tv Jonathan Karl Betrayal - The Final Act of the Trump Show CSPAN July 8, 2022 6:02pm-7:09pm EDT
instagram and facebook. >> welcome to p&p live. i'm bradley graham, co-owner politics and prose along with my wife lissa muscatine and would light up with this afternoon abc news correspondent jonathan karl here to talk about his informative new book, that triumph, final act of the trunk show. brief housekeeping notes. first the question at any point during the event just click on the qa icon at the bottom of the screen and then the chat column will find a link to purchase copies of "betrayal." jonathan no doubt is similar to many of you. he's chief washington correspondent for abc news and served as network chief white house correspondent, in addition to white house is covered congress, the pentagon and state
department and also is a a for president of the white house correspondents' association. last year just as a pandemic arose jonathan came out with a book "front row at the trump show" which chronicled the first years of the trump administration and during his two annette decades of experience reporting on trump. "betrayal" is a sequel that picks up the story in the administration's final chaotic tumultuous year. jonathan was able to cover a number of things that are not yet been revealed about that time and makes clear just how close our democratic system came to unraveling. as he writes, the simple truth about the last year of the trump presidency is that his lies turned deadly and shook the foundations of our democracy. in conversation with jonathan this afternoon would be another veteran white house reporter, peter baker of the "new york times." peter has authored several books himself on the presidencies of clinton, bush and obama and co-author to macbooks with his
wife susan glasser who's now with the new yorker including one about the early years of vladimir putin's will and a biography last year of james baker. he and susan are currently working on their own book about the trump years. jonathan peter take it away. >> thank you very much for hosting this today, and thank you to lisa who is also working on a book, and can't wait to read that. anybody who doesn't know brad and alyssa are former colleagues of mine and my wife's of the "washington post" and, of course, all the best and most extraordinary bookstore in america, so we're so glad you have become such an important place for people to gather, talk about big books like john's here. john, i want stop icing for civil i love your book. "betrayal" is a great book. anybody who's watching the should buy it. buy for christmas, for your parents come for your uncles and aunts. bye for the people love trump and buy for people hate trumpet
anybody should be to pick us an important book. i want to ask you what makes your book different than all the other cookbooks? the are a lot as you know a lot of comic books. my answer quickly as i think you provide a really smart insightful and powerful account of these last days that has reporting we have seen from any of the others, as good as it were, and in my mind he do a great job of framing the consequences of why this matter. what happened. not just a spectacle that was part of it, spectacle will always be part of trump brand but this is important for washington and for the country and for the world and i think you did great job making clear why does. tell us why you want to do another book until 20 think the stands out as apart from some of the other one? >> thank you, peter, and thank you for doing this. you have covered the white house speed i think in a way, i mean, you are my go to white house reporter so it's an honor to be
here with you. what is different about this book and what i i set out to n this book that is different is the entire arc of the book is trying to explain what happened, what led to the disaster that we saw unfold on january 6th. so the timeline art is the beginning of 2020, beginning with with the end of the impeachment trial, the first impeachment trial, and trump's the acquittal which happened in the first week of february. i don't try to exhaustively go through like some of the of the books and deal with everything that was going on with trump. what i do is i really try to provide then narrative arc of how we got to where we were and i think that there, there are key themes that explain to how we ended up in that moment of crisis. in focusing it somewhat more narrowly than other books, i was
able to go through and focus my reporting as well, and i knew that the borrower was going to be -- the bar was can be very hot in terms of what her but he saw unfold. i had to get beyond just explaining the extraordinary events that we all saw, that you and i covered on a day-to-day basis. i imagine you do the same thing that i've kept a journal. i've kept the journal since i was in college, and on and off to various degrees, but throughout 2020 i kept a rather detailed journal as i was covering these extraordinary events. in that i wrote questions that i had that he couldn't get answered. covering the pandemic, covering trump the way he was approaching his reelection campaign, covering obviously the election
itself and the disastrous transition that we saw in trump's efforts to undermine democracy, and they couldn't get all the answers. under the pressure data reporting. i knew there was more to the story. my first draft was really that journal which enabled me to direct my reporting and uncover things that i had no idea at the time but i knew there was more to the story than what we were all saying. >> what's the most important question you wrote in that journal that you then went back to try to answer and did you get the answer you were hoping for? >> there were many important questions day-to-day. i wouldn't pin point a specific question but the topic was where was trump getting this stuff, and did he really believe it? and who was he getting with? who else -- who was getting to
him? because i sensed a very clear change that happened before the election itself but certainly accelerated after the election. they did something fundamentally was changing from the previous three years of the trump presidency. the people that had been in their who had been -- trump was always as you and i've spoken in the past, , trump was always his own chief of staff, his own press secretary, his own communications director but he did at people around him who try to steer him. reince priebus wasn't exactly the strongest chief of staff with ever seen but he did things like as you remember when jeff sessions once to give his letter of resignation donald trump, he stops him, so anytime trump t
that you put the letter of resignation come those nobody like reince, even reince a week stint as a chief of staff step four try to keep this a more traditional white house. john kelly took a more strenuous approach towards managing those coming in and out of the white house. you had various others. by the time you got to the end there was really none of that, and i wanted to understand why that would have changed. that, let me to the whole johnny mcafee story that was one somatic question i have. >> right. i would ask about dying back at the end of what you to tell some of the stories you discovered about some of the wackier theories that were being pursued. before we get to that you made news in some ways party by posting some of your own interview with trump online in which he talks about vice president pence, and it was extraordinary and yet not
extraordinary, right? in some ways it's like thom tillis about what he said about pence and why that struck you about to highlight some people care that through their own ears rather than just read your account of it in the book. >> just as a way to set that up, one of the strange and kind of chilling moments early, the very beginning of the year was lin wood. i think was on new year's day, tweeted something suggesting that mike pence should face the firing squad. the even explain why pick it was really strange, and by the way trump hadn't been at the publicly yet talking about how pence would have the power to overturn the election ungenerous sticks but clearly lin wood was in whatever was going on. lin . lin wood, this kind of lawyer who was the paddler of the farthest out conspiracy theories regarding the election, and i tried to get anybody at the white house to react to it, to
condemn it, you say something about it, and they were all, seemed afraid to say anything at all about it. he was a guy who went met with donald trump in the oval office who had been a part of these lawsuits challenging the election results, so he had been -- he wasn't formally part of trump's legal team but he was in the orbit picky was part of a larger team, and he was a guy calling for mike pence to face the firing squad. kelly machen any come what can tell me about this? campaign, what can you tell me about this? radio silence. in fact, the only thing they came out hinting of a disagreement to this was from campaign lawyer jen alice on her personal account and she said i, she didn't say the campaign, she said i disagree basically. i disagree with the idea that pence should be executed via
firing squad. when generally six happen and we all heard those chance of paying mike pence, i repeatedly reached out to the white house press office, kayleigh mcenany and her team, do you condemn these chance of paying mike pence works hours went by and i get no response. nothing. finally, i went to twitter to . this out and it turns out that like six hours after a stint the inquiry and some junior officer forwarded some statement that seemed to condemn the chance, but it was amazing the white house wasn't taking issue. i sat down with trump. i wanted to ask him, first of all i talk to them just over two months after january 6th. so it still really raw. it's still frankly really wrong right now but we were not that far from those events.
i wanted to see if there's any can't of remorse, or if not remorse, regrets, anything. anything. if i was just struck that he was talking so glowingly about that day, he loves january 6. he thinks it was one of the greatest days of his presidency because people came from all over the country to washington to hear him speak. he told me it was the largest crowd he had ever spoken before. i guess he would have to revisit what he was saying about his own inauguration, but that's what he said picky told me that more than a million people turned out. i mean, not more than 1 million but it was a very big crowd and they were there to fight for him. one of the things that trump always would complain about his own people is you people don't fight for me. i need people out there fighting for me. he loves january 6th. he'll tell you, he said he added to meet it was marred later on,
it was marred. he didn't go on a detail. i think he a means the actual right inside the capitol building but as -- i was so struck by the lack of any regret at all, i asked, were you worried about pence? he was evacuated from the chamber, senate chamber, and remained in that complex the entire time of the riot, and they were chanting hang mike pence. were you referring? no, i knew he was fine. the clip you referring to, i said, but they were saying terrible things. i mean, paying mike pence. he said it's common sense, it's common sense. it's common sense that you don't pass on fraudulent ballots. so in other words, of course they were angry, of course they were chanting terrible things because they were really angry. >> amazing. that's something. so here's a question that a lot of people have asked of us as well as other authors who have
been exploring the subject. why do you think president trump talk to you he knows he's not going to get any sycophantic book. he knows he's going to, if he understood fair and accurate but he understands also it's to be very tough, and yet he did. he sit and talk with you, he's talked with us. why do you think he wanted to do that? >> well, i think, first of all, trump has a tremendous faith in his own ability to convince people of things, that's one thing. and and i found that during te course of particular 2020 even when he got furious at me and called me terrible names, you know, said i was never going to make it, i'm a disgrace, third grade, all the stuff, he still kept on calling on me. actually there was one press conference where he said i was a third rate reporter, i was never going to make it come and he just, he was -- it was wild at
this press conference at think in late spring point . amd clinching his jaw and angry. i kind of went back at him a bit. he came back later in the same press conference and called on me for another question. >> i remember that. >> but it also think this was a point, he craves attention. to illustrate this is how the interview was conducted. the interview, i was told to arrive at 5:00. the interview started at about 5:30 and was right in the middle of the lobby at mar-a-lago just as the members were coming in from happy hour, drinks and dinner. they all had to walk right by me interviewing him in the middle of the lobby. so when you listen to the tape you hear the noise of the people coming in and some glasses and whatnot. i mean, mar-a-lago isn't a huge place but there are plenty of rooms where we could of gone and
had a little private thing. he wanted everybody to know that here it is, and at some point it's kind of funny because the weight he's talked about me and subsequently, in the transcript of the interview udc a few points where he says look, i'm here with the great jonathan karl of abc news. you see this? he's trying to impress his folks that he's still, everybody's come down to talk to him. i think that's it. that was it. oh, and one other thing. they agreed to do the interview fairly early on and and i tt this is kind of nice. i get my interview for the book, and then before actually did the interview, before it was -- the scheduled date came, they announced they were doing like a dozen interviews with various authors. some of them conservative, friendly. i was like what's going on? everybody, he's talked to everybody. i found the story behind it was trump had taken a stand and said
he wasn't going to do an interview with bob woodward. >> right. >> and a a publication, whichi shall not name, but you could probably figure it out, i reached -- reached out because are doing a story but how bob woodward was getting stiffed. this is before the other interviews announced. after the experience with the last book, , trump was never refusing to talk to bob woodward. one of trump's aids was like that's not a good story for us. we don't like that. the biggest bomb is one step story runs trump is going to change his mind and is going to save why are we not talking to woodward? so they quickly said if you don't do that story i've got a better story for you. but ended up doing a story but all the interviews trump's doing all these interviews which of course trump loves the store because it should ability one to go down and talk to them. >> right.
>> and never got to the point about woodward getting an interview. >> and fairness we got like taking interviews for the first books on not feeling too sorry for bob but -- >> exactly, exactly. >> these interviews are interesting, right, because i mean let's face it, as a fact witness there are some challenges here, right? our friends at the "washington post" tells them up and they counted 30,000 things the president said during his years in office that they consider to be false or misleading. how do interview somebody like that? of the people you probably interviewed for the book as well, who you are not sure are telling do the full truth. you did a great job in your book, one point in your book you take i think it's been a couple months essence of it but you take like five or six of the election claims like there were more voters to more votes cast that vote in this county. he did a good job debunking them one by one showing how none of these things are true, there are
all misunderstand or distortion or whatever. how do you deal then and ask is because we struggle with this ourselves of course as a journalist as an author as a story how to do with the subject you can be sure is telling you the truth? >> so first before i get to directly answer that, on the question of the big elements of the big lie, of all the election was stolen and the fact that we live in a country where, depending on what poll you're looking at, upwards of me as 40% of the country believes that the election was stolen. a vast majority of the -- it's a very troubling thing and i think we as journalists have an obligation to try to do our part to explain why that is not true. it's not enough to say there is no evidence, it's a lie, it's the big lie. if you think about what happened
on election night 2020, if you are not following politics super closely, you tune in to see who's winning the election, it was very confusing because in the early hours of the evening donald trump was ahead. he was way ahead in pennsylvania. pennsylvania. he was ahead in michigan. he was ahead in wisconsin. it looked like he was headed towards a reelection victory. look like that later. it look like that at 11:00 at night, when we are approaching midnight. you went to bed and woke up and something they're saying what is going on? now he's losing? what happened? there's -- it's a scam here. we know the reason is because different states count votes in different ways. mail-in votes take longer to process in some states, and democrats vote more. we know all the reasons but i
think it's important to take the time to explain it. i went through some of the big ones, like the ballots under the table in fulton county, the ballot dumps in detroit, the dead people, and a bunch of different places, not only showed why they were wrong but did the anatomy about the myths truth came to spring i think that's important. and how you handle somebody you know is a serial liar. i think this is one of the great advantages of writing a book over trying to document the stuff in real time day-to-day, both are incredibly important come you and i do both of those things. when i sit down to interview donald trump in an interview for this week on sunday, the cameras are on. we have an interview. maybe he can be edited. often it's a live interview. he's going to be rapidfire saying things that aren't true and you have to try to do your
fact checking in real time and it's a real challenge. when i'm sitting down, the unit itself was an hour nap. i spent like five hours at mar-a-lago and spoke to outside of the interview as well. i don't need to debate him on election fraud. i know the truth. he may not know it anymore. he may not have touch with reality on it but i'm not going to put anything in my book that is telling me about how ballots were stolen or manipulated or did people. i don't need to correct him. i don't need to waste my time in interview arguing with them. i'm trying to get inside his head, but -- >> that's the difference. the book range of and to sit there and argue because you're not worried about you was watching and being confused or misled or in some ways not fully served by our journalism. >> exactly, exactly. that's why when talking about
january 6th you can see it's not a confrontational interview. i'm trying to draw out what's pesce what is way thinking is. he's more relaxed in that setting and the think is more candid and we are really hearing the unfiltered, what he believes, and it's not like a big mano a mano argument with him. i'm not there to argue with them. i know what he's saying is false. unlike a repeated. a knock on to put those things in my book. but tell me what you think about january 6th. what was he thinking about? by the way, i have to say, this book is the second most, the most important thing i've done in my career as a journalist and the second most important thing was the first book. i think having the chance to go more in-depth and to take a step back and by the context is incredibly important and gratifying. >> well again i think you really
did, is to make clear the ramifications and consequence of what is going on. it wasn't just performative politics. something really big and historic was happening. for anybody watching we are going to be taking your questions assume. make sure to put them in the q&a chat function at the bottom. will ask as many as we possibly can. also make sure to click on the link that i think is in the chat function we can buy the book signed i the great author jonathan karl. some of these conspiracy theories are really went out there and you go through some of them that are just absolutely mind-boggling. gina haspel the cia director is a being held captive in germany. italians are somehow involved with satellites that are rigging our vote. walk us through one or two of those and tell us about this white house that they pursued them with such vigor and credit
and saw them as credible. >> there are a number of them, and these are things that if you went to the darkest reaches of the internet into the qanon sites in the dark webs you would see and you would be surprised people were talking about completely wacky conspiracy theories, conspiracy theories are sold that america's got a great tradition of obsession with conspiracies. what was different here is a did get the attention of the president of the united states and his chief of staff and the director of national intelligence and the department of justice and the pentagon, and they acted on these things. so let me give you the one that just really, i mean, i can't say it's the nuttiest because they all have a claim to the title, but the idea that the italians somehow the italians controlled the voting machines using military spy satellites, and
that there were to make a gentleman who were in prison in italy accuse of intellectual property theft related to a company named leonardo, i believe, a defense contracting company, and that these two were confessing that they have been part of a scheme to steal the election for donald -- for joe biden. and it turns out there are these two ice in prison and they are accused of intellectual property theft and it does relate to this defense contracting firm, et cetera, et cetera but, of course, they are not confessing anything that has nothing to do with the united states election whatsoever. but this theory was propagated by a woman named michelle lauren who put herself off come comport herself as a wealthy heiress, and actually set up shop at 831
bedroom massive estate in northern virginia and pretended it was hers even though it was actually just for sale. she didn't own it all the chatter realtors license and she's able to get in. unbelievable stuff, but she got beatings with very high level officials, including a meeting that took place i learned at a parking lot outside a grocery store in northern virginia with the top cybersecurity official at the national security council. this happened after the election. and she was passing on the information. ultimately, the justice department was asked to look into it. i i recount a saturday morning n january 2, by the way, same day as the reference berger call, a lot happen on that saturday. it was ordered by mark meadows, the acting defense secretary chris miller, his chief of staff kash patel, and general barrier
of lieutenant general barrier, ahead of the defense intelligence agency and they're asking him to activate the defense attaché at the embassy in rome to go and interview these two gentleman in prison and get to the bottom of this. here's what i i just learned m my italian friends that took a a great interest as a tried research that end of it. there's been reporting out in italy since my book came out that those to make people visited by somebody representing trump on january 19. they were still pursuing this one day before he left office. >> wow. [laughing] >> do you know it was? >> i tried dash i don't know yet. i'm tracking it down. >> that's something. that's really something. i'm glad you're still on the case. >> i want to find out about these spy satellites. >> that's pretty amazing though spy satellites. >> i mean, peter, the director
of national intelligence john ratcliffe was asked to look into thermostats made in china that were allegedly controlling the boat in georgia. thermostats. yeah, made by google in china and it's like speedy i'm pretty convinced that new refrigerant i've seen in the storage control, -- [inaudible] circe, you write conspiracy threes are american in a very real way, but what's the difference is these type of people would never have gotten a phone call as they would've never gotten the phone number of the directive national intelligence in order to bug him to do this. they would've never gotten an nfc nsc official to come down in the parking lot. >> exactly in one of these instances, john ratcliffe who is again the director of national intelligence, the nation's top intelligence official, and
meadows had given out his cell phone number to giuliani and powell and is getting calls from them and he was pushing this aside because he knew us crazy stuff. trump himself, trump himself asked john ratcliffe to investigate this wacky theory about michigan being controlled by foreign, i can't even begin to explain, but, and he said can you please ask the fbi to investigate this? ..
john boehner and t, he's a college quarterback who was known throughout video. there are pretty impressive passes. john maccabee becomes one of the most powerful men in washington. how does that happen and what does he do? >> i examined the trunk show when i first visited trump tower and there was nobody there because they had hired anybody . they had made the announcement with five other people and one of the people they hired was out of college and he was very earnest and very polite and he gave me a tour of the place. i still have his business card. i think trump had actually made cards yet but he wasn't eager to please guy and he was what we call the body guy when trump was on air force
one and allof that . but he was the kind of guy that volunteered for anything . he always wanted to be with trump and always wanted to be around trump so one of the best jobs if you're a white house staffer was when the president goes to play golf, you don't play golf with him but you have to go and sit there while he's out and john was always volunteering. anyway, he got fired by john kelly because of an issue with a background check and he got rehired now 29 years old and the beginning of 2020 and i think he was the single most important figure to explain what happened in 2020 people don't know. he became the head of president trump personnel and as nick already pointed out he was chief of staff very briefly. but mac had never hired
anybody in his life. now he was in charge ofall the hiring and firing for the executive branch . and he staffed that office. there's a great photograph in the book and you've got to check this out . a photograph in the book and you might have gotten early advance copies. there's a photo of johnny maccabee and the people that worked in his office, 25 of them or so. trump had a holiday party, opposed shot and it looks like a college group. people in their 20s, three of them had never even graduated from college yet. were still 2021 and these people set out at his interview all the senior officials across the agencies about their level of loyalty to trump.
they scoured people's voting records. one person i talked to had been called out because they voted in a democratic primary in virginia and had to explain why . somebody else was asked to explain his wife's facebook postings because there was a family photo that had a bite in your watermark on it. and maccabee orchestrated the firing of people that were deemed insufficiently loyal to trump and he made it possible at the end for trump to have basically nobody around him anymore that was going to challenge him in any way or question him. >> i was struck that you put out a copy of his memo that johnny maccabee wroteabout . mark esper was defense secretary and had angered the president because he wouldn't , he was in the insurrection act and publicly disavowed
washington square, this was extraordinary because what is is basically the particulars, tell us about that memo. >> this was a memo and i know a lot of these memos by maccabee's office, they were the product of these interviews . there and he thought should be fired and there were bullet points. there were sins against trump and esper his sins included he made moves to bar the confederate flag on military bases . he opposed meeting active duty military to put down wires in american cities post insurrection act. he took steps for diversity of inclusion in the military against trump.
and in his confirmation hearing he was found not to be political. again, sin against trump. he was aggressive against russia, another sin against trump and outlines the recommendations against maccabee which is fire esper immediately after the election. and then replace them as acting secretary with christopher miller who is the head of the national counterterrorism center and what happened is that once declared biden a winner on a saturday. on monday the ninth esper is fired. he's given less than an hour to pack up his office and leave the building and christopher miller is brought back in and then the following day the entire civilian leadership is decapitated.
and the memo is for all these people. under secretary for policy at the pentagon, fired. under secretary for intelligence and security fired. under secretary for defense, fired with loyalists that he gave the stamp of approval to for being loyal. >> were going to take questions from the audience but one more quick question . the question that you struggle with as well about all this. just when trump talks about all these things that happened in the election or didn't happen in theelection or what have you , do you get to read it? i ask because you had a revealing conversation with corey lewandowski after the election about what president trump about what had actually happened. >> corey had told me that he
wanted to create enough doubts that his supporters don't think he lost that he knows. that was something i had heard from a number of people close to trump in the immediate aftermath. he already knows. kelly and conway had told me that he wants give a concession speech. what would be the concession? it would more like conceding something was stolen from him but he would acknowledge the election is over and biden one . and i think some of that was people around him hearing what they wanted to hear. but i think trump understood that he lost. and i don't say that with 100 percent confidence but i don't think he truly believed all this stuff in the beginning but what happened is he ended up believing it.
when i sat down with him in march and i'd love to hear what your sense, what your sense on this is, you followed him so closely to. i think he believes it now. i think he actually believes there was a massive fraud and it was all taken from him. i think that one of the reasons, this is why i don't have 100 percent confidence. it's quite possible he knew immediately after theelection . there were all these aides saying he understands. he also gets to why there's 20 percent of the country that believes it was stolen. if you are following what was going on in the lastweeks of the campaign , you saw, trump doing tree four, sometimes five rallies a day. some of those were in fundamental rallies because of kellyanne conway. some of them were in michigan, wisconsin and were really cold rather.
there was one i recount in nebraska where like a third of a bunch of them taken to the hospital with frostbite other issues because theybeen out in the cold for so long . these people were packed . they were chanting we love you and they were waiting in line for hours and hours to come into the rally. meanwhile by then if you were lucky at an event, they were driving events. i went to a bunch of them you probably did too . they, they want that high energy and it looked like one day i was leading a national movement and one guy was barely campaigning . maybe all of it was because of the pandemic and one candidate cared about the spread of the probate and one didn't. but you know, they look out
of that and said how could you lose? how could this be a losing campaign? there was trump on the road to grand rapids for the very last campaign rally of 20/20. and on the plane,there's asked everybody okay, any final predictions , what the electoral vote is going to come down to a couple of the trump sappers said it would come down to 269 to 269 and it would go tothe house . and you look atthem , they said crazy, this is going to be a landslide. we're going to get closeto 380 electoral votes . and he believed it and it followed him as well because you start seeing that and it looks like a winning campaign. >> no question he had incredible crowds and they were very intense. you can see that you would think somehow thatnecessarily
means you're going to win . that's not the way the system works. you can have aintense group of supporters not be in the majority . just george mcgovern in the united states he won and had some of the biggest crowds in the history of presidential campaigns but helost . >> crowd size is important and not necessarily indicative. so taking questions from the audience and don't forget if you click on the function you can clickon elected by . already signed which is great. 40 hansen asks the trump doesn't pick mike pence as his running mate who might be pick. >> i'm going to throw it out there and say christine knowles. who's been on the camp campaigning to be trump's running mate. south dakota, he would love that idea.
>> maybe she could put himon route rushmore which you would love . >> i think she would be great pr. >> carolyn bauer asks how the current crop of journalists can make anychange in the big lie ? >> i think that we can make an impact. it is part of why i wrote this book and i hope that we will have some impact on any collusion that suddenly vast numbers of trump supporters will look at past this and say you're right, he wasn't telling the truth but you methodically try to explain these things, bring the evidence and don't just dismiss it out of hand. for that reason if youwere watching the election unfold , you can be a very good decent smart person and think there's something screwed up. that's why you have to
explain this is what happened. and barr does a great job setting up this part of the book on what he told trump aboutmichigan . and trump's problem in michigan wasn't that people brought in massive amounts of votes from detroit, that was what trump was alleging. trump did better in detroit against biden and he did against hillary. he lost michigan the cause of the suburbs. and particularly women in the suburbs. it had nothing to do with how the votes were counted in detroit but i think the january 6 committee has important work and they understand the public perception is what they have to ... it all modern-day equivalent of the mccarthy hearings. nationally televised and get
a dramatic telling of the facts and i think that minds can be changed. not all of them. >> anymore asks if trump wins the election in 2024 can our democracy survive a second term? that's a hard question for a journalist who not into predictions but i'm throwing that out thereanyway . >> what i love about politics and prose is you can get a grover cleveland reference . that is fantastic. >> everybody understand it too. >> and that's why when i talk to high school kids and you get the smartest kid in the class asked how many presidents havethere been? now is the 46th president . 45, cleveland. >>.
>> i just tell you this way. a very senior person in the trump administration who i spoke to very soon after january 20 said that he told me he was just kind of petrified by the idea of what would happen in a second term . and what a trump cabinet would look like, what a trump , and it would all be vetted by john transcends people and it would all be the people that would do whatever trump wanted. that's what this person was a . and i think we would all have to be concerned about the future ofamerican democracy . it's is deeply concerning. as a journalist it's hard. i mean, one of our great challenges is how do we cover
a campaign like that? one of the democrats running a democratic election. and they're trying to undermine the system that you're covering . >> one question that we may have to confront. so one question here frommike mccurry, anybody know that may not here ? >> it's very new. >> anybody might not remember mike mccurry was president clinton's press secretary and my first press secretary when istarted covering the white house . >> it was mike mccurry. >> might set the standard i think for press secretary of both parties about how to do the job and was why i learned so much from him but his question he was asking. most pundits say trump will run in 2024, what would it takefor him not to run ? >> i think it would be the
prospect of losing would keep him fromrunning . he may think he won 20/20 but i think that he knows that if it comes to know that he cannot win. and i'm not saying it's impossible but look, he lost decisively last time around. and then he ended up being included in january 6. this is not somebody who's going to suddenly turn around and get the suburbs again. and feed into the public and countertop and try to placate trump in every possible way. no, the idea of him winning is remote, remote.
for somebody who's so aggressively alienated the very voters he would need to win . he does not want to lose again. >> i agree and i would add i'm not convinced that he is going to runbecause he says he's going to run at this point . left and the moment he doesn't because he wants to catch on and he wants to keep the money coming in and you want player. he wants to be the bigfigure in the party and wants to control who might run even if he doesn't . he doesn't see any benefit to saying no i'm not going to run until it actually has to pull the trigger one way and the other . he will run, he surprised so many of us on so many occasions. that we shouldn't write anything off. i'm just adding my extra which i agreewith . i think that's absolutely right. so he recalls something trump has said that's pretty unfounded and he wants to comment on your assessment of yourintelligence .
>> there's certain things he is very intelligent about a very keen visual sense. and i called it the trump show the first book because that was the most perceived, i wasn't trying to say that but that's the way he perceived his presidency. and there were flashes of absolute brilliance in terms of how he presented that show one of those moments was his return walter reed. which i asked him about an he told me it was like a broadway production. he was very proud of himself but it was. here's a guy. he gets on the helicopter and lands on the south lawn a bit after 6:30 so it's at something, beautiful sunsetin the background . it's just there 6:30
newscast. some 25 million people receiving thenews . they're all going to take it live. and he lands and walks up the steps and you and i know because we've been following trump so well. he never walks up steps. and he did it after recovering from covid so it had to be incredibly painful. but he had the brass and then the taking off of the mass and looking out. there's nobody out on the south lawn but so you can't say that he's, that he doesn't have intelligence. he has a sense. he's very on, nobody can,
there's no political i've ever covered that consumes as much news as donald trump but he knows exactly are. he knows how respected you are and that's why when baker asks to go see him, he's probably going to say yes. he goes into that briefing room. i remember him calling on sarah walker one time. first year and sarah walker i mean now he's a super mega best-sellingauthor . the world knows and we knew him beforebecause he's a great reporter from the washington post . trump knew exactly what phil was and not only that he started writing the story he had done in the new york primary. he said a story he didabout the staten island ferry, that was a good story . i know the talks but not even the president coming out and
recounting the story from like a year ago. that was so there's something there. there's a lot of delusion, but there's something there. >> so judy squire asks, she says there's some thinking of the panelists that they have not learned the lesson of 2015. that there's still a lot of old equivalency that helped trump and his gop accolades. >> first of all, you know because we've had this discussion so many times . one thing i just kind of reflexively disliked in the distortion of the media is the media. there's abc news, there's politico, there's actually us. there's part. there's fox news. there's okay and then there's
a universe that only all these different audiences, differentapproaches . so i'm reluctant to answer that question on tv, for this overarching generalization but i'll say for a second, the so-called mainstream media overgeneralizing, i think has a much different approach to covering donald trump by now than in 2016. and you know, i don't think that is, i think that cnn carried that trump speech like gavel together. at the end of the campaign in 2016. you know, they did on their own and i think that acknowledged that was a mistake . >> i think that's right. john howard asks a very similar question so i'm going to read it. but he says you guys have a tough job especially in the
current environment and do you agree with people say the mainstream media are continuing to act as a third-party are committed to their moxie . [inaudible] >> woodward wrote a book called the trail who outlines how one of those figures in the party trying to destroy democracy so i'm not going to engage in equivalencies. some might be, i don't know. >> part of the challenge is then do you ever somebody who advocates that work makes these false assertions . i get the question, i do. does that mean then you decide that you disqualify the entire holiday party or the entire members of congress who voted to overturn you know, the election results? that's a hard thing.
i heard posts on pe say i'm not going to have on because they advocate the big lie. i understand that but where's the line because it's our job as journalists to want to expose and get people a chance to present their point of view and challenge them when theysay things that are not true . i would just add appreciate that he has a hard job but i think it's not an easy clear-cut we should do this and not that and that's somehow the role that follows this clear line and john!, this is not my show but john! about the media a single entity, it's not. it's not just one organization but even in the organization they do different jobs. so msnbc, abc, commentators or pundits are entitled to in fact wewant them to share their opinion . that's their job. this is great but i do it and john and i arereporters who try to bring you the facts as
best we can with analysis . not simply cannot be but there aredifferent jobs . so anyway, the reason i'm asking, asks if elections can be overturned because of recent voting laws, what then you thinkabout from running ? i think it's a fair point to our previous dialogue about whether he runs or not, does he think these laws change the equation in terms of being able to tilt theodds one way or another ? >> last conversation i had with him he was telling me about taxes running their vote and they were going to do an audit and this is an op-ed but i haven't heard it yet because it hadn't been announced. they said that doesn't make any sense. we want taxes, why are you wanting them on taxes and he got indignant and angry about
. he wants to go through and choose the way elections are run state-by-state . is not going to succeed overall but he has had some success. >> we are so happy to have been here today. i turn it back over and thank you john for this conversation. i really enjoy it. it's a bigfantastic book . go out and buy it there are links to the signed copies and now i'll turn itback over to brad . >> we got mentions from grover cleveland to mike mccrory. >> whenever i think grover cleveland i think mikemccurdy to . >> grover and never lost that first time. [inaudible] >> that's the connection.
john, you've definitely advanced the sum total of what we know about the final year of trump. what's so unsettling is we already know the scarier moments and in retrospect it's so fascinating and interesting. i was struck by listening to you talk about having been so close yourselves to all that craziness that was happening. to continue to process it and try to make sense of it. to everyone watching, thanks for tuning in. a reminder that on the check, there's a link for purchasing copies of betrayal and also as you heard we have signed copies thanks to john's bookstore today. from all of us, stay well and welland good evening, ladies and