tv Charlie Rose PBS April 11, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
. >> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with syria and talk to derek chollet and robert ford. >> we've got to deliver real pain on assad. and i think there's also the russian calculation as robert just mentioned. there is no question russia, which is more engaged in syria today than it was four or five years ago in terms of number of personnel on the ground, knew that assad had this stock pile, or there is every reason to believe that we knew he had it. the question is whether they were surprised by this use of chemical weapons. and if in fact they're angry that he has done it because it has put them in a terrible position. >> we continue with et approximater baker of "the new york times." >> it's not that hard to find statements from the campaign trail where he said you know, syria is not america's problem. we shouldn't go there, where he said we should be working closely with russia and stop alienating them.
where he said, you know, china shouldn't be invited to dinner, they're our enemy. an here in the last week alone he has involved us more in syria's civil war than ever before, the first american military strike against bashar al-assad government. he has alienated russia which, in fact, said that their prime minister said their relationship is quote completely ruined. and he invited the chinese leader to dinner. >> rose: we conclude with sernlgio garcia, the 2017 masters champion. >> watch. and sernlgio. >> i was much better to committing to what i wanted to do, calming myself down. and accepting what was happening. good and bad. >> rose: derek chollet, robert ford, peter baker and sernlgio garcia, when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose is is provided by the following:
>> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin this evening with syria, the assad reg eem resumed bombing rebel targets the day after the u.s. launched 59 missile strikes at a syrian air base on friday. it was the first time the u.s. directly intervened in the syrian civil war. meanwhile secretary of state rex tillerson criticized russia ip to moscow on tuesday.matic he suggested the kremlin may be complicit in syria's chemical
weapons assault that killed dozens of civilians last week. questions are raised about president trump's syria policy going forward and u.s. willingness to escalate its role in fighting assad's forces, articulating contrasting visit in sunday interview secretary tillerson said isis remains a priority but the u.s. ambassador to quused on president assad. joining me from washington, derek chollet, he served as a defense-- here in new york is robert ford, former ambassador to syria, i'm pleased to have both of them on this program. let me begin with the obvious here. tell me your assessment of this strike. >> i think this strike was a good idea. i saw a statement from secretary of defense mattis that it destroyed about 20% of assad's operational warplanes. so left assad with some capability but he paid a price. the point is to reestablish deterrents against the assad
government using chemical weapons in syria. st a limited, defined, discreet objective and i think it needed to be done. and so now it's up to secretary tillerson to get the russians to understand that we're sir yaws-- serious and for the russians to turn to their syrian allies and say really, don't keep doing this. >> do you think that will happen? >> i don't think the russians are happy that assad used chemical weapons. i doubt very much that the russians have tried very hard to get assad to stop doing it. >> do you. >> absolutely. do you believe they're complicit in that they knew he had access to chemical weapons? >> i think they knew that very well. >> so they were complicit. >> it it is not a secret that they had them, charlie. the united nations had an investigative team that lasts november, november 119, 2016, issued a report saying that on at least three confirmed instances, as well as others, the syrian government had been
dropping color even gas in this area-- chlorine gas in this area i had lib during 2014/2015. they said there are other beyond the three but these are the three we were positive. >> rose: what were the primary gases the sir yn government gave up at the time of the russian negotiations. >> they gave up materials related to the production of sarin and other binary nerve agents. but they kept all the time chlorine, it is not prescribed under the chemical weapons convention, using it as chlorine gas as a weapon, of course, so it is against the geneva conventions and it was against the u.n. security council resolution that the russians and the americans worked out in 2013. >> rose: do you assume this is a change not only in tactics but strat geet by the trump government? >> the president says he was so moved that he had a right to change his mind. >> for sure it's a change in tactics. i was very surprised that they struck the way they did i was very surprised. i think it's terrific that it is
a change in strategy. if a sad tests the american administration as he is almost certainly going to do, are they going to again defend that red line and insist on making assad pay a price till he is finally deterred. we don't know yet. >> and what about the russians saying that they and the iranians will meet force with force? >> that's where tillerson will have to say you are really going to threaten us with force when we're trying to stop the use of chemical weapons which you yourselves agreed in 2013 was beyond the pale. >> and which is an international form that it's beyond the pale. >> exactly. the russians suffered from chemical weapons attacks in world war one just like our soldiers did in world war one. >> derek, same question essentially, how do you put this in the context of the future? >> well, first, i agree with robert that this is a discreet use of force t was justifiable it seemed to be well planned and well executed. i think the question to my mind
and charlie your opening where you talked about the different comments coming from secretary tillerson and ambassador haley sort of points this out, which is is this a chess move or checkers move t seems to be the latter, a check erred move, it is something akin to what president bill clin done did to saddam hughes hughes when he conducted a tomahawk strike in baghdad in retaliation for saddam's effort to try to assassinate george h-w bush. so i think right now it's a one-off. the question is whether the administration has the appetite to try to gain leverage out of this strike. it could seek to just stick to the narrow issue of the use of chemical weapons and the mesessage to assad is essentially you can continue to prosecute this war, if you use chemical weapons, we'll take a whack at you. if you don't, we're essentially going to conduct the policy they had a week ago or this could be the game changer. i have my doubts on whether president trump has done a complete reversal of the policy
that was articulated a week ago about assad. but we'll see. >> rose: i think it was tillerson, secretary of state said it was up to the syrian people to choose their leader. >> that's true but as you noted, ambassador haley said something more akin to regime change. and actually president trump in his statement to the american people last thursday night said sort of both things in his statement. and he hasn't really been pressed on this since then. so i think this is is really still open for debate. >> do you get the sense that this is driven by general mattis and general hr mcmasters? >> no, i don't. >> rose: you think it's driven by. >> i think it's driven by a president who was touched by the images. we can speculate all day about why he actually ended up doing it. but i don't think that the united states military or the secretary of defense or national security advisor mcmationer went to the president and said hey, here is a chance we can that back part of bashar
al-assad's air force, that strikes me as highly unlikely. much more likely that the president turned to them and said what options do we have in responding. >> rose: and they suggested something that was executed reasonably well in terms of the speed and the precision. >> i think the plans were on the shelf from all the way back in 2013. >> rose: well, you would know something about that, wouldn't you, derek. >> yeah, robert's absolutely right. it seems to be, the president said as much, these pictures horrified him, they horrified all of us. he quickly turned to his team for options. the u.s. military planned for many options in syria. i think one big difference today versus 2013 is the u.s. military has been engaged in the syrian air face every day since september 2014. so we had a lot of capability in the theater, so to speak. it's not something we had to move a lot of ships around to get them ready to go. the president could execute pretty quickly. >> rose: awend i talked this morning at cbs this morning. when you look at a strategy, you
seem to emphasize for the most part get the russians to lean on assad and get some kind of transition government coming in. >> i want to distinguish here charlie. i do not think the russians are ever going to deliver assad in a political transition. they won't. i think it is perhaps possible to get the russians to lean on assad, to stop using chemical weapons. the russians have sunk a lot of resources and a lot of political effort in to keeping bashar al-assad in damascus. the idea that they are now going to turn around and jettison him as a favor to the americans, i find that very hard. >> is he at risk for them in anyway? >> yes, they keep their base, yes he saved them, yes, he is obligated to them. >> but also. >> their leverage is undermined by the heavy eye-- iranian presence.
iran is even more important for assad than the russians are. >> because they have boots on the ground? >> pens of-- tens of thousands. both iranian soldiers, revolutionary guard and then militiamen that they have mob aisle-- mobilized from parted of iraq, from afghan refugee communities in afghanistan, from pakistan, from lebanon. this is is on the ground where assad is little by little by little grinding out a victory. but in that kind of hard war of attrition, the boots on the ground are vital. and it's not russia that is providing those, it's iran. >> and russia is providing the air power. >> the air power helps, absolutely in fact, that is is why the iranians begged the russians in summer of 2015 to come in and help. because for a moment, the rebels were on the verge of defeating assad again, and so the russians had to come in to restore the balance in assad's favor. >> right to derek in a minute but does putin have a lot at stake here because syria was one signal of his reemergence.
>> precisely. >> as a player. >> precisely, that's what i am saying. they have invested a lot in assad. i don't see-- whatever price they would ask to change assad would be enormous. and would probably be not less than removing all of the sanctions after ukraine and crimea and probably more than that. >> rose: everybody talks and robert ford talks about leverage on the ground helps negotiation. we had 51 diplomats from state department talk about that very fact during the obama administration. secretary kerry supported them. the president listened, i assume, but didn't say very much about it. what is leverage on the ground and what is is a reasonable leverage on the ground to produce a willingness for people to try to come to the negotiating table? >> well, we've got to deliver real pain on assad. and i think there's also the russian calculation as robert just mentioned. there is no question russia
which is is more engaged in syria today than it was four or five years ago in terms of number of personnel on the ground, knew that assad had this stock pile. or there is is every reason to believe that they knew he had it. the question is whether they were surprised by this use of chemical weapons and if in fact they're angry that he has done it because it has put them in a terrible position. if you think back to the 2013 red line episode which robert 57bd i were in the government then and advocating for the use of force, it was u.s. pressure and the credible threat of force by the united states that brought the russians around to bring assad to heal, to come forth with a diplomatic agreement to give up over a thousand tons-of-this chemical weapon. the question is whether the russians feel that pressure enough, and whether what happened on thursday night is enough to change their minds that they want to do more to bring assad to heal. i agree with robert, they don't want to throw assad overboard right away. they don't want to do that.
they want to control their position. they invested a lot in this, both in material and obviously in their credibility but the question is whether he has misbehaved enough that they are willing to put some pressure on him. i think that is is what tillerson will have to test this week in moscow. >> you think he will see the president, president putin, the russians are send ising signals that this is a meeting between foreign ministers. >> right, i mean it's customary that the secretary of state would see president putin, sometimes these things happen where they don't announce it and it becomes a kind of surprise meeting. but i think that will be an easy indicator if he even gets in the room with president putin, we'll know whether this is a syrian visit or not. >> rose: was it a mistake for president obama to believe that the russians would do what they had promised to do in that agreement, help me understand the agreement. do what they promised and make sure that all those chem chemical weapons were gotten out of syria? >> i think president obama ended up achieving something that none of us imagined was possible
which was the peaceful removal of 1300 tons of chemical weapons, materials and actual weaponnized stuff from syria. that is a huge accomplishment that made us all safer in many ways the fact that that material is not in syria today and the concern is not how that would prolive rate in response to any u.s. strike, freed president trump up to take the shot that he did. because we weren't-- we're not worried today about setting off a prolive raise nightmare inside of syria, but as robert noted, what is clear is that whether it's the use of homemade chemical weapons by using industrial chemicals like chlorine or what seems to have happened in this case which is is the use of sarin gas which was covered under the 2013 agreement, it's not clear to me whether this is manufactured since that agreement or the the stuff that was left behind. but the bottomline is is it's on russia to try to insure that assad is holding up his end of the bargain. he clearly has not. he did not last week which is why the strike thursday night
was justified. >> did you believe the president, there is often debated whether president obama made a mistake after they crossed a red line by agreeing to this and not agreeing to what he said he would do. >> i strongly supported that there be some kind of limited strikes, again just for the purpose of deterring further use of chemical weapon. i think had we done it, the geneva talks, the second round of which we were trying to prepare at the time, might have gone forward a little quicker and maybe would have had a better as a result, as it was, they collapsed immediately in early 2014. but that's old history, charlie. i think as i look at this. >> to learn from. >> as i look at this going forward, i noticed two things about russian behavior which i think would be an interest to viewers. number one, we had a deal with them in 2013 that if assad used chemical weapons again, security council would agree to some kind
of chapter seven united nations chapter seven measure. could be economic sanctions on syria, could be military action on syria, could be some other money punishment that the security council would agree to if syria was confirmed to use any chemical weapons. the russians and-- chinese agreed to that, to the end of 2013. farred 2350rd to 2016, the report i mentioned, november 2016 confirms three uses 6 chlorine gas, the russians veto. that puts a big question in my mind about you were arean credibility on promises. another one, again i was talking about the geneva talks that came after the obama red line incident. the russians agreed with us on the agenda. the agenda for that geneva two round of negotiations, and political transition was at the top. we get to the talks, a couple of month the later, the russians walk back and a oh, no, no, we can't discuss political transition. there is nothing we can do.
again, i think the lessons that all of us should take out of this is treat russian promises with great caution. >> rose: was it section 7 that allowed the united states to do and europe to do what they did in libya? yes, exactly. and the russians on that instance went ahead thinking that it was going to be military action only to prevent the assault on benghazi. they were then upset that the united states and european countries used that same u.n. security council resolution to help libyan rebels overthrow moammar qaddafi. they said that was not the intent of the res lose. >> rose: the russians haven't done very much in the fight against icist here, and they promised to do that. >> they are a huge emphasis, since their strong intervention in 2015, it has been on assad, not against islamic state. they left that us to and our
allies. i dare say i bet the french and belgians have hit the islamic state more in syria than the russians have. >> rose: you were going to say? >> i completely agree with that. i think this idea that we are going to partner with russia to fight isis is a fool's errand. we have not heard the trump administration talk about that much recently. that was much discussed last year in the campaign. but i don't think russia has any real interest in working with us against isis, they want to protected and keep assad in power. >> rose: so going forward, what is the strategy? >> look, i think that the u.s. needs to find a way to create more leverage in these ns. i think we all agree it has to be negotiated outcome. cuz the other options are really not available to us unless we are con tell plating, which i don't think anyone seriously is, a massive u.s. intervention. the challenge for us all along has been how do we develop that leverage, particularly using military power without us getting on the slippery slope of quote unquote owns syria.
it could be that this moment has created a new context. that this administration can take advantage of. it's going to take an incredible amount of diplomatic skill to pull this off. i'm not sure we have seen that kind of skill yet out of this team. it's obviously the first test. it's one thing to lob 59 tomahawks on a well planned strike into syria. it's another thing to turn that into leverage to try to get some sort of diplomatic outcome. so i think the next few weeks are going to be a real test. whether this was a checkers move or chess mf. >> everyone talkers about leverage, i don't quite get what leverage we might have. go ahead. >> i mean the leverage is can you raise the level of pain enough on assad or the fear by russia that assad is going to go and their interests are going to be in jeopardy in syria, that they either force assad to come to a deal or assad himself comes
to a deal. it's very difficult to achieve leverage it is easy to say we should create leverage, much harder to actually create it. >> rose: how close was assad to falling? >> in 2013, in the spring of 2013 he was, his forces were falling back rapidly, lost control of all the border areas. he lost control of whole provinces az is that when the russians came in. >> that is when the iranians came in. >> rose. >> and then again, rebel forces including those we were backing, again had assad forces falling back and the heartland, the bed rock of his political base around the mediterranean coast was coming down to artillery fire. that is when the iranians sent their revolutionary guard corps general solmani to moscow to beg them to come in and help. and that's when putin sent in
russian fighter bombers. >> rose: secretary of state tillerson said yes today with george stephanopoulos that he in fact thought the strategy ought to be to finish off isis and then get engaged by the civil war. >> i think that will be hard to do in a con cluesive manner, because as long as the civil war is raging, in parts of syria, extremists will benefit from recruitment it may not be as big a recruitment as it was say in 2014 when they took mosul but it will be big enough to maintain an insurgency. there is indications that the islamic state is getting ready to move to insurgency mode. so think of ramadi, think of fallujah circumstancea 2005, 6. >> rose: people thought of fallujah and have never forgotten it. yes? >> and charlie, there's tension with what roberts just outlined between the short and medium term challenges because of course the u.s. military priority remains today the fight
against isis. and i agree with robert. ice i i think will be delivered a military defeat soon. raqqa will be taken, mosul and iraq will be retaken. the big question is what comes next, if that is not praimly a military mission, it's more of a political governance mission. but that is intention within this near term problem of assad testing us, and putting us in the position of having to respond to him again militarily for the civil war and the use of chemical weapons. i don't think that is is a fight the u.s. military wants to have right now, the assad fight. i think they want to finish the fight with isis, that is what they say is the right. but these are intentions because these will be playing out at the same time. >> rose: are we about to see a new kol war with russia? >> i don't know that i would go so far as a cold war. but because russia is today not the soviet union of the 1970s and '80s. but there is no question that
whether you are looking at what russia is doing in europe, whether what russia is doing in the middle east, what it is doing in libya, what it is doing in the united states of america in terms of trying to undermine confidence if our own democracy and meddling in elections, that russia is seeking to be a disrupter of the international system in every way that it can. >> i think if i could just. >> derek has it exactly right. i would just say i think here in the united states for a long time we sort of forgot about russia after the wall came down and the soviet union collapsed. and then russia was there and had its own internal problems. and we sort of moved on to other things in the way americans are always looking ahead. but i think russia now views very much that it competes with us. and we fell out of the habit of thinking that we compete with them. and so we may not feel that we need to compete with them but they're looking to dpeet with us. and so one of the reasons that the iranians and russians agree
on something like syria is they both view it as a way to dent american credibility and reduce american influence in the middle east. >> how are they competing with us other than in syria? >> for example, in egypt, i used to work at the american embassy in egypt. we had excellent military relations with the egyptian military. but at the time we never had soviet egyptian training exercises, that had been long past. it started again. >> rose: it was in fact the genius of kissinger diplomacy that pulled them. >> this is what i am talking about the competition. it's not that all of a sudden the americans are going to have no influence in the middle east. it's that the russians and iranians are working together, each in their own way to reduce american influence in the middle east. i think that is a strategy that they have. >> rose: but he's well connected to the american military and to the west.
he has strong ties here. >> but we just did not see someone like said go to moscow five years ago or ten years ago. >> rose: that says a lot. yes, derek. >> yes, many of our partners, particularly in the middle east which for right or for wrong have perceived a reduction of the american role are hedging. i still don't believe any of these partners seek to make russia their number one ally. i still think they want a close relationship with the united states but there is no question russia is playing on those fears. and russia, even though it's not the civil union t is using asymmetric means playing on our weaknesses, using means like cyberand whatnot to try to undermine some of these long-standing relationships we've had. so i don't think russia has a great long-term strategy in terms of whether you are looking at its economy, what is going on with it dem graphically. but it is still trying to
compete with us in anyway that it can, no question. >> rose: one last question. clearly what influenced president obama was the fear of being drawn into a middle east conflict, and the quagmire of that. is that still a real threat? i mean a real fear? >> i think it is. i think we are, this, the danger in the moment that we're in, is that the trump administration has not thought this through. and that it will be tested, i believe, in ways that robert and i have discussed, assad will seek to test the outer limits of what he can and cannot do. there will be tremendous pressure on president trump to respond. in some ways we are already seeing that pressure grow in the aftermalt of the strike's last thursday night, as assad continues to bomb the very area that he used chemical weapons in last week. you know, people are asking, why isn't the trump administration
responding. why aren't you doing more it seems to me president trump is is predisposed to trying to look tough and act tough. and lash out. and we could unwittingly get ourselves on to a slippery slope if we are not careful and very deliberate in how we use our power of moving forward. >> rose: derek is right to signal a caution. my own sense is that the war in syria that involves bashar al-assad is is already basically finished. and assad won. so we're not going to get into a new iraq kind of war or a new afghanistan kind of war. >> you mean the civil war is essentially over. >> there may be some more fighting for another year or two, opposition is not going to give up. but they're not going to win. assad is going to win. we're not going to send a large ground force into western syria where there is is tens of thousands of iranian and proiranian fighters, and at least four or 5,000 russian
personnel 6789 that's not like iraq, that is not like afghanistan. this is a totally different thing. we're not going to go bombing in these places because in iraq we didn't face that. we only had to face saddam hussein's forces or iraqi, sunni and shia militia fighters. same in afghanistan. now there are big states like iran and russia with big forces in syria. so we're not going to get into a big conventional war with them, in syria. that is just not going to happen. assad has won. and i think when the administration was saying ten days ago that assad, is a reality, we're going to have to deal with it, you know what, they were right. >> secretary tillerson was right. >> he was. i mean it's unhappy. many of us who wanted to see syrians have a chance to create a new kind of system that was more accountable, provided greater respect for human rights are disappointed by what has happened but it's happened.
we have to deal with it. the idea that show the united states could still go in and try to change the assad government or impose some kind of new government, i think we're long passed that. aleppo was the final nail in that coffin. >> rose: if the civil war is open and assad has won, i don't understand what our goal is. >> i think in the short-term, stop the use of chemical weapons as long as that civil war goes on. medium term, figure out how to govern raqqa and the places taken back from the islamic state and keept insurgency that is coming there under wrap. very long-term, interest try to figure out a way to get a ceasefire in syria and maybe some day patch that sad country back together. that say long-term thing, charlie. >> if i could just add one to robert's list which i know will agree with, st find a way to alleviate the humanitarian suffering on the ground which is just obviously tremendous.
>> absolutely right. >> the that they could do now, they could be working on that now. >> rose: it has been said before in other circumstances, history is not likely to judge well. >> no. >> rose: the forces who participated in syria. >> no, no, that's right. >> rose: thank you, derek. >> thank you. >> rose: we continue this evening with peter baker, is he the chief white house correspondent for "the new york times." he has covered president trump's handling of a series of international challenges from the middle east to asia over the last week. he writes that these events reveal that to the extent that a trump doctrine is emerging, it seems to be this. don't get roped in by doctrine. peter baker joins us now from washington. welcome, peter. >> thanks for having me. >> rose: tell me how you came to this conclusion that the doctrine is don't be roped in by doctrine. >> i think the last week alone has shown just how improvisational and transactional president trump's policy really is.
you know, it's not that hard to find statements from the campaign trail where he said syria is not america's problem. we shouldn't go there, where he said we should be working closely with russia and stop alienating them. where he said you know, china shouldn't be invited to dinner they're our enemy and here in the last week alone he has involved us more in syria civil war than ever before. the first american military strike against bashar al-assad's government. he has alienated russia which in fact said that their prime minister said that the relationship is quote completely ruined. and he invited the chinese leader to dinner in mar a lago and tried to work on trade. >> he is very improvisational. he himself said he is flexible, not wedded to one approach. so the idea to try to define what his foreign policy is is a little tricky. >> rose: some have argued that if your competitor, adversary, enemy, whatever you want to call
it, in nation state can't predict how will you act, it is bad becausing relationships between nation states depend on predict ability to a degree. but also it's good because they can't make assumptions about how you will act or what you will do. and that keeps them alert. >> well, i any that's exactly right. i think we have a perfect example of this right now in terms of north korea, right. north korea tested a number of missiles since president trump took office clearly trying to test him to some extent as well. he has now sent the carl vincent carrier group, steaming toward north korea. so what does this mean? what should we take the lesson from last week's syria strike to mean in terms of the approach toward north korea. st a little hard to figure out. should we look at the willingness to use force as a precursor to something else in asia or does he want to use that unpredict ability that he has now created as a leverage to
convince pyongyang that they don't want to test him, that it would be dangerous to them. >> it is not quite nikon madman theory but somewhere in between. >> well so far. nixon madmen theory-- he was conscience of what he was doing. he talked with henry kissinger and said you tell them you are, working for a crazy president and you don't know what he is going to do and therefore they should cooperate with you it was very calculated. what i'm not sure about is whether that is the case here. whether this is president trump in fact deliberately trying to keep people off balance or in fact he's just simply responding to things as they come. he wrote in his book, his first memoir, he dnt like to think ahead. he likes to go day by day not planning far, far in advance it is sort of keeping with that approach he took in business. >> some have said and you have written i think that he seems to want to do, now speaking of president trump, whatever is against or the opposite of what president obama did. >> yeah, i think there's something to to that. he had the president of egypt in
to the white house last week. remember, of course, this is former general sisi who took over in the military takeover a few years back and president obama refuse todz let him come to the white house. president trump not only invited him to the white house but lavishes praise on him, makes no mefntion the tens of thousands of people who have been imprisoned since his take over. similarly i think he decided to strike syria in response to the chemical attack, even though he said to president obama you shd not do it. in fact he is saying i am doing what president obama did not do. i'm fulfilling the red line that he has set, you know, in that 2013 circumstances. so he does seem to be influenced by a desire not to be president obama. a lot of new mts are. they do want to be different than their predecessor. sometimes it takes awhile that they come around, some of the things the predecessor did wasn't necessarily-- it took awhile for president obama to feel that way for president bush. certainly a while for president bush to feel that way about president clinton. >> back to the doctrine, is
there a sense anywhere of what president trump's strategy is as the next step in what he wants to do in syria? >> yeah, we've been getting nothing but mixed messages these last few days. you hear from secretary of state tillerson on sunday that other than asking assad not to use chemical weapons, our policy hasn't changed. and then you hear from nikki haley said look, assad basically can't govern. he doesn't have legitimacy any more. you hear secretary of state tillerson then today in italy say rather extraordinary thing, we commit to holding account any and all of those who commit crimes against nntds around the world that is a plettee expansive theory of responsibility of american leadership in the world. but then you hear back in washington sean peyser-- spicer asked what is our policy. well, we haven't change. we still believe america first, we're not going to be the world's policemen. so we haven't seen a clear indication of what the polingsee is going forward in syria or more broadly and really
interesting since thursday night and that cruise missile strike, the one person you want to hear from the most on this, is the one person we haven't, that is president trump. he hasn't said one thing since thursday night on this serious situation, other than use twitter to thank the american military forces and defend the decision not to hit the runway at the syrian air base. >> that is all we have heard by a man who is soared by tweeting early sunday morning. >> absolutely, he left his advisors out there to make his case to the public and in often contradictory ways and hasn't found the way to clarify it. that may be a conscience strategy to leave a little ambiguity, leave a little confusion out there and maybe thinks it is a good thing. or maybe he hasn't really decided for himself is. maybe he doesn't understand yet where he wants to go in terms of setting lines himself. for instance sean spicer today said if you use chemical weapons, if you drop barrel bombs, then you can expect a response from this president. well, barrel bombs are a very
different thing than chemical weapons. these are conventional bombs, they are horrible but used all the time, 4895 times last month alone. if the united states were going to respond to that every time, that is a very different level of intervention. the white house quickly then walked that back. that is not quite what we mebt. they are still trying to figure it out, it seems to me. >> how much unity is there in the white house because we hear about feuds factions on this issue and others. >> yeah, well this plays into that sort of internal struggle that we've been talking about for now a week or so, stefen bannon, kushner, priebus, bannon is a believer we should not get ourselves more involved in these middle east conflict, that it is is not in america's national interest to decide who is going to run syria, that we shouldn't try to preseum to get involved. and he lost basically that fight, at least temporarily this last week when president trump decided to launch that cruise missile strike. we argued against it, whereas jared kushner the president's son in law and senior advisor was in favor of a robust response in order to send a
message, so there are differences in the administration we are seeing playing out. >> rose: the administration has a victory, a supreme court justice that they wanted to see nominated and now have seen confirmed. where do they go next? >> well, that's a big deal actually for them. and president trump today seemed eager to get credit. he said look, i did that in a hundred days, that's not easy. and he's right, that is a big deal and it's really key to his political 130r9 in a conservative base. he promised last year he would put a conservative in that seat that justice scalia vacated when he passed away last year. that was important to consolidate conservatives behind him and he fulfilled that promtion today by putting neil gorsuch who is a favorite of conservatives on the bench. where it goes next is interesting. standing next to gorsuch today was kennedy, he is a swing vote on the court, he's 80 years old and he's feeling a little bit of his health, i think lately. and there is a desire to sort of see if they can't encourage him, if he wants to think about
retiring. and one way to encourage him is by putting on neil gorsuch, a former clerk into that seat. >> did gorsuch clerk for kennedy? >> he did. he clerked for kennedy, also buy ron white, he was a dual clerk in fek. >> rose: thank you for joining us, pleasure. >> great talking to you. >> rose: sernlgio garcia is here. he is the 2017 masters champion. last night he won the green jacket in dramatic fashion defeeght justin rose in a playoff. here is a look at the winning putt. >> after so many years. >> once and for all for sernlgio. >> it was one very, very enjoyable and i will never forget. i got to call myself master
champion. that is amazing. >> rose: the title was gasser why's first of what many consider the fore major tournaments of the year. the masters, the u.s. open, the british open and the pga. yesterday also marked what would have been the 60th birthday of balance steras the first span yard to win at augusta national. i'm pleased to have him here at this table for the first time, welcome, and congratulations. >> thanks very much. >> rose: you said to me your voice was a little hours and i thought stayed up too late, you said no, it was there. screaming. >> yeah. >> rose: what are you screaming, what is the emotion? what is the feeling? >> it was just pretty much just saying i think it was pretty of all in spanish. just saying yes in spanish and come on! and by it was definitely the hardest i screamed ever, for that, for that length of time. and that's why my voice-- . >> rose:-- was behind you all week. >> they were a amazing.
i always felt very loved everywhere i play, obviously. but at they have always cheered me on. they have always been very you know very high-class, you know, very very respectful, not to myself but everyone, i felt like this year from, even from the practice runs on, everybody was really behind me. and it definitely help immediate to kind of push on and get a little bit of that extra energy that you need to be able to achieve something like that. >> rose: you lead the first day, did you feel it then that something is happening to me that's very good? >> well, i felt. the first two days it was really tough t was very windy. it was gusty. the course was playing.
>> the second day, the second day. but but i was able to play two really good rounds on difficult conditions. and that put me in a great spot for saturday. then i played a good saturday. and then we obviously played a great matchup with justin rose. i think we both played really hard. we both played really well. and we kind of ran out with it a little bit, we were three shots ahead of the pack. but it was a great battle with good friends. >> it was a duo dun to the finish. >> definitely t was very, very enjoyable. >> and you two guys are friends. >> yes, obviously we played amateur gfl together. we have played in europe together. we've played here in the u.s. and ryder cupsing to. we've been this three, i think three or four teams for europe now. so it is a great relationship between the two of us. we also share the same
sponsors,-- and adidas. so we've always been big fans of each other. >> rose: in 199 will at the pga, you almost won, tiger won. but people looked at the toof you and said oh my god, these guys are going to really be dualing for a long long time. you played a lot of good golf. and you won tournaments. but not a major. what was it, how would you explain it? >> it is difficult to explain. i think there is probably a couple ways to explain it. one of them tiger was really good. that is the easy one. because what he did is throughout all those years was just amazing. the way he managed to be there, every sing is el time. >> rose: was he as good as any golfer you have ever seen. >> yes, for sure. >> rose: better than any
golfer. >> yeah, i didn't really get to see jack in his prime or anything like that when i came out. he was already on his way out. or arnie or some of those old guys. i did get to see a little bit towards the ends of his career. but you know, it was also extremely good in his prime. but tiger was really in such control when he was out there, that it it was difficult, you had to do something extraordinary to beat him. he was never going to give anything away. and that made it tough, obviously. i had some opportunities here and there, that i didn't take advantage of. a couple others, i got biten and you know t was just a matter of keep trying and keep putting myself in that situation. >> rose: what is the expression i got bit mean. >> like somebody else played better than me. some i didn't play as well as i
should have and some that i felt like i played well enough. somebody else played a little better. you know. >> is your game today as good as it's been? > yeah, i have been saying that since the beginning of the year. i felt like i have been playing really, really well. i played extremely well in dubai when i won earlier this year. and i feel like my control over my slide and my swing is probably around 20089 which was my best year on tour, and so-- . >> rose: nine years ago. >> yeah, so it definitely feels very, very solid. and i think mentally i'm hitting in a better way now too, i feel a lot calmer. i feel like i'm starting to accept things much better than i used to. >> rose: reading a little limb of what you saird sinsz the victory yesterday, you kept saying i was-- i you i was calm
yet some ba things happened to you, and sol really good things. >> yes. >> but you said even at the worst, i was calm, it didn't make me crazy. >> yeah. and that's probably the difference. that's probably the difference between standing here with you with a green jacket today and maybe firning second or third. if, because i played on the front nine i played great yesterday. and i probably should have been, i would say probably at least four under par. and i was two under pamplet i missed a couple. i missed three or four pretty good opportunities. but i knew i was playing well. i wasn't panicking. just keep doing what you are doing. they will drop, don't worry. obviously i boeingied 10 and 11, and that could have been a moment to kind of get a little bit worried. but i was like you know, you are still doing fine. are you still close to the lead. are you still playing well i
felt very comfortable. so the par on 13 was messy. that par putt, not only because it kind of felt like a birdie but because it cot me back in a positive way. i made a good putt that i needed to make. that helped me play 14, made birdie and played 15, amazing. that second shot i hit t was probably the straightest eight iron i have ever hit. >> how many yards, do you think. >> it was 189 yards, a little bit down held, a teeny bit down wind. and a little bit of a descren lynn. >> rose: this is the approach at 15. we just talked about. take a look at it. really hi, hard, accelerating follow through, trying to get it up in the air. oh, he almost pulls it out.
i don't know that sernlgio knows how close that came to going in. >> the great thing about that is that it left me a nice little bit left to right straight up putt. >> rose: how many yards. >> it was probably about-- no, it was probably about i would say 12 feet. if it would have not hit the flag t probably would have been close. it probably would have been six or seven feet but a down hill left to right with a lot of break. it would have been a tougher putt. so those little things that maybe you look at it and you say oh, i hit the flag and it went a little bit farther. yeah, but you know it kind of worked in my favor. because it left me an easier putt to hold. >> rose: and then you were back in it. >> yes, yes, justin birdied that hole and got to nine under.
we both got to nine under. we both hit great shots on 16, unfortunately he made a great birdie and unfortunately i didn't hit a very good putt there. but same thing, you know, i didn't freak out. i was like you know, are you still playing great. so you have two holes to go. you need to make one birdie, unless he makes a mistake. or maybe two and see what happens. and he bogied 17, i made a good solid par. and then on 1-9d we hit two great shots and both had chances of making birdies. i think we both hit great putts. none of them broke the way we thought they were going to break. we both missed it on the right left, yeah. >> rose. >> he hung it out. if is flat there. >> now were you out driving
justin most of the day? >> yeah, most-- yeah, most of the day. i think it was a combination of i was doing it really nicely and going after it with my driver. i hit some really nice drives. at the same time, justin was hitting the ball well but he was, you know, his back problems that he has had, he was still feeling it a little bit and a couple of drives he nicked them a little bit and didn't hit them as long as he can hit them. because he can hit it as far as me pretty much. >> rose: what is that, about 320, 30. >> yeah, it depends on the situation but usually like a 300 carry. so and then depends on the roll. >> rose: there is another picture i want to show you. here, this one.
did she make a difference for you in terms of confidence? this is your fiance. >> yeah, angela. >> yeah, she definitely had helped. there is is no doubt about that. i think her and my whole team, it's been working hard to make me better golfer, better person. and we have all put in effort. and she definitely has put her little bit in it. >> rose: you grew up in a relatively small town. >> yeah. >> rose: your father was a caddy. your mother ran the proshop. >> uh-huh. >> rose: were they both there? >> yes, they were. >> rose: at the masters. >> yes, they were. >> rose: tell me about the first thing your father said to you. >> victor, yeah. he was-- he could barely say anything. because they were both-- i mean everybody was crying, you know, my dad, my mom, angela, so
everybody was very, very emotional. but i think my dad if i remember correctly he gave me a big hug. and he said you know, you have done it. so happy, so proud of you. you won the masters. this is just unbelievable. >> rose: you have said the triumph was a demonstration of my mentality and my character. what did you mean? >> well, i said it throughout the week is. i said it that sometimes there at the masters and in some other turnments, like my frame of mind hasn't been where it should have been, you know. been like we were talking before, not accepting things, letting things happen, trying to force things. so that week last week i was much better at that.
i was much better at committing to what i wanted to do, calming myself down and accepting what was happening. good and bad. so not getting ahead of myself when i was making a birdie or an eagle or whatever. >> rose: you have a prowho is an instructor or is he more physical and in a team that travels with you having to do with. >> yeah, i mean when i talk about team, i mean angela, i mean obviously my dad, that is also my coach. >> rose: oh, he is. >> yeah, my whole life. he also played a little bit of senior's tour, on the professional. my mom, my manager, my caddie, everyone that helps around, my whole family, angela's family, everyone that you know, brings something positive to the team and to me. so it helps me, helps me to play
better. >> rose: i hope you win the grand slam. >> thank you, that will be great. >> rose: promise you will come back to this table. >> i will. >> rose: all right, great, thank you so much. congratulations on the mastery of the game. >> thank you. >> rose: for more about this program and earlier episodes visit us online at pbs.org and charlie rose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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