it did with president obama. we have seen revival but as you know there's a great parallel
out there we are $20 trillion in debt and not just that but when you look at entitlements over -- it's something like 70 trillion that's owed that we are not -- >> conservative. >> maybe it's more than that. and so that was kind of his ideas that the elite have, you know, in washington, in places like goldman sachs, in business, they don't care as much. they are going to do okay but the average people are -- are going to end up suffering and he took that from his dad in part. what happened was his dad as the markets declined -- >> he invested so consistently -- >> right. >> had worked for at&t. >> cmp. >> yeah. >> and -- and i think it might have been part of at&t, he had put his money away for years and he had used -- traditional sort of savings, work and save like a
regular sort of fellow and he had a little bit of money stuck away for retirement. he hoped maybe one day to pass that onto his kids or grandkids and so forth and then all of a sudden, the overlending that has occurred, the sort of profit motive that -- >> profoundly affected him. he saw his dad lose so much. >> lost all of his money and he felt that what happens to people like my dad while others, you know, go run and say, hey, help me out and -- and give me a break here and meanwhile there's nobody to help someone like his dad. >> sort of ironic to see all of the comments from those an to -- antagonist who say he's nothing
about money but you read the book and you start tracking his life and his life hasn't been all about money, you talked about a place he had in long island, a chair and a cot. it was in florida, okay. >> yeah. yeah. it's funny because he did go and this is -- people will see that as inconsistency. he did go to goldman sachs and made himself a multimillionaire and part of that was growing up where he did, middle-class family and urge to make money. the way -- and i asked him about that contradiction. he said, well, with the money he did it gave me freedom, freedom to do the things that i wanted and -- and i know it's also the contest, he wanted to make a lot of money and felt competitive, but if you looked at how he list, someone told me he buys -- he has several houses but all they are, all he does is put
book shelves on them and so if you look at him he doesn't dress like a wealthy person, he doesn't live lavishly, i interviewed him in his home on capitol hill for a total of ten hours -- >> breitbart embassy. >> breitbart embassy and it is not a lavishly appointed place. this is obviously not someone who is terribly concerned about material possessions, but he did make a lot of money and that has freed him to do what he wants in terms of promoting the conservative causes that he believes in. >> another irony, there's so many that say, not only is he all about money but he might even be a white supremacists, when you dig into his life, that's not steven stephen
bannon. he gave us a lot of foreshadowing. here he goes out when nobody was pulling in women to be corunner in an election, yet they're running mates and running together, maybe a little foreshadowing of his embrace for sarah palin running for vice president. >> oh, yeah. >> he embraced it, he could see such greatness. >> he wanted her to be president. he thought that she would be the one that stick to her guns. as you know, unlike you, so many people come to washington saying one thing and maybe even believing it and then just forget about it. once they are here, they get caught up in all the special interests and they need money to get reelected and so forth. but what you are saying about race, in terms of people who talk to him personally, bannon, there was nobody i could find who said that he personally was
racist, antisay -- antisemitic. most of the senior leadership at breitbart was jewish. and breitbart was jewish and becomes difficult. >> andrew's closest friend larry did a great job in funeral in california, really deeply touching, but, yeah, that's larry and breitbart. >> and also on race as well, one of the -- this actually wasn't somebody that i interviewed. a liberal senior executive in washington, jeff, something like that, i think that's his name, came out and said, look, i worked with bannon for years out there and i have to say even if it hurts me out here in hollywood, the man is not a racist. the charge that people put
against him is he allowed the comment section in breitbart to become -- have too many people with white supremacists views and so forth and i think the way he viewed that was that, you know, it's the comment section, he's not going to regulate it. they do regulate it now, but, you know, you go in there and forewarned. it's a tough place, but in terms of the actual breitbart stories, when you actually look at the stories, they themselves don't have racist content to them and it was a new york times article in august which said that, you know, breitbart is not the alt-right in terms of the articles, not articles perceived today, in materials of the articles that are produced. just on a personal level, nobody that i found that felt he was a racist. he grew up as a liberal. his mother was very liberal in richmond, virginia. think about that in the 1950's and 1960's and several people
who knew him back then said that she was vocal about african-american rights back at the time when people did not want to hear much about that in richmond, virginia, that also was part of his thinking and upbringing. >> greatly affected by outspoken moms. [laughter] >> but just so no confusion, i talked to a lot of people that think that you get to washington, people bribing you with this or that but seems to be the most immasculating efforts come from something called being a team player. now, you're awesome, you're incredible. you are going to change the world. you are going to set everything right but we need you to be a team player and you're going to be -- and after a couple of years, i've been a team player
but we said we were going to do all of these things. come on, just stay on the team and when you finally push back enough, we misjudged you. i thought you were a team player. that seems more than threats, more than promises that team player intimidation, nobody wants to be viewed as just fly and seems to have disengaged so many from the things they came here to do. >> right. .. ..
you have some good quotes in there. >> guest: you and i were talking about it and my reading. this is where you know it's what you are talking about. and it goes to caring about money as well. he wants to turn the republican party basically into a working-class market. he feels that the democrats are behold in to identity politics and things like that. he thinks the republicans can take the working class from the democrats were a lot of them of traditionally been in bringing them into the republican party. this is where he and it's ironic because people criticize him as
an archconservative but a lot of his ideas can sound almost liberal to a lot of republicans and he wants us to focus not so much on corporate america and the lobbyist here in washington but on protecting the middle class, protecting the working class and making sure the working class is -- so his agenda is to go out and convince the working class people that it's republicans who have the best policies for them was going to talking about race he believes republicans need to get at least 30% of the african-american working-class vote in the least 30% of the hispanic working-class votes and then we will run the country for 50 years great sometimes he gets a little nomadic. he might even set 100 years which is a long time but nevertheless that's his agenda. he says until we have the black working class the hispanic
working-class we have failed as a society. to me business is first and we don't need a million immigrants in this country particularly we don't need a million immigrants that come don't come with any real set of skills. as was his concern with immigration comes and. the minute you say anything about limiting immigration you are racist and so on and so forth. his view is that you need to support people of all races and colors in this country without this immigration. he is not against immigration but he's against the kind of immense numbers of people coming in and supplanting jobs from people who are here were here in the working middle class whether they are black, hispanic or white. that's the point.
>> host: that seems to be what we heard from candidate trump on the stump and i wonder candidate trump got an invitation to come to african-american churches and he seemed to be right at home. guess that. >> guest: he did in its interesting people say about trump you know bannon actually does the lead and trump believes things that he could talk to the press are you talked democrats he's an opportunist but bannon actually thinks that trump shares a lot with this ideology which is -- why they are still very much alive. he is someone who's been working in construction. this is the one of the reasons he feels he connects so well to average people is that he has been on job sites constantly and talk to people so this idea that there is some kind of white supremacist agenda here and in fact is recently bannon was speaking at a meeting of an
organization that was seeking to attract black entrepreneurs into republican party. and the second time i've heard the last couple of weeks where he is addressed a black group. this is something republicans don't do enough. they don't go into the african-american neighborhoods and give speeches and say hey here's why conservative articles are going to help you beyond identity politics and so forth. kennon believes everybody essentially wants the same thing ultimately. they want to have special jobs may want to have special jobs, black people and hispanic people and that's what he believes the republican message needs to be. going to the poor neighborhoods and talk to people and say hey hell has a well first they done for you? we have the poverty rate just where it was in 1965 when lyndon johnson made the great society. that's how he wants the republican party and that's
misunderstood when people throughout the white supremacist label and call everybody races. >> host: do you have any other quotes that capture him? >> guest: here's a good one. i didn't put a lot of koffler company while it's an here. they directly contradict something that we have heard obama say constantly and that is we are a nation of citizens. we are not a nation of immigrants so now we have to start to act like citizens come first. all policy should be oriented to making the people his country in the middle class in this country have a better shot at success and we have gotten away from that. what we have done is create a huge global competition for their jobs and for their school so what he is saying is he is not denying that we are all
emigrants ultimately but immigrants who come here and become citizens. he told me i'm not a multiculturalist. he'd believes yes they bring their cultures into united states and affect the culture in some way but it should be a melting pot and not a mixing bowl of different cultures all over the place. >> host: a merris thomas recently told a group we have lost our -- and we have lost that union. it sounds the way you are describing steven here. so the tea party came along in 2009. what drew him to that initially? you have a chapter here tea
party warrior. >> guest: tea party warrior. he felt again there was this washington consensus of the establishment republicans in the tea party he felt was the vehicle for actually changing things for actually getting away from some of the policies, for actually doing things like reversing obamacare which was a huge part of what the tea party was about, reducing taxes. he felt that there was this revolution occurring at the base which he thinks has happened again with trump. >> host: he is actually turned the term tea party into virtually a -- when actually you see these groups and he was in the middle of them. these are not racists. these are working people paying taxes that are tired of carrying
much more than their load. he was instantly just part of it. >> guest: they were very much as folk and again the way he saw them was average working-class people not just looking to implement conservative economic principles but also to try to save the culture, and these were people who had a lot of traditional values that made this country great. you know breitbart and bannon also agreed on the notion that economics is downstream from coulter and culture is what makes ultimately makes for hard-working people often people of faith who end up feeding this economy that is so great and that's where -- he believes also
the middle lesson this is one reason why he's so focused on the middle class and the working class. he thinks unlike the elites of today the middle class and the working class creates the traditional american ethic. teddy roosevelt sang kids to war and joseph kennedy jfk's father father -- world war ii and the elites had an american ethic. he he thinks people in new york and los angeles has changed in terms of a lot of money. >> host: what do you think like did he persuade you? >> guest: i think he did. you know personally i think and again i don't know if i have gone through all the specifics and everything like that but my feeling is that when you look at people who graduate from a lot of these elite institutions there is not the same attendance
of church or send the dogs which is important for a moral foundation. it's more sort of middle-class and working-class people who do that then personally i think that they have lost a lot of that. i tend to agree with him that these are the people who are still you know embody a lot of the values that we saw with the founders of the nation, a lot of these traditional values. these are the people who are not just looking at average people's commodities. they want to work a full day and not just looking for a way to leverage any amount of money that they can make and i tend to believe it's true. i don't know if i can prove it but i'm from new york and i've lived in washington for a long time. that's what i see in it's funny,
the funny thing my wife was just saying when you go to the old to the over jenny and you talk to people who are just like believe in the 2nd amendment. >> host: clinging to their god and guns. >> guest: clinging to their god and guns. they are just on the level and nobody tries to one up you necessarily. i guess it would be more of a feeling i have. personally i would want to read more and understand more about it but i tend to agree that he's right that the middle class is now the bearer of the culture. >> host: the culture was so much from judeo-christian about about -- values and i didn't realize the spiritual depth that steven had until i read your book. that's a big part of who he is. >> it's a big part of who he is.
in my research for the book i talked to a friend of his and asked what does include steve? he said he might want to start with the bible. i said denny? he said maybe more more than new testament that the old testament too. he's tremendously influenced by it. when i talked to my asked him about that and he discussed how his catholicism -- they'd grew up in richmond as catholics. they weren't just sunday catholics, they were everyday x. and that's what his family and society was like they are. it has a act of him in a couple of ways. first of all his concern for average people and this concern for your fellow man and then of course as i reveal in the book he was a drinker at one point in his life. actually i think he went to a
catholic military high school and he said that some irish catholic thing in your machismo is rated y. how much you are drinking. started very early and he was drinking in college but he didn't think he was quite an alcoholic midway put it to me was i didn't have a drinking problem but i didn't have a drinking solution either. it's kind of finessing it i guess but it was the 1990s he thought i was starting to affect his work too much and i was starting to affect him too much. he tells the story about how he came home to watch his daughter play basketball. he was coaching the team and he was working in europe where he said they drink constantly and that's what got to him. they drink at lunch and all the time. he came back and he took some red eye back to the california
from europe and there was a six pack in the refrigerator. he had been having bloody mary's and champagne on the plane coming over in the south a sixpack and he said well that's great at least i have that in the fridge. the only other thing was a bottle of catch up and he said he drank five of them. he thought wait a second and he looked at himself in the mirror and he said i'm 40 pounds lighter than i am now but he couldn't believe it. he picked it up and dragged analysis last one. he used his catholicism and the use old catholic text written by saint ignatius of loyola who helped him. as he described it to me they filter out other things in your life that are not very meaningful in focus you on what's important on god and jesus and he said basically you pray. he got into regiment that he
says he does to this very day that helps him even with all the criticism that comes at him and so forth but it also helps in stay sober. he said for 20 years. i was a little surprised. i figured he would give me a beer and we would hang out in he would give me a beer and we would talk that i got this eight-ounce can of coke. he opened up to me about it and the role of catholicism and the higher power which is a 12 step program. >> host: your chapter bannon and breitbart he really seems to get his love the way you describe it so what do you think in that chapter best describes him at bright dark -- right hard
hard. >> guest: he basically got a vehicle and the documentaries -- as though we didn't talk about other than initially he got into movies. >> guest: on the party in sarah palin and a documentary on her and women. he actually made, talk about women he made an entire documentary on tea party women. breitbart though after andrew bright are -- breitbart tragically died to think dan and added some of his business acumen to some of his ideological thinking entered right guard into kind of a machine. there he was able to do the news but do it anyway that others were doing and do it in the way a way that revealed the
corruption of the elite, it do it in it in a way that promoted values that were important to him and really get his message out there. he got a radio show. i think it helped him connect with trump ultimately. breitbart became a true love and something that he was very passionate about but it became sort of the ground zero of the populist national security group group. >> host: any quotes to you think help describe him? >> guest: i have that in the bright art chapter there. i wrote bannon was loaned he said we are never going to beat the democrats until we beat the real enemy which is the establishment republicans because they stand for nothing. all they stand for is money and
power. we can take that on and that was a lot of what breitbart did. >> host: totally opposite of the image of him come desiring money and yet he wants to defeat the powers that be. >> guest: exactly and the political influence he has which he feels never changes anything. the one thing he said as we have welfare in this country and it came out in our interview in the book. there is welfare in this country for two people, the very poor and the very rich. it's not even the very poor but a lot of people have some level of government assistance and the wealthier in washington angling for a granted tax breaks and gifts from government and so forth so that is what upsets him probably more than any money and
the middle-class basically are the ones who get to a certain salary and they don't follow it. he was definitely trying to fight the elite in the benefits they get out of washington. >> host: and the trump campaign he ended up eating in visor to donald trump. you have got a chapter president strategist and it seems like particular he and kellyanne conway really made a difference in that direction that the trump campaign took especially after the convention. any insights that you got from him on trump that you can quote collects. >> guest: i think -- look me see if there's a quote in here that i might have on trump.
yeah, well this is on particularly on trump isolationism which i can work into but basically what he did was he emphasized trump during the campaign to stay on message. you are the agent of change. hillary is the establishment. stick to your nationalist populist message and the quote that they have here one of the misconceptions of trump is that he's an isolationist which he is not an been in is not either. what they are more concerned about is the international trade deal that possibly subverts u.s. law and impinges on u.s. law and also that end up helping out mercantilist policies like those in china and harming the working middle class by sending our jobs overseas on the free trade ill.
he was over in saudi arabia trying to arrange basically an alliance of arab space against iran so there's a lot that he does internationally and fair trade deals. the quote from bannon is bannon says people misunderstand the thinking of trump's america first ideology. it doesn't mean never intervening overseas and quote it's a false thing to say he's an isolationist. he's anything but an isolationist. what he is not is a globalist. he's not going to let the power of the united states be dissipated as an international organization. no one has engage with the islamic community is president trump did in that speech in saudi arabia in may of 2017 which is what i was referring to to. more than 50 muslim majority
regions and he told them they had to take the lead in combating islamist radicalization. where he does believe united states needs to get involved is when the national security interests are truly threatened. not just leaving from behind and overthrowing people. moe market asean libya just when we feel like it. where the the national security interests art surely threatened that's where he believes we should. >> host: it's interesting, i was surprised that the republican u.s. trade wrap told me it's you got to understand we are the biggest economy in the world. anything that helps other countries will eventually help us. i didn't really buy that at the time and it was very clear that
steven and president trump don't buy that either. there are bad deals for america where we lose. >> guest: right and some of the mainstream economists with nafta have a lot of pluses and minuses to and not even mainstream economists. again for bannon it's ultimately like are you going to have the manufacturing sector and he believes --. >> host: and there are those who think it's an evolving process to get a service economy whereas it seems he understands what president trump understands that you can't manufacture in a time of war you will not ian power at the time of war. >> guest: it goes back to the founders. what denny is talking about is
something called, again it's very widely read something called the american system. the first protectionist that we have in the country were george washington and alexander hamilton. they believed we needed to support manufacturing in the country in a laissez-faire and through world war ii a lot of the country was fairly protect did of its industries and prospered before it because if it bannon believes and it was an american system of hamiltonian economics and manufacturing in the country. >> host: we have only got a couple of minutes left but let me just ask you, so you have spent a lot of time with steven k. bannon. you have heard his goals. he talked about what he wants to do. what advice do you give him for
being able to help reach those goals? >> guest: so you want me to be utterly honest or i really helpful? i've come to agree with a lot of what he says. i think there is -- been in believes that the electorate has already changed. remember in the republican primaries people elected trump and the other establishment candidate jeb bush marco rubio and several of the others were perfectly legitimate. you could disagree with them but they were solid individuals who could be president. there was one year where the call than the seven dwarfs although democrats were running. these are good candidates and even in the general election trump was victorious. despite obvious flaws in trump,
not a perfect person and he would certainly admit that himself but despite that they elected him. what denny believed is that already the longing for populism and nationalism is there. he believes it's our day among the base. where it hasn't changed is in washington. what hasn't changed is the leadership in some parts of the republican party particularly the senate that he's going after now. i think people voted for because they believed the culture was slipping away and the country was slipping away and even though he wasn't a perfect candidate and he was the one to go to washington and wasn't going to change and i think he hasn't in a lot of ways. so i think --. >> host: that is exciting but it's a great look and he did an excellent job encapsulating a
man in just a matter of a book like this. you did an excellent job. a lot of provoking thoughts for anybody who's interested in politics and it also seems to me you have flaws in bannon as we all do but they don't want to race to judgment on somebody like roy moore until they get the full story. you think there's any of that there is we conclude? >> guest: i think there is some of that there. one of the things also that bannon said to me and where his catholic faith comes in his man is not perfect and we can expect men to always be perfect and i think that probably informed some of his thinking. >> host: there an awful lot of folks that are painted as well.
thank you very much. it's been a real pleasure. i look forward to reading more. so thank you and thank you for being on c-span today. >> guest: my pleasure. i enjoyed it very much. .. will be available. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider.