tv After Words Ronald Kessler The Trump White House CSPAN April 30, 2018 12:05am-1:04am EDT
>>host: ron kessler, your new book you say president trump bravado and exaggeration and controversial comments is a means to the edge and you say 80% of the time the staff says he has a plan that he sticks with the 20% he wakes up and goes a different direction. talk about the donald trump the dealmaker. >> like a boxer he is always diverting attention bobbing and weaving counterpunch it is
all an act. and on top aid 26 years joining the organization there were only seven employees she knows him better than anyone and she said there are two donald trump's one is the one you see on television who makes these outrageous comments to get attention for his brand if he is still the center of attention every day through conversation for the media but then there is the other donald trump that the insiders know that is just the opposite who is thoughtful, he listens, careful about making decisions, his chamber of commerce during the campaign help him with his properties and a month or two later they met with donald and said he
was thoughtful and he listened and i was so surprised that is the difference. >>host: you say in your book that sometimes he is generous and supportive like you describe and other times he is very angry and abusive with staff. >> yes. he does have tirades. when he was at mir-a-lago martha stewart showed up one day and said you think i could take it to work? he said we will set it up for 3:00 o'clock. donald came in he said good take care of her but then later they went to see if they needed anything and donald blew up and screaming at him you dumb the club members will be here and they will see them.
just out of control. at that moment milania said i don't thank you should be talking to tommy in that tone and that gives you a clue about their relationship he does listen and the next day tony and donald were in the room at mir-a-lago and he handed $2000.20 bills as his apology on the one hand to fly off the handle but he won't old the grudge and that shows with milania relationship she really is powerful putting on meetings she shows off her views coming up with a new strategy reince preibus said
her judgment is impeccable that is one thing they all agree that she is a class act. >>host: i found the milania tribe chapter fascinating i'm glad you put that down for more people. you also talk i you went back in that chapter two when she appeared on howard stern and talked about the wild sex every day and donald trump quotation about her proportions and her boobs why did you put all of that in one chapter if you're trying to say she is credible? >> it does sell books but i do think appreciates her appearance i have seen her in a bikini at the pool at
mir-a-lago and she looks even more gorgeous in person. also when you see them together you realize this is a marriage that will last. they are very involved with discussions. they laugh and tease with each other new year's eve my wife and i who was also a former washington post reporter at mir-a-lago very impassioned discussions and having a wonderful time with each other. that marriage will last. >>host: that's great. so back when watergate was a hot topic, talked about your trajectory of your career writing 21 books, what do you think about the mainstream media and bookwriting? >> i'm having a ball writing
books was of the washington post for 15 years i was at the wall street journal before watergate i started writing books i just love exploring new areas that are secretive whether the cia or secret service or fbi they are also powerful and important and they wrote a book on palm beach that is how i did a ghostwriter for donald trump and trenton my wife and i flew down to mir-a-lago on the way down he imitated the bluebloods of mir-a-lago because he allows blacks and jews there are some places that don't he said i enjoy sticking it to them.
he once to be love and he enjoys sticking it to whoever might be in his way. that is the essence of donald trump. now people see him on tv they know very little. and with those details that have never come out about him whether he uses hairspray or why he makes decisions about hiring not having rudy giuliani he thought he was too hawkish on the first go around but he doesn't like people to know that he is out 100-dollar bills as a tip and when i asked him about that.
he said what $100 bills? who told who told you that? he tries to obfuscate and does not want that out. he wants to have a tough guy image. and any personal detail like that to make sure he is a very compassionate guy. and it plays out in this book. >>host: talk about your interview with the president because it seems like there may be about 11 question who are you the most glad you asked him and looking back which -- what you wish you asked? >> there's always questions you wish but i hit the major points in the book like the russia collusion or what he thinks about the economy improvements and i told him that he would be seen as the
great american presidents like ragan he got rid of the soviet union and started a new economy and so did trump. and the accomplishments are clear if you don't come at them with a bias the economy lowest unemployment rate in recorded history the booming stock marke market. and then i.c.e. is now meeting with the north korean leader and now going after radical islamic ideology, just remarkable for any president for his first year. and at the same time he has these strange and bizarre tweets and everybody cringes
every supporter cringes at his remarks that he makes. >>host: he is not like any president we have ever had. so talk about writing a book that you know him as a friend that you are an independent journalist with your own credibility. how do you balance that? >> i know that i will be a generalist first and always has been and i don't care what he thinks. that is the only way to pursue a book honestly. there are plenty of negative items and juicy tidbits but at the same time overall is that we tell the truth and the book goes into real honesty where in one case the new york times has a story that they had just
met trump and asked her to change out of her clothes. but it turns out she had been to a pool party at mir-a-lago and didn't have time to go back and change into a bathing suit. donald took a liking to her and offered a bathing suit. he said yes so she put on a bikini and came out and started going out with him for quite a few months so so that is in the story in the 16th paragraph it was portrayed it as a demeaning encounter but it was wonderful he was a gentleman it's like robbing a
bank. it was so dishonest but the washington post i would have been fired if there is anything like that. no question but that is how the media changed to present specific examples whether it is about the collusion allegations or any other issue. and on collusion the washington post ran a story august 14 of last year of the emails turned over by the white house congressional committees along with the campaign aides and they're trying to get them to go to russia and meet with leadership and manafort said no we will not do this and deputy gate said no we will not do this.
and manafort said i want this guy to make sure nobody in the campaign has anything to do with russians. >> and i never read that. it nowhere. >> it is ignored by the washington post and they even had the headline and trump get the aides to go to russia but really they said we don't want nothing to do with russia that is the bottom line on the whole collusion story. >> let's talk about the media because you put a lot of examples in the book as you just described where they seem to have no boundaries they destroy with negative narratives but the other presidents they could do no wrong but president trump
could do no right so what is driving this in the mainstream media that you are a part of? be my first of all the bias against republicans in general with ragan he was portrayed as dangerous and the same thing with trump. and they just cannot break out of that. if they did they would be ostracized so i know an example from the white house correspondence that among themselves they laugh at him and they mock him that is the overriding theme. but many people cannot think independently and that is one reason i left college after two years like a few other people i didn't want to be told how to think or what to read i want to know firsthand what actually happened and that's the way i operate.
i like to penetrate secret and that is what i have done with this book with all the details with donald. >>host: that's excellent it is a fun read. so explain paul ryan and reince preibus and chris christie during the "access hollywood" weekend for the campaign. what did they do? and what were the discussions? >> reince preibus went to the debate and still supported trump for the rnc actually he did not withdraw support. >> what did he say? but to get out of the race i'm just reading from your book. but he was the chief of staff.
>> yes and he never forgive him for saying that which is unfortunate because reince preibus really presided over so many successes including the revelation that they can expand and hire more workers and would not be restricted or constructe constructed. and a lot of other achievements that occurred under reince preibus. but at one point on the "access hollywood" tape now they say it shows actually what he says is that he takes advantage of that. and they want you to do that. it isn't nonconsensual activity that is consensual activity that he describes.
>>host: it isn't really anything that happened in public in my lifetime or your lifetime so if we saw something that doesn't usually happen normally that is the deathknell of presidential campaign and paul ryan seem to act that way so looking back, why didn't they understand whether paul ryan or reince preibus about the trump voter and base? in these things about donald trump? >> i think reince preibus did understand but it is very hard for people in certain circles in the east and in the west to understand the way the average voter thinks. my home contractor is a working-class person said to me i don't care what trump says i just care about what he does.
i think that sums up the way people in the so-called working-class think. they judge by results if a carpenter if they put in instead it is crooked he may be fired and they are never held accountable but these people understand and that is what you will see with donald. >>host: i see your point on that it is great in your book. so talk about palm beach. you write behind the hedges the games of the palm beach plays with the murder and intrigue and jealousy with the pretense of bigotry and occasional generosity make the steam is show like a nursery tail. talk about how donald trump got mir-a-lago and his whole personality and how he took
that place and how it looks today. >> he purchased mir-a-lago they were asking people the chamber maids or secret service agents that he has a wide canvas of people independently better there including those that i name in the book that are billionaires but that is the way he works i was at mir-a-lago recently he asked what i thought about israeli settlements i don't know that much but i gave him my opinion and that's how he operates. he bought it at a bargain basement price at first he used it as his home. but then he decided to turn into a closet and that was the idea of his lawyer because of
the jews and blacks they said don't do that it could be profit-making and sure enough now it makes $700 million his second wife was against turning into a club and wanted it for herself but he went ahead so she said he should have a spa so he created trump spa at mir-a-lago but to say it is the closest thing to paradise you will ever get to it is unbelievable. on both sides of the island it is only half a mile wide at the widest point. and the culture there the richest place in the world, it
has traditions and charities that develop these balls and then produce that much money and one member was with a very wealthy guy from italy and eventually he died and left her $300 million. she stored his body at a local funeral home for three days because he said i want to enjoy the season as they call it. now i want to enjoy myself and go to parties so she said she will do the same for her
second husband if he dies as well. that is how. >>host: i don't think many spouses would go for that. [laughter] it is incredible. talk about the paddle he had with him -- the battle he had with palm beach. >> the town said this is again sign regulations but he said it was a free speech issue he sued the town, and they started to find him every day and eventually they settled he agreed to move the flagpole further from the street and reduce the length of the fine pool that guess what? he erected it on amount that
his workmen created so in the end it was just as high as it was before but that is typical donald trump. but he usually does and the way he fanatical to get the club approved in town is typical and on the one hand his lawyer sent copies and also to the town council members who tried to prevent him from turning this into a club. but he called them bigots and that is why they were against it but at the same time he sued the town and with those councilmembers and also played
golf with them. and eventually it worked and mir-a-lago brings almost $40 million per year. >>host: do you know if there any blacks or jewish members? >> yes. we have been there dozens of times. there are a large number of jews into sprinkling of blacks. >> yes they enjoy the party so much they got over her feelings? >> and obviously he is
successful and doesn't wear a traditional blue blazer and everything that palm beach hates but now they have come to see that is incredible. >> so that is gigantic you see so much of the working-class and ordinary citizens in contrast to hillary clinton but those with ordinary americans what do you think about that? >> on the one hand he is a patriot.
be protected by the secret service. and also and then others like the bush twins that try to lose their agents the barren is very gregarious he will go around that mir-a-lago on the terrace to say enjoy your breakfast. just like trump. and when he was two years old milania was feeding him the bottle and then he walked back into the cabin.
but he took the bottle out of his mouth and said do you want some like rex one -- mike? be make that is amazing talk about the codenames be manic those are generated by a computer and hard to understand but that dick cheney's wife she is an author so her name was arthur but the purpose is when agents are
operates and things he doesn't want you to know. then to prevent anything or knowing anything from he says because that is a tough guy image. >> with those who have left the team already whether they are staff or cabinet secretaries? what does that mean? what is he trying to clean up? >> so talking about the white house and changing the direction with the first go around with those recommendations like condi rice but now he says i want people that i feel compatible with who are smart and
basically on my weekly obviously they will not always agree, but that is what he is going for and i think that will work out well. >> why didn't he reach out to romney? it was confusing to those people who voted for trump. >> but just like steve benton who liked his position on china and reince preibus that he would be a good idea trump said he looks up are and he is big on the parents. so at first romney confided that he didn't think he would get the job at the second time he was prepared but in the end with all the considerations about who had supported and in
the end rudy giuliani wanted secretary of state but trump wanted him to be atty. general but he did not want that. so giuliani was not his biggest supporter by sessions was and went around to say sessions would be perfect all the trump has reservations so to make remarks about him. and with the agenda but. >> what is the difference between kalli and reince preibus is different chief of staff example?
>> he has given him much more authority so everyone is doing their own thing so supposedly it is chief of staff and in the end he is the chief of staff and he will threat about any type of restriction or will say you cannot see your daughter but that doesn't happen it is always fiction then you also talk about t5 conway with her job as campaign manager in the white house was only name only that there wasn't much substance but she was the number one leaker to the press.
how was that because people iming contact with don't see it that way. >> and with providing those policies i have known her for a long time as well but when i interviewed her she started lashing out at the colleagues and she forgot she was on the record. they were obviously not true and then that he will be unfair. but also has said to me then makes disparaging remarks.
but they call her the number one leaker in the white house and that needs to be confidential and for the white house to operate. >> talk about her pics. that she is the trump whisperer but there are friends of president trump who are asked to be set up with her inch -- and he refuses to do that. >> she is very likable and a big supporter of trump and beautiful. but this has not come out before but she chose to cooperate with the person who
wrote what i called a novel who wrote fire and fury i look at that as fiction. for example the book says the remarks that trump made at the new jersey golf club that steve bannon thought those could be moved under the 25th amendment for entrapment but i was interviewing him at that time over the controversy when trump was in new jersey he said he talked to him twice on the phone he said he was wonderful if you do the press jump on you so don't retract it.
and that she was in tears and looking at the tv set and how overjoyed but just to believe these things that was the difference and even with the track record with those publications with a conservative white house to cooperate with an author like that. >> you talk about how president trump constantly restrained journalist and there is 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 times or the post but there is always another message going on and he will attack those papers and then that gets attention and then uses the two track system talk about the teflon aids and if they have done damage to the presidency? >> jared kitchener and yvonne guy are well-intentioned coming up with the idea to go to saudi arabia first but they are both naïve and disastrous
and foolish like firing, he as the fbi director as a special counter. and then to have this political view with those democrats but then they attacked over that and decided scare her mood she would be the best because they are very image-conscious and responsible for anthony's garamond g that is the worst decision in the history of the white house he has a hard time firing people personally anyway or will just make their lives miserable so he does say
maybe you should go back to new york they have had problems but they are not leaving that's why call them the teflon aids. >> and the vice president? what is role? you say he has a knack of getting in the background? >> yes whatever that controversy into contribute tremendously on the legislative front and most important doesn't attract attention and that is important to donald trump. he does have a good relationship and trump respects him. >> but the hatred from the
left against president trump talk about the implications of the 26-year-old who got in over the fence and was in for quite a long time so what is it about the culture or the personality of the secret service that puts president trump at greater risk? >> that was very disastrous culture of covering up problems and agency problems they are proud to not spend money to detect intruders at the white house that you can imagine even when obama was president especially where the agents feel they cannot report real problems so going back
that those are not invited obama never invited them there were other intrusions and said he wasn't that even though he was but imagine if that was like that publicly and then there was the he could get right up to the windows and look inside. and the new director appointed by president trump is clueless he was brought in thinking he would change the culture but he just bought into the culture but he proposed to the white house as an example of
the people that were protected and the white house staff and taking protection away to save money a lot of that is for investigation what could be more important than protecting the life of the president? the assassination nullifies democracy and now they want to save money to take protection away? so it was shot down by horrified white house staff but that tells you so much why he needs to go before tragedy occurs. >>host: but you said president trump had someone else in mind i don't know how he ended up getting the job? >> trump wanted another
individual as chief operating officer but the chiefs of staff who was actually insistent and that they knew each other from the military but it has been a total disaster who is pretty much ignored by agents because it is clear he doesn't know what he is doing. >> so talk about the trump resistance. i have never seen anything like this out there culturally and politically. so with all that is geared up against this man what happens if the right would have done this with obama with the culture legally are the political instructions?
they are two different worlds that seem to be tolerated in america that were losing the civility of loosing an election in the president to govern? >> if this were obama they would all be called racist and by the way remember obama spent 20 years listening to those who are anti- american anti- white anti- israel imagine if donald trump went to wanted to not walk out immediately he would be toast. a lot of that has to do with the media and how they portray and a lot of that has to do with the instincts and some
people feel very sanctimonious that they could announce someone like trump. and others they have those political views i try to keep far away from getting into any arguments with my liberal friends or family members it is like an ego trip that you have to convince someone of your own political views but because i write books and with the political views that i may or may not have with somebody else but that is the age that we live in now. >>host: look at the economic boycott but even before the election and right after to see boycotts of anything by
yvonne good trump like in charlottesville after the comments they are using tactics from the centerleft and maybe i just don't understand. >> so he does make some of these outrageous, but it is a situation but yet with the unemployment of blacks in recorded history. you just can't or cannot account but over time they will. in the case of reagan one pulled the number one greatest president but yet the way he was portrayed in the media
said he would ruin the world but i think the same change will occur with trump. >>host: talk about the sweep. >> so go around the media covering people with his own vernacular is often misspelled and then he started to tweet on his own and then he'll start tweeting and say glad it made the papers then he read the washington post cover to cover wall street journal cover to cover. the washington times op-ed
have things printed out for him with publications on the internet. >>host: how do you know this? >> finding out what he is on the plane, and of course stakes and the most wonderful prime steaks are served at mir-a-lago and he will have them well done. >>host: fascinating. this is chock-full of lots of things but russia collusion you say in your book it turns out with all those stories of russia collusion the smoking gun in reverse? >> so this e-mail from the campaign a including paul manafort that says by the way
turning to the congressional committees in the washington post registered on august 14 so he wants the campaign to meet with russian leadership and he said absolutely not. so he said absolutely not so we have to make sure that trump doesn't do this so to be sure. so with russian collusion those who want nothing to do with russian and that has been totally ignored by the media proven by the washington post and with those aids to trump
that want to meetings with russian leaders but the real story was a campaign does not want to meet with russian leaders. >> where does that happen? is it with the editors? i know there is biased but you would not have gotten away with this so who was letting it happen? >> when i was there i think anything positive about trump is some kind of a bad mark on them i had an interview with some reporters who said we don't say anything positive it
is like young women used to go around and they thought that was fashionable. i think of it that way that it's a fad and as silly as that sounds, some people cannot or will not get the facts and make their own decision. >> so they are throwing everything they can at this meeting and recently stormy daniels came out everyone was worried this is the next shoe but his approval ratings are going up since this is happened. something is different when you can throw all that in yet as you say that people must have their own mind.
>> exactly. what i say about that is that these alleged activities occurred more than ten years ago and i conclude he has gotten older and wiser since then but early on in the relationship with trump and milania she found out he had seen a former girlfriend and she was going to mir-a-lago that day and she broke up with him on the spot and ordered the butler to send the planes back and she told tony she is sending her close back to mir-a-lago and then also on the apprentice from the trump
about bystanders to see reagan. assassination i don't care what party the person is with. >> host: in the last couple of minutes what do you think president trump would rate your book? >> guest: the last page was seen as one of the great presidents. i heard the communications people are saying that it's viewed favorably by the white house even though it has
criticisms and stumbles so i think that's the way that he has regarded my articles and the fact that for example i send an article demonstrating obama was born in the united states. but at the same time he has a bigger picture and understand this that i am an honest journalist and i tell it like it is. >> host: what's the next took? >> guest: i'm not thinking about the next book yet but always looking for suggestions.