tv Donald Trump and the Presidency CSPAN September 27, 2017 11:40pm-12:44am EDT
resource for washington public affairs. whether it happened 30 years ago or 30 minutes ago, find it in our library at c-span.org. c-span where history unfolds daily. next, a look at president trump's first year in the white house with historian h w brands. and douglas brinkley. the hour-long event was part of the annual texas tribute festival at the university of texas in austin. >> as they were saying, i am happy to welcome you to the texas tribune-fest little and to trump and the presidency.
a very rich panel. is a whole bunch of trump and resistance, trump and congress, there is lunch on the main mall. there will be a reception at the center. this handle is supported by pearson and the sponsors and play nonderwrite but role in my line of questioning. this event will be 60 minutes. to end will be left open questions from the audience. then pearson will be hosting all of us for a brief meet and greet next door where we will drain the swamp together. so please join us for that. if you are going to tweet during this event, please silence your phone. let me introduce our panelists.
douglas brinkley is a professor at rice and cnn's historian and the author of several books about the presidency. next in him is the national political correspondent for npr. you can hear her on shows like morning edition. she is a contributed to fox news. a seniord who shows chair in history here at ut. he is an author of several books about the presidency. some of you have seen the written materials. we were supposed to be joined by dan rather but he was unable to come.
we carry on in his absence. let's start with an innocent time in history. december. [laughter] you asnt-elect trump had a guest at mar-a-lago where he talked about the presidency and the office he was about to inhabit. what did he talk about at the lunch? elect and iesident am a historian for cnn. he was just starting to have his war with cnn. when i first met him, he did not have nice things to say about my network. then i got to talk to him about the presidency. i asked him about presidents he has met in his life. he told me about how jimmy he had given money to
1980dy to beat carter in and he thought carter was a terrible president. carter came to see him and wanted money from trop for carter's center. now.id he admires carter did he say if he gave the money? anynow he would give him money. he said with richard nixon he became friendly with nixon because he was on the phil trumpe show and nixon saw that is been a be a president of the united states on the donahue show. then he got a letter from nixon that he shows people. his wife never saw
anybody as smart on tv. they started dining regularly together. nixon was trying to a reach out, he was trying to get back in the game. they talked about reagan. it wasn't anything deeply illuminating. but we talked about inaugural speeches he had not prepared yet. he just kept saying i want to be short. --alked about william harry william henry harrison and then dying after one month. we talked about kennedy. it was an innocuous meeting. almost away is he had
zero understanding of american history. he is a child of cello vision and operates on that instinct. he's very visual. we now know how much he watches cable. that is his intellectual force. readdea that he would brands book, not going to happen. did he seem surprised that he had one? yes. he kept spinning this idea that there was voter fraud. that hillary did not really when by 3 million illegal people. i was a little startled that he was clinging to that false narrative while the one. you might as well be magnanimous. history weird moment in
, i don't know if you knew whether he knew he was going to repeal and replace obamacare or do infrastructure. i think the betting money was he was going to repeal and replace obamacare. busted,eral flynn got and really started recognizing he was going to be under investigation, his instinct was to double down with his base. goingpedream that he was to do bipartisan things evaporator quickly. the trump meat for base. he -- and all the way to last night talking about the nfl. where eight months into the trap administration.
sense of how trump regards the institution of the presidency? >> that's a good question. views the presidency as not a coequal branch of government. superk he sees it as a equal branch. he is frustrated he did not get the kind of respect, he is not venerated in the way he likes do. he wants the authoritarian anti-debt democratic leaders he respects and bonds with around the world tells you a little bit about how he views his role. journalist, when he came into office i kept a couple questions a my mind.
is he just a router conservative rude- is he just a conservative republican? i am now thinking he is different in kind. his views of other democratic institutions like the press, the things he feels, the norms he feels comfortable breaking, i do not think he sees them as norms. he is different. test forstress democratic institutions. that is the big story of his presidency. the press is under tremendous pressure, not just from trop. those of the things i'm watching for. i think he sees the presidency in a different way than any other modern president.
asdescribed his inauguration i took an oath to the american people, not the constitution. thea think he thinks about constitution or has any restraints on him. the things he has talked about with such glee is how when he is president he get to anything illegal. the president cannot have a conflict. it as so many of the things in his life have been, a big get out of jail free card. has studiede who how different men regard the institution, how does he compare? >> he looks at it as a businessman. there is a reason he is the only
people whose top line on the resume was businessman. the only other successful business person to become hoover,t was herbert who is not a great advertisement for being a good president. this goes very much in line with impatience that a ceo would have. in politics is that in business you can fire people who are causing your trouble. the president can't fire the supreme court or the senate majority leader. trump is running against it. as something you was -- as someone who is brand-new to politics, he has not accepted this. of 71 heure at the age is going to change. he still hopes he can change the institutions. >> we have been processing the
flurry of news over the last eight months. since you guys are paid to imagine the unimaginable, what has gone as you have expected and what is different over the last eight months? getting neil gorsuch into the supreme court was expected. visit -- ias his consider his biggest success. i thought the twitter use would get toned down. i had a fantasy that his daughter would have the -- would be the twitter czar. let some go out, but sometimes say not that one, not that one.
the determination to keep inflaming and dividing the country, all presidents try to unite. john kennedy's first 100 days was a failure. bay of pigs, cosmonauts going into space with russia. saying,edy wine by don't blame ike. i screwed up. --had a 70 send been percent he had a 77% approval rating after his first 100 days. that is not going to happen with trump. he mentioned last night in alabama, wherever he goes he is polarizing. he thinks he is winning in a divide and conquer way.
say you have to have 50% to get something done. trump is constantly operating at 35% to 40%. nothing is getting done. but he steals the headline news every day because of twitter. and by playing cultural war games like we saw in charlottesville. i find it reprehensible. it is pitting american against american and ordered to be in charge. it all began with this birther movement and the building of the latinos feelng like lesser people by not having a meeting with people to talk about civil rights.
moment whereious we have a president who has gone rogue on us. he is tried to do everything he can to circumvent the law. a knock elation he can keep 40% of the population backing anything he does. reports come out tomorrow, in short of being something so egregious that he does, 35% to 40% will stay with him. they have signed on to the colts and persona of donald trump. conservatives are frustrated with trop. they feel they have been working the conservative movement for decades and this is the result. this is what has been produced?
the political currents are vicious and confused. it all goes back to the 1960's and early 1970's. reagan used to say he was trying to roll back a great society. do -- told like to roll a new society and new deal. you?at surprises that donald trump is exactly the way he was during the campaign. there was weird magical thinking that this was an act, that he would revert to being back a democrat. the alternative universe of donald trump. that he was so unique, he could bust partisan boundaries. that totally went by the wayside.
base strategyict and subcontracted out his agenda. much to his dismay over time. they have not delivered. they came in and said they would repeal and replace obamacare. that is why he is so angry. 35%never one, he may have a approval rating. but national approval rating does not mean that much. poll numbers don't mean that much. but what is his approval rating in the 10 battleground state? the white house believes his approval rating is still where it was when he was elected. they think he is in the 40's. legislatively he could be unsuccessful and get nothing through except neil gorsuch and
deregulations, but he could win reelection and be politically successful. all you have to do is win elections in america is when by one vote in the battleground states. he could get a smaller percentage of the popular vote and still pull out in electoral college vic three. in terms of conservatives whatng on with dismay, happened in alabama yesterday was interesting. not just the 90 minute screed. we should go back and watch that for various d dorsey took. a was campaigning for candidate, luther strange, that his base does not like. was that trip to alabama was a test for whether the trump trump and histo
base has been described as a cold of personality. say the republicans cult is not as big strong as people think. there will come to the rally with trop, applied, and then vote for more and more. here's a quote from the rally. it could be about any number of things with the president. about an nflalking owner and a player kneeling for the national anthem. get that sent of a bit off the field right now. he is fired. said, get that son of a bitch off the field.
he is fired. the actions he takes are calculated. some are impulsive. the more i watch, the more i think it is impulsive. knew whaten sure he he was an essay when he stepped up to the microphone. >> i think this is one of the reasons that people around him are unable to rein him and because they don't know what he will do and when he will do it. one of the remarkable things to me about president trump is that he is exactly like he was during the campaign. for everybody else, there is a candidate discount you take into account when they change from candidate to be president. i realized these are two different roles. signal is when you
the and then, you get inaugural address. and everybody else before trump has followed the thomas jefferson model after the very divisive election. he said we are all republicans. we are all federalists. he made no jester at all in that direction. one of the questions i would post tomorrow is if donald trump has to choose between getting something done, let's say, tax reforms, where he has to cut deals with the democrat, he has to choose between that and hanging onto his base. would he rather get me elected wouldssentially noted - -- you rather get reelected? >> reelected, no doubt in my mind. >> one of the questions that occurs to me is what does he want out of the presidency? nearly everybody else who gets elected president realizes first of all this is the biggest thing they have ever done because they
have all been in public service before, and they at least had some idea of what they wanted to accomplish or how they wanted to when they are out of office. with president trump, i cannot figure that out. for all i know, his major goal is to make his net worth greater at the end of his time in office than it is now. >> he wants to get good headlines. he was to get good poll numbers , and he wants to be the greatest president america has ever seen, but i don't think he think that is dependent on something he doesn't office. he can just tell people that and they will believe him. [laughter] >> can i say one thing that has -- one thing maybe that we have been surprised that a little bit. of many peoplen during the campaign was that he meant what he said when he said nato was obsolete and maybe we should pull back from our role
, the more kind of isolationist, pro-putin. that was a surprise. stopped from having the kind of relationship with russia that i think he wanted. and even though he was dragged kicking and screaming, he did finally a firm article five of nato, that an attack on one is an attack on all. the committee to save america, tillerson, matus, mcmaster, and kelly, they have constrained him. in other words, at least in foreign policy, his bark is a lot worse than his bite. he says we will destroy north korea and the next day, more sanctions. >> one day being thursday. mara: literally the next day. sanctions. to pull out of the iran deal, the most embarrassing thing ever. the next day, we are going to
try to negotiate some addendum's to it. reassuringt has been to a lot of republicans who were on the ledge around donald trump. as long as you have got the national security team, the committee to save america in touch, and secretary mattis calls and says it is a joke. i am the secretary of reassurance. [laughter] >> i don't want to make it like donald trump is just a lone ranger. he is not. [laughter] >>he is representing america. he has taken the low hanging fruit to win. in 1992, 19% of the public voted for ross perot. 19%, anti-nafta. that has always been a swing vote crowd. george wallace, after lyndon johnson did the civil rights got
powerful. in alabama, he won the south when he ran for presidency and picked up states on an overtly racist platform. he had the dixie crowd. very goldwater, new them -- very goldwater, nuke them back to the stone age. nixon with his silent majority. some people who just wrote cannot stand democrats and liberals, so he traded a coalition. his wholell these, presidency is trying to keep for what they suggested. reelection. he plays to win. for him, it is about winning. he never left the campaign. keep running. he also gets the narcissist rick feed -- knossos is six feet from
the crowd. when you read about people with malignant self-love and narcissistic disorder, they cannot penalty much negativity. he is going to watch cable and get a boatload of negativity. high by going to alabama and saying just the thing that will bring the house down and basically brought alabama intics in attacking the nfl players. that is donald trump. in attacking the nfl players. that is donald trump. he is nativist, xenophobic, and that was old -- dog whistles. they stopped him from building projects and he has the typical thing about developers where they could have put it up two years sooner if it were not for the government red tape. , youter charlottesville
want on npr and said he does not see his job as president as providing moral leadership to the country. this is very different from every other modern president when faced with a racial episode like this. so can you be president of the united states and be a moral on a carpet -- amoral on a topic like charlottesville? providing moral leadership, so i guess the answer to that question is yes, but that was an amazing moment because the easiest thing for presidents -- it is almost like default on your keyboard what you say after a moment of racial tension. it is in the memory banks. you stand up and say words of inclusion and healing and even if you do not say them eloquently, every other president has said that. there is a standard thing for presidents to say after an incident of racial tension, and he chose not to do that. it turned out, it was about him. happened was they had not
written a statement like happent written a statement like that for him. he was mad and either did not like the way it was received or people accused him of waiting too long, so he let it rip, you know, when he was in trump tower. you saw the incredible images of john kelly looking like he wanted to think through the marvel -- sink through the marble floor. that is how -- he does not see the president as providing moral leadership but as a cheerleader for america, and he said that during the campaign. you can see when he goes down to the hurricane area, for which he got good remarks, good marks, and that is why his poll numbers went up a little bit. he goes and talks about how great everything is and the effort is that we only lost 33 people. thee doesn't see it as cheerleader and salesman. he is always talking about how many fighter planes for leaders
decided to buy, so he sees his role that way as a booster. but the question i have for these two guys is do you think, after donald trump leaves office in four or seven years, there will be a move to constrain the presidency? one of the effects of donald trump will be a diminishment of the powers of the executive to make it a law that you have to release her tax returns, to actually enshrined in law that you cannot have conflicts of interest, things like that, because that is what happened after watergate. not everything is written into law. all these norms we hear about, i almost feel like there is a guy named norm who is being obliterated every day by trump. there is things presidents just did, and now donald trump does not want to do any of them, so i am wondering if the upshot of this is that, you know -- >> after franklin roosevelt won 1940 four, he had a
constitutional amendment only have two terms. there will be a trump reflection, and we will have to see how that plays out, but we do not know at this point whether he is a one termer or termer -- >> he has been a great disrupter of american history. he is turning it topsy-turvy. we cannot talk about anything else because everything is donald trump 20 47. you have to unplug and take a walk because he can drive you because he is flipping this and that and keeping everybody off kilter. that not only plays into his they likely win
reelection. democrats are going to find a relative unknown who is going to -- youp is a big brand and if do not get something like the joe biden or somebody with the big brand to take him on, it is a hard season to build somebody else from a grassroots to go knock him out, so the democrats have to be careful. they are probably going to have seeking thedidates presidency. you have bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. and mitch landrieu, cory booker, tim ryan. i mean, the list goes on. on and on. not one right now. maybe you will come out of the woodwork and knocked trump off. i would be careful. i think he is a stronger political force than that. theory toalternative the idea that donald trump is so , so outrageousme s
that we have to react to everything 24 hours a day to trump. that is true, but there is a completely opposite reaction happening around the world, which is that they do not listen to him because whatever he says does not matter because he does not follow through. he does not do it. foreign leaders hear him say this and they go he is not going to pull out of nato, he is not going to pull out of the run nuclear deal. and in congress, i think that is happening a little bit. congress didd -- something amazing. they passed the russia sanctions bill, 98-2. he did not want it. he issued a signing statement. he did not want more sanctions on russia. he wanted the opposite. he issued a statement about all the ways he disagreed with this bill. somebody asked "what do you think of the president signing statement?" he said "whatever." for the chairman to say whatever
about the president of the united states and the way that mitch mcconnell reacted to his making attention of deal on daca , he just said we look forward 's seeing the president legislative proposals. as much as we are a test with him, people are starting to tune him out also. that is the point i am making. >> great point. all theo go through nixon tapes. the media always picks on his persian language, inflammatory language. but the thing that stuck out from me was how people with he wasrd kissinger -- starting to unravel nixon of 1973 through the nixon tapes in 1973, kissinger was like [indiscernible] "yes sir, all just go right away." [laughter] having worries about trump having his finger on
the nuclear button, so to speak, and the north korea crisis, that the chief of staff george w. bush told at the time of 9/11, he went down in florida, and andy got to come on stage. bush was reading "my pet goat." and andy had to whisper in his ear. as soon as they got backstage, a cluster of government officials were there and bush said "we are going right now to d.c." they said we are not letting you go to washington. bush threw a tantrum. he said "i am the president. let's go." "we are not allowing you." you cannot going to washington. you're going to go to louisiana and then -- >> the deep state. [laughter] there are mechanisms. the idea that trump is going to kelly inwant to tell
an irrational moment "tell them we're going. i want the regular plan on north korea." it is not going to happen that way. something that mara said and i take issue with is i think it is important to keep in mind what president trump has accomplished. there are two things historians will read about 20 years from now regarding the trump presidency. suspend judgment. the presidency is not completed. two things have happened already that are historic. the 49-year-old conservative who might very well -- 40 years from now. that is a big deal. i will take issue with what mara said, but also confirming what she said. the president has single-handedly undermined
american leadership in the world , and this is something that goes back to franklin roosevelt. from world war ii until the obama presidency, every president of the united states realized it is important for the united states to take world leadership. the president of the united states was the most important single figure in world affairs. that is not the case now. president trump has basically abdicatedthat role -- that role. even if he grudgingly affirms that, the fact he has to do it grudgingly, angela merkel is the leader of nato now. if there is a leader. the world environment, the is moret of china progressive than the president of the united states. when president trump says one day he is going to pull out of the iran deal and the next day he is not. for the last 75 years, the word of the president of the united states was something pretty much
everybody else around the world would take to the bank. the word of this president basically means nothing. you lose that, you lose the confidence of the world, and it is really hard to get that back. i think a lot about this. the damage he is doing to america' ending in the world, or the disruption, is that permanent? it matters whether it is four or eight years. america is the world's greatest democratic superpower. none of that goes away. we still have these democratic institutions he has not succeeded in totally undermining it. in a post-trump world, and i do believe the next president, his whole message will be "i am not donald trump." whoever it is, whether it is mike pence or anybody, how much of that can be repaired? because america is more than just one president. >> i think it can be repaired. i am confident in the united states that that could be
repaired. all of our allies will come back to us. a weird aberration going on right now. they have their own problems. some of these countries have their own similar problems with great britain was the brexit debate and all. it is a confusing period of time, but i think we can right the ship and four years. in eight years, it may do permanent damage, but right now, we have earned enough credibility in the world to be iten the offer with him that just got out of control, particularly with the russia scandal, the internet. this was the of perfect storm of confusion, and this happens from time to time in world history. america will get a pass in a couple of years. very optimistic.
we separate the russian people from the russian leaders. the iranian people, we have no grief with them. now, the world has to do that with us, that america equals donald trump. vancouver.up in nobody was angry at the united states. they were more laughing. "you guys now are not laughing at our politicians. america is the butt of the world." allies, it is good-natured right now and they are hoping we fix our own house pretty soon. haso we think donald trump fundamentally changed the institution of the presidency in eight months already? >> he has cheapened it. i think it used to be -- he made likehite house seem tacky, things are up for sale. the lack of transparency on taxes, constantly being in
mar-a-lago and new jersey, eating up taxpayers money. he has diminished the role of what the presidency means, and that is not a partisan thing. i think ronald reagan did a job as a republican and george herbert walker bush, keeping a kind of institutional lore, the tradition of america. we are a country of traditions. has not taken basic lessons of civility and civics job as a ren and how good government works. he is trying to monkeywrench paranoia,erating on calling the press the enemy of the people. writing every day weird, crazy emails about everything under the sun. >> tweets. >> tweets.
he is making the presidency as an institution, he is giving it a black eye. he has so personalized the presidency, when he leaves, that personal assets goes away. the institution remains. i agree with mara that the next president will be the anti-trump. so, the president will have every incentive to restore dignity to the office and do everything. mara: and release his tax returns. that will be a fundamental threshold thing. i want to ask you guys one more thing. the new york times did a very short list feature called "say something nice about donald trump," which i believe was immediately abandoned due to lack of material. [laughter] >> let me ask you, the three of you. and i will give you an out.
here is the firehere is the firl build. something that has gone must badly perhaps then you feared -- than you feared? [laughter] >> i will start with you. take your time. >> i have too many to choose from. no. with donald trump -- what donald trump demonstrated is that you can become president of the united states without being beholden to either party. andthat has its upsides downsides. the downside is that the party has no incentive to make sure you are eight success. we are seeing that, trump's relationship with congress. it looked as though for a time that the parties had had sort of win.dlock on who could and trump demonstrated you can basically parachute in from outside and if you are sufficiently charismatic -- in his case, i would say his charisma is mostly negative. but one could imagine a positive charisma. if you are sufficiently charismatic and know how to manipulate the media, then you can get elected. i think that is a positive thing.
mara: i would say that if you are a conservative republican or just a republican, he would say neil gorsuch and all the obama era regulations that have been eliminated are a good thing, but that is a partisan criteria. i would say, you know, i had something in mind. his choice of his national security team is positive. i do not think he chose them to be the committee to save america, but he picked them. they were generals. he liked them. but that was definitely a positive thing. just imagine, imagine a world where we had a kind of general flynn in every one of those positions. >> that was really my point that i will add two. the last few weeks on the dreamers and dr., -- and
daca, our brothers and sisters, to stay here and i'll be disrupted. the willingness to work with schumer and pelosi and try to get some safety net guarantee that they are americans is a bright sign that maybe he is not thinking in as hard right perspective. apparently, he is going to go in a conservative or action that, but we do not know yet. >> at this moment in time, that is a good thing. >> do you think his harvey beat up- when he got that it was not good enough, when he came back into houston and have the people and showed -- hugged people and showed a human side to him. thinkrida, i [indiscernible] brent long at fema has done a
solid job because after michael disaster,ema was the fema reconstructed themselves. we have gotten a degree of activity out of fema that is a lot better than during katrina, and now, puerto rico and what is happening there, the amount of theing you'll need with trump administration continues to reach out to florida, puerto rico, and texas. >> that was pretty good for saying something nice. you can we did pretty well. come and use microphones. which are right at the end of the aisle. why don't you start? >> can you hear me? mr.ve a question for brinkley. you said that reagan wanted to dismantle the society, which i totally -- yes.
trump wants to dismantle the new deal. doesn't that give him kind of an ideology that i do not see as warranted? you're giving him an intent to dismantle the new deal, but yet says all the time you cannot touch entitlements, medicaid is mean. i was very confused by that statement. >> say the last part of it. trump dismantling the new deal -- >> why do you think -- >> he is not going to dismantle social security. that was kind of a joke. in reagan's diaries, he writes "people say i do not like fdr, that i do not like the federal government. fourted for time to fdr -- times for fdr. why would i want to all about the great society era?" with donald trump, he would like to do away with the civil rights acts of the 60's and go back to a more states rights-oriented future. the role ofstop
progressivism which culminated with obamacare and the affordable care act, which is and roll back -- the clock. >> do you think he has that much ideology? >> i think you're making a great point. that kind of says he has an ideology. you're making a good point. jeff sessions wants to roll back the new deal. in other words, it is not donald trump. donald trump does want to obliterate obama. just anything obama did. far rightnservative conservative wing of the party that he hasn't howard and brought into his administration, they would like to roll back the new deal. much him.ot so he has not thought this through. he has allied himself with that part of party.
veryought this out little, thed the my department of justice, neil gorsuch on the supreme court, those things might egypt away at. -- might be chipped away at. he likes big government in many ways. he wants big structure programs. and then, that way, he is at odds with his party. the obamacare bill he has been for, every single one of them are completely the opposite of what he campaigned on. >> in florida, he would love big government to help with the hurricane, because it helps him get reelected. >> democrats do not root for impeachment. -[laughter] >> mike darda question for all of you. speaking of presidential traditions and norms in the white house, think giving is coming up, and the turkey, do you think he will -- [laughter] itdo you think he will fire or top that off or will the staff forget he has to do that?
>> the question is, will donald nrump treat the turkey like a "apprentice" candidate? gets aink everybody pardon from donald trump. thee do not know yet how investigation will turn out. there is an inherent conflict of interest between the personal counsel to the president as it a private citizen as opposed to the council of the white house. and on the one side, we have mueller's team, which i learned a lot about these lawyers when it went to law school, and the dream team, essentially. on the other side, we have the show of attorneys talking about private privileged matters. new york times.
there is going to be a lot of conflict between these two. i get the sense from trump that he does not mind picking his own personal interests over and against the lasting impacts that might have on the executive branch. what do you think in terms of what are the risks here and how do you think that will play out depending on what happens with the mueller investigation? beginningthink at the of his presidency, he has had the kind of heat of the law on him. he has never been able to relax because of the russia probe, and it is a big part of the narrative of 2017. just when it seems like a design down, it seems like there is another leak. the history of 2017, the amount of leaking going on of government is astounding. and trump has been having to fire people, figure it out, stop
leaks. they just keep coming out, which means he has a lot of enemies from within, as much as he is picking on the press all the time. it is useful politically. he has great internal problems. he has theow if ability to know who to trust right now. he does not have an alter ego .ike kennedy or woodrow wilson maybe general kelly can become that person. maybe he is. he is a president besieged. every day, he is worried about lawsuits. one of the best comments made recently is that he is happy in the white house because the second he leaves, he has so many lawsuits coming on from so many things. it is beyond repair. i do not know how he lives his life like that. every minute, you have got people that are about to sue you, are suing you. he seems to have lived his whole life and that kind of world, and
not been busted. he has not gone to jail. -- he getsrsity penalized. he pays fees and keeps on going. there may be a bridge too far going on here. we will find out when the mother report gets released. mara: any kind of investigation like this is a grinding process. you have people in the white house having to spend tremendous amounts of money that they do not have on lawyers. you have people in the white house worried of one of their colleagues is wearing a wire. thatready was a paranoid writing place. that kind of investigation just makes it even more. versuss of the conflict -- those who are supposed to represent donald trump as an individual, there is a conflict. if you are a law student, don does not have attorney-client privilege. the other personal lawyers do. that is why bob mueller want to talk to don and get all the
documents he might have about what donald trump was thinking when he fired comey, but i do not think donald trump himself thinks about the conflict between his personal legal exposure and the damage to the institution of the presidency at all. >> i do not think he trusts his own lawyers, donald trump. i do not think he tells his own lawyers the truth. that during the lewinsky thing, started lying to his own attorneys because to let the truth be known, he is worried they will somehow leaked because leaks are happening every hour around him. situation.m i think the key audience for the mother report is the republican leadership in congress. >> if they are sufficiently annoyed at president trump that they find something in the report they can use against the president, then there is a possibility of impeachment. but trump himself will simply wave away whatever the conclusions are. these are by enemies, what
do you expect? >> a republican congress will not impeach a republican president. [laughter] >> let us squeeze in a couple more. you furthered the answer of that. what would be the stomach turner? the ignorances of of the german aristocracy and they thought they could control heather with the conservative republicans, and they thought they could have controlled trump. my question was what would be the stomach turner that would create -- >> what would separate the presidency? [crosstalk] >> they believed he was the cause or in the run-up to 2018, they believed he was a huge drag on them. and we do not know when the mother report is coming out, before or after november 2018, but when republicans in congress see him as a liability, the problem right now is the base of the republican party is with
donald trump. they are not with the republican leadership. piece this week where a republican operative in north carolina said there was three parties in america. the trump party, the republican congressional party, and the democrats. and you saw that playing out in alabama. the enemy, the republican voters who are for -- c mitch mcconnell and paul ryan as the enemy. they even excused donald trump for making a deal with nancy pelosi and chuck schumer, who used to be the archvillain, because they feel that mcconnell and ryan -- everything is so tribal and american politics, not just between democrats and republicans, but even inside the republican party is so tribal that if you are against mcconnell and ryan, then he must be a great guy. we have really gone down. >> is there anything that can shake the support of the trump base? >> i think immigration is so
fundamental for the trump base -- look. he was the original birther when he started with birther iism. that is such a threshold issue for his base that many conservatives i talked to say that if he does give something that he sees as amnesty to the dreamers, even though they are ok with letting me down people say, but if they do not at the wall in exchange, some really big thing in exchange, there will be -- not that the base will totally leave him, but they will be just unenthusiastic that enough will stay home in 2018. >> the day that trump met with schumer and pelosi, on the campaign trail. "now, i want him impeached." sending a louder message that the hard right will not allow
what you are suggesting, daca. on the impeachment of from, it was a republicans that took down nixon. it is conceivable you could get a gang of 10 u.s. senators if the mother report is really egregious, and it looks like donald trump somehow colluded with russia that you could get a movement for impeachment with some republicans leading the charge, but in the end, i do not know if it will be more than just a sensor that comes out of it. they will try to do something punitive. i do not know. it depends on what is in that report. >> one were really quick question. >> i don't know how quick it is pure one of the things trump has accomplished is he has proven an independent campaign or shoot in. if they can control the media, it is the media not inoculated to some extent now? i think that is relevant to 2020.
is it inoculated to some extent against trump and will it still be the same if it goes forward? mara: i could not -- it was really hard to hear the question. is he inoculated? >> one of the things that president trump has done is proven that an independent breakate or shoot him and either party parts can draw on the presidency. and so, is the press -- press control is one of the things the doctor suggested was critical to that success. inoculateds not now to being manipulated for that purpose? >> though? bill? >> donald trump was master of the media and the 2016 campaign. that was essential. i guess the question is, could somebody else do the same thing? >> could he do it again? >> could he do it again or has the media wised up? mara: i see what you are saying.
that is a really good question. there is no doubt that during the campaign, he was such an object of fascination that the media aided and abetted him. he controlled the headlines. cnn was criticized for having 45 minutes of an empty podium. hillary clinton is holding a rally and they do not even cut to it. i think things will be different next time. i think they have already changed. you saw it. they started fact checking him in real time. instead of waiting for him to say something, you have some separate fact checking piece. "donald trump says blah, blah, blah." not true. i think things have changed. the other thing you see is the soul-searching among the big giant social companies, google, facebook, and the wall that they played and how they can be different. more gatekeepers and sort out fake news from other things.
i think that it is always kind of a game of catch-up. i think that donald trump's control of the media and his ability to manipulate it and play it like a fiddle probably will not be exactly the same next time. what hwc, which is , is he did disrupt the two-party system. and that he has this group of voters who are beholden only to him, not necessarily to republicans in congress, but only to him. and one of the reasons that the republicans brought up yet another obamacare repeal effort is that when they went home over break is all they heard was "why aren't you doing more to help donald trump? why are you doing more to fulfill your promises?" that base of voters is still really, really strong. >> we will take this group to
the community hub. thank you so much for joining us today. [applause] >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up thursday morning, our 50 capitals tour. race relations and the debate over removing that are excessive symbols. a discussion on the republican with grover norquist, president of americans for tax reform. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal, live at 7:00 eastern thursday morning. join the discussion. the senate banking committee
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