tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV January 11, 2018 10:00pm-10:31pm PST
♪ hello and a very warm welcome indeed to "quadriga" coming to from the heart of berlin and we are focusing on u.s. president donald trump who was sworn into office last january. he will shortly complete one year in the office -- in the white house after what has been a truly helter skelter 12 months featuring nonstop running babattles with his crititics, enemies and allies. and now wiwith the newew book "e and fury" from michael.l. -- michael wolff --our question
this week on "quadriga" is "trump's first year: beyond all reason?" to discuss the question, i am joined in the studio by three excellent observers weakening with matthew karnitshnig, the politico who argues that it might be tempting to dismiss donald trump as a clown without a coherent agenda but that he says would be a mistake. also with us is christiane meier, if earlier face run the ard network who believes that crazy or not, donald trump is divisive and distrust of but were still are the people letting him get away with that she says. and she smiles. and a warm welcome to anna sauerbrey. she is with tagesspiegel. she also writes for the new york times. she says u.s. foreign-policy under donald trump is not beyond reason and it probably is not his own foreign-policy. interesting.
first of all, anna, let us talk about this book, "fire and fury" from michael wolff about the goings-on in the white house. you have been a keen student of u.s. politics. what you had to say about the book? anna: it is entertaining in a terrible way just as the whole from presidency. what struck me most is that you read it and you want to go on reading it because it is like an entertaining piece of journalism. you have to tell us that it may not be the full reality. sort of an important part of it. so we should laugh. we have to remind ourselves all of the time. that we should not laugh about him too much. , you: christiane meier have an eagle eye on american politics. you were a correspondent in washington -- christiane: for almost eight years. peter: what do you make of the book? christiane: i think it confirms
our worst fears that the actual situation in the white house is probably as described in the book. it may be inaccurate and parts but as my colleague said, entertaining but in a bad way. but an accident but you -- you cannot look away. it is amazing how adaptable human beings are. we thought when he took office that it was impossible and we were shocked. and now, we think it is an entertaining, very sad -- peter: the new normal? christiane: not normal. i would not go so far. peter: matthew, what do you make of it all? when you read the book, what is the most worrying revelation from the book? matthew: [laughter] any onenot say there is thing that is particularly worrying. reading the book is like a
guilty pleasure. number one. for many of us, it confirms our worst fears although i don't think they really needed to be confirmed because they are confirmed every day on twitter and elsewhere. it is further confirmation of what we already new. that said, i think there are serious questions about the veracity of much of what is in the book. people say that even if only 20% of what michael wolff has written here is true, that is still horrendous. that is certainly true. peter: when you say horrendous -- one line that jumped out at me. that donald trump won't read anything, not a one-page memo, not a brief policy memo.. isthew: i think that probably not true. i think he will read a one-page memo. he is a person that went around boasting that he got through college without opening a textbook.
and it is also worth remembering that the people that are his base are not going to be reading his book. number one. and the only real possession of the book will be -- in the ai pernd their only real be fromof the book will fox news. i don't think it will hurt him with his base. the people who will read the book are those that already hate him and they will hate him even momore. peter: you don't think it will be a game changer or a significant blow to the standing of the president. matthew: i think they have already been successful in discrediting the book because there are factual errors in it. things a lot of small wrong. he has written the book in a style that is somewhat dangerous for a journalist because he is trying to re-create conversations. it is almost written as a thriller or a novel. these are conversations he did not witness firsthand.
that is always problematic. there are a number of cases that have beeeen pointed out where there are actual errors which undermines the book. and that is why i say it is fun to read but i think you have to take everything in it with a grain of salt. peter: am i right in saying though that nevertheless it has gotten under his skin? .> i would say, yes and i agree it will probably not end the president. but i disagree in that i do think some of his basic will read it. we have seen some change there. are nown social network saying that they voted for him but this is not what i wanted in the end. i think it will add to the discreditation of the president thinkigh him but i don't it will end the presidency. peter: miami interested because we haven't mentioned it yet. we have a u.s. president coming out and not saying -- the book
is out there and i am going to ignore it because it is lies. but coming out and defending his own mental health. strange times we live in. >> that was a very strange moment. of a one of the strangest strange presidency. it shows that we do have a narcissist personality in the oval office. and that is very worrisome. but that makes the book even more problematic because in being that entertaining and showing how his marriage works and the great new york times article about how he spends his day drinking coke zero and watching the television. blur are all facts that the full picture that he is actually a pretty effective president. --er: let us talk about that pretty effective president.
he will be marking one year in office very shortly. what is your verdict? do you agree with the ladies that he is an effective president? matthew: yes. and i think the strategy of putting complete chaos out there and he has presented the presidency as a reality show. in response to the book, to show he is a serious president, we are seeing the cabinet meetings being televised in part. this is one aspect of what is going on. the public picture. the hide the scenes, his people are systematically undoing decades of regulations and the united states. if you look at what has happened at the environmental protection agency for example, it is basically being dismantled. they have allowed for example drilling on both the atlantic and the pacific coasts. we are talking about millions of
that will beea opened, potentially, to drilling in the coming years. it is things like this that will have an impact in the long-term. and the other big area is the courts. judicialted more vacancies than any other president in the history of the country and the significance of this is that he will get to 150nate now more than federal judges potentially in the coming years. oute are people who serve life terms which means that long after he has left office, he will have judges they are sitting on the federal b bunch - bench that will be making important decisions including the supreme court. he has already nominated and had approved one justice with more likely to follow. i think he already has been very effective in this regard. it has not gotten much attention because of the tweets and the
sideshow. peter: is it a smokescreen? matthew: one more word on that -- i do think he is very vaiain. he has to respond to everything. there are people in the background that we don't hear much from that are pushing -- i don't know if it is his agenda, but a conservative republican agenda. >> and a very coherent agenda also. >> the whole text situation. -- and the whole tax situation. that will have a very long-term affect. if it stays in place, it will affect the middle classes in ways that make those problems worse and the socioeconomic problems that brought donald trump into office. i do think there are long-term effects that we cannot ignore. peter: is there such a thing as trumpism? >> there might be that the
coherency or in coherency -- for example,e, the republicans n ner wanted a huge deficit. and donald trump comes along with the tax reform and the deficit will balloon out of control. peter: ultra keynesian economics. >> and the republican agenda will be pushed through on practically every level. no matter what. and i think, to say something critical about ourselves, the this tweeting and saying crazy stuff, a all of tht has really distracted us completely from what is happening under the radar. for example, national parks. really hurt the country by doing these things and people have not realized what is happening because everyone is going on about how crazy he has which makes him a lot less crazy than people think. peter: none of you have mentioned so far -- the
washington post talks about his strongest selling point, the economy. >> yeah. matthew: the economy is doing well. it was doing well before. donald trump will take credit for it. he takes credit for every time the dow jones hits a new record. he sends out a tweet advertising that. the economy is doing well. and i think it will have to continue to do well for him to be reelected. the ball run out of reasons to vote for him. in a couple years time, when he faces reelection, he will really need to show a strong economy and a lot of progress on these other things that he promised including the wall and the symbolic things. he has made progress there also. we have not talked about jerusalem and other promises that he made. these are things that matter to his base. even to people that don't like him. depending on the tape --
depending on the choice, people will hold their nose, and say that he is better than the alternative and he is doing the things that i want. this is especially true for the conservative christian base -- for whom these judges and the decisions they make on social matters like abortion and gay marriage, that is important to them. peter: we have talked about donald trump. we have not talked enough about foreign policy. it.hew has begun to mention let us get some impressions about the foreign policy field. donald trump's foreign policy is driven by uncompromising .gotism america first and donald trump hist is his model -- is motto. he wants to withdraw from international trade agreements and build a border wall with mexico. fromlans to stop muslims entering the u.s. has also caused outrage. a complete immigration ban has
been prevented in the courts. he started a war of words with north korean dictator, kim jong and he even seems to consider nuclear war to be a viable strategic optionon. up with his unilateral decision to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel, he broke withth diplomatic conventions stirring up anger in the arab world and beyonond. both his a allies and opponents are baffled by his foreign-policy decisions. how dangerous is this president? peter: conventions stirring up anger in the arab world and beyond. ok, christiane meier, how dangerous -- is he a dangerous president? christiane: i don't have an answer to that because no one knows. he is definitely an erratic person and we don't know if he plan and what that plan could possibly be. even his secretary of state is a more or less unknown person when it comes to that and he
staffismantled a lot of his and we don't even have an ambassador in germany one year after donald trump took office. it is weird and inconsistent and no one knows what will come next. peter: is he a foreign policy bully? matthew: i think we have seen that in the kinds of threats he has made towards nororth korea d mexico and china. this is his style. some people would argue that it has been effective in certain instances. peter: he himself would argue that north korea -- that there has been a thaw in the relations bebetween north and d south kor. he will sayy that it is because he was uncompromising. matthew: there may be something to that. it is another question as to whether that is in the interest of the u.s. north korea has been trying to create a wedge between seoul and
washington. we will see if that works. at the end of the day, it has been disruptive. this is something he has wanted to a chief. it has been disruptive to the trans-atlantic relationshipsps with hisis criticism o of nato. not followede has through on many of the threats he has made, it has caused many people in europe to question the united states' commitment to europe and the nato alliance. and it is very problematic i would say for people in europe, whocially western europe, support the trans-atlantic relationship and wanted to continue. which is most people in germany. matthew: u.s. mainstream people in germany, with the spd and the social democratic which is mostn germany. party -- we need to rethink this relationship and look at our options.
it has put wind in the sales to people who might be skeptical about the relationship with america to begin with. anna, this is one of your special fields. as i agree that he is erratic and -- in the foreign-policy area, we do see some continuities and coherence. the ideologies have been coherent. we see that in the policies -- input out by mcmaster the washington post, they are portraying the world as an arena of competing actors. they have been looking at the world like that ever since. it also shows the international security strategy. this is how he looks at europe also. this is why we also see some continuities. comes tole, when it eastern europe, he has been very supportive towards eastern
europe against russia anand he s let some of the policies, we have seen with the previous administration in place, reinforcing troops and sending poland.o pull in -- to along withing gas political interests. this is very coherent. like a block. we don't like it. germany does not like that sort of hyperrealistic policies based on national interests but that is what it is. >> but is it his policy? or the policy of coherence of the general's? -- of the generals? if they allow him to hold
speeches in line with his policy, i think we can still say that it is pretty coherent. >> they say they have to babysit do to make sure he does not anything super stupid. i wonder if it is a donald trump coherencncy or the knowledge of pepeople who have been around fr a long time in foreign policy and to know how the game is played? they may more or less listen to him and what he wants but at the same time they do what has always been done with a little shift, maybe with eastern europe. if it was his policy, i don't think it would be coherent at all. they should -- they just keep it from. peter: and what about germany's transatlantic policy? angela merkel has said that the time is over when they could rely on others. clearly referring to the u.s.
watershed moment in transatlantic relations. >> it might. relations will be better after he is gone. he will be gone eventually. at the same time, i think that has to do with the european feeling of trying to become stronger as europe and the more it independent of the influence from the u.s. i think it is a double strategy. you can see that we are not the the partners anymore but at same time, it gives a does chance to look around and say --who are we? who do we want to be? what is our goal? do we want to be europeans or germans in a special relationship? it is a redefinition of the european situation. peter: talking about europe, we trumpism andabout
what it has to do with the and what it has to do with the populist parties in europe. threats for departure from the european union has marked a historic turning point. one of the reasons so many british voted to leave the european union was a fear of immigration. in austria, a right-wing nationalist government has formed as in hungary and poland. all three share a mistrust of what they call brussels bureaucracy, a fear of islam and a desire for isolationism. populists are now driving the political agenda in many european countries. also, politicians are talking publicly about a conservative revolution within a visit us on homeland, family, and christian values. is donald trump the leading figure of this new shift to the right?
donald trump: america first. what is theew, overlap between donald trump, trumpism, and far right populism in europe? matthew: the overlap is that many of the same forces that drove donald trump into office are also present in europe and has been for some time. this backlash against globalization for example, the worry about migration and the refugee crisis. i would be careful though in assuming that donald trump has had an effect on european politics directly. in the immediate aftermath of his election in fact, we had several elections in europe where the populace did not win or perform as well as feared. where marcon -- macron won. this is a phenomenon though in the western world, this populism
and it will not end soon. at -- it isnce virulent at the moment. notough the populace did win many of these elections, they overall have done pretty well in europe in the last year. i think this is something that europeans are going to have to continue to deal with and the last word on this with germany with the alternative for germany now in the parliament is another reminder that this is a problem that remains. peter: anna, what does the alternative for germany have to do with trumpism? anna: i agree with matthew. i think it is parallel development that we see with the same -- that came up for the same reason. directere is little influence -- peter: let me interrupt you. one thing you have written about is the zeitgeist.
we are marking 50 years with 1968, 8 time of freedom and democracy and student protest. there are many in europe and in the u.s. saying it was decadent and dangerous because it led to left wing terrorist. that zeitgeist -- what is the connection between the u.s. and germany? anna: the frustration of what postmodern liberalism led to. feel that structure is of value are breaking down and there is nothing to replace them. and they are looking for a new ideology that gives them orientation in their lives. i think that is part of where these populist movements find the forced to grow. peter: christiane? a tough topic. christiane: in germany, it is maybe 14%. the people are really frustrated. that does not mean it is a complete change of gain.
also, as an effect, people have tried to reassure their own values which is a positive thing to happen. democracy, that is the influence of donald trump. the washington post said that donald trump lied 1950 times so far and no one or few people have contradicted that article. if that is the new way, then we have a problem. you so much.ank fascinating stuff. we have been talking about "trump's first year: beyond all reason?" you make up your mind. we hope we have given you plenty of things to think about. we will see you next week. until then, bye-bye. ♪
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