tv Charlie Rose PBS March 24, 2017 3:59pm-5:00pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the programment we begin with a health care debate in congress and talk to ezra klein of vox media. >> president trump has been going to republicans, the last couple of days, three or four days and in private the case he is making to them over and over and over again is if you don't vote for this, you will lose your seat, republicans will do poorly in the mid terms, this senator, he made this point that when president obama was selling the affordable care act in 2009 he came to them and he said if you vote for this, you may lose your seat and it will be worth it. and this is a real difference between what happened with the democrats in 09y and the republicans right now. the republicans did not spend a lot of time working with each other to come up with a vision for health-care reform that they liked. >> rose: also this evening a conversation about the ak kaition that the obama add-- the accusation that the obama
administration had bugged trump tower. we talk to michael morell, former acting direct are and deputy director of the cianess what the president said was that he and his associates were actually the targets of surveillance, that the surveillance was targeted on them. that's what he said. and the president of the united states, personally approved it. which is ridiculous. presidents don't approve things like that. that is what he said. this collection based on the chairman's own words was not targeted at any u.s. person, it was targeted at a foreign national and there was u.s. person information incidentally collected. that's why that incidentally collected is so important. >> rose: and we conclude with author kati marton, her book is true believe he, stalin's last american spy. >> he had given up a lucrative-- a promising career as a diplomat in the state
department. he betrayed his country, and his own family didn't know that he was an agent. and he was a product of that time in washington, much like today, where people were searching for an answer to every problem and the problems were abundant. >> rose: ezra klein, michael morell and kati marton when we continue. funding for charlie rose is provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia ws and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications
from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. we begin this evening with health care, house republican leaders postponed a planned vote this afternoon on legislation to repeal and replace the affordable care act. president trump met with the house conservative coalition known as the freedom caucus earlier today but was unable to secure the group's votes. the house republican conference is scheduled to meet this evening to discuss the plan ahead as we tape this program. a full house vote could come as early as tomorrow morning. ezra klein of vox media joins me now. i'm pleased to have him here. help me understand why they are unable to put together a bill that will pass the house. >> they've got a fundamental problem which is that nobody really likes the underlying bill. i had a conversation last night with the democratic senator that i thought captured this well. donald trump, president trump has been going to republicans last couple of days, and in
private the case he is making to them over and over and over again is if you don't vote for, this will you lose your seat, republicans will do poorly in the mid terms. and this senator, he made this point that when president obama was selling the affordable care act in 2009, he came to them and he said if you vote for this, you may lose your seat and it d this is a real dirchtion between what happened with the democrats in 09y and the republicans right now. the republicans did not spend a lot of time working with each other to come up with a vision for health-care reform that they liked. they were all on the same page about repealing obamacare. they all wanted to do that. but they didn't really ever figure out what they wanted to do after that, what they wanted to do in terms of replacement. >> let me interrupt you right there with one quick point. did they fail to appreciate what the affordable care act mebt to their constituents in part? >> i think they did. i and i think they have also cocooned themselves. look, the affordable care act is
not by any means a perfect bill or a perfect structure but if the only information you get on it is within right wing media, you would have the impression of a law that is in a state of failure and collapse and terror. it is just not accurate. and it's interesting. i did a piece recently where i went and read every single thing president trump has said about health care since opening up this bill, since this bill was unveiled. and it is interesting because he has a vision of the affordable care act that is really, really dark and grim. much more so than i think the reality would justify. and so i think that both he and many in his party, they've not really believed that if you began to take that away people would suffer because they thought it was going so badly. but in fact you have 20 to 30 million depending how you want to count it relying on that bill for insurance and pulling shows that they like the coverage they're getting. they like medicaid, they like the private sector coverage. and that's a hard thing to take away. i don't think they quite realized how hard it would be to offer something that was better. i will say one other quick thing
which is that the affordable care act's vulnerability, the things people don't like about it is the deductibles are high, the premiums are high, not everyone is able to afford coverage. republicans took on those criticisms. donald trump said he would give you lower deductibles, more coverage. mitch mcconnell said the same. the problem is the republican bill don't do that he they believe high deductible care is a good thing. having not made that argument, having told people they would do the opposite, they are in a dangerous place where they have a bill that is at odds with what they promised. the gap between their rhetoric and the reality of their proposal is beginning to stare them in the face. >> suppose the president and mitch mcconnell and-- had come to you and said you know a lot about this, is there a way out. >> i think it's unlikely they will do that. >> rose: i'm sure they won't. >> i actually 24eu there would have been a way out for them. and i wrote about this. the health and human services secretary is a guy named tom price. and he is a republican
congressman. and back in 2006 he partnered with a very liberal wisconsin congresswoman who is now in the snam, tammy baldwin. and they wrote a bill. and what this bill did was make it easy for individual states to build out their own health-care programs. and it basically said that if you can create a program that we will vet it by experts. and if they say this will increase coverage and increase affordability we'll give you money to do it and a lot of government flexibility and let you take the medicaid money and spend it a different way. we will let every state create the program best for them, vermont can have single payor, illinois can have an obama like system, alabama something much more conservative. and i thought that that would actually have been a smart way to go on health care for, for donald trump to come in and say we're going to have a federalist plan, we're republicans who believe in handing control over to the states. you get to keep as a state all the obamacare money, you just have to come up with something, it can still be o ban-- obamacare, but if you can
do better, and we believe you can, you can take that money and build something else fsm you build something better than the other states can adopt it later. there is a pln in the senate that has some of those features called cassidy colin, a republican senator from louisiana and republican senator from maine, it isn't exactly like i described but it has some of that within it. but they decided to go and build a plan that would be one size fits all in paul ryan's office, do it very yikly, do it without really any input from outside stakeholders. and what they ended up with, nobody really liked because nobody is willing to walk the plank on. >> rose: was in the beginning the opposition to affordable care act more a case of the pan date, the government is telling us we have to have insurance even though there are other cases that can be cited where the government tells you what you have to do, that and the idea of that they viewed it with some notion that it was a government giveaway? >> i think there is a lot of
different streams of conservative opposition to the affordable care ak. some of it had do to do with just barack obama and generalized opposition to the administration. the pan dates point you make is a good one. but on the other hand at the moment they pass that bill, you had nine or so republicans signed on to a separate bill that had an individual mandate in it. so the individual that-- idea that individual mandates was originally a republican idea, it wasn't by nature offensive to republicans. but look, what does the affordable care act do fundamentally. it taxes rich people and cuts medicare spending and takes that money and gives it to poorer americans to buy reasonably generous health insurance. every single step of that process is something that republicans genuinely, legitimate valid way have disagreements with. they do not like increasing taxes on the wealthy. they think that is bad for the economies, in many ways unjust. they don't think that the insurance the government provides if it provides insurance at all which they are split on should be that generousment they think it should be catastrophic really at best, particularly if it's being
provided by taxpayers. and they don't like the government, many of them having that much of a role at all. a lot of different kinds of agreements. the problem is those disagreements remain when they are talking about their own plans too. the republicans who want to cover more people and republicans without don't. republicans who want to stay within the general confines of the affordable care act and republicans without don't. we want to build a new system and get the government out of it. and so you have a party that unlike the democratic party is very split on its goals around health reform. democratic party has a lot of arguments about memes but not so much about ends. the gop has a lot of arguments about ends which are never resolved. those disagreements got flatenned out by the unanimity of dislike for obamacare. now that they have an opportunity to do something like that, it is like all those disagreements have come back to the fore. and i had will say, the dangerous thing for them is they have a plan that i don't think they are prepared for the aftermath. i don't think they're prepared to defend 24 million people losing their health insurance. i don't think they are prepared
to defend all the people who have higher premiums and deductibles after this. and so i think the success for them has been defined narrowly as practices passing a plan am i believe this truly, charlie, the worst thing that can happen with the republican part if they pass this plarntion the disaster, the catastrophe that would follow it, they would do-- would do perhaps permanent damage to the gop. >> permanent damage because if they go to the people in 2018, they will be runly defeated. >> yeah, if you go, in 2018 the congressional budget office projects that this bill will throw 14 million people off health insurance n one year, either 14 or 18 million people. i don't think they are prepared for that at all. and i think the level of betrayal that would feel like to a lot of their voters, their down scale voters who put donald trump in office and believed that he was going to make health care better for them, we talked to those folks. they said they thought he would make their health care cheaper, better. he would help them out. >> rose: he promised all of
that. >> he promised all of that. he said on "60 minutes," it's very important i think to remember this. he said he would be a different kind of republican. that he thought everybody should have health care. and the government should pay for it. that unlike other republicans, he didn't believe that if you were poor you shouldn't get good health care. he said you get to chooses your doctor, get to choose your plan, you get everything covered. those are hid word-- his words and then he has this plan that doesn't do that. he said there would be no medicaid cuts. he didn't do that. the poll came out today from quinnipiac. it found that by a margin of 56-17, people oppose this bill, 56% oppose it and only 17 support it. you never see numbers like that. and i think that is before it is begun actually taking health insurance away from em pa. so that is a wound that if the republican party inflicted it on the country, i think both it would do them a lot of damage but also the backlash it would create, next time democrats got in, i think they would be able to pass thg something that was quite a bit to the left of obamacare. >> rose: you say if they pass this bill, a house bill and the
one under consideration with some modification, it will mean terrible things will happen to the republican party and certainly members of the house as they run for re-election in 2018. donald trump and paul ryan are saying to them, if you don't vote for it, if we don't have a replacement, we have been promising and promising and promising it, our words will ring hollow and we will lose badly in 2018. so they are -- they are in trouble if they do and trouble if they don't. >> i don't think they have great options. but i think if you had to choose between the two options, i think it is better to go to people and say, well, we weren't able to do health care because we're still working on it but we did get you this big tax cut and we got you this big infrastructure improvement than to say we spent our first two years taking health insurance away from you and increasing your deductibles and paiblg making it so your neighbors can't get coverage. and you see the story of the woman who had cancer and can't afford because she is not on medicaid any more. if i were a congressman i know which one i would want to defend.
>> rose: also this, this is a test for president trump's legislative abilities in terms of being able to fashion leverage slaition as he has promised and he has big items coming up. tax reform being one, also infrastructure bill being two. although that will come not this year, they have said. he worries, and he should be worried, i assume, that it looks like he can't deliver. >> so something that has been a continuous theme for me in reporting on this, has been how important it has been, and how wounding it has been that donald trump himself is not more sure footed and involved in the details of the legislation he's actually pushing. is he is very untrted in health reform, he does not want to talk about it, he hasn't learned much about it, when he makes cases to republicans, they have been shocked, people in those rooms by how thin the case s how little he will get into the substance of it and i don't say this to bash him because i say it because it matters for tax
reform and it matters for infrastructure it is very hard when you are asking people to do big things and hard things, to get them there. and one thing you have to do as president is make a persuasive case. and also yourself, know what you want enough and know what the details are enough that you can't using your political intuition and your political celebrity, get your party to a place that maybe it didn't originally want to go but is the right place for it to go. >> great to you have back on the program, thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. stay with us. michael morell is here, one of our nation's leading national security professionals. he most recently served as the cia deputy director and twice as its acting director. i'm pleased to have him back at this table, welcome sir. >> great to be here. great to you have back. >> rose: it's good to be back. let me just start with this. this is this morning's "washington post." house intelligence chair alleged spy agency abuse. "the wall street journal," gop lawmaker sparks new battle over
trump's spy claim. new york times gop leader puts new spin on wiretaps. take me through this, unpack this because i don't think most of us understand what the republican chairman of the house intelligence committee is saying. >> sure. and charlie, this is complicated. but let me start with the punch line. let me start with the bottomline. this in no way, this in no way validates the president's claim that he was, or his associates at trump tower were the target of surveillance by the obama administration. it doesn't even come close to validating. >> rose: even suggesting it was ordered by the president. >> not even close. so what, what did the chairman say to the media and apparently to the president. he said that he had a dozen intelligence reports that somebody gave to him, he didn't get them officially from one of
the agencies. somebody gave them to him and said i think there's a problem here, take a look at these. a dozen intelligence reports that he said involved incidental collection of u.s. persons, incidental collection about trump transition team members. that's what he said he saw. he also said that he was troubled that some of the names that he saw were unmasked. and we'll talk about what all of that means. >> rose: okay. >> let's start with what incidental collection is. there are two types of incidental collection. in one type of incidental collection where you were collecting on two foreign intelligence targets talking to each other, so make it a foreign minister of china, foreign minister of russia talking to each other, and in their
conversation they have, they talk about a u.s. person. that is incidental collection on that u.s. person. okay? that's one type. there is another type of incidental collection. which is where you have a legitimate foreign intelligence target in a conversation that you collect, but in that conversation they are talking to a u.s. person. so a foreign intelligence target on one end of the phone and a u.s. person on the other end of the phone. that is also considered disinltal collection. incidental collection happens all the time. obviously foreign officials in their conversations are talking about americans. >> rose: is that what we think happened with michael flynn? >> i think michael flynn was the second type. >> rose: that's what i mean. >> its second type, right. but incidental collection, incidental collection happens all the time. so the first question, and there is really three agencies where this happens. it happens at nsa, most frequently. it happened with the fbi in
their signals intelligence collection. and sometimes it happens with the central intelligence agency. those are the three agencies where it happens. when it happens, it's very easy, it's usually very easy to see that it is a u.s. person it is either the name, the phone number, the context of the discussion, they actually mention the person's name. so it is pretty easy to see they are either talking about a u.s. person or talking to a u.s. person. so the first judgement that the collecting agency has to make is, is there information here of intelligence value that we need to disseminate. and if the answer to that question is no, then, then all of that is discarded. but if the answer to that question is yes, there is intelligence value in this conversation either about a person or with a person, then they disseminate that. now i know nsa best when it
comes to these procedures. and that decision about whether to disseminate incidental-- information that includes incidental collection is a very rigorous process at nsa. it's not just one person making the decision. it's one person recommending that it be disseminated and then check off, check off, check off, check off at higher levels. so that decision to disnem-- disseminate that is a significant one. with regard to the kind of incidental collection where the u.s. person is actually talking to the foreign intelligence target, you can only, even if you decide to disseminate, you can only disseminate what the foreign intelligence targets with saying. you can't disseminate what the american city citizen, what the u.s. person was saying. so you are can only say the russian ambassador in a conversation with the u.s. person said the following. you can't say and in response the u.s. person said x, y and z.
you can't do that. there are two cases and only two cases where you can actually disseminate what a u.s. person said. and it's rare. it is when they admit that they have conducted a crime, so yesterday i robbed a bank. yesterday i shot somebody. or they say they're going to commit a crime, so they pose an imminent threat. i'm going to conduct a terrorist attack tomorrow. and that case, this incidental collection specifically about the u.s. person can be turned over to the fbi to take action, to prevent, right, or to either solve a crime or prevent one. but that's it. that is really rare. so when a u.s. person, very important for viewers to understand, when a u.s. person is caught up in intelligence collection in a conversation with a legitimate intelligence target, almost never, almost never does something that person said get disseminated. the next big issue here is
called masking. and chairman nooneasy focused a lot about this, masking is when you have incidental collection for most people, for most u.s. persons, you can't use their name. so you don't say, you don't say the russian ambassador in conversation with michael morell, or the russian ambassador and some other russian official talking about michael morell. you can't use the name, you have to say u.s. person, right. and if there is more than one u.s. person it is u.s. person one and u.s. person two. that is the way it debts disseminated. there is an exception to that. and i think what the chairman had might be the exception. the exception, the exception is the most senior u.s. officials. and i think also senior officials in the transition, including the president-elect. the most senior officials don't
get masked. so when two foreign officials are talking about, are talking about the u.s. president, that doesn't get masked into u.s. person one or u.s. person two. they just disseminate it with the president of the united staights. or i would bet the president-elect of the united states. i bet you that is what some of chairman nu nz saw. >> do you think that might have been what president trump might have seen that caused him to form the belief that he did that he articulates. >> it's possible right because he was receiving intelligence reports when he was the president-elect. he was getting a briefing as often as he wanted one. we know he wasn't getting it every day but as often as he wanted one, so maybe he saw some of those maybe he saw some about general mattis or rex tillerson or michael flynn, right? so maybe he saw those, maybe that lead him to think somebody
is sur vailing us, no it is incidental collection. now when you have one of these reports in front of you and you have got these masks, u.s. person one, u.s. person two, u.s. person three the most senior officials in our government people at my level so the deputy level and above can ask nsa, the fbi, cia depending on who produced the information. they can ask for that information to be unmasked. so i could say i could say to nsa i need to know who that u.s. person is. where it says u.s. person one, i need to know that and i need to know it for the following reasons so to ask to unmask somebody if you are the deputy director of the cia. >> or higher. and again in the case of nsa. >> who decide this. >> in the case of nsa which i know the best because they do
this more than anybody there is only two people. at the national security agency who can approve an unmasking request. and it is taken very seriously, michael morell wants us to unmask this name, here is why he says he needs it answer yes or no. and there has got to be a good reason. and when something does get unmasked, when you do tell mikeel morell who u.s. person one is, you don't tell anyone else. there is not this broad distribution of the none masking that the chairman implied yesterday it goes to only the person that made the request. now here is what is interesting. people in the transition who were receiving intelligence reports and maybe they see the inintelligence target talking to u.s. person one or talking about u.s. person one right and talking about how to approach
the trump administration if you are the head of the trump transition, you might want to know who u.s. person one or two is, you can ask you can ask through your briefer who comes to see you and nsa will make a determine significants. i'm not saying this happened but it's not impossible that some of the unmasking was actually at the request of the trump transition why is this coming forward now? >> so i think there is a political answer to that and there is a tactical. the political answer is the president is under fire for claiming that the obama administration sur vailed him. >> the fbi director said he had seen no evidence of that and every other national security official. >> so the president is hanging out there politically and i think the chairman was trying to help him out that is the political motivation. the tactical was somebody put
these reports in front of the chairman and said we think this, we think this is significant, right. there is all these reports out there with the names of. and the person likely came from? >> so it's not 100 percent clear to me who disseminated these reports. st possible it is nsa, possible it is cia. the chairman said it was fiesa reporting which i think takes you to-- fisa reporting which i think nake takes to nsa or fbi. >> rose: meaning somebody had used that in the request that there be a fisa. >> so what a fisa is, just to be clear, is if the intelligence community wants to collect in the united states either against is a foreign government or a foreign person, or a u.s. person who they think might be an agent of a foreign power and they have some evidence that they are an agent of a foreign power, that requires, that requires a fisa warrant. that requires the intelligence community to go to the fisa court and make an argument for why they should be able to do
that. collection overseas against foreign nationals doesn't require a fisa warrant. >> rose: and who would do that here, the fbi mostly? or nsa? >> both, both. >> rose: but not the cia. >> the cia on rare occasion. >> couric: so the other complaint of adam schiff and john mccain made this point as well is that rather than bringing it to the house intelligence committee, he went right to the white house. >> so i think, i think you know, he took it to the white house and the media. >> rose: right. >> right. i think he had a responsibility but i think he acted inappropriately. >> rose: right. >> i think what he should have done and what practice says he should have done, is number one he should have gone back to the relevant agency. whether it be the fbi or whether it be cia or nas, to go back to the relevant agency and said i
was given these. how do i think about these? are there any more like these? help me understand these. that should have been step one. step two should have been to take that answer and share it with the entire committee before taking any action of briefing the president, let alone the media. >> rose: you said in the beginning that this has nothing to do with whether president obama's md mrgs bugged trump power. >> so what the president said was that he and his associates were actually the targets of surveillance, that the surveillance was targeted on them. that's what he said. and the president of the united states personally approved it, which is ridiculous. presidents don't approve things like that. that is what he said. this collection based on the chairman's own words was not targeted at any u.s. person, it was targeted at a foreign
national and there was u.s. person information incidentally collected. that is why that incidentally collected is so important. >> rose: but the impact of this in terms of how people have characterized it has raised questions about the independence of the house intelligence committee, and john mccain said, for example, that the committee of congress no longer has credibility. >> so i think the chairman has done himself damage. the chairman is supposed to be run running an objective nonpartisan investigation into the trump campaign's ties to russia, specifically whether or not they cooperated, conspired with, the russian campaign to interfere in our election. that's what he is supposed to be doing. and when he does something like this that looks so political, he undermines the credibility of what he is doing, right. and that's why people like swron mccain are reacting to this the way they are.
i too from the very beginning, charlie, have believed that we actually need a commission to look at this. and a commission to look at. >> the 9/11 commission or something else. >> i would think in a perfect world it would be the 9/11 commission, right. it's not going to happen because gnature on a piece ofntial legislation. the best we can hope for with be a joint inquirery of congress. where it is a congressional inimirry but it's joint with a select committee. >> was this like the water gait committee. >> yes, yes. so what would that, what would that, what would that commission or committee look at? i think number one the first thing they would look at is what did the russians actually do. the intelligence community has a view on that. but we may not fully understand everything they did. or how they did it. >> rose: so what do you think they did? >> so let me tell you what the intelligence committee said they did. and then i'll tell you what i
think. so what the intelligence community said and they said this in a declassified document, during the last weeks of the obama administration, the intelligence committee said the russians did three things. number one, the one everybody knows about, which is they use cyberespionage to steal emails from the-- . >> rose: democratic national committee and john poddesta. >> and turned that, turned the most damaging material over to wikileaks and other organizations who would publish it, damaging from the perspective of secretary clinton. everybody knows that. >> rose: you believe this was, and they have suggested it was a russian government that did it, and in fact they did it at the direction of vladimir putin. >> yes, at the direction-- . >> rose: this is what the fbi is suggesting. >> they said it very clearly, at the direction of vladimir putin. initially with the intent, initially with the intent of
undermining our democracy. having, raising questions about our democracy. undermining secretary clinton who vladimir putin hates. but it evolved towards a preference for donald trump. so eventually to 250u8ly help-- actually help donald trump. and it looked like when she was going to win, right, in early october, late september, early october, to undermine her presidency should she become president, to weaken her. >> rose: right. >> all of that was his intent. so that is the first thing they did. the second thing they did which most people-- most people haven't heard about, don't fully understand, which i think was actually more powerful at the end of the day, is the use of social media to both create fake news and to amplify fake news, news that was damaging to secretary clinton. so for example, when the
secretary slipped on september 11th in new york, here in new york, there were several 100,000 tweets within a few minutes coming out of eastern europe and coming out of russia raising questions about whether she was fit to be the president of the united states. >> rose: and where do you think they came from? >> they came from russian intelligence. and their use of proxies. a large number of proxies to push out social media. this, this use of social media as a weapon against our democracy went over a very, very large period of time, right up to the end of the election. and it impacted the polls. so you could see, you could see the impact on the polls. >> rose: let me talk about a couple of things in which we have had people on, out there and beyond the testimony we heard from mike rogers and from james comey. the head of dni then, clapper
said he had seen no evidence of a collusion. >> right, there has been some clar if i kaition of that. >> yes. >> rose: do you know what he meant. >> i think i know what he meant. let me do one more thing. the third thing the russians did was they tried unsuccessfully to get into the vote-counting machines. >> rose: right. unsuccessfully. >> unsuccessfully. i believe that had they been successful, they would have tried to tamper with the vote. this wasn't just a test run. >> rose: they were unsuccessful because it is more difficult than they thought? >> absolutely, absolutely. okay, now to answer your question. so in this big russian campaign-- . >> rose: this is at the same time that he in an interview on meet meet he said-- on "meet the press" he said have i seen no evidence about the fact that the obama administration tried to bug trump tower. >> right. so there are. in this big russian campaign to try to influence the outcome of our election, right, there is a
question. and the question is did anybody in the trump campaign know about this, or assist it, conspire with the russians in anyway. that is the big question, right. >> rose: that's why it is an ongoing investigation. >> and that's what director comey said is being investigated right now by the fbi. it's also being investigatedded by the two intelligence committees. it's also being investigated by a whole bunch of reporters. so what i say, charlie, is that there are lots of things, lots of things that have to be investigated. roger stone's apparent knowledge or, not apparent, roger stones knowledge that-- that information about, from john poddesta's emails was about to ready to come out. he knew about that a week ahead
of time. you are going to be in the barrel. so things that roger stone did. things that paul manafort did. >> rose: he defended that and said that is not what he did at all. >> pretty clear to me. >> rose: just telling you. >> things that paul manaforth t appears he made a major proposal to the russian government to assist them in their information campaign both dommestically and overseas, right. and he said it didn't have anything to do with the russians ever. so there are all sorts of things to investigate here, right. and that's what i call smoke. that's what i call smoke. >> rose: but do you see any fire. >> i personally have not seen any fire, right. and what jim clapper told me on "meet the press" was that jim clapper didn't see any fire up to january 20th when he walked out the door. that he didn't see any evidence. >> rose: of kolusion. >> and no evidence of any
attempt to. >> right, and just because there is an investigation, some people in the last few days have said jim comey admitting that there is an investigation into this must mean that there is some evidence, right? not the case. a counterintelligence investigation has a pretty low standard to get started. >> rose: okay. since donald trump before and since he has been president, there has been this question of his relationship with the intelligence community, all the intelligence community. he has raised questions about their competentes and he raised questions about leaking and he's raised questions about whether they are acting in the national interest. >> >> rose: how is that rip today? because you know these people. >> so my understanding is that it getting better t is much better. so the things you are-- most of the things you are talking about happen during the transition. and most of the things you are talking about happened in
response to the intelligence community judgement that putin was trying to help him and hurt secretary clinton and he didn't like that message, right? >> rose: and he didn't, by he, donald trump didn't like any insinuation that because of that he might not have won the election. >> right, exactly. that's what he didn't like. so he pushed back against that and pushed back against it by raising questions about the effectiveness, credibility, of the intelligence community in general and the cia in particular. that's what happened. he shouldn't have done that but that's what he did. that caused a big moral problem. but since becoming president and by the way, during that transition period, he wasn't interacting very much with his daily briefer. he wasn't taking very many daily briefings. he didn't seem to be paying attention. things are different today. my understanding. my understanding is that he is not receiving it every day. but he's receiving it regularly, up to three times a week.
that he's putting considerable time into it. the cia director is in the room. along with a briefer. that the president is listening, the president is asking questions, so i think things are getting better. >> rose: is there general in terms of as identified you, national security professionals, a respect for the cia3director? because of his outstanding academic performance at west point? >> and because of his what they foa about his positions in congress? and because of the way he's handled the cia since he's been here? or is that going too far? >> so i think, so i think when mike pompeo came to cia, i think the people at cia had a question about him. and the question about mike was this guy was really political adds a congressman. this guy beetd the crap out of us on benghazi.
this guy raised real questions about our integrity with regard to benghazi, this guy was a major critic of secretary clinton on the emails. and so there was a question, would he bring that partisan schip into the cia. >> rose: and the answer is so far. >> he has not. and he knew going in, he knew going in that he would have to deal with that problem. and i think he's dealt with it effectively. i don't think there is anybody in cia that thinks. >> rose: he is the best person to bring a respect between the intelligence community overall and the trump administration. respect, so that they trust each other and so that if the intelligence committee makes a recommendation, the president believes it. >> that relationship is really important for exactly that reason. the other thing about mike pompeo that is worth knowing, look, i didn't like the guy. >> when he was questioning me on
ben gaddee but have i gotten to know him since then, i really like him, one of the interesting things about him his personality is very much like gorge tenet's person ald and like leone panetta. outgoing, self-deprecaing humor, obviously very smart and doesn't take thim self too seriously, respects the views of other people gets along really well. that kind of personality goes over exceptionally well at the agency, and my understanding is it is going over well. >> whatever happened to the dossier that was produced by former british intelligence operative named steve. >> chris steel, it's still out there. i'm sure st input into the fbi investigation. the fbi is probably looking at it for leads charlie when that came out i read it three times. >> all 28 pages was it.
>> i don't know how many memos i don't know how many memos over a long period of time, etch memo two or three pages, it was a lot i read it three times. and i said to myself can i tell request i tell anything from this? does this tell me anything? and my answer was no i can't tell if there is anything in here that's true and i really can't tell whether there is anything in here that's false. why? why. >> because i didn't know who the sources were, chris had written source a, source b, source c. number one so i didn't know who the sources mr.. and number two, i didn't know how a source required the information. right so if you are my source, if are you my source and you give me a peeses of information you may be a very reliable source. you may tell me exactly what you know, answer my questions fully, you have beenorking for me for 20 years, right. you give me 1 percent of
information and i say where did you get this and you say i actually saw this memo i saw this as it was going to the prime minister i can take that to the bank. the next day you might give me another piece of information and i say where did you get this. and you say i heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who tedder heard it from a friend and a friend. sand i a geez geez, i can't believe that. so i didn't know who the sources were and i didn't know how the sources required the specific information that was listed so i can't tell what is true and what is not. i just simply can't make any judge am about it at all. >> what worries you right now. >> most of all about the presidency of donald trump? and the relationship with the intelligence comeumentd in general the thing that i'm most worried about is that whether it
crisis here at home, the bombing of a federal building in oklahoma city or a terrorist attack here or some significant event overseas, an outbreak of a war, even an outbreak of a war that might involve u.s. sources. what the president says, really matters. and in order for it to have the right effect both overseas and at home, the president has to be credible. the president has to be credible and when he hurts himself by saying things like president obama spied on me, when everybody knows that is not true that undermines his creds ability. and when we get into a countries is i don't want to have a situation where people at home or abroad are questioning whether they can believe what the president of the united states is saying.
thank you for coming. >> you're welcome. >> i should make this moment in interest of full disclosure, michael morell was an advise tore the hillry clinton campaign and is a consultant also to cbs news. we'll be right back. >> she say journalist and author. she has written eight books including hidden power and enemies of the people which was a national critics choice award finalist. the latest book is called trued believer, stalin's last american spy, i'm pleased to have her back on this program, welcome. >> thank you, charlie t is great to be back. tell me who noah field is. >> he is a mysterious figure from the cold war who was used by stolein. to basically try to destroy the american system so many, many parallels with what is going on today in terms of russian attempt to undermine washington
at the highest levels. he was an idealist-- captured by a faith at an early age and it became like a drulg, communism, stoleinism, hard-core stalinism and he set out to do good in the world and ended up doing terrible damage all in the name of this space, destroying his family, first of all and then tried to destroy his own country, call for-- all for stalin. >> rose: there is also this, your parents who were journalists in hungary. >> if is a strange intersection. the reason that the story of noel field hasn't been known until now all they he played a huge role in the cold war was because stalin didn't want him ever to talk to western media after the torment that he had been through, which i'm sure we'll get to, the torture. but pie parents were the only journalists whoever found him in
his hideaway in bud a pest, my hometown, during the chaos of the hungarian revolution and surprised the man and his wife who had asked for political asylum in hungary, afraid to come back to america, because he had been unmasked as a soviet spy by then. and so the only existing interview with field was one that my parents did. and i was the fortunate beneficiary of that. but a lot of pain-- . >> rose: did you discover that or had you known about this for s freed from two years ofher maximum prison, same prison that noel field was in, he told us that as his jailer was leading him to his cell, the jailer said congratulations, you got the vip cell, recently vacated by an american agent. and the vip cell did not mean a cell with a danu be view, it
meant more bugs and surveillance than any other. and this name noel field, i was a little kid then. but the name stuck in my head and then flash forward many years and i'm reading my dear friend arthur schlesinger's memoir, a 20th century life and up pops the name noel field. and i thought is this the same noel field that this many years ago my father spoke of. so i started researching and indeed, it was. and i found his surviving family members who also were in the dark about what exactly happened to this man who disappeared behind the iron curtain. >> rose: so what happened to him, this is your story. >> so what happened was that he was kidnapped by stalin's goons. he mind you was serving the kgb but when stalin needed at the end of his life advanced paranoid, needed to get rid of his perceived rivals,he decided
to use this american who knew all the communist big shots in the soviet empire, and because they were all working for the same cause, he had him kidnapped from his hotel in prague, and drugged and then tortured into confessing that he was not kgb as he was, but cia. and that all his comrades who stalin wanted to liquidate were also cia. so in one blow stalin was able to execute all of these people through the confession of this one american. >> clearly i mean that was an act of what, how would you describe what it was for noel field? >> well, he was. >> he had no choice or he believed or-- he was a true believer as the title says. he became such a passionate servant of this terrible
destructive ideology and had made so many ak sacrifices, he had given up a lucrative promising career as a diplomat in the state department. he betrayed his country. and his own family didn't know that he was an agent. and he was a product of that time in washington, much like today, where people were searching for an answer to every problem and the problems were abundant, ten million unemployed from the depression, and a washington that just prior to fdr launching the new deal, was really starved of ideas and capitalism seemed to have failed. and here was communism selling a bill of goods that this generation, many of the best and the brightest believed. and moscow picked out those that
were vulnerable to is he duction. they had talent scouts searching for people who seemed some what alienated and idealistic and yet positioned for big careers. >> rose: what happened. >> absolutely crushed by this man who never told them that he was working for stalin. and in fact tried to lure them in to the craft of espionage. the heroin of the saga whom i just loved writing about, you know, writing a book is like a marriage. you have to like the subject. and noel field is not the most lovable guy. he is complex and interesting but his daughter erica wol ddz ock was just a force of nature, adopted daughter, yes. and her children were very helpful to me. i couldn't have done this, because this is very much a human drama. i couldn't have done it-- .
>> rose: an a tragedy. >> yes, of the cost of total belief and of sort of abdicating reason. and you know, i thought that the comparison would be made to isis, the recruitment of vulnerable young people to isis. but then along came all this news of moscow, again manipulating our affairs, one of the cast of characters in true believer is allger his who was a very close friend of noel field and of course tried to recruit him into the sofer yet military. by that time, noel field was already working for kgb, the political. but there is not a shadow of a doubt after you read this book that alger was a spy. and a pretty good one too. >> because of the effort to recruit. >> and other things. and my father had the same
intergater in prison as noel field and it was through this intergate thary my father learned a great deal about allger hiss. and i also found letters in the secret police archives where i worked in both moscow and budapest, letters between his and field that made it absolutely crystal clear that alger his was indeed a spy. >> how long did it take you to write this? >> i average, this is my ninth book and i average three and a half to four years. this was four years and a lot of time spent in archives. but call me strange, no, don't call me strange. i enjoy ar chiefl work because a lot of-- archival work, because yes, it is teedious but then you find something that others have missed and it's very rewarding.
>> a writer's joy. >> it is, it is. and this is a story that really has been missed by other cold war historians and that i was very fortunate to have a family connection to. >> rose: congratulations. >> thank you, charlie. thank you so much for talking to me. >> rose: great to you have here. >> thank you. >> rose: thank you for joining rlier enseweds visit us online amount of pbs.org and charlie rose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org