tv Charlie Rose PBS July 28, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
. >> welcome to the program, tonight we begin with mark halperin and john heilemann of nbc news an msnbc and we talk about donald trump at six months. >> the new incoming white house communications director who is not even taken his job yet, is he not even officially in the job yet, is publicly calling for an fbi investigation of the white house chief of staff. and and twitter. >> rose: and we conclude this evening with singer songwriter conor oberst and a performance from his latest album salutations. >> the hope of course is that i think all art is a communications, you are kind of like, you are putting on the little balloon and throwing it in the air and you don't know if anyone is going to receive it on the other side. but that is the hope, you know. >> politics, and music. when we continue. funding for charl ye 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. >> rose: mark halperin and john heilemann are here, they are the cocreators, executive producers and cohosts of the show time documentary series "the circus" it ended it's second season in may. also coauthors of game change and double down which respectively cover the 2008 around 2012 u.s. presidential
elections. they are currently at work on their third episode in the series, it will recount donald trump's surprise victory over hillary clinton in the 2016 election. mark halperin is senior political analyst for nbc news and msnbc. john heilemann is national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc. i'm pleased to have them back at this take. so what is going on? (laughter) what is happening in america? >> you first. >> look, i've been traveling a little bit lately outside washington and it's clear that the velocity and pure insanity of events taking place in washington are captivating elites around the country. there is no doubt, we have never seen anything like it. >> underline elites. >> yes, because as i traveled around the country, whether both trump supporters and trump opponents, they're not paying nearly as much attention to this stuff as we are. so it's clear that this is an extraordinary period in american history. it's clear that the president
and people around him are doing things we have never seen, not just in our lifetimes but in the history of the country, maybe in the history of the planet. but again, i say there is the trump reality show and then there is reality. and reality in america is still going along, economy is still going along. kids are still going to school. stuff is still happening am you about the trump reality show now is dominating the thinking of elites, the popular culture, everything else. >> john in. >> well, i think because it is dominating the popular culture i think that people are paying some attention to what is going on. and it is the events we see on an almost daily basis are extraordinary and unprecedented. we have done this not as long as you have covered these events of america but we have been doing presidential politics and politics in general for 25 years or so. there is almost every day something happens that i have never seen anything before like it. i mean literally there is often in a given 24 hour cycle there are four or five events in a given day that would normally have occupied five months if
they occurred in another administration. and i think if you get down to it, there are two things happening. there is one thing happening which is the jump trof earning a againa which is stalled largely. there is still some question what will happen with health care but not much has really gotten done contrary to trump's assertions to the contrary. and then there are the investigations which are picking up speed at an extraordinary rate. and the president is clearly reacting to them and behaving bn ways that suggest that he feels threatened by what is happening. and we can talk about all the reasons that i say that am but he is behaving like a man who is bothered by that thing that is consuming now-- . >> rose: what does he fear. >> i don't know exactly what he thinks the possible worst case is. i don't knowment because i-- he knows the facts of what he has done and his people have done to some extent in a way none of us do. but on, just on the prima faisha basis the things he is doing talking about jeff sessions which we can talk about in more detail. is he behaving like a man who is panicking at the pros connect
that at a minimum. >> rose: there is something that will be discovered by bob mueller that will be more than em bar rag-- embarrassing. >> let's say at a minimum that the investigations and thing that that has a loof of its own, could consume his presidency, at the minimum am consume it and allow him not to get anything done. and at the negative eck dream, could be, the negative sebl threat to his presidency and could end it. >> i will say three things he fears, he may fear much more than this but not knowing much more of the truth that either of you. he a fears the independent counsel will investigate things beyond russia. he fears that-- . >> rose: meaning the building of his. >> financial empire. he fathers his children will be dragged into this in a way that will be really bad for their lives. and he fears that people will start cooperating with the independent counsel. creating all sorts of potential problems. >> rose: to save their own skin. >> to save their own skin. and obviously he fears this will block anything he could do to make him a tbreat presidency.
>> rose: and perhaps re-election. >> for sure. he may fear substantially more than that but he fears at a minimum those things. >> a couple of those things is he right to fear. his children, don, jr. is now being dragged in the middle of this. jared kushner, his son in law is dragged in the middle thereby dragging in some sense at least by marriage his daughter into it. and so that is happening. they're already in the middle of this now. and it is also the case that depending how you define things outside the scope of russia and again there is some question about the things that trump says. well, if he starts looking at my finances, that is outside, i think he defines the russia thing as what happened in 2016, calender year 2016. >> rose: between my election campaign. >> campaign and russia-- which he says is nothing, right. but the independent counsel, the special counsel, bob mueller obviously thinks that donald trump has a long history of financial intertwinement with russia. and he thinks all of that is relevant to the question of whether or not there was
collusion. >> rose: suspicion-- at his worst, somebody what or something in russia rescued him and gave him funds that enabled him to escape. >> no one in america wants a special counsel appointed to investigate them it is a bad position to be in, bill clinton felt similarly. >> as did george w. bush. number one, is he extremely competent. number two, this special counsel is beyond reproach in the view of republicans and democrats alike. and number three, he has hired quickly and is moving fast, now sometimes moving fast is a good thing. for someone because they don't want a long investigation am but this guy moving fast i don't think is in the president's interest because is he in the beginning of his presidency. the whole thing to now to some extent could overtake everything down and could bring it down. >> number four, he is a man who is behaving as of now and everyone who knows him says he does not fear donald trump at all. he has nothing left to prove in
his career. and he has no fear of any threats, intimidation of anything else. mueller is not going to be, is he not going it waiver or quaifer at donald trump making noises about potential firing him. and that, you know, trump has not met many people who are fearless when it comes to confronting him. >> rose: i watch you and others on television. and some people are characterizing him as insane, as mentally unbalanced and all of that. do you buy that kind of thing or is this simply someone who is very fearful of where an investigation is and where it might lead. >> he has done so many things that are del terious to his own interest in the last couple of months that you have to at minimum say he has done irrational things. >> rose: at least he is irrational. >> i'm saying he is irrational every moment of day but he has done many things that are clarily not in his interest, he has been told not to do and continues to do and is that the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. >> rose: i love that quote. >> lots of people get credit for
it. i think einstein is one. but it is the case that the president has always had this side. well before he was in politics. he has always had a side of vin dik tiff emotional-- vin diblght i've motional acting in a way that if you thought about it you wouldn't do. there are those who say it is has gotten worse, there are those that say this is what he is like just the stakes are different. >> rose: witness exhibit a, attorney general sessions. defies why you want to do that. >> it is exhibit a and the purest and most clearest di stillation of someone doing something not in his interest. in some sense, as some people around sessions have been trying to tell the white house if not the president directly, if you want to, if what you want, if your end game is to fire bob mueller which would be a bad idea, provoking a constitutional crisis that would probably cause republicans to split from him entirely. >> rose: back to bob mueller, a man who does have a respect across partisan lines.
>> but if you want to fire bob mueller you don't need to get rid of jeff sessions in that, the man is rod rosen stein, the deputy attorney general who brought mueller on. if he wanted to fire rosenstein he could go and do thatment instead he is tormenting sessions largely because again, he is expressing this, this is not me reading his mind. he is angry at sessions because he regards sessions as the person who brought this horror upon him, by recusing himself. his amal sis of the recusal which which is if he told me he was going to he are queues himself, i wouldn't have appointed him, doesn't make any sense in the chronology of events because sessions didn't know he would have to recuse himself until after he was already in the senate confirmation hearing and had gotten in trouble on that front. on top of that, did he make statements in his confirmation hearing that essentially if trump had been paying attention, we have said you know what, it seems like he might be heading for recusal on the basis of this confirmation hearing, he could have withdrawn sessions then. the combination of his misreading of the history, the
behavior which has provoked republicans in the senate who have largely let trump have his way to suddenly rise up as one, and say no, no, no, you can't get rid of that man. i mean there is this bipartisan, from the far conservative end it liberals standing up for jeff sessions, there is no-- he gets nothing good out of this on any possible. >> if he wants to fire mueller, and he replaces session he could get someone else, then that person could. >> he could take it away. >> there are other ways he could do that. >> suppose he gets somebody else, suppose during the august break, the recession, there is a recess appointment and that person then fires rod rosen sign. >> he wouldn't need to fire him, the attorney general would take over the investigation. because they were not recuse. >> they could take it over. >> and then they can do whatever they want to. >> but again, it's like firing comey but worse. if firing comey was to make the
decision going away-- make the investigation go away it had the opposite effect t escalated it. the scrutiny is so high. we have the two congressional investigations, first time since the mid 90st do we have actual bipartisan investigations where both parties are strategizing about et getting the truth. those loom out there too. i don't think, i don't think he will limit the investigation. i don't believe mueller can be fired. i believe as a matter of regulation and regulation he can be fired but i don't believe politically that the body politic would tolerate that. i think it would cause a constitutional crisis and i think mueller. >> suppose he fired mueller. >> i think there will be serious talk about impeaching the president if he moves it fire mueller. i think he will find it difficult to find anyone who will pull the trigger. >> the senate has made, the senate across-the-board including republicans have made it clear if he were to fire sessions they would not, there would be no one who they would confirm to take that post. because they now, they would regard it as a challenge to the
constitutional order. so there would be that. they would also almost certainly if mueller was show fired, if mueller, if he got to his ultimate goal if we assume it is his goal and he gets rid of mueller, they would just pass, they are saying this openly, they would pass an independent counsel, and reappoint muler in that job. so it would alienate everyone along the way, republicans would break with him in a formal way. he would still have mueller and you would have a genuine watergate style special committee with mueller running it as a new independent counsel while he's going to end up with mueller one way or the other. >> the point is, if it is not mueller, the investigation is not going to go away. the fbi agents will continue to investigate. >> smart lawyers. >> yeah, so look, the president is in a corner. he is backed into a corner and he has been backed into a corner in his real estate career, in his political career, faced off against marco rubio and steve winn and all sorts of people, bob mueller is different as a person and different
constitutional-- institutionally in the eyes of washington are on bob mueller and both parties this is a break from two decades f the blue team is for one thing, the red team is for another, that is not the case. everyone in washington with the exception of the president and a few people around him believe this investigation not just should continue but must continue and the truth must be known. is he trying to get out of the corner by doing things that are only making it worse. >> do most people believe even though they have not seen hard evidence that there was collusion with the russians. >> lots of responsible people in both parties believe there is. and you have seen in the last two weeks or so, a real turn of time on capitol hill last week talking to republicans. some of them have specific theories. i think the collusion involved x, y and z but most say i can reach no other conclusion but that there is something here because the way the president is behaving but that is not evidence. >> it's not evidence. >> no, but actsic something. >> but it is not just that. the key turning point on this front i think in terms of
getting more democrats and some republicans to start being either open to the notion that there was collusion or just to believe it is was the donald, jr. meeting and trump tower in june. and the fact they lied about it for so long. and the fact their stories changed, that is, it's not just the president's behavior. it is that the people around him lied for months about having met any russians, that their stories about the meeting that took place last june in 2016 changed over days, changed every day as more facts were known. there was one person, there were two people, now there are eight people in the room and every day changing their stories. has made people think you don't lie about these things. for months and then in sequence over a series of days in the middle of a crisis when the focus is on, you don't lie about things if you have nothing to hide. and so that is, i think, provoked a lot of people to say instinctively we don't have all the evidence here. but there is something here that is beyond just hearsay and just smoke. there is fire here in a lot of people's mind. that was the moment when it changed.
>> some prep cans said by don junior's only account of what happened, the russians didn't deliver the goods. >> exactly. >> and for them, you know, they can say all they want. i would have taken the meeting too. anyone would have taken the meeting if the president said, most people in politics would not have taken that meeting. some say they would but most not, even anthony scaramucci when asked over the weekend would you have taken that meeting said i don't know. not yes. >> and i would have talked-- i would have talked, i would talk to council before, at least smart enough. >> the meeting was set up to be on paper, as a ludicrously incriminating as a piece of bait to say we would like to bring you information that is connected to russia's campaign to support your father and defeat hillary clinton. we would like to bring you this information, would you like to take that meeting. there is no subterfuge around it, it was set up in a way to test whether they were. >> because the russian government wants your father to
win. >> it was the test case for their openness to collusion at a ludicrous level no one would put those in an email nor would you think any campaign would accept email, not just to accept the meeting but to say yes, in the email, with a paper trail. it is, you know. >> not only because if for no other reason than he, vladimir putin hated hillary clinton. >> and elite and didn't want another elite administration that would, you know, try to keep russia from expanding. >> i say not just conventional wisdom, that is the consensus assessment of the u.s. intelligence community. >> has, in terms of what he says, does, how he behaves, has he changed the presidency or will it simply revert back to the values and standards that that it had once he leaves. >> 85% chance it not only reverts back but reverts back even further before. >> in response. >> in response to some of the things we have seen on social media and the partisanship and the kind of like everything.
>> i agree with that on some level. there is another level, i just don't know. part of the thing about the level of unprecedentedness is that we don't have press dense. so it is sort of like if you put a president in who has no respect for the norms that every other president has respected and particularly a president who says as many untrue things, what long-term effect does that have on the political culture and what the mit kal culture will tolerate and what voters think of the presidency. i just think it's too early to know whether, especially if trump is in office for a full four year term or who knows t seems unlikely at this point but for eight years, if he continued along this path in a documented way as "the new york times" dusker of just laying out the places where he speaks untruth, in a kind of per miss kus way that no president has ever done before, who does that do to the credibility of the office and how voters think about the presidency and the way the presidency interplays with the mediament i don't the answer to that whether there is lasting
damage. >> rose: two intriguing questions for me, if things continue as they are and get worse with more disclosures, when do you see his base deserting him in part, and two, when do you see people that are considered strong in the administration saying i can no longer tolerate this. >> i don't think the base will desert him over these types of things. i think when and if the base deserts will be failure to deliver on better economy. i really think that is probably it. >> and change. >> i think the question about which is again been talked about from before he took office, of what will the quote unquote adults in the cabinet do, how long will they tolerate, it is impossible to know. because it is based on these individuals but my sense is that by january if things are not different, will you see that, it could be sooner but i think by january, by the state of the union. >> and interestingly i think the place where you are starting to see the movement is in the foreign policy space where
people broadly who wanted to take some solace in trump's presidency have looked at thoses particular grownups, at mattis, tillerson, masterson saying as long as they are here, the worst things we have to fear with trump are his temperment as relates to national security crisis. >> rose: those three guys, and all three of them right now, tillerson just the other day said i will take some time off. and you know, i got to get away from this for a little bit. he has been in office for six months. >> tillerson, all three of those i think have high night risk. i'm not predicting any of them will go but you are hearing from people around them on a daily basis that their frustration level is monthing. they came in as patriots to try to constrain the guy they are working for. as they see he is unconstrainable you sense to varying degrees at varying times all three are starting to do soul searching about how long they want to stay. if one of them goes that will be an earthquake. if more than one of them go it will be you know, a san francisco earthquake.
>> and mattis, for example, people will then have to ask themselves if he is leaving how can i stay. >> right. the only caveat i would give is could the president show find some excellent person to quickly replace him. that is the only caveat. look, the white house just made the first major personnel change they have made. and if what was ailing the white house was too much chaos, too much in-fighting, too much drama unrelated to the people's agenda, anthony scaramucci was not the answer to that question. >> he has produced just today again, chaos, drama. >> rose: what did he do today? >> well, last night he did an interview which was published today in which he. >> "the new yorker" interview in which he on the record there is some question, of merging as we sit down here about whether he really meant to be on the record am but it has now been printed, as a profanity laced attack. >> he called up. >> he called up a report tore say i want to know who your source was on a story, a tweet
you did yesterday about the president having a private dinner at the white house with some people associated with fox news. and in the course of the relatively short conversation, in a profanity laced manner he attacked both the white house chief of staff, and the white house chief strategist, reince priebus and steve bannon. and the reverberations of this will be powerful. >> rose: attacked them in crude ways. >> just again, you know, they brought him in, the people who wanted him brought in saw they needed so be more order, less chaos, more productive communication out of the white housement and people look at what has happened since anthony took this job and it is just exacerbating most of the things that ale the white house. >> at the heart of this story is not the profanity, although it is incredible, it is notable. at the heart of the story though is the thing that he tweeted last night, and that in this sper view with ryne liza that he stated, as plainly as could you state it, which is that he believes that reince priebus, the chief of staff, is the chief
leaker. and that he wanted last night he said this in a tweet which he since delated-- deleted. he wanted the fbi to investigate the white house chief of staff. he says it in the interview. just step away from that for a second. the new incoming white house communications director who is not even taken his job yet, is he not even actually officially in the job yet, is publicly calling for an fbi investigation of the white house chief of staff, on twitter. now that is a very trumpy kind of thing to do. but to mark's point, that is-- it's the kind of thing that in any other administration would have been not just inconceivable to just kind of some fan tas kal kind of concept, that is an amazing thing. think about what kind of disruption that brings. >> it puts to shame, like the reagan white house had a lot of in-fighting. you can imagine the communications director accusing the chief of staff of committing a crime. >> rose: that would be mike deefer accusing jim baker of committing a crime. >> it wouldn't have been on twitter. >> and saying i will send the fbi and d o.j. to investigate
the person who is the most, in most administrations the most powerful person in the country besides the president of the united states. >> rose: what can you say good about donald trump at this stage after six months? >> good for the news business. >> rose: what else? >> >> rose: for example, there is an article in "the wall street journal" today, by greg ipps the myth of trump's do nothing presidency, to gage in that, go beyond the laws he signed to the vast authority he wills through departments and agencies that apply the law, sk months into his presidency donald trump's detractors portray him as a do nothing president with no big wins on health care, taxes and infrastructure t may be true if the bench mark is legislation but this is an increase bench mark. to gage a president's impact you have to go beyond the laws he signs to the vast authority he wields. >> that is true, particular particularly in the area of regulatory reform. the president has achieved more than he is given credit for in that area. but major legislation does matter because legislation has a much bigger impact, particularly
in the areas he wants to legislation -- legislate, taxes and health care are big areas that feak every american. so i agree that he has achieved some things. but it is going sort of to counselor conventional wisdom to suggest that he has accomplished a whole lot, number one. and number two, the part of the challenge of the presidency is not just getting things done but explains to the country why they are good ideas. >> on most of these regulatory reforms, i heard the president talk vaguely about less regulation is good. but i don't believe he's convinced the country a that he has done very much, b that it will feak their lives or c that it is the right thing for the country. >> here is the thing, if you wanted to say, has the president had a positive impact, if you were a very very very conservative person on policy matters and you looked at the epa and you looked at the justice department, for the reasons that this "the wall street journal" article suggests, there is stuff happening in those areas, in particular, where if you are an environmental conservative, very far right, climate denier, et
cetera, if you want to go back to law and order, not just preobama but preobama bush clinton, reagan, back to like a nexton style law and order approach, you would say that things are happening in those areas. and so there is some constituencies that look at those things and say well, the ball is being moved forward. >> you sat at this table two things. you said as you suggested earlier in this conversation that this election was a huge event in terms of the onward flow of american history, looking at things like the second world war, and other things that had huge significants to most americans. you have also said at this table that donald trump was probably as good a politician as you have seen in american politics with the exception of bill clinton. do you still believe both of those things. >> in the context of being a candidate, he won the white house having never run for anything before. and making lots and lots of mistakes and yet show still won. he won for other reasons including the weakness of his
opponents. but i think he was an impressive presidential candidate based on the results. >> go ahead. >> this is one of the most quengs things that has happened as we talked about by historians for as long as there history of america. >> how could it-- i meet people all the time. and this is true before he took office, but after he was elected who say this is the worst thing that's ever happened to me. not to the country, but to me. the trauma this has caused among tens of millions of americans is profound. 9/11 was a traumatic event for the country and people dying is a bigger deal than anything else am but this is a profound event for people on the left, as a mobilization thing but also psychologically. there are still people who cake up-- wake up and cannot believe there is happening. on the other side there are people that rejoice that we elected a president who is in the a politician, who is changing washington and the country fundamentally. and the impact, i believe whether the president is one term or two i believe the next president will as i said almost certainly restore a lot of what
donald trump has changed not in terms of policy but style. >> it will probably be an essential part of his or her campaign. >> yeah, but i don't think we are too close to it to say there are very few events in american history that are as big a deal as this. >> here is something that is also true that we have to take our eye off of. one of the most unusual things about trump's presidency. it was not true of obama, was not true of bush, of clinton, was not true of bush, was not true of reagan. trump arrived in office and there are particularly for groups that are on the margins in american society. they are afraid. they are afraid. hispanic americans are afraid of their family being broken up and people being deported. this tweet storm he sent out yesterday, proclaiming in a way that had nothing to do with any policy or real plan, we don't even know if he-- you refer to it, charlie, transgender thing. there are thousands of transgender soldiers willing to die for the country, who are out serving with honor, who just had
the president come up yesterday and say that they-- they should be kicked out of the military. those people are living in fear, to some extent. and again i think there are lots of-- actors about drk drk arguments about ideology and policy and people get angry or whatever. but there is more among disenfranchised groups in america there is more fear of what might happen to them if donald trump stays president than i have ever seen, in covering politics, that is a nontrivial thing that is very real. >> within the white house you have a lot of factions, right what is the consequence of that. >> one thing anthony scar pucci-- scaramucci says in this new yorker piece is that reince priebus will soon be gone. >> he says that. >> he says will soon be forced to ask are to his resignation. >> rose: he also said he and reensz priebus were like cane and abel. >> i get the sense that some combination of reince priebus an people who are soshtded with him will be gone relatively soon, if i had to say this evening. >> rose: this is a man who was-- head of the republican national committee.
>> pie guess is the president will like what anthony car muchi is doing trk is like what doned a trump would do. i still believe steve bannon is pretty entrenched at this point. >> in periods of great crisis presidents turn to the people they trust. and so the people who are, sean spicer is now gone. he was a priebus ally, an rnc person, not a trump person. priebus obviously hanging by a thread because he was never a trump person. he was always-- trump, he lacks around that white house and there is some people who, the group now consolidating power are those who are favored by those rare, the very small group,-- and a dwindle group who he really trusts which is his family. right now he still trusts jared kushner and his daughter ivanka. if you are favored by them, and those are not washington functionaries they are not the rnc crowd, those people are people like anthony scaramucci, outsiders, new york people, people who, many of them people
of means, something trump respects. one of the reason bannons is secure is because trump looks at bannon not as a functionary but a guy who made tens of millions we're not reducing it to onewho fangs, cory will want dowsky and dave-- from outside were traveling with the president this week and are still very much part of it. there again, as john suggested, people who helped him win. and a lot of presidents are like that, when they face a crisis they go back to people who helped him win. >> rose: can he turn it around. >> sure, a lot of second acts in american politics. the number that caught my eye this week, mark melman the democratic pollster pointed this out. the president's numbers have gotten substantially worse on the question of does donald trump care about people like you. that is one of the great numbers in american polling. and it obviously will track with his approval number. he is not convincing people, because he's tweeting and attacking sessions and doing things that don't feak the real lives of real people directly. i think that is what-- to have a comeback he has to convince people he cares about them. >> outside of an intervening event, which could happen, you know, some kind of natural
disaster, things on the foreign stage. outside of that, on the domestic stage, there is not any event that you can see down the road in a plausible way that is going to turn this around. i mean there may be one. i just, but at the moment the tra jectory t is very unlikely it seems to me that there will be a repeal and replacement ment of the affordable care ak. it is very unlikely it em soos, we could have a debt ceiling crisis there has been nothing done about that, people aren't these other things fall away, and as the investigations and the scandal grows which i think that is going to take up more and more band width, not less and less, the ability to get things done, gets smler and smaller, without being able to get anything done there is no way to turn those t is hard to turn your approval ratings around as people look and say, as they watch the clock turn, and the calender turn, and he's accomplishing nothing to make their lives better, especially on the economic front it just doesn't, i mean again, i am open to the notion that it's possible but it's hard to fore see and
sketch the scenario by which he is suddenly at 46 or 47 or 50, let alone 50 by the end of the year. >> you do what you have to do in politics. give it a second look. >> he's in a bad place. >> thank you, mark. great to you have back. >> good to see you. >> we'll see you tomorrow night. >> indeed. >> back in a moment, stay with us. conor oberst is here, the singer songwriter has been called, get, this the new bob dylan, he is best known as the frontman for the indy group bright eyes, his latest album acts as a companion piece of last year's ruminations which pitchfork magazine called a record like no other. and the in the conor oberst catalog, stunning in how utterly alone he sounds, it is you will cad salutations, called a collection of brave, dark songs containing some of is had best lyrics and imagery, here he is performing till st. hipner kicks us out. he did it in your studio snoatd rise and shine, get out of bed.
♪ get ready for the day. ♪ get a coffee from the deli. ♪ walk the riverbanks. ♪ be careful with your headphones on. ♪ when you cross the fdr. ♪ you don't want to be a casualty. ♪ before you make it to the bar. ♪ and how to shake. ♪ your worried face. ♪ you sit down in the back. ♪ all your friends are here. ♪ ahead of you. ♪ and the night is falling fast. ♪ so you don't want to say. ♪ though you're thinking it out load. ♪ the things we lost never to be found. ♪ but if you are going to talk like that. ♪ at least buy another round. ♪ we can't get drinking until st. hipner kicks us out.
♪ what is name. ♪ blinking lights that are changing ought will time. ♪ but depending who you are talking to. ♪ well, it's likely that you'll be fine. ♪ i watched you go come back to work. ♪ so the blues are here to stay. ♪ but sometimes this, the simple things. ♪ that can make it all okay snoalt you don't have to lie. ♪ you're all right. ♪ we're jst happy that you are here. ♪ for if you are yelling and tell. ♪ singing go to hell. ♪ at least sound sincere. ♪ you know it's all spectacle. ♪ when you go to take a vow.
♪ you get nervous in the crowd. ♪ but if you need. ♪ some company. ♪ we can get drinking until st. hipner kicks us out. ♪ getting able. ♪ great minds think alike. ♪ i never was a good judge of when to call it a night. ♪ oarksz you don't want to say. ♪ thinking it out loud. ♪ the things go south. ♪ they never turn around. ♪ but if you want. ♪ never let you down. ♪ we can keep dringing until-- kicks us out.
>> rose: and in only aha!, nebraska. >> yes. >> rose: is it folk or do you call it something else or does it matter what you call it. >> i do tallly call it folk. because i think that's a good term because to me folk music is like easy music to play. like i've never been, i never want to school for it. everything i learned is very self-taught. so i feel like folk music, at its core is just that, lik were into punk rock bands an blah blah blah, but at the heart of it i always felt like it was about the sirch el chord progression and the lyrics you are singing and the melody, kind of the core of the sng and you can dress it up in different ways with all kinds of production. and bells and whistles am but i always hope my songs, like, when they come down to their, like,
simplest form are still worthwhile. >> rose: what do you start with? >> i usually, like, sometimes it will be like one line or something but a lot of people have like thought that it comes, the lyrics come first. but always i get the vocal melody down first. so i will sing into my, whatever, little back in the day it was like a little dik ta phone now it is like the phone am but just sing kind of gibberish until i get like a melody thatas important as the poetry, you know what i mean. so they have to be married in the right way. but i always start with the vocal melody. >> rose: when do you give it a title? >> sometimes like at the very end. i feet like i used to be kind of
annoying with my tietd els when i was younger, like long titles an things that didn't make sense. i feel like i've gotten more like oh, that's the refrain, you know, i've become a little more of a, like, classisys as i've gone on in time. but i used to like weird titles. >> rose: is the idea, what do you think they are trying to express? is it your voice, is it the song writing when they say, you know, the new new dylan. >> obviously there are so many new dylans. >> rose: true. >> you have to stand in line. but no, i mean-- . >> rose: but they're trying to say something. they hear something. >> i always fell like that was music journalist was short hand for like you have a lot of words in your songs and you know, sort of the poetry aspect of it is as important as the musical aspect. and i don't know, i feel like to me, the, the more i can i don't know find something universal, obviously you are expressing
yourself but finding something that, i don't know, just like human experience, i guess, someone listens to a song, can they relate to it as being like a fellow human being, like on this planet. >> rose: are you saying what they feel? >> i don't know. i'm saying what i feel but the hope of course is that i think all art is a communications, so you are kind of like, are you putting it on the little balloon and throwing it in the air and you don't know if anyone is going to receive it on the other side. but that's the hope, you know. i mean it's out of my control once i like put it out there. >> rose: and what is the difference in this album, ruminations and this one, in terms of what you are trying to accomplish? >> well, i mean, kind of the way it happened, the ruminations is just me like just me on guitar, piano, harmonica singing all by myself in our studio that i have with my friend in only what, so it is very-- omaha and it is
very bleak. >> rose: dark. >> i suppose to, they have the same song so the seconds record was the one that i intended to make. a famous great drummer, playso with everybody. he could produced it with me. >> rose: including neil young. >> yeah, neil young, john bobby d, he is an amazing person, was a big part of that record. that was the record i set out to make, the salutations but the label i am on, they kind of fell in love with the demos that i had made in omaha. >> rose: we can't wait. >> so they convinced me to put out the sort of demo version first, and then that came outlining last october. and then the new record came out in the spring. >> rose: and what are you backed up with here. >> so it's on the record it's jim kalner on the drums and this great bands from upstate new york called the please brothers who are an amazing bands who play all the other instruments.
so it is like accordion, violin, piano, guitar,-base, drums, and yeah, good group. >> rose: there is a time that you went back to omaha, for what purpose? >> well, you know, i always kind of had one foot in, one foot out. my friend mike who plays-- played in bright identifies my old bands, we built a studio and our houses are kind of con joined so we always had studio thing going on. i never really fully left but i lived in new york for 13 years. and then a couple of years ago i kind of finally had to, they finally priced me out of the 1reu8age. they don't want folk singers down there any more. >> rose: and what, did that do something for you to be back there where your rooteds were? >> i mean, you know, my relationship with omaha, i'm sure with a lot of people's hometownstowns is complicated, t definitely shaped me there are a lot of people i love there and a
lot of great things that, you know, i think are worthwhile but at its heart, it's a very, you know, politically, abysmal. you know, for my tastes, like they have their priorities, like all backwards. and some aspects are hard to live with. i try to focus on the good things. i like my house, my friends and my dogs. >> you mentioned politics. are you also well-known because of the fact you don't hide your politics. >> sure, i'm the classic, you know, flaming, bleeding hearted liberal that everyone hates, you know. >> rose: yeah. >> but no, i don't care. i have never felt like, you know, i don't think as an artist you should feel obligated to put your politics in to your music. but if you, if you are compelled to, as a-- i think people get a lot of grief like oh, it's hollywood elite telling us to what to do, who is this music,
what does his position matter, if you have a platform to express yourself, do it. if you are compelled to, you done have to but for me, there has been times where i was compelled to. >> rose: and some of those who said regardless of where their politics are, are the same team beginning to show up at town meetings and express their own opinions very sharply. >> yeah, and we need, i mean, we need, we need everyone's opinions but i think more than anything right now the scariest thing to me is like the lack of agreement on reality. like there's no agreement. >> rose: and on facts. >> yes, empirical evidence is like no longer important. all that stuff, blows my mind. i'm like how you can, you know, just disregard for science and yeah, just facts. and now anything goes. so we are swirling in this mist of like, i don't know,
misunderstanding. >> rose: what represents that best am this album? songwise, i don't know. i think it's layered through there. a lot of my songs like will kind of be simultaneously personal, but also have some i don't know, political or social commentary aspect to them, kind of interwoven. i mean i have written a few songs that are overtly political like more like this is a commercial for the way i feel. but my favorite kind of writing z sorted of incorporates both of those, like the personal and the worldview together because i think that is more accurate to experience being a person am like you are tbg through your inner world but you are also living, you know, you are living obviously in the wider world which is you know just a mult teud of different ideas that you are getting bombarded with all the time. >> you are on your way to europe. >> yeah, going to europe next
week, finishing up this leg of the u.s. tour and i will be over for like a month. >> are the audiences different? i mean do they respond differently? or are these songs that come from deep inside of you so that therefore people can feel it because it's something that, you know, that the reason they are there, they identify with something in your song. >> i mean, i think, yes, there are definitely differences in audiences like as fares alike how much they lessen versus like party, you know, like, i guess the biggest example would be like the kind of stadium festival. like uk guys are all on clap all the time, if you go to japan they are like-- you know, like golf claps and you sing songs and really listen. but i have always been amazed with people in non, i guess because of their education system, they actually learn english as children. but i am always amazed when
we'll be far away in some other country and people want to come, my music is so like word centric, it's not like you can really dance to it that often. so i am amazed when people really connect with in a second an gage connect with the lyrics. i think that is cool. >> this was recorded at shanking ri la studioses in malibu. >> yeah rick ruben. >> rick owns it and coproduced with jim kaltner. >> you seem like are you really connected to the world and the outside world. at the same time you are in a kind of take it as it comes attitude. >> yeah, i mean i've always felt sort of lucky with my career which is like i never really. >> rose: set out to do something. >> and i never really got that famous or got into a position where there was like, i mean of course there are some pressures. basically have i always kind of-- we started off in omaha with our own record level and we-- label and we did that for years and kind of have always done stuff in, every little
milestone was sort of celebrateds alike this is great, you know. there it was the opposite of an overnight success. so i felt like i'm lucky that i feel like i have, because it's been so slow and even if it is kind of plateaus into just like, i can keep, like to me longevity is more important than, at this point for sure than like record sales or anything else you are tbing to do. like i hope to be still like writing songs and making records and playing for people, i'm 37, so i hope you know i look up to guys-- . >> rose: rolling stones. >> you know, like bruce or neil or any of those guys, like just like, if you can still be doing this stuff or willie nelson. >> rose: in your 70st. >> yeah, that would be like the ultimate goal. knock on your famous wooden table. >> rose: there you go. but this was done in 48 hours. >> yeah, it was-- . >> rose: 48 hours. >> yeah, cuz i was just, you know, intended just to be the
demo to send to the band before the record, before we started making the actual record. >> rose: that was a year ago, how long ago was that? >> that was, winter of 16y. >> rose: 16/17. and what did keltner add to this. >> he was kind of like our spiritual guide to the whole thing. i mean he is probably 73 and has played on every, you know, these amazing records from early jazz records to, i mean, just look up his diskography t is mind blowing. but i kind of became friends with him on this chance thing and when i was writing the songs, i would like, i would write them late at night and i would send them via text, to him and he would, he was always like getting back to me and like 20 minutes later. >> rose: hey, man, this was good. >> he was so into it, and so then originally i just was going to ask him to play drums because he plays drums with a lot of people, on a lot of records but
once i realized he was so involved with the whole process, i just asked him, would you like to produce it with me. and he doesn't do that that often. but he said yes. and then he took on so much of it. like he spent way more time in the control room, doing all of the little tweaks and everything than i did, even. so he, i think he really like took it on. is he just like, i mean, talk about like a musical education, to be around someone that has been part of so many incredible records and sump a sweet soul, just a kind man. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> so great to talk to you. i really appreciate it. >> rose: thank you. >> thank you so much. >> rose: you too, conor oberst, thank you for joining us. see you next time. #r
this season of "martha stewart's cooking school" explores treasured recipes from an extraordinary part of the world -- the arabian gulf. join me in my kitchen as i celebrate its regional ingredients. we'll make rustic breads, mouthwatering desserts, and hearty stews with spices made famous by historic trade routes, learn new culinary techniques and creative tips for serving arabian gulf classics, from preparing small bites to showstopping dishes fit for any festive occasion. with its bold flavors and strong traditions, i've been inspired to get into the kitchen and add what i like to call a good thing to an already delicious cuisine. enjoy. "martha stewart's cooking school" is made possible by... ♪ announcer: al jazeera.