tv Charlie Rose PBS September 12, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight a conversation with steve bannon. >> obama, who you can say a lot about obama and i do, but he's an incorruptible guy as far as standard political corruption of cash, okay. the obama guys and john kerry on the senate foreign relations committee, what did they do? they made the agreement that before bill clinton, you guys do anything, you notify us first and get our permission. >> rose: steve bannon for the hour, next. >> 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 is executive chairman of breitbart news. until recently he was former chief strategist to president trump. during the campaign, he became the c.e.o. of the trump campaign. he grew up in richmond, virginia, went to virginia tech, georgetown and harvard business school. he worked for goldman sachs, became a filmmaker. last week i went to washington to talk with steve bannon about politics, economic nationalism, about president trump and about other issues that face this country. we recorded the conversation at his home which is also the office for breitbart news. two segments of that conversation appeared on "60 minutes" last night. here's an excerpt from that
broadcast. >> donald trump's a fighter, great counterpuncher, great counterpincher. he's a fighter. i'm going to be his wink man from the outside the entire time. >> rose: you will not be attacking donald trump. >> no, our purpose is to support donald trump. by the way -- >> rose: and destroy his enemies? >> to make sure his enemies know that there is no free shot or goal. after the charlottesville situation, i was the only guy who defended him, who said he's talking about something, taking it to a hiring level. where did this all go? where does it end? does it end in taking down the washington monument. >> rose: i tell you where many people suggest it should have should have gone in terms of denouncing specifically from the very beginning knee ol' nazis and white supremacists around people of that political view and it should have gone there because those were people americans in world war ii went to fight against and he should
have instantly denounced them, and you didn't at first instinct. in fact, you seemed to be doubling down in terms of moral equivalency. >> what he was trying to say is people that support the monument staying there peacefully and people who oppose that, that's the normal course of first amendment. but he's talking about the the neo-nazis and klan, which by the way there is no room in american society for that. my problem -- my problem, and i told general kelly this, when you side with a man, you side with him. i was proud to come out and try to defend president trump in the media that day. >> rose: no exceptions in terms of siding with someone is? >> you can tell him, hey, you can do it a better way, but if you are going to break, resign. the stuff leaked by certain members of the white house i thought was unacceptable. if you find it unacceptable, you should resign. >> rose: who are you talking about? >> obviously gary cohen and other people, that if you don't like or agree with what he's doing, you have an obligation to
resign. >> rose: so gary cohen should have resigned? >> absolutely. >> rose: were you upset about it? >> i was of the opinion that you should condemn both the racists and the neo-nazis because they're getting a free ride. >> rose: you said. hang on. they're getting a free ride off value and all they do is show up in the mainstream media and left wing media make them a huge part of donald trump's coalition. >> rose: david duke. david duke shows up for every media opportunity because you guys have the cameras. >> rose: well -- charlie, charlie. >> rose: the media does not make david duke say what he says, that he applauded what the president did. that's what david duke did. >> the president has condemned david duke and what david duke stands for. >> rose: everybody listening to you who talks about one of the great issues in american
life today, which is the plight of the middle class, but they also believe that there is, on your part and the president's part, not enough appreciation for some of the values also that made america great. and you don't appreciate that, and you don't appreciate the diverse at the, you don't appreciate the respect, the civil rights. >> i was raised in a desegregated neighborhood. the north seed of richmond is predominantly black. i went to an integrated catholic school. i served in the military. i don't need to be lectured by a bunch of limousine liberals, okay, from the upper east side of new york and the hamptons, okay, about any of this. my lived experience is that. >> rose: tonight, a longer version of the conversation with steve bannon for the hour. when did you first know about and come to personally know
donald trump? >> it was really in 2010. a guy named dave bossy, i had made a number of documentary films with dave after the financial crash in 2009, the film was focused on the tea party, and the tea party revolt, and he called me up one day -- i was actually making a film for him and he said do you want to go to new york and meet donald trump? i said, not particularly, i've got so much to do here. i said, why? he said, he's thinking of running for president. i go, are you kidding me? is that serious? he goes, yeah. i said, fine, i'll go up. he says, i'd like you to be able to talk about -- you continue to talk about this populist movement, i'd like you to be prepared to talk about the populist movement, economic nationalism and the tea party movement. i said fine. i prepared notes. dave gave a detailed presentation, i realize it was on the 25th floor conference room. given that president trump is not a guy that likes to sit
through long meetings, i mean, it took a long time. i think dave and i were there a couple of hours, at least. dave went through a very detailed presentation of how you think about running forth, how you think about the primary process, the general election, he had a lot of details, and i chipped in. i had a segment on the tea party movement, i had a section on this populist revolt. >> rose: what was your impression? >> my impression was i had never really been in the presence of a guy that had this kind of charisma. he was incredibly charismatic. he had an intuitive feel. we talked a long time about china. i bet you half the time i started talking about economic nationalism, he really understood china. clearly, he had been talking about it 20, 30 years. lou dobbs and donald trump are the guys i remember talking about chients in the '90s, in the 2000s, and he had a deep understanding of that. and he had a deep understanding really about the tea party movement. he was following it very closely. one of the things about trump,
because he's very -- he understands how to name things in a very deep way. >> rose: yeah. he studied young and you could tell it quite a bit. i kept say populist and he kept saying popularrist. i tried to kind of correct him he said, no, no, it's popularist. we agreed to disagree but i could see his thinking. i left and said no way he's running for president in 2012 but this guy is a very serious guy, if you ever decide to do it, i thought it would be very serious. he did write a book. one of the things i recommended is if you want to do this you should get a policy book out of this. he wrote a book i think in 2011 and i think the subtitle is make america great again. i think the title is time to get tough, make america get again.
it's not the most famous of the trump books -- >> rose: and the the title was make america great again? >> i think the title was time to get tough and the subtitle was i think make america great again. in that book had the phrase for the first time. it's a very serious book. the book came out in 2011. it really had a deep understanding of his thoughts on trade, his thoughts of america and the world, on taxes and what people ought to do. in 2010, i came to meet with david and i said, i don't think this guy is running for president anytime soon, but i'll definitely -- >> rose: you thought he had possibilities. >> absolutely, i started keeping my eyes on it. dave bossy and others in c-pac would invite him to these speeches, these gatherings. i think the first one is maybe in 2011 at c-pac and we had breitbart at the time. i was also doing a radio show in los angeles, and i started watching him. normally, when i go in to see
politicians, i try to sit in the back or the side to watch the crowd, how their response is because most of the times i've heard the speeches before. i noticed something on trump, a couple of things. he didn't speak like a politician. he talked in a vernacular that people could relate to, and i noticed that people would lean in to his speeches. i'd seen that on sarah palin, that they have a connection, they have a visceralath
search for authenticity. and trump, i'm telling you, i can't believe the media missed it, if you look at the campaign, these speeches an crowds were barn burners, and each one had a different policy perspective. if you look at the speeches, it is the plan pore the trump plan. but his oratory, people yearn for this, still, i think he is the greatest speechmaker, orator. i think there is been only one like him. a populist. if you were sitting there live, the entire campaign because they didn't have a lot of money, it
wasn't really a modern campaign in the fact we didn't do a lot of tv. we took the modern of data mining and targeting and coupled it with an old fashioned just let's get this guy out and get him in front of the biggest crowd possible. i think he's a spell binding speaker. the audience are engaged. how many people wait eight, ten, 12 hours in line? we used to do a thing to bring up the person in line first, people would be there 24 hours. once you got inside, people wanted to be in the mosh pit, people would stand three or four hours waiting for the peach. >> rose: what did that say? it said we have something. once i got to the campaign was to make sure we tracked hillary clinton closely. i noticed not only the speeches were terrible, they didn't have a theme, they weren't galvanizing. we noticed she started going to colleges and we could tell the kids are from other democratic
schools around town, they're there because they're loyal democrats. there were no rallying points. his is the exact opposite. i think the speeches were clearly, you know, touching people, hitting them -- shaw said only connect. he was connecting very hard. >> rose: the thing i noticed about his speeches is he has a conversation with the audience. >> yes. it's call and response a lot of times. >> rose: yeah. they know after a while where the call is and they're going to do the lock her up, drain the swamp, cnn sucks. ( laughter ) >> rose: you agreed with all those points? >> absolutely, i think they were all key. >> rose: including lock her up? >> well, one of the things coming into the campaign, i don't know why people had to have meetings with other countries, but i thought there was more than enough there. it was the head of the group with peter schweitzer, the author of crony capitalism, and we took two and a half years of peter's team to investigators to
do clinton cash and there was clearly enough there that i think you could do all types if you drilled down further. so i think it's definitely for investigations. i'm not one to politicize stuff but -- >> rose: are you saying she ought to be vulnerable to indictment now? >> i definitely think there should be further investigations. i think the iranian situation alone should have a much deeper investigation. i think the whole clinton global initiative. >> rose: the fundraising aspect. >> the funding, the merchant and investment banking, i think those things should be looked at for bill clinton and herself particularly her time as secretary of state. i'm not saying go after hillary clinton just to go after hillary clinton. one of the core tenants of the populist movement, and i put into speeches about her, what i told president trump at the time, this campaign, it's very simple, you know, she's the standard-bearer for a corrupt and incompetent status quo, and
you're the agent of change. you're the agent of change obama didn't deliver. you're an eight of change. we always have her as a foil. she's the status quo, you're the agent of change, you will wifnlt we have to make a decision. the math was there. two-thirds wrong track, right track. 70% of the american people thought the country was in decline, particularly economically. all the underlying substrate of an electorate that wanted a change and a changed election was there. if you force her to defend the status quo and sort of this permanent political class that has a grip on the city and the nation, if you make her the tribune of that and do a compare and contrast you're going to win. >> rose: isn't it sad we're getting to a point in which people are calling for the other side to be put in jail and to be indicted?
>> you don't want to politicize this. >> rose: that's exactly what we're doing. >> no, no, but look at ntinue to say, you talk about a, you know, repudiation or a nullification of an election, look at president trump. not only do you have a special prosecutor in the justice department, a couple of grand juries, you have on capitol hill, right, with republican leadership, you have three separate committees. i think you have two in the senate and one in the house, and they're investigating him and sending out subpoenas and have had big breaks already. >> rose: a republican controlled congress. >> i know, but if you look at the nullification of this election, it's one of the reasons i left white house and talked to the president about it, i think he needs air cover on this. i think if you look at this, the nullification of this election i don't think is coming from the left. yeah, you have the democratic party and the corporatists and you have all this, and i kind of think they're second or third tier as i'm sure we'll get into, but principally the republican leadership has allowed three committees to go and principally
be run by democrats. adam schiff is running the house committee, looks like mark warner is running the senate committee and that's senator burr. in political physics, can you imagine if hillary clinton would have con and chuck schumer and nancy pelosi were the heads of the senate and the house, that you would have three committees investigating president hillary clinton, and you would actually have republicans running those committees? of course, you would. >> rose: this gets us into d go back to the campaign.de >> sure. >> rose: at the time you met donald trump, impressed by him. >> yes. >> rose: impressed by his curiosity, impressed by his attention, was he at that time talking about the birther issue? this is 2010. >> never brought it up. >> rose: never brought it up? never brought it up. later, he did approach me and we talked. it's not the birther issue. he approached me about putting up -- and i think this came out
he later did it, but if myself and donors would be interested in matching for not a fund but a reward for oxidantle college that they turned over president obama's college records, that there would be some sort of donation of $2 million or $5 million and i think it never came together, but right before the 2012, i think he actually did a video in his office where he actually said i'll put up a million dollars, i think oxidantle college would put up the funds. i never had any conversation with him at all. in the campaign, i think in september or october, we had the session where he went to his hotel and said president obama was born in the united states. i never had any conversation -- >> rose: but that came after a long period of making it a big public issue for him. >> you know, breitbart, andrew breitbart was very famous and our site was very families of not being a birther site. in fact, the first time -- at the first teasht convention in
2009, i think it was -- at the first teasht tea party convention where sarah palin kicked it off in nashville, my film, andrew introduce it. he and joe farr got into a tussle because he had give an thing, started with the gospel of matthew, went through the lineage of jesus and said even jesus christ needed a birth certificate and the place went crazy. our site was not birthers, we were not birthers. >> rose: so birthing was not an issue or something you believed in? >> the paper and everything in hawaii, it boggled the imagination it could happen. everyone was talking social security numbers. my issue with president obama were his policies, not where he was born. i never heard president trump
ever mention that one time. >> rose: how did you get involved in the campaign? >> well, i never spent much personal time with trump, even at c-pac where he would have a suite, my sister would go up there, but i probably didn't spend 15 minutes in the interim years with donald trump personally. he came on my radio show and now on the pages of breitbart. if i go back to 2013 or in january, in fact, at this very table, i had a meeting with jeff sessions and his young aide-de-camp stephen miller, this was after the 2012 defeat, we had a dinner and we laid out the -- the r.n.c. was coming out with the autopsy report that said you had to go gang of eight, amnesty, became the lexicon of the republican party, and i had read an analysis and clear politics by sean trendy that talked about how working class people had not come out and voted for mitt romney and that did would have made the
difference if they had. i did analysis about what a working class and populist movement could do in a general election. had dinner with jeff sessions who was the agrennian populist whthe spiritual head of this movement and i talked about two things. i said, look, trade is number 100 on the list of issues, nobody talks about it. immigration is two or three. if we ran a campaign that focused on the economic issues in the country and got people to understand how trade is so important and immigration are inextricably linked about the suppression of wages for the working class and pulling down the middle class, we could set this thing on fire. i said you're not going to win the primary or be president of the united states but it's a way for us to use it as a vehicle to get it into a general conversation. senator sessions said i agree 100%, i'm not the guy, but i agree with you, that person will arrive. >> rose: and he became the early supporter of donald trump? >> intellectually always.
intellectually, you could tell this movement that was going on. remember you had the huge battle in 2013 for immigration which was the civil war of the republican party, it was the gang of eight, and i think in june or july got voted down, i believe in the house, and it tore the party apart i think a lot. the following year, eric cantor as majority leader got defeated by a guy who raised $200,000 on the issue of immigration and trade deals. we could see this was going to get traction. i was following trump and the other candidates at these small forums and you could see trump was talking about the issues, particularly trade with china, nafta, bad trade deals. i could see the applaud. no other republican would talk like this. they were all free trade guys. he would talk about immigration and what we had to do with illegal immigration. >> rose: he talked about it in rapid terms calling people who came from mexico rapists. >> that's when he made the announcement.
when you look at the other speeches he was making, he was making a case of a policy case, he was doing it with his -- remember, he does not speak like a politician, he speaks in a plain-spoken vernacular. here's the thing i took away, it resonated with people like you couldn't believe. no other republicans were talking about this. they had a standard doctrine of free trade and kind of limited government -- free trade, i obviously don't agree with -- but it was just not resonating. in '15 led -- or '14 led to '15 and you can see when trump announced. he was fifth and sixth in the polls when he announced, because no one thought he was serious. he was galvanizing. the media bit right away on the comments about illegal immigration and blew it up to the thing it galvanized everyone to focus on what he was talking about. from then on, it was
interesting -- >> rose: you were not part of the team by then? >> no, we were running breitbart but i could tell this was something -- look, we're, like, a throwback to the newspapers in the 19th century. we have very set beliefs at our media operation. you know, we're populists, we're economic nationalists, we believe in america first, we don't believe in a lot of foreign intervention that's not in the vital national security interests of the united states, so trump was really -- and we had huckabee and other populists out there, ted cruz had a huge following for a while. in the first debate, we had a classic fight with fox news. megyn kelly, we had a break with fox, fox was trying to run interference for the traditional republican candidates whether jeb bush, marco rubio and they were trying to go after trump. >> rose: how did you become
the c.e.o. of the campaign? >> what happened was, after the convention and then after hillary clinton's convention, it was in mid august, there was an article out by maggie haberman on a saturday morning in the "new york times" that talked about his campaign was in disarray, falling apart, the campaign guys couldn't talk to him. he was very unhappy. i did checkings. i got the saturday paper at 7:00 in the morning. i'm reading my paper and drinking coffee at 7:00. this thing looked a lot worse because we weren't imminently involved in the trump campaign, we were following it. we knew the numbers were bad. i started calling around looking at numbers. guys were saying it's 12, 16 points down, this is looking bad. the republican establishment was looking to say we're going to cut this guy loose, we have to save the house and the senate. i talked to a couple of the
investors in breitbart, bob and rebecca mercer, talked to them about it. as rebecca and i talked, we basically said, you know, we knew kellyanne conway very well, she had run the super pac for the mercer's and ted cruz. >> rose: and the mercers had been supporting ted cruz. >> by the way they came over and were huge trump people. they met jared and ivanka in june and said we're going to put serious money into a super pac, we really support him. we talked and they said what do you think? i said no doubt he can win if he stays on the populist message that got him through the primaries. >> rose: the deal was you could show him how to win as a populist, but the deal for you is you would get an opportunity to see a populist agenda enacted from the white house. >> that deal is never a -- it was really, hey, you are a
populist, you're an economic nationalist, you have these beliefs because they're donald trump's beliefs. >> rose: you didn't have to convince him? >> no. if you go back to the primary, these are coming up. he talks about it all the time. in the acceptance speech of the convention, you see a very powerful, i call it the whittonberg cathedral speech. the speech was looked at as artless. i thought the exact opposite. i thought it was like a jack hammer. >> rose: because he hit all the points? >> he was powerful. >> rose: immigration, trade. it was relentless. >> rose: attacking the establishment. >> and i was watching cnn afterwards. they were all saying the worst acceptance speech ever, didn't show unity, didn't have the uplifting rhetoric. the panel was 70% we loved it, he got to us, told us what he was going to do.
if he could pierce the shell -- look, when trump says he's his own strategist, he is his own strategist. he's a guy that really knows the world. this is very simple. it's just to make sure we took away all the other nonsense from s core message which he had --on by the way, it's something he talked about for 30 or 40 years. it's to the core of his being. all we had to do, and he'd won in the primaries, is just set up a system to basically compare and contrast himself with hillary clinton. she's the standard bearer of a corrupt and incompetent status quo, i'm the eight of change. i'm the eight of change you thought you got in obama but you didn't. >> rose: what did he expect from you and what did you expect from him? >> i think he just expected him, he was going to be the candidate he could be. >> rose: did you see a guy who could give voice to the economic nationalism? >> yes, we saw it from the beginning.
when he came gown -- breitbart starred going trump-bart but we saw somebody in the political arena that could articulate and touch the american working class people with this vernacular and get a response. >> rose: dead you bring him a certain constituency he might not have reached? >> in the primaries no doubt. sam nunberg had the facebook controversy in the summer of '16, nunberg had been close to us for a long time. he made sure trump saw the breitbart audience, who were pop list economic nationalists -- >> rose: you have been attacked for what was on breitbart because people looking for ways to characterize you look at the things that are on breitbart. >> it's total nonsense. let's talk about that for a second. we put up 250 to 400 pieces of material a day. i've got sites in jerusalem, london, and they pick a video hand of satirical headlines.
let's talk about the one they say, you know, bill cristal, renegade jew, that's a story written by and a headline picked by one of the most prominent conservative jewish writers in our country david horowitz, he wrote a two-part series, and he was calling bill kristol a renegade jew because of not supporting the state of israel enough. this is what the left throws up. we're the most pro israel site in this country is breitbart. the most anti-b.d.s. site in this country is breitbart. the one who has the protection of kids on college campuses is breitbart. more articles on the polite of jews in europe is breitbart. i'm giving a key note address to the cyanist organization in the fall introducing sheldon abelson. being introduced by the
ambassador from israel ron do yodoyoudurmer. the reason i don't defend myself is when the left is in the cul-de-sac of identity politics we're winning. >> rose: you believe if people are talking about racial identity and identity politics rather than economic issues they lose. >> here's an example. when i was announced monday or tuesday after that saturday and sunday with trump, the mainstream left go, trump is down 16, headed to 20, the clinton campaign knows it's over, he knows it's over. he brought in a bomb thrower, this guy bannon, what's bannon going to do? bannon's going to wreak havoc on all his enemies on the way down. it's all vengeance, right? and what you saw was the exact opposite, a highly disciplined focused upcampaign going to certain areas with that message every day of open list
nationalism. >> rose: in the industrial midwest. >> yes. one thing, about a week later, hillary clinton who had been with all her fat cats in the hamptons and silicon valley doing nothing but raising money the entire time comes out to give her first speech since i was announced. we go into the war room with tvs and my young team, sitting there on every tv, she comes out and goes it's the breitbart bannon white supremacist alt right speech. i told the crowd now we've got her. she's done. we're 15 points down. and right there i said, she's reconfirmed to me she has no earthly idea what she's doing. she has no earthly idea where this country is. trump's message and trump, we can beat her. i thought at the time we could beat her big. maybe not 300 electoral votes but i said we could beat her. they walked into a trap. america does not think it's a
racist country. you say in houston, this is the greatest country in man's history of how we pull together. people don't think they're racist. she's sitting up there with identity poll licks at the time when the elites in this country have had an economic hate crime. you want to talk about hate crimes? economic hate crime on the working class people in this country, that's a hate crime. how the industrial base in this country has been eviscerated and the elites, the ascended economy of silicon valley, wall street, hollywood and washington, d.c. and she's got the gall to sit up there and talk about that. her whole defeat was summarized in that first day she came back and we knew it. >> rose: so were you not surprised -- >> by the way, when they go to identity politics, i said this the other day -- and schumer and these guys, the smart guys, the populists on their side, they had a conference a couple of weeks ago and they came out and -- the conference i think was three or four weeks ago, came out with, i think, the better deal. >> rose: chuck schumer.
chuck schumer. one to have the top guys, he said bannon gets economic populism. he came out the whole thing said we're not talking about identity politics or race we're talking economics. we deconstructed that thing. trump has programs for all of it. they're trying to go after the core trump programs because they understand, berni bernie sanders understands, seth moulton and others understand that's what can win in this country. >> rose: would those people have beaten donald trump? >> i think if shared brown -- the relife was when shared brown was not picked as her running mate. >> rose: but if shared brown was the candidate in 2016 you would have lost? >> i don't think so. >> rose: you would not have been able to pick up the audience. >> trump would have con won because he's incumbered with a lot of the social stuff. in '20, if shared brown have been the vp instead of tim kaine
it would have been much harder. >> rose: trump made the point when you talk about the contribution of steve bannon that he'd already won a number of primaries, how do you measure your contribution to this campaign? >> it was a total team effort. jared kushner was really my partner at the top level. had kellyanne conway. we brought in reince priebus to get the r.n.c., hired dave bossy to run with katy walsh day to day. we had a fabulous team. the contribution was kind of pulling the team together and saying, hey -- because from day one, i said, we have a 100% chance of winning this. i used to tell the guys at breitbart before i left, napoleon told his marshalls one time when you set out the to take vienna, take vienna. >> rose: what is it about you with fascination of military
biography and military leaders? >> i come from norfolk, virginia, richmand. norfolk is a navy town and we were a navy family, blue-collar workers, around the base, and richmond is imbued with civil war history and world war ii. i knew i was going to go into the military, went to military prep school -- >> rose: but beyond that, when you look at your library, you see a lot of books about military stories, books about biography. it is the library of someone who is enormously curious about history. >> i am. i think if you want to make an impact in the world you have to understand both institutions and the flow of history and one of the ways too do that is through the lives of great men and women, particularly the struggles. what you find when you study is every one who became great or beloved over time had unsurmountable obstacles in front of them and what they had to do to overcome those. at certain times, like the bible
says, certain times of unity and certain times of disruption, and in those cycles of history you have to know, and i think the study of history allows you to see that. one to have the greatest advantages i think i have even in this town is that from a very early age, nine or ten years old, i started reading serious history. my mother got serious history books, and it's amazing, even in wall street, it's shocking that people don't have a deep understanding of history. particularly the flows and rhythm of history. >> rose: donald trump? donald trump has an intuitive sense of people in moments. you know, people say, hey, is donald trump smart? not only is he smart, he went to wharton, i went to harvard. i'm more on the poet side of m.b.a.s, he's more the fanatical. he has smarts, implied intelligence in situations of immense pressure. he always says i don't choke,
he's a money player. i've seen him on so many situations where the pressure has been on and he's had to think through the situation and deliver. >> rose: billy bush, how does that apply to billy bush. take us in the dilemma he faced. >> we first got the tape friday afternoon with from "the washington post." he and i came to the conclusion and jared and others that said this is locker room talk, this is two guys on a bus years and years ago. this is not the guy people know as donald trump. we dismissed it and thought the reaction would be so over the top from the mainstream media and the left. that night we did a video to explain his situation. the next day what happened particularly in the morning was that a number of people started to drop off the campaign, people starting saying they weren't going to support donald trump. >> rose: governor christie? that came later. we had a meeting up at trump tower and reince came and other
people, advisors were there, and, you know, reince who is a fantastic guy but really i think at that time were representing where the donors in the republican were, he was incredibly upset. reince had been with us the day before, came back. trump went around the room and asked people the percentages they thought of winning and recommendations. reince said you drop out now or lose by the biggest landslide in american history. trump said that's a great way to start a conversation. we went around the room, and i could tell from the incoming of politicians and i could tell from some of the politicians that were there is that the natural inclination of politicians are to be so overwhelmingly stunned and shocked by how the media comes on you, but trump wasn't that, and i told him as it went around and i was the last guy to speak, i said you have 100% of probability of winning. >> you seemed to do that in the
campaign, when he was in trouble, you asked him to double down in his rhetoric in terms of appealing to his base. >> appealing to the american people and working class people in this country because it was a winner. i said double down every time. that day, that's the only time he got upset at me. he said not 100%. i said 100%. i told him why. they don't care about -- they. >> rose: the american people don't care about how you talk about women that way? >> they don't care about locker room talk when the average american, 50% of americans have $400 in their pocket. charlie, you have been out in the midwest. your home state in north carolina has been gutted with manufacturing jobs -- >> rose: of course they care about that. everybody knows. they care about it deeply and it's a primary concern because if you can't take care of your family you're in huge problems in terms of your own self-respect and dignity of your work. >> exactly. >> rose: but they do care about values and they care about respect for women.
>> they do. >> rose: and it's not just locker room talk. >> that's locker room talk. the billy bush thing is locker roomtalk. we have empirical evidence to prove this. he got 44% of the female vote. >> rose: did you lose confidence in anybody because they came at you in this point and said he ought to get out to have the race other than reince priebus. >> billy bush is a litmus test. i said it to general kelly during the charlottesville thing afterwards, i'm a line from "the wild bunch," william holden uses it at the end, when you side with a man, you side with him good and the bad. you can criticize him behind, but when you side with him you side with him. billy bush weekend showed me who had donald trump's back to play to his better angels. all you had to do and what we did was go out and continue to talk to the american people. we have empirical evidence that i'm correct and you're not, and here's what it is, not only did he win, he got 44% of the female
vote. people didn't care. they knew donald trump was just doing locker room talk with a guy and they dismissed it. it had no lasting impact on the campaign. yet if you see the mainstream media that day, it was literally he was falling into dante's inferno, and i realized two things, number one, traditional politicians will run for the hills. temperature's not a traditional politician. people don't understand something. the mainstream media and the democratic party were not trying to defeat donald trump, they were trying to destroy donald trump. they were trying to destroy him and what he stood for, okay, and they went about it in a no holds way. they try to destroy him. people do not understand the courage and the will this man has. there was no reason -- you know why he ran? he ran for duty for his country. he's a billionaire, he has an incredible wife and family, he's got a great business, he has every star in the world coming
to him. probably if you look at the material life, probably the most perfect life you have. why would yao give that up to be destroyed. >> rose: can i list a thousand billionaires who would do the same thing if they thought -- >> absolutely not. >> rose: if they thought they could get the presidency, they'd go for it. >> it's not getting the presidency, it's knowing what you would have to go through to get it. he knew when he came down the escalator. look what happened the next day, they went to destroy him the next day. >> rose: ar are you trying to destroy someone if you simply say what they said? if you run a tape which is a news item, that's not trying to destroy somebody, it's simply trying to report -- >> charlie, give me a break. if you go back and look at the social media and twitter accounts of all the young reporters following trump on the
campaign, how they were coordinating with each other, they were the opposition party. that day on cnn and nbc, that's not just reporting the news, that has panel after panel after panel in an onslaught. we knew that. and here's the way to defeat it, you know what he did? he was advised, go on "60 minutes," have your wife and daughter on the couch and apologize, do this, that, go on tv that night. he said, no. he took the elevator down, i think there were 10,000 in the treats. secret service went crazy. he went outside and talked to his followers. he went back on the campaign the following -- the sunday night, we had the debate in st. louis. the famous debate where we brought the women, the clinton accusers. >> rose: that was your deal. 100%. >> rose: you wanted to do that for a while? >> 100%. >> rose: why? if you're going after donald trump for his words, let's have
the clintons defend clintons actions. those women wanted to confront clinton for the longest period of time and i was very prepared to give them the opportunity and boy we had one in the debate because we had the trap set and they walked into it only at the last second did -- >> rose: debate organizers. debate organizers, we almost had a fist fight. >> rose: between you and whom? eally our lawyer don mcghan at the time and ferrin cough and because what they allowed to happen with mark cuban in the other debate. they promised cuban wouldn't be in the line of sight, that he would be four or five rows back and at the very last second they put him down there. rudy and i cut the deal before hand. i said how is this? they said we don't have security to control it, a guy can do what he wants. so when we tried to pull the same thing and i had the women,
the accusers sitting in the v.i.p. box and bill clinton had to walk past them on national tv to start the debate, guess what, they were going to confront him. >> rose: what does it say about steve bannon? >> i'm a good counterpuncher. i'm a street fighter and i'll win. >> rose: you will do whatever. inside the bounds of decency. isn't that inside the bounds of decency to allow bill clinton's accusers to have a shot to accuse him? is that outside the balance? i don't think so. i think it's need to have been done a long time. the clintons are so high and mighty, had the mainstream left not gone after donald trump to destroy him particularly for language, it would have been different. but no if they're going to play like that, we will ratchet up the stakes. they're the guys that did the cuban situation. that was the whole thing to get into trump's head. >> rose: mark cuban.
i'll see you one and raise you one. >> rose: i want to move to the -- >> she was rattled and he was rattled. >> rose: didn't she win the debates? >> absolutely not. >> rose: mo w.h.o. within. the first debate, policy, we won hands down. st. louis town hall we won. he dominated the space. her book says i wish i had confronted him more. she actually says in her book, he was in her space, she wanted to get there. ning that question and answer, it was spectacular and a draw to us slightly. we divided the campaign into three sections, the first from mid august till the first debay. we're 16 down. more importantly only 70 on the generic ballot. you have to be at 90.
9 out of every 10 republicans have to vote for you. i think trump was at 70 buzz a lot of republicans said he's not my guy. from mid august to the morning of the firs debate we closed. that morning, i think it was the bloomberg pollster joshua green said we're within the margin of error of 1 or 26789 we closed the entire gap. the second part of the debate was the three weeks -- of the campaign was the three weeks of debate. he was supposed to crush trump. >> rose: do you think comey made a difference? >> totally irrelevant. maybe reinforced her corruption but it was irrelevant the e-mails. i think it was excellenten cash and the greed of the clintons that were much bigger. that's what we focused on. you don't need meetings these guys took, you had all the information you needed. the comey thing was background
noise totally. on the campaign we never focused on it. >> rose: america didn't care about the e-mails? >> they didn't care as much as i cared. you know why the e-mails are important? is because of clinton cash. the e-mails show you, they're smart, the e-mails show all the coordination with the speeches and all the favors done. remember, when she went into the secretary of state, who were the people that didn't trust her? obama, who you can say a lot about obama and i do but he's an incorruptible guy as far as standard political corruption of cash, okay. the obama guys and john kerry on the senate foreign relations committee, what did they make her do? they made her have the agreement before bill clinton or you guys do anything you will notify us first and get our permission. she had to sign a document to get that. that wasn't the right. that was obama and john kerry as her confirmation. after she signed it, she never
gave them anything. the 33,000 e-mails had all the cash stuff and i would love to see them but it's not essential because you can make the corruption case without them. >> rose: we've established the campaign. are you surprised he won? >> i said it was 100%. >> rose: was donald trump surprised on the day of the election that he won? >> the third phase of the campaign was a three and a half week sprint to the finish doing it every day. he could see the momentum picking up. he was an absolute believer we were going to win. >> rose: she believed she had the momentum. >> that shows you how clueless they were. >> rose: they had the momentum until the last time comey came out because of the wiener issue and when comey made the announcement about that that turned and halted their campaign. >> hang on. you look at the data and these places like youngtown, ohio and other places where the working class base was coming back to us -- the guy jake sullivan was
the one voice in their campaign and he said i see where bannon and kushner are putting this guy, i see the speeches and where they're going. mark cuban said, hey, i kept telling them you've got to get to western pennsylvania and get obama out there more, you've got to get obama out there to where he's won places big. he said the weekend before he knew they were in trouble. he gets a phone call and says, what are you doing, can you come to pittsburgh and open for her. she has a tough time drawing crowds. he went to pittsburgh and said i knew they were in trouble there and in western pennsylvania. don't give me comey. we knew the momentum was closing. i'll tell you how we nie we were going to bin, roger ailes calls, trump is going to win by 10 points -- >> rose: roger says, are you going to lose? >> he says, can you come to palm
beach or his house the weekend after the thing? i said what are you talking about? he says this trump tv thing, do we have alternatives, and i'm prepared walk away from my noncompete if we can put something together. roger ailes was my mentor and i said what are you talking about? he said we'll be putting a government together. >> rose: he wand to talk about the future after donald trump lost and build a new media empire? >> yes. >> rose: right? yes. >> rose: against fox. absolutely against fox. >> rose: that's what he wanted to do. >> absolutely. he had one more round in the barrel. no doubt. roger ailes was incredibly aggressive about thinking about the future even when he died. he was planning on -- >> rose: what did he contribute to the campaign? >> he had come and just given us someys on the debate prep. he came and gave us all the stuff -- i think he prepped bush
xli. >> rose: his immediate advisor. >> i think he did a great job with candidate trump at the time of talking about the difference between a town hall and the different types of debates and how to answer domestic issues. he was great but he believed the fox polling. he thought we were going to lose by a couple of points but said, no, we're going to win this thing. trump and jared kushner were not surprised. on the evening we got the initial exit polls, they were so terrible and so awful what we had thought, getting crushed, losing everywhere, and even ohio and iowa, we thawed we had bagged, dead even. everyone said don't believe the polls. jared is sitting there and jared calls drudge on the phone and he choose him out. i said don't believe corporate media, these people are incompetent. >> rose: drudge is telling this to jared? >> yeah, don't believe the exit polls. >> rose: i see.
the exit polls are getting blown out. that's when you see the coverage in the media that day after 6:00 or 5:00 when the first set of exit polls are coming out, everyone was planning for this to be over by 9:00, you know, she was going to make her big acceptance speech. you could see the entire tenor. it reaffirmed trump was going to lose and in a landslide. i never wavered from the 100% but i'm looking at the numbers -- >> rose: what was the conversation between you and president trump on election night? >> jared called the president and said let's see how it turns out, those are early numbers. so we went back in the data room. >> rose: donald trump had no idea on election day that he was winning this election? >> i think he may have had some reservations but i think he left it in the field and particularly the culmination to see the crowds, by the way, people weight one time in virginia till 2:00 in the morning, they had
been there till 8:00, you see the enthusiasm of the crowds, the intensity and the polls tightening, he definitely believed he was going to win. >> rose: for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at pbs.org and charlierose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> announcer: this is "nightly business report" with tyler mathisen and sue herera. three out of three. the dow, the s&p 500, and the nasdaq all close at records as the bank stocks rise and the treasury secretary talks up tax reform. it's an official. the national debt passes $20 trillion for the first time in history. reinventing the phone. apple is making big changes to its flagship product including the price. those stories and more tonight on "nightly business report" for tuesday, september 12th. good evening, everyone, and welcome. i'm sue herera. tyler mathisen is on assignment with a report tonight from a major investor conference in new york. but we begin this evening with records being set on wall street.