tv Charlie Rose PBS June 15, 2017 3:59pm-5:00pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin tonight with the shooting at a gop congressionala virginia, this morning. we talk to congressman chuck fleischmann of tennessee who was at the field when the shoot og kurd. >> as i got in and i walked and i approached the batting cage, close to home plate but on the third base side, large crack. i didn't realize at that time that that was a gunshot. there s really no since of alarm at that point in time until about 10 seconds later when the shooter opened up with literally a barrage of gunfire. >> rose: we continue with acer sam elliott, his new film is called "the hero." >> i'm riding the peak right now. it's all peaks and valleys. have i had a wonderful career, it's been almost 49 years now
and to still be at it doing something i loved as a kid and always aspired to do, you know, i'm a lucky man. >> rose: and we conclude with dexter filkins the writer and reporter for "the new yorker" magazine, his latest piece in the magazine was a profile of defense secretary james mattis. >> even then all the marines were kind of whispering and looking on him with some a-we, there is general mattis. and-- . >> rose: but he. >> he was, if you remember that time the entire plan of the invasion was speed, go fast. that is what mattis was doing, essentially, going to his commanders and saying go, get to baghdad as fast as possible and take the regime down. >> congressman chuck fleischmann, the actor sam elliott and the reporter dexter filkins when we continue. funding for charlie rose is provided by the following: bank of america, life better connected.
>> 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. >> we begin this evening with today's shotting in alexandria congressman steve scalise the majority whip of the house of representatives is in critical condition after gunman opened fire at gop congressional baseball practice on wednesday morning. four other people have been hospitalized. president trump confirmed that the shooter, 66 year old james hodgkinson of illinois was killed after a shootout with the d.c. capital police. the president responded to the shooting in a tell viezed
statement from the white house characterizing the attack as a very, very brutal assault and pledging his full support to the victims and their families. >> congressman scalise is a friend and a very good friend. he's a patriot and he's a fighter. he will recover from this assault and steve, i want you to know that you have the prayers, not only of the entire city behind you, but of an entire nation and frankly the entire world. >> rose: for the latest we turn to the report from the cbs evening news with scott pelley. >> congressman steve scal agenciee, third ranking republican in the house is in critical condition tonight after a shooting that has shaken this great capitol am but it has also left the capitol more unified than it has been in a very long time.
the gunman opened fire this morning on republican members of the house and senate at a ballfield in alexandria, virginia, about five miles from capitol hill. they were practicing for tomorrow night's charity game to be played against a team of democrats. four people including the 51 year old congressman were shot. another, capitol police officer crystal griner is in good condition tonight. two others suffered minor injuries. the gunman, a homeless man, angry with the republican party, was fatally shot by the police. we have extensive coverage from a team of correspondents and first we'll go to chip reid in alexandria. >> just after 7 a.m. batting practice was wrapping up when the first shots rang out. a bystander's video captured the sound of bullets piercing the air. tennessee congressman chuck fleischmann and others sprinted to the dugout where he says they
felt like sitting ducks. >> today i experienced the carnage of actual gunshots being fired first hand. it was horrific. >> reporter: witnesses say it soon became a gun battle between the shooter and police. congressman joe barton who manages the team was there with his ten year old son jack, who took cover under a nearby suv. >> dozens if not hundreds of shots fired. >> it was scary. >> reporter: congressman rod nee davis was taking batting practice when the attack began. >> i heard a loud noise. people started dropping and a large piece of metal and then the next third i heard was run, he's got a gun. >> reporter: witnesses say the gunman approached a fence along the third base line but never got on the field. republican whip steve scalise standing on second base was shot first. other lawmakers took cover in the first base dugout. >> steve scalise dragged himself across the field leaving a trail of blood. after the attack was over senator jeff flake and others
ran to his aid. >> he was just laying on the field. he got shot in the hip. we applied pressure and tried to stop the bleeding there. >> reporter: also shot, zachary bart, a staff member for congressman roger williams and mike mika who used to work on the hill but now is a will beist for tie son foods. two capitol plition officers crystal griner and matthew bailey were also wounded. because of his leadership position scalise has a security detail with him at all times. congressman williams who injured his ankle, said without them it could have been a massacre. >> there could have easily been 25 deaths or more today. >> but officers griner and bailey prevented that and my family and i will be forever grateful. >> reporter: congressman jeff duncan left just before the shooting began but he says he believes he encountered the gunman as he was leaving. >> i did have an interaction with someone in the parking lot who asked me if the team practicing was the democrat or republican team, i told him they
were republicans. he said k, thanks, turned around. >> reporter: hours after the attack some members of the team still had their uniforms on, still trying to process what happened and how to move on. >> what we have to remember is this, is the american people, are great people. and we have great values. we represent great people every day. >> in all, four people were shot by the assailants. congressman scalise is in critical condition after surgery, lobbyist matt mika is also in critical condition. he was shot twice in the chest. officer griner was shot in the ankle. she is in good condition and finally staffer zack bart was shot in the leg. is he in good condition. and scott, members of the house have decided not to give in to fear. the annual congress ml-- congressional baseball game will be held as scheduled
tomorrow. >> rose: chip reid at the scene of the assault. at least for a day. there was rare unity on capitol hill. near's nancy cordes. >> a show of force at the capitol today. long security lines and armed patrols guarding a shaken congress. >> we can't let the haters win. >> reporter: the shooting prompted a pause in partisanship. >> an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. (applause) >> reporter: this attack wounded a very well-known member. >> we're still not there yet. >> reporter: at majority whip, steve scalise is responsible for counting votes and changing minds. a role reserved for those with the power of per situation. >> he loves this place. i've never seen him in a bad mood. i know he must be, he's human. >> reporter: unlike scalise, most rank and file members do not have a security detail. new york republican claudia teny
got this menacing email today, one down, 216 to go. a man who threatened arizona's martha mcsally will be arraigned this week. >> when you see some of the things that are going on out there, it's like the frog in the water where you are turning the temperature up one degree at a time. and as i said when the man was arrested making threats against me, threats of violence and acts of violence are not so far apart. >> reporter: some members asked today whether they could use campaign funds to pay for more protection. missouri's claire mccaskill says she's not sure that's the answer. >> but at the end of the day, i like that i drive to the grocery store and talk to women and men in the produce department about what is going on. >> many lawmakers argue they need to turn the microscope on themselves, dialing down political rhetoric that has decide-- divided the nation. >> i implore all of us to remember that we are first,
americans joining me from washington congressman jeff chuck fleischmann representing tennessee, and at the field this morning when the shoot og kurd. i am pleased to have him here to take us to the scene of the tragedy that took place a few minutes after 7:00 in alexandria, virginia. congressman, thank you. i know it has been a difficult day with you, seeing colleagues shot and being there. set the scene for us as to the significance of this baseball event, and what it means and why so many people from both republican and democratic party were coming there to play in p>>d years, democrats and republicans have played an annual baseball game for charity. when i came to congress seven years ago, i found out that my party, the republican party had a baseball team and there was an annual game. every year i have gone out to do that, it's tremendous, there's
bipartisan support for the game. baseball is america's great game and it raises a lot of money for charity. members on both sides of the aisle take this seriously. folks like myself go out and practice every day for about a month and a half. and the big game actually is set for tomorrow and is going to go on. as planned. and i think that's very important. >> as was said by someone this morning, it's important for democracy to say that we will continue no matter what. >> you're absolutely right. we can't let the bad guys win. there are too many bad guys in this i c. too many bad guys in this world. but the american people are a great people. we're a good people. we've got great values. and when something happens the magnitude of what happened today, charlie, it was horrific, to be actually there, almost being killed, almost being shot, it was horrible. but again, we can't let the bad guys win. baseball is something that brings americans together. and lets hope that out of this
horrible thraj de our country can come together. because we really do need to come together. >> rose: give me the time line as to what happens when you first heard gunshots. >> well, we were close to the congress cleution of our practice. and i'm 54 now so after practice i go out and stretch in the outfield. i happened to go out in left field to do my push-ups and stretching and as i was walking in i didn't realize because i didn't see that the shooter was actually on that side of the field. that's why i feel so fortunate. i would have been an easy first shot for him. as i got in, and i walked and i approached the batting cage close to home plate but on the third base side, i heard one large boom, i didn't realize at that time that was a gunshot, until about 10 seconds later, when the shooter opened up with literally a barrage of gunfire. there could have been probably
50 or 60 shots, there was chaos on the field, i immediately went right down to the ground until i made a dash about a minute or so later because the shooting didn't stop for the dugout and i jumped into the dugout on the first base side. >> and where was the shooter? >> the shooter originally as i understand it was on the third base side of the yin field outside the field outside the fence, as i understand later he apparently made a move towards the other side of the field where the capitol police engaged him. our capitol police officers did a great job. it was a terrible day. but he must have gone right past me as i was playing face down on the field. thank god he didn't shoot me.
did you see the congressman go down. >> i did not i saw him attempting to crawl to hopefully be out of the range of the gunman's site sight, i would assume. >> i would assume he was a deer friend, we play together just about every day. he is one at that practice literally every day. he loves baseball, thank god he was there. that 19 only reason we had protection at the capitol police if they had not been there that day we would have seen a lot more injured and dead people on the field. >> we say heroes because they only had handguns and took fire as they took down the gunman. >> absolutely they did. and as a matter of fact, when i finally made it to the dugout, the firing from the gunman was continuing, i finally heard return fire from the capitol police and it was a welcome sound knowing that something was
being done to deter the gunman because the fear on everybody's mind in the dugout including some children were that this shooter might actually attempt to come into the dugout, if that were the case, it boo would have been a disaster because no one was armed in the dugout. >> rose: this is the 154th mass shooting. >> yes. >> it's extraordinary. how do we stop this? >> well, i think we have to realize that unfortunately there are some people in america who are bad people. whether it's their ideology, compelled by whether it's radical islam or in this case this gentleman looks like he was motivated by, sadly, hated republicans, we've got to address this in the country at the root cause. there are a lot of sick people with bad ideas. but charlie, we can't let the bad guys win. they will choose a knife. they will choose a bomb.
sometimes they will choose a gun. but i made a resolve today and talked to a lot of people in the media and outside of the media today. and the american people are a great people, with an outstanding set of values. we go to work, we play by the rules. we want our children to be safe and to prosper. we are a great nation. so we need to resolve to beat the bad guys and not to lose our freedoms, whether the second amendment, the firstment, i do not not want the bad guys to win. that is why i will go out and play baseball tomorrow. the game is going to go on, i will be there. part of me is still a little bit concerned. i'm still a little bit shook up. but both teams, republicans and democrats will go out tomorrow, charlie, as americans and that's very important to send a message. we will not let the bad guys win. >> i assume-- assume the house leaders will be there and members of congress will be there as a show of strength for those who will be playing. >> absolutely. there's going to be a tremendous
outpouring of support. traditionally we get 15 to 20,000 people at the game. tomorrow i'm hoping for about 50,000. we have raised over $600,000 for washington d.c. charities, that number will go up, it's a worthy cause. but it is about baseball bringing america together, starting this healing process. i'm proud to be a part of it. i'm going to go out tomorrow and play my best and do my best. i'm slightly injured but that's the furtherrest thing from my mind. >> you injured when you threw yourself into the dugout. >> that's correct. that is where a lot of members got injured. when i got into the dugout sadly there was blood everywhere, my hands and knees got banged up but that is okay. thank god i was safe and that crazy gunman didn't shoot me. >> rose: we heard from the fbi in charge of the investigation, there was a defleks of the many of the questions because they said they want to get all the facts. we later learned that the assailant, that the gunman had
died at the hospital but the fbi is not saying what his motive was yet. we don't know whether he was out to kill republicans or democrats or what his motive was, do we? >> well, can i only tell you what i know. i spoke with pie good friend congressman jeff duncan who left the practice earlier than i did. he told me he actually spoke with the gunman and the gunman asked him a simple question. who is practicing out here today. are these republicans. and obviously the answer was in the affirmative. now it's very common, charlie, for people to come out and watch us play. it's always been very safe. that is a rather innocuous question most of the time. in this case sadly it was a person who had a vendetta of some sort against republicans and sadly he attempted and did carry it out. >> and we know from later congressman and senator sanders has said that he was a volunteer in some way in the campaign although no one remembers him.
he was a volunteer in bernie sanders campaign and i think he posted that on his facebook. >> well, clearly this person had an ideology of hatred. i don't want to blame democrats or anybody else other than the shooter. but i think it's a very important sign that the rhetoric in this country that sometimes gets so volatile and viel on both sides, sometimes leads people like this gentleman who clearly has problems, who clearly is deranged in some way to do this, to conduct an act of violence like that. i sincerely hope that most americans will realize that despite the differences that we have in our great nation, members on both sides of the aisle love this country, work hard. i'm a conservative republican. i represent my district which is a very conservative district very well, but charlie, not all of america thinks the way i do or my district does.
but we need to to come together, work together and union fie together. and we cannot let the bad guys win, today a bad guy did some terrible things. to some members and to some innocent people. let's just hope that we can curb this in the future. >> can you tell us what you know about the condition of congressman scal ease? >> yes. congressman scal ease is a dear friend of mine. he's actually a great baseball player. gets out there every day and hustles. he has had apparently two surgeries. he is on the mend. we're all hoping and praying for a rapid and full recovery. also there was another gentleman by the name of mika who was shot in the chest. i actually saw another staffer who had been shot in the leg. we're hoping and praying that there will be a full recovery made by all of those who were wounded, and all of those who were injured. >> rose: and two people who were the two officers from the district of columbia capitol police. >> yes, outstanding heroes. my heart and my thanks go out
and all of america should thank those two capitol police officers. not only were they wounded keeping us safe, they deterred this gunman at a time where no one else was present to do that. we were literally sitting ducks, unarmed, we were out there. the carnage and damage would have been a lot worse but for the heroism of those two outstanding capitol police officers who not only did their job, they did their job to the level of heroism by virtue. fact that they were severely injured and wounded in this attack. >> rose: congressman chuck fleischmann, thank you so much for taking time to come visit with us today. >> charlie, it is a pleasure. and i thank you, sir. >> rose: sam elliott is here and we are really pleased about that. his baritone drawl and handlebar mustache has become synonymous with westerns and other films. recently his career has undergone a transformation with sitcoms and comedies and starring in indy flicks. his latest finds him playing an
overthe hill actor confronting mortality it is called "the hero." writer and director brett hailey calls the film, quote, a love letter, not only to sam but to a dying breed of actor and fill number hollywood. here's the trailer for the hero. >> lone star barbecue sauce, the perfect partner for your chicken. >> that was great, lee, can you do one more? >> lone star barbecue sauce. >> have you ever heard of the western appreciation guild? they want to give you a lifetime achievement award. >> lifetime, huh? anything else, a job offer, a script? >> not at the moment. >> dad? what are you doing here? >> i guess it's been awhile, huh? >> i got to get back. >> trying to give me a heart attack. >> that was a-- are you okay? >> you seem a little off. >> i didn't film i'm proud of, that was 40 years ago.
>> lee, charlotte, charlotte, lee. >> hey. >> you're stairing at me. >> i like trying to figure people out. >> so what did you figure out about me? >> not a thing. >> mr. hayden, i'm such a huge fan. i just love your muse tash. -- mustache. >> it loves teu. >> one of the most popular actors in the 1970. >> mr. lee hayden. >> i love you, lee. >> i love you too, i'm nothing without all of you. >> how old are you? >> how old are you? >> 70-- 71. >> why do you want to know how old mi. >> this seems a little odd. >> if you have a problem with it, i'll go. >> what did you get into, last night. i got offers. i got scripts? >> fax over the pages. >> wow, you still fax? >> i want to get past this. >> you can't just decide to fix
things. >> give me a chance to write another chapter. ♪ it's kind of weird being remembered for one part for so many years. >>-- coffee's pretty good. >> it's follow gers. -- folgers. >> rose: great to have you here. >> thank you, charlie. always a pleasure. thank you so much. >> rose: tell me who lee hayden is. >> well, he's an overthe hill actor, as it just said there, who's been at it for a long time. and makes his living as a voice over actor at this point. he's known primarily for one film that hit with the western market. and he's paid the price along the way. he's lost his connection to his
family, his-- he and his wife are separated or divorced, his daughter is on the outs with him. no longer works and he smokes too much marijuana and drinks too much. he gets a cancer diagnosis right off the top of the movie and spends kind of the bulk of the film trying to mop up the mess he's made of it, yeah. >> rose: obviously you're not think being your mortality but any parallels here? >> yeah, i think it does in some ways, very much so. you know, there are really four exceptions. i'm still happily married to catherine after 33 years, we've been together for 39 years. my daughter-- . >> rose: you met on the set, didn't you. >> we did. we met on a film called the legacy, which was a number of years after butch cassidy. cleeo and i are, you know, cleeo is the love of my life, that is our daughter.
i don't have cancer, and i don't smoke a lot of dope. >> rose: and your career is in fine shape? >> i have no idea what is going on here, you know. but i will take it. >> rose: well, let me just say, where you look are you there, are you on netflix, you are everywhere i look, there's something that is starring you or where you play an important part? >> well, like i said, i really have no idea. i think it's, you know, i'm riding the peak right now. it's all peaks and valleys. i have had a wonderful career, it's been almost 49 years now and to still be at it doing something i loved as a kid and always aspired to do, you know, i'm a lucky man. >> rose: your father said, you know, when you told him you wanted to be an actor. he didn't think that was the right thing to do. >> no, he had that proverbial line about you've got a snowball's chance in hell to make a living in that town. i think he would be tickled now. he died as a young man and i was 18 when my dad died.
you know. i i think he would be thrilled. >> rose: but you went to hollywood. >> i did, despite his advice. >> rose: how have you survived? i mean i would ask this of anybody. i would ask-- . >> i think i made a very conscience decision that i wanted two things in my life. and one was an acting career. and the other one was a family. you know, i wanted to be married. i wanted to have a child. and it's not an easy game. you know. it's work. it takes work to do that. but that is how i have the balance. that is how i go to work and i come home. you know, that's the way that i have been able to survive. i think it's also choices that i have made along the line in terms of the work that i have done. >> rose: you mean the kinds of rolls you've taken and not taken. >> both.
>> rose: yeah. >> both. and maybe more the ones i haven't taken. >> rose: what has been your own bar. what's been your own load star for deciding if this is right for sam? >> i think it's really just whether its he-- it is, you know, there's just certain things that don't appeal to me, whether it's silly, whether it's too dark, too bleak, whether it's some comen tear that i'm not interested in being part of, you know. >> rose: you turned down a thousand voice overs. >> i've turned down a few. i've turn ited down a few, that world has been very generous to me, very good to me, yeah. it's been-- sorry. >> rose: what is it about your voice? >> i think it is distinctive, that's-- that's the end of it, my mom took me to sing in a
choir when i was like five years old in sacramento, california. and i was forever involved all the way through high school and college in vocal ensembles and choirs and singing solos, and sang with a couple of little bands. i think probably in terms of development, that that was a key to it. i had some advice one time when i came to hollywood, when i was looking for an agent, one of the earlier agents that i had an encounter with. he encouraged me, number one he suggested that i go back home and stay in the construction business. but if i was going to stay in holy wood that i should take some voice and diction lessons and learn how to speak. and get rid of that western twang. i sound much like my mother, actually. my mom and i are very close, she unlike my dad lived to be a week short of 97 and she was like my greatest mentor. >> rose: how so? >> she just encouraged me to pursue the dream, you know.
and always encouraged me. >> rose: never quit. >> and never quit it, you know, i grew up with a rich family, you know. my dad although it was short lived, was a solid man's man. had a group of his peers that were solid men's men. my dad worked for the fish and wildlife service. and i spent subsequently to that a lot of my childhood outdoors with these men. and you know, it was a wonderful way to start. >> rose: and then you fond a good woman. >> and then i found a good woman in catherine, indeed. >> rose: and she's in the film. >> she is the film in, she is in the film. she did us a favor to come and play the small role of my ex-wife. which was very strange for both of us on some level but it is always a joy to work with her. >> rose: tell me how the film was created. because hailey, i mean brett and you were traveling around together. >> we worked in a film called i will see you in my dreams and
then traveled a lot doing the promotion of that film. an through that, got to be very close. i told him about myself. >> rose: right. >> and he's a very cagey boy from brooklyn. and he gleened whatever he wanted to out of my-- . >> rose: he was writing it all down. >> he was writing it all down in there. and he and his writing partner came up with this gift that this-- it's the high point, it is the high point of my career. like i said, it's been almost 49 years. and you know i have no idea why i have arrived here but i'm happy, and if it ends tomorrow i feel like i when off on a high note. >> rose: why is it the high note? >> i think it is a combination of the story, it's an opportunity to do things that i had never done. i have never played an actor before. and i think the commonality of me, sam, and this character lee
hayden, and between that hailey's script, mark bsch script and the other players, it just was the ideal situation. >> rose: this is the best time of your life. how do you enjoy it, just simply let it wash over you and thank god he put you there. >> as catherine reminded me as i left the house in malibu to come east to do this leg of the press tour, she just said, keep it all in perspective. and i think that's pretty wise and sage advice. i just trying to enjoy it, and keep in mind that i'm doing what i wanted to do as a child. and how fortunate i am. >> it is just unbelievable. >> those of us that get to do what we wanted to do are being fulfilled. >> yeah. and it's in some way, you know, one might look at it as a frivolous pursuit. you know, particularly in light
of the world we're in today. you know, i just look at it as the entertainment business. and that's one of the other things that kind of keeps me balanced, you know. it's a wonderful thing to be able to have someone. and that's why this means so much to me. i mean i'm on every page of it. an every scene of it. and it's an opportunity for people to come in, have a chuck el, shed a tear, and then walk out, i think, fulfilled by it. >> rose: beyond the story, is part of this being the leading man? >> i've been the leading man before. >> rose: i know you have. >> but i have more off only been the character actor. and i would much prefer being the character actor. >> rose: why do you prefer the character actor. >> i don't know, it feels less of a weight, show less of a responsibility. maybe i was in the past and felt like i was truly up for it or up
to it. >> rose: up to it? >> up to it. >> rose: i don't think that. >> i don't think that any more. >> rose: you know you're up to it. >> i know after this job that i'm up to it. >> rose: by doing this, what you believe you achieved here. >> uh-huh. >> rose: it enhances or confirms your confidence that you can do anything. >> i have more confidence now as an actor than i have ever had. that's not to say that i don't get nervous every time that i go in, doing this thing on netflix which we shoot live in front of a live audience, four cameras on a friday night and i'm a wreck every friday. >> rose: because you worry about your lines. >> yes, more that than anything. >> rose: that never gets easy, does it. >> not for me, not for me. >> rose: do you have tricks? >> nope. >> rose: just. >> just practice. >> rose: just keep listening to it. hope that it sits. at some point. >> rose: but just keep doing
it and doing it and doing it. >> yeah. >> rose: so there is a point, i'm not an actor. but i assume there is a point. >> i've seen you act. >> rose: i know, and you know why i said i'm not an actor. >> no, you played yourself. >> rose: indeed, i did. >> that's not an easy thing. >> rose: i did something with grornlg clooney and he said you do the best charlie rose i've ever seen. >> that's right, that's right, ben johnson once told me that i might not be-- he, ben, he may not be a very good actor but nobody can play ben johnson like i can. and i've always kept that in mind. >> rose: here is what is interesting about you too, everybody-- if you say sam elliott, they know what that means. that says voice, that says la connick, that says integrity. all of those things. >> you're very kind to say that. >> rose: well, is it true or not. >> well, it's not true that everybody knows by any stretch.
but i would like to think that those are true. i know that i've got the voice. i know that i'm very la connick. and i would like to think that i have got plenty of integrity. >> rose: everybody in hollywood knows that if the director says get me a sam elliott they know what i mean. >> yeah, get me the guy with the deep voice and lat connick. >> rose: well, and the hair and the height and all of that. >> i'm being glib about it, yeah. i guess it's great to be a type, you know. i was typed as a westerner for a long, long time. and i used to kind of brises el at that. but i have made peace with it, and now realize that if it wasn't for that, i probably wouldn't have had the career that i have had. i certainly wouldn't have been playing this lee hayden guy who is known for his one western, probably. >> rose: what is your one movie, this one? >> this one. >> rose: really? >> yeah. that's why, i say that this is
the time, cuz i have a number of favorite films that are dear to my heart. and the thing that makes films my favorite or not is primarily the people that i worked with along the way, or during the production. but i have never had one that i was able to do what i did in this, and work with the people that i worked with. i mean laura, nick offerman and christian ritter, and my wife, it was just, it was astounding. >> rose: they say, a lot of people say to me, one of the things i most like about acting is that, a film creates a community. >> yes. >> rose: there can be friks in a community. >> we are. >> rose: but it creates a community. >> yes. >> rose: and you get to know some people because are you working together for a month or six weeks. >> yeah, like gypsies. >> rose: like gypsies. >> and then when it's over, it's over. >> rose: when you look back over all of these. when you look back at this life we've been talking about, my sense is you may find, you may
have wanted there to be a greater appreciation of westerns, for example. right? >> uh-huh. >> rose: but you don't have, you know, this driving regret about anything. >> no. >> or missed opportunity or you know, i could have. i could have, i should have, none of that. >> no, shoulda woulda coulda is easy for all of us. but i don't know how i could be sitting here talking to charlie rose and wish that i had done something different. sorry. but you know, i've had a blessed career. i've been very fortunate to do some things i'm most proud of, and things that have touched people, you know. >> rose: that's what, for me, in a very different life, it, people will come up to you, not sort of because they know you because you are on some screen somewhere, but because they say you have made a difference to me. in some way. you have helped me learn. you've given me some joy. you know.
you have helped me understand within you've honored my profession. >> rose: yeah. >> soldiers. >> rose: exactly. >> yeah. it is wonderful thing to be able to do. >> rose: i'm so happy for you. >> thank you so much. >> rose: back in a moment, stay with us. dexter filkins is here. he is a staff writer for "the new yorker" magazine. his latest feature is a profile of defense secretary james mattis. filkins first met general mattis in 2003 when he was covering iraq for "the new york times." the article was published on the heels of president trump's request of a $54 billion increase in defense spinedding. i'm pleased to have dexter filkins back at this table, welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: where the hell have been? >> writing about james mattis. >> yes, i fommed him around for awhile. on a couple of trips that he made to europe. he went to brussels,
headquarters of nato went to lithuania to kind of reassure that the people in the baltics about the american commitment. >> you just said he is a quote machine let's just take one. on your young soldiers he's talking to-- on your young shoulders, be the hunter, not the hunted, be polite, professional, but always have a chance to-- every one you meet. >> is that why he is called mad dog too. >> i canned everybody wrrk did it come from, nobody knew, he disernl didn't make it up so i think it's really kind ever a misnomer, and it gunt really fit him, like he does have this very colorful reputation, and his language sometimes is extraordinary, and wonderful, but he's a marine on one hand,
very, very aggressive, but on the other hand, he's a very thoughtful well-read student of history, and so. >> a scholar. >> what makes him really interesting is are both those things. the interplay of those two sides. >> what is the relationship with president trump? >> i think it's really good. i think my sense is is that the president has said to mattis and the generals, more generally, you guys know what you are doing, go do it. and i think president trump used the phrase total authorizization. and so what has happened is president obama over the course of eight years took a lot of authority away from the generals. away from the pentagon into the white house, you know, you want to do that drone strike, we're going sign off, you want to do that air strike, come us to. president trump is pushing that authority back down. and general mattis, secretary mattis is pushing it to his
generals in the field. so that is why you have seen since january a real yup tick in activity, air strikes, special forces raids, that kind of thing. because generals in the field have more authority to do that. and so everybody is a lot bussier. >> when did you first meet him. >> it was-- i remember it very well, it was 2003, during the invasion, general mattis was the heads of the first marine division soo he was the head of 25,000 trip troops. >> i think he was a two star general, maybe one star and i was just, i was driving in a rental car through iraq, trying to find my way to baghdad. and i happen to be there with the marines one day when this helicopter came down and general mattis got off and i remember he had a pair of ray-bans on and a helmet. and even then all the marines were kind of whispering and looking on him with some a-we. there is general mattis. >> but he was if you remember
that time the entire plan of the invasion was speed, go fast and so that's what mattis was doing, essentially going around to his commanders and saying go, get to baghdad as fast as possible and take the regime down. i'm not sure in retro specific, it wasn't his strategy but 50eu78's not sure that was the wisest thing. >> rose: what was his strategy. >> his was to go as fast as possible. and he was essentially ordered to do that by subbing rumsfeld and the bush administration, get to baghdad, take the iraqi regime down. and which they did. and of course, chaos. >> rose: he's interesting too because he seems to be prepared, to say exactly what he thinks it is not what his boss says or even believes when you go back and look over the career of
general mattis, it's 40 years in the military it is just one after the other, these extraordinary conversations where you read something he said to people and you're like wow, people in public life don't talk that way, you know, and he's standing up in front of, he's addressing a graduating class at the naval academy and he's saying your job is to go out and kill people and keep killing them until they give up. you know the mid shipman are all cheering but who says that? >> said about him, he has more integrity in his little finger than almost anyone in washington. >> a woman who was a possible secretary of defense. >> yes. >> if hillary clinton had won. >> yes. >> but he snows generals. >> i think what is interesting is that she's a democrat, she was a deputy secretary of defense, for president obama.
and. >> serving under bob gaitsz. >> and none the less secretary mattis reached out to her and said i would like you to be my deputy, as she explained to me she said i didn't sleep for several days. >> rose: because she would like to work with him. >> i think she respects him immensely. i think her dilemma as she spelled it out is i really like secretary mattis. i was very unsure about working for the trump administration, she told a story, where she went to trump tower. she said i was interviewed by three people who none of whom had any experience in policy. one of the first questions is what would it take for you to resign so she went back and told secretary mattis, like, i can't do this. that is one of the biggest problems that secretary mattis has had which he is has, i think there is something like 57 political jobs, political appointee jobs in the pentagon,
he only filled like two of them. >> it's not just defense, it's also state and other areas an i spoke to a number of people who all said the same thing. i love secretary mattis but i can't work. >> you also quote another former member of the defense department without said mattis wants to win. he wants victory, he want totion kick ass. >> getting this profile of a guy who is tough. >> really agressive. >> very a gives shall wants to win. >> yeah. doesn't want anything to get in the way. >> that's right. >> rose: of his definition of national security. >> yes. i think it raises an inevitably this question which i try to discuss in my piece which is where is that going? you know, like where, gressiveness to what end. and i think when you look at we are at war in five countries in the middle east. and all of them are kind of the same in the sense that have. >> iraq, afghanistan, yemen.
>> you have somalia syria. >> and they are all kind of the same, you have very weak states and all these, essentially nobody government groups that are challenging the state or fighting in some other way how do you end those conflicts. how do you end them. that's the real con undrum that srnl the obama administration faced, that the bush administration faced and nobody has been able to sufficiently answer them. >> what do you say maybe you are speaking to them that in that answer but what do you say when people say there are too many generals around? >> well, it's a good point. i think the danger. >> rose: mcmasters is national security advisor. >> look, i think the danger is that the foreign policy of the united states is relying excessively on force. and the use of force. and on violence. and not enough on diplomacy.
>> and other tools. >> yeah. ultimately, ultimately wars end. either if you annihilate your opponent or reach a political settlement. we're not going to annihilate our opponents. >> you can't kill them all. >> you can't, they're being born every day. and so you've got to reach arch agreement that it's satis factory to them so that they go home. and no one has been able to figure out. >> why did he take the job? >> i think, i think that one is real simple. i think he's a pait rotteddic american. and so when the president of the united states calls, you salute and say yes, sir. >> i should say, he's been very careful. he was certainly care wfl me. >> the other thing you do is you make clear who the president that you are serving that this is who you are getting so let's understand, i'm not going to do what i don't believe in. i'm not going to tow the line for you if i don't believe it's the right thing for america. >> he made that very clear.
i think he was asked at one point what would you do if you got an illegal order. he said i would be fishing on the columbia river within a couple of days. >> rose: he uses such great and simple language. history is clear, nations with a strong ally-- history is clear, nations with strong allies thrive, and those without them wither. >> you know, he said that at his senate confirmation. and when you think about it, what is that? that's a very subtle rebuke of his boss, president trump who declared during the campaign that nato, the most successful military alliance in history s on sol let. and maybe we won't come to the defense of our european parter ins. and that's, i think, if you speak to people like michelle, they would say this is the hope of mattis, that he will act as a kind of a break on president trump's impulses. >> well, he has today is
bipartisan support in terms of people who speak out. and they say that, you know, they have great confidence, even though they may be questioning the trump administration in one way or the other, including the white house, but they do say they have great confidence in general mcmasters and general mattis. >> they do. i should say one thing though. i think that i-- i started this story thinking-- i started with that assumption which is, you know, secretary mattis is kind of the anti-trump. he's sober, he's well-read, he's very measured. >> rose: he's experienced. >> he's experienced, and that will actings a kind of a counterweight to the kind of, the chaos in the white house and trump's impulses. i'm not sure that's quite-- i think it is true to a certain extent it is not the full story. because i think that what president trump has done, he has given secretary mattis a lot of authority too carry out military
strikes on his own, or at the discretion of his generals. and so that's a slightly different picture. trump has basically turned to mattis and said you do it. and do what you need to do. and you know, secretary mattis he is a marine. and so you know, that's a green light for him to go off to the bad guys. >> describe his philosophy by adapting an adage a trebted to the roman general. no better friend, no worst enemy. >> yeah, i think that sums it up pretty well. i think it certainly sums up. >> you in me you have no better friend and no worst enemy. >> yeah. i think it certainly sums up general mattis' experience in iraq where he was. he served two tours. i think it was chaotic and horrendous time in iraq when he was there in 2003, 2004. but i think jen mattis now secretary mattis pretty clear on
this point which is, we're not going to win just by killing everybody, you know, killing all the bad guys, that is not how we will get out of this thing. we have got to make friends. that is the only way you can win a fight like this. so i think he, i think he was very, very clear about that. in a way that a lot of the generals were not, frankly. >> he said you're well off if you have read angela's ashes and desmond tutu's writings and if you have studied northern ireland and the efforts of rapprochement there and in south africa following their civil war as you are in you have read sher man, and obviously von clauseworth. >> obviously. >> well, think about that. he was talking there, that was an interview that he gave. >> there is the guy, he understanding. >> that is the thing. >> sher man which was destroy everything. >> burn everything. >> yeah. >> and you know, that's-- he was
giving an interview there to a marine, to an official historian. and he was talking about counter insurgency. and so there he is, he is quoting from angela ashes which is about a story about ireland, he is talking about south africa, talking about desmond tutu. he's all over the place. and that's what is so interesting about him. cuz he is so well-read and everybody that i talked to who knew him said you got to, i wish could you see his library. >> he has more books than any general had ever served in america. >> yeah. so i mean this is a deeply educated secretary of defense. >> so having been with the guy, having listened to his quotes, having many conversations conveh him, what influence is he going to have snr. >> a lot. i mean a lot. and i think. >> how will america and its defense posture, and his defense be different because he is our secretary of defense? >> well, you know, he's very
aggressive. >> what does that mean? >> i think he's a general. i think he reaches for his gun. and i think that you know, if you talk to, if you talk to people around him they will say look, what we are doing is reestablishing the american deterrent, which means, you know, if you mess with us, you're going to pay a price, you know. and that in their criticism of prt obama, who basically was too soft with our enemies and thereby encouraged our enemies like russia, like north korea. and so but i think you know, if you look at the horizon, right, it's the craziest international environment we've ever seen it is the middle east. it is north korea, it's russia, eastern europe. where is it going to blowp next. but again, i think the real concern here, it's not so much mattis but it's mattis by himself. without a state department
that's very vigorous without a diplomacy, without politics. is that how you run a foreign policy. >> thank you, dexter fill insurance-- dexter filkins from "the new yorker" magazine, thank you for joining us, see you next time. for more about this program and earlier ier episodes visit us online at pbs.org and charlie rose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org