tv Face the Nation CBS November 5, 2017 10:30am-11:28am EST
are investigators any closer to moving the trump campaign colluded with the russians? we'll ask virginia senator mark warner, the top democrat on the senate intelligence committee. plus republicans take on tax reform. >> that's why we're working to give the american people a giant tax cut for christmas. we are giving them a big, beautiful christmas present in the form of a tremendous tax cut. >> dickerson: but who gets the biggest boxes under the tree? we'll talk to house majority leader kevin mccarthy, who is working to pass the tax package in the house. we'll have analysis of all the week's news and look ahead with our politics panel. plus bestselling author michel louis joins us, and former white house photographer pete souza brings us the best of his eight years capturing the obamas. it's all ahead on "face the nation" good morning and welcome to "face the nation." i'm john dickerson. our focus this week, indictments and taxes. special counsel robert mueller's
interference in the 2016 presidential election made its first big move this week. on monday former trump campaign chair paul manafort and former aide rick gates were charged with a litany of crimes, including money laundering and being unregistered foreign agents, but manafort's attorney said the 31-page indictment showed -- >> there is no evidence that mr. manafort or the trump campaign cloudied with the russian government. >> dickerson: but mueller did have evidence that trump aide george papadopoulos met with the russians, the second known contact with the campaign and russians peddling dirt on hillary clinton. the other big story: tax reform. thursday was tax day in washington with house republicans finally unveiling their long-talked-about plan. >> this plan is for the middle-class families in this country who deserve a break. we are getting rid of loopholes for special interests and we are leveling the playing field. >> dickerson: the president left washington friday and will update you on his first moves i
asia. first, the big news of the week and the investigation into russian interference in the election. senator mark warner, to top democrat on the senate intelligence committee, joins us from roanoke, virginia. welcome, senator. i want the start with the indictment and the plea agreement this week with the special counsel. so the president said there was no collusion proved in the indictment of his former campaign chairman, mr. mr. papadopoulos did agree he had lied about a meeting with the russian, but so far it looks like the russians were knocking on the door but they never got any side. you've done hundreds of interviews. is there any evidence they got inside and they were connected to this campaign? >> john, the one thing we do know is that the russians had a very organized effort to try to intervene in our elections. they tampered with 21 states' electoral system, they used social media platform, and they released information that was harmful to clinton and helpful to mr. trump. they also we've noun seen evidence both in terms of
mr. papadopoulos and the june 9th meeting with mr. manafort and mr. trump, jr., attended where they had an organized effort to try to offer dirt or e-mails on hillary clinton. the question was: did folks from the trump campaign respond in kind, and those are questions we still have to get the final answers to. >> dickerson: if the trump campaign was chomping to get its information as it's been portrayed by their critics, you think that one of these two meetings wound have sparked something. but there is no evidence they bit when they were offered this. yes, the russians were offer, but they didn't seem to grab it. at least based on what we know now. >> job, i think those are questions that still need to be answered. there is obviously enormous concern, as well, with the campaign manager and the deputy campaign manager, both indicted, as well. i think there are many more chapters in this story to be told, and some of this information will further down the perhaps, perhaps even with
different lanes. we have a policy review to do. we have a fact check that we have to lay out. he's got criminal intent he's got to find. we have to continue to de-conflict. but i think there will be more stories to be written. >> dickerson: what are you focused on now given what you may have learned from the special counsel or where we are in this narrative. is there a certain set of questions we want andered at this moment? >> there are still a number of principles. for example, mr. trump, jr., we still need to see, we've talked to a lot of folks who are in that so-called june 9th meeting. we have been holding off on the principles until we get all the preliminaries done. there are other figures that at the senior most level that we want to talk to. we also want to continue to explore policy standpoints, this whole question around social media, the fact that for a relatively small amount of money, $100,000 plus, plus a series of fake accounts, the russians werab
touch 126 million americans with their fake news or their stories that were trying to sew discontent, and that was before facebook acknowledged the additional hits used on instagram. there are a lot of stories that continue to be unraveled. >> dickerson: let me pick up on that. there is a very provocative cover on the economist that has the facebook logo and it says, "social media, a threat to democracy." you had executives from facebook, google, and twitter on the hill this week. do they get it? >> i think they are getting it. it's taking them longer than i'd like. you know, these are great, iconic american companies that. they have changed our lives for the better. i want them to be successful. but there is also a dark underbelly that's been created. the russians used it this past election, we have to make sure on a going-forward basis these companies work with us to help disclose, particularly when they see foreign countries try
advertising. >> dickerson: should there be regulations regulating ads used on social media? >> as a pro-tech guy, somebody in the tech business locker than politics, i think we need to take the lightest touch possible, but the basic requirement that there ought to be the same disclosure for political ads on the internet that exist for ads that appear on your show i think makes sense. >> dickerson: two other issues on your committee's purview, one, is so-called field dossier, salacious information about candidate trump. we learned the clinton campaign had paid for part of it. when you had 2 chairman of the campaign in front of your committee, he said he didn't know who paid for it. susan collins said podesta should come back. the clinton lawyer who was there with podesta when he testified as his council could have spoken up and said he knew who paid for it, he did not. he should testify. where are you on this question? >> i think what we found out now on the field dossier is that it was partially paid for by a
it was partially paid for by the democrats. what i'm interested in is not so much who paid for it, but whether the dossier is true or not. it's obviously very inflammatory. what i wish would be that mr. jerrad steele would come ind testify. the chairman and will travel anywhere to try to meet with him, because at the end of the day, what's most important is is that dossier true or not true. >> dickerson: two key questions about the clinton angle: one, the material the clinton folks got is definitely but what is paid for by the russians. it had a russian component. so it would be important on that front who paid for it and why. and secondly, you have to have people coming in front of your committee telling the truth, and there seems to be discrepancy about who paid for what, when, and that would be why they would come back. so do you want them to come back? >> if there is discrepancy, there ought to be a chance to get that cleared up and to find out what was the basis of that discrepancy. most importantly, john. this
for ten or 11 months. i find it remarkable, whether it's news organizations or whether it's our its or others, this dossier sits out there and much of it still remains, you know, a real question of whether it is true or not true. at the end of the day, that's where we have to focus our effort. >> dickerson: quickly, jeff sessions, should he come back and testify about what he knew when about russian contacts with the campaign? there has been reports he knew about something and he told your committee he didn't. -i want to give the attorney general the benefit of the doubt. a picture is worth a thousand words. the fact that mr. papadopoulos was there in that meeting with then-senator sessions, if there is more information that he needs to clarify, weed like to hear that. >> dickerson: final question, the former dnc chairman donna brazile dropped a bomb this week saying the democratic national committee was rigged in hillary clinton's favor do. you believe that's true? >> listen, i have seen some of the press reports. what i'm a lot more foced
election coming up in two days in virginia where we elect the governor. i hope it's going to be a lot more democratic candidates. that's where i'm focused. a lot of folks in florida are frustrated with what's going on. particularly from this administration. most important thing they can do is get out and vote on tuesday and hopefully --. >> dickerson: democrats don't want to get out and vote if they think their party is corrupt, which is the charge brazile is making. if you don't address the corrupt part, how do you get people to vote for a democratic candidate? >> there is a heck of a lot of enthusiasm. i don't believe the democratic party is corrupt. i believe the democratic party is forward-leaning. i think we have that kind of candidate running in virginia right now. i'm going the leave here, and i'll crisscross southwest virginia to help get out the volt. i hope on tuesday night we'll have great victory both from the virginia standpoint but also sends a message that some of the actions of this president are at least not acceptable in the commonwealth of
so much for being with us. >> thank you, john. >> dickerson: we turn now to house majority leader kevin mccarthy. mr. majority leader, we want the talk about a the tax cut. the congressional score keepers have weighed in. this will increase deficits by $1.5 trillion. supporters say there will be economic growth that will take care of that problem. there was a heritage study that said that debt would be gone entirely from those tax cuts. so things sometimes don't turn out the way everybody hopes. given that, and give then score of $1.5 trillion in the deficit, isn't this a huge gamble for all of the reasons that republicans have long said about adding to the deficit and debt. >> no. john, look at this. for decades the hard-working americans have been ignored or forgotten from washington. but not anymore. this tax cut and jobs act bill is going to be the change of that. let me give you three points why.
keep more of what they earn. if you're single, the first $12,000 is tax-free. if you're a couple, $24,000. the average family will save almost $1,200 more in their pockets. so the first $55,000 a family of four earns will not be taxed at all. second, what it does for small business, i created my first small business when i was 20. the lessons i learned, i was first to work, i was last to leave and last to be paid. it created more jobs than anything else. lowering it to 5% is the lowest since world war ii -- 25%. i was in the oval office just this week. this is going to make america competitive again. based upon our tax bill, this is a company who left america because the taxes came too high. they are now because of the tax bill moving back to america. that's $20 billion in revenue a year. you know what's even more important? it put $3 billion
into r&d and $6 billion into manufacturing. that's jobs, good-paying jobs for america. >> so those are the promising being made. but there is the score from the people who do the accounting. they know about the economic affects -- effects here. they may not calculate them the way you like, flu is a big risk. we'll get to talk about whether everybody really does get a tax cut from this bill. given how much republicans have talked over the years about the dangerous effects of the debt and its down side on growth, the answers here are basically we've got to hope this turns out. is there any mechanism to save the down side if things don't turn out as you promise and hope they will? >> there is a philosophical difference in washington. democrats want the charge more and spend more. republicans want you to keep more of your money and spend less. one thing that republicans have shown since they took a majority, when it comes to discretionary spending, they've cut spending. we know where the challenge is when it comes to entitlements.
we have to grow the economy and save the entitlements for the next generation by changing them to be actually prepared for the future. and you say these are studies, but think of this: broadcom took an action to move their company back to america based on just the introduction of this bill. that's stronger than any study out there that jobs are coming. >> dickerson: well, but the study that's out there is by the congressional score keepers who will ultimately determine how this gets volted on and determine the rules of the senate. but let me very quickly, often republicans have said the federal government needs to balance its budget like a family does. would family balance its budget based on this kind of promise of the future? would that be wise family budgeting? >> i think so, because one thingly tell you, it's only washington that thinks let family keep $1,200 is not a lot of money. that's an investment. if you're going to grow the economy, think about the last eight years. always in america we've averaged more than 3
lowest growth we've had in those last eight years. if you look back to bill clinton, his worst growth year is higher than the largest of barack obama's. growing the economy is key to working back and helping us balance the budget. >> dickerson: mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader, said nobody in the middle class will get a tax increase. is that the case with the house legislation that's proposed, everybody in the middle class will see no tax increase? >> look, we are cutting rates. we're in the raising rates some this is a tax cut. as i said --. >> dickerson: will everybody get one in the middle class? >> yes. it is a fact that if you are the first $55,000 you earn for family of four will not pay any tax. it is a tax cut. >> dickerson: there is some discrepancy because there is some sun setting of some provision, including the child tax credit, so that some of the analysis done here finds that, in fact, middle-class families will paye
2024. so is that math wrong, or why is there that discrepancy? >> john, as you understand, we've made most everything permanent. because 206 rules of the senate, we could not make those permanent as we go forward. but i will promise you this: as the growth comes in, those will be kept. they will not go away within the tax credit in the sixth and seventh year. that's exactly what chairman brady has said, as well. >> dickerson: why not guarantee that in the legislation? >> well, we know the rules... well, the one thing we see, because of the rules of the senate, for us to move forward, within the sixth and seventh, but we know with growth and look at the the study coming in saying more than $1 trillion, we will keep those in the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth and tenth years. >> dickerson: the rules of the senate are there to keep gimmicks from happening. let me ask you, though, about the individual mandates. people have talked about getting rid of the individual mandate that's part of obamacare in this tax legislation.
>> well, i know people are talking about currently is not in this bill. i know the senate is looking at it. we will start marking up this bill in ways and means next week, and i look forward to having the bill on the floor the week after that. the senate will come out with theirs shortly. we do not currently have it in there. my focus is on tax as the individual mandate does. it would not with opposed to that. i want the see this bill go forward so the american people can start keeping their of their own hard earned money. >> dickerson: the speaker has said it would be naive to suggest that sairmtd doesn't happen in congress. is there a sexual harassment problem in congress? >> well, we're a microcosm society. we take this very serious. this house administration is holding hearings on this coming forward. to look at this there are other rules. the speaker and others, we put out a letter to every author to make sure they're taking training. my own office will be done with the training this month, as well. there is no role for that inside the house.
are not problems inside the house, as well. >> dickerson: majority leader kevin mccarthy, thanks so much for being with us. we'll be back in one minute with our politics analysts. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better. bp engineered a fleet of 32 brand new ships with advanced technology, so we can make sure oil and gas get where they need to go safely.
and always working to be better. >> dickerson: we turn now to our political panel. susan page is the washington bureau chief for "usa today." ramesh ponnuru is 2 senior editor at the national re"viewpoint." we're also joined by "slate" magazine's political analyst jamelle bouie, and jerry seib. ramesh, we start with you. what do you make of this tax bill now as it stands coming out of the house? >> well, it is a very complicated piece of legislation. i think people are still digesting the implications. what it has going for it in terms of getting passed is republicans' desperation to accomplish something, anything legislatively that they can call a win. that's a sentiment that is shared by house republicans and senate republicans. but there are a lot of moving parts, and i do not think some of these things are going to
the take things on like the adoption tax credit, frample. so this is going to be changing before it gets to the president's desk, if it ever does. >> dickerson: the adoption tax credit is out of the house version. susan, who are the winners and lose centers this bill? >> well, hard-working americans according to the congressman. the winners are big businesses, biggest corporate tax cut in history from 35% to 20%. people rich enough to have estates more than $5.5 million because the estate tax would be eliminated. and people caught in the alternative minimum tax, which includes, by the way, donald trump, who paid $31 million more than he otherwise would have in 2005, the only tax return we, have because of the a.m.t. the winners, you know, another loser, people in high-tax blue states like new york and california because you lose the state and local tax deduction. >> dickerson: i'll stop you... >> those are the winners. >> dickerson: jerry, what's your sense of how this works,
there is some debate about whether everyone will get one through the course of this bill. >> the priority here with the corporate tax cuts. business tax cuts. if you look at the overall amount of tax cutting that's done in this bill over ten years, it's $1 trillion for businesses, $300 billion for individuals. so the priority here to get the business tax cut down. everything else i think is in service of that goal. that's an important goal for republicans, and by the way, a lot of democrats think the corporate tax rate is too high. so there is consensus on that. the problem is we're seeing why it's been 31 years since we did tax reform. this is hard. if you start with that kind of imperative, you have to find other people the pay for the cost of that. you are going to end up, for example, seeing some upper middle class americans probably paying slightly more here, not slightly less. i think the key to this is republicans convincing people that the number of jobs created and the amount of economic growth generated will be enough to make people swallow and accept the fact they're going to get some things they don't like.
is basically growth will go up and middle class will benefit through higher wages. do you think that's a politically saleable point, that the corporate tax break has a direct line to the middle class? >> i think your point you made to the congressman, this these promises have been made before and have not shaken out will probably form the basis of the democratic response to it. if democrats can get through public noise to make that point, i'm not sure the republican message will be able to sell, in part because that promise has been made before and it hasn't been the case. >> dickerson: we're about to have a big debate. >> one point, the congressman stressed small businesses. the small business lobby, the nsib is not in favor of. this. >> dickerson: all right. we'll be back in a moment with our panel. stay with us.
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staff john kelly warned about misunderstanding civil war history only to be rebuked by civil war historians who said he misunderstood his civil war history. we have these discussions because history is the best instruction manual we have as a country. it tells us who we are, which guides us toward who we want to be. churchill said the further back you can look, the further forward you are likely to see. we must be humble in evaluation leaders of the past to understand them in their time. this context helps us recognize why our forebearers were flawed. how those flaws were remedied and how we can avoid similar flaws today. but that lens we use to understand is different than the gaze we reserve for what we revere. once of lessons of the civil war is that it was possible to do the right thing then but the moral standards of today. abolitionists opposed slavery because it was a moral and human wrong, contrary to the principles of the nation founded on life, liberty, and
those who fought slivery pushed the country to be better when it was opposed by custom, habit, and eventually bullets. that example is worthy of rev represents because we face similar choices today. how to keep faith with standards and morals when it is easier to cothe other thing, when the system encourages you to do the other thing. it requires character, self-sacrifice and wisdom. it's not easy, but that's why not everyone deserves the monument. back in a moment.
what if we could keep more amof what we earn?d. trillions of dollars going back to taxpayers. who could possibly be against that? well, the national debt is $20 trillion. as we keep adding to it, guess who pays the bill? him. and her. and her. congress, we should grow the economy. not the debt. ♪ retail. under pressure like never before. and it's connected technology that's moving companies forward fast. e-commerce. real time inventory. virtual changing rooms. that's why retailers rely on comcast business to deliver consistent network speed across multiple locations.
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>> dickerson: welcome back the "face the nation." in asia this weekend, president donald trump's most urgent priority is the north korean nuclear threat. we're joined now by major garrett, who is with the president in tokyo, and can shed some light on what message he plans to send to the north koreans while in the region. major? >> reporter: good morning. president trump began his embassy tensive swing through asia in japan. minutes after air force one touched down, the president donned a bomber jacket and told a region already with jittery of fears over war that dictators, by that he meant north korea's kim jong-un, should heed the warnings of the u.s.'s
japanese prime minister shinzo abe greeted mr. trump warmly. abe's government remains encouraged by the president's hard line on north korea, and japanese officials say china has never been more motivated to deal with the north, a reflection, they say, of the president's harsh rhetoric. north korea will assuredly dominate all the president's conversations here in asia. he said aboard air force one en route here that it'ser in vietnam or the philippines, he will have a side meeting with russian president vladimir putin. topic number one, you guessed it, dealing with north korea, especially having russia apply harsh sanctions passed by the united nations. john? >> dickerson: major garrett in tokyo. thank you. we're back with more from our panel. jerry, what are the stakes for the president, 12 cities that he's going -- 12 day, five cities, sorry. >> the white house is saying this is the longest shay trip by
a president in 25 years some it tells you that asia is central to the foreign policy calculations of the president for two reasons. one is the obvious confrontation with north korea. the other is the attempt to have a tougher trade relationship with china. and the key on this trip is whether those two things can fit together. can you cooperate with china on north korea while still having a pretty tough trade conversation with china on its own terms? that's i think the challenge for the president. you know, i do think shay will loom large throughout the trump term. >> dickerson: ramesh, do you think the president should stay focused overseas. it has important business over there. leave the tax conversation the his colleagues. is this a... does this hurt the republican tax cut push that the president was a more ketter, a salesman, knows how to brand things, is overseas? >> when you talk to capitol hill republicans, they are not concerned that president trump is going to be out of the country while they're trying to roll out these tax packages. if anything they are pleased. they would prefer to be able to make this case without the potential of distractions from
potential of his maybe undermining some elements of their plan. >> dickerson: susan, you checked back in with trump voters one year after his victory. what did you find? >> we have a focus group for a year. they like his policies. they're in the really concerned most of them about the russia investigation. but they're unhappy that things haven't gotten done and they identify the problem as his own behavior. two-thirds of the people in the focus group identified trump's behavior and especially his tendency to tweet as a reason he's not getting things done. one truck driver in boise said, "you know, he's not drowning, but he's also not on land yet." >> dickerson: jamelle, speaking of things that... it's interesting to hear people are not concerned about rush. this is the week we saw real moves by the special counsel. what did you make of that decision by mueller? >> i thought it was
bit of politics. not just the charges against manafort, which i think a lot of people should have saw something like that coming, but specifically the charges against papadopoulos, which were a surprise and did seem to signal some sort of deeper ties between the russian government and members of the trump campaign. it did seem to put the white house off balance. that does matter. i've spoken to some trump voters over the course of the year, and two-to-a person they're like, this russia thing is all nonsense, but it is the case that it does disrupt the president's administration and does disrupt his attempt to push policies forward, and in the case of trying to push something like a tax reform bill, it matters that the president's attention is elsewhere. it matters that the white house is dealing with what may become a legal crisis for key members. as they're trying also to pursue an agenda. >> dickerson: one of the ways the president has reacted, ramesh, is he's said the
department of justice, you should be investigating hillary clinton. he really jumped on this donna brazile news about her claim that hillary clinton basically had the democratic national committee on her side. is that... obviously the criticism. the president is not supposed to be jawboning his attorney general in this way. is there any peril in that for him, or is this sort of behavior that president trump... for some people, that's a huge deal, putting that pressure on the department of justice. >> it's the sort of thing that if it were coming out of the clear blue sky would be completely shocking and would lead to a real uproar. but because it's president trump, and because there is so much background noise from him where he's done so many similar things and violated so many previous norms, it doesn't register in quite the same way. i think all of this stuff, the attack on the justice department for not going after clinton, the occasional attacks from trump's allies on mueller,he
basically keeping his base in line. they're keeping his base with something to say that is positive for them or negative about the democrats. i don't think it's working on independent voters. i don't think it's working on democratic voters. >> dickerson: >> one thing i think really should be emphasized is just how far trump's approval has fallen from even a low point. multiple job approval reports came out this past week, and they all show trump at the high 38 and at the low 34. while his base may not be shaking from him, increasingly most americans are looking at this presidency as something close to a failed one. >> although, you know what, problems with republicans, problems for democrats, too. here is this opportunity with a president with record low approval ratings a year after his election, and democrats are now in the process of just fracturing in ways that endanger a big election coming up on tuesday, the virginia governor's race. this is a race democrats ought
it's a state hillary clinton carried last year, it's a state with two democratic senators, and yet the election of the democrat is not guaranteed that's going to be a very close race. >> it seems to me the democrats have to get in a position where they can stop debate on hillary clinton. that's got to make donald trump very happy. every day the democrats are arguing about the clint campaign as a good day for donald trump. that's what he wants people to focus on. democrats want to get people into 2016 and 2018 and 2020, that's hard because there is a split in the party. there is a progressive lane pushing the party to the left, and there is a centrist part of the party that wants to hang in there with clinton-like policies, and that's not abeasy thing to finesse. you're seeing in california, in the race, the reelection race for senator dianne feinstein, just how tough that might turn out to be. >> ed gillespie is running an interesting campaign of starting out with a business focus economic message, but in the closing streh
confederate statue controversy. a mailer went out showing the n.f.l. player kneeling. it's white identity politics issues, immigration. if he win, that kind of shows the potential path the republican candidates for next year. >> dickerson: that's right, ramesh is. that right? a democratic strategist said to me that ed gillespie is not running with trump, but he's running on trumpisms, in other words, using the tactics and the strategies, and this is that represent -- represently campbell? is that something republicans will go to school on? do you see this race as a temp let? >> i think the trumpiness of the campaign has been overstated. if you think about george h.w. busch in 1998 with the willie horton ad and the emphasis on law and order. people criticized that as having a racial subtext or racial overtones, you're getting the same thing here, but it's basically bedrock republicanism,
virginia voters are concerned about m.s. 13. sanctuary station that gillespie is against, the democratic has now flip flooded and he's against them, too. so i think that gillespie is running the kind of campaign many republicans... >> i think this illustrates how trump has taken over the republican party, even if he has a small base. and for evidence of that, the only republicans who criticize him are republicans who are out of politics or getting out of politics. jamelle? >> i think the critical context in virginia has to be set out on august 12th of this year. white nationalists killed someone in charlottesville, virginia, and running the kind of campaign gillespie is running in that context, i think leaves very differently than say bush '88. >> dickerson: let me ask you about donna brazile's book, former dnc chair urge what do you make of it and her charges about hillary clinton? >> let's go back to the point that i made before. democrats need to get beyond hillary clinton, but that book is going to pull them all back
future into ady bait about that. the book is fairly remarkable by all accounts because it is a complete rehashing of that civil war within the democratic party. and what i found fairly amazing acknowledgment that there was consideration at that party headquarters of finding a way in september of 2016 to undo the nomination process. i have never heard of anything quite like that. now, the clinton people are reacting as you would expect them to react, with indignation and also a sense of this is just old scores being settled, but it keeps the conversation alive and backward looking for democrats. >> dickerson: ramesh, we'll see if this is true in virginia there is a theory that in off-year election democrats don't don't turn at the way republicans do, but donald trump will get them to turn out is. that what's at stake in virginia, some sense of the power of donald trump as a motivating factor for democratic voters in an offyear election? >> i think that's one of the things we're going the find out. for much of the year democrats and someep
assuming that trump would be a powerful motivator for democratic voters, but i think if you look at the way that the democrats are actually campaigning, they haven't been quite sure how to play this issue. in the primaries, a very tough anti-trump ad. but subsequently he would be willing to work with trump. this may say something about the north's strengths and weaknesses of a candidate. i think there is also a question mark for a lot of democratic strategist, how do you play this. even voters who are against trump, doesn't necessarily mean their number-one priority. >> this is a test between which party is more broken. a republican party led by donald trump in a blue trending kind of state, a purple state trending blue, or a democratic party where bernie sanders has refused to endorse the democratic gubernatorial candidate, which is extraordinary. >> dickerson: all right. we'll have towed it there. thanks to all of you. we'll be right back.
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>> dickerson: we're joined now by author michael lewis, whose book has just been released in paperback. "vanity fair" has just published his latest investigation into how the trump administration has been staffing government agencies, in this case the department of agriculture. why the department of agriculture? >> good question. isn't it amazing that "vanity fair" let me write 13,000 words on the department of also culture. there is a conceit here at play. the conceit is the obama administration went toa
lengths to prepare for the obama administration. they prepared talks, breeching briefings where we have this odd system of government on election day, the people who have been elect have had to get up to speed very quickly to run the government. that's what the election is about, right? who will run this government? and the obama administration expected the trump administration to be there the next day, parking spaces set aside, desks, computers with internet connections set up for them and all the rest. nobody showed. in many of the agency, nobody showed. >> dickerson: just after election day? >> just after election day. so the cramming takes place from election day until the inauguration where you learn what's going on in these various agencies. and so the briefings to a large extent never happened. and so i thought, i'll go get the briefings, figure out what they might not know. it's a kind of great course in how our government works, waiting to be taken. no ideological flavor to it at all. it was like, how you take a census or how you collect taxes,
>> but why the department of agriculture? i had no idea what they do. i was curious. i started with the department of energy. when you go into a place like the department of agriculture, you're shocked by how important it is. you think of it as paying farmers not to grow stuff. that is a trivial part of the budget. a big part of the budget is feeding poor people. that's most of the money. >> dickerson: food stamps. >> if you want the look at the social safety net and where it is maybe vulnerable, where holes may be ripped in it, the dependent of agriculture is a very good place to look. >> dickerson: the president in talking about state department staffing this week said, we don't need all those people at the state department, and there is that view, like, well, they didn't staff it right away, but what do we need all these people for. >> what do you need people running the government for. >> dickerson: ? what goes wrong in the system if there is not the attention... >> let's take an example. their approach to it, this is right. i think his basic attitude is the government doesn't do anythiha
or that i can't just take care of with a frick of my wrist. so inside the department of agriculture, there is a roughly $3 billion a year science budget. they're dispensing grants to researchers to figure out how we're going to agree crops in the changing climate mostly. most of it has to do with climate change right now. i mean, 40 or 50 years from now, we may be able to eat or not eat because of the science that's done now. that job has always been... the obama administration, the woman who held it spent 50 years preparing for that job. she was an agricultural scientist who had studied, you know, the connection between the american diet and american health, who knew the science world, who knew the university researchers who do the work, into that job trump put a man named sam clovis, who is basically known as a right-wing radio talk show host from iwhat who has actually no science background at all. now, what happens? what hapns
well, he's not himself capable of participating in the conversations you need to have to decide where this money should go. what probably happens is you politicize the science budget. he himself doesn't think climate change is true, so he's not going to be directing money to prepare for climate change. these jobs, they're powerful, influential jobs. if they're veigh contacted, for a brief time career civil servants stepped in and filled the void without any direction and trying to guess what the trump straight might want, but they're already risk averse government employees, and now they're more risk averse. there are places in the government where we need them the take risks because they're preparing us for the future. this enterprise is important. >> dickerson: sam clovis withdrew... >> he's still in the department of agriculture. he withdrew from that job. >> dickerson: what did you learn in this deep dive into government. what surprised you? >> th
you now, it sounds simple, right, that it matters a lot why you're in the job, what your motives are, and there are passionate, dedicated, hard-working people who are fighting hunger in america, trying to figure out how we're going to eat 50 years from now. they're trying to make sure that rural america doesn't just collapse. i mean, the department of agriculture is the touch point of government for rural america. and the people who are in those jobs, you know, a lot of them are there for a reason, because they care. they aren't doing it to make money in the private sector afterward. so if you have... this is a spirit of public service that still exists, that is precious, and without it the society collapses. and we ought to treasure that. >> dickerson: michael lewis, great piece. thank you. we'll be right back.
ralpand as a doctor, nobody ever asked if i'm a democrat or republican. they just want my help. so if donald trump is helping virginia i'll work with him. but donald trump proposed cutting virginia's school funding, rolling back our clean air and water protections, and taking away health care from thousands of virginians. as a candidate for governor, i sponsored this ad because i've stood up to donald trump on all of it. ed gillespie refuses to stand up to him at all. it's why we give back to communities that have lost everything. and why you'll see us working with emergency crews. and why we'll be there, every day, until service is restored. when disaster strikes, people need to connect. it's why we're proud to partner with firstnet, the nationwide public safety broadband network.
portrait," showcases nearly 200 foe grafs he took during those years. pete souza joins us now. welcome, pete. i want to ask you about your role. in the room, you're taking photograph, you're recording history, you're recording a moment. but you're also capturing an emotion in that moment. there is a picture in particular in the oval office where the president is meeting with some young activists, and the way you framed it, the african american activists, you framed it with buffetts of martin luther king,ling con is on the wall. tell us about that process when you're capturing that moment. >> i was consciously aware of the bust obviously during the meeting itself. they were seated around the chairs and the sofa. it was just not lining up. and just as the meeting broke up, the president had a last exchange with them, and that's when i went and tried to get that bust in the foreground and include lincoln.
emotional sense of the moment in your head, but you're trying to capture what's right in front of you? >> trying the capture a moment, but trying to accurately portray the mood and to motion of what's taking place. >> dickerson: you obviously had extraordinary access to the family, and one picture that struck me was the president with his daughter, they're on the swing set, what does that picture mean to you? >> it actually means a lot to me. it was during the b.p. oil spill. he had just finished the meeting and was walking to his desk and saw malia out on the swing set. and even though he only had five minutes with her, he was all in with her. there was no blackberry. there were no aides hovering around. he spent five quality minutes with malia just in the middle of the day. >> dickerson: did you ever feel like, you know, maybe this is too intimate a moment, i shouldn't be here? ho
>> it's intuition. in that particular case i tried to make a really good picture, and then i backed off and let them have their private conversation. >> dickerson: you were also there for the nitty-gritty of government and business and deals and there is a picture where the president is... he seems to be motioning to somebody who has left the room. what's going on in that picture. >> dickerson: i'm glad you chose that picture to highlight. i love that picture. i think it tells you a lot about his relationship with nancy pelosi, who you don't even see. they had just had a meeting in the oval office, and they had this really interesting back-and-forth, and as nancy was... as the leader was leaving toward the west wing lobby, he was pleading with her one last time. and if you look really closely in the picture, you can see her hand sticking out in the door doorway. >> there is another picture just of the president's
what struck me about some of these pictures is he is trying to find space in a roomful of people. maybe that's a misreading, but the presidency is both a lonely office and an office in which they're picking at you all the time. what does that picture that you captured just of him, he's got his hands together almost in prayer. kathleen sebelius is right behind him. what's going on in that picture? >> as i recall, that was during the health care debate. and just in the weeks leading up to the vote in congress. >> dickerson: and another moment, of course, when you... pictures when the president went to comfort the families at sandy hook elementary, tell me about that. >> he called that the worst day of his presidency. the day that he found out what had happened at sandy hook, you have the remember that was only four weeks after he was reelected president. we were in the midst of
the white house is decorated with christmas lights and trees, and it was a very joyous time, and then this awful tragedy happens, and i think he was looking at it not just as a president but as a parent. imagining what it must be like for you to send your six-year-old kid off to school, what we all consider a safe zone. and then you find out that you're never going to see them again because they were shot to death. >> dickerson: when you look at the subject that you photographed over this eight-year period in putting this book together. what do you come away with? what... the presidency rests on that figure. how did that figure change between the first photograph and the last? >> i always tell people i knew him when he was first elected to the senate in 2005. and by the end of the administration, you know, the character of the man had not changed at all. i think his core was still the same. i look through the book
so many things happened during his administration. there are so many issues you have the deal with, and yet you still try to maintain a normal life, family life, as a father, a husband. >> dickerson: all right. we have the leave it there. thanks so much for being with us. we'll be back in a moment. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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