tv Washington Journal Michael Kirk Discusses Bannons War CSPAN May 23, 2017 9:09am-9:43am EDT
ballistic missile defense. if i were to look at this today, ooking at what happened with north korea, not sure we put enough into missile defense, increasing number of int interceptors, which are woefully short and research into other be more hat will effective and cost effective. enough in e we put munitions, we put some here, we ave some significant munition shortages in various items, if you look at it. arethat is the reason there these categories, i'm afraid budgets, we about get into numbers games and say, this number, that number, throw them around. we lose sight of is what the numbers mean. are we h capabilities illing to forego with a
different level of budget, i think we have to be concrete about that. > "washington journal" continues. host: joining us from boston is documentary a filmmaker with pbs "frontline," you on's war," a special can see tonight on pbs mrchlt kirk, good morning. guest: good morning. focus on steve bannon, why is that? guest: we just finished making road to the white house" in january, we talked to and everybody y else around the moment of the president's election and we bannon and a producer said we would like you to come own and do interviews, we were shooting in trump tower and me, n said, you don't want you want to make me darth vader, say, as enough for me to there has to be more to this guy than if he can be that self-aware, there is more to me than meets the eye. i would like to know everything
can to know him. i went in behind the fireworks administration, chaos and disruption, i felt was -- bannon is the message messenger, it e is not quite as clear cut as that, obviously trump has a well perspective, lots of people inside the film say trump good at gut arly instinct and had been reading bannon was the of utive editor of, ran out washington called bright bart embassy by the supreme court.
it was bannon who everybody says trump's gut ake instinct and turn them into what ideology as bannon-ism, that made it coherrent what saying about america first, about muslims and muslim ban, as they talked about all the islamic terrorists, all those kind of sortss and all of that is of has coherrence that leads battle that ration happened on capitol hill in 2013 post-2012 the election. so that is bannon. bannon-ism, the sort of coherent trump re you saw around in months from august to november, when he won the presidency. war, you ial bannon's can see tonight on pbs. michael kirk joining us. questions to ask about things he learned while looking at steve bannon. democrats.00 for
202-748-8001 for republicans. and independents, 202-748-8002. mr. kirk, you referenced it, a bit from your toumentary tonight the executive chairman of bright bar ended up meeting contact with donald trump, we'll show it to you. growing, luence was bannon renewed search for political warrior who could the country. >> bannon has been looking for a figurehead to attach himself to long time. >> in new york city, there was a was just t reader who the person bannon was looking for. bright bart reading news as long ago as 2013 and internalizing things. nobody cared about donald trump 2014.olitic necessary >> bannon was introduced by trump by david bosse, a producer
and head of advocacy, citizens united. are sse and bannon friends, bosse says, come over and meet donald trump, he's running for president. they meet at trump tower in new it. and talk about >> i've known steve bannon for 10 years, worked on a lot of projects. one of the greatest strategic ever been i've around. >> and trump continues to keep a with bannon going from that point on. >> in trump, bannon had found a who matched his own instinct. palin, all , anti-establishment figures and i bannon, t appeals to more about destroying -- that is where he and trump really meet, e is very much into destroying enemies. host: mr. kirk, the last point about destroying enemies, talk
that and talk about the fact you spoke with someone and david breitbart bosse in this documentary. when trump andg, bannon got together the first time and almost every time after that, it was sort of common quality they shared, it is sort fighter instinct, you aw that manifest after the firing of jim comey and pushback went to when trump coast guard and gave commencement address and said, fight, fight, i will not keep my head down, i will go for it. bannon-ism, 100%. i think that is really the thing have in common, trump ecognized wealthy guy who was just like him, i think there is awful lot about the two of them hat is very much the same, including that instinct to go after people, hit them when they
down, winners and losers that trump got from his father back when he was a little boy. his father kept saying, dichotomy in the world, there winners and losers and you, donald are a winner, you have to much inner, that is very inside the steve bannon back story. them t is how the two of really got to know each other and enjoy each other and i think with bannon day nder the wraps, in some ways, bannon is there representing by my lights, the base. people we talked to, he breitbart people say bannon identified very early, first in sara palin, and then through breitbart and reader comments from breitbart, who that base was, trump was also identifying, iian, idea, e histore hat hadn't been seen by the
republican establish sxment that b lained why bannon and breitbart went on with jeff sessions, senator sessions from collaborator with that, steven miller, sessions' communication director. the hree of them and reitbart staff took down or participated seriously and importantly in the taking down kanter, and john they were kin killer necessary that sense and that brought them to the attention of trump and that relationship is what brought trump to the white house. mr. kirk, the term all connected to mr. bannon with breitbart, what do you and you learned about him breitbart new? film: we spent time in the wrestling with the question. a lot of people say you couldn't editor-in-chief of
breitbart without being racist. we talked to awful lot of people about it, here is consistent approach, there are people who f course say you couldn't run that website, which has sections ike black crime and illegal alien crime and that engenders the comments you can read at breitbart, truly racist, mason-in-lawingnistic, xenophobic quotes, you couldn't run that if you were not a racist. talked to said, wait a minute, the guy personally see himself and they have never seen him or heard him antisemic, or racist. it is true, running the site creates complications, others are, if tter who you you you're a prominent and he's really out op three there fringe republican
going to ves, you're naturally get pegged with those descriptions by the liberal left and by the media. in a way tis a question that is answered in our film, a viewer i leave to the and the american people to decide based on the information available. host: michael kirk is our guest, you can see the special tonight "bannon's war." pbs's "frontline" program. our first call for you, sir rshgs cal, in new york, democrats line. cal, you are on with michael kirk, go ahead. hi, cal. caller: good morning, mr. kirk, your een a big fan of filmmaking on pbs for years, shout out to will lyman, going back or pbs decades, he's just always as in pbs as youoice are. connect your subject
green's discussion about trump administration and how all your film even going back to your analysis of the bush war,nistration and the iraq you know, i, as viewer, look documentaries, in terms of some kind of scenes on, behind the action of the administration. i guess many viewers may see door the journalism as a to damaging evidence that wouldn't necessarily lead to but just a rel -- tion, nor a host: cal, what are you looking as far as r guest, directing your statement, what to?ou want him to respond caller: i just wonder how his motive as filmmaker coincide
the need of viewers to watch the films to get that kind information that may justify their negative views of administration or any impropriety or -- you. got guest: thank you, cal. it's, you know, i think we about theade 11 films george w. bush administration, iraq war, torture issues, things that, eight films about the equally i istration, think touching raw nerves here and there and here we are now our second really third film, we made a film called "the biography of hillary clinton and donald trump back september. this is the third film of what or probably be nine or 10 12 films over the next four to eight years, depending how long administration lasts. serious e for
journalism to take the high 30,000 foot rt of fray of above the politics but how do the dots connect? happening with trump, it's been in the headlines everyday, last week, revelations, we think the film tonight will help you understand some of the otivation and some of the shakespearean war that is go og behind the headlines and the scoops. in the scoop business, but in the connecting scoops business, so that you get a real trend. i think that trend is establishing itself, cal, in a that i hope our viewers over the years now, as they have with first nton administration, then the bush obama tration, then administration, offers slightly different view from nightly
news. go ahead., caller: thanks for taking my call. watch your films and i'm a fan of "frontline," but of your give me some opinion of what might have been he feud between bannon and kushner, do you have any idea? guest: i have a pretty good that.of they were, during the campaign, and ivankaause jared understood bannon was the guy ho pulled it all together, rationalized trump's policy, kept him on the straight and twitter in him off the last important 10 day when is they were breaching hillary clinton's blue wall. time they got to the white house, bannon's philosophy disruption os and and that worked very well to get trump elected. promising they would break the administrative state, hey would create chaos and disruption all over washington, they would drain the swamp.
seemed ink that when it to be working, kushner was with was with him for that time, but bannon is a like a kamaikaze. they don't last long once you assume problems of governing. wondered, bannon himself, how long bannon could ast with the theory of disruption and chaos. it lasted about a month and what stopped him was -- made him go underground and he's trying to come back now, the idea he went political action groups annual meeting and he he drew the light to himself. he was then on the cover of time the great alled manipulator, "saturday night beingmade skits about him the real president of the united states and it didn't take long for jar ed to draw the attention
the president, his father-in-law, to the idea annon, who in the midst of other collapses that seem to be happening around the travel ban steve er things, that bannon was getting a little big or his britches and it also didn't take long for trump, who we all know is all about the me, we talk to people who say, what his ailure, trump is looking for somebody to blame. and when it is success, trump wants to receive all the credit there in office.l it is not a surprise that happened, but what happened for bannon, trump slapped him down pretty good. host: mr. kirk, we have cpa c in he did at february, talked about the media perception of donald trump and wrong about it. we'll let you listen to what he has to say and get you to respond. corporatist, globalist media, adment -- pposed,
mentally opposed to agenda trump has. ctis laid this out at cpa cpa c that originally gave him the spring board, the first time at breitbart we started seeing how his speeches resonated with people. he guild to smaller town halls got with the same message he's bringing today. here is why it will get worse. going to continue to press as economic d conditions get better, more jobs get better, they will continue to fight. give you nk they will your country back without a mistaken, are sadly everyday, everyday it is going to be a fight and that is what trump,oudest about donald all the opportunities he had to waiver off this, all the people to come to him, you got moderate. everyday in the oval office he i promise this when i ran and i will deliver on them.
kirk, there is mr. bannon's defense of the president. from that? caller: yes, i think you see the who bannon ise of to donald trump. the base. bannon represents the base. and theshner and ivanka wall street people that are around and the billionaires that re around president trump represent a more moderate street ive, more wall and more establishment perspective, bannon continues to the e representative of base and his job as he sees it chaos reate the kind of and disruption that the base elected donald trump to go in do to drain the swamp. that is the perfect articulation of the reason i think that steve bannon is still around donald looks like te what at times even especially now, as world, more the
moderate stance. the fact is, whenever the rubber going gets ad, tough, whenever controversy starts to build, it seems like reverts back and remembers what steve bannon tells him when he's in the oval fight, fight, is fight. -- his role, how he perceive what is he's supposed to be and his elbows are getting sharper and sharper in the the many inside of factions, also the reince
faction and mike pence inside there. it is all a swirling sea that donald trump likes to surround and i think bannon right now is probably laying a low, but he'll be back with those elbows and that fight, fight.ht, that is exactly what you saw in the clip. host: terry from florida, good morning.ne, caller: good morning to everyone. i just want to say that i voted trump, but as soon as the transition team and i think that mostly guided by pennsylvania and ryan, was you know, bannon lost right there. this is a globalist agenda, trump had ran on. it looks like if anybody wants the ain the swamp, why put swamp monster, godzillas in competing factions, who is going to win or lose? the american people are going to
lose. i just want to apologize to everyone for my vote for trump ecause it was certainly a mistake and we need to rectify it. don't know how we're going to do this, we've got to do this. if you take a look, everything thing, i was watching congress last week, i suppose overturns, over time protection, workers, half for gullible workers will be taken advantage of. and it is little things like this. the big -- to me looks like big the military and -- host: got you, caller. respond.uest guest: here is the thing. i've been watching the president every immy carter and administration has this fight. have ost administrations not had is the super fringe like and someone like steve bannon inside the government, there are people who
elected, but to stay inside the government and be vital inside the government in wing is extremely rare thing. annon brought three or four people. jeff sessions is the attorney general, they were all a team my and that is unusual in view of white houses, there are who e in that oval office were the former radicals, the oud outsiders who are in the west wing. it is interesting to watch and and ow long they can last can withstand forces that have come on every sitting president center, to to the get more to the globalist the world is operating under and has been for a number of years. bannon's existence inside there that continues to keep tell the base, atisfy that at least trump is listening some of the time. i think that is bannon's one ope of winning, whatever win
suggest to him, inside this particular administration, that e'll take a populous president that ep him in that place he was in when he was runing and right after he was elected, forth, i back and think especially domestically, this is where bannon says, i'm i represent the base, you don't want to let me go, you sight,ant me out of your otherwise that side, that adical revolutionary provocative approach to the swamp the drain mandate will never be satisfied if i'm gone. is ink trump hears that, it clear he acts on it, whenever e's in a bind and it is also true from what we can tell from he poll numbers, certainly the pew numbers and others, high percentage of the trump true still with him and i think awful lot of that could
attributed to bannon's push and demand that the president fight. what will happen after this trip? what will happen when they get back here? will happen when the independent council, whatever he now, special kouns counsel begins to investigate, hurt.will my guess is, if bannon is around, the president will fight back the way he did the week he went off to the middle east. host: michael in alabama, line.ng on the republican caller: yeah, i want to talk about bannon's influence. tried to at when they do that with the gang of eight and tore marco rubio down and after him so bad and that is what is wrong with the
afraidcan party, they're of bannon. him.breitbart coming after it drives me crazy people listen breitbart. you see the headlines, that is even seey would people that kind of stuff. i see his influence in the caucus. i meant, if it keeps going like that, i mean, republicans, they hang it up. guest: that was certainly at breitbart ach incredible, how the website hanged when andrew breitbart ran it, it was hollywood centric, big hollywood was a blog. consolidated it and brought it primarily the focus to washington, the alliance with sessions, the immigration battle they picked as way to get establishment an leadership, that was all master did work.really
peopleumbers of hits and who use breitbart as primary phenomenal was growth over three or four years and it is what donald trump into and got when he got bannon-sessions and steve miller. real revolutionary change in that sense, i think in terms of the way around the gang of eight stuff on the immigration battle. breitbart and bannon and mill sxer sessions really flexing their muscles and when happened, i think a lot of republicans who didn't know which way to go decided they going to go out and join the democrat necessary a and tisan immigration bill that said, that spoke volumes to trump and spoke volumes to bannon, as ller and well, and you see the result of it now. ost: mr. kirk, listed as chief strategist, you saw what happened first time around when
republicans introduced travel ban, the challenges, that bruise steve a sense? guest: i can't imagine it did not, you didn't mention trump the cpa c, and all the headlines and "saturday night bannon from moved the national security council, based on his ng credentials, he had never been or had any ary national security clearances or anything else, so it was a little odd he was there. he was removed unceremoniously and that of course, the president uttered those words that, you know, guy, good guy, he works for me to the "wall street daily " and new york news. it had to hurt. i thought at the time we were finishing the film, i thought, well, we now have the film, which is
insurgent who comes to washington and works inside the government lasts about a the 100th day, we noticed there was steve bannon gain flying on the helicopter, sitting next to the president, going to harrisburg. he very night that the washington correspondence dinner, the white house corspendence dinner was trump decided he wasn't going to attend. at steve arrisburg bannon production, production ull of the true faithful and a speech that is just like a campaign speech. back in play and bannon's -- back and forth and ll that, bannon reportedly was not in favor of letting comey go at that time, there was bannon, assure you, recommending that he president fight back and he sure did. host: this is jame necessary apex, north carolina,
line.endent caller: hello, thank you for taking my call. i'm just want to know your doing comparison between trump and obama. understand that all leaders normally have some probably very trong willed influence by some individual, so trump seems to more he bannon of conservative america first pproach, obama seemed to have influence, also, from whomever ayers, more nonconservative and not america first and i feel in obama more faith and the way he was heading and bill clinton had hillary and weiner's ad anthony wife, they all have it. 'm leaning toward trump in conservative viewpoint than obama and his background, just opinion and comparison guest: i had the great good
front front does a film called "the choice," the woven biography of two presidential interviews with them, but interview of everybody hat knows them, comparison of the character of the people. along the way, you get to know the people who influenced or influenced who various categorys and i've been doing this back before george w. bush. the thing. obama is very different than in this sense. he had many advisors around him, sees himself as the brains of the out fit. he ran the state department the white house. hillary had the job, but wasn't eally doing very much individual action. arguments t of the that were had about what to do many syria, red line, saw things obama took that upon himself, he listened to people.
own guy in an is awful lot of ways. a different character in that sense. always had someone close to concigliary type and i don't mean that demeaning, has someone close to him, roy cohen, his first ttorney and his long-lasting compatriot in most battle when s trump was a builder and developer. steve bannon in some ways is the of roy cohen, on with ideology. finely honed sense f the world, a civilizational struggle view that america is war dy in a kind of world iii with the muslim world and he strongly, very first documentary, which we show talk t pieces from and
to ronald reagan, a great hery at the time. civilizational struggle that reagan stepped up to from his point of view, communism, nazi-ism, facism that to and tepped up prevailed and i think bannon believes that the attack of 9/11 a manifestation of the next beginning of the next big war he's been searching, he hoped it was palin for a while, be a ing for someone to political warrior for america and i think trump was a willing of that ideology and understanding. much different karl rove, axelrod or this is a special relationship a it has come up against family relationship. that is fascinating.
mr. kirk, we have to end there, author behind "bannon's war's" on pbs's find out about steve bannon and his influence. thanks for the time. guest: more than welcome. open phones until we finish the program today, democrats.0 for 202-748-8001 for republicans. independents, 202-748-8002. at c-span wj,ghts ost on our facebook page at facebook.com/c-span. multi-day tour,n visit with the pope up next on agenda and "washington post" talks about this pending visit frances and pope president trump, most influential voices in the west two men with day, radically