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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 28, 2014 4:00am-6:01am EDT

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>> i think that ultimately is one remedy and it's a remedy provided for in our system whenever we have an issue in which sensitive information may be involved in connection with a federal lawsuit. that's not it's not an answer to say that simply because there might be some information that the secret service would rather not share, that that should stop us in our tracks to begin with. those are the kinds of determinations that a district court should be trusted to make in the first instance and which district judges make every day in this country. >> there was in judge berzon's opinion, she seemed to think it was very important that when the president got into the motorcade to leave only one side had access. so leaving aside what happened when the group was moved, would
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you take the position that not moving them back before the president left was a violation of their first amendment rights? >> we have not taken that position. we have not asserted that they had that there was an obligation to hold the president in position so that the demonstrators could be moved back to their former position. our position is they shouldn't have been moved in the first place, because there wasn't a valid security reason and that the reason they were moved was solely because of the viewpoint they were expressing. and, the fact that that's not a separate claim that they weren't moved back, but it is an indication that they were removed from where the president would be passing, in our view, that supports the inference of viewpoint discrimination. >> the question of mixed motive or improper motive, if we can get back to that for just a minute. assume that the law and this is the wren case is as follows.
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if there is improper motive for an arrest, but that there was an objective basis that would have made the arrest and that did make the arrest reasonable there is no violation of the constitution. assume that's the law and forget clearly established, forget assume that's the law. it seems to me that for you to prevail, you have to say we should make a first amendment exception because the first amendment is so important. or that there has to be, in another context, an amendment for racial profiling. so that the rule that i have just stated has to be qualified in some way. it seems to me you almost have to say that in order to prevail in this case. >> i would suggest to you that wren is the exception, that wren in the fourth amendment context, that says if there is an objective basis, i think that's reflected in reichle. but, as the court in iqbal noted, in the first and fifth amendment context, at least in
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the context of state actors, the court has held that invidious intent is a basis for liability. intent to violate those constitutional rights is a basis, and so -- >> excuse me. i'm not sure. if you stop a car because youe coming back from a protest against president bush is that a fourth amendment case or a first amendment case, if that's your allegation? the only reason the car was stopped was because of the viewpoint that these people have. is that a fourth amendment case or a first amendment case? >> no. that would be a first amendment case. >> yeah, i would think so. and you think that so long as you make that first amendment allegation, it doesn't matter if you have a broken taillight. >> i think for the terms of the first amendment claim, it wouldn't matter if the circumstances demonstrated and created a basis for that inference of intent. >> wow. >> just out of curiosity, was there anything to prevent someone from leaving one these groups and going over to the other group? >> there was after the president made the decision.
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the allegations in the complaint state that the local law enforcement restricted movements between the two groups after the security perimeter was established. >> somebody couldn't have just walked away and taken a circuitous route and gone to the other group? that would have been the police would have stopped them from doing that? >> is it theoretically possible that they could have taken a large enough circle around there? i think that is a theoretical possibility. but the police did in fact stop movement across third street. one of the factors that we haven't addressed today is the secret service's actual policy and practice that we've alleged in our complaint. and that plausibly and convincingly supports the inference of intent here. we've alleged not less than 12 other incidents during the first years of the bush administration in which secret service agents were involved in viewpoint suppression activities.
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now, we haven't proven those but again we are at the complaint stage. that allegation, along with the official policy of the bush white house to suppress dissent at presidential appearances, also supports the inference that these officers were acting for a viewpoint suppressive reason. >> i suppose you would then seek discovery with respect to those 12 other episodes, because you're saying those are viewpoint discrimination, how can you decide until you know the facts of those? >> we would seek certain limited discovery with respect to those incidents to see if they bear out the allegations that we have made. >> the same range of things that we talked about earlier -- interrogatories, requests for production, discovery, with respect, not just to your case but to the others? >> to the extent that the secret service denies that those allegations or that these officers deny those allegations in an answer, which we haven't yet seen >> you wouldn't seek limited discovery-- you would seek unlimited discovery. [laughter]
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>> you might get only limited discovery, but -- >> i'm not sure i would seek unlimited discovery, because then i might be overburdened with material that would have no relevance to the case. what we would seek is information sufficient to draw conclusions about those events and whether they are sufficiently similar to support the inference we would seek to establish in this case, that these officers these agents acted with the intent we've alleged they acted with. >> the sole. >> the sole intent. if there are no further questions. >> thank you, counsel. mr. gershengorn, you have minutes remaining. >> thank you, mr. chief justice. a couple of points. first, i think, justice kagan, in response to your hypothetical, the concession that in hindsight there may have been a valid security rationale ends this case, because if it was true in hindsight, it was certainly true at the time in the kind of rapid in the kind of rapid decisionmaking that was called for, as the chief justice alluded to. i think at that point the case is over in our favor. second, the kinds of discovery that my friend on the other side
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-- >> could i just clarify a factual matter. there are two alleyways. there was one on third street that the president went into, and then there is one by the patio dining room. what access was there between fourth street and the patio? because i thought that the alley was on california street, the entrance to the alley was on california street. >> the entry to the alley is on california street. that's the one where the anti-bush demonstrators were. the alley that the motorcade went through, which is on third street, which is neither group of protesters could get to because the police had blocked off traffic north of california street so that no protests, no demonstrators could get there at all. if i could return on the discovery point. the discovery that my colleague has suggested he would seek is exactly the nightmare scenario that the secret service fears.
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it's exactly what qualified immunity is designed to prevent. when there is a legitimate security rationale, discovery into what the agents were thinking, what the secret service's policies were is exactly what there shouldn't be. it's exactly what the court said in hunter that it didn't want which is agents hesitating before they did their job. >> mr. gershengorn, suppose it's originally set up by the police, the motorcade is coming down, each side has roughly equal access. then the secret service comes along and said -- clear the anti-bush demonstrators. suppose that, that those were the facts. would there be a valid bivens claim? >> your honor, the question would depend on whether there was a valid security rationale. i think in the context of a
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motorcade -- >> the rationale is just it's more likely that the people who are against the president would be harmful to him than the people who are for him. >> your honor, i think that would be a much more difficult case in the context of a motorcade where the security of the president is much different than when the president is on an outdoor patio separated only by a small fence. and i do think that that is one of the major differences between where the the treatment of the pro-bush protesters and the anti-bush protesters here is that the an allegation that could be based on differential treatment because the pro-bush protesters were in position to see the motorcade when it left and therefore, as the complaint alleges in paragraph 55, that that somehow undermines the agents' security rationale for moving the anti-bush protesters during the meal, it just doesn't wash. and then if i could turn just very quickly, justice breyer, to your suggestion that the district court could could control discovery. that's exactly what the court rejected in twombly, exactly what the court rejected in iqbal. as a practical matter, once that door is open, the agents lose the security and peace of mind that they need and they're subjected to the very burdens they shouldn't be subjected to. and then if i could just close
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with a quick point on the iqbal. we don't think under the allegations here, as the chief justice pointed to the key passage in iqbal, that these allegations are any more than consistent with the obvious alternative explanation. i've addressed the pro-bush protesters. the diners are very differently situated for a security perspective because they had no anticipation of seeing the president, and the secret service could screen additional folks coming in. it's very different from a crowd outside an alleyway. the advance manual that the other side points to supports us, not them. what it said is -- >> you can finish your sentence. >> what it says, your honor, is that security concerns are
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>> when you write, you can't write in a kind of calculating way. in other words, you can't sit down to write about one, you shouldn't think about that issue at all when you sit down to write. what you should sit down -- what you should do is to write what you find interesting and to follow your own curiosity. when i was writing tipping point, for instance, i can honestly say that i never for a moment tried to imagine how well that book would sell. i thought i was -- i just wanted to write something cool. i was interested in this. i wanted to write something that my friends would read that my mother would like.
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>> donald trump delivered remarks on politics, then building the trump brand tuesday at the national press club. he was joined by his daughter executive vice president for development at the trump organization. this is an hour. . this is an hour. >> good afternoon and welcome. i am an adjunct professor at the george washington university school of media and public affairs, former international bureau chief for the associated press and the 107th president of the national press club. the national press club is the
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world's leading professional organization for journalists committed to our future through our programming of evidence such as this while fostering a free press worldwide. for more information, please visit our website at on behalf of our members worldwide, i would like to welcome our speaker and those of you attending today's event. our head table includes guests of our speaker. if you hear applause in our audience, i would like to note that members of the general public are attending. it is not necessarily evidence of a lack of journalistic objectivity. i would also like to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences. follow the action on twitter using the #npclunch. after our guest speech concludes, we'll have a question and answer period. i will ask as many questions as time permits.
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now it's time to introduce our head table guests. i'd like each of you to stand briefly as your name is announced. from your right, alan schlaffer president of the wharton school club in d.c. thank you for bringing in so many alumni to this luncheon today including four at the head table. herb jackson, washington correspondent for the record. shioko, contributing editor for the globalist. matthew, president and c.e.o. of hiltsick strategies. mark, washington bureau chief and former n.p.c. president. ivanka trump, executive vice president for development and acquisitions for the trump organization, and a guest of our speaker. jerry, the buffalo news washington bureau chief, chairman of the national press club speaker's committee and a past n.p.c. president. skipping over our guest of honor
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for a moment, mary lou donahue president artistically speaking and organizer of today's event. thank you very much. david, senior vice president for acquisition and development of the trump organization. and guest of our speaker. natalie, breaking news reporter for "usa today." daniel e. lonwan, press secretary for the representative office. mark, senior associate editor for kiplinger washington editors and n.p.c. membership secretary. [applause] donald trump has become the most recognized businessman in the world. whether in real estate, sports or entertainment, he is a consummate deal maker. his real estate holdings span the world. trump's latest project is a
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luxury hotel in the old post office building just a few blocks from here. millions know him from his television programs. "the apprentice" and "celebrity apprentice," you're fired is surely one of the most quoted catch phrases of all time. he's also an author of several best-selling books, including "how to think like a billionaire." donald trump has also flirted with politics. suggesting but then dropping the idea of a presidential run in 2000 as a third party candidate, and in later years as a republican candidate. he also considered then dropped the idea of running for governor of new york this year. and most recently trump has raised the possibility that he might want to make a bid to buy the nfl's buffalo bills. through it all trump has been a careful manager of his own brand. he's been highly successful in
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business in part because he has made managing that brand central to his strategy. self-branding is a concept journalists never considered a few decades ago. today, though, many journalists make an attempt to heed the advice trump outlined in a 2008 book chapter, i quote, "you are literally your own brand whether you have a business or not. if you are serious about what you are doing, take a responsibility for building your own brand, that starts now." trump is here today to tell us about building the trump brand. let me say, mr. trump, your brand i'm convinced helped generate a sellout crowd today in the ballroom at the national press club, including people standing in the balcony, we did so in the matter of days. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming to the national press club, mr. donald trump. [applause] >> thank you very much.
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this is a great group. thank you. if it sold out so fast, the first question i asked myron today is why didn't you raise ticket prices? you could have raised money? that's all branding. 25 bucks, that's so cheap. he said it's the same whether it doesn't sell at all or whether it sells out like crazy. i think they are going to revisit that. are you going to? you're thinking about it. it's an honor to be with you. i will tell you this that our country, which i love very dearly, is in serious trouble. but the old post office building, right down the road on pennsylvania avenue, is not. it is going to be spectacular. we are building something that's going to be amazing. we are going to be spending more than $200 million. when it's completed in a very short period of time, probably about 18 months, it will be one of the great hotels of the world, and you'll have it right
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here in washington. it's going to be really something. [applause] we are building projects all over the world. doral, you know about doral in miami. that was sort of a another thing. we looked to buy and fix and make them great. and we'd like to get the right ones. doral is 800 acres right smack in the middle of miami, right next to the airport. tiger woods won the tournament a year ago. he was there again this year. hurt his back, unfortunately, he will be back. i hope. tiger will be back. we have had tremendous success with doral, and we have rebuilt it. it's been an incredible thing. i just got back from dubai, and it was interesting. we were in the middle east, and somebody said a very wealthy person over there was smelling
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the air, you could smell it will a little sense of like a gasoline smell or oil smell. they said, oh, donald, i love that smell. it means money. now, in this country you're not allowed to have that because the environmentalists don't let you have it. i, by the way, happen to be in my own way an environmentalist. i've gotten many, many awards. we can't go to the extent where the country suffers. and the country is suffering greatly. we build all over the world. we get to know people all over the world. and we have a lot of fun. we have a lot of fun doing it. when i spoke with the national press club, they asked me would i speak about branding and talking about branding, and what makes branding so special and so important. there are a lot of things. it started with me, very early on, by having success. when you're successful, that sort of creates a little bit of a brand. and then i get a number of billings. i started in brooklyn, with my father, brooklyn and queens, and we had some good successes. hi some good successes. it's a little bit in sports. if you sink that first three footer in golf, you have confidence for the rest of the round. if you get a home run when you
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are at-bat, you have confidence. well, when you have early success, it gives you confidence. i had a lot of lot of early success. hi a wonderful mentor, wonderful father, fred trump, who loved brooklyn real estate. loved brooklyn. he spent a lot of time there. never wanted to come into manhattan. he just loved queens and brooklyn because that's what he knew. he was good at it. i learned negotiators from him and contractors and how they can rip you off. there is nobody smarter than a contractor who can't read or write. they are smarter than wharton, they are smarter than harvard. these are geniuses. you can imagine what's going on because you see what's going on in the country. i hear that the website for obamacare is up to $5 billion for a website. i do websites. and of they cost $3. you hire some guy. or some woman. they could be young, they could be old. i got in trouble, you hire some young guy. they said, well, what about older people? you can hire anybody to do a
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website. you know what? i have some of the best websites in the world. you can look at every one of my projects as a website. some are very complex. they cost us peanuf you know what you're doing. we are up to almost $5 billion and it's really -- obviously it's a very, very sad thing. so in terms of branding, you have success. whether it's doral, whether it's many, many jobs that i built but what happened about 20 years ago i built a building, fifth avenue and 57th street, called trump tower. it's been tremendously successful. right next to tiffany. i bought the air rights over tiffany, if i had the right to call it tiffany tower, that was before people knew about trump so much. i was doing really well. real estate. the world didn't know too much about trump.
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perhaps it was a better place if you think about it. i had the right to do something and a lot of people said you have to do it. that was call it, tiffany power. i bought that right. i was going to call it tiffany tower. hi a friend who was very smart and streetwise guy. what do you think about calling the building tiffany tower. when you change your name to tiffany call it tiffany tower. i gave up a valuable right and called it trump tower and it was a tremendous success. many other buildings all over new york. and then all over the world. we are doing some incredible things in the middle east. we are doing some incredible things in china and asia. we are doing some incredible -- we have a magnificent hotel that opened recently in panama. it's been tremendous. they have been successful. and it feeds on itself. perhaps the brand gets better and better. i think it all began with the great success of trump tower. best location in new york. most visible building. most -- highest retail space anywhere in the world.
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gucci is there, my primary tenant. nowhere in the world you get rents like you get on that one block. i always heard the tiffany location. that's the best location. who would have thought i someday would have the tiffany location. that's what happened. so the success really fed on itself. and then i did a book thinking you know, what's the big deal with doing a book? i'll do a book. it was exciting, and random house was the publisher. it was called, "the art of the deal." it became the number one best-selling book on "the new york times" list and every list for many, many months and almost a full year. and i remember on the fictional side it was bonfire of the vanities and us. these were the two books. the whole year. "trump the art of the deal" and "bonfire of vanities" and it was a great honor. it was great thing to have a number one selling book. it turned out to be probably according to everybody's count, the biggest selling business
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book of all time. there's never been a business book that sold like trump, the art of the deal. it was such a great honor. that's branding. then i had the apprentice. the apprentice was interesting. mark, who was hot at the time, young. smart. he was renting the skating rink. the city took eight years, couldn't get it open. i took it over, got it opened in three months for a fraction of the cost. that was a pretty well-known thing. that was pretty well-known. tells you about government. i'm talking about all government. but that was a disaster. the rink just wouldn't open. my daughter here, who is so wonderful, i wanted her to go ice skating. ivanka, she's here with us. she kept saying, daddy, do you think i'll ever be able to go ice skating? i went to see ed koch, the mayor, do me a favor. can i build it? i go down there and watch and they would have three -- massive space. they would have 300 or 400
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people sitting in the rink doing nothing for years. so i said let me take it over. i took it over. very interesting story about the rink. when the city designed it they went to a refrigeration company from miami. who wants refrigeration -- they do refrigerators but they don't do ice skating rinks. they recommended a, what's called freon, a gas that goes through a copper pipe. and if you have one little hole, there's miles of it, like a pin hole, it doesn't work because the gas escapes. so they couldn't get it to make the ice because they would have a pin hole. besides that everybody would steal it. they put this beautiful copper piping down and the tubing would be all over the rink and they go back the next day and it was gone. people were stealing it. it wasn't working. they poured it down. finally they poured and it never worked because there were like 4,000 little holes all over the place. what did i do? first thing i did was say wait a minute, there must be something
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wrong. so i sent up to the montreal canadiens. if you want to make ice, you call the canadians, right? there's nothing wrong with a little canadian help. i spoke to somebody at the montreal canadiens. they were nice, sent somebody down. he said mr. trump they are using the wrong system. they are using gas. and explained how you can't capture it. what we want is brine. brine is water with salt in it. ok. and the tubing isn't copper that costs a fortune. it's rubber. so we put the tubing down. then i'll never forget, the surface is so massive, we had cement mixers backed up all the way to harlem. we did one pour. they went all the way back up to harlem. all the way through the park. and i had it built in three months. after 8 1/2 years. believe me, most of it was demolition. most of it was demolition. things can be done. if you look at government and if you look at what happens. so we are at the rink and mark brunette and cbs leased it because they were having the
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finale of "survivor." they built a village in the middle of the rink and it was live television. and he said i'd like to see donald trump. is that possible? i said sure, let me see. we met. he said i have an idea i want to do but i'll only do it if it's you. and he turned out to be right about that because they had 15 copies of "the apprentice" i and i love it. all of them failed and failed badly. they failed like you never saw. don't we love that when your opponents fail? i love it. i don't know about you. i'm not sure our country loves it. i love it. what happens is so they had 15 copies. i could give you names, but maybe i will anyway. you had mark cuban copy, total failure. lasted for two nights. martha stewart. richard branson. tommy hilfiger. all these copies, they had 15 all together. they were all off. mark said to me, you know, i'd
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love to do it -- and i had an agent. you believe i had a hollywood agent. the biggest. he said, don't do it. i said it's too late. i shook hands with mark brunette. he said what difference does that make? it's hollywood. handshake doesn't mean anything in hollywood. i said but i shook hands. he said, donald, 97% of the shows that go on television fail. i didn't know that. what do i know? i never did television before. he said, of the one that is make it they don't make it big and you'll have a great embarrassment. in the history of television there's never been a business-type show that worked. so i said i still have a problem. i wish i knew this before. i would have never done t i shook his hand. it means a lot in life. it means a lot even toward branding. i don't want to do it. i called mark, i said do you think i could get out of it? he said you shook my hand. so we did it. so the show opens. and it opened at number 10 which is massive. when you're number 10, that's a
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big show. it opens at number 10. it goes down to number eight. it then goes down to number five. in three weeks. it then goes to two and then goes to one. and i knew how big it was because the head of nbc television and the head of nbc called me up. i never met him. he said, it was 7:00 in the morning. and he called me up he said, donald, hello, i just wanted to wish you happy birthday. i said i never spoke to the guy. called me for a happy birthday. he's showing weakness. you have to remember. i get call from the chairman of nbc, fantastic guy, he calls and he said, happy birthday, donald. is everything good? i'm feeling great, thank you very much. my wife said, who was that? that was the chairman of nbc. they wished me a happy birthday before you did. so i knew that i had a big hit. and it went on and on, and the interesting thing is that was in the age of friends. that was the last year of
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"friends." we started and took their place. i'm just saying to myself this is something. and it just tells you about branding. you never know what's going to happen. you have to take risks in life. you just have to do it. the end result of that story though, is the agent called me. he goes, mr. trump, i'd like to see you at your earliest convenience. about what? i think i'm entitled to a commission. your show went to number 1. you have the number one show on television. and i honestly think i'm entitled to a commission. i said, jim, you didn't want to do the show. you told me don't do the show. you told me break the deal. what are you talking about? i said, by the way, what kind of money are you talking about? he said, would $3 million be fair? i said, jim, you're fired. i fired him. that was the last i ever heard about the guy. but it's all about winning. like i'm watching over here and this guy, buffalo news, he's telling me buffalo news is doing
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great. good, right? i'm seeing these questions. hundreds of questions coming. and a couple of them i see couple of them, i said please don't ask that question. but i'm looking at him. i was saying to myself as i'm watching, that leadership and branding and all of that kind of success to a large extent it's about winning. if you don't win, people aren't going to follow you. now, there are other qualities and i believe strongly in compassion. a lot of people don't know that about me. but i have great feelings of compassion for people and helping people. making people thrive and love their life and take care of people. and we need great health care in this country. obamacare's not working. it's a disaster. we need great health care. you can have great, great health care much better than we have now for much less money if you have people that really have compassion and really know what they are doing. i was thinking to myself as i
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was looking at all these numbers of questions about leadership, because one of them was about leadership, i said to him, you know, it's about winning. vince lombardi was a great coach. i'll never forget, i was in a room with one of his players four times the size of vince lombardi, and it was at a club and i'm sitting with the player. the player was full of bravado. all of a sudden vince lombardi a small guy in stature, walked in. and this football player was petrified. petrified. i said, are you ok? he looked like he was ready to have a heart attack. young, strong guy. petrified. you have had other coaches that were rough, tough guys. but you know what happens, you see it all the time, you have seen it here, right in washington, when you don't win, they don't get away with being tough. when you win, they can be as tough as they want. it's about winning. now, you look at branding and you look at what's happening and
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i told you the story about trump the art of the deal, and "the apprentice" and i'll tell you today you have twitter facebook, and instagram, and all these other amazing things, i have millions of followers. millions. i don't do a press release. if i do it i put it on twitter. i have a press release. it's like owning "the new york times" without the losses if you think about it. you have millions of people watching. if i want to say something, i just put it out. i'm reading stories about it the next day. it's fantastic. i love it. i sit there at 3:00 in the morning, ding, ding, ding. our country is going to hell. we must stop t we need leadership. i keep saying the same thing. nobody's listening. it's largely true. you look at the united states and let's look at branding. we haven't had a success in years. where have we had a success? i wrote down just a few things coming down. we have nothing.
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the v.a., the veterans administration, catastrophic. benghazi, catastrophic. russia. putin has an 80% popularity in this country. i thought they didn't like him a year ago. but he's so outsmarting the united states. all of a sudden the people in russia like him. you have us, we are fighting and another country wants to come in -- they love russia. we send in our pollsters. guess what? they want to form with russia. how are we involved? we are involved in this. isn't europe supposed to be involved? they don't want to get involved because they don't want to anger russia. we get it. why? then you have china. now, the old time curse, i love politics and i have been studying politics, and despite what myron was saying, i never said i was running, other than i said i might run, i never did.
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but everybody thinks -- i made a speech in new hampshire years ago for a friend of mine because i made a speech, everybody said i was running for president. which i wasn't. i did give it serious consideration. i don't know what happened to mitt romney. it looked like he was doing fine. i was leading in every poll. i love what i'm doing. i love building the old post office. i love building doral. i love building panama. i love building all these buildings we are doing. i just love it. i love what i'm doing. it's why do i it well. i tell it to people. what's the secret to success? you got to love what you're doing. i would prefer not running. and i did prefer not running. i'm the only person -- i'm a private company. nobody knows what i'm worth. nobody has any idea. forbes, nobody knows. some people say $10 billion. they say $2 billion. they say $3.9 billion. so accurate. 3.9. they have no idea. and i'm the only candidate in history -- because there were a lot of people -- do you think
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trump is really rich? i'm the only candidate in history that filed a financial disclosure statement that wasn't running. think of it. i'm not running. a lot of people said, he'll never run because he doesn't want to reveal his finances. i said, hey, i'll reveal them. i'm proud of what i did. i built a great company. very proud of it. one of the reasons, i think ivanka can tell you this better than me. we won for the old post office. i think we had a better concept. that was a highly sought after project. everybody wanted it. obviously it's pennsylvania avenue. it's an amazing building. i think it's the tallest building in washington because they have the zoning restrictions now. that was in the 1880's. you know one of the reasons we won is because my financial statement was so strong. they want to make sure it gets done. the g.s.a. did a very professional job. i have to tell you. they want to make sure it gets done. for us it's an easy project. you have people bidding that couldn't handle it.
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others that could but we are going to do a fantastic job. when i look at what's going on and when i see the country -- where, just tell me where -- i wrote a couple other things down. china, russia. they just got together. i have always heard the big curse on this country will always be if china and russia unify and get together. they just made one of the biggest deals ever made. china, our great friend -- by the way, i have great respect for china. i have many chinese friends. they live in my buildings all over the place. they give me $30 million, $40 million, am i supposed to dislike them? i like them very much. i have more oligarchs living in my buildings. i bought a house in palm beach ivanka can tell you, i bought $40 million, and i fixed it. i call it -- you have a $40 million fixer upper, that's what i have. i bought it as a real estate deal. a mile down the road there was a house of a man who fell on very
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hard times, nice guy. he fell on very, very hard times. went down the tubes to put it mildly. and his house was sold by the bank. it was sold at a bankruptcy auction. i bought it, i paid $40 million, i sold it for $100 million and sold it to a russian who then announced his wife is suing him for divorce and wants the house. she just won $4 billion supposedly in the proceedings. i looked at it and i see that. and i say to myself, where is the united states doing well? russia and china now are unifying and they are getting together. then you have iraq. ok. we spend $2 trillion in iraq. $2 trillion. think of this number. this number is not even a number -- 10 years ago you didn't hear the word trillion. we spend $2 trillion. more importantly, thousands of lives, including lives on the other side, by the way. ok.
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some people say, who cares -- i care. destroyed. and what we did is we took this country and so weakened it. it was always iran and iraq. they fight. one country would go two feet over here. then after 10 years it settled and start over again. they had -- we destroyed that country. but we spent $2 trillion thousands of lives, tens of thousands of wounded warriors all over the streets you see them, we can't even call them. they won't even return our call because china's buying their oil, china thinks we are truly the dumbest people on earth. china now is buying a big portion of their oil. they are being controlled by iran, which i said a long time ago, and then when i said the statement, because it looked to me like it was going down the tubes, why don't we take their oil? we are at war. people said what a terrible
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thing to say. now you call iraq, they won't even take our phone call. think of it. now an interesting thing happened in afghanistan. nobody knew that afghanistan has tremendous minerals and tremendous wealth in minerals. everybody thought this was a country that didn't have that. but they have tremendous wealth in minerals. we are fighting over here and on the other side of the mountain china is brilliantly, i didn't say negatively, they are smart. they are brilliantly taking the minerals. we are fighting here. big mountains. china is take the minerals on the other side. and i say to myself, how is it possible that we can be so stupid? an interesting thing happened the other day. i'm reading the front page of the "new york times." number one story, we can't make a deal with japan. for agriculture. think of this. we can't make a deal. japan will not allow our farmers to put food and sell food in japan. i like the japanese, too. i like everybody that buys
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apartments from trump, ok? i respect them. i respect people. the fact their leaders are much smarter than our leaders doesn't make me dislike them. i'm reading this article that japan won't let us even think about putting our food in japan. and then i'm looking at boats. millions of cars pouring into this country, tax free, made in japan, and i'm saying, who are our negotiators? if i was negotiating i'd say fellows, you're going to take our food and you're going to love it. you're going to love our food. i mean, the food is peanuts compared to what we are talking about. peanuts. so you say to yourself, how is it possible that japan would have the nerve to say, we are not going to take small potatoes, farming goods, from united states farmers, great product, everybody admits that it's not like it's tainted or
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problems, it's great product, better than what they can do, so they say we are not taking your product, but by the way we are selling you millions of cars. look at the size of these massive car companies. and it's because of the united states. no tax. so all you have to do if you're sitting down -- i guarantee you this. if i was the negotiator for that deal, you would be -- you would have so much food pouring into japan right now they wouldn't know what to do with it. they wouldn't know what to do with it. i say to myself, why aren't we smart? we used to be brilliant. we used to be a brilliant country. we are not a brilliant country anymore. we are a foolish country. we are a dumb country. we have leadership that is either something wrong with them or they are not intelligent or there's something wrong. maybe it's lobbyists. i hear the lobbyists are so powerful in washington. maybe it's lobbyists. maybe you have to do something about that because maybe japan
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and maybe the middle eastern states. look at this i heard a number today that since 1931 we have more oil reserves in this country in terms of storage reserves than we have had since 1931. think of that. yet the price is at an all-time high. i went to wharton, greatest business school in the world. did i say a good thing? the wharton club, great club. i went to wharton. i will tell you that the very basics of that are that prices come tumbling down. here we have and we are buying from opec, and we are buying from saudi arabia also great relationships with the people in saudi arabia, they cannot believe, by the way -- they are friends of mine. they can't believe how stupid we are. they tell me, hey, donald, we are getting away with it. i say you're right. saudi arabia's making, think of this, a billion a day a balance a day. so much money what they are
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doing there is unbelievable. you look at our airports. you look at your airport here. you look at your airport la guardia and kennedy and newark and l.a.x. in los angeles. they are like, third world country airports. falling apart. they have floors inside that are so old. when they fix them, they don't fix them with terrazzo, they fix them with asphalt. so you're walking, you have terrazzo that's tired in the main terminal. then they put black asphalt from a road. our roads are falling apart. our bridges are falling apart. in china they are building 24 bridges, most of which are bigger than the george washington bridge. massive bridges, massive construction. they are taking our jobs. we don't even know it. then the president of china comes over. we have a state dinner for him. honoring him. he's laughing all the way back to china.
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it's all branding. when you look at the things going on -- in afghanistan we are spending tremendous amounts of money and president karzai, as you know, our president flew in to afghanistan, and president karzai, who is getting sacks and sacks of cash -- they are getting $50 million in cash. i mean green. and i want to know who is the soldier that's delivering the cash? that's what i want to know. do you trust somebody -- they are carrying satchels of cash because they are paying off the tribal leaders and warlords. it's incredible. 50 million i want to know who are these people doing this. karzai said, i won't meet with the president and won't meet him at the plane. you have the president of the country who spent i guess close to $1 trillion there also, lands, and the president doesn't have the decency to come and pay his respects, even to just shake his hand.
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and i say to myself, that's very bad branding. because when you get right down to it, that's what we are talking about. that's pretty bad. it's pretty sad. so you look at libya, you look at syria, the line in the sand. remember the famous line in the sand? nothing was done. not that it should be done and not we should being involved because we shouldn't. you don't say we are going to do this and do that and then they do it and then you don't follow up. by the way, i don't want them to follow up, but you should have never made the statement. so, we are in very, very serious trouble. i just ask you what positive thing has happened to this country in the last 10 years? it includes bush, i'm not a bush fan, believe me. he got us into iraq. i think obama should have gotten us out faster. bush got us into iraq. i am no bush fan. anybody that knows me knows that.
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but what's happened -- can we say that the economy's booming? no. can we say unemployment -- unemployment is a totally phony number. if you stop looking for a job they take you off the unemployment rolls like you have the job. we don't make our products anymore. they are made mostly in china and other countries. mexico is doing phenomenally well. phenomenally. that's going to be the new china as far as making products. look what's going on in mexico. and you say to yourself, isn't that sad? isn't that a shame? now, the good news is we have tremendous potential. tremendous potential. we have power over china that you wouldn't believe. china sells their product to us, no tax. no tax. and yet they'll manipulate their currency so that our people cannot compete with their product. we make better products than them, by the way, but we can't compete because of the manipulation, which is in the history of the world, there has
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never been a better or smarter currency manipulation than that done by china. all you have to do is say, folks, it's going to end. it's going to end now. and if it doesn't end, we are going to throw a little tax on you that every product you sell in this country it's going to be a 25% tax. the number should be 48% based on their manipulation. i want to be nice. we'll settle at 25%. you won't even have to do the tax because everything would stop. same thing with japan with the cars. i mean it's the same thing. so simple. but we don't have the right people. i don't know who these people are. where do they find these people? i assume they are diplomats. they are incompetent. we have incompetent people running the country. now, obamacare is having a devastating effect on the country. and they say whoever becomes president 2016 is going to be a catastrophic year for the economy, because you know all of
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the problems of obamacare and other things were delayed until 2016. somebody's going to have a real problem. they better get smart. and the republicans better get smart because they are going to inherit a mess like has never been inherited before ever, ever before. so the good news is we have tremendous potential with proper leadership. tremendous. we can turn it around so fast. we are sitting on energy that's bigger than all of them, almost. we are sitting on massive amounts of dollars coming out of the ground. we don't use that. even the pipeline, keystone pipeline, i don't even care that much about it. i say build it because it's jobs and all that. but we don't need canada's oil. we don't need canada's oil and gas. we don't need anything from anybody. but build it anyway. it's jobs. it's environmentally very good. and it should be built. it's amazing that it hasn't been built. and obama's having a hard time with it. some of the people that don't
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want it to be built, they are people on wall street. i know them. you know why they don't want it to be built? they are invested in oil and gas and they don't want to bring down the price. it's not that they are great environmentalists. look at these people. they couldn't people -- people couldn't give a crap about the environment. they are invested heavily in oil and gas. they don't want the competition. our politicians sit back and say wow, he gave a lot of money in the democratic party n this case. gave a lot of money to the democratic party, we have to be nice to him and others. so it's a very, very sad thing. i would say that i very proud of am this country, but i would say if we don't act quickly it's going to be very, very hard to bring it back. we are very, very far out on a limb. something has to take place and it has to take place quickly. our people have to be taken care of.
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in order to take care of people, we need wealth. we don't want to cut social security. we don't want to cut medicare or medicaid. i'm different from a lot of republicans. they keep talking about budget. i keep saying, build the country up so you don't have to worry about social security. it's peanuts compared to the numbers you are talking about if we knew what we were doing. we have to take our business back from china and other countries. we have to take it back. and you will see, i said it, winning. it's about winning. we've got to start winning. not one -- i searched everything. we haven't had one good story about this country being great for years. and it's about time that we started getting the good stories. and we can do it but you need proper leadership. and with that i will take some of these killer questions that i have been viewing. let's go. go ahead, myron. thank you. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> i already had one note saying, why are we showing mr. trump the questions in advance? we don't show mr. trump the questions in advance. he was sitting next to our chair of the speaker's committee, who was trying to organize the cards. we'll ask the questions. and i know that mr. trump can't wait to answer them. let's go right into politics. you have flirted, i think that's the right word, you have flirted several times with a possible run for the presidency. why have you never run? >> again, i didn't flirt. people were asking me to run. they wanted me to run for a lot of things, including governor. i kept saying no, no, no. they want immediate to run for governor of new york. finally i just said i'm not doing it. i didn't flirt. people wanted me to run. we are going to see what happens in 2016. we are going to see what happens. i want to see what's going on. this country is it in serious trouble. i didn't flirt. and i think i probably during the speech cleared it up pretty
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much. i love what i'm doing. i would rather do what i'm doing than do that. but i also love more than what i'm doing, more than virtually anything else other than family, which includes my beautiful ivanka, i love this country. i love this country. i hate to see what's happening. if i don't see the right person i will do something in 2016. i will do it as sure as you're sitting here. thank you. [applause] >> do you think chris christie is too damaged to be a viable presidential candidate in 2016? if not, who is the best gop candidate at this stage? >> chris is a friend of mine and a good guy. he's got to get his problem cleared up. no question. you have to get that cleared up and it has to come out very, very good. obviously it was foolish. i have spoken to him about it. it was a crazy set of events that took place.
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and i would say to chris -- and i will say to anybody -- you have to get that whole thing straightened out and behind him, in which case he would be a viable candidate. certainly he's been devastated by it and hurt very badly by it. you have to look at the polls. at some point it will come out. there are many people looking. i made the statement, i didn't mean it as a negative statement or positive. he's one email away from having a big problem. that has to disappear. it has to go away. then certainly he would be viable. >> going back a few years, do you regret questioning president obama's citizenship? why or why not? >> not even a little bit. i don't regret it. why would i regret it? he came out with a book that wasn't published, you remember the famous book. it said a young man from kenya. he -- i was offered -- i offered him a tremendous amount of money
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just to -- didn't want to see his marks. i just wanted to see place of birth. there are three things that could happen. and one of them did happen. he was perhaps born in kenya. very simple. he was perhaps born in this country. but said he was born in kenya because if you say you were born in kenya, you got aid and you got into colleges. people were doing that. so perhaps he was born in this country, and that has a very big chance. or, you know, who knows. maybe it was all right. i have offered $5 million to see the records. he would have done a great service, because there are -- there are people in this country -- i walk down the street they say please don't give up. please don't give up on the whole thing with the birth certificate. i hope it's 100% fine. a lot of people are questioning the birth certificate. they are questioning its authenticity.
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i say this. i offered $5 million to see basic records. not the marks. nothing. just some basic things on applications to colleges. i'd love to see what's put down. why didn't a man take $5 million for his favorite charity? what wasn't reported by the press is some time just prior to the expiration date of that offer i raised the offer to $50 million. $50 million. for charity. pick your charity. $50 million, let me see your records. and i never heard from him. so i would take it, i mean i would take it -- i'd give it to chicago charities and give it to all sorts of charities, and they could use the money. so it's one of those three things. either it's fine. or it's born in kenya. or in my opinion there's a very good chance he was born here and said he was born in kenya. because if you were born in kenya, you got into colleges. and you got aid.
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very simple. >> perhaps ivanka would like to answer this. what will the new d.c. hotel be like? >> thank you. well, thank you, everyone, for welcoming us here. we plan to spend much, much more time in d.c. i personally have been down every week for the past year and will continue to come down as we start the development of the old post office building. this is an asset that i don't need to describe to anyone. it sits on pennsylvania avenue. at one of the great addresses of all time. it's a landmark building, a building, the likes of which one could never replicate today. unfortunately it's full potential hasn't been materialized for a long, long time. we are going to change that. we are going to develop super luxury hotel, 272 rooms. the largest ballroom of any of the luxury hotels in all of d.c. unbelievable meeting space.
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unbelievable spas. restaurants. and really bring in tremendous amounts of life and vitality to pennsylvania avenue. and to the hotel itself. we love d.c. we love this building. for many, many years, for decades my father's been looking and waiting on exploring various opportunities in d.c. but when he came here, he wanted to do it the right way with the right location with the right development. and that's the old office building. we are incredibly excited and we'll start construction soon and be opened in 2016. [applause] >> 2016, in time for the next inauguration. [laughter] thank you, ivanka. we appreciate your coming here and sharing the podium with your dad. a few more questions, mr. trump, because i think as the more you
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are being so elucidating, we are getting more questions. what would you do if you were dealing with president putin? >> well, in negotiation the primary thing that you have to do is to get the other side to respect you. and president putin does not respect or like president obama. so you have a problem. i'm not sure that's a problem that's easily solvable. there is a dislike. but russia does not respect our country any longer. they see that we have been greatly weakened, both militarily and otherwise. and he certainly does not respect president obama. what i would do would be, as an example, i own the miss universe. i was in russia, moscow recently, and i spoke indirectly and directly with president putin who could not have been nicer. we had a tremendous success.
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the show was live from moscow. we had a tremendous success there. it was amazing. but to do well you have to get the other side to respect you. and he does not respect our president, which is very sad. >> we'll turn to sports. you said you are interested in buying the nfl's buffalo bills, and i hope we have that correct. you have even spoken with nfl commissioner roger goodell about that possibility. do those conversations give you any sense as to how intense the bidding for the team will be? >> i have no idea. i have no idea if i will be able to. i would keep it in buffalo. we are just discussing it. we had a great discussion. buffalo news is a terrific paper and they treated us very fairly, i will tell you that. we are going to put in a bid. if the bid's not the right bid, i buy a lot of things, but i buy
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them if the prices are reasonable price or fair price. i don't know what's going to happen with buffalo. if the price is not the right price i won't get it and i won't , be ashamed. i am not going to be forced into paying too much. if i did, i would do probably a good job. i think the people in buffalo, they already like me. i have a great relationship with the people of buffalo. we'll see what happens. it's about price. i don't know how many bidders there's going to be. probably a few. but we will probably put in a bid and we'll see how that goes. >> one more sports question, do you feel that some nfl owners might still hold a grudge against you because of your involvement in the usfl or because of casinos bearing the trump name? >> as far as the usfl i did a great job. the league was failing. i came in way late when the league was failing. and got a team for peanuts. it was a very small price.
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because it was failing. it was a failure. and people don't know that. because i came in, it became really hot and people started seeing it, but i came in on the basis you go to fall football. i said i'm only doing it if it's going to be first class football. i consider spring football not to be first class. i don't think it could work in the spring because your television audiences in the spring -- learned a lot about ratings through "the apprentice." your television audience disappears in the spring. just disappears. i said to them i will do this but -- when i wanted to go to the spring, when they wanted to go to the spring and keep it there and stay that way, i think the opposite. i think the nfl owners, there aren't too many around that remember that because i think six or seven, but i think they gained a lot of respect for me. i actually think -- i have been told by a couple of them, it was amazing the job i did. i got lawrence taylor and sold
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him back to the nfl. i got lawrence to sign a contract, one of the great linebackers of all time, i sold him back to the nfl. i actually think they respect what i did. and i think they respect it a lot. i don't see that as a problem. as far as the casino business, we got out of atlantic city about five years ago. we sold, our timing was good. atlantic city is having tough times now. our timing is good. essentially i'm not too much into gaming. would i go in later on? yes. but if i did an nfl team i wouldn't. >> do you ever worry about your brand becoming damaged? what could damage it? >> i don't worry about it. if it happens, it happens. it's sort of interesting. the beautiful thing, again we'll go back to twitter and facebook and instagram. somebody -- instagram, somebody says something about me that's false i will hit them hard. a lot of times they disappear. amazing. i have these wise guy reporters, probably members of the national press club, they always say, trump filed for bankruptcy.
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excuse me, buffet has used bankruptcy, it's a tool. it's a tool. when i use it, i buy a company i throw it into a chapter, i then negotiate the hell out of loans and all the problems they have, it comes out, it's a good company. they say trump filed bankruptcy. they don't say that with these other guys. i let people know, it's not right when you're saying. they attack my hair. my hair. it's mine. come here. would anybody like to inspect -- [applause] >> is there a nice woman that would like to inspect it in the audience? it's actually my hair. they say, you wear the worst hair piece i have ever seen. what a horrible wig. so i put on twitter, i don't. it's funny, when people want to keep -- but i like to defend myself. and the beautiful thing about
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the new media is that you actually can. if you have enough followers, i certainly have a lot. many, many millions. you can protect. it's interesting. sometimes i'll be attacked. then i'll attack back really viciously. i never hear from that person again. especially if it's a famous person. if it's not a famous person, they continue because what do they have to lose? i was attacked like by cher. she didn't like my politics. i hit her so hard, she still doesn't know what happened. the last i heard of her. i don't know. rosie o'donnell has gone around saying the worst thing i ever did was to attack donald trump. she attacked me. a young woman of miss u.s.a. lovely young woman, she had an alcohol and drug problem. she was going to be fired from miss u.s.a. they came into my office to get the final blessing. there was a news conference downstairs which was packed, it was a big event. and i met the girl, she was a nice girl. i said, don't fire her. you'll destroy her life.
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it never happened where we fired the winner. they are going to take her crown away, humiliate her. she's already got a problem with drugs and alcohol. don't fire her. rosie o'donnell's on "the view" who is he who give somebody a second chance? i get a call from entertainment tonight, and i said, did you hear about rosie o'donnell? i have other things to do. tell me. they told me. and i hit her like nobody's ever hit her before. and that was it. and she goes around telling people that was a mistake. but you know when somebody attacks you, attack them back. stop it. get it stopped. it's so important. in my opinion, it's so important. so that's the way it is. go ahead. next question. >> personal question, mr. trump. what do you do for relaxation? >> i build buildings.
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it's funny, ivanka said the other day, do you ever go away daddy? i do a thing in dubai, but we are doing a massive job, phenomenally successful, i was in scotland where we were doing something big, in ireland where i bought property. different places. that's for me relaxation. when you love what you're doing. if somebody said you are going to take an enforced vacation for two weeks and go to some beach and can't use your phone, it would not be good for me. it would not be healthy for me. so what i do and what i really like doing is working. it's been a lot of fun. the great thing, i put a lot of people to work. i have thousands and thousands of people that work for me. health care, education, they are not worried about obamacare because i take so good care of my people. but so many different people are working because i love to work. so that's the thing i like doing the most.
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[applause] >> we are almost out of time but before asking the last question we have a couple housekeeping matters to take care of. first of all, i'd like to remind you about our upcoming events and speakers. tomorrow, dr. ben carson neurosurgeon and author. june 11, hollywood writer-director m. night shamalan. he will discuss his canteen -- campaign to close the american achievement gap. we have other ones before august 1, but let me tell you we just finalized on august 1, the president of the republic of congo. we'll discuss peace, security and stability of the central african region and oil investments in the country. next i want to have for the first time that i can recall a double presentation of our brand, the national press club mug, to ivanka and donald trump. [applause]
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thank you. how about a round of applause for our speaker and ivanka. [applause] >> thank you-all for coming today. i'd also like to thank national press club staff. that's the last question, and jerry always reminds me of that because i skip over the script. i want to finish with the last question. but like to thank national press club staff, including the broadcast certainty for organizing today's event. for our last question we have two minutes, you can make it short or take the full two minutes, if you had the power to fire one person on the planet, who would it be and why?
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>> this is such an easy one, isn't it? but i won't do it. i won't do it. too corny. look, we are a great country. we have great potential. let's live with that potential and let's make that potential come true. we need fantastic leadership. we have the people in this country that have the potential to be fantastic leaders. let's use our great minds. we are smarter than anyone. we can do what nobody has ever done before. but we need great leadership and we need it quickly before it's too late. thank you very much. thank you, everybody. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [applause] >> if you would like to get a copy of today's program, please check out our website at
5:13 am thank you all. we are adjourned. [indistinct conversation]
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>> that was great, thank you. >> thank you all.
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>> good meeting you again. [indiscernible conversation]
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>> coming up on c-span, presidential advisors discuss
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iraqi politics and the influence on iran and syria on that country. that's followed by president obama's announcement of the drawdown in afghanistan. >> one of the stories that resonated with me was the moment when they're dithering about whether or not they need to inject some water into unit one. and it's a matter of -- the clock is ticking. they're just about down to the wire. and the plant who in the end would have to make the final call, knows it's desperate they need to get water in there very quickly. and meanwhile, everybody wants to a say.
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and the officials are all just kind of hemming and hawing. and he gets an order from one of the supervisors that the government hasn't signed off on this yet he's got to hold off. well, he's already started. he basically calls one of his staff people over and says, ok, i'm going to give an order. he really loudly proclaims so everybody in tokyo can hear. halt the seawater injection when, in fact, they didn't. to me, that was a human element in that story, in which in japan where ignoring the rules and asking on your own is not rewarded. here is a moment where a guy knew, if he didn't ask things would go even worse than they were going. >> more about the tsunami and resulting meltdown at the fukushima nuclear power plant
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saturday night on "after words," part of book tv this weekend on c-span2. >> on the next "washington journal," a look at the role climate change and energy issues are taking in the 2014 elections. our guest is elana schor. then james brown discusses the obama administration's plan to train more science, technology, engineering and math teachers. later, our spotlight on magazines features paul barrett of bloomberg business week on his recent article on why g.m., as he puts it, keeps swerving from apology to aggression in the recall crisis. "washington journal" is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> house armed services committee vice chair speaks at the heritage foundation today about national security policy.
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congressman thornberry is considered by some to be the likely next chair of the armed services committee. live coverage of his remarks at 10:30 a.m. eastern on c-span2. >> if you go back and look at coolidge, he was a conservative hero, and his tax rate was a gold standard tax rate that we saw in the video 25% was what he got, the top rate down to, and he fought like crazy and started to remember and when you look at what all the socialites said about cool nidge washington, how cool he was, wouldn't meet with them, you want to remember that they were probably also from families that endorsed different policies, especially stories about his father who had a different model of president. he was a less active, bully pulpit president. coolidge is prissy, cold, not giving out favorites, so she
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said it looked as though he'd been weaned on a pickle. he was cultural. he was from new england. farmers don't talk a lot or wave their arms about because a cow might kick them. and it was temperamental. he was a shy person. but it also had a political purpose. he knew that if he didn't talk a lot, people would stop talking and of course, a president or political leader is constantly bombarded with requests and his silence was his way of not giving in to special interests. he articulated that. >> amity shlaes will take your questions on current fiscal policy, "in depth," live for three hours sunday at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv. the american enterprise institute hosted a discussion
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tuesday on iraq's recent parliamentary elections and the possibility of prime minister al-maliki returning for another term. two former advisors to presidents also spoke about the now iraq. this is an hour and 15 minutes.
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>> he's done a great deal of work with and around iraq and so i'm thrilled to welcome brian to this conversation. to my immediate left is doug senior fellow at the new america foundation and also the managing partner of man city international, which does a great deal of business in iraq. doug and i were joking that it's actually a thrill to see each other in washington more often than not we bump into each other in baghdad or in airports going back and forth to baghdad. with that, i just want to also welcome our c-span audience and
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say instead of doing this as one of those panels in which one person gives a speech, then the second person gives a speech, then the third person gives a speech, what we're actually hoping to do, what should an lot more fun for us and hopefully for the audience as well, is to have a real conversation. a lightly moderate conversation covering a lot of the issues which iraq just faces. i'm not just talking about internal issues, such as what the bargains might be with regards to government formation, how this might impact long and tricky problems that have afflicted iraq such as some of the sectarian politics, such as some of the recent violence, the remaining disputes with regards to the oil law and so forth, the nature of federalism, so also what we might expect with regard to a new presidency inside iraq. are we going to have iraq in effect embrace of confessional
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model of politics, the appointment of individual positions that we've seen for so many decades in lebanon. brian has done a great deal of work recently on some of the issues involving turkey and syria and so of course, we're going to talk about many of the neighboring states and see how they might operate vis-a-vis iraq, be it syria, turkey. of course, the big elephant in the room is the islamic republic of iran, not to mention the united states, which isn't the regional state but with our presence and interest in the region, might as well be. with that, what i want to do is open the floor to an open conversation, after which we're going to have questions and answers from the audience and invite you to join in our conversation. but i think one of the basic questions which we have, and i'll direct this and start a conversation with doug is while none of us has a crystal ball,
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the bargaining gets started, since no canned candidate in iraq won an outright majority, since they are going to need to form a coalition in order to put together a new government. rather than simply talk about the shape that have coalition, how long is this process going to be? last time it took months and certainly portfolios actually never left the hands of the prime minister, so in this situation, are we going to see a relatively rapid government formation? ? is it going to be delayed? we're focused on baghdad, but we can talk about them later, but also what happens if no government actually gets formed? doug? >> well, thanks very much for setting this up, michael. you gave use lot of questions in one there, so let's first put out the caveat. first, this is about the future. so who knows? second, this is about a government formation and a parliamentary system. third, it's about government formation in a parliamentary system in the future where
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there are about seven major parties, depending on how you count another five so six minor ones and then a whole slew of individuals independent of people who ran by themselves. and then fourth, it's iraq. so this is extremely complicated, and we're just talking about probabilities. there are no certainties. anything is possible. and we're going to talk about the most likely scenarios. all that said, i think what we saw in this election was the prime minister did prime minister maliki's party did on the very, very high end of meeting expectations for the very low end of better than expected depending on how you count the i happened pence it banded with, and that remains a somewhat combig out process. depending on how you count, we've seen estimates that he now controls somewhere between 99, maybe up to 108, 109 seats.
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so he's somewhere in that ban. you need 163 seats to form the government, so he's nowhere near what he's going to need to put this all together, but he's certainly the dominant actor. there's no one he's close to him. were the kurds to band together that's still only 62 seats compared to his 100 to 110. there's no near competitor, not like what we saw last time, where we had two parties essentially tied in the election. i think the probability, again their huge set, and his personal vote, and one of the -- actually it was in last election as well, but it really took off they election is the use of a personal vote. and as i understand it, there may be an expert who can correct me but essential instead of just throwing your vote for a party, what i vote for this dallas party, you can vote for prime minister maliki
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personally and that essentially counts as a vote for his party and were he in a theoretical world not get enough votes to qualify for a seat, your vote still gets thrown in the tally, so it's not wasted. and if he gets far more votes than he needs, then the extra votes do get sluffed off into the party total. but it allows someone to demonstrate that this is the person i'm really excited about really voting for. prime minister maliki got over ,000 -- 700,000 personal votes in baghdad province, so someone thinks he's doing ok. this gives him some real momentum moving forward, and again, given the number of his votes, it is very, very possible, and it's the most likely scenario, again, talking in probabilities, is that we'll see a fairly rapid government formation. now, rapid government formation for iraq still means 60 to 120 days. it's not going to move really fast.
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but relatively rapid formation as the prime minister does have this domination, and he wants to at the time other parties cut the best deal you can upfront, because the first parties that come are going to get the best deals. once we get to 150 seats and i just need a couple of other bodies, you're not going to get the same kind of deal. aum ok, i have to disagree with you on how rapid the government formation will be. >> i don't have any predictions in terms of how much time, because we are looking at unprecedented. i just wanted to say three basic points which we often forget, the turnouts were quite high in terms of historically, when you look at countries that are in transition and then when you compare it to egypt right now with presidential elections, which look like they're going to have very low turnout, it's a simple point, but important. for those of us skeptical about iraqi democracy or political participation, it's an
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encouraging time in a country that is racked with a lot of violence, that has a lot of terrorism, and increasing that you have people show up. the second is just the political engagement of the multipolicity of parties something like 9,000 candidates running for different offices. again, in this context, for those of us who were against the iraq war and had differences of views with our friends here, you see i think people -- you have to be forced to rewrite sort of your own analysis of the situation. i take the broader participation that's very important, and then third thing, which is more negatively fragmentation of political parties and political authorities despite maliki being able to get a large number of votes for himself, you do see this broader trend inside of iraq, but i think it's reflective in other societies in the middle east right now where those parties that have had sort of a monopoly on power those
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political parties, those figures, there's new forces that are coming to challenge. we've seen this for several years now. kurdistan regional government. but the fact is that in this scenario, when people are concerned about authoritarian and maliki moving in that direction, what you do have is a very complicated mosaic, and when you look at iraq 10 years after, almost 10 years after the 2005 election there is still incentive for people to join into the political system, to debate these things politically and use the mechanism of politics as opposed to violence to settle disputes, and i think that's very encouraging. >> i'm going to go into my dispute, and granted we're talking about the future, so who knows what's going to happen but to outline the opposite argument, where i'm afraid that government formation won't be quick, but i want to build on something which brian said which doesn't really get reflected on the chart of anyone's national
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security council or within the government, but it is of key importance, and that is, when you think back to where everyone was with regard to the wisdom of iraqi operation iraqi freedom, kids who were 7 years old, iraqi kids who were 7 years old at that time are now the freshmen class at the university of baghdad. so in effect, we started to see a generational shift, and this is the fourth national election not including the constitutional referendum, since it fell, and so in many ways for this generation this has become the new norm where the youngest generation are starting to emerge past that, if you will, the mental atmosphere which some say that atmosphere of fear. now, granted, with regards to a lot of the violence the horrific violence that these kids have seen, including attacks on various universities themselves, this is something that's going to take another generation at least to work its
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way out of the system, but also when we talk about iraq, in the united states and washington, we look to -- we like to look at snap shots in time, but the fact of the matter is that generational shift, and simply the persistence of the new system whatever flaws, is important, because most every iraqi i talk to, whether it's in greece or baghdad, recognizes that they simply can't go back to the old system. now what i worry about what happens if there's a vacuum in government formation. last time i forget exactly how long it took to form the government, it was nine months. the point is so many issues inside iraq have been kicked down the road. i mean, when you look at american occupation, the transitional administrative law, then you look at the iraqi constitution, basic issues such as the role of religion and
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society, there's contradictory clauses in there issues that haven't been fully implemented which were addressed for example, a referendum with regard to the final status of kirkuk let alone some of the other disputed territories outside the formal boundaries of the kurdistan regional government. that's been kicked down the road. we're going talk about the oil law and some of the oil maneuverings between the central government and baghdad, between kurdistan, between turkey coming up. that has yet to be pushed down the line, and then there's the other key issue, which is do the kurds automatically get the presidency, and that's something which we can also discuss, because talabani continues, and regardless, he can't take another term in office, and therefore, there's going to be, for the first time really, a change in the presidency.
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and then the question is, is that spot reserved for the kurds? what i worry about, so many issues to be determined, and doug mentioned this, with many critics say if he has a third term we can consolidate his power, become authoritarian if you don't believe he's one already, ultimate this will means for so many different interest groups, so many different parties, this is the last chance. i fully agree that maliki is in the driver's seat, not only in terms of winning the clear plurality of votes, but also to defense patronage in order to bring other votes into the system but i can see a situation where the government is simply going sit back and see who can offer the kurds the most if they want to become prime minister, but there comes a point where you simply can't over -- you can't give in to whatever the kurdish expectation might be, and that could be a recipe for stalemate.
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and this is something that came up in the 2010 election, it's all well and good for any other grouping to try to bargain hard but they have to keep their own coalition together, and iraqi political slates are notoriously vociferous. perhaps with the exception of prime minister maliki. therefore, i kind of wonder whether we're going to get to a stalemate that lasts well over a year and prime minister maliki would stay in the interim, and does he have, in that sort of situation, a -- an incentive to break the stalemate, to make concessions? what happens if he doesn't? >> well, tons of issues in there. first, let me say, your scenario is absolutely plausible. the most likely scenario is we quickly see government formation. the second most likely scenario is exactly what you're laying out, one that drags very, very far out. i think there are a couple of things pushing against that,
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and the first is the fact that maliki is currently the prime minister. were he the challenger and had got in control in the sense of the number of seats then the current -- then there might be incentive to drag this out, but maliki is the sitting prime minister, and therefore, he's going to be the interim prime minister. and if he's realized, if he's got 110 seats, he's going to come out on top anyway if you think that's your calculus, which, again seems to be the most likely scenario, there is a scenario in which you can get an anyone but maliki coalition to band together, the issue is that is the only thing all those parties agree on. once you get them past that, there are political differences internal to themselves that are actually greater than that of the coalition that prime minister maliki is trying to put together, so it's extremely problematic for them to do. if you think that prime minister maliki is going to end
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occupy top anyway, then you're incentivized to put some semblance of checks and balances against them, as opposed to him vf quasi dictatorial powers in the interim. >> just your concerns about lebanon's system forming, i think that's very real, and i think that's one of the dangers, and in fact, again, i try to apply things not only what's going on in iraq, but you see the groping trend throughout the region, the hyper polarization, where in essence you have structural policy, election that is happen, they happen on time, they happen despite massive violence and terrorist attacks but when the politicses get together they actually are often disconnected from their own base, what the people want, and then they also negotiate things, and i think that's a real risk in this go around, even though we're in uncharted territory, you were commenting there is this risk of, ok, either on paper or quietly, iraqi leaders essentially saying you get this, we get
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this, and we divide up our communities in that sort of way. i think the risk in that is that you don't form these issues. the issues you ran through, remember the benchmark that is congress uger used to ledge at a time. i'm sure doug remembers this. all of these issues to reconciliation and all of these things, almost all of those -- you mentioned the kirkuk issue, they've not been implemented, yet the system still hangs together, yet the political leadership has found some sort of way to work together, and i guess this is the thing i would worry about if i were an iraqi politician resting on your laurels of a system of simply just appointing a kurd to be the next president without thinking through the next generation. there could be a big backlash when you look at the basic demographics of the country. this is the way i see iraq, the way i see many countries. in the next 10-year period, the change is going to be inevitable because structurely you'll get the demographic
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pyramid, the economy, and the political issues. you're not going to have some of the same leaders i would highly doubt, in power eight, 10 years from now. that may be a bad prediction, but i just think politicians should not fall into this trap that others have fallen into. >> when it comes to the anybody but maliki scenario, i would also agree it's likely for the two have said, you do have precedence, where the governor, and one of the things that is oftentimes ignore when had it comes to the united states press now towards iraq is it tends to be very baghdad-focused, where there's a lot of vibrancy, whether it's in the north putting the kurdistan regional government area aside, whether it's in north in wards to kirkuk, in the south with regards to -- whether it's in regards to the governor at basra and so forth,
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it's just vibrant. you had a governor elected in basra. you have the extreme council of iraq unify against him and basically absent the votes. it permeates some of the rhetoric and didn't come into play, because it's all the shiite community. but you see a situation in which the the grand ayatollah is going to demand that the shia all get behind the same slate, or do you think there's a possibility that given some of the corruption allegations made against various political leaders that it's going to sort of have less of a role this time around than in the past?
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>> again, a ton of questions. very quickly, i think one thing we saw this year was, you know they're never going to be counted out in iraqi politics. it seems that their influence was significantly diminished this year. we had one of the grand ayatollahs do a quasi endorsement, and that seems to have backfired. that did not work out the way that they claim. i think -- and again, you don't want to project too far off one data point, but at least what we saw this year is that the influence of the housa is diminishedful coming to the real meat of your question, the real issues that are facing iraq, we talk very positively about a lot of the things that have happened. the election did happen. the results are still unknown, which is actually kind of rare. preliminary red lights are out, but we honestly don't know who's going to be the prime minister.
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you know, that's not the case in syria. these are real, honest to god elections, the results of which are still unconcerned. and as you brought out, we have some really interesting models down in the provinces, where we've had peaceful transition of power between numerous parties now. in basra, we've had three different parties change power over the last six years. these are real accomplishments. none of this overcomes the fact that iraq has real problems. you have an active insurgency burning through anbar that reaches all the way up into syria, kind of one consolidated insurgency now against both these governments. u very real issues between the shia and the sunni. part of this is about sunni resentment lingering resentment about no longer income power. some of it is against abuses by the shia, both real and
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perceived. and then very, very serious issues between the kurds and the a rain iraqis over both oil and the status of kirkuk and the other disputed territories. and these are very, very real issues that are existential issues. in some ways, always my complaint, they were just unfair for to us put on them. solving any one of these issues getting a final oil law for the country of iraq is going to involve compromises and real estate successments of the way that various groups see themselves you know, that make entitlement reform in the united states look like child's play. these are incredibly high degrees of difficulty issues, all of them that we're talking about, oil, disputed territories, and the role of of the sunnis in the future of iraq. it's not something you're going to solve in one go-around. >> no, when i look at iraq
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today, i don't know if you agree with this, it's in this post civil war presect sill asian phrase. in essence, post civil war in that the political actors that are relevant, that matter the most don't turn to violence as their first recourse, in terms of power dispute. terrorism has shot up since 2011 and doubled to 2012, doubled 2012 to 2013. that's not what i'm talking about. i'm talking about official iraqi politicians looking to settle scores in their power disputes. it's post civil war in that sense. and i don't see, given the fragmentation, the pluralism, and i may be wrong, but i don't see the forces coalescing in the way they did in 2005, 2006. maybe you do. i just don't see it. i think people will -- the dominant thread will be to look to politics. but prereconciliation, iraq still has not fudged mentally
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decide what kind of countries it wants to be. all of those issues that were bracketed in the last go-round on the constitution, the very definition of the country, there are a lot of gaping holes of how you actually define decentralization and things like that. and i think that's the question. back to your question, i don't think anybody actually knows. my overall theory of the case is that given the fragmentation politically inside the country given the increased pluralism, all of the singular institutions there's no one maker. what we're likely to see why i think it's hard to answer your first question, michael, is we're in this uncharted territory of a complex notion, much of which outside analysts won't be privilegey to, is going on right now. it's been going on for a long time. the reason why it's complex is you have multiple voices that are part of it. i know we'll talk to -- i think about maliki's authoritarian strand. yes, it's there. quite clearly, he's tried to build certain lines of
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authority that point towards him. but structurally, if you look at iraq, you have a structure that makes it very difficult for him to become like saddam hussein. >> certainly, i've always told there's lots of ways to be critical of prime minister maliki and certainly one of the questions i have is whether anyone who is in his position anyone who thinks the prime minister doesn't have a third term is going to act fund mentally in a different way, whether it's possible to govern iraq without having some aspect of control, because one of the issues with regards to the iraqi government, and this is part of the legacy which the idea of compromise has bestowed upon them, the idea there should be as broad based a coalition as possible, the prime minister doesn't have control over many of his own ministers am he can't fire an incompetent incident minister without risking bringing down the government, and it takes
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nine months to form a new government, that can be a formula, and so what prime minister maliki has done and expects other will do is create circles of advisors, in effect acting as shadow ministers in order to exercise that portfolio. but when you go out, you don't see the pictures of maliki plastering the walls the way you do -- i mean, i think all of us have been to syria before or egypt. you can see egypt more recently, you don't see that sort of thing. so if you have, like you said, so many different power centers and interest brokers inside iraq, that means that, simply put, you're not going to be able to restore authoritarianism to that country. >> well, look, you've got a trend toward authoritarianism you can't deny, and it's happening and sort of trying to close off space, but what i'm saying is there will be limits to it, and i think limits not only in the central government, but then as you see in other
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places the monopoly has been broken in politics fairly effectively. there's more of -- there's still the two dominant political parties that are there, but there's more open space, and again, the prediction, it's hard to predict for the future, but i just think those trends will continue. the plus side is you wouldn't have somebody ruling with an iron fist. the down side is that sort of outcome really lends itself to the sort of gridlock, the stalemate on some key issues that we've seen for a while, which is why, again, i'm not going to take a position in your debate about how long it will take a government, but if i had to, it might take quite some more time. >> is a new government -- i open this question to both of you. is gridlock a permanent characteristic of the iraqi system? gridlock for example, with regard to oil, with regard to kirkuk and the disputed territories, with regard to the role of religion in society.
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>> we've had, over the last four years, a national unity government. with the notable exception of like winston churchill's government during world war ii, i can't think of a good example of a unity government that actually works and makes a country move in the same direction. you currently -- for the last four years you've had ministers in maliki's government who are actively dedicated to making sure that his government fails. given that reality, it is not surprising that we've had power centralized in the prime minister's office. with you see that in our country when a white house doesn't really trust the cabinet secretary. we see that portfolio fall through the white house. i'm certainly not comparing you know, anything in our system to anything that's going on there but this is a normal tendency. so if we can get out of the national unity government mold and put together a majority
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government where at least you have a smaller van of political opinions within the government, and there are clearly people who are outside, you know, people who really, really disagree with the prime minister, get to be in opposition. that's the way it's supposed to work, and they can then campaign on the outside and show the people how he's doing a lousy job. that might pep move this forward. that said, fine we get the most unified of governments, again, solving the sunni shia issues, getting an oil law and kirkuk may be over the top -- maybe the over the top statement is we'll get final status on kirkuk right after jerusalem. that is an order of magnitude, huge issue lots of people, the facts are intertwined, the history of how it got there is messy and ugly and contested and untangling that is not going to happen anied some time soon under the most charitable
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of circumstances. >> i can continue with that, with your metaphor in jerusalem, they are trying to establish what they're doing in terms of -- in the disputed territories and in the kurdish region especially with the separate oil sale with turkey. you raised it earlier. it's just really interesting to me. i was one of those ones back in 2007 or 2008, this needs to be resolved. this issue needs resolution right now, before the u.s. troops leave, we need definition on this. and what we've seen, and i think it's really interesting, when the u.s. sort of withdrew and pulled out, you know there were some flash points, if you remember in 200 , 2009, u.s. helped mediated at a lower level, but i think when political actors see that they're acting on their own, that there is no safety net there in terms of u.s. troops, there's a certain degree of pragmatism that gets into the blood stream there. but you look at this dispute in
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the oil which is a tremendously big issue and the central government is doing what, appealing at this point. nobody is invading anyone. nobody is using troops at this point. they're using mechanisms that are not perfect, not likely to lead to resolutions, but i think all. actors will test the limits of their power, and if the -- i think the dominant frame is violence again not including the terrorist groups, but violence is not the preferred option. we're not going to have a eureka clear-cut moment at any point on these issues, but i don't think the country will explode again through a massive civil war. >> we now have a really interesting situation with the k.r.g. and baghdad and turkey where oil exported, as i understand the facts anyway, oil exported by the k.r.g. on their own terms to turkey with
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no involvement from baghdad has now been put on an oil tanker and being shipped to somewhere in europe or the americas. baghdad's response has been to politically protest to retain a white-collar law firm to sue anyone who touches that oil and to go to paris to file a dispute with the international chime we are of commerce. not one division has moved. no airplanes are flying, no combat jets, not that the iraqis have any yet, are flying , and this is all being resolved through peaceful mechanisms. now, tempers are high, and, you know things are flaring, and it's not pretty, but there's not even a threat, not even a hadn't of a threat of violence. it's all being done through recognized international dispute mechanisms. >> i want to add one thing to what brian said, which is anyone who goes to baghdad gets a skewed version of iraq because of all the economic development which has occurred in the last 10 years or so,
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baghdad is probably the most disappointing case. it's in the south and in the north that you really see a booming economy. in kirkuk, i've gone several times in the last year and a half, two years, but before that, i help gone more than five or six years to kirkuk itself, and that was the biggest surprise, and that also goes to the importance of local government. i had long been a critic of the current governor of kirkuk, because i saw him as too much of a nationalist, he certainly proved me wrong, because he tends to be more solicitous of the needs of arab communities than even the kurds the point that people really rallied around him and enabled economic settlement. i mean, the down side is because of kurdish politics, because he's gotten too popular, too fast, because name is even mentioned in the race for presidency, even though i don't think that would happen, that other kurdish fashions are taken down. one economic issue which we don't talk enough about in the united states, it doesn't have the sexy flash appeal of oil or
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some of these other disputes, is the fact that i don't know whether you two have been the same experience when you've been to iraq, even whether you're in opposition in iraq or the government people often talk that in each ministry, you have probably 10 times the number of people that you actually need to have that ministry function. and while people will say -- i mean, iraq has bolstered its oil exports, not just the disputed exports, which we talk about, but certainly the field and so iraq can in effect subsidize the bureaucratic bloat, because the price of oil remains high. but if the price of oil declines and when it's all new sources coming online around the globe, and the fact that historically the price of oil waivers, what happens in iraq? i mean, is this a balloon that iraq -- i'm mixing metaphors, is iraq posting right now on an unsustainable formula that if we don't engage?
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n some serious bureaucratic and economic reform now, they're not going to be able to pay their civil service in the future if the price of oil declines and when might that occur? >> i think that's another threat for iraq, driving down the highway of the resource, like so many countries have done this, and when the u.s. was more deeply engaged there, this concern about diversification, because competitiveness in the economy, and again, i come back to this generational trend. i just think it's important. you look at iraq in the next 10 years, and you have a lot of people who need to be employed. we're in a region where 0 million jobs need to be created between now and 2020. you're not going to get that purely by pumping oil out of the ground and paying people off and putting them in bureaucratic job. that's your point. but i've not seen in the successive campaigns, including the most recent one, anyone who's had a clear vision about how to make iraq -- maybe doug
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has, but how to make iraq stand on its own so it's not heavily dependent on the status sort of concept of running the economy. >> insist any arab rich state overcome this model? >> i know we're going to talk about regional dynamics in syria and terrorism and things like this, to me this is a big strategic challenge for the entire region. what iraq is experiencing right now, we used to talk a little bit about the corruption problems in the second insurgency, it's still a problem inside of iraq. it's still a feature inside the politics and inside of the economy and how it's run, but for the longer term iraq i don't think will be able to sustain he was if it doesn't do all of these things as well as reform the politics. >> i think lamentablely, iraq is going to be largely immune to any check against resource. you certainly are seeing the
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blow, but they are adding production fast enough that even were there to be a significant correction, you know so sort of cold fusion being invented and price falling to $10 or $15 a barreleven a correction in oil markets at $70, $75 a barrel, which i think most of us think is the low end of where it will end up in the modern economy thomas iraq is adding 400,000 barrels a day production per year. they are adding azerbaijan's worth of production in three years, so they can out run any cuts, which i think might be countered. there is no plausible scenario where you can go to the government of iraq and have to diversify your economy. they really do not. they really should. it