tv Washington Journal Guy Snodgrass CSPAN November 26, 2019 2:30pm-3:30pm EST
♪ announcer: finishing up the pardoning event, if you missed any of our coverage of this annual event, you can see it on our website, c-span.org. hast comes to a close, jerry nadler has released a copy of a letter he sent to president trump, inviting him to attend the judiciary committee's hearing on the impeachment inquiry against the president. the hearing is set for wednesday, december 4 starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern. we will have live coverage on the c-span networks. president trump holds a campaign rally in sunrise, florida. his first rally since changing his residency from new york to florida in october. you can see that live today at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span.
host: guy snodgrass is the author of holding the line. the about your role at pentagon specifically under jim mattis. guest: i was the chief speechwriter for secretary mattis. speechn charge of operations, writing memos and letters to world leaders. i was also his director of communications. that started to elevate that role to the communications and messaging coordination with the white house, state department and international organizations. host: did you know secretary mattis before you got the job? guest: i had met him once very , i had beenically interviewing for my first speechwriter job. for 20 years i was in f-18 fighter pilot.
maybe a year to two years of a break. i was interviewing for my first speechwriter role. here comes secretary mattis. had a chance to meet him very briefly. get the job? you host: i was contacted. forere stationed overseas two and a half years. when we moved back to the united states we had just taken a job in norfolk, virginia. i got a call saying my services were needed in d.c. host: what was the goal in writing the book? sometimes when you look at it through a narrow lens, you went secretary mattis so
you could write a book. you realize that the pathway forward for me in the navy was going to close. take a role that would be incompatible with my family. the commandingbe officer of an entire carrier air wing or you can be the commanding officer of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier. we were asked to do the latter. honored by that selection. unable to accept. and thinkxit uniform about the lessons you were exposed to being able to see how those kinds of significant decisions are made and to be able to share with the american theic the context for importance they have domestically and abroad. be a runnings to
theme in the book. secretary mattis said this. when it comes to his management of the pentagon versus the white house saying there can be no daylight between us. people are getting tired of hearing one thing out of this administration. does that reflect the attitude of general mattis during his time in the pentagon? guest: 100%. he understood that he served at the pleasure of the president. he saw uncoordinated messages. say onee house might thing, the state department, the department of defense. that's one of the reasons to write the book was even just recently with the news that broke over the weekend about secretary esper having a breakdown with secretary spencer and firing him. at all happened because there was a misalignment in the
messaging. host: give us an example of having to be in line with the white house. when we would go to the nato minister in brussels. you have 28 other nations need to make sure that you are sticking to the president's talking points. a very vivid example. he needed to be aligned because everyone is parsing what he says. if there's a sliver of daylight that's not a good thing. the second one that really stands out to me is when you start thinking about the issues that did catch us by surprise. that's the danger is if you find yourself in a circumstance where you are inadvertently not aligned. that could be blown out of proportion in a way that was not intended. snodgrass will
be with us until 10:00. democrats.000 (202) 748-8001 republicans. (202) 748-8002 independents. if you are003 retired military. did secretary mattis agree with president trump over issues in running the pentagon? will let him answer for himself. thrilled. be very secretary mattis understood the importance of being aligned with the president of the united states. he needs to be backing the president's play. that worked well where you had a
multi-month president would say this is my position. you had plenty of lead in time to be able to coordinate that across the agency and enact that decision. you see the breakdown where a decision is made in haste. banlk about the transgender tweet that caught everyone by surprise. that can cause a lot more issues and concern. --t: the president shortly certainly had thoughts about organizing on efforts. did that go against secretary mattis and what he had to do at the pentagon? guest: i don't think it did. the number one thing he had to say is increase burden sharing. tot may donations need increase their gross to mystic
product to so they can take their own side in a fight. that's the message that every single time we went to brussels that secretary mattis would amplify. from peter in rhode island. you're on with amanda guy snodgrass. go ahead. -- commander guy snodgrass. go ahead. jr. officer in vietnam in the marine corps. is the united states always have to be involved somewhere, somehow in these wars? particularly in the middle east where they never end? i will give you the example of iraq. saddam hussein was an sop. there is no doubt about it. he stabilized the region there. now that he's gone, iraq is a complete powder keg and we
created that vacuum. guest: thanks for your question. you have to break it down into different zones. that's a vigorous debate right now within military circles. this concept of forever wars. the united states might become embroiled in conflicts in the middle east and find it incredibly difficult to pull out because our absence in the region might cause increased instability. that's one part of the equation. the other part is just the incredible return that america around military forces the world and overseas. it is something we have long enjoyed in the indo pacific. i myself served two tours of duty in japan and on board an
aircraft carrier that patrolled the indo pacific. return ist in magnified and amplified for our own security here. domestically it helps prevent terrorism. security and stability around the world. host: we will hear from valerie. guest: i'm so glad you are on this morning. i saw you on cnn this morning. you to speak to the fact that he pardoned -- i saw the documentary stephen seidenberg did. it's very fair. i'm not talking about whether he's guilty or not. the fact that he pardoned him. he was guilty of murder. i would also like to mention
something about the eu. around.not law -- the europeans do not trust us anymore and they have said this in the eu. thanks. have a good day. love c-span. host: i'm going to dial in on the concern about trust of america. that is something that has been amplified over the last two to three years. we wereback to what talking about at the top of the hour. we become very accustomed here in the united states, it's a very vigorous political debate going on right now. when you put yourself in the perspective of a nato ally or someone from south korea or japan this is not the way that their domestic politics normally play out so it appears to be more alarming to them.
certainly from my tours of duty in japan and my time in the middle east and europe that is a concern. it's not just can we trust america to be there for us. it also becomes a question of what does this mean for other nations in the region. america has long been the defender for democracy around the world. we have been there for our allies and partners and now it has the appearance that america is walking away from that and with that really means is that other nations like china and russia are seeking to take advantage of that perceived american weakness. host: you right this is a book about allies. receptive they seemed to the reassuring message. trump might be sowing uncertainty due to rapid changes in policy and spur of the moment but those were largely to appeal to his base.
matus and tillerson are working in concert to keep this thing on track. expand on that. could use the esperanza spencer from over the weekend. strong statements about eddie gallagher and others who have been accused of crimes to pardon them or to intercede directly to re-elevate eddie gallagher to the rank of chief petty officer and ensuring he can keep his trident pin during retirement. that's a microcosm of what i expressed in the book. communicating to voters and americans who support him. that gets conflated sometimes. it's very difficult to tell and
that's where that prior coordination becomes incredibly important. if the state department receives a heads up that this is largely for political consumption that's one thing. if it was to be acted on that needs to be corneille did as well. host: how frustrated did secretary mattis get? guest: one of the things i love the most about working for him is that he is a consummate professional. he is someone who does not believe -- the saying i have always used is the emotion is enemy of good judgment. kate -- came out it was, let's do the best we possibly can. from sylvester in baltimore, maryland. democrat line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i just heard basically monitoring the impeachment
hearing and i hear a lot of people saying that obama did not give lethal weapons to ukraine. -- point out something to the effect that the ukrainian for suchnot prepared advanced weapons. could you elaborate on what you found out? now i have a clear understanding of why obama did not send those lethal weapons. guest: during the time when president obama was considering whether or not to provide defensive lethal aid, i was in japan. during my time with secretary mattis in the fall of 2017 we traveled to kiev. that was something that was
brought up continually by .mbassador volker ukraine is on the front lines in a hot war with russia. there is the region where the active ongoing conflict exists. they've had 14,000 ukrainians killed in the years they have been fighting against the russians. when you think about the importance of that defensive lethal aid that was something that certainly president trump did feel incredibly was important to get to the ukrainians and that is something that did occur under secretary mattis. host: jeff from indiana. independent line. caller: you have touched on a couple points i want to bring up. my son is a seal and i am from a part of indiana where eddie gallagher is from and it is covered somewhat on the local
news. i don't think he was ever a very well-liked person on the teams. pardon reallyial has not that much to do with eddie. it is just a sort of convenient prop for the president because immediately i'm seeing reporting that the president expects to see him out on the campaign at the convention so basically it's what the president is getting out of this because actually he's hurting the special operations community by going in and making these willy-nilly decisions just for his purpose and i'm sorry to see this thing come down this way. i wish eddie gallagher could just fade off into the sunset but i think trump being who he is will not let that happen and that's my comment. it's basically all for the president as usual. thank you. guest: one thing that i would noteworthyote, it is
to those men and women who wear the cloth of our nation that you have an active duty member of the naval services who appealed directly to the president of the united states for clemency. noteworthy itself is . you are circumventing the military code of justice. professional organization, for the military it's all about discipline and that is something that the military normally can self regulate and take care of itself internally and hold itself to a very high standard. anytime you have a senior leader who selectively picks cases you start raising the issue of if you can catch a senior leader's maybe you have a different outcome. so that's the concern moving
forward. impressionsere your of the firing of richard spencer? sure what still not went on behind closed doors. spencer whoretary has said in his letter that it appears more like he resigned out of principal so i think it's going to be a while before we know exactly what happens. the danger of operating in an ad hoc environment where you are in serving america's interest abroad and you don't make sure decisions have been vetted wrote the system these kind of breakdowns occur. host: how would you characterize the president's level of interest when it comes to describing him and telling them about issues important to defense? guest: i recount the meetings he had with president trump when he
came over to the pentagon. the first was on july 20 of 2017 and it was to walk him through the importance of our global array of forces. anretary tillerson uses opportunity to talk about the disposition of the embassies in conflicts around the world and there was not much interest. he was more into the bumper sticker approach and i think both matus and gary cohen wanted to give him the in depth and he was not too keen to hear it. men: you write that both matus and tillerson were respondent. remainder of the meeting president trump veered from topic to topic like a squirrel caught in traffic. guest: i bring out the most important lesson learned especially for someone like myself who was in charge of the message and that is the next time president trump came over it was all pictures, no words.
show him photos. engages interest. capture his excitement about the topic at hand. don't try to give him a lecture. we learned the president didn't respond well to people who were going to lecture him. host: did that frustrate the secretary? guest: when you are an expert in your field and a senior leader does not have the depth of knowledge you would like to believe they are going to give credence to what you're saying and they are going to show an interest in getting into the nuts and bolts. host: the book is called holding the line by commander guy snodgrass. , retiredn-salem military. caller: hello. i served in japan. in the navy.
i loved it there. i used to be a democrat but i because of howan i believe the democrats just use. i am a black american in the way and they do nothing for that community and president trump has in my opinion been good for the community. was i was calling about what do you think about how some arele in the military now testifying and they seem like they have opinions. but when i was in the military, we were supposed to be neutral in our thoughts. we had no opinion. we just served the commander-in-chief. and there was a chain of command.
i just looked at it as betrayal for anyone to set up and testify against the commander-in-chief when we should be neutral and we should respect the chain of command. guest: that's actually how i both start the book and close out the book is the importance of the men and women who serve in the military to retain that a political identity. factyou think about the that the united states military has long been one of the most trusted institutions in america for decades and i believe a large part of that is it is widely seen as being apolitical. sure theto make elected leaders or the appointed leaders running the military have the best information to make the best decisions. that's where you're starting to see some of this breakdown. fbi, the cia and other apolitical institutions
have had their loyalty called into question and now you're seeing the military whether it is sending troops to the border where the military is being increasingly drawn into this highly politicized environment. that's dangerous because you want the military to be widely praised for its apolitical role to stay above the fry. host: how often did secretary mattis and the president meet? guest: it varied over time. secretary mattis would go over numerous times for a week in the beginning of the administration. he would be routinely called upon to give his advice. that started to taper off as the president became more confident in his own abilities and understanding of the military. mattis had a lot of issues at play especially at the beginning of the administration you had the creation of the space force.
a lot of these issues that required his attention. it's very easy to lose sight of especially in domestic allah takes. when you have one of these jobs you have not only a national but an international portfolio and you don't catch a break just because it's a saturday or sunday. host: thomas in texas. republican line. caller: you think the kurds still respect us? i digress. we have 40,000 people dying a year on the streets of america with guns that are made for war. do you think they should have it? did you guys do anything about the contractors stealing billions of our taxpayer dollars? thank you. of the ones you brought up was afghanistan and this issue of contractors. i know the u.s. government is
always looking at ways to ensure that the companies that do business with us and operate overseas are doing so in a legal and ethical fashion. one of the biggest concerns we had with providing forces to afghanistan as we also provide monetary forces to afghanistan and you had the issue of ghost soldiers where the armed forces in afghanistan had created basically fake people so they could bring in more money to assist their government. that is something we certainly cracked down on. whether it's the pay or benefits we areo our own forces always making sure that done as ethically as possible. host: diana in gaithersburg. just wanted to say thank you to c-span for having intelligent human beings who actually use their brains and who see something and say .omething
it sounds like the gentleman who wrote this book saw something and said something. it's the people in germany had done the same thing hitler's might not have ever taken over. i'm not saying that trump is hitler's or has that kind of violent tendency, but he is really a scary human being. he's taking where our country but everything he , it's like he brought his reality show to the united states of america house of the people and i thank god for andle who are standing up questioning what he does, what he says. he does not say -- anything he says is not off-the-cuff. i have known people like him.
and i think we need to be aware and not give him any purchase. question everything that man says and thank you for writing your book. i hope more people will stand up to him. for raising you those points. that's one of the best parts of living in a democracy as you can have positions that don't necessarily go in direct alignment. in chances for me to come and speak about these issues is incredibly important. certainly there are millions of men and women who serve not only but asarmed forces public servants. i think their efforts are to be commended. i wanted to be able to share with the american public was like to make decisions at this level of our tomorrow c.
i wanted to do so from an apolitical standpoint so i didn't choose sides. host: the book is called holding the line: inside trump's pentagon with secretary mattis written by guy snodgrass. (202) 748-8000 democrats. (202) 748-8001 republicans. .202) 748-8002 independents there a viewer off twitter asking if you have written another book. there are rumors you are the author of a book a warning by anonymous. this author that had correctly identified that joe klein had written the and he looked into analysis and set the writing from the newly released anonymous book had amazing similarity.
host: the arguments for why alliances strengthen national security. in particular both books stressed that when briefed about international alliances the president derails discussions by griping about how allies are stiffing the u.s. and a sensibly one-sided trade policies. guest: he identified that i use the term lodestar and a lot of my writing. host: do you know who wrote the anonymous book? >> i don't. they had about three or four people they thought it might be. everyone has their guests of who it's going to be.
for me i thought it was very important to write about the material to make it available for the american public and to put my name to it so the readers could assess themselves. we have a bias, do i have an agenda. am i an expert in this field. i think that's important for accountability. host: you are no associated with the book a warning. guest: no. host: talk about secretary mattis's style. guest: a demanding style. he is relentlessly laser focused not only as a marine coming up through the ranks but as a service secretary on what's best for the military and our armed forces and that is his guiding star. but he wants to ensure that the american forces are prepared and ready to go. that was why during his tenure he had three lines of effort.
that meant that we operated at a furious pace and of course the standards were incredibly high. host: you write that mattis believes there are only two types of organizations. where the staff informs the leader of what to go or where to do. matus was clearly in the first camp. a four times a year course where you have newly rising or newly promoted one star generals and admirals. that's a constant refrain that matus would bring up during that discussion. you can walk in and immediately tell whether the person is actually in charge and running the show or the organization. he felt he knew what he wanted to accomplish as defense secretary and he needed the
organization to align itself to him. now everything from restoring the budget for the military, producing the national defense strategy, defeating isis which we defeated the physical caliphate. there were a number of large ticket items he wanted to accomplish. times you refer to the phrase adult in the room. >> largely it was secretary .attis you had secretary of state tillerson. gary conan others. this gets back to what president himself both as the nominee and as president-elect, he wanted to bring the best individuals with a depth of knowledge into his administration. those were the individuals who wanted to help bring the
president the best information so he could make good decisions. missouris is bob from on the independent line. start by would like to giving a shout out to the moose herders and keep up the good work. secondly i want to make a comment about donald trump's very first cabinet meeting. table calling the on each individual and general mattis was the only one that didn't kiss his butt. thank you general mattis. and then i want to get to donald trump pardoning more criminals. -- war criminals. i would say models are at an all-time low when posing with a dead human corpse is acceptable.
president called the patriots are testifying against human scum. partythe republican booing john mccain, one of the greatest americans who ever lived. donald trump tells cops to people up. -- ralph people up. rough people up. guest: you let off with asking about the cabinet meeting and i agree with you. i recount that seen in the book and we were also pleased because it was about
retaining the apolitical nature of the military. mattis of course served at the pleasure of the president. seen the fact that secretary mattis, it wasn't whether or not he was kissing up to the president, it was the fact that he wanted to put the men and women in the department of defense out front of the issue. that was very laudable. you talk about the ukrainian , it's interesting. people have right into his testimony in uniform as a personal choice and it's not. dictateulations will that you go and testify in your uniform. is operating in accordance with the oath he's taken to defend the constitution of the united states. it's not a choice.
we sell reporting what happened about the president's desire to have a parade. could you tell us about that and have secretary mattis responded? guest: that was during the first visit to the pentagon in july 2017. they had to provide the president with an in-depth briefing on the benefits that america reaps from an economic and national security standpoint by having small numbers of diplomats and military members parade around the world. it rapidly became derails as the president wanted to talk more about his visit to bastille day and how impressive that parade does and he wanted to have an accompanying parade in washington, d.c. and that was something everyone in the room was unified against because of the optics and the cost. this is when america's military had had years of reduced funding
because of sequestration. we are now just getting the funding restored. to take millions of dollars out of those coffers and put it was seen as not the right prioritization of funding p host: the president was insistent during the meeting. guest: he was. a lot of times if you have an idea like that, it was sprung on the members of the meeting. it becomes, let's take a look at that and get back to you. int: washington state toledo. caller: good morning. master chief petty officer who served over 30 and sort of had an unusual career. i had no idea what a yeoman was when i joined the navy.
my commander was getting ready to go fleet reserve and he said demand to be a yeomen when you do the interview. so i did. tour and went to work for a vice admiral when i was just 19. she called me into his office one day and he had me read john paul jones's letter. he said you will never be able to be an officer because of your vision but wherever you go in this world you are going to be an ambassador of the united wills and i think you operate under these precepts. flight writers a school in 1957 and in 1957 later started working on logistics capability support plans. a year later i was helping prepare flights.
years at sea in tin cans p i love tin cans. small boys. vietnam. in so i have a little bit more knowledge than most. one thing i was taught, when you join the military you keep your responsibilities. that's a big obligation. you cmj backs up other federal law which violates geneva. we violated geneva in the case of gallagher. we have not handled it internally. it may well be that if the man sets foot on nato territory, he could be taken to the hague and tried there. host: let's let the commander respond. guest: your point that you made when you had your commanding
officer redo the john paul jones letter and the reminder that you are always an ambassador. i agree wholeheartedly. that was a message to the men and women i lead in japan. whether you are on duty, off-duty, on-base or off-base you are always an ambassador and certainly when you wear the uniform of our nation eyes are drawn to you. how you conduct yourself is incredibly important and never more so than when you serve overseas. the way you conduct yourself and the way you treat others is amplified. host: you mentioned the uniform code of military justice. that's the importance of the discussion we are having with cases the president has personally intervened on and the beingf secretary spencer fired by the president. ensuring that you go where the facts lead you. you self regulate.
start intervening belowally into issues far your station, it's a distraction. it means you are not putting your time elsewhere. it also means you are picking and choosing winners and losers and that becomes very dangerous in an organization. is next.sissippi carl on the retired military line. caller: i sent a letter before he left on a dvd about ambassador peace and goodwill missions. i've seen a lot that's taken place now. russian incident, north korea, the middle east and what we are dealing with our nation. from 81 and 82. before reagan made his first year in office. i was standing there looking in north korea.
kim senior. kim died in 1994 but what i'm after the 1946 statement was made, that is what put us in the police of the world. both of america doesn't understand that. that's why we have a large deficit today. host: what would you like the guest to address, sir? caller: the situation with the president and we have to respect general mattis. i did send him it's -- a tape. i sent all of them a copy of it. but i'm going to let them know that we still can have peace but we've got to hold the line like the gentleman was saying. host: thank. guest: you always have to balance the current fight versus the future fight. we have forces around the world and the obligations seem to have
crept up to since the time of ronald reagan and i would agree. stated u.s. policy for a number of years that we need to rebalance our force structure but wethe indo pacific keep getting pulled back to the middle east. to the gets back difference between the current fight which we find ourselves in against terrorism not only in the middle east but around the world but also trying to position the u.s. military for that future fight and that can be high in conflict against nationstates. that's what a lot of our leaders find difficult is how do you balance today and tomorrow. host: you write about a falling out with secretary mattis. what happened? guest: he was disappointed that
i chose not to take the promotion to caption -- captain. i was selected for the pathway to be the commanding officer of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier. incredibly humbled and honored. the way the navy pipeline works if you have decided you can no longer proceed further you are going to be shunted into a side job as a navy captain. going the decision i was to retire and i think secretary mattis didn't appreciate that decision. it changed his perspective of who i was as a leader and public service. it affects a lot of military members. typically you are on the way up and people make investments in you and if you are looking to do --ething this friend different suddenly that investment stop. -- stops.
onward,om that instance did it become difficult? ultimately you left. at one point mattis fired you. guest: that didn't happen. in the book what i recount is it did change the perspective. not only do you have secretary of defense, you have military members recently retired and in actively serving two star general at the time who believed very deeply that i should follow the path they had walked. that's understandable. it's the choices they made to become senior leaders in the navy. i'm honored. i have utmost respect for those who chose that path. when my family and i were not compatible with the pathway to nuclear powered aircraft carriers that changed the perspective and the way i was treated. that also has implications for the pipeline.
as i looked for a better path and by that i mean if i know it's challenging here in the office, secretary mattis in a year and half in office had never had a civilian successfully work for him and actually stay in government service. everyone had either been fired or shunted aside left out of frustration. i thought here is an opportunity to have a win for team mattis. here's an opportunity for me to continue to serve as a public servant. go tod an opportunity to a different job in the department and one of the individuals subsequently blocked that and said lied about it i said, i've had enough. it's time to do something else. host: you left on your own volition. what did secretary mattis think about the book? yes, i don't think he's a fan. -- guest: i don't think he's a fan. he came out with a public statement saying i had
surrendered my honor and demonstrated my true character by choosing to write this book. i was disappointed in that. i have already made statements about the fact that jim mattis knows he cannot define my honor or my character. and that through my actions the way i handle myself. i found that to be fairly hypocritical. he wrote a book. he recounts conversations he had with president obama, president bush and joe biden. host: candace career called you a jr. staffer who took meetings at some notes. response was ic took the defense superior service medal that secretary mattis awarded me and has a long lengthy write up about all of the issues of national and international significance that i actually made decisions on and posted it online.
host: holding the line written by commander guy snodgrass. next up, democrats line. caller: hello. this is the first-time call for me. i watched you guys forever. -- your proper attitude in this world of men. i applaud your attitude in every direction. the obvious fissures from the isssure this administration putting on our international relationships and the pressure those relationships put on us and the other direction. do you see from your new persona as an author any possibilities
that give you the chance for a fiction book from this where thetion military would act and i will throw this word out because mainstream media has used it, a propery coup to put the control on any of these situations that may crop up between now and the next election cycle? guest: the number one thing to address is absolutely not. never in a million years would i ever foresee a military coup. of maintaining the apolitical nature of the military. the men and women who serve stand those front lines in america's defense not only at home but abroad and just like you mentioned at the beginning militaryall, these members serve as investors overseas just like every bit as much is our public servants in the department of state do. foruld never see a need military members to intercede domestically.
host: keith is in florida. caller: good morning and i want to thank you and all the military service members and the sacrifices that them and their family members go through. this country wouldn't be here without you. i have a quick comment before my question. thend it a little about secretary of the navy and president trump. by the reporting, the secretary of the navy wanted to go to show end of it wasthe guaranteeing the president that he wouldn't lose his trident or his rank or anything and was going to be allowed to retire which he wanted to do in the back behind peoples backs. president trump did in the open. i find it a little odd. i would rather have it in the open like president trump did.
could you give the history of the way commissioned officers, the history of why they made it college -- i served 1980 to 1982 and a mobile missile unit and there was already a rift beginning in vietnam with commissioned officers and the rank-and-file. to me it seems with even the military colleges just getting non-apoliticalc, in the military and especially in the pentagon and stuff with social experiments and stuff. is there a bigger program for enlisted men to become officers, not just one officer? there's a lot of pathways
including the state 21 program and otherwise enlisted members can parlay the skill sets they've developed and the experience they've had into not only a degree at a civilian institution but to come back and as an officer in their chosen service. i had several sailors from my command in japan who applied were or were excepted to the u.s. naval academy. they were able to not only go .hrough a premier institution one thing i definitely want to family is the nature of sacrifice. it's very easy when you've written a book. it suddenly becomes very personalized to you. basically agree wholeheartedly with you. when you look at my wife, my children. the sacrifices they've made. us who serve in uniform in many cases get to live our dream. it's easy to do when someone
else has to pay the bill. certainly a shout out for all the families out there who support the men and women in uniform. host: how did you find out that secretary mattis was going to resign and when did you figure instances inare the book that kind of clarify that. opens with him getting into the motorcade as he leaves the white house. as you get further into the book you will see in the summer of 2018 that general john kelly came over to the pentagon. it was a completely off the books meeting. we didn't want anybody to know about it. i only stumbled upon it by happenstance because i went towards his office and stumbled into that meeting. months before he actually announced his resignation he knew he was headed towards the exit and they were just trying to figure out how to coordinate that and make sure it was done
so the department and the administration was taken care of. host: the military times reported the president said he fired secretary mattis because of afghanistan. guest: i watched that real time. i think we have seen a pattern where it's very rare to leave this administration with your honor and your dignity intact. there's no elements of if you've left you have signaled you don't want to work with president trump and therefore he needs to come after you in a public fashion. momentugh because in the it may feel good. when you think about the larger ourrcussions, the theme of discussion is the fact that when we are not well coordinated it as a deterrent for others to want to join your administration and you start to siphon off a lot of talent that may have been brought in. host: anthony from newport, tennessee. independent line. caller: good morning. i just have a couple questions. 65 and 66.etnam in
when trump took over, he told everybody that he is smarter than the generals. you are a commander so i came up walking to you telling you how to fly your plane. i never heard a president turnaround and have his people. never heard that. i never heard a president turnaround and say one thing one day, another thing another day. lie about it the third day. how can a person in the military follow a man like that but never touched a gun in his life? guest: i would tell you that whether an elected official has or has not served in uniform really has no bearing. they are elected by the american public to serve the role they have been elected to and those of us who have worn the cloth of our nation, that's again.
civilian control of the military. one thing i will touch on is the element of this chaotic nature within the administration. i have recounted in the past president trump pulling his pistol out of the holster and shooting himself in his own foot. you can coordinate these actions. you can let your cabinet secretaries, international leaders know where you are ultimately going to wind up. but if you reverse your decisions on a daily basis, if you haven't coordinated a rollout, if you haven't actually let your leaders know, you catch them flat-footed and the greater optic here at home and internationally is that it's an administration that keeps tripping over its own feet. that's unfortunate because it actually diminishes the president's ability to accomplish his own agenda. mattis, what is the one valuable thing you have learned from him walking away from it? guest: from secretary mattis?
no matter whatwha comes your way, you stay focused. there is a bit of a surprise. when i walked out of the pentagon out of the department of defense and suddenly a year later i have a book about my experience, it has disappearance that it was planned from the beginning. no, not at all. you are always thinking ahead. you are always taking about if i am where i am now, how do i make the most positive impact? what can you offer? the way i wrapped the book up is with lessons learned. the most important aspect of any flight was not the briefing but what occurred afterwards. this book serves as my debrief to what i witnessed. host: the book is called "holding the line: inside trump's pentagon with secretary mattis," written by guy snodgr trump holds a
rally in florida. c-span see that live on at 7:00. and look at china's global influence. discussion is hosted by the hudson institute. it is about 90 minutes. >> good >> good afternoon, everyone. i'm a visitor here. i'm the vice president of the east-west center and senior advisor to the center for naval analysis. i'm delighted to have been asked to moderate this panel with this distinguished group of experts on the indo pacific region. a real mover and shaker in his energy and