tv Washington Journal Michael Kirk CSPAN April 11, 2018 12:21am-12:54am EDT
revolution to come. matthew, george washington professor and right moment, ronald reagan's first victory the turning point politics. >> documentary filmmaker talked about his new frontline film about donald trump's presidency. he joined us on "washington journal". >> joining us from boston is a documentary michael kirk to talk
about his latest project. >> good morning. >> it's called trump take over, could you tell us what you're trying to imply? >> guest: the current republican party in washington versus the donald trump. it's what actually he did and they did over the year beginning in the summer when they did not understand who donald trump was. didn't feel like they cared because he didn't believe they would win. from that moment after the tax cut was passed they are all praising him. the astonishing difference between how they felt at the beginning of the end of his first year is what the film is about. >> give us an example of how
they felt and why that changed. >> guest: at the beginning they didn't expect him to win or felt they needed to spend at a time. trump comes to washington in july for a victory lap. he goes to the rnc members of congress and has lunch with members of the senate. most are arm's-length from them. sixteen of the best and brightest have been fighting with him across the primary season. one particular senator, jeff flake is singled out and trump looks him in the eye and said you're the guy from arizona. you said bad things about me. flake said yes, i'm the guy who
wasn't captured referring to the moment when he said nasty things about senator john mccain and whether he was a hero because he had been captured in vietnam and held prisoner there. that began a struggle that would last for the whole year. and other senators who step back and watch it. i see one decisions had to be made. from the beginning they did not expect him to win. >> host: how does it play out after he wins and as he tries to get an agenda and need republicans to make it happen. >> there's two mines. mitch mcconnell of the senate and paul ryan, that those closest who said they were willing to work with hillary.
she's a pro and show will go back and forth and will be some policy. when trump wins the presidency, now they have unified government but a man in the white house they're not certain who he is. an independent tour republican, or what kind. he's a novice in terms of legislative process. ryan decides the first thing they should do he thought his agenda would be easy pc lemon squeezy. ryan has a plan that says we will repeal and replace obama care by easter. then a tax cut and then infrastructure by the end of the first year.
you'll be the most productive president ever. trump says yes, that's fabulous believe in the republicans who had seven and half years of anger with obama care he sits and waits. they said will maybe need you for cheerleading but if you step back will get it done. people close to ryan said what he really wanted is a pen in the white house. they didn't expect a president who could get down to the details a policy they were very surprised with what happened with the repeal and replace bill as it went through congress.
>> host: michael is joining us about trumps takeover. if you want to ask questions about trump's relationship with the republican party you can call it. let's show you some of the documentary. you heard the guests talk about the events leading up to attempts to repeal obama care. this talks about the relationship after the bill. here's a bit of it. >> look at of his cell republican party if they can't pass things they promise for seven years anyway. >> they tried to work with parties leaders, now they would strike out. his weapon of choice, twitter. >> you can thank congress. they went after republicans especially leader mcconnell.
>> he said i have excessive expectations, but i don't think so. after seven years of repeal and replace when i got. >> i think he saw mitch mcconnell as a failure. >> can you believe ric mitch mcconnell has screened repeal and replace for seven years couldn't get its own. >> trump is using twitter to humiliate him and let his followers know this is mcconnell's fault get back to work and put tax reform's on my bill. >> trump is feeding hostility towards congress and that tweet storm galvanized to turn against congress in a way of never seen supporters engage in.
they get into a screaming match. they're using expletives to criticize a mcconnell was given it back. it's extraordinary. >> he came out of his country club fan the flames. >> i said get to work and get it done. they should ahead this last one done. the loss by one vote. >> how does a divided senate majority leader make you more powerful or successful. how does having a battle with a person who has to manage the rules and regulations of the senate and you are undercutting him every day, don't get it.
>> the president to majority leader would not speak to each other for four weeks. >> does that set the tone as far as republicans and where they stand today? >> guest: in some ways. but it's also donald trump doing what donald trump does. i don't think anybody expected him to break the rules as much as he did in terms of a response. after john mccain did the thumbs down about repeal and replace i think you realize legislation and maneuvering of congress was not his strength. he would move more toward the cultural side. that's where the power was for him. . . congress and it takes a while for the to realize it. cataclysm, the charlottesville moment, or 35 members of the senate and house right text messages and tweets back and forth to the president.
the that relationship holds two where trump is doing what told this is a guy elected to come to washington and what you just listen to and watch on the film tonight is that, shaking washington by the lapels. the venerable mitch mcconnell is sending a message to republicans and that is wha what we saw whar and that is a big turning point fornt his relationship in the republican party.. >> host: you can find out more about the takeover. michael kirk is the filmmaker behind it. independents line you are up
first with our guest. go ahead. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. in your documentary, will there be anything about the lies in the documentary president of trump has shown the american people he admitted that he makes up things [inaudible] >> host: go ahead. >> guest: i don't know if there is enough in the film to make a judgment about that yourself. i am not the truth police, but i do put in as much as i can from
those that understand the washington scene for you to see across an entire year and i hope the solid depth and it is my fervent hope that you will watch andec decide what is true, but it'it's false, what matters and what doesn't and most importantly, what's happening with the government the president is determined to drain the swamp and some people are fighting back the republican establishment within three dozen people evacuating their jobs in the senate as we approach a midterm election.
it's how they will react in their flies were in their truth. i think you will see how it happened tonight in the film. >> caller: i had another comment until i heard you say he's playing his game. sincee a game, this is our president and his lack of fairness is very scary. i have great concerns. >> guest: you can decide that for your sel yourself tonight, e fact is in washington, but he does anwhat hedoes and what he s
been dramatically underestimated at the same time you will see what i mean. it's like the conventional wisdom about the way the traditional republican establishment thought he would act that he would pick it up at the beginning of his administration. they didn't know that his inauguration address would be aimedso at them. i think that they do now understand and they've learned over the last year how intense this is a including the storm about mitch mcconnell and the congress and the impact of that is. if you can step back and take a view of the entire year.
>> host: william on the independencee line. >> caller: good morning. thank you for taking my calls. out of all of these, don't you think he's just playing his personal agenda to help solve? his followers are not even going to benefit from it. but it looks like everything that he does this for his own gain. that is my point of view. what do you think about that? >> guest: i can't get inside of his head, so i don't really know what his thoughts are that he does understand something about anger and fear in a certain part of the population
is anywhere from 25 to 48%. i know that he does things that some people we've talked to in congress, men and women and others said he feels like it's not ideological. he is not doctrinaire. he doesn't have policy imperatives forcing him to do things. to their perspective, and these are some of the people that are leavingar washington now, they felt like what it was all about is getting along with him at the way to get along with him so that he didn't primary you were come after you and attack you to a royalty and allegiance him and that is what motivated
him especially to those closest to him who say that's wrong she has a deep policy interest in taking care of the forgotten. that's something i hope that you will have enough information and when you see this today you can decide where he stands buts its hard to get inside of th the hef trump for obvious reasons. >> host: the documentary highlights those moments of getting along with republicansta particularly with the passage of tax bill. >> they finally passed the tax cut bill. republicans recognized we can't go to the midterms with nothing to run on besides what the controversy is a.
we are making america great again. >> they came forward to praise president trump. [applause] >> you made the case for the tax bill this has been a year of accomplishment for the administration. supremeen it at the court right of center for a generation and the un did the over regulation of the american economy. thank you for all that you are doing. >> with the establishment donald trump is the leader of the republican party and telling what takes place in washington. he is the leader of the country both politically and from a legislative side of things.
>> something this big couldn't have been done without exquisite leadership. thank you for giving us overr te finish line and getting us where we are. >> we are fulfilling a pledge. >> we've lowered the taxes that is a fundamental republican promise. they've equated the marchers too go after members of his own party that is the price to pay. >> what happens between the athlete and the plaintiff we are at now? >> the fearr that somehow the
unexpected consequences nobody knows for sure the reinvigoration, the town hall meetings after the passage of the house bill. there is a question, a looming concern of the democratic said on the may be coming. if that is true, many of them made the calculation that the safest placef to be a when it comes to their process and if he doesn't have coattails in if
this will not actually stop then i think all bets are off again. that is certainly what people tell us. >> caller: thank you for c-span. i have a couple of comments into question. mitch mcconnell spent eight or nine years trying to get rid of president obama. i honestly believe he is trying to do this. paul ryan is a poor excuse for what he is. my main question is in order to drain the swamp of the republican and democratic parties of the house and senate, they have to be the people that pass the room so that they can only have term limits i believe our president is on the right
road. they said he's lying but that is what the house and senate does. they lie all the time. both the parties themselves, democrat and republican have to be the people who bring it up to get to term limits to drain the swamps. >> host: thank you. >> guest: you could make the argument that it's being drained tic-tac-toe without any rules or regulations. you can look at who has taken things in the government of the administrative state that's actually smaller in some ways. in some ways the lack of regulation, but there seems to bebe the rules in the way things are happening with different things like that that are happening under president trump's watch. if you are a member you might be
applauding that in a de facto way. absolutely what is going on in congress is shifting ground for everybody including paul ryan and perhaps leader mcconnell. it's a very different place when somebody like jeff flake came to be in 2000 who offered others to be a sort of hard right about so much of the government and earmarks and so many things they went after. he tells us in the film he doesn't feel that there is any room for him in this republican party with this president in charge. so they might be draining, this is the sound of that might be the giant sound of the establishment republicans fleeing washington.
it's a different idea of the ideologideology in the party mae replacing them. >> host: it's goo good choice in florida on the republican line. >> caller: i have a question about trying to normalize trump. the old understand the anger. >> host: you are on with our current guest, can you direct. a question? >> caller: i just want to ask how this compares to a hitler germany >> guest: i can't go there with that. >> host: let's go to rose from
nashville tennessee on the republican line. >> caller: good morning, gentlemen. how are you? >> i i have a couple of comment. the establishment republican still hate donald trump. senator corker from tennessee isn't running because some of the comments that he made about the president. he felt the irony of the tennessee voters and that is how he decided he wasn't going to run against. but mitch mcconnell and the senate and the house have been against him from the very beginning. they've all jumped on board about this special prosecutor over this fake russian deal. to make sure every time the
senate goes into recess but he does a pro forma can't make any recess appointments it goes on and on. so they may smile over the tax reform bills, but we also remember they tried all those years to repeal obamacare and then when it came down to the nitty-gritty, he had a personal vendetta and voted no. >> guest: a fascinating call. thank you very much. you are an example of the division in the country now. it's profound and there are people that feel very strongly that donald trump exacerbates that those were his politics but it's been going on long before. he may be the first president who's decided to capitalize on it. you will see that in the program
information will help you judge for yourself what's going on. >> host: oklahoma come independence line. go ahead. >> caller: good morning, gentlemen. and i appreciate you so much. for you are dealing solely in fact have. preparing for this gentle man that was o on the prior year itt is mind boggling that for god sakes the same. you put your finger right there on the plate for trump as he capitalistic president that is whom and what he represents. i had personal experience with him and even called the fbi on him. >> host: we will have to leave it there. apologies.en >> guest: thank you.
>> host: when it comeshe to learning about the administration what do you learn that you did not know going into that? >> guest: dave really understood at the beginning wheree the power resides and jt what he understands him how he's going to handle it. now i think the republicans understand it and certainly, the american journalism. we are evaluating this particular president in journalistic terms. in a different way isn't quite so hysterically but when you take a look at it as we do, you'll come away understanding what is going on a little better
than if you just follow the bright shiny objects that are thrust before you did cause either great anxiety or hope. it's not as simple as that and i hope that we have added a little bit to the understanding of that. >> host: the documentary is the takeover by michael on the pbs. your next project deals with senator john mccain. have you had a chance to talk especially at the announcement of his brain cancer? >> guest: we never talk to the actual subject of the film. in the past we have and we have three decades according to the footage shot with everybody close to him and we have a definitive history of. it's a wonderful way if you look anyou lookand see what happenede last year with a big change in
the republican party trump versus the establishment you see those circumstances and how we came to have trump versus tv establishment party that has had since the beginning in the 70s and 80s. it is fascinating and in some ways they saidsa to us this is e last of a certain kind of republican still standing and i think that is a fair assessment of who john mccain is right now. >> host: thank you for your time.
chinese president xi jinping announced plans to move to a more in chinese economy by lowering tariffs for automobiles and other products and enforcing the intellectual property of the firms. his remarks come after the u.s. and china announced trade measures against each other. the chinese president's remarks come courtesy of the global television network. >> [speaking chinese] >> translator: your excellency, state and governme government, organizations and investors, incumbent and incoming members, distinguished guests, la a