tv Game of Thorns CSPAN April 11, 2017 3:03am-4:16am EDT
thanks for coming to the bookshop, thanks for joining us at east city bookshop. who is here for the first time? welcome. thanks for stopping by. we are excited to have you. just so you know, we have one to two author events every week plus or weekly book clubs, two-story times per week and a variety of social gatherings like coloring books and wine so if you enjoy your time here tonight please check us out on social media on facebook and aims to graham and on twitter and sign up for the newsletter and you will hear about all the other cool things we have coming up. but tonight it is our pleasure to welcome douglas lee, "the new york times" best-selling author. he's been an adviser to two american presidents and is one of the few living historians to have written about all of the american presidents.
he's interviewed six u.s. presidents, 71st ladies, co-authored a book with one, has entertained too in his own home and served on the white house staff as special assistant to the president. he cofounded the charity with nancy reagan and he is here to talk about his new book game of forms with tenet wh kenneth siel introduced shortly. after our talk we will have a q-and-a from the audiencq&a fron you are welcome to purchase a copy of the book to have signed. thanks for joining us. >> it is my privilege to introduce the president of the white house press corps association that on the big dinner that donald trump refused to attend this year. one of the most prestigious event in washington, d.c.. and he has covered how many presidents?
>> six presidents in the white house as part of the white house press corps. he's worked at u.s. news for how many years? >> 33 years. and a senior writer he has had almost every title and position you can sing god. he is a remarkable journalist. he may be a mom -- they are almost extinct i will put it to you that way. four or five journalists that i know of who i don't know where he stands politically. all the others i could tell you if they are left or right. i can't tell you where kenneth is because he's absolutely objective and pursues the story whatever it may be. so i guess we can call him a traditional journalist were
old-fashioned journalist, but it's a profession that's disappearing pretty quickly and only had a brief time that it flourished so i will turn it over to him. he's the author of many books in his own right and one that i loved is the history of all the places where the presidents lived like nixon and the kennedys. he's written a book on that which you can find at the bookstore and another book i love is the celebrity president he writes about how presidents have become celebrities and that's part of their power today. the extension of the bully pulpit and he has out his new book if we can ask them to see what that is and then we will get started. >> i'm a traditional journalist, so i hope that by the end of this discussion you don't know my politics and that i've
succeeded in that for 31 years covering the white house because i don't think i could have covered the presidents ranging from ronald reagan to clinton and barack obama and now donald trump unless i could talk about things like that in the middle. the other thing i want to mention as we've known each other for 25, 27 years now and so i hope he can conduct our wer talk like the talk over lunch. we will sort of the informally and wbe informallyand we welcome questions afterwards and i find whenever we have lunch and i do this with many sources, the best information comes in a more informal give and take which is what i hope we will do so, with that, it's a very interesting time for the book to come out. he was kind enough to mention i have a book coming out called ultimate insiders about white house photographers, the staff photographers and personal photographers that are the ultimate flies on the wall and
they hear things no one else hears and sees things no one else sees so that is my next book coming out in september. but it's an interesting time for this discussion and for the book because the town is just the biggest parlor game in washington now it's what is donald trump all about. what is he going to do next, what is going to happen, what is the republican party anymore and i hope doug can explain a little bit about that as we go on. what has become of clinton and so on but really it is donald trump has dominated the day today because in every news organization we basically have to have somebody cover donald trump from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. because he puts them out there so this is another layer of coverage that's been added but i want to start by asking basically the basic question you
the ceo on google is in charge of social media and had academia and ahead of wall street and had the banks, 240 newspaper endorsements, he had 19 but he had a message and it was burned like a brand. everybody in america knew what his message was. everybody didn't know if you ask them what is the message that the new donald trump's message make america great again. and what i would say to them at the trump tower they would say we are on message because he was not a politician and i think the american people were tired of politicians. they have the last two presidents, ric the rich got ri, the poor got poorer.
they outnumbered the rallies and intensity that it really doesn't tell you how the election is going to come out. the rallies do matter and it turned out that the data. and i'd wonder if you saw that coming and felt that intensity around the country. people said if they went to these places like pennsylvania and ohio and some instant wisconsin-based office finds and in washington it was dismissed but that doesn't indicate what's going to happen. when you saw it coming i have bob here by the way who will have the next book party and he told me he signs all over pennsylvania and i said i don't see him. the things i kept thinking of is i remember george mcgovern had a very intense rallies and i can't forget george mcgovern saying i
don't believe the polls. i see the enthusiasm and the crowds. you can't tell me this doesn't equal eight to something so i heard that echo in my mind. i kept remembering george mcgovern who was misled by those rallies. but i have to admit it took me off guard. i am portrayed as one of the few that said he might win. it's been a specialty of mine the evangelical vote and my wife, i think her because she was running everything on the book and my daughter is around here somewhere taking pictures, they were helping me do the research on the buck that one of the things we hit was the evangelical vote and a mistake that baracthey missedit but bard he called up their towards the
end and said you are losing the white evangelical vote and you don't have to and they laughed at him. after the election was over, one of obama's assistants wrote an op-ed in the "washington post" said why did hillary lose the evangelical vote and the headline is she didn't ask for it. the fact turned out to matter because ed 1% of them voted for donald trump and i can tell you from our experience and they were very conflicted right up to the end. he wasn't someone they wanted to support at november 4 when a bunch of celebrities got together and they started using the f. word and all kinds of profanities and getting out the vote and using jesus i thought what -- wait a second with a bunch of celebrities get together and use the name mohammed in a campaign song what
kind of reaction but you get, 1% are muslim and 70% are christi christian. is that going to work? they don't pay attention to this so it doesn't matter but it does matter in most flyover states. trump didn't have the role model qualities. he didn't live his life as evangelicals and conservative christians were practicing catholics feel someone should live their life as far as to studio 54 hedonistic lifestyle and how he talked about winning and so on. how did people get past that? >> there was a moment in the book where he's at the trump tower and is depressed and despond and misses this old preacher who was a presbyterian, very positive guy on fifth avenue. he would go down to the church and listen and he missed it so he's watching tv and sees this
sexy blonde televangelists come on and talk about hope. he calls her up on the phone and says bart trevithick. can i get you up here and he flies her to new york city and she walks him through the neighborhood so to speak because when you study his life he would always move into a neighborhood and rent. he wouldn't buy. then he would hit the pavement, walk around and listen to people, talk with people, wouldn't buy a thing sometimes for several years and then when he thought he knew the area he would buy. well, this televangelists walked him around the evangelical neighborhood and he knew the different subcultures. when you talk about 26% of the american population and compare that to african-americans, 12.9% there are a lot of subgroups. he understood those and when he gave his speeches and he would say things that would be hints
about what go over the heads of the "washington post" and "new york times" at one point, he said to paula jones, this was donald trump u. should know, i've been married three times and she said me to. so she wasn't judgmental to him. that is a story that has hardly been told. then the catholic story was there's a story where bill clinton takes the cell phone and throws it off the roof of his presidential pad in little rock arkansas because he's so mad at hillary and the staff. he wanted her to go to notre dame and saint patrick's day to give a speech and she wouldn't do it and then wen then when tha e-maile-mails came out, you cane it on russia but when they came out, the catholic spring, that was damaging and bill clinton's answer was the need t you need t in front of that and speak up
and basically the idea was once the get into power we are going to set up the kennedys and we will co-opt the catholic church and influenced the doctrine to make it a catholic spring. >> host: more of a liberal socially acceptable. a lot to think it's one thing for you to separate church and state and get mad at us for talking about social policy, but you're going to take over the church? bill clinton wanted her to get in front of that and say this is wrong. i denounce that. just like a republican would denounce a donation from the wrong person. but her fear was there is no reason to call attention to this. a lot of people don't even know about it. the news media isn't covering it so let's keep it under wraps and bill clinton said you can't do that. it's out there. it's going from bishop to bishop.
you have to get out front and say absolutely not we have nothing to do with it. >> you mentioned some of it came out in that e-mail. 22% of the population are catholic. and this is part of that e-mail, massive amounts of e-mail from the clinton campaign and john podesta and jennifer was part of that both of whom were catholic as i remember which is why they had the expertise to deal they could influence. so how much was the week, how much difference did it make? >> if you think back to when george h. w. bush won with a tremendous landslide and he split the catholic vote 50/50 and yet he won a landslide
because of the evangelicals he had, trump took the catholic vote substantially over hillary clinton. she could have gotten a portion of that as barack obama said afterwards if she had asked and then bill clinton felt she would have gone after them so she could have had some of those. so i think those e-mails did have a big impact and i think that they have belatedly come to that conclusion. i think the first reaction was this is all james fault and they said that, the fbi director. public statements, it's all james fault and then later as you will hear them, then it became the russians fault. in fairness, the russians gave money to hillary clinton. they gave money to the foundation and got the silicon valley deal. there was actually potentially theoretically in exchange.
there was no exchange with trump if they help him locate using power and first thing he does is increase military spending. what kind of deal is that? >> the other thing i wanted you to talk about a little bit is the white working class because i know in the buck you talk about how you pick this up and i was picking it up from the reporter's standpoint on how hillary clinton was just completely missing the problem she was having in the rust belt states they were confident they were going to win pennsylvania. the litany was the always talked about winning pennsylvania but they almost never did. and of course florida is a different area of the country that that happened in the working class. i know in the book i actually put a little tag on it because i'm from a working-class background myself and i know you said people had been overlooked, despised, taken for granted,
this was their moment to speak. they had been shamed into telling the pollsters what they wanted to hear but in the privacy of the polling booths they had struck a blow korea to talk about that. he's not a working-class guy, he's an american business aristocrats. how did he sends this, and michael moore was right on the money when he did his event in ohio he kind of teased the audience if he remembered that he looked out and said i know what you're going to do and they all kind of laughed like he caught them like they were little kids and he caught them in the act because he knew they were going to vote for donald trump. i think they presented being pushed and the media, the condescension of the media. some in the media may have overplayed it and they just
reacted to that. don't tell me what to do. it might have worked but i think it might have been overdone and the media came off as desperate. they didn't like being called racist. they voted twice for barack obama. the same group all through the rust belt states. they took a great pride in the fact the white catholic union voters twice they voted for barack obama. they were proud of themselves and loved to see that stigma of racism ended and they took pleasure in voting for barack obama. now they were being called racist because they didn't vote for another democrat who wasn't african-american? i think they thought i'm not good to be pushed into that. talk about the deplorable moment where she used that word to describe a love of the trump
supporters and that was taken as offensive by a lot of the people. >> it was worn like a badge by many people because it showed the humor that was overplayed. we are quick to think of the worst things about ourselves if somebody says something about us and it is critical we often will say that's true and assume, but here the voters were just defined like i'm deplorable, give me a break. they thought that was an overreach and they kind of pushed back and talk pride and wore it on their lapel. >> i want to get to what do you make of what's going on with president trump but before i do that, what did you learn about the country from this campaign your self, what did you learn about where the country is or what they want from their government and how much change do people want and what did you learn about donald trump.
we talked about that a lot and worked for the publishing company that was terrific. they didn't know how the import export bank works. the average person doesn't know how the federal reserve works, doesn't know the detail of the stimulus plan which allowed, though it was pushed by liberals and it was obama's plan is allowed to major companies to virtually ignore the environmental regulations, so they had it both ways and they
could say we are strong on the environment and bake at what the nature monopolies disregarded the environmental ball but keep them for small businesses. so, there was a lot of i don't think how else to put it but corruption. that's why towards the end, they pushed him into this drain the swamp because the average voter couldn't explain what details te details were, but they had this sense we are getting screwed and they had it on the left, on the right and when romney came forward i think that he was a big shock. i came away impressed with the fact they have a good sense of
smell and sentenced to something is wrong. >> we tend to see things as in big trouble as far as credibility goes like organized religion. the church as people see it, congress, the news media, the presidency has gone from 73% favorable rating in people's minds in 1973 to about 20% today or the 30%. congress is like 9%. the only institutions that are above water and had a favorable rating or the military and the police. just about everything else is a tremendous credibility problem or crisis. people said something has gone
wrong here and for many, that question on the right action and the wrong track has been in a negative. people feel we are headed in the wrong direction and they got to the point they said donald trump is a flawed candidate but he's going to shake things up and i think to me that is one big lesson i drew from the whole campaign. but i wanted to ask about where we are today. donald trump has talked about doing things republicans traditionally like such as increasing the military budget as you said can increase the homeland security budget but at the same time, he is opposed to the trade that republicans have liked for many years. he doesn't want to tamper with social security and medicare which a lot of republicans want
to find a way to overhaul so what does the republican party stand for, what does it mean, i think that we are in a transition right now and it hasn't settled, but we have been cut loose and it seems like the old left and right no longer apply. but there is a sense by some that the united states is like brazil. everything is up for sale. part of the economic boom on wall street is what i describe as envy. i get along indirectly or directly from the federal reserve but i would do better in the free market and i don't get as big of a loan as you do so there is a sense that there is
corruption but i don't know that i'm getting the best deal. i need be beating the small business but i don't know that i'm beating this company over here and almost the desire to end it. let's get back to makes the best product and comes in on time and serves the marketplace. i think there was excitement maybe they can find a way back to that so that isn't left or right. it's kind of a recapturing for the enterprise. we lost a lot of it under the republican and a democrat. >> the signature book is the art of the deal and in that he talks about his approach to doing things.
how much can his business savvy translate into governing because we haven't had a good experience in the past. herbert hoover was a pariah for a long time. he did have some government experience. can trump convert his prowess into effective governing strategy? iowa to give him some credit for some of the jobs that have come back. they say that distrust talk. what i like i think that he was wise enough to see the largest transfer of wealth outside of the middle east and that's been the wealth that has left the united states and gone to china.
they found a suitcase of cash in his room. there is a scene in the book that he is with mam malania and she's saying why do you have to do this, we have worked so hard and we finally have a great life and we have reached this moment everything is perfect. why do you have to do this and he senses that it's being taken away from him and he says that i could have been. he's thinking i know how to fix this. i could fix it.
i have no strings attached. i'm willing to take this on when nobody else is and then asked that point she says while, if you want to do this, be prepared for the fact. >> there was always this chatter he didn't want to win he just wanted to increase its brand and be more famous. he would take his marbles and go home and give up the nomination. but you found at the end of the campaign he was working harder than hillary clinton and he really wanted this. >> there is a part that he was prepared if he loses. we will start our own television
network and write a book called rigged. he never agreed to that but that was the talk so he was prepared for that. but others to use this axiom i used as the title in the book you've got to land the plane and they say the pilot you've are in trouble if you run out of fuel if both engines are blown your going to die and you're up there and a pilot is taught you do not stop flying the plane you fly all the way down to the ground. maybe you will abide by your definitely going to die if you panic so keep flying the plane and look for somewhere to land it and watch for the telephone pole into the high wires and the trees.
you don't stop until you are on the ground or dead. that is kind of the metaphor. so he started building the ground game afraid -- even though. so when he started to three months out, there was a field office in florida hillary had 57 and they completed most of the work. thbut he kept folding them into than he had 87 field offices in florida and they barely squeaked out florida. at a certain point you are right it came at the end. they sat on the one interview on ttv iowa browser and a campaign like this with the wind at my back.
>> why dwhat do you make of willingness if someone criticizes him he has to respond in a salon and particularly this accusation that president obama spied on him at trump tower and ordered wiretapping without any explanation? >> i wouldn't advise it if i were working on the white house team but it is a quaint reassurance that like the fact he's got these rough edges. but having said that, i have to tell you something. donald trump isn't the first person to suspect that his predecessor spied on him.
hillary clinton you can read about it she was convinced that george herbert walker bush was spying on him so he had been the director of the cia and had the secret service department at the white house and had the fbi come in to see who was listening and eventually they organized what they called the white house security personnel office and they put two of their own staffers to access the files of the political enemies because they had all of george herbert walker bush files. those are the ones they used to use for blackmail purposes and they had access and it became a scandal.
this isn't a case of one process or calling the other publicly and i don't think they made that public. they were very obsessed with the idea that the household staff and secret service were not loyal to them and you are aware of all that and there is truth to that they were right. but the defenders would say he's airing it out and it's good to air it out and talk about it because after the news media savvy to this only a few days later the big story is the cia can look at you from your television set.
there is an expectation that the president might have a more elevated respect for him. but in any case, the other thing looking at trump today, how much can he unify the country if he seems to be focused on this idea of the state buried in the government to work against him and the bureaucracy against him. do you take that very seriously and can he bring the country together? >> if it had kept going and he had kept doing that. do i think e. well, i don't kn know. but they said it all through a combination process there is a
point where his missteps could reach critical mass. i saw it happen with richard nixon. there is one more thing. i'm still with him. >> there is the sense that it would be just a snap judgment kind of thing or a change in policies or broken promise or do we have much of a sense of how that would work? >> everything is scrambled because of the sense of the people and i think rightly so because there is a lot of
corruption and because of that, i don't know that they are willing to trust somebody else and i think they do resent being pushed like the stories on tv about how much it costs to protect the children. what do they want, they want the children to be murdered, i've traveled with them around the world and they have to have secret service protection so here they are what get all this money they are spending. do they want to be protected, do they want chelsea to be protected.
i think that omission is kind of irritating to people. they made a big thing and he's doing it more than obama did. would you tell the story or what i get you in trouble if you told the story about george w. bush elected as he flies from texas back to washington and the only people on the great big plane as
you sit down with the new president elect another is a number oas anumber of ways thatd go. i know there is one story. there's storiethere is stories e ranch, but there is one that's relevant here in many ways because i remember the first was getting ready to know him before he ran for president. there was a spokesman or spokes
person that left the room and it was just me and him showing me his baseball collection. but he never said thank you. [laughter] sitting there by ourselves, she said i hope that now you and your colleagues in the media i know it's different. that might be with trump on the campaign. so i took a risk and said you and me and he knows i tell the story. mr. president, in those days, you were pretty much in asshole and he said you're right, i was. forgive my language but that's the way the story went. [laughter]
insert. >> because he already could not wait. because he exceeded that reagan moves at his ranch almost one year of his presidency. >> people always measure the lead that that was interesting. i have a george w. bush story that relates to issues today when donald trump said he thought his predecessor obama of was wired tight beekman negative wiretapping him with this statement was the president never directed he be wiretap i thought
president's don't direct. has nobody rich in this? because of the legend of the story beyond tried cannot figure he wanted the man murdered. and i remember a time being on the airplane with george w. bush where i said to him i will do this and then send this it was not illegal he grunted and moaned i took that to be okay and i didn't and it turned out afterwards he was happy but he never said yes. that is what i want you to do.
heads of magazines and bookstores and presidents of the united states never say direct you but you quickly figure out what they want oftentimes they are silent. >> there is also the notion of plausible deniability. then he wants to have a way to deny he ever did that but also the sole foreign intelligence system and that is away that could have happened.
>> puc will negative dinky has signs to temper himself? and now to say five days. but it took 300 days before she had her second conference by accounting. >> have been in the white house yourself do you think of the disarray of what has been talked about is overdone? that it's pretty normal. and supposed to be the secretary of defense. the u.s. senate was outraged
to say he cannot be secretary of defense he is a new alcoholic. [laughter] for them to you criticize somebody to be no alcoholic is a little hypocritical. does anybody have questions also with live streaming dryexx a question or comment >> which u.s. president with the similarities and differences? >> one eyed compare the most is andrew jackson. the first six were opposed billion.
other then jackson who was episcopalian all six presidents were part of that aristocracy they all favor the national bank that made the rich richer and the board report and the second national bank he said absolutely not he was profane, crude, from the battles he had fought when he came back after he won the election like a drunken party. and then he took revenge after he won. and then instead of the political each.
and then became known as the spoils system. and it became a scandal eventually also comparing to teddy roosevelt those to have the unfair monopoly. >> and wanted to show anchor on behalf that he did use this phrase about there were forgotten americans that he was representing them and they felt that. during the campaign he was such a tough guy when he was president because his wife rachel was not divorced from
her first husband because he was very abusive she did not realize it had not gone peru the captor protected from this chief about and she died before he took office and he always blamed his adversaries for killing his wife. that is the pretty harsh way to start your presidency. and he said up his own media which is what trump is doing going to be all right media
he would have his favorite newspaper editors i am sure trump would like to do that himself but technology has changed. >> with the high-tech technology basically they had none of that what does that say if they did get organized? >> those who have all of the attorneys in the world and even john spicer said that if they had caught them it
also turns up the the tuchman negative that technology for other ways to deal with the country and that they did very well indeed seven key states for one thing we might have learned from the selection the political technology that we have to reevaluate that. because the poles took a big hit. that day did pretty much get the national polls right with 3 million more votes than he did.
hillary clinton and crimes were will say hillary clinton crius - - cries. one with a criminal referral or more criminal speech. but it is up there with the very second search with wicked pds they did a great job band-aid dominated in the area of those kugel searches with the former ceo they did a tremendous job so republicans have a lot of work to do technologically.
>> during research for the book did you come across stories that you just could not validate? >> you wanted them in their view could not validate the. >> the editor were very thorough they spend almost one week where did you get this? so the word occasionally was not a good enough but most of them multiple stories like when she learned she lost the election when it
dawned on her the improbably a subway was not sure that it was true then shattering glass so there was all of this billing on the second source was not good enough that it is a part of history some bills will right negative i cannot control what happens but then when the governor went on national tv and a wetback to see the so there was some stories but i was troubled by is the source over 20 years and it was troubling to me.
so the woman and their crimes with which. and they say you are kidding me and i thought it was very disrespectful. and they said after i worked there for a while that there were people that could act that way but not too many. and then there is the story of johnny and we do not know where he is. he made this videotape for his lawyer n14 people he is
in the people's republic of china and disappeared. deal may one that actually testified before congress and that the money did come from the people's republic of china. i got a phone call from a whistle-blower flu said i have read some of the stories about your book and i have a story that i thinking can now be told i said the fbi may not be interested so they are looking into with. so the transfer of welding equipment the chinese
>> du believe that trump has the potential to push back the makes it increasingly difficult but or even those difficult convictions? >> what is your answer to that? very politically incorrect. and many are emboldened to speak freely there is many more outlets for conservatives were we're just broken into compartments and don't talk to people beyond them but conservatives are very much
emboldened wishes of they are talking over everybody else. >> and it is disappointing they seem so far apart in their so angry m1 and blood negative intense the rivalry can be. and he helped with the book game of thorns detractor every moderator of every presidential debate. and because of the internet
there is no mystery to identify 121 of them. they would say something in a speech and find it all malign -- on-line. >> the other thing about these debates if you look at that key debate that people thought nixon in one and was sitting in the back with a panel of reporters. and then to crane my neck stood turnaround and that
word = to the candidates. and the political part is one part of the celebrity culture and the of moderator's and the first debates like lincoln douglas there was of a clock they just vote for an hour or an hour-and-a-half. if it was quite a show part of the is celebrity culture part of what we are. and the poison of making kelly.
>> she gets into the limousine and he'd drive bond negative the driver officers in her coffee. no. they go further and says this will relax you so she takes the coffee and immediately gets violently sick and goes to the bottom to start throwing up. she covers up with a blanket , that is the debate where she says you call them fat pigs. she had the blanket under the desk she felt like she was poisoned. >> working in political campaigns and with the
debate roger ailes catafalques sewed just before the debate started he made death big moment to walk out on stage just before the red light went on to see what is going enhance bush a piece of paper and have bush smiles it was the word killed. laugh laugh adjust relaxed tim. like a secret to ambush. but sometimes the advisers just have to use those techniques. >> but the collision between the bushes and the clintons they both have the same donors if you look through the list, and major donors. identical.
and they say don't worry about donald trump. because there is a silver bullet out there. and don't determine if is the brutish secret service file with that "access hollywood" file and when but and then to begin looking for the silver bullet. and i was a part of the presidential campaign and it was something to behold. pdf been fear this crazy
well know and of busch family looks -- believes in a certain nobility but an with lee atwater. if you are interested is the fabulous story of how we reinvent politics in many ways. and he was behind that whenever they needed to. and then roger ailes was no pushover either. and karl rove. >> coup was the other guy?
i cannot remember his name now. old buddy -- always somebody to be the diplomat. >> we have had negative campaigns book that is a very good point. >> thanks for joining us tonight it has been a pleasure to host this talk please remain to get a book and have been assigned and mingle with the authors. [applause] [inaudible conversations]