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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  July 19, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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we begin this evening with a look at politics and healthcare. the issues surrounding the gop's plan to repeal and replace the affordable care act. we talked to david leonhardt of the "new york times" and jerry seib of the "wall street journal." >> they didn't actually expect to win the white house so she spent the 2016 campaign talking about repealing and replacing obamacare without coming to terms with the tough nut there figuring out what you can agree on to replace obamacare. they come to power, have control of everything but really they never resolved the internal rebates between movement conservatives and mainstream and moderates about what that actually means. i think in the even the whole effort fell apart because ideological conservatives want a real pull out obamacare by the roots and inject a lot of free
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market forces. pop lirs wasn't happy what that would do to some of their working class voters. some in the middle were uncertain anything would really work. >> i think a lot of people feel exawlsed by this current era and i found myself exhausted. i'm an opinion columnist so one of my jobs is to write opinions and i'm really alarmed by this whole healthcare effort. by the climate policy and alarmed by many things in this administration as have many republicans and many democrats. i just realize that look politics isn't all about brute force. it's not all about fighting. i do think it's important for people to remember, i thought it was important for myself to remember that democracy is about inquiry, it's about debate. so what i said is i'm going to spend part of this summer grappling with issues i find hard. i'm going to try to think about what ways my own views might be wrong and i encourage readers to do that as well. >> rose: we conclude this evening with author and
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bloomberg businessweek correspondent joshua green. his new book is called devil's bargain, steve bannon, donald trump and the storming of the presidency. >> the piept of the book is to go back and answer the question. i think everybody still wants to know about donald trump. how is it that he managed to get elected and all of us in media and washington didn't see it coming. i didn't see it coming but i covered bannon, i covered breitbart, i covered the up rising over the last years and i spoke to bannon for a story i was doing and looking back it really did come into focus. the whole story and how these two men and their stories are interwoven and really led to this humongous upset. healthcare and steve bannon 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 healthcare. president trump's ambition to repeal and replace the affordable care act was dealt a significant blow last night in a surprising turn of events two republicans senators utah and kansas came out against the bill. their defections left the gop leaders two votes short of those needing to begin debating the bill. early today the senate majority leader mitch mcconnel conceded their party's effort needs to take a new direction.
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>> we'll have to see what happens. we will have denied -- demonstrated that republicans by themselves are not presented at this particular point to do a replacement. that doesn't mean problems all go away. and you'll have to look at our committee chairman and their ranking members, my suspicion is there will be hearings about the crises we have and we'll have to see what the way forward is. >> rose: joining me now from washington is jerry seib. he's chief commentator for the "wall street journal" and david leonhardt is a columnist for the "new york times." where are we. what is likely to happen next. >> well this is a huge defeat for the republicans. you never want to say never. it looked like the bill was dead in the house and then it came back and passed. but this is a really big defeat. mitch mcconnel cannot get 51
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votes for a healthcare bill. so what that probably means is that the republican party is going to turn the page on healthcare and look to a budget and tax reform. at least for the type being the efforts to get rid of obamacare seem to be dead. >> rose: if they do that, jerry, that means they go into 2018 elections, midterm elections having failed one of the things they talked about doing for the last seven years. >> right. which is why one of the things mitch mcconnel is talking about at least having a vote to repeal obamacare that's a two-edged sword. that would please the republican base to try one more time to repeal obamacare but it ruffled his members to cast a vote that could come back to haunt them in 2018. there isn't a winning scenario here that i can see except maybe this allows both the whitehouse and republicans in the senate to move on to something they find something more enjoyable which is to talk about tax cuts. this increases the incentive and also the urgency of them to
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succeed on that one because they have to show for 2017 and that's the one they would really like to have. >> rose: in the end jerry what divided the republicans in both the house and the senate over healthcare. >> i think the fundamental problem was and let's be honest they didn't expect to win the whitehouse. so they spent the 2016 campaign talking as they have for years about repealing and replacing your -- obamacare without agreeing what to replace with obamacare. they quunl to power and have control but they never resolved the internal debates when movement conserve statuses and mainstream conservatives and moderates what that actually means. in the end the whole evident fella part because ideological conservatives wanted to pull out obamacare by the roots and inject a lot of free market forces, populist wasn't happy what that would do with some of their working class voters and people in the middle were left uncertain that anything would really work. >> rose: in the meantime david what was happening on the
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ground in terms of people who were watching what changes might be forthcoming and becoming alarmed. >> that's right. people became very alarmed including a lot of republicans, including a lot of independentents who saw this bill was going to hurt them. this is reality coming home to roots which is as jerry was saying when the republicans were out of power and campaigning they were able to say a lot of things about obamacare that weren't actually true. they were able to say socialism even though it combined con servative and liberal ideas. once they actually took over government they had to turn those talking points into legislation and they just were unable to do son a way that kept 51 votes in the senate because all of their plans would have dub enormous damage and they never really tried to come up. there are conservative approaches to healthcare, even more than obamacare but they never tried to come up with that. as a result they were left with any kind of bill that really any independent experts, doctors, nurses, hospitals conservative
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healthcare experts thought was a good idea and they collapsed on them. >> rose: that raised the question i never quite understood the answer to. is there something that democrats and republicans could come to and say look, obamacare is not perfect by a wide margin, let's try to fix it. so you republicans can gain some credit for changing it. democrats will maintain some of the support they've had for supporting things that their constituency believed in. >> on the substance charlie it is imminently possible. it is still possible. every major piece of vasion in this country has passed has needed fixes down the line and obamacare needs significant fixes as well. the problem is the republicans so demonized obamacare in the course of campaigns that they had to then try to totally get rid of it when they took over the government. on the substance the idea you go in and fix the flaws in this approach and you do a whole bunch of things remains entirely possible today. >> rose: do you agree with
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that. >> i do. in fact the radical thought here charlie, there might actually be bipartisan breaking coming out and no other choice. do some moderate things that don't throw out the really popular things about obamacare and maybe trim the edges on some other ones. our reporters spotted senators from both parties actually having conversations today on the floor of the senate about this very thing. and you know, mitch mcconnel has essentially told his caucus for weeks if we can't do this on our own you have to bite really hard and have conversations with chuck schumer. that's where we are. that's not going to produce repeal and replace obamacare but more modest steps can be made to incrementally improve the system. rahm emanuel who used to be the chief of staff in the obama whitehouse would say people should stop hitting home runs in healthcare. hit some singles and doubles and stop trying to fix it all at once because everyone who tries
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feels the pain. >> rose: donald trump has weighed in saying don't do anything, let obamacare collapse on its own weight much is that going to likely happen. >> he also said if that happens i won't own that problem. there are a lot of problem as a political matter don't think that's going to be true anymore. we're six months into the obama -- excuse me, into the trump administration and if the collapse of obamacare produces a huge disruption in the insurance market around the country there's a reasonably good chance that republicans now own that problem not democrats and we may have passed that point. so i'm not sure that that solution all by itself is going to be acceptable even to republicans. >> rose: david any winners in this battle. >> it may sound cliche but i think the main winner are the 20 plus million people who would have lost health insurance. for them, this wasn't just a political spectacle, it was real life and you saw in a relative scheme of things a small number of them but you saw a number of them come out and say look if this passes my disabled child is
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going to lose services. if this passes my relative who has cancer is going to lose services. that's why you saw this. i never seen anything like this, charlie. you have the advocacy groups for diabetes, cancer, heart disease, lung disease, ease well as doctors, energies, etcetera come out against this bill. i think the reason is it would have had really damaging real world consequences. and the fact that it failed at least for now means there are a lot of winners. you could even argue that the republican party in the lone term is the winner because passing this bill would have done so much damage to the country that it ultimately would have done damage to the republican. >> rose: is the idea of the expansion of medicaid a winner. >> i was one of many people who was surprised at how politically popular medicaid ended up being. democrats have been insecured about the pop herity of medicaid forever because it's a health insurance program for poor people in part. not totally but in part. and yet it turn audit that
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republicans in was virginia and elsewhere ended up being afraid, ohio ended up being afraid of cutting medicaid. and so obamacare really has two main parts. one are the private insurance markets that the trouble administration want to collapse they could. and the other part is this really big expansion of medicaid which is really on safer ground. i do think one of the lessons we learned from this is medicaid is more politically popular even if supporters expected and that when democrats control governments and they want to go about expanding health insurance even further, they may look to medicaid rather than the private market to do it. >> charlie, one of the hidden stories here i think is the fact that they were out across the country a whole list of republican governors who had made the tough decision in their space to expand medicaid under obamacare. they did not want to roll that back. they did not want to take back something that they had basically walked across the political hot coals to give to people in their state.
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those republican governors were heavy influence on some republican senators and i think that in many ways, that is a big factor in the demise of the repeal and replace because governors just didn't want to go there. >> rose: it's evident that you can't give people something and try to take it back. >> having said that it's also true obamacare has big problems. if you go back to the conversation in 201, hillary clinton was acknowledging there were big problems, insurance markets were not working as expected. and she had a plan to fix it. >> rose: and premiums are going up. >> premiums were going up hugely. you can't simply say now we ignore those problems. democrats can't say that and republicans can't say that. that's why i think there's probably no choice but some bipartisan conversation. >> rose: i think president obama would acknowledge some of that. >> it takes me back to your medicaid question which is the
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medicaid part of obamacare is working better than the private market. there's this funny situation the democrats when passing obamacare really leaned heavily on the private markets in part to try to get republican votes. they didn't get republican votes even though they included the private market. now the meese with private markets isn't working as well and arguably isn't as politically popular. i think one lesson democrats are going to take from this is the calculation where you expand the private markets to try to win republicans is a losing bet and in the future you're going to see much more emphasis from them to expand medicare and medicaid which are both popular and appear to be working better than these sort of jerry-rigged public private markets. >> rose: what kind of system does canada have. occasionally you'll see on the front page story of the "new york times" how universal healthcare and single payer seems to have more at least conversation than it's ever received before. >> yes. we do. so canada has a system that's well to the left of our system.
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it is a single payer system. i have a hard time imagining we're going to move to a full single payer system because it would mean enormous disruption in whichd >> rose: when you look at the future quheels beyond the medicaid expansion is most valuable about what president obama did and the affordable care act. >> well look, i think david referred to this earlier. the insurance exchanges were originally republican idea, conservative idea. i still think there's value in
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that idea but the market place is very complicated. certainly that's going to have some resonance. obviously the idea you should be able to stay on your parents insurance policy since you're 26 has become an accepted idea. i think both parties have to figure out which pieces to build o i do think the democrats are also at a point where they have to make some tough decisions because the pressure at the base of the democrat party right now is in fact going to be let's just move all the way toward a single payer government-run healthcare system. that's going to be where the pressure is and democrats will have to ask themselves are we going to resist that pressure and move more incrementally toward adjusting the current system because maybe a single payer plan is popular at the democrat base but it's going to scare a lot of people and do we really want to go there. >> rose: within the republican party there's no agreement in terms of on where they want to go, is there. >> that's the one thing we've learned in the last few months. no. there's still people in the whitehouse holding that hope there's one more time in the
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next couple months when this will come back to the senate and we'll put it together and we'll still make this happen. i don't think very many people believe that but maybe republicans do have to step back now and figure out what it is they really can agree on and what they can't agree on. >> rose: on you quickly will that get on tax reform. >> i think they'll pivot as fast as humanly possible. you also have to say this complicates tax reform. one of the ideas behind the tax reform is to do healthcare first and tax reform later was you cleared up a lot of money by rolling back medicaid and changing the tax incentives under obamacare that could be used to pay for tax cuts, lower corporate tax rates and individual tax cuts. that's not on the table now so they have to figure out how to do tax ree form without healthcare first and that's complicated. >> rose: you both have been influential german it's in washington at the "wall street journal" and at the "new york times." give me a sense of what this
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feels like when you look not only at the legislative failures or the failure to achieve one of your primary victors. we haven't herd a whole lot about the wall. we know about tpp but that was not going to pass anyway. at the same time the russian probe continues to have embarrassing revelations. now for the families. does this seem to be what this. >> well, the president of the united states is an extremely powerful person in any circumstances. and president trump has clearly had some victories, right. the confirmation of neal gorsuch, a very conservative supreme court justice. a bunch of the executive actions to basically stop trying to combat climate change from the federal government. some of the other things. but you were right. when you put together the list, the legislative failures which stands in contrast to every other resent president who did make progress early on towards
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legislation. even bill clinton who famously failed on healthcare got that really important budget deal that raised taxes and helped lead to the bond market rally. and you look at the approval ratings. he got welfare reformulate in his first term. so you look at president trump's last legislative accomplishment, the scandal which seems to have some real substance to it even if we don't yet know how much. and his approval ratings and not only that but the extent to which members of his own party are willing to buck him as we've seen in the last couple days. he's coming up in the sixth month mark of his presidency and i do not think we have seen a first six months of a presidency in our lifetime that has been less successful than this six months. >> i guess i would add republicans have to ask themselves not just the trump whitehouse but the republicans are we really, do we know how to govern. are we capable of governing.
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some republicans will tell you we're better off as an opposition party than a governing party and we have to change that. that's on the congress not on the whitehouse. i think the fall in this context charlie becomes very crucial for the republicans and the whitehouse in general. they have to get something on the books, hopefully it's tax reform. they hope that's the case but you do have to end the year with legislative accomplishments. i think the whitehouse house to figure out what's the strategy with dealing with the russia probe in the midst of all that. they need to create a clear separation between the president and the governing part of the whitehouse and the russia investigation part of management control. and move down both those tracks simultaneously. that's where we're going to be for a while and that hasn't been very effective for them so far. they're going to have to figure out how to separate scandal management from governs and put some things on the board. >> rose: do either of you know, speaking of the russian probe, an answer to why the
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president's so resistent to this probe, other than there is something that's damaging to him, whatever it is. >> i think there is at a minimum, there's a trump style that says basically you give no quarter when you're under attack or you're under siege. so you give no ground. is that because there's something working in the shadows or because he's afraid that was not fighting everybody every step of the way is a signal of weakness. i don't think we know which of those it is. it's either there's something bad there or trump knows no style other than the roy cohen style his mentor the old mccarthy lawyer which is fight every step of the day. >> rose: david this is what you said this morning in the paper. my suggestion this morning is that whatever your beliefs, you'll also find ways to neuroissue your political soul.
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it can be a matter of foreign affairs. whatever it is don't just look for ideological ammunition, go searching for are trade-off and uncertainty. consider changing your mind about something. what produced that. >> thank you for reading that. you know, i think a lot of people feel exhausted by this current era and i found myself feeling exhausted which is i'm an opinion columnist so one of my jobs is to write my opinion and i as it's probably obvious has been very awe -- alarmed by so many things from this administration as have many republicans and many democrats. and i just realize that look politics isn't all about brute force. it's not all about fighting and i think it's important for people to remember that it's about democracy and debate. i'm going to spend part of this summer grappling with issues i
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find hard. i'm going to think about which ways my own views might be wrong and i encourage readers to do that as well and to remember not everything is just one big fight. >> rose: i think we're finding out something about the trump voters that we really didn't know until some of these issues about healthcare came up. something that is not negative at all but something more about them. >> we've been doing some polling of trump counties, trump voters. one of the things you learn is some of those trump voters, a fair number of them don't actually agree with the president's approach on healthcare don't necessarily agree what he did for climate change for example. they think two things he's a big change agent, biggest change agent and that's important to him and washington is a harding thing to change. they thigh he's tough on say for example going after the syrians because of their use of chemical weapons.
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that's a sign that he's effective. they say he's going to washington and elasticking for our jobs. those are powerful things and it gets lost in the russian debate about policy prescription and policy legislation. but to trump voters they're still very much there. >> i want to add one other thing on top of that which is a lot of those voters have a reason to be angry. you look what happened to their net worth, to their income, to the quality of their health, to their communities. i don't think donald trump has the answer but i know why people are angry. >> rose: thank you so much. we'll be right back, stay with us. steve bannon is one of the most divisive members of american politics. and was a driving force behind the right wing breitbart news web side and donald trump appointed him to head his campaign in august 2016. widely credited with the
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crafting president trump's. telling the story of ban i been and the unlikely partnership in his new book called the devil's bark. i'm pleased to have josh green at this table. welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: this is what i basically just saw in which it says it is a testament, we're not certain which of the two figures have sold a bigger part of themself to the other. in the broader sense they're co-authors of our moments tabloid conservatives. >> i think that's exactly right. the point of the book was to go back and answer the question. i think everybody still wants to know about donald trump. how is it that he managed to get elected and all of us, the media and washington didn't see it coming. i didn't see it coming but i covered bannon, i covered breitbart, i covered the populist uprising over the last three or four years and on election morning i spoke to
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bannon for a story i was doing. looking back, it really did come into focus. the whole story and how these two men in their stories are interwoven and really led to this humongous upset. >> rose: what is the story. >> trump and bannon met in 2010. bannon has this wild background and has gotten attention by now. seven years ago. bannon was born to a blue color democratic navy family in richmond virginia. spent four years in the navy. went to hartford business school and went to hollywood and opened an vent boutique bank financing and cutting hollywood deals. like so many people on the money side in hollywood he wanted to go over the creative side. and he had this deep almost sublimated conservism he didn't show at harvard or goldman sachs but once you started making movies, he made a convenient
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rating documentary about ronald reagan. that brought him into the orbit of a group ofhg$i los the fascist propaganda film makers in the 1930's and 40's was consumed with the idea if i can learn these skills and harness this power that andrew breitbart has, i can shape the world in a direction that will
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advance my political goal. >> rose: the political goal then was judicial his political goal has always been the same. if you push for a kind of hard right populist nationalism that is very much distinct from ordinary orthodox movement conservatism. bannon critique it's globe es, his great peryourive phrase, it serves the interest of the global financial class that is more interested in making money and sort of erasing national borders, tearing down cultural identities than it is in serving the kind of ordinary working class blue collar people that bannon thinks is a backbone of the country and ought to be at the center of our politics. and bannon's prescription for how to do is essentially to tear down the global free trade
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system, to close america's borders, to deport people who are here illegally. and to curb legal immigration as a way of privileging american citizens and reasserting a kind of cultural identity. >> rose: is this different from what pat buchanan argued way back when in the 80's. >> i talked to bannon about this six months, a year ago. isn't he really your intellectual forbearer. yes or no. yes in the sense that he happened kind of cotton to the power of this kind of populism. and that buchanan like steve bannon is a daily tradition al catholic. but he said the big difference is that buchanan isn't enough of a zion ist and therefore we dont see eye to eye. >> rose: where does trump
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come into the picture. >> trump comes into the ban i been picture in 2010. that's when they met through a long time anti-clinton activist named david bossy who is very central to a lot of the bill clinton scandals and investigations in the 1990's. he's formally chief investigator of dan burton's government oversight committee who are the ones who pursued bill clinton more aggressively than any other republicans in congress. bannon knew bossy from kind of the conservative fringes. bossy has been pulled into trump's orbit by steve nguyen the casino magnet. these are the two guys he surrounded himself. >> rose: but nguyen and trump weren't close. >> they weren't close ownerly. in fact they sue each other where nguyen want to move into atlantic city. trump was there, they all hired detectives and sued each other and all types of skulduggery.
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in the end they settled because there was a better deal. as soon as thehey settled they became friends. shortly after they became friends, bossy was at a fund raiser, a hospital fund raiser with steve nguyen who had gotten to know a little bit. nguyen called over donald trump and says hey i want you to meet my friend dave bossy, big deal in republican politics. you probably heard of him because right at that time bossy's group citizen's united had just won a supreme court case. so bossy's stock was trading high and trump is very impressed with that because trump is impressed with status. he brought bossy into his orbit brought him into trump tower to tutor him on politics. one time bossy says to his friend steve bannon, come along i want to introduce you to >> rose: what kind of reaction did both have to each other?
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>> according to the people i talked to around trump's orbit they immediately clicked. the reason they immediately clicked is bannon like trump is a deal guy. he's someone who knows money and wall street but he's also somebody whose worked in entertainment, cares about it and speaks the lingo. and bannon is the guy full of political ideas. we didn't realize this at the time but trump really was getting serious about running for president. not just to goose the ratings of the apprentice but he really wanted to be president. >> rose: what was he looking for? was he looking for path to the presidency. >> he was. if you look back -- >> rose: he was a democrat k he was a republican, he was everything. >> what he wanted to do was get to a position of power. i sort of tell the story of trump's fitful political career beginning in 1988 when he first started talking about this and going on cnn and touting himself as a presidential candidate.
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the strain that runs through all of trump's political evolutions, whether he's republican, democrat or attendant, he really does have pop list impulses. he talks about free trade, how america is getting ripped up by womenly foreign competitors. in the 80's it was japan. now it's china. i think he recognized in bannon someone who shared his general political outlook but had a very fully-formed politic that meshed comfortably with trump's own. and the one element i think steve bannon added to donald trump's political persona was to convince him of the power of illegal immigration as a political weapon to wield in a republican primary. to build a base and to take a base away from the establishment
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republicans who really weren't serving the needs and desires of their own voters. >> rose: by using language that was more strident and by going to a position further right than they were. >> exactly. and bannon actually in 2006 had produced a documentary called border wars where he went down to the u.s. mexico border and kind of had a visceral sense for the emotion that illegal immigration stirs up. just the anger and anxiety. i think bannon's talent is a political strategist, exploiting than kind of thing. and when that is something that he injected into trump's political persona. and trump being the intuitive politician that he is started testing out this material at rallies. he started talking about the wall. he saw he could see he was getting a reaction from these
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conservative grassroots voters but it wasn't immigration that really got him started on this path. it was obama. and it was birtherrism. >> rose: who gave him that idea was it bannon or roger stone. >> it wasn't bannon. as far as i could tell is trump hit on this one on his own. the idea that birtherrism for those who aren't familiar the false claim that barack obama was not born in the united states. maybe he was born in kenya and was a secret muslim and so on. this was one of these lunatic conspiracy theories. trouble is an opportunist. >> rose: about most issues. >> especially about politics. but in speaking with people like roger stone and looking back knowing what we know now, it's clear what trump was doing. he was presenting to run against barack obama in 2012. the way we know this is that
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trump's style when he wants to take someone on is to diminish them, to be little them, to humiliate them and what could be a more powerful weapon than to go after the race of the first black president of the united states. and speaking to stone and some other people, trump really want to do it and he saw that when he started this birther tour on the view and he would go around and kept saying this over and over, republican voters responded. we forget now that trump was leading the polls in 2011 after going around and talking about this stuff. he understood the power this kind of an modesty -- i was humiliated at the whitehouse correspondence. he was full of team. he goes into the correspondents
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dinner in april 2011 and gets absolutely ambushed. not just by the comedian seth meyers but pretty president of the united states himself. obama's remarks were devastating. he sat there and humiliated trump to his face on national television, and then the crowning disgrace for trump as we find out 24, 48 hours later that obama has managed to capture and kill -- that he at once destroyed -- >> rose: he got back -- >> these right. what he did, obama did, in one fell swoop, he destroyed any dignity that trump might have and he reminded the american people at the same time why he's an effective president. here is this clown out making
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jokes. i'm going to put him down and humiliate him and send him packing then i'm going to get the job done and capture osama bin laden. i think the power of that humiliation really sent trump licking his wounds. and he ultimately aunt against the race in 2012 which is something that he regret even while it was still going on. >> rose: so he decided to run in 2016. >> stone, his long time advisor said the moment he knew trump was going to run he calls him up on new year's day, 2013, roger stone calls trump to say hi and happy new year and trump says i went and trademarked the phrase make america great again. stone said he knew at that phone that trump was really going to go ahead. i cover the next three or four months in the book and you can see over the course of those few
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months trump morphing from a guy talking about birtherrism to a guy who is thebp!ñt rightfully belong to them. these immigrants were displacing them in american culture that
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political leaders were more intent on caudalling the own sittances. bannon understood this and trump did to the power that could have as a political issue. beginning in the spring of 2013 that's when trump flipped the switch and turned it on. >> rose: i didn't cover the campaign but most of us during the campaign when man innovator was out and began to understand who was coming in, we were surprised by steve bannon. most politicals were surprised where they put him in the top of the campaign. but you're saying he was always there. >> he was always there in the background. he had always been an informal advisor and there were several key moments in the campaign before steve bannon came aboard when bannon played a pivotal role on trump's behalf. the earliest one i think was right after trump announced the
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candidacy where he came down the elevator in trump tower and he gave the speech calling mexicas drug dealers and rapists. not only did he double down, steve bannon went and organized trump's trip to the lorado border because bannon knew some people there. trump came down to laredo. to mexico's face. not only was he apologizing he was walking up and poking him in the chest and doubling down. these the sort of mind set i think that bannon brought to trump's universe. >> rose: how powerful is he in the whitehouse today. >> not as powerful as he wants to be, that's for sure.
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bannon really is a propagandist at heart and he is very good at messaging, at stoking the worries and fears of the electorate. galvanizing a certain kind of dispossessed voter who hasn't felt like had a place in american politics maybe over the last 10, 20 years. that's a real talent and i think that helped get donald trump elected. but you need an entirely different set of skills when you wind up in the whitehouse. the problem that steve bannon had and the problem that donald trump had is both of them only have one speed. this kind of need to dominate their opponent, to kind of come in throwing hey makers and being as aggressive as you can. a couple weeks into the administration, or into the transition, they were going to pursue a shock and awe strategy that was going to blow up the washington establishment and impose trump's stamp on the
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american government th same way he put a stamp on a trump building. the world doesn't work that way. and almost immediately you saw this begin to backfire, protests in the streets, federal courts knocking down the travel ban and pretty quickly the trump administration came off the rails. a lot of people in the whitehouse were unhappy and blamed steve bannon with that with justification. >> rose: people began to realize that bannon had great influence leading up to the time he was on the cover of "time" magazine. they know he was a nationalist and some thought he was a racist and a whole range of things that was on the far right. is he any of those things, is he all of those things. what is he in terms of his core belief. >> his core beliefs, i tell the
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story in the book of bannon intellectual guru who later became a sufi muslim. his name is rene and he's the god father of a philosophy known as primordial perennialism. there was a book in 1945 about the perennial's philosophy. what it says is all of the ancient religious have a unified spiritual core that was delivered to mankind in the earliest ages of the world. and that beginning during the enlightenment, we in the west lost our connection to transcendence to god. what traditionalists want to do is to get that back.
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bannon who is a very conservative cattic -- catholic is what shapes him. he wants to turn us to the morays of the 1950's and 0's. bannon want to go back to the 1500's. he is deeply opposed to modernity. he thinks that -- >> rose: those are words we often used in terms of some of the scizzals within islam. >> it is. but the thing to understand about traditionists like bannon is that they think modernity has led to decline rather than progress. this has had real influence on 20th century politics. a lot of, mussolini ideologists. but what bannon is trying to do and this is key to understanding
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his politics. i don't think trump knows this or doesn't care about this but certainly doesn't know about french metaphysics but he sees encroaching on identity and thereby destroy free trade break up the eu, undermind what he considers globalists politicians like angela merkel and reassert this identity. he thinks this is the path back. >> rose: what's interesting it sounds like bannon is a guy who reads a lot, sounds like he's someone who cares about books whereas trump doesn't read at all to understand what was written about him frequently. he is a child of television. a wild of television who says he gets everything he knows from television. another guy who tries to understand how using media but essentially is informed by books. >> you know, he. >> rose: is that right or wrong. >> that's exactly right. i actually think that's part of bannon's appeal to trump.
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trump is at heart a deeply incure man who wants the approval of powerful people. what bannon did for trump was to take trump's impulses which trump developed on his own about free trade and give it a kind of respectable intellectual framework. bannon used to say to trump, you know, you aren't a joke, you are part of a global populist uprising that we see sweeping across you're and great britain. do you remember in the campaign when trump was behind in the polls, who was ahead of him. niger. what did trump say he said we're going to be brexit. >> rose: it is to rise the forces of populism and
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nationalism. >> who is whispering in his ear telling him all that. >> rose: bannon. >> yes. >> rose: because bannon likes what had in brexit. >> he thinks he is in part responsible for brexit. one of the things -- bannon. one of the things bannon did at breitbart following the model of rene who is this tradition es who believes the path back to enlightenment to convert small pockets of people. what we consider today is thought leaders. bannon took that modeling started a breathe -- breathe parted in texas and los angeles and in rome to influence the vatican and started a breitbart in london. found people within the church but in london, breitbart london, he was a platform for nigel. he told me i talked to him after
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the election i don't think brisk it -- brexit would have happened without steve bannon. >> rose: he is back. >> in trump's universe you are always rising or falling one of the other and he surrounds himself with these various factions and keystones. when one is eclipse, the other is rising. bannon rose up after the election. he was cashed out, cast out of the inner circle by kushner and cohen and some of these people who disagreed when he proved not to be effective. but as you say the rush you scan -- russia scandal came along and people in his circle and family are embroiled in a very very serious scandal that trump -- >> rose: and fight for survival. >> a scandal that trump himself inflammed by firing james comey, the f.b.i. director.
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>> rose: advised by jared kushner to do it. >> that's what my whitehouse sources told me, via jared kushner and bannon had warned against. had warned against firing comey. but what really brought bannon back i think was just before trump left for his foreign trip in may, attorney general jeff sixes had recused himself, rod rosestein exthe deputy attorney general decided they needed to impose a special council and chose robert mueller obert muely serious man a real coy. >> rose: because he fired comey. >> at that point trump arose about the russian probe and tried to set up a legal war room to fight back harder. >> rose: is he in control of
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that. he along with the lawyers. >> i don't think bannon is. no. he went in there and helped set it up. he had known marc -- >> rose: the person trump seems to admire the most is general mattis. he's given him the most power. he's given him the capacity to press down the line, authorities and decisions which is are getting some praise from military strategists. and there's some add mariaation for people who are tough. >> i would go a step further. i would say convenient race
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especially for military generals. whenever trump was in trouble, he would surround himself with generals. when he finally was forced to apologize for the birther, do you remember what he did. he calls this very strange press conference in his brand new trump hotel in washington d.c. surrounds himself with all these generals. this is another bannon special. they wanted the visual of trump surrounding by exgenerals because it would project strength. he gave this kind of rambling talk about how great trump was and at the very end with one line he says i no longer believe that, or i accept that obama and trump kind of hustled off the stage. trump loves generals. >> rose: at every stage in which trump seems to be in trouble and there's been a lot of those stages, he seems to go back. >> i know why it was early in
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the administration as muppet master, this was the saturday night. but nobody influences trump to do something if trump doesn't want to do it. at least not for very long. bannon's real service to trump has been the kind of pit bull who will go out there and fight for him no matter what. really in his heart that's what donald trump wants his staff to do. >> rose: the relationship will survive. >> i don't know. it seems like people fall out of trump's orbit but never forever. >> rose: roger stone was in and out. >> and trump still calls him. his lawyers don't want him to do that. >> rose: what do you think this is going to go. >> i think that depends on what happens. i know one of the things bannon did when he came back from saudi arabia prop up this legal team to reach out and try to find on model for what trump should do.
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what trump should do to protect his administration from the whitewater probe. >> rose: on television defending bill clinton at every stage. >> at every stage exactly. and was also a lawyer and very good doing this on television. bannon thought that's what trump needs. it doesn't seem to be working out well. i talked to davis for the book and he said the number one thing that trump needs to do is tell everybody you got to get all of this out. you have to reveal everything, all the contacts with the russians, get them out in the media, rip off the band-aid and know what it is we're dealing with. for whatever reason trump and his family and the people around him did not seem inclined to do that. >> rose: and nobody seems to know why. >> and it pushes the story further further and meanwhile robert mueller and the investigators are looking into this. >> rose: it changes every day because we learn more. devil's bargain, josh green.
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steve bannon, donald trump and the storing of the presidency. thank you. >> thanks so much. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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>> 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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