Ash Carter, President Trump, Barack Obama discussed on The Lawfare Podcast

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Before it went to the president is supposed to be advice coming from you so you change that so there were things that in but you fixed yes I did. I made it my business is to not be micromanage nice. We'll help you do that. The president outranks you wanamaker badge right and to me the right answers the good old fashioned answer. I needed to have rock Obama have the confidence that that when Ash Carter came to the sit room or sent him a proposal that I had worked as hard on it as he thought it needed to be worked on and is he would work on it if he didn't have that confidence if he thought the Pentagon was just sending in. Stuff which we could do and the Secretary of Defense had beforehand vetted it as though he were the president himself. That's my job after all. That's important part that that's your job in. That's is your that's I've wanted to win from from President Obama the confidence that when we the department events sent something to him and which had really looked at it hard otherwise is he would do the only thing the thing he ended. Do we just turned his staff and say you better check this. I think they just came up from the lower levels and the guys at the top just send it on over and there's probably something wrong in there uh-huh and I'll be held responsible and so I I respected makes up. I and I had to earn that slowly because he there was a habit of having the staff look over our shoulders. I didn't like that and I changed some of our internal procedures and above all my own involvement in such a way that slowly but surely the president came to have confidence when I was doing do also I need to say Jack that what I I worked for wine murders for example Weinberger would sooner die than that anybody outside the Defense Department talk about war plans to the president. He believes that it was only the president in that apartment as L.. Everybody else that was the spirit in the reality of the cold word is if the war went up it was it was all war today and things like Iraq and Afghanistan but even even if who were dealing with Russia and China there is inevitably a political and a intelligence and an economic side to things so I did not have the view that the president wouldn't wouldn't benefit from in that my were plans wouldn't benefit from diplomatic input and intelligence but it just I sought it out because sometimes they would say well. You don't really understand how the country works or your. You haven't understood how this tribe or this locality works. These were valuable insights to us why we ever forego though and provided they could keep secrets. Stay invariably could and their inputs were in good faith sometimes they would then later argue argued the president of the National Security Council against a proposed operation on policy grounds fine. I would argue for doing it on Alcee grants but beforehand I would have let them see what I was proposing and say. Tell me what you think. Most of the time I benefited from that sometimes I bought myself a debate that I wished I'd have to have but we debated in front of the president. Naso experience in government was always better to have those debates rather than average but this is the key thing about journalism all things you said in the book that you did was you wanted to get that input yourself before you gave the president the vice rather than use hitting the White House advisor then letting everyone their way set bear. Yes you have to be a stickler for the chain of command chain of command goes from the president to the secretary of defense to everybody else and my view is nobody else is sending anything up towards the president. President doesn't go through Ashford and likewise but inversely. Nobody in the White House can give instructions to the Department of Defense. I've the only time I ever I saw the really mild manner or secretary sheds built airy..

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