tv Charlie Rose PBS November 21, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with david remnick, the editor of the "new yorker" magazine, talking about a conversation with president obama that he had after the election, talking about the president's legacy and how he saw the victory of donald trump in the election. >> i don't think barack obama ever ignored the notion that things were hollowing out in industrial cities and towns -- and rural towns in this country. this was not somebody who was deaf to the notion that opioid addiction, for example, and deindustrialization and globalization was taking a toll to all people, to all people. now, in his mind, and he said as much, and i'm summarizing here, now trump is not a campaigner,
he's not a performer, this is not a an act of branding, he is the president of the united states and occupies the position in the world as the leader of the free world. >> rose: there were three important announcements by the trump transition team friday. we talked to michele flournoy about those choices. she is a leading defense strategist and would have been high up on the list of democrats that might have become secretary of defense if hillary clinton had become president. >> he certainly has war fair expanding into new domains and i would say chief among those are the cyber domain but also space. space is becoming a much more contested environment, and both the russians and chinese are developing capabilities that we should be worried about, given our dependence on satellites for communication and surveillance
and so forth. we've always benefited having a technological edge over any competitor, be but now more and more technologies we've relied on for the edge are commercially available and available to others. so in the next four years, we have to make some very targeted, smart investments to keep that technological edge. >> rose: also weighing in on the transition announcement today, david sanger of the "new york times" and karen de young of "the washington post." >> the president runs foreign policy and, regardless of what arguments you have and who's up and who's down and who's strong, what usually happens is what the president wants to happen, and, so, i think you're right that one of the questions will be to what extent the national security advisor sees his job to put a break on the president as opposed to not only being a
spokesperson and counselor to the president but someone who has strong views on his own. >> rose: david remnick, michele flournoy, david sanger and kern kern, when we >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: david remnick is the editor of the "new yorker." he recently sat down with president obama over two pivotal days the friday before the election and two days after the election. the two delved into the campaign, the shifting landscape of today's media and the
president's legacy. it offers a firsthand look into the mind of president obama as he reflects on the reality of his successor and the future of the united states. the piece is called "it happened here" and is the lead feature in the "new yorker"'s next issue which is out monday. pleased to have david remnick back at this table. in our conversation recorded thursday night, we talked about the entire article, but this evening we began with the conversation with the president as he looked at the victory by donald trump and also his own legacy. here's that part of the conversation. the rest of the conversation and the rest of the article will be discussed on monday night's program with david remnick. welcome. >> thank you. i should say that you could read it now online. >> rose: it's online. "new yorker".com. >> rose: what are his thoughts about this? >> when president obama gathered his staff into his office and they came in waves, several groups, on wednesday morning after the election, he told them -- i want to read it for
accuracy -- he said, "this is not the apocalypse," and he wants to buck up these young staffers who have big futures potentially, they're going to go out into the world, and he wanted to buck them up and said history doesn't always move in a straight line. defeats happen, reverse also happen, the arc of justice, it doesn't always bend in a straight line, and to badly brutalize the metaphor, and he told me the following, i don't believe in apocalyptic, until the apocalypse comes. i think nothing is the end of the world, until the end of the world. that's what he's saying publicly, but it is very obvious that he is deeply disturbed. this is not losing to mitt romney. this is not john mccain, who's, you know, plenty right wing on certain issues, but within the
realm of imagination, this is something very, very different and very alarming. >> rose: and what do you think alarms him the most about this? is it the conduct of foreign policy? is it somehow the moral conscience of the country? is it -- >> keep going. keep going. all of it. it has to do with his feeling about the advancement of civil rights for his own people, whether they're african-american, hispanic or gays and lesbians, and in addition to which i don't think barack obama ever ignored the notion that things were hollowing out in industrial cities and rural towns in this country. this is not somebody who was deaf to the notion that opioid addiction, for example, and
deindustrialization and globalization was taking a toll to all people, to all people. now, in his mind, and he said as much, and i'm summarizing here, now trump is not a campaigner, he's not a performer, this is not an act of branding. he is the president of the united states and occupies the position in the world as the leader of the free world. what does he believe? does he believe that -- was he just saying things in the campaign the arouse emotions, or does he actually have core beliefs and core convictions and the integrity of those convictions and an inner core of decency? >> rose: president obama said he's more pragmatist. that's wheat he said. >> i think this is the triumph of second marriages, the triumph of hope over experience.
>> rose: this is what his hope is or perhaps he's saying it because he wants to make sure people don't go off the deep end. >> i think it's an act of willful reassurance on president obama's part that he's not just a citizen, for next 60 odd days, he's the outgoing president of the united states, and, let's face it, in the past he has attacked donald trump and humiliated him and at the white house accordance dinner -- >> rose: he's said worse things than the white house accordance dinner. >> right, but he wants to have whatever normalizing influence on donald trump he can while there's time. but in the few days of attempting to do that, of saying our meeting was excellent and he seems to be appropriately awed,
what's happened? we're watching going in and out of trump tower, jeff sessions who called barack obama boy. we have steve bannon sitting in saved axlerod's old office. we have mike pence who, you know, spoke up for the harshest degree of homophobia in the united states of any elected official i can think of, what is the modifying, normal idessing effect other than priebus, and who knows how powerful, and who's the main counselor? his son-in-law. >> rose: a person who has his ear. >> that's very important. >> rose: here's what he told you, too, let's just stay what might be and what is. >> sure. >> rose: we've seen this coming, he says to you, donald trump, before the election, trump is not an outlier, a culmination, logical conclusion, he is a culmination, a logical
conclusion of the rhetoric and tactics of the republican party for the past 10, 1520 years, which supplies with a degree which these tactics and rhetoric completely jumped the rails. there was no governing prince principle. no one to say, no this is going too far, this isn't what we stand for but we've seen it for eight years, even with reasonable people like john boehner, whoa when pushed wouldn't push back, with these parents. so donald trump is the culmination of something that started before. >> yeah, it's no joke, that he -- what he's saying is, look, paul ryan looks relatively like a statesman or mitch mcconnell and any other number of people in congress, but rhetoric got harsher and harsher, obstructionism got fiercer and fiercer, political life became more observe observe obdurate, ,
this guy who has populist talents -- and again, i want to make very, very clear, i understand that there are -- first of all, trr people that would only vote for republican just as there are people who would only vote for democrats and then we're talking about this middle thing. >> rose: about 35, 40 on each side. >> that's a lot. there are people that weren't necessarily responding to the racist aspect of it, but the aspect of burn it all down, anti-establishmentarianism, we are sick of who we have here and who also didn't like hillary clinton, whether for reasons that were misogynistic or otherwise. >> rose: how much do you think was misogynistic? >> i am not a pollster and pollsters proved their fallibility. i also think there were people who were soured by clintons and money, and that's a legitimate point. this business of using your
office and turning around and buck raking did not start with the clintons. ronald reagan made speeches for big money in japan, but the degree of it and the fact that they were going back into presidential politics. >> rose: after the elections. and so did george bush in 1981. >> he's done, though, and his wife isn't running for president. >> rose: how did he see hillary clinton and her campaign, he said, quoting you, a little bit like a parent watch ago kid in a sporting match and you don't feel like you have as much control. did he look at that and sayers oh, my god? it is also said, i heard it said today without being verified by the principals, that bill clinton was upset by the direction of the campaign. he may have said that after the fact or not said it. >> i think people in the white house were upset for some of the same reasons as bill clinton. >> rose: right. she didn't campaign as nearly as many events as trump. >> rose: right.
trump's thing was rallies. >> well, he's good at it. but one of the thing that people in the white house that -- they knew, of course, she's not the retail politician bill clinton or barack obama is and hillary said that over and overo. what confounded them, besides the money stuff and what confounded them besides comey and wikileaks which, obviously, you know, is another matter, was why aren't you in michigan? >> rose: didn't go to wisconsin. >> why aren't you in wisconsin? what are you thinking about arizona? why are we having conversations about, you know, texas turning blue? they thought this was fantasy. >> rose: another point, obama consented trump is less a champion of working people than as an anti-establishment insurgent. >> yeah. >> rose: the president-elect said he made an argument he would blow this place up.
hillary clinton was viewed as an insider. i don't think it's fair, he says, but that's how it played itself out. 30 years in government and washington d. >> and she would have been following someone for whom she was secretary of state. >> rose: and that would have been three terms which is very unlikely to happen in american politics. >> very unlikely, but nevertheless what made it seem likely to all of us, to pollsters, to journalists, to ordinary people -- >> rose: we didn't believe donald trump could be elected president, and the consensus was he couldn't be because of all the things he said and, secondly -- >> because he seemed and is, until this point in our history, outside the realm of discussion in terms of his behavior as a human being. >> rose: is that why you were so both angry and depressed in the online piece i read right after the election. >> yes. >> rose: you wrote it that night later on in the evening.
>> yes. i'll be perfectly honest about how that came about. in the online world, like the old "new yorker" you could wait a few days to have a good online presence for election night. i wanted to do my bit. in the morning, i wrote at relative leisure a piece about the first woman president and elizabeth katy stanton and progress of history and how important this was to not only women but to men, to how lounge this had taken and the history of seneca falls. so that was all ready to go with a push of the button and a bunch of other pieces, that was going to run online that night, and i was, as lots of people do, they go to an election night party, had a little bit to eat, possibly a little bit to drink, and by about 9:00, it's starting to come clear that not only is the election going another way but that piece is on the ash
heap of history. and i called krantz, the editor running that show that night politically at "new yorker".com and said i think we need something else. i kind of sat at that party and wrote about what a disaster i think this is, how -- let's say how deeply alarming it is, and how we should not rush to normalize it -- not rush to normalize it -- and what i mean by that is donald trump, in the way he campaigned, in his history and the way he's conducted himself, is in no way mitt romney or kind of a conventional conservative. the republican intelligentsia in this country rejected donald trump wholesale, the national review, david -- you know, the
american enterprise -- >> rose: eric ericson. all these people. you know, i don't agree with them, but they just saw him as a demagogue, fraud, dishonest, someone who wasn't honest enough to put his taxes -- we have a president of the united states who won't even tell us about his tax returns, who has a myriad of lawsuits against him. this is not normal. >> rose: so your point is we can't forget that, we can't normalize that and, therefore, we do what is this. >> well, as a journalist, to do what we always do, which is to be clear-headed and accumulate the facts. >> rose: truth to power fact to fiction. >> absolutely. but remember, we're living in a world in which the president-elect feels no compunction during the campaign about lying at a rate that we
have never seen before. by any meter. by my scoreboard. >> rose: the point to underline about that, it's one thing to exaggerate, it's another thing to lie. >> but it wasn't once or twierks it wasn't here or -- once or twice, it wasn't here or there, it was just the pattern. and we're now, by the way, on the level of appointments, we're hearing people, you know, about whom the president-elect himself denigrated during the campaign. >> rose: your point is we cannot -- >> but we cannot allow ourselves to be deluded that it is wrong necessarily that somehow, by magic, by the normalization of becoming president aso proposed to becoming a candidate, that he will suddenly become dwight eisenhower. >> rose: but you cannot also forget -- >> i hope that is the case and if it happens, charlie, i want to be the first to acknowledge it. >> rose: let me turn to obama. where is he in terms of a --
what he does for the remainder of his term? and i thought today, think about these initiate i was, the cuban initiative, take one example -- >> the iran nuclear deal. healthcare. >> rose: healthcare, for sure there will be some modifications. now, he in speeches in europe, you know, talking about populism -- >> yeah. >> rose: -- and he is talking about globalism and talking about maybe we need to think about modifying it, maybe we haven't taken a hard enough look as we should have, and maybe trump struck a nerve that was, in fact, real. >> but there was a certain globalist triumphism at a certain point -- the world is flat, everything is great. what was not taken into account nearly enough in the '90s -- it's interesting, in the '90s we had this triumphant view of everything, democracy was on the
march, soviet union had falon so naturally was becoming democratic, tiananmen square was the expect, globalization was great, so a lot of these things were advances but, unfortunately, there are winners and losers to this and, in some measure, this, in some measure -- and i don't think donald trump is going to necessarily do anything for these people, but some of the losers of globalization and deindustrialization have risen up and said, no. you know, the internet's great, but my coal factory is shut down, and the town in which i was -- i made a middle class wage, i'm now bagging groceries at wal-mart -- >> rose: because the company i worked for left town. >> now, will donald trump be able to change the world such that that man or woman suddenly goes back to his or her old life? i don't know. >> rose: well, but that person's attitude is nobody else could seem to change things. >> i get that. and i really want to acknowledge
those people that, of course not, all those people, maybe not even close to a large percentage of those people voted first and foremost because they are responding to the anti-african-american sentiment or the misogyny. some of them it was despite it. i hope you're right in the overall percentage, what you can't deny is that bigotry was there in the came pain. >> rose: what of his legacy does he worry most about? >> where to begin? where to begin, charlie? a lot of socially progressive things got enacted in the last eight years, despite a lot of congressional -- >> rose: after the first two years in washington. >> especially after the first two years in office. foreign affairs, take the iran nuclear deal. now, trump has gone through the campaign saying this is an horrendous deal, we're going to
make great deals. so if you break the deal, suddenly iran is able to make a nuclear weapon. this is a better state of affairs? even israeli intelligence, a country whose prime minister was ferociously against the iran nuclear deal, will be the first to tell you that iran no longer has what's called breakout capacity. >> rose: it's out at least a year. >> do you really want to reverse that? >> rose: well, there is an indication i read today some people who were against it say we don't want to abrogate this. >> this is what one can hope for. this is his bargain in the next 60 days -- i will keep my head cool, try tone courage what good instinct there are in trump and his people and hope for the best because what else can he do? his job is not to be a political fire brown. the question is what happens on january 20th with obama? had hillary clinton won, i think he would have gone off to oahu,
had a good, long rest and started to write a memoir, start thinking about what good works he could do, make a living. he's awfully friendly with a lot of people in silicon valley. >> rose: did he give you an indication of what he wants to do? >> he's pretty reticent about it. >> rose: because he might have done something do than what he will do now? >> he's not going to run for public office again. >> rose: but he has shown a great sense of -- >> my brother's keeper and things like that. rhetorically and, in fact, i think what he's interested in doing is creating the next barack and michelle obama. >> rose: you mean as someone who with could inherit his politics? >> i think a community organizer in many ways, still, in which you get people involved in public life, in doing good in the public realm. >> rose: there is also going to be a huge split in the democratic party, probably, of some kind. >> that's another subject.
>> rose: does he want to play a role in that? >> who's the leader of the democratic party now? i asked barack obama. i asked the president, i said, so what have you got? what's the bench? we've got another election in four years. he said, well, harris who has been a senator in california, the mayor of south bend, indiana, and we pretty quickly ran out of names. elizabeth warren is around 70. >> rose: closer to 65, i think. >> okay. i'm sorry. and bernie sanders is closer to 75. >> rose: right. you know, they're not in power in the house, the senate, the white house, the supreme court is to have appointments
now -- ♪ >> rose: we continue with more news about the transition from the obama government to the trump government. donald trump has made choices for his administration. lieutenant general michael flynn retired gel generals officer at national security advisor. congressman mike pompeo from kansas graduate of west point and harvard law school as c.i.a. director and attorneys as attorney general jeff sessions from alabama. michele flournoy is joining me, served as under secretary of defense for policy under president obama from 2009 to 2012 and co-founder and c.e.o. for the center for new american security. i am pleased to have her on this program. thank you for joining us on this friday afternoon. >> charlie, it's good to be with you. >> rose: what do we make of these appointments in the national security field? >> well, it's an interesting
collection that's coming together. in mike flynn, you have someone who was a very creative and brilliant intelligence officer, one serving in afghanistan, but more recently he said a number of things that i think many people in the main stream of foreign policy and defense have found somewhat concerning or disturbing. i think in mike pompeo you have a very bright guy, top of class at west point, harvard law review, someone who was a very serious member of the house intelligence committee, clearly very qualified person, who again, i think, will bring a lot of professionalism to the c.i.a., but again has had his moments where, for example, in the benghazi investigation where i think he sort of took some positions that were outside the norm. >> rose: general flynn got a lot of a tension during the
timestonly mcchrystal was leading our forces in afghanistan and a principal colleague with stan mcchrystal at the time. >> yes. i mean, the real question is which mike flynn will show up as national security advisor to president trump. in afghanistan, he had a reputation of being a very brilliant and creative intelligence officer who made a lot of really extraordinary changes that improved the performance of our forces there. i think when he got to d.i.a., his record was more mixed and controversial. he was not promoted out of that position and then, you know, showing up as a political figure, as part of the trump campaign, i think he said some things that have caused many people some alarm in terms of how he's spoken about the broader muslim community, about russia, and so forth. >> rose: what has he said about the broader muslim community and what has he said about russia that we ought to take a look at. >> i think on the broader muslim
community, you know, he has sided -- cited the obvious problem of violent islamic extremism, but he's really said some very harsh things about the broader muslim community in terms of many of our international partners and allies and also muslim communities here in the united states, sort of laying blame on muslims in general as opposed to really focusing on a tiny percentage that are sort of hijacking the islamic faith and prosecuting acts of terror. and, so, i think that sort of lumping together has sometimes caused, you know, concern, certainly. and on rus is the military threat or challenge that most worries you today, they will talk about a
resurgent russia, what is, you know, the occupation of ukraine, the annexation of crimea, russia's very sort of terrible behavior in syria, and they will talk about that, and we don't hear much of that from mike flynn so far. so what are his views on russia and does he understand the vair real challenge -- the very real challenges putin's russia poses for the interest of the united states? >> rose: has he said anything about russia in terms of the threat to the ball tick regions or in terms of the absence of any kind of ability to get the russians to, as the president has tried hard, to get the russians to be of some help in restraining assad certainly in the attacks on aleppo? >> well, you know, he hasn't said thatch directly, but -- that much directly, but i think
many people assume candidate trump's views, the president-elect's views on the campaign trail were very much influenced by the briefings and advice he was getting from general flynn and, you know, the tendency to downplay the russian role in the cyber attacks we experienced here in the united states in the runup to the election, the tendency to downplay the very harmful actions they have been taking in syria where they have been basically bombing civilian populations in aleppo, they haven't been fighting i.s.i.s., they have been bombing civilians on behalf of the assad government. so just the failure to be critical, the failure to call russia out on its bad behavior, i think that's the concern. >> rose: what did he say in his speech at the convention that might cause a real consideration of what he might say or do or recommend as national security advisor?
>> well, i think either the focus on terrorism is certainly warranted. again, my caution would be, you know, we shouldn't tag the entire international or domestic muslim community with that being, you know, supporting terrorism, which they do not. i think he was very tough on iran. i am concerned about the notion of ripping up the iran deal. this is an international agreement. iran, from what we can see, is actually abiding by the most important and i think all of the elements of it at this point. if you want a policy that is tough on iran, its support for terrorism and other proliferation activities, that's fine, but ripping up an agreement which would remove the constraints on them without the ability to impose the kind of effective sanctions we had before, that's not a smart
approach, and i think they'd hear that from our allies and others who were part of putting that agreement together. >> rose: has candidate trump suggested he would, in fact, tear up the iran deal? >> he has. he's the talked about tearing up the iran deal. he'll hear from states like israel that they would not agree with that action. there are ways to increase cooperation with allies in the region to push back, but tearing up the agreement should not be on that list. it doesn't make sense for u.s. interests. >> rose: what do we know about pompeo's world view other than how he feels about benghazi and that was, you know, that had political connotations? >> you know, i don't know much. i think what he does have a reputation of being very serious member of the intelligence
committee. i think many of the professionals at c.i.a. believe he took his oversight responsibility seriously, that he was, you know, a student of intelligence, that he has come to understand how the community works, and i think the response within the agency so far has been pretty positive. >> rose: is there a sense the c.i.a. needs to have a kind of -- needs to have -- needs change or needs to have new leadership? >> well, i think, interestingly, john brennan, the current director, has spent the last year, year and a half fundamentally reorganizing the c.i.a., taking it out of kind of vertical stove pipes and putting both analysts and operators together in cross functional teams. that's been controversial within the agency. some people say that matrixed
approach is absolutely the right way to work in the 21s 21st century, others have criticized it for being complicated or ineffective. so one of the first questions that he will confront as the new director if he's confirmed is do you continue on this road that the reorganization began, or do you try to amend or reverse that in some way. >> rose: you and sri had conversations, different forum, what do you think is the urgent agenda for the trump administration? >> first of all, i think they will inherit a set of ongoing military operations around the world but particularly in the middle east, we have an ongoing offensive against mosul. there is talk of starting an offensive against raqqa, the two capital cities of the islamic state, if you will. that will mean that americans in harm's way, you know, the day of
the inauguration and president trump and his team will inherit responsibility for that and, so, they will need to get up to speed on those issues very quickly and decide whether they want to continue on that path or make other adjustments. the broader syrian situation is obviously going to be important. ongoing kare carnage, humanitarn disaster, unprecedented refugee flows, internally displaced people and so forth. and the big question is russia, you know, will president trump try to cut some kind of deal with russia on syria or on ukraine? will he put reducing tensions with russia primary in a way that compromises u.s. interests? here i'm thinking one way to get
a better relationship with russia is to accede to their notion that russia should be a great power with a sphere of influence and, so, let us dictate terms on our periphery, including in the baltics and ukraine. that might reduce tensions, but it's certainly not in the interest of the united states or our allies. >> rose: and then there's china. >> and then there's china. china is a complex relationship. china is a critical partner for us economically, in terms of issues of climate change, nonproliferation and so forth, and yet they're also a competitor in the economic sphere but also increasingly in the security domain. how this administration postures itself vis-a-vis china will be very, very important in the long term. >> rose: what's the principal question about if you ask, you know, how is warfare changing,
what is the principal consensus in terms of where -- would it be signer? >> well, i think we certainly have warfare expanding into new domains and i would say chief among those are the cyber domain, but also in space. space is becoming a much more contested environment. and both the russians and the chinese are developing capabilities we should be worried about, given our dependence on satellites and so forest for communication and surveillance and so forth in. addition, though, we're always benefited from having a technological edge over any competitor, but now more and more of the technologies we've relied on for that edge are commercially available and available to others, and, so, we have to make, in the next four years, some very targeted, smart investments to keep that technological edge.
so once you focus on the defense department, you're going to need leadership there that understands those challenges and that's really focused not only on making sure we have a ready well-used, appropriate military for today, but very much focused on making sure we're making the investments for the military we're going to need tomorrow. >> rose: michele flournoy, thank you so much for joining us on friday afternoon. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: we'll be right back. stay with us. >> rose: we continue our analysis of trump transition team with karen de young of "the washington post" and david sanger of the "new york times." they join me from washington. let me begin with michael flynn. what should we expect from him as national security advisor? >> well, charlie -- . >> rose: go ahead, karen. no, i was just going to say that, you know, certainly general flynn has a lot of experience in intelligence and a lot of experience in the
military. he's a controversial character on a number of fronts, and i think it's important to remember what the national security advisor is supposed to do, what is the job. the job is to give advice to the president, but equally if not more important, it is to serve as the conduit and synthesizer of the views of other national security principals, the secretary of defense, secretary of state, the intelligence agencies, and be a good faith conduit of those views to the president. general flynn has strong views of his own. i don't know if those will come into conflict with those of the national security principals because those that we know of right now would indicate this is not necessarily a team of rivals. but i think that general flint is very outspoken, he has very
firm views, so i think one of the questions will be to what extent he can fashion himself as a vessel for coa collating dispe views and giving the president the best possible and broadest advise. >> rose: david, what would you add to what karen's opening remarks? >> well, i would agree completely with what karen said. running the process of the nsc is more complicated than the era of kissinger of skocrot which is probably considered for the model of the nsc. it's main place where dissent has to get aired out, and you sometimes want in a national security advisor, somebody who
can pull back from the natural instincts of the president, pose them with a contrarian set of views, or in some way mold that. we're not sure yet whether general flynn is the kind of person who is willing to do that. we're just going to have to go see. i've known him for a number of years when he was running the defense intelligence agency, which is one of the largest but least discussed of the intelligence agencies. i think he had a reputation of a very good analyst but, as karen said, he's got very strong views, and the main view you've heard most about are his views about the muslim religion really being a cover for a political movement, in his mind, and the other view is that the existential threat to the united states is i.s.i.s. and to a lesser degree but similarly al quaida. in other words, these kind of islamic extremist groups.
what we don't know is the hierarchy of his other sets of interests for the united states, how that meshes with his views of china, of russia about which there are a number of questions i'm sure we'll get into in a bit, of the importance of n.a.t.o. and of the -- of europe, of the pivot to asia, and these are the things that, to many people, pose as a real set of challenges to american interests as any, and they're frankly just not the kind of issues that at the d.i.a. he had to deal with. >> rose: the role of the national security advisor can also depend on how fowferl white house wants to run foreign policy, and sometimes you can have one like kissinger where they almost dominate the secretary of state's job. jim baker would be different
than brent scocroft because he was as close as anybody could be to george bush being his campaign manager. so what can come out of this is who would be secretary of state and how strong does he want to overwhelm him because -- karen? >> well, yon, it's sort of a truism that the president runs foreign policy and, regardless of what arguments you have and who's up and down and who's strong, what usually happens is what the president wants to happen, and, so, i think you're right, that one of the questions will be to what ex tent the national security advisor sees his job to put a brake on the president as opposed to not only being a spokesperson and considerconsiders counselor to e president but someone who has
strong views of his own. one of the controversies of general flynn is since he left government and he did leave the defense intelligence agency under something of a cloud, in private life he has his own consultings firm, he has worked closely with a number of russian entities, he has appeared on r.t. which is the kremlin's essentially tv station in the united states, he went to their gala in moscow and sat next to putin, he has been working for the elements of the turkish government and just in -- i think it was election day published it an op-ed calling on the united states to immediately extradite this imam who's a resident of the united states that the turkish government accuses of being responsible for the failed coup attempt there
last summer. the justice department and president obama has said there can not be any politicization of a decision like this. you can't just get up there as a public official and say, you know, this guy needs to go, we need to send him because there's a treaty and all kinds of legal norms. so the question is to what extent general flynn willing to and able to moderate his very, very strong views about a lot of these issues and overcome some of the positions he's taken in the past. he just published a book this year that brought up some of the points that david mentioned about really charging that intelligence about terrorist groups, have been totally politicized and manipulated for political purposes and outlining a very, very much tougher policy toward terrorism along some of
the lines donald trump has advocated. >> rose: that's one of the interesting questions because he's been out on the campaign trail, been a strong advocate, probably as strong as anyone in the national security field and been almost a surrogate for him on the campaign trail. what has he said on the campaign trail that suggests what he might be telling trump? david, do you know? >> for one thing he made a big appearance at the republican national convention and gave a pretty fiery speech. i was on the floor of the convention during that speech. he also led some of the "lock her up" chants about hillary clinton, which i think is one of the things that gave pause to other military veterans, including some former members of the joint chiefs who asked the question about whether that was an overpoliticization of a role of somebody who had been a
general in recent sometimes. there have been lots of military officials who have been very good national security advisors. i mentioned scocroft, of course there is colin powell and others. i think the big question about general flynn is twofold. first, whether or not he's the kind of person who encourages a diverse view and debate and a lot of that will depend on who's the secretary of state, the secretarsecretary of defense. in an ideal world any administration wants to think of its national security team holistically. and you will remember it was condoleezza rice and bob gates, secretary of state and secretary of defense, who teamed up to try to get guantanamo -- gitmo closed in the second term of the -- or at the end of the second term of the bush administration, so those
dynamics of how they work together are extremely important. i think the other big question is i'm always struck when reporting about the national security security council's processes the degree to which they spend time on the legal questions of can we do this, is this authorized by existing law? even if we want to do it, does it stretch the law too far? this comes up in using offensive cyber, it comes up in questions of interrogation, and i just don't know whether those are the kinds of questions he's accustomed to asking. >> rose: karen, who is mike pompeo? >> he is a relatively junior congress member from kansas, had the backing of the tea party. he's been on the house intelligence committee and a member of the select committee that investigated the benghazi attacks. he is supported by the koch
brothers who have give an lot of money to certain republican candidates, and i think that, if you look at him as the c.i.a. chief, people inside the c.i.a., i think, are a little bit relieved because he's somebody they know something about, they have dealt with him on the committee. i think the best comparison may be porter goss who was george w. bush's c.i.a. director a at one point, who was also taken from the house intelligence committee. didn't have a very great tenure. lasted about two ye there were problems with some people who worked under him that caused him eventually to have to leave. you talk about the iran deal. i mean, pompeo was one of the people who has calls for not ripping up but completely renegotiating the iran deal.
again, on the benghazi committee, he was very, very tough and outspoken against the obama administration and particularly hillary clinton. he and jim jordan, who is another republican congressman, member of the benghazi committee, when the committee under trey gowdy issued its report, pompeo issued a dissent saying the report wasn't tough enough and, again, being very, very critical of hillary clinton and the obama administration overall. >> rose: he seems to be a bright guy. graduated, according to his web site, first in his class at west point and went to harvard law school and returned to kansas and went into business. david what do you know about him and his views? >> well, karen had it exactly right. one of the other things i found striking about his views is as soon as he came in in 2010 as part of the sort of tea party wave, he was extremely critical
of president obama for closing the black sites that the c.i.a. had used to interrogate prisoners in the iraq and afghan wars, and was critical of the move o c.i.a. backwards on the use of waterboarding or what the bush administration delicately called enhanced interrogation techniques and what president obama called torture techniques. the big question is, if he tries to move the c.i.a. backwards on this, if he tries to go back to where it was, is he going to run into the resistance that the current head of the c.i.a. john brennan has caulked talked about when he said that he did not believe that employees of the c.i.a. portly because of their own legal liability would ever return to the moment where they were using those techniques even if order to do so, and that
could well set up a really fascinating confrontation between a new head of the c.i.a. and a staff that has moved through considerable reforms over the past eight years. >> rose: go ahead, karen. anything else on him? >> no. i think there is pretty widespread agreement, even among democrats, that intelligence could be better, that, in syria, it hasn't been as good as it could be in other places in the middle east. so i think there is room for a director to come in and, you know, boost morale in the agency and get some things done. what people are nervous about is precisely, as david said, that they would be asked to step back to this era that i think many of them feel uncomfortable about and question the legality of and were afraid that they were going
to be held responsible for illegality of it. now, to reinstitute those techniques, which trump himself has been a little vague on, would require probably some kind of legislation, and we don't know if that's a battle that trump wants to fight. >> rose: okay. senator jeff sessions not necessarily within the area that you cover, known to be the first senator to endorse donald trump and has been close as an advisor during the campaign, had strong feelings about immigration. what about his selection as the next attorney general? david? >> well, he's got, i think in the course of the confirmation hearings, you're going to hear a lot about the civil rights investigations that took place when he was up for a federal judgeship more than 20 years ago, and that was a pretty
brutal period, and i think those same questions are going to be raised because he's going to take over the civil rights division of the justice department. he's been extremely critical of the american civil liberties union. wouldn't surprise you they've turned out a release just in the past hour or two that allege he's called them a communist organization at various moments and so forth. so you're going to see in that nomination site a real battle between two completely different visions of what the justice department is supposed to stand for. on the issues that we were just discussing, i think the secretary -- i'm sorry -- the attorney general plays a very critical role in the issue of drone strikes and the question of what's within the legal capability and interrogation techniques. and, so, the question here is are you simply getting an attorney general who will sign off on whatever the white house
wants here or will have some pushback. what could be interesting is that the pushback in the end might come from all people jim comey, the director to have the f.b.i., who is -- the director of the f.b.i., who is somewhat independent to have the justice department and who, of course, the clinton folks believe lost the election for them. i'm not saying i endorse that view but that would be a supreme irony. >> rose: we shall see. karen de young, david sanger, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> rose: for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at pbs.org and charlierose.com.
the following production was produced in high definition. ♪ and their buns are something i have yet to find anywhere else. >> 'cause i'm not inviting you to my house for dinner. >> breaded and fried and gooey and lovely. >> in the words of arnold schwarzenegger, i'll be back! >> you've heard of connoisseur. i'm a common-sewer! >> they knew i had to ward off some vampires or something. >> let's talk desserts, gentlemen, 'cause i see you