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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  November 2, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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welcome to the program tonight. we begin with the aftermath of yesterday's terrorist attack in downtown manhattan. >> this is the bleed out that we expected when isis is feeling pressure in places as they have, in places like iraq and syria. they're going to act out in other places in other ways, and this may be exactly what happened yesterday in new york. >> and continue with a conversation with former secretary of defense robert gates. >> the notion that kim jong-un can be persuaded at virtually no cost to give up his nuclear weapons, i think, is a fantasy. he looks at gaddafi, who gave up his nuclear program, he's dead. saddam, he's dead. his regime is gone. ukraine gave up almost 2,000
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nuclear weapons in 1994 based on a commitment by the united states, the united kingdom, and russia guaranteeing ukraine' easte ukraine's territory. i think kim jong-un looks at this and says nuclear weapons are the only way to guarantee the survival of my regime. >> then kurt an dedersen and a k at his book, "shofantasyland: h america went haywire." >> that's true of science or that's true of whatever. in america, we had so dely ji delegitimized all those gate keepers and gone to an extreme
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of liberty and democracy that your opinion, your belief, your hunch, your feeling in your gut is equal to or superior to anybody's fact. >> the attack in manhattan, bob gates, and kurt andersen when we continue. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. we begin tonight with a cbs evening news and the developing
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story of the attack in lower manhattan yesterday. >> that attack left 8 people dead and 12 injured. sayfullo saipov was in a wheelchair handcuffed and shackled. police say the attack had been in the works for a long time. >> reporter: late this afternoon, federal prosecutors filed two federal charges against the suspect, sayfullo saipov. >> alleged terrorists like saipov view the city as a prime target for their hate-filled crimes. but the thing is for the alleged terrorists, like saipov, they will find in new york city something else. justice. >> reporter: according to the court filings, saipov chose october 31st because it was halloween and he believed there would be more civilians on the streets. on one cell phone, authorities found 90 isis-related propaganda
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videos and 3800 propaganda images. saipov is in custody at a nearby hospital and apparently talking to police. saipov bragged about what he did and was very pleased with his success. sources also say police recovered knives from the truck and 10 to 15 pieces of paper, which give isis credit for the attack, saying isis will live forever. we also have a more detailed timeline of the attack. the truck saipov rented turned onto a lower manhattan bike path at 3:04 p.m. striking bikers and pedestrians. he hit and killed five others before he crashed into a school bus. >> oh, my god! >> reporter: that crash which injured four, including two children, was caught on cell phone video. sources tell us said saipov said that was an accident. he wanted to continue down the bike path and over the brooklyn
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bridge. he was arrested after being shot by 28-year-old officer ryan nash just five years on the force. he shot saipov once. >> i understand the importance of yesterday's events and the role we played. i'm grateful for the recognition we have received. >> reporter: nypd deputy commissioner of counterterrorism john miller says they're still investigating whether the radicalization was assisted. >> i think we have developed a level of connectivity between him and others who at various times have been the subject of investigations, but we're still delving backwards to further identify what was that connectivity and did it have some meaning. >> reporter: and saipov is being held tonight without bail. the fbi today interviewed an associate of saipov to see what was information he might be. he is not a suspect. saipov had been on the fbi's radar though there was no
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indication he was planning on attack. >> we continue with the aftermath of yesterday's terrorist attack in downtown manhattan. joining me now is fran townsend, the former homeland security advisorer to president george w bush. update me in terms of where we are. >> well, charlie, he's being arraigned any minute now on charges in new york city. he's been talking to the fbi, which was not true this morning. in fact, there are reports that he asked the fbi to hang an isis flag in his hospital room. he was bragging about the attack. we know now that he planned it for several weeks. he went on test runs. there was an individual with him just before he tragically mowed down these people, and they're looking for that individual who also, charlie, called the suspect's cell phone after the attack. so, he's high on the list. the other thing that's going on right now is because of his immigration status -- you
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mentioned he got in on this visa. he became a permanent resident alien. it allowed him to sponsor others, what we call chain migration. we are hearing from law enforcement sources that he may have sponsored up to nine people. law enforcement officials are now looking for those nine people because they want to know are those good guys or bad guys. what was his motivation? what we're learning about his motivation is it was isis related. he may have had contact with individuals of isis overseas. they're looking into that now. he claims to have been self-radicalized, but we're learning more, so one of the last things i'll say that we learned about what was in the car, we know he got out with this paint ball gun and a bebe gun. everyone has asked the question why. in the isis playbook, they say get out of the car with knives or guns. there were knives recovered in the car. when he hit the school bus, the
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knives went out of where he could reach them quickly, so he got out of the car with these fake guns. >> if he got out of the car, he might have tried to kill some people. >> he intended to go from where he was, if he hadn't had the car accident, to the brooklyn bridge. it is clear that this is a terrorism investigation, a terrorism incident. what is unclear to me is how much contact did he have with isis overseas, but it may very well be this the bleed out that we expected. when isis is feeling pressure in places as they have, in places like iraq and syria, they're going to act out in other places in other ways. this may be exactly what happened yesterday here in new york. >> what can we do as a society to prevent this? clearly, the best intelligence is a very good way. >> right. >> if you know it's coming, then you can do more. if you know who is likely to commit an act, you can do more
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with surveillance and everything else. >> that's right. >> you've got to have good intelligence. that depends on a good relationship with communities. a person with intent to do that might be living in. what else? >> well, you know, we protect infrastructure and public places as best we can. think of areas in times square around the 9/11 memorial, but this bike path that runs the length of the west side highway, the entire length of practically manhattan, that's impossible. it is right next to a six or eight-lane highway, so things like that are really impossible to protect. you take a cut at that in different ways. the nypd had reached out after the nice promenade truck that mowed down people there in france. reached out to 148 different truck rental companies. just like when we saw the backpack bomb that was a liquid bomb. they reached out to the suppliers. you try to chip away at the threat in a number of different areas. the other thing, as you
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mentioned charlie, you look at immigration. you look at communities. oftentimes when people emigrate from muslim countries, their centralization in the united states is the mosque. >> have we made any progress in the effort to offer an alternative argument to someone who is likely to be susceptible? >> no, i don't think we have. look, i also don't think -- in fairness, multiple administrations, including the bush administration, which i was a part of, failed at this. i've come to the conclusion it doesn't workl coming from a western voice and especially a western government voice. you need credible sources in the region. this is the seat of islam, the site of the two holy mosques in
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mecca and demmedina. when the new crown prince says he's going to return mecca to a more moderate form of islam, that can have an enormous impact. >> new york police department is as good as it gets on this. >> absolutely. they're the best. >> clearly, the thing you worry about too is copycats. when there was one incident in europe, there would be another incident in another city. is there anything we can do about that? >> not really. i mean, look, what you want to do is share the information, what you're learning in realtime. the nypd is very good about pushing that information out to other major metropolitan areas and police departments, and you want to understand. it's why looking for the nine people he may have sponsored is important. it is why finding the guy who was with him just before mowing people done is important. what you want to understand is is there a network?
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what prompted him at that point in time to commit this crime? i do worry about copycats because we have seen it so many times before. >> thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> fran townsend. when we come back, a conversation with robert gates, the former secretary of defense for george w. bush and for barack obama. stay with us. robert gates is here. he's had a long and very distinguished career in public service. he was director of the cia under president george h.w. bush. he is the only secretary of defense in u.s. history to remain in that office by a newly elected president. i'm pleased to have him back at this table. welcome. >> thank you, charlie. >> you just returned from china. tell me what's going on over there because economist magazine cover the most powerful man in
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the world, chexi jing ping. >> there's a case to be made for that in terms of control at home, a booming economy, and strategies that are aimed at expanding chinese influence very broadly throughout asia, africa, and the middle east. the whole one belt, one road initiative, this trillion dollar initiative to build ports and airports and communication systems and railroads and so on all across central asia and southeast asia and east africa and so on, so i think in military terms that's not true. the united states president remains the strongest in the world in that respect, but in terms of power at home and sort of an expansive policy, i think
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you could make that case. >> do you make the case also based on what's called the lucidities principle, that when there's an established power, they end up in war? >> i don't accept that inevitabl inevitably. i'm familiar with the book that describes this trap, and i think that there is no geo-strategic reason for the united states and china to be adversaries. competitors, yes. rivals, probably. but addereversaryieadversaries, so, but it requires management on the chinese side and our side to avoid it from heading that direction. >> do you think the chinese want to do that, that there is a commitment on their part to be as careful as they possibly can? >> i think so. the last thing they need is a military conflict with the united states. they have a lot of issues at
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home. i mean, i talked about all the good things. >> right. >> powerful things for china, but they face a lot of problems at home from the environment to this transition from -- >> a rural -- >> investment-based economy to a consumer-based one. they've had as many people move from rural areas to cities as the entire populations of britain, france, and germany. 200 million people. >> in the history civilization, more people have risen from poverty to the middle class in chin china. >> that's right, but the result of that is the party's only claim to legitimacy is not communism as an ideology, but an improved standard of living for the chinese people. as long as the chinese leaders can deliver that, they're probably safe, but that's the only basis of the legitimacy of the regime at this point. >> that was a very central point in the three and half hour
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speech, the supremacy of the communist party. >> that's right. one of the things she's doing is re-establishing discipline both within the party and those outside the party, companies, businesses, the population as a whole and the military, especially. the party is the be all end all. >> second question, what do they think of us today? >> i think that -- i think that until 2008 they probably were envious of our sustained economic development and our economic model, and i think one of the things that a lot of people may not appreciate is the degree to which our financial
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crisis in 2008 and 2009 discredited our economic model in the eyes of a lot of people around the world. that lingers. that is still there. >> it had such repercussions around the world. >> absolutely. and i think they see the united states -- i think they see some opportunities right now because we are so divided as a country and because our government is so divided, so it's very difficult for us to do big things, whether it's to fix our infrastructure or to have big foreign policy initiatives, like they have underway, much less some of the other domestic issues. they see our paralysis right now as providing some real opportunities. >> some people say while we have been mired down in afghanistan and the middle east, they have simply not had those
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distractions to focus on developing at home. >> well, they have been able to focus at home, and i think that one of the serious consequences of now having been at war for 16 years is that it has contributed to this sense of impatience and exhaustion on the part of the american people in terms of engagement internationally and sort of a sense of why can't we focus on our problems here at home and not be so involved in the rest of the world. why do we have all these troops around the world and so on. and why can't we begin to fix the very obvious problems that we see every day in this country. so, i think it's not so much that the chinese see that we have been distracted by those
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wars. although, it certainly has taken a lot of time and treasure and lives, but that it has really -- i've always believed that the patience of the american people for international engagement is very limited, and the only time we've been able to do it effectively is when we have effective presidential leadership because the americans are not instinctively internationalists. they really just want to tend their own garden, if you will. >> america is a good place to tend. >> and i've also been very leery about the use of force abroad because not whenever we have to for our own national security, but presidents need to understand that there's a limited appetite in this country for sending troops into war. >> president obama sought to do that, didn't he? >> i think he did. >> may have gone too far? >> well, part of the problem that i think we've faced is
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everybody -- when we get into a war, everybody who is advising the president to do it always says it will be really short. we'll get this done real quick and then we'll be out of there. more often than not that's not the way it turns out, so i think the chinese have been able to take advantage of this american impatience international involvement to gain a march on us in a lot of places. >> have we lost respect around the world? >> i think so. i think so. and i think for two reasons. first, what we have already talked about, the financial crisis in 2008/2009. and i think second our paralysis here at home. >> you mean in washington? >> yeah. and our inability politically to do anything big, to deal with our public schools, to deal with infrastructure, to deal with immigration, a whole host of issues, and just we can't get
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anything done. so, i think -- i spoke earlier of people questioning our economic model. i think there are a lot of people now around the world who are questioning our political model. maybe the way the americans do it isn't so hot because look at them. maybe this kind of more authoritarian state capitalism that you see in russia, that you see in china, that you see elsewhere, maybe that's the way to go. >> so people around the world are looking for a model. they say, well, look at the united states. they're in paralysis. look at china. they're in control. >> and they're expanding robustly. look at these thousands of miles of high-speed rail they've built and all the bridges and airports. look at the difference between laguardia airport and the airport in shanghai. i think this is not your irrecoverable. i think we can get back there, but only if we begin to fix our international political problems.
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>> what's going to happen in north korea? >> well, i think that what we've seen is -- i think the president's got this right. we have seen basically the failure of a quarter of a century of policies. the clinton administration made a deal with the north koreas. the north koreans cheated and walked away from it. the bush administration tried to do a deal with the north koreans, offered some inducements. the north koreans weren't interested. president obama tried strategic patience. the result of all of this is -- combined with an acceleration of their nuclear testing and missile testing under kim jong-un -- is stay we face a north korea that either has a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead on it that can reach the united states or soon will. so what do we do now? first of all, i think a dose of realism is in order.
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the notion that kim jong-un can be persuaded at virtually no cost to give up his nuclear weapon weapons, i think, is a fantasy. he looks at gaddafi who gave up his nuclear program. he's dead. saddam had no nuclear weapons. he's dead. his regime is gone. ukraine gave up almost 2,000 nuclear weapons in 1994 based on a commitment by the united states, the united kingdom, and russia guaranteeing ukraine' ukraine's territorial integrity. i think kim jong-un looks at this and says, nuclear weapons are the only way to guarantee the survival of my regime. i think we cannot accept a nuclear north korea. i don't think it will -- not only it is a strategic risk, but it will probably lead to
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proliferation of nuclear weapons elsewhere. >> south korea, japan. >> we have to be realistic about economic sanctions. thanks in no small part to the president's tough talk we final have the chinese attention, and they're taking measures economically that they have not taken before. >> and voted with us in the u.n. >> but sanctions will not bite and cause kim jong-un to give up his nuclear weapons before he has tested and deployed them. >> so -- >> so, my view is that the solution, if there is a diplomatic way out of this, it has to begin with an agreement between the united states and china on an outcome. >> that's exactly what henry kissinger says too. you came to this on your own. you've got to have an agreement of what north korea and south korea are going to look like. >> you have to sort of show them what this is going to look like
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at the end and then how you get there. and the ultimate has to be denuclearization of the peninsula, which means the north, and that's going to require some diplomatic concessions on the part of the united states in exchange for the north koreans' commitments to -- >> like what? >> recognition, signing a peace treaty, perhaps an assurance that -- like president kennedyd gave premier khrushchev in 1962 that we would not seek to overthrow the regime. in 62, it was about castro. now it would be we would not seek to overthrow kim jong-un by force of arms. but the other side of that coin is letting the chinese knows what happens if we don't reach that kind of an agreement, which is a lot more u.s. missile defense capabilities in asia,
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more -- in south korea, japan, afloat. all of that is important to chinese strategic interest. probably more of a naval presence. reducing nuclear tactical weapons in south korea. if we can't get into an acceptable instate, china is not going to like the consequences, so they need to work with us in figuring out what's that path look like and how do we take it in several steps perhaps, but ultimately get to a point where north korea -- where the north has no nuclear weapons. >> we have to speak to china's fears too. >> yeah, but china does not want a peninsula under control of the united states, a unified korean peninsula that basically has allied the united states. >> but we want to unify korea that's indebted to china?
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>> - think we would have to think about -- if we got to a point where the north koreans had actually dismantled their nuclear programs, but view is unlike the iranian deal it has to include inspections at any time. they cannot be trusted. i think there is a diplomatic path. i think going to the north koreans first simply won't work. i think we have to -- i think we have to begin this process and see if we can reach a strategic agreement with china on what a nonnuclear korean peninsula looks like. >> but you get the impression occasionally from what dunford says or james mattis that maybe there are alternatives we don't know about. is that possible that maybe
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there are ways to stop them that we have not yet spoken about? that doesn't make sense to you, does it? >> unless you're talking about some kind of secret weapons capability that i don't know about. it's been six years since i was secretary. >> sure. >> but i think even then that is -- that does not stop it forever. you can delay it. you can make it harder. but i think once they have possession of the technology, the only way you prevent them from ever deploying nuclear weapons that can reach the united states or our allies is through some kind of a political agreement. >> has donald trump done great damage to the american presidency? >> well, i think -- first of all, i think he's identified something that political leaders in both parties either ignored
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or were ignorant of for a long time, and that was there were a lot of people in this country that felt like the political elites were ignoring them and ignoring how close to the edge they are. >> right. >> and how even those who were in the lower middle-class who felt they were just one firing from be&ng homeless, a loss of a job -- and i think he has grasped the disdain of those people of the elites. the elites have brought them this political paralysis in washington. this paralysis predated donald trump, so i think he's grasped a part of the country has felt very neglected. i wish he were more of a
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unifier, of somebody who was trying to bring us together as a people. i think that's what we need now. we've had a lot of divisions in the united states ever since the beginning. our politics have always been partisan. nothing has been said in politics recently that was worse than what adams and jefferson said about each other. >> right. >> so some things are a constant in american history, but this divisiveness where even families now can't talk about politics because they're so divided around the dinner table, i think, is a place we don't want to be as a country. i would like to see him try and lead us out of that. i don't know if he can. we'll see. >> do you believe it is as bad as -- you saw what senator corker said from tennessee. you saw what senator flake said.
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clearly, there are republican leadership in the house and the senate that wants to work with him. they're not prepared to question his fitness -- even though they may say it in private, they believe the only thing they have to do -- because it is now his republican party -- is to work with him. >> he is the president. >> right. >> and barring some unforeseen circumstance, he is going to be the president for more than three years. and so, what do you do? i think it's up to everybody, both in the congress but also in the white house, to figure out a way to work together to get some of these things done. i think there are a lot of people that agree with aspects of his agenda from tax reform to getting the allies to pony up more of the share of the costs. >> barack obama wanted them to do that as well. >> the problem is -- and
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frankly, i worked for eight presidents. th the thing that i've noticed in recent years is an unwillingness in the white house to devote the time and the energy to cultivating relationships in the congress. i mean, it's not going to get somebody to change their mind on something that's basic. but when it comes to negotiating on something like tax reform or whatever, if you've established a relationship and even a friendship with somebody on the hill, it's going to make a difference, if it's on the margin. i think that people in the white house have not worked the congress hard enough to try and establish those relationships, and i think it makes getting als done. the one thing we have seen with obamacare and we're going to see it in some other things, any major legislation that is voted
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by one party is at risk of being reversed in the next election. the only way you get long-term solutions to problems in this country is through bipartisan solutions. >> i want to ask you about two other things because i just returned from qatar and went over there to talk about the conflict with the saudis and the emirates and the egyptians and bahrai bahrain. american secretary of state is trying to mediate this. yet, at the same time we're very much committed to those countries, those sunni countries, that are trying to be part of a united effort against terrorism. what should we be? where should we be in this, because we have friends fighting each other? >> i think the effort to try to mediate that dispute is absolutely worthwhile and frankly there's nobody better qualified to do it than rex tillerson because he knows all those people. >> when we talked to both
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parties, they're getting signals from washington that are contradicting what he's trying to do. >> i think trying to fix that is really important. having these guys at each other's throats is not helpful. that said, when i became secretary, i had good relationships with the leaders in qatar because i had put a branch of texas a&m university there, an engineering school. when i became secretary, the relationship between the u.s. and qatar was in very bad shape because they were doing a lot of things, including on algentlem that was very offensive. they were funding extremist groups and so on.
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>> or allowing funding, meaning they were doing it themselves -- >> no, they weren't doing it themselves. but when people opened bank accounts, when these groups would open bank accounts in qatar, there was no effort to block that or so on. when the u.s. would press qatar on these things, if we went to them and said, so-and-so has a bank account here and we want you to close it, they would close it. the problem was they were never proactive. they would never go after these on their own and shut them down before we came to them. that's at the heart of the dispute with the gulf arabs, that and the fact that the qat r qataris give safe haven to the muslim brotherhood. they see it as diverse.
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there are moderates and extremists. that's kind of at the core of this dispute and the fact that they qatar has sponsored groups that were tr we're trying to overthrow. >> are they right on that, that qatar has sponsored groups that are trying to overthrow them? >> well, for example, qatar has long allowed an office for hamas, the extremist palestinian group in doha. they have allowed the taliban to have an office in doha. >> i'm asking this. when you raise that question with qatar, they say, we were asked to do that by the united states. >> that's true, but that was a long time ago and they're still there. >> right. >> and i think that the problem for us with qatar is that they
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have not been aggressive in going after these extremist groups. problems with the gulf arabs are much broader, but i still think that there is a way to negotiate a way out of this impasse between them. but i think qatar is going to have to change some behaviors. >> finally, the russians. you follow the mueller investigation. why do you think the administration is not as tough on the russians as many people thought they should be? >> i haven't got a clue. i will say this. as i said when i introduced rex tillerson for his confirmation hearing, the challenge for the administration -- and this was back in february. the challenge for the administration is figuring out how to push back against putin's interventionism, his general
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thuggery, and at the same time to figure out how to stop what i think is an increasingly dangerous downward spiral in the relationship. >> between the u.s. and russia. >> between the u.s. and russia, particularly where you have got our militaries operating in close proximity to one another. for example, in the baltic sea, where you have had russian jets coming within yards of american warships and so on. the potential for an incident that escalates, i think, is very real. how do you do that? there's no doubt in my mind that putin intervened significantly in our election, that he intervened in brexit, that he intervened -- tried to intervene in the french election. >> right. >> it's interesting. i haven't got any access to classified information, but based on everything i've heard, for some reason he left the
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germans alone. but he is clearly focused on trying to discredit and delegitimize western institutions, western democracy. he sees it in part as revenge for what he sees as u.s. intervention in his election in 2012 and the u.s. -- he believes the u.s. was behind the revolutions in georgia and ukraine an ukraine. his attitude is you did it, so i'm doing it, but there is no question in my mind about the breadth of it and that it is continuing and that he takes great satisfaction in the greater consternation and division that he can create in the west. the more he can undermine western institutions, the happier he is. >> there's so many more questions, but i'm out of time. gates back in a moment.
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stay with us. kurt andersen is here. he's an author and the host of the radio program "studio 360." his latest book is called "fantasyland: how america went haywire." it argues today's post-truth moment is not a fe phenomeno phenomenon, but an expression of american character. i'm pleased to have kurt andersen back at this table. welcome. >> thank you for letting me be here. >> give me the sense of a 500-year history going all the way back to martin luther. >> whose anniversary of putting up his thesis is practically today. >> and books are coming out one after the other. >> we begin importantly as a
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protestant country. the english people came here and made the american people what they are today. they were not just protestants. natical faction of a fervent tha fanatical faction of the fer vanfervent faction of the puritans. the truth was ours to find if we just read the bible closely enough. that was part of it, but meanwhile the other english settlers closer to your part of the country in virginia were there thinking they were going to find gold, were being promised gold was there, and never finding it after coming and dying. there's two different groups who passionately believed the unprovable in the case of the puritans, who thought they were coming here for the end times, to make their new jerusalem, or
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the gold hunters in virginia who were sure this was a different kind of garden of eden and they were going to find gold. they were were the founding pieces of american character among the not believing in experts and being anti-establishment. that was the first bit of dna that went through a lot of twists and turns over the last hundred years to get to where we are today. >> we get to the 60s. >> we do get to the 60s. we had all these various new religions of various kinds that grew up here as they did nowhere else. we had show business that grew up here as it did nowhere else and blurred the distinctions between the real and the fictional. >> you called it the fantasy industrial complex. >> which was not just p.t. barnum claiming he had mermaids on display and george washington's 161-year-old nanny
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on display, and all these untrue things that people ate up because they were excitingly untrue, but religion from the very get-go in america, as nowhere else, was often at its most successful a kind of show business. evangelists back in the 1700s and 1800tel tele-evangelists were doing performances. that is the industrial complex that absorbs everything, that absorbs politics. >> american exceptionalism plays a role. >> it is a real thing. america is the first country created from scratch by these people all along for better and for worse, who believed themselves to be heroes in this great story and this big land
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where individualism in its most extreme form ever was part -- was what we were and what we pursued. all of that worked great, in my view and as i write, for all the eccentrics and extremes. it worked because the grown-ups were in charge. we had a political establishment, a bunch of religious establishments, media establishments that kept a lid on the craziness. >> after the war, world war ii, we were the dominant everything in the world. the most powerful economy, the most penetrating culture. >> right. and then we got to the 60s in part because of this great prosperity. it allowed everybody to, like, wow, let's carry this to the max. let's take our liberty and
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everybody is entitled to their own version of reality to the max. >> we have to define our own rules. >> and we will define our own rules. much of what happened in the 60s, great. civil rights, feminism. but this idea that empirical reality had no special privilege above magic and make-believe and whatever i want to make of reality, that on the kind of countercultural and academic left was a new of way of thinking, but you had this thing that happened simultaneously among fundamentalist christians in america of going back to extremes of religious belief. i'm not even talking about political belief, but of religious belief about the end times and about creationism and
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about speaking in tongues and all the rest. that beginning in the 60s, it created a kind of volatile, explosive hybrid thing that, i think, has indeed led through the means of the internet -- >> the relationship from the 60s and all that we've been talking about to the rival oarrival of internet in 1995 to 2016 when america elects donald trump -- >> people of various beliefs that used to be considered fringe, like the john birch society or various kinds of flat earthers, became empowered to have those beliefs more and more. then the internet gave them more than that, the power to recruit more, to feel as though they were part of a community, to
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create their own reality with their own websites, with their own facts, so that was there. and some cynics, especially on the right, especially in the republican party, use that to their political benefit until we got to a point where too many americans felt entitled to their own facts as well as their own opinion opinions. >> you're entitled to your own opinions. >> own opinions, but not your own facts. >> but not your own facts. >> but people felt they were entitled to their own facts about climate change or whatever. i firmly believe that donald trump could not have been nominated for president or elected president until that process of blurring the lines between the real and the fantastical became so acute as it did in this century. >> with the arrival of fake
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news. >> with the arrival of fake news. >> as a term. >> i'm going to believe whatever i want to believe. damn the experts and the news and charlie rose. >> we have alternatives and fake news, and we have i'll believe what i want to believe. what gives you the right to say what you say is a fact is more relevant 2457than what i say as fact. >> we used to have -- there's a certain class of experts in various realms and domains that say, yeah, they know more than i do. okay, that's true of science or whatever. in america, we had so delegitimized all those gat gatekeepers and gone to such an extreme of liberty and individual democracy that your opinion, your belief, your hunch, your feeling in your gut
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is equal or superior to anybody's fact. >> it's amazing when you look at these polls, which show how many people believe that barack obama was born outside the united states. >> or was the antichrist. >> or is the antichrist. that whole range of things. >> 5 million illegal voters, half of republicans believe that was true in 2016. sf >> it goes to 9/11 too. >> and vaccines cause autism. >> so how do we come out of this? >> we have known each other for a long time. i'm not a sky is falling guy. having thought about this and read deeply into this and written this history over the last few years, it has made me -- i don't have a strong conviction that we're going to snap out of it, that the pendulum is going to swing back
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and it is all going to be good again. i think those of us who believe that a shared set of facts and a shared sense of reality is the only way a society can function effectively -- there are some of those people who voted for donald trump. i have conservative republican friends who didn't vote for donald trump, but who share my concern that we all need to share a set of facts. so, i think there's -- if those among us who believe we have gotten out of control in this way and entered fantasy land make this an important thing that they teach their children, that they stand up for in their newspaper columns and elsewhere, whatever their politics are, we have a chance to make it no worse. i don't think we're going to roll it all the way back to the way it was when you and i were younger. >> steve bannon, for example,
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thinks that populism is on the rise. >> yes. >> but necessarily come from the right. it may very welcome from the left. >> so far what i'm talking about, politically, is much more consequential on the right. that doesn't mean people on the left can't be predisposed to believing untrue things if it confirms their previous ideas. so far that hasn't happened as much as it has happened on the right, but absolutely populism, which has lots of dangers of bigotry and nativism, is a different way of saying every person's beliefs about anything are as legitimate and valid as the people who actually know something about that subject. that, to me, in this realm is the danger of populism. >> when you also see donald trump's hold on those people who
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elected him, it's still pretty clear and pretty strong. there's some leakage here and there, but it's mostly held. they say he is exactly what i expected. he stood up to the establishment. he takes no prisoners. while he may not have gotten everything he promised, he's trying to. >> yeah. well, both with him and his supporters, i wonder how much of the time does he know he's telling untruths? how much of the time is he lying as opposed to believing the untrue things he says? >> what do you think on that? >> i think he definitely lies, but i think on the other hand on the case, for instance, of obama wiretapped me in trump tower or 5 million illegals voted he
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might have passed a lie detecter test on those two things or perhaps that obama wasn't born here. >> here's the interesting thing. if you want to hear those kinds of things on the internet today and on certain variations of where there is opinion radio or television and certainly the internet, you can hear those views expressed -- >> 24/7. >> -- 24/7. there's somebody saying something, whatever you want to say, gives you permission to say it. >> that didn't used to be the case. there have been always been crack pots and crank ideas around, but you had to subscribe to a newsletter to get them or a magazine that came every two weeks. >> today they're everywhere. >> today they're everywhere all the time. that is the new condition that i don't know how we escape, the downsides of it. >> what do you think the impact of the mueller investigation will be? >> we'll see. >> in the context of saying there is a norm that exists and that norm is law -- >> yes. >> -- and the rule of law --
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>> yes. and i hope that people still believe that, even though in the last 24 hours the president has said, oh, our judicial system is a joke. it's a laughing stock. that's dangerous talk, but i do think and i'm hopeful -- i cross my fingers. i have all my superstitious knocking on woods hoping that that's where it will stand, that this person of unimpeachable integrity will have an effect. i'm not talking about getting rid of donald trump. that's a whole other thing, but of saying, here's what happened, here are the laws that were broken, now the judiciary, congress, do what you will. >> the book is called "fantasyland: how america went haywire.."
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kurt andersen, thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you for joining us. see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. >> you're watching pbs.
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this is "nightly business report with tyler mathisen. it will be the biggest cut in the histo of our country. it will also be tax reform. and it will create jobs. >> republicans unveil their sweeping tax overhaul plan. what's in it, and what it could mean for the economy, housing, and your money. inside the federal reserve we understand that monetary policy decisions matter for american families and communities. >> ladies and gentlemen, meet the man who was nominated to be the next chair of the federal reserve, jerome powell. those stories and more tonight on "nightly business report" for good evening, everyone, and welcome.


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