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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  June 7, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with a preview of former f.b.i. director james comey's testimony to the senate intelligence committee on thursday. also a conversation about global politics. we talk to zanny minton of "the economist" magazine and roger cohen of the "new york times." also al hunt of "bloomberg view" and robert costa of "the washington post." >> there's a sense in new york that the u.s. is no longer exerting the leadership of the western system, that, under donald trump, the america-first agenda is one way he views the world as a zero sum world where america's interests can't be different to those of the rest of the world, it's no longer a community of nations as h.r. mcmaster and gary cohn penned in the "wall street journal" last week and i think it's a big shot.
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i think the climate accord and pulling out in paris is the latest. >> rose: we conclude with a conversation with actor brian cox in his new film, "churchill," he plays the prime minister in the days leading up to d-day if june of 1944. >> we have churchill the hero, churchill the master of the second world, churchill the great rhetorical speaker and broadcaster, the guy who got us through war with his broadcasts through there wasser churchill. >> rose: the challenge facing donald trump, james comey's testimony and actor brian cox when we continue. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following:
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>> 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: we begin this evening with politics. former f.b.i. director james comey will testify before the senate intelligence committee thursday. it is one of the most blic appearance since beingent fired by president trump last month. a central question he is likely to face is whether he believes trump tried to obstruct an ongoing federal investigation into russia's possible ties to his 2016 campaign. we turn first to a look at the u.s. from a global perspective a week after the president's return from his first trip abroad. joining me zanny minton, editor-in-chief of "the economist" magazine. and roger cohen, an op-ed columnist for the "new york
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times." joining us is al hunt of "bloomberg view," and robert costa of washington week and "the washington post." i am pleased to have them all here on this program. it is a changing world. >> yes. >> rose: this was written in the "new york times" yesterday, my whole life i was taken america's leadership in the world for granted. we are a beacon and balance to the world. america has been imperfect sometimes disastrously so but always it seems to me bent toward the believe america in the world could be made more perfect. that time has come to a close. america is exiting the world stage. donald trump is drawing the curtains. does that sound like something you hear often in europe? >> yes, it does, actually, perhaps not put that quite eloquently. but it does sound like something you heard a lot of in europe. there's a sense in europe that the u.s. is no longer exerting the leadership of the western
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system, that, under donald trump, the america first agenda is a way he views the world as a zero sum world where america's interests can't be different to those as the rest of the world. it's a big shock to the europeans and i think the climate accord and the decision to pull out of paris was just the latest and biggest testament to this very being change. >> rose: a question raised at n.a.t.o. about article 5. >> absolutely, and clearly president trump did not come out and declare forthrightly he stood by article 5, but i think paris was a very powerful signal to the world. when he said i was elected mayor of pittsburgh, not paris, the rest of the world said this is the u.s. bethought we could rely on as the leader of the western world. >> rose: and they thought they were citizens of the world. >> that's a tricky phrase. our prime minister says if you're a citizen of the world,
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you're a citizen of nowhere. >> rose: what i mean is there are issues that affect everybody in the world so there's a common sense of impact from climate change. >> see, i think the really big differencish. >> rose: it doesn't spare anybody. >> absolutely. the really big difference is this view that appears to be central to this administration, president trump seems to believe it does has not helped america and america has had a bad deal by leading the rest of the world that others benefited and it hasn't and h the this zero-sum nature where there is no longer a community of nations where things can help everybody but things that benefit others must be bad for america. that zero sum transactional nature is something very different. >> rose: roger. it is the eventh anniversary of the master plan and i think that would be incomprehensible to the president. here's a plan with the united
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states giving a lot of money to europe and everybody benefited, and europe was rebuilt and the united states was a huge beneficiary and president trump doesn't seem to believe in that kind of policy. for first time since world war ii, we seem to have a valueless u.s. foreign policy. i'm a naturalized american, maybe for that reason i'm a little starry eyed, but to me the idea of a u.s. foreign policy that doesn't contain somewhere within it the notion of spreading liberty, a rule of law, a rules-based order, all that, it's not america. america's an idea. if it denies that idea, it's no longer itself. but this president doesn't seem yet to have met a dictator that he doesn't like, and it's been left to angela merkel in germany and emmanuel macron in france to hold up the banner, for now, at least, of the values-based world
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order that america embodied since 1945. >> rose: some say that the country that will come in and fill the vacuum is 'neathing britain nor france. the country that will fill the vacuum is china. >> well, we have the curious situation today where china seems to embody more than the united states, i don't know if it's to any degree, but an open global trading system and, clearly, when the united states abdicates, when america first cause this is kind of retreat, who is going to fill that vacuum? well, it's going to be the biggest rising power, and that power is china. and i do think that this chaotic, valueless foreign policy is dangerous. i mean, right now in the gulf, we're seeing the president, apparently, in a series of tweets, pointing to qatar as a
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major source of funding for sunni terrorism, at the same time it doesn't seem to have occurred to him that this is home to the largest u.s. military base in the area. so what is mr. mattis over at the defense department, what is he having to deal with now? it's not easy working in this team. >> rose: it's a staging ground for our presence in the area. >> yeah, absolutely. i think the chinese would very much like the rest of the world to think that they are upholding the system of globalization, but i'm not at all sure that at a are. i think, in the short term, the consequence of u.s. abdecase of this leadership is there really isn't leadership. i think we have to separate the president's tweeting and all that with you is sort of its own separate thing with the broad outlook of this administration, and there are a lot of people in this administration who still have the basic view of american leadership. i'm sure on the national security team many do, but the
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president himself, firstly, has a clearly transactional view of the world. he's a real estate developer. you do deals sequentially and, in those deals, one person wins and one person loses. if you pay too much for the hotel i'm selling you, you've done well and i've done badly. it's a very zero sum view of the world i think he has translated on to the global stage. i think quite explicitly they would accept after 1945, the u.s. decided to take a global leadership role where others got a better deal, in their logic, and now has come the time to change on that. it's a mechanicallist economic outlook that the president's had for many decades where he believes trade deficits are a sign of bad trade deals and america first mean deals that benefit america in. his view, that trading system needs to change and the two together are the america first agenda. they are, i think, not in his
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view a lifting of the draw bridge. i think he would probably, if we had this conversation he might dispute that and simply say i need to look out for americans and do better for americans and america has had a bad deal for too long. >> rose: he would also say this is what people who elected me wanted me to do, i am the mayor of pittsburgh, but also the people who gave me victories, certainly in the states i hoped to be closely contest order lose. >> that's absolutely right and i'm sure steve bannon is reminding him of that every day but i think it's also something the president believes. he's not an internationalist who's being dragged this way because of his base, he actually holds those beliefs. >> rose: what are the consequences of america not leading the world? >> i think the consequences are, for now, a vacuum. everybody is waking up every morning not knowing what to expect from the united states. as zanny said, the president's commitment to fundamental
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institutions of global stability over decades, including n.a.o. and the european union, are very doubtful at this moment. so what happens if president putin steps to estonia. what happens in the south china sea? we don't really know. we do foe that this is a president, as one member of his administration put it, that is interested in hard power, not soft power, and it seems that it's an administration that's certainly prepared to countenance a small to medium-sized war somewhere in the next couple of years, that it could say it triumphed in. now, i don't know what that conflict would be. i can think of all kinds of scenarios, but i think everybody is worried and bewildered at times. they think that the adults in the room, if you like, have
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controlled the president, but i think, you know, it's said that power changes people. i think we're seeing with donald trump that power doesn't necessarily change people. ump waiting to burst out and. embrace a different policy. as zanny said, if you look at the open letter he took out in the "new york times," my paper in 1987, exactly three decades ago, it says exactly what he says now, we the united states are being screwed, we have to be tough. this is his world view. >> i think, at minimum, the international system, the institutions, the rules and the organizations atrophy because if you don't have the leader of the free world tending that system they atrophy. if you're a southeast asian country, you have a large rising power next to you, china, your calculus has shifted in terms of who do you rely on more.
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the second is the uncertainty that comes from slimple not knowing what the u.s. reaction function is. roger is absolutely right. if you are a u.s. allay now can you really trust the u.s.? can you trust u.s. deterrence? can you trust what the u.s. is going to do? i think increasingly countries are worrying about that. >> rose: there is also this interesting thing, a lot of nations around the world whether asia or europe came to these institutions because the united states asked them to come and brought them in and encouraged them to be there, and then we leave and they're still there. >> absolutely. and it's happening at a time when, already, the nature of that global improve nance was shifting. because of the rise of chain, we had the rising power. we were always going to have a question of how would the u.s. accommodate the rising china, world's second economy. now you have the u.s. abdicating responsibility and saying we're going for an america first
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agenda. at best you have a more uncertain world. we take for granted the institutions. the wto, n.a.t.o., most people don't pay attention to them but they form together something that's brought us stability and prosperity for seven decades and i think we'll notice once that's -- >> rose: and russia and china wanted to be part of the organizations. >> and i think the state department and foreign service officers are in a state of shock. not only it's the plan to slash the budget of the state department by 30%, who knows if that will be a reality, but i think it sends a clear message and interesting in the last couple of days you'veeen the acting chief of mission in beijing quit rather than hand it to the chinese government that stated u.s. quit the paris accord and this administration hasn't appointed ambassadors, giving very strong support to
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mayor sadiq khan, the london mayor, criticized vehemently by president trump apparently for no other reason than he's a muslim. >> rose: bob costa joins us. have you been listening to this conversation? you have covered the president a long time, al hunt who has covered washington for a long time. there's some sense we have been talking here about europe, but the president also faces a huge challenge coming up on thursday. bob, lay out for me how the trump transasia sees this -- the trump administration sees this and how they will respond. >> the president himself wants to be his own messenger, he wants to be his lawyer, spokes been, his media watchdog, but this is against the advice of his own aides. the white house council don mcghan and others i'm told have told the president to resist, not engage, they packed his
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schedule thursday with different events but the president remains adamant that he wants to directly confront comey should he feel the need to on thursday. >> rose: al, this will be a big day in washington. >> yeah, it's going to be a big day. i think that first of all let's understand the limits of what james comey is going to talk about. he's not going to talk about the investigation. he's going to talk about what trump said to him and maybe what other white house people said to him. a lot of it's jim comey, some questioned his judgment but no one's ever questioned his integrity which is impeccable. when he raises his right hand and swears under oath that this conversation took place, i don't think it matters what donald trump believes because he except he will be believed by the 30% base. >> rose: the reaction in europe to the president being at
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trouble at home because of his response to the russian probe and what he did in terms of flynn and comey. >> i think there is probably a combination of ut far nation -- like watching an ongoing soap opera -- confusion, because no one can follow what's going on, some expectation that might this mean he will actually go at some point, and there is drip to -- the europeans are dripped by this as everyone is in this country. you can have a conversation with people in england and the u.k. in as much detail as people here. >> rose: they know the facts. they know the facts, absolutely. you combine that with the morning twitter storm and it's -- you cannot believe this is happening. it's surreal. >> rose: robert, the president, as you have been chronicling since the beginning
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of this campaign, how does he think he is going to get through this? does he think this will blow away? or does he view this as the serious challenge to his presidency that most people do? >> well, this all is very real and it's also very up thetical for president trump. if you look at his book the art of the comeback, he talks about how fighting constantly is part of the ethos that has defined his career. he believes that in the public imagination, if someone has seen his fighting more than an opponent that at the end of the day they can be seen as in the right even though they're in the wrong. that's why he relished going to the who's on page six and loved fighting with the new york mayor. this is who trump is. despite to have the swilling problems and advice of his aides to cool it, he believes in his guts that fighting is the way to connect with his base and he doesn't care about the consequences in terms of the
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global response and how his own party feels perhaps a bit uncomfortable with the way he's proceeding. >> he may not be wrong about that in the short term. clearly there are a lot of people in the baits for whom this is mainstream media attacking him and this is a whole load of trumped-up stuff. it at the same time is deterring him from pushing through his agenda. nothing really has gotten done. this was supposed to be infrastructure week. what's happened to that? >> it's constant turbulence. it's as if calm is fate told him. >> rose: confrontation -- bob, go ahead and i'll come back to al. >> i had a fascinating conversation today with senator susan collins of maine one of the moderate republicans, and she said, look at the big issues facing the senate now. healthcare, number one, trying to get something passed to overhaul the nation's healthcare law. she says the president keeps tweeting. he seems to be more concerned
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with fighting with the london mayor, talking about his infrastructure projects, that he isn't driving the agenda on capitol hill. remember the bargain many republicans privately tell me and i'm sure you they've made with this president, he's not ideological or one of them but they found him as political useful to pass what they wanted in healthcare and taxes, and now that those have stalled the usefulness is coming under question. >> rose: is it likely any of these things will pass before the next election in 2018? >> they may get a tax cut but i would be very surprised if they get healthcare and may get some infrastructure that's not very big. trump doesn't care much about history but it teaches us nixon had
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strategies written well before watergate. the strategy was keep the base and fight back and fight hard. if trump didn't do anything, if he's innocent, then that will work. if he's not and he has bob mueller investigating him, he's in trouble. >> rose: anytime you ask anybody from the committees, they'll say there is some circle circumstantial evidence but we see smoke but no fire yet. >> they didn't see the smoke gun onyxen until nine days after they voted impeachment. >> the smoking gun in terms of collusion with russia may not end up being the issue. for the white house when i was there today, they're talking about obstruction of justice is the question. do trump's exchanges with comey in the past, the meeting at the white house in february, the phone calls, can these be seen by comey perhaps in his
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testimony and by trump's critics as an obstruction of justice? that worries the white house more than smoke on russian collusion. >> can i had the to that, charlie? let's not forget how wide ranging this mueller investigation is. he brought in the top financial fraud expert from justice, i'm told he's hiring tax people. bob mueller can get donald trump's tax returns tomorrow. so i agree the focus has been on russia and coverups and all that, but the financial stuff is still rolling around out there. >> i think you can tell how worried the president is by russia that he's paralyzed with respect to vladimir putin and russia. he didn't mention russia in brussels when gary cohn his economic advisor was asked what our policy is with regards to sanctioning on russia, after four months in the administration, wf he said we don't have a policy on
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sanctions. it's complete paralysis and it's a huge, huge distraction. >> rose: at some point, do you expect guys -- all of you here at the table looking at how you've covered at some point people begin leaving the administration because, a, they think it's a sinking ship or because there is something about the values that they believe in that they think are being sull idea? >> i wouldn't at all be surprised if that happened. i think it's a matter of time. for me the interesting metaphor when we went to see the president a few weeks ago, we felt and we described it in our editorial, it felt like courtiers around a king rather than a president. it's not surprising the president gets along with autocrats, not that he's authoritarian in a 1930s european sense, but it's a king and his court. he goes to saudi arabia and he rather likes the way things are
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done there. i make it sound more sinister than i mean it to because he -- when he ran the trump organization, it was an entrepreneurial one-man show. he didn't have a boss, constraints or checks and balances except the law which he took issue with quite often. for me that's a helpful way of thinking about how things are there. process is not something that is a big part, i think, of the president's way of looking at it. >> when i saw you in london and you'd just gotten back from that meeting in the white house you said one of the most striking things was how frightened and terrified even a lot of his aides seemed afraid almost to speak. >> his aides were affirming what he said. >> rose: does the leaking, bob costa, continue rampantly? >> there are a lot of concerned life-long bureaucrats who are not part of the political employment process who are deeply concerned, and that comes out repeatedly through the
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course of my reporting. your question is an intriguing one, charlie, who leaves first, who will leave? most people inside the washington political establishment are paying close attention to defense secretary jim mattis and secretary of state rex tillerson. they see those two figures as people who are serving more out of duty than loyalty to trump, duty to country, and they may be unsettled in particular by trump's handling of the n.a.t.o. alliance. as politico reported his advisors, including members of the cabinet, wanted trump to have an affirmation of article 5 of n.a.t.o. during his visit overseas and he didn't do it in his speech. >> rose: i'm told -- reporters have told me he took it out himself. that it was in the speech and he took it out. >> that's correct. >> rose: that's correct? that's correct, based on everything i've heard. >> rose: al. i would add to bob costa's, i
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would add mcmaster to that list of people who are going to leave. but the other problem he has is people coming in. who wants to join now now? there were stories about all the high-priced lawyers he was going to get and hasn't gotten them so farm. i think he will have a lot of trouble attracting people to this administration. they have a lot of vacancies. >> the outside council decision is so revealing about president trump. he had all the white shoe lawyers who were thinking about coming in, even ted olson, to join the president's legal team, but because the president went with marc kasowitz, a long-time new york attorney, combative personality, some of the washington lawyers told me they had reservations joining up with that kind of operation. if the president was going with kasowitz, that told them everything. he didn't want white shoe legal advice h he wanted a loyal it's
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at his side. >> rose: and a street fighter. street fighter. for me the question is how much should i worry about that saws there seem to be two outcomes if what you're describing happens. one, we have no one around, we have spaces, there ishathe othea president with a small cotri--- >> rose: crisis. if all the people weren't there you described yiewrntiond the rest of the world would be more worried the direction foreign policy takes if the grownups are not in the room. >> rose: at this stage in life, is there anything that can change him? >> no. >> rose: he's 70 years old.
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donald trump will not change. emphatic no. >> rose: emphatic? i'm not sure he will change. take away his phone and twitter feed -- >> we keep reading the articles about how he's going to be restrained, nothing is going on his twitter account without it going through lawyers and it never actually happens because his bottom line is that he wants to communicate directly with his base, and the fake "new york times" and everyone else -- >> rose: the failing "new york times." >> the failing "new york times," yeah, full of fake news, if he were not able to communicate directly with -- he's behaving like the leader of a movement much more than the president of the united states. >> rose: bob, who has the most influence with the president these days? because some people, even though -- there have been questions raised about jared and ivanka and because of the battle over paris, who remains the most
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powerful northwestern his ear? >> it's not really ever about the person who's whispering in trump's ear. it's about trump himself. i've seen him up close many times on his plane talking about his business career. this is a person who, throughout much of his life, in real estate but also personally, has been isolated and defiant, running a family organization when he was running a bare bones campaign with only a couple of staffers along with him, it was him, his instincts, reacting to cable news, minute-by-minute, tweeting, deciding by his gut what he h needed to do to cultivate this massive public per sewna he has generated over decades. it has always been him more than a spin master, more than a counselor, and this is what's dismaying to the aides in the white house, jared kushner, ivanka trump, gary cohn, all the names we hear every day have a limitation in what they can do. >> rose: al, democrats can just sit ant watch?
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>> well, yeah, that's what they should do. some of them are crazy enough to start talking about impeachment which is so premature right now, but i think most of them are going to sit and watch and see what happens, and i think, again, bob is the best. he knows trump so well. jared kushner, whatever influence he has has to have been diminished because he's in the crosshairs and, you know, i think that probably will affect the president, you know, as much as anything. but i think from a democrat's point of view, they just have to see what happens. the intense committees are going to have to denever to bob mueller. that will be hard for a couple but they will have to do that. >> do you want to hear about jared kushner a little bit? >> yes. the president brought press for a gaggle and said jared kushner's become more famous than me. that sent shivers throughout the white house. that's a classic way of trump putting someone down.
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in trump's orbit, trump's only the one at the top. when others are on the cover, trump paid attention and didn't love it. >> that's what he said and james comey, too. >> rose: what did he say? he said you're more famous than i am. >> rose: al hunt, bob costa, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> rose: when you come to new york, you come here, please. >> absolutely. >> rose: we'll be right back. stay with us. >> rose: the normandy invasion on june 6, 1 1944, changed the course of the war and inscribed in page ovens history. the film presents a portrait of the prime minister in the day before the d-day landings. it's written cox plays churchill with recording conviction, fire and bluster and britain piss and
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vinegar. the trailer. >> we defy. it is time to win this great war. >> for five long years we've lost our men due to tribulations of war. >> winston. general montgomery. winston churchill. if hitler would drop a bomb on this patch he would destroy the entire high command of our allied forces. >> we are here to make the greatest decision of our lives. >> the invasion of france, taking the german army head on. >> i've seen this before. a quarter of a million men were cut down. >> we must spread the risk. plans for d-day have been in place for over a month. >> i don't want to make the same mistake. >> the forces are not carrying out your plans. >> we're taking care of it. you need to let us do the job. >> i beg your pardon. i am the prime minister of this country and i shall not be stopped from speaking my mind!
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you can't just change everything over the heads of our allies. >> they're the on ones capable of making decisions. >> i need your help. try acting like a here o winston, and maybe people believe that you are one. >> men will die. like they did on one of those ships. i'm sorry. i have no right. >> you have every right. he could be a liability as a leader. >> would you have us do nothing with the nazis marching 20 miles of our shore. >> no, i would have us do more! the magnificent effort of air, land and sea. >> we must launch now. i get to tell him we're winning the war or just killed thousands of people. whatever happens, let's get hum home. >> when it's all over, what will i be? >> you will always be the man who never gives up.
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>> our troops will fight on and we shall never surrender. >> rose: welcome. nice to see you, charlie. >> rose: there were many winston churchills. >> there were many. he was -- you know, people forget about churchill. wf churchill the hero, churchill the master of the second war, churchill, the great rhetorical speaker, great broadcaster, the guy who got us through the war with his broadcasts. but there was the other churchill. there was the churchill -- all babies look like winston churchill. and winston churchill looks like all babies. there was this child, like, quality he had and the kind of little boy that was still with him, the little boy sort of abandoned to his grandfather and he was actually supposed to become the duke of marlboro.
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his mother jenny was not always there. his father randolph who had syphilis and quite out of it most of the time. so he was just kind of a lonely child who kind of sealed his destiny by being a child on -- by being on the outside by, actually taking something and saying, no, i'm not going to go that way, i'm going this way, and he did that throughout his entire career. so by the time he'd reached the time of the second world war, he was very much in the wilderness, and he was a man -- >> rose: he spent the 30s in the wilderness. >> he did, indeed. this is the great thing about him, he encouraged, for example, he was the great supporter of berty, king george vi, and they didn't like king george vi at all because they wanted edward to continue and they knew edward was a no hoper so he was very strong about berty and very strong about hitler.
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nobody wanted to go to war. >> rose: yeah. after -- >> rose: but there were literally two churchills, all of these things, performer, writer, leader, military strategist, all those things, but essentially people knew him through the voice. >> that's right. >> rose: and he had to use that voice. >> yeah. >> rose: to project confidence. >> that's right. >> rose: vision. eliability. >> rose: reliability. yeah. >> rose: we shall win. i think his voice -- first and foremost he was a brilliant actor. the long vowels, almost shakespearean. he had that sort of -- richard burton, i mean, burton could always do winston because he had the cadence about him in his
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speech. when he was in his element he was absolutely mess merck. >> you have said this war is not like the last war, but this operation very much is. men will die tomorrow. do not let a single one of them die in vain. god's speed. >> rose: have you wanted to play him for a while? >> yeah, i have. i've always -- ironically, he was the m.p. of my home down. >> rose: which is.
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dundee in scotland. he changed parties. he was a liberal m.p. the reason he lost faith with the dundeeians were they were irish. yocollins' assassination and the forming of six counties. so he was not popular. when i was a kid, my uncle jordy said, winston was a chancer, for the main chance. >> rose: very ambitious. very ambitious. and this is true, there is film footage of churchill. he comes into the main scare square of dundee and brought in on an arm chair with poles which looks like a sedan chair. churchill was always ill.
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he was put down in the center of the square. my uncle shouts out to the guy who carries him and says, how much did he pay you? and the guy said, a pound. and my uncle shouts back, we'll give you two if you drop him! ( laughter ) >> rose: he was more than ambitious, too. people really disliked the idea he switched parties and seemed to be an opportunist at every stage. yet, at the same time, there was the wisdom he had to alarm the country in the '30s of the coming rise. >> that's right, and he stuck by that and much to the chagrin of his own party. him and chairman didn't get along at all. it's interesting one of the things that i think about churchill now in this time of brexit which is happening back home, that he in 1940, when he was first voted the admiral in
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the first world war, he was in the chamberlain cabinet, and he made the suggestion people of france should have english citizenship and french citizenship should be given to the people of england and he was the first man who formed the phrase the united states of europe, and that vision -- of course, now, he would be going -- i mean, his biographer, mr. johnston, would not be too pleased with him. >> rose: lots of people played churchill, even john lythgoe. who's in the fraternity? >> brendan gleason, albert phene finney, burton dud him on the sound radio. there's john lithgow and garry
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auldman did, too, as well. >> rose: in terms of trying to capture him beyond whatever physical thing you had to do, what is it about him? the voice is clear. >> the voice, the child, like, quality. >> rose: how do you do that, though? >> you do it because of the physical image. also like -- this is absolutely true -- i was really thinking about churchill and i knew there was something in the child. i live here. my american children, they love "family guy." >> rose: sure. huge fans of seth mcfarland. so i'm sitting and watching "family guy" with my kids one night and there on the screen is the baby winston churchill, stewy griffin. and here's this cantankerous off-the-wall youth who is very brilliant, can only communicate
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with his dog, his parents do not understand him, and this was winston's problem a lot of time, he was so ahead of everybody, they didn't catch up with him, which gave him his incredible temperament, and the other thing that fed into that was his drinking. >> rose: how much dud he drink? >> he drank a an amazing amountf alcohol. he would start off with champagne at breakfast, at lunch brandy and wine and in the evening his whiskey and brandy and wine. he did that the whole day through. i think that was also part of his self-medication. i think that was to do with his depression and the burden on his shoulders. >> rose: how much depression did he have in terms of clinical depression and -- >> well, it's very hard to say because we didn't talk about it in those days the way we would talk about it now. but i think if somebody was to do a diagnosis on him, they'd find him severely clinically
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depressed. he slept, like, four hours a night. >> rose: just four hours. yeah. >> rose: he stayed up late. he stayed up late. >> rose: he didn't get out of bed until 11:00 or 12. >> but he would work from his bed. he was doing all his writing. he was astonishing. he does become that thing that you see -- we all have our moment, you know. and his moment was the war. >> rose: yeah. the war was the making. >> rose: as he famously said when he entered ten downing, everything i have ever done has prepared me for this moment. >> that's right, and that's exactly what he did. the big supporter of him and defender of his legacy was clementine. she was the woman who really, really made sure his legacy was all right. there is a famous painting by graham sutherland of him and it's a wonderful painting.
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it's a long, thin canvas, a red background, two thirds covered in red and the bottom third churchill is sitting. he's an elder statesman and he has a button undone in his fly. there's a video when he revealed the painting, she knows the painting and doesn't like it. she's watching winston and winston is joking and making his speeches and he turns, unveils te painting, look at it and under his breath says, oh, i see i'm the victim of modern art. that painting, she took it and had it burnt because that was something -- so that's why this whole premise of how he was plagued by d-day, by the dardenels and gilply and he didn't want the d-day to happen
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because he hated the idea of amphibious landing. there is so much evidence of it. there's all these guys long gone talking about how they ran the landing crafts and some of the boys never even made the beach. and this kind of preyed on churchill, especially after the dardenels because after the dardenels, the thing he did is resign and went to the front. now, that's a pen tent act if there ever was one and that never left him. >> rose: the interesting, too, about him for me is the idea that here was this guy, who in a sense, was so wise about what his image was, you know, and, so, and clemy said you've got to show leadership. said, they've got to believe you are a leader.
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>> yeah. >> rose: i mean, it's hard to imagine, the future of the world was at stake. >> yeah. i think that was an enormous burden. he didn't go to that task easily. >> rose: yeah. he didn't just throw it on. >> rose: and there was no training for it. >> no training except life. that's the only training he's got. >> rose: and all the skills have come into play. >> and all the setbacks and disappointments he had, you know, because he became a yesterday's man very quickly. the one funny story which i love, and i found this out the other night was that, in 1931, he came here and he was not -- i don't know if you know this, but he was knocked down in 66t 66th street by a car. a guy had driven a car. of course, winston made the fatal mistake of looking the wrong way, you know, because the cars come from the left not the right. so he looked the wrong way and he was hit. he was very gracious about the guy who hit him and not very rich. he invited this gentleman to several of his speeches later
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on. but when he was in the hospital, his doctor said -- and this is prohibition -- the doctor said on his diagnosis sheet was mr. churchill must be allowed the appropriate amount of alcohol. ( laughter ) >> rose: he also was a brilliant writer. >> he was. >> rose: and he said about history, history will be kind to me because i'll write that history. >> that's right. and, of course, i think first and foremost, i think he was a journalist, first and foremost. >> rose: well, he started writing early. >> that's right, but i think -- >> rose: in the world war. he did. and this is where his relationship with schmutz started was schmutz captured him and they became great friends. but the real clue to winston is in his writing, i think. >> rose: i do, too. this is churchill discovering operation overlord which we all know or can read about was the plan for the invasion of europe.
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here it is, churchill talking to john slattery. >> a hell of a speech today winston, hell of a speech. >> much needed to be said. i wish you had said some of it to peearlier. >> you said yourself you welcomed criticism. >> i do. i welcome any thoughts on how to increase overlord'ser chances of success, decrease casualties, shorten supply lines but starting talking about turning it into a different operation about men who spent months planning, in front of the king of england, well, that could be seen as unhelpful. >> unhelpful... you must remember, i fought the germans in france before. even if you break through in normandy, even with the massive casualties, civilian and military, what will our boys
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face in france? another western front, passion day? trench war fair. >> we have an air force, winston, self-propelled artillery. the age of pushing infantrymen forward on the front is over. >> i've seen a great many wars. some of them the last century. >> i beg your pardon. the war you're talking about was 30 years ago. i don't think you truly appreciate how much things have moved on. >> rose: what's interesting is you see the picture of f.d.r. behind churchill. >> yeah. >> rose: and churchill spent a considerable part of the early time in the '40s trying to get f.d.r. engaged. >> it's funny you said that, charlie, is that was my first link with winston. i did a thing called nuremberg, playing goöring, and the thing e wanted to do next is the
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fdr-churchill relationship. >> rose: john meacham wrote a book about him, the friendship in the war and the famous story about churchill being caught naked walking in the hall, and he turned to franklin roosevelt and said, you know, the prime minister of england has nothing to hide from the president of the united states. ( laughter ) >> i can believe it. he was astonishing in that way. >> rose: who put this together? whose idea was there? because we've had so many movies and so many, and yet there's always something to learn, either from what an actor brings to it, what a script brings to it, or a focus on a particular act. >> well, the thong is it focuses on the 96 hours before d-day, and it focuses on the fact, it was sound pitches. it was these two independent
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producers, and they were very -- they had this idea they wanted to do this thing, and there had been this rumor, and it's in the iendz hauer and brook diaries, of churchill's demuring about the d-day landings. so that became the sort of point. and what real will you was fascinate -- and what real will yo --what really was fascinating about is is the one who had been our military advisor spoke out and said we knew about churchill's alternative plan, an that's the first time anyone said. i said why didn't you tell us? he said i didn't know if it was the thing to do. >> rose: the allies were getting pressure from joseph stalin because he had been invaded by hitler and the they wanted a two-front war which
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couldn't begin till they invaded france. >> that's right. interestingly enough, hitler's plan, this guy, they put it into computer analysis, and i said what was the result? he said, well, with a few caveats, the result was that the war might have ended six months earlier. now, churchill's idea was the idea that you come into the underbelly of france, which is bordeaux, and basically paratroops. and people forget italy had just fallen, rome had just fallen, so italy was open, it was ours. so he wanted to ratchet up coming through the alps. the other thing was the come down from the baltics through norway, avoiding that bit of france, which was notorious not just because to have the trenches, but just the land itself, people used to get bogged down. you had the battle of the bulge.
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so there were a lot of things that happened that stopped the war propelling the way it could have been done. >> rose: my father talked about how cold the battle of the bulge was. in fact, he had frozen teeth because it was so cold and it was with the german counterattack. >> and didn't expect it, too. >> rose: that's right. we want to close with clip number 5 with churchill is addressing the nation on d-day. it is the man with his own remarkable ability to explain the stakes and also the possibility of victory. here it is. >> this great war against nazi domination is fought by ordinary people -- the oldiers, sailors and airmen in the field, and also those at home.
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we defy hutler with our endurance and our strength of character and our refusal to give in to tyranny and oppression and the darkest evils in history. >> rose: brian cox, thank you. thank you, crlie. >> rose: this opens friday. "churchill" is the title. thank you for joining us. see you next time. for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at and captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> rose: on the next charlie rose, a conversation with actor alan alda. >> when you're engaged, when two actors are on stage and they're both really listening to each other, when i'm doing that, i don't say my next line is in the script, i do it because you do or say something that makes me say it and makes me say it a certain way, and something comes out of that. that picture of two people
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genuinely engaged. it's hard to take your eyes off when you're watching it. so if people are watching an interview, and they see two people who are really taling to each other, that's really interesting. something else emerges. there's a third element that comes out of that. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. >> you're watching pbs.
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