tv Presidential Transition and the Trump Administration CSPAN January 9, 2017 12:30am-1:35am EST
administration. 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> sean spicer talks about relations tween the press and the incoming administration. he shared the stage with david axelrod and robert gibbs. this is about an hour. axle road and robert gives took part in this at the university of chicago. >> good evening, everyone. happy new year. i'm steve edwards, the executive director of the institute of politics at the university of chicago chicago and mitt my mr. to welcome you to tonight's event featuring incoming whews press secretary sean spicer and obama press secretary, robert gibbs in conversation with david axelrod. we know that many of you on this campus, like much of america, feel strongly about the outcome
of our november presidential election. whether you're supportive of president-elect trump or opposed to him, it's vitally important for all of to us understand how his administration will approach the presidency and the many policy areas and key issues in our nation over the next four years. that's why tonight at the iop here on campus we're beginning the first in a series of conversations that aim to examine america in the trump era we: we will map players and policies shapeing the conversation. then next week we'll have the author of the best-selling book, hillbilly, for a derailed look at white voter americans. and at noon, thomas freedman will survey the global landscape in a trump presidency and beyond. and a week from tomorrow we'll preview the many cabinet nominees and other appoints made
since the end of winter quarter, fall quarter and the beginning of winter quarter with a panel of top washington journalists. you can fine out about those three events by going to our one at politics.chicago.edu, this is the first event for the iop with a new presidentialed a mex administration on the horizon and as we have done we don't endorse points points of view. so, in the spirit of that and open discourse and rigorous inquiry here at the university we invite you to bring your best questions to things. we'll also open up the floor to questions tonight from students. we'll put a microphone in the middle of the aisle and ininvite you to come forward with your questions sorted make your a question and keep it short to and to the point.
without further adieu, minneapolis join me in welcoming josh markets to the podium to formally introduce or guest. josh is a second year economics major here at the university of chicago, hails from mason, michigan, member of the baseball team and the college republicans. put your hands together for josh. [applause] >> thank you. it is my honor tonight to introduce a couple of remarkable public servants who devoted their lives to promoting a better future for you and me. sean spicer is a native of rhode island. during his time as a communications director at the republican national committee, season played an essential role in securing land mark majorities the house and senate during the 2014 mid-term elections. after becoming chief strategisting for the rnc in following year season's strategy came to fruition on november 8th with republicans maintaining majorities in house
and senate and capturing the presidency for the first time in eight years. in addition to his time at the rnc, season served as a commander in at the u.s. navy reserves and we're all deeply grateful for his service to our nation. on january 20th he'll seem us a -- assume his -- >> robert gibbs, nature of alabama, was the 27th white house press secretary during president barack obama's first term in office. robert served as press secretary of john kerr where's 2004 presidential campaign and played a career role in both the barack obama successful runs for the white house. is the executive aren't and global chief of communications of mcdonald's and sits on the iop'sboard of advisers. the conversation will be led by david, axelrod and it it with great respects' enthusiasm we
welcome tonight's guests. [applause] >> sean -- [shouting] >> the president -- and -- >> sir, with all due respect there's an opportunity for you to pose questions later on. i'm i'll ask the you give our guest an opportunity to engage in a conversation. [shouting] snow. no. >> sir, sir. [shouting] stand up and speak. stand up and -- this -- sir, sir, please do not interrupt or shout down or guest. we ask you respectfully to let this conversation continue. it has not even started yet, sir. [shouting] a president to celebrate --
there's another -- [shouting] organize. go out in streets and stop this. trump has -- >> all right. all right. >> i will let me just say, we know there are very, very strong feelings. what we are hoping to engender tonight is an opportunity for people to ask tough questions. but also to come and listen, to understand and be in dialogue about the critical issues including the ones he raised. so i'll ask that all of us operate in that tone of respect, respecting each other and the multiple points of view. >> host: i think he follows me on twitter. sean, first of all, thank you for being here. you were scheduled to be here in november on a panel with joel benson on the clinton campaign and you had a serious illness in your family.
lost your dad for which we offer our condone yaps -- condolences i want to ask you to reflect back on the campaign. you were chief strategist and spokesman for the republican party in 2016 and you were the communications director in 2012. josh didn't mex that when he said you let the party through 2014, but we'll leave that -- >> thank you. >> host: but i guess my question to you is, at the gaming of that process d at the beginning of this that process how much trump was on your radar screen as a likely candidate for your party? >> it's a great question. honestly the way we look at '16
shelve shelve is was the party needed to get oft of the way over the voters and to e be hospital with you we woke up every day knowing that our job was to have the capabilities when we had a nominee and to worry about who one of those 17 or 87 or however many ran, was going to be in the nominee. a waste of time and a mental exercise because regardless of who you wanted our job was going to be to be ready for the nominee. i clearly there was a lot of doubt about -- in media and pundits about how serious he was going to be, going to file his paperwork, his financial disclosure form. but i think by month two in you realize this had some steam. there was a lot of people attracted to him. he -- there was a -- the infancy of a real movement going on. but i don't -- i really don't
think whether it was him or jeb bush or marco rubio or kashich, that at least m myself or reince priebus thought about it because there's very little you can do. at the end of the day when the primaries are over and someone had 1276 delegates they would be the nominee. so to try to think about who you wanted was almost a waste of time. >> after 2012 you commissioned a report, called the growth and opportunity project, and it was really -- known as the up aty of the- -- the autopsy of the 2012 election, kind of grim. but in a matter point was they party hat to do better to reaching out to hispanics, young people, minorities generally, women. when trump came down those -- the escalator and started making the comments about immigrants and so on were you concerned
that this wasn't exactly the playbook? >> sure. it wasn't the playbook. think first of all there were 218 recommendations in the report. on every single one -- some of them were the party specifically. the rnc needed to do x, y and z. invest and data and digital operations. put more of a prepares in minority communities where we had noncampaigned in the past. we hadn't been there. and so i think what we war looking for in the candidates was to see whether or not there were a fill philosophyic buy-in and the hispanic communities have been growing in a lot of state that were traditional republican strongholds. so there was a concern but i
think there's no question -- you can argue about the tactics and the -- but donald trump's philosophically believes in growing the party and reaching out to people. i think there's a difference between whether or not he may do it in the way myself or another candidate preferred to be done or thought was the smart but he did it his way and won. >> certainly won. >> frankly, you can look at the minority community in particular, whether -- especially the black vote -- he creased over romney. do i think we have more work to do? absolutely. good enough? absolutely not. but i think when you look -- we went to places -- if you look at where he went, philadelphia, detroit, baton rouge, philadelphia, he went to a lot of cities that frankly if you look at the totality of where he went probably more than the last two nominees combined. >> but reaching out to those
community, is that a fair characteristics? he maximized this votes in other places. >> i think there's no question that there's a commitment to it. and he went to places, he went to churches and businesses and maces that republican nominees haven't gone in the past. think -- like i said i don't think that -- i'm not by any means saying we have done enough. we have a lot more to do. when you get eight% -- eight percent of the black vote, that's not enough. that's not where the party is and we have a message that should be much more appealing to the minority communities. >> you were saying you didn't feel the whole wikileaks thing what determinative in any way. >> right.
>> you were pretty -- you -- as professional, political folks do -- the three of us on the stage -- you were outspoken about the contents of the wikileaks. you thoughted has some effect or wouldn't waste your time talking about it. >> there's a difference between whether or not i think it's appropriate for hillary clinton to get debate questions or not, and the proposed answers. well, whether or not that swayed the election or not, at the end of the dow one thing that is overlooked it the actions in the e-mails. we talk about it but podesta said some pretty nasty thing's hillary clinton. and i think to to some degree we have overlookedded what was in the e-mails that he took. and i think -- >> you guys didn't over look them you tried talked about them. >> we tried to, as with democrats, got copies of memos -- no one has a problem with "the new york times"
publishing donald trump's tax returns. didn't hear nip come to his defense and say the idea they're publishing personal information that is not legally supposed to be published, we should stop them from doing that. noon brazile didn't do it complimentary and we have used to do, to win an election. >> reporter: , how surprised were you on november 8th? >> very. you saw 200 counties that obama carried flip. 306 electoral votes. wisconsin has not been cared since 1984. michigan since 1988. pennsylvania -- when you look at all of them -- we we are hoping for one. i wrote -- rhode island, trump did the best of any republican candidate since reagan in rhode island. when you saw the brent and depth of that -- breadth and
department of that, it's like if your sports team and you're playing the undefeated team, and you beat them, that win is so much greater than the win where it's like you beat the team that was either a fair fight or you were supposed to win. so winning is always good. but there's no question that i think the clinton team thought they were going to win. the pundits thought they were going to win. a good chunk of republicans thought they would win. >> you sound like you thought they would win. >> no. no, a difference between did i think we would governor to win or win to magnitude we did? i thought we could pick off -- we had us winning michigan by two-tenths a point but that's nothing that your putting in the bank. so i thought that the momentum was there. but also we had dish had been through '12 and i remember on elect day, the romney people
just convinced that we were going to pull this out and there's -- >> you should have called me. >> could have taken the call. >> we had to tell the president the night before that everything was okay. >> i think that when you have been through that. it's a lot harder -- i lost an election in 1994 by two votes on election night. so until i see that raw data, i don't put a win into a win. your saw eric cantor going, randy forbes, other incumbents who are were told you got this, and now they're a former member of congress. so you can feel good, the data feels good. -- the investment we made a data was worth it because one thing that we knew is we knew exactly where the undecideds were and what was going november em. the and we knew how to go after them. whether at door knob or phone call, volunteer phone called and then followed up.
how to chase that a absentee. but the magnitude of the win was enormous. >> you mentioned twitter. can we talk about twitter? >> sure. >> do you know what the president-elect is going to tweet before he tweets it or do you get it on your phone like everybody else does some of them are at 3:00 in morning, which is pretty weird. >> i do not. >> you don't get them ahead of time. no once in a while he'll say i'm going to tweet something or, hey what do you think about this? he drives the train on this. >> how does do that -- on his phone? >> yes. sometimes -- he's got an ipad. everyone is like who is doing this. this one ios. she has multiple devices.
>> when you wake up -- when you wake up in the morning, if you sleep,. >> one eye open. >> do you look with a certain sense of dread? >> no. but i do look there first. because that what is going drive the news. whatever he tweets is going to drive the news. you saw the house vote the other day. he sends a single tweet out saying the idea that the house is not focused on tax reform and health care, instead focused on the office of government ethics, and immediately it's withdrawn. there's isn't a power -- >> they were getting a bunch of calls before that. >> i don't -- >> i thick was -- whatever happened it was a big seb sech lynn he shot down. >> use went to the white house, and saw the apparatus and have worked in there before.
how much different do you think your job will be because of the president-elect and the soon to be president on twitter? how -- >> well, give you an example. we we left in '08. i waked out the last day when you were walking in. except i went out a different gate. we didn't have -- there was no handle for -- no@u sr. gr. we had a single stand alone computer that you could change -- if you dare had a facebook page. but aside from that. you could go on amazon and a lot of -- but you guys came in and you really brought social media in. if you think about the tools josh ernest has now compared to tools you started with, he has snapchat and there's an evolution of social media that has occurred in the last eight years and i look at now going, okay, what the next thing around the corner?
but twitter is a major piece of that. and also our instagram pain and facebook page as well. >> i don't think there's any doubt dish remember signing up dish think his the west first @pressec and there's no doubt it makes your job easier. but how do you think it -- building off of what david said, if something comes at 3:00 in the morning, when you talk about 3:00 in morning phone calls, now -- how do you think that's going to change the way you have to approach your job each and every day? if you don't know -- i wouldn't think you would, but if you don't know what you think he's going to set the day with -- >> again, i think it's dr. -- part of it is that he does -- we'll suggest to him, this is something we want to tweet about or get ahead of.
and on a lot of it he does -- i'm going to tweet about this. about hut i the president of the united states and he's going to set the tone and your job is to march forward and implement the agent -- implement the agenda. i do truly look it's as exciting pies of -- piece of the job. >> in doubt it's exciting. >> a moment where you know he can drive something -- drive a message and influence people in a way that hasn't done before and i think obama did very unique things with social media and his ability to speak directly to the american people, and i think each president finds their voice. reagan with local media. and so i think that this is going to be an exciting time. >> sean, let me just follow up on that. always say, the one thing you
learn when you're in the house, whether you're the president or someone who speaks for the president, is that the things you say can send armies marching and markets thank you. -- markets tumbling. the notion that he would sort of on impulse tweet something, has exponentially more impact now than three months ago. you're a commander in the naval reserve, went to the naval war college. when you see a tweet that -- at the north north koreas on their nuclear prom, knowing that kim jong-un is not the most establish of leader -- stable of leaders do, that it give you hart burn? >> when people talk about twitter and at the president-elect's use of -- >> he's going to keep doing it. >> of course him is a very, very
strategic thinking about this i i is would i want though enup and thinks backwards and whether it's carrier or gm, the motion -- the motion yesterday in congress, he is actually -- if you actually sit back and look at it, he has been extremely successful at his use of twitter and getting his results achieved. >> but as much as he has had success in realms he has had success in, what his background on nuclear proliferation. >> an implication he is just randomly tweeting. >> talking to people? >> of course he is. he gets briefing -- we make suggestions but he knows exactly where the wants to end occupy anticar subject outcome -- sometimes it's a phone cautious sometimes it's a tweet, sometimes it's a meeting. the understands the strategic value in certain actions to achieve a goal.
>> you mentioned in an interview a week or so ago that business as usual for the washington press corps was over -- >> business as usual in general is over. >> how'll be in charge -- or at least the head of the washington press corps, and in fairness i know that it's -- you're the press secretary oelectricity, -- press secretary elect. guess. give us a sense how you see businesses as usual for the washington press corps changing? just seating assignments -- >> i think it's a great question. don't think -- i think the answer in washington -- you heard this during your time in the white house -- you ask a question. we have always done it this way. not just the press corps but you ask someone in an agency, there is a reason we do this? we've always done it this way. one thing the president-elect
protect is figure ought if theirs a better outcome -- there's a better outcome and one thing i wand -- i asked josh this ready and atalked to jay carny and dana perino. something you would change? president obama in '12, said in an interview, the one thing i wish i had change more is the relationship of the logistics with the press. now, i think the point that he was making then, and obviously you know better than is -- we have to look at certain thing, can we do them better? involve the american people knee. it's not pro or con the press. reporters have reached out to me and said what would give us more access or allow certain reporters more -- a greater voice in the press room is x, y or z. my point is that instead of just saying, josh earnest had a briefing every day at 12:30.
i'll have a briefing every day at 12:30. josh allow evidence this procedure and i asked them yesterday privately, what heirs his suggests and part of is it bringing in the american people more. we use facebook live evening fifthly during the campaign to bring people into a conversation. papers in chicago don't get a seat right now. or certain papers do and certain don't. there is way to wring for regional broadcasted inworks, more blogs, more -- >> are you going to do -- your old boss, and new boss, reince priebus suggested that maybe the daily briefings is outmoded. are you -- >> again, something i've started to talk 0 to all the previous secretaries -- tweaks of tweets --
>> tweetstweets or tweaks. >> both. but mike mccart where is a big proponent of taking it off the tv. so it has become more of a show than substantive discourse, the presenting has a gag every day and a briefing once a week. ask journalist do you think it's more substantive. maybe a couple times a week we do it on camera, maybe one idea is we embargo the release of it so you can have a substantive discussion in the room, not thinking it's an immediate tweetfest. >> this is the intriguing thing or the important thing. the president-elect, shouldn't to be president, tweets quite a bit. one of them obamacare and seems to be ambiguous where the congress should move forward on
the track they're on or not. isn't it necessary, since there isn't a whole lot awe nuance to have someone were do. >> sure -- >> what they mean. >> there will be a daily something with the press corps every day. the point i'm trying to make just to put a pin in is it saying i'm going to ask roberted gibbs or jay carney and dana perino. blockers, the white house correspondents association and seek input and say there is something that could be more valuable? i'm also going to seek folks not in the room and say you want a small blog out in bring speeled, instant. is there a way you think your voice that be included? maybe send in some questions and we start off briefing by saying, these questions came in from daily newspapers that can't be present. think that at every new
iteration of -- and administration there's an opportunity to say, can we do things better? and again, i think one of the things the president-elect would really like to see is how can be involve more people in this process and the is in this democracy. >> he has been pretty critical of the press corps that followed them, and has been pretty tough at times on many of the major news outlets. what is your view of the major news outlets in the country -- >> i don look do. >> national up up in newspapers, major networks. are they not doing their jobs? >> don't want to be -- say this outlet or that outlet but some good recorders and bad reporters. think that too often these days it's become a bait fest, trying
to put up a headline in competition with the national inwe'rer to get more readers and clicks and shares and i they lack substance. getmer calls that say i'm on deadline, 40 minutes. can you tell us what your position is going to be, veals ave iran and -- vis-a-vis iran -- i say it's going to take me 40 minutes to look up these terms. the other day i got a call from a reporter who says i need a comment because russia has hacked a power station in vermont. it was wrong. so, they wanted me to comment on doing -- i said to them, do you have anyone from the ic community on the record? no. our sources are impeccable, though. top-notch reporting. when i pinged them back with the story that couple out, they said, well, the source's clear at the time.
they're like the weatherman half the time. if they say its sunny and it rains they will say let's talk about tomorrow. theirs some contributability they need to be held at. they get to write stuff in perspective impunity. talk about twitter, story came out that says spicer kicks jack dorsey out of tech meeting. the idea i'm going to tell donald trump who and you want have a meeting dirks. >> jack dorsey. >> a couple outlets took and it ran with it. ow without every asking -- if you think but it, there were a -- they ever invited. therefore i could have never kicked them out. but with these outlets took the story and raven it. the problem -- and ran with it. you can't putty genie back in box, you don't get to call them up and say, they admit it and they're wrong.
once the story is out there and the either you ether you can't undo it and there's awe race to be first, not necessarily right. >> you talk about it's about clicks and mr. trump is a click-based king with this twitter and lived off of that. >> he is able to -- oning there to make a statement. the journalist's job -- they can do what they want but if you're responsible journalist your job otherwise get it right and understand the facts -- >> the job of the president over the united states, too? >> its. [applause] >> but again i don't think -- but he has right to expression himself on twitter and tell you what he thinks needs to be done and has been very effective at that. when you conflate that and excuse poor journalism --
>> we both have had -- can i see -- one more housekeeping question. i always thought this was remarkable during the campaign that there really were no good pools in terms of having a protective pool. will the president-elect -- >> explain what a it is. >> a protective pool. whenever the president its moving somewhere they're tabling a representative staple of the press corps, reporters tremendous the wire service, and a producer from tv, basically -- if, for instance, barack obama goes out tonight for pizza they would take a motorcade in which a van of that protective pool would follow. we had a protective pool during the presidential campaign. it never really got to a full
protective pool for you guys. hillary -- >> hillly -- >> she had more of one in sense of flying on the plane but not necessarily the -- what i would have thought of or think what the press corps was under the full protective pool. do you believe that you'll have that when you get to the white house? as you leave the grounds how'll commit to taking those report -- >> i'm nothing go to say 100% because that's always up to the president-elect. >> do you think he should. >> depends. he has a right to decide if his going to do a permanent -- permanent activity -- personal activity with his family it one thing to eye i'm going to bee be here and you can watch. we have been bretty good at improving that relationship health protective pool -- a pool in mar-a-lago and we have allowed it to be expanded. it is different when you become president but a is becomes part
of the motorcade and easier to move, there's a pret press compartment of air force one. >> you'll have press on air force one when you travel. >> that's our intent. >> you'll use air force one if know it's a lesser plane. >> he does have a nice plane. >> what is -- air force one is not bad. what is your definition of fake news? >> i think that which is intentionally false. but i also -- so i don't think it -- i think there are mainstream stories that would -- i would put in that bucket as well. think stories that are legitimately -- have to resemblance to all fact or no intention of seeking the truth. >> not just something that somebody makes up on the
internet that somebody died or n some pizza parlor is achild sex ring that elicits some guy with a gun. you mention -- you think this happens also in the mainstream? >> you can't limit it -- there are instances where i think reporters have legitimately overlooked facts in an attempt to get a story out quick and right. the twit are story being an example. that is a fake news store. it is not real would never happen. never checked -- >> your goal -- >> in that tick politico posted a story that they did not do due diligence on. it was not true. that was fake news. >> let me did you this. a good disdistinction to draw here. any deal yaw deal with the press you're going find things they get wrong dirk. >> the different between gifting things wrong and not doing your job. >> sure, sure.
but does that -- you think politico thought to make something up? they have a reputation that -- >> i didn't. >> but won't can't to -- >> differs between -- that's intent. and it's like when you talk about the definition of committing a crime. certain things that would you sack did you intend to go out and -- >> one -- let's put a fine out point on this, unput others are that pizza parlor is running a child sex ring and hillary clinton is involved and that was retweeted minimums millions of times. you're not equating -- >> no. no. there's bad news, southeasterlily -- >> that that bad report doing. >> bad reporting do. >> >> i also think that -- >> we're trying to help you here. >> when a story is not at all accurate, that fake. and i think to limit it to and say only stuff on the internet where shun intentionally did it. i would expand that to where
someone didn't do due diligence and not -- it's one thing to be wrong or inaccurate. we misplaced the decimal point, spelled your name wrong, but when you intentionally put out a piece of news for the sake of rushing it out, that's fake. >> when you within to the white house yesterday and got the -- you where are telling us back stage that -- i don't know how long you were suppose today be there but you spent three and a half -- you spent a while there. >> right. >> what was -- give us a since. what did you learn? what was the biggest surprise -- i don't want to divulge action -- every conversation but something that surprisoid or took away, learned, that made you rethink how you're thinking about this president dealing with the protect. >> you dealing with the press? >> frankly a whole host --
logistically, briefing, wise, talking to josh -- what do you do to get ready every day. things that favoringly dana talked to me about -- briefing books and the stuff she did to prep, and then one of josh's assistant showed us the procedures they do in terms of the information they have access to. and how they go about getting that information synthesize iing it. some is not for the public domain. i thought, wow -- you realize the volume of stuff you must consume to be ready to face the questions. and then there's things that -- eight years ago i walked out. and you forget the size and scope -- you walk into lower press, there's the press briefing room on tv and the thing called lower press. the press can open this door and a bun of them -- the assistants there and they interface with the press guys and then the press secretary's office is up a
little hall wear and -- hallway and you forget the size and scope. we're like, wow, that's a lot smaller than i remember. you were squeezing 12 people into a room the size of this -- >> that's a door that will remain unlocked during the -- >> we'll see. the door to lower press i imagine, but -- >> there's -- >> go ahead. >> but you -- >> i think what i -- again, part of what i don't want to do now is say, this is what's going to happen. the conversation that i'm having, i asked josh these questions -- would you continue to do this? what are the pro and cons of x and y and would you allow this policy, increase it, decrease it and why? i asked him about the briefing times. why do you brief at this time? gut then at the idea is to challenge myself and my team to say, is there some way that can could be more informative, something better? should we -- what do we need to prepare.
>> we should -- we got a line of questioners here. identify yourself and just -- >> josh -- >> the only thing we ask is that you end it with a question mark. >> try to get to as many as we can. >> i promise there's a question mark here. my name is jason woods; thank you for'ing here. didn't see but i like your socks. my question does. >> buy them at g.o.p..com. >> my question could potentially be classified as a hard question. the president-elect and his surrogates are committed to misinformation and sometimes lies. whether it's the president-elect claiming he saw thousands during the collapse of the twin towers, or he and son his pushing fake news. which was fake news that led to a gunman entering a pizza parlor in d.c.
do you see defer or to -- desere our -- >> he's actually could be an aspiring reporter there were three questions tucked into one. >> die what i can -- i do what i can. >> i have spent 17-1/2 years the navy as a public affairs office, three years in the -- bush administration and served member of congress. i believe that you -- the one that that whether you're a republican, democrat, independent, you have your integrity. i may tell a reporter i can't discuss something but never lie. anybody that is an aspiring commune tater adheres to that. you've lose your -- the respect and trust of the press corps, you got nothing. one thing that allows us to sometimes promote a story or
kill a story is that reporters trust is. they know you'll wave them off of bad things things and for thn into this. so, all i can tell you is that i intend to have hopefully a very prosperous life after that's, if robert is looking for anyone at mcdonald's. >> you can wear jeans when you grow up. >> so, i need to talk away with this -- i also believe -- >> would you quit? would you quit if you were asked to -- >> it's not a question -- i can't -- i don't think any community indicator worth their salt can go out and tell a lie. you just can't do it. one thing for a surrogate to say something or -- again, i'm not by any means advocating that. you have to -- you can spin the way you want, but i think go out and tell alice something that is -- tell a lie is not acceptable. beyond that, i think the
permanent american people deserve public servants -- while you may not agree with the agenda, i don't agree with a lot of the policies that barack obama but he is the commander in chief, our president, and he deserves the respect of the office. >> thank you. >> next question. >> hi. aim young itch have one question. >> are you'll never be report use. >> president-elect trump uses social media as a way of shape his foreign policy message. he his won't tweet on china's perceived pasivity0. north korea's nuclear program. but unfortunately for a now not only did beijing authority shrug it off and report the tweeds as -- not the responsible style but also the many average -- on internet.
is this a direct pipeline to the american people derail or debase debates about some pressing foreign policy issues? >> the president-elect has opinion to 75 different foreign leaders and he understands the role that both china and russia play in the globe right now and committed to make sure we have a relationship with both of them in terms of protecting american jobs and the geopolitical nature of the they face so will have a relationship with president xi, and president putin and to the benefit of the american people. >> hell low. him david arab ham -- brain ham and if have no interest in being a reporter. the oxford dictionary's worth of the year for 2016 was post,
and -- >> hive nateed. i want to know, as someone who serves at the pleasure of the president, what do you believe is his relationship to truth and what do you believe is your relationship as this representative to the press to truth? >> so, i believe that he -- he fundmentally believes what says is in best interest of the country. so to question somebody's desire to be truthful is a big -- not that you are but insulting. people who come to conclusion that i have complete -- i don't question necessarily that they don't believe that those beliefs or conclusions are true. my job is to represent his
beliefs and articulate them to the press. plain and simple. >> thank you. >> when he says, for example, millions of people voted illegally, i believe that you're telling me he believed -- >> absolutely. >> but that doesn't make it true. no but, david -- [applause] >> david's question was -- does he believe what he -- what he is saying is truthful and the answer is yes. >> i'm a fourth year in college and you talked earlier about trump being a strategic thinker with regards to nuclear proliferation and his tweeting. however, he was elected on the base so is of strategic think of 0 the area of business which is different than nuclear proliferation and his business went bankrupt several times. the u.s. can't afford to go
bankrupt or involve nuclear proliferation, so why can we accept trump that's an strategic thicker tech thinker and he is surrounding himself with individuals, such as tillerson who has experience about but no the geopolitical realm. >> trust is earned, and i think that hopefully over the next four years, potentially next eight year, heerns your trust and earns the respect but i think like anybody else there's actions that have to get -- take place and that it with any politician and any job. you walk into the classroom the first day, why do you trust the professor knows what they're talking about? at some point you look up semester and say i learn a lot and they earned your respect. that's how you perform any job. whether it's president or professor or whatever. so, hopefully through his actions, both domestically in
foreign policy, he earns just to. with rex tillerson, i have spend some time with him. he is an unbelievably impressive clark for secretary of state and people need to -- you think about rock's job with mcdonald's. how many locations. >> 36,000. >> so, you're dealing with countries and employees and laws and something goes wrong in acron triwith a mcdonald's they have to be ready to evacuate them and deal with the leaders. rex tillerson's experience at exxon has allowed him to develop relationships? 50-plus countries and one who was a minister of finance is now the president. he understands the business but he is -- his job was to make sure that exxon got the best deal.
he is willing to put all of that aside to do the same thing for at the countryown you -- hopefully through this confirmation hearing -- hearings -- you start realeye this is an unbelievably gifted individual who cares deeply about the country and is willing to put a lot aside because he thinks the can help serve the country in a better way. >> thank you. >> i'm current second 'er year in the college. thank you for being here to talk to us. a lot of us are cure cures you about the president's skip e skeptical thoughts about the intelligence community in the. what is your role when the president takes aned a sir verial role with this intelligence commune. >> i'm glad you brought this up. there's -- an interesting dynamic with belgians-with
intelligence and there's raw intelligence that's agency feeds the president, the president-elect and other members of our government. it's raw information. his national security team and advisers analyze the data and then make suggestions and recommend's policies the president and the president-elect should take, whether it's an action to take. there's a deliver between believing the data and the outcome. i'm going to use as announce and i know someone will try to mock this. if you watch two weather stations at night, one station can say we don't believe it's going to run rain and one does that doesn't mean the data is flashflood. one meteorologist looks at the data and believes this outcome will ocore and another one says i believe there's a different outcome and hates not -- that's a simple analogy but any situation you can look at a situation or set of facts and come to one conclusion, and what i think the president's --
president-elect's skepticism right now is whether or not some of this raw data is being interpret in a way or he wonders why it's being interpreted the way it is. so this friday, he's going to sit down with the director of the fbi, comby, direct offer national intelligence, clapper, and the directoff of the oui ceo brennan and asks them how they can do the data presented and came to the conclusions they did, and i think that part of this is understanding do they all share the same conclusion? what are their concerns? but a lot of this -- a lot of the reports you read talk about how there's a high degree of confidence. we believe the following. and i think what he wants to know -- if you think bit -- i'm -- we head the weapons of mass mass destruction, benghazi blamed on a video and we tenants to talk to the heads and say the data suggesting this how due you
come to this conclusion and what degree of certainty have you come to it? there is -- i think having a healthy degree of sent -- skepticism in the neal analysis is a good thing. the database not being questioned. it's the how did you take that data, whichs classified, and come up with this conclusion? >> can i follow up? i want to be a report. >> this a here to part question. >> you have john brennan is here tomorrow, and -- complete -- >> a high degree of confidence he's going to be here tomorrow. >> how did you come to that conclusion? >> do you think, though, that -- much of the data is own known to most of the american -- unknown to the american people do you think having this debate over that data and analysis the with
a it's been -- is helpful to the country, the intelligence community, or to the president-elect? i'm not suggesting we shouldn't have a debate whether intelligence is factual. we have all seen of -- gone to war over things that weren't right. it that a debate that is being had before he is president? due county that that is serving the country -- >> i think -- look at the position he is put in. he came the at the conclusion -- for the same of this room. understand something. their report we're tall talking about is not final. the president of the united states, barack obama, has not been briefed on this. my understanding is he will be briefed later in the week but the intelligence community has not issued a final report. so the idea we are all being asked what our opinion is ago summon that isn't final issue think is frankly irresponsible. >> the president-elect has offered his opinion freely on it, even though it isn't final. >> i understand that but --
>> applause. >> he is offering his skepticism. that's different this the conclusion and he asked the intelligence heads to come in -- three of the 17 -- and give him where they -- i would they came to the conclusions they did. i believe theft that's logical way to come to a conclusion, ask people to come in explain how they came to the conclusion and then either agree or disagree but you have the opportunity to question them how they came to those conclude conclusions, what the degree of certainty they've have. i think that the idea that the president-elect-0 anybody should be judging something before it's final is not a smart idea. >> we're going to try to squeeze in two last student questions here quickly. we'll have you and then the individual right behind you. >> hello. thank you for coming to speak with us. you have been outspoken in talking about the liberal bias of the mainstream media and i wonder if you're also just
concerned about bias from notably right can wing sources such as fox news and bridget bart or talking about the main stream media is a political point that worrying about bias. >> i think bright bart it unpollityic and the aim sway huffington post -- i think that's fine and don't have problem in the sense i think it's healthy in a democracy. we have that this since our foundation of people pulls -- putting papers and fliers and pamphletted that had a serious bent. have no problem with that. what i have is a problem with quote-unquote people who believe they're mainstream, pretend be neutral when they're not. and i think part of it isn't just the way you cover stories and also the stories that aren't
covered. we have done a ton of come campaigns. in every campaign when the league of conservation voters comes out of with the score considered it's dropped page and they get an f. when the chamber of commerce comps out, they've say we don't care about that. that's buy is a. not covering an issue. and someone who has spent 25 years pitching reporters stories there are stories that a reporter will say, we don't care about that. i'm not painting a broadbrush but i think every 25 years i can tell you -- and study that have been done -- not just me -- i think most temperatures offend the -- stories point though fact that majority of the reporters have a liberal bent to them and it's important to make sureown when you're a reader or consumer of a story or outlet that you view it sometimes with a healthy
skepticism where the moviesing -- is coming from the and the filter. >> earlier when you talk. about what constitutes fake news you talk about how a reporter not doing their due diligence might be fake news but you defended the president-elect in -- and his relationship to truth when you defined it bit hi statement by supreme e police officer they're true that's good and i don't -- >> that's a different. you're allowed to have an opinion. i can believe something or i can care about something or believe in an outcome. but if you're a report, your job is to get it right and get the facts right. >> what about if your the president? >> hu? >> the job of you're in the president of the united states? >> if he believes this -- your asking me what the definition of news or fake news is. ...
express opinions, god bless you. put it up however often you want, get a column somewhere, that is opinion writing and i think it is a healthy part of our democracy. if you are going to express your opinion, then you should move over to the other side of the house and call your self an opinion writer.
thank you for giving a respectful hearing. i want to thank you i don't think anybody in this room would be surprised to hear that we have many differences and we will continue to have many differences over the coming years, but i think it says a lot that he kept the commencement to be here and answer our questio questions. osco david has developed a friendship over the years and i think one of the things that is important about this is it can be a fierce political person
announcer: tomorrow, the brookings institution post a series of conversations on how the trump adminisration can be effective. newly seated senator chris van hollen. made his first speech on the senate floor on thursday. this is about 25 minutes. time be charged against the rsmghts. the presiding officer: the senator recognized. mr. van hollen: this is the first time i have risen to speak on the senate floor and i want to start by thanking my fellow marylanders for the honor of representing the