tv Maggie Haberman Interview on Covering President Trump CSPAN April 27, 2018 4:14pm-4:24pm EDT
daily show." live coverage starts at 9:30 p.m. eastern, again, on c-span. the annual white house correspondents association dinner gets under way this weeker. previous presidents have attended but president trump has opted not to attend for a second year in a way. the dinner celebrates journalist first amendment rights and honors news organizations for their works. one award winner is "new york times" white house correspondent maggie haberman and she won the aldo beckmann award for her coverage of president trump and she joins us from new york. >> maggie, first, congratulations. >> thank you. >> let's just talk about your extensive experience covering donald trump. it began before he was president. when did you begin reporting on him, an where was that? >> sure. i was -- i spent 14 years at new york city's tabloids which were
his first read papers, particularly the "the new york post" for a very long time and working for the tabloids you invariably covered donald trump. he was omnipresent or a spicy quote that would make a story bert and showed up after 9/11, when you know, he wanted to pitch a revamped version of the twin towers. he was always there. i didn't get to know him quite as well until 2011 when he was considering running for president, and he made a huge splash at the conservative political action committee. he also was roasted pretty memorably by president barack obama at the white house correspondents association dinner if i think it was april of 2011, shortly after he announced he was not running are, but i spent a lot of time watching him, covering him, learning about how driven he is by a desire to be taken seriously, and that is a lot of what you saw go into his desire to run and win in 2016. >> did you take him seriously when he said he would run in
2015? >> i took him seriously in 2011 when he was talking about running. when he then announced during sweeps week when "the apprentice" was still on the air and was a star in it or involved in it that he would not be running for president, once we rolled around to 2015, one of his advisers at the time sam nunnberg wanted me to write a story ahead of time saying he was going to declare on june 16th, 2015 that he was running and i would not write it until he actually ran having gone through that experience before, and i did not believe that he would stay in the race. i thought that he would do it for a while and use it to sort of boost the brand and then bow out, but he did really well and does not like to be perceived as a quitter. by the time we got to october 2015, i took it quite seriously. his crowds were real. he was leading in the polls. nothing seemed to put a dent in his floor of voters. he stayed around 25% in a very crowded republican primary. that turned about all he needed,
so i didn't, and then i did. >> so you've seen the evolution from businessman to candidate to now president. is there any difference, and what is the same about donald trump the businessman and donald trump the president? >> almost everything is the same. it's a wonderful question. you know, it's funny. when he was getting ready to move to washington, and there was a big question during the transition as to whether he would actually fully make the move. many of us who watched him over time and during the campaign and other advisers thought he'd find ways to get back to new york city on the weekends. he hasn't done that because the protests and the traffic would be so bad around trump tower. what he has done instead is go to mar-a-lago, his florida property in the weekends and in the summers he goes to bedminister, his property in new jersey but it's the same basic company. he's a homebody, very provincial. he's somebody who believes his own instinct is the best and who does not like to be educated by anyone, led alone outside advisers. that's been a huge challenge for
a lot of aides in the white house many of whom did not know him prior to him winning the presidency but that's a constant with him in the white house, in the campaign and in his business. >> in winning this award, the judges said this, that you often convey the feeling of being a fly on the wall of the white house. how have you -- how have you used those 14 years to cover this president, and is it -- is it strategic for you when you hear something about this president to go back to what you learned those 14 years when you covered him as a business man? >> it's always -- there are always certain basic preaccepts about donald trump that i go back to and one of the things that's stymieing for people who are getting to know him that there's some grand play, such as this morning when he called into "fox & friends "got give an interview by phone which he hadn't done for quite some time which he really enjoys doing. i really hope he was hoping to
get attention off a hearing involving the epa administrator scott prewitt. i think he was looking to create a new story line, but at the end. day he likes doing these interviews. it feels good to him, and i think people overthink the degree to which there's a strategy so that's a lot of what information my thinking hand also just sort of how he -- i try to think about how he views the world because it helps interpret a lot of what he does. >> and how do you think he views the world? >> there's a lot of us versus them and makes the a broad assumption that most people are out to get him in some way or another. he also rarely closes the door on everyone. everything is on ongoing deal or negotiation which is why you can see him fire people and then -- and never do it himself because he's very confrontation averse or rarely do it himself. by tweet it's not quite the same thing, but then he can strike up relationships with them once he's gone. people never look appealing to donald trump when they are walking away.
>> he's publicly criticized you and the "new york times." does that impact your reporting? >> no. i mean, this is -- working the ref is a time-honored tradition. many presidents have done it, many mayors and governors have done it. he might be doing it most explicitly with his own fingers on the twitter keyboard, but at the end of the day he's just trying to impact coverage. it doesn't. it doesn't change how we do anything but it's worth remembering that the "new york times" for most of his career as a developer in new york was a symbol of the elites who he felt rejected him as somebody not from manhattan, from the outer boroughs, again, that theme of not being taken seriously. that's why "the times" looms so large in his imagination. >> a "new yorker" headline from an interview that you did with the publication last year, almost last year, "a conversation with maggie haberman, trump's favorite foe." does he behind the scenes treat you differently than he does publicly on twitter? >> i mean, i wouldn't discuss
private conversations one way or the other. you know, i think the number of times that i've interviewed him and spoken with him and been in his presence i think speaks for itself. >> does he -- let me ask it this way. does he dislike the media, do you think? >> no. i think he loves the media. i think he understands what a government-devoted media is about. this is somebody for whom the media was very transactional when he was in new york, whether the business press in the tabloids or the gossip pages, where he made himself a celebrity. he's unused to a press corps that's not devoted to an occultive personality. >> what are your thoughts on winning this award? what does it mean for new. >> it's a huge honor. i was really stunned and overwhelmed by it. as i said to somebody at the white house correspondents association, when i saw that they were calling me, my immediate thought was i didn't mess up a pool report recently so i'm not sure why they are calling me, but it was -- it was
very gratifying, and it is thrilling to be and overwhelming to be honored by my peers in this way. i'm very grateful. >> your advice for aspiring journalists? >> stay off twitter. i wish i did more of it myself. that's the main one. >> maggie haberman with the "new york times," white house correspondent. thank you and congratulations. >> thank you. by the way, the other winners for saturday night's dinner include winning the award for the merriman smith award for broadcast is cnn, honorable mention went to nbc news. taking home the award for print have politico. honorable mention there was "the washington blade" and the edgar a. p a.poe award goes to -- with honorable mention to cbs.
the leaders of north and south korea held historic talks and pledged complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula at an intercrone summit in south korea. the two leaders signed a joint peace deal which included bringing an end to the korean war and reuniting families divided by the war this. video is courtesy of the inter-korean press corps. president trump and north korean leader kim jong juan are schedule to have a summit this spring. a group of analysts gathered at a symposium to share their views on strategies and gave a perspective of previous u.s.-korean talks and what some of the drawbacks can be when negotiating an agreement. in a moment, that three and a half symposium hosted by institute for core-a
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