tv Charlie Rose PBS August 11, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
. >> rose: welcome to the program, tonight a kfertionz with jake sullivan. ayoung man from minnesota who went to yale, yale law schoolk became a rode scholar, a supreme court clerk and then served three important american politicians, secretary of state hillary clinton, vice president joe biden, and president obama. we talk about those experiences and politics today. >> i wanted the opportunity to serve again. and the fact that having hillary clinton as president and not donald trump i thought would mack a profound dimps to the country and the world. this was on a scale unlike anything i have experienced before. and it's something that you got to look at, learn from, see what you could have done better, what to draw from it but not just make it about yourself. i shouldn't just make this about myself. in is also about how to think about the future of the united states, both our policy and our
politics. >> and our sense of how we relate to one another. >> rose: jake sullivan for the hour when we continue. funding for charlie rose is provided by the following kl: >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. ng sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. jake sullivan is here, he served as deputy chief of staff to secretary of state hillary clinton and as national security advise tore vice president joe biden who is also a senior policy advisor on clinton's 2016
presidential campaign. he has been one of her closest aides for over a decade. many believe he would have been national security advisor had clinton won the 2016 presidential election. is he now a visiting professor at yale law school an senior advisor to the u.s. government on the iran nuclear negotiations. i'm pleased to have him here at this table for the first time, welcome. >> thanks for having me. >> rose: to know a little about your life is to see a really remarkable series of progressions. what is the key to that success? >> i think the single biggest thing is saying yes to opportunities when they come along. i always thought that i would head back home to minnesota and build a life and career there. >> rose: in law and politics. >> in the law and politics am when i finished with justice breyer in 2005 i moved home thinking that is where i would be. i joined a law firm, i gotten tbaijed in the community. and amy kobasher asked me to come out to d.c. to get her ep and running in her first year as a senator. and then the next teunlt came along to work for hillary
clinton and prepare her for the debates in the 2008 presidential primary. and then the next opportunity came along. and each time i said i'm going back home to minnesota an each time i found a chance to serve. and the result has been an extraordinary opportunity for me to learn and to try to do a few good things along the way. >> with that modesty tell me what it is you brought to the table? >> actually it's something that both judge kalabrrks razi and justice breyer taught me. which is that no matter how right right you think you are, no matter what your argument is it will have weaknesses and blind spots am no matter how long wrong you think the other guy is they will have good importants to make am you have to acknowledge both of those things am i learned that early on and tried to find and study where the weaknesses and blind spots were on our side and what the good arguments on the other side were. if you take the iran nuclear negotiations as an example i spent a lot of time with critics of the deal as we were doing those negotiations to understand
what their concerns were, and communicate them to our team and say on a few of these points they're not wrong and we have to find a way, for example to close this hole or stop the iranians from doing that. so in addition to you know, working hard and really trying to study the issues, i think that is a skill set that is really important in washington. and frankly is now getting to be in short supply. >> meaning making sure you hear the other side. >> you hear the other side and but even more than hearing the other side, that you study your own position more than i think most people do. and you're willing to change your mind. you're willing to say you know what, i thought that was the right way to go about it. it turns out actually we should do it a little bit differently. >> i don't know if this is relevant but there is an interesting glimpse in the book shattered about the campaign in which secretary clinton was being bombarded by you an and others with questions that she may face and basically said here, you try this. >> right. >> and it was you, she said you try this, you'll see how easy this is. >> won't you. >> yeah, so we were doing debate prep.
it was the day after bernie had won the michigan primary. it was a hard day. we're down in miami in advance of another primary debate before a set of really important primaries. and i was chieding secretary clinton for her answer. >> rose: it wasn't very good you said to her. >> and she said all right, let's do it this way. why don't you be me and then i will be bernie. and we'll see how you do. she said it, the book makes it sound like it was incredibly rancorous. it wasn't. i think she was basically trying to put me in a position as an advisor of what it is like to go lieu this. i have to tell you, it was not easy. >> rose: was it informative. >> it was very informative. i wish hi done it way back in 2008 because hi gone through debate prep for her, for president obama in the 2008 campaign and for her. and it was late in the game that i understood from the perspective from the person you are preparing what it is like to go through that. so that is exactly the kind of thing that i feel folks in my position should be more of. >> >> rose: did i mistake in 2008
you were working for her raher than for him. >> i worked for her in the primary and in the general election. >> rose: when he was the candidate. >> i was part of the debate preparation team that prepared him for the general election debates against john mccain. >> rose: we will hear some of this when she writes her book about what happened. you were there. you saw what was going on. what happened? >> well, there is a reason that she wrote a book on this am because it takes an entire book, i think, to fully explain it. the complexity and interconnectedness of a whole bunch of different strands all coming together. on one day in november to produce a defeatment and i think if it had been almost any other day she probably would have won the election. >> rose: why do you believe that? >> well, in part because of what happened in those closing days of the campaign. jim comey came out on october 28th, just ten days before the election. >> rose: and you guys had momentum at that time. >> right, exactly. and then he came out again just two days before the election, with the letter saying actually, i'm now once again exonerating
secretary clinton and uma abid even, so this was an election with ebbs and flows that happened rapidly and repeatedly. if you look at any chart of the gap between trump and clinton, it would get wider and narrower and wider and narrower week by week, month by month. and it was only at very certain points for a faw days at a time that trump closed the gap and got even with her. this was one of those days. but it was a week later or earlier i think the odds that she won would not have been small. this goes to show you how con tinning ent this could be. but that's not to excuse. >> rose: it also says something about the momentum of campaigns. people say if hubert humphrey had two more weeks he might have won the election. >> and of course we don't know. i can't say this with any degree of setter teud. but-- certitude. but i basically divide the challenges we face too three categories. the first category is the exogenous variable. the exact of-- fact of an fbi
investigation along with comey's late intervention. and the fact of a sophisticated, systemic kremlin warfare campaign, both had an impajt. >> rose: and you believe at the hand of president putin. >> it is not that i believe at the hand of president putin. our intelligence community has condition clueded this was directed from president putin, the highest levels of the rose: was it because heryerest didn't like secretary clinton or because he found something attractive about donald trump. >> i think it was all three things that i just said. he wanted to disrupt american democracy no matter who the candidates were. >> rose: he felt like we tried to disrupt his campaign. >> partly tit for tat. >> rose: and the ukraines. >> partly tit for tat, it was payback for what he felt was american intervention in russia and ukraine, both of which i think are just dead wrong. but it was partly also that he is trying to drive a model, an
awe-- authoritarian model and discredit democracy. he is trying to do it across europe and in the united states. he wants to turn to his people and say keep me in power because the alternative are these broken down systems with all this chaos, whether it's germany or france, the united states. so sewing chaos and democracies is part of putin's number one mission of maintaining power for himself and russia. so that was part of it. in addition, he had personal beef with hillary clinton, going back years. i think part of that was about her gender and part of it was about the fact that she actually took tough stances against putin's behavior in eastern europe and against his own people. and then i think he genuinely thought it was a birthday present for him that he had a candidate like donald trump who not only adopted kremlin-favored positions on almost every issue, but also adopted the language and lodgek of the kremlin. talking about how you know, well, we can't say anything about what is happening in russia right now because we've got killers too, that is exactly the kind of thing putin would
say. >> rose: he said that in an interview within right. do. >> rose: do you also believe that president obama could have made a difference, had he been stronger in his own declarations about russian hacking? >> i think that president obama was an in an impossible position on this issue. the commander in chief trying defend american democracy but also the standard bearer of the democratic party in the middle of an election with a democrat against a republican. and i think he wanted very badly to avoid any appearance that he was putting his thumb on the scale in this election. and that's to his credit. i understand why he decided not to. but he had come out-- . >> rose: do you think secretary clinton understand why. >> i think she dusker actually. this is something she will reflect on in her book. >> rose: sondes like you have read her book. >> well, i have talked to her about and seen some drafts. i condition say i have seen the final products start to finish. i will pick it up off the shelf like i would encourage everyone else to. but i think putting that aside,
the fact that he chose not to do so for understandable reasons, had he, had he decided to both publicly and privately make a much bigger deal out of this, i think it may have had more of a deterrent impact on putin. but these are issues that you can only look at. >> rose: you have said to me this morning that you have agonized, you lost sleep, this defeat, you said you have now, you now know the humility of defeat. is this the first time you have been defeated in your life in a sense of wanting something badly and not getting it? >> i suppose you could say it's the first time on any scale that matters. i mean i've done everything from lose cross country races to do badly on tests to, you know, in the past not getting exactly the job i wanted at different points. that's happened in my life. but this is the first time where something was riding on it beyond just kind of what i wanted. >> rose: and i assume you could swear what i thought was in the best interest of the country, and made a difference
and not withstanding what influence i might have had among the people trying to shape the world. >> right, and actually the merger between my own desire to win, because i have a competitive streak and i wanted the opportunity to serve again and the fact that us, that having hillary clinton as president and not donald trump i thought would have made a profound difference to the country and the world. this was on a scale unlike anything i, of course, have experienced before. >> and it is something that you got to look at, learn from, see what you could have done better. what to draw from it. but not just make it about yourself. i shouldn't just make this about myself. this is also about how to think about the future of the united states. both our policy and our politics. and our sense of how we relate to one another. and i think this core question of who are we as a country is one that is very much up in the air. >> rose: did you say the things that you, the campaign and her believed in but show they weren't heard? show because of the way presidential campaigns work, show because of how people see,
or see the person speaking it didn't get through? >> so after the campaign i had a meeting with one of the british politicians who was leading the remain campaign for brexit and they lost. so here i was working on the campaign, losing to trump, and this is the guy who lost to brexit. he said to me, you know, in both cases the common denominator was we were trying to provide answers. and what people really wanted was anger, a sense that you got it, that the system was broken. they didn't want dry policy. >> rose: i didn't think that was an either/or proposition. >> it is not necessarily. >> rose: you have to say, i'm not a politician. you have to say to people that you want to support you, you know, i hear you. and i hear your quote the old slogan, i feel your pain. >> you do. but the question is, how do you balance the diagnosis part of your message and the prescription part of your message and both bernie and trump were very heavy on the diagnosis and that is really what people wanted. hillary clinton by constitution, by who she is deep down
fundamentally is much more of a prescription person than a diagnosis person. she is going to want to look at you and say i can ep solve your problem through the following four steps. and so the answer-- . >> rose: why would you put her husband? >> i would say that is he, has more of the diagnosis bit in him going back to his days as a politician, pressing the flesh in arkansas. back in the '70sment and the i feel your pain piece of bill clinton is something that is famous about his mern at. so if you look at what hillary was arguing for in this race, the types of policies that she was pressing, and you look at now what the democratic party has embraced as their message going forward, they're very similar. in fact, hillary was on the leading edge of many issues that are now coming to the fore. for example she talked a lot about growing monopoly power, of corporations which is becoming a progressive watchword. >> rose: which was one of the key stones of bernie sanders
campaign. >> well, but one of the things that hillary did that bernie really didn't talk that much about is this issue of antitrust and competition and market con sen taition. -- concentration. breaking up the banks, he talked about singer payor health care. but the idea that the corporate sector in the united states is getting consolidated and concentrated across-the-board and as a result, people are extracting monopoly rents, this was an idea, an argument that has had a long history in the democratic party going back to the populist days. that hillary was putting forward that now is at the center of what the democrats are arguing. that is just one among many examples where i think she was on the right track but our capacity as a campaign to connect that to the lived experience of people across the country, was not frankly-- . >> rose: how much of that is a question of the candidate and how much of it is the question of the campaign? >> you know, it's really hard to say, when you are the campaign and not the candidate. i have a tendency to try to take responsibility under my and our
shoulders. hillary was out there busting her tail every day doing everything that she could. so i like to believe that there was more we could have done to set her up for success. >> rose: and how do you handle defeat yourself. how do you deal with something that is so monumental and it would have shaped at least if you had won probably the next eight years of your life. >> i think number one you've got to look at what the real ramifications of this are. the affect on me and my life day to day compared to the affect on the lives of immigrant families or people who are on the verge of losing health care, or you know, 11 million people in seoul right now who are scared when they go to sleep at night. i don't even, it's hard for me to even ask that question. all can i try to do is think, now that this has happened, what can i learn looking backyards but more importantly in the landscape we face today, both dommestically and internationally, what can i do to try and help a little. to be krukive. and in doing that, to recognize that whatever you think of donald trump, 62 million
americans voted for this guy. 62-- those people they had an argument to make about how government wasn't looking out for them and we owe them answers as well am i'm looking to try to find what those answers are. >> rose: you said this and i tend to agree. the biggest challenge on the campaign as a policy guy, is the deficit of pushing you through the cable and social media chatter to try to engage with the american people, in a serious conversation about real issues that impact their lives and the future of this country. i think candidates and their staff are equally responsible for that. i mean because those of us in the media, especially at this table, wanted nothing more, as you know, during the campaign i engaged her in an hour kferlings and would have done more. >> right. >> rose: and people don't, because of the risk of campaigns be don't want to do that that much. >> i would say that if hillary cln ton 4 been given the opportunity on a nightly basis, one hour, done all trump gets one hour, she gets every night and they just make policy presentations, an that's how the
campaign was run, she would have taken that on inn a heartbeat. >> rose: policy presentations, i think is better is engaged conversation. >> fine. >> rose: presentation suggests teaching. >> a ruthless, brutal interview on name your subject. >> rose: right. >> what are you going to do about american military engagement. >> rose: one night trump, within night hillary. >> if that was the setup in the campaign, not only would hillary have welcomed that, she would have shined doing it. i will give you one piece of evidence of that, all three of the debates which were largely substantive, did cover the issues and all three of which she came through with flying colors. so i don't think it is a fair, of all the criticisms to make against hillary's campaign, the idea that she wasn't prepared and the campaign wasn't prepared to really go at the issues, i don't think is right. i mean the thing that she has-- . >> rose: you will gran me that how many one hour conversations did she do during the conversation? >> well, i could add up for you the number of interviews that she set aside thinking they would be on policy subjects and the first 30 minutes of them
were on emails. right down to the-- . >> rose: would you not expect somebody not to engage that question, would you not? >> i think there becomes a real issue of balance here. and a good example of that is the national security forum that took place on the deck of the intrepid here in new york where matt lauer had 30 minutes with hillary cln ton and 30 minutes with donald trump on the big national security issue of the day, countering isis, north korea, russia, et cetera, and spent the bulk of the time on on emails am you have to ask whether or not or not-- the point is hillary would constantly walk into interviews with the hope that it would get around to her policy positions, indeed i would argue that one of the thickets that makes it hard for her to be a candidate is that she has what we call a responsibility gene. she feels responsible not for giving just the best answer on the campaign trail but an answer that she believes she could deliver gov rning. that makes for longer position papers, it doesn't make for good sound bites. it doesn't make for a simple message but it would have made for a heck of a good agenda por
working families in the u.s. >> rose: what will happen to the democratic party. >> i think the democratic party is going to be okay. there is clearly a strong internal he can bait right now about the substantive direction of the party. but as you saw from what chuck schumer and nancy pelosi put out a couple of weeks ago, there are some core pillars to a policy agenda that span the party from-- . >> rose: no, go ahead. >> sorry, from bernie sanders across. and i think that that will sustain us through the 2018 and 2020 cycle. >> rose: but aren't those issues the same issues that were talked about a little bit in at least in 2008, between candidate obama and candidate clinton, and also in 2016? between candidate clinton and candidate sanders? >> it is the. >> rose: it is the plight of the middle class, that has been a central issue. a political issue. and what we don't know is how different kinds ofow you stack
prescriptions for back to policy. >> yeah, there is no doubt that the number one problem capital t capital p, the problem is how do you reverse the hollowing out of the middle class. >> rose: that did not start yet. >> that has been going on for 20 years. >> rose: as an adviser, why haven't we been able to deal with that? >> if you looked at the number of-- you mean in-- . >> rose: the hollowing out of the middle class. >> i think that our choices, our policy choices have had a lot to do with it. a lot of people like to blame globalization of automation for what happened but fundamentally it has been about the fact that we have had a congress, in particular, but also at various points in time in the 80s and 2,000, presidents who pursued aggressively pursued policies that hollowed out unions with bargaining power. that refused to raise wages to a living wage. that took away basic workplace protections and cut taxes in ways that starved the government of the revenue needed to provide a social safety net. so i think our choices more than
anything have contributed to this. and we have it in our power to make the forces of globalization and automation work for us rather than against us. i do think a prescription has changed. i think a platform in 2016. >> rose: have they been articulated in the onrush of populism and anti-globalism and sort of contempt for globalists. >> this gets back to the diagnosis prescription problem. it's much easier to diagnose, here are all the problems, let's admire them than to step forward and say let's talk seriously about the solutions including solutions that are hard for people to hear. like the fact that coal jobs aren't coming back am but i do think as we go forward in to 2020, this issue is crystallizing, that our economy is changing rapidly. that there are huge storm clouds on the horizon about the-- how automation is going to disrupt jobs even more rapidly than before. that is focusing the mind. i, you know, have come through a very difficult last campaign but
i actually retain some optimism going into the next campaign, that in fact the american people are now ready to hear from people, okay, but how are we going to do this? you know, the top line-- . >> rose: in other words they heard somebody listening in 2016, donald trump. >> now they want to hear-- . >> rose: now that you have listened, what have you done. >> they her both bernie sanders. >> rose: what does somebody else do, we hold you to the same standard. >> they heard bernie sanders and donald trump do for them what they felt that they hadn't gotten in several years which was a cry from the gut that this is not working. now they want to know what will work. i do believe that. and i think that there is a number of intriguing voices in our party that are putting forward ideas around the future of corporate responsibility, around how we build a new social safety net in a world in which people don't stay in the same job for very long. around how you actually train and educate people for the jobs of the future. these are ideas that have not gotten a full airing and are not just retreads of the 2 thousand
or 1900. >> you would expect that, you think on technology and time, and different circumstances, clearly, there are new problems and ought to be new solutions. >> rose: here is what is interesting to me. i interviewed president obama in germany. and he said, i said to him the question, look, we have the best economy, we have the best technology, we have the best universities. we ought to be able to own the 21s century. what could stop us? and he said our politics. >> yeah. >> rose: and that's one thing that he came to washington, he was already in washington but he came as president, believing he could do. believing that he do bring bipartisanship. bob gates said to me, the most difficult problem for america is not in any foreign land, the most difficult problem is 3 square miles between virginia and maryland. >> yeah. >> rose: lots of people agree that washington is the problem.
gridlock that happened in terms, between on the one hand john boehner and the other hand barack obama. how do we deal with that? >> well, first of all, what we're up against is really severe. you've got people living in alternative universes in terms of the media. >> rose: they watch what says what they believe. >> and they don't even see the same country. they don't see the same thing happening. if all you did was watch fox news, you think one thing frk you watch msnb krks you think another. you have the jerrymandering problem and voter suppression problems, huge problems for our democracy and of course campaign finance. but i will give you an optimistic take on this, which is i don't see washington dramically changing overnight given that combination of forces against it but the policy innovation that has real world impact that we are seeing at the state and local level is dramatic. donald trump just pulled out of the paris climate agreement. we are likely to hit our paris climate goals anyway because even republican governors in a lot of states are recognizing
the clean energy-- . >> rose: corporate america. >> and corporate america has fully bought into it and the investment decisions they're making are going to drive policy to a greater extent, maybe, than what scott pruitt does at the epa. so i believe that the nature of problems in the 21s century requires network solutions, and the united states is best situated to lead in that because we can most take advantage of networks from, as you say, our universities, our private sector, our states and locality. and then build global coalitions to be able to take them on. that being said, if donald trump actually implements the kinds of things that he talks about, and he hasn't done as much of it as maybe we would have feared so far,. >> rose: you mean like replace og bamacare, replacing. >> replacing obamacare, getting us into the kind of trade war that could crash the global economy, deciding that we are going to retreat entirely from global problem solving, doing more things like paris, as long as he can be constrained from that very destructive a againa
the complete deconstruction of the administrative state, the kind of things you have heard from his advisors, as long as he can be condition strained from fully carrying out his agenda, the united states has all the capacity to succeed and win. >> rose: constrained primarily by the congress. >> by the congress. >> rose: responding to the people. >> honestly in some cases restrained by reality. by actually having to stair in the face the consequences of certain decisions and deciding not to pursue them. now i don't know if that is actually going to him or his team back but it seems to me that that at least is going to present one factor as they go forward. >> rose: you have spent as i said a very rich life in terms of access to people, ideas, education. a lot of it seemed to trend toward foreign policy. let me turn to foreign policy and the most pressing issues today. we'll talk about other issues. north korea, we had today secretary mattis wading in after the president had waited in. and the north koreans waded in about guam. where do you think we are and
what are the risks of where we are. >> here is the dilemma that this president and secretary mattis and others are confronting. is there a third alternative other than war on the korean peninsula or acquiescing and north korea having a nuclear tipped icbm. rose: and becoming anothert. country that has nuclear weapons. >> nuclear weapons that can reach the united states and hold us at risk. those are two very unpalatable options. so is there a third possibility. and they go into work every morning and think how do we find it. and what they have concluded in my view is that the answer lies in a combination of pressure and getting the chinese to basically shape north korean behavior so that they stop their march forward. >> rose: there is no question in your mind that the chinese could change north korea's nuclear path in a moment, by simply cutting av, not buying their products and i know you believe, perhaps may paying them off. >> i do not believe that the chinese could get north korea to
completely give up their nuclear program. because i believe the kim jung-un sees his nuclear weapons as existential to his regime so he would no more give them up than give up power. but i believe the chinese could get the north koreans to stop moving forward, meaning no more tests, no more advancement of capability and therefore not reaching the point where they can actually credibly hold the united states-- . >> rose: leaving them where swrap an may be or other countries who are on the brink of having it if they wanted. >> they are beyond that because they have actually got the weapons. now we need to work over time to roll that back. but in the near term, our immediate goal should be a halt on furtherrest iting, both missile testing and nuclear testing because if we halted it now we would be in a position where we would then have time to be able to deal with the broader north korea nuclear program and i think that china has the capacity to do that. and the question is, is all of this tough talk from the
administration a means of trying to get the chinese's attention so that they feel a greater incentive to do that. or is it actually a precursor to war. >> rose: you are speaking the same language, talking about fire and fury and all the things. >> this is the amazing thing. if you read donald trump's face without his name on it and read a statement from kim jung-un without his name on it, you really wouldn't be able to tell the difference. >> rose: no, exactly. >> that is a problem. we are the world's superpower. north korea is the her mit kingdom. when you know mark twain used to say when you argue with a fool you have to be careful because people won't be able to tell the difference. the same thing goes for trading this kind of bomb bass. that is why i think having toughly worded statements like when general mattis put out today, secretary mattis is fine. but donald trump popping off at the mouth about fire and fury is not helpful in anyway. and it's not tough. it's inconsistent, it's lashing out. >> rose: is there a pont it will get their attention like
normal language like strategic patients will not? >> i think that the statement you saw from secretary mattis today where he described the sheer capability of the united states had to deal with north korea, that will get the chinese attention as much as what donald trump says. >> rose: interesting you said the chinese, it will get the chinese attention rather than the north koreans. >> more so, yes. >> rose: like it was directed to the chinese rather than the north koreans? >> no, i think it was directed to both. i think that secretary mattis and the administration are is genuinely concerned about the north koreans carrying out a provocation in the near term. and he want to warn them. i do think as a strategic matter, the main audience is china. because they would like the chinese to understand th you start hurling around threats and insults, that actually could provoke the north koreans, that is dangerous because they don't
know how to interrupt that, so for my perspective better. >> rose: you might be provoked to do something like launching an attack of some kind. >> potentially against south korea, for example, that then puts us all off to the races. >> right. >> when you look at the chinese today, the obama administration had a policy which was called, it will shift the attention, pifer ottawas the word used, shift the attention to china, latin america, asia, latin america, did that ever get, did that ever happen? >> other than in rhetoric. >> in important ways it did happen. i will give you a couple examples. there is a group of leaders in the asia-pacific called the east asia summit. >> right. >> an before president obama came into office, the united states was not a part of that. this is the premier political and security forum in asia and the united states didn't have a seat at the table. the chinese were there the indians were there, the japanese
were there, all of the southeast asian countries were there, even the australians, america wasn't there. president obama, secretary clinton ended up putting us there. so we are now at the center of the major institutions in asia, that is one. two, we have in fact engaged in a force shift in terms of the amount of military posture that we built up in asia as compared to the rest stled world. >> rose: to say what to china. >> well, to say not just to china but the entire region that the united states is going to enforce a ruled-base order. we will make sure there is freedom of navigation in the south china sea and people hear about the south china sea and think that's a far away place. a third of the world's merchant tonnage goes through the south china sea, if china decided to shut that down that would have traumatic consequences for the united states. part of the american naval presence says we will make sure the sea lanes are open, we will make sure that our allies are strong and make sure that no country can dominate other countries and be adverse to our interests in doing so. >> rose: do you think the
chinese won. >> i think ultimately the chinese would like to be the preeminent power in the asia-pacific. and their notion of what that looks like is quite different from the american notion. the united states for all of our faults. >> rose: they also can argue they were the preeminent power at some point in the long history of china. >> yes. but of course with technology forced projection, economic interdependence, what that means together compared to centuries ago is quite dramically different. and what chinese dominance in asia looks like compared with american leadership in asia is quite stark. you know, the united states has had flaws and failures in its foreign policy. but one con staint through line has been this positive sum notion that we believe that we can advance our national interests and also help other countries advance theirs as well. the chinese-- . >> rose: not a zero sum game, exactly, positive sum. the chinese use this phrase win-win but for china win-win really means we both win if you kind of get out of our way. and so i think that the region
would be worse off without a strong, endiseuring resident u.s. president in asia. >> rose: do you believe china wants to be the dominant power in the world, and believes that had has sufficient economic power that it should have a bigger voice than it does? >> i definitely think that and i think they're right about that. i think the chien-- chinese deserve a seat at the table. >> rose: as an economic power. >> and a larger voice in the decisions, for example, in the management of the international monetary fund. and the fact that they haven't gotten that yet-- . >> rose: shouldn't we be helping them get that? >> in fact it was a policy of the obama add plrgs to help them get it and the congress stood in the way. i absolutely believe that it should. that being said, with that extra step of china having more of a voice at the table, having more capacity to shape decisions, and be a player comes responsibility. the chinese for a long time in the global economy have played what i call a sleblgive stakeholder role. they've been something of a free rider. they followed the rules they
like. they don't follow the rules they don't like. along with having a greater voice and vote which they deserve they should also be taking on more responsible to do their part to uphold the basic rules of the international economy. >> rose: they have been then tolds a you remember that they have to decide whether they want to be stay stakeholder and ak as a stakeholder in the conduct of their affairs. >> right. >> when you look at rusha today, what do you think mutin's ambition is in. >> well, as i was saying earlier in the context of the campaign, in talking about why he interveed in the united states, i think putin's number one ambition is to stay in power. and then his second ambition. >> is he at risk of losing power? >> so putin for a long time had a bairveg bargain for his people which was i will rule like an authoritarian and enrich all of my clepto krattic oligarchic friends but also help you do better economicically. that is no longer happening for the average russian family. >> rose: because they are energy dependence with us because they are energy depend
ent, they vnts modernized their economy in anyway and the oil prices went from a high in the 120s when russia was doing real well, now down to less than half of that, and the long-term future doesn't look very bright for that. so he made a secretary bargain with them. which is keep me if poker with, let me enrch all of my friends and your living standards won't go up but i will restore glory to russia. will you feel better about yourself, that was the intervention in ukraine and syria, i believe that too will wear off because the russian people will get tired of sending their people to go fight in other places. >> but it is undeniable they are a leading player in terms of what happens in syria. >> they are an absolutely critical clayer in terms of what is happening in syria. >> because they went there in sport, at the invitation of assad. >> and because they were prepared to set aside any sense of basic human decency to. >> in terms of the sir want people. >> to carry out a campaign. >> has that changed since trump became president.
>> has which part. >> russia's policy with regards to syria, even though they do have an agreement now. >> in fact i would argue that russia believed this can achieve all of its objectives, what it can essentially assure that assad in is is in power for the indf future, that it will protect its own military positions. >> rose: most argument that i know, will argue that they don't really care whether assad is in power, they just want to make sure that there is a stability because what putin fears most of all is instability. >> so having dealt with the russians directly for years on the syria question, when i was in government, i heard them say repeatedly, we don't care about the future of assad, however their actions have always suggested that defending this regime because they see no alternative to this regime, assad at the topness. >> rose: it would be acceptable to the united states and other powers. >> that would be acceptable to them. they soo no alternative acceptable to them other than assad. at the don't see someone they could bring in as a replacement that could hold the country together and protect their interests. so even though in theory they're
not wedded to assad, in practice they had been joined at the hip with him and they have basically defended his perrography shall-- prerogatives all the way through and i believe will begin to do so. i think the deals they are cutting are setting them up for success for themselves for russia at the expense of the syrian sunni communities which is the majority in syria, and long-term regional stability because it is not going to deal with the underlying problem of violent extremism. >> rose: you think they want to be a european power? >> i think number one putin wants to do something he said publicly. he with like to essentially reconstitute the sphere of influence that was in the soviet union. >> rose: without taking over this country. >> without necessarily fully taking over those countries. >> rose: because if you talk to him will tell you about the russian people behind the border countries that used to be part of the russian. >> he is perfectly prepared as we saw in georgia and ukraine to use military force to advance this objective. but that means central central asia, it means the caucuses,
armenia, azerbaijan, georgia, it means members of national who believes in the russian sa-- sphere of influence. have i to say he has done a good job about kicking up bust dust, saying you made me do this. >> you threatened to go and make georgia and then ukraine a member of nato. >> or even less than that, you added the baltics. >> was it a mistake for us to expand nato. >> no, in fact, if we rent hadn't expanded nato to the bol particulars and just play out the reverse counterrer factual, we had not expanded. >> rose: there was no restraint. >> or to poland or hungary, what would be happening right now or what would have happened over the last 20 years had he with not done that. you can see his aggressive tendencies towards countries that do not have nato membership. i believe that the fact of the article five guaranteed to these countries is what keeps stability and avoids war in the peninsula and the idea that show this has made him do it is a new argue.
he didn't make this argument in 2005 or 2010. he started making it when he came back to power. >> rose: russians have always had a great concern about their border, that is in their dna. >> about their border, yes. >> rose: in their dna after hitler and napoleon, there was always a sense of, you know, their threats coming across to change it. >> right. and in the obama administration, we dealt with this issue of the missile defense system which you were setting up to deal with iran but you felt they were setting up to deal with them am i don't deny that. >> which is an interesting question, you know, how difficult is it in these kinds of negotiations you dealt with the iranians very closely. to speak to the fears of the person across from you. make sure that they know you understand their fears. >> it's an incredibly good question. because i think what most people don't understand is that a huge amount of diplomacy is just-- isn't even bartering or trading t is just trying to get on the same page, a common picture of what is going on. what kind of threat do you represent, what kind of opportunity you represent, and
that means hours, days that we would spend with the iranians trying to explain to them that we weren't trying to engage in regime change, that we weren't there just to try to topple them. that we legitimately believed and did not think it was a preparticulars that they were seeking nuclear weapons. >> rose: could we, for example, if in fact we could convince the leader of north korea that we had no intention and secretary mattis has said this and also the secretary of state has said this, no intention of attacking, if he believed that, and we could make him believe that, would he be less enthusiastic because he wouldn't look at what happened in libya and other places that he sees as a reason for having nuclear weapons? >> well, this, it is an interesting tie between iran and north korea, today in answering this question. because no matter how many times we tell him we don't want to change, you know, topple you,
we're not trying to take over north korea, what he sees is members of this administration actually talking about regime change in both north korea and iran, and talking about a deal that was cut with the iranians on their new budget program. >> it is not mat is t is not the president of the united states t is not the president, is it? >> what i think. >> meek el flin may have talked about that. >> an unsophisticated observer of american politics, someone who doesn't look at it clsly could pick up a body language that says yeah, yeah, they cut a deal on iran. but we don't really think we have to abide by that, by the way we would like to get rid of those ayatollahs, to pick that up frk you are kim jung-un sitting there right now and that is basically the policy direction of the united states, why would you ever believe that when someone comes to you and says we want to cut a deal on your nuclear program that that will be on the up and up. >> do you think there will be regime change in iran, that the president-- because we know there are a lot of moderates in
iran. and in a million went into the streets after the election. >> i think the current setup in iran where the will of the people is consistently suppressed, where the rights not just of minorities but the majority of iranians are viewed is not sustainable over the long term. but i think democratic change in a ran has to come from within iran. >> rose: do you believe the same thing about the chinese, put the same test to the chinese t is not sustainable over the long terms. their fear is something will happen which will-- would take away the power of the party. >> right. >> rose: to control the state. >> and xi jinping is heading into this 19th party congress at the end of this year with this notion in mind, the number one thing he has to worry about is maintaining party control and putting his own personal stamp on that. in the 1990s we made a bet when we brought the chinese into the wto. our pet was that over time as they liberalize economicically they will have to liberalize politically. that was the pet, the proposition that underpinned a
bipartisan view of china at that time. well, it's been more than 20 years, that hasn't happened yet. do i think the laws of physics continue to suggest that it trends in that direction, probably. but i don't think anyone can say with confidence today that there is inevitably going to be a change in the system of government in china. because they have defied expectations for a very long time. >> rose: do you see any weaknesses in that government, that might make them less of a power than we imagine them to be? >> china faces huge internal contradiction. >> rose: beyond pollution. >> dramatic, relating to demography, the aging of their population, the urban rural divide. the fact that there still is rampant corruption. the fact that as chinese people become middle class their expectations go up, and their demand to be treated fairly and efficiently and justly goes up as well. and this system may not be able to keep up with that. so there is a lot of arguments one can make about it. >> rose: but the advantage of so many people becoming part of
the middle class is it provides a market so that the economy can grow. and that is exactly as you know much better than i do. that is exactly how they turned the economy around, let's not export stuff, let's sell stuff to our own people who now can afford it. >> but unfortunately, and the chinese may be able to navigate this turn effectively t is very difficult to go from a state-owned enterprise, corrupt oligarchic system to one that is or the of-- sort of a genuinely free market model without going through some massive economic turmoil. >> rose: do they still demand that our tech companies who come in there give up some of their, sort of, research, some of their trade secrets, some of their technical secrets. >> even where they don't, they tend to find ways to design joint ventures and partnerships where they benefit from the intellectual property of american firms. so it's not the case that every american firm going over there has to hand over the keys at the beginning. but the chinese have become very adept and very sophisticated at being able to extract the
learning and knowledge from american companies, not just tech firms but across sectors. and that has given them some really profound advantages both in the commercial space and military space. >> rose: if you look at some of the giant american companies in silicon valley they have companies that are now challenging them because of the markets they have there and these tech companies seem to be in part depend ent on chinese markets. >> it is not just the chinese market t is actually now increasingly chinese venture capital money in silicon valley in the united states. a chinese state-owned ent price is a chinese state backed firm are pouring money into american tech companies in part because their goal is to increase their no-how, their knowledge base, their innovation base over time. this is also-- . >> rose: and put their money to good use. >> but i would argue there is a broader strategy here that is about national security as well as-- . >> rose: and they are also doing the same thing having to do with minerals in av ban stand and in africa. >> right. >> rose: how they are in a sense seem to have, seem to have a very defined global strategy.
>> yeah. >> and you know they in fact have a name for the part of their strategy that looks east instead of west-- sorry, west instead of east across central asia into europe. it is called one belt one road where they want to combine a series of seaports and sea lanes with railroads and infrastructure that basically has chinese economic dominance across the eur asian landmassk as a long-term proposition. and that is something that the united states has to pay very close attention to. >> how and where will history judge the obama administration severely. >> i think the where we were least able to have an impact, where we probably could have had an impact was in syria. >> doing more earlier. >> doing more earlier, now i would actually argue we had to do it at both ends. there was a huge gap between our means and our objectives.
we said assad must go and we really weren't prepared to do much to make that happen. so there was this yawning gap. >> and then there was isis. >> to close that gap from my perspective we had to both increase the means, the degree to which we were engaged to try and shape circumstances there is about also imk more real stbs about the end. to recognize having it go right at the started wasn't going to work, you had to have a diplomatic processment i think we came too late for that. >> rose: coming earlier would have meant what? >> for one thing, early on in the conflict the opposition had much nor battle feel momentum, the russians were not fully engaged. the iranians were not fully engaged. so the choices facing assad and his backers were sharper. >> he was to therring at one time. >> in those early days, right. so it would have meant at that
point trying to get a diplomatic process going. the end result of which would have been a transition from power but would not have made max malice-- at the beginning. en after we quloafer run andmade retake raqqa and we take mosul, there will be an isis two, an isis squared, an isis something. how will it be, what do you think the future of terrorism is? >> because there has to be a concern of thinking about the future. >> well, it starts with understanding exactly what the problem is. as you were just saying, there are 25 million sunnies who have lived between baghdad and damascus, two iranian dm natured capitals. and thoses sunnies feel disconnected from their countries. disempowered economicically and they have been subject to this relentless vitriolic jihadist ideology for the last 15 years. so we knock them out of mosul, we knock isis out of raqqa and they scatter to the winds. but they are going to reconstitute because of those factors, unless we figure out a way to get the iraqi government
and a syrian political solution to give them some hope for the future. and i believe that is more possible on the iraq side right now, that if prime minister abadi wins the next election he has shown his willingness to actually reach out and deal with the sunni populations in iraq. i'm much more concerned about the future of syria because i think what we are doing right now is only focusing on raqqa and sort of leaving the russians and assad to do what they want to do and the net result of that. >> rose: in terms of the civil war. >> the safe zones, et cetera. i think the net result of that is going to be be the reemergence of a jihadist force inside of syria, so that is why we cannot simply fight isis in raqqa. we have to think about syria deplom see as a part of our counterterrorism strategy. >> rose: you said two things that interest me. in terms of what you have said, you say a lot of things that are of interest to me. and i quote you, my core principle is the fundamental project of american foreign
policy over the next two decades is secure and sustain american global leadership because i believe a world america leads is a world where everybody ends up better you have, certainly where u.s. interests and values are protected but where the interests of our val eyes and friends and people across the world are also protected. for me that is the corner stone. my question is are you losing that leadership and that respect around the world? >> i think it's hard to answer that question, other than to say yes, we are. >> rose: and you measure that by the reaction of the g-20 when we got out of the paris accord, do you measure that in what other ways where the world wants us to lead, wants us to act and we're not acting? >> well, i would say a second big area. the g-20 was a decisive moment where you could see the united states was on its back foot, was not the central player, was not driving the agenda, was not shaping circumstances. so that is one. when europeans talk about the leader of the free world now
they talk about angela merkel, not donald trump, that is the second, and third i think in the asia-pacific right now even though north korea is a critical issue and we have to stay on top of it, our entire asia policy is essentially a north korea policy. to exclusion of really focusing on almost anything else. and as a result-- . >> rose: but remember president obama said to president-elect trump, your biggest problem is going to be north korea. >> and it is. but we can't only deal with north korea to the exclusion. >> rose: that is the nature of being president. >> to the rest of the world or the rest of the region, particularly a region as consequently as asia-pacific. just to give you an example, right now chinese and indian forces are a hundred yards away from one another pointing guns at each other. the possibility of these two major economies going to war would have dramatic impact on us. we are flot paying attention to that. the chinese are continuing to-- sphred influence on the south china sea, we not paying attention to that. i think you can see in a lot of different places where we aren't
leading but i will say this about american leadership. i think this is very important. while i believe that the yanted states must continue to lead a rules based global order, i also believe that we have to think about that leadership in a different way. it doesn't mean we call all the shots. it doesn't mean we absorb all the costs. what it manies is that we build coalitions to solve the big problems that we face, that no country can solve on their own but that the united states of america has to be a part of solving or it won't get dob. that is what i mean by leadership. and it does mean a larger role for emerging countries and for our allies and partners. and our leadership has to be directed just to tie the two parts of this conversation together, at solving the core problem that america faces which is how are we going to have an economy that works for everyone. if we can solve that problem through more principalled effective global leadership than we will really have delivered not just for our people but will have delivered a model. >> because we do live in an interdepend ent world.
the quote on the domestic side the fundamental question, the touchstone of everything is whether a policy is going to contribute to strengthening the middle class or to hollowing out the middle class that is the question that i ask more than any other domestic policy. thank you for coming, pleasure to have you. >> thank you for having me. >> jake sullivan for the hour, thank you for joining us. see you next time. >> for mo about this program and earlier episodes visit us online at pbs.org and charlie rose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
this season of "martha stewart's cooking school" explores treasured recipes from an extraordinary part of the world -- the arabian gulf. join me in my kitchen as i celebrate its regional ingredients. we'll make rustic breads, mouthwatering desserts, and hearty stews with spices made famous by historic trade routes, learn new culinary techniques and creative tips for serving arabian gulf classics, from preparing small bites to showstopping dishes fit for any festive occasion. with its bold flavors and strong traditions, i've been inspired to get into the kitchen and add what i like to call a good thing to an already delicious cuisine. enjoy. "martha stewart's cooking school" is made possible by... ♪ announcer: al jazeera.