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tv   American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Conference  CSPAN  May 3, 2019 10:02am-11:13am EDT

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>> good morning, everyone. we are going to go ahead and get started with the program. i have the honor of being the national chair of the aba young lawyers association. fortunate to have a cool opportunity today. as young lawyers, we are here in d.c. this week for our national spring conference with the aba young lawyers division.
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over the course of the weekend, we are learning how to be a better lawyer, better leaders in our community, and i will tell you, my wife is in the audience, one of the first things i do every morning when i wake up is grab my phone on the nightstand, and i immediately go to politico. a doubt, is without the premier source for political news around the country. it really provides the american citizens in the world for that matter with access to it is really going on in d.c. from a policy and political perspective. that is how i start my day. i'm excited that we all have an opportunity to start our day in d.c. to hear from the leader of that group, carrie budoff brown, the editor of politico. today, we will have an interesting conversation about media, politics, the 2020
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election and what is going on on capitol hill, as well. continue, i will properly introduce carrie. she started her career before college, growing up in pennsylvania, but became a journalist at rutgers university , came to politico in 2007, served as white house correspondent for politico under the obama administration, and now she is the editor of politico. we are really honored to have her here. she is actually getting an award today, washington law is recognizing her as one of the power 100 and washington, d.c. let's give carrie a hand for that. [applause] for beingank you here. we are excited. let's kick things off. everyone in the room knows about politico, but can you share the
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history of politico and why it is so important to america? tommy and thank you, chris. it is good to be here with all of you. it is a lot of fun to always get out of the office. launched in 2007. it was started by robert elberton, the owner and publisher. at the time, he owned a string of vocal television stations. a native washingtonian, but he spent many years here and looked at capitol hill, and he thought it was ripe for competition. he had this idea for creating a competitor. at the same time, two journalists from the washington post were starting to contemplate something similar in that washington journalism was ripe for disruption. they felt there was more going on in washington than the media
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at the time gave people a window into. it was about are we telling the story behind story? it was just a lot more fun and interesting than it was currently reflected in the media. so they happen to be coming to this thought at the exact same time, two well-known journalists in washington and i'm robert albritton, who helped to find it and started it, embedded it with his media company at the time. it honestly was something i was feeling myself at the time. i was a journalist at the philadelphia inquirer. i was covering politics. it was 2006. i started a blog to cover race in pennsylvania. the statehouse was going to be decided by one statehouse race in the philadelphia suburbs. the whole balance of power in pennsylvania that year was to be
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decided by one race, where candidates were separated by -- separated by three boats. there was a recount that would happen over many days. something would happen and people would have to wait like 18 hours to find out what happened. i thought that was crazy. i thought, i want to do this blog, and i will start putting things out as soon as it happens. and sort of what i saw at that moment was the connection with was not ready for a print publication, and that was a novel concept at the time. myselfto the realization that the world was changing. was orot know where i the philadelphia inquirer was for that matter, any sort of legacy institution had any clue
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about what was about to happen to the industry. i did not know what was about to happen to the industry, but i had one experience where being able to post things quickly, i created a connection with the readers, and they responded so overwhelmingly that anyway a way i never experienced in my eight years of being a journalist. i read about politico starting and decided it would be riskier to stay at the philadelphia inquirer than it would to go to a startup. i remember thinking that at the time, like something happening here is not changing, even if clinical fails, it will have been better for me to try that. i applied out of the blue, and came down i worked here. a lot of things came together at that time. at that moment, it was facebook was around for a couple of years but not penetrating most of the country. twitter was just starting, and
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politico started. the idea of politico as we were going to be fast, first, flood the zone with reporters, go behind the scenes, and we are really going to speed up the way information is distributed. it just so happened that twitter was rising at the same time. i think the two went hand-in-hand in accelerating the news in washington, which you can say is good and bad after 12 years of living here. i left washington for a couple of years because i needed to get out. i went to europe to help start our europe operation, which i needed to flee the city to a certain extent because of everything. but i just sort of view this as -- i don't know if it is a coincidence, but politico rose at the same time media was changing and technology was changing, and john, jim, and robert really had a vision for something. has showneve it
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timelessness in a lot of ways. >> that is awesome. >> i know we want to delve deeper into the question about the impact of social media, but starting more broadly, can you quickly explain the difference between fact-based news portion of publication on the opinion or editorial portion for our audience? ms. brown: there are huge differences. my newsroom is 250 people in the u.s. operation with journalists based in washington and around the country. the news part of news organizations are based on facts, finding out information, making sure there are multiple courses -- sources telling you the same thing before you can .eport it we talk to people, get facts and documents, called by people, and
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the goal at the end of any day before you publish something from top to bottom is to stand behind it based on your own reporting. that costs a lot of money to do. it is a resource heavy, and it is worth it. peoplemportant to have able to walk up to your office. into offices of and i wouldchris, say, what is your response to what you just filed because i find out that information through a filter, so i know people are like that and that is why social media is satisfying because there is no filter, but we taken a lot of information every day and make decisions our reporting, and we write it, put it on-air, say it, and everything has to be backed up and there have to be facts checked out. on the opinion side, there is a
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place in the world for opinions. there are a lot of opinions right now. twitter is a constant stream of opinions. it does not need to be. there are rules for opinions at politico, even we have op-eds. there are rules and standards, space foris more authors to see what they feel and think. it is reporting, but they are very separate. i think in this environment, we of we don't fact check, or we don't check things out, but we wake up every day trying to do our best. when we screw up, we say it. we correct things we get wrong. there was no shame in putting a correction on the story. myself andeel shame i would get my head for days,
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how did i do that? but correcting it is really important for credibility, and you cannot always say that about non-journalism sites where there is no requirement to correct things. we take the responsibility very seriously. to ask moreing questions later about social media in particular and opinion, too, so i'm glad you brought that up. talked about the start up or going into the startup, but let's think about the future even. what do you think the next innovation of journalism is? do we see that on the horizon in the media future or do we not know what it looks like yet? ms. brown: i think media is in a constant state of disruption. there was no ability to be comfortable with where you're at, i just do what you are doing, even if it is successful, working out, or you're making chances of youg
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being disrupted by a competitor or innovation of what we do not know what it is yet -- and i don't. i don't have a crystal ball to tell you there is a disruption on the horizon, i just know there is one. and as the editor of politico, and my colleagues across the country, we are constantly in a state of what is next? how are we changing? we cannot get comfortable, even if we have a successful subscription service. how are we evolving it? we know that either our goal is to be disrupting an environment, like politico disrupted the media environment 12 years ago. we disrupted the european media environment for years ago and we started politico in brussels, and now we have people in london, paris, berlin, frankfurt . we have 70 journalists in europe, and the idea there was in brussels, this major government power center was not being covered as it should.
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everyone thought brussels was boring. and it kind of was. [laughter] ideas and the idea was we could do in brussels what we did in dca decade earlier, and we did. it has changed. people do not realize they wanted to read a newsletter every week and the european scoffed at it. i just want my one newsletter a week. and we try something different, have --people like these innovations, we disrupted europe now. all i know is that here, there is constant disruption. all i know is that i have to continue to get ahead of whatever it is, protect what we
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have, and also evolve. that is a reality of my job and the job that anybody in the right now. when i applied for politico to come here in 2006, i never thought i would work for an internet-based publication, even though we have a newspaper that circulates on capitol hill, it is a digital operation. i had no idea that would have been and i have no idea what will pop-up nearer to in a year two.o -- in a year or >> speaking of, there is a big disrupter a couple of blocks from here. what comes to mind when you hear the words fake news? thinkown: i mean, i do fake news, like trump, he is a great brander. i don't know if he came up with
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the term fake news, but he came up with this phrase and branded it. fake news or false news, or not true. think of what the social networks have tried to flush out of their system for the last two about getting serious getting false stories on twitter feeds or facebook, that is just based in nothing. that is fake news to me. fake news is not a story that a politician doesn't like or a story where there are a couple of facts that were wrong and need to be connected. that is not fake news but may be shoddy journalism that needs to be corrected. we all need to strive to do better. it is not what i do, and it is not what my peers in the industry do. we are not fake. it is real, real stuff. the mueller report israel, the stuff in there that -- is real,
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the stuff in there that people site is real, so there is a huge difference. >> but there has always been a tension between the media and white house, but what makes what we see right now different than past?e have seen in the do you think that relationship between the president and media is getting worse? ms. brown: so i do think we are in a unique moment. we just are. i don't think what makes this moment unique is the fact that has, is a president who who talks about me and my peers in very harsh terms. i covered president obama, and i can tell you he did not really love politico. obama rose up in politico, and a lot of the obama folks did not know what to make of politico at
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that time. i covered the campaign in 2008, and as the first political reporter to do that, i traveled with the obama campaign from start to finish, from iowa to election day, and i can tell you they did not love me. [laughter] they really didn't. if any of them are watching, they know what i'm talking about. we managed to work together, nonetheless. wasd not really feel like i their favorite reporter because my job at politico was not to write the story of the day but to write about his hair turning gray, are not always about his hair turning gray, or him choosing not to wear a tie. but we wrote those things, which people read, and they wanted to understand who obama was, both for policies and who he was as a person. i chose to do that, and that often frustrated the obama folks. they did not love me, they did not love a lot of my peers, but there was a different relationship.
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there was an understanding of my role, even if they disliked it. what is different now is the rhetoric is very harsh, but the reality is that the folks in the west wing, the president himself, we have written about -- it is much different behind-the-scenes. it really is. has welcomed my reporters into the oval office. he seems to be a much different person in personal interactions. i think that is partly because the president has been no not to fire people. confrontation is in his -- you know, he does not love that in person. behind-the-scenes, he seems to be a different person. he is very, very -- if he could, i think he would talk to reporters all day. he really would. if he could assemble a group of reporters within and have a daylong session, i think that would make him happy. there is a disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality,
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but there is also just bigger implications, right, for the rhetoric, and we feel that as journalists now. the first six months of the trump administration was a aallenging time or challenging time throughout head around the president to make news from morning to night. i remember a day very well, the day that sally yates was let go. she was the acting -- i can't even remember, but i know it was a big deal. i honestly can't remember. at of doj, let go and i remembered it happened at 9:00 at night. it was the fifth major story covering the president, president obama, and these stories would last for days and days. , remember feeling, oh, my gosh
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not just the substance but the pace of how u.s. conducting himself on the job that was exhausting and startling in a lot of ways. it was just so different from everything before that. it was also fascinating. this is a great time to be in washington as a journalist. it is the most fun i have had and the most challenging in terms of managing a newsroom and making sure reporters are very -- they can sometimes be high maintenance, and in talking them through how to both cover a president who is nontraditional , honestly, thein core values of what being a thenalist is, which is times may be different, but the values of what makes journalism is still the same, even if something seems -- if the
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president doesn't something that seems unusual, you need to check to make sure it actually is unusual. do not assume that because it is donald trump, it is the first time that something is happening , it is always, look back to see what obama did, what george bush did. we cannot lose sight that we had to check out and report out everything, even if the environment is changing. who we are as journalists is the same and you need to work just as hard to check, re-check and verify. >> on that note, we talk about the difference between rhetoric and action. last week, president trump announced his administration is more or less boycotting the correspondence. do you know of any precedents for that in terms of past administrations? ms. brown: that was the first time that happens, and two years ago, the president chose not to
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go to the dinner and encouraged others not to go. and that byoycott, itself does not bother me. the dinner had become -- i don't really know. it is what it is. it is that break down and just putting work aside for a night, and tried to be human, which is not a bad thing. to facenk we need criticism that we are cozying up to sources, but i don't view it as that. reporters are always looking to have conversations and relaxing environments. that helps us get more information out of people. the fewer opportunities we have to do that, i do worry about that. i think the dinner itself is a symbol of something bigger and
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by choosing not to be there, that is their choice, right? and it is a celebration of the first amendment. and we also don't want to be in the ballroom. the president tries to do this. he goes and campaigns and shows the screen of journalists in a and itm in washington, may not be favorable to the media. it is just one more thing that is changing though. >> i appreciate you talking about the connection or even the disconnect between the president and or the administration and the media. this is my bias because i love politico, there is no doubt you have an unprecedented level of access and you talked about your sources, but people tend to share a lot with your reporters.
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can you explain that dynamic? what has made you also different than some of the other outlets? to thewn: i attributed founders. politico that at has been very hard for competitors to replicate. many people have tried, and i have the post and the times, they have become more like politico. they have hired -- if you look at any -- if you look at the post or the times, the people covering national politics with those organizations are politico alums. they came up through a newsroom where the emphasis was aggressive, hardcharging reporter, get behind the scenes, convince people to tell you things they do not want to tell you, get inside the room and tell us what happened. that was that core journalistic
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mission of the publication. politico, for some reason, has been very successful in indoctrinating the reporters to come through the newsroom to get that, to deliver on that, and i think it has been the secret to our success. i think it is also really hard to replicate, just fully through a news organization from how we cover policy to politics, to when we start a magazine. that is the same concept of got me behind-the-scenes, get me inside the room, and as editor now, whenever i look at the tops of stories or look at stories, i'm looking for what new piece of information are you telling me, what new nugget, what new anecdote? are we revealing something new about how a decision was made? who was behind it? if it does not have that texture to the story, chances are it will not do esso because it is a
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crowded media environments, and stories that do not have new information or insight, you know, it is worthy but i am always looking for what is going to break through and capture people's attention. that is that focus on that style of journalism. for me, it is everything we do. because we only cover politics and policy, it is really easy to keep a newsroom focused on that. that is where we are different. we do not cover sports, whe eather, lifestyle. we have a clear mission and focus. thing, a wonderful leading a newsroom in a crowded environment. how are we different?we focus on politics and policy. that is it. >> great. white house correspondent. tommy and i had a pleasure to
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spend time with jim acosta. one thing that stood out to us was he thinks there is a time for journalists. typically, you are supposed to be objective and report on what the president says, not necessarily be critical of him. mr. acosta said that he thinks when the president takes that turn and says things like the media are the enemy of the people, that is when there is a time for the media to be critical of the president. what do you think of that? would you agree? ms. brown: i would say it a different way. the media is not the opposition party, and we can act as if we are. about sort ofalk how i view things. i think politico is a interim or
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mainstream, as he would say. we want anybody of any political persuasion to be able to want to read our journalism. we do doesn't mean that not call balls and strikes, we don't make clear something is not based on evidence or fact, but we also are a different medium than cnn, which jim acosta is sitting in the press room and he is being treated in a very confrontational way, and it is just different than what we do. have toeel like we to bein our ability listened to and read, and and ied by america, believe deeply that journalism
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is something that we want to be able to call people out. and we do. we hold a lot of people accountable. one of the greatest things about politico now is the fact that we have 125 policy journalists who are deeply wired in washington's institution. you know, the interior are deeply these well sourced reporters who service information that but for the fact that politico is lucky enough or blessed enough to have resources to cover these institutions, and they find out information. we can distribute that to the rest of the world. it is a privilege to be a journalist. it is a right but a privilege and to have that ability to tell me something. i could go into you and get information from you that maybe citizens may not feel comfortable doing. what i tell my newsroom is that
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you have this great power right now to go at questions, to get information, to hold people accountable, and to report that. factsst by presenting the , fact based accountability reporting is one of the highest values i can bring into this environment, and we have done that. we had done incredible reporting on how the government is working. we will do that whether donald trump is in power or hillary clinton had won, or whether there is a democrat elected in two years. what makes meand satisfied with my newsroom is finding out new information. that is where i choose to put my energy. i am deeply concerned about the effect of being called the enemy of the people. i obviously disagree with that, but what i can control is how we choose to approach reporting in this environment, and we choose to do it in a way that is
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fun, andd, accurate, something i can stand behind. that is where i am choosing to put my energy. >> before we move away from the jim acosta's of the world, we know the president is not a fan, doesn't like or rely on conservative personalities, like sean hannity in particular. what influence do you think people like sean hannity have on the president, and more importantly, on his policies? ms. brown: i think it has been well documented he is very influential. judge -- i was going to say judge judy. i don't know about judge judy, but that is who he is. i think it is exactly as it looks. i don't think it is that complicated. he talks to sean hannity a lot,
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lou dobbs, and others, and they help to shape his policies. that is the fact. >> thinking of the history of the journalism in america, is there any precedent for a journalist having that kind of influence on a sitting president? ms. brown: absolutely there has been. obama look back, barack used to love sitting down with just goldberg of the atlantic or ezra klein. infrequentvery compared to what we know about how donald trump is talking with the television personalities who he favors, absolutely, journalists have played an influential role in how presidents have made policies, think about issues. it just is not may in this model or this form. i would say maybe this is unique, but i do know for sure that all of our presidents are influenced based and seek out opinions from opinion makers, like jeffrey goldberg and ezra
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klein, as well as sean hannity and lou dobbs. that is their right. [laughter] >> when you see folks like the president go back to a news source that they like to hear from often, typically we use the term echo chamber, do you think that media companies are effort toe or have an kind of break down those echo chambers they create? ms. brown: yeah. are -- i think we think where the danger is is when generalist themselves get caught in the echo chamber and they are not testing the assumptions on what they are hearing. we saw that play out in 2016, were seeingers things with their own eyes as they went out to the states, or hearing things, or the concern about hillary clinton, just the dynamic emerging in the country
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that led to donald trump succeeding in 2016. i have talked with many they travel toy michigan, and i have one in native of who was a michigan, whose family is very conservative, and he, at the time, worked for a conservative publication himself. , but becauseings the traditional metrics of how you judge a presidential campaign were saying something different, and those metrics are generally proven correct, polling, fundraising, lots of other things. i think people just sort of allow themselves to be -- donald trump was such an unusual candidate who was breaking every kind of barrier in terms of what is typical in presidential
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campaigns, that a lot of people thought, that won't happen or -- and in fact it did. obviously, we know that. i think the echo chamber manifests itself in that way, where you see something with your own eyes, you don't challenge it. my line now is you have to test your assumptions on everything. that was a big thing about 2018 covering the midterms. i do not to be surprised on election day. i do not be surprised in november, so it is the responsibility of reporters to not just assume something is going to happen and then write the story, assuming it is going to happen. we constantly have to check ourselves, go outside our comfort zone, and not just assume that because something has always happened, it is going to happen again. i think 2020 is a huge test for the media. we are under a tremendous microscope. we just are.
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any controversial story or story that twitter does not like, come under a lot of scrutiny for how we are covering this election. me, is maybe the most important question when it comes to media responsibility. we often hear the narrative of thanicts much brighter positive or neutral stories. even in terms of familial relationships, you know there is that one thing, whether a partner or family member, and you can go back to the thing that creates conflict. when the media goes back, and they stilled that conflict, what is the responsibility there? is the media, in some sense, to blame for where we are today as a society? ms. brown: you know, the media has a big role. i'm not going to disagree with you that the media obviously is very influential and powerful in that way, but we are also
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writing about the people who are doing these things. there is a lot of conflict, and there are disagreements, and there are reasons for that. i don't know if that is a bad thing. i just know that it is there, and it should be reported. obviously, there is a responsibility and how you report that. blow a ever want to over conflict. , politico has been accused of that one or two the fact is there is a lot of conflict. when there are disagreements, it is things that when everybody is in agreement, then, yes, you are right, there is not as much interest in that. it does not mean agreements are not written about, that good things are not written about, that it is not every story we are looking for that conflict and tension, but it is a part of
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the political system in america, from day one. we were born in conflict. feature of the american political system that is healthy. and we are going to reflect that and write that. >> we are going to shift gears in the moment because i know everyone is interested to hear your thoughts on what is going on on capitol hill, the 2020 election, and other political issues. we are about to get there. just one last question in thinking about media politics. there was a political article last week about the ukrainian presidential election, where a candidate essentially won the first virtual campaign. conferences, no real speeches or rallies. everything was done virtually. do you think this is the campaign of the future in the united states? if that is the case, what happens to traditional media
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news? ms. brown: no, i don't think it is. ms. brown:>> good. ms. brown: i think we are so far gone or beyond that ability to have any such thing. now we have elections -- unless something really crazy and drastic happens. i should never say no because that may impact happen. but it is it just so wildly beyond my comprehension to believe that everyone in america because we are a different country than the ukraine. obviously, we have a different political system, one embedded with the right of press to do its job. something -- and barring something wild is hard to imagine for me. i don't know if anybody would want to that way. but maybe. we will see. bring me back if that is. won't want tobly hear from you. congress?ouse,
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>> this president has had an unprecedented number of acting secretaries, people going in and out, not staying very long. he cultivates a lot of chaos. some would say chaos is a l adder. that is game of thrones for the folks out there, any fans? ms. brown: no. >> she's too busy. ms. brown: everyone is busy. >> [laughter] i'm going to skip over asking if littlefinger is at the white house. all kidding aside, there is undoubtedly. chaos in the white house. is that something the american people should genuinely be concerned about? ms. brown: there is -- you know, the president as we know, would not call it chaos. i'm not even sure if you welcomed us into the west wing, it is not like you go in there it is not like a cartoon.
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it actually looks very normal. it doesn't look any different than it did with president obama. isiously, it is just -- it -- he does not run the west wing. he does not run his government like any president in modern history. that is just his style. i don't think anybody should have been surprised, given sort of his philosophy of leadership at the trump organization. it test on the outside, just by judging by traditional standards, it does seem chaotic and there are acting secretaries, and his senior counselor's husband is trashing him on twitter. it is weird, right? it is not normal. but -- and should americans be concerned? that is up for americans to decide. i think there is a chance and 18 months to make that choice.
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think it is refreshing to a lot of people, to have a president who does not conform to the norms of washington, which are very strong and powerful and difficult to push against. trump has managed to do that. i was in europe during the entirety of the presidential campaign in 2016i was in brussels -- in 2016. i was in brussels, watching from afar, and there was something to me refreshing from the outside that there was a politician who was just saying what he thought. i mentioned before that i sort of left washington. i did leave washington in 2014 because i was really sick of washington. i was tired of the same stories. i was tired of the same positions that everyone staked out. nothing changed. people are very guarded. that gets really boring as a reporter, and that is not to say that reporters were hoping for a
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massive change, but i was tired of the way washington was working. i think, obviously, for a big part of america, they like what he is doing. they will decide in 18 months whether it has been too much. that is our system. all i can do as a journalist's report on the legitimate changes he is making, the firings, the resignations. that is happening, we are going to report on it, put it in the proper context, and people can decide letter is to chaotic for them. >> you talked about the president's philosophy on leadership or he wrote "art of the deal" a few years ago, and even in the earlier stages of his presidency and campaign, he talked about one of the unique qualities that he had, the ability to cut a deal or bring people together. have you seen that manifested specifically in terms of this relationship with congress? ms. brown: umm, not totally.
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not totally. based on what he has said. he has had a tumultuous relationship with congress, with his own leadership in congress. wins,nly, he has had other pieces of smaller legislation, deals are getting done. the tax bill was a very big deal but a partisan bill, just like obama care 10 years before that. there were no republicans who voted for obama care. the dealmaker bringing folks to the oval office and coming out with a deal, we have not seen that to the degree i think you would want to see, and often times it is because of trump himself. he has a habit of saying what the last person who saw him once to hear, as many presidents have
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been known to do. quite don't know if he is become the consummate dealmaker, but he has new deals, for sure. >> getting to that, his dealmaking skills are going to be tested now that the democrats control of the house. speaker nancyout pelosi, one of the things the president is known for is coming up with a nickname or attacking folks in the public sphere. he seems to have left speaker pelosi alone in that regard, is it respect? ms. brown: it is absolute respect. we have written a story about he is impressed with her ability to survive. and her skillss, as a party leader, legislator, and that is based in fact. donald trump does have a large
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degree of respect for her, and that is reflected in the fact that he has not gone after her like he has chuck schumer, chuck.chuck -- crying the degree, she has proven to challenge andm a i think to a certain degree, i'm really interested to see how the work together, to see structure of discussion started on a big to billion-dollar package, 2 trillion, i don't even know how much. it is significant, but they will come down to whether nancy pelosi wants to deal with him. i think he knows that. she holds the keys to what he can and cannot do. on two of your reporters, they just came out with the book, jay sherman and anna palmer, called the hill to die
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on, and inside look at capitol hill. there is a section of the book where they are describing congress, and i will read it directly. unlike anygress is institution on earth, a remarkable place to do democracy, but one of the heaviest collection of adults in teenage melodrama. [laughter] do you agree? ms. brown: yeah. >> can you give examples in congress today? ms. brown: that is a fact. that is a real fact. senateed the hill, the for time. i covered the health care bill, the obama care bill from start to finish in 2009 to early 2010, so i'm pretty familiar with the hill. not as familiar as jake and anna . they are the experts. any legislature is like a high school. they act like they are in high school, meaning there are
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factions, clickcs and -- clicks, and the rebels have a tape toward each other, the past leaders, and it is about forming friendships and coalitions. it is like exactly how jake and anna describe it. also, the hill has been somewhat of an oasis in washington, where the normal rules continue to mostly apply. where reporters can walk up to lawmakers, ask them a question, whether they are republican or democrat. there are long-standing relationships that exist on the hill. people have covered the hill for a long time or even a decade. there is access. you can get up close with folks, and it remains sort of a different environment than at the white house, where there is very little access. there is little access at the white house, but the fact that
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there are briefings you can get. you can kind of get to trump easily, which is bizarre. that was the great story we could go with the post, writing , story where he called trump trump called him back, and trump said, you called me, i did not call you. justhe president has said, call madeline, my secretary, if you want to get in touch with you. that is wild stuff, right? obama would never be like, call my secretary or assistant. it doesn't work that way. i think on the hill, it is sort of an unusual place where you have this tremendous access. relationships are generally cordial. you can find out information with very little friction, and, yes, they are like high school. and it is great and fascinating.
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so kind of turning to that real work they are getting done, although it can be like high school at times, a lot of folks are impressed and excited about alexandria ocasio-cortez, especially with her committee work she has been doing. what do you think a real impact has been so far, if any? do you think that her brand of aggressive is him is just a fad -- progressiveism is a fad or the new norm for the democratic party? ms. brown: she has managed to really have a big impact on the hill in just a few months. not awould say there is lot getting signed into law, but just are grace of authenticity and social media. she has changed the way politicians present themselves. you see this reflected in the 2020 campaign with elizabeth
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live and doing instagram from her kitchen. i was fascinated when aoc roasted chicken on instagram and just talked. harkening back to me feeling like trump was refreshing back when i was in europe in 20, this is the straight line from that to aoc in terms of the tactics and authenticity, not being too scripted. you are sort of seeing this across the freshman class. it changes the game for how lawmakers and politicians can run, how they tell the story of themselves. i think those who choose not to be authentic or who choose to be to walled off from constituents, to the press, we have a different expectation out. i think americans have a different expectation that we lawsto know who is making
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in this country. she has peeled back the curtain on that in a significant way. i mean, i don't think it is a fad either. for progressiveism, just like the tea party in 2010-2011, these are fundamental changes in the political parties in america , and long before aoc came to washington, the party was moving in this direction. we have fewer moderates because of the way congressional districts are drawn. the practical impact will be very hard to get big laws passed because there is no middle anymore, or we are just going to see a change in where the middle is. there will always sort of be a middle, but there are big ramifications for that. -- so crispference referenced committees. there is no committee in the news more than the senate house
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judiciary committee. this morning in "the washington post," the top story was barr's no-show triggers all out war between the white house and congress. do think that is an overstatement? is it something we should pay close attention to? ms. brown: our take on that story was lawmakers were are frustrated, democrats are tostrated by their inability proceed with impeachment given political ramifications, and now barr is there outlet to show how unhappy they are. a lot of taking their anger out -- irr, and i do think don't think that is an overstatement. he had a headline last week about all out war, too, so maybe r all-out- i think ou war was the confrontation between the legislative and
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executive branches over the request for documents. unusualery highly resistance between the two branches of government, and barr is an outgrowth of that because of the walls that are coming up around documents congress wants to see, and the president been resistant to that. i think barr is in the spotlight now. i can't imagine a number of other cabinet officials to refuse to come up or speak or turn over documents. we will continue to see the all-out war. it does feel like we are on that path, and it is a real thing. >> switching a little bit to 2020. obviously, that will have a huge impact on congress and the presidency. what are some early predictions you have from a congressional standpoint? you see republicans retaining the senate? the house remain in democratic-controlled? any additional thoughts or
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predictions? ms. brown: so we don't do predictions because that doesn't really work out well for anybody. [laughter] so i won't do predictions. you can only look at the traditional metrics and obviously what states are going to have senate elections, and you can game out who has the edge. it will be challenging for democrats to retake control of the senate by virtue of the things i just said. the house obviously will always be up for grabs. the senate is harder to flip. anything can happen depending on what happens over the next 18 months. god knows we don't know what that will look like. i think the whole system is up for more people, more change, and it is going to be because of everything -- we don't even the, but i would say that best thing to say is that we don't know. because i don't know. all i know is that i'm going to report on everything, and i do not want to be surprised on election day. i would say if you come back to
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me in october of next year, i might have a better idea. certainly not now. >> so i think the big story the past couple of weeks, biden is the front runner in the democratic party for the primary. there is a story in "the new york times," about the revelation that obama was not completely supportive of biden running in 2016. do you think that impacts his chances for the primary campaign? ms. brown: i don't. i think endorsements are generally overstated. of course, president obama, if you were to endorse biden at any stage would be a powerful endorsement. everybody in the democratic field will want to get that. i don't think anybody will get it though. i think obama is traditional and how he tries to address interparty fights. i would be very surprised if you were to weigh in at any point for one person or another. of course, that could always
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change depending on who is standing, the last two folks to three folk standing. for biden, i was not a surprise for any of us who have covered the obama-biden relationship, and the feeling into 2015 that it was hillary clinton's turn. particularly in 2008, the historic election between the candidatecan-american to get that far, and the first woman. back then, people thought it was hillary clinton's time. obviously, it was barack obama's time, and to a certain extent, he wanted to make sure she had her time. that dynamic was at play in 2016 three they did have a close relationship, biden and obama. i think it was real. it is not that obama was not bothered at times by the things biden would say, which did cause headaches for him, but i think
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at this point, democrats are looking for someone to beat trump. but they don't really know what that is yet either. nobody knows what is the formula that will trump. they will continue to search for that and only time will tell. obama to bect involved once the nominee is chosen. >> one of the cool things is everything you hear today, you can read about it every day and that is what i was referencing this morning. in just a moment, if we could get someone to put up on the screen how you can get access to political playbook. i don't see it yet but i am sure someone will put it up there. what issues do you think will dominate the upcoming elections? climate change, if
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democrats have anything to do with it. personal values and who can provide the best contrast. women are very focused on. i think the economy is obviously very strong right now. with trump, it is a very powerful thing. is a huge challenge for democrats. yet and ist done it going to be a real challenge for
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them. the media is to maintain some sense of equilibrium between the show in the substance. my newsroom, a lot of my competitors, we are making a lot of effort to dissect, analyze, focus on the substance of the issues. we know the show of campaigns and politics. is goinghe trump world to be a dominant feature. it will be huge. tomps ability with one tweet redirect an entire news cycle day four days. it is a real thing and a real challenge for democrats. the press is in the middle trying to responsibly cover a president who when he tweets, he
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is making a statement. just because it is in a tweet, it doesn't mean we can ignore it. we have to provide context. we will have to continue to cover his tweets and that is an extract or for a democrat who is trying to wrestle for there to back to tell his or her own story. >> we have one last question. this week we celebrated law day. was free's theme speech, free press, free society. the bar society has gathered in washington, d.c. do you think the freedom of press is in jeopardy? what can these lawyers do to help protect it? >> i think freedom of the press is always in jeopardy. there have been movements for public accessff to documents. ability to get close
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to lawmakers or politicians. to not report on certain aspects of what the government is doing. president obama took aggressive steps in this area. i remain concerned about that. institution,e the the bill of rights, freedom of the press, i believe that it is extraordinarily strong. i used to tell my reporters early on when there was the first products -- press secretary, sean spicer disliked what ago and went after some of my reporters. i told them you are going to be long after sean spicer is here. [laughter] so you do make predictions. >> in that case, i did.
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part toa has to do its do its job responsibly. i am doing that every day. when weake a mistake, make mistakes if harms all of us and our credibility is eroded. i take that responsibility seriously. what we have to do is continue to do our jobs responsibly. to hope that our value is recognized. support yourdo is local media. it costs a lot to do with the post and times does. my fear, we do have the resources here in washington to do that but in my community back media is notia, thriving. it is a real concern. wish -- as politico, we do
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have footprints in seven states. we cover state capitals. people on the ground to cover state government. we cannot follow the local media challenges. challengingize how it is to go into states, create a business model, support journalism when people are not there watching out after what people do. bad stuff happens and people don't know about it. there is a lot of great stuff that happens. media is inthe danger. a lot of communities, not in washington. we could always use more. i always worry about the strength of local media. is anformation we provide expensive endeavor and their support is needed. also, your feedback.
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reaching out and engaging with reporters, it helps us. >> again, i will tell you we really appreciate your honest assessment of what is going on here in washington, d.c. --signing up for political politico playbook, you can get that type of assessment for carrie and her team. i encourage you to sign up. room,of you here in this you will get a chance to use your phone and text to sign up for playbook. i encourage you to do that today. also, for all of you at home, we encourage you to go to and have an opportunity to access truly great material. as stephen colbert said, the most influential newsletter in washington, d.c.
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as young lawyers around the an obligationve to uphold the rule of law. to serve our communities and be leaders in our community. you helped us today to better understand how we can make a difference all over the country. we are going to take a few minutes break. more program this morning before we break for lunch. we are excited to have bloomberg law here to talk about the future of legal innovation. we will see you back here shortly.
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>> i think it is very tuesday -- to say that william barr has
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made decisions that i question but i remind myself that i don't have all of the information. none of us do. we must always keep that in mind. i may have done the same thing. i might have said the same thing. i do give him a a for making a decision. if bob mueller's job was to make recommendations, after that he is done.
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he did a job with respect to that. robert mueller, i would say this about him. dojas been a career employee. when i evaluate people or when i talk about issues, i don't like to talk about what i am against. i like to talk about what i am four. i think being positive is more effective. it resonates with the american people. aret talk about what you against, talk about what you are forth. in that thing, i would say i am for robert mueller. i know him and i trust his judgment. if he says something i believe it. i am forit is worth,
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bob mueller. >> later today, a discussion on the status of the afghanistan peace talks. starts at 1:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. the u.s. economy added 263,000 jobs in april achieving a record 103 straight months of job gains. especially in business services, construction and health care. the unemployment rate fell to 2.6%. the average hourly pay increased 3.6%. -- 3.2%. argument for a supreme court case. this comes after a woman claims she was fired for missing a day of work after missing a sunday church event. her missed they was not approved by her supervisor. the case is over whether the


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