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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  February 18, 2018 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. >> what is the carrot that you're dangling for north korea, to convince them to talk? >> we're not using a carrot to convince them to talk. we're using large sticks. >> day to day, rex tillerson is faced with the most delicate issues around the globe as secretary of state. >> what's the latest? >> he is also working for a president who prefers twitter to traditional diplomacy. the president tweeted, "rex, stop wasting your time trying to negotiate with little rocket man." have you asked him not to call him "little rocket man?" >> ( laughs ) >> can we please come together and at least give this president a chance? >> winfrey: this was the group when we met them in downtown grand rapids six months ago...
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>> we changed regimes in egypt! we can't-- ( crosstalk ) >> we hear you. >> ...14 passionately partisan strangers. >> how you been, sweetie? >> now, they greet each other like old friends. what has being in this group meant for you, outside of the group? >> i don't have access to trump voters outside of this group. so, this has helped me to understand perspectives that i would not have had access to. ( crosstalk ) >> they may know each other a lot better now. >> however-- >> their political views... >> i'd argue that you hate liberals. >> i do. >> ...have not changed. >> we're just never going to agree on 80%. so 20%, we need to figure out a way to come together on. >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm scott pelley. >> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm oprah winfrey. >> i'm bill whitaker. those stories, tonight, on "60 minutes." each day justin chooses to walk.
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>> tonight, white house correspondent margaret brennan, on assignment for "60 minutes." >> brennan: rex tillerson admits he was an unconventional choice for secretary of state. he had no prior government experience, but as c.e.o. of exxon-mobil, he had crisscrossed the globe, striking deals with foreign leaders. secretary tillerson, a man who still considers himself a boy scout, and follows what he calls "the code of the west," is fiercely private, and has shied away from interviews. but he agreed to do a rare, wide-ranging one with us. with the olympics underway and
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north korea very much on his mind, he talked to us about what may be the toughest deal he will ever work on. in his new year's day speech, kim jong-un said the entire area of the u.s. mainland is within our nuclear strike range. that's got to make you nervous. >> rex tillerson: it does make us nervous. it-- it also-- it also stiffens our resolve. that kind of a threat to the american people by a regime like this is not acceptable. and the president's meeting his responsibilities as commander in chief of asking our military, secretary mattis at the defense department, to ensure we are prepared for anything. >> brennan: and those military options are there in case you fail. >> tillerson: in case i fail. i say to my chinese counterpart, "you and i fail, these people get to fight. that's not what we want." >> brennan: but you are willing to work with, and potentially negotiate with kim jong-un. >> tillerson: well, that's who we will have to work with to achieve this diplomatically.
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what we have to determine now is are we even ready to start? are they ready to start? and if they're not, we'll just keep the pressure campaign underway and we will increase that pressure. and we are doing that every month. there are new sanctions rolled out. the world wants north korea to change. >> brennan: well, there's some questions about how badly china wants them to change. you've really needed their help to put economic pressure on kim jong-un. what reassurances have you given to china so that they actually follow through? >> tillerson: what i think-- we got a common understanding with china is that north korea represents a serious threat to china as well. and we've been very clear with them, that they are going to have an important role to play once we get to the negotiating table. >> brennan: so, i hear you saying there, these wouldn't be one-on-one talks. china would be at the table. >> tillerson: early on, they might be one-on-one discussions for the u.s. first and north korea to determine, is there a reason to begin to put the construct for negotiations in
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place. >> brennan: what is the carrot that you're dangling for north korea, to convince them to talk? >> tillerson: we're not using a carrot to convince them to talk. we're using large sticks. and that is what they need to understand. this pressure campaign is putting-- is having its bite on north korea, its revenue streams. it's having a bite on its military programs. >> brennan: but to say full denuclearization, why would they agree to give up something they've already got, that they think is an insurance policy? >> tillerson: because it buys them nothing. it buys them more of being the hermit kingdom, isolated, isolated from the world diplomatically, isolated from the world economically. >> brennan: senator bob corker, chairman of senate foreign relations committee, said "every one of us should pray rex tillerson and jim mattis are successful over the course of the next eight to ten months, diplomatically, or our nation is going to be facing one of the greatest military decisions that we face." eight to ten months. that's how much time you have to get this done?
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>> tillerson: i'm going to use all the time available to me. our diplomatic efforts will continue until that first bomb drops. my job is to never have a reason for the first bomb to drop. and we don't know precisely how much time is left on the clock. >> brennan: you seem to have convinced the president that diplomacy is the way to go on this, but it wasn't always so clear. back in october, you said you were working to get a dialogue going with the north koreans, and the president tweeted, "rex, stop wasting your time trying to negotiate with little rocket man." have you asked him not to call him "little rocket man?" ( laughter ) is that a diplomatic term? >> tillerson: the president's going to-- the president's going to communicate the way he communicates. my job as chief diplomat is to ensure that the north koreans know, we keep our channels open, i'm listening. i'm not sending a lot of messages back, because there's nothing to say to them at this point. so, i'm listening for you to
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tell me you're ready to talk. >> brennan: how will you know? >> tillerson: they will tell me. they will tell me. >> brennan: that explicitly? >> tillerson: we receive messages from them, and i think it will be very explicit as to how we want to have that first conversation. what's the latest? >> brennan: as we saw during this meeting with top aides about the crisis in yemen, the whole world is now his portfolio. >> tillerson: i think i saw some reports of further missile attacks. >> brennan: but rex wayne tillerson comes from a family of modest means in north texas. he was named after actors rex allen and john wayne, because his parents loved westerns. we actually have a photo of you back in your boy scout uniform. i understand you rose to eagle scout? >> tillerson: yes. >> brennan: so how old were you here? >> tillerson: i think i was 14 when that was taken. >> brennan: you look very proud. >> tillerson: i am very proud. ( laughs ) and was very proud. i still am. >> brennan: i can tell. i mean, boy scouts, you reference it a fair amount. that played a big, formative role in your life.
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>> tillerson: it really shaped who i am. >> brennan: you still think of yourself as a boy scout? >> tillerson: yes. >> brennan: really? >> tillerson: absolutely. >> brennan: you don't get to be the c.e.o. of exxon mobile as a boy scout. >> tillerson: i did. >> brennan: you talked a lot about something that you call the code of the west. what does that mean? >> tillerson: well, you know, the code of the west, as the west was unfolding, there wasn't a lot of law enforcement, and people basically relied upon each other's word. and "my word is my bond." and i've used that throughout my life as well, even at exxon mobil. i would sit down with the head of state for that country, or the c.e.o. of that company, and we'd look each other in the eye. and i'd say, all i need to know is that you're going to live up to your side of this deal. and i give you my word i'll live up to my side of this deal. and then, a lot of the code of the west was, people were very loyal to their organizations. and the phrase, "riding for the brand" is a phrase that's always stuck with me, that-- >> brennan: riding for the brand? >> tillerson: riding for the brand. when a cowboy signed on to a ranch or-- or to that organization, he was committed
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to that organization. >> brennan: and what is the brand for you now? >> tillerson: the state department of the united states government. the american people are my brand. >> brennan: so, one leader you hadn't met before december of 2016 was donald trump. tell me what that first encounter was like. >> tillerson: we met in his office in trump tower. and he just began by asking me, you know, "i want you to just kind of talk about how-- how you see the world." so we just-- we walked around the world for about an hour. and then after that, he kind of went into a little bit of a sales pitch with me, and said, "i want you to be my secretary of state." and i was stunned. >> brennan: you didn't know it was a job interview? >> tillerson: no, i didn't. i didn't. i-- i thought it was just-- i was going up just to talk to him and share with him, which i've done with previous presidents. i did with president obama, i did with president bush. so i really thought that's all it was. ( laughs ) >> brennan: do you have any sense of what you were getting yourself into? >> tillerson: so, by and large, i did. >> brennan: you've won some policy arguments.
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when it came to keeping troops in afghanistan. you prevented the president, in some ways, from tearing up the iran nuclear deal, like you said he was going to do. you lost a few arguments too. the paris climate agreement, the president exited. the trans-pacific trade partnership, you cautioned against ripping up a deal america had committed to, and you cautioned against moving the u.s. embassy to jerusalem on the timeline they laid out. do you think that's a fair accounting of your record? >> tillerson: i think the american people have won, with the decisions the president has taken. and it's not about agreeing or disagreeing. because he's-- he's the decision maker. >> brennan: tell me what it's like to work in an administration where the u.s. has walked away, or threatened to walk away, from a number of commitments. that has to be hard for someone who believes in the code of the west. >> tillerson: well, some of those, i think it's important to keep in mind what the level of commitment was. we have agreements that the congress never had the opportunity to weigh in on. and so, president trump was elected by the american people,
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and many of these were issues that he ran on. >> reporter: white house officials have said that you are going to be pushed out... >> brennan: in the past year, tillerson spent a lot of time denying that he was being outflanked by others in the president's inner circle, and that he was either going to resign or be fired... >> tillerson: that's ridiculous. >> brennan: ...after reports he called the president "a moron." >> brennan: why didn't you deny calling the president a moron? >> tillerson: you know, that's a really old question. >> brennan: you understand that by not answering the question, some people thought you were confirming the story. >> tillerson: i think i've answered the question. >> brennan: you think you answered the question. >> tillerson: i've answered the question. >> brennan: did you call the president a moron? >> tillerson: i'm not going to dignify the question. we got so many bigger issues that we could be talking about. i'm not from this town. i understand this town likes to talk about a lot of things that are really not important. >> brennan: do you think you have enemies in this town? >> tillerson: i don't know.
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>> brennan: where do you think those reports came from? that you were resigning, or being fired? >> tillerson: i-- i-- i have no idea where they come from. i really don't. and i don't give it much thought. >> brennan: i mean, you walk into ministry meetings and reporters are shouting, "sir, when are you resigning?" >> tillerson: i never hear those questions. ( laughs ) you know, the only person that knows whether i'm resigning or not is me. >> brennan: so, one of the other challenges that you have here is sometimes the president's message doesn't jive with your own. i think you'd acknowledge that. >> tillerson: well, as i said, the president communicates in his own style, his own way, his own words. and from time to time, i-- i will ask him, "are you changing the policy? because if we are, obviously, i need to know, and everyone needs to know." >> brennan: well, you would've thought he'd talk to you about changing the policy before he tweeted. >> tillerson: and-- and to finish the thought, that has never happened. every time i've talked to him, he says, "no, the policy hasn't changed." and i say let-- then i'm good. ( laughs ) that's all i need to know. i thought today we'd just have a chat. >> brennan: within the ranks of the state department, there have
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been complaints that secretary tillerson is dismantling american diplomacy by embracing major budget cuts, and being slow to fill crucial jobs. >> brennan: there are 41 embassies without confirmed ambassadors, and that's even in places where there are crises. no ambassador in south korea, saudi arabia, in turkey. how do you explain that? >> tillerson: well, there's been no dismantling at all of the state department. we've got terrific people, both foreign service officers, civil servants, that have stepped into those roles around the world-- >> brennan: on an interim basis. >> tillerson: --and have stepped in here. it is an interim basis. so clearly, it is not with the same kind of support that i wish everyone had. but our foreign policy objectives continue to be met. >> brennan: but some of these don't even have nominees. i mean, 41 embassies without ambassadors in them. >> tillerson: well, some of these are in the process. it's not a question of people being, are neglecting the importance of it. it's just the nature of the process itself. >> brennan: you've said you had
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a very close relationship with vladimir putin. you've done huge deals with him. photos of you toasting him with champagne. and all that closeness raised eyebrows. it even inspired a "saturday night live" skit. did you ever see that skit? >> tillerson: i did. my kids pointed me to it. >> putey? oh, my god! >> rexy, baby! >> za-di-da! >> brennan: did you laugh? >> tillerson: absolutely. absolutely. i laughed out loud. >> brennan: it made light, though, of-- of this concern that you have-- a friendship with vladimir putin, and that because of that, you and the president aren't going to hold him to account. >> tillerson: the relationship that i had with president putin spans 18 years now. it was always about, what could i do to be successful on behalf of my shareholders, how russia could succeed. >> brennan: how different was it walking into the kremlin as secretary of state? >> tillerson: it was different. because-- and i had to think very, very carefully about that,
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and the only thing i said to him was "mr. president, same man, different hat." >> brennan: but the dynamic changed. >> tillerson: the dynamic changed because the issues were different. what he is representing is different than what i now represent. and i-- and i said to him, "i now represent the american people." and-- and i think it was important that that be said right up front. and he clearly got, i mean, he clearly understood that as well. >> brennan: but since you're secretary of state now, you've accused him of violating nuclear arms control agreements, of cheating on north korea sanctions, letting assad continue now to use chlorine gas chemical weapons on civilians. he doesn't seem to be particularly concerned about the warnings you're giving him. >> tillerson: well, i don't know. we'll see if he's concerned or not. >> brennan: there were six chlorine gas attacks in the past 30 days. >> tillerson: that's correct. and we have called them out for the fact that russia has special responsibilities, in our view, because of commitments they
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made, to destroy chemical weapons and ensure they knew that there were none. >> brennan: that sounds a lot like the last administration. that doesn't sound very different. >> tillerson: well, when it comes to killing people with chemical weapons, it shouldn't look any different. i think the only difference is the consequences for it, and president trump has already demonstrated there will be consequences. >> brennan: does that mean military action is still on the table? >> tillerson: as it was-- >> brennan: for chlorine gas attacks? >> tillerson: --as it was in april last year, we are serious about our demands that chemical weapons not become regularized or normalized as a-- as a weapon in any conflict. >> brennan: why not implement the sanctions that congress overwhelmingly says they want to see put on russia? >> tillerson: we have and we are. we've taken steps that have already prevented a number of russian military sales as a result of the legislation. and we are evaluating additional individuals for-- for-- possible sanctioning. >> brennan: so, now we are under time constraint... near the end of our interview,
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we were interrupted by a phone call from the president. >> tillerson: be right back. >> brennan: afterwards, the secretary took us out for a brief stroll on his terrace, before heading to the white house. >> brennan: how often do you talk to the president? >> tillerson: we typically will try to talk every day, even if it's only for a few minutes. a lot of times, i'll call from the-- the road when i'm on a trip, just to let him know how it's going. >> brennan: rex tillerson enjoys the view from the top of the state department. he seems to be one of the few people in washington not surprised he's still here. if i believe the press reports that came out about you in the past year, you would not be sitting here talking to me as the secretary of state. it seems like reports of your political death were premature? >> tillerson: well, i hope with this little bit of exchange we've had, you understand the man better. that's why i'm still here. those things don't bother me. i'm here to serve my country. i committed to this president. my word is my bond. i ride for this brand. that's why i'm here.
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and nothing anybody else says is going to change that. >> cbs money watch sponsored by lincoln financial, helping you protect those you love most. >> quijano: good evening. the embattled weinstein company has fired its president, david glasser. earnings reports from wal-mart, home depot and roku are expected this week. and marvel's "black panther" is on track to bring in over $200 million at the box office this president's day weekend. i'm elaine quijano, cbs news. people would stare.
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>> winfrey: one year into donald trump's presidency, americans remain divided, often unwilling
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to listen to what the other side has to say. it's happening in families, among friends and at the workplace. we witnessed that schism first- hand last fall when we went to grand rapids, michigan, and gathered 14 people-- seven who voted for mr. trump, seven who did not-- for a wide-ranging discussion about politics, policy and the president himself. to mark president trump's first year in office, we decided to repeat the experiment. we never intended to go back to grand rapids, but then we learned that, after disagreeing on virtually everything, our group stayed in close touch. members from opposite sides of the divide actually became friends, organizing outings and talking every day in a private facebook chat group. all of that made us want to go back.
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>> can we please come together and at least give this president a chance? >> winfrey: this was the group when we met them in downtown grand rapids six months ago-- >> president trump is not setting the tone. >> every day, i love him more and more. >> winfrey: 14 passionately partisan strangers. >> paul: how you been, sweetie? >> winfrey: now, they greet each other like old friends. lauren taylor, a liberal community organizer, and tom nemcek, a staunch libertarian and supporter of president trump, couldn't be farther apart politically. but they took the initiative to bring the group together. ( gunfire ) tom, a gun rights advocate, took members of the group shooting. >> laura: i never shot a handgun till tom taught me how. >> winfrey: it made such an impression on laura ansara, she bought her own gun and joined the n.r.a. ( gunfire ) >> matt: hold, hold, hold! >> winfrey: matt wiedenhoeft, a trump supporter who teaches economics and coaches a hockey team at grand valley state university, invited them to a saturday night game. ♪ ♪ and nearly the entire group
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turned out for what they call a team-building workout, organized by jennifer allard, a lifelong republican who says she couldn't bring herself to vote for donald trump. wesley watson, a community health activist was there. so was daniel skidmore, a conservative and first-time voter, and maggie ryan, a lawyer and self-described independent. when we first met, there were some of you who had said that, you know, you'd never been in conversations, certainly engagement, with members of the opposite side, political side. so has that changed for you now? >> jennifer: yes. because now i'm looking at them as people, not as, you're trump or not trump. this has been an incredible experience and an education for me. >> frank luntz: this never, ever happens. >> winfrey: a few weeks ago, we re-assembled the group, a cross section of voters selected for us by conservative pollster frank luntz.
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>> luntz: i was surprised that they stayed together, because there was every reason, based on the conversation, that they would pull themselves apart. >> winfrey: yeah. >> luntz: but what i liked about it is that they came to respect each other, appreciate each other, and live each other's lives to some degree, so that they could empathize. that was a laboratory. >> winfrey: they may know each other a lot better now, but their political views... >> you're joking. >> winfrey: ...have not changed, especially when it comes to president trump. so, how many people here voted for him? just to remind everybody. and how many of you would vote for him again? you would vote for him again? >> laura: yeah! my 401(k) is up 35%. my house is up another $31,000. yes! >> daniel: i feel like he cares more about me than the last president did. he cares about issues affecting my day-to-day life more, like the tax cuts. that'll increase my bottom line. >> tim: it's temporary. >> daniel: better than nothing. >> winfrey: so the tax plan, do you feel, are you going to personally benefit from that? >> daniel: yes, i will. i calculated i'll benefit from
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it. >> winfrey: tom, you said the quote that was so memorable the last time-- "i love him more and more every day." do you still feel that? >> tom: i do. >> winfrey: do you still send a check every time he does something that you approve of? >> tom: when he fulfills a campaign promise, yes i do. >> winfrey: and matt, you said something the last time, like, "he speaks for us," or "speaks like us." >> matt: he speaks like everybody else does. this guy's straightforward. "i'm bringing jobs back. i'm worried about america first. and that's what i'm going to do." and guess what? he's kept every promise he started, because he said it. >> tom: what he means is, he doesn't speak like a politician. >> wesley: over the last few weeks, our president have made comments about haitians, and-- >> maggie: ( bleep )-hole countries, i mean? >> tom: were you guys in the room? were you guys in the room? were you in the room? >> kim: oh, my goodness. >> tom: okay, because there's three people who were in that room who said he never said this. >> winfrey: "the room" was the oval office, where, in a meeting about immigration, the president reportedly used profanity to describe haiti, el salvador and african countries, while praising norway.
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who here believes that he made the comment about "( bleep )- hole countries?" >> tim: absolutely. >> kim: absolutely. >> winfrey: you think he made the comment? >> paul: yeah, i think he made the comment. i think all presidents have made a comment behind closed doors that wasn't reported-- >> winfrey: you think all presidents have used the term "( bleep )-hole?" >> paul: yes, i do. >> tim: okay, can i just say something? it's not about the swearing. okay? i expect every politician to say that. it's the fact that he demeaned an entire race or a country. and if our president, who we-- i respect the office, and i expect and demand better actions than that. >> maggie: my relatives came from ireland, and that was, for a long time, considered to be a ( bleep )-hole country. it's-- obviously, irish people aren't discriminated against now, but, like, they were for a really long time. and you can't say something about a country that then applies to all the people coming from it. >> winfrey: okay? >> matt: i can see him using the language. but you guys, at times, you need to look at the man you're talking about. this man looks at one lens,
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through one lens and all. it's an economic lens. he did not look at this as people in those countries, in my opinion. >> jennifer: and that's unfortunate. >> matt: he did not say "the haitian people" or "the people of africa." he said, "those countries." >> winfrey: come on, matt. ( crosstalk ) if you're talking about-- matt, if you're talking about the country, you're talking about the people in the country. when he's talking about norway or norwegians, he's talking about norwegians. >> matt: sometimes i think trump just met with norway and that was the first thing he thought of, because, he said some things that are weird. >> winfrey: okay, so polls are showing that respect for the united states is eroding around the world. do you care what the world thinks of the united states? >> jennifer: absolutely. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> matt: how many people believe china's sitting at home right now and they're like, "man, i wonder if i make this decision, will it hurt the u.s.? will the u.s. people like this decision?" do you think china asks that question? the only country in this world that asks that question is us. >> tim: i work with global students that want to come to the united states. well, ever since trump got
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elected in 2016, the numbers of incoming global students have gone down. they do not feel safe. that's a shame. >> laura: what are they afraid of? >> paul: trump. >> kim: yes. >> tim: they're afraid of how they're being-- they're going to be treated. i mean, look, turn on the news. >> laura: i feel safer now than i ever did the last eight years of obama. oh, my god. >> winfrey: how do you feel safer? tell me how you feel safer? >> laura: well, i feel like i can say "merry christmas" to anyone i want, wherever i want. >> jennifer: you could anytime! >> tim: you could! spare me the fake outrage! >> jennifer: obama always said merry christmas. >> maggie: i don't think laura has fake outrage but, like, i do think some of the things that you believe, i don't think really make that much sense. like, i don't think obama's a muslim. >> winfrey: let her finish telling us why she feels safer. >> laura: safer means that i'm not going to have regulations after regulations after regulations that are going to outdo my budget. i don't make any money. i'm poor. so when-- i mean, i don't make, i probably make less than anyone at this table.
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you know, my heat bills go up. my electricity goes up. i guess it makes me feel economically safer that trump's in office. >> winfrey: there have been some members of congress, including republicans, questioning his stability and fitness for office. what do you think of that, and do you believe he has the temperament to be president? >> matt: we see one side of him outside of the office. we don't see what happens in the office. and what we see coming out of the office is results. so his temperament and his intellect's got to be high enough to create results. >> lauren: mmmm, what-- what results? >> matt: what results? the economy, supreme court justice, 90-plus regulations taken off. >> tom: isis. >> matt: isis being defeated. >> jennifer: i believe that he does not have the temperament. i do agree the economy is great, but i don't agree that it is okay to tweet the way that he does, getting in a war with north korea, "my button's bigger than your button." >> winfrey: is that an incident that you think speaks to him not
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being fit to be president? >> jennifer: yes! yes. i think it's a crazy game. it's an ego game, and i just want a president who cares more about america than his own ego. >> tom: trump is a counter- puncher. kim jong-un came out with his, "hey, i've got the nuclear button." trump is a counter-puncher. he's going to say, "guess what? mine's bigger than yours." it's just who he is. >> jennifer: i know, but it is, like, playground antics of "my dad can beat up your dad." >> winfrey: this is what's really interesting to me. what i got from the group the last time, and actually has helped me in listening to, you know, all reports in the media, is that, you all actually hear things differently. that you are listening in a different way. >> lauren: we do hear things differently. we say things differently. we can hear it in different ways, but that doesn't mean we're going to agree. i'm never going to agree that bullying, kicking a sleeping
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bear, is a good idea. if that bear is going to wake up and blow your country up if you threaten it? for god's sake, find a better way. >> kailee: i just don't know how you can read some of those tweets and see how far apart they are from each other, sometimes only minutes, and think that you're dealing with someone who's competent and rational and intelligent. to me, they're just, they're-- all he does is bully people. that's literally all he does. >> tom: but that's because you hate him. >> kailee: i don't hate him. >> tom: you do hate him. >> kailee: i don't agree with his beliefs. that doesn't mean that i hate him. >> tom: you passionately hate him. >> kailee: i'd argue that you hate liberals. >> tom: i do. >> kailee: yeah. >> winfrey: why do you hate liberals? >> tom: i think that their tactics are divisive, and i think their tactics are destructive to this country. >> lauren: us? us liberals who are at the table? >> tom: no, i'm saying that, that-- >> winfrey: liberals. you're, you're generalizing. >> tom: correct. we had a discussion online about the inheritance tax, and it was, it was pretty interesting, that
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who thinks that all of the money that your parents saved all their lives should go to the government? >> jennifer: yeah, i, and i agreed with you. >> tom: i know you did. i know, because we saw our parents struggle and go from poverty to save, and all the struggles, all the eating at home, not eating out, not going on vacations, not going to the movies, not doing any of those things, so that they could save and have a nest egg. and then some people think it's okay, "i want that money to go to the government because they can spend it better." >> maggie: just as a comment-- the inheritance tax kicks in, used to kick in at $11 million, and so by the time that you get to that-- >> tom: for a couple. >> maggie: okay, $5.5 million. by the time that you get to that amount of money-- >> tom: what does the government do to deserve the money that your parents scraped together their whole lives and saved? >> lauren: whoa, anger. >> tom: what do they? what does the government do to deserve that? >> lauren: do you feel bullied right now? >> maggie: well, i think that
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tom is aggressive in how he talks, but over time, in america, we have become more unequal. and one of the ways to make it so that we become more equal is to make sure that the richest people pay more in taxes when they die. >> winfrey: as heated as their arguments got in person, it was just as bad in their online forum. when we come back, the issue that nearly broke up the group: the "me too" movement. >> this cbs sports update is brought to you by the lincoln motor company. at the genesis open at riviera country club outside of los angeles, bub that watson shot a final round 69 to win for the first time in two years. at the daytona 500, the checkered flag belonged to austin dillon. in college basketball, wichita, duke, and chicago were all victorious.
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for more sports news and♪ information, go to jim nantz reporting from the riviera. ♪ next chapter ♪
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>> winfrey: when we traveled to grand rapids, michigan a few weeks ago to follow up with 14 people for a roundtable conversation, we saw the continuation of a bitter, partisan undercurrent in a part of the country known for civility and manners. to our surprise, the group we had assembled six months earlier kept talking long after we left, mostly in a private facebook chat group. they took on some of the biggest issues of the day, like immigration and tax reform, and were less interested in some of the staples of cable news, like russian meddling in our election and the mueller investigation. but one subject nearly broke them apart for good. >> jeff: there were some tense moments in that group. i mean, let's be honest. there were some really tense things. >> winfrey: jeff vanderwerff is a fourth-generation farmer and loyal republican. we visited him this past fall. with 2,000 acres to oversee, he
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doesn't have time to get together with the group, but is active in their facebook thread. >> jeff: you know what? sometimes, you just need to hit the mute button and walk away for a little while. and, you know, some days it seems like it's really productive and we could actually discuss issues, discuss policy, ideas, how they impact us. and some days, it kind of descends into the family living room. but it is what it is. >> tom: i think that's a reflection of the passion that all of us have. >> right, it's true. >> tom: we all have passion. >> winfrey: and it gets most heated when they are online. unlike most americans who use social media to connect with like-minded people and reinforce their opinions, this group uses it to hear each other out. at least, that's the idea, and one reason matt wiedenhoeft named it, somewhat optimistically, "america's hope." >> matt: i named it because, the fact that it was still going and everybody was participating. my thought was that if we can legitimately get 14 people to discuss this, why can't that grow to 28, to 56, and just
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continue to compile and compile? >> winfrey: were there times-- i'm addressing this to you-- when you thought the group would break up? you wanted to quit? is there one incident in particular or discussion that stands out? >> matt: yeah, absolutely, there was a time when i was going to walk away, and i thought the group would be done at this point. >> winfrey: was this the debate about sexual harassment? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> wesley: i believe it was the comments when trump made about the female senator. he basically said that she would do anything for endorsement. >> yeah, yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> winfrey: the spark, as is often the case, was a presidential tweet using language that left just enough room for interpretation. the exact tweet was, "senator kirsten gillibrand would come to my office 'begging for campaign contributions not so long ago. and would do anything for them.'" how could that start the kind of debate that would make everyone want to leave the group? >> matt: it's how, how you hear
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it, and how you interpret it. >> winfrey: so you interpreted that comment from the president as meaning, what? >> matt: she was willing to do anything at all costs to get the endorsement. not sexually. never considered that. that never even entered my mind. >> tom: me, either. >> winfrey: and it didn't enter your mind? >> laura: no. >> jennifer: but i think it's a male-female thing, though. >> matt: i asked my wife, my mom, my sister. none of them. >> rose: it didn't enter my mind. >> winfrey: it didn't enter your mind? >> rose: it didn't. >> winfrey: did it enter your mind? >> kim: it did not enter my mind. >> winfrey: it did not. that he was talking about-- >> kim: that it was about sex. >> wesley: it entered my mind. >> tim: it did mine, too. >> wesley: it entered my mind, because he has a behavior of saying outlandish things like this. so-- >> jennifer: and, and that's the thing. if he had not spoken about women in the past that way, then i would have perceived it just like you did. >> matt: the problem i had wasn't the comment or the way, the fact that you guys interpreted it differently. it's the fact that you wanted me to denounce it, or i felt the same way. >> jeff: matt, i'll, i'll differ with you slightly, is i read it and i kind of went-- ( laughs ) because i, in my mind, i knew exactly what he was saying.
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>> winfrey: okay, i want you to clarify. you said... >> jeff: unfortunately, i thought, "okay, he's probably making that in a sexual innuendo-type manner." >> winfrey: you felt that? >> jeff: that was how i, that was how i read it. that's my opinion. >> winfrey: in a tense online argument about that tweet, and the larger issue of sexual harassment, lauren taylor repeatedly challenged some of the conservative men to "condemn" the president's "treatment of women." it did not happen. >> jeff: it was similar to a later discussion about roy moore. and it was, "damned if you do and damned if you don't," because, you know, did i think the comment was appropriate? no, i didn't think the comment was appropriate. did i think the whole roy moore situation was appropriate? no, it was completely inappropriate. but the problem was, i felt, sitting in that group, like the gun was pointed at me and it was "you will denounce." as a trump supporter, "you will throw him under the bus and walk away, or you condone everything he does." >> matt: this is what i'm talking about. >> jeff: and that was what made you say "this is what, what are we doing here?" >> winfrey: so, for those of you
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who are not trump supporters, can you hear what jeff just said? can you hear that? >> yeah. >> yes. >> yes. >> yeah. >> winfrey: you hear that? what jeff and matt have said? >> lauren: can i respond to that? that was me, who needed to hear from you that you would side with women. i think that, the way it was heard by you was that i wanted you to denounce trump. i don't think you should have to denounce a person that you believe in, but i do need to know that men will take sexual assault and abusive language and the treatment of women really seriously. and when the women in the group are saying, "please, will you let us know that you understand this? please, will you stand up with us?" and get no answer, we were ready to walk away, too. >> winfrey: but would you agree with his assessment and his assessment that you were requesting that they either denounce what he had said or-- >> lauren: yeah. i didn't want you to denounce trump. i'm so sick of trying to get
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people to denounce trump. when women come out and say they've been sexually assaulted, or me too, take us seriously. and when you say that you need proof, tell us what that means. what proof would be good enough for you to actually assure us that you care? >> matt: then vice versa. you need to tell us what you mean by standing up, because i have a daughter. and if somebody ever touched her, i think you know what the outcome would be. if somebody, if they sexually abused my mom, my sister, you, and i knew about it, you know what the outcome would be. i'm always standing there. so the assumptions that men don't stand with women, we don't know what more we can do. we don't know. i mean, tell us. you, i mean, literally. i'm not necessarily going to go march with you. >> jennifer: why not! >> wesley: i think we can lead by our actions. >> winfrey: i don't think a lot of women are asking for you to march. they're just asking to be heard. >> matt: and i'm willing to listen. >> jennifer: i think that for me, it wasn't so much about trump, as lauren said. it's the bigger issue.
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i'm a "me too," and so, that is very hot button for me. now, had you talked to me like you just did right here, i would have said, "okay, that makes sense." but again, we're on a thread that's moving really, really quick, and things are being said, and people are, like, just looking at it, misinterpreting. and that's what keeps happening, is we're misinterpreting each other. >> winfrey: one person who hasn't been touched by the movement is the president himself. during the campaign, we are all aware that some 20 women accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior. there was the "access hollywood" tape, of course. what do you all think about that? >> lauren: makes me rage. >> wesley: it's a reflection of the people. >> winfrey: maggie? >> maggie: i think probably part of the reason that the me too movement is happening is because we elected somebody who so many women said sexually assaulted him. there was a videotape. to me, it's just, it's horrible. i don't think people who do that should be in power.
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>> lauren: it's disgusting. >> jennifer: and it sends a message to everybody else. that's the problem. it sends this message that it's okay. and it's not okay. >> winfrey: do you think the president is held to a different standard when it comes to this issue of sexual harassment? >> daniel: yeah, the question is, are these accusations credible? there's been multiple reports of foundations funding lawsuits. like, they encourage women to take up lawsuits against president trump. >> winfrey: okay, i want to hear what tom has to say about this. >> tom: i think they should. i think they should bring their case to court. if they have evidence that he did this, bring it to court. >> luntz: you are their voice. you will be heard. >> winfrey: conservative pollster frank luntz, who first assembled the group for us, joined us for our second roundtable. >> winfrey: is there anything that was said by the group, that stood out to you? any words or phrases that we should be listening for? anything in particular? >> luntz: the word that stood out was actually "denounce." that you have to denounce a politician if they said something. you have to denounce. sure, people should be held
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accountable. but denouncement is divisive. and denouncement is the kind of political correctness that so many people reject today. >> winfrey: did the conversation that we hear, is it representative of conversations happening across america? because you're all over. >> luntz: there's no difference around that table than what you would hear in any place of work, in people's dining room tables, even in college campuses across the country. it's the same kind of give and take, the same kind of frustration and anxiety. the difference is that the people in michigan really want to listen to each other. >> winfrey: what do you all think you've accomplished with this group? >> lauren: i don't have access to trump voters outside of this group. in fact, during the election, i pretty much deleted everybody who, who believed in the values that trump espoused. so this group has helped me to understand perspectives that i
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would not have had access to. and so i've been able to take that out to my friends who don't have access to trumpers, and they come back and say, "hey, i really learned a lot." that's huge. because everybody wants to feel understood, but it's quite a different thing to want to understand. and i think most of us have gotten that out of this. >> jennifer: yeah, i agree. >> winfrey: what have you gotten out of it? >> matt: heartache. ( laughter ) dead phone batteries. ( laughter ) this is a good group of people. you guys really are. and i understand everybody's set in their ways. it's, it's, it's not the 80% that we will never change, that we're just never going to agree on 80%. so 20%, we need to figure out a way to come together on. >> jeff: you know, i think if we really get down to it, those of us that are on the right side of the equation, we're not always, what, we don't always want to be defined by mitch mcconnell and paul ryan. and the folks on the left, they don't always want to be necessarily defined by chuck schumer and nancy pelosi.
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>> jennifer: not at all. >> jeff: because there are positions that those groups hold that aren't real congruent with what a lot of us think sometime. >> tom: agreed, 100%. >> lauren: that's right. >> jeff: and you know, maybe that's our fault for letting the parties go the way they have and the platforms that have been created. but ultimately, it's going to be up to us if we want to fix it or not. >> what does oprah say about reports she might seek political office? >> are you kidding me? >> go to sponsored by lyrica. i look like most people. but on the inside, i feel chronic, widespread pain. fibromyalgia may be invisible to others, but my pain is real. fibromyalgia is thought to be caused by overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. i'm glad my doctor prescribed lyrica. for some, lyrica delivers effective relief for moderate to even severe fibromyalgia pain.
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>> whitaker: 50 seasons of "60 minutes."
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28 years ago tonight, steve kroft reported from the restricted zone around the site of the nuclear accident at chernobyl, ukraine. in a haunting report, he explored the abandoned city of pripyat. ♪ ♪ >> kroft: it was home for 45,000 atomic workers and their families. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> kroft: today, pripyat is a nuclear ghost town. the only sign of life is the music: piped in continuously to keep the decontamination crews that have to be here from going crazy.
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>> whitaker: i'm bill whitaker. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes." ♪ when you have a cold, stuff happens. [ dog groans ] [ coughs and sneezes ] nothing relieves more symptoms than alka seltzer plus maximum strength liquid gels.
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captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. captioned by media access group at wgbh >> previously on "celebrity big brother." ariadna wasn't runner-up. she was running the house. >> and her goal was to take shannon out. >> i'd rather have shannon gone. >> i know what i have to do. it's to send shannon home first. >> everybody was james was in on plan. >> my whole group is to work together. >> it wasn't a big-time shock that he joined her on block. >> i have nominated you, james and shannon. nothing personal. you're the biggest competitors. this is my decision. >> with a delicious helping of power on the menu -- james


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