tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg March 27, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: president trump's vision to remake american health care was dealt a blow today. the president and house republican leaders decided to pull legislation to repeal the affordable care act after facing resistance from conservative and moderate factions within the party. paul ryan rushed to the white house to alert the president he lacked the votes. he addressed reporters later this afternoon to its plain why it did not take place. mr. ryan: we came really close today but we came up short. i spoke to the president a while ago.
i told him the best thing i think to do was to pull this bill and he agreed. i will not sugarcoat this, this is a disappointing day for us. charlie: kelsey snell covers congress for the washington post. welcome. what a week. kelsey: it has been a whirlwind. we started out thinking we would be ending with the first appeal of the affordable care act and it has gone up in smoke. charlie: what does that mean? for the future of the president, the speaker of the house, the freedom caucus and democrats? kelsey: we have heard the president say this is because of democrats. this did not work out because democrats would not help them out. what happened is the republican party could not coalesce around a single message.
they cannot decide what they wanted to do once obamacare was repealed. they agreed that repeal was the goal but the finer details wound up being them. there is a request and of what kind of governing coalition exists within the republican party and how republicans in the house will work together, how that will work with the president and if anybody is in control. charlie: does it mean the freedom caucus has some veto? kelsey: they do have enough votes that if they stick together, they can stop any legislation. this was a real test for them. if they backed down, given that what the president and walked away saying he was charming, a good salesman and won us over and walked away, they would not have that power. they reaffirmed something which is that they can stick together better than other factions of the republican party. charlie: what does it mean for president trump's ability to use the bully pulpit? kelsey: it means -- actually, we don't really know. what we know is he can pressure some people, but not everybody. we don't know exactly how voters and is constituents will
respond. it is entirely possible they don't blame trump and blame house speaker paul ryan because as trump said, he did not want this to be called trumpcare. he wanted to be called something else. ryancare stuc. this failure may go to the speaker. charlie: doesn't the president need ryan? kelsey: he does but it is a born -- important to remember that ryan shares some of these goals. ryan would like to get tax reform done. it is something he has been talking about since i can remember. they agree this is a goal. some people feel like repealing the affordable care act was an adopted issue for president trump and tax reform is the core of the principles he ran on, he believes. charlie: reforming regulation together. kelsey: they can find a lot of common ground.
tax reform is really hard. i was a tax reporter for many years. people discount how complicated it can be. there is a reason in this not happened in a generation and why this is something that takes. time -- takes time. we will be watching closely on when they get started the process of doing tax reform. charlie: does it affect immigration? kelsey: i think it is its own separate thing. they can build coalitions with democrats and do something of an immigration plan that builds consensus. at this point, it seems like they need to reset and figure out what the next step is. charlie: where is the confirmation of neil gorsuch? kelsey: we were expecting that to happen not this next week but we have not heard from leaders about whether or not he wants to move up that process. so, where it things now is -- where it stands now is
democrats say they are willing to filibuster him. we are going to see a big blowout fight in the senate. the question now is how long it takes. charlie: what about infrastructure spending? kelsey: it is one of those things we have heard about for a long time. it was a goal of this current white house and campaign. we have not seen any legislation or any solid proposals beyond the idea that a president wants to make a large investment there. that is an area where details matter. are we talking about roads and bridges? highways or trains? that needs to be fleshed out. charlie: is the president's credibility damaged? kelsey: i think it is for some people. it is yet to be seen how the core voters feel. they seem to be flexible in how they view trump. they support him as a person. it is about personality first for many. this may or may not change the feelings about him. if he can successfully deflect
criticism of what happened this week over to the house speaker or someone else, it is possible he walked away unscathed. charlie: thank you for joining us. kelsey: thank you for having me. charlie: we continue with al hunt. let me start with you seeing lots of weeks in washington both as a reporter on the hill and other remarkably interesting stories you have followed -- how this match up? al: when i was with you on tuesday, i thought it was an exhausting week. it is 10 times more exhausting today that it was three days ago. i don't think i have never quite seen a week quite like this, may be watergate. you have to go back 40 some years. other than that, i have never seen a week like this with all the legislative and executive and law-enforcement things. the vote today in the house, the decision to pull the health care bill, i must admit was a shocker.
i thought when you get this close, you will pass it. the stakes were so big. this is a devastating defeat for paul ryan, for donald trump, but also for the republican party which for seven years had promised something they cannot deliver on. charlie: does this mean according to what paul ryan said after pulling the bill that for the perceivable future, the affordable care act will remain in place? al: they have no choice. they would try to do this and that, but trump wants them to move on to other things, taxes in particular. once there is blood in the water, it does not go away. so, yes, i think they will turn to other issues now but this defeat will last for a long time, including on the campaign trail next year. go back to 2010. if there was any centerpiece to what hundreds of republicans promised, repeal and replace
obamacare. it was an empty promise because the product they came up with was what almost nobody liked. hospitals didn't like it, consumers didn't like it, liberals, conservatives. 17% approval. you can market dog food as well as you want, but if it is not good, dogs will not eat it. members of the freedom caucus, the chairman of the appropriations committee, barbara comstack, a moderate who said no. we cannot do this. charlie: what does it mean in terms of the rest of the president's agenda? al: what it means is that they
wasted a couple of months. the first, pat moynihan said the first year of the presidency is important. they have now wasted, i don't know, 15% wasted. they will turn to taxes. that is not going to be easy. the one thing that is apparent, probably apparent beforehand, trump is really not a political threat to these members unless the member from a conservative district who was voting against trump on liberal or more moderate grounds. none of these members are afraid that trump will come out and hurt them. let me give the president his due. i do think he lobbied this and went member to member as effectively as any president in a long time. a lot a lot of people did not think he could do that. he did that very well. he had a product that i don't think he knew much about. charlie: we talk about the house freedom caucus.
how is it different from the tea party and the caucus that it bred in the house during the reign of john boehner? al: it is similar. very similar members. i think they feel emboldened. they have been elected three or four times. they think they are safe now. they are uncomfortable with trump. the are things they like about him a lot -- immigration and social issues. they don't think he is a true conservative. he is not. i think they will be with him on some things but not afraid to stand up to him on something like this. charlie: what about immigration? al: well, i think they would be with him on immigration. i think the problem they have is they put together a coalition -- i don't think you can get any major immigration through, charlie, without democrats. right now, the mood is not very receptive on the democratic side
to work together on much of anything. that might change by summer, or may, but right now it is not promising. charlie: what does it do to the factions in the white house? al: there were hundreds of members. that was the prime commitment they made. we are going to repeal and replace it. the repeal part was very easy. and the replace part was impossible. they had a bill that 24 million people lost their insurance. they were making deals that would not cut the deficit and it was unpopular. you cannot blame this on the white house. therefore, i am not sure change is the internal dynamics. i am sure steve bannon will say i told you so. charlie: thank you, my friend. back in a moment. stay with us. ♪ charlie: would they have the
votes or not? that was the question in washington all week long. president trump insisted that house of representatives vote at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon on the republican bill to repeal and replace obamacare, but at the last minute, the president told paul ryan to pull the bill. mike allen joins us now from washington where he has been tracking the story. he is the editor of the access am newsletter. let me begin with what some anht say is an assessment, autopsy -- what happened? mike: we had epic miscalculations at both ends of pennsylvania avenue from beginning to end. so, president trump beginning. we are seeing in the new york times he decided to go ahead with health care, to plunge ahead with health care rather than taking up the much easier win of tax reform almost on a lark. a quick conversation with you -- where he did not delve into the pluses and minuses. of the other end of the pennsylvania avenue, at the
beginning, speaker ryan looking at this more from a matter of policy than politics. when you talk to house leadership about how rough this looks for the parts of their conference, they would retreat to policy answers. in the end, this came down to pure raw politics. person-to-person. miscalculation at the end. axes is told that until the very end, people thought it would be nip and tuck. they were hoping that they would limp over the line but the bottom fell out. the numbers were going to be terrible. that is why they reversed their course and pulled the bell until -- the bill until of having a instead of having a vote. they were going to have the vote even if you lose. the calculation was that you say
you tried, that you blame democrats and if you are more machiavellian, you have a list of who was with you and who is against you. you have a list of what republicans were not being helpful. that was appealing to the white house. here is where they were wrong, charlie. they were looking at this as a vote unto itself. life is not a series of one offs. life is a story, it is a tapestry. whatever happens today will have huge consequences for the rest of the trump agenda. that is the big takeaway from today is that now everything else will be harder. tax reform and eventually infrastructure, whatever they want to do on immigration. just among republicans, there is a trust. there is not appetite, not sea legs, confidence that ryan can deliver.
and, it makes anything they want to do more complicated and could cause them to have to pull in their sights. charlie: does it mean members of the congress and republican party and the freedom caucus are not afraid of the president? mike: that is true. the fact that has been true for a while is part of this. charlie, we have talked about how president trump, because of the way he was elected, had a very powerful tool which is the digital bully pulpit. in a way no other president has had, he can use his twitter feed and direct communication to lobby and punish and stroked individual members. it looks like the president focused on the member to member individual part of this fairly late.
we were talking about how the must of been a lot of trips, invitations to mar-a-lago playing golf. you would have thought that would be happening sooner. the president was not directly engaged with his members and at the same time, he was getting much popular. this is where he is paying the check for some of the distractions that you and i have been covering over these weeks and months. not only were they not afraid of him, they were not aligned with him. the twist than what happened. there is an argument for the politics of 2018, for the politics of 2020, republicans actually may be better off. the reason they had so much trouble figuring out how to work this rubik's cube is the politics of it back home for these members were terrible. whichever way these members went, they were going to have a problem back home. after campaigning on this for seven years.
repeated votes to get rid of obamacare. they needed to try, but charlie, this is something you don't very often talk about in the corridor between us and new york and us and washington. the real world affect of this bill were very worrisome to a lot of members of congress and should have been worrisome for the white house. charlie, you have covered how much of the trump coalition, some of the struggling, hard-working americans who are having a rough time were dependent on obamacare. a lot of them either needed part of the obamacare program or people that they love were involved. the effect of it had not kicked in. it was going to take a while. republicans may be better off being able to blame obama, blame democrats and not own the health care system which under the best circumstances was not going to
get better overnight. under this bill, it would have given them a lot of explaining to do. charlie: what does this thing about paul ryan other than the fact he has the same problems that john boehner had? mike: a great tweet said somewhere john boehner is sipping a glass of merlot. it is harder, than it looks young man. this marriage between the speaker and the president, as you know, was always going to be arranged and a difficult marriage. at the end, when they were in such different places, the white house clearly was planning to take credit if this passed and
blame paul ryan if it did not. and, the president tried to bully the speaker of the end, telling him to go ahead and take this vote. the president thinking in classic deal terms and that is on wall street, deals die again and again until they are finally done. the gamble was you go ahead, get this vote and eventually you are going to be better off. the speakers saw his support unit operating and new -- evaporating and knew that was not going to be the case. republicans are moving on, not trying to fix this on monday morning. plunging into tax reform this morning at an event, i had a conversation with the treasury secretary steve mnuchin, his first onstage interview. we talked about tax reform and he was arguing that in some ways tax reform is simpler than health care.
i said, did you talk to anybody around here in 1986 and you can get some skeptics on that. he's arguing that tax reform is good. there are also people who lose out on the other hand. now we are plunging into another completely political fraud argument. something again where policy, house, senate, all in slightly different places. speaker ryan insisted on moving ahead with this border adjustment tax which makes it more extensive to bring goods into the country. and it could raise $1 trillion that can be used for tax uses elsewhere. but it makes things cost more at walmart. you are a senator from arkansas. that is not a very tough decision. i asked steve mnuchin today about the border adjustment
package. i said to him, let's say i work at walmart, shop at walmart. a to this why the border adjustment tax is good for me. you saw the answer there is no particular embrace the white house. why that is important and these packages come and go, the white house already is in a very different place in the house. in tax code where a break for one person is an an egregious outrage for another, trying to work that tetris after this last experience, very hard. charlie: i think this week will show that president trump is facing the collision of some of his campaign promises. in direct collision with each other. some of the things he promised, he cannot deliver because it affects other things he
promised. mike: that is a very brilliant point and it is why you cannot make the math work on health care. for every single change you made that made it more palatable to conservatives, you know only made it less palatable to moderates, but you made it less likely to pass the senate, more likely these members were in the very vivid memorable words of tom cotton, walking the plank, taking a tough vote that had something to have no chance of becoming law. that is why there were so much pressure on the speaker the last 12 hours. there is no way the members wanted him to take a vote that clearly was going to go down or go nowhere. you are right about this collision, charlie, not only within the issues that among the issues. charlie: thank you so much. mike: good to be on. charlie: we will be right back. stay with us. ♪
this question of truth and how difficult is it for journalists? nancy: journalists have been debating a long time of when you say someone is lying and the challenge is that it is much easier for us to check facts. we always do that. although this statement is true, the statement is not true, partially true. when you talk about someone lying, there is an added layer of intent. what is it that they know or believe? are the mistaking or intentionally stating a falsehood? i think that is where this president has posed a particular challenge to the people covering it. a great many things he says is false. there is a second question about how many of the things he says qualify as lies. he knows what he is saying is false and how many of them are actually things that are untrue but he believes are true? i think separating those things is very important because what presidents believe is enormously important and what they decide to do. what issues they care about, what wars they start, they end.
what challenges they face and how. a president's knowledge and his understanding of fact is a -- critically important. charlie: and his credibility. credibility and what is it that he believes in what he says. he has made it very hard for people listening to him to believe him because so many of the things he has said are untrue. charlie: as you said in your letter and before this piece, it is vital we are able to believe our president. it is vital we know what he believes and why. the president has made both a severe challenge. david, when you wrote the column you wrote and said, raised the question of the president as a liar, how did you approach that and what is it you wanted your readers to understand? david: to be honest, i approached it uneasily. it is not something i wrote
lightly.- i agree with nancy. the word lie is not a synonym for the word untruth. it conveys intent. i don't believe george w. bush was lying when he said there were weapons of mass disruption in iraq and i don't believe barack obama was lying when he said if you like your health plan, you can keep it. i think they were both careless. the current president speaks so many untruths, again and again, the murder rate, his own electoral margin, the crowds of the inauguration, jfk's in operation, 9/11, president obama's birth, wiretapping -- i can go on with 20 more. he speaks so many untruths that we have to conclude he does not feel bounded by truth. while it is hard, probably impossible to know any individual case whether he knows the case and is lying or whether he believes something that is
false and stating it, i think we can comfortably say he is not concerned with truth. he is happy to live and that is -- to lie and that is what i find so alarming about the situation. charlie: push comes to shove here when there is a national crisis. and the president needs his allies, his citizens and his government to believe him. nancy: we have already seen the implications of what these last few weeks have brought. there was a poll in germany asking people whether they think the united states is a reliable, trustworthy ally and that number dropped precipitously from something like 59% to 22%. a short amount of time. real implications not only for what american citizens believe in the president but what the allies will. if you look back to other
critical moments in american history, think about the cuban missile crisis when president kennedy had to go on television and states of the country this tremendous threat was facing the country and the people thought if you look back to other critical moments in american history, think about the cuban missile crisis when president kennedy had to go on television and states of the country this tremendous threat was facing the country and the people thought we might be looking at the stakes of a nuclear exchange. the stakes of something like that could not be higher and similarly when he went to our allies and told them what our intelligence was finding, it was critical they believed him. charlie: why does he do it? nancy: all we can do is judge on what he says to us and what we see. when we go back to last week, what david was saying, he doesn't do truths in the way we're treated to in the way of our public or even private first. on a number of issues when we pressed him, it was as though the truth itself was negotiate or something that ok, i haven't
been proven right yet but i will be. he referred to this horrible thing that happened last night in sweden. nothing happened last night. he said yes, but two days ago there were terrible riots. he talked in any number of cases about times when he said things that were ridiculed in the moment that turned out to be right. he cited brexit over and over again. he cited the president of the united states many times. he ended the interview saying i can't be doing that badly because i'm the president and you're not. charlie: but does he understand the significance of credibility is the question? nancy: it's not clear that it's ever mattered.
charlie: he was in real estate. nancy: he talked about truthful hyperbole and talking to people's fantasies that in this life and what has worked for him -- it's human nature, if something works for you, you're more likely to keep doing it. if it's worked for him to distort, that's something that is an effective tactic for him. i think a great many people who knew this about his business career did not expect it was a behavior that would follow him into the oval office where the stakes are so much higher. charlie: you can move the goalpost and say whatever i said
is simply to begin the negotiation. david, so how does this change? if all this is at stake, the credibility of the president of the united states and there is a record, as you suggested, the current president has lied. he lied in ways that -- that no american politician ever has before and then you cite the things that he's lied about. does it have to stop and if it doesn't stop, what then? david: it's a good question and obviously it's alarming because, for many reasons, americans, whether they are republican or democrat or independent, should be rooting for a presidency that is functioning well because many things depend on it. the safety of our country depends on it, the health of our society depends on and it so it really is quite alarming. i think there are a few possibilities here. nancy just basically said one of the reasons it's likely he does this is because it's worked for him. it worked for him in business. his company basically collapsed but it was too big to fail so his creditors decided it was better to keep the name going than to put him out of business and then it worked during the campaign. he told a huge number of lies during the campaign. provably false things and he was elected president.
i think if it starts to not work for him, if he can't get things through congress, if the republicans start to abandon him and his approval ratings remain low. then does he change his course? that's an amoral way to start telling the truth, but it might be the best we can hope for. charlie: there are winners and losers and he wants to be a winner. then you raise the question of what is he prepared to recognize and do in the interests of being a winner? nancy: there are some things we've ever seen in his entire public life. admit error, apologize. express shame or remorse or regret, all of which are perfectly human functions that most people do quite normally in
the course of their lives and so whether or not -- i think it's quite true that if he feels like he's paying a significant cost that billion dollar -- it would be logical for him to change course unless it isn't in him. we don't know if the truth is in him. charlie: you worry that somehow in the world we live in, false hood has taken a new power. nancy: that is a really important part of this conversation. he has tweeted 298 times since taking office and over this time, and if you look amount which of his tweets have been most retweeted and most covered, it is the most outrage ounce -- outrageous ones and what social scientists find that if even when a false statement is repeated often enough, the number of people who believe it tends to grow. people are increasingly concerned about part of the intrusion into the electoral process was the hacking of social media in order to promote false stories.
we even saw this with the original sin, the birther controversy, that the more that controversy was covered, including reporters disputing and debunking it, the number of people who believed it grew. i always wondered why was it president obama felt he had to produce that form and give trump what he wanted? partly because the polling showed that the longer this went on, the more people who believed it. charlie: social media is with us and is not going to change, is it? nancy: no. charlie: david? david: some of this is a reflection of the social polarization we have. when people hear something coming from the other side of the political spectrum.
they tend to disbelieve it so having the so-called mainstream media debunk falsehoods from donald trump may actually calls a segment of the population to believe those falsehoods even more. charlie: because we're trying to debunk them? david: yes, because we are the ones doing the debunking. so one of the costs of partisan polarization is that people stop listening to each other and say wait a second, is the person saying that my ally or not? if they're not, i not only am going to be skeptical, i'm actively not going to believe them. charlie: this may be naive, but where is patriotism here? david: you would hope -- i know that there are people who have gone into the trump administration who are horrified by watching their boss, the
president of the united states, say patently untrue thing. what you would hope is that one of the roles patriotism plays is that members of congress, who are supposed to be mention of a co-equal branch of government and so far many staffers have not been. even members of the trump administration, you would hope would say that patriotism and national interests outweighs party loyalty and even loyalty to one individual and that they would be willing to push the president towards reality and secondly when he won't do that, to speak up against him. charlie: we've seen the f.b.i. director say there's no evidence that president obama bugged trump tower. we've seen a confirmation hearing of a supreme court
justice and we've seen a debate about health care. will we see this as a defining week in the trump presidency? nancy: in any other age, anyone in our positions would say yes, of course. yet we've been taken into territory for which there are no maps. i long ago got out of the prediction business about where this is going to be taking us. charlie: david? david: this is probably a mistake. nancy's answer is the right answer, but i'll make the mistake, which is, if in health care bill fails, i think we'll look at this as a significant week in the trump presidency. to have your first priority fail when your party controls congress is a very, very damaging thing to have happen.
nancy: we're going to be watching the natural political calculation of who do i answer to if i'm a member of congress? is the people of my district, the leadership of my caucus or the president of the united states if he's a member of my own party and how much power does he have to do damage to me down the road? all these things are happening within the same sort of news and him him and him cycle and eco system of how strong the president is and how strong he's perceived as being, perhaps more important. is he the guy who can get the deal done or not? this is a criminally important moment yet here we are 60 days into a presidency and we have to keep reminding ourselves of that. it's 60 days. charlie: with many careers on the line. nancy gibbs, thank you so much. david jacoby in washington. thank you. we'll be right back. stay with us. ♪
♪ >> this is good. i've thought it through. i know, i just have to find someone who can actually do this it's a lot of money. >> bill cavish, you know him? he's a friend. i don't want to look like i'm asking him for a favor. >> can i say that we're related? can i say that i'm your uncle? >> no, no. good morning, bill. norman oppenheimer. >> i have to leave. this is unacceptable. >> it's not my fault. we had a good conversation. >> may i ask what you do for a living? >> what do you mean? it would be my privilege to buy you these shows. >> sit ok? >> yeah, enjoy. >> can you explain to me how your business works? i'm curious. >> if you ever need anything,
feel free to call. >> we need to raise approximately $14 million to save us from the wrecking ball and this is where our friend norman oppenheimer comes in. >> do you know norman oppenheimer? >> no, i don't, nice to meet you. >> in your opinion his house? >> yes, this is my private home. you can't just walk in and sit at my table. >> can i introduce you to him? you know who he is right? >> don't waste my time. >> this is time sensitive. >> why haven't you returned my phone calls? >> why do i get the feeling that nothing you tell me is real. >> let's just say get ready for a big surprise. >> you're like a drowning man trying to wave at an ocean but i'm a good swimmer. don't forget that. something good will happen, trust me. charlie: i'm pleased to have my friend richard gear back at this table. welcome. richard: welcome to you, man.
good to have you back. charlie: why are you saying this is the best film if you've done in a long time, if not ever. richard: good film. starting with the director. he's an israeli director who's made several wonderful films, one of which was "footnotes," which he won the cannes prize for best screen play. the first one i saw was "beaufort," about a young israeli soldier. people will see this movie -- first of all, it's nothing i've ever done before. it's as far away from my instincts as it could possibly be. charlie: what are your instincts, that you should do a certain thing? because you've done every kind of thing. richard: no, my instincts as richard gear were not at all the
instincts of this character, so i had to completely get out of myself to embrace this guy. charlie: who is norman oppenheimer? richard: norman oppenheimer is a macha is what he is. we use the word fixer in this macha.e is a he's trying to put something together all the time. he's got a deal here, a deal there. charlie: he wants to get in on the inside. richard: he wants to belong. he wants to be one of the cool kids. this was his whole life of inventing himself, changing himself, name dropping, pushing, pulling, anything to do to get in, scratching and a lifetime of doors being closed in his face. charlie: and then he meets someone that he befriends. richard: he never quite knows what's going to happen.
he's kind of open to all the possibilities around him and he goes to a meeting of israeli ministers in new york and he sees a younger one. it's part of commerce and oil. younger, not very powerful. no one's paying any attention to him. it's all about the prime minister. but him, maybe he's got a possibility and he kind of follows him out of there and creates a meeting with him. charlie: this is apropos to where we are here. richard: exactly where we are, i think. >> norman oppenheimer from new york. >> norman? norman, my friend, where have you been? i've trying to reach you.
[laughter] >> hannah, hannah, do you know norman? >> nice to meet you. >> this is my wife. norman oppenheimer. norman is going to be my special advisor. ♪ am? >> look around you. there are over 500 organizations represented in this room. unprecedented in our history. we need to understand how this incredible force unites around the issues that are important to the jewish people and the world. >> hello, bob, how are you. do you know norman oppenheimer? >> no, i don't, very nice to meet you. >> this is my wife. >> very nice to meet you too. >> this is my nephew.
>> rudolph in new york. is that right? >> one of the -- nice to meet you, phillip. >> we represent toby. >> toby, yes. charlie solomon's daughter. charlie: so what's happening? richard: well, this is in the middle of the film. charlie: he realizes he has power. richard: he's in. the rest of the scene we didn't show. i'm glad because it's an incredible scene of being embraced in reality, but also in an expressionistic way. the heavens open up and it was the first time in a man's life that the world whole world is going yes. charlie: and he's desperately wanted it to happen. richard: we all do. we all want to walk in a room and people turn and smile.
they're happy we are here. charlie: you say it's the best thing you've done in a long time. ever, let's say. richard: no, one of the best things. charlie: is it because of the director, the text? richard: he wrote a great script. he's a great director. the cast is extraordinary. charlie: and what about you? richard: it's harder for me to see myself. i'm happy with the work. charlie: the director got a performance out of you that hasn't been done before? richard: or that i got a great performance out of a director. how do you know? charlie: do you know it was going to be good? richard: you never know when you're working on a film. you can bet on a script and i'm smart enough to know a good script at this point. terrific script. but you don't know in the end if those bizarre elements that make up a two-hour form of
storytelling are going to come together or not. you can never know that. you can bet on empirical things like a director, good script, terrific cast, d.p., the whole thing. charlie: how much of it is that you simply got this character? richard: that's a lot of it but that won't tell you that the movie is going to work. it will tell that you you're going to have a good time every day you show up to work because the thing is going to flow. magic can happen because you're able to let go. joseph and i worked eight or nine months on this before we started shooting. charlie: what did you do for eight or nine months? richard: the process is kind of funny.
as soon as that script is delivered. he says i'm going to send you a script. i wants to you do my movie. from that moment, you're rehearsing. you read the script -- oh, ok. immediately something starts happening. you meet the next time, already you're working on the movie, no matter what's going on. you go for a walk. you make some tea. you read the newspaper. you're talking to each other. you have an idea. you go see a movie, whatever. whatever you're doing from that point on is on some level rehearsing what you're going to do in this movie and what it's going to be, and i like this process. a slow kind of dream-like process where things get deeper and deeper all the time. charlie: what's interesting, here's a guy who was struggling to be in. as a fixer, whatever he wanted to be. richard: he's pretty low level. this is not a power broker. charlie: you said you can identify with the guy. you were a major movie star when you were what? how old? richard: i don't know, in my late 20's?
charlie: and you also had the critical success to go with it. richard: i was very fortunate. there are no classes for this, no books. no matter what you think it's going to be like, you'll never know until it happens and you either are smart enough to take a deep breath and step back a little bit or not. charlie: what is it that the prime minister sees in norman? is it just friendship, somebody who was there for him? richard: i think he sees a good heart, to tell you the truth. it's bizarre because everything the guy says is a lie. norman has only a very faint acquaintance with the truth, but he -- there's something -- he's a true-hearted person and he's a loyal person and i think that may be part of that initial falling in love of just -- he's kind of a sad sack. he's actually kind of a charlie
chaplin character and i think he's -- i think he sees this kind of sweetness in him. charlie: this is norman trying to evade a rabbi played by steve buscemi. >> i've been calling you all morning, why aren't you answering your phone? >> i'm answering now, you want to hear what i have to say? >> how many zeros are at the end of the surprise. >> come on, considerable surprise, that's it. i have to go, rabbi. >> norman, you realize how important this is. we're going to be kicked out of here. no words. norman? norman? >> how is the rabbi connected to this again, norman? >> remind me, why am i doing this? >> all you have to do is you
pick up the phone, call one of your buddies at harvard on behalf of the prime minister of israel. is that really so difficult for you? >> don't belittle what i'm doing. in the world of harvard admissions that is like incest, taboo. >> the rabbi is going to say exactly the same thing when i ask him to marry a cohen and a convert. charlie: what's tragic fall? you won't tell me this. [laughter] richard: the interesting thing i found about norm be in playing him, which is surprising is that there's no anger in him. he gets hurt and humiliated time after time. this is the charlie chaplin side of him. there's no anger. charlie: "norman: the moderate rise and tragic fall of a new york fixer." opens in theaters on friday. friday. richard: thanks, charlie. charlie: thanks for being with us. richard: my pleasure. charlie: see you. ♪
>> let's start with the check of your first word news. measures trump signed today, one rule required perspective federal contractors to disclose labor violations. a senate panel will delay a vote on neil gorsuch. democrats and independents announced their opposition saying he ruled often against workers and in favor of corporations. the house until chair has not revealed the source behind claims that surv