tv After Words Ronald Kessler The Trump White House CSPAN April 28, 2018 10:01pm-11:01pm EDT
>>host: ron kessler your new book you say president trump bravado and exaggeration controversial comments is a means to the end and that 80% of the time that staff says he has a plan that he sticks with and then he wakes up and goes a different direction so talk about donald trump the dealmake dealmaker. >> is like a boxer very
intention bobbing and weaving it is all an act. and his top aide for 26 years joining the organization there were only seven other employees. and she said there are two donald trump's one is the one you see on tv who makes these outrageous comments and then becomes the center of attention and conversation for the media but then the other donald trump is thoughtful and listens and very careful about making decisions and during the campaign and his remarks about the border and mexico and a month or two later the
head met with donald and he emerged to say my god that summed up the difference. >> you say you are impressed it is fascinating by the way but sometimes and listens well and i've heard them to be abusive with staff? >> and then martha stewart showed up one day and his butler called and said yes we'll set something up the next day and donald came in and he said great take care of her but then later in the day and went to see if he needs anything and he just blew up at him and screaming at him. you are a dumb club members
will be here and martha will see them. out of control. and said i don't thank you should be talking in that tone. so that gives you a clue about the relationship and to express the views but the next day they were at mir-a-lago and handed $2000.20 bills as an apology on the one hand you fly off the handle but on the other hand he will not hold a grudge. and by the way one of the new items in the book is that milania is very powerful edge sitting in on the meetings offer her views and helping to
come up with a new strategy and rights. this said her judgment is guided by that is something they agree on. >> i have found that milania trump so i'm glad that you put that down for more people to absorb. so back in a short chapter when she appeared on howard stern program and talked about wild sex every day and donald trump's quote about her boobs why did you put all of that in one chapter? and trying to say if she is credible like that? >> and everybody appreciated her appearance and to see her
and that she looks even more gorgeous in person. when you see them to gather on -- together that they are enthralled with discussions and they laugh and tease with each other and i recently saw them the night before new year's eve but they were just having a very passionate discuss it on -- discussion and having a wonderful time with me yet so back when watergate was the hot topic so writing 21 books now or what
you think about book writing? >> i sat next to bernstein with the happenings with watergate and at the wall street journal before that. so to be secretive the cia fbi secret service they are powerful and important and i call that my midlife crisis and then my wife and i flew down to mir-a-lago and he imitated the blue blood condemning mir-a-lago because it will admit blacks and jews because to this day some still do not.
so that just sums up everything he wants to be loved no matter who is in his way but with the essence of one donald trump. but now people think they know everything about him but they know very little. there are very little details that ever come out whether he made decisions about having people like having rudy giuliani or those he thought that were too hawkish he doesn't like those details to come out he doesn't like able to know. when i asked him about that in the only interview he said he
would only give for a book to place the night before new year's eve i asked him about the 100-dollar bills he tries to obfuscate he doesn't want that out. he has such a tough guy image but any personal detail like that would show that he is a compassionate guy and that was what i wanted to come out in the book. >> talk about your interview with the president because it seems like there may be questions what are you most glad you asked him about? >> i told him about the major points in the book or the economy improvement and that
he will be seen just like reagan and then with the soviet union and with the media and just like donald trump the establishments are clear that without a bias on the economy and we clear the history and then getting rid of vices. with islamic ideology. and for the first year at the same time and that makes
everyone cringe. >> unlike any president we have ever had so talk about it with the independent journalist of your own credibility. and you say i will be a journalist first and i don't care what he thinks that is a way to pursue the book honestly. and with those juicy tidbits at the same time overall is favorable towards trump and the book goes into a chapter called scam artist. it isn't just bias in one case
like robbing a bank. when i was with the washington post absolutely no question. that is how the media had changed it would prevent one -- present specific examples with the obligations or any other issue and those that created e-mails to those committees with those various campaigns including paul manafort and trying to get them to talk to that russia leadership and they said no we will not do this and manafort
said we have to warn trump if they will do this and said i want this guy to make sure. >> but i never read that have you seen that anywhere? >> no. even the washington post story had the headline the trump aide tried to get them to go to russia but not the real story that he wanted nothing to do with russia that was the fine line on that whole story so let's talk about the media because you do let a lot of examples in the book like you just described where they say they have no bounds to discredit or those negative narratives but for donald trump he can do no right what
is driving this? with the media that you are a part of? >> and two beepers per trade as stupid or dangerous was reagan and the media does the same thing with trump. but with the white house correspondents dinner but they laugh at him in a mock him and that is the overriding theme? let inherently they cannot think independently. that is why leaving after college after couple years and
to get firsthand what happened then to have blinders on with secrets and that is what i have done in this book. >> that is a fun read. >> with "access hollywood" then what do they do and what are the repercussions for later? >> and that with them withdrawing support. >> what did they say? >> let's see you can get out of the race but at the same
time he never gave him but ryan's previous really presided over his successes. and then to expand to hire more workers and to be constricted and a lot of other achievements that i know mom -- that occurred under him. but with the hollywood access tape shows that that trump then coercive and when you are * they want you to do that. it is not nonconsensual.
>> nothing that has happened in politics in my lifetime or your lifetime so when you see something that doesn't usually happen that is usually the deathknell of a presidential campaign and the paul ryan seemed to look that way they didn't understand whether paul ryan or reince preibus about the trump motor or the base. >> i do think that reince preibus did understand but it is very hard for people and certain circles in the east and in the west to understand the way that the average voter thinks. and with a working-class person said to me i don't care
what he says i just care what he does and that sums up how the working-class think they have to be judged by result. and you could be fired and there's all kinds of things that he is never held accountable but these people understand results and that is what you see with donald trump. >>host: i see your point and that was great in your book. let's talk about palm beach it was interesting to read but the games that they play with the scams and murders and intrigue and jealousy with the pretense and bigotry with occasional generosity makes it look like tv is a nurse retail.
>> tell how he came into mir-a-lago and his personality how he took the place and how it resulted today? >> he first heard about it from his limousine driver whether the chamber maids or secret service agents that people who give opinions. most of those are billionaires when i was at mir-a-lago with him recently i know as much about that as much as he knows about the talmud but he bought it at a bargain basement price and at first use it as his own
and then turned into a clown. and with a profit-making and sure enough now it is taking $400 million. now she did not want to turn into a club his first wife she wanted it to herself he continued. and so he created trump spot at mir-a-lago but he does say that it is the closest thing to paradise he will never get to. it is simply unbelievable it is only half a mile wide at the widest point.
the richest place in the world with these traditions and with the charities developing the balls and in the end they produce that much money one club member was married to a very wealthy real estate guy and eventually he died and left her $300 million. she stored his body for three days under i.c.e. because he said i want to enjoy the season and now i want to enjoy myself and go to parties with
ivana trump and in fact she said she will do the same thing to her second husband if he dies as well. >>host: wow. [laughter] i don't think many spouses would go for that so talk about the battle of palm beach with peopl people. >> the town said then they starred to find him money every day eventually they settled and he agreed to move a flagpole further away from the street to reduce the
length of the flagpole but guess what? it is what his workmen created so there was a desire and this is typical donald trump. and he always wins. and the way he finagled that is typical of how he operates and his lawyer and another similar movie to the town council members to prevent him from turning this into a club. but at the same time he invited these councilmembers
>>host: they just enjoy the parties so much? >> at first they see he doesn't live a traditional life to drive a lamborghini but he is everything that palm beach hates but the invitation to mir-a-lago is incredible. >>host: so you see so many working-class and ordinary citizens vote for him maybe it was in contrast to hillary clinton but some wealthy people has hit residents with ordinary americans so what do you think about that? >> on the one hand he is a
patriot the fact that he attacked the kneeling over the national anthem i think resonated with a lot of people but those were heartfelt feelings that most americans have. he is very likable, very candid and for example with the chinese leader like i didn't get anything out of him and people like that as well that is quite different that the treats the secret service agents with such disdain that was a form of punishment to have her detail but they treat them with respect.
and then how to be protected by secret service he said i will have 20 agents playing golf and they are going in different directions also they are very respectful unlike jenna and barbara bush who would try to lose their agents and were nasty and barren is very gregarious and go around at mir-a-lago on the terrace for breakfast is served and say enjoy the breakfast enjoy have a good day he is a great maître d'. just like trump and even going back to when baron was two years old, milania gave him a bottle and they walked back into the cabin the copilot was
flying and he took the bottle out of his mouth and said want some mike? >>host: [laughter] >> talk about the codenames for the first family. >> secret service are generated by a computer randomly but there may be words that are hard to understand that each can protect his or her own word and they have chosen their own words trump is mobile -- dick cheney's wife was author
because she was an author so when agents are speaking into their mouthpiece or their earpiece that they don't want others to overhear who they are talking about also confusion over the names so if they have a name like eagle which was clinton that is very clear. >>host: any white house warring factions but this seems to have a lot of them and it reminds me of the parable about the elephant and the blind man someone who tries to report what is happening you have to have enough confidence you touch all the parts of the elephant so do you feel confident you are capturing and reporting on all the different warring factions and who are they?
>> they all are warring i believe i was able to get right inside because as you say there are many satellite people who hear things and gossip and the that when you are actually inside the people that are working throughout the day i think that gives you the correct story and knowing trump over two decades and also knowing about the white house secret service all that came together to present an accurate portrayal to be seen as one of the greatest presidents that sometimes includes all of the attention
or personal detail how he thinks or operates or things he doesn't want you to know he doesn't want to prevent anybody to know anything except his tough guy image. >> so what have we learned from the lessons from those that have left the team already whether staff or cabinet secretaries? what do you think? about why they left or what it means? what are you trying to clean up or what are the problems? >> when i talk about him in the white house and changing the direction there is something to that with the first go around he was given recommendations like condi rice recommended m1 but now he says i want people that i feel
compatible with and that i'm comfortable with who are smart and basically on my wavelength we will not always agree obviously that that is what he is going for and i think that will work out well. >> why didn't he reach out to mitt romney that it was confusing for people who voted for trump after everything he said. >> romney was approached by steve bannon on china and also reince preibus that it would be a good idea and trent said he looks the part for the appearance so he met with him at first he was not impressed but he wasn't really thinking he would get the job at them the second time he was prepared but in the end with
all the considerations over who had supported to him, loyal and in the end giuliani got secretary of state or wanted secretary of state he wanted him as attorney general that he did not want that giuliani was not as big of a supporter but sessions was a big supporter so he said he would be perfect even though he had reservations he did appoint him he still makes remarks about him even though sessions is doing a fantastic job as attorney general in terms of his agenda. >> what is the difference between john kelly and reince preibus?
>> so number one trump has given kelly much more authority and given the authority to be chief of staff that kelly is supposedly the chief of staff and at the same time trump in the and is the chief of staff and with the threat of the restriction and kelly doesn't like it says you can't see your daughter unless you go through me that is not very good. >> you also talk about kellyanne conway that it was a very nice but there wasn't much substance that she was
the number one leaker to the press. we have known her for years but how is that going? that people im in contact with don't see it that way. >> talking about his policies i always admired her i've known her a long time but with her at the white house it was recorded she started to lunch with a colleague that she forgot she was on the record and she said these nasty things about reince preibus that were obviously not true and also about if on the that they are leaguers she even said that because that wasn't fair because when you say it isn't true some people start to believe it. but she is also said to me that that she makes
disparaging remarks when she is the leak so that i call her the number one leaker in the white house and that is not good because staff should be confidential it's not like it's national security information but for an operative it isn't good if everything is leaked. >> and you also said that she is the trump whisper about the billionaires who are friends with the president who have asked to be set up with her and he refuses to do it anymore. >> she obviously is very likable and a big supporter of trump and she is beautiful. >> a beautiful woman.
>> that actually she chose to cooperate with the person wrote what i call a novel who wrote fire and fury. most of that is packed -- fiction the book says that when the remarks that trump made at the new jersey golf club in charlottesville that steve bannon thought under the h amendment could claim that so he did not even know him at that time so he said he talked to him twice on the phone and said don't retract if you do the press will jump on you so that is just one example with
those items that are obviously untrue but they were unhappy and she is in tears it is unbelievable. and you can see how overjoyed she was and how overjoyed donald trump was. it is just so leave it some people just want to believe these things they can't figure out the difference and that's fine but they did elect to cooperate even with these liberal publications if you're in a conservative white house. >> but in your book you talk about how president trump talks to the mainstream panel like the new york times or washington post is there a lot
of reaching out to people who don't have his best interest in mind what do you think about that? >> on the one hand he recognizes it is a great impact if he has a message to let out he will call the new york times or washington post but in his usual fashion he has another message going on and he will attack those papers and then will get some attention and then uses the two track system. >> talk about the teflon aids? who are they? you think of them have done some damage? >> yes. obviously jared kitchener and the volga long that -- ivanka
wanted to send messages to their countries but they have been there for the most disastrous positions like hiring the fbi director to appoint mueller as special counsel jared thought this would be good because the democrats would like it well from his own political view that would be sucked up to democrats but in fact and they decided others to be the best pr person they are very image-conscious and very responsible but yet that happens to be the worst hiring decision in the white house.
and he had somebody else do it. and with the case of jared and ivanka and he has injured maybe they have had problems that is why i call him teflon. >>host: so you said in your book that the president has the habit of getting in the back? >> yes with controversy he is good at fading into the woodwork working tremendously on the legislative front and most important of all to attract attention that is very important to donald trump. >> he learned how to work with him well trump respect him.
>> so the death threats and the hatred against donald trump we talk about those implications of the 20 six-year-old and was in for quite a long time so what is it about this culture and the secret service that puts trump that greater risk? >> but with those problems that are not as advanced and to remake and not spend money with those that white house but you can imagine what that might be with law enforcement especially that they feel they
cannot report real problems that and i never fire the secret service over that and gonzalez went into the white house but he was. so a law enforcement agency would lie like that. and then that intrusion to get up to the windows and the director is clueless and that he just bought into the culture as an example and with
with that chief operating officer with the secret service with the chief of staff mr. kelly and that was a total disaster because they didn't understand what he was doing. i don't know what is outside these walls so with all of this what would have happened with president obama across the culture or the political
obstructions and those that seem to be tolerated in donald trump went to one service like that and did not walk out immediately. he would be toast in the media, and so a lot of it has to do with the media and how they portray everything. a lot of it i think has to do with -- you know a lot of people sort of go along with the people that they know, and friends and some people just feel very sank moan
use and good about themselves if they denounce someone like trump. they think they look good if they do that. and others, you know, legitimately have those political views and -- i try to keep or far away from getting into any arguments with any of my liberal friends an my liberal family members. you know, i think it's like an egotrip to think you can or should convince someone of your own political views, of course, i am able to write books and present political views that i -- that may or may not comport with somebody else. but -- that's -- that's the age we live in now. >> tactically, though, look at those economic boy cots. they were trying to hurt him financially. even before the election and right after the election, they were trying to feed boycotts of
anything by ivanka trump. as you said in charlottesville after those comments there were a number of charities who pulled out of mar-a-lago they're using different tactics to center left i would say than we've seen. i don't see them necessarily used on center right but maybe i don't see it. >> frankly he gives them ammunition by someone outrageous comments but -- it is a situation where they ig e ignore results and even blacks think he's a bigot yet lowesten employment rate in recorded history, you know, you just can't account for people misunderstanding but i think overtime they will. overtime in case of reagan rated as number one greatest president. and yet remember, the way he was portrayed in the media --
he's going to ruin the world i think the same change will occur with trump. >> and tweets, talk about the trump tweets. >> well, trump tells me in our interview -- it it he had not been tweeting, he would not be president. it is a way of getting around mainstream media and connecting with common people with his own vernacular often dispelled and -- in the morning -- start tweeting on his own -- he only l sleeps four hours at night, and then he'll start tweeting and he'll leave by the way a lot of major papers you know, he according to that novel by michael wolf doesn't. well it reads "the washington post" covered to cover -- new york tiles cover to cover. new york journal and washington
times op-ed he will have things printed out from other publication and internet sites like breitbart. >> how do you know this? >> i was able to get right to the heart of the whole issue here, and find out, you know, what and the plane -- and okay stakes most wonderful steaks are served mar-a-lago yet he'll have them well done and reagan did the same thing. fascinating it's just full of lots of thing okay, conclusion you say in your book turns out in the thousands of story about russian collision -- there was indeed a smoking gun in reverse. that -- >> minor aid -- papadopoulos e-mailed including
ann ford and those e-mail were turned over by the white house to congressional committees and "the washington post" on -- not such a bad place because i used to work there. ran a story last august 14th, which quoted these e-mails and in them this moderated saying he wants the campaign to meet with russian leadership. and manafort says absolutely not in the e-mail absolutely not we're not going to do this gates said no we're not going to do this they said we have to make sure that trump never does this. and they instructed another individual and campaign to make sure that nobody was to any request like this. so what more do you need to know more about russian collusion these are people in charge of the campaign saying we want nothing to do with russians. and yet at this story has been totally ignored by including by washington post and washington post had a headline --
to trump wanted meetings with russian leaders. no. the real story was -- the campaign did not want to meet with any russian leaders. it's so unbelievable. >> why does that happen? is it editors or is it -- i know there's bias. but -- in the old days as you said you wouldn't have gotten away with this kind of thing if. so who's letting it happen? >> you know, washington post does run a lot of stories that are fair. but i think it's -- first of all, reporters who liberal leaning and then they feel that think positive about trump is some kind of bad mark on them and their colleagues look down them. you know i've been interviewed for his book by mainstream reporting who just sort of snicker when i say anything positive. you know, in other words i must be a fool for saying that. turn voices is snarky --
you know, it's like, you know, it's like young women used to go around with belly buttons that were exposed they thought that was fashionable even though most of the time it looked terrible i think of it that way a fad. and -- you know, silly as that sounds, some people just -- just cannot or will not look at the fact and make their owning decision. >> well as we're sitting here you know, it says the media has thrown everything they could at this man, and yet, i mean, even recently stormy daniels came out and everyone was worried is this the next shoe that's going to cause a real problem ? his had poll numbers and preschool rateings going up since this is happened so sad thing is different. you can throw all of that at him yet as you're saying the people must have their own mind or must
be discounting the media. >> exactly. and i would say about that -- that these alleged afnght os curred more than ten years ago. and i conclude from that that he's got older and wiser since then so -- early on in the relationship between trump and melania -- she found out that he had seen another woman his former girlfriend carrie young and she's going to be going to mar-a-lago with him that day and broke up with him on the spot and didn't care about billions of dollars broke up with him good-bye. ordered the -- 20 to send her clothes back from mar-a-lago to her. but a week later she told tony sending clothes back to mar-a-lago one of who -- melania was filming in their
trump tower, and sipping champagne and one of the contestants said to melania you're very lucky and she melania motioned over towards trumple and said he's not lucky. so this is a really sharp woman with a great sense of humor. anybody who has an encounter with with her is impressed. >> she has a tremendous resonance out there and so i'm glad that you're doing your part of showing a side that doesn't get shown. so let's tub a secret bunker on the north lawn you say that it is classified and that things that you also talk about is that protecting the president? i wonder is that making him at risk? are you saying too much to expose some of what you do? how do you make those judgment calls, ron? >> certainly would not reveal
anything that was about to happen. that might undercut some operation -- but some of the things just are not going to cause any harm. fact that it there's a secret bunker under north lawn something that tv crews, you pod and showed and there's -- even though it is classified it is very low classification. and the same with the secret service i think it's important to expose the problems in the secret service. in order to get eventual, you know, revolution to change this. to reform this agency. it is so dangerous. the fact that they're lax, in fact, going back to the ronald reagan assassination attempt the reason that he he was able to almost kill him it was that -- the white house staff pressured the secret service to allow
bystanders to see reagan as he came out of the hilton unscreen ared so 15 feet away from him and able to shoot him. because no secret service carried their own -- never should have bowed to that pressure and so important to know because, you know, the last thing we want is assassination i don't care what party the person is with. in the last couple of minutes what do you think president trump qowld say after and grade what wouldn't he like or wouldn't like? >>when i autographed to him i starred -- phage 276 that's the last phage that says that he'll be seen as one of the greatest presidents and -- you know, so like that -- but i haven't heard that whowtion communication people are saying that -- the book is viewed favorably by the white house and as a
positive book. even though it has so many -- criticism and stumbles that's the way he's regarded he's liked my articles regardless of -- the fact that for example, i sent him one of my articles demonstrate that obama was, in fact, in the united states based on the fact that there was announcement run of his birth in the hawaii paper. i sent him that. he knows that he was not born in kenya but political purposes but at the same time he has a bigger picture and understands that i'm an honest journalist and tell it like it is. that's what i try to do. >> what's next book? >> i think this will keep me the publicity has been -- and i'm not thinking about the next book yet but always looking
for -- tips and suggestionings. >> great to be with you. >> thank you. [silence] c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable televisioning companies. and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. [applause] >> i'm suzanne ceo of can america. [applause]