tv Charlie Rose PBS August 19, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin tonight with two big stories, the departure of steve bannon from the white house and the terrorist attack in barcelona. >> white house press secretary sarah sanders said chief of staff john kelly and strategist steve bannon mutually agreed on his exit but sources tell us the president had grown frustrated by bannon's rising profile and recent publications describing him as the mastermind behind trump's campaign. >> mr. bannon came on very late, you know that. i went through 17 senators, governors, and i won all the primaries. mr. bannon came on very much later than that. >> bannon was one of the first white house staff members hired and arrived with a nationalist agenda, playing a key role in
the controversial travel ban. shortly after the president's inauguration, he described himself as part of a new political order. >> if you think they're going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken. every day -- every day it is going to be a fight. >> his prior work at breitbart news which lent editorial support to the white supremacist movement made him a lightning rod for criticism. >> we have a wall, a great wall. on breitbart radio in 2015 2015 bannon interviewed trump about immigration and described himself with hard line views. >> we'll always be to the right of this. >> bannon was unafraid to feud with other white house officials particularly jared kushner, gary cohn and h.r. mcmaster. this week bannon seemed to undermine trump administration policy when he said in an
interview there's no military solution to north korea. >> more arrests were made today to jeers from onlookers. in all four suspects have been detained following the twin vehicle attacks, one down a busy barcelona street, the second 75 miles south in the beach down of cam brails. one is just 17 years old. sources tell cbs news the terrorists were planning a larger attack possibly a vehicle bomb using gas canisters, all being constructed in a house just down the street. the house exploded wednesday. it was leveled and the explosions were so strong this neighborhood showed us how it broke the glass in her window. spanish police theorized that after the explosives prematurely ignited, the terrorists then went to plan b. the next day a van was driven down the tourist packed
las ramblas in barcelona, swerving to hit as many people as possible. eight hours later terrorist in another car in cambrils ran into another pedestrians. a woman died in the attack. a cell phone video was taken when he saw one to have the five terrorists taunting officers. >> i thought i was watching one of those horror films. >> a waiter near the scene told us he saw terrorists wearing what looked like explosive belts. the suicide vests were fakes but did manage to instill fear. >> rose: we continue with ashley parker of th "the washinn post." >> earlier on in the administration bannon appeared on the cover of "time" magazine, the worst thing you can do as a house stefer, then participated in the book by joshua green, "devil's bargain." he thought bannon was taking too
much credit for his own electoral victory. >> rose: mike allen of axios. as you know, this president does not like to be outshown. this president does not like other people crowding his spotlight, and the book that came out last month from bloomberg businessweek's josh green, the great book inside this white house on the cover showing steve bannon and president trump as equals, and, charlie, we know the president saw that book and he didn't like it. >> rose: turning to the attack in barcelona, we talk to fran townsend. >> all you need is to grab an everyday item, a car, a knife, and can launch an attack, you can walk into a restaurant like in london and start stabbing people or take a car on london bridge or nice or here in barcelona and mow down civilians it's very hard to stop.
you rely on intelligence to catch the person but it's hard to stop them when someone's picked up the weapon. >> rose: for understanding steve bannon and relationship to president trump, we talk to joshua green, his book, "devil's bargain: steve bannon, donald trump, and the storming of the presidency." >> bannon is a propagandist at heart and is very good at messaging, at stoking the worries and fears of the electorate and galvanizing a certain kind of dispossessed voter who hasn't felt like they've had a place in american politics, maybe over the last ten, 20 years. that's a real talent, and i think that helped get donald trump elected. but you need an entirely different set of skills when you wind up in the white house. >> rose: the departure of steve bannon and the terrorist attack in spain when we continue. >> rose: funding for "charlie
rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: steve bannon the controversial chief strategist for president trump is leaving the white house. that announcement came this afternoon in a statement from white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders. sanders characterized his departures a mutual decision, one made between bannon and president's chief offchaffchaff
general john kelly. some suggest kelly has had wannen in his sites since entering the white house. it's rumored bannon was soured due to the press and the credit bannon received in the election. bannon fourth top advisor to the president to leave the administration in the last month. joining me from washington, ashley parker, white house reporter for "the washington post," and has been reporting on this story. ashley, let me begin with this, was he pushed or did he scwump? >> i think he was definitely pushed, but i will say he's somewhat comfortable with that. i don't think this would have been his top choice at all, but in the past several days, he had sort of resigned himself to any feat that he met. so he was pushed but pushed into a potentially very soft landing pad. >> rose: and what's the soft landing? >> well, one option that we're hearing and is very likely is that he's going to go back to
invigorated, waging war not necessarily against the president himself but around a lot of the people surrounding the president and the west wing who he derides as democrats, globalists and the president if he thinks the president is not keeping his campaign promises on issues important to him like trade and immigration and he also has deep-pocketed beneficiaries in the form of the mercer's and there's a chance there might be a new media venture with him. >> rose: who are the mercers? they are wealthy republican donors, a father and daughter, and they have funded a lot of bannon's activities in the past. they are close to the president, they are the ones who during the campaign helped push bannon on trump to help bring him in. they're sort of his patrons and seems they would be likely to
support him in his next future endeavors. >> rose: what's the risk for the president? >> the risk, well, the risk is twofold. the risk for the president again, as you had bannon on the outside being this jolly feisty pirate captain who is now sort of attacking the white house from the outside and, again, he's going to be a little more reluctant to attack the president but attacking people around the president, attacking parts to have the president's agenda if he doesn't think it goes far enough is a possible problem for the president specifically and then a problem for some of these west wingians who pushed him out is we know this president and one thing the president does is no one is ever actually out, so the president may be under general kelly's tutelage now and abide big his rules and at some point and i can't tell you if that's next week, a month, three month, the president and bannon i bet will talk on the phone, the president will call him late at night on his cell phone and bannon will
still have the president's ear and he will be unincumbered by politics and bureaucracy and be more emboldened to push the president's nationalist, populist impulses. >> rose: the president and general kelly were not happy about leaks and he seemed to shoulder some of the blame for the leaks. number two, there was a conflict he had with h.r. mcmaster, breitbart, his former vehicle, had been aggressive in terms of h.r. mcmaster. number three, i guess the whole fallout from charlottesville might have engulfed him in some way. are there other factors that might have led to his departure? >> absolutely. so one factor is that even though this was a general kelly move, a sort of a sign of him asserting his power and the power he really has in the west wing to bring order is nothing happens in this white house if the president does not sign off
on it and the president had grown increasingly frustrated with bannon basically because he thought bannon's ego was set get thing too big and bannon was taking credit for what the president viewed as his own accomplishments so early on in the administration bannon faced trouble with the president when he appeared on the cover of "time," the worst thing you can do as a white house staffer, then participated in a book by joshua green, "devil's bargain," and the president was unhappy about that and he thought bannon was taking credit for his wing the election. >> rose: and some people call bannon the president or the alternative president. >> and that, too, and remember, again, this is not now. this was earlier but there was a series of "saturday night live" "saturday night live" skits that had bannon playing the president
with the president playing at this toy desk and that was another thing that trove the actual president crazy. >> rose: how does steve bannon feel about the president? what do we know about how he feels about the president that has not been expressed by him publicly? >> that's a very good question. i do think he saw the president and the white house as sort of a vehicle for him achieving his own, you know, nationalist, populist goals he had been pushing for some time outside of the white house. i think he saw the president as an imperfect vehicle for that and he understood the president is someone who can often be swayed by the person he spoke to last or competing factions and impulses we is one of the reasons bannon was at such war with some of his colleagues in the west wing who he felt represented sort of a contrary point, the democratic or globalist world view. but he also recognized in the
president something of a kindred spirit. there's a sense that trump has no ideological core but there are a few issues the president has been quite consistent on not just in his presidency and campaign, but dating back decades, and those are some of the same issues bannon championed most notably trade, immigration and sort of a wariness of sending, you know, young men and women overseas to fight in wars. >> rose: could the president have won the presidency without steve bannon? >> that's also a good question. i'm hesitant to answer one way or another but i will say that even people now who have turned on steve bannon in the moment, in the campaign, they said, look, this guy is a wartime guy with great populist impulses, understands the politics, understands the president's base
and the president and how to manage the president, and, you know, he was the person who helped right the ship during tough moments including the access hollywood video during the campaign. so i think no matter where you end up on that question he certainly played you know a big stabilizing role. >> rose: how significant a contribution to his departure was the interview he did with bob cutter of the american prospect magazine is this. >> it didn't help. my understanding is general kelly came in with no preconceived notions. he had no personal animus against steve bannon. one of the things general kelly was brought in to do was not manager the president but create order within the west wing, to manage the staff, to put processes in place, so that means nobody speaking outside of their lane, nobody going rogue
and doing an interview where they attack their west wing colleagues. this was just a classic example of steve bannon doing something that the new chief of staff had explicitly basically forbid staff from doing, and i would also remind you this is exactly what anthony scaramucci did in the "new yorker" that got him fired by general kelly. the language was more clover but same behavior. >> rose: can you say this was a victory for people like jared, ivanka, gary cohn, h.r. mcmaster, like people who had fight at one time or another with him? >> oh, absolutely. you can 100% say that. you know, jared kushner had been one of the people who turned on bannon very early and lost the initial fight to push him out, the president wasn't quite ready to do it then. but there were a lot of people who disliked steve bannon because he directly or deliberately waged war against them in the media, somebody like
jared kushner, h.r. mcmaster, or just other people who thought he was a destructive, distracting presence in the west wing, and that was another thing that hurt him. at the end of the day, he did not have a ton of allies so when the new chief of staff came in and started asking questions about him, he didn't have as many defend arse he might have needed. >> rose: i guess the ultimate question is whether this will help or hurt the president in a significant way with his base because that seems to be where, at this moment, he is going in moments of crisis. >> yeah, the president is always laser-like focused on his base, even in moments where you think it might make sense for him to move more towards the middle orally the nation to come together, he goes back to his base. it's an interesting question. i don't know how many people in his base will dessert him simply because steve bannon is gone and the same i'm skeptical of how
many people vote for a politician because they got an endorsement of someone else. but i will say if bannon's absence allows the president to be drawn further to the left or to further to the middle or to abandon some of his campaign promises, then i certainly think that will hurt him with his base and that will be magnified because you will have steve bannon from the outside mobilizing his media operation against anything he considers going squishy on these campaign promises. >> rose: ashley, thank you. thank you. >> rose: ashley parker, "the washington post." back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: this week the continuing drama of the trump administration. steve bannon out as chief political advisor. the administration was pulled off topic this time from the fallout at charlottesville. president's comments put him at odds with many americans, top business leaders and fellow members to have the republican party. joining me from washington with more, mike allen, co-founder of axios and the editor of the
axios a.m. newsletter. tell me about steve bannon, what is the latest that we know about his survival. >> yeah, well, he's not surviving. the president decided he will go. the highest profile firing from this white house. steve bannon is telling colleagues he resigned on august 7th, to be effective a week later, that would coincide with the one year anniversary of him coming into the trump campaign. charlie, we're told that the leading offenses for steve bannon, the reason he ran afoul of the president were, one, leaking, which is ironic in this white house. charlie, you know how much everyone leaks, including the president of the united states, but the president believed steve bannon was leaking on west wing colleagues, perhaps include his son-in-law jared kushner, and that was one thing the president's been telling people around the west wing. the second thing and probably the tipping point, charlie, was,
as you know, this president does not like to be outshown. this president does not like other people crowding his spotlight, and the book that came out last month from bloomberg businessweek's josh green, the week book inside this white house on the cover showing steve bannon and president trump as equals, and, charlie, we know the president saw that book and he didn't like it. one of the reasons that steve bannon got in the doghouse before was, when he was on the cover second most powerful man in the world, a dangerous thing to be called around president trump. >> rose: i would add to that his conflict with h.r. mcmaster. >> that's right, and that's part of the week. so there have been a barrage of negative stories about the president's national security
advisor h.r. mcmaster and the president the other day came out and spoke in public about his national security advisor saying that he supported him despite these stories that have been appearing notably on breitbart news which, of course, steve bannon was the boss before he went in to the campaign. so, of course, he was a suspect in those leaks, but more broadly in this campaign against national security advisor. so it was an ominous sign for the american first wing, the nationalist wing of the white house where at his press conference the other day president trump says we'll see what happens with mr. bannon. >> rose: so the political fallout from this, who will be pleased by this departure and who will be upset by this departure? >> well, charlie, the people who will be upset are the people who are the trump first, america first people, the people who were officials and architects of
that coalition. it's very unusual trump coalition that gave him the surprise victory, very focused on rust belt, working class americans, the america first idea, the sort of hard line on immigration, all that was bannon's side of the house. now, others in the white house will point out to you that the president was talking about these ideas before steve bannon came into the white house, but it was steve bannon who realized that you could win with that coalition and figured out the math and the states where that would work. so that takes nothing away from what president trump did but he just doesn't want to give credit on that. and, charlie, over these seven months, you and i have debated the question of, in this white house, how much method is there to the madness? how much of a plan is there behind what's been done? until now, when -- to the degree
that there's been a plan, a lot of it was steve bannon. now that changes radically. charlie, now as we look ahead to labor day, congress returning the day after labor day, this is a real chance for a reset by the president. his new chief of staff, general john kelly, a retired four-star marine who's been trying to impose a little marine discipline in this white house, trying to get it so that the oval office is no longer, as one official told us, a rolling craps game, that there is more discipline in what the president sees, what he's told, who sees him, what goes on in the white house, the telephone calls to him. general kelly has been trying to build guardrails around all that. but there is one thing missing from that plan, charlie, and your viewers well know what it is. the president of the united states is missing from that plan. there is no indication after three weeks now of the kelly air in the white house that the
president will be fenced in, hemmed in by him. all we have to do is look at the tweets this week going after republicans, more tweets going after republican senators, charlie, than going after democrats. more tweets defending confederate memorials at a time when that's not going to be a healing message. the president taking a press conference that was supposed to be about infrastructure, a part of his plan that has a prayer of getting democratic support and, instead, using that to reignite the argument about both sides in this charlottesville, virginia tragedy and the president introducing the term the alt-left as a counterpart to the hard-wing alt-right. so general kelly may have a system in place and now he has steve bannon's head on a platter. he's one of the people who's most happy about this. steve bannon was the person who was the most likely to color outside the lines of the new system, but there's no
indication yet that he has the president buying into that program. >> rose: in terms of you're talking about general kelly does not have the president? >> exactly. >> rose: let me talk about the president's support today in america. everybody talks about his base and what he may be doing to appeal to his base. how large is the base and is there some erosion in the base at all, his own popularity ratings are in the 30s, low 30s, but he seems to be dependent on maintaining his support within the base. here he fires one of the principal people, if fired rather than resigned, that was his link to his base. >> charlie, that's righters and that's what steve bannon has had to hold over him. charlie, as i talked to white house officials in recent days about this decision, that was one of the factors, one of the factors, part of the bannon survival plan was that he did hold the heart beat of that trump base and the flip side of
that coin is he's the one person who could do real harm on the outside. he's somebody who could go back to breitbart news and go after this white house. now, the reporting by jonathan swan indicates that's not the case. in fact, i would look for steve bannon to be supportive of the president on the outside prapt even working on his midterm strategy for 2018, his reelection strategy for 2020. but to get there, the president decided to make this radical change. >> rose: have you seen any diminution in leaking from the white house. >> is this of course not, charlie. you know that. ( laughter ) the leaks come from everywhere including the president who talks to his long-time friends and then they yap and we hear what they're talking about and we have extremely accurate leaks. so this will do nothing to change that. general kelly has tried to clamp down on the machinery of the white house, but there are
plenty of people in there who still have motive to talk to reporters, they want to reflect their world view, and there is plenty of people there who feel insecure about their own position and are going to continue to talk about that. enty of places still to go and we still have plenty good information about what's going on. so i mentioned this opportunity for a reset. charlie, this is a big moment for the president. the past after he became ones officially the nominee, he could have behaved more like an establishment republican or more like you would expect a nominee to behave after he won election. he might have decided as president-elect to change his style, after the inauguration he might have decided to change his style, but, no, the next day, he's at the c.i.a. in front of the stars honoring lost c.i.a.
agents, and he's talking about his reelection victory. so none of the past resets have taken. we're in 210 some days in. will he take this new chance at labor day to focus on tax reform which is supposed to be message one, and will he adapt a little bit to this system that general kelly is imposing? i doubt general kelly is very optimistic about that and your viewers saw the cutaway shots from that wild raucous press conference of general kelly watching this unfold before his eyes. >> rose: looking down. his head sinking like this. >> rose: oh, yeah. do the people that you know in congress in washington feel that this is somehow different, that if he can't turn this around, he is in deeper trouble than he's ever been before? >> no, charlie, that's very astute and absolutely is different. and let's unpack. how first of all, you could have
kept reading, of course, more comments from marco rubio, senator tim scott of south carolina mentioned notable that he's the only african-american republican in the senate. mitt romney. both presidents bush in a very rare statement. so there is a lot of this and, charlie, this is how we know it's different. for the first time in these seven months, people inside, young people asking me how they should get out, whether they should get out, the first time that i've really had these conversations. the staff is dejected, they're deflated. interestingly enough, charlie, they're not surprised. this is the donald trump that we've seen. there was just the hope for so long by people working for him, by republicans on the outside who were giving him the benefit of the doubt, when he got inside, when he had real work to do, when he had a system around him, when he had the right people with him, that he would more stay on his message and
more promote his agenda. >> rose: if general mattis, secretary of defense decides to go, someone like that, then that will be a beginning of even more difficult times for the president. >> charlie, perfectly put. a couple of reasons, one, there's a real fury yore that as one person told me from the news reporter, one top staff member goes, there could be a run on the bank. a mass exodus of one person decides to go. second, several of the officials that you mentioned including the secretary of defense, including the economic advisor gary cohn, including other national security officials, those are all people that we've referred to as the committee to save america and the committee to save america are people who as you suggest are making personal sacrifices because they think it's important to be there at this moment, and who in the end are going to be there for the
country. i think you can count republican leaders in this. but if members of the committee to save the country, people who thought that they needed to be there in order to own sure that the country sort of stays within the land that it needs to be in, if they decide they need to do go, then you're right, that this administration will look very different to the people the president will desperately need on the hill and to other of their colleagues there in the west wing. so this is a decision the president has to make about the reset. does he continue to want to let trump be trump? and as we know this president does not like to be bullied into things. that's the only reason i thought steve bannon might survive because when you have nancy pelosi calling for him to be fired, that could be a little job security. this is something the president was going to give general kelly. general kelly wanted steve bannon to go. the president went along with
that part of showing respect to general kelly and maybe buying himself time on changing he doesn't wasn't to make. >> rose: mike allen of axios, thank you for this conversation. >> charlie, thanks for a great conversation in historic times. >> rose: we'll be right back, stay with us. >> rose: we turn to another terror attack in europe, 14 died and more than 100 injured in a pay pair of attacks in barcelona and cambrils. terrorists hoped to inflict heavy casuals by driving vehicles into crowds of pedestrians. we turn to frances townsend, former homeland security advisor to president bush and also a contributor to cbs news. what's the significance of this? >> charlie, i think this is one in a series of these vehicular
attacks. the best known that started the trend in europe was the nice attack in the promenade with the big truck and there have been over half a dozen in the last year. the barcelona attack was a little different. what they intended we believe now was something quite different. there was the gas explosion at a home the day before and clearly what they were planning to do was put these gas canister explosives into the truck and create a car bomb. when that prematurely went off, they changed the plan and went for the ramming attack. but that wasn't all, right? then we see about 80 miles or so south of barcelona in cambrils the next car ramming and five of the them killed. this gives all the hallmarks of a bigger, spectacular attack i.s.i.s. would like to pull off. >> rose: i notice the fact
i.s.i.s. took credit soon. >> that's right, and i think they did. they were able to do that because they understood the attack plan and parameters. investigators are looking to see if they can establish contacts both within spain and outside of spain. since 2013 -- between 2013 and 2016, west point studied this, the spanish have arrested 178 islamic extremists, 40% from morocco, the other 40% spaniards and mixed. this is a problem that the spanish authorities have been very aware of and working against for some time. >> rose: who moussa oukabir? this is the suspect who rented the car. the brother they're still looking for. they believe the brother is the driver of the car. the manhunt continues. >> rose: is also suggesting when we think about i.s.i.s. and
as they are fighting to -- in raqqa, having lost mosul, and if they lose raqqa as everybody expects they will that what we'll witness are these kinds of attacks in europe and perhaps in the united states. >> that's right. i mean, look at what we've seen in brussels and paris, we've always worried the fighters in those areas would bleed out and go into western europe. the interesting thing about spain is they're particularly vulnerable to those extremists coming in from north africa. a pipeline they cross in from north africa into western europe. many pass through spain but obviously we have a group that remained in spain and poses a threat there. >> rose: when they capture a terrorist like this and begin the interrogation, what's been the terms of them at someponent
being able to lead to other activities because they search where they live or b because in the end they realize the game is up? >> there are a number of ways they get this information. pocket litter, pieces of paper and information on their person. it's their cell phones, computers, their social media, all those connections provide a web to investigators. they leverage those in terms of an interrogation and we have to be suspicious that perhaps one of the ways that the spanish authorities were able to get to the cambrils cell 80 miles south was because of all that information they gathered and perhaps the cooperation. rarely do you get people alive after these operations and they have four in custody that can provide lead information. >> rose: do they have any indication that an attack like this was coming? >> not clear. there have been some reports that c.i.a. and other intelligence authorities may have given them some at least general warning.
there is no indication there was a speck warning. it may be other intelligence services have had some indications that a plot may be afoot. we've seen the warnings before particularly in the summer where there are tourists and people are traveling. often we know al quaida wants to target these sorts of areas. so it's possible they had some indication. >> rose: is this also having perhaps because of security at airports and on airplanes have become much much tougher and turned to something much more difficult to detect and also difficult to prevent? >> well, that's the point here, right, charlie? if all you need is to grab an everyday item -- a car, knife -- and you can launch an attack, you can walk into a restaurant like we saw in london and start stabbing people or take a car on the london bridge, nice or barcelona and mow down civilians, it's very difficult to stop. you rely on intelligence to try to catch the person but it's hard when somebody's picked up the weapon to stop them. >> rose: why has the united
states been -- how have they been successful in avoiding significant attacks like this in our cities and in our concert halls? >> you know, it's interesting, charlie, look, there's no doubt in my mind that charlottesville was domestic terrorism. if you're prepared to label barcelona where a non-government actor targets a civilian population with violence for political aim, if you're able to label barcelona as terrorism, we ought to be able to confront the fact when a white neo-nazi or white supremacist does the same thing that's terrorism, too. in new york, the police take precautions to keep them sprarkts put barricades between them to prevent violence. i don't have any doubt authorities in charlottesville will look back and say were there things we could have or should have done to prevent it? do most people in your field say
it is surprising we've not had an attack in the united states directed by people from overseas? >> yes. i think we are surprised that they haven't been successful. i think some of that is a tribute to the men and women who work every day to prevent it. >> rose: successful prevention and intelligence. >> that's right, and we've invested billions of dollars to improve our collection capability and detection. i think it's a tribute to feds and state and locals. often locals and states get the first indication something is wrong and working with the feds they can detect and prevent it. >> rose: will this -- what might change in the future? are there more things law enforcement people can do to prevent this as happening? i've always heard the primary weapon you have is intelligence for warning. >> that's exactly right. the other thing you have to do -- i mean, i think, i remember when the french put
barricades around the eiffel tower. everyone said why are they doing this and barcelona reminds us why. i think you will see more and more vehicular barricades around large pedestrian areas and tourist attractions like we did with airports we're going to try make it more difficult while we rely on intelligence to prevent it. >> rose: there is also apparent here and other instance as terrorist cell. what constitutes a terrorist cell? what is that and how does it function? >> when we think about a cell, charlie, it's a group of people. it's more than one. we've heard a lot in recent times and lone wolves, the individual who sees something observe the internet and is inspired to act independent of a goup. but when we talk about a cell, it's typically a group who discussed, planned, coordinated, gathered materials like gas canisters and in this case barcelona, they tried to rent a big truck, it failed and they rented two smaller trucks. so a cell has the characteristic
of the planning and the operation, the coordination of an operation that a lone wolf doesn't and it allows them to inflict more damage, more harm and they're more lethal. >> rose: so was the boston marathon a small cell or a lone wolf? >> i would say that the boston marathon was a small cell. you had two brothers that worked in concert. >> rose: europe, we don't know what they learned there. >> that's exactly right. >> rose: the question also comes up in terms of the support they're getting. halls that dried up as they have lost the caliphate in terms of i.s.i.s.? are they less able to raise the kind of financing that they wanted to? less able to recruit as they wanted to? or is that still a factor that they can depend on? >> charlie, i think it's still a factor they can depend on. i think it's become more difficult for them but as its become more difficult, as they don't have the successes in the iraq-syrian sort of theater to
point to, what they rely on are things like barcelona. they will go out on social media, they will do it that way, they'll use bitcoin. they adapt their methods around authority so they can continue to do those things. >> rose: thank you for coming. great to see you. >> great to see you, thank you, charlie. >> rose: fran townsend. stay with us. >> rose: steve bannon is one of the most divisive figures in american poll licks. harvard business school, blue collar roots, bannon driving force behind breitbart web site when donald trump appointed him to run his campaign in august 2016. widely crafted with crafting president trump's message and guiding him to victim r. joshua green tells the story of bannon and trump's unlikely partnership in his new book called "devil's bargain." i am pleased to have josh green at this table. welcome. >> great to be here, thank you. >> rose: this is a new review
in the new york review of backs i just saw in which it says it is a testament to your adroit intertwaining of bannon and trump that we're not certain which of the two figures sold the bigger part of himself to the other. in the broader sense they are co-authors of our moment's tabloid conservatism. >> i think that's exactly right and the point of the book was to go back and answer the question everybody wants to still know about donald trump, how is it that he managed to get elected and all of us in the media, many washington didn't see it coming? i didn't see it coming, but i had covered bannon, breitbart, i covered this pommist uprising, and i spoke to bannon and the story came into focus, how these two men and their stories are interwoven and likely led to this upset. >> rose: tell us the story. trump and bannon met in 2010.
bannon has this wild background gotten attention by now. >> rose: seven years ago. seven years ago. bannon was born to a blue car, democratic navy family in richmond, virginia. spent four years in the navy. went to harvard business school, moved to goldman sachs, and eventually went out to hollywood and opened a boutique investment bank, financing and cutting hollywood deals. like so many people on the money side many hollywood, he wanted to go to the creative side and he had this deep almost coble mated conservatism that he hadn't likely shown at harvard and goldman sachs but once he started making movies, he gave full flower to that. he made a venerating documentary about ronald reagan that brought him into the orbit of a group of los angeles conservatives led by andrew breitbart, conservative publisher and provocateur.
bannon became infitch waited with andrew breitbart as a figure, his ability and power to control the media narrative to kind of help shape stories in what kind of news was covered. and i think the thing that bannon admired most about breitbart or one of the things was that he apprenticed with matt and seemed to have an ability to see stories and shape them in the mainstream media and bannono who is enamoured by the fascist propaganda filmmakers in the 1930s and 40was consumed with this idea that if i can learn these skills, if i can harness this power that andrew breitbart has, i can shape the world this a direction that will advance my political goals. >> rose: and his political goal then was? >> his political goal has always been the same, to push for a kind of hard right populist
nationalism that is very much distinct from ordinary orthodox movement conservatism. bannon's critique of that kind of conservatism essentially is it's globalist, his great majority phrase, that it serves the interest of a global financial class that is more interested in making money and sort of erasing national borders, tearing down cultural identities than it is in serving the kind of ordinary working class blue collar people that bannon thinks is the backbone of the country and ought to be at the center of our politics and bannon's prescription for how to do that is to essentially tear down the global free trade system, to close america's borders, to deport people who are here illegally and to curb legal immigration as a way of privileging american citizens and reasserting kind of a cultural identity.
>> rose: is this different from what pat buchanan argued way back when in the '80s? >> yeah, i talked to bannon about this six months, a year ago. i said, isn't he really your intellectual forbearer? he said, well, yes and no. yes in the sense that he had kind of cottoned to the power of this kind of populism and buchanan like steve bannon is a deeply traditional catholic, but he said the big difference is that buchanan isn't enough of a zionist, that's where he goes wrong. i am a big zionist and, therefore, we really don't see eye to eye on those kinds of things. >> rose: when does donald trump come into the picture? >> trump comes into the picture, into bannon's picture in 2010, and that's really about the same time that -- that's when they met through a long time clinton add vo exist david bossy, central to the clinton scandals
and investigations in the 1990s, formally chief investigator of dan burton's government of sight committee who are the ones who burr sued bill clinton more aggressively than any other republicans in congress. bannon knew bossy from kind of the conservative fringes. bossy had been pulled into trump's orbit by steve nguyen, the casino magnate. trump at the time was get seringous about running for politics and these are the two guys he surrounded himself with. >> rose: nguyen and trump weren't close. >> they sued each other. this is a story i tell in the book where nguyen wanted to move into atlantic city, trump was there, they hired detectives and sued each other and there was all sorts of skull duggery, but in the end they settled because there was a deal to make for each of them. after they settled they became friends and shortly after they became friends, bossy was at a hospital fundraiser with steve nguyen whom he had gotten to
know a little bit and nguyen calls over donald trump and says, hey, i want you to meet my friend dave boss, he's a big deal in republican politics and you've probably heard of him because right at that time bossy's group citizens united had just won a supreme court case, citizens united versus the s.e.c., so bossy's stock was trading at a high and trump was very expressed with that because we know trump is always impressed with status. he brought bossy into his orbit, bossy started going up the trump tower to tutor him on politics. one day bossy says why don't you come along, i want to introduce you to somebody and he introduced him to donald trump. >> rose: what kind of reaction did both have to each other? >> according to people around trump's orbit, they immediately clicked because bannon, like trump is a deal guy. he's someone who knows money and wall street but he's also somebody who's worked in
entertainment and cares about it and speaks the lingo. and bannon is a guy full of political ideas, and we didn't realize this at the time but trump really was getting serious about running for president. not just to goose the ratings. in 2010 and 2011, not just to goose the ratings of the apprentice but -- >> rose: what was he looking for? a path to the presidency? >> he was. and if you look back. >> rose: because he was a democrat, a republican, everything? >> what he wanted to do was get to a position of power. i sort of tell the story of trump's fitful political career beginning in 1988 when he first started talking about this and going on cnn and touting himself as a presidential candidate and the strain that runs through all of trump's political evolutions who he's republican, democrat or independent, he really does have populist impulses. he talks about free trade, about how america is getting ripped off by wiley foreign
competitors. in the '80s, it was japan. now it's china. i think he recognized in bannon someone who shared his general political outlook but had a very fully-formed plex that measured comfortably with trump's own, and the one element that i think steve bannon added to donald trump's political persona was to convince him of the power of illegal immigration as a political weapon to wield in a republican primary. >> rose: to build a base. to build a base and take a base away from the establishment republicans who really weren't serving the needs and desires of their own voters. >> rose: and by using language that was more strident and by going to a position further right than they were?
>> exactly. bannon in 2006 produce add documentary called border wars where he went down to the u.s.-mexico border and kind of had a visceral sense for the emotions that illegal immigration stirs up and just the anger and the anxieties. i think bannon's dark talent is a political strategist is recognizing and exploitingthat kind of thing, and that is something he injected into trump's political persona, and trump being the intuitive position tigs that he is started testing out this material at rallies, he started talking about the wall, and he saw, he could see that he was getting a reaction from these conservative grassroots voters and kept going with it. but it wasn't immigration that got him started on this path. it was -- >> rose: it was obama. it was obama. >> rose: so he decides to run in 2016. >> he decided -- stone, again, long-time advisor said the
moment he knew trump was going to run, he calls him up on new year's day 2013, roger stone calls trump just to say hi and happy new year and trump tells hem, i just went and trademarked the phrase "make america great again," and stone said he knew at that moment trump was really going to go ahead. i uncovered what unfolded in the next three or four months in the book and you can see just over the course of those few months trump morphing from a guy talking about birtherrism to a guy who is the full-fledged anti-immigrant zealot we came to meet and know. >> rose: anti-trade, anti-immigrant. >> anti-trade, anti-immigrant. this is around the time he came up with the border wall, that his staff came up with the border wall. this is donald trump -- >> rose: the interest thing is he linked those things to jobs and budging, why we should be protecting people. it was all self-interest first.
>> but also playing on the resentments of the very people whose support he was trying to win. this is bannon's great insight and part of bannon's sermon. >> rose: he understood why they were resentful of the establishment. >> not just the establishment -- yes of the establishment but of everybody, of the immigrants who were coming in and they thought getting benefits that rightfully belonged to them, that these immigrants were displacing them in american culture, that political leaders were more intent on coddling and serving these foreigners than they were on their own citizens. bannon understood viscerally and trump did, too, the power that could have as a political issue. beginning in spring of 2013, that's when trump flipped the switch and turned them on. >> rose: most of us during the campaign, when manafort was out and began to understand who was coming in, we were surprised by steve bannon.
most -- we were surprised he put him where he did in the middle at the top of the campaign. but you were saying he was always there. >> he was always there in the background. he had always been an informal advisor and there were several key moments in the campaign before steve bannon came aboard when bannon played a pivotal role on trump's behalf. the earliest one, i think, was right after trump announced his candidacy. he came down the elevator in trump tower and gave the speech calling mexican immigrants drug dealers and rapists and there was this uproar. paul ryan criticized him, jeb bush criticized him. the ordinary thing to do would be to apologize, to reviews your remarks, to make some show of abasement to these people. >> rose: he doubled down. not only he doubled down, steven organized trump's trip to the laredo border because bannon knew a bunch of border guards,
organized a trip for trump to come to laredo and as bannon put it say exactly the same thing to mects co-'s face. so not only was he not poll apologizing, he was walking up, poking them in the chest and doubling down, an that's is sort of mindset that bannon brought to trump's universe. >> rose: "devil's bargain: steve bannon, donald trump, and the storming of the presidency." thank you for coming. >> thank you so much. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time. for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at pbs.org and charlierose.com.
♪ hello welcome to "kqed newsroom." coming up on our show, california congressman adam schiff will discuss this week's events in charlottesville. plus, a one-on-one with carol chris, the new chancellor of uc berkeley. but first, steve bannon is out. president trump fired him today. this comes in the wake of continuing fallout from charlottesville. san francisco city officials are calling on the national park service to deny a permit for a right wing rally later this month near the golden gate bridge. in washington, republican lawmakers found themselves weighing the cost of remaining loyal to president trump after his controversial comments about white