tv Washington Ideas Forum - Journalists Panel CSPAN October 10, 2017 5:34am-6:01am EDT
the white house seeks from congress in exchange for allowing dreamers to remain in the u.s. then, director of the harvard injury control research center discusses the deadly mass shooting in las vegas and how gun violence should be considered a public health issue . and the heritage foundation's bruce, a former cia deputy division chief for korea talks about north korea's out of a and other republican leaning foreign policy efforts -- experts in and effort to gain insight into president trump thinking on north korea. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern in desk this morning and join the discussion. group of political reporters on the 2016 presidential campaign and the state of the truck residency -- donald trump presidency.
the event was part of the washington ideas forum cohosted by the atlantic magazine and aspen institute. it is 25 minutes. ♪ >> welcome. here we are, enemies of the people. andrea mitchell was getting an award last night in new york and she said we are the eyes and ears of the people. the audience can decide. katie, you were plucked out of the press pen, given a nickname as if you were a candidate, little katie. president trump treated you like one. you have a number two new york times bestseller. it takes us from the campaign -- [applause] >> i like the smattering of applause. >> unbelievable and an unbelievable good read. spoiler alert, trump wins.
[laughter] >> little katie, take us briefly from being in the press pen, and in the hallway outside of morning joe, in new hampshire. katie: it's interesting to share that nickname with marco rubio and kim jong-un, who is also little rocket man. back in june of 2015, robert, you can attest to this, not many folks were taking donald trump as a candidate seriously. he was creating controversy, and nbc news dropped his news from -- his universe from the network. macy's was dropping him, univision was dropping him. nbc news said we have to have a reporter covering trump's campaign, and i was literally standing around the newsroom, so they assigned me to it. >> it was going to takes six
months? >> it was going to take six weeks, because he wasn't going to release his tax information. surely, he would get laughed off stage. everybody was wrong about his prospects. we got lucky because we started taking it seriously much earlier than anyone else did. i would be following donald trump from campaign rally to campaign rally for months on end, when i was the most familiar face to him in a crowd. it would be me and local news reporters, and he wouldn't know anyone. he would walk to me and we would have longer conversations. the first time i was ever shared the same air as donald trump was the first rally i went to. that was in 2015 in june. honing his greatest campaign hits. the media is terrible, i get the greatest standing ovations of
anybody. and the media is terrible. and then he called me out from the crowd, katie, you haven't even looked up at me once. i remember thinking, how does he i remember thinking, how does he know my name, know that i'm here? i yelled back at him, i'm tweeting what you're saying. he liked that and he moved on. [laughter] i became essentially the stand in for the media. he always knew that if he looked out in the crowd and saw the press pen, when his lights were on you, you can't see anybody standing by the cameras. he knew that i would be there, because i was at every rally. i had been there from the beginning. when he wanted to rail against the press and make it personal, he knew he could call me out and i would become the face of it. he also didn't tend to like my reporting, because i would often
-- fact check him or say things he didn't think were fair. and then there was the moment everyone talks about, the moment, going into the morning joe set, i think november 2015. donald trump doesn't know the rules for boundaries of politics. he doesn't know what is appropriate and inappropriate. i think that has become clear in what he tweets and says. in this instance, i just got off of morning joe and talked about his change of tone in the moment -- in the debate before. he seemed to like it because he walked in and put his hands on my shoulders and kissed me on the cheek. not an appropriate thing to do among colleagues, friends, in a social situation, family gatherings, but when it is someone who is running to sit in the oval office, running for president, doing it to a reporter who covered his campaign, it can cross the line. it makes me, at the very least, seem like my reporting is not
going to be fair. our member thinking to myself, nobody is going to take me seriously, hoping the cameras wouldn't catch it. as i was asking if the cameras did, they did not, i heard donald trump on stage, on air, with mika and joe, saying what happened to katie tur. she was so great, i had to kiss her. it's an example of how he did not take his candidacy -- i don't want to say seriously, because that's not the right way, but he did not understand the boundaries of political life and the boundaries between a candidate and a reporter, and what the role of a free press is. i would venture to say he still has a hard time understanding that.
[applause] >> he certainly, with fake news and enemies, i think it's safe to say that donald trump has not kissed you. >> joe biden has. [laughter] >> that's another story for another day. >> perhaps another presidential run. trump knows you, though, maybe quite well -- you in the hat, because he watches snl as we know. he phoned you. it's a little bit of what happens with katie. he railed against you, but then he embraces you, phones you, he -- >> my contacts with trump go back further. i think it is noteworthy that a lot of people who covered him in the briefing room right now have started off in tabloids in new
york city. -- i worked in new york. i was thinking about this. i may be wrong, but prior to covering him as a presidential candidate, my last two interactions with him were not returning his phone calls when he was pushing for an exit ramp on the west side highway for his development program. it killed his west side project. this used to be described -- koch used to be described as unavoidable for comment. [laughter] >> donald trump has taken that stick national. i would say cosmic. he is the compulsive communicator. everything is transactional. he holds grudges, he ascribes moral characteristics to positive and negative press. if you write something positive about him, it is immediately transformed into a moral virtue. if you write something negative,
it is transformed into a negative moral virtue. behind the scenes, he is willing and dealing. it's like negotiating over buying a used car. he wants to sell you on an idea. more than anything else, people misunderstand him in a fundamental way. he is, at heart, not a real estate guy, not a politician, not a businessman. he is the salesman. he is what willie loman would have been if he were successful. he has that same characteristic of not only wanting to sell you the product, but every great salesman, and donald trump is a phenomenal salesman, maybe one of the greatest in the history of this country, they are carnegie, eat your heart out -- dale carnegie, eat your heart out. >> they say he has the shoeshine and not to smile. i'm struck by how little he
actually smiles. there's never a joyous moment for him. bob, thank you for seamlessly filling the shoes of gwen eiffel at washington week and review. [applause] >> it's a great job. bring us up-to-date. there's a piece in the washington post that takes us on air force one. trump is returning from huntsville, alabama. now we know that his candidate has lost. it seems like trump will take -- hostile takeover of the republican party does not mean incumbent across the finish line. and steve bannon's candidate won. he's isolated, angry, dare i say, low energy in this fight. >> it's an interesting moment in this trump presidency.
we are about 250 days into his term and he is struggling to navigate washington, and especially to navigate the party he has dominated for two years. the republican party. he is searching for wins, and it is intriguing to cover him. he is not driven by ideology or the same values that have shaped the republican party since ronald reagan's presidency. he is searching for victory. those figures have been elusive. -- victories have been elusive. he has been able to confirm the supreme court justice, but a major legislative win is out of his grasp. you see him trying in the alabama race where he endorsed senator luther strange to get the establishment of the republican party to get him -- to work with him, make some progress and that on stalled objectives like health care and taxes. the president, whose power comes from the base, has a base that identifies with him viscerally,
on his grievances with the culture and establishment, but they don't necessarily take orders from him. he remains their leader in spirit. we saw that in alabama. they don't seem to be breaking away from the president, but breaking away from following him point by point. they went with judge moore instead of strange. this has consequences for president trump. it tells us he may still have the base with him in 2018 if he chooses to run again in 2020, but the base is not going to be helpful, at least on every turn, and trying to get legislation through congress. if he wants these wins, he keeps talking about his accomplishments he has, but if you tally them up beyond gorsuch, they are executive orders, executive authority he is bragging about. even those actions have been challenged by the courts. as we evaluate this moment, we see the president continued to express confidence on foxnews news and twitter that he's getting so much done. alabama was a wake-up call that
he hasn't figured out the formula he needs to get the accomplishments he wants. >> katie, yesterday trump was tweeting about his accomplishments. the most of any president. it includes renaming of the a center. he counts that. women's entrepreneur week, turning back obama era rules. the art of the deal. the salesman that glenn speaks of. the coin of the realm for him as -- is he can make a deal, but he hasn't made any. do you see him as -- that's his calling card, is he a dealmaker? >> that is his calling card. he's been selling himself as a dealmaker for decades. he is a self promoter more than anything else. he creates a razzle-dazzle. he convinces people he is too big, too good, too much of a
genius to fail. people buy into that. he perpetuated that and extended it with his run on the apprentice. don't discount that. people on the campaign trail, supporters, would point to that and say donald trump will know who to hire. how do you know that? i've seen him on the apprentice. [laughter] >> you laugh, but it's true. his base -- you're right, he doesn't have control of his base, at the same time, they feel like they know what he really wants even when he is not at liberty to say it or do it. his base new that judge roy moore was more in line with what donald trump would have wanted. it was mitch mcconnell and the establishment republicans that were forcing him to endorsed luther strange. he had the ability to convince folks that they could believe whatever they wanted to believe
about donald trump. he would take all sides of an issue. it's because he didn't stand for one thing in particular. that's part of his appeal to people. this is a guy who can make whatever deals he's going to make. he'll work with democrats, republicans, find a way to convince independents. he is just going to get things done. he doesn't have a track record of doing it. i don't know when he's going to pull something over the line, when he's going to sign legislation. i don't know if his base is going to hold him accountable for it. what he's going to do, what we would see or hear when he would talk to folks out there, it's everybody else's fault but donald trump. it's congress's fault, the swap won't let him perform things. -- reform things.
the media is not on his side. he could do it, but you guys want to stop it because he wants to help us and you want to help your special interests. there is a great quote from the campaign trail -- i talked to a man and he said why do you like donald trump? said, i'm going to build the wall. >> what if he doesn't? >> it is ok, i trust this judgment. >> on the shuttle bus, since i'm not katie, i would not be recognized. people had a completely forgiving tone about what trump did. they will say, he will do what i would do, and i'm not always going to get it right. completely forgiving. all of your nbc, the failing new york times, the post, all of the fake news, covering the mueller investigation, which must make it harder for you to cover a
fairly paranoid white house at this point. >> there are not organized enough to be operationally paranoid. [laughter] >> most of the time, they are withto stop -- pissed off each other than with mueller. >> for with you. >> or with us. i think it is way overstated, the hostility toward the press. it was topical early on when spicer was going through his first set of gyrations before we had him cleaning himself up on the emmys. it really was walking into that building, a hostile environment, for the first 3-5 months. had him cleaning himself up on it has hunkered down into the usual trench warfare. the relationship between the front line press people and the white house and most media folks
is, amicable. the issue is that the main problem with the white house is the truth issue. they say things routinely that are false or contorted. the nutritional value of your interactions with anyone in the white house, pre-mueller, post mueller, tend to be of the junk food variety. [laughter] >> you are off twitter. this is something that everyone on the white house -- everyone in the white house wants trump to get off twitter. did john kelly get you to do it? >> i take methadone, which is -- actually, facebook is methadone for twitter. [laughter] my bosses are probably pretty pleased with my decision to do this. i just found, my colleague and i are going to be working on a book on the presidency, and i
had a realization. i took twitter off my phone probably about a month ago, and it was liberating. i was sitting, trying to organize my day, about 1.5 weeks ago, and around 7:00 in the morning, making my schedule, the siding who i would talk to, laying things out, and i looked up and it was 9:00. what happened was that i had gone off on one of these -- i got emotional on twitter and someone said something nasty, and it hijacked my day. i had realized that the balance got out of whack. i decided to get rid of it, and i have to say there are downsides. tweeting out the good work of my colleagues, it's nice to have a platform with 350,000 people to broadcast to. i feel like i have control over my day. >> bob, are you still waiting
for trump to pivot? [laughter] are any of us still waiting for that? is it possible, or have we realized that to trump, on the campaign, the trump of the early white house, this is the trump that we have? >> on the pivot question, i think most people are in the same space reporters are, which is that he does pivot from time to time, turn to a different issue, a different front, but he is so unreliable that he is not ever going to pivot and continue in a certain direction. we see it with a bipartisan deal he cut on the debt ceiling, and on the budget. there was one week of stories of the president moving in a bipartisan direction, then a few weeks later, it's the nfl or these racially charged controversies about patriotism and controversial issues.
democrats are alarmed, and any kind of inroads he made with them -- they would be washed away by a pivot to another place. it is a complicated time for president trump. he doesn't know where to go. he loves the adulation that comes with bipartisanship, but he doesn't have a core conviction that will keep him moving in that direction. which is why i have doubts every time i hear president trump moving toward a new place. >> so, you know, he, adulation, yes, but keep -- race relations, the nfl, it's not going to cut clean for him. even the owners worked with him. -- were not with him. does he know, is any attention good attention? is there any strategy behind -- his
proponents say this is strategic. he wants these distractions. it doesn't bother him when the nfl takes up four days and were not paying attention to health care or other things. and the tax bill, maybe it detracts from that. today, lots still going on about the nfl. >> i think back to the day after the access hollywood tapes came out in october last year. i spoke to president trump by phone -- then candidate trump. his advisers told him to quit the race, to apologize profusely. he said none of that. i trust my instincts, my understanding of news coverage. i will follow my own advice. i've been through different things in life, personally. i have been through bankruptcies. he believes that he alone can decide what is best for him, and his advisers can only go so far in counseling him. that's why he continues to make
these decisions, these incendiary decisions, because he believes that's how he connects with his base. >> lightning round. does trump get impeached, reelected, where do we go from here? >> all of the above. i don't know. he could get impeached, he could quit, he could not run again, and he could run and get elected. >> none of it would surprise you? >> you cannot predict. donald trump is full of options. >> glen? >> two things. ditto. i retweet it, verbally. the thing i would say is that if mike pence somehow becomes president, i'm not saying he will, i don't think he has an easy time. he was involved in early decision-making with michael flynn. i think that in this scenario where mike pence becomes
president, i think it's unlikely. i think he becomes an object of significant scrutiny. [applause] >> bring us home. >> the biggest asterisk in american politics is robert mueller. we can speculate all we want, but we know is very serious. if you look at the new york times reporting, nbc, the post. this is very serious possible possible obstruction of justice, financial crimes. until we know more, we won't know the answer to your question. >> live -- watch washington week, buy this book, read glenn, don't tweet him, by washington -- [applause] ♪ washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, los angeles times brian bennett on the priority the white house seek from congress in exchange
for allowing dreamers to remain in the u.s. then the director of the harvard injury control research center discusses the deadly mass shooting in las vegas. and how gun violence should be considered a public health issue. and the heritage foundation bruce, a former cia deputy division chief for korea talks about north korea's outbreaks to him and other republican leaning foreign policy experts in an effort to gain insight into president trump's thinking towards north korea. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern this morning. join the discussion. >> this morning, a look at the u.s. military security strategy in afghanistan. one at 10:30 a.m. eastern c-span two. >> this week, president trump is expected to announce he will
decertify the koran nuclear deal. the cato institute holds a panel. watch live at 3:30 p.m. eastern on c-span two. national security advisor hr mcmaster joins three of his pre-disasters to talk about the future of the national security council. watch today at 5:30 p.m. eastern on c-span two. unfoldsn, where history daily. c-span was created as a public service by american cable companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite providers. next, the third and final debate