tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg April 11, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: we begin this evening with syria, the assad regime resumed bombing rebel targets a day after the u.s. launched 59 missile strikes at a syrian air base on friday. it was the first time the u.s. directly intervened in the syrian civil war. meanwhile, secretary of state tillerson criticized russia ahead of his first diplomatic trip to moscow tuesday. he suggested the kremlin may be complicit in the chemical weapons assault that killed dozens of civilians last week. questions are raised about president trump's syria policy and the willingness to escalate.
articulating contrasting visions in sunday's interviews secretary , tillerson said that isis remains a priority, but the u.n. ambassador nikki haley focused on president assad. joining me from washington is derek chollet. here in new york is robert ford, a former ambassador to syria. i'm pleased to have both of them on this program. let me begin with the obvious. tell me your assessment of this strike. robert: i think the strike was a good idea. i saw a statement from secretary of defense mattis, that it 'sstroyed about 20% of assad airplanes. he paid a price. .hey want to deter they are limited, defined discrete objectives and i think , it needed to be done. now it is up to secretary
tillerson to get the russians to understand that we are serious, and for the russians to turn to their syrian allies and say, do not keep doing it. charlie: do you think that will happen? robert: i don't think the russians are happy that assad used chemical weapons. i doubt very much of that the russians have tried very hard to to stop doing it. there is a difference. charlie: do you think they are complicit in that they knew they had access to chemical weapons? robert: i think they knew that very well. charlie: so they were complicit. robert it's not a question that : if they had them. the united nations had a investigative team last november that issued a report saying, on at least three confirmed instances and others, the syrian government had been dropping chlorine gas in this area of syria, idlib province, and 2014 -- during 2014 and 2015.
it was likely they did it, but those are the three we're positive about. charlie: what were the primary gases the syrian government gave up at the time of the negotiation? robert: they gave up materials related to the production of sarin and other binary nerve agents, but they kept all the time chlorine, not prescribed under the chemical weapons convention, and using it as chlorine gas as a weapon is against the geneva conventions and against the un security council resolutions that the russians and americans worked out in 2015. charlie: do you assume this is a change in tactics and strategies by the trump government? the president said he was so moved he had the right to change his mind. robert: for sure it is a change. i was very surprised they struck the way they did. i was very surprised. if assad tests the american people again are they going to
, defend the redline and insist on making assad pay a price until he is finally deterred? we don't know yet. charlie: what about the russians saying they and the iranians will meet force with force? robert: that is where tillerson will have to say, you are really going to threaten us with force when we are trying to stop chemical weapons, which you yourself agreed in 2013 was beyond the pale? charlie: it is an international norm that it is beyond the pale. robert: exactly. the russians suffered from chemical weapon attacks in world war i just like ours did. charlie: same question, how do you put this in the context of the future? derek: i agree with robert that this was a discreet use of force, it was justifiable, seemed to be well planned and well executed. the question to my mind, and your opening when you talk about the different comments from secretary tillerson and ambassador haley, is this a chess move or a checkers move? latter, akine the
to what president clinton did to saddam hussein in june of 1993, a retaliation for his effort to assassinate george h.w. bush. right now it is a one-off. the question is whether the administration has the appetite to try to gain leverage out of this strike. they could seek to stick to the narrow issue of chemical weapons in the message to assad is essentially, you are continuing to prosecute this war, if you use chemical weapons, we will take a whack at you, if you don't we will conduct the policy they had a week ago, or this could be a game changer. i have my doubts on whether president trump has done a complete reversal of the policy articulated a week ago, but we'll see. charlie: the secretary of state said it was up to the syrian people to choose their leader. derek: that's true.
but ambassador haley said something more akin to regime change. actually, president trump, in his statement to the american people last thursday night said sort of both in his statement. he hasn't been pressed on this. this is open for debate. charlie: do you get the sense this is driven by general mattis and h.r. mcmaster? robert: i don't. i think it is driven by the president who was touched by the images. we can speculate all day about why he did it. but i don't think the u.s. military or the secretary of defense, or national security adviser mcmaster went to the president and said, hey, here's a chance we can hit part of bashar al-assad's air force. it strikes me as highly unlikely. it's much more likely that the president turned to them and said, "what options do we have in responding?" charlie: and they suggested something that was executed
well in terms of the speed and precision? robert: i think the plans were on the shelf from all the way back in 2013. charlie: you would know something about that, wouldn't you, derek? derek: robert is right. the president said as much. the pictures horrified him. they horrified all of us. he quickly turned to his team for options. the u.s. military planned for many options in syria. one big difference today versus 2013 the u.s. military has been , engaged in the syrian airspace every day since september 2014. we had a lot of capability in the theater. the president could execute quickly. charlie: you and i talked this morning. when you look at a strategy, you seem to emphasize, for the most part, get the russians to lean on assad and get some kind of transition government coming in. robert: i want to distinguish
that i do not think the russians are ever going to deliver assad in a political transition. they won't. i think it is perhaps possible to get the russians to lean on assad to stop using chemical weapons. the russians have sunk a lot of resources and a lot of political effort into keeping bashar al-assad in damascus. the idea that they are not going to turn around and jettison him as a favor to the americans, i find that very hard to imagine. charlie: but is he a risk for them in any way? yes, they kept to their base yes, they saved him, yes, he is , obligated to them. robert: their leverage is undermined by the heavy iranian presence. in fact, iran is even more important for assad than the russians are. charlie: because they had boots on the ground? robert: tens of thousands. iranian soldiers, revolutionary
and militiamen they have mobilized from parts of iraq, afghanistan, pakistan, lebanon. this is on the ground where assad has little by little grind -- grinding out a victory. but in that kind of hard war of attrition, the boots on the ground are vital. it is not russia preventing goes, it is iran. charlie: and russia provides air power. robert: that helps. that is why the iranians begged the russians in the summer of 2015 to come in and help. for a moment, the rebels were on the verge of defeating assad again so the russians had to come in and restore the balance in assad's favor. charlie: does putin have a lot at stake? syria was one symbol of his reemergence as a player. roger: precisely. they invested a lot in assad. whatever price they would ask to change assad would be enormous,
and not less than removing all the sanctions after ukraine and crimea, and probably more than that. charlie: robert ford talks about leverage on the ground and negotiation. we had 51 diplomats from the state department talk about that fact during the obama administration. what is leverage on the ground, and what is reasonable leverage on the ground to produce a willingness for people to come to the negotiating table? derek: we have to deliver real pain on assad. there's also the russian calculation. there's no question russia, which is more engaged in syria today than it was four or five years ago in terms of personnel, knew that assad had this stockpile.
there is every reason to believe they knew he had it. the question is whether they were surprised by this use of chemical weapons, and whether they are angry he has done it, because it has put them in a terrible position. if you think back to the redline episode in 2013 robert and i , were both in the government advocating for the use of force, it was u.s. pressure and the credible threat of force from the u.s. that brought the russians around to bring assad to come forth with a diplomatic agreement to give up over 1000 tons of chemical weapons. the question is whether the russians feel that pressure enough and whether what happened on thursday night is enough to change their minds that they want to do more to bring assad to heel. i agree with robert, they don't want to throw assad over right away. they want to control their position, they have invested in this and not just in material but credibility. the question is whether he has
misbehaved enough they are willing to put pressure. that is what tillerson will have to test this week in moscow. charlie: do you think you will see president putin -- the russians are sending a message this is a meeting between foreign ministers? it would be customary they might not see him, they could announce it and it would be a surprise meeting. but i think that will be the easy indicator whether he gets in a room with president putin, we will know if it is serious or not. charlie: was it a mistake for president obama to believe the russians would do what they had promised to do in that agreement? help me understand the agreement. do what they promised, and make sure all the chemical weapons were gotten out of syria? derek: i think president obama ended up achieving something none of us imagined was possible, a peaceful removal of 1300 tons of chemical weapons, materials, and weaponized stuff from syria. that is a huge accomplishment
that made us all safer. in many ways, the fact that that material is not in syria today, and the concern is not how that would proliferate in response to any u.s. strike, freed president trump to take the shot that he did because we are not worried today about setting off a proliferation nightmare inside of syria. but as robert noted whether the , use of homemade chemical weapons like chlorine, or what happens in this case, the use of sarin gas, which was covered under the 2013 agreement -- it's not clear if it was manufactured since that agreement or if it was stuff that was left behind -- but the bottom line is that it is on russia to ensure that assad is holding up his end of the bargain. he clearly has not. he did not last week, which is why the strike was justified. charlie: this is often debated in foreign-policy circles, whether obama made a mistake by agreeing to this?
robert: i strongly supported that there be some kind of limited strikes. just for the purpose of deterring further use of chemical weapons. i think had we done it, the geneva talks, the second round of which we were trying to prepare at the time, might have gone forward a little quicker and maybe would have had a better result. as it was they collapsed , immediately in early 2014, but that is old history. as i look at this -- charlie: to learn from. robert: yes. as i look at this going forward, i noticed two things from russian behavior. number one, we had a deal with them in 2013 that if assad used chemical weapons again, the security council would agree to some kind of chapter seven united nations measure. could be economic sanctions on syria, could be military actions, could be some other punishment that the security council would agree to, if syria
was confirmed to use any chemical weapons again. the russians and the chinese agreed to that in october 2013. fast-forward to the end of 2016. the report that i mentioned, november 2016, confirms at least three uses of chlorine gas. the russians veto and that puts a big question in my mind about russian credibility young promises. another one, i was talking about the geneva talks after the obama redline incident -- the russians agreed with us on the agenda. the agenda for that round, political transition was at the top. we get to the talks a couple , months later, the russians walk back and say they can't discuss political transitions. again, i think the lesson all of us should take out of this is treat russian promises with great caution. charlie: was it section seven that allowed the united states to do and europe to do what they
did in libya? robert: exactly. the russians went ahead thinking it would be military action only to prevent the assault on benghazi. they were then upset that the united states and european countries used that same un security council resolution to help libyan rebels overthrow moammar qaddafi. they said that was not the intent of the resolution. charlie: and the russians haven't done very much in the fight against isis either. their huge emphasis and strong intervention, their huge emphasis, has been on the rebels fighting assad, not the islamic state. they have left that to us and our allies. i bet the french and belgians have hit the islamic state by air more often than the russians have. derek: i completely agree.
this idea that we are going to partner with russia to fight isis is a fool's errand. we have not heard the trump administration talk about that much recently. it was discussed in the campaign, but i don't think russia has any real interest in working with us against isis. they want to protect and keep assad in power. charlie: what is the strategy? derek: the u.s. needs to find a way to create more leverage. it has to be a negotiated outcome. the other options are really not available to us unless we are contemplating, which i don't think anyone seriously is, a massive u.s. intervention. the challenge for us all along has been, how do we develop that leverage, using military power without us getting on the slippery slope of "owning syria"? it could be that this moment has created a new context that this administration could take advantage of. it's going to take an incredible amount of diplomatic skill to pull this off.
i'm not sure we have seen that kind of skill yet out of this team. it is one thing to launch 59 tomahawks in a well strike into syria. it is another thing to turn that into leverage to get a diplomatic outcome. i think the next few weeks will be a real test, whether it is a checkers move or a chest -- che ss move. charlie: everyone talks about leverage but i don't quite get what kind of leverage we have. derek: leverage is, can you raise the level of pain enough on assad, or the fear by russia that assad is going to go in -- and their interests will be in jeopardy in syria, that they either force assad to come to a deal or assad himself will come to a deal. it is very difficult to achieve leverage. it is easy to talk about it but harder to actually create it. charlie: how close was assad to
falling? in the spring of 2013 his forces were falling back rapidly he lost control of the , border areas and lost control of whole provinces. charlie: is that when the russians came in? robert: no, that's when the iranians came in. again rebel forces, including , those we were backing [no audio] again had assad forces falling back in the bedrock of his political base. the mediterranean coast was coming under artillery fire. that is when the iranians and the revolutionary guard general went to moscow to beg them to help. that is when putin sent in russian fighter-bombers. charlie: secretary of state tillerson said yesterday on stephanopoulos that he
thought the strategy should be to finish off isis and then get engaged with the civil war. robert: i think that will be hard to do in a conclusive manner, because as long as the civil war is raging in parts of syria, extremists will benefit from recruitment. it may not be as big a recruitment as it was in 2014 when they took mosul, but it will be big enough to maintain an insurgency. in fact, there are indications of the islamic state is getting ready to move to insurgency mode. think of ramadi, think of fallujah circa 2005. charlie: they have never forgotten it. derek: and there's tension with what robert has outlined between the short and medium-term challenges. the u.s. military priority remains today the fight against isis. i agree with robert. isis will be delivered a military defeat soon. raqqa will be taken.
mosul and iraq will be taken. the question is what will come next. that is a political-governance issue. there is a near-term problem with assad testing us and putting us in the position of having to respond to him again militarily for the civil war and the use of chemical weapons. i don't think that is a fight the u.s. military wants to have right now. i think they want to finish the fight with isis. that's what they see as a priority. but these are intentions because they will be playing out at the same time. charlie: are we about to see a new cold war with russia? derek: i don't know that i would go so far as the cold war, because russia today is not the soviet union of the 1970's and but there's no question that if 1980's. you are looking at what russia is doing in europe, the middle east, in libya, the united
states of america in terms of trying to undermine confidence in our own democracy, that russia is seeking to be a disruptor of the international system in every way that it can. robert: derek has it exactly right. here in the united states for a long time we sort of forgot about russia, after the wall came down and the soviet union collapsed. russia had its own internal problems. we sort of moved on to other things, the way americans are always looking ahead. but i think russia now views that it very much competes with us. we fell out of the habit that thinking we compete with them. we may not feel we need to compete with them, but they are looking to compete with us. one of the reasons the iranians and russians agree on something like syria is they both view it as a way to dent american credibility and reduce the american influence in the middle east. charlie: how are they competing
with us other than in syria? robert: for example, in egypt. i used to work at the american embassy in egypt. we had excellent military relations with the egyptian military. but at that time we never had soviet egyptian training exercises. that had been long past. it started again. charlie: it was the genius of kissinger diplomacy. pulled them away from the russians and toward the united states. robert: this is what i'm talking about, the competition. it is not that all of a sudden the americans will have no influence in the middle east. it is that the russians and iranians are working together, each in their own way, to reduce american influence in the middle east. i think that is a strategy they have. charlie: but he is well connected to the american military and the west. he has strong ties here. robert: absolutely. but we did not see someone like him go to moscow five years ago. or 10 years ago. charlie: which says a lot.
derek: many of our partners, particularly in the middle east, for right or for wrong, have perceived the american role and are hedging. i don't believe any of these partners seek to make russia there number one allied. i think they want a close relationship with the u.s. but , there's no question russia is playing in those spheres. even though russia is not the soviet union, they are using asymmetric means playing on our weaknesses, using means like cyber and whatnot to try to undermine some of these long-standing relationships we have had. i don't think russia has a great long-term strategy in terms of the economy, or the demographics, but it is still trying to compete with us in any way it can. no question. charlie: one last question. clearly what influenced president obama was the fear of being drawn into a middle east conflict and the quagmire he had seen.
is that still a real threat? a real fear? derek: i think it is. the danger in the moment that we are in is that the trump administration has not thought this through, and that it will be tested in ways that robert and i have discussed. assad will seek to test the outer limits of what he can and cannot do. there will be tremendous pressure on president trump to respond in some way. we are already seeing that pressure grow in the aftermath of the strikes last thursday night, as assad continued to bomb the areas used chemical weapons in last week. people are asking, why isn't the trump administration responding? why are you doing more? seems to me president trump is predisposed to trying to look tough and act tough and lash out, and we could unwittingly
get ourselves onto a slippery slope if we are not careful and deliberate in how we use our power going forward. robert: derek is right to signal caution. my own sense is that the war in syria that involves bashar al-assad is already finished and assad won. we are not going to get into a new iraq kind of war or afghanistan kind of war. charlie: the civil war is essentially over. robert: there may be fighting for a year or two. the opposition will not give up. but they will not win. assad will win. we are not going to send a large ground force into western syria where there are tens of thousands of iranians and pro-iranians, and russian personnel. it is not like iraq or afghanistan. it is totally different. we are not going to go bombing in these places, because in iraq we didn't face that. we only had to face saddam
hussein's forces, or iraqi, sunni, and shia militia fighters. same in afghanistan. now there are big states like iran and russia with big forces in syria. we are not going to get into a big conventional war with them in syria. that's not going to happen. assad's won. when the administration was saying 10 days ago that assad's a reality to deal with, they were right. charlie: tillerson was right. robert: he was. it is unhappy. many of us who wanted to see syrians have a chance to create a new kind of system that was more accountable, providing greater respect for human rights are disappointed. but it is happened and we have to deal with it. the idea that the u.s. can still then and try to change assad government or impose, i think we are long past that.
aleppo was the final nail in that coffin. charlie: if the civil war is over i don't understand what our , goal is. robert: in the short term, stop the use of chemical weapons. medium-term, figure out how to a and thecca -- raqq places taken by the islamic state and keep the insurgency coming there under wraps. very long-term, try to figure out a way to get a cease-fire in syria and maybe someday patch that sad country back together. that is a long-term thing. derek: just to add onto roberts -- robert's list find a way to , alleviate the humanitarian suffering on the ground, which is obviously tremendous. robert: absolutely right. that they could do now. charlie: as it has been said before, history is not likely to judge well.
revealed to the extent that a trump doctrine is emerging, it seems to be this, don't get roped in by doctrine. peter baker joins us from washington. welcome, peter. tell me how you came to this conclusion that the doctrine is "don't get roped in by doctrine"? peter: the last week alone as shown how improvisational and transactional president trump's policy really is. it is not hard to find statements from the campaign trail where he said, syria is not america's problem, we should not go there, we should work closely with russia and stop alienating them. he said china should not be invited to did -- to dinner, they are our enemy. in the last week alone, he has involved us in the syrian civil war more than ever before with an airstrike against the bashar al-assad government, alienated russia, and their prime minister
said the relationship is completely ruined. and he invited the chinese leader to dinner in a mar-a-lago to work out trade in north korea. i think he is very improvisational. he said he is very flexible. he is not wedded to one approach. so the idea of trying to define his foreign-policy is tricky. charlie: if you're competitor, adversary, whatever you want to nation cannot predict how you will act, it is bad because relationships between nationstates depend on predictability to a degree. but in one way it is good because they can't make , assumptions about how you will act and what you will do and that keeps them alert. peter: that is right. we have a perfect example of this right now in terms of north korea. north korea has tested a couple of missiles since president trump took office, tried to test
him to some extent as well. and he has sent the carrier group towards north korea, so what does this mean? what should we take from last week's syria strike in terms of his approach to north korea? it is hard to figure out. should we look at the willingness to use force in syria as a precursor to something else in asia or does , he want to use that unpredictability as leverage to convince pyongyang they don't want to test him? that it would in fact be dangerous for them? charlie: this is not nixon madman theory, but something in between? peter: nixon was conscious of what he was doing. he talked to two henry kissinger and said tell them you work for , a crazy president, you do not know what he will do and they , should operate with you. it was very calculated. i'm not sure whether that is the case here, president trump deliberately trying to keep people off balance or simply responding to things as they come. he wrote in his first memoir that he does not like to think ahead.
he likes to go day by day, not planning far in advance. it is keeping with that approach he took in business. charlie: some have said and you have written that, speaking of president trump, whatever is against or the opposite of what president obama did. peter: i think there is something to that. he had the president of egypt to the white house last week. this is a former general that took over a few years back and president obama refused to let him come to the white house. president trump not only invite him to the white house but lavishes praise on him. does not mention the tens of thousands of people imprisoned since his takeover. similarly, he decided to strike syria in response to the chemical attack even though he , said to president obama that you should not do it. he said i'm doing what president obama is not doing, i am
fulfilling the red line from that 2013 circumstance. he does seem to be influenced by desire not to the president obama. a lot of new presidents are, they want to be different from their predecessor. sometimes it takes them a while to come around to the idea that what their predecessor did was not wrong. it took president obama a while to feel that way about president bush. charlie: back to the doctrine. is there a sense anywhere of what president trump's strategy is as the next step in what he wants to do in syria? peter: we have been getting nothing but mixed messages. you hear from secretary tillerson on sunday other than not to use chemical weapons our policy has not , change. then nikki haley says assad cannot govern, he does not have legitimacy anymore. you heard secretary tillerson in italy say an extraordinary thing, we commit to holding to
account any and all those who commit crimes against innocents around the world. that is a pretty expensive syria responsibility of america's leadership in the world. but then you hear back in washington, sean spicer was asked what our policies are, and he said we have not changed and we will not be the world's policeman. so we have not seen a clear indication of what the policy will be going forward. since thursday night and the cruz missile strike, the one person we want to hear from the most is the one person we have not. not said onemp has thing since thursday night about syria other than to use twitter to thank american military forces and defend the decision not to hit the runway at the syrian base. charlie: that is all we have heard by a man who is absorbed tweeting early in the morning. peter: that's right. he has left his advisers out there to make his case to the public and often contradictory
ways and he has not felt the need to clarify. so that may be a conscious strategy on his part to leave ambiguity and confusion out there, and maybe that is a good thing. or maybe he has not decided for himself. maybe he does not understand yet where he wants to go in terms of setting lines. sean spicer today said if you use chemical weapons, if you drop barrel bombs, you can expect a response from this president. barrel bombs are different from chemical weapons. those are conventional bombs, they are verbal, but they are used all the time. 495 times last month alone. if the united states were to respond to that every time, that is a different level of intervention in the white house. the white house quickly walked that back. charlie: how much unity is there within the white house? we hear about feuding factions on this issue and others. peter: this plays into that internal struggle we have been talking about for a week or so. stephen bannon, jared kushner, reince priebus -- stephen bannon
is a believer that we should not get ourselves more involved in these middle east conflicts and that it is not in america's national interest to decide who we shouldhe syria and not presume to get involved. he lost that fight, temporarily this week, when president trump decided to launch that cruise missile strike. he argued against a. whereas jared kushner was in favor of a robust response to send a message, so there are differences within the administration playing out. charlie: they have a supreme court justice they nominated and now confirmed. where do they go next? peter: that is a big deal for them. president trump seem to be eager to get credit for it. he said i did that in 100 days and that is not easy. he is right. it is a big deal. it is key to his political support in a conservative base. he promised he would put a conservative in that seat that justice scalia vacated when he passed away last year.
that was important to consolidate conservatives behind him, and he for phil that promise today by putting neil gorsuch, a favorite of conservatives, on the bench. standing next to justice gorsuch was justice anthony kennedy. he is a swing voter, 80 years old and feeling his health , lately. there is a desire to see if they can encourage him to think about retiring. and one way is to put neil gorsuch of there. charlie: did neil gorsuch clerk for kennedy? peter: he did. and for byron white. he was a dual clerk. charlie: thank you for joining us. pleasure. peter: great talking to you. ♪ [ engine revs ]
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and add phone and tv for only $34.90 more a month. call today. comcast business. built for business. charlie: sergio garcia is here, he is the 2017 masters champion. last night he won the green jacket in dramatic fashion. defeating justin rose in a playoff. here is a look at the winning putt. >> and after so many years, and for all for sergio. [applause] sergio: it was a hard week, but it was very enjoyable. i will never forget. i get to call myself masters champion.
that is amazing. charlie: the title was garcia's first and what many consider a -- one of the four major tournaments of the year. yesterday also marked what would have been the 60th birthday of the first spaniard to win at augusta national. i am pleased to have him here at this table for the first time. welcome. sergio: thank you, charlie. charlie: congratulations. you said to me that your voice was a little hoarse. i thought, did you stay up too late? no, it was this, screaming. what was the emotion, the feeling? sergio: it was all in spanish, saying yes in spanish, saying come on, but it was definitely the hardest i screamed. for that length of time. charlie: they were behind you all week. sergio: yes, they were amazing.
i voice felt very loved everywhere i play, but at augusta, they have always cheered me on and been high class, very respectful, but i felt like this year from the practice rounds on, everybody was really behind me, and it definitely helped me to push on and get a little extra energy you need to be able to achieve something like that. charlie: in 1998 at the pga, you almost won, but people looked at the two of you and said these guys will be dueling for a very long time. you played a lot of good golf, won tournaments, but not a major. how would you explain it?
sergio: it is difficult to explain. there are probably a couple of ways to explain it. one of them, tiger was really good. [laughter] sergio: that is the easy one. because what he did throughout all those years was just amazing, the way he managed to be there every single time. charlie: is he as good as any golfer you have seen? sergio: yeah. i did not get to see jack in his prime or anything like that. when i came out, he was on his way out, or arnie and some of those old guys. he was extremely good in his prime, but tiger was in such control when he was out there.
it was difficult, you had to do something extraordinary to beat him. he was never going to give anything away. that made it tough, obviously. i had some opportunities here and there that i did not take advantage of. it was just a matter of keep trying and keep putting myself in that situation. charlie: what does the expression i got bitten mean? sergio: somebody played better than me. some i did not play as well as i should of -- should have. charlie: is your game today as good as it has been? sergio: i have been saying that since the beginning of the year. i feel that i have been playing extremely well in dubai earlier this year. i feel like my control over my ball flight and swing is
probably around 2008, which was my best year on tour. charlie: nine years ago. sergio: yeah, so it feels very solid. mentally i am heading in a better way now too. i feel calmer. i feel like i'm starting to accept things much better than i used to. charlie: reading what you said since the victory yesterday, you kept saying, i was calm. you had some bad things happen to you, and some really good things. sergio: yes. charlie: you said even at the worst, i was calm and it did not make me crazy. sergio: yes, that's probably the difference between standing here with you in the green jacket today and finishing second or third. because i've played on the front nine, i played great yesterday
and i probably should have been at least four under par, and i was two under par. or four really good opportunities, but i knew i was playing well. i was not panicking. i was just like, do what you are doing. they won't drop. don't worry. i bogeyed 10 and 11. that could have been a moment to get a little worried. i was like, you are still doing fine. you are still close to the lead. you are still playing well. i felt very comfortable, so the par on 13 was massive. not only because it felt like a birdie, but because it got me back in a positive way. i made a good putt that i needed to make. i made birdie on 14. i played 15 amazing. that second shot i hit was probably the straightest eight
iron i have ever hit. charlie: how many yards? sergio: it was downhill, 90, downwind. charlie: it is a bit further than mine. this is the approach of 15 we talked about. take a look at it. >> really high, hard accelerating followthrough, trying to get it up in the air. he almost holes it out. i don't know that sergio knows how close that came to going in. sergio: the great thing about that it left me a nice, a right-left uphill putt. charlie: how many yards? 10? sergio: no, i would say it was
about 12 feet. if it would not have hit the flag, it would have been closer, six to seven feet, downhill, so a tougher putt. those things you look at, it hit the flag and went farther than it should. but a kind of worked in my favor because it left me an easier putt. charlie: and then you were back in it? sergio: yes, justin birdied and we were both nine under and hit great shots on 16. he made a great birdie and i did not make a good putt there. same thing, i did not freak out. i was like, you are still playing great. you have two holes to go. you need to make one birdie. unless he makes a mistake or maybe two, and see what happens.
he bogeyed 17. i made a good, solid par. made great shots and both had chances making birdies. i think we both hit great putts and they did not break the way we thought they would. >> no. he hung it out. as i said, it's flat there. charlie: were you out driving justin most of the day? sergio: yes, most of the day. i think it was a combination of i was swinging really nicely and going after it with my driver. i hit some really nice drives. at the same time, justin was hitting the ball well, but the
back problems he had, some of the drives he did not hit as long as he could hit them, because he can hit it as far as me, pretty much. charlie: 20, 30? sergio: yes, it depends on the situation. and it depends on the roll. charlie: here is another picture i want to show you. this one. did she make a difference for you? in terms of confidence? this is your fiance. sergio: yes, she definitely has helped. there is no doubt about that. i think her and my whole team, they've been working hard to make me a better golfer, a better person. we have all put in effort, and
she definitely has put hers in it. charlie: your father was a caddy? your mother ran the pro shop. were they both there? sergio: yes. charlie: tell me about the first thing your father said to you. victor. sergio: he could barely say anything. they were both crying, everybody was crying. my dad, my mom, angela, her parents were there, so everybody was very emotional. i think my dad, if i remember correctly, he gave me a big hug and said, you have done it, so happy, so proud of you. you won the masters. this is just unbelievable. charlie: you said the triumph was a demonstration of my mentality and my character. what did you mean?
sergio: i said it throughout the at thehat sometimes masters and other tournaments, like my frame of mind has not been where it should have been, like we were talking before, not accepting things, letting things happen, trying to force things. so that week, last week, i was much better at that. i was much better at committing to what i wanted to do, of calming myself down, and accepting what was happening. good and bad. so, not getting ahead of myself when i was making a birdie, eagle, or whatever. do you have a pro that is an instructor, or is it more physical with a team that travels with you? sergio: yes, when i talk about
team, angela, i mean, obviously my dad. there is also my coach. charlie: really? sergio: yes, my whole life. he also played on the seniors tour as a professional. my mom is my manager my caddy, familybody who helps, my angela's family, everyone who , bring something positive to the team and to me, so it helps me to play better. charlie: i hope you win the grand slam. sergio: thank you. that would be great. ♪ ♪
mark: i'm mark crumpton. you are watching "bloomberg technology." u.s. officials said today evidence clearly shows syria was behind last week's chemical weapons attack. that refutes suggestions by russian president vladimir putin that bashar al-assad's opponents were to blame. the officials who briefed reporters at the white house said intelligence sources documented that syrian planes carried out the april 4 bombing. white house press secretary sean spicer is drawing criticism and ridicule for comparing syrian president assad to adolf hitler. he suggested that even a