tv Ben Rhodes The World as It Is CSPAN June 24, 2018 6:49pm-8:03pm EDT
is anybody here for the first time? a lot more than i would have expected. thank you for coming out tonight. as you may know even if you haven't been here the host upwards of 600 events a year at this store and venues around town and that number is probably increasing to maybe a thousand a year because we opened two branches in dc one is '-open-single-quote open of last year just for the sens of what we are having there on tuesday this coming week or wednesday this coming week h we will be hosting the whistle blew for the crisis in flint michigan who's going to be in conversation with her state house representative we are finite of thing that our union market went around the corner from the iconic union market in one of the warehouse spaces down the block and we have three wonderful events there next week just to start
the interest flowing i will give you a brief description of those on tuesday we wil we'll have a conversation with the "washington post." she will be discussing her novel and there will be wine so please come out for that. one is centered on a 10-year-old boy wandering the countryside around this area during the war of 1812 trying to break his father out of debt while the battles are raging all around him and the others are zyban dit focuses on the war but now staring down a road trip to an experimental clinic in california and believe me both of them are very funny.
and also the "washington post" reporter from politics gives the history of his true passion which is progressive rock. but tonight we are very thrilled to have all several hundred of you to support the new memoir that's going to be roughly an hour long program but before we turn things over if everybody could silence their cell phones we are happy to have you take pictures, please message about the program and how amazing the event is for your friends but we do not want any distractions because we are filming this for our page so chec check it out oe and also c-span is here filming for their program and you don't want to be the one whose phone goes off on national television.
also so we can hear your question during the question-and-answer portion, there's a standing microphone to my left, so when the time comes please do line up at the microphone to ask your question so that everybody can hear later and if you could clean them up against something sturdy that could be the nearest bookcase or pillar is now on to the actual program comes of being in the midst of a president's conflict seems to come from within i think we can sense that there is an appetite for a book that contrasts with that by peeking inside how the last executive branch operated under president obama. from the profile of 2016 is good for his colleagues a is having a mind meld with the presidents he served as a speechwriter for obama for the 2008 presidential
campaign and came to be the administration's deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, the role that brought him to the forefront of the foreign-policy debate about air of spring and the diplomacy with cuba and the deal and of course the list goes on and on from there and now out of the white house earlier this year he cofounded a committee called national security action, and of course he's written the book the world as it is a memoir of the obama white house and received not only from figures in the presidency like samantha power but also from novelists who say that shapes the ordinary perception and manages to find out in the face of most available evidence. joining ben rhodes in conversation tonight is another of the top thinkers jeffrey goldberg. you may know him as editor-in-chief of the atlantic as a contributor for the countless publications in the
"washington post" to the new yorker to new york magazine and a dusty author that detailed the experience on the israeli military person specifically the encounter with when he came to the friend perhaps the most relevant for tonight's podcast the conduct of several landmark interviews with barack obama that spanned the presidency from beginning to end please try me in welcoming ben rhodes and jeffrey to politics and prose. [applause] [inaudible] welcome, everyone to politics and prose. thanks for coming out in such large numbers of.
we are going to try to cover all of american foreign policy from 1945 to present. in the first five minutes. then we'll see what happens. to make it easy for you because you don't have experience in public speaking i thought i would start with literally the easiest question i could think of and then move towards syria. [laughter] the easiest question is what would have been the reaction if barack obama had saluted a north korean general? just described and voluminous detail what you think the reaction might have been. >> said, there was one time when we were traveling to saudi arabia where he went like this coming and that was for years treated as bowing to the saudis
and giving away their dignity. i think that saluting a north korean general he would have been detained upon, returned to the united states and sent to guantánamo. i probably would have been killed by the freedom caucus. [laughter] i do have to say people ask me what the most dystopian aspect of the trump administration is the outright hypocrisy. it's almost as if they are trying to find things that used to criticizto use tocriticize od criticize trump at the same thes that happens every day and that is very much in line. >> let me ask you this more serious question. barack obama, you and his side in 2007, 2008 committed repeated controversies. forward into the second term, the repeated controversy where president obama then candidate obama said it's okay to talk to
folks. and remember hillary clinton came down on him for being naïve and opposing the idea. what's wrong with donald trump meeting with the leader of north korea? >> i don't think anything is wrong with that and i prefer diplomacy to the escalation of conflict we were on. to make a few points about that, one, you have to prepare. and i detail in the book on cuba for instance, i met probably 20 times with alejandra castro before they put obama in the room with his father and by that point we had teed up exactly what he wanted to accomplish in that relationship. with iran, we had probably havey hundreds of hours of meetings in the situation room with the nuclear physicist, nobel prize
winning physicist to know exactly what he wanted to get out of the iran deal and what i have seen in the north korea talks is they rushed to get to the spectacle of the heads of state summit without knowing exactly what they wanted to accomplish without setting up an agenda and my concern is they gave the north koreans a lot of things. they conquered upon them the legitimacy they never had in the history of their country just down to that meeting in front of the whole world. they gave them the nuclear military exercises that we engaged in with south korea for years we heard from them that they wanted to stop this exercise and trump announced that he is suspending those and in return all we get is a reaffirmation of the same promise of the nuclearized the north koreans have given under every administration since bill clinton. ..
cement in place the dictator. >> endlessly. over and over and over again. >> so the premature meeting with legitimacy with the dictator but cannot meeting i'm not saying this in a snarky way but it is a diminished coin. the north koreans may not benefit as much but they look at this like a circus. both to consolidate the nuclear program but also the
term administration trying to build on sanctions to isolate north korea diplomatically if the rest of the world sees trump then that effort will not move forward why would you break with north korea if the president of the united states cozies up to him then to think i don't need to enforce those sanctions now i see kim is embraced by the american president i actually think will have real-world consequences. >> so how do you explain analytically the fact just
and i go through this in the book there is a sense of anything that we did, they would be for something until we did it then republicans were for intervention with livia until barack obama did it. so this older man -- already took root that used to be somewhat distinct and put the and category and frankly to reorient the republican party that will be long-lasting. >> there are a couple of ways of trump foreign policy. >> i did not coin that i just wrote that down.
i will not say that because we are on tv but but there are a couple of points that most people from the obama era disagree this but that represents a continuum. and with nato allies and that ability to pay their fair share and even said to me and little bit of dismissal of their willingness to pay off. by talking to your adversaries to make things better. do you see any sort of contact on -- continuum from what barack obama did?
>> but there were similar frustrations that they want other countries to bear the burden for those global security challenges. but that diagnosis led to different cures that obama's response was to significantly ramp up engagements around the world to enlist the allies like the iran dl or paris climate accord so basically he modeled his foreign policy with a number of countries. responsibility for issues as
diverse as the campaign, evil left, climate change. trump's reaction to the same diagnosis we will break with the allies to make demands of everybody and to express similar frustrations after 911 but the conclusions they drew with those big controversies of the obama era is talk about the first time you met barack obama. did you ever think he would win? >> i did.
but i describe how i was 29 years old but to take it vantage of the fact that relatively a normal person coming in with a huge pedigree. i was literally so nervous the first amendment him i could barely speak that i wanted to get on the campaign. and then to challenge against the iraq war. and i was ready to do whatever i had to do to get onto the campaign. i was offered the job as a speechwriter and policy eight and i came home to tell my now wife that she was a little annoyed i was moving to chicago to go into debt to work for this guy but at least
you will be back on february 5 when hillary gets the nomination. [laughter] but i try to say it was a magic and even when we were in the polls and were behind in 2007. so probably have that misplaced certainty would work out there are people that would like to know this had to go from anonymous to indispensable to the advisor?
i spend a lot of time trying to understand the world for you he wanted to do. and working for the government and realize there isn't a lot of people that are trying to do that. different agencies have those institutional biases barack obama didn't have a lot of people around them and for years before he was president. so someone who was unique what the thinking was he trusted me. other than trying to help him to do what he wanted to do. but i didn't have my eye on some job that made me easier to rise because i was angling for the deputy.
>> you came into the administration more hawkish than you left. so did you change him at all in the worldview? >> so the convergence of barack obama and the reality we had to confront in the middle east. and then someone i looked up to the liberal interventionism. i have to reckon with the fact the first several years to be high in the capable or even
osama bin laden but to be unable to shape those events and an obvious example is livia where obviously after the fall of qaddafi in libya. but we spent a lot of time designing the search with the counterinsurgency theory with the military to improve the lives of people and you could not help with to reckon with the fact with all of the military might to put together broken places. and i describe on syria example of afghanistan and iraq.
and then to blowup the runways to say what happens the next day that this inevitably to change things but the track record of the capacity to resolve the civil war was limited. and part of the circumstance. but i had to redirect my idealism. so feeling somewhat frustrated my -- frustration is when i turned to cuba or vietnam. and we need to pay attention. we have so much coming out every day that you barack
obama need to make cuba a priority. so let me do this. and then to broaden somewhat. >> so you didn't want to that was the george w. bush experiment. but to undergird the iran deal was the notion that if we just open it up and to have the openness that will change the society for the better. and to go into certain middle east countries despite foreign policy is broken.
is there too much idealism? >> we have had hundreds of hours of conversations about iran. what was being into us by barack obama was preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon. and that is why this is about. it's about keeping a bad machine from getting nuclear weapons. but it was more likely that iran could invoke among -- evolve into a different direction?
but we did not think that we do the iran deal one or two years later that there is that regime but i do think that if we keep them from getting a nuclear weapon before the sunset provisions it is more likely iran were devolved. eve off. to have changes within their leadership in that time. and i think what trump did will make it more likely they don't move in a different direction. >> stay on this idealism/realism split. not only with iran, but you are correct obama was calibrated talking about the possible outcomes of iran he never said this will change western democrats but with
cuba, burma you are deeply involved, and vietnam, these countries because of actions taken by your administration they are better with united states than previously. but they haven't change there was a thought on your part in the administration that the cuba opening was the to some level of liberalization burma has gone backwards vietnam remains a communist day though how do you square that? with iran you were trying to move the threat from the middle east. >> you are right with but with cuba ember my thinking the had been changing. i think the difference in cuba
2013 through 2017 by cuban standards was enormous. by u.s. standards it wasn't. there was internet access and connectivity now much more access and more connectivity to the rest of the world and that brings far more self-employed cubans. one of the interesting things that had to do with the fact there is a space in the private sector it went from 10% of cubans being self-employed to one third. and that matters. i won't talk about the language fully but the difference was the cuban entrepreneurs saying i used to work for the state when a knock to my door to save yet
the communist party rally tomorrow i would swallow and go. now i have my own business nobody knocks at my door but now i can say i'm dizzy. by cuban standards people are feeling more empowered and connected to the world and that is significant even in the current context with trump rolling things back i think will still be two more liberalization that if we kept it in place. >> in the key point is that americans are so impatient. on december 17, 201414 in my wildest dreams i would not have thought it would now be a democracy in any shape or form within five years or maybe even ten but more open and the lives would be better with
more access to information so part of this is having the patience to stick with apologetics. burma is much more complicated issue because on the one hand but you did have a significant transformation and then to be allowed to run for office that it was a partial transition to be in control of the military. but the uncomfortable reality of burma is that more openness the tragedy that has taken place last year reflects the views of the people of that country which is a terrible thing to think about.
so the military chose to demagogue and i see this as the trend around the world the military on its back politically says the one thing we could do is target muslim minority and they cannot stop us so what i would have liked to have seen is apply a lot more pressure on them once they start down that road in india. but i do think in all these cases promoting democratization, particularly in countries that don't have any tradition or institution that are ready to transform themselves in a short. of time, you you have to be willing to stick with policy
engagement. >> the rizzo shorthand to describe foreign policy's of two previous administrations of george w. bush and barack obama and it goes a little like this. it is a tragedy of the george w. bush administration to overreaction of a set of events in the middle east the tragedy of the obama administration could be provisional of under reaction to a set of events and in particular the cataclysm of syria. you spent the last couple of years of obama's second term trying not to get on the slippery slope. but you really do believe american intervention at any level what have made things worse than they are today?
>> this question has been so boiled down basically one episode and what i thought back on is in 2011 and 2012 the onset of the crisis before it became a fractious civil war with those dimensions did we miss a window where with those aggressive diplomatic initiatives could have foresaw that human told that we have seen. could we be more aggressively engage to foresaw -- forestall the onset of war? what i had to wrestle with being so directly involved, when we called for assad to go was it
inevitable he would fall? we all wanted him to go. he was a tyrant and none of us in this room would believe he should be the leader of syria that we may have foreclosed a diplomatic option by calling for him to go with that point and could be at least tried to have pursue some diplomacy. >> there is a moment and obama said this frequently it would be foolish or naïve to believe a very early days the group of farmers and carpenters and dentists would overthrow the iranian backed were russian backed autocratic regime. so the fatalism sat in early i call it fatalism because no revolution starts with the 82nd airborne. it starts small and they grow
bigger. especially if they are watered so what explains his pivoted away from the middle east in such a conservative way by that. ? >> first of all i try to describe do you provide arms or military support to the syrian opposition? is that option was developed in 2012 that he alternately agreed to in 2013 it was very clear the purpose was not to win the civil war because everybody knew russia and iraq would put a heavier weapons than we could but it was to get the relationships to the opposition to make them more relevant that could help in a diplomatic process also uncertainty that i try to draw in the book to that time. because the meeting that
describes the deputy community just committee meeting to u.s. government and that use to function. and there was this issue providing military support to the syrian opposition and to designate. and an element of the syrian opposition probably the best fighting force so it spoke to the schizophrenia of american policy. we want to separate and shine a light on the terrace there to designate them as terrorists. but we don't like iran or assad but they are the same people. so the complexity of syria was constantly there from the very beginning. there was not one army to
support absent of extremist to be easily provided and i think what obama came to wrestle with when i was still very activist about syria i had journalists who were foreign correspondence from the middle east to have a more alarmist in particular that if you heard that night compelled them to act because he wanted different voices and one after another they painted a dire picture how complicated it was, many forces on the ground the iranians and russians were involved in the turks and the saudi's and others and i thought u.s. should be doing more and i was thinking now he will really get it but he took exactly the opposite message from that meeting.
so if you look at the complexity to think if we go to war with syria we will be just one more army in this war. unless we are willing to remove assad ourselves. if we do that is the same civil war with us running it may be that is wrong but legitimately that was his thoughts. >> one more question before we go to the audience a very interesting chapter in your book about race and president obama. i don't want to highlight it too much though people can read it for themselves but i am under the impression that this is the most frank discussion by an intimate close aide how he really felt
about his role as the first african-american president. it is interesting read now. of racial reaction. talk about that a little bit. and broad strokes is that president obama was not as unaware of white perceptions of him as he meted out to be publicly. >> i describe in the book i really didn't mean that to be a pun. >> that basically racism was ever present it was omnipresent for all of those years so that it would come out in these moments where we are prepping him for an interview or press conference
you may be asked if the opposition is motivated by race he was a horse it is. next question he wouldn't say that publicly. >> what about publicly? >> there are many different factors. in part and another one how do we reduce tensions around black lives matter and he would say i will say cops should stop shooting on the black people. next question. >> why would he say that publicly? >> a couple things. one. early in his presidency he learned with skip gates was much more impactful than people know he is asked what do you think about the preeminent african-american and academic the country to be
arrested at his house and he said it was stupid and the blowback was so insane people were so excited to talk about race on cable television and multiple days of people going back and forth and fox going into hysteria and then this absurd summit where gates has been with the guy and he is trying to fix the economy. he says i can't do this every couple weeks. i'm trying to get us out of a financial crisis and out of war. i cannot afford this spectacle. the department was under the belief that it was difficult for him to engage in issues in that raw way without it becoming trivialized with politics.
certainly he was angry about the birther movement in furious had releases for certificate but he was most angry frankly that cable television gave so much airtime to the birther movement that led to the rise of donald trump so i describe it as the jackie robinson ego and the first african-american to do this i just have to do it twice as good as a white person would have to and take this and keep my head down. late in his presidency he started to find new ways to talk about this to visit a prison, efforts of criminal justice reform, he found a voice over the last year or two that was different and part of that was experience. >> who was more surprised by donald trump selection?
barack obama or michelle obama or you? >> i was no surprise. >> they were not? >> no. i think they were a little surprised. [laughter] but i think white people thought barack obama's election would transform race largely not african-american people certainly not the obama's they never believe that because of the experience to be african-american in the country. he was far more acutely aware of racism in this country than i was in far more aware of the forces that could be two tropism -- two trumpism and then to hear why i was at
casual racism it shocked me but it didn't shock and that all that that would happen. so when i became closer him i would see there is an understanding of the omnipresence of racism in american society that i as white person did not fully appreciate until i worked for the first african american president. >> please ask your question in the form of a question. [laughter] >> but to turn that narrow question that i have wondered about that late in the obama years and during the earlier part of the early clinton
campaign they would ask what the difference would be with her approach to syria compared to the presidency and her answer was for example i would put in the no-fly zone and enforce the no-fly zone. so my question is was that too simplistic and what was obama's feeling about that? did that have any merit whatsoever? at her know how much traction she got on that. >> the reality is, the no-fly zone is the option many people were recommending that our own military was very negative on that because essentially to set up the no-fly zone, you would have destroy all of syria's air defenses including russian air defenses essentially have to go to war with assad. then you are flying planes and
then still killing people on the ground. it was a much more complicated thing to do. and it wouldn't fully stop killing that what you were trying to stop so in his mind as to fall the military consistently would say that's not a viable option. basically going into an all-out war with syria if you enforce that with confidence would mean bombing syria russian and iranian personnel and hardware on the ground and then after we did that we could not guarantee they wouldn't keep killing civilians through other means on the ground. so obama thought it wasn't viable. >> you mentioned in the
interview the second time you were looking for affirmative projects to take on so i was curious if you were in a similar position again for the next democratic president if you were given free reign to pick those projects you could take on what would those be? and second it says in the book you like entourage. why? [laughter] >> the most mysterious aspect by the way. [laughter] >> some people thought obama liking mackle more. [laughter] but to be honest if you are in a job like i had, there is a certain escapism you are looking for. maybe what you're looking for at 10:30 on a wednesday night when you just spent an hour
doing the most awful stuff in the world. i was surprised that david cameron liked it and i had conversations with him about that it shows you the whole pop culture is the favorite with the british since the beatles but the great question and the reality is i believe one of the things that was interesting is the first agreement that was global literally 200 countries involved in their brother issues that would benefit from that type of global agreement.
so dealing with pandemics that you would try to set up is truly global to say ultimately in the long run if you could replicate the global coalition and arrangement, that would be developed in the paris agreement to the global health security that comes to me off the top of my head. with that effort around refugee settlement systematize how you do with our refugee crisis with countries bearing such an enormous amount of a burden. then politically, i still feel like the united states, the region i was most interested
is southeast asia and i feel like there was a lot of room to significantly enhance the integration between the united states and southeast asia that i would like us to try to approach not an individual country but with the regional mindset. but you have to be opportunistic to look where the opportunity could emerge. late in the administration it was too late to do anything like sri lanka with the democratic transition and if we had more time we may have tried to and those that are important for our values but also with china trying to come
off those parts of the world. so you look opportunistic lead to try to find those places where there is an election or a movement waning momentum and on the individual country basis you try to focus that you might not have that opportunity otherwise in the white house. >> what about the attacks on diplomats in cuba and china what are those motivations? >> first of all, in cuba i do not see any way the cuban government, they reported the and i learned about this a month after leaving the administration it started around the transition they were trying to do anything they could to preserve their relationship with us at that time signing agreements and business they deals i was down
there multiple times and the notion that at the same time with danger of migration or at the same time everything they were doing was to preserve our relationship that they would know it would blow it up i think the russians were doing that an and. >> what about the canadians? [laughter] >> i thought the russians were working with some cuban. some people hated united states could be doing that. i describe in the book a couple of times i was trailed by russian spies a very bizarre experience where a couple of people walked right up to me with tattoos and
weird close and then took my picture russians wanted us to know they were watching. so once the break of the u.s. cuban relationship with a list of countries to do that i put russians at the top but they could assume some cubans could be involvement with china that made me think this could also be surveillance technology has gone terribly wrong somebody may have some weird surveillance capabilities they are trying to point at our diplomats and it is causing these health effects because maybe somebody russia or china does that in china as well. nobody was doing this intentionally but it could be the secondary effect of surveillance technology.
>> obviously you are different with obama's record in cuba and i ran each of those are historic but u.s. has been at war in the middle east most of my adult life that could change under obama so the second point being what do you see the u.s. engagement in the region presumably after trump is gone? >> first of all, i believe we should have done more to try to bring about some closure to the wars. to me we should not be in afghanistan i don't know what we are publishing in afghanistan i wish we ended up by the end of the administration because i don't think we are making it better. every time it would come up in the situation room well leased
a it is getting worse if we leave it will get worse it has been 15 years now. >> if you leave don't you leave it open for else's -- isis al qaeda the cycle? >> with the military could do is you don't necessarily need i think our presence has created a complete disorder. the economy clearly has not incentivize people to join the taliban. it has created some dependency from the afghan government that is not healthy. so how long is long enough? twenty years? twenty-five years? i think it is not healthy for a democracy to fight a war 15 or 20 years i told you in 2002 in afghanistan that in 2018 we would still be fighting a war
even though some of the mod and his dad it doesn't exist anymore you would think that is strange. so i have to hold myself to the standard i think we could have done more. the main reason why is people see more risk candidly politically if you leave things go wrong and if you stay things go wrong. in terms of the next is ministration, who knows? i don't know what the middle east will look like in two and a half years? i am not optimistic. >> but i do think quickly that the complete mortgaging of our foreign policy to the saudi's and emma roddy's i don't think
will be in our interest so that makes me optimistic about things getting better. >> we have time for the next three questions. >> do we have any women? [laughter] [applause] >> mine will be closer to home. it has always been the elephant in the room you're absolutely right we live this in the founding of the country but i want to ask did you participate in the speech around jeremiah wright controversy? and also with the massacre of the church in charleston? and also are you running in 2020?
>> it is very strange because people don't understand that walt obama run in 2020? the honest truth, the three speeches that obama really wrote himself in the ten years i worked for him were the two that you cited. there were drafts prepared which then he ignored. [laughter] and all three of those drafts we wrote by hand and then our function was to type them up i remember on the campaign when he got back this limit is handwritten stuff i'm reading this thinking i have never read a political speech like this and i almost had chills knowing what was coming but we could not have her in those for him. the two that you cite were so
personal. we put in the nice language but the race speech but that was good stuff but the meat of that speech was entirely barack obam obama. >> support independent bookstores. [laughter] >> you work for a president who particularly took the moral and philosophical way of those decisions. that once itself maybe to a more idealistic or value driven foreign policy as opposed to one that starts with this compromise so when
you leave the administration is that a viable approach to foreign policy or does that require a unique philosophical leader? >> what was radical about obama is he was profoundly idealistic and motivated by a sense of universal human rights in a very different way than presidents usually are. for him that manifested everything from how we treat other countries with respect, try to engage other countries in different ways, speak to the public and not just leaders, we use these values as justification for military intervention for correct
pressure. it was taken as universal values that we try to impose. so i remember talking to some of the people that were advocates for democracy and these programs that obama does how to empower and connect these people around the world but basically they are creating a civil society through the guise of these efforts. he was promoting those values in nontraditional ways that i think what made him unique he saw individuals in this country and young people in my
house and nigeria and ethiopia and to me, i ended the book on the hopeful note that what is the impact he had on the lives of those people around the world? how he potentially change their conception of what they can do hopefully the obama legacy as of this scorecard that unpacks a layout layout that in 30 years from now how he inspired people in ways that john kennedy inspired people when he was in office. but i do think that everybody does that authenticity is the most important thing the leader can have nobody will do it just like obama and my hope whoever comes next promotes universal values of human rights in their own way.
by their own worldview. because that is the only way ultimately that will be effective and not reading hollow to people. america has lost some of the currency we had under this administration so the next person will have to be authentic and how they do it so it doesn't bounce off the ears of those people. >> i heard you talk about how the department of state is decimated not only from the top up but bottom down now internships are not converted due to cannot get parents to participate in internships so what advice do you have for individuals interested working toward american diplomacy? because professional
development not being disappointed by what this administration is doing to the department? >> people should still try because frankly if you join now you will begin to rise through the ranks hopefully through the new administration so that is still an important option. number two i believe you are frustrated but yet there is a vast set of opportunities for the ngos, there are many ways into the world to promote the values that you care about the human system, international ngos there is areas for deeper talent i would like to see the next administration come into deeply prioritize this from the beginning may be amnesty for those who have left to come back in or spend a lot of money and time on improvements to rebuild the diplomacy because we lost thousands of years of experience at the
same time de- prioritized to bring in the young people. this should be the top priority of the secretary of state. >> going back to the election. russia basically won the cyberwarfare and the obama administration's reaction during that time was sheepish like they didn't go full throttle to attack russia back so can you talk about the deliberation treating this political issue or a warfare issue or what could have been done differently to make americans more aware at that time? >> i think the mistake actually we did treated as a cyberwar when it was information more.
what we did is if you look at the statement before the election and the focus it was all on the cyberattacks the hacking, the e-mails, when that was fraction of the conflict created and firing into politic politics. we did not do much at all to stop fake news and the same capabilities to see develop in the ukraine. i raised this to say people should have enough information but people consuming stories about hillary clinton to be on death or that was produced by russians first of all we could become the editor in chief we didn't have the tool to separate out fake news from
real news and then second it could be russia fake news but people assuming that were less inclined to listen to barack obama if you are searching on the internet feed if you get that on your facebook feed you probably think he is the antichrist. so that was his belief that i think we could have done more to spotlight the information p knowing that we didn't have many tools were the ability to stop that from happening to say what was fake news or not that going forward that merits a much more aggressive effort to identify fake news or work with technology companies to deal with this internationally and i don't think you and i
can understand when you were younger you are interested in a novelist and creative writing so after such a long period of time in the office such as a hotbed of pressure working under emergency situations how is your understanding of human beings and psyche shifted and how does that interpret or add to any future novels? >> i think that's the best question i have ever gotten. here is how i answer that. i am much more pessimistic with that ten year timeframe of that system then i was ten years ago. our politics, government, media, not the government that i found myself feeling like
i wish i had more of in my own life and so in a strange way, the experience left me again like more interested in people and less hopeful optimistic about the institutions that represent those people. and frankly, if we can go the difference between like actual people and their representatives in government and the institutions that either govern them or interact with them i think they would be a lot better off and that is one of the biggest challenges for the politics is how they tried to do this. if the politics represented the better aspect of the individua individuals. if i had to write that novel it