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tv   Hugh Hewitt  MSNBC  July 8, 2017 5:00am-5:31am PDT

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ne ringing) what? keep going! yeah... (laughs) (voice on phone) it's not millennial enough. there are a lot of ways to say no. thank you so much. thank you! so we're doing it. yes! start saying yes to your company's best ideas. let us help with money and know-how, so you can get business done. american express open. morning, glory, i'm hugh hewitt. monday through friday, hear me on the salem radio network and its affiliates from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. eastern. saturday mornings i'm here on msnbc. in the second part of today's program, i'll be talking with a couple of new media superstars, political columnist anna marie cox, and perry bacon jr., senior writer for 538. one of the leading analytics in politics website available today. first there is perhaps no one better to talk to about the state of the world as it exists
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today than a novelist -- specifically, perhaps the best-selling thriller writer at work today. daniel silva is the number-one "new york times" bestselling author of 20 books. the last 17 of which concerned a character named gabriel alon. a key figure in the life of israel's secret service for the past many decades. silva's latest book, "house of spies," goes on sale monday in book stores across the land. of course on,, and familiar platforms. "house of spies" focuses primarily on the jewish state's battle with isis and its terror masterminds. silva's work has ranged across all of the crises familiar with the world including putin's russia, the islamic republic of iran, and of course terrorism that has deeply impacted our world. two weeks ago when i journaled to langley to interview cia director mike pompeo, i was not surprised to discover that the director was a reader of silva's. in fact, i'm more surprised when
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i find anyone in the world of espionage and international terror who has not read silva. daniel silva, welcome. great to have you here. >> so nice to be here, thank you. >> i wanted a novelist because a week that includes north korea with an icbm, putin, and trump in russia, and the fall of isis maybe, i thought maybe we need imagination. isis is on the ropes, raqqah has been breached, novel down to 200 yards. your book, "house of spies," is about isis. will isis be dead when raqqah and mosul are in non-isis hands? >> no. in fact, isis has been preparing for the loss of the physical caliphate or terrestrial caliphate for at least a year. they've seen that this is going to be the outcome. once the west got fully engaged in this. and i think what we will see is that already -- i mean, isis' top people have slipped out. they've moved into safer career to closer to the iraqi border. i think what we're likely to see is that isis will revert to
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something more like an unsirj see. keep in mind -- insurgency. keep in mind that the isis of today has been through several previous iterations, it began basically in 2003 with the u.s. invasion of iraq. and al qaeda in iraq and al zarqawi and that period. went through several different forms. and to think that it's going to magically disappear because we've taken a couple of cities away from them is wishful thinking. they were probably -- they've tactically shifted in many respects to being more an insurgency rather than trying to hold on to physical territory. but i think the biggest problem for the west is that all these pfeiffer fighters who came -- rushed in to syria to fight for isis, where are they going to go? >> where are they not? >> where they're likely to go -- they're likely to return to the
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arab countries in which they came or to western europe -- >> "house of spies" begins with fairly graphic, and i would say, prophetic attacks in london. you wrote them long before the terrible attacks on the two brij bridges and in manchester. >> i did. >> there's a large part of isis that's gone back to the united kingdom and europe. they're not going to stand down when iraqi falls. >> no. in rack -- when raqqah falls. >> no. in raqqah, we had a control room, almost a tv newsroom of operatives sitting at computers, laptops, phones, directing personnel, inspiring plots. that's not going to magically go away because isis has lost raqqah. it's a good thing. in my previous book, "the black widow," which dealt with this topic, my hero was very much for taking away his physical
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caliphate, turn him into losers. take away the caliphate. and it will -- it will go away eventually. but there's going to be some blow back before that happens. >> in previous books, you also dealt quite a lot with the russia of today and how sinister it is. and how absolutely -- in fact, the west lacks imagination about the nature of its enemies, whether it's iran, russia, or isis. that's why i wanted to talk to a novelist. you see the pictures of president putin and president trump yesterday sitting down. do you think the west, president trump, the people around him, have any idea how to deal with russia? how sinister it is? >> i mean, i think they have a different view of russia and think that vladimir putin is someone they can work with to effect change and bring stability back to syria, for example and other issues. i think that this administration and this president are likely to
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fall into the same trap that the previous two presidents and administrations did. both president bush and president obama tried to work with putin and were sorely disappointed. i think that this president and white house are going to come to the same conclusion rather quickly. it's a positive development that they're going to work together to try to create a limited cease-fire in syria and bring stability there. i -- let us hope that it holds. >> it that limited cease-fire, won't that give tehran, iran, a path to the sea? isn't that what's happening? that's why talking to a novelist sometimes is better than talking to a subject matter-specific expert because you range over the world. they're going to be able to drive a truck from tehran to south lebanon. >> the previous administration was -- predicted there would be a quagmire and get bogged down
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there. i think that that's been exactly opposite. the winners of the situation are the russians, the iranians, the assad regime, hezbollah. and yeah, that feared shia crescent stretching from tehran to the mediterranean is pretty much a reality now. >> you write -- all of your 17 novels are from the perspective of an israeli operative, a secret service operative. in saddaisrael as you talk to p to research this, what is their view of the world? they don't lack imagination for how bad things can get. they have experience with it. >> the topics that we're discussing now -- syria, for example, gabriel alon was an outlier. he was very much opposed to sitting back and doing nothing while assad butchered his people. and he acted that way throughout a couple of books. i think that israel was a little too content to sit back and
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enjoy the spectacle of various enemies killing each other on the syrian battlefield for too long. i think that changed. i mean, they -- we saw with a piece of intelligence that the israelis were able to deliver to the united states regarding the threat of laptop bombs. i think they are in tune to isis and trying to penetrate isis for their own security. >> last question. the "house of spies" comes out this week, are you braced for even worse? >> what i'm braced for in terms of this issue is not necessarily worse when you look at 9/11. let's look at the road that we got here. at the time of 9/11, al qaeda was 400 committed members. 400. we are now looking at a situation in the united kingdom where they are tracking some
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23,000 jihadis, thousands and thousands of networks. operatives in various countries around the world. what i look for, i think that it's possible that isis will fade away internationally, and that those guys are going to be drawn back into an al qaeda again. an al qaeda led by bin laden. i look for al qaeda to be resurgent in the coming years. and they are not content to have guys stabbing people and running to people over with trucks. they're going to want to do something big. >> i hope everyone starts with the kill artist and goes all the way through "the house of spies." daniel silva, congratulations on this, what will turn out to be a number-one "new york times" best seller. >> hope so. thank you very much for having me. >> i recommend with people that they begin with the first novel, "the kill artist." indeed, they can all be read on their own. they will inform as they entertain. coming up, the death spiral of the press or just another
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barbarism will deliver you no glory. piety to evil will bring you no dignity. if you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be fully condemned. just as poland could not be broken, i declare today for the world to hear that the west will never, ever be broken.
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our values will prevail. our people will thrive. and our civilization will triumph. >> welcome back. i'm hugh hewitt. that was president donald trump first in riyadh in late may of this year speaking to arab leadership both political and religious. and the second donald trump was in poland before g-20 got underway in hamburg. people view the speeches along with that to congress in february as his historical high points of his presidency. liberals and in conservatives or anti-trumpers, those willing to give the president a hearing, don't seem to be watching the same movie when it comes to the president. worse, they are shouting about the different movies that they are watching at each other, on line, 24/7. joining me to discuss this, anna maria cox, host of the podcast "with friends like these," contributor to "the new york times" and original wonket, and
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director of 538 and a political correspondent for nbc news, welcome to you both. anna maria, i'll start with. i think you're of the left. i'm of the right. perry in the center. what do you make of this two -- the world views of donald trump that -- some never hear a bad word, some never hear a good word. >> well, you know, i think -- i don't want to derail the entire conversation. i think one of the problems is that we're talking about the movie and not about the actual policy. the movie is meant to be entertaining. it's meant for proponents to role up the troops. on the other hand, for people that are critics -- i think it's fair to say trump doesn't care what the critics think, and also to the -- he cares the fact that they get hiangry makes him feel better about what he's doing. imo mnthink in some ways we're spending too much time curtailing the movie and talking about what's happening in the theater perhaps. other thing i would say is this
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isn't new. you know, we've always kind hear two different world views. i think what's new and disturbing and the thing we can all agree on is that sometimes you get so caught up in the movie, we're not even talking about what the true facts on the ground r. we're not listening to each other. i know for myself one of the reasons i listen to your show, hugh, why i watch fox news -- sorry -- on occasion is because i want to know what other people are thinking, and i want to be open to the idea that i might be wrong about something. i would hope that my colleagues on the other side would do the same. >> are we talking about the movies too much and not what putin and trump said yesterday -- >> i think we're covering it. trump tweets about something and there's a lot of coverage. general mattis, secretary mattis makes a big decision, you don't get as much -- we're covering policy at times, not enough. and the tweets and drama around donald trump and like -- i find the stories about will reince
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priebus be fired on july 4th, he didn't get fired on july 4th, as was purported. the stories about the infighting at the white house often don't really tell us anything we don't know. white house staffers have always feud feud feuded in every administration versus policy matters. donald trump is changing government in mar ways, i think it should be more on the focus and less on the palace intrigue and tweets. >> i think the civil war and commentary is actually drawing us away from the big issues. north korea -- that's why i began with daniel silva. he was talking about isis and north korea and putin and do you agree with me, perry, that we are not -- that we're fighting with each other an awful lot, but we are all avoiding the 9/11 that's out there that's coming? >> i think that the russia issue i think is going covered extensively and in a certain way in the more investigative ways. i don't think we're missing the big stories. i think you have to be careful about who you're reading, following on twitter, and so on. i think i tried to make sure my
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own news -- to make sure not to follow the same 10 or 15 political writers. make sure i'm reading "the weekly standard," read things on fox news, make sure i'm following fox's twitter. i think the commentary is angry about everything, but it is -- a lot going on here now. people saying we have a big health care bill, immigration changes happening, we have north korea, huge issue -- we could only be talking about north korea this entire hour, and it would be appropriate, as well. i think the number of issues is hard. the fact that trump has unsettled both parties is part of why i think there's so much feuding. >> he did that -- anna marie, he has unsettled the left and right. the anti-trimpers never stop being -- anti-trumpers never stop being anti-trump. i think we've lost focus on what north korea means with an anti-ballistic missile, an icbm, and nuclear capacity. do you think we're giving enough time of to the big issues and way too much time to donald
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trump? >> i think we're giving way too much time to donald trump. i think that's something the media tends to feed. i believe that that pro-wrestling gif that he tweeted was such a perfect distillation of what's happening in the media. cnn is like a willing participant in this. i should say extended beyond cnn. the media in general, to some extent. perhaps more specific. enjoys getting in the ring with trump. they want that to be the main show. i think as journalists what we know to do is show our value in serving the people and just in fighting trump, if that makes sense. our role is not just to beat up in the ring and be part of the role. it's the truth. the president clintonization of national security -- polypitization of national security was already happening. trump is making it more obvious and in talking about national security, the way he does, and
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denigrating national security to a certain extent and making it seem like they are political players, not to say that they aren't political players, but i think he's made it like a litmus test for people like are you for or against him. i think some of the commentary has sort of bought into that idea in referencing national security. >> has that gone -- go ahead, perry. >> in the press a little bit, one issue -- i think that there is the gifs or comments about anchors and those things becoming the news. trump is doing something different in terms of how he handles the presidency. whether you agree or not, like used to be in the old world, holding press conferences by the president, having a daily press conference, that was part of the white house's message. that was part of how they used the tools of the presidency. by changing that and really, you know, devaluing the press secretary and in valuing his twitter feed more, that's a big shift in how he's using the tools of the presidency. i don't think that's an irrelevant story. we probably -- we should frame it less in terms of trump is being mean to us or trump is denying us information and more about trump is governing in a much different way than other
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president have is smart or not, i can argue that the press secretary job could be useful for trump if they use it a certain way. i think they're not using the job smartly. there's a different case than just this is bad or good. i think there's way to think about trump is changing the presidency. that's probably a smarter way to think about it. >> let me ask you before we -- the subject bothers me a lot. this commentary, civil war, has drifted down now to the family level. i mean, to friends and family and anna maria and perry, do you see that? what's your advice to people? i think it's fracturing longtime families and friends. it's very bad for the country. >> yeah. well, hugh, this is what my podcast is about. so -- i appreciate you bringing that up. and i've actually talked to people on the left and right about this. it is a real issue. i have some personal advice -- my in-laws are all conservative, my husband was a republican when i married him. and that is to not -- your probably not going to convince the people closest to you. and in fact, i think that this
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is one area where it is better to listen than to convince. no one is going to change their mind because of a debate you had over thanksgiving dinner. i think if you wants to talk about policies and have debates, it's better to do it with people you don't share a house or bed with. the people that you share a home with are the people you need to have deeper connections with beyond policy and politics. >> a demille triesed zone at home? >> yeah, pretty much, yes. >> perry, do you agree? >> i don't. i think more talk about politics would be good. i think trump tapped into something when he was saying people feel like it's too much of a p.c. world. i can't be open it feelings. there's value to people -- people have deeply felt the -- gay marriage, race, religion. people talk about those things more. the idea you shouldn't talk about politics or religion in front of people, that's a bad idea. i think we should have more and franker and more open and more real conversation about what divides us.
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that will help with the issues -- >> i should be clear -- >> friends like these -- >> yes. i was going kos it's not you -- good to say it's not you shouldn't talk about them, you can talk about your feelings, but avoid warring over them if that makes sense. i think that perry and i are not that far par-- far apart. >> who do you talk to on "friends like these," only conservatives? >> no, it's a show about differences. basically the only people i don't talk to are liberal white guys. i think they get -- they probably have a -- plenty of venues. we talk disabled activists, transgendersered people conservatives, never trumpers, sometimes trumpers. the idea is to sort of try and talk about the things we normally don't talk about. >> good for you. >> i will be having my in-laws on the show. >> okay. anna maria cox, perry bacon, thank you both. we'll be right back.
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good morning, i'm thomas roberts here at msnbc world headquarters in new york at the half hour. this is what we're watching for you -- the sidelines of the g20 summit today with president trump holding talks with british prime minister theresa may. the president said the u.s. and uk will reach a deala on a new trade deal quickly. and hackers have launched a series of cyberattacks targeting a dozen nuclear power plants in this country. several u.s. intelligence officials are telling nbc news that russian hackers are strongly suspected. the fbi and homeland security say the cyberattack appears to be limited to administrative and business networks, not plant controls. in southwestern japan,


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